Project Canterbury

Centenary of the Consecration of Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven, Connecticut, February 21, 1916.

New Haven: no publisher, 1916.

“The Church of our Fathers, how nobly it stands,
Oh! ‘twas dear to their souls, ‘twas reared by their hands,
We honor the place where their footsteps have trod,
The Church of our Fathers, the Church of our God.”

Centenary of the

Consecration of Trinity Church

New Haven, Conn.


8.00 A.M. Holy Communion

10.30 A.M. Morning Prayer, followed by historical addresses by the Rev. Samuel Hart, D.D., LL.D., D.C.L., Dean of Berkeley Divinity School; the Right Rev. Edwin Stevens Lines, D.D., Bishop of Newark.

1.00 P.M. Luncheon at Trinity Parish House, 160 Temple Street

2.30 P.M. Afternoon Meeting, with short addresses, in Trinity Parish House; the Right Rev. Chauncey Bunce Brewster, D.D., Bishop of Connecticut, presiding.

5.00 P.M. Evening Prayer, with full Choir.

8.00 P.M. Parish Reception

Order of Music

Septuagesima, February 20

11 A.M.

Te Deum in A, Stainer
Jubilate in A flat, Howe
Offertorium, "The Lord is my Light," Parker

7.30 P.M. Special Musical Service.

Festival Prelude, Faulkes
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in B flat, Stainer
Cantata, "The Comforter," Edward Shippen Barnes
Postlude, "Marche aus Feramors," Rubinstein



10.30 A.M.

Te Deum in B flat, Stainer
Festival Jubilate in D, Rogers
Offertorium, "Whoso dwelleth under the defence of the Most High," Martin

5:00 P.M.

Prelude, "Ein Feste Burg," Faulkes
Psalter, 12th Selection, sung to Anglican Chants
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in B flat, Stainer
Offertorium, The Lord is my Light," Parker
Anthem, "O how amiable are thy dwellings," Maunder
Postlude, "Hallelujah Chorus," Handel


Organization of Trinity Parish

There are few records left us of the actual beginning of the first Episcopal Church in New Haven. A parish had been organized in West Haven and a church built in 1745, and services were held in private houses from time to time in New Haven.

As early as 1732 Samuel Johnson writes of preaching in New Haven and states that after the service one hundred pounds were pledged for the building of a new church.

Another record still in existence is a certified copy of an act of the General Assembly in 1756 making valid some irregularities in the deed of a piece of land on Church Street. This land was sold to Enos Alling and Isaac Doolittle in 1752 for two hundred pounds and was purchased for the purpose of building the first church.

The land was a short distance from the corner of Chapel and Church, streets, about where the present clothing store of C. E. Longley Co. now stands.

It is of interest to note that this small lot of about 50 feet front was sold for $1,000, while thirteen years later, on the opposite side of the street, a lot of one and one-half acres covering the corner of Church and Chapel streets was sold to Trinity Parish for $1,355.

The Rev. Ebenezer Punderson moved to New Haven in the latter part of 1752 as missionary and rector of the Parish in New Haven. The church must therefore have been built in 1753 to 1754.

Mr. Punderson remained here until 1762. He was followed by Rev. Solomon Palmer, who remained in charge of the church until 1765 when he returned to Litchfield, his former home. Among other things he states that he could not support his family in the "expensive town of New Haven."

In 1767 Rev. Bela Hubbard became rector of the church and remained here 45 years.

At this time Dr. Hubbard began a record of all his official acts which was kept with great accuracy and is still in good condition.

[12] A cut of the first church is given to which may be added a brief description. President Stiles writes that he measured it himself and that it was 58 by 38 feet. It had the first church spire in the city and on top of the spire was a gilded crown, which was afterwards removed. It was twice enlarged and a gallery was added. According to the custom of the time the pews were sold outright. The record of September 30, 1788, shows that there were 50 pews and those sold belonged to the following people:

No. 1 Richard Tritton
2 1/2 Richard Cutler 1/2 Mrs Mary Hillhouse
3 Stephen Bradley
5 1/2 Edmund French 1/4 Caleb Trowbridge 1/4 Elihu Hall
6 Heirs of Capt. Punchard.
7 1/2 Widow and Heirs of James Bishop. 1/2 Samuel Tuttle
9 Mary Kilby and heirs of Christo Kilby
10 The Church for Mr. Hubbard's Family
11 Isaac Doolittle Sr.
12 Gad Wells
13 Elija Austin
14 Ezra Lines
17 William Venter
18 Samuel Gibbs
19 Samuel Nesbit
20 Richard Eld
21 1/2 Joseph Drake 1/2 John Nicoll
22 Heirs of John Rhodes
23 Thomas Green
24 Joseph Bradley
27 Heirs of Old Peter Bonticue
28 Heirs of Stephen Mansfield
29 Widow Allen
34 Ben Sanford
35 Thomas Davis

The Parish of Trinity Church has owned real estate on Church and Chapel streets since 1765.

