In the following pages an attempt has been made to give the reader some account of "The First Fifty Years of the Church of England in the Province of New Brunswick." Short as is this sketch, it has not been hastily written. More than three years have been employed during the intervals of professional occupation in collecting and digesting materials, in verifying facts and dates, and in communicating with persons who could speak upon the subject, either from personal or hereditary knowledge. It has been my constant endeavour to give correct information, and to this end I have sacrificed almost everything. The task has been rendered somewhat difficult from the fact that there exists very little information respecting the early Church in New Brunswick.
Had this work been undertaken some years ago many interesting and valuable facts now lost would have been secured.
It was my intention to have named those who assisted me in this historical sketch, but I find their number so large that, lest I should fail to mention all, I must content myself with a general expression of hearty thanks. I cannot, however, forbear saying that, through the kindness of the Bishop of Nova Scotia, I have had access to several of the early reports of the S. P. G., and that from the late Secretary of that Society, (Mr. Bullock,) I received very much valuable information. I would also state that had it not been for the late Dr. McCawley, of Halifax, N. S., a large part of the chapter on Fredericton could not have been written.
In conclusion let me express the hope that the eye of criticism may view kindly what has been done, and remembering the difficulties, deal lightly with the author's style of composition.
ST. JOHN, N. B., 1880.
G. HERBERT LEE.
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.--Thomas Bray, D. D.--Abstract of S. P. G. Charter.--American Church Statistics.--Difficulties of early Colonial Church.--Efforts to establish an independent Episcopate in America.--Consecration of Dr. Samuel Seabury in 1784.--Consequences of the American Revolution.--Landing of the Loyalists at St. John, N. B.
"IF it must be admitted" (observes Mr. Hawkins) "that the Church of England is not rich in missionary annals, there can be no difficulty in accounting for the deficiency."
For many years after the Reformation our Church was so much occupied in battling with the errors of Home and the innovations of Puritanism as to have little or no opportunity for christianizing the world. She had enough to do to maintain her very life at home. Then followed the Civil War which deluged the land with blood, spread desolation far and wide, and caused the National Church itself to be put under an interdict. Then came with the Restoration the re-bound from excessive strictness or that worldly licentiousness which always follows religious excitement--the hardest trial of all--but in which our Church perished not. And at the time of the Revolution we find as the natural consequence a spirit of indifference to the affairs of religion, which was truly lamentable. But the Church, purified by affliction and strengthened by the trials she had undergone, soon girded herself to the great work of extending the blessings of the Gospel to heathen lands. At the beginning of the eighteenth century "The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel" was organized "for the purpose of providing the ministrations of religion for the British Colonies and of bringing the surrounding heathen to a knowledge of the truth."
It is to Thomas Bray, D.D., that the foundation of the Society is mainly due. Born in Shropshire, England, in 1656, he early conceived the idea of carrying the truths of the Gospel to England's many colonies, factories and plantations. To effect such a desirable object, this able and energetic divine, in the year 1697, petitioned the House of Commons that some of the money secured by the alienation of lands should be appropriated for the Propagation of the Gospel in the Colonies. In this, however, he was unsuccessful. Another effort to procure for his object a grant of some arrears of taxes due to the Crown met with no better success. At length he hit upon the plan of forming a Voluntary Society for the Propagation of Christian knowledge, both at home and in the Colonies. The Bishop of London approved of and assisted in the project; the result being the formation of a society in the year 1697. In May, 1701, Dr. Bray petitioned His Majesty, King William III, for his Royal Charter, and on 16th June, 1701, succeeded in procuring a charter under the royal seal of King William III, constituting 96 persons the first members of a corporate Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. The following is an abstract of the Charter of the Society:--
"King William III, of Glorious Memory, was graciously pleased on the 16th June, 1701, to erect and settle a Corporation with a perpetual succession by name of 'The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts'; for the receiving, managing and disposing of the contributions of such persons as would be induced to extend their charity towards the maintenance of a Learned and an Orthodox Clergy, and the making of such other provision as might be necessary for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, upon information that in many of our Plantations, Colonies and Factories beyond the seas, the provision for Ministers was mean, and many other of our said Plantations, Colonies and Factories were wholly unprovided of a maintenance for Ministers and the public worship of God; and that, for lack of support and maintenance of such, many of his loving subjects wanted the administration of God's word and sacraments, and seemed to be abandoned to Atheism and Infidelity, and others of them to Popish Superstition and Idolatry."
Such are in general terms the aims and objects of that noble Society, which for nearly two centuries has been sending forth its Missionaries to foreign lands. The Protestant Episcopal Church in America, which dates back to the first settlement of Virginia in 1607, owes most of its present strength and efficiency to The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. It was this Society that sustained the infant American Church with almost unprecedented liberality for nearly a century, and the American nation is now reaping the fruits of what others have sown. According to statistics of last year there were in the Protestant Episcopal Church of America, 63 Bishops and more than 3,000 Clergy, assisted by nearly 800 Lay Readers; 45,000 persons had been baptized and 25,000 confirmed; there were 320,000 communicants; 30,000 Sunday School Teachers, and 300,000 Sunday School Scholars, while the contributions amounted to nearly $7,000,000.
But to glance for a moment at the trials and difficulties under which the early Colonial Church laboured. Forming, as she did, part of the Diocese of the Bishop of London, and being thus far removed from direct Episcopate supervision; possessed of no means of keeping up her ministry, except as she received new men from England, or sent thither across the ocean for Ordination Candidates for Holy Orders, at great expense and some risk of life; having no Court of Appeal in case of a dispute; no synodical action, and no diocesan boundary, so situated that no Church could be consecrated and no person confirmed--in short, Episcopal only in name, and with nothing but the Liturgy to distinguish her outwardly from other Protestant denominations--it is scarcely to be wondered that the Infant Church early sought the opportunity of establishing an independent Episcopate in America. For many years efforts were made to secure this desirable end. It was not, however, until the Declaration of American Independence (A. D. 1776) that, owing to the consequent severance from the Diocese of the Bishop of London, it became necessary that the Churches throughout the country should be combined upon some new mode of association. Accordingly it was resolved by the American clergy to obtain (if possible) from England the consecration of one of their own number to the office of Bishop. But the Church of England, fettered by its connection with the State, was deprived of the power of extending the Episcopate beyond the limits of the British Dominions. The Scottish Bishops, however, having the same spiritual authority as their English brethren, could speedily convey to America what had been sought in vain from England--the gift of the Episcopate. Accordingly on Sunday, the 14th November, 1784, Dr. Samuel Seabury was consecrated at Aberdeen, Scotland, by Bishop Kilgour, Primus, assisted by Bishops Petrie and Skinner, and early in the summer of the ensuing year he returned to Connecticut, the first Bishop for the United States of America, the first Bishop of English communion outside the bounds of Great Britain and Ireland. Three years later two more American Bishops were consecrated by English Bishops at Lambeth. Thus originated the Episcopate of the United States of America, which now numbers more than sixty Bishops whose missions cover the whole of the western part of their great continent, and reach on to meet English missions in western Africa and Japan.
But this was not the only change consequent upon the American Revolution. Many of the S. P. G. missionaries, with sturdy independence of character and ardent feeling of loyalty to England, refused to remain in a country no longer attached to the parent stein, and, as we shall hereafter see, removed to the Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The landing of the Loyalists at St. John, N. B., took place on 18th May, 1783, but a large body of refugees and disbanded British soldiers arrived in the autumn of that year.
As the Bishops of Nova Scotia exercised Episcopal supervision in New Brunswick down to the year 1845, it will not be out of place to say somewhat of them.
Dr. Chandler nominated first Colonial Bishop.--He declines the office.--Dr. Chas. Inglis, first Colonial Bishop.--Consecrated in 1787.--Extent of his See.--Visit to New Brunswick in 1792.--His death in 1816.--Dr. Stanser, second Bishop.--Resigns owing to ill health.--Dr. John Inglis, third Bishop.--Consecrated in 1825.--Divides his Diocese into four Archdeaconries.--His death in 1850.
THE first person nominated as first Colonial Bishop of the Church of England was Thomas Bradbury Chandler, D. D.
This eminent divine was born in Massachusetts on the 26th April, 1726. In 1751 he went to England and received ordination from the Bishop of London, returning the same year to fill the position of Rector of St. John's Church, Elizabethtown, N. J. About the year 1760 the want of Bishops in the Colonies began to be severely felt and soon became the subject of extended discussion. In 1767 Dr. Chandler published and dedicated to the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, "An Appeal to the public in behalf of the Church of England in America, wherein the origin and nature of the Episcopal office are briefly considered, reasons for sending Bishops to America are assigned, the plan on which it is proposed to send them is stated, and the objections against sending them are obviated and confuted."
Soon after this the American Revolution took place. Dr. Chandler, whose sympathies were with the Mother Country, did all in his power to avert it; but, finding the current of public feeling too strong to overcome, he left America and went to England where he remained ten years--from 1775 to 1785. During this time he received, in addition to his salary of £50 stg. from the S. P. G., an annual allowance from the British Government of £200. Sometime before leaving England the Archbishop of Canterbury, as a token o£ appreciation of Dr. Chandler's abilities and services, appointed him first Bishop of Nova Scotia. But, owing to ill health, Dr. Chandler was obliged to decline the office. Upon this the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to him, expressing respect for his character and his sympathy in his affliction, begging him at the same time to recommend for the position a suitable person in his stead. Accordingly Dr. Inglis, who had been Rector of Trinity Church, New York, was appointed. Dr. Chandler returned to America in 1785, and for five years held the position of Rector of his old post in Elizabethtown, N. J. But the impaired state of his health precluded him from discharging his official duties with vigour and regularity. He died on the 17th June, 1790, aged 64 years. His youngest daughter married Bishop Hobart, one of the great lights of the American Episcopal Church.
Dr. Inglis was the third son of the Rev. Archibald Inglis, of Glen and Kilcarr, in Ireland, where he was born in the year 1734. It is worthy of note that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather were ministers of the Established Church.
As his father had a numerous family, and quite a limited income, he (the son) left Ireland for America at an early period of his life, and, on his arrival there engaged in teaching a school. He had charge of the Free School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, previous to the year 1759. Having honourably acquitted himself in this employment, and become favourably known to the Episcopal Clergy in the neighbourhood, he was encouraged to devote himself to the ministry; and accordingly, he repaired to England and was admitted to Holy Orders by the Bishop of London. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts immediately appointed him as their Missionary at Dover, in the Province of Delaware, on a salary of £50.
After a long and stormy passage, he reached the place of his destination, and commenced his labour in July, 1759. His Missionary field embraced the whole County of Kent, thirty-three miles in length and ten in breadth, with a population of seven thousand, about one third of which belonged to the Church of England. There were three Churches of which he had the charge, beside the one at Dover; and they were severally fourteen, seventeen and eighteen miles from his residence. The Church at Dover was in an exceedingly depressed condition; but it was soon to a great extent renovated by means of his energetic ministry.
There he remained until 1764, when he was appointed Assistant to the Rector of Trinity Church, New York, and Catechist to the negroes, entering upon the discharge of these duties in. Dec., 1765. In 1767 the honourary degree of B.A. was conferred upon him by King's College in the City of New York, and a few years later that of M. A. by the University of Oxford. In the year 1778 the same University conferred upon him the degree of D. D.
In 1777 he was chosen Rector of Trinity Church, New York, and in 1783 he removed with his family to Halifax, N. S. Such a step was both expedient and necessary, as Dr. Inglis had, during the progress of the American Revolution, shown himself such a zealous supporter and advocate of the British that his comfort, if not his safety, demanded his departure.
In 1787 he was appointed Bishop of Nova Scotia, with ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Bermuda and the Island of Newfoundland; in short, his See was the whole of British North America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, until, in 1793, the Diocese of Quebec was formed, and the Bishop of Nova Scotia limited to the Maritime Provinces. He was consecrated at Lambeth on Sunday, the 12th of August, 1787, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the Bishops of Rochester and Chester, and arrived at Halifax, 16th October, 1787, the first Colonial Bishop of the Church of England. In 1809 he was appointed a member of the Provincial Council.
Faithful in the discharge of his new duties, he seldom left his Diocese, and when he did so, it was to visit Canada and New Brunswick in his Episcopal capacity.
In the summer of 1792 Bishop Inglis made his second visit to New Brunswick and reported most favourably thereon to the Society at home, stating, among other things, that the diligent and exemplary conduct of their Missionaries had made them much respected and esteemed by their people; that their congregations were flourishing, their communicants increasing, and that several churches were being raised, and applications made for new missions. Upon his arrival at Fredericton in July, 1792, the Bishop immediately set about the disposing and arranging of several matters, in which he was ably assisted by Governor Carleton, who did all in his power, both by precept and example, to advance the interests of religion. Among other things, several mistakes in the laying out of Glebe Lands were rectified, and Mr. Price's mission of Nashwaak (opposite Fredericton) clearly settled and defined. Coming down the River St. John, Bishop Inglis consecrated four new Churches and confirmed no less than 777 persons. At Kingston he received a petition for a minister from Captain Spragge, of Bellisle, signed by 142 inhabitants, a Church having been built by them at their own expense. All, however, the Bishop could do then was to request Mr. Scovil to visit them occasionally. The Bishop visited Sussex Vale, where the people petitioned for Mr. Arnold as their Missionary;--their request was complied with. The Indian schools at Woodstock and Sussex Vale were inspected by him and were found in a satisfactory state. In 1798 the Bishop again held a visitation at Fredericton, and visited a school established there for the black people, under the direction of Mr. Pidgeon, the Rector, and obtained from the Association of Dr. Bray an allowance of ten shillings a year for the education of each black child.
