Project Canterbury

The Life of John Travers Lewis, D.D.
First Archbishop of Ontario

By His Wife

London: Skeffington and Son, no date.

Chapter VI. Work in the Diocese

As Ottawa grew, Kingston remained steady, being difficult of approach from all parts of the diocese owing to the lack of means of transit, and the Bishop was impressed with the need of placing his diocese upon a solid foundation in Ottawa. This elicited some correspondence from the Bishop of Toronto, who wrote as follows:

"Nov. 7th, 1874.

"My Dear Bishop,

"A few days ago I had a friendly conference, at their request, with the committee of the proposed new diocese to be set off from this. Amongst the number were a few old and reliable friends, whose opinions I always respect.

"They have all acquiesced in the acceptance of the County of Wellington; but there is a general demur to Peel and Cardwell and the four townships in Simcoe; while in this section the repugnance to being separated from Toronto is intense.

"Our proposal of boundaries is a very fair one [82/83] as respects an equitable division of work; but they shew that it would be very inequitable as regards the pecuniary burden it would involve in the support of missions.

"The whole number of parishes in the diocese of Toronto receiving aid from the Mission Fund is now sixty-one.

"Of these there are 18 in the counties of Lincoln, Wetland, Haldimand, Wentworth and Halton (first proposed as the extent of the new diocese); and in Wellington--which they are willing to accept--there are 9. These in all would be 27, against 34 left to the Diocese of Toronto.

"Should Peel, Cardwell, etc., be annexed, it would add 7 of such missions to the new diocese; giving them 34 in all against 27 in the Diocese of Toronto. This would certainly be an unfair distribution of the burden of expense; and the representation of it to our Synod would complicate matters very much. For my own part, to bring the question to an amicable settlement, I should be willing to retain Peel, Cardwell and the 4 Simcoe townships, with the understanding that if Wellington should ever be annexed to counties in Huron, those counties and townships must be adopted by the new diocese formed from mine.

"I felt it would be well to ascertain the mind of the Bishops before bringing the matter before our Synod again; and I address you first as best acquainted with, and interested in, the whole subject, and believing that, if you concur in my view, none of the other Bishops will dissent. This arrangement would not [83/84] at all affect our contemplated division on our east, and the annexation of counties from your diocese.

"Believe me always,

"Very sincerely yours,

"A. N. Toronto."

"I am assured by friends who can speak to me confidentially that my retention of Peel, Cardwell, etc., will ensure an election more satisfactory to the whole Church, and particularly to our House, than if they were surrendered to the new diocese."

In 1874, the number of the clergy having increased to eighty-six, the diocese was divided into two Archdeaconries, that of Kingston and Ottawa, the former embracing the counties of Prince Edward, Hastings, Lennox, Addington Frontenac, Leeds, and Grenville, and the latter comprising the counties of Renfrew, Lanark, Carlton, Russell, Prescott, Glengarry, Stormont, and Dundas. At the same time a Cathedral Chapter was set up, and five canons, and the foundation laid for a new diocese, to consist of the Archdeaconry of Ottawa.

In the spring of 1875, the Bishop wrote to his chaplain:

"25th May, 1875.

"I shall, as you desire, hold my next Ordination at Frenton, but when I cannot say--the fact is I am feeling a little alarmed at the state of my health. I have neither pain nor ache, but a growing debility which the hot weather will, I fear, increase.

[85] "Anxiety and the work of the past 14 years, is telling on a nervous system, and I cannot see my way to appointments during the hot months. I should not feel at all alarmed, were it not for fainting fits, a few of which I have had lately."

He went to England this year, and in September wrote again to his chaplain:

"Sept. 15th, 1875.

"I am at length able to fix a day for my departure from England, which will be (D.V.) October 14th.

"At that time of the year the voyage is generally a long one, so that I cannot reckon on being at home before the end of October. I have fixed on Sunday, November 7th, for the Ordination at Frenton and you will please write to all concerned--all the Deacons especially, who ought to present themselves for the priesthood; besides Hinston and Poole, I do not know of any candidates for the Deaconate; but give what publicity you can to my intended Ordination. Also be kind enough to arrange for the Confirmation tour immediately after in Prince Ed. Co. I suppose I need not visit Picton, as I was there last February, but arrange for my visiting the mission of Messrs. Baker, Mockridge and Mulvany. I cannot undertake more than two Confirmations each day and I must be back in Ottawa for Sunday, the 14th November. I fear that I must omit Hastings and Addington, as after the 14th November the roads become very [85/86] bad. I should have arranged to leave England sooner, but that there was a desire that I should preach at the Church Congress, October 5th, and the Bishop of Lichfield wished me to be his guest. I thought that I should learn a good deal more in this way of Church sentiment by meeting men of all shades of opinion at the Congress than by any other method."