The way in which the parish came into possession of the so-called Gregson land has been much misunderstood. Thomas Gregson, one of the original settlers of New Haven, was allotted a homestead on the south side of Chapel Street. Mr. Gregson [12/13] was a man of importance in New Haven, and was in 1645 appointed agent to procure a patent for the Colony. In 1647 Mr. Gregson sailed for England on a ship in which many of the hopes of the New Haven colonists were centered. This ship was never seen again after it left the New Haven harbor. Rev. James Pierpont wrote to the Rev. Cotton Mather that "credible judicious and curious surviving observers" saw an apparition of this ship in the air in the following June. Longfellow tells this story in his poem the Phantom Ship.

Mr. Gregson left a wife and children but no will. We need not recount the complicated settlement of his estate; suffice it to say that William Gregson of England, his grandson, believed that he still owned his share of the estate in 1736 and attempted to give it to the Episcopal Church in New Haven. A deed beautifully written on parchment is still in the possession of the parish.

The controversy aroused over this deed of Mr. Gregson was prolonged and bitter. Mr. Arnold, the clergyman who obtained the deed from Mr. Gregson in England, wrote back that when his servants attempted to plow the land he was "mobbed off by 150 people." A long correspondence between William Gregson and various people in New Haven Colony is still in existence. The Mayor of London was appealed to, the General Assembly listened to the case, land records were searched and charges made that they had been tampered with or destroyed, with no satisfactory settlement.

Enos Alling, a zealous member of Trinity Church, inherited a small part of the original Gregson property by direct descent. Whereupon he evidently purchased the rest of the property and obtained a quit claim from all the Gregson heirs and so established a clear title. In 1765 he sold this land to the Wardens for "two hundred and seventy one pounds five shillings lawful money received to my full satisfaction of Timo. Bonticue and Isaac Doolittle Church Wardens & Christopher Kelby & Stephen Mansfield Vestrymen of Trinity Church in said New Haven and the rest of the members of the said Episcopal Church . . . a certain piece or parcel of land containing one Acre & half more or less . . . Scituate & Lying at a place Called Gregson Corner in the Town platt in said New Haven bounded Northerly on the Market place or highway Eastwardly on highway or town Street Southerly by land in possession of Saml. [14/15] Cook & Westwardly by land in possession of Ralph Isaacs together with the dwelling house barn & other buildings thereon."

This land was held for nearly one hundred years with little or no return from it, as an endowment for the church. How far it was from being a free gift anyone who will compute the compound interest upon $1,355 for one hundred years at 7 or 8 per cent. can easily determine. And also how much wisdom and self sacrifice was called for in holding this property. The old leases show some return but nothing to justify the expenditure.

Through the kindness of E. S. Nettleton an accurate map of this property is given.

NOTE.—It is interesting to notice that Center Church was also given a similar "Home Lot" on the corner of Chapel and College Sts. by the Rev. William Hook. This lot was alienated in 1721 by a perpetual lease.

One Hundred and Twenty-six Consecutive Years

The year 1767, in which Rev. Bela Hubbard became rector, marks the beginning of the period of continuity in the life of our parish.

From this time for more than a century and a quarter the rectorship of Trinity Parish was held by three men in unbroken succession, except for a period of two years following the death of Dr. Hubbard. [There is no record of Henry Whitlock's election as rector, although he is called rector by courtesy.]

This is a circumstance unparalleled in the history of the Diocese of Connecticut and of the first significance in the history of our parish.

What were the characters of the three men who guided it during 126 of its 163 years of organic life?

Drs. Hubbard, Croswell and Harwood were men of diverse gifts of mind and character. All possessed a nobility of character and loftiness of ideals which, apart from their intellectual qualities, secured to them inevitably a position of leadership in the community, and each was a striking example of single-hearted devotion to the service of Christ through the instrumentality of the Episcopal Church; but each served Christ and the Church in different fashions, and according to those powers which constituted his own strongly marked personal character.

Dr. Hubbard's pastorate covered the troublesome times of the Revolutionary War, when the Episcopal Clergy were objects of dislike and suspicion on account of their almost unanimous allegiance to the Crown.

The lapse of a century furnishes hardly too long a period to see their attitude in its proper perspective. They had all been ordained in England and as part of their ordination vows had [19/20] taken a solemn oath of allegiance to the King, and generally they held that the revolt of the colonies did not absolve them from this oath; but many of them by lack of discretion made themselves flagrantly obnoxious to their fellow citizens—as for example the "Noble Confessor," as he was styled, John Beach of Newtown, who declared that he would pray for the King "until the rebels cut his tongue out."