Bishop Inglis died at Halifax on Saturday, 24th February, 1816, in the 82nd year of his age, the 58th of his ministry and the 29th of his consecration. He was buried under the chancel of St. Paul's Church, Halifax, on Thursday, 29th February. His son, John, afterwards became Bishop of Nova Scotia. His eldest daughter married the Hon. Brenton Halliburton, Chief Justice of Nova Scotia; his youngest, the Rev. George Pidgeon, who was for many years Rector of Fredericton, and afterwards of St. John, in New Brunswick.
Dr. Stanser, the second Bishop of Nova Scotia, had, previous to the death of Bishop Inglis, held the position of Rector of St. Paul's Church, Halifax. He was also Chaplain of the House of Assembly. When Bishop Inglis died the House was in session, and it was unanimously resolved that the British Government be recommended to appoint Dr. Stanser his successor. He was accordingly appointed on 6th May, 1816, and consecrated in England. The health, however, of the new Bishop proved so delicate that, after holding his first visitation and ordaining with extreme difficulty, he returned to England for the winter months. Year after year was spent in the vain hope of his recovery. He saw his Diocese no more. In 1824 he resigned the Bishopric of Nova Scotia.
The Society at home, in consideration of his ministerial work for more than thirty years, allowed him a pension of £250, which he held until his death, a few years afterwards.
Dr. John Inglis was the third Bishop of Nova Scotia and son of its first. He was born at Now York on 9th December, 1777. During the brief period that Dr. Staiiser held the office of Bishop, Dr. Inglis was Rector of St. Paul's Church, Halifax, and Ecclesiastical Commissary.
Upon the resignation of Dr. Stanser in 1824, he was appointed his successor, and consecrated in London in 1825, returning to Halifax in the autumn of that year. The new Bishop immediately divided his Diocese into four Archdeaconries. The Rev. Dr. Willis was appointed Archdeacon of Nova Scotia and Rector of St. Paul's, Halifax; the Rev. George Best, Archdeacon of New Brunswick; the Rev. A. G. Spencer, Archdeacon of Bermuda, and the Rev. George Coster, Archdeacon of Newfoundland. Dr. Inglis visited New Brunswick for the first time in 1826, upon which occasion he consecrated the Stone Church in St. John. Within his Diocese during this year he confirmed 4,367 persons and consecrated 44 Churches.
His visits to this Province took place, as a rule, every three years. He paid his last visit in 1840, when he consecrated St. Luke's Church, Portland, which was destroyed by fire on 28th May, 1875. Major-General Sir John Eardley-Wilmot Inglis, K. C. B., whose name is linked with the glorious defence of Lucknow in the East, was his son. Bishop Inglis died in London, 27th October, 1850, in the 73rd year of his age, the 50th of his ministry and the 26th of his Episcopate.
In St. Paul's Church, Halifax, N. S., may be seen a monument erected to his memory, and also to the memory of his father, with the following inscriptions:--
by whom the above monument was erected,
has followed his Pious Parent to the Grave,
the Inheritor of his Virtues and of his Zeal,
In the cause of his Divine Master,
after a faithful service of many years
as Rector of this Parish.
He was consecrated in the year of our Lord 1825,
Bishop of the Diocese.
Endued with Talents of a high order,
He zealously Devoted his whole Life
To the diligent discharge of his Sacred Duties,
as a Minister of the Gospel of Christ.
He died on the 27th of October, A. D. 1850,
In the seventy-third year of his age,
and in the twenty-sixth of his Episcopate.
In erecting this Monument
to their lamented Pastor and Bishop,
The members of the Church have the melancholy
of uniting it with that
on which he himself so feelingly recorded
The Virtues of his Father.
Rev. T. Wood.--His tour among the Settlements on the River St. John in the year 1769.--His literary works.--His death in 1778.
THE first account of any Missionary work in this Province is given by the Rev. T. Wood, S. P. G. Missionary at New Jersey, U. S., and afterward at Annapolis, N. S. In the year 1769, when New Brunswick was part of Nova Scotia, being called "The County of Sunbury," Mr. Wood made, at the request of the Governor of Nova Scotia, a missionary tour among the settlements along the St. John River. It must be remembered that at this time--fourteen years before the landing of the Loyalists--there were but few English in the Province, the population consisting for the most part of French and Indians. In a letter addressed by Mr. Wood to the S. P. G., an interesting account is given of his visit. He says that he proceeded up the River St. John to the Indian Village of Okpaak, the farthest settlement. This settlement was situated on the right bank of the River St. John, six miles above Fredericton, N. B., and opposite Savage Island.
On 1st July, 1769, he arrived at St. John Harbour. On the following day (Sunday) Mr. Wood performed divine service there in English in the forenoon and baptized four English children. In the afternoon of the same day an Indian service was hold for some Indians who were on their way to Passamaquoddy; after service the Indians were told to sing an anthem, which "they performed very harmoniously." Mr. Wood baptized only one child, having found that most of the, children had been already baptized by Romish Priests. In the evening, there being many French inhabitants, Mr. Wood read the service in the French language. Several Indians were present, many of whom understood the language.
On the following day Mr. Wood sailed up the River, and on Sunday, 9th July, landed at Maugerville, where he read service to more than 200 persons. Owing, however, to the fact that the congregation was composed chiefly of Dissenters from New England and had had a Dissenting minister among them, only two baptisms were performed; but (to use Mr. Wood's own words) "if a prudent Missionary could be settled among them I 'believe all their prejudices against our forms of worship would vanish; and, if the same person who may hereafter be appointed a Missionary for the several rising townships oil the St. John River, viz.:--Gagetown, Burton and Maugerville, should be a young man and able to read the Micmac language, I believe (provided no Romish Priest was allowed to be among the Indians) that the tribes in this place would soon all become Protestants." Mr. Wood further says, "At Okpaak the chief of the Indians came down to the landing place and handed us (myself and Captain Spry, our chief engineer) out of our boat, and immediately several of the Indians who were drawn out on the occasion discharged a volley of musketry, turned from us, as a signal of receiving their friends. The chief then conducted us to their Council Chamber, as they called it, viz.: their largest wigwam, where, after some discourse relative to Mon. Bailie, the French Priest, whom the Government have at present thought proper to allow them, and finding them uneasy that they had no Priest among them for some time past, I told them that the Governor had employed him to go to the Indians to the eastward of Halifax, and, therefore, Lad sent me to officiate with them in his absence. They then seemed well enough satisfied; and, at their desire, I began prayers with them in Micmac, which is understood by the three tribes, they all kneeling down and behaving very devoutly. The service concluded with an anthem and the blessing." Mr. Wood must have made an extensive missionary tour through the various settlements on the River St. John. At Gagetown he baptized two Indian children and visited several other places. He was a hard-working Missionary and a good scholar. In 1763, while at Annapolis (formerly Port Royal), he applied himself to the study of the Micmac (Indian) language, with no instructor but the book. In 1766 he sent home to England a grammar, a dictionary and the Bible, written in the Indian language; and was thus enabled to minister to the Indians in their own tongue.
Not many men living at the present day, with far greater opportunities and advantages could accomplish, in so short a time, such a mental feat. It only shows how much may be effected by untiring perseverance and a resolute will. Mr. Wood was also a good French scholar. After a successful ministry of thirty years in New Jersey and Nova Scotia, he died at Annapolis, 14th December, 1778.
Rev. Dr. Cooke.--Arrival at St. John, N. B., in 1785.--The first place of worship there.--Dr. Cooke visits Campobello, St. Andrews and Digdeguash.--Returns to St. John.--Removes to Fredericton, N. B.--Visits St. John upon the death of Mr. Bisset.--His sudden death. Rev. Geo. Pidgeon.--Rev. Geo. J. Mountain.--Rev. James Milne.--Rev. George Best.--Rev. George Coster.--Rev. Dr. Jacob.--Rev. Dr. Somerville.--Rev. Dr. McCawley.
WE now come to the period when resident Missionaries were first appointed to New Brunswick.
Upon the Declaration of American Independence (4th July, 1776) many loyal refugees, unwilling to remain under those who had seceded from the Mother Country, "left their foes, their all, for a home in a British land," and sought an asylum in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
During the year 1783 a large number of persons, most of whom had served in a military capacity in the late war, arrived at Carleton and Parrtown (St. John). It will not, therefore, be a matter of wonder to find among the refugees many Clergymen who either could not or would not remain in the States. The S. P. G., finding themselves under the necessity of discontinuing their salaries to the Missionaries remaining, accordingly undertook to provide for those who had left and settled in His Majesty's Colonies. In. this work the Society was ably assisted by the Government, and a number of the Missionaries availed themselves of the opportunity and advantage offered. Accordingly Dr. Cooke, who had laboured for many years in Shrewsbury, N. J., and Mr. Beardsley, formerly Missionary at Poughkeepsie, in the State of New York, were appointed to fill Missionary posts in New Brunswick (A. D. 1785), the former at St. John and the latter at Maugerville. But, as the seat of Government was removed to Fredericton (then called St. Ann's), Dr. Cooke removed thither. His place at St. John was soon supplied by Mr. Bisset, late Rector of Newport, Rhode Island.
Besides these, Messrs. Scovil, Andrews and Clarke, from Connecticut, were fixed by the Government in those parts of the Province where their services were most required.
Dr. Cooke, who has been justly styled "the father of the English Church in New Brunswick," received his education at the University of Cambridge, England, and after being admitted to Holy Orders, was sent out to New Jersey, U. S., by the S.P.G., in or about the year 1749. In 1774 he went to England on business and did not return to the United States. In 1785 he was appointed Missionary to New Brunswick. On 18th August of that year he landed at Halifax, N. S., where he received a hearty welcome from Governor Parr. Living in a time when there were no railways and steamboats, Mr. Cooke was obliged to come to St. John, N. B., by a circuitous route. To get there he travelled 200 miles in a fortnight, landing on 2nd September, 1785. In a letter to the S.P.G., Mr. Cooke speaks of the kindness he received from his congregation, who were for the most part "very indigent." About eighteen months before Mr. Cooke's arrival, a house 36 feet by 28 had been purchased for a church; but, owing to the want of money and other causes, it was in such an unfinished state as to be very inconvenient and uncomfortable for the performance of Divine Worship. Dr. Cooke at once set to work to remedy the evil. A vestry was called and £90 raised from the principal inhabitants, with which they ceiled the house and erected a gallery in the front and at each end. This building was used until the opening of "Old Trinity" in 1791.
The lot on which this temporary Church was erected was situated on the East side of Germain Street, between Duke and Queen Streets, and was known by the number 121. It was purchased with the building for £140. Until the year 1819 the ground in the rear was occasionally used for the purposes of burial. Thomas Horsfield, Esq., for a long time a Warden of Trinity Church, was the last person interred therein.
In addition to his regular pastoral work at St. John, Mr. Cooke visited in November, 1785, Campobello, St. Andrews and Digdeguash. He speaks of St. Andrews as being situated on the Bay of Passamaquoddy, about 20 leagues distant from St. John. The town was then well settled and consisted of 200 houses. Owing to the want of a Missionary to perform religious offices, there were no less than 60 children who had never been baptized, which gave their parents "great uneasiness." Influenced by the necessity of the case and desires of the people, coupled with the request of the Governor, who had just been there, Mr. Cooke undertook a long and somewhat perilous voyage in order to carry his ministrations where they were indeed required. He set out for his destination in a brig on the 6th November, 1785; but, owing to the severe weather and adverse winds, did not reach Campobello until the 13th. On this island, distant five leagues from St. Andrews, he landed, read prayers and preached to the settlers. he baptized a woman 40 years of ago and her child of 2 years old, besides 5 other children. On the 16th of November Mr. Cooke reached St. Andrews, where he was kindly received and hospitably entertained by the people. During his visit he stayed at the house of Robert Pagan, Esquire. On the following Sunday he read prayers and preached to a "very decent and respectable congregation," and performed 50 baptisms. Mr. Cooke then crossed the bay to Digdeguash, where he baptized 10 more. In this last named place he was detained three days in consequence of the cold weather. Returning to St. Andrews, he baptized 12 more children. More would have been baptized had not the extremely cold weather prevented those living in the country from bringing their children to the clergyman. Upon his return to St. John Mr. Cooke found the work of the church quietly, but steadily progressing. The little Church, which had been temporarily erected had been pewed and furnished with a reading desk, a pulpit and stoves. In this work Mr. Cooke says that much credit is due Air. Isaac Lawton. During the first four months of his stay in St. John he baptized 26 white persons and six blacks; married 10 persons and buried only 4. Owing to the salubrity of the climate there were few deaths. On New Year's Day (1786,) Mr. Cooke had 25 Communicants at the administration of the Sacrament. Owing to the extreme cold upon that occasion, few women attended service; but the clergyman "going warmly clothed stood it tolerably well." On Easter Day (1786) he had 38 communicants, and on Whitsunday 46. Mr. Cooke closes his interesting letter by recommending to the Society's service, Mr. Benjamin Snow, who was formerly stationed at Annapolis, N. S. Mr. Snow was accordingly appointed School Master at Saint John and Carleton, (on the opposite side of the river,) at an annual salary of £10. The Society allowed Dr. Cooke £60 stg. per annum. Owing to the seat of Government being changed from St. John to Fredericton, Mr. Cooke removed to the latter place in 1786. To use his own words, he left "happy in the reflection that his unremitted" endeavors to establish the Church at St. John had been so far effectual that he left his successor in possession of a decent, well-furnished Church, with a very respectable and well-behaved congregation." During his period of labour in St. John, St. Andrews and elsewhere, he baptized 153 persons, (13 of whom were negroes.) Mr. Cooke arrived at Fredericton in August, 1786, and preached the first Sunday after his arrival to 60 or 70 persons in The King's Provision Store, the only place in which a congregation could he accommodated; but being afterwards glazed and fitted up with benches, a few views, a reading desk and a couple of stoves, was thus rendered more commodious and comfortable. The King's Provision Store stood nearly opposite the Old Central Bank building on Queen Street, Fredericton. This "Store" was in early times used for almost everything. Here were many balls and dancing parties; here music was given by drum and fife; and here Mr. Cooke, Fredericton's first Rector, preached. It appears that in October, 1786, the first Church Wardens and Vestry were appointed. The following is the earliest list of Church Wardens and Vestrymen obtainable. At a meeting of the Parishioners of the Parish of Fredericton, held 1st April, 1793, there were chosen for the ensuing year:--
HARRIS WM. HAILES,
REV. DR. COOKE, Rector.
