RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
LevelFile
Alt Ref NoFP VIII
TitleVOLUME VIII: General Correspondence
Date1705-1763
DescriptionPENNSYLVANIA
1763-undated
1-2. Richard Peters to Bishop Osbaldeston, Philadelphia, Jan. 15, 1763. Announces his election as rector of Christ Church and asks for the bishop's licence.
3-4. Wardens and vestry of Christ Church to Bishop Osbaldeston, Philadelphia, Jan. 21, 1763. Duché has returned with the bishop's licence and they have received him and made provision for his support. They will do the same for Sturgeon when they know that he has the bishop's approval. They have, however, decided that having two equal ministers will lead to jealousies and that the parish needs a head. So they have elected Peters rector.
5-6. Some of the clergy of the Philadelphia area to Bishop Osbaldeston, Feb. 3, 1763. Recommend appointment of William Smith as commissary.
7-8. Sturgeon and Duché to Bishop Osbaldeston, Philadelphia, Feb. 4, 1763. Express approval of election of Peters as rector.
9. Draft of letter from Bishop Osbaldeston to the wardens and vestry of Christ Church, Fulham, May 24, 1763. He approves the election of Peters as rector and hopes he will, as soon as convenient, come to England to receive formal licence. Is willing to overlook Sturgeon's indiscretion (cf. vii. 316-17) on assurance that he will be careful to avoid giving offence in the future.
10-11. Clergy of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to Bishop Terrick, Perth Amboy, Sept, 20, 1764. Congratulate him on his translation and express the hope that he will provide the colonies with some sort of ecclesiastical discipline.
12-13. William Smith to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Sept. 26, 1764. At the foregoing meeting (10-11) he presented his plan of having agents and corresponding societies of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in America. The clergy approved and recommended him as agent for New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He hopes that Bishop Terrick will share the zeal of the archbishops in behalf of a colonial episcopate.
14-15. Petition of representatives of the High German church (St. George's) in Philadelphia, Oct. 21, 1764, to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishop of London. Finding it inconvenient to be under a foreign jurisdiction, they wish to place themselves under the English bishops. They have adopted articles providing that henceforth their ministers shall be episcopally ordained and licensed and that the Book of Common Prayer shall be used in their services.
16. H. Hughes to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Feb. 19, 1765. Encloses an unspecified act of the assembly which he says is in favour of the Church to refute charges which he thinks the clergy have made that it is anti-Church. He has a low opinion of the character of a majority of the clergy.
17-18. Address of Pennsylvania clergy to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, May 31, 1765. Signed by William Smith as president. Congratulate him on his translation and complain of the headless plight of the American Church.
19-20. William Smith to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, June 25, 1765. Encloses (17-18) and introduces Nathaniel Evans, a candidate for orders. Whitefield has told him that, if he can obtain a Crown grant for his proposed college in Georgia, he is willing that a Church clergyman should be its head. If this is done, and the governor and chief officials of Georgia and the bishop's commissary, if there is one, are made visitors, Smith approves of the project. He has sent the bishop a tract of his own on Indian affairs.
21-22. Richard Peters to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, March 1, 1766. He makes a number of suggestions for combining and supplying various missions in the area.
23-24. Wardens of St. Paul's Church to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Nov. 11, 1766. Having been given to understand that they are under the bishop's disapprobation, they endeavour to reassure him as to their orthodoxy and regularity. Hugh Neil, now gone to Maryland, supplied them for a time, and was criticized for so doing.
25-26. William Smith to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Nov. 13, 1766. Introduces Samuel Magaw and John Andrews, candidates for orders and graduates of the College of Philadelphia. Though the members of St. Paul's profess loyalty to the Church, they look to Whitefield to send them a minister. He believes that they favour an 'independent Church of England' and that a similar spirit pervaded the most recent convention of clergy in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania which, despairing of bishops, advocated some form of conventional government. Smith was unable to attend, and has this information from Peters. Hugh Neill, he says, was a leader in the measures (cf. vi. 168-73).
27-28. Richard Peters to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Nov. 14, 1766. He criticizes the convention referred to in (25-26) for being too zealous in its demands for bishops and unwilling to accept commissaries. St. Paul's proposed to call --- Hagar (also spelled Agar in this letter), but he was discouraged by Peters's account of the history of the parish.
29-30. Richard Peters to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Dec. 12, 1766. St. Paul's have now been told that Whitefield is sending them a minister, --- Chapman, rector of Bradley and prebendary of Bristol. --- Brizelius, pastor of a church in Raritan, is going home for orders. Peters recommends him for Nova Scotia (cf. i. 92-101). Sturgeon has resigned, because of difficulties in his personal affairs.
31-33. William Smith to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Dec. 18, 1766. Introduces Bryzelius, who has been a pastor among the German Lutherans. Lutheran clergy in the area are willing to conform to the Church and Smith wonders if there is not some precedent for receiving them without reordination. William Dunlap, a printer of Philadelphia, was refused testimonials by the local clergy, when he sought ordination, because of insufficient education. He obtained testimonials from clergy in Barbadoes, was ordained by Bishop Terrick and is now preaching in St. Paul's while continuing his printing business. This lowers the prestige of the Church in a place where 'Presbyterian preachers have all some learning' as well as some of the laity. It is also remembered that Dunlap was once in trouble over a lottery.