On October 6th he wrote from the Palace, Lichfield, to his wife:

"I have just received yours of the 23rd, and as I must be off to the Congress in Stoke in a few minutes, I can't do more than write a line to say that we are all well. Bob, Charlotte, Travers and myself are staying in the Palace, which is very pleasant. Bob leaves to-day for Coventry and I have given him letters of introduction, so we shall not meet again in England. Before going to Liverpool, Travers and I are going to spend a day at Alton, Travers with the Earl of Shrewsbury, then a day with Mrs. Mills, then two with Sir I. Malcolm, then I go to London for the wedding, then sail for Canada. It would be a great waste of money and time for me to remain longer in England, though I could enjoy it much on account of the great kindness I received, but I am just as strong in body and mind as I shall, or can ever, be, so I hope to be home about the 24th, please God.

"I preached yesterday before the Congress to a congregation of 2,000. You will see my sermon in The Guardian, as the Editor asked for it."

[87] In 1877 the Bishop again urged upon his Synod the importance of dividing the diocese. It had become unwieldy, and he could no longer visit every congregation as he had hitherto striven to do, but had to confine himself to only visiting every parish.

On one of his visitations of about 120 days, he slept in over 100 different so-called beds, often consisting of the wooden enclosure found at the stations which was used by people waiting for the train, as there was only one a day, and that sometimes started very early in the morning.

Within the fifteen years previous to 1877 one hundred new churches had been built. The Bishop of Montreal was quite willing to give up a portion of his diocese towards helping to form a new See at Ottawa, and Bishop Lewis expressed the hope that an endowment for the purpose might soon be raised.

On the motion for dividing the diocese, four members of the Synod voted for, and 200 against, it. Neither Ottawa nor Kingston would allow the Bishop to leave them.

The Synod appointed a committee to consider the matter.

In this year the Bishop attended the second Lambeth Conference in England, at which one hundred Bishops of the Anglican Communion assembled from all parts of the world to confer together on matters affecting the welfare of the Church--the size and importance of which was becoming a matter of congratulation.

No Synod of Ontario was held in 1878 as the Bishop was in England.

[88] In 1879 the diocese was divided into eight rural deaneries, five in the Kingston and three in the Ottawa Archdeaconry. These were afterwards increased to eleven, six in Kingston and five in Ottawa. In that year the Bishop confirmed 1,645 people, 1,564 of whom received their first Communion at the time of their Confirmation. In the following year over 1,200 were confirmed.

On April 20th, 1880, the Bishop addressed the following letter to the clergy of his diocese:

"I venture to remind you that Ascension Day, or the previous Tuesday (Rogation), has been named by the Archbishops and Bishops as a day of General Intercession on behalf of the missionary operations of the Church of England.

"As members of this great branch of the Holy Catholic Church, it is both a duty and a privilege to unite with our good brethren all over the world in solemn supplication for the Lord's blessing upon the work of enlightening with His Gospel the dark places of the earth, and hastening His Kingdom. Alas! that so many places, so many millions, in our own British Empire, still remain in the gross darkness of heathenism and superstition.

"If, with thankful hearts, we can say, as we look back to the last few years, 'Hitherto hath the Lord helped us,' we find that this help has been expressly granted in answer to the Church's special supplication; and we are encouraged to continue our obedience to the command 'Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, [88/89] that He will send forth labourers into His harvest,' nor can we forget that we have to pray and not to faint.

"Finally, if one part of the vineyard of Christ have more claim upon our sympathy than another, it is that in which our one Canadian missionary bishop and his clergy are engaged by our own appointment. No missionary work is more pressing than that which is attempting the evangelisation of our Indian fellow-subjects, and the educating and civilising of their children.