Fredericton was at this time very small, and the people for the most part very poor. The congregation seldom exceeded 100 persons. On Christmas Day, 1786, Mr. Cooke had only 14 Communicants. Before the conclusion of the year he had baptized 23 white, 3 black infants, and one adult; married 5 couple, and buried one person. In 1787 the Imperial Parliament made a grant of £2,000 for the purpose of building Churches in New Brunswick, a share of which was allotted to Fredericton. Mr. Cooke accordingly set about the erection of a church; £500 being given towards that object by Government, and over £150 by Governor Carleton. Little was contributed by the people as they were "very indigent." Owing to this and other causes the church was not completed until 1790. In addition to his money donation, Governor Carleton furnished the Church in a handsome manner. Mr. Cooke, who resided near the Nashwaak, opposite Fredericton, describes Fredericton as being in length upon, the river about 6 miles and in breadth back into the woods about 3. Number of inhabitants (1790) 400; 100 of whom attended Church. This number did not include the officers and soldiers of the 54th Rgt., who were most regular and constant in their attendance. In 1788 Mr. Cooke baptized a family, a man and his wife and their 2 children; also another family of 7 children whose parents were formerly Presbyterians; besides these, 28 white children, 2 black adults and one black infant. He married 9 couple and buried only one person, an Officer of the 54th Regt. During this year Mr. Cooke visited St. John upon the death of Mr. Bissett, administered the Sacrament to about 40 persons, and baptized 9 children. In 1789, 31 white and 2 black children and one black adult were baptized; 13 persons married and 4 buried. In the year 1790 Mr. Cooke was appointed Ecclesiastical Commissary to the Bishop of Nova Scotia, and visited Nashwaak twice, where he performed several baptisms. In 1791 he instituted Mr. Price of Newfoundland to the Parish of St. Mary's, Nashwaak, the largest in the County, extending 12 miles in front upon the river St. John and running back into the country upwards of 20. It was divided into four districts--one on the river Nashwaak, another on the Penneyock, a third on the river Nashwaaksis (Little Nashwaak), and the fourth on the river Madamekeswick. In 1790 Mr. Cooke, acting on behalf of the Bishop of Nova Scotia, summoned the clergy of the Province to Fredericton, and received reports from the various missions. All attended except Dr. Byles, who was ill. The meeting was highly satisfactory, it being found that the clergy were diligent and the missions in a nourishing state. In September, 1794, Dr. Cooke called them together for the second time, and reported to the S. P. G. "the respectability and regularity of all their missionaries in the Province." But the time was now approaching when this indefatigable and faithful missionary was to be removed from the scene of his labor. His death took place in the following manner. He had been making some parochial visits in Fredericton, and was returning to his home on the opposite side of the river with his son in a bark canoe. The night of Saturday, May 23rd, 1795, was dark and windy; a sudden squall upset the canoe and both father and son were drowned, in spite of the manly efforts of the latter to save his aged parent. Bishop Inglis, in writing to the S. P. G., said:--"Never was a minister of the Gospel more beloved and esteemed or more universally lamented in his death. All the respectable people, not only of his parish but of the neighboring country, went into deep mourning on this melancholy occasion." The following lines in memory of Mr. Cooke and his son may be seen in St. Ann's (Christ) Church, Fredericton, N. B.:--
It is worthy of note that two of the Rectors of Fredericton lost their lives by drowning in the river St. John--Rev. Samuel Cooke, the first Rector--Rev. Charles Lee, the late Rector, whose death occurred at Westfield, King's Co., N. B., on Monday morning, 7th July, 1873.
Upon the death of Dr. Cooke, in 1795, the Rev. George Pidgeon was appointed Rector of Fredericton. Mr. Pidgeon was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1761, and graduated at Trinity College, Dublin. He joined the Rifles as Ensign and went with them to America at the time of the revolution. At the close of the war he removed to Halifax, where, at the instance of Bishop Inglis, he studied for the church. In the year 1793 he officiated at Belleisle and Oak Point in this Province. In 1795 he took Mr. Cooke's place at Fredericton, remaining there until Dr. Byles' death in 1814. He then became Rector of St. John. Mr. Pidgeon married the youngest daughter of Dr. Charles Inglis, the first Bishop of Nova Scotia.
Mr. Mountain, the second son of the first Bishop of Quebec, was born at Norwich, England, on the 27th July, 1789. In 1793 his father left England for Quebec, with his wife and family, to fill the position, of Bishop there. When sixteen years old, George J. Mountain went to England, where he attended school and college. The soundness and accuracy of his classical scholarship met with universal praise and remark. In August, 1812, he was ordained Deacon by his father, who in January, 1814, admitted him to the Priesthood. A few days later he received the appointment of Evening Lecturer of the Cathedral in Quebec. The value of this appointment was £150 a year. Not long afterwards it was reported that a clergyman was required at Fredericton, N. B., to fill the Rectorship vacated by the removal of Mr. Pidgeon; and the Bishop of Nova Scotia, knowing well Mr. Mountain's abilities and attainments, offered him the position, which included the chaplaincy to the Legislative Council and to the troops stationed at Fredericton. Mr. Mountain accepted the offer and at once set about making preparations for his journey from Quebec to Fredericton. The following account of this journey may be of interest as showing the great difficulties in travelling at that time. Before starting for his new field of labour, he very wisely provided himself with a help-meet and immediately afterwards embarked in a transport for Prince Edward Island. Thence they proceeded to Pictou and then by land to Halifax. The journey from Charlottetown to Halifax cost £17. At Halifax they remained a week, visiting Annapolis on their way to St. John, N. B. At St. John they were detained seven days waiting for a sloop for Fredericton. After being three days on the river they wore becalmed when ten or twelve miles from their future home. After some difficulty they were rowed over the river to Oromocto by two Mack girls. Here they obtained two saddle horses, and thus the new pastor with his young wife entered Fredericton--his first pastoral charge--at five o'clock in the afternoon of September 27th, 1814. This difficult journey from Quebec to Fredericton occupied nearly six weeks, at the present time it can be accomplished with every comfort and convenience in less than two days. On 31st October, 1814, Mr. Mountain was present at a Vestry Meeting in Fredericton for the first time. He was inducted on 6th June, 1815. Although Mr. Mountain remained scarcely three years in Fredericton, he had in that time so endeared himself to the people that it was with great regret they took leave of him in 1817. Such a step was rendered necessary by the increasing years and infirmities of his father, the Bishop. Accordingly, Mr. Mountain gave up Fredericton and returned to Quebec, where he was appointed "Bishop's Official" and also "Officiating Clergyman of Quebec." In 1821 he was appointed Rector of Quebec and Archdeacon of Lower Canada. Dr. Mountain's father died in the year 1825, and was succeeded in the episcopal office by Dr. Stewart. In 1835 Bishop Stewart prevailed upon Archdeacon Mountain to assist him in the episcopate, and on Sunday, 14th February, 1836, he was consecrated in the Chapel of Lambeth Palace as Coadjutor to Bishop Stewart, under the title of Bishop of Montreal. It is worthy of observation that Dr. Broughton, the first Bishop of Australia, was consecrated at the same time. Dr. Mountain succeeded Bishop Stewart (who died in 1837) and thus became third Bishop of Quebec. This office he held until the day of his death. He died January 6th, 1863, in the seventy-fourth year of his age, Laving been, in the ministry for more than fifty years. So great was the esteem and respect in which Dr. Mountain was held that when the project of a bishopric in New Brunswick was mooted, the Governor of the Province wrote to him while he was administering the Diocese of Quebec under the title of Bishop of Montreal, to express the great satisfaction which his translation to New Brunswick would give the Church there. It was not, however, until thirty years after he had left them that Dr. Mountain met his Fredericton flock. He was present at the consecration of the Cathedral, August 31st, 1853. Of him it. may be truly said that he was an able and affectionate pastor, a judicious divine, a discreet ruler. And yet the qualities of a ripe and well balanced mind were connected with great bodily activity and energy. His episcopal visitations were truly missionary tours, but the extent of their operations seem never to have exhausted his energies or damped the fervor of his love. The spirit that was in him was something more than the full glow of physical life, for his constitution seemed never robust and his spirit rose above the pressure of domestic trials or the cares of many churches or the infirmities of declining years. Firm in the principles of that church in which he wisely ruled, yet he had that winning persuasiveness so essential to the successful discharge of the ministerial office.
The Rev. James Milne was a native of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and exercised his ministry at Banff, in the neighbouring County. Upon the death of his wife he came to Nova Scotia and served in Halifax for a few months, when a vacancy occurring by the removal of the Rev. Geo. J. Mountain to Quebec, (1817) he was appointed fourth Rector of Fredericton. Hero he remained until the day of his death--27th March, 1823. It is worthy of note that Major General George Stracey Smyth, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, died on the same day at the same place. The Governor was ill only ten days. Mr. Milne's death was occasioned by a cold caught on a winter's night when suddenly summoned to baptize a dying child of one of the soldiers of the garrison. Mr. Milne was a sound theologian of the old school. He was remarkable for a succinct, sententious style of eloquence, and was a good example of the style coupe of the French divines. His last sermon was on the remarkable text from Ecclesiastes IX Chap., 10th verse. It was found lying on his portfolio in an unfinished state by his most intimate friend.
The Rev. Geo. Best was born in England and educated for an architect. Changing his profession, he began his ministrations in the Church in Granville, Nova Scotia. On 21st August, 1820, he was married at Halifax by the Rev. Dr. Inglis, Rector of St. Paul's, to Elizabeth, second daughter of the Reverend Robt. Stanser, Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia. In 1823 he arrived at Fredericton to succeed the Rev. James Milne. In 1825 he was appointed Archdeacon of New Brunswick, and in that capacity visited all the missions in the Archdeaconry, encouraging the erection of several country churches and the restoration of others. His name occurs in the charter of King's College, Fredericton, as the first President. Not being a University man he modestly declined the office, but his objections were over-ruled by the British Government. The land on which the University stands was owned by him. In 1828 he sailed to England for the benefit of his health, but died at Bath the following year as he was preparing to return to New Brunswick. A contemporary writes of him: "He was full of genuine gentleness and unaffected piety."
The Rev. Geo. Coster was born at Newbury, Berkshire, England, Nov. 29th, 1794, and received his education at Charter House and St. John's College, Cambridge. He was ordained by the Bishop of London, and his first charge was Devonshire in Bermuda, In 1825 he was appointed Archdeacon of Newfoundland. Upon the death of Mr. Best, in 1829, Archdeacon Coster removed to Fredericton and filled his place. There he died 9th January, 1859. Archdeacon Coster was the first Vice-President of the Diocesan Church Society of New Brunswick. It was to his wise foresight that that Society owed in a great measure its formation under a constitution which has been found admirably calculated to carry out its holy objects.
Dr. Jacob was a native of Gloucestershire, England. He matriculated at Lincoln College, Oxford, at a very early age and soon gained a scholarship. In due time he became Fellow of Corpus Christi College. At his ordination in Gloucester Cathedral he was appointed by the Bishop to preach the Ordination Sermon. After serving as Curate in Clifton he received the appointment of Principal to the Institution for Educating Missionaries to the Jews. After successful work in this way for some years, he took charge of a church in Chichester. Here he remained until 1828, when Sir Howard Douglas invited him to be Professor of Classics and Principal of King's College, Frederericton, N. B. This position he accepted. At that time the Lieutenant Governor was made, ex-officio, Chancellor; the Bishop of Nova Scotia, ex-officio, Visitor; and the Archdeacon of New Brunswick, (then the Rev. Geo. Best,) ex-officio, President. At the request of the Bishop of Nova Scotia, Dr. Jacob consented (in addition to his Collegiate duties) to act as Missionary to the Parish of St. Mary's, (opposite Fredericton,) and the surrounding country. In this capacity he labored for many years. Dr. Jacob remained Principal of the College until 1860 when King's College became the University of New Brunswick. He continued to hold the classical chair until the spring of 1861 when the late Professor Campbell was appointed. Upon his retirement from clerical and collegiate work he lived for some years on his farm at Cardigan, in the County of York. Here he died on Whitsunday morning, 31st May, 1868, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. As a classical scholar Dr. Jacob ranked very high. His knowledge of ancient language and history was accurate and extensive, and his translations into our mother tongue were always happy, graceful and to the point. He was a master of English composition, and his published sermons are a model of good style and faithful exposition and appreciation of Gospel truth.
