Project Canterbury

Colonial Church Histories

History of the Church in Eastern Canada and Newfoundland

By John Langtry, M.A., D.C.L.,
Rector of S. Luke's, Toronto, and Prolocutor of the Provincial Synod of Canada

London, Brighton and New York: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1892.

Chapter IV. Newfoundland

THE Diocese was separated from Nova Scotia, and formed into a separate jurisdiction in 1839. It comprises the whole of the Island of Newfoundland and the adjacent islands, that part of the vast peninsula of Labrador north of Blanc Sablon, and the Bermuda Islands. The Bishop also exercises jurisdiction over the English residents in the French Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. The area of Newfoundland is 42,200 square miles, and of the Labrador part of the Diocese, 160,000; in all 202,200 square miles, exclusive of Bermuda, or 80,000 square miles greater than the British Isles. The extremities of the Diocese are nearly 2000 miles apart. The population, exclusive of Bermuda, was, according to the census of 1884, 197,235. The chief industries are the cod, seal, and lobster fisheries, in which one-half of the inhabitants are engaged. There are valuable mines of copper and lead worked up to a limited extent. The richest of these are, however, on that part of the island in which the French have by treaty certain fishing rights, and on this account are not available as an industry for the inhabitants.

The interior of the island is only beginning to be explored, and now valuable lands and extensive lumbering possibilities are being disclosed.

[72] Such exclusive attention has been devoted to the industry of the sea, that agriculture is almost necessarily in a backward condition, though now it is rapidly improving. A railroad is being built across the island, and a colonization scheme is being formed for the settlement of immigrants along the fertile valleys. Large herds of deer and cariboo are said to be found in the interior, partridge and other game are plentiful, while every stream teems with trout, and in some of the larger ones salmon are abundant.

The early history of Newfoundland is full of interest. It stands first in point of time of English colonial possessions. Columbus had offered his services to Henry VII. of England, as indeed he had to several other monarchs before they were accepted by Ferdinand of Spain. Henry bitterly regretted the hesitation that had lost him the services of that heroic discoverer; and so he gladly accepted the proffered services of John Cabot, a Venetian, and gave him a commission "to navigate the ocean in search of any countries, provinces, or islands, hitherto unknown to Christian people, and to set up the King's standard and take possession of the same as vassals of the Crown of England."

In 1497, Cabot with two ships reached the shores of Labrador and Newfoundland. He sailed along the coast for some distance and then returned to England. In the following year he returned, touched at Prince Edward Island, and in the name of his Sovereign claimed possession of the whole of North America, north of Florida. No permanent settlement was however, made in any part of this vast territory; and as late as 1602, we are informed that there was not a European in all that vast continent.

The spirit of adventure and discovery slumbered for more than a century in England after the discovery of Newfoundland by Cabot. After a time [72/73] large numbers of fishermen from the maritime countries of Western Europe gathered on the banks and bays of Newfoundland year after year; but no permanent settlements were attempted by the English. In fact they were forbidden by the Government to attempt to make settlements there; and so the fisher men who set out from the coast of England in the spring, had to return when the winter set in, and leave the island in possession of the French and Dutch settlers. There was neither government nor laws, and so contentions and wrong-doing were rife on every side. But England was too much occupied with troubles at home to give any attention to her shadowy claim of sovereignty over this far-off island, her only colonial possession at the time. As soon, however, as the Reformation was firmly established, the Parliament of England addressed itself to regulating the fisheries of Newfoundland. The spirit of enterprise blazed forth afresh, and four different charters were granted by the Crown to individuals for the purpose of settling the island. The first of these charters was granted to Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1578. A chaplain was appointed to the Admiralship of each of these expeditions, "that Morning and Evening Prayer, with the Common Service approved by the King's majesty and laws of the realm, be read and said in every ship daily by the minister." It may therefore be inferred that when Sir Humphrey Gilbert came to Newfoundland, in 1583, "with two good ships and a pinnace," he brought the required minister in the Admiral; and that the first celebration of the Divine Offices, according to the Prayer-book of the Church of England in this Western world, was held in Newfoundland. Certain it is that Sir Humphrey, on Sunday, Aug. 4th, 1583, in the harbour of St. John's, made the first proclamation of religion on this continent, and [73/74] declared that in public exercise it should be according to the Church of England.

An earnest spirit of devotion animated these early adventurers. The charters state that they were undertaken chiefly for the purpose of making known "the faith of Christ, for the honour of God, and in compassion to the poor infidels captured by the devil." Cabot himself drew up instructions for these merchant adventurers for the discovery of new regions, in which he directs, that "no blasphemy of God or detestable swearing be used in any ship, nor communications of obscene, filthy tales, or ungodly talk to be suffered in any ship, to the provoking of God's just wrath, and sword of vengeance." Directions are given to the minister to say Morning and Evening Prayer daily; and Cabot himself prays unto the living God for his brother mariners, "That He might give them His grace to accomplish their charge to His glory, and that His merciful goodness might prosper their voyage, and preserve them from all danger." Well would it have been for England and the world if all her expeditions had been carried on in this spirit!

Richard Whitbourne, a native of Devonshire, seems to have been the first Englishman that visited these shores. He was a merchant of good estate, and had traded with most of the known nations of the world. He began his voyages to Newfoundland in 1580, and was present in St. John's harbour when Sir Humphrey Gilbert took possession of the land, in. the name of Queen Elizabeth. He suffered greatly from pirates, and on his complaint was commissioned "under the great zeal of the Admiralty, to explore and to make inquiries into the disorders and abuses that were committed yearly upon the coasts." One hundred and seventy-five complaints were at once lodged, from which it appears that the utmost lawlessness and [74/75] brutality prevailed throughout the island. We have no record of the results of these inquiries, but Whitbourne appealed to King James to establish a plantation on a surer and better footing than those of Sir Humphrey and others. The King approved of his plans, addressed a letter to the Archbishops of Canter bury and York, and urged them to assist, by ordering collections to be taken up in all parishes of England for the furtherance of the captain's good endeavour, the main object of which he himself thus describes--

"It is most certain that by a plantation there, and by that means onely, the poor unbelieving inhabit ants of that countrie may be reduced from barbarism e to the knowledge of God and the light of His truth, and to a civil and regular kinde of life and government. This is a thing so apparent, that I neede not enforce it any further, or labour to stirre up the charity of Christians therein, to give their furtherance towards a worke so pious, every man knowing that even we were once as blinde as they in the knowledge and worship of our Creator, and so rude and savage in our lives and manners.

"Onely thus much will I adde, that it is not a thing impossible, but that by means of those slender beginnings which may be made in Newfoundland, all the regions near adjoining thereunto (which between this place and the countries actually possessed by the King of Spaine, and to the north of Newfoundland, are so spacious as all Europe), may in time be fitly converted to the true worship of God."

He addresses his Majesty as one whose "principale care hath ever beene the propagation of the Christian faith," and adds, "But as the smallest terrestrial action cannot possibly prosper, without God's Divine assistance to perfect and finish it: so this great work, so pious and noble of itselfe, as tending to the propagation of so many Christian souls to God, will (by [75/76] His eternal providence and great mercy) be both furthered and blessed in the attempt, preservation and establishment thereof."

About this time the island began to bear a more settled appearance. War stations were established along the coast, and roads were cut through the forests connecting one settlement with another. St. John's became the great shipping and trading station; moreover, the island became the earliest resort of persecuted religious bodies from England. We are told by Anspach that several settlements of Puritans were made here. And before long it became the refuge of Sir George Calvert, afterwards Lord Baltimore, who had left the Church of England for the Roman Communion. The King granted him in 1622 a charter of the whole island, and constituted him and his heirs absolute lords and proprietors of the peninsula formed by the bays of Placentia and Trinity. This he erected into a Province which he called Avelon, after the old name of Glastonbury; because he intended it to be the seed-plot of Christianity to this new world, as Avelon was then supposed to have been to his native land. He was harassed by accusations made against him of harbouring Jesuits, which was at that time a penal offence; and being disappointed in his expectations about his Newfoundland plantations, he asked for a grant of land on the continent of America. He died before his request could be complied with. The patent was, however, made out in favour of his son, Cecil, the second Lord Baltimore, conveying to him the district where the city of Baltimore now stands. The son of this Lord Baltimore returned to the Church of England.

