Project Canterbury

The Church of England in Nova Scotia and the Tory Clergy of the Revolution

By Arthur Wentworth Eaton

New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1891.

Chapter XI. King's College

THE interest in education taken by the Church of England, wherever she has planted herself, is too well known to need comment here. The noble work of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, from the first, included the establishment of schools and school-masters in all the distant fields to which its missionaries were sent. In the Society's report presented in 1750, the Lords of Trade are said to have lately declared their intention of setting apart in each of the new townships to be formed in Nova Scotia, four hundred acres of land for a church, and two hundred for a school, these grants to be further increased by grants of two hundred acres to every clergyman as his own private property, and one hundred to every school-master, with thirty acres over for each person belonging to their respective families, these lands to be subject to no quit rent. [In 1785 the governor sent to the S.P.G. a list of thirty-one townships where lands had been set apart, that the Society might know where to send missionaries and school-masters. The school lands of Nova Scotia have at various times been the subject of much dispute in the provincial legislature and in the different counties where they are located. In 1761, the grants of glebe land were increased, in some townships, to 600 acres, and of school land to 400 acres, "making together two shares for the use of the church and school forever." In 1787, all the school lands were vested either in rectors and wardens, or in the bishop and two other trustees. But in 1838 and 1839, a strong effort was made legally to vest these lands in trustees for the purpose of general education. This effort failed, but there seems to have been in some places a quiet renunciation by the Church of such revenues as came from school lands, in favor of the public schools. The public school system of Nova Scotia, it is well known, is most thorough and efficient.] Their lordships, therefore, recommend to the Society to name schoolmasters as well as ministers to be sent over to the new colony. At first, as we have seen, but one school-master was sent, a Mr. Edward Halhead, whose name does not appear in the Society's reports after 1752. In the report of 1755, two school-masters are mentioned, Mr. Hobley, school-master to the English, and Mr. Bailly, school-master to the French. In the report of 1757, Mr. Hobley's name is supplanted by that of Mr. Ralph Sharrock, "a well-behaved, pious soldier," Mr. Hobley having been dismissed by Dr. Breynton for negligence in the performance of his duties. When Bishop Inglis reached his diocese in 1787, he found in Nova Scotia, schools with school-masters at Annapolis, Granville, Lunenburg, Wilmot, Cornwallis, Digby, and undoubtedly Shelburne and Halifax, where the schools must have been by this time self-supporting; in New Brunswick, he found schools at St. John, Carleton, St. Andrews, and probably Fredericton, Maugerville, and Kingston.

With the formation of the diocese a new era in education dawned for the province. Five of the eighteen clergymen who met in New York in March, 1783, to formulate a plan for the establishment of a see in Nova Scotia, on the 18th of October of that year, re-assembled to perfect a plan, which early in March had also been outlined, for a "Religious and Literary Institution for the Province of Nova Scotia." [This plan is printed in the Reports of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, vol. vi., p. 125. It is dated March 8, 1783.] It would be unfair, however, to the early government of Nova Scotia, to imagine that the men who composed it, and the governors who presided over the colony, had themselves never felt the necessity for a Church college. In 1768, a plan for a school was submitted by the governor and council to the Board of Trade, but this body felt that money for such an object should come from within the colony rather than from England, and so passed the Nova Scotia petition by. The next year the provincial government laid their plan before the S. P. G., mentioning Windsor as the most suitable place for a school, but the Venerable Society was short of funds and had to refuse the request for aid. When Bishop Inglis entered on his episcopate in 1787, the school had not been formed, and he soon wrote: "One great object of my appointment is to ordain candidates for holy orders, to supply vacant churches with clergymen, who cannot be supplied from Europe. But if there is no seminary we cannot expect any to be duly educated and qualified for orders; and consequently none can be ordained, so that, in fact, the want of a seminary will totally defeat, in this respect, one principal object which government had in view, by appointing a bishop, as well as the benefits thereby intended for the Church of England."

His first letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury after his consecration, dated at Halifax, December 26, 1787, contains this information: "The Assembly of this province met the latter end of October; some of the principal members of which were my old friends. To these I communicated my wishes respecting a public grammar school, and urged the absolute necessity of the legislature's interference and support for the purpose. These friends perfectly concurred in opinon with me, and promised their warmest support. I afterward spoke to several other leading members of the assembly on the subject; and while matters were in this state, the packet arrived with the governor's instructions relative to a bishop. I immediately requested Governor Parr to lay the King's instruction relative to schools before the council and assembly, which he did, and soon after, the assembly voted the sum of £400, to be appropriated to the use of an academy, in the manner which your grace will see directed in the proceedings of the assembly which accompany this letter."