Dr. Somerville was a native of Scotland and succeeded Mr. Brcnmer as master of the Grammar School at Fredericton, N. B., in the year 1811. In 1821 he was made Head of the College of New Brunswick under a Provincial Charter. In 1829 he received, under the amended Charter, the professorship of Divinity and Metaphysics, which he continued to hold until his removal to Scotland, where he died a few years afterwards. Like Dr. Jacob, he performed clerical as well as collegiate work. He was Chaplain to the Garrison at Fredericton and Itinerant Missionary for Douglas, Queensbury and the adjoining Parishes. He was a man of very genial and kindly feelings, of generous spirit and warm hearted. As a theologian he took a high place. In the University at Fredericton may be seen a fine oil painting of Dr. Somerville.
Dr. McCawley was born at St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1802, and matriculated in King's College, Windsor, in 1817, where he graduated in Arts and Divinity. In 1822 he accepted the Head Mastership of the Grammar School at Fredericton, N. B.,--a post he held for six years. In 1826 he was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Nova Scotia, who admitted him to the higher order of the priesthood in the following year. But New Brunswick did not wish to part with him, and in 1828 he was appointed professor of Mathematics, Hebrew and Logic and Classical Tutor in the University of New Brunswick. Here he remained until he was elected to the Presidency of his Alma Mater. When in Fredericton Dr. McCawley assisted Mr. Best in his clerical work and took charge during the time intervening between the death of Archdeacon Best and the arrival of Archdeacon Coster from Newfoundland. In 1829 Dr. McCawley was appointed Chaplain to the Legislative Council of New Brunswick, and during college vacation he was Travelling Missionary, in which capacity he frequently visited the parishes on both sides of the River St. John and also on the Miramichi, as well as Maryland, Boiestown, Nashwaak and other districts in New Brunswick which were then without a clergyman. In 1836 he received the appointment of President and Chaplain of King's College, Windsor, N. S., holding the combined professorships of Classics, Logic and Hebrew. He was also a Life Governor of the College. In 1846 he was appointed Rector of Falmouth, a position he held until the day of his death, although for some years past he retired from active duty. In 1862 he became Archdeacon of Nova Scotia and Senior Canon of St. Luke's Cathedral, Halifax. In 1875 he resigned the Presidency of the College, which he had held for nearly forty years. He then moved to Halifax, where he died on 21st December, 1878. A ripe and accomplished scholar, an able divine and a good speaker, Dr. McCawley will not soon be forgotten. His annual orations at the Encaenia of his College were remarkable for clearness of thought, correctness of composition and elegance of expression. He was a man of wide culture and profound classical attainments, and may be fairly reckoned among the scholars of his day.
Rev. John Beardsley.--"The Honorable and Reverend Jonathan Odell."--Rev. Dr. Cooke.--Rev. Geo. Bisset.--Rev. Dr. Byles.--Rev. Geo. Pidgeon.--Bev. Robt. Willis.--Rev. Dr. B. G. Gray.--Rev. Dr. J. Wm. D. Gray.
THE first clergyman who officiated at Saint John was the Rev. John Beardsley. He came with the Loyalists and succeeded the Rev. John Sayre at Maugerville (A. D. 1784). Between the date of Mr. Beardsley's departure and the arrival of Mr. Cooke in September, 1785, St. John was without a clergyman and the ministrations of religion suffered in consequence. Services, however, were occasionally held by the
Mr. Odell was born in Newark, New Jersey, 25th September, 1737. He began his career as Surgeon in the British Army. Leaving the army while in the West Indies he went to England and was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of London, in December, 1766, and priest the following January. A few days afterwards he was licensed as Minister of Burlington in the then Province of New Jersey. During the rebellion he espoused the cause of the King and was employed in many important and confidential trusts. At the close of the Revolution he took refuge in England and received the appointment to a seat in the Legislative Council of New Brunswick. He was also the first Secretary of New Brunswick, and Registrar and Clerk of the Council. These positions he held for thirty years. He died at Fredericton 24th November, 1818. In the annals of our Province he is styled "The Honorable and Reverend Jonathan Odell."
On 2nd September, 1785, Dr. Cooke landed at Saint John and remained in charge until August, 1786, when, owing to a change in the seat of Government, he removed to Fredericton, where he laboured until the day of his death. His place at Saint John was immediately filled by the Rev. George Bisset.
Mr. Bisset was born in England and came out to Trinity Church, Newport, Rhode Island, as Assistant to the Rector, the Rev. Arthur Browne, and as School-master in the year 1767. His passage was paid by the Church. In 1769 Mr. Browne went to England and Mr. Bisset took his place. On the 28th of October, 1771, the Society at home having declined to send them a Missionary, the congregation elected Mr. Bisset as successor to Mr. Browne. He remained with his people until Rhode Island was evacuated, (25th October, 1779,) when he went to New York with several members of his church, leaving his wife and child behind in the most destitute circumstances. The State of Rhode Island seized his furniture, but, upon the petition of his wife to the General Assembly, it was restored; and she, with her child, was allowed to join her husband in New York. It is worthy of observation that Mr. Bisset had prepared a sermon, entitled: "Honesty the best policy in the worst of times, illustrated and proved from the exemplary conduct of Joseph of Arimathea, with an application to the case of suffering Loyalists,"--but, before the Sunday came on which he purposed to deliver it, Newport was evacuated. Mr. Bisset, however, preached it in St. Paul's and St. George's Churches, New York, in 1780. It was published in London in 1784, and is a scholarly production. Mr. Bisset did not come with the Loyalists in 1783, but arrived at Saint John from England on the 25th July, 1786. He immediately set to work to discharge the duties of first Rector of St. John Parish. In a letter to the Society at homo, dated July 4th, 1787, he says that his congregation was numerous, regular and attentive, and that it would be much greater if the Church was large enough to contain the people. He further says that he hoped before long to receive from Governor Carleton the sum of £500 allotted to St. John Parish out of the Imperial Government grant of £2000 stg. for the erection of Churches in New Brunswick. These hopes were soon realized, for on the 20th of August, 1788, the corner stone of "Old Trinity" Church was laid by Dr. Charles Inglis, England's first Colonial Bishop. The Church, however, was not opened for service until more than three years afterwards. On the same day that the corner stone was laid, Dr. Inglis held his first confirmation in New Brunswick and delivered his first charge to his clergy. During the six months ending January 25th, 1787, Mr. Bisset married 24 couple, baptized 27 infants and one adult, and buried 10. Communicants 45. Mr. Benjamin Snow, who had been recommended by Dr. Cooke, when in St. John, for the position of School-master and Catechist, at Carleton, (on the opposite side of the river,) declined the Society's appointment, and Mr. Timothy Fletcher Wetmore, who was strongly recommended by Mr. Bisset, was appointed in his place. Mr. Wetmore, in 1787, says that "as the season of Lent is too inclement here, he preferred the summer for the purpose of catechising, and had begun a course which he intended to continue for several weeks, at which 40 children had attended, and all of them answered the questions in a manner that gave great satisfaction to all present." Mr. Bisset's labours, though great, were of short duration, for he died on 3rd March, 1788, scarcely two years after he landed at St. John. He appears to have been greatly lamented by his congregation, for, upon his death, they wrote to the Society that "with the keenest sensations of heartfelt grief they undertake the melancholy office of announcing the death of their late Rector, the beloved Mr. Bisset; and they are persuaded that no church or community ever suffered a severer misfortune in the death of an individual than they experience from the loss of this eminent servant of Christ, this best and most amiable of men." The body of Mr. Bisset was interred in the Germain Street Burial Place; and in 1791 was removed to the Putnam Tomb in the "Old Burial Ground," King's Square.
A few days after the death of Mr. Bisset the following lines appeared in The Royal Gazette of 11th March, 1788. There is every reason to believe they were written by "The Honorable and Reverend Jonathan Odell":--
"A man most excellent, also replete
With nature's gifts and grace's richer stores,
Thou Bisset wast; these to the world dispensed
In different places, thou at length
Hast reached the realms of rest, to which thy Lord
Has welcomed thee with his immense applause.
"All hail, my servant, in thy various trusts
"Found vigilant and faithful: see the Ports,
"See the eternal kingdom of the skies
"With all their boundless glory, boundless joy,
"Opened for thy reception, and thy bliss."
Meantime the Body in its peaceful cell
Reposing from its toils, awaits the star,
Whose living lustres lead that promised morn,
Whose vivifying dews thy mouldered corpse
Shall visit, and immortal life inspire."
A contemporary wrote of Mr. Bisset: "He is a very sensible man, a good scholar and composer of sermons, but diffident in company and the pulpit."
Between the death of Mr. Bisset and the arrival of Ms successor, St. John was for more than a year without a resident clergyman. At the request of the Governor the following letter was addressed by Mr. Secretary Odell "To the Church Wardens and Vestrymen of the Parish Church in the City of Saint John."
FREDERICTON, 13th August, 1788.
Gentlemen,--The vacancy of your parish by the death of the late Mr. Bisset having been mentioned to the Lieut. Gov. by the Eight Reverend the Bishop of Nova Scotia, whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction is by His Majesty's Letters Patent extended also to this Province; I am directed by His Excellency to desire you in behalf of yourselves and of the Parishioners whom you represent to recommend a person fit and worthy to be intrusted with the pastoral charge of the said parish, in order that (if approved by His Excellency) the person so recommended may be presented to the Bishop for Institution conformably to the practice of the Church of England as by law established in this Province.
(Sgd.) JON. ODELL.
The parishioners invited the Rev. Thomas Moore of New York to supply Mr. Bisset's place. This gentleman, however, found it inconvenient to come; and, upon declining the offer, the Bishop of Nova Scotia recommended Dr. Byles to the Society at home and he was appointed.
The ancestors of Dr. Byles were of great reputation among the early Puritans. He was born in Boston (in which city his father was a Congregationalist Minister) and graduated at Harvard in 1751. For a number of years he was the minister of a Congregational Church at New London, Conn.; but he afterwards took Orders in the Episcopal Church and was appointed Rector of Christ Church, Boston, in 1768. Here he remained until 1775.
In an address delivered on the one hundred and fiftieth Anniversary of the opening of Christ Church, Boston, December 29th, 1873, (in the services upon which occasion a great-grandson of the Rev. Dr. Mather Byles, took part,) the Rev. Henry Burroughs, Rector, said:--
"The proprietors of this Church on Easter Monday, 1768, empowered and instructed the Wardens and Vestry to invite Mr. Byles to be their Minister. They also raised a sum of money to assist in paying his expenses in going to England for Orders, and agreed to give him £100 per annum. He accepted the invitation, came to Boston, and sailed for England, taking with him the proper testimonials to be laid before the Bishop of London. After his ordination he was appointed Missionary by the Venerable Society, and returned to Boston, where he arrived on the 28th of September, and was cordially received by his parishioners. He found one hundred families and fifty communicants. He was a faithful and laborious pastor. In our Register we find ninety-eight baptisms recorded by him in a single year. He was a gentleman of amiable character and a very acceptable preacher, and might have continued to be Rector of Christ Church for many years had it not been for the breaking out of the war that separated the Colonies from the Mother Country. The last baptism recorded by his hand was on the 11th of April, 1775, the last burial on Easter Eve, April 15th, and the last marriage on the 17th, The 18th of April, (Easter Tuesday,) 1775, is a memorable day in our annals connecting the history of this Church with that of the nation. It was the last day of the Rectorship of a clergyman owing allegiance to the King of Great Britain."
The Communion Plate, Bible and Prayer Book used at these services were the gift of His Majesty, King George II, and are still used in Divine Service.
Upon the declaration of American Independence Dr. Byles and his family went to Halifax, N. S., where for twelve years he acted as Chaplain to the Garrison and Assistant to Dr. lireynton, Rector of St. Paul's, by whose kind generosity the refugee Clergy were greatly aided. On 4th May, 1789, Dr. Byles arrived at St. John to fill Mr. Bisset's place. The following letter from the Church Wardens and Vestry, dated September, 1789,--a short time after Dr. Byles arrived in St. John,--speaks for itself. It is addressed to the Secretary of the S. P. G., and is as follows:--
SIR,--The Church Wardens and Vestry of the Church of England, in the City of Saint John and Province of New Brunswick, beg leave through you to return their very grateful and sincere thanks to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, for their condescending goodness and attention in the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Mather Byles to the Rectorship of this Church; and they beg leave to assure the Society that the same causes which originally induced them to make this gentleman the object of their unanimous choice as the Pastor of Christ's flock in this place, continue to operate in their fullest force, and bid fair to render him an eminent servant in building up Christ's Church on earth to the glory of God, the comfort and edification of the people committed to his charge, his own honor and the real advancement of true religion. The experience we have had of his faithful administration for some months past, and his acknowledged piety, abilities and virtues afford the most pleasing presage of his future usefulness, and of the most cordial satisfaction of the members of his Church and Congregation in his discharge of the important offices of his ministry. Under this persuasion we cannot but most feelingly regret that the poverty of the circumstances of his congregation in general renders them utterly unable to make adequate provision for his support and that of a very numerous and amiable family. The difficulties that have already been encountered in settling a new country, the effects of which still very heavily press upon us, induce us with humble confidence to hope that the very generous assistance which has hitherto been afforded to us for the support of a Rector will not be at present withdrawn;--without it we know not where to turn for relief--indeed we may say without it, notwithstanding our most earnest wishes to keep and competently to maintain our very worthy Rector, we should not be justified in expecting him to remain with us upon any income in our power to offer him. The people here are by no means indisposed to make every exertion for his support, but their real inability compels us to state these circumstances and most earnestly to request your influence, Sir, that the allowance he has hitherto received may yet be continued. After a few years we hope to be able to make a competent provision for a Hector, and in the mean time we trust to the long-experienced beneficence of the Society to continue to us the means of grace and instruction. We can only apologize for this importunity from the information we have received that the time for which the present allowance was originally granted is nearly expired, and the great interest we all feel in the honorable support of the Gospel ministry among us. These considerations will (we hope) have their due weight and incline the Society to the continuance of their bountiful assistance, which will ever be most gratefully acknowledged, and we flatter ourselves will be attended with consequences extremely beneficial to the interests of Religion and the Church of England in this Province.