34-35. Richard Peters to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, May 17, 1768. He has been in poor health through the winter. St. Paul's is still negotiating with Chapman but he has not come yet.
36-39. Richard Peters to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Aug. 30, 1768. Introduces Doctor Wrangel, principal minister of the Swedish churches, and domestic chaplain of the King of Sweden, who is trying to unite the German and Swedish Lutherans with the Church of England, taking advantage of hostility that the Presbyterians have excited against themselves by their attacks on Doctor Chandler. As an instrument to this end, Peters and Smith propose a German-English academy, with a theological professorship. St. Paul's is now being supplied by --- Stringer, who was recommended by Lord Dartmouth. He is in Greek orders. Great harmony prevails in Christ Church. Mentions death of --- Evans, a missionary.
40-41. William Smith to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Oct. 22, 1768. Glad his warnings about Chambers arrived in time (cf. xxii. 10-12). Thomas Coombe, though only 22, is going to England to study until he is old enough to be ordained priest, but will be grateful if he can be ordained deacon and appointed to a curacy to help pay his expenses. Stringer, ordained by a Greek bishop in England, officiates at St. Paul's. His preaching is said to be Whitefieldian. Smith is sending some of his contributions to the episcopal controversy. He wishes that Doctor Chandler had not started it, but feels obliged to support him. Active opposition comes only from the Presbyterians. The Lutherans and Quakers concede that the Church is only seeking its 'natural rights' in asking for bishops.
42-43. William Smith to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Nov. 8, 1769. Introduces John Mongomery [Montgomery], previously recommended (xxii. 25-26), who is now of age for ordination and has a title in Maryland. Society for the relief of widows and orphans of clergy has been chartered in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He encloses the sermon that he preached at its organization.
44-45. Richard Peters to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Oct. 22, 1770. Refers to a previous recommendation of Thomas Hopkinson and William White (lxxiii. 211-14). Hopkinson is a relative of the Bishop of Worcester (James Johnson). They had a fairly successful meeting of the widows' fund in New York, though its opening was delayed by a storm which prevented crossing the bay. They have decided to seek a royal charter, if it can be obtained without the usual fees, which are beyond their means.
46-47. William Smith to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, May 3, 1771. Doctor Peters is too ill to officiate. Smith is now regularly serving the mission at Oxford (where he has a summer home) on a part-time basis and asks that the arrangement be continued. Hopkinson has been proposed for there, but he has an impediment in his speech which makes him unacceptable to the people. The mission is flourishing and a number of Swedish families have united with it. --- Aiken, a former Presbyterian minister, who was in trouble with the presbytery because he delayed marrying until his wife was several months pregnant, has obtained testimonials in Maryland, and is seeking orders.
48-49. Wardens of St. Paul's to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Dec. 3, 1772. Ask him to ordain and license Stringer.
50-51. Clergy of Philadelphia to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Dec. 5, 1772. They report that Coombe and White have returned and been received as ministers of the united parishes. They hesitantly recommend the ordination of Stringer, convinced that the members of St. Paul's now sincerely desire conformity and that Stringer himself has worked to that end. They have consulted their brethren in New York, who agree with their view.
52-53. Traugott Frederick Illing to Bishop Terrick, Middleton, Pennyslvania, Oct. 6, 1773. Describes his work in Juniata, Etherton, Pennsboro, and adjoining communities. He has found some families professing allegiance to the Church though ignorant of the liturgy. His principal support is derived from German Lutherans. Some of these are willing to use the Book of Common Prayer. Among others he officiates in 'their own way', though he thinks that they may be brought to conform in time. He has no stipend from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
54-55. Wardens of St. Paul's to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Oct. 29, 1773. Acknowledge a letter from him. Express gratitude to him and to the clergy of Philadelphia, who supplied the parish in Stringer's absence.
56-57. William Stringer to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Oct. 28, 1773. Encloses (54-55). The letter it answers was brought by him. He has been ordained and licensed.
58-59. Richard Peters and William Smith to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Oct. 29, 1773. Peters's illness has prevented their writing before. They commend Illing's work (cf. 52-53) but say that --- Page, ordained at the same time, has never gone to the place for which he was licensed, but is trying to raise a congregation in New York. Governor Martin of North Carolina has warned them that John Beard, a graduate of the College of Philadelphia, who was ordained among the dissenters and dismissed for drunkenness, is seeking orders in the Church.
60-61. William Smith to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Oct. 30, 1773. Repeats information in (58-59) with some additions. Page applied to Father Harding, 'a worthy Jesuit of this town', for a recommendation to the Bishop of Canada. Father Harding, 'who was always in good terms with us', refused to have anything to do with him. He then obtained pledges of support from people on the frontier who thought he was a Presbyterian. Beard imposed on Governor Martin by pretending to have Smith's approval, but he had been dismissed by the Presbyterians in Pennsylvania for drunkenness.
62-63. William Smith to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, July 8, 1775. Encloses an address from the Philadelphia clergy (not in present collection) and a printed sermon of his own dealing with the issues of the day. He has been an advocate of moderation throughout the revolutionary crisis, but cannot turn his back on the interests of America and thinks that great damage will be done to the Church if the clergy are thought of as tools of power.