Dr. Hubbard was of a different temper. Though bound in conscience by his vows, his tact and discretion enabled him to adhere to them without arousing violent opposition, and when it was decided that as prayers for the King could not be used it was best to discontinue the use of the Prayer Book rather than mutilate the service, Dr. Hubbard cheerfully acquiesced. [The following interesting document was found not many years ago among the papers of Rev. Wm. Clark, Rector of St. Paul's Church, Dedham, Mass. "At a Convention of the clergy of the Chh of England in the Colony of Connectucut, at the house of Mr. Hubbard in New Haven, on Tuesday, the 23d of July in the year 1776. It was voted, that the following mode of public worship should be carried out in their respective churches. 1st Singing. 2dly a chapter out of the old Testament. 3rdly Psalms of the Day, out of the Old Testament. 4thly Some Commentary—5thly a Psalm, 6thly a Sermon, and lastly, Part of the 6th Chap'r of St. Math'w, ending with the Lord's Prayer all kneeling.—The Blessing."]

But the qualities of his character that made his influence powerful in his parish and the community were preeminently those of charity and human sympathy, which made him the friend of every man regardless of creed or race, expressed by a lifelong, assiduous devotion to the needs of his parishioners.

When the yellow fever visited New Haven as a fearful scourge in 1795 and many fled to escape it, Dr. Hubbard's ministrations to the sick were fearless and unceasing. "The noble disinterestedness, the perfectly self-sacrificing spirit which he manifested during that scene of distress and desolation, rendered his name fragrant with other denominations beside his own. His remarkably benevolent face was only a faithful reflection [20/21] of the qualities of his heart. Though not greatly distinguished as a preacher his sermons were well wrought and commonly devoted to the inculcation of some moral duty. In his manner there was a solemnity and earnestness of manner which certified to everyone that his heart was in every word that he uttered. Not a brilliant man, he was distinguished for sound judgment and a sober view of things."

In these sentences from the pen of a classmate and lifelong friend we have a clear picture of the first of these three church worthies.

In 1811 the first assistant minister of Trinity Parish was appointed, Rev. Henry Whitlock, to, supplement the failing strength of Dr. Hubbard, who, however, continued to officiate in the pulpit until the illness preceding his death, December 6, 1812.

Mr. Whitlock was a man highly esteemed as pastor and an eloquent preacher. He, however, withdrew because of ill health in less than two years and died at the, age of 37.

At the beginning of Dr. Hubbard's ministry there were about 100 persons in Trinity Parish out of a population of 1,500. At its close the parish is estimated at 130 families comprising perhaps 500 persons of a population of 7,000.

Their house of worship was still the original building on Church street below Chapel, capable of seating, as originally planned, 150 and with the side galleries (built about 1798), perhaps 250.

An estimate of the character and influence of Dr. Hubbard is based on scanty material. The bare records of the parish register, which begin at Easter, 1777, an eloquent funeral sermon by Mr. Whitlock and a page of personal recollections in the "Annals of the American Pulpit," from which we have quoted, together with a few scattering notices, comprise the list.

Scarcely a line from his own pen, nor any of his sermons, are extant.


With Dr. Croswell it is far different. Obituaries in sermons and newspapers are full and contemporary records are abundant, but chiefly his diary, extending from 1821 to 1858 and amounting to nearly 5,000 pages of manuscript, affords material for a picture of his character such as can be had of few other men.

[23] He was preeminently a man of affairs, not given to introspection, but such a record necessarily contains frequent bits of self-revelation of the frankest kind. To form a just estimate of him in comparison with other men, we should remember this difference between external and internal evidence. The diary has never been published. It came into the possession of the late Edward C. Beecher, and was by him given to Yale University with the proviso that it should be open to inspection only by special permission. Professor F. B. Dexter by his own statement is the only person living who has ever read it through, and he has transcribed parts of it and in January of this year presented a paper to the New Haven Historical Society which, when published, will be the only record of it accessible to the public.

It was evidently undertaken as a record of Dr. Croswell's daily round of parish duty. It reveals him as a man of strenuous and incessant activity, a strong intellect which made him influential in the affairs of the Church outside the parish, given to hasty judgments sometimes harshly expressed, but without either prejudice or pride of intellect and ready to retract an erroneous opinion. Possessed of a saving sense of humor, he never took himself or his achievements too seriously. In fact he was oblivious of himself to a degree which can only be accounted for by innate modesty and utter absorption in his pastoral work. As an example his diary contains an account of the Commencement at Trinity, then Washington College, in 1831 without any allusion to the fact that he then and there received the degree of Doctor of Divinity.

In short, he was intensely human, and this combination of qualities supported by a vigorous intellect made him inevitably a power in the community. If he had a trait which should be set down as a radical fault it was a conservatism which made him distrustful of almost every movement of progress in society and intolerant of all forms of doctrine and worship other than the Episcopal. He commits to his diary the most unreserved disapproval of movements for promotion of foreign missions, the Bible Society, total abstinence, the rights of Indians and the abolition of slavery; in which last, it may be noted, he agreed with his nearest clerical neighbor, Dr. Leonard Bacon.

