First Fifty Years of the Church of
in New Brunswick
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
This started me thinking about the beginning of churches in New
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
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
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
viewing at the New Brunswick Legislative Library and other research
institutions. It can be read online at http://anglicanhistory.org/canada/lee_nb.html.
* * *
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
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.
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.
Canada, E5B 2Y6