"May I not, therefore, ask for your people's liberal alms, as well as their special prayers, on the day, or days, of Intercession, on behalf of Algoma? The Secretary-Treasurer of our Diocesan Foreign Mission Committee, Rev. F. W. Kirkpatrick, M.A., Kingston, will gladly receive and acknowledge all the contributions sent him for this, or any other, object, of a missionary character."

In response to this, it was agreed to support Algoma.

In 1881, owing to the Bishop's absence from home, to recruit his health in Switzerland and elsewhere, the Synod did not meet till December. Writing from London on the 6th May to his wife, he said:

"I received yours of the 12th and I have just returned from Lambeth Palace and the Consecration of the Bishop of Labuan in time to write a line to catch the Canadian mail leaving to-night. Since I wrote--we have made little way towards a new Provost but we have some good names yet to inquire after. I have stumbled over some old friends--General Lowry, [89/90] Sir S. Smythe and Sir A. Gait, etc. I have invitations from the Archbishop and the Lord Mayor and I suppose I must go through the old routine again. Last evening I was at a concert in Dr. Tramlett's parish and heard what was said to be pure music. I am feeling very well, but I wish I could get this matter of Provost off my hands, as till that is over I can't take my own course.

"I have been offered a chaplaincy for September in the most attractive part of Switzerland. I may take it if I remain long enough in England. I see by this morning's paper an account of a dreadful steamboat accident near London (Canada). I hope no friends were lost."

The Bishop first met Ada Leigh in 1881 at one of her meetings in London on behalf of the Homes in Paris. Whilst a guest at Dr. Tramlett's, Belsize Parsonage, he attended a meeting, presided over by the Earl of Shaftesbury, at which Ada Leigh spoke of her homes in Paris. Directly she had finished her address, the Bishop of Ontario got up much to her dismay, wondering what he knew of her work in Paris, and stated that he had not long come with his Chaplain from Paris, and, on crossing one of the beautiful bridges which arch the Seine, he and a friend had watched some men hauling what appeared to be a human body into their boat. Curiosity impelled them to follow, till they arrived at the gates of that first resting-place of many of the dumb tragedies of Paris--the Morgue. They asked the official the supposed nationality of the girl just brought in, and, with a shrug of his shoulders, he [90/91] exclaimed: "It is only an English girl!" as if it were no unusual thing for English girls to be found under such circumstances. On their questioning why such a hasty conclusion was come to, the man pointed to the disarranged clothing, or rather shreds of it, which barely covered the poor bruised body, and to the dishevelled hair, and replied:

Une française ne voudrait pas qu'on la trouvât dans un tel état; elle ferait une toilette même pour la mort--une pose poétique n'est pas sans valeur! Du reste, ce n'est pas une habitude française de se plonger dans l'eau froide.

At the end of the meeting the Bishop introduced himself to Ada Leigh and remarked: "There is no work for our countrywomen which needs to be done more urgently than what you are doing. I will subscribe to your work, preach for it, and speak for it whenever I can."

On his return to Canada he wrote to his Chaplain:

"25th March, 1882.

"I thank you most heartily for your letter of congratulation on my entering on the 21st year of my episcopate. God knows how deeply I feel the many failures, disappointments and oppositions I have met with, but I have much to comfort me. I do believe that the Diocese was never more encouraging than it is to-day and God has enabled me to bring about the great results of the Lambeth Conference, the permanent Diaconate, etc. After our next Ordination [91/92] the number of the clergy will be for the first time 100, and I can look back on 128 new churches built and about 100 parsonage houses. You know that at the outset we had little, or no, funds. To-day a half million is managed by the Synod. This is the bright side, but, nevertheless, if I had foreseen what my future was to be, I would never have been consecrated this day 20 years ago.

"Mr. Mears showed me your letter. He satisfied me on all those preliminaries when I was at Canterbury. It is possible that Messrs. Guilym and Leathly will also present themselves for priest's orders. I have urged the latter to do so."

The Bishop of Ontario often wrote articles on scientific research, which brought him into contact with the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and he wished that there was a wide knowledge of the possibilities of Canada for those who were interested in the opening up and development of unknown territories. It was a time of extreme difficulty for the Canadian Pacific Railway. They had built a railway as far as the Rockies and dare not go a step further on account of an empty exchequer. They had much to endure from the Press, who said the railway would never pay sufficiently to keep the wheels of the locomotive in order. The Bishop suddenly thought of a great friend of his amongst the scientific members of the Association, and invited Mr. Stephen, afterwards Lord Mountstephen, Mr. Donald Smith (later Lord Strathcona) and John [92/93] Macdonald (afterwards Sir John MacDonald) to dine with him and discuss the problem as to how best to make the wealth of Canada known to those who had only seen it on the map.

