Henry King was the son of the Bishop of London. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, becoming a Doctor of Divinity in 1625 and Bishop of Chichester in 1642. He was forced out of office the following year by Parliament but was reinstated after the Restoration.
An associate of Izaak Walton, John Donne (whom his father had ordained), and Ben Jonson, he wrote elegies on the latter two as well as on Sir Walter Raleigh. His elegy on his first wife, Exequy on his Wife, is generally regarded as his finest work.