We have the honor to be, Sir,
With most profound respect,
Your most obedient and
Very humble servants. To Secretary to the Society, &c.
Dr. Byles reported to the Society that he found a very decent house, a crowded church, and a people most grateful for the Society's care and attention, who received him with every mark of good feeling and approbation. As all the money allotted by Government for the erection of Trinity Church in St. John had been expended, a subscription list was opened for finishing the same. The money was soon raised. Mr. Thompson gave a bell of 800 lbs. weight, and Mr. Whitlock "a very elegant crimson furniture for the Communion Table, Pulpit and Desk." Dr. Byles had 60 Communicants on Whitsunday, 1789. On Christmas morning, 1791, Trinity Church was opened for Divine Service, upon which occasion Dr. Byles preached the first sermon.
The following are the names of the Church Wardens and Vestrymen at the opening of Trinity Church:--
EASTER MONDAY, 1791. RECTOR,--REV. MATHER BYLES, D. D.
CHURCH WARDENS: THOMAS HORSFIELD, FITCH ROGERS.
HON. GABRIEL LUDLOW, WILLIAM HAZEN, WARD CHIPMAN, MUNSON JARVIS, THOMAS WHITLOCK, NATHAN SMITH, THOMAS ELMES, COLIN CAMPBELL, NEHEMIAH ROGERS, ISAAC LAWTON, THOMAS BEAN, SAMUEL HALLET.
VESTRY CLEKK,--COLIN CAMPBELL.
In 1810 Dr. Byles wrote to the Society, stating that a steeple had been placed on the Church and that his Curate, Rev. Roger M. Viets, officiated alternately at Carleton. He further said that Mr. Viets' conduct was unexceptionable and prudent, and that he was a great help. During the year 1810 there were 61 baptisms, 43 marriages and 20 burials. Mr. Viets was Master of the St. John Grammar School and continued as Curate to Dr. Byles to the death of the Rector. He then took the Parish of Digby, left vacant by the death of his father. Here he died in June, 1839, at the age of 55 years.
Dr. Byles died on the 12th March, 1814, at the advanced age of 80 years. He was married twice. Twenty-five years of his life were spent in St. John.
In Trinity Church, St. John, there was a mural tablet erected to his memory, with the following inscription:--
On the death of Dr. Byles the Rev. George Pidgeon, the Rector of Fredericton, was appointed to St. John. He was second Rector of Fredericton and third of St. John. Holding his new position for four years, he died on 6th of May, 1818. The Press, in referring to his death, said: "His pious and benevolent character and amiable manners will long endear his memory to his numerous friends." For some time before Mr. Pidgeon's death the Church was closed, owing to the failing health of the Rector. Being desirous to secure an assistant, the Vestry wrote to the Hon. Wm. Black, one of their body then in England, to endeavour to obtain one. The following is a copy of their letter. It is dated 15th April, 1818:--
"As to qualifications, &c., correctness of morals and respectability of character are obvious requisites. We beg of you, as far as it may be practicable to judge of him by your own personal knowledge, relying on the recommendation of others on those points only where it may be unavoidable. You know how valuable in this community would be a manner at once respectable and conciliatory, and how disadvantageous to have a clergyman in this large parish that has passed the meridian of his days. On one point only will we take the liberty to impress on you a condition that cannot be departed from. The gentleman to be engaged must not labour under any defect that will class him an inferior speaker. Eloquence, however desirable, we do not look for, but think the Parishioners will require a delivery distinct, emphatical and sufficiently loud; therefore, however valuable his other qualifications, we beg you to decline an engagement with any gentleman whose utterance and manner in the pulpit may be decidedly ungraceful. An entire freedom from the Scottish accent cannot be expected should your engagement be made in North Britain. Circumstanced as we are you will know how to apologize for our dwelling thus on a qualification which ought not, among good churchmen, to be held as a matter of the first importance.
WM. SCOVIL, HARRY PETERS, Z. WHEKLER, K BARLOW.
Mr. Pidgeon was interred in "The Old Burying Ground," where his tombstone may be seen, upon which is the following inscription:
The Rev. Robert Willis was a native of Durham, England, and came to Nova Scotia as a Chaplain in the Royal Navy about the year 1815. During the illness of Mr. Pidgeon, Mr. Willis (at the request of the Bishop of Nova Scotia.) visited St. John and officiated for a short time. He appears to have been very much liked by the people, who cheerfully defrayed his expenses from and to Halifax. Upon the death of Mr. Pidgeon Mr. Willis was appointed Rector. In August, 1818, His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor presented "The Rev. Robert Willis, A. "B.," to the Rectory of St. John. On 13th November, 1818, he was inducted. On 2nd April, 1821, he was appointed Ecclesiastical Commissary in and over the Province of New Brunswick by the Bishop of Nova Scotia. At this time Mr. Willis had charge of Carleton which was not made into a separate parish until 1825. In 1819 the Rev. Abraham Wood came from England and assisted Mr. Willis until 1823 when he went to the Grand Lake. In 1824 the Stone Church was built, and opened for service the following year. Archdeacon Best, of Fredericton, preached the first sermon within its walls. The elevation of Dr. John Inglis, Rector of St. Paul's, Halifax, to the Episcopate of Nova Scotia was followed by the appointment of Dr. Willis as his successor (1825.) Mr. Willis also received the position of Archdeacon of the Diocese of Nova Scotia. For many years he was Chaplain of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia. He died at Halifax, on the 21st April, 1865, aged 80 years. The Rev. Cuthbert Willis, of Petitcodiac, N. B., is a son by his second wife, a daughter of the late Colonel Billop, of St. John.
In St. Paul's Church, Halifax, may be seen a mural tablet to the memory of Dr. Willis, with the following inscription:
Dr. Gray was born at Boston, in 1768, and went with his father to Halifax in 1776. He was educated first in Quebec and afterwards finished his education in England. He studied law in Halifax, but abandoned this profession for the Church. For scientific pursuits and the fine arts he had much taste. In 1805 Sir John Wentworth sent to the poet Moore a pen and ink drawing of a landscape in Nova Scotia executed by Mr. Gray.
In September, 1796, Mr. Gray was ordained by Bishop Inglis, at Halifax. His first charge was as Chaplain and teacher to the Maroons at Preston, a few miles from Halifax. When Jamaica was taken from the Spaniards in the 17th century large numbers of African slaves left the plantations and took up their abode in the mountains. They were a wild, savage race and called "Maroons." Having been conquered by the English five hundred of them were sent from Jamaica to Halifax in 1796. Such were the people over whom Mr. Gray first presided.
After extensive work in different parts of Nova Scotia, Dr. Gray was appointed Rector of St. George's Church, Halifax, in 1819. Here he remained until 1825 when he became Rector of St. John, N. B. Upon the death of Archdeacon Best, Rector of Fredericton, Dr. Gray was nominated his successor, but, although urgently pressed, he declined the appointment.
During Dr. Gray's ministry the Parish (now Town) of Portland, and the eastern part of the County formed part of his charge. He was mainly instrumental in the erection of old Grace Church, Portland, and up to the time of the appointment of a resident clergyman he and his assistant held service every Sunday evening.
In November, 1833, Dr. Gray sustained a terrible loss. The Rectory on Wellington Row was burnt, and his wife perished in the flames. His library, one of the finest in its day, and the Parish Records were destroyed at the same time. A subscription list was made up, and £600 was presented to Dr. Gray.
Dr. Gray was Rector until 1840 and Garrison Chaplain to the time of his death. He died 18th February, 1854, in the eighty-sixth year of his age and fifty-eighth of his ministry.
In "Old Trinity" Church there was a mural tablet erected to his memory with the following inscription:
Dr. Wm. Gray, the son of his predecessor, was born at Preston, near Halifax, 23rd July, 1797, and graduated at King's College, Windsor, in 1818. He was ordained Deacon and Priest in London, and after an absence of a year returned to Nova Scotia. His first charge was Amherst, which then included Fort Cumberland. Here he remained until 1826, when he came to St. John to assist his father, whom he succeeded as Rector in 1840. During his rectorship St. James' Church was built, and the Southern part of St. John set off as a separate Parish. The Northern part of the City was also formed into a separate Parish by the name of St. Mark, (1854) with Rev. G. M. Armstrong, Rector.
In 1846, at the request of Dr. Inglis, Bishop of Nova Scotia, and the Governors of King's College, Windsor, Dr. Gray visited England to obtain funds for the increase of its endowment. The Rev. Alexander Stewart was Assistant at this time in the parish.
On New Year's Day, 1854, Dr. Gray preached a sermon, entitled "Trinity Church and its Founders," which was printed at the request of the vestry. In the following summer the Church was enlarged and otherwise improved; the front as it appeared at the time of "The Great Fire," was the work of that year. The stained glass window in the Chancel was presented by John V. Thurgar, Esq., who for over sixty years has been one of its members and for a long time one of the vestry.
For some years before his death Dr. Gray's health was much impaired and he sought in vain for its restoration in a change of air and scene. No doubt his excessive labours as a preacher, speaker and writer proved too much for his constitution. He died at Halifax, February 1st, 18C8, whither he had gone on a visit to his son. Dr. Gray was considered one of the ablest divines in the Lower Provinces. His scholarship was wide and accurate, and his sermons singularly clear and logical. He was a keen debater and excelled as a controversial writer. He was one of the first three Canons appointed by the Bishop of Fredericton and one of his Chaplains.
In "Old Trinity" there was a mural tablet to his memory with the following inscription:--
The Corporation of Trinity Church, in memory of the
REV. JOHN WILLIAM DERING GRAY, D. D.,
14 years Curate and 28 years Rector
of the Parish of St. John,
a native of Nova Scotia and a
graduate of King's College, Windsor, N. S.,
Died at Halifax, N. S., Feb. 1st, 1868, aged 70 years.
"A Ripe Scholar and an able Divine,
An Uncompromising Defender of the Protestant Faith,
Kind and Courteous, he lived beloved and revered,
And died universally lamented."
THE first clergyman of the Church of England who officiated at Maugerville was the Rev. John Sayre, Rector of Trinity Church, Fairfield, Conn. He landed at St. John with the Loyalists in October, 1783, and spent the winter of 1783-84 at Maugerville--"about 60 miles above Fort Howe,"--where he preached to a mixed congregation of old settlers and refugees in the Congregationalist Meeting House. On 29th September, 1781, the following were chosen Wardens and Vestrymen:--
WARDENS: JOHN MERSEREAU, HENRY VANDERBOROUGH.
GEORGE HARDING, WM. HUBBARD,
ELISHA MILES, JOHN SIMONSON,
WM. ALLEN, NATHL. UNDERHILL, JOSEPH CLARK.
Mr. Sayre did not live long in his new field of labor. He died at Burton, Sunbury Co., on the 5th August, 1784, aged 47 years.
Mr. Beardsley, who succeeded Mr. Sayre, had previously filled the post of Missionary at Poughkeepsie, in the State of New York. As before stated, he was the first minister at St. John, N. B. Owing to the poverty of the settlers at Maugerville, very little could be obtained from them towards the support of their minister; but they furnished "a globe under small improvements." It appears, however, from a subsequent letter of Mr. Beardsley to the S. P. G. that this glebe was originally granted by the Crown for the use of the parson of the Church of England for the time being. It had a frontage on the River St. John of 28 roods; 8 acres of it were cleared and a small dwelling house and church erected thereon. Not long afterwards Mr. Beardsley participated in the grant of £2000 allotted by Government in 1787 for building Churches in the Province. Of this sum £500 was given for building a Church at Maugerville and another at Burton, "an out station," which Mr. Beardsley visited occasionally, as well as Lincoln, the Oromocto neighbourhood and Grand Lake. The appointment of Mr. Cooke and Mr. Beardsley to their respective posts in New Brunswick appears to have given great satisfaction, for Governor Carleton wrote to the Society at home, expressing the esteem and respect in which these Missionaries were held and desiring; that the Society would fill the other missions "with men of equal merit and with as little delay as possible." It seems that the work of building Churches at Maugerville and Burton progressed rapidly, and that they were built so as to admit of future additions. The dimensions of the Maugerville Church were 56 feet by 32. From 26th April, 1787, to the 26th October following--a period of six months,--Mr. Beardsley baptized in his mission 4 adults and 35 infants and married 12 couple. Owing to the healthy climate there was not a single death during that time. In the next half year he baptized 8 white adults and 28 infants; 2 black adults and 2 black infants and married 7 couple. In 1789 Mr. Walter Dibblee of Stamford, in New England, was appointed School Master at Maugerville under the direction of the Rector, receiving an annual salary of £10, while Mr. Beardsley received £35 a year. Upon the removal of Mr. Dibblee to Canada, his position as School Master was filled by Mr. John D. Beardsley, son of the Missionary. In the first half of the year 1789, Mr. Beardsley baptized 9 adults and 31 infants; married 4 couple and buried only one person. In the last half of the same year he baptized 121 white and 2 black children and 21 white adults; married 5 couple; and buried only one person. The very large number of baptisms upon this occasion was due to the Missionary's visits to the outlying posts and extreme points of his parish. The work of the Church was prosecuted with vigour until the year 1802, when Mr. Beardsley was obliged to resign owing to impaired health and advancing years. He died in 1810.