64-65. Resignation of Richard Peters as rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, Sept. 23, 1775. (Copy). Gives ill health as principal reason. Acceptance by vestry, same date. Both copies certified by John Morgan and Jonathan Browne, wardens.
66-69. Address of several clergy assembled in Philadelphia for a meeting of the widows' fund, Oct. 6, 1775. They endorse the view of the Philadelphia clergy in the address referred to in (62-63) that prudence dictated yielding to their congregations and observing the public fast-day recommended by the Continental Congress.
70-71. Wardens and vestry of Christ Church to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Oct. 30, 1775. Announce Peters's resignation and their choice of Jacob Duché as rector.
72-73. Clergy of Philadelphia (other than Duché) to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Oct. 30, 1775. Enclose (66-69) and approve election of Duché.
74-75. Jacob Duché to Bishop Terrick, Philadelphia, Oct. 31, 1775. Asks bishop to give a letter of approbation to his election, as it is not convenient to come to England for a licence. He says that this was done in the case of previous rectors, but cf. (9).
76. Bishop Terrick to the wardens and vestry of Christ Church, London, Jan. 8, 1776. Approves of the election of Duché.
77-78. 'A Brief Narrative of the Proceedings of W. P.' (William Penn). Undated, but refers to the visit of Penn in which Governor Markham was removed. Complains that Penn was hostile to the Church and arbitrary in his government. Chiefly concerned with the refusal of Quaker justices to administer oaths to non-Quakers and the dismissal of three judges who were Churchmen for seeking to do so.
79. Undated list of vestrymen of Christ Church, Philadelphia, attested by Peter Evans.
80-81. Wardens and vestry of Christ Church to Bishop Compton. Undated, but reference to 'the Queen' places it in Anne's reign. Asks appointment of school-master to succeed --- Humphreys, transferred by Society for the Propagation of the Gospel to Chester, and increase of grant.
82-83. Request, undated, but endorsed as 'abt. 1717', for payment of arrears of salary of schoolmaster and minister in Philadelphia. Grant was made by William III and renewed by Anne and George I.
84-85. Bishop Gibson to (wardens and part of vestry of Christ Church). Undated draft. Urges peace. Says he claims no power save that of licensing their minister.
86-87. Gabriel Falk to Bishop Gibson. Undated, but refers to gift from Society for the Propagation of the Gospel seven years earlier, after shipwreck referred to in (vii. 168-9). He has travelled through Pennsylvania, Maryland, North and South Carolina, and Georgia and started a number of small chapels.
88-89. Undated copy of (vii. 269-70) with signature of Arthur Usher added.
90-91. William Becket to Bishop Gibson, Lewes, undated. Endorses election of Peters as rector of Christ Church in succession to Cummings.
92-95. A Brief Narrative of the Case of the Revd. Mr. (William) Smith. Undated. William Moore, president of the court of common pleas, was condemned without a hearing by the assembly on a charge of malfeasance. The assembly requested the governor to remove him. The governor refused, unless Moore was heard in his own defence. After the dissolution of the assembly, Moore drew up a defence which was published by the assembly's own printer, Hall, and by Bradford, on the advice of counsel that it could not be construed as a libel on an assembly which no longer existed. Smith, as trustee of a society for maintaining German schools, which also operated a German Press, published a German translation on the defence. When the new assembly convened, it held the defence to be a libel and arrested Moore and Smith, but not the other two printers. Smith is in jail at the time of writing. (He later won an appeal to the Privy Council.)
96. Unidentifiable fragment found with the Pennsylvania papers.
RHODE ISLAND
97. Bishop Compton to Samuel Myles, Fulham, Feb. 14, 1705 (draft). Having received reports that Honeyman has won over the opposition in Newport, he is not removing him at present. Asks what the possibilities are for supporting a missionary in Swansea, Braintree, or Little Compton.
98-99. Christopher Bridge to Bishop Compton, Cheapside, June 17, 1709. Sends receipt for plate belonging to church in Narragansett and asks bishop to secure payment of his stipend from Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, which is overdue.
100-1. Churchmen of Narragansett to Bishop Robinson, Oct. 20, 1715. Ask him to send them a minister.
102-3. James Honeyman to Bishop Robinson, Newport, Nov. 2, 1715. An expression of respect on his accession.
104-5. Churchmen of Narragansett to Bishop Robinson, Sept. 13, 1716. Another appeal for a minister.
106-7. James Honeyman to Bishop Robinson, Newport, Nov. 25, 1717. Introducing --- Kay, a faithful layman.
108. William Guy to Bishop Robinson, Narragansett, Dec. 17, 1717. Seeks return of church furnishings given by Queen Anne to Narragansett but sent to Stratford, on Bishop Compton's order, because there was no minister in Narragansett (cf. i. 205-9).
109-10. William Guy to Bishop Robinson, Narragansett, Oct. 1, 1718. Having received permission from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel to move to South Carolina, he plans to sail during the fall, as that is the healthiest season to start there and he can best be spared from Narragansett in the winter, when it is often too cold to hold service. Urges appointment of a successor by spring.
111-12. Duplicate of (109-10).
113-14. James Honeyman to Bishop Robinson, Newport, Oct. 24, 1718. Guy's departure has left him the only Church minister in a colony which contains most of the heresies known to Christendom as well as much infidelity and indifference. He supplies Narragansett when he can.
