Return to Ruby Cusack dot com Home Page

First Fifty Years of the Church of England
in New Brunswick

um said we were to pay careful attention to the words of the minister. But this fellow, who was preaching the anniversary service, was boring and extremely long winded. I looked straight at that preacher but I heard not a word he said. I was pretending to be one of the children, wearing a long dress and a bonnet, who attended a church service of a long time ago.

This started me thinking about the beginning of churches in New Brunswick.

On the way home, I put the questions to Dad.

He brushed me off with, “Maybe  your grandfather knows.”

Gramp had a ready answer,  “ The first fellow to head up the Church of England was the Reverend Charles Inglis, a native of Ireland, with a line of preachers in his background. He was on the side of the Loyalist during the Revolutionary War. In 1787, he was appointed as the first Bishop of Nova Scotia -  in fact, he was the very first Bishop of the Church of England to be sent out to the colonies. He arrived in Halifax, but his ecclesiastical jurisdiction included New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland.”

Gramp seemed to be thinking before he continued, “In fact his ‘See’ was all of British North America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, until the Diocese of Quebec was formed about 7 years later.”

As usual, his answer just confused me.

When the Rev. G. Herbert Lee prepared the 1880 publication, “An Historical Sketch of the First Fifty Years of the Church of England in New Brunswick”, he stated he spent three years collecting and digesting materials, verifying facts and dates, and in communicating with persons who could speak upon the subject, either from personal or hereditary knowledge.

Probably Gramp didn’t know the Archbishop of Canterbury first appointed Dr. Thomas Bradbury Chandler to be the Bishop of Nova Scotia. But, owing to ill health, Dr. Chandler was obliged to decline the office.

I wonder if Gramp ever heard about Bishop Inglis taking a great interest in his orchard at "Clermont” in the Annapolis Valley, particularly in apples. He propagated several varieties, one being the "Bishop's Pippin".

The Rev. Herbert Lee tells us that Bishop Inglis made at least three visits to New Brunswick. On his second visit in 1792, he journeyed down the St. John River, consecrating four new churches and confirming no less than 777 persons. On a third visit to Fredericton in 1798, the Bishop 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.

Other clergy in New Brunswick's early days include the Rev. Samuel Cooke, who was appointed "Missionary to New Brunswick." He arrived in Saint John in 1785 and by November of that year was  visiting Campobello, Digdeguash and  St. Andrews, where he baptized 60 children. Cooke moved to Fredericton in 1786. On a dark and windy night on 23 May, 1795, while he and his son were making their way  in a birch bark canoe across the river to their home on Fredericton's north side, they were both drowned.

The Rev. George Pidgeon, born in Kilkenny, Ireland, husband of the daughter of Bishop Inglis, was appointed Rector of Fredericton to replace Cooke. Previously he officiated at Belleisle and Oak Point. When Pidgeon became Rector of Saint John in 1814, the Rev. George Jehoshaphat Mountain, second son of the first Bishop of Quebec, became Rector of Fredericton, which meant that he was also the Chaplain of the Legislative Council and the troops stationed at Fredericton. After serving for three years, Mountain returned to Quebec.

Biographical information on clergy such as: James Milne, George Best, George Coster, Jacob, Somerville, McCawley, John Beardsley, Jonathan Odell, Cooke,  Geo. Bisset, Byles, Geo. Pidgeon, Robt. Willis, B. G. Gray, Dr. J. Wm. D. Gray, John Sayre, John Beardsley, James Bisset, llaper Milner, Samuel Andrews, Alley, Henry L. Owen, Uniacke, Richard Clarke, Samuel K. Clarke, F. Dibblee, Alexander O. Somerville, Cowell,  S. D. Lee Street, Oliver Arnold, H. Nelson Arnold, Colonel Nase, Robert Norris, Gilbert L. Wiggins, Christopher Milner, James Cookson, Wm. W. Walker, Samuel Bacon, Archibald Gray, James Hudson, Richard Clarke, Skeflington Thomson, Samuel Thomson, John McGivern, Abraham Wood, J. Eagleson, Willoughhy, John Millidge, Rev. John Burnyeat, Chris. Milner, Frederick  Coster, Alex. Carnegie Somerville, Samuel E. Arnold, John Black, Geo. S. Jarvis, Gilbert L. Wiggins, Canon Harrison, John Dunn and James Neales and the churches they served provide a glimpse into early church history.

The author comments in the conclusion of the book, “I could have wished that more had been said about many of the early Missions and Missionaries. And yet, perhaps, enough has been said to show some of the trials and difficulties under which the early pioneers in missionary work laboured.”
An Historical Sketch of The First Fifty Years of the Church of England in New Brunswick.” (1880) by the Rev. G. Herbert Lee is available for viewing at the New Brunswick Legislative Library and other research institutions. It can be read online at

*  *  *
Query 1457
Sands: Where is the grave of Stephen Sands a Loyalist?  He was a Queen's Ranger, and was in the 104th Regiment of Foot and the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion. Born about 1761, Stephen died in Waterborough, Queens County in 1830.
10441 N. Aberdeen Lane
Highland, Utah
USA, 84003

Query 1458
Menzies - Drummond - Price: Charlotte Menzies, born, 1818, Musquash, St. John County, New Brunswick, married John Jennings Drummond and she died 1838 in St Andrews Parish, Jamacia. Her mother was Phoebe Jessica Price born 1769, Gagetown, Queens County, New Brunswick and died 19 May 1817 in Musquash. I am seeking information on Charlotte’s father, Thomas Menzies, who was born 1733 in NB and died 1 Nov 1831 in Musquash.

Query 1459
DeWolfe - Pagan - Hazen: Edward DeWolfe M.D. married Maria Pagan in St. Andrews in 1822. Maria died 1829. DeWolfe remarried1838 in Saint John to Sarah Catherine Hazen. I am looking for a marriage in the intervening years 1829-1838 in Saint John or Nova Scotia for Edward DeWolfe M.D.
40 Riverview Dr.
Bayside, NB
Canada, E5B 2Y6
New and Used Genealogical and Historical books of
New Brunswick for sale.

Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Send your New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at:  Include your name and mailing address for the benefit of the readers of the newspaper who do not have access to E-mail but could have information to share with you. Please put "Query" followed by the surnames in your query. For more information on submitting queries, visit
Back to Home of  rubycusack dot com