Lord Baltimore's complaints, and the heartrending accounts of the land sent home by the settlers, had somewhat prejudiced men's minds against settling [76/77] in the island. The fisheries, however, went on increasing in extent, and settlers gradually made homes for themselves along the coasts. The first attempt to legislate for these settlers and fishermen was made in the reign of Charles I.

The Report of the Commission appointed for that purpose is endorsed by Archbishop Laud. It enacts, amongst other things, that, "Upon Sundays the company shall assemble in meet places and have Divine Service, to be said by some of the masters of the ships, or some others, which prayers shall be such as are in the Book of Common Prayer." Another order was made in 1634, by Charles I., at the instance of the Archbishop, by which all the members of the Church of England in the colonies, and in foreign countries, were placed under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London; an enactment which has done more to delay the appointment of bishops in the colonies than all other acts and ordinances put together.

After the withdrawal of Lord Baltimore, Sir David Kirke, who had served the King in the entire subjugation of Canada to England, obtained from Charles I. a grant of the whole island with the power of a Count Palatine. He established himself at Ferryland, in the house built by Lord Baltimore. He set himself to correct the false impressions which Lord Baltimore had given of the country, and wrote several encouraging accounts of its productiveness and prospects. He had equal dislike to both Roman Catholics and Puritans, and regularly maintained the services of the Church at Ferryland. During the ten years Civil War, from 1640-1650, Sir David held the island for the King. After his death it remained till 1729 without the least protection, law, or order. This caused the country to become the refuge of all kinds of criminals [77/78] who had broken the laws of the mother country, and the whole society was reduced to the most terrible condition of misrule and anarchy. A petition was presented by the inhabitants, in 1660, to the Lords of Trade and Plantation for the appointment of some local Governor and magistrate, who should decide disputes and prevent disorders among them; but this request was opposed by the merchants and shipowners of London and Bristol, who said that "the establishment of a Governor had always been pernicious to the fishery." They were the great monopolists of the day, and prevented the reasonable request of the inhabitants being complied with. They did not want the island to be settled, and so they prohibited the cultivation of the soil under heavy penalties. The captains of fishing vessels were obliged to give bonds to bring back to England each year as many fishermen as they carried out. The erection of houses was forbidden, and women were excluded from the island. At home the country was described as a barren and inhospitable rock; and on one occasion the ruthless decree went forth to burn the houses of all who durst settle upon its shores; and had it not been for the timely intervention of Sir Leolyne Jenkins, who secured the reversal of the decree by representing the advantages the French would derive from the total abandonment of the island, Newfoundland would, in all probability, have become a French instead of an English colony. These barbarous enactments seem to have grown out of the apprehension that if the people settled in the island, and gave their attention to the cultiva tion of the soil, there would not be a sufficient supply of fishermen to carry on the lucrative trade, or of trained seamen to man the British Navy, the ascendancy of which was essential to the safety of the rapidly expanding trade of England.

[79] In spite, however, of these prohibitions, settlements increased, and fierce rivalry sprang up between England and France for the possession of this Eldorado of the Sea.

The trade of the country was remitting to the mother country a million sterling annually. Crude laws for the government of the fishery were administered by fishing admirals (the first skipper arriving from England to a part of Newfoundland was admiral for that season), by whom justice was sold almost openly to the highest bidder, and even commanders of the warships, sent here for protection of the fishery, were not free from the same impeachment.

The closing of the fishery was the signal for freedom from all restraint, and those who made this their permanent home abandoned themselves to all kinds of "profligacy, idleness, robbery, and piracy." It would be an endless task, and by no means profitable, to follow for many years the squabbles and disputes for power--might being right--among a people who were, to use the words of an eye witness, "the offscouring of the Kingdom of England and Ireland, and who had found in this island a sanctuary and place of refuge from their crimes." A French missionary writing of them in 1699 says--"They have not a single minister among them, though more than twenty of them (the settlements) are larger than Placentia. They do not know what religion they belong to." To the same purport were representations made to the home authorities, and in that same year I find an Order in Council was made "for keeping the people living there in Christianity, by sending a chaplain in the convoy ships"; but such was the apathy and indifference of the times, that no effort was made to give it effect.

The spiritual and temporal rulers at home were alike careless. The Church was sleeping, and the [79/80] plague-spots were allowed to grow and fester. Some few God-fearing captains from the West of England, affected by the miserable condition of their fellow-countrymen in the island, petitioned the Government, "That a sufficient number of ministers should be sent to the principal harbours, and that they might be paid from England." The Bishop of London, as Ordinary of the plantations, was also appealed to; but all their entreaties produced no result, and the degraded fisher-folk were left uncared for, destined to forget *he faint rudiments of Christianity which they had brought with them across the seas. The darkest hour is always before the dawn. The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness were soon to be seen rising over the distant horizon, and Newfoundland was to be gladdened by the services of a clergyman bold and zealous enough to cast in his lot with a people of such a character. His name was the Rev. Mr. Jackson, who had for some time before held the position of chaplain to the convoy ships. In this way he became acquainted with the country and the people; and in 1697 he was persuaded by the planters and adventurers to abandon that position, and settle down to the laborious life of a clergyman in Newfoundland. To this arrangement he had the consent of the Bishop of London. Nothing but earnest devotion, and compassion for perishing men, could have induced him to abandon his prospects of promotion in the service, and to accept a position among such a people and in such a time, with the sole guarantee of 50 sterling a-year, and that to continue for three years only. Mr. Jackson soon succeeded in procuring, by the aid of the traders, the erection of a church, which was called handsome. This, however, stood but a short time. The struggle between the French and English for the possession of the island was then at its height. The French [80/81] made frequent havoc of the property of the English people in all the harbours of the island. In 1705 they attacked and burned St. John's with its new church, though they were not able to capture the fort and the garrison. The French were soon driven away, and a new church was at once erected near to and under the protection of the Fort, without any outside assistance. Through the partial failure of the fisheries, Mr. Jackson's stipend was not paid, and he would have been compelled to abandon his mission had not the S. P. C. K., on the representations of Dr. Bray, its founder, come to the rescue, and secured Mr. Jackson in his promised £50 for three years. He had the whole island for his parish, and carried on service as frequently as he could in all the English settlements. Dr. Bray reported, "That there were constantly in the several bays of the island 7000 people, and in summer about 17,000 souls. The inhabitants were poor and unable to support a minister; drunkenness seems to have been the besetting sin of the times, and caused more suffering to the poor settlers than the plundering of the French. This was followed by riot and robbery unparalleled in the whole Christian world." Long neglect had hardened the hearts of the people. Among these Mr. Jackson strove hard to fan the dying sparks of religion into a flame. In all his efforts he was assisted by Commodore Graydon, the only one of the Commodores sent to the island to regulate the trade and fisheries, who took any pains to do the country any justice, or to establish religion. Mr. Jackson incurred the wrath of Major Lloyd, the chief personage in the island, who had distinguished himself by expelling the French from all the positions they had occupied. Mr. Jackson rebuked him for his cruel exactions from the people, and for his contemptuous disregard of the Lord's [81/82] Day and all religious ordinances. By his representations Lloyd was degraded from his position of supreme authority, and made subject to the Commodore. This awakened such a storm of persecution that Mr. Jackson resigned, and returned to England in 1760. For nine years he had manfully and fearlessly discharged his duties, amid losses irreparable, toil unrequited, and hardships inconceivable. In the years succeeding Mr. Jackson's withdrawal, the records of the Church's work are very meagre. The Rev. Jacob Rice was about this time sent out by the Bishop of London, but it does not appear for what work he was designated.

The inhabitants of Trinity Bay petitioned in 1791 that a missionary might be sent to work among them. They promised to build a church, and contribute towards the missionary's support. In answer to this appeal the Rev. Robert Killpatrick was sent out by the S. P. G., with a salary of £30 per annum. Before long he removed to New York; but in 1736 he returned to Trinity Bay, to be heartily welcomed by a large congregation, amongst whom he ministered till his death in 1741. He reported his average congregation at Trinity as 250 in summer, and that at Old Perlican at 200. Four years earlier the Rev. Henry Jones had been settled at Bon a vista, where he reports a flourishing congregation, with increasing communicants. He established a school at Bonavista in 1726, and had nearly completed his church in 1730. He was engaged for twenty-five years in missionary labour in Newfoundland.