115-16. Nathaniel Kay to Bishop Robinson, Rhode Island, Nov. 17, 1718. Urges appointment of a successor to Guy, but defends him for leaving.
117-18. James Honeyman to Bishop Robinson, Newport, Dec. 4, 1718. Urges sending another missionary to Narragansett.
119-20. James Honeyman to Bishop Robinson, Newport, Dec. 5, 1718. Introduces --- Langford, a pious layman. Asks continuance of extra allowance from Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
121. Elders and messengers of churches in Bristol County, assembled, July 7, 1719, to hear report of Thomas Greenwood on reports in other counties concerning James McSparran, find him guilty of indecent speech, improper solicitation of women, excessive drinking, and profanity.
122. Committee of a church in Londonderry to ---, May 4, 1720. Assert that any testimonials which McSparran professes to have from that church are spurious.
123-4. Churchmen of Narragansett to Bishop Robinson, June 15, 1720. Ask appointment of a missionary and complain that Stratford refuses to obey the bishop's order for the return of their plate.
125. Affidavit of James McSparran, Nov. 18, 1721. Denies that he made any improper speeches or indecent advances to Frances Davis.
126. Affidavit of Frances Davis, Nov. 21, 1721. Says that McSparran made many improper speeches and advances to her on a night in June, 1721, when he stayed at her parents' house.
127-8. James McSparran to Bishop Robinson, Narragansett, Dec. 2, 1721. Reports successful labours in Narragansett and Bristol.
129-30. James Honeyman to Bishop Robinson, Newport, Dec. 12, 1721. Reports baptizing seventy in past two years. Complains of character of McSparran who, he says, was expelled by the dissenters for lewdness and obtaining false testimonials and has not improved since his ordination. Encloses (121, 122, 125, and 126) in proof. Also appeals to testimony of Captain Thomlinson concerning McSparran's conduct on the ship which brought him over.
131-2. Wardens and vestry of Bristol to Bishop Robinson, Oct. 29, 1722. Praise faithful work of James Orem among them. As he is leaving to become chaplain to the royal forces in New York, they ask ordination of Daniel Brown to succeed him.
133-4. James Honeyman and wardens and vestry of Newport to Bishop Robinson, Oct. 29, 1722. Introducing Yale converts (Cutler, Johnson, and Brown) (cf. iv. 84-85).
134-5. Churchmen of Providence, supported by Honeyman, to Bishop Robinson, Nov. 7, 1722. Ask for a missionary.
136-7. Duplicate of (134-5).
138-9. James McSparran to Bishop Robinson, Narragansett, Mar. 25, 1723. He has had considerable success in catechizing children in church and in the schools. Asks for return of church plate now held by Stratford. Asks protection for Churchmen in New Bristol, under attack by Independents, who have accused them of Jacobitism. He attests their loyalty. Religious population of Rhode Island is divided among Quakers, Baptists, Antipedobaptists, 'Saturday baptists', and Independents, besides Churchmen. Wardens and vestry of Narragansett attest to accuracy of statements in this letter.
140-1. James Honeyman to Bishop Robinson, Newport, Apr. 17, 1723. Introducing James Wetmore, a convert who is seeking orders.
142. James McSparran and wardens and vestry of Narragansett to Bishop Gibson, Aug. 7, 1723. Congratulate him on his translation and ask him to secure the return of their church furnishings from Stratford (cf. 108).
143-4. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Oct. 28, 1723. Reports that his church is in a flourishing condition.
145-6. James Honeyman to Secretary, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Newport, Nov. 19, 1723. Though impeded in his regular work by having to attend to a number of pirates, who were to be executed, and whom he sought to prepare for death, and by widespread sickness, he has baptized eighty in the past two years, including three Negroes, two Indians, and two mulattoes. He has about fifty regular communicants. As the church is overcrowded, he has started a subscription for a new building on which he hopes that work may be begun in the spring.
147-8. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Nov. 19, 1723. Encloses a copy of his report to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (145-6).
149. Bond of James McSparran to George Mumford, Apr. 13, 1724. Binds himself to prosecute his appeal to King and Council or forfeit £500 (cf. 151-76).
150. James Honeyman to (Samuel Myles), Newport, Apr. 23, 1724. Acknowledges receipt of Bishop Gibson's queries and expresses regret at Cutler-Harris dispute (cf. iv. 92-93).
151-76. Case of James McSparran v. George Mumford. Various dates, from Sept. 1, 1723, to Apr. 27, 1724. McSparran, by an action of trespass and ejectment, sought to obtain possession of lands formerly set apart for the use of the ministry. Having lost in the provincial courts, he is appealing to the King in Council.
177. James McSparran to Samuel Myles, Narragansett, May 5, 1724. He is sending his answers to Bishop Gibson's queries and forwarding Pigot's copy to him. Asks Myles to intercede with Johnson for the return of the plate.
178-9. John Usher, to Bishop Gibson, New Bristol, May 6, 1724. Having answered the queries, he takes occasion to congratulate the bishop on his translation.
180-1. George Pigot to Bishop Gibson, Providence, May 6, 1724. Relates some troubles which he could not get into his answers to the queries. His stipend from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel is too low, the people will neither support him nor allow him to live on his own estate, and Gabriel Bernon, an old French refugee, who is the only communicant in the town of Providence, is an Erastian.
