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Church of England / Episcopal Church panoply of Colonial Pennsylvania Province

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  • Gen. Thomas W. Proctor (c.1739 - 1806)
    A Patriot of the American Revolution for PENNSYLVANIA with the rank of COLONEL. DAR Ancestor #: A091775 COL. THOMAS PROCTOR Thomas Proctor was born in Longford County, Ireland, in 1739 of Francis...
  • Andrew Hamilton, Sr. (c.1676 - 1741)
    Hamilton was a Scottish lawyer in the Thirteen Colonies, where he finally settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was best known for his legal victory on behalf of the printer and newspaper publisher...
  • Chief Justice Benjamin Chew, Sr. (1722 - 1810)
    Speaker of the House of Delegates, Delaware (Pennsylvania), about 1750. Attorney-General of Pennsylvania in 1755. Recorder of Philadelphia, 1756. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania i...
    David Robeson (1696 - 1764)
    His father was quite well-connected. See: "David was born in 1696 (sic) to Andrew & Magdalena Robeson. " About 1702, the family moved from New Jersey to Shoomac Park, Philadelphia, PA., which was k...
  • Magdalen Potts (1699 - 1764)
    The Robeson family was of central significance int he founding and management of Penn's Provinces of West Jersey and Pennsylvania. As such, Magdelen's father had been one of the small number of origina...

Province of Pennsylvania in its Colonial Era

Early Church of England Parishes arranged by date founded

More properly, the Anglican Church before 1789 as the Episcopal church was organized after the American Revolution, when it became separate from the Church of England, whose clergy were required to swear allegiance to the British monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
The early era was led by men who most often had duties in multiple parishes.
Geographically, the parishes spread north up the Delaware and Schuylkill from early Dutch and Quaker sites that came before.
Through the centuries, the doctrine of these congregations have shifted in quite radical ways. This project draws together many of such developments and influences. Check the geni profiles and wikipedia links keyed to the Trinity icon at right. One item that is prominent: Many of these church leaders were originally Presbyterians.