The Bishop proposed that if he could invite, say, at least 100 of the members of the British Association to land at Quebec, would they give a free pass from thence to the Rockies and back for one week, or ten days? This idea was eagerly adopted, and through the Bishop this invitation was forwarded to the British Association.

At a meeting of the Association, held in Southampton on August 28th, 1882, Captain Bedford Pirn brought forward his proposition for the Association to hold its meeting in Canada in 1883, and said since he gave notice of that motion at York the previous year, he had taken a very earnest and active part in bringing about what he considered to be a very desirable move on the part of the British Association. From Canada he had himself the very warmest assurances that their reception would be certainly second to none they had had in any place they had visited in the United Kingdom. The Bishop of Ontario had written him a very strong letter, enclosing one which he had received from the Premier, J. MacDonald, in which he said a grant would be moved in the Dominion Parliament if the Association accepted the invitation. Every possible effort would be made to ensure the comfort and pleasure of the Association, and the Parliamentary buildings at Ottawa would be placed at the disposal of the Association. A trip would be [93/94] organised to the Rockies, Mr. Stephen, chairman of the Canadian Pacific Railway, having arranged to take them all there as his guests. He hoped the Association would see their way to going over. The visit would be of enormous benefit, not only to the United Kingdom and to Canada, but to the whole British Empire. They wanted to shake hands across the Atlantic, and if they could do it in that way it would be a matter of considerable importance. He moved that the British Association hold its meeting next year in Canada.

Sir R. Temple seconded the motion, and said that if the meeting was to succeed in Canada, they must have the cordial and personal goodwill of the Governor-General of the day.

The meeting voted on the respective claims of Canada, Southport and Birmingham. The votes were: Canada, 45; Southport, 43; Birmingham, 37. Birmingham was then withdrawn, and the voting taken on Canada and Southport, when there appeared--Canada, 57; Southport, 64. Southport was then chosen as the place of meeting for the next year. For the year 1884, Canada, Birmingham, Aberdeen and Nottingham were the candidates, and ultimately Canada (Montreal) was chosen by a considerable majority.

In 1883 the Bishop once again urged upon his Synod the division of the diocese which, he declared, had outgrown his ability to perform the duties as they should be done. He had a diocese of 20,000 square miles--a territory as large as Scotland--and the interest [94/95] of the Church loudly called for sub-division. Of this the Synod approved, and appointed a committee this time to arrange all preliminaries to the election of a Bishop for the new diocese. Time, however, showed that the "bull was not so easily taken by the horns" as that.

In that year, also, the Bishop called the attention of the Synod to the fact that the diocese did not own an episcopal residence as promised at the time of his consecration.

During the first few years of his episcopate he had to remove four times, no house being available for more than a two-years' lease. He took broken-down places with grounds and worked in them. Just when the flowers and fruit were repaying his labours the owners wished to live in them. While in a house which he took at the corner of King Street, Kingston, an outbreak of typhoid fever occurred and he lost two of his little children. Another little girl said she had been to the gates of Heaven, but was sent back because she had a stain on her frock and could not be received. The Bishop himself lay for six weeks unconscious, and two eminent doctors from Toronto came, when his case was thought to be hopeless, and watched alternately, but he slowly recovered and went to Cacouna with his family for three months and thence to England. It was subsequently found that the outbreak was due to insanitary conditions when the house was let to him.

When the Bishop returned to Ottawa the people of Kingston began to show a willingness to secure a [95/96] house, provided the Bishop would come back to the original home of the diocese.

It was also in 1883 that the Provincial Synod formed the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada, and the Bishop presided at the first regular meeting of its Board of Management. It was his suggestion that the Church should ask for at least 60,000 dollars for the domestic and foreign work of the Church.