182-3. James Honeyman and wardens and vestry of Trinity Church, Newport, to Bishop Gibson, June 1, 1724. Defend loyalty of leaders of King's Chapel against attacks by Harris.
184. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, June 9, 1724. Encloses (151-76) and expresses hope that Society for the Propagation of the Gospel will finance the appeal. He says that only one of the judges who heard the case, a Baptist, was a baptized person.
185. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, June 16, 1724. The Church is growing in Rhode Island, though only one Churchman, Colonel William Wanton, has any official position. The governor has no visible religion and does not attend any public worship.
186-7. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, Dec. 1, 1724. Stratford still retains the plate, but Johnson has promised to comply if he receives a second order from the bishop.
188-91. Answers of clergy to Bishop Gibson's queries. See Introduction (p. xxiii) for list of questions to which numbered answers refer.
188. James Honeyman Newport: 1. Over twenty years. 2. Formerly on Long Island. 3. Licensed by Bishop Compton. 4. No induction. 5. Constantly resident, except when visiting vacant parishes. 6. Town includes about 500 houses. 7. Too many infidels of both sorts. He does his best to convert them. 8. He preaches twice a Sunday. Congregation so large that they are building a new church. 9. Monthly. Above fifty communicants. 10. Twice a week in his house and once a week in the church during Lent. 11. Church furnishings incomplete. 12. Local contributions come to only £25 sterling per ann. 13 and 14. No house or glebe. 15. No other cure but supplies vacant parishes when he can. 16. A good grammar school under Edward Scott, a Churchman. 17. Parochial library well cared for.
189. James McSparran, Narragansett: 1. Since April, 1721. 2. No previous cures. 3. Yes. 4. No induction. 5. Yes. 6. 26 × 14 miles, with 600 or 700 families. 7. Some of both. He has baptized a few. 8. Every Sunday, except when he officiates elsewhere. From 150-270 attend. 9. Once a month. Seventeen communicants. 10. Every Sunday in Lent and one Sunday in every other month. 11. Furnishings incomplete. 12. Local contributions only about £5 sterling a year. 13 and 14. No, but he is suing for glebe. 15. He serves four churches in all. 16. No. 17. No.
190. George Pigot, Providence: 1. Since Michaelmas, 1721. 2. Sent to Stratford, but allowed to move to Providence because he has a small estate in Warwick. 3. For Connecticut. 4. No induction. 5. Family resides in Providence, but he sometimes retires to his farm in Warwick during the summer. 6. Providence is 20 × 15 miles, and Warwick and Greenwich about the same. About 500 families. 7. Many infidels among the 'English natives'. He can see no hope for the conversion of Indians or Negroes until the white men set them a better example. 8. Twice a Sunday in summer; once in winter. About 100. 9. First celebrated last Easter. Plan to hold it monthly after Whitsuntide. About ten communicants. 10. Every Sunday evening at his house. 11. No furnishings. 12. No local support. He has £60 from Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and a small personal income. 13 and 14. No house, no glebe. 15. He preaches in Warwick on the last Sunday in each month and in some other towns on weekdays. 16. Some elementary schools. 17. No.
191. John Usher, New Bristol: 1. One year. 2. Sent first to South Carolina, but redirected to present post before he was inducted. 3. Yes. 4. Ten months. 5. Yes. 6. 1 × ¼ mile. Forty-five families. 7. No confessed infidels. 8. Twice on Sundays and once on holy days. Good attendance. 9. Once a month. 20-30 communicants. 10. Once a fortnight. 11. Yes. 12. £60 from Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. About £15 from local contributions. 13 and 14. No house, no glebe. 15. One. 16. A school is maintained by the town. Amos Throop is master. 17. No.
192. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Jan. 26, 1724/5. Reports rumour that Doctor Welton, 'late of White Chappel London', now in Philadelphia, is a non-juring bishop and intends to visit New England.
193-4. Missionaries in New England to (Secretary, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel), Newport, July 21, 1725 (copy). Church is growing though confronted with many obstacles. Urge the sending of a bishop and express alarm over possible activities of Doctor Welton, 'who has privately received the Episcopal Character in England'.
195-6. Missionaries in New England to Bishop Gibson, Newport, July 21, 1725. Enclose (193-4) and an address which they ask him to present to the King.
197-8. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Sept. 15, 1725. Their new church will be a fine building, but is costing more than expected.
199. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Nov. 14, 1725. Ships just arrived from London have brought reports that two bishops are to be sent to America. He would like some tracts to distribute in answer to the Independent Whig and other anti-Church publications.
200. James Honeyman to Samuel Myles, Newport, Jan. 14, 1725/6. He disagrees with Harris, who holds that strictures on synods in a letter which he and Myles have both received apply to the informal conventions of the clergy.
201-2. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Feb. 23, 1726. Introducing Thomas Flower, a faithful communicant.
203. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, June 16, 1726. One argument for a bishop is that he could settle doubtful points of practice. For instance: Must sureties in baptism be baptized? Can immersion be permitted to satisfy scruples?
204-5. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Sept. 23, 1726. Checkley's presence in Newport at the time of the meeting of the clergy last year was an accident (cf. iv. 174-5).