  • 1689 : Immanuel Church was founded in 1689 as the first Anglican parish in the present-day state of Delaware, which at the time was still part of Pennsylvania. The first rector was the Rev. George Aeneas Ross, who served from 1705 to 1708 and then from 1714 to 1754. The church itself was constructed between 1703 and 1708, with the first services taking place there even before the building was completed. The Clay family was part of that congregation.
  • 1695 Christ Church is an Episcopal church in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. Founded in 1695 as a parish of the Church of England, it played an integral role in the founding of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Province of Pennsylvania. In 1785, the rector, William White, became the first Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Colony.
    • 1760 - 1898 : St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, PA In 1760 a group of congregants from Christ Church, supporters of the Rev. William Macclenachan, an Anglican minister of evangelical leanings, seceded from Christ Church. They drafted articles of agreement for a new church, St. Paul’s, and promptly set about raising funds to construct it. Built on Third Street, below Walnut, St. Paul’s opened for services in 1762 and remained an active congregation throughout the nineteenth century."
  • 1699 : St. Martin's Church founded in 1699 in Marcus Hook, by Walter Martin of Upper Chichester. It is located at 22 Church Street, only 500 feet from the Delaware River. St. Martin's Church was originally part of the parish of St. Paul's in Chester, Pennsylvania along with St. John's Church in Concord, Pennsylvania.[4] In 1704, Reverend Henry Nichols was sent by The Society of the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts to preach in all three churches. (now {2022} housing the Bible Presbyterian Church of Marcus Hook)
  • c. 1700 " Old St. Paul's (Chester) built on an older Swede (Lutheran) site
  • 1696 Old Trinity Church Church of England services were first held on the site in 1696 in a Quaker meeting house of log construction, built about 1684. The present building was erected in 1711
  • 1698: St. Thomas' Church, Whitemarsh
  • 1700: Saint James Perkiomen, New Providence Township (now Montgomery County; ~• first worship service conducted in 1700 by the Reverend Evan Evans, pastor of Christ Church, Philadelphia. ~• some early services where given in Welsh, as late as 1736,
    • 1806 : St. Mary's Episcopal Church (Elverson, Pennsylvania) Founded by the Rev. Levi Bull, DD son of Col. Thomas Bull who was connected with cousins at Saint James Perkiomen ~• note: the modern congregation now subscribes to practices of Charismatic Christianity similar to Pentecostalism•~
    • 1812-2015: St. John's P.E.Church, Norristown ...was an off-shoot of the St. James P.E. Church of Evansburg. It was organized in the Old Academy, December 17, 1812. St. John's was built on its present site in 1813, the ground being a gift from Levi Pawling. Closed in 2015 but reopened circa 2017
      • 1903 : "The Washington Memorial Chapel was built in 1903 to serve two purposes. The first purpose is as a tribute to George Washington and his service to our country. Secondly, It serves as a wayside chapel to those who visit Valley Forge National Historical Park." Culurally it was the third extension of the Montgomery county parishes of Saint James Perkiomen (Evansburg) and St. Johns (Norristown).
  • 1700: St. David's Episcopal Church (Radnor): "....probably the Rev. Thomas Clayton was the first minister, or rather missionary, sent out by the [S]ociety [for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts] -- or before it was established, as it was not established till 1701 --" Hazard says, "as it is a settled fact that the first building of wood and brick was built [at Christ Church] in 1695-97, when the parish was organized, twelve years after the laying out of the city by Penn and during the reign of William III. It was enlarged in 1711 and in 1720." (then) "Welsh Anglican Rev. Evan Evans was sent to the area as a circuit missionary. He began holding fortnightly services in private houses, including that of William Davis in the area known as Radnor, in the southern part of the Welsh Tract, starting November, 1700. Rev. Evans returned home in 1706, leaving the area with no clergyman.
    • An early pastor, the Rev. John Clubb, who served from about 1707 to 1715, and later the Rev. Robert Weyman, who served during the 1720s, were paid by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts and shared duties between St. David's and Old Trinity Church, located about 20 miles to the east in Oxford
  • 1704: St. Peter's Church in the Great Valley began in 1704 as a missionary parish.
  • 1720: Old St. Gabriel's Church St. Gabriel's, located in Douglassville, was founded as a Swedish Lutheran church. In 1760 the church joined the Church of England.
  • 1759 St. James Church in Lancaster PA; first minister from 1759-1778 was Rev.Thomas Barton, brother-in-law of David Ritttenhouse. The Rittenhouse family were also active At Saint James Perkiomen
  • 1760 : Old Swede's Christ Church Bridgeport (then) Philadelphia County
  • 1761: St. Peter's, Philadelphia St. Peter's and Christ Church were run jointly until 1832.
  • 1792 : "The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas (AECST) was founded in 1792 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the first black Episcopal Church in the United States. Its congregation developed from the Free African Society, a non-denominational group formed by blacks who had left St. George's Methodist Church because of discrimination and segregation by class." founded by Absalom Jones