The "proceedings" which accompanied this letter were a resolution of the assembly passed in November, 1787, that a seminary should be established in some suitable place, with four hundred pounds a year to pay teachers' salaries; the head master of the school, who should be a clergyman of the Established Church, to receive two hundred pounds sterling, and a professor of mathematics and natural philosophy to receive one hundred. The men presenting this resolution express themselves as fearful that if the Nova Scotia youth are sent to the United States for instruction, they will lose their attachment to their native land, and imbibe principles unfriendly to the British constitution. They declare Nova Scotia in point of "situation, climate, salubrity of air, and fertility of soil, inferior to no country and superior to most," and recommend Windsor as the best place for the proposed school. The governing body of this school, it is recommended, shall consist of the lieutenant-governor, the bishop, the chief justice, the president of the council, and the speaker of the house of assembly.

The school was soon established, and Mr. Archibald Peane Inglis, a nephew of the bishop, appointed its "president," or principal. It was formally opened by Bishop Inglis, November 1, 1788, seventeen students being in attendance. The first school-house was the private residence of Mrs. Susanna Francklin, widow of the Honorable Michael Francklin, daughter of Joseph Boutineau of Boston, and granddaughter of Peter Faneuil of that city; the trustees of the school, Governor Parr, Bishop Inglis, Richard Bulkeley, Sampson Salter Blowers, and Richard John Uniacke, having leased the property from Mrs. Francklin and her son, James Boutineau Francklin, for a period of five years. In a short time Mr. Archibald Peane Inglis, who afterwards became a clergyman, was succeeded in the principal-ship by Mr. William Cochran, an Irish gentleman, born in county Tyrone, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and sometime professor of Greek and Latin in King's College, New York. Desirous of taking orders "and finding that ordination in the United States would debar him from preferment under English authority," Mr. Cochran resolved to apply to the bishop of Nova Scotia. He resigned his professorship in King's College, New York, and came to Nova Scotia in October, 1788. ["Kings College, Windsor," by H. Y. Hind, pp. 24, 25.] He received the degree of S. T. D. from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1802, and died August 4, 1833.

In 1789, an act was passed by the legislature of Nova Scotia, entitled, "An Act for Founding, Establishing, and Maintaining a College in this Province," the opening clause of which is: "Whereas, the permanent establishment and effectual support of a college at Windsor, may, by the blessing of God, become of the greatest public utility to this province, and to His Majesty's neighboring colonies: Be it therefore enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council, and Assembly, That a sum not exceeding four hundred and forty-four pounds eight shillings and ten pence half-penny, current money of Nova Scotia, equal to four hundred pounds, sterling money of Great Britain, shall be yearly, and every year, granted, allowed, and paid by, from, or out of such monies as may, from time to time, be collected and paid into the public treasury of this province from the duties imposed, or to be imposed, on brown and loaf, or refined sugars; and in case such duties are not sufficient to answer the said sum at the days and time of payment thereof, then by, from, or out of any other aids, supplies, or taxes not otherwise specially appropriated to other uses; which sum of four hundred and forty-four pounds eight shillings and ten pence half-penny, shall be drawn by warrant, under the hand and seal of the governor, lieutenant-governor, or commander-in-chief for the time being, on the provincial treasurer in the way usually practised in equal quarterly payments; the first quarter to commence the first of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, and to be drawn for on the first of April, and so on from quarter to quarter as the same shall grow due, on the requisition of the governors of the said college, or the major part of them, as hereinafter appointed, for or toward the maintenance and support of the said college, and the payment of the salaries of the president and professors to be by them appointed." This act likewise provided that a sum not exceeding five hundred pounds should be drawn from the public treasury for the purchase of property and the erection of buildings in Windsor, for the establishment of the college, and gave the governors power to elect a temporary president and professors. The president, it declared, should always be "a clergyman of the Church of England, duly qualified for that office." The college was opened in 1790, probably in the Francklin house, Mr. Cochran, who had lately been ordained, taking temporary charge on the first of June.