[25] This attitude of mind is explained in part by the fact that the age was conservative. All these movements made their way by the efforts of a few enthusiasts against the judgment of the community. It is also explained in Dr. Croswell's case by his utter absorption in his work as a parish priest. Anything which did not bear on that did not interest him and anything that interfered with it was an abomination to him. When the idea of a school conducted on Sunday for the religious instruction of the children of the parish presented itself to him, he put it in operation at once and the Sunday School of Trinity Parish was among the earliest in the country. Though he was fond of society and mingled freely with his parishioners, any formal entertainment or public function not of a religious nature he- abhorred as taking him from his parish work. Witness such entries as this: "Spent the evening at Mrs. ——. Pleasant enough, but the time thrown away." "Oct. 9, 1821, the day of the Annual Fair and Cattle Show. Was asked to join in the procession and attend on the Exercises at the meeting house and afterward to dine with the Society. It was a great sacrifice of feeling and convenience but I attended."

This jealousy of any distraction from parochial duties rendered him impatient of the labor of sermon writing though he wrote with force and elegance as his diary testifies; and as he was unwilling to deliver anything imperfect in form and therefore never preached extemporaneously, he often adapted old sermons to new uses with great ingenuity and success. For example:

"Friday, December 4, 1829. Tried, in vain, to set myself about sermons—but finally was obliged to select two from my old stock, of which the number is so large, and embracing so many topics, that I find it difficult to strike out a new one."

"Saturday, February 25, 1832. Not having time to finish a sermon, resorted to my pigeon-holes, and found a substantial old sermon, which had not been preached in eight years. Let them remember this, if they can."

"Saturday, May 5, 1832. Went to work in the morning, and took an old sermon, and ripped off the collar and wristbands; that is, rigged it out with a new text, introduction and conclusion, and intend to try it to-morrow:"

[27] Dr. Croswell's parochial labors, which filled his life, deserve more extended notice than the limits of this article permit. The records of individual days present a monotonous regularity but taken by thousands they form a monument of imposing dimensions. It was his custom to rise at 4 o'clock and the ordinary business hours of every day were available and uniformly used for ministering to the sick and afflicted. His home was open at all times to his parishioners and they resorted to it habitually and in great numbers. He was not only the minister of religion in their homes but their trusted adviser on practical matters of all sorts. "He was often called on, for instance," says Mr. Dexter, "as the diary testifies, to draft a new will, to write a troublesome business letter, to make peace with an unruly servant, to plan a new house, or church, or to make a refractory chimney draw. In his conception of the Christian ministry, here lay his strength and his especial call to service. To this work he consecrated in a characteristically matter-of-fact way all his powers of mind and body; he had no ambition for place or power in any wider sphere; but in his own province he brooked no interference and. allowed no rival."

He died in harness, after a few days' illness, March 13, 1858, in his 80th year, deeply lamented by all the community, irrespective of creed.

He was installed on Sunday, January 1, 1815, and during his ministry of 43 years the parish increased more rapidly than at any period: before or since, rising from about 130 families in 1815 to nearly 800 in 1845, when St. Paul's became a separate parish.


In contrast to Dr. Croswell, the man of affairs, his successor, Dr. Edwin Harwood, was the scholar, exemplifying more perfectly than almost any of his contemporaries in the Church the qualities of the philosophical mind.

He came to the rectorship of Trinity in 1859, at the age of 37, in the full maturity of his remarkable mental powers, which ripened early as is shown by the fact that he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in his native city at the age of 18.

[28] He was particularly fortunate in the wise range of his intellectual opportunities, in all of which his active mind found benefit and pleasure.

He grew up under the influence of Bishop White, "the Legislator and Sage of the Church," prepared for college under a teacher of rare enthusiasm and ability in the classics, studied in college under Henry Reed, a brilliant disciple of Wordsworth, and entered Andover Theological Seminary with the intention of preparing for the Presbyterian ministry. Andover was then at the summit of its great reputation and its pupils were as remarkable as its teachers, and both teachers and pupils stimulated the sensitive mind of Harwood to a high degree.

He soon became interested in the great controversies of the Oxford Movement and the Tübingen School which then were ushering in a new era of thought in Europe, and he now began the study of German philosophy and theology, which he was among the first in this country to take up and which he prosecuted zealously for the remainder of his life. In two years his studies produced a radical change in his theological opinions. He removed to the Union Seminary in New York and on graduation in 1844 was ordained deacon of the Episcopal Church. From this time on, a succession of events offered unusual opportunities for intellectual development, from all of which he profited to the full. These included the rectorship of the Church of the Incarnation in New York, where he enjoyed the intimate friendship of Dr. Muhlenberg, called the greatest presbyter of the Episcopal Church, and a year in Italy which roused him to a passion of enthusiasm for its classical literature and art. Returning, he served for five years as professor of New Testament and Mediaeval Church History in the Divinity School at Middletown, years which were filled with unremitting study and made him a profound and erudite scholar of Mediaeval Church History.

When he came from Middletown to New Haven in 1859 he had few equals among the clergy of the Episcopal Church, whether in vigor of intellect, scholarship or breadth of vision.