Mr. Beardsley was succeeded by the Rev. James Bisset, only son of the Rev. George Bisset, late Rector of St. John.
The following is an extract from the Parish Records respecting Mr. Bisset's induction:--
"July 5th, 1803. This day the Reverend James Bisset was inducted into the Church at Maugerville,--namely, Christ Church,--by the Ecclesiastical Commissary, George Pidgeon, and Wardens Richard Carman and John Simonson, as Rector of said Church and Glebe."
Mr. Bisset was Rector for nearly twelve years. He died at Maugerville after a short illness, on 24th April, 1815, in the forty-first year of his age. He was never married. His mother, Penelope Bisset, resided with him and died at Fredericton at an advanced age.
The Rev. Raper Milner was a native of Yorkshire, England, and brother of the late Rev. Christopher Milner, Rector of Sackville, N. B. In the early part of the year 1819 he went to Yarmouth, N. S., where he officiated some months and taught the Grammar School during his residence. He then removed to New Brunswick and succeeded Mr. Bisset as Rector of Maugerville. This position he held for twenty-four years. He died on 11th April 1843, aged 52 years. His funeral sermon was preached by Rev. Abraham Wood of Grand Lake. A contemporary says of him: "He was a pleasant and agreeable minister, and much beloved as a painstaking and faithful Rector."
THE Rev. Samuel Andrews, the first Rector of St. Andrews, came from Wallingford, Conn., in the year 1786. He graduated at Yale College and was ordained by the Bishop of London in 1760. On arriving at St. Andrews he found "a considerable body of people of different national extraction, living in great harmony and peace, punctual in attending Divine Service and behaving with propriety and devotion." Great good had been done by Mr. Cooke's visit and the Civil Magistrate, over since the town was settled, had acted as Lay Reader on Sundays, and set the people a good example. In April, 1787, Mr. Andrews was seized with a severe paralytic stroke, which incapacitated him for work for some time.
His son, Samuel F. Andrews, was, however, appointed (1787) to the position of School Master and Catechist, at an annual salary of £15, and thus enabled to relieve his father from some part of his duty.
In 1788 a Church, 52 feet by 40, was built with the Government allowance of £500, and opened on St. Andrew's Day. The Church (not including the spire) cost £495; £95 of which sum was raised by the Parish. A bell weighing 350 lbs. was given by Mr. John MacMaster, merchant in London. From June 1787, to June, 1788, Mr. Andrews baptized 70 persons and buried 3. Owing to the fact that most of his people belonged to the Presbyterian faith there were but few communicants, but baptisms were frequent. In 1791 the clergyman baptized 110 in nine months. In 1793 during a visitation of his Mission "in a distant part of his Parish he was invited to a lonely house where he found a large family collected and waiting for him; and after a proper examination he baptized the ancient matron of the family of 82 years, her son of 60 years, 2 grandsons and 7 great-grandchildren." During this year Mr. Andrews had 32 communicants in Saint Andrews, and baptized 150 persons, of whom 118 were infants. It appears that in early times the Church Wardens and Vestry were sworn in. Such was the case at "the first meeting of the Vestry, Parish of St. Andrews, Charlotte County, on 2nd August, 1786."
At this meeting there were present:
THE REV. SAMUEL ANDREWS, Missionary.
THOMAS WYER, JOSEPH GARNETT, Church Wardens.
MR. JOHN HALL, Mr. MAURICE SALTS, Mr. JOHN DUNN,
Mr. JAMES PENDLEBURY, Mr. JOHN BENTLEY, Vestry Men.
JOSEPH GARNETT, Clerk.
Mr. Andrews laboured in St. Andrews for many years. His salary from the S. P. G. was £50 per annum. He died at St. Andrews on 26th September, 1818, at the advanced age of 82, over 30 years of which were spent in missionary life in New Brunswick. The following is an obituary notice of him taken from the St. John City Gazette of Wednesday, October 7, 1818:
"Died at St. Andrews on the 26th ult., in the 82nd year of his age, the Rev. Samuel Andrews, a venerable Missionary to this Province from the S. P. G., and Rector of St. Andrews. This pious and amiable character has retired from the world full of years and full of the admiration and esteem of all who knew him--to his family and his friends an irreparable loss--and while memory holds its seat the recollection of his virtues and of his worth will be consecrated in the hearts of all his Parishioners. He was interred on Tuesday, the 29th ult., after a sermon preached upon the occasion, and his funeral was attended by the whole Parish, the military, and a most respectable body of clergy and gentry from the neighborhood and of the American shores, amidst the tears and griefs of a grateful people."
Of these old standard bearers in the Church militant, we would say:
"Their altars they forego, their homes they quit--
Fields which they love, and paths they daily trod,
And cast the future upon Providence."
Upon the death of Mr. Andrews the Rev. Dr. Alley was chosen to fill his place. He was Rector for nearly forty years, and died at St. Andrews, August 5th, 1861, aged 77 years. For a time Dr. Alley was assisted by the Rev. Henry L. Owen and the Rev. Dr. Uniacke. Mr. Owen was born in Halifax, N. S., and is a graduate of King's College, Windsor. In 1835 he went to St. Andrews, where he assisted Dr. Alley for six months.
In June, 1852, he was appointed to the Parish of Lunenburg, N. S., where he still resides as Rector and Rural Dean. After Mr. Owen left the Rev. Dr. Uniacke, the present Rector of Sydney, C. B., acted as Curate to Dr. Alley for a period of six months. The present Rector is the Rev. Canon Ketchum, D. D.
THE Rev. James Scovil, the first Rector of Kingston, was a son of Lieut. Wm. Scovil, of Watertown, Conn., where he was born in the year 1733. His early years were spent in rural employments and in the weaver's trade; and, as his father did not at that time intend to give him a profession, his stock of learning was small. But it so happened that when in his seventeenth year he met with an accident which turned the whole tenor of his life. By some casualty he lamed himself severely; and, that he might receive every care and attention, his father placed him with Dr. Porter, an eminent surgeon, who lived in a town not far from Mr. Scovil's native place. That he might have every advantage he was placed as a pupil with Mr. Southmayd, the minister of the Parish. This gentleman found him so apt a scholar that he recommended his parents to bestow upon him a liberal education. This being approved he at once gave his attention to the learned languages. He remained with Mr. Southmayd till he was cured of his injury. He then returned home and prosecuted his studies with such vigour that in three years he entered Yale College, and graduated there in 1757. In 1761 he received the degree of Master of Arts from King's (Columbia) College, New York. Before he took his degree his father died, leaving him £200 to complete his education. Going to England he was ordained a minister of the S. P. G., and came out to his native place, as missionary, in the year 1759. Here he officiated for several years, receiving from the Society "at home" £30 annually. During the American Revolution Mr. Scovil's sympathies were with the Mother Country, but his good sense and prudence protected him from everything like personal indignity or affront. Upon the declaration of American Independence, and the consequent withdrawal of salaries to S. P. G. Missionaries in America, Mr. Scovil received a handsome offer from the Society, provided he removed to New Brunswick and took up work there. This he felt compelled to accept, his growing family requiring a comfortable support, to which the increase of salary would largely contribute. Mr. Scovil for the first three years after his removal spent his summers in New Brunswick, and his winters in Waterbury, where he officiated as usual. On the 24th March, 1788, he was present at a Vestry Meeting in Waterbury. In the month of May, 1786, Mr. Scovil arrived at St. John in company with the Rev. Richard Clarke and the Rev. Samuel Andrews, the former of whom went to Gagetown, the latter to St. Andrews. Upon his arrival at Kingston Mr. Scovil found a very extensive Mission, and a very poor class of people, who were unable to build either a Church or Parsonage without outside aid. So much ground did his new field of labour embrace that it was some time before he could ascertain its limits and the number of families. In June, 1788, Mr. Scovil settled his family in a house which he built himself. At this time he had 220 families in his Mission. Communicants numbered thirty. In 1789 he baptized 96 persons--86 children and 10 adults; married nine couple, and buried two. In 1790 his communicants numbered 80. A Church called Trinity Church was built in 1789, the Government contributing £500 towards the object. In the year 1857 this Church was remodelled, and now remains as a memorial of early times and early energy. But it was not to Kingston alone that Mr. Scovil's labours were confined. He visited at different times the adjacent Parishes of Westfield and Springfield "in the hope of keeping up a due sense of religion, and preventing the people from being misled by the wild enthusiasm of strolling teachers, or sinking into profaneness and immorality from the want of religious worship and instruction." Travelling in those days was extremely laborious; horses were few, and the roads bad, so that Mr. Scovil, like early missionaries in a newly settled country, was obliged to perform many a journey on foot. But (as he himself says in one of his letters to the S. P. G.) "a sense of duty carried him with cheerfulness through all difficulties." He died at Kingston, King's Co., N. B., December 19, 1808. It is said of him that "punctual in the performance of all his duties, of grave and becoming deportment, he died respected by all. The soundness of his doctrines delivered from the pulpit should not be reckoned among his chief excellencies, for he taught his people from house to house. He comforted the aged, instructed the young, and made himself agreeable to children, no despicable qualification in a clergyman."
The Rev. James Scovil was succeeded by his son, the Rev. Elias Scovil, who held the position of second Rector until the day of his death, 10th February, 1841. He was at Church for the last time on Christmas Day, 1840, when more than 100 Parishioners communicated.
The following inscription to the memory of father and son appears on the Chancel Window in the old Church, Kingston:
"The Rev. James Scovil, the first Rector, took charge of this Mission in 1788, and lived to 19th December, 1808, the 76th year of his age, and 50th of his ministry."
"His son, the Rev. Elias Scovil, succeeded him as Rector, and lived to 10th February, 1841, the 70th year of his life, and 40th of his ministry."
"Each, after he had served his own generation, by the will of God fell-on-sleep and rests here beneath the Chancel."
In the Vestry Room of the same Church may be seen two tablets in memory of these clergymen, with the following inscriptions:
In the month of June, 1876, the Rev. William Elias Scovil, son of the Rev. Elias Scovil, and third Rector of Kingston, died at the age of 66 years, having been in. the ministry for more than, forty years. It is noteworthy that father, son and grandson occupied, successively, the position of Rector in the same Parish. For one hundred and thirty years the three Scovils were in the ministry, and for ninety years they officiated at Kingston.
Bishop Inglis, in his reports to the Society at home, frequently alluded to the nourishing Mission of Kingston, which he considered the Church Mission in the Province. Archdeacon Best termed it "the key-stone" of the Church in New Brunswick, and remarked that here might be seen a Church widely and firmly established, with 200 communicants, ably ruled by "a learned and orthodox Scovil."
Rev. Richard Clarke.--Rev. Samuel K. Clarke.
THE first Rector of Gagetown was the Rev. Richard Clarke. He came from Milford, Conn., where for nearly twenty years he had acted as missionary. In May, 1786, he landed at St. John, in company with Messrs. Scovil and Andrews. When he reached his post he found, as might be expected, a people very poor and standing in need of every assistance. In June, 1787, Mr. Clarke went back to the States and returned with his family, consisting of a wife and eleven children. His people were at first unable to procure a house for their Rector, so he was obliged to hire one "at an extravagant rate." Everything (according to Mr. Clarke) was "exceedingly dear." The work of the Church, however, soon progressed. In the first year of his labours Mr. Clarke made many visits to King's as well as Queen's County. Owing to the people being "much scattered about and the Lord's Day greatly neglected," Mr. Clarke found much difficulty in getting parents to bring their children to him for baptism. During the year ending midsummer, 1788, he baptized 68 white and two black infants, and two adults; buried five persons and married three couple. A Church and School were built at Gagetown in 1790. ID 1795 Mr. Clarke's Mission embraced four Parishes--Gagetown, Waterborough. (on the opposite side of the river) including Grand Lake, Hampstead and Wickham. He visited frequently the three last Parishes on Sundays, but preached about one-fifth of his time on Long Island, that place being most favourably situated for the people of Hampstead and Wickham. During most of the time that he held the position of missionary at Gagetown Mr. Clarke received no assistance from the people, but he did his work cheerfully, delighted to observe the increasing attention of his congregation to the duty of public worship. Mr. Clarke's salary from the S. P. G. was the same as that of Mr. Scovil, £50 stg. per annum. He was Rector of Gagetown for twenty-five years. During his residence here a very melancholy event took place. The Rectory caught fire and was burnt. Miss Clarke, (the Rector's eldest daughter) Miss Mary Hubbard, and a grandson of the Rector perished in the flames. This grievous calamity had such an effect on Mr. Clarke that he resigned the Rectorship and went to St. Stephen. His son, the Rev. Samuel R. Clarke, succeeded him at Gagetown, and died in August, 1841, aged 69 years.