Notable Anglican/Episcopal figures in Colonial Pennsylvania

  • Andrews, John; M.A., College of Philadelphia; D. ; P. 15 February 1767, Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace; f 348. St. Peter's Chh., Lewes; St. John the Baptist Chh., Broadkill; St. Matthew's Chh., Cedar Creek Hundred; St. George's Chh., Dagsboro; Indian River, Del; St. John's Chh., York; St. John's Chh., Carlisle; Chh. at York Springs, Huntington, Pa.; St. John's Par. (Caroline), Md.; St. John's Chh., York, Pa.; St. Thomas's Par., Baltimore, Md.; Vice-Provost; Provost, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Arrowsmith, John; B.A., Brasenose College, Oxford University; D. 25 December 1695; P. , Fulham Palace; f. 80. Schoolmaster, Philadelphia, Pa
  • Backhouse, Richard; D. 16 June, St. Paul's Cathedral; P. 25 July 1728, Fulham Palace; f. 234. St. Paul's Chh., Chester; St. Martin's Chh., Marcus Hook; St. John's Chh., Compassville and West Cain; Pequea Chh., Salisbury, Pa
  • Campbell, Colin; M.A., Marisehall College, Aberdeen; D. 11 December; P. 18 December 1737, Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace; ff. 266, 267. St. Anne's, now St. Mary's Chh., Burlington, N.J.; Chh. of St. James the Greater, Bristol, Pa.; St. Andrew's Chh., Mt. Holly, N.J.
  • Clay Rev. Slator Clay of Saint James Perkiomen parish. Then we read of another Clay in 1845: The Gloria Dei Church, no longer under the control of the State Church of Sweden, applied for admission into the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, and was accepted. Dr. Jehu Curtis Clay, the first Episcopal Rector
  • Rev. John Clubb, who served from about 1707 to 1715 at St. David's (Radnor) and later the Rev. Robert Weyman, who served during the 1720s ; Clubb, John;D. 31 March; P. 13 April 1704, Fulham Palace; f. 114. Schoolmaster, Christ Chh., Philadelphia; Trinity Chh., Oxford, Pa.; St. Anne's Chh., Appoquinimink; St. Anne; "Rev. Clubb did not long survive his arduous 20-mile journeys by horseback between Oxford and Radnor in all extremes of weather. He died in December of 1715." had assisted the REv. Dr. Evan Evans before Evans lseft for Englanf and, later, Harford Co., Maryland
  • Collin > Slator Clay served under the Dr. Collin: "(Clay) was ordained an Episcopal priest in Feb 17, 1788 and served as rector of St. James' in Perkiomen, St. Peter's in Great Valley, and assistant at Christ (Old Swedes) Church under Dr. Collin in Upper Merion, Montgomery Co, PA.
  • Coombe, Thomas; B.A., College of Philadelphia; D. 11 February 1769; P. 21 December 1771, Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace; ff. 359, 372. Christ Chh. and St. Peter's Chh., Philadelphia, Pa.; Chaplain to Lord Carlisle; Donagh Henry, Ireland; Chaplain to King George III; Prebendary, Canterbury; St. Michael's, Queenhithe; Trinity the Less, London, England.
  • Cumming, Archibald; M.A., King's College, Aberdeen; D. 13 December 1716, St. Paul's Cathedral; P. ; f 186. Christ Chh., Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Rev. William Currie (three parishes) Currie, William; D. 19 September; P. 29 September 1736, Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace; ff. 262, 263. St. David's Chh., Radnor; Bangor Chh., Caernarvon; St. James's Chh. at Evansburg, Lower Providence; St. Thomas's Chh., Whitemarsh; St. Peter's Chh., Great Valley, Tredyffryn, Pa
  • Jacob Duché 91737-1798) rector of Christ's Church, Philadelphia
    • Duché, Jacob; B.A., College of Philadelphia; D. 11 March 1759; P. , by Edmund Keene, Bishop of Chester, at request of Bishop of London, Fulham Palace, f 326.Christ Chh.; St. Peter's Chh., Philadelphia, Pa.; St. George's Fields, Lambeth Asylum, London, England.
  • Howie, Alexander; D. 22 February; P. 22 March 1729/30, Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace; ff. 240, 241. St. Thomas's Chh., Whitemarsh; Trinity Chh., Oxford; St. James's Chh. at Evansburg, Lower Providence, Pa.; St. David's Chh., Jamaica.
  • Reverend Evan Evans first to be at Radnor but left in 1706 ~• His work is covered in "Historical Sketches: A Collection of Papers", sourced below
  • Hughes, Griffin (Griffith); M.A., St. John's College, Oxford University; D. ; P. 24 September 1732, Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace; f. 249. Bangor Chh., Caernarvon; St. David's Chh., Radnor; St. James's Chh. at Evansburg, Lower Providence, Pa.; Barbados (St. Lucie parish); see TEHS source below; naturalist ; Born in 1707 (christened 29 April) at Towyn, Meironnydd, son of Edward and Bridget Hughes; had lands near his St. Daivd's posting which he sold to Griffith James