The buildings of King's College, begun in 1791, stand on a picturesque slope, a little out of the town of Windsor, not far from the Avon River. The main college hall is a fine old colonial wooden building, with a portico raised on high Doric pillars, a convocation hall, and a stone chapel, called the Hensley Memorial Chapel, near. On three sides extend the spacious grounds of the college, which comprise a noble estate of sixty-nine acres, purchased in 1790, and bounded by lands, which in old times were the properties of the rich land-owners and country gentlemen, who constituted the aristocratic society of Windsor. For the construction of the original buildings, the Imperial Government at first granted three thousand pounds, but this amount proving insufficient, in 1794 the governors asked for a grant of fifteen hundred pounds more. The college obtained its charter, May 12, 1802, the governors then named being Lieutenant-Governor S.r John Wentworth, Bart., Bishop Charles Inglis, Chief Justice Blowers, Alexander Croke, Judge of the Court of Vice-Admiralty, Richard John Uniacke, Speaker of the House and Attorney-General, and Banning Wentworth, Provincial Secretary, with four others to be elected, one of whom was to be the president of the college. The charter was accompanied by an imperial grant of a thousand pounds per annum, which was continued until 1834. [In New Brunswick a college with a royal charter was founded in 1828, which for many years was sustained by an imperial grant, together with an appropriation from the local legislation. It was well endowed, but relinquishing its charter, lost its hold on the Church. This institution, known as the "University of New Brunswick," is situated at Fredericton.]

The power of making statutes for the college corporation was vested in the board of governors, who met for that purpose shortly after the charter was received. At the meeting a committee of three was appointed to draft statutes, and report at some future day. The committee consisted of the bishop, Judge Alexander Croke, and Chief-Justice Blowers, who soon presented their report, which was adopted. These first statutes nearly crushed the infant college, and worked more mischief to the Church of England in Nova Scotia than anything else in her history has done. The grant of the provincial government, in 1797, was for a Church school, but its wider aim was to promote higher education among all denominations in the province. The committee appointed to frame statues, were instructed to take the statutes of Oxford University as their model, and notwithstanding the different conditions existing in Nova Scotia, where either the Roman Catholics, the Presbyterians, or the Baptists, outnumbered the Church, one of the statutes presented, required from all matriculants, subscription to the thirty-nine articles. To this requirement Bishop Inglis, with rather more foresight and fairness of mind, strongly objected, but Chief Justice Blowers sided with Judge Croke who had been allowed to draw up the paper, and the latter carried them through. From Judge Croke's high-handed legislation, the bishop appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was the patron of the college, and eventually a new code was adopted, but unluckily, this time the bishop was at fault, for instead of at once abolishing all religious tests, in a college for a new, mixed colony, he modified the obnoxious statute only so far as to permit persons to study at King's without subscription to the articles, still precluding them from taking degrees. To this unjust and foolish restriction was added the still more stupid and objectionable law that no student at King's should "frequent the Romish mass or the meeting houses of Presbyterians, Baptists, or Methodists, or the coventicles or places of worship of any other dissenters from the Church of England, or where divine service should not be performed according to the liturgy of the Church of England, or be present at any seditious or rebellious meetings." The effect of such a statute as this on the college was exactly what might have been foreseen. The prospect of a college in the province was welcomed by educated persons of every shade of belief, but the adoption of such a law as this, of course, shut the doors of King's College in the faces of all youths desiring an education, not nominally members of the Church of England, and a final wrong was done when in 1818, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had, it must be confessed, in the beginning been in favor of allowing all persons without distinction of sect to study at King's College, provided that without subscription to the thirty-nine articles, none should take degrees, peremptorily refused his sanction to the urgent appeal of Lord Dalhousie, the governor of the province, and others, that subscription to the articles, even for degrees, should henceforth be discontinued. Under the weight of this statute, the college groaned until 1830, when at last, except in the cases of professors and fellows, subscription to the articles was formally abolished. The mischief done by it in alienating large numbers of intelligent people in the province from the Church of England, in dividing educational forces, and producing bitter local prejudices, can never be estimated. Somewhere in the early records of the college is an accidental statement of what no doubt, apart from religious narrowness, was the strongest reason in the minds of many persons in England and in Nova Scotia for sacredly guarding the college from the intrusion of non-subscribers to the thirty-nine articles. It is there said to be believed "that in exact proportion to the influence of the established religion will be the immovable loyalty of the inhabitants of the province." In 1851, the provincial legislature finally withdrew its annual grant of four hundred pounds sterling to the college, thus leaving it as it still is, under the direct patronage and protection of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and largely dependent for support upon the alumni and the members of the Church throughout the province. From 1790 to 1803, before the charter was obtained, King's College had in all two hundred graduates: from 1803 to 1810, twenty-one; from 1810 to 1820, fifty-one; from 1820 to 1830, sixty-nine; and from 1830 to 1840, forty-eight. Of this number, fifty-four, in all, became clergymen.

