John Travers Lewis, first Bishop of Ontario

Pioneer Clergymen

John T Lewis

First Bishop

Early Years



Upper Canada Missionaries

John Stuart

John Langhorn
Anglican Diocese of Ontario in the 19th Century
Pioneer Clergymen of Eastern Ontario
St Georges Church, Kingston, OntarioThe eastern part of "Upper Canada" was the cradle of Church work in what is now known as the Province of Ontario. Here it was that the early pioneer clergymen, John Stuart and John Langhorn, commenced their work, the former at Cataraqui (now Kingston) in 1786, and the latter at Ernestown (now Bath) in 1787. Dr. Stuart was "commissary" for Upper Canada, which was under the Episcopal control, first, of Bishop Charles Inglis, of Nova Scotia, and from 1793 of Dr. Jacob Mountain, first Bishop of Quebec. In April of that year a small wooden church, forty by thirty-two feet, was built at Kingston, and dedicated to St. George. One of the churchwardens at the time was Captain Robert Macaulay, father of Hon. John and Rev. William Macaulay. St. John's Church, Bath, was opened for divine service on June 3rd, 1795, and still exists. Cornwall, in the extreme east of the district, was occupied by the Rev. John Strachan in 1803.

In or about 1808, the Rev. John G. Weagant, Lutheran minister at Williamsburgh, on the St.Lawrence, not far from Cornwall, connected himself with the Church, bringing his congregation with him. In 1814, Elizabethtown and Augusta were formed into a parish under Rev. John Bethune, brother of Alexander Neil Bethune, afterwards Bishop of Toronto. In 1823, Augusta was separated from Elizabethtown (or Brockville), and was placed in charge of the Rev. Robert Blakey. About the same time Adolphustown and Fredericksburgh, on the Bay of Quinte, were detached from Ernestown and placed under Rev. Job Deacon, the Rector of Ernestown being Rev. John Stoughton. In 1827, a new stone church, of the Queen Anne style of architecture, replaced the wooden structure at Kingston. For many years this remained the chief ecclesiastical edifice of that city. In that year the Rev. William Macaulay was sent to Hallowell (Picton), in Prince Edward county - a lovely county, almost an island, lying between Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte.

This portion of the province was divided into districts and counties, as follows:

The Eastern District, containing the counties of Glengarry, Stormont, and Dundas, on the St. Lawrence.

Ottawa District, containing Russell and Prescott, on the Ottawa. Johnstown District, containing Grenville and Leeds, on the St. Lawrence.

Bathhurst District, containing Carleton, on the Ottawa, and Lanark, extending north to the Ottawa.

Midland District, containing Frontenac, Lennox (and Addington) and Hastings, on Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte, and Prince Edward, lying between the lake and the bay.

The County of Victoria also lay within the Midland District, but was not separated from the Diocese of Toronto.

Other parishes were formed, such as Belleville, Camden, Tyendinaga, or Mohawk mission to the Indians, in the Midland District; Lamb's Pond (as distinct from Brockville) and Osnabruck, in the Johnstown District; and Bytown (afterwards Ottawa), March, Richmond, Beckwith (or Franktown), and Perth, in the Bathurst, or, as would be better understood at the present time, the Ottawa District. The population of this district in 1824 was 10,000 and in 1832 it had increased to 32,000.

In 1834 Carleton Place was opened in the Bathurst District, and Murray, or Carrying Place, in Prince Edward County, on the narrow neck of land between it and the mainland.

Thus, when Upper Canada was formed into a separate diocese under Bishop Strachan in 1839, the eastern portion of his diocese was composed of twenty-one parishes, with a population of 150,000.

By 1849 ten new parishes were added, or one for each year since Bishop Strachan took charge of the work. These parishes were all in the neighbourhood of Kingston, viz.: St. James' and St. Paul's, Kingston, Barriefield, Wolfe Island, Amherst Island, Napanee, Marysburg; west of Kingston was Trenton; in Grenville County, Merrickville; and in the Bathurst (Ottawa) District, Pakenham.

From: The Bishops of the Church of England in Canada and Newfoundland:
being an illustrated historical sketch of the Church of England in Canada, as traced through her episcopate
by Charles Henry Mockridge

published in 1896 by Church Bells, London, England; F.N.W. Brown, Toronto, Ontario.
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