  • Jenney, Robert; B.A., Trinity College, Dublin; D. 1 September 1710; P. 4 January 1712/13, Fulham Palace; fF 148, 164. Chaplain, Royal Navy; Christ Chh., Philadelphia, Pa.; Trinity Chh., N. Y., N.Y.; Chaplain at the Fort, N.Y., N.Y. Christ Chh., Rye; St. Matthew's Chh., Bedford; St. Geo
  • Absalom Jones (1746-1818)
  • George Keith
  • Lindsay, William; M.A., Glasgow University; D. ; P. 2 February 1734/35, Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace; f 257. St. James the Greater Chh., Briston; St. James's Chh., Stanton; St. John's Chh., Penn, Pa.; St. Thomas's Chh., Alexandria; St. Andrew's Chh., Amwell; St. Michael's Chh., Trenton, N.J.
  • Magaw, Samuel; M.A., College of Philadelphia; D. ; P. 15 February 1767, Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace; f. 348. Christ Chh., Dover; St. Peter's Chh., Smyrna; Christ Chh., Milford; Christ Chh., Mispillion, Del; St. Paul's Chh., Philadelphia; Vice-Provost, College of Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Rev. William McClenachan : McClenachan, William; D. 29 March; P. 31 March 1755, Fuiham Palace, by John Thomas, Bishop of Lincoln, at request of Bishop of London; ff. 314, 315. St. Paul's Chh., Philadelphia, Pa. ~• Prespyterian turned Anglican
  • Reverend Doctor Alexander Murray (SPG) (at St. Gabriel's. Douglassville until the Revoltion ) see: page 2 ; A Faithful Soldier of Christ: The Career of the Reverend Dr. Alexander Murray, Missionary to Berks County, Pa. 1762-1778
  • Rev. George Aeneas Ross, M.A. plus his son (Rev. Aeneas) and his son-in-law (Rev. William Currie)
    • Ross, George; M.A., Edinburgh University; D. 11 June 1704; P. 4 March 1704/05; ff. 114, 117. Immanuel Chh., New Castle, Del.; St. Paul's Chh., Chester; St. John's Chh., Concord, Pa.; North Elk Par., Md.; St. James's Chh., White Clay Creek, Del.; St. Martin's Chh., Marcus Hook, Pa.
    • Ross, Aeneas; D. 21 December 1740; P. 22 February 1740/41, Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace; f. 275. St. James's the Greater Chh., Briston; Christ Chh., Philadelphia; Trinity Chh., Oxford; St. Thomas's Chh., Whitemarsh, Pa.; Immanuel Chh., New Castle, Del.
  • Smith, William; Reverend William Smith D, 21 December, by John Thomas, Bishop of Lincoln, at request of Bishop of London; P, 23 December 1753, Fulham Palace by Richard Osbaldeston, Bishop of Carlisle, at request of Bishop ofLondon; ff. 309, 310. Près,, College of Philadelphia; Trinity Chh,, Oxford; St. Thomas's Chh., Whitemarsh; All Saint's Chh,, Lower Dublin, Pa.; Près., Washington College, Chestertown; Chester Par., Md
  • Stringer, William; Trinity College, Dublin; D. 24 February; P. 7 March 1773, Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace; f. 379. St. Paul's Chh., Philadelphia, Pa
  • Talbot, John; B.A., St. John's College, Cambridge University; D. 17 October; P. 18 October 1691, (Location Blank) ; f. 66. Fellow, Peterhouse College, Cambridge University; Icklingham St. James, Suffolk, England; Va.; Fretheme, Glos., England; Chaplain, H.M.S. Centurion; N.J.; Albany, N.Y.; St. Anne's, now St. Mary's Chh., Burlington; Woodbridge; Perth Amboy; Hopewell; Elizabeth, N.J.; Chh. of St. James the Greater, Bristol, Pa. Non-juror bishop.
  • Thomson (Thompson), William; D. ; P. 23 December 1759, Fulham Palace, by Zachary Pearce, Bishop of Rochester, at request of Bishop ofLondon; f 327. St. John's Chh., Carlisle; Chh. at York Springs, Huntington; St. John's Chh., York, Pa.; St. Michael's Chh., Trenton; Maidenhead Chh., Lawrenceville; Christ Chh., Allentown, N.J.; North Elk Par.; North Sassafras Par.; Augustine Par., Md.
  • Thorn, Sidneyham; King's College, New York; D. 21 August; P. 24 August 1774, Fulham Palace; ff. 387, 388. St. Paul's Chh., Philadelphia, Pa.; Christ Chh., Milford; Christ Chh., Mispillion, Del.
  • Unander (of the earlier Lutheran era) Ericus Mathiæ Unander
  • Urmston, John; D. ; P. 16 February 1694/95, (Location Blank) ; f. 77. North Shore, N.C; St. John's Par.; St. Paul's Chh., Edenton,N.C; Christ Chh., Philadelphia Pa.; Shrewwsbury Parish; North Sassafras Parish, Md.Cortlandt,
  • Rev. John Wade (1765- ) , an Episcopal minister at Saint James Perkiomen (Evansburg) and elsewhere.
  • Weyman, Robert; Jesus College, Oxford University; D. 30 March, (Location Blank); P. 24 May 1719, St. Paul's Cathedral; ff. 197, 198. St. James the Greater Chh.,Briston; Bangor Chh., Caernarvon; Frankford; St. David's Chh., Radnor; Trinity Chh., Oxford; St. Thomas's Chh., Whitemarsh; St. James's Chh. at Evansburg, Lower Providence, Pa.; St. George's Par., Md.; ~• for his son, see:
  • Bishop William White
    • White, William; M.A., College of Philadelphia; D. ; P. 25 April 1772, Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace; f. 374. Christ Chh. and St. Peter's Chh., Philadelphia, Pa. Chaplain of Congress; Bishop of Pennsylvania.