The following are some of the more distinguished pre-charter students of this oldest colonial college of the British empire, and the chief facts of their lives:

Major-General James Robertson Arnold, son of the celebrated Benedict Arnold, entered the British army in 1798, and was colonel commanding the engineers at Halifax in 1825 and '26. In 1801, he served in the Egyptian campaign, and was at the taking of Alexandria and Cairo. Later, he served also in the West Indies, was severely wounded in leading the storming party at Fort Leydon, and was presented with a sword of honor from the committee of the patriotic fund. He died in England.

Colonel de Lancey Barclay, A.D.C. to the Duke of York, afterward George IV., was the son of Thomas Barclay, and grandson of Dr. Henry Barclay, Rector of Trinity Church, New York. He died in 1826, having repeatedly distinguished himself, especially at Waterloo, where he was an officer under the Duke of Wellington.

Sir James Cochran, Chief Justice of Gibraltar, was a son of the Honorable Thomas Cochran, M.L.C. His mother was a daughter of Mr. William Allen, of Cumberland. He graduated at King's, and was admitted to the bar of the province, July 21, 1817, but never practised. In 1814, he was appointed secretary and treasurer of the governors of the college, the duties of which office he performed until 1818, when he was succeeded by his friend, James Walton Nutting. In 1829 he was admitted to the English bar, and the following year received the appointment of attorney-general of Gibraltar. In 1841, he became chief justice and was knighted. Sir James married, in 1829, Theresa, daughter of Colonel William Haley, who died in 1873. He died in England June 24, 1866, several children surviving him. For many years he corresponded regularly with his old college friend, Dr. James C. Cochran, who was not related to him.

General William Cochran was a brother of Sir James. He entered the army in 1805, and became lieutenant-colonel in 1824. The same year he was appointed inspecting field officer of militia in Nova Scotia. On his return to England he received the appointment of deputy military secretary at Horse Guards. Colonel Cochran served in the Spanish campaign under Wellington, and afterwards in America. He died in England at an advanced age. One of his sisters was the wife of Bishop John Inglis, another was Isabella, wife of Dean Ramsay, of Edinburgh, a half-sister was the wife of Commodore Sir Dennis George, Bart., and mother of Sir Rupert Dennis George, for many years provincial secretary at Halifax.

The Honorable Henry H. Cogswell was admitted to the bar of Nova Scotia at a very early period, served in the house of assembly for the town of Halifax, and was afterward appointed a member of Her Majesty's council. He was for many years president of the Halifax Banking Company, and registrar of the court of chancery, which office he resigned on his appointment to the council. In 1847, his alma mater conferred on him the degree of D.C.L. His sons James C. Cogswell, Henry Ellis Cogswell, Dr. Charles Cogswell, and Rev. William Cogswell, like their father, were all graduates of King's college.

Colonel Sir William F. de Lancey, K.C.B., a son of Stephen de Lancey of New York, the noted Loyalist, went with his father to Nova Scotia at the close of the Revolution. He entered the British army, and at Waterloo, where he died, was deputy quartermaster-general of the troops and an intimate friend of the Duke of Wellington. Stephen de Lancey, his father, was Chief Justice of the Bahama Islands, and after that Governor of Tobago. Susan de Lancey, a daughter of Sir William, was the wife of Sir Hudson Lowe, the governor of St. Helena during Napoleon's captivity there.

Sir William de Lancey was buried in the old cemetery at Brussels, where his grave was to be seen in 1888. His body has since then been removed to the new cemetery.

The Honorable Charles R. Fairbanks was admitted to the bar of Nova Scotia in 1810, and was member for Halifax for several years. On the death of Judge S. G. W. Archibald, he became judge of the court of vice-admiralty and master of the rolls.

Lieutenant-Colonel William Hulme entered the army soon after leaving college. He was regimental major and brevet lieutenant-colonel of the g6th regiment, which was quartered at Halifax in 1830. He, later, served in India.

Judge Richard John Uniacke was admitted to the bar of Nova Scotia in 1810. Before the annexation of Cape Breton to Nova Scotia, he was attorney-general of that island, after which he represented Cape Breton in the provincial assembly from 1820 until 1830. In the latter year he was elevated to the bench of the Supreme court. Judge Uniacke, who was remarkable "for his handsome person and amiable disposition," belonged to a family than which none in Nova Scotia stood higher for ability and integrity. He died at the early age of forty-eight, his life having been shortened by the shock he received from the death of Mr. Bowie, his antagonist in a duel to which he had been challenged. This challenge was caused by some remarks made by Mr. Uniacke in charging a jury.