The Rev. Mr. Peaseley, of Trinity College, Dublin, was appointed resident missionary at St. John's about the year 1745, where he had crowded congregations. He also ministered to the residents of the contiguous out-harbours. He was removed to South Carolina in 1750, and was succeeded by the Rev. [82/83] Edward Langman of Balliol, Oxford. The Church seems to have greatly run down, as he reports only forty families as belonging to the Church of England in St. John's, and of these only thirty were communicants. In 1790, he visited Placentia Bay, and baptized fifty persons, nearly all adults. The majority of the residents in the out-harbours were Roman Catholics. Mr. Langman was a laborious missionary. His allowance from the Society was only £50 per annum. He reports the gratuities received from his flock as being inconsiderable, and says that he had to go and beg from them-as a poor man would for alms; and yet he stuck to his post without flinching, till his death, in 1783. He was succeeded by the Rev. John Price, of whose life and labours no record has been obtained. In 1768, the Rev. Lawrence Covighlin, who was one of Wesley's lay preachers, and for three years previously had been residing among the inhabitants of Harbour Grace and Carbonear, was ordained by the Bishop of London, and appointed a missionary of the Society. He preached in Irish, and many Roman Catholics attended his services. He reports an average of from 150 to 200 communicants. He organized the religious members of his congregation into classes after the plan of Wesley. In 1765, the Rev. James Balfour was appointed missionary at Trinity Bay, with the out-harbours of Old and New Perlican and Bonavista. After nine years labour here, he was removed to the more important station of Harbour Grace, the population of which he reports as consisting of 4462 Protestants and 1306 Roman Catholics, the number of communicants at almost 200. He was succeeded in the mission of Trinity Bay by the Rev. John Clinch, who laboured there for many years.

A petition was presented to the Society by the [83/84] inhabitants of Placentia for the appointment of a clergyman, in which they pledge themselves to contribute to his support.

His Royal Highness Prince William Henry, after wards King William IV., was then in command of a ship of war on that station. He contributed liberally towards the erection of a church, and presented them with a silver communion service, which they still show with pride.

The condition of Newfoundland at the period treated of in the foregoing pages presented dangers and discouragements to missionary enterprise tar surpassing any difficulties experienced by the messenger of the Cross in that country or any other portion of British America at the present day. The population of the island was of a much more fluctuating character than at present; it consisted of a few thousands, principally poor fishermen, thinly scattered among the innumerable bays and harbours of more than a thousand miles of northern seaboard, inaccessible except by water, on account of the rough face of the land and the absence of roads, missionaries were compelled to travel great distances by water, passing around by headlands and promontories in open boats and small fishing-vessels in order to reach the scattered stations under their spiritual care, and exposed to the swell of the wide Atlantic. On shore they had no better accommodation than the fishermen's huts (dens they often were) afforded. The fare was of the plainest kind and rudest character. In addition to these hardships many of these men had to subsist upon the £30 to £40, all that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, then in its infancy, could afford to give them.

In 1798, the Society having regard to the labours and dangerous duties of these missionaries, increased [84/85] their stipends in proportion to the situation and the circumstances of each station. During this period the Church can hardly be said to have held her own. There had been no increase in the number of missionaries for ten or twelve years, and for a great part of that time there were but three resident clergymen in the island. In 1817, the salaries were increased by the Society to £200 per annum.

The island, as has been narrated, formed part of the Diocese of Nova Scotia; but although two bishops of that Diocese had passed to their rest, the islanders had been left without any Episcopal supervision or help. In 1827, Bishop John Inglis visited Newfoundland, and found 600 communicants, twenty three school-masters, and ten clergymen.


In 1839, Newfoundland and Bermuda were formed into a separate Diocese, and the Rev. Aubrey S. Spencer, who came out as a missionary to Newfoundland in 1819, but who was Archdeacon of Bermuda at the time of the foundation of the new see, was consecrated its first bishop.

"At my consecration," says Bishop Spencer, "to the see of Newfoundland, I found only eight clergymen of the Church of England in the whole colony; the Church itself in a most disorganized and dispirited condition; the schools languishing, many of them broken up. The clergy of Newfoundland are maintained mainly by the noble Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Lands; but the people are called on by the Bishop to provide a house and a small stipend, according to their respective means, for their several missionaries."

The Bishop set himself at once to establish a Theological Institution for training young men for [85/86] the ministry. He also divided his Diocese into three Rural Deaneries Avelon, Trinity, and Bermuda. In his letter to the S. P. G., 1841, he says--"In the course of my visitation during the present year, I have travelled by land and by water 1188 miles, visited thirty-five stations, confirmed 1136 persons, consecrated six churches, organized or assisted in the building of twenty-one new churches, ordained two priests and eight deacons, and founded or restored more than twenty day schools or Sunday schools."

Bishop Spencer laid the foundation of the cathedral in St. John's, and after an earnest and active Episcopate of four years in this Diocese, he was transferred to Jamaica in 1843. He wrote the following memorandum to guide the authorities of the Mother Church in selecting his successor--

"The missionary in Newfoundland has certainly great hardships to endure, and more difficult obstacles to surmount, than those which await the messenger of the Gospel in New Zealand or India, or perhaps in any field of labour yet opened to the known world. He must have strength of constitution to support him under a climate as rigorous as that of Iceland; a stomach insensible to the attacks of sea-sickness; pedestrian powers beyond those of an Irish gossoon; and an ability to rest occasionally on the bed of a fisherman, or the hard boards in a woodman's tilt. With these physical capabilities he must combine a patient temper, an energetic spirit, a facility to adapt his speech to the lowest grade of intellect, a ready power of explaining and illustrating the leading doctrines of the Gospel and the Church to the earnest though dull and ill-formed inquirer, and a thorough preparation for controversy with the Komanist, together with the discretion and charity which will induce him to live as far as may be possible at peace with all men."

[87] The see remained vacant till April 1844, when the Rev. Edward Feild, of Queen's College, Oxford, and at that time Rector of English Bicknor, was consecrated, and proceeded immediately to take charge of his Diocese. Those who have read Mr. Tucker's charming Life of Bishop Feild, will see that the second Bishop fulfilled all the requirements which the first Bishop indicated as being demanded for the effective discharge of that office. Indeed in some respects he went far beyond them. His whole life was penetrated with a profound devotion, humility, and simplicity, which, though not enumerated in his predecessor's catalogue of needs, yet contributed more than all the rest to the reverent affection in which he was held, and to the great success with which his Episcopate was crowned.

"If there is one man's character and memory which I revere more than anothers," writes the Rev. Ed. Coleridge, "it is that of the guileless saint (Bishop Feild) who has just ended his earthly labours. I shall never forget the impression which his sincerity made on us all. Undaunted in spirit, clear in his convictions and sense of duty, he never hesitated as to his actions, and this not from any impulsive temper, but from a habit of instinctively and promptly following what his conscience told him was his duty. Full of the spirit of his Mother Church, and thoroughly trained in her discipline and laws, he simply followed this Divine leading. I suppose he never thought for a moment of paring down or adjusting the faith or practice of the Church to conciliate the world or to satisfy the unbeliever." The result was that before long he had gained the respect and affection of all good men.

"The secret," writes a friendly observer, "lay in the conviction, that in striving after the glory of his Master and the good of his fellows, that man had [87/88] forgotten his own self and his own pleasure, and had chosen a pathway of stern and constant self-denial."

He was consecrated at Lambeth, on the 28th of April, 1844; and on the 4th of July following he landed at St. John's amidst signs of welcome which overpowered him.

Before setting out on an inspection of his Diocese, he set to work at once to improve the spiritual condition of St. John s. He instituted daily Morning Prayer in St. Thomas Church, and announced his intention to have daily Evensong also as soon as possible. This soon became the rule of the Diocese, ever since diligently observed. He removed the pulpit and desk, which obscured the altar, and made such other alterations as might, in his own language, "exhibit to the clergy the proper arrangement of a church."