Doctrinal Influences

  • George Whitefield (1714-1770) an Anglican cleric and evangelist who was one of the founders of Methodism and the evangelical movement.
  • The Oxford Movement began in the 1830s in England, an influential and controversial grouping of Anglicans who wished to return to the Church of England many Catholic beliefs and liturgical rituals from before the English Reformation.

Church doctrine and the American Revolution

  • many Colonial Pennsylvanian leaders of the Church of England had qualms about the resolutions enacted concerning ecclesiastical posture toward the King of England. To better gain and understanding of this topic each profile and wiki record should be carefully examined.
  • We might imagine that services at Christ's Church Philadelphia remained "Loyal" during the occupation but shifted back to "Patriot" once the British abandoned the City in 1778.

19th century Architectural Influences

  • see: Cambridge Camden Society aka the Ecclesiological Society
    • "The relevance to American Episcopal church construction is evidenced in 19th century construction, such as at St. James the Less, an historic Episcopal church in Philadelphia c.1846: "The Gothic architecture was nearly accidental. The congregation applied to the Cambridge Camden Society, which in 1841 and 1844 had published a widely circulated pamphlet on modern church design, for a set of approved plans. Originally an organization formed by Cambridge University students interested in gothic architecture, the group advocated combining the piety of gothic architecture with church reform associated with the Oxford Movement." ~• wikipedia


2019 "Ever since 1784, the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania has been headquartered in Philadelphia, most recently leading its 134 churches from offices adjacent to the denomination’s cathedral in University City. This fall, however, the diocese, which represents 40,000 parishioners in the five-county Philadelphia area, will move its administrative base to the suburbs — to a Norristown church that was closed nearly four years ago.

The new headquarters will be St. John’s Episcopal Church, a Gothic-style cathedral steps away from the Montgomery County courthouse. The diocese also will set up a satellite office in Philadelphia at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, another congregation that had earlier closed its doors but is now reopened as a community resource center."
2021 "Down from 193 churches in 1964, the Diocese of Pennsylvania today has 134 churches throughout Philadelphia and four of the surrounding counties. As of December 2020, it had an endowment of $79.8 million." ~• From the Episcopal News Service BY EGAN MILLARD ; Posted Dec 9, 2021


  • Episcopal Vision / American Reality High Church Theology and Social Thought in Evangelical America; Robert Bruce Mullin; Format:HardbackPublication date:10 Sep 1986ISBN:9780300034875 Imprint:Yale University Press Dimensions:254 pages: 235 x 156mm review