Mrs. Roberta Tilton, of Ottawa, was a lady of stately bearing and unfailing courtesy. When she gave her nod of recognition you felt it was meant. How she, with the consent of the clergy, first interested, then won, women of different standing and age in the various churches in the diocese to unite for the good of Domestic and Foreign Missions of which they were completely ignorant, then wove them into a uniform system for one purpose, not connected with themselves, or for any self-interest, to meet and work under parliamentary discipline, was a study--and discipline tells. It became an honour to belong to the Women's Auxiliary of that parish. To attend one of her meetings was a lesson and an inspiration. What these auxiliaries did for the Church to which they belonged proves what women can do with a well-organised system. The name of Mrs. Roberta Tilton will always be remembered as a Standard Bearer of women's work for the Church in Canada.

The year 1884 was one of intense trial for the Bishop. One of his sons went out in a little rowing-boat on the Ottawa with his cousin. They got too near some [96/97] falls, and in trying to recover themselves the boat overturned. Although a splendid swimmer, the Bishop's son got choked with dust from an adjoining sawmill, and his body was not recovered until after four days' ceaseless search. Widespread sympathy was shown him at this time, and prayers were offered in all churches, including the Roman Catholic. In writing to his Chaplain the Bishop referred to this great sorrow as follows:

"24th April, 1884. I feel scarcely fit to answer your sympathetic and feeling letter, as I cannot dismiss from my thoughts the awful occurrence of the past week. My son was a very fine young man of 19 years. He fell out of a boat into the foam below the falls here, which choked him, otherwise he might have saved himself, as he was a splendid swimmer. After four days' hard dragging for the body by a multitude of loving friends, the remains were found--a great consolation to us all. God's Will be done.

"I could not have written but that duty has to be regarded by me even under the most trying circumstances.

"The Ordination will be held at Trinity Church, Brockville, on Trinity Sunday. Please to inform the candidates."

It was in this year that the members of the British Association for the Advancement of Science paid their proposed visit to Canada. Everything was in their favour, and the trip proved most successful. On their [97/98] arrival at the Rockies their wonder and admiration knew no bounds, never having seen nature in such marvellous surroundings, not only mountains piercing the sky, but lakes and waterfalls, which showed the many forms Nature in its earliest stages could adopt. On Sunday a military service was held, which those who were not church-goers and were apt to believe more in science than in God, thoroughly enjoyed. Anxious to make the most of this opportunity, the Bishop had asked the Ottawa people, who were well known for their welcome to strangers (especially such as were studying the possibilities of their country) if they would give three days' hospitality to the members of the Association in order that Ottawa might be visited. This event also proved a great success.

Ere they left, the Governor-General received them, and the members of the Association presented a letter of thanks, signed by many of their eminent members, to the Bishop for the wonderful trip they had had.

In 1885 the Bishop received the following letter:

"November 21st, 1885.

"My Lord Bishop,

"I have the honour to inform your Lordship that His Excellency the Governor-General in Council has been pleased to direct that your name be added to the list of distribution of the Medal struck some years ago by order of the Canadian Government in commemoration of the Confederation of the British North American Provinces. It affords me much [98/99] pleasure to be the medium of conveying to your Lordship this token of His Excellency's evident appreciation of your Lordship's important services in the field of Literature and Science. The copy of the Medal intended for you, the receipt of which your Lordship will please acknowledge, is this day mailed to your address enclosed in a sealed package (registered).

"I have the honour to be, my Lord Bishop,

"Your Lordship's most obedient Servant,

"G. Powell,
"Under-Secretary of State."

Also, in 1885, the Committee on the Division of the Diocese reported a feasible plan by which an endowment of 40,000 dollars might be raised for the proposed See at Ottawa, and the Bishop was requested to arrange for contributions for that object from the English societies. In the following year the Committee were able to report a small amount received--only a few dollars--towards the endowment of the new See; but, still, it was a beginning, and in that year the Bishop stated that two new parishes, six new churches, and more than one thousand confirmed members had been added to the diocese every year for twenty-four years. Writing to his Chaplain, the Bishop said:

"Ottawa, 3rd March, 1886. I received Mr. Armstrong's 'Benedicissit,' but my Chaplain ought to know that I cannot license him until he has taken the oaths, etc., etc. If he is in a hurry to receive his [99/100] licence he must come to Ottawa for that purpose--neither can I antedate his licence. If I did, it would be implied that I licensed him while he was a Toronto Deacon on leave of absence.