206-7. Duplicate of (204-5).
208-9. Missionaries of New England to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Oct. 6, 1726. Deny that Checkley had any part in their previous meeting.
210-11. Duplicate of (208-9).
212-13. James Honeyman to Secretary, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Newport, Oct. 14, 1726. Defends himself against charges of disaffection. Prepared to take the oaths if required.
214-15. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, Oct. 15, 1726. He preaches regularly at New London, as well as in Narragansett. He is sure that Checkley's presence in Newport was accidental. He is still trying to get those church furnishings from Stratford.
216-17. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Oct. 20, 1726. Enclosing (212-13).
218-19. Petition of Charles Augustus Ninaagret, Sachem of the Narragansett Indians to George I, Westerly, July 13, 1727. Asks appointment of a missionary and offers to set apart a tract of land for a glebe. Attested by James McSparran and others.
220-1. Clergy of New England to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Dec. 12, 1727. Assembled under the patronage of Colonel Nicholson, on the accession of George II, they ask the bishop to present their address of loyalty to the King.
222-3. Churchmen of Providence to Bishop Gibson, Dec. 26, 1727. Ask him to support their application to Society for the Propagation of the Gospel for a missionary to replace Pigot, who has left.
224. Certificate of Francis Ormsby and James Crofton, Jan. 30, 1727/8. They are creditably informed that Joseph O'Hara served for several years as a 'Popish Priest' in the parish of Aconry, County Sligoe, and 'behaved himself as became a man of his function'.
225-6. Certificates of John Yeard, Dean, Thomas Walls, Archdeacon of Achorny, and Robert, Bishop of Killalla and Achorny, to the same effect, Feb. 20 and 22, 1727/8.
227-8. Elizabeth O'Hara to Bishop Gibson, May 30, 1728. States that Joseph O'Hara is her husband and that he has deserted her.
229-30. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, June 25, 1728. Urges sending a missionary to Providence.
231-2. Joseph O'Hara to Doctor Humphreys, Secretary, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, on board the Courage, off the Downs, Aug. 10, 1728. About to start his voyage, though robbed of his money and some clothing by 'a treacherous vile woman'. Urges prompt dispatch of his letters of credit.
233-4. Joseph O'Hara to Bishop Gibson, Boston, Oct. 5, 1728. He has been kindly received by Harris, whom he praises. He has a low opinion of Cutler who, he says, was deceived by someone named Comyng, who deserted from a man-of-war and pretended to be a deacon.
235-6. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Dec. 9, 1728. O'Hara courted and won a young gentlewoman of Providence, and had published the banns twice when a third publication was prevented by the arrival of a woman claiming to be his wife.
237-8. Wardens and members of the Church in Providence to Secretary Humphreys, Dec. 9, 1728. Indicate that the young lady in question was daughter of Colonel Joseph Whipple, described as a leading man of the community and great benefactor of the Church. News of O'Hara's marriage was first conveyed in a letter from Henry Harris when O'Hara was on a visit to Boston, where he was first confronted with her. They have examined her and believe her story to be true. A certificate signed by the clergy of the area, including Harris, says that they believe the foregoing account to be correct.
239-40. Duplicate of (237-8).
241-2. Wardens and Church members of Providence to Bishop Gibson, Dec. 9,1728. Enclose (237-8) and ask him to remove O'Hara.
243-4. Duplicate of (241-2).
245. Certificate of Joseph Crump, Clerk, Mar. 5,1728/9, that he married Joseph O'Hara and Elizabeth Monk on April 2, 1726. Affidavit of Elizabeth Douge, Mar. 26, 1729, that she witnessed the ceremony. (Copy.)
246. Duplicate of (245).
247. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, May 29,1729. Criticizes Harris for causing trouble in King's Chapel.
248-9. Joseph O'Hara to Bishop Gibson, Providence, July 8, 1729. Extra security has been demanded for his bills because of a report which he says was started by Doctor Cutler, that his Society for the Propagation of the Gospel stipend has been stopped.
250-1. Joseph O'Hara to Bishop Gibson, Newport Gaol, Sept. 15, 1729. He is in jail as a result of his bills being protested. He now says it was Honeyman who started the report that his Society for the Propagation of the Gospel salary was stopped.
252-3. A set of affidavits dated Aug. 5 and 6, 1729, with certificate by Governor Joseph Jeneke to character of official administering the oath, Oct. 10,1729. The witnesses accuse O'Hara of assaulting Colonel Jos. Whipple and John Haws and swimming on Sunday. (Copy.)
254-5. Duplicate of (252-3).
256. Affidavit of James Davis, Keeper of Newport Gaol, before William Wanton, Junior, Justice of the Peace, Oct. 22,1729. Testifies that O'Hara, since his confinement, has been constantly cursing and swearing, gets drunk whenever he can, and makes indecent advances to any woman who comes near him. (Copy.)
257. Duplicate of (256).
258-9. Churchmen of Providence to Bishop Gibson, Oct. 24, 1729. Enclose copy of O'Hara's marriage certificate (245) and some of the other foregoing documents, not specifically identified.
260-1. Duplicate of (258-9).
262-3. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Oct. 24, 1729. Accompanying (258-9). He says that the original of O'Hara's marriage certificate is in his hands.
