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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor



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Samuel Seabury

SEABURY, Samuel, clergyman, born in Groton, Connecticut, 8 July, 1706 ; died in Hempstead, Long Island, New York, 15 June, 1764. He was educated partly at Yale, and was graduated at Harvard in 1724. After becoming a licensed preacher of the Congregationalists in 1726, he was ordained deacon and priest in the Church of England by the bishop of London in 1731, and served as a missionary of the Society for propagating the gospel. He was rector of St. James's church, New London, from 1732 till 1743, and of St. George's church, Hempstead, L. I., from 1743 till his death, connecting with his work here the charge of a school and the care of mission stations both on Long Island and at Fishkill, New York His extant publications are a sermon preached at New London (1742), and a pamphlet entitled "A Modest Reply to a Letter from a Gentleman to his Friend in Dutchess County" (New York, 1759).-His