"I can henceforth hold no special Ordinations. Mr. Armstrong must wait till the next General Ordination, which will probably be held in Kingston the end of May, or beginning of June. You have been misinformed as to my desire to have an Assistant Bishop. My great anxiety is to have the Diocese divided. I feel that the work has quite outgrown my physical powers, though my general health is not bad. But a quarter of a century's Episcopate has told upon me, and the mere fact that in that time 135 new churches have been built, shows the impossibility of my doing justice to work demanded of me."

In October 1886 the Bishop was able to tell his Synod that the Colonial Bishoprics' Fund in England, and also the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, had promised towards the endowment of the new See at Ottawa £1,000 each, conditionally on the sum of £9,000 being otherwise raised. He also reminded the Synod that, on the 25th March, he had completed the twenty-fifth year of his episcopate. In that time the number of clergy had increased from fifty to one hundred and twenty, and a Sustentation Fund, amounting to 34,500 dollars, had been secured.

This year was also one of great sorrow for the Bishop, as his wife, who had never recovered from the great shock of her son's death through drowning, passed [100/101] away. This broke up the family circle, and early in 1887 the Bishop, accompanied by his two unmarried daughters, went to England on a visit to Mrs. Craigie Hamilton, his eldest married daughter.

On his return to Canada he received the following letter from his two Archdeacons, on behalf of the clergy:

"Oct. 17th, 1887.

"To our Father in God,

"John Travers, Lord Bishop of Ontario, D.D., etc. and our Articles.

"Dear Lord Bishop,

"With feelings of unfeigned thankfulness, we, your Clergy, cordially welcome you back to your Diocese and to the active duties of your Office.

"It is scarcely necessary that we should assure your Lordship of our heartfelt sympathy in the severe domestic trials with which it has pleased our Heavenly Father to visit you since the last meeting of our Synod, and that our prayers have continually been offered on your behalf during the period of your absence in the Mother Country. We hail your return to us in restored health and renewed vigour as a gracious answer to our supplications, and we trust that our gratitude may be shown in an increased devotion to our Divine Master's work and the Church of which He has made you an overseer.

"We earnestly hope that it may be His Will long [101/102] to spare you to stand at our head and lead us forward in the never-ceasing conflict with a world lying in wickedness and the many enemies of our Redeemer's Kingdom.

"We cannot forget, my Lord, that this year has seen completed a quarter of a century of your Episcopate, and that during that period the Diocese of OntariOj beginning its life in 1862, has, amid many vicissitudes, made steady progress, and has now reached a condition of prosperity which may well fill our hearts with gratitude to the Giver of all good gifts. Conscious of our manifold shortcomings, and the earthen vessels in which our spiritual treasures are contained, we venture to attribute whatever success has been vouchsafed to us mainly to the dwelling together in unity of Bishop and Clergy, and to the persistent efforts made from the start to maintain the standards of the Catholic Faith as taught in our Liturgy, our Creeds, and our Articles.

"The present gratifying financial prosperity, together with the godly union and concord so happily prevailing throughout the Diocese, prove the wisdom of faithful adhesion to those Church Principles of which your Lordship has ever been the firm exponent--Principles that bind our Anglican Communion by a chain of golden links to all the Apostolic Churches of Christendom past and present, reaching back to the days of the Martyrs and the Saints to whom the Faith of Christ was once for all delivered.

"To signalise this event, and in testimony of the loyalty of your Clergy, we herewith beg your Lordship's [102/103] acceptance of two complete suits of Episcopal Vestments, for use on both special and ordinary occasions.

"Rejoicing that you are again with us to wear these insignia of your high and holy Office, we humbly pray that the Spirit of the living God may animate our hearts more and more, while we all of us discharge our sacred functions as men who must give account, until we lay aside the fading and mortal for the unfading and immortal garments of our priesthood in the visible presence of the great High Priest Himself, Jesus Christ our Lord;

"And we remain,

"Your Lordship's devoted Servants, and Brothers in the Ministry of the Church of God.

"Signed on behalf of the subscribing clergy:

"J. S. Lauder, D.C.L.,
"Archdeacon of Ottawa.

"T. Bedford Jones, LL.D.,
"Archdeacon of Kingston.

"E. P. Crawford, M.A."