He found the theological seminary which his predecessor had established occupying poor wooden buildings, with only ten students. These lived in lodging-houses without any supervision. He required them to attend daily prayers, and had them instructed in Church music, that they might be able to lead the services of the Church. The Rev. R. Eden, afterwards Primus of Scotland, at that time Rector of Leigh in Essex, presented his friend, the Bishop elect, with a church ship, a brig of eighty tons, that he might be able to visit the various parts of his practically maritime Diocese. She was found to be too unwieldy, and with Mr. Eden's consent was exchanged for a more manageable vessel. The Bishop did not reach St. John's until the 4th July, but before winter set in he had visited most of the settlements on the island.

The Bermuda Islands, a group of coral reefs about twenty-five miles in length, by not more than three or four in width, lying 1200 miles south-east of [88/89] Newfoundland, were part of the Diocese over which Bishop Feild had to preside. He strongly and frequently protested against this arrangement, and offered to give up half his income to have his Diocese divided.

He visited these islands during the first winter of his Episcopate, and thereafter every alternate winter. To most people it would have been a delightful retreat to leave the fog and frost of Newfoundland for this sunny, balmy clime. But Bishop Feild's whole soul was so in his work that he always chafed under the loss of time in making the long voyage, and the long absence from the centre of his work. His sojourn in the islands seldom lasted more than ten weeks; his visits therefore exposed him to two voyages of an especially dangerous character, at the very worst seasons of the year.

On his return to Newfoundland in the spring of 1845, he made a thorough visitation of the island. "He was received with all the tokens of welcome usual among seafaring people; flags were hoisted, and guns fired, and on all sides warm greetings were given."

The churches that had been built on the island were not only pewed churches, but had freehold pews, which were bought and sold as private property. The Bishop's great personal influence is manifest in the fact, that in his first visit he persuaded the people to surrender their private rights, give up their pews, and make their buildings over to him in trust for the perpetual use of the inhabitants.

In St. George's Bay, the farthest point of his trip to the south, he found what recalled the happy home he had left in the valley of the Wye church and mission-house and school all grouped together in the sunny bay, with a staff of two priests and a deacon, working amongst a people who only a few years ago [89/90] had never seen a clergyman. As he wound his way back, the Bishop came upon coves and settlements, whose inhabitants were seventy miles from the nearest clergyman. He found traces of Archdeacon Wix's visit of ten years before, the people repeating the prayers which he had taught them, and showing the Bibles and Prayer-books which he had given them. In some places he found spiritual life sustained by the piety of the resident agent of the merchants, who conducted the service of the Church in his house every Sunday, and welcomed all who would join him. But the lack of religious instruction, and of the means of grace, was upon the whole distressing. Thousands of Church people were scattered along the coast, literally as sheep without a shepherd. Between St. George's Bay and Placentia, a distance of over 400 miles, there was only one clergyman. The Bishop says he was constantly solicited, even with tears, to provide some remedy or relief for this wretched destitution of all Christian privileges and means of grace. He was absent on this trip for over three months. In every place he himself visited the sick, baptized, instructed, and confirmed the people.

On his return he writes to his friends at home--"Can you by any possibility find any men who, for the love of souls and Christ's sake, will come over and help us in this most forlorn and forsaken colony 1 I have visited thousands who have not seen a clergy man for two, three, five, twelve years, and I can say, simply and sincerely desiring to be instructed, and to hold the truth in righteousness."

To obviate the evils of Congregationalism, Bishop Feild insisted upon every parish and mission contributing to a central fund; and he constantly endeavoured, in spite of increasing opposition, to make the pledge to contribute to this central fund the test of Church membership, and of the right to receive [90/91 the ministrations of the clergy. We can only wonder at the courage of the man, who, after a little more than one year's acquaintance with his people, made these sweeping changes.

The need of additional clergy pressed so sorely upon the Bishop, that he offered to give up the £500 contributed towards his stipend by the S. P. G., if by so doing five clergymen could be sent over to help him. And yet he never sought to beguile men to come to his assistance by drawing bright pictures. He insisted on the healthiness of the climate, and the blessedness of enduring hardships for Christ's sake. He told those inquiring that a mere maintenance was all he could offer; £150 a year, bread and fish, without the possibility of obtaining fresh meat or fresh butter for a good part of the year, or beer or wine at any time; and yet he wrote--"I am not without hope of men devoting themselves to missionary work, with no prospect but food and raiment; willing, nay, rejoicing to be put into positions of difficulty and privation for Christ's sake and His Church. I presume to think that some ardent spirits will be found ready to spend and be spent both here and elsewhere."

In the second year of his Episcopate the principal church of St. John's and a large part of the city were destroyed by fire. The Bishop, on his return from the northern parts of the island, was urged to visit England to solicit contributions for the erection of a new church. After a little hesitation he determined to go, put the little mission-ship, the Hawk, in readiness, and taking with him an invalided clergyman, two divinity students, and two other persons, he set sail, and on the 6th of October, after a stormy and perilous passage, they reached England. He returned to his Diocese in 1847, and laments that he had not been able absolutely to secure the services of one [91/92] clergyman, or of one person regularly educated for the sacred office, while three priests and three deacons were removed by death during the time of his absence. One of these had ministered in a Bay where 2000 Church people lived. Time, however, proved that the Bishop was mistaken in his first estimate of the effect of his appeal for men. In a little while, one clergy man, one school-master, and eight candidates for Holy Orders volunteered for work in his Diocese. Some of these were trained in St. Augustine's, Canterbury, and some in St. John's College, and proved efficient helpers in the mission-field. It has been said that nowhere in the mission-field have the clergy been more patient, more contented, more united among themselves, and more devoted to their work than in this desolate island. And though the Bishop never suspected it, others saw that the inspiring and sustaining cause of this patient endurance, was his own endurance of a hard and devoted life without complaining. Of one of these missionaries a layman writes--"We entered the cove as the sun was going down; to our surprise, from behind a pine grove, the church-bell began to call us to prayer. Just as we entered the porch of a neat wooden edifice, a thin elderly man, who had been tolling his own bell, entered the desk and began the daily Evening Prayer. After service, my friend told me that he was another blessing brought to the Church there by the Bishop's influence. They had been personal friends and first-class men at Oxford, and, like the Bishop, this man, besides being the possessor of ample private means, gave up his living in England to come out and work under his old College friend, in this remote fishing village, practically cut off from intercourse with the great civilized world beyond. Without wife or servant, he lived in his cottage Presbytery, close by the church, being for the most [92/93] part his own cook and housekeeper a true hermit, caring for nothing but the little flock for whom he fervently prayed, and over whom he watched with tender loving care.

Terrible disasters and shipwrecks from the ever-recurring hurricanes were ever and anon befalling one or other of the scattered settlements. In one of these, forty-five fishermen, living in Placentia Bay, lost their lives; and the Bishop adds, "There is no clergy man there now to comfort and instruct the people."

The Bishop writes--"Thousands and thousands of the people have not seen the face of a clergyman for the last twelve months. Mr. Bridge, the Rector of St. John's, performs four services every Sunday; the first of these two miles away, at eight o'clock. Mr. Tuckwell has five churches or parishes under his charge, the nearest eight miles oil, and only a deacon to assist him. He is also master of the Collegiate School, of which he has the whole care and chief instruction. Last Sunday, starting at seven o'clock in the morning, he drove over the snow to his first service, eleven miles away, while Mr. Tramlett the deacon was off even earlier on foot to his duty, ten miles away.

The Bishop seems to have raised in all about £25,000 for the erection of the cathedral, a very beautiful structure. He had misgivings at first about spending so large a sum on the material building. He says "Even if we had the money, would it be right to spend such an enormous sum on the material temple while bodies and souls are starving for lack of necessary food? St. Wulstan is said to have wept when he saw the great pile of his cathedral going up, because, he said, they have left building temples of men to build one of stones; but surely there is more occasion to weep when we build of stone before we have built of men?"

[94] The Bishop devoted himself to the establishment of a College and Collegiate School, which should take the place of the Theological Institute founded by his predecessor, and which might supply a liberal education, not only for the clergy, but for such laymen as might be induced to avail themselves of its advantages. He wished the College to be called "Queen's," in honour of her Majesty Victoria, and in memory of his own "Alma Mater." His aims were, however, very modest; all he hoped for in the way of a teaching staff for the institution was a Provost and two resident Fellows. He was at the time largely supporting the Theological Institute out of his own income.