He was profoundly interested in questions of church policy and took a position of leadership in the councils of the Church during a period when wise leadership was sorely needed. At the meeting of the Evangelical Alliance in New York in 1873, the attitude of Bishop Cummings of Kentucky gave rise to a [28/29] controversy which bade fair to cause serious calamity to the Church. In this crisis it was proposed by Dr. Harwood that a Congress of the Episcopal Church be formed for the discussion of questions of church policy, somewhat similar to the Evangelical Alliance, which was an interdenominational gathering of theologians and scholars from Europe and America. From Dr. Harwood's proposition arose the Church Congress whose first meeting effected an amicable settlement of the controversy over Bishop Cummings and whose biennial meetings since then have become landmarks of the progress of the Church. From that time the Church recognized in Harwood and Washburn the leading Broad Churchmen of the country.

The habits of philosophical study and the attention given to the broad interests of the Church made the routine of sermon writing distasteful to Dr. Harwood, as it was for a different reason to his predecessor. He met the difficulty, not by revisions and adaptation, but by extempore preaching—of a kind, sometimes, which Dr. Croswell would have characterized as slovenly, but into these addresses there would often come an allusion which revealed like a lightning flash a broad landscape of history; or if his theme suggested it he would launch, without premeditation, into a disquisition which eclipsed his text and revealed to those who could appreciate it his breadth of scholarship and depth of philosophic thought.

Such preoccupations with scholarship and absorption in questions of statesmanship were evidently incompatible with the minute discharge of the duties of the parochial office, nor could the needs of a city parish with a mixed population be met in the same way that Dr. Croswell met the needs of a homogeneous people in a small town. These new conditions have been met by the wise choice of assistants to the rector and by the development of the Parish House as the center of Church life. During the latter part of Dr. Harwood's rectorship the work of the parish was taken up with such enthusiasm by the Rev. Harry Nichols that the rector was freed from a burden which both advancing years and his temperament made too heavy for him. The affection of their parishioners for both men was sincere and enduring but it rested on different grounds. While for the younger man it was based on intimate personal relations, for the elder it rested on the appreciation of his services to the Church as a scholar [29/30] and statesman, of his catholic spirit and of the moral elevation of his character; and it was strengthened in his later years by sympathy for his suffering in the death of all his six children and his wife, and admiration for the serenity and fortitude with which he endured these crushing bereavements.

But with all the frankness and cordiality of his relations to his parishioners there were few with whom he was on terms of intimate friendship. In the deep things of the soul he had the reserve of a sensitive and introspective spirit, and intellectually he had the aloofness attendant on the habit of intense concentration of thought upon great themes—the loneliness of the philosophic mind.

The Present Church

The present church was consecrated by John Henry Hobart, D.D., Assistant Bishop of New York, on Wednesday, February 21, 1816.

On September 11, 1813, a meeting of the Wardens and Vestry of Trinity Church was called at the dwelling of Solomon Collis to form a plan for raising money for a new church. The plans formed were not original, but quite different from those of our day.

To understand the situation it is necessary to know that it was not customary in the past, and in the present it is forbidden to consecrate an Episcopal church while there is any debt which involves the church building. The congregation were quite unable to give the sum of $25,000 which was necessary. The problem was in essence to borrow the money from the members and at the same time not use the new church as security. This plan was complicated but may be summarized by saying that stock was offered at $50 per share bearing six per cent. interest. The security was the pledge of the parish. The assets of the parish were formed by renting the pew for a term of not less [33/34] than five years and demanding collateral security that the rent would be paid. The common form was for the man who rented a pew to pledge his stock for the payment of pew rent. The parish in turn legally pledged itself to use all the income from pew rentals to pay the interest upon the stock and reduce the principal. This really means that all the income from pew rents was used to care for the stock debt and none of it could be used for the salary of the rector or running expenses.

It was a common custom in the early days to raise money for a church building by selling the pews outright, giving a perpetual deed. This was the case in the first Trinity Church and this custom was followed in building the present United Church on the Green.

The records show that at this time there had arisen a new feeling in regard to the sacredness of a church building consecrated to the worship of God. This scheme was evidently thought out and clearly and legally stated so that no individual man should own anything in a consecrated building. The same thought clearly appears when the committee appointed to sell the old church were three times instructed that the only condition of sale was that the old building should be torn down and removed. It was not to be used for any secular purpose.

After its consecration the new church grew and prospered beyond the expectation of all men. Although it was built to seat 1,400 people and was the largest church in the city, the congregation soon outgrew the building and St. Paul's Chapel was organized in 1828. In a little over 50 years after the consecration of Trinity Church seven Episcopal parishes were formed and churches built.

St. Paul's as a chapel 1828. As an independent parish 1845.
St. Luke's, 1844.
St. Thomas', 1848.
Christ Church, 1856.
St. John's, 1857.
Church of the Ascension, 1868.
Grace Church, 1871.

A small leather-covered book was procured for subscriptions for this stock at $50 per share and this book is still in the possession of the parish. From it we give the list of subscribers written by their own hand.