In 1888 Bishop Lewis was enabled to attend his third Lambeth Conference in England.

On his return to Canada in 1889 he took up his residence in Kingston. Thus the wanderer had returned to his own See city. The Synod of that year enthusiastically congratulated him on the attainment of his sixty-fourth birthday, and most respectfully renewed the expression of affectionate confidence and [103/104] esteem felt by its members towards him, earnestly hoping that, in God's good providence, he might long be spared to preside over the diocese. The Bishop, with manifest emotion, acknowledged briefly this kindly act.

In February of this year the Bishop married again, his wife being Ada Leigh, the fifth daughter of Evan and Anne Leigh, of Manchester, and the foundress of the Ada Leigh Homes in Paris for British and American girls. Evan was the fifth of six sons of Peter Leigh, of Ashton Mills, Ashton-under-Lyne, and Manchester.

Ada Leigh visited Ottawa in 1886 and held meetings, at which Their Excellencies, Lord and Lady Lansdowne, were present.

On this second occasion she was very warmly welcomed as Mrs. Travers Lewis by several old friends and soon felt at home.

In 1890 the Bishop and his wife removed to Kingston, where the long-promised See house was provided for them.

Besides all the work of the diocese, the Bishop was in constant touch with people in England, who wrote asking his private opinion on various difficult questions, as they valued his judgment.

A very important tribe in the Bishop's diocese were the Mohawks, who received him gladly, previous pioneer work having accomplished much for many of them. They had been asked, according to the records of the work of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel of 200 years ago, to wait to receive the "black coats" from England, and they welcomed the Bishop [104/105] in his usual dress. Gladly they formed, under his guidance, into different organisations of Church work. They had choral celebrations of Communion, being remarkable for their wonderful singing voices. Their conduct towards their wives, and their anxiety for the education of their children, according to the necessities of the day, were remarkable. On visiting some of these tribes presentations were made of marvellously designed beadwork.

To the tribe settled in Desoronto had been given the silver sacramental vessels by Queen Anne, and when the Rebellion came and they had to flee for their lives, these were brought by the chief to Canada and carefully hidden for fear of being stolen. Feeling his end drawing nigh, and believing that peace was at last procured, he implored those around him to go to the tree which he had marked, and dig in a certain place, where the sacred vessels would be found. They did so, and found as the old chief had said.

Whenever the Bishop went to hold a Confirmation, or a service, the Chiefs met him at the station and carried this plate before him in a procession.

For many years there had been great harmony in the camp, but suddenly a storm broke out and the chiefs entreated the Bishop to come and judge between the parties. At the time appointed by them the Bishop went, at great inconvenience, and found the chiefs sitting cross-legged for a pow-wow. No one spoke, they only bowed. The Bishop addressed them and said he had come to be their friend and help them; would they tell him what the trouble was. Still [105/106 nobody spoke. When it came to within half an hour before his return train was due, he begged them to hasten and tell him their trouble. They bowed again and remained in dead silence. Ten minutes before he must leave no one had spoken, so he very seriously told them that he had come out of his way entirely at their request and in a few minutes must go. Still no one spoke, and when it got to within five minutes the Bishop said he must leave for his train and would not come again, they would have to put in writing what they wanted. Then the eldest chief got up, a man over six feet, tall and erect, and straightening himself, said: "Your Lordship, too much wife," and then sat down again. No one got up to second this, but they just bowed and all agreed, so the Bishop said: "My friends, I will enquire further into this matter," and he got up to leave. They accompanied him to the station.

On enquiring afterwards what the matter was, it appeared that the keeper of the Communion Service had married an English woman, who had been stating all that the English did, such as holding mothers' meetings, etc. The Indians objected to them being the custodians of their silver, which had been in the same family for over 100 years. On the wife promising to refrain from talking of English habits, the affair was settled, and, by the latest authority, it is said the silver is still kept in that family.

In 1891, after a series of visitations, the Bishop and Mrs. Travers Lewis went to Egypt for the winter, where they met Mrs. Benson and her son and daughter, [106/107] also Professor Sayce, who had just come across the wonderful find of a temple on the nearest route to the Red Sea.

They returned via Palestine, and were cordially received by Bishop Blyth in Jerusalem, where they spent twenty-five days seeing the Holy Land. The Bishop returned to Canada very much refreshed in health.

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