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Henry Killigrew (11 February 1613 – 14 March 1700) was an English clergyman and playwright. He became chaplain and almoner to the Duke of York, and Master of the Savoy after the Restoration.

Henry Killigrew
Born(1613-02-11)11 February 1613
Died14 March 1700(1700-03-14) (aged 87)
OccupationPlaywright, clergyman
OfficeMaster of the Savoy
Arms of Killigrew: Argent, an eagle displayed with two heads sable a bordure of the second bezantée. The bezantée bordure indicates a connection to the ancient Earls of Cornwall


Killigrew was born in Hanworth on 11 February 1613, the fifth and youngest son of Robert Killigrew and his wife Mary Woodhouse. He was the brother of the dramatist Thomas Killigrew and of Elizabeth Killigrew, Viscountess Shannon, mistress of the future Charles II.

He was educated at Cripplegate, London and at Christ Church, Oxford, graduating B.A. 1632, M.A. 1638, D.D. 1642.[1] He served as a chaplain in the army, and subsequently as chaplain to the Duke of York (the future James II), a canon of Westminster Abbey, and rector of Wheathampstead.[2]

At the Restoration, he was appointed almoner to the Duke of York, and Master of the Savoy in 1663. According to some writers the final ruin of the Savoy Hospital was due to Killigrew's "improvidence, greed, and other bad qualities".[3] A bill was passed in 1697 abolishing its privileges of sanctuary. The hospital was leased out in tenements, and the master appropriated the profits; among the leases granted was one (1699) to Henry Killigrew, the patentee of Drury Lane Theatre, for his lodgings in the Savoy, at a rent of 1 shilling per year for forty years.[2] A commission appointed by William III reported that the relief of the poor (the hospital's intended purpose) was being utterly neglected.[4] In 1702, shortly after Killigrew's death, the hospital was dissolved.

A juvenile play of his, The Conspiracy, was printed surreptitiously in 1638, and in an authenticated version in 1653 as Pallantus and Eudora.


He married Judith and had four children:

  • Henry Killigrew (died 1712), an admiral
  • James Killigrew, also a naval officer, who was killed in an encounter with the French in January 1695 during the Nine Years' War
  • Anne Killigrew (1660-1685), poet and painter, who was maid of honour to the Duchess of York, and was the subject of an ode by Dryden, which Samuel Johnson thought the noblest in the language
  • Elizabeth Killigrew (died 1701) married her father's curate at Wheathampstead, John Lambe, and produced 10 children


  1. ^ Foster, Joseph (1891). Alumni Oxonienses: Killigrew, Henry. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b Aitken, George Atherton (1892). "Killigrew, Henry (1613-1700)" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 31. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. ^ Loftie, William John (1878). Memorials of the Savoy. London: Macmillan and Co. pp. 110–114. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  4. ^ Page, William, ed. (1909). The Hospital of the Savoy. A History of the County of London. 1. London: Victoria County History. pp. 546–549. Retrieved 10 September 2019.