[35] “And now for the purpose of enabling the said Society of Trinity Church to erect a new church upon the terms & conditions aforesaid, we the subscribers respectively promise to take the number of shares annexed to our respective names & to pay the said Society of Trinity Church, the amount thereof by Installments as the Wardens & Vestry of said Church for the time being shall direct pursuant to the terms & conditions aforesaid.

Dated at the City of New Haven September 13th 1813.

Wm. Hawley four shares H.R. Pynchon Four Shares
John Hunt four shares Nathl. Bacon 2nd Five Shares
Thomas Monson Jr Ten shares Joseph Nichols Ten Shares
Elijah Thompson fifteen shares Nehh Carrington Three shares
William Walter ten shares Ralph I. Ingersoll Two Shares
Nathan Smith Ten shares Elihu Monson 2 Shares
Stephen Atwater Ten shares Wm. E. Thompson 5 Shares
Solomon Collis Ten shares Edwin E. Lewis Two Shares
Andrew Kidston Ten shares Jared Mansfield 5 Shares
John H. Jacocks Ten shares Anthy Perit 2 Shares
Wm. McCrackan Ten shares Asahel Tuttle 2nd 2 Shares
G. Totten Ten shares Fred Albrecht & Son four Shares
Alexr Langmuir   Charles Trowbridge two Shares
Fredk Hunt ten shares Chauncey Bunce 3 Shares
John C. Bush Ten shares Saml Bishop four
Samuel Hughes Ten shares John Clarke three
Isaac Tomlinson Ten shares Bethel Tuttle one Share
Ward Atwater Ten shares John Clarke 2d Two Shares
Geo Miles Ten shares John Scott jnr Three do
Elnathan Attwater Ten Shares A. Heaton four shares
Samuel Huggins Eight Shares Saml. R. Crane two Shares
Henry Denison Ten Shares Horace Beach Two Shares
Jeremiah McAtwaters five Shares Eldod Gilbert One Share
Chs. Denison six shares Josiah Deming Two Shares
Wm Bristol four shares Thos Canby Two Shares
Elijah Davis six Shares Daniel Collis one Share
Henry Huggins 6 Shares Wm. H. Jones Two Shares
Wm Moseley Five Shares Jno Babcock two Shares
Jn Shipman Eight Shares Jesse Atwater two shares
Beriah Bradley Four Shares Oliver Steele two shares
David C. Fitch Four Shares Wm Fairchild two Shares
C. K. Shipman Four Nathan Oaks two Shares
Levi Hubbard & Son Ten Shares Mary Denison by F. Denison five Shares
Lucius Atwater five shares    
Alexander Coburn one share Martha Denison for Sister five Shares by C. J. Denison
Truman Woodward Five Shares    
Isaac Frost two shares Stephen Osborne two Shares
Joseph N. Clarke Five Shares Asa Austin one Share
Daniel Collins two shares George Peckham two shares
Wm Powell two shares wm Peckham one Share
Richd Cutler Five Shares James Hunt Six Shares
Samuel Wilmot Four Shares Jos. A. Bishop one share
Joel Walter Three Shares J. Saml Barnett two shares
Asahel Tuttle five Shares Joanna Bonticue 2 Shares
Gorham & Hooker four Shares Wm. B. Stratton one share
Anthy R. Sanford Two Shares Benjamin Lewis one Share
Nathl F. Clarke five Shares Elias Shipman six shares
Andrew Farrill 2 Shares Aaron Forbes four Shares
Thomas Hull Three Shares Nathl. Harrison one share
Aaron C. White 3 shares John Beach one share
George Lumsden 2 Shares Joseph Drake Ten Shares
Nathaniel Downs 1 Share John Nicoll Ten do
Sarah Munson 4 Shares John Hunt one share
Benjamin Beecher Five Shares Cheney Ames 2 shares
Eben H. Collins Three Shares Enos A. Prescott two Shares
Caleb Mix 2 Shares William Munson Five Shares
Henry Ward five Shares Jared Shattuck Ten Shares
Thomas Ward Ten Shares William Colley one Share
Samuel Ward Five Shares Ebenr Weed two shares
Ambrose Ward Two Shares Saml Cheney two Shares
    David Phipps 2 Shares
Harriot Brainerd Two Shares Darius Beecher one Share
Saml M. Thomas one SHare Aaron N. Ogden Six shares
Joel Mattoon one Share Benj. Thompson 4 shares

Whereas by the aforesaid subscription to build a new Church, on the Green, south of the Court House, it is provided—That sd. Church shall be built under the direction of the Wardens & Vestry of Trinity Church, for the time being, or by a committee by them appointed;—& now, We, the subscribers, wardens and vestrymen of Trinity Church in New Haven in pursuance of the aforesaid powers hereby appoint Joseph Drake, Elijah Thompson, Alexander Langmuir, Gilbert Totten, Nathan Smith, Wm. McCrackan, Asahel Tuttle, John Hunt Jr. & Andrew Kidston a committee with full powers to build sd. Church upon the terms & conditions of the aforesaid subscription. Dated at New Haven, 23d October 1813.