264. Wardens and Church members of Providence to Bishop Gibson, July 8, 1730. Thank him for sending Arthur Browne.
265. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, Aug. 11, 1730. Introduces Lyle Gardiner, a young man belonging to a family converted from Quakerism during McSparran's ministry, who is going to England to study medicine in St. Thomas's Hospital and desires Confirmation.
266. Arthur Browne to Bishop Gibson, Providence, Aug. 31,1730. He has been well received and has baptized ten children and two adults. Parish has thirty-nine communicants. He accuses O'Hara of stealing the library left by Dean Berkeley.
267. Printed petition of inhabitants of Warwick to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel for a missionary, Oct. 1, 1731. Only two places of worship in the town--one Quaker and one Baptist. Though the Church members are mostly poor tradesmen and small farmers, they have built a church with the help of friends in Boston, Newport, and Marblehead.
268-9. Written but unsigned petition to Bishop Gibson, Oct. 1, 1731. Repeats the same information.
270-1. Arthur Browne to Bishop Gibson, Providence, Mar. 23, 1731/2. A large part of such local support as he receives is derived from Church members on the Massachusetts side of the river. These people are still having their goods distrained and being imprisoned for failing to pay taxes to support the Independent ministers. When he appealed for their exemption under the law for exempting Churchmen from such taxes, he was defeated by a 'private resolve' of the General Court, which he considers contrary to their charter.
272-3. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, Apr. 21, 1732. Thanks the bishop for obtaining a special gift of £20 from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel for him. Introduces --- Beach, a candidate for orders.
274-5. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Apr. 26, 1732. Acknowledges a similar gift, and asks that it be made annual. Also introduces Beach.
276. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Sept. 20, 1732. Again asks that the additional grant be made annual, and requests that the local schoolmaster, Edward Scott, be placed on the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel payroll. Dean Berkeley will testify to the good work of both Honeyman and Scott.
277-8. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, May 2,1734. Introduces Ebenezer Punderson, formerly a dissenting minister, who is seeking orders. Honeyman has still not received the salary increment to which he thinks he is entitled as senior Society for the Propagation of the Gospel missionary.
279-80. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, May 3, 1734. Introducing Punderson. McSparran has occasionally preached in his community (North Groton, Connecticut) and testifies that he has brought many into the Church there.
281-2. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Oct. 29,1735. Introduces (Jonathan) Arnold and again asks for an increase in his own stipend.
283-4. Arthur Browne to Colonel Williamson, Providence, Apr. 21,1736. Asks him to use his influence to secure Browne the position of assistant in King's Chapel made vacant by the death of Thomas Harward.
285-6. A. Williamson to Bishop Gibson, Oakingham, Berks., June 13, 1736. Encloses (283-4) and asks bishop's favour for Browne, who is his brother-in-law. Williamson is in Oakingham to drink the 'steel waters' for his health.
287. Arthur Browne to Bishop Gibson, Providence, June 16, 1736. As the Independents have attempted to convince the bishop that McSparran's suit (cf. 151-76) is merely 'vexatious,' he assures him impartial observers (i.e. Baptists and Quakers) generally hold that the Church is in the right in its claim.
288. Arthur Browne to Colonel Williamson, Providence, June 16,1736. Introduces McSparran. Browne has given up Boston as his transfer to Portsmouth has been authorized by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He is trying to get compensation from the society for his past services to Portsmouth and to bring over a child of his from Ireland. McSparran is aiding him in both matters.
289-90. A. Williamson to Bishop Gibson, Oakingham, Berks., Aug. 15, 1736. He stopped at Whitehall to pay his respects after quelling some rioters near the tower, but the bishop was out. He again asks the bishop's protection for Browne, who has a large family to support.
291-2. James Honeyman to Bishop Gibson, Newport, Oct. 4, 1736. He is still arguing for an increase in his stipend. Though his congregation is said to be rich, the people have never contributed more than £40 sterling a year to his support. He is once more the only Church minister in the colony.
293-4. Duplicate of (291-2).
295-8. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Boston, June 25, 1737. He has reached Boston on his return after a voyage of forty-three days. He does not know yet whether his opponents in the suit will surrender or force him to take further proceedings. Brockwell has arrived and is settled in Scituate. McSparran refers to a 'scheme' of his which Society for the Propagation of the Gospel has adopted and set forth in a circular to churchwardens.
299. Thomas Sandford [Sanford] to James McSparran, London, July 6, 1741 (copy endorsed by McSparran). Hearing of the case before the King in Council has been postponed. Reverse of sheet has a copy of a settlement, proposed and rejected, in which McSparran would relinquish his claim in behalf of the Presbyterian minister, Joseph Torrey.
300. Certificate of John Gibbins, Boston, Sept. 1, 1741 (copy). Accounts examined by him show that, exclusive of personal and travelling expenses on trip to England, McSparran is 'in advance' £156. 6s. od. sterling on expenses of the suit. Note by McSparran says that this was before he received £150 (from whom?) to defer the costs.
301-2. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, Oct. 18, 1741. Decision of his suit is still pending, though the proceedings have been going on for twenty years. (They appear to have been started in 1723. Cf. 151-76.) The bishop's tract on Whitefield has done much good. Some of the New Lights, if they pray for the King at all, only pray for his conversion.
303-4. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, July 7, 1746. The suit is still pending and his resources are exhausted.