Bishop Feild was not aware in accepting the Diocese of Newfoundland, that he was responsible for the spiritual oversight of the coast of Labrador, and he greatly shrank from the additional burden this would lay upon him; but when he became aware that the government of Canada, and consequently the Diocese of Quebec, ended at Blanc Sablon, and that the coast of Labrador from that point to Baffin's Bay was within the civil government of Newfoundland, he hesitated no longer, especially as it became apparent that nobody else could be expected to assume the charge of this barren coast. And so, on the 6th of July of this year, the Hawk, with the Bishop on board, set forth on her unknown voyage to explore that coast. As companions on this voyage he had the Rev. S. Cunningham, his wife and child, going to take up their residence in the distant mission of Bruges; the Rev. Mr. Addington, going to serve as deacon and curate in Fortune Bay; and the Rev. Messrs. Hoyles and Harvey, together with Mr. Brown, a student.

Owing to prevailing head winds, they had to put into Harbour Briton, and were rejoiced to catch sight [94/95] of the cassocked, contemplative figure of the Rev. Jacob Mountain, the faithful priest, who had quitted the refinement and pleasures of a happy home in England to minister to these poor fishermen, and watch for their souls. When the wind changed they at once set sail, and took Mr. Mountain with them to visit a part of his parish, ninety miles away. It was dark when they entered Bruges Bay, the future home of Mr. Cunningham and his wife. They were heartily welcomed by the inhabitants, whose church had been closed for three months. During this time the poor people had had great sorrow and suffering without any word of consolation to sustain them. After a voyage of 500 miles through fog and foam, the ship entered St. George's Bay, only to experience a great disappointment. The clergyman in charge, only a deacon, had never received the notice sent him the previous autumn of the Bishop's intended visit. The ship carrying that notice and his winter supplies had been wrecked; and so in the spring, being greatly straightened for food and raiment, he had gone, on the first opportunity, to St. John's, and had passed the Bishop on the way; and so, though three years had elapsed since the Bishop's last visit, there could now be no confirmation, as no preparation had been made; and so the Hawk bore away to the coast of Labrador, and landed first in the harbour of Forteau, a place which no clergyman had ever visited before.

Service was held in a store, pains being taken to make it as churchlike as possible; many were baptized, and many couples married. The winds continued so long adverse that the Hawk could not get forward, and the Bishop made his way to the north in a small fishing craft, sleeping on the unboarded ribs of the boat. He writes, however, that "it was not the hard fare or the coarse lodging that made up the chief hardships of these voyages. The dense ignorance of [95/96] the poor people so soon to be left to themselves again, weighed most heavily upon our spirits." At many places, he says, "we were cheered with a reverent congregation, or would have been cheered, but for the retrospect and prospect." The Bishop was deeply affected by the neglected condition of the people whom he had visited. He addressed pathetic appeals to the Church at home to "send some suitable clergy man to take the oversight of these poor people." The Bishop of London was deeply touched with the account of this visitation, and seconded the appeal with earnest entreaty. The next year Bishop Feild made a voyage of sixteen weeks along these shores, and took with him two young deacons who had volunteered for work in Labrador. They visited Bay of Islands, which the Bishop had been unable to reach on his previous voyage. On August 2nd, he rowed nine miles to visit an old patriarch, ninety years of age, whose bodily strength was nearly gone. He welcomed his visitors, and spoke with pleasure of the visit of Archdeacon Wix twelve years ago. He and the Bishop were the only clergymen the old man had seen in a lifetime of seventy years.

After a voyage of six weeks, Forteau, the future home of the Rev. A. Gifford was reached on the 8th of August. The Bishop thus describes the parting--

"Here Mr. Gifford was to be put on shore to commence, alone and unfriended, his ministerial and missionary work. It was no common event, no common trial, to be left alone among utter strangers, common fishermen, without house or home, on the coast of Labrador, and no possibility of escape or retreat; no prospect of seeing a friend, or even hearing by letter from one for nearly a year. What a contrast in every point and circumstance to my first curacy! During our stay we had prevailed with a fisherman to put a board partition across his [96/97] sleeping-room, and assign one part to Mr. Gifford, the other half being kept for himself and wife. The meals would be taken together in a little kitchen, and of course could consist only of fish and other Labrador fare. The change even from the accommodation of the Church ship was terrible; bat nobly did Mr. Gifford endure the trial, and mercifully \vas he sup ported. He stood on the shore as the Church ship got under weigh, and watched her with emotions which can be better imagined than described, until she faded out of sight on the distant horizon."

All the circumstances of the first messengers landing on the coast of Labrador do surely show signs of Christian daring and devotion not to be mistaken or despised!

The Rev. Wm. Pilot, B.D., thus describes the region--"Labrador is a world as yet unexplored, its aspect is gloomy and forbidding, it is destitute of timber, and its soil is incapable of cultivation. Numerous scattered settlements break the barren uniformity of its rugged coast, but the roads of communication between them are the waves in summer, and the track of the hunter in winter. At this latter season the thermometer often stands for a long time at 15 below zero. The settlers along the entire coast number about 4200, of whom about 2000 profess allegiance to the Church of England. In the summer the coast becomes the rendezvous of over 30,000 people, all engaged in the salmon and cod fishing."

When Bishop Feild had completed his first voyage, he steered again for St. John's, which he did riot reach till the 16th of October. He and his party went at once to church to render thanks for their safe return. The voyaging of this year cost the Bishop nearly £400 sterling, though nothing was spent that could be avoided. Tea and biscuit were the usual fare; fresh meat or butter or milk or soft [97/98] bread were seldom obtainable. The Bishop seems to have made a habit of visiting these far-off Labrador missions every three years at least. One of the clergy now settled there. The Rev. H. P. Disney, touched by the Bishop's appeal and a description of the work, gave up his living in Ireland to plant the Church at Francis Harbour. His example was followed by the Rev. G. Hutchinson, who had left his pleasant parsonage at West Malvern to spend the rest of his life in lonely Labrador. He died in his mission of Topsail on Oct. 5th, 1876.

Speaking of his visitation in 1855, the Bishop says--"I have been as far as Bonney Bay and the Bay of Islands, places not visited by any clergyman but by myself and my companions in the Church ship. I have called and celebrated services at all the principal settlements on the western and southern coasts; have seen and spent some days with all the clergy; have consecrated five new churches and seven cemeteries; have given the Lord's Supper at fifteen, and confirmation at eighteen settlements, sometimes on shore and sometimes on the Church ship. During the whole three months I have only slept on shore one night."

In 1856, while the Bishop was making arrangements for a voyage along the coast of Labrador to Hudson Bay, his faithful and most laborious co-worker, Archdeacon Bridge died, leaving four churches and 2000 souls without a shepherd. As the Bishop was mourning his great loss, news came that another of his clergy, the Rev. Mr. Boland, in the discharge of his duty had been caught in an ice-drift in the month of March and frozen to death. A heavier loss was still in store. The Rev. Jacob Mountain, the faithful missionary of Harbour Briton, had been persuaded to move to St. John's, and take charge of the cathedral. A virulent fever was raging in the town at the time. Mr. Mountain, who was [98/99] unsparing in his ministrations to the sick, caught it, and on the 10th of Oct. passed to his rest. Mr. Gifford, the young Labrador hero, had started for England in ill health, but when he heard of the Bishop's distress he at once returned to his mission. Then Mr. Hutchinson was brought to St. John's by a man-of-war from his barren Labrador rock, where he had spent three years in absolute separation from his brethren and friends. He had never tasted fresh meat during that time, and was greatly broken down in health. After a short stay at St. John's his health was completely restored, and he returned to his humble but devoted flock to spend the few remaining years of his life in their service. Mr. Gifford toiled away in his lonely home for over ten years, and being broken down with rheumatism, the result of his continued exposure in that rigorous climate, he had to seek relief by removing to a tropical country. At this period (1859), the Bishop gave a resumé of his fifteen years work. "Since 1846," he says, "we established nine new missions, four, once served by school masters, now served by missionary priests; twenty-five or twenty-six churches finished and consecrated; thirteen parsonages built or purchased; a new stone church, built in St. John's, with parsonage, and partly endowed; College built, and partly endowed."