Other pre-charter students of King's were: Rev. James Bissett, B. de St. Croix, Rev. Benjamin G. Gray, Bishop John Inglis, Rev. Cyrus Perkins, Rev. Thomas Bolby Rowland, the Venerable George O'Kill Stewart, Archdeacon of Upper Canada, Hon. Sir James Stewart, Kt., Attorney-General of Lower Canada, and Rev. Charles W. Weeks. Later distinguished graduates before 1820 were: Hon. W. B. Almon, A. Barclay, Rev. Hibbert Binney, Hon. A. W. Cochran, Rev. E. A. Crawley, Rev. J. W. D. Gray, Judge T. C. Haliburton, J. Lawson, Rev. G. McCawley, a President of King's college, Rev. J. T. T. Moody, James Walton Nutting, Rev. John Pryor, Rev. John Thomas Twining, Rev. R. F. Uniacke, Judge Lewis M. Wilkins, and Martin I. Wilkins. Nearly all these eminent men received from their alma mater, either the degree of D.C.L. or of D.D. Three of them, Messrs. Oawley, Nutting, and Pryor, in 1828, became Baptists, and were long leaders in the Baptist denomination. Of Mr. Nutting the late Dr. Thomas B. Akins writes: "James Walton Nutting was the son of John Nutting, a loyalist gentleman from the revolted provinces. He entered college in 1804 and took his B.A. in 1810, receiving the honorary degree of D.C.L. in 1868, being the oldest graduate of King's College then living. Mr. Nutting was admitted to the bar on October 23, 1810. He became secretary to the governors in 1818 on the resignation of Sir James Cochran. He held the office of prothonotary and clerk of the crown until his death in 1870. Mr. Nutting occupied a high social position in Halifax; his geniality of manner, philanthropy, and piety endearing him both to bar and bench, and to a large circle of friends. He was offered a seat in the legislative council during the administration of Sir Colin Campbell, which he declined, not wishing to enter into politics. He died at the age of eighty-three, universally respected."

Distinguished graduates of King's since 1820 have been: Henry Bliss, Hon. Wm. Blowers Bliss, R. Christie, Rev. J. H. Clinch, Rev. Wm. Cogswell, Sir Edward Cunard, Bart., Judge John Gray, Hon. Wm. Hill, Hon. Edw. James Jarvis, Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island, Hon. Neville Parker, Hon. Robert Parker, Rt. Rev. Thomas M. Suther, Bishop of Aberdeen, Hon. James B. Uniacke, Hon. R. F. Uniacke, and Major Augustus Welsford, g7th Regt., who was killed in the Crimea.

Undoubtedly the most distinguished person that ever studied at King's College was General Sir John Eardley Wilmot Inglis, K.C.B., who is known in history as the "Hero of Lucknow"--the man who saved India to the Br tish Empire. General Inglis, a son of Bishop John Inglis, was born in Halifax and matriculated at King's College in 1831. He did not graduate but entered the army in 1833, his first campaign being with the 32d Regiment in Canada during the rebellion of 1837, where he was present at the battles of St. Denis and St. Eustache. Though at that time but a subaltern in charge of a skirmishing party, which was covering the retreat from St. Denis, he called his men together, charged through the village under a brisk fire from the houses, and brought off two field pieces which had been left amid the snow by the retreating party. For this service he was mentioned in dispatches. He served in the Punjaub campaigns of 1848 and 1849, being present at the first and second operation before Mooltan, including the attack on the advanced trenches on the 12th of September; where, after the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Pattoun, he succeeded to the command of the right column of attack. He commanded the 32d at the action of Soorjkoond, and also at the storming and capture of the city and surrender of the fort and garrison of Channiote, and the battle of Goojerat, for which service he received the rank of lieutenant-colonel, with medal and clasps. Going to India the second time, he received the rank of full colonel, and being with his regiment at Lucknow, at the time of the Indian mutiny, on the death of the officer in command of the garrison, who was killed early in the attack on the residency, the command of the forces devolved on him, as the senior colonel then present. The terrible scenes which there occurred, and the heroic acts of the defenders of the city are matters of history.

After the defense of Lucknow, Colonel Inglis was rewarded with the rank of major-general and the Knighthood of the Bath, but the continued suffering which he had undergone in India, and the almost total loss of sleep, had shaken his constitution, originally strong and robust. Though appointed to lucrative and important military commands, his failing health soon necessitated his retirement from active service. He was then recommended by his physicians to take a course of treatment at the German baths. But all was in vain; and he died at the early age of forty-four. [This sketch of General Inglis is abridged from one published in a newspaper by the late Dr. Thomas B. Akins.] His wife was Miss Thesiger, daughter of Lord Chelmsford, who accompanied him to India, and shared with him the terrors and sufferings of the siege. In 1858, King's College conferred on General Inglis the degree of D.C.L.

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