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     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 119  1999  page 434

OBITUARIES

K.P. WITNEY, C.V.O.

Kenneth Witney, author of The Jutish Forest and The Kingdom of Kent, died on 7 October 1999, aged 83.
   Kenneth was born in south India where his parents were missionaries and was sent to Eltham College from whence he won a major scholarship to Wadham College. Oxford. He joined the Civil Service and had a distinguished career in the Home Office, retiring in 1976 as an Under-Secretary of State.
   Kenneth Witney is regarded as one of the twentieth century's most distinguished medieval historians of Kent. His interest in the County was fired during his schooldays although it was not until 1948 that he moved here, to Tonbridge. His first book (published in 1976), on the pattern of Jutish settlement, was researched and written during his working career. During his retirement he produced another invaluable work on the County's early history, a study of the Kentish Kings (published 1982) and contributed articles to Archaeologia Cantiana on a variety of medieval subjects. He joined the Society in 1980 and served on its Publications Committee for a number of years.
His last major work, which will sadly be published posthumously (by the KAS), is The Survey of Archbishop Pecham's Kentish Manors 1283-5, which he translated from its original Latin. His introduction to this work provides a lengthy analysis of the patterns of tenancies and customs revealed in the survey. He has left behind an unpublished work on the Domesday Book showing how this illuminates landholding developments in Kent during the preceding centuries.
   His latter years were overshadowed by the loss of his wife Joan in a car accident, which left him disabled.
                                                                                              TGL

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