In 1857, it became known that there were a considerable number of English Church people living in White Bay on the French coast. The Bishop set out as soon as possible to see what could be done. He found a considerable number of people, many of whom had been here all their lives, and had never before seen a clergyman or heard a sermon. Many of them had been married by one of their number, who could read, going through the marriage service. They came now for the blessing of the Church at the Bishop's hands. Several children had been baptized [99/100] by the one only fisherman in the neighbourhood who could read the Baptismal Service. They were either hypothetically baptized, or received into the Church. The poor people seemed to think that the validity of baptism depended upon the ability of the baptizer to read well. On one occasion when the clergyman asked, "By whom was this child baptized?" the answer was, "By John Bird, sir, and a fine reader he was." The Bishop was greatly distressed by the spiritual destitution of these poor people, and his inability to provide for them. At a public meeting held in St. John's, 1863, "he depicted," says Mr. Pilot, "in earnest words the destitute condition, temporal and spiritual, of the settlers whom he found here, but lamented the inability of the Church to meet the necessary stipend of a clergyman, even should one be found willing to go and labour among them, words pierced the heart of one man present, who felt that the call had come to him to go, Here am I; send me. "This was the Rev. Robert Temple, then for three years the missionary at Ferryland. The story is soon told. Mr. Temple resigned his mission, and content to be paid in the heavenly treasure was sent to White Bay, trusting to the people, under God, for his maintenance. This was a unique proceeding at that time for Newfoundland, though others have since followed in the same track. Mr. Temple had no private means, but he felt that he would the more readily gain the good-will and affections of his new charge if he threw himself unreservedly upon them for shelter, food, and raiment only; and he was not mistaken. White Bay joins a part of the so-called French shore, and is deeply indented with coves and creeks on both sides. The mission itself extends along the shore for 150 miles, and has a population of 800 Church folk, the poorest of the poor in Newfoundland.

[101] When Mr. Temple arrived among them in 1864, there was no church, school, or building of any kind in which to hold service, and no parsonage; his home and his work were together. Thirteen years he spent among these simple folk of White Bay, wearily plodding over ice and roadless rocks, rowing boats, sailing through fog and sleet; spending nights and days amidst the rocks, stooping to the commonest domestic offices for his flock, dwelling in hovels not water-tight, bearing hunger and thirst,, lack of raiment and lack of friends, with only the contemplation of the Cross to strengthen him, and the good-will of his scattered flock to encourage him. He was for years a houseless wanderer, carrying with him wherever he went his little all his books and his parchment and his cloak and all this he endured just simply as his work for the Master. After his first winter he wrote to Bishop Field--"You will not be surprised when I affirm my determination, under God's grace, to take the mission for better or worse, so long as the people desire to receive me. The places he had to supply were so many and so remote that he felt it useless to try to have a house of his own. He either lived in the houses of the fisher-folk, or got a little room erected alongside one or other of the many mission houses he got built. This saved all the expense of housekeeping. His entire income was about £25 sterling (120 dollars a year), and he reports himself as quite satisfied, and able to live on it. He says he always found lodging and bed except when forced to encamp in an uninhabited cove, and to sleep by a watch-fire. After he had been some years in the mission he selected Western Cove, being the most central point for work, as the head-quarters of his mission. Here he got a neat little church erected, and hard by he built what was truly a "hermitage" for himself.

[102] By the assistance of friends interested in Mr. Temple's work, a small decked boat with a cabin was built for his comfort and convenience. This was his home for the greater part of the year. He was now able to visit his straggling flock with greater frequency and regularity.

In 1877, after thirteen years voluntary exile, Mr. Temple was called to the charge of the important mission, Twiling-gate. In the following year he was appointed Rural Dean of Notre Dame Bay, which includes White Bay; and his official visits enabled him every second year to see again the flock he once called his own. The mantle of this apostle of White Bay has fallen upon a worthy successor, the Rev. S. J. Andrews, whose unobtrusive labours bid fair to equal those of his predecessor.

The following biographical sketches, written by the Rev. T. W. Pilot, B.D., and the Rev. I. Hall, are given with no idea of making invidious comparisons, but merely as illustrations of the heroic self-sacrifice which animates the clergy of this, perhaps the hardest of colonial Dioceses. These records are not without their parallel in other parts of Newfoundland, nor indeed in many another parish of the Colonial Church. Mr. Pilot writes of the Rev. Edward Colley--

"Hermitage Bay on the south of the island has been the scene of the labours of another pioneer of the Church, now grown old in the Master's service--the Rev. Edward Colley. Along its shores sweep the mighty Gulf Stream, which here meeting the cold waters from the Arctic regions, raises a fog blast, which perpetually broods over the great Atlantic Bank, and envelops the coast with a thick palpable cloud of driving mist. For weeks in summer the sun is hidden from view, and the atmosphere then becomes humid and depressing. The hills which surround the bay often rise perpendicularly out of [102/103] the deepest water to a height of 1000 feet and more; and storms violent, sudden, and destructive often overtake the wary fisherman. Over 3000 people have settled in the arms and coves of this bay, and of these 2500 are members of the Church. All depend for their subsistence upon the precarious fisheries; if this fails, severe suffering ensues. They are for the most part an innocent, unsophisticated folk, from the southern counties of England. Un-contaminated with the vices which beset large centres of population, they live in their lodgments contented and happy. Nearly a century and a half ago their forefathers made these harbours their homes. A century ago a clergyman placed at Placentia paid them a summer visit; but it was not till near the middle of the present century that a clergyman was placed permanently amongst them. Mr. Colley, after his ordination, was put in charge of Hermitage Mission, which embraced a coast-line of over 100 miles. The highway of trade here is the sea; there are no roads. He had no boat of his own, and could only be conveyed from cove to cove by the fishermen's boats, reeking often with stale bait and unsavoury cod. His flock was located in over thirty different harbours, containing from two to twenty families. With the exception of three shells of school-houses, there were no places for conducting service except the kitchens of the fishermen, gladly lent for the purpose. When Mr. Colley visited any settlement, the plan adopted was for the people of that cove to supply a boat and crew to convey him to his next port. The people of this station provided similar conveyance to the next, and so on around the mission. On each succeeding visit a fresh boat and crew were told off. In this way Mr. Colley became acquainted with all the men of his flock. His visits were always eagerly looked for, the wonted hospitality lovingly [103/104] extended, and the best bed the settlement could boast of always ready for him. In some places a prophet's chamber was added to the side of the house, kept scrupulously clean, and always respectfully referred to as Mr. Colley's room. As the men were all day absent on the fishing-grounds, the only opportunity he had for assembling them for service was after the fish had been settled away and supper ended. Fisher men go to bed early, and it was not to be wondered at that, being tired and weary with the labours of the day, many should during service succumb to sleep. Mr. Colley resolved to try a better plan. He rose at dawn with the men, and induced them to join in prayer before leaving for the fishing-grounds. By patient perseverance he got the whole population to fall in with his plan, until it became a standing order in every harbour, that during the parson's stay no boat should leave for the ground until after Morning Prayer. This grew into a general practice in every settlement, and was afterwards supplemented by an address, and the celebration of the Holy Communion.

Later on he persuaded them to hold Evensong before they retired. This became a second order in the settlement. It also became usual on his approach to any harbour with the Union Jack flying on the boat that conveyed him, for all fishing-boats to heave anchor, make for home, and get ready for Evensong.

For thirty years Mr. Colley continued, with only one brief interruption, in his noble work. His chief desire was to see a house of God erected in each of the nine populous places; and by his exertions, aided by the willing hands and gifts of his flock, he was enabled to see it fulfilled in the erection of nine chapel schools and two consecrated churches. One of these is at Hermitage Cove, the head-quarters of the Mission, and was built by the liberality of T. N. Hunt, Esq., of London. It is a beautiful church of [104/105] brick, faced with stone, and furnished throughout with oak fittings and stained-glass windows. Here Mr. Colley always said Matins at eight and Evensong at five, when at home.

In each of the settlements, where it was possible, a man was appointed to conduct Morning and Evening Prayer on Sundays during Mr. Colley's absence. When he returned, in 1867, there was hardly a Dissenter in the Mission, and so it remains to-day.


On the other side of the island, these two large bays, on what is now called the French shore, pierce the otherwise uniform boldness of the coast, and afford shelter and a home to nearly 3000 people, who have emigrated here from other parts of the island, in the expectation of finding greater facilities for making a living. In addition to the fishing, the people are largely engaged in lumbering. Nearly 2000 of them are members of the Church of England.

