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Peter Gunning

Bishop of Ely
Bp Peter Gunning.jpg
DioceseDiocese of Ely
In office1675–1684
PredecessorBenjamin Lany
SuccessorFrancis Turner
Other post(s)Bishop of Chichester (1670–1675)
Personal details
Died(1684-07-06)6 July 1684
BuriedEly Cathedral
EducationThe King's School, Canterbury
Alma materClare College, Cambridge

Peter Gunning (1614 – 6 July 1684) was an English Royalist church leader, Bishop of Chichester and Bishop of Ely.


Monument Ely Cathedral.
Monument Ely Cathedral.

He was born at Hoo St Werburgh, in Kent, and educated at The King's School, Canterbury and Clare College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow in 1633.[1] Having taken orders, he advocated the Royalist cause eloquently from the pulpit. In 1644, during the English Civil War, he retired to Oxford, and held a chaplaincy at New College until the city surrendered to the Parliamentary forces in 1646. Subsequently he was chaplain, first to the royalist Sir Robert Shirley of Eatington (1629–1656), and then at the Exeter House chapel. After the Restoration in 1660 he was installed as a canon of Canterbury Cathedral. In the same year he returned to Cambridge as Master of Corpus Christi, and was appointed Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity. He also received the livings of Cottesmore, Rutland, and Stoke Bruerne, Northamptonshire.

In 1661 he became head of St John's College, Cambridge, and was elected Regius Professor of Divinity. While he served as Regius Professor of Divinity he established an Arminian soteriological tradition at Cambridge that was furthered by his successor Joseph Beaumont.[2] He was consecrated bishop of Chichester in 1669, and was translated to the see of Ely in 1674–1675. Holding moderate religious views, he disliked equally Puritanism and Roman Catholicism.


His works are chiefly reports of his disputations, such as that which appears in the Scisme Unmask't (Paris, 1658), in which the definition of a schism is discussed with two Romanist opponents John Spenser and John Lenthall.[3]


A relative of his, Sir Robert Gunning, became a famous diplomat.



  1. ^ "Gunning, Peter (GNN629P)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ Tapsell 2012, pp. 48–49.
  3. ^ Pollen 1912.


Academic offices Preceded byRichard Love Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge 1661 Succeeded byFrancis Wilford Preceded byAnthony Tuckney Master of St John's College, Cambridge 1661–1670 Succeeded byFrancis Turner Preceded byAnthony Tuckney Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge 1661–1674 Succeeded byJoseph Beaumont Church of England titles Preceded byHenry King Bishop of Chichester 1670–1675 Succeeded byRalph Brideoake Preceded byBenjamin Lany Bishop of Ely 1675–1684 Succeeded byFrancis Turner