WOODSTOCK was settled by Loyalists in 1783. After some time they prevailed upon Mr. Frederick Dibblee, of Stamford, Conn., one of their number, to become their clergyman. Accordingly Mr. Dibblee proceeded to Fredericton, and thence to St. John, N. B., by canoe, there being no roads at that early period. At St. John he took passage in a schooner for Halifax, N. S., where he was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Nova Scotia,in the year 1791. Three months were occupied by Mr. Dibblee in his journey to and from Halifax, during which time his family never heard a word from him. Mr. Dibblee was appointed first missionary "to all the settlers living on the River St. John above St. Mary's and Kingsclear." The great extent of his mission--embracing the four Parishes of Prince William, Queensbury, Woodstock and Northampton--made Mr. Dibblee's work arduous and difficult. The people were few in number, and scattered over an area of 150 miles. Travelling was difficult and wearisome. No well-beaten roads, no steamboats, no railways assisted the toiling missionary. Bark canoes and riding on horseback were his chief means of conveyance in summer; snowshoes in winter. From December 1st, 1791, to January 1st, 1792, Mr. Dibblee performed two marriages and four baptisms. During the year 1792 there wore four marriages and thirty baptisms. In the summer of 1792 the Bishop of Nova Scotia visited Woodstock, as well as other Missions in New Brunswick. Mr. Dibblee had taken great pains to educate the Indians, and the Bishop found no less than 250 families in and about Woodstock who were seriously thinking of devoting themselves to agriculture and giving up their wandering mode of life. They were led to do this from the failure of game, as the country was being settled. The Indians appeared to have learned as fast as the whites, and to have been fond of associating with them. Everything betokened order and regularity in the school; the Whites and Indians getting oil most harmoniously. On 1st April, 1793, the first regular Easter Monday meeting was held for appointing Church Wardens and Vestrymen, according to law. No Church, however, was yet built; services being held in private houses. Mr. Dibblee continued Rector of Woodstock, with the additional charge of the Parishes of Northampton, Prince William and Queensbury, until the day of his death, May 16, 1826. He lived to the age of 73 years. His salary from the S. P. G. was £50 stg. a year.
REV. ALEXANDER C. SOMERVILLE.
The Rev. Alexander C. Somerville succeeded Mr. Dibblee, and held the position of Rector until the appointment of the
REV. GEORGE COVVELL,
who remained in office until 1830. In this year the Rev. John Inglis, D. D., the third Bishop of Nova Scotia, visited Woodstock and confirmed 99 persons. In 1831 the number of communicants was about 70.
REV. S. D. LEE STREET.
The last Rector of Woodstock was the Rev. S. D. Lee Street, he died in 1870, having been Rector for the long period of forty years.
It is worthy of note that it was originally intended that the centre of the Mission of Woodstock should be near the Meductic Falls. But it so happened when Mr. Dibblee, the newly appointed missionary, was being paddled up the River St. John to his new sphere of labour that he fell asleep, and the Indian, who was guiding the canoe, passed the place before he was aware of it. Consequently he pursued his way until Woodstock was reached, which place he found in every way suited to his purpose. A change in "the order" given him was accordingly procured from Fredericton, and Woodstock became the centre of the Mission.
THE first Rector of Sussex was the Rev. Oliver Arnold, who came from Connecticut, and graduated at Yale College in 1776. In 1792 when the Bishop of Nova Scotia was making an episcopal visitation to New Brunswick he received a petition from the people of Sussex Vale, praying that Mr. Arnold should be appointed their missionary. Mr. Arnold was accordingly ordained and proceeded at once to Sussex, where he met with a hearty welcome and a good support. The Honorable George Leonard, a member of the Legislative Council, gave 240 acres of land as the parson's glebe, the people undertaking to erect a Church in the Spring of 1793. Mr. Arnold appears to have been very successful in his labours both among the Whites and Indians. In a memorial dated 7th February, 1791--previous to his installation as Rector, and addressed "To the Honorable Board for Propagating the Gospel among the Natives of America"--he sets forth, in an humble way, the efficient state of his Indian School at Sussex, and prays that the Board may re-imburse him for several small amounts paid out from his slender purse on behalf of the Indians. The Hon. Geo. Leonard built a room for the Indian School in 1795--80 feet in length and 30 wide--in which the white children were also taught. The master of this school, Mr. Elkanah Morton, received a small salary from, the Society for teaching the white children, and the same allowance was continued to his successor. Mr. Arnold lived to the age of seventy-nine years, and died at the Rectory in 1834. He was buried on Sunday, 13th April, his funeral sermon being preached by the Rev. Ehas Scovil, Rector of Kingston.
In 1828 the Rev. Horatio Nelson Arnold came from Granville, N. S., to assist his father, whom he succeeded as Rector of Sussex. His place at Granville, where he had officiated from 1823 to 1828, was supplied by the Rev. F. Whalley. Mr. Arnold worked faithfully and laboriously for many years in Sussex. He died at Boston, Mass., December 8th, 1848, aged 49 years, and was buried in St. John, N. B. His wife was a sister of Major General Sir Fenwick Williams, K. C. B., the hero of Kars, in honor of whom one of the parishes of King's County has been called Kars.
PREVIOUS to the incumbency of the Rev. Robert Norris at Westfield. Mr. Ward, a School-master, acted as Lay Reader and also Colonel Nase, a contemporary of the well-known General John Coffin.
Col. Nase, whose career well deserves a passing notice, was an officer in the same Regiment as General Coffin and settled in Westfield prior to his companion in arms. For a length of time he held the office of Judge of Probates for King's County. Col. Nase acted as Lay Reader for many years,--whenever the mission was without a resident minister. No Church being there at this time, services were held in private houses and also in a large barn belonging to General Coffin, near his residence, "Alwington Manor." It was in this building that several of the sons of Col. Nase were baptized by Mr. Norris.
Mr. Norris was born at Bath, Somersetshire. England, on the 24th of May, 1764. His parents were Romanists who sent their son at the age of fourteen to be educated at Home for the priesthood. Here he remained eight years when he left for France. After a short stay in Paris he went to reside as a Professor at the English College of St. Omer, in the year 1787. Priests' orders were conferred upon him here at Christmas, 1789.
It was while pursuing his studies and attending to the duties of his professorship at St. Omer that his mind seems to have imbibed doubts about the faith in which he had been reared, and after mature deliberation he determined to enter the Anglican Church. Having arrived at this conclusion, Mr. Norris resolved to return to his native land; but, before he could accomplish his purpose, he was accused of being a British subject and an aristocrat, arrested and thrown into a French prison. This was the era of "the reign of terror." He suffered fifteen months close and hard confinement, in daily expectation of being led forth to execution, and was not released until after the downfall of Robespierre, in 1794. As early as possible after this he set out for England, whither he arrived on the 2nd March, 1795. It would naturally be supposed that his- mental trials and bodily sufferings were now ended; but he really fell into greater distress than he had yet encountered All the members of his family were zealous Romanists. They felt indignant that one of their number, and he a Priest, should be about to forsake the faith of their forefathers. Hence they refused to admit him into their circle. His father disinherited him. He found himself a stranger in his native; laud without friends, acquaintances or even the means of subsistence. In this extremity he offered to give, instruction in the French and Italian languages, for which his perfect knowledge of those tongues admirably qualified him. Thus he struggled on for nearly two years with only partial success in the effort to maintain himself, until Dr. Charles Moss, at that time Bishop of Bath and Wells, after becoming fully satisfied of his learning, religious principles and moral character, recommended him to "The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," for employment as a Missionary. On the 17th of March, 1797, Mr. Norris renounced the errors of the Church of Rome in St. Mary-Le-Bow Church, Cheapside, London, and was appointed by the Society a Missionary to Nova Scotia. he immediately embarked for his new held of labor and arrived at Halifax in the following June. Without pausing to rest after what was then considered to be a long and perilous voyage, Mr. Norris applied at once for duty and was appointed to the Parish of Chester. Here he officiated until 1801, when he was transferred to the charge of Westfield and Greenwich in King's County, N. B. This mission was in those days very rough and uncultivated, the roads few and bad, and the people widely scattered. It was a work of great difficulty and no little hardship to supply them with the ministrations of religion. He remained here until September, 1806, when he was appointed by Dr. Charles Inglis, Bishop of Nova Scotia, to the Rectory of Cornwallis and Horton. Amid the beautiful scenery of this pleasant parish, known as "The Garden of Nova Scotia," Mr. Norris spent the remaining years of his life happy in the discharge of his spiritual duties and in more temporal comfort than he had hitherto enjoyed. The Parish Church of Cornwallis was almost entirely built under his superintendence, and the erection of the Church at Horton was solely due to his exertions. In 1830, after a rectorship of twenty four years, Mr. Norris felt compelled by his increasing infirmities to resign. He survived about four years, entering into rest on the 16th October, 1834, having passed the age allotted to man.
We close this biographical notice by stating what we believe to have been some of the distinctive features of Mr. Norris' character. They were undoubtedly a strong love of truth, a willingness to suffer (if need be) rather than give up his convictions, and fearlessness in the discharge of what he thought to be his duty. We see all these in the abandonment of his position, and relinquishment of his prospects of preferment in the Church of Rome, also in his willingness to endure his father's displeasure, and be cast off by his friends, rather than do violence to his conscience.
May the lessons taught by the lives of some of these, our early Missionaries, not be lost upon us who live in easier and less troubled times. Let us remember their example and, when our day requires it, like them "patiently suffer for the truth's sake."
Several years elapsed between the removal of Rev. Robert Norris to Nova Scotia, and the appointment of a resident clergyman to Westfield. During this long vacancy the neighbouring clergy, Messrs. Scovil of Kingston, Arnold of Sussex, and Willis of St. John, made occasional visits to the Parish, held services and baptized children, &c. But it was chiefly owing to Colonel Nase that the regular services of the Church were kept up. How much can be done for Church and people, and for God's glory, by an earnest and devoted layman! This staunch and zealous Churchman passed to his rest in 1836, aged 84 years, two years before his old comrade, General Coffin, who died in 1838, at the same age.
Mr. Wiggins was a graduate of Windsor College, Nova Scotia, and brother of the founder of "The Wiggins Male Orphan Institution" in St. John. In 1820 he was admitted to Deacons' orders by the Bishop of Quebec, and in 1826 ordained priest by the Bishop of Nova Scotia. His first charge was Rawdon, N. S. In 1822 he was appointed to the Mission of Westfield, King's County, N. B. His incumbency here extended over a period of ten years. The Mission was again left without a clergyman, and spiritually supplied by neighbouring clergy. In 1836 the Rev. Christopher Milner took charge and remained until 1859 when he resigned.
THE first resident clergyman who officiated at St. Stephen was the Rev. Richard Clarke, the first Rector of Gagetown. He took charge in the year 1811. On Sunday, 6th December, 1818, Divine Service was held for the first time in the new Church there, upon which occasion Mr. Clarke took for his text--"Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house and the place where Thine honour dwelleth." The Church cost £1000 and had an elegant steeple. Mr. Clarke was Rector for thirteen years, and died in 1824 in the eighty-seventh year of his age and the fifty-seventh of his ministry.
Dr. Thomson was a native of Ireland and for some time a magistrate in that country. He came out to New Brunswick in 1821 as Assistant to Mr. Clarke, and upon the death of that venerable Missionary, became second Rector of St. Stephen. This position he filled until the day of Ins death, March 18th, 1865. He was seventy-four years of age. By his exertions six Churches were built in his Mission. Dr. Thomson was one of the small band of clergy who assisted Archdeacon Coster in the formation of the Diocesan Church Society of this Province. He was present at its first meeting, September 8th, 1836, and continued to be one of its warm supporters to the last.
PREVIOUS to the appointment of a resident clergyman, the Parish of Hampton, which once covered an extensive area, was served by the Rev. Messrs. Scovil and Arnold. The first Rector was the Rev. James Cookson, a native of England, who took charge in June, 1819. So great was the rejoicing that they had lived to see a clergyman stationed at Hampton, that one of the old inhabitants, on the first appearance of Mr. Cookson, exclaimed: "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation."
Mr. Cookson remained in Hampton, until 1829 when he resigned. For some time he did duty in the parishes of Hampstead and Wickham. He then returned to his old Parish in Portsmouth, England, whence he removed to the Island of Guernsey, where he died on the 31st August, 1857.
Mr. Cookson was succeeded at Hampton by the Rev. Wm. W. Walker, now one of the Canons of the Diocese. He was ordained Priest by the Bishop of Nova Scotia in the year 1827. After doing some work in Nova Scotia, Mr. Walker went to Charlottetown and thence to St. Eleanor's, P. E. I. In 1830 he went to Hampton, of which place he is still Rector. For more than fifty years he has been in the ministry, and for nearly fifty years he has been stationed in the same place.
Canon Walker has three sons in the ministry and one in St. John, N. B., following the medical profession.