Jonth Ingersoll, William Walter, Wardens.

Ward Atwater, Samuel Hughes, Solomon Collis, John H. Jacocks, Andrew Kidston, Nathan Smith, Wm. McCrackan, John Hunt Jr, Chs. Denison, Vestrymen.”

Ithiel Town was engaged as architect and builder, but there is no record in the parish of the price paid him. The first sale of stock brought $23,000. Mr. Town wrote a description of the [36/37] church and gave the price as $29,000. The word Gothic has been much used and much disputed. Manifestly Trinity Church is not of pure Gothic type as the word is commonly used. A gifted and able critic, N. P. Willis, who visited this country to compile a book called "American Scenery," speaks of Trinity Church in most laudatory terms as a "Gothic episcopal church, of singular purity and beauty," following it with the statement that "There is scarce a more beautiful place of worship, take it all in all, in the whole of Christendom." Mr. Willis did not refer simply to the church building in this praise, but quite as much to the general surroundings. His sketch is given on the next page.

Music, Heat and Light

No one unacquainted with New England history would suspect that music, heat and light in churches were each and everyone subjects of long disagreement and controversy. They have now become a part of our church life and we cannot do without them.

Yet for many years outside the Episcopal Church, the singing of Psalms was considered the only music proper for worship in church. There are extant records of serious opposition for conscience sake to any Psalm book with music. The objector considered it the first step toward popery.

As for an organ, it was not to be thought of. Evidently the belief that one must pray from the heart without assistance form a Prayer Book, led to the belief that one must sing from the heart without regard to music.

Trinity Church led New Haven in a church spire, Sunday School, and the installation of an organ. The original church had an organ which was large enough to be moved to the present church. The first record we can find is a vote of thanks in 1784 by the vestry for 125 pounds subscribed for an organ.

All three churches on the Green were built with chimneys, but the question of stoves was debated for some years.

A story has come down from a country town in Connecticut that at a meeting to discuss heating the church a farmer in a loud voice suggested that “if the Parson would keep a hot fire from the pulpit the pews would be warm.”

The matter of heat was spoken of several times in the meeting of the Vestry of Trinity Church, but the first vote passed was in 1822 to the effect that “whenever two stoves shall be given to the Parish the Wardens and Vestry shall, if they deem it expedient, be authorized to furnish the pipe.” The words if they deemed it expedient shows that they were still in doubt.

The records of vestry meetings show some actions in regard to lighting the church which are difficult to understand. It is a well-known fact that Sunday or the Sabbath in New England began with Saturday evening, at sunset, in the early days and lasted twenty-four hours. Our records show that the first church had meetings from time to time on Sunday evening. When the [41/42] new church was built, there seemed to have grown up a prejudice against Sunday evening services or having any lights in the church. Just before action was taken upon having stoves in the church the following preamble and vote was taken, May 29, 1819.

"Whereas Sundry of the members of this Society have made application for permission to put up in the church new patent lamps. Voted that the Wardens and Vestrymen consent, and they do hereby consent that such lamps may be put up in the church upon the following conditions viz. That they shall be taken down in case any material injury to the building arise therefrom, that no expense shall be made to the Parish by reason of said lamps, that the Church shall be opened in the evenings only upon extraordinary occasions and not exceeding twelve times in a year and that the lamps shall be removed from the Church in case the Society shall so decide at their next annual meeting." This vote was cautious enough to satisfy the most conservative.



Trinity Church in 1916

Trinity Church in 1754

Interior of Trinity Church in 1816

Interior of Trinity Church in 1916

The Rev. Charles Otis Scoville
Rector of Trinity Parish

Clergy and Choir, 1916

The Rectors of Trinity Church, 1767 to 1906

Ebenezer Punderson, B.A. Yale 1726

Solomon Palmer, Missionary

Bela Hubbard, D.D., Missionary and Rector, B.A. Yale 1758

Harry Croswell, D.D.

Edwin Harwood, D.D., B.A., University of Penn. 1840.

George William Douglas, D.D., B.A. Trinity 1871

Frank Woods Baker, D.D., B.A. Harvard 1881

Charles Otis Scoville, B.A. Yale 1887

Odd and Old Items, One Hundred or More Years Ago

The first census of which we have any record was taken in 1787 and shows the number of inhabitants to be 3,540, including the Yale students. The next, in 1790, was 4,484; the next in 1800, 5,157; in 1810, 6,967; and the estimated population 100 years ago did not exceed 7,500.

Elizur Goodrich was mayor of New Haven in 1816, and John Cotton Smith was governor of the state.

In 1816 there were very few cooking stoves or heating stoves. Houses were heated by open fireplaces and the cooking was done in old-fashioned ovens, which were heated from the fireplaces. Anthracite coal was introduced into New Haven in 1827, after which date stoves were generally used.