Bishop Feild made his first visit to these parts in 1863, but it was not till ten years later that a volun teer could be found to undertake work in this newly-discovered field. This was the Rev. Ulric Zwinglius Rule, who volunteered under circumstances similar to those that induced Mr. Temple to go to White Bay--food and shelter only from the people. The people were for the most part a poor and illiterate class, and were scattered--a handful here and a few more there--in the numerous coves and arms that indent the bays on both sides. Mr. Rule had no boat, and so was obliged to move about as best he could from cove to cove by the chance boat of a fisherman, holding a service at one time in a log-hut, at another on the deck of a crazy boat.

In summer, in going from Bay of Islands to Bonney [105/106] Bay (fifty miles), he was exposed to the rough and treacherous waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence; and in winter he took long journeys over wastes and snow, shod with mocassins and rackets. No devotee of a true or false religion ever threw himself with greater zeal or patience into his work than did Mr. Rule. His great desire was to form a brotherhood to work his extensive mission. This, from want of funds, he was unable to do; and so, after ten years of pioneer work, he resigned his charge, having gained for himself the title of the St. Jerome of Newfoundland.

His place was not long left vacant. God raised up one who was destined to accomplish great things for these poor people. This was


a gentleman of rare attainments and gifts, of exceeding modesty and unbounded liberality. Trained to the life of a soldier, he became an officer in the Royal Engineers, and while in the station of Bermuda was aide-de-camp to Sir Frederick Chapman. He resolved to resign his commission and to take Holy Orders. After due preparation he was ordained by Bishop Feild, and became a noble example of self-sacrifice and devotion to his duties. Before his ordination, when the Church Star was wrecked and lost, Mr. Carling nobly gave his own yacht, the Lavrock, to be the future Church ship of Newfoundland. At his ordination to the Priesthood, in 1873, he was appointed to the Bay of Islands Mission. He at once adapted himself to his new and lonely life. For many months in the year he was cut off from the outer world, and exposed to hardships and privations almost inconceivable. He took the mission on the self-supporting principle, working upon the lines laid [106/107] down by his predecessor. He was in journeyings oft, in perils in the wilderness and in perils in the sea, tending to the wants, temporal and spiritual, of his new inheritance. He spared no pains and relaxed no effort to show himself a soldier able to endure hardness. He made Birchy Head his head-quarters, completing and beautifying the shell of a church that had been erected there, and adding a school-house, parsonage, and Church Institute. He soon had, perhaps, the best-equipped mission station on the island.

At John's Beach, ten miles distant in the same bay, another church was erected, with school-house; school-chapels were also built at the head of the bay at Summer-side, Meadows Point, Woods Island, and Lack Harbour, all bearing upon them the stamp of a liberal soul devising liberal things.

Nor was Bonney Bay less cared for. The same active spirit has been at work here, marked by the same liberality. Three churches, a parsonage, and five school-chapels have been built by Mr. Carling in the numerous coves of this bay. To plan, supervise, and provide funds for all these schools, parsonages, and churches involved no small amount of anxiety, self-denial, and toil. To enable him to keep up these manifold activities Mr. Carling employed a curate, and was fortunate in securing the services of men like-minded with himself.

In 1883, having with infinite toil secured a small endowment for the Bonney Bay Mission, it was separated and placed under the care of the Rev. Charles Holland, a former curate. This gave Mr. Carling more time to attend to his increasing flock at Bay of Islands, but neither his travels nor dangers were diminished. On one occasion, being overtaken by a snow-storm, he was compelled to spend a night in the woods alone, walking to and fro over a given space to keep himself from sleep, which would have [107/108] ended in the sleep of death. At another time walking along the beach here the only highway which led from one settlement to another he arrived at a spot which was steep and dangerous. The sea was too rough to go around the point near the edge of the rocks, and the cliff was too steep to climb up. Taking off his clothes and tying them up in a bundle upon his head, he struck out for a landing-place. The sea was rising high; a huge wave caught and carried off his clothes. There was nothing left but to swim for them. He succeeded in clutching them and reaching the desired spot, but with everything soaked. Such occurrences were by no means uncommon in these hazardous missions.

In 1879, Mr. Carling was made Rural Dean of the Straits of Belle Isle. The duties of this new office required a biennial inspection, which involved a voyage in a straight line of over 700 miles. To enable him to accomplish this work, Mr. Carling built a schooner of fifty-seven tons; he managed her himself. She became his home, and was the messenger of blessing to many forlorn and scattered fisher-folk.

After sixteen years of such constant toil and perseverance, Mr. Carling gave up the mission of Bay of Islands to prosecute his further studies at Oxford. He took his degree last year (1890), and on his return to the island has been appointed Principal of the Theological College in St. John's. He did not leave Bay of Islands until he had made the same permanent provision for the maintenance of the services of the Church as in Bonney Bay. His liberal benefactions have been distributed all around the country, and fortunate is the Bishop who has such a man in the ranks of his clergy.

Three missions of the Church of England at [108/109] Forteau, at Battle Harbour, and at Esquimault Bay have been established on the coast of Labrador. Of the last-named place Mr. Pilot writes--

"The initiative in the work of providing these toilers of the deep with some measure of religious instruction and of the means of grace, was undertaken by the clergy of Conception Bay, and the Rev. Dr. Shears of Bay Roberts was the volunteer to carry it out. In the summer of 1878 he paid his first visit to these neglected shores, which involved a journey of 700 miles. He visited every cove and creek for a stretch of 500 miles in small boats, often manned by himself alone. It was literally a voyage of discovery; it had been an unknown land. Nine hundred people were found who still clung to the Church of their fathers. They received Mr. Shears with enthusiasm, and many followed him from harbour to harbour, not willing to miss an opportunity they feared they might never have again of hearing the Gospel from the lips of a duly commissioned ambassador. He preached twice every day, sometimes oftener. Here and there he found a man who had brought with him across the sea some rudiments of religious knowledge and duty, and who had been in the habit of assembling his neighbours on Sunday, and going through the Church Service with them; but such cases were extremely rare. During the first season Mr. Shears baptized 157 old and young, and married with the Church's blessing many couples who had been joined together by some planter or trader able to read.

"For four years he continued this work, finding ample reward for his toil in the hearty welcome he everywhere received. This work in our most northernly station was carried on under the present Bishop of Newfoundland."

The Rev. Mr. Hall writes generally of the work in this region--"To a traveller setting foot for the first [109/110] time in Labrador the epithet 'desolate' is a mild description of its appearance. Why people should settle themselves in such parts may seem a mystery, but they do reside there, and it is above all things necessary that the Gospel of Grace should reach them. We can hardly wonder that the appearance of the clergyman amongst such people, even at rare intervals, would be hailed with delight. To the settlers the parson is everything; their adviser in temporal as well as spiritual matters, doctor, lawyer, arbitrator in disputes, and in the best and truest sense their friend. They feel it and acknowledge it. Their habits are simple and their vices are few. Unbounded hospitality is the rule all along the shore. Every traveller puts up wherever he can reach shelter, and food for man and dogs is ungrudgingly provided, but only to be reciprocated when their own turn comes. This unstinted provision is in most cases of the coarsest and most simple kind, but it is the best that can be afforded.

"Along these coasts the missionary travels; roads there are none, nor bridges, except those provided by nature over frozen rivers and brooks. If a journey is taken during the month or two which is called summer, it is to climb hill and cross marshes into which the foot sinks deep at every step, or to ford brooks which by frequently recurring freshets are rapidly turned into roaring torrents. If the journey be accomplished by boat, then it is amidst signal danger from fog and ice, tide and heavy sea. Storms come up so rapidly that at every season of the year travelling is attended with danger.

"In winter the general mode of travel is on snow-shoes, or with dogs. These dogs are of a most savage and wolfish kind, and great is the danger if they scent any one in the woods near by, or espy him or her on their track. Drivers themselves are often in [110/111] danger of being bitten by their dogs. As a rule they are only given one meal, and will travel sixty miles a day over a smooth surface. By their means the missionary undertakes his long journeys, up hill and down dale, over jutting precipices, skirting forests, across frozen bays and rivers.

"It is a difficult task to imagine or describe such a life. The intense cold often brings on hunger and faintness, when to lie down is to die. On arriving at some wretched little tilt, fatigued and half starved, the clergyman will share whatever the family has on hand. It may be a little weak tea, or, on a rare occasion, salt pork, and dough balls of flour boiled with salt meat.

