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Born at Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, Kelk was the son of a clergyman. He went up to Jesus College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. in 1828.
He became a deacon in 1831 and a priest in 1833. In 1836 he was inducted as Rector of Osgathorpe in Leicestershire. From 1840 to 1860 he was rector of Drayton Beauchamp, Buckinghamshire.
He was the author of a number of books and articles, including Britain's Ancient Church and Rome's Usurpations.
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