The first Rector of Miramichi was the Rev. Samuel Bacon, who was sent out to New Brunswick as a Missionary of the S. P. G. in December, 1821. In January. 1822, Mr. Bacon arrived at the extensive mission of Miramichi. There being no Church there at that time, services were held in the Court House at Newcastle and in a School House on the Chatham side. Travelling was very rough and laborious, there being but one wheel conveyance in the whole place. But it was not long before these and other great difficulties were removed and a place for Divine Worship erected. On 23rd September, 1823, the Corner Stone was laid of the first Church (called. St. Paul's) on the Chatham or South side of the River. The Church cost £1500. In the year 1837, St. Mary's Chapel of Ease was built. Mr. Bacon died on the 16th of February, 1869, in the eightieth year of his age. Fully fifty years of law life were devoted to the service of God and the work of the Church.
from 1829 to 1834 had charge of the Grammar School and was Assistant to Mr. Bacon until the year 1834 when he went to Halifax. Upon his removal the
was appointed Assistant and continued in that capacity until the year 1839, when he visited England and was then appointed Visiting Missionary for the River Miramichi. Arriving at his new and arduous sphere of labour in 1840, he laboured faithfully and earnestly for many years. He died April 26th, 1871, aged 62 years. In the words of one of his most intimate friends: "He was conspicuous for great force and individuality of character, and the marks and impress of his life will be seen and felt when he is forgotten."
DR. Alley frequently visited St. George in his official capacity before the appointment of a resident clergyman. The first Rector was the
of Trinity College, Dublin. He came out to New Brunswick in the year 1822, and previous to his removal to St. George, officiated for some time at the Church upon Long Island, on the River St. John. Mr. Thomson had charge of the parishes of Saint George, Pennfield and Saint Patrick. He resigned his incumbency in 1848 on account of ill health. St. Mark's Church, St. George and the Church at Pennfield were consecrated during his rectorship by Bishop Inglis, the former on 6th July, 1826, the latter on 5th September, 1835. Mr. Thomson died September 8th, 1861, his death being occasioned by being thrown from his waggon by his horse which had suddenly taken fright at a passing menagerie. He was a brother of the late Rev. Dr. Thomson, Rector of St. Stephen, and uncle of S. R. Thomson, Esq., Barrister, of St. John, N. B. He was succeeded in 1848 by the Rev. John McGivern, who died in the year 1867.
WITH the name of this venerable clergyman the history of the Church at Grand Lake will ever be inseparably connected. Mr. Wood was born at Harewood, near Leeds, Yorkshire, England, on 22nd July, 1791. His father was an architect, and had twelve children, of whom Abraham was the youngest. He was educated by clergymen in Yorkshire and ordained Deacon in 1818 by the Archbishop of York and Priest the following year by the Bishop of London. In 1819 he came out to New Brunswick as a Missionary of the Venerable Society to assist the Rector of Saint John, arriving on 10th October, 1819. In the afternoon of the following Sunday he, preached in "Old Trinity" his first sermon in New Brunswick. Mr. Wood remained as Curate to Rev. Robt. Willis, and officiated at Carleton until 1823, when he went to the Grand Lake to succeed the Rev. Henry Hayden, who was the first clergyman at that place. Here he remained for nearly forty years, retiring from active work in 1862. During his incumbency, all the Episcopal Churches of the Grand Lake Mission were built. At the time of the great fire, (June 20th, 1877,) Mr. Wood was residing in Charlotte Street, and lost nearly everything. Up to the time of his death, 23rd January, 1879, he lived on the Adelaide Road, Portland. Faithful and laborious, punctual in the performance of all his duties, of a mild and conciliating manner, Mr. Wood was beloved by all. He had a great talent for drawing and sketching, and several of his works are pronounced by competent judges to be of high merit. Of him it may be truly said: "Thou hast come to thy grave in a full age like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season."
THE first clergyman who officiated in Westmorland was the Rev. J. Eagleson. Mr. Eagleson was brought up in the Kirk of Scotland, but subsequently came to the Church of England from conviction. He was ordained by the Bishop of London, (being highly recommended by Chief Justice Belcher and by Lieut.-Gov. Franklin,) and was appointed Missionary for the County of Cumberland, Nova Scotia, in or about the year 1770. When Mr. Eagleson took charge there were about 1100 persons who had no clergyman or teacher of any sort. When he came he found the people so little used to the Book of Common Prayer that they could not find the collects nor join in the responses. A marked improvement, however, was soon manifest. In the autumn of 1773 Mr. Eagleson, at the request of the inhabitants, visited the Island of St. John, (afterwards called Prince Edward Island,) and preached in Charlottetown and other places. In 1778 the Garrison of Fort Cumberland was besieged by an American Revolutionary force and Mr. Eagleson taken prisoner and carried off to New England, where he was confined for several months. On his return he found that his house had been plundered and his library taken away. In addition to his work in Nova Scotia, Mr. Eagleson took charge of the whole County of Westmorland, N. B., and officiated there as often as time and opportunity would permit. He remained in Cumberland County until 1781, when he removed to Halifax.
Mr. Eagleson was succeeded by Mr. Willoughby, a gentleman who was highly connected in England and a good speaker. By his zeal and energy much was done for the church, both in Westmorland County and Nova Scotia.
After Mr. Willoughby came the Rev. John Millidge. In 1817 Mr. Millidge was appointed to the Rectory of Annapolis, N. S., and its Garrison Chaplaincy. He died in 1830, aged 57 years.
On 6th April, 1819, the Rev. John Burnyeat was presented to the Rectory of Sackville, in Westmorland County, N. B. Here he remained until 1820, when he was appointed Visiting Missionary for Nova Scotia. He was the first Missionary that accomplished a visit to the settlements on the south-east shore of Nova Scotia. After extensive work as a Travelling Missionary, he finally settled as Rector of Truro, N. S. He died 7th April, 1843. The wife of Lieut.-Gov. Archibald, of Nova Scotia, is his daughter.
Mr. Milner was a native of England, born in Hawxwell, near Bedale, in Yorkshire, on 28th February, 1787. He was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Winchester 20th December, 1812, and at once licensed to the Curacy of the Parish Church of Binsted in the Isle of Wight. In 1813 he was admitted to Priests' Orders by the Bishop of Chester. In 1817 he was appointed a Missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and accompanied by his wife and family, arrived at Halifax, N. S., the following year. Mr. Milner remained in Nova Scotia until May, 1820, when he was appointed to the extensive Mission, of Sackville, N. B., vacated by the removal of Mr. Burnyeat. At this distance of time it is impossible to give even an epitome of the extensive labors of Mr. Milner. When he arrived in New Brunswick he found himself the only Missionary between Sussex Yale and Halifax, and although he was virtually Rector of Sackville only, he frequently visited and preached in Amherst, Dorchester, Shediac, Moncton, Hopewell and other places. Within one year after he was in Sackville, the church at Fort Cumberland, which had long been in a ruined condition, was re-built and opened for Divine Service. It was not long before several churches wore built by Mr. Milner, who was ably assisted in this good work by Messrs. Botsford, Morse and others.
In 1835 the people of Westfield, King's County, N. B., petitioned the Bishop of Nova Scotia for a clergyman, the result of which was the appointment of Mr. Milner to that place. In 1836 he removed to Westfield and assumed in addition the charge of the neighbouring parishes of Greenwich and Petersville before they were supplied with a resident Minister. Mr. Milner continued Rector of Westfield until 1859. when incapacitated by illness and infirmity, he resigned. He died at Sackville 2nd November, 1877, in the ninety-first year of his age, having been in the employ of the S. P. G. for the long period of forty-two years. Physically strong, full of life and energy, Mr. Milner did work that few could do. The grand features of his character were benevolence and forgetfulness of self. Long will he be held in grateful and kindly remembrance by his many parishioners in New Brunswick.
THE Rev. Frederick Coster was born in Berkshire, England, and upon the completion of his collegiate education, came out to Bermuda on a visit to his brother, the Rev. George Coster, afterwards Rector of Fredericton and Archdeacon of New Brunswick. Returning to England he was ordained by Bishop Blomfield and sent out to New Brunswick as a Missionary of the S. P. G. in 1822. In the following year he succeeded Rev. Abraham Wood as Assistant to Dr. Willis, Rector of Trinity Church, St. John, whose mission then included Carleton. On the erection of the West Side of the Harbor of St. John into a separate Parish, (1825) Mr. Coster was appointed first Rector. In 1822 St. George's Church. (Carleton) was opened for Divine Service. It was consecrated in 1826 by Bishop Inglis, who, in this year, made his first episcopal visitation to New Brunswick.
Canon Coster was for many years the able and efficient Secretary of the Diocesan Church Society. He was a fine reader, an accomplished musical critic, and always maintained an excellent choir in his Church. His knowledge of ecclesiastical as well as general subjects, was sound and extensive. He married in 1823 a daughter of Henry Wright, Esq., Collector of Customs at the Port of St. John. He afterwards married a daughter of Attorney General Peters, who still survives him. He died 12th December, 1866, aged 70 years, and was interred in the Burial Ground of the Parish, of which he was Rector for over forty years.
The present Rector of St. George's Church (Carleton) is the Rev. Theodore E. Bowling.
The first Rector of Bathurst was the Rev. Alex. Carnegie Somerville. He was ordained Deacon in 1826 (at the same time as Dr. McCawley,) by the Bishop of Nova Scotia, and at once appointed to Bathurst. Here he remained until 1842 when he went to England. His mission comprised the whole of the County of Gloucester and the present County of Restigouche, with a coast and river line of more than 250 miles. St. George's Church, (Bathurst,) although erected in. 1826, was not pewed until 1834. On 9th August, 1836, it was consecrated, with the Burial Ground, by Bishop Inglis.
THE first resident clergyman appointed to the Parish of Shediac was the Rev. Samuel E. Arnold. He came in the year 1829 and remained until 1832, when he went to the United States where he died.
REV. JOHN BLACK.
Mr. Arnold was succeeded in the year 1833 by the Rev. John Black. He remained until 1836, when he was successively appointed to Sackville, Richibucto and Kingsclear, N. B.
REV. GEO. S. JARVIS, D. D.
Mr. Black was succeeded by the Rev. Geo. S. Jarvis, who took charge in May, 1836. Dr. Jarvis' career is a long and interesting one. In 1826 he was Lay Reader for Loch Lomond, Marine Hospital and Poor House in St. John County, being licensed as such by the Bishop of Nova Scotia. He worked at these places gratuitously for three years; had three services each week, and travelled long distances. never failing to keep his appointments. In 1829 he was ordained Deacon and took charge of Amherst and Westmorland. He was ordained Priest in August, 1830. He then went to Hampstead and thence removed to Shediac, where he now resides.
IN 1829 Grace Church, Portland, was opened for Divine Service. It was built chiefly through the instrumentality of the Rev. B. G. Gray, Rector of St. John, who, with his son, held free service in it every Sunday evening. Grace Church was consecrated by Bishop Inglis in 1835.
In 1832 the Rev. Gilbert L. Wiggins, who had been previously stationed at Westfield and Greenwich, took charge of the extensive Parish of Portland. A few years afterwards he resigned and went to England, where he died in 1872. The late Canon Harrison succeeded him in the autumn of 1836.
On 23rd December, 1838, Archdeacon Coster preached the first sermon in St. Lute's Church, Portland. On Sunday, November 1st, 1840, St. Luke's was consecrated by Bishop Inglis, who made one of his last visits to New Brunswick during this year. The Church was destroyed by fire 28th May. 1875.
was a long time before a resident Clergyman was appointed to Grand Manan. In 1820 Dr. Alley of St. Andrews made a missionary tour through the Island, and baptized 122 children and 37 adults. The population then consisted of about 500. A Church was erected there about the year 1823.
In 1832 the Rev. John Dunn took charge. He was inducted as Rector of Grand Manan October 29th, 1835.
The Rev. James Neales, the present Rector of Gagetown, succeeded Mr. Dunn. Mr. Neales left in 1848.
SUCH is a brief and necessarily imperfect historical sketch of "The First Fifty Years of the Church of England in the Province of New Brunswick." I could have wished that more had been said about many of the early Missions and Missionaries, but lack of information--information that cannot be obtained--is my excuse. And yet, perhaps, enough has been said to show some of the trials and difficulties under which the early pioneers in missionary work laboured. They exhibited a spirit of self-sacrifice which we of later times would do well to imitate. They have sown and we still gather the fruit of the trees which they planted. When the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel was founded in 1701 there were not twenty clergymen of the Church of England in Foreign Parts. In those countries where that Society labours and has laboured, and which before it commenced its work, were spiritually "the waste places" of the earth, there are, including the American Church, (the first fruits of the Society's seed sowing,) 130 Bishops, more than 6,000 Clergy and upwards of 2,000,000 members of the Communion. Loss than one hundred years ago in the whole of British North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific there was but one Diocese and about twenty Clergymen. Now (including Newfoundland and the new dioceses just formed in British Columbia,) we have 17 Dioceses, nearly 900 Clergy and more than 700,000 Lay Members. But, while we think of these things and feel justly proud of what has been done and encouraged to go on, never let us forget our obligations to the generous Society at home that has supported and still supports Missions in every part of the habitable globe. We owe it a debt that we can never pay. The income of that Society in the year of its formation (1701) was £1500; in 1875 it was £137,000. Within 175 years the enormous sum of £4,000,000 was devoted to its various religious objects. All honor and praise then to the founders and promotors of this time-honored institution, without whom the Church of England in the United States and Canada would have been indeed poor to-day.
"We lose what on ourselves we spend,
We have as treasures without end
Whatever, Lord, to Thee we lend, Who giveth all.
Whatever, Lord, we lend to Thee,
Repaid a thousand-fold will be;
Then gladly will we give to Thee, Giver of all."