"Extra beds are rarities, and a night on a locker with insufficient covering, in a little studded house, where you can see the sky between the studs where the moss has fallen out, has to be experienced to be understood; exposure and travel, storm and drift, poor living, and above all, the awful sense of isolation, are enough to try the constitution and spirit of the bravest."


The lonely spot in Labrador, where the Rev. A. Gifford was left by Bishop Feild, is now called Flower Cove Mission, from the missionary residing on the Newfoundland shore. It is 170 miles in extent; 140 miles of the south coast of England, and thirty miles of the north coast of France, with the Channel between, will convey but a very inadequate idea of the extent of this cure of souls. The land being so broken and deeply indented with bays, and the settlements in many instances being at the head of them, measurement in miles affords only an imperfect idea of life and travel on such a coast. The mission ary must have his head-quarters on one side or other [111/112] of the Strait of Belle Isle, and the hardy fisherman, born to face drift and storm, is fain to acknowledge that the man who attempts to cross these straits in open boat is never certain that he shall reach the opposite shore. Owing to the rapid tide the straits never freeze, but except during a couple of months termed summer, innumerable pieces of floating ice are born to and fro upon the surface. The climate is very fickle; snow-storms and hurricanes of wind in winter, and rain-storms in summer are frequent. To this mission the Rev. E. Botwood was appointed in 1860, as successor to Mr. Gifford.

Mr. Botwood had turned aside from lucrative prospects in the legal profession to devote his life to mission work in perhaps the hardest Diocese in the English Church, and he solicited one of the hardest posts in it. After considerable hesitation, because of the trials he knew to be in store for him, Bishop Feild appointed him for six months to Forteau. But at the expiration of that time he begged to be continued, and remained for three years more, en countering with cheerful alacrity the perils of his post.

In 1885, the present Bishop of Newfoundland determined to establish a permanent mission at the most northernly point of Labrador yet reached, and the Rev. F. W. Colley volunteered for the post. This seemed to offer only dangers, hardships, and privations, for in addition to the same cruising in crazy boats, there was the toil of visiting the settlers in their winter quarters up the bays. These could only be reached by journeys over barren wastes with dogs. For two years he bravely endured all, and was only induced to relinquish his post when enfeebled health rendered a change imperative. He was succeeded by another volunteer, the Rev. T. P. Quinton, who was a man of iron constitution, and has proved himself [112/113] able to endure hardness as a good soldier of the Cross, in the mission of Charnel, on the south-west angle of the island. He still holds the fort, and with a courage and spirit born of a message inspired, has toiled with unabating vigour for four years. Never does he appear happier than when careering with his team of dogs over ice and snow, to visit the scattered sheep of his extensive flock, making light of his hardships and privations. Writing in May of his second year's residence he says--"For nearly five months I have been on the move, and I have walked over fourteen hundred miles, yet the work is not by any means disagreeable or of an unsatisfactory nature." And this after stating that the winter was very severe, and that many a night they lay in their fur bags. "My good spirits have not left me, and the bad ones are as near me, I fear, as ever."

Referring to his privations, and the expected arrival of a supply of food by the first steamer in June, he says--"I can hold out two or three days more by liberally watering the little tea I have left. Of flour I have sufficient for myself, but we know not when we are likely to get a fresh supply." This was after eight months of isolation, and yet he says--"I have very little to frighten me, and I would as soon be here as in any boating mission in Newfoundland. As regards the loneliness, I don t mind; I have not allowed it a footing in my thoughts, and as a conse quence the time has sped rapidly away. But when the mail comes from Newfoundland I shall do nothing but read my letters for a week."

Referring to his work he says "After all, how little one can do for these poor creatures! In all, at the outside, I can only visit some of them twice in the year, and some of them hardly that in some years." There are no churches in the mission: the services are held in the settlers houses. Small [113/114] school-chapels have, however, lately been erected in three or four of the bays.

Amid such scenes and perils, and with a band of many such noble fellow-workers, Bishop Feild continued his labours till 1866, when Bishop Kelly being appointed coadjutor, undertook a large share of the more difficult and dangerous work. After this date Bishop Feild visited Bermuda every winter, and now remained in these sunny islands for a much longer period than when he was alone. He gave the most careful individual attention to the affairs of the Church in that part of his extensive charge. Twice after Bishop Kelly's appointment he visited the far-off missions of Labrador, and the northern and western coasts. Touching stories are told of the way in which the Bishop, with the most brotherly alacrity, supplied the place of invalided or worn-out workers both in Newfoundland and Bermuda. Bishop Kelly was an eloquent speaker, and an earnest co-worker, and so he relieved Bishop Feild of a large share of responsibility and toil.

The Coadjutor was not so fortunate as Bishop Feild had been in all his perilous voyaging. For twenty-five years the Hawk had gone through fog and foam, through frost and fateful hurricane almost without a mishap; but just at the end of her long voyaging she was ran twice upon the rocks, and was condemned as unseaworthy. Her place was supplied, as above narrated, by the generosity of Lieut. Carling (afterwards the Rev. James Carling). Before long this splendidly fitted up yacht was utterly wrecked, and Bishop Kelly and his party were with great difficulty saved.

Bishop Feild, in order to relieve the Rev. J. C. Harvey of Port-de-Grace, who had to go to England for medical treatment, took charge of his parish. It was a terribly severe winter. The Bishop performed [114/115] with more than usual punctuality the duties of a mission that would have tried the energies of a young man. The result was a very severe illness when he returned to St. John's; from this he never really rallied. In the autumn he again visited Bermuda, but the genial climate did not produce the hoped-for change, and on June 8th, 1876, calmly, and with no appearance of pain, his spirit passed behind the veil.

Bishop Kelly without election succeeded to the see. He was an able and eloquent man, but was not adapted to a maritime Diocese like Newfoundland. He was a poor sailor, and never got over distressing sea-sicknesses. Being persuaded that this was going to permanently hinder and perhaps finally destroy his usefulness, he resigned his see and returned to England in 1878.

The appointment of a successor was referred to the authorities at home, and the present Bishop, the Right Rev. L. Jones, who was already widely known throughout the Church as a scholar and successful parish organizer and-worker, was called to bear the standard which Bishop Feild had made glorious as the symbol of faith and courage and self-denial and loving, persevering energy.

For now thirteen years, without noise or complaint, he has made it his aim and his joy to follow the example of his great predecessor. He is a man of exceeding modesty and gentleness, but of unsparing energy. He has won the hearts of his clergy and people, and is no doubt laying up in store for himself an abundant entrance and a great reward. He declines to give any information about himself and his work. He says" Bishop Feild had laid the foundations so well, and had everything so well ordered, that all I have to do is to follow in his steps and try to realize his plans."

[116] One of the foremost of his clergy writing of him says--"He shares with his clergy their perilous work, and no less than his predecessor is enkindled with the same spirit of zeal for his Diocese. Though hampered for want of funds, and beset on all sides with cries of chronic poverty, he has done much to forward the work of the Church in Newfoundland. Improvements, material and spiritual, are manifest in all directions.

"His cathedral, enlarged at a cost of 200,00 dollars, as a memorial of his predecessor, Bishop Feild, stands unrivalled in this Western hemisphere as a gem of Gothic architecture. Churches of a superior style and finish are fast taking the place of the old un-sightliness of the early Newfoundland type. The clerical staff has been steadily increasing in number. New missions have been opened, and curates have been provided to assist in the large missions already established. A generous response, in spite of hard times and failing fisheries, has been made to appeals for aid to carry on the Church work throughout the Diocese; in spite too of the fact that the S. P. G. has during his Episcopate reduced its grant by £1000 a year."

Newfoundland, dependent merely upon precarious fisheries, must ever be a poor Diocese, relying largely upon the generous sympathy and help of the Mother Church.

We have devoted to the history of the Church m this Diocese a disproportionate share of the space allowed us, partly because of the thrilling and heroic incidents with which it abounds, and partly, chiefly rather, because the clergy have exhibited throughout the spirit of self-sacrifice and heroic Christian faith which will have to become the incentive to action and the rule of life throughout this whole continent, if the Church is ever to occupy the waste places, and recover the ground which, through lack of them, she has lost.

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