305-6. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, July 25, 1727. Thanks the bishop for giving him some aid in his suit. He has been asked by Alexander Malcolm to intercede in behalf of William Hooper (cf. v. 299-306). Not knowing him personally, he cannot testify to his character or beliefs, but if these are unexceptionable, he thinks it would be prudent to ordain him, in spite of irregularities in his application. If ordination is refused, he fears that Hooper will seek it elsewhere and be received in opposition to the bishop.
307-8. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson, Narragansett, June 14, 1748. Doctor Bearcroft has told him that Mr. Paris has been instructed to keep his suit alive. Begs for a living where he can end his days nearer home. Regrets reading that the bishop has declined appointment as archbishop.
309-10. James McSparran to Bishop Sherlock, Narragansett, Jan. 3,1749. Congratulates him on his translation. McSparran is now the oldest missionary, next to Honeyman, who is incapacitated. He has seen great growth in the Church, but regrets that he has not seen a corresponding growth in vital piety. His suit is still pending. There has been a new outbreak of Whitefieldan enthusiasm among the Baptists.
311-12. James McSparran to Bishop Sherlock, Narragansett, Mar. 15, 1749. He traces the bishop's jurisdiction back to Laud. He encloses pamphlets by Nehemiah Hobart and --- Mayhew to show the sort of opposition with which the Church is confronted.
313-14. James Honeyman to Bishop Sherlock, Newport, Mar. 28, 1750. He is the oldest missionary, but is not able to be very active. He would have written the bishop before, but was not sure that he was going to take jurisdiction over the colonies.
315-16. Duplicate of (313-14).
317-18. James McSparran to Bishop Sherlock, Narragansett, July 6, 1750. Usher, whom he met at the funeral of Honeyman, told him that, in a letter from Doctor Avery and Colonel Williams read before a meeting of Independent ministers in Boston, those two claimed credit for defeating the plan to send bishops to America. Doctor Avery is a dissenting minister in London. Colonel Williams is an Independent minister, who served as president of Yale, ran for governor, with New Light support, and served as chaplain of the expedition against Cape Breton. The bearer of this letter is Jonathan Copp, a candidate for orders. McSparran has hopes that his suit will soon be decided.
319-22. James McSparran to Bishop Sherlock, Narragansett, Mar. 26, 1751. In answer to Nehemiah Hobart's criticism of the employment of missionaries in New England as a misapplication of Society for the Propagation of the Gospel funds, he says that the Independents have a fund of their own which employs missionaries in opposition to the Church and also draw on a fund in London. He gives the bishop some information about New England history and some arguments in favour of colonial bishops.
323-4. James McSparran to Bishop Sherlock, Narragansett, Nov. 1, 1751. He is unwilling to move to Newport. He thinks that the people there have deceived the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and could well support their own minister. If a missionary is sent, he recommends that he be a European.
325. Thomas Sandford [Sanford] to James McSparran, Mar. 20, 1752, and June 2, 1752; Philip Bearcroft to McSparran, May 8,1752 (copies). Sandford's letters say that a decision on his case is at last about to be made. Bearcroft's says that it went against him.
326-7. James McSparran to Bishop Sherlock, Narragansett, Nov. 10, 1752. Encloses (325). His first news of his defeat came from the Boston newspapers.
328-9. Petition of Joseph Torrey to the General Assembly, Feb. 25, 1754. In the complexities of the case, the English decision awarded him 280 A of the original tract, but not the 20 A for which the action was originally started. He now sues for those. He says he was able to produce proof that the original donors were Presbyterians.
330-1. Wardens of St. Paul's Church, Narragansett, to the secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, May 11, 1754. The Presbyterians are now trying to make McSparran pay their legal fees under a law passed after the suit was commenced. As a result of all these afflictions he is going to England for his health.
332. Wardens of St. Paul's to Bishop Sherlock, May 11,1754. Enclosing (330-1).
333. James McSparran to Samuel Myles, undated, but subject matter places it in 1726. He is glad to learn that Mossom's criticism of Myles has so little basis (cf. iv. 178-9). If Mossom leaves Marblehead, McSparran will consider a transfer there if it is to his advantage, but he doubts that it will be.
334-5. Anonymous to Bishop Gibson, undated, but contents place it in 1727 or 1728. An attack on O'Hara, who is accused of deserting his wife and indulging in sexual licence.
336-7. Joseph O'Hara to Bishop Gibson. No date or place. His wife still pursues him.
338-9. Richard Partridge, agent of the colony of Rhode Island, to Bishop (Gibson?), undated. Objects to proposed ordination of Checkley as missionary to the Indians on the ground that his loyalty is suspect.
340-1. James McSparran to Bishop Gibson. Undated, but contents place it in 1737. On his return to Boston, he found the clergy debating whether to congratulate the new Archbishop of Canterbury (John Potter) on his elevation and how best to petition him for bishops. Asked by Doctor Johnson for advice in this matter, he requests advice of the bishop.
(For additional Rhode Island documents, cf. xxxvi. 288-93.)
CustodialHistoryAlso cited as FP 8
CopiesUp to ff. 96
Microfilm: Lambeth Palace Library MS Film 755

ff. 97 onwards
Microfilm: Lambeth Palace Library MS Film 756

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