There were no railroads 100 years ago, and steamboats, making the trip from New York in from 15 to 20 hours, had been running less than one year.

The first steam railway train was run between New Haven and Meriden in 1839. The station was near Belle Dock. In 1847 the first train ran between New York and New Haven.

The leading hotel 100 years ago was the Morse Tavern, standing at the corner of Church and Crown streets, where the Washington Building now stands; all the stage coaches stopped there. Another tavern was Butler's, which stood in 1816 where the post-office now stands in recent years. It was famous for its cuisine. Lafayette stopped at the Morse Tavern in 1824, and President Monroe at Butler's Tavern in 1817.

The leading summer hotel in New England 100 years ago was The Pavilion, standing in front of a park on Water Street. Building was bought and used, for a time, by Sargent & Co.

The only bank in New Haven was the New Haven Bank, incorporated in 1792; its capital 100 years ago was $80,000.

The change from pounds to dollars, as shown in the records of Trinity Parish, began in 1798.

A by-law was passed in 1806, forbidding smoking within four rods of any house or barn within the city limits.

[47] The first person buried in Grove Street Cemetery was Martha, wife of John Townsend, in 1797.

The following is an extract from the freshman law of 1764 in Yale College. "The freshmen, as well as other undergraduates, are to be uncovered and are forbidden to wear their hats, unless in stormy weather, in the front door yard of the president or professor's house, or within ten rods of the president, eight rods of the professor, and five rods of the tutor."

The following rations for the commons of Yale College were voted by the trustees in 1742:

"Ordered that the steward shall provide the commons for the scholars as follows, viz: for breakfast one loaf of bread for four, which shall weigh one pound * * * for supper for four, two quarts of milk and one loaf of bread, when milk can conveniently be had, and when it cannot then apple pie, which shall be made of 1 3/4 pounds dough, 1/4 pound hog's fat, 2 ounces sugar and a half peck of apples."

August 4th, 1828, a large number of students were ordered to leave Yale College for disorderly conduct on account of their food.

(From Columbian Register.)

We understand that a number of young gentlemen of the College, sons of Episcopalians, have presented to the Rev. Mr. Croswell for the use of the new Episcopal Church in this city a large and splendid edition of the Bible. It is printed with the Stereotype on the finest vellum paper and contains a number of elegant plates of the most interesting scenes represented in the Holy Scriptures. The price of the book was sixty dollars and is probably one of the most elegant editions of the sacred writings ever introduced into this country. It must be gratifying to the parents of the gentlemen who have made this liberal donation to perceive that their sons, although in an institution where the current of instruction and thought is directed to a different quarter, still adhere to the distinctive principles of the church of their fathers. June 29th, 1816.

To Rent. One of the best slips in the north Gallery of the New Episcopal Church. (Inquire at this office). June 2, 1816.

[48] The Female Episcopal Charitable Society gratefully acknowledge the receipt of Ten Dollars a donation from the Fire Engine Company No. 3 and also a donation of Ten Dollars from the Harmony Society of New Haven. March 12, 1816.

Wanted to purchase immediately

Two Negro or Mullatto Boys or men, from 14 to 24 years of age. Also wanted a second hand Sulkey? Inquire of the Printers. New Haven, May 9, 1779.

Francis Vandale, from Old France,

Intends to open a Dancing School in this town, and also teach the French Language, on very reasonable terms.

He is a Protestant, and provided with good certificates. For further particulars, inquire at Mr. Gould Shermans, where he lives, in New Haven. Dec. 13, 1775.

We are informed from the parish of East Haven, that last week the women of the parish, in immitation of the generous and laudable example of the societies in the town of New Haven, presented the Rev. Mr. Street of said parish, with upwards of one hundred and thirty run of well spun linen yarn; wich was gratefully received by the family; and the generous guests, after some refreshments, and taking a few dishes of coffee, agreeable to the plan of the Continental Congress, to which that society unanimously adheres, dispersed with cheerfulness that bespoke that they could be well pleased without a sip from that baneful and exotic herb, (tea) which ought not so much as be once more named among the friends of American liberty. New Haven, April 12, 1775.

Trinity Church, 1916


Rector, the Rev. Charles O. Scoville

Curates, the Rev. George H. Heyn, the Rev. W. P. Williams, the Rev. R. B. Stevenson

Deaconess, Victoria L. Ives

Parish Worker, Mary Elise Viney

Organist and Choirmaster, Harry J. Read

Sexton, Frank E. Turner


A. Heaton Robertson, George H. Tuttle, Wardens

John J. Osborn, Clerk

Alfred N. Wheeler, Treasurer

Vestrymen, Alfred N. Wheeler, David Daggett, David R. Alling, Arthur C. Graves, Benjamin H. Cheney, John W. Alling, William W. Farnam, George C. Prentice, John Brewster Fitch, William Beebe, Rutherford Trowbridge, Edward A. Harriman, William R. White, Burton H. Strickland, John J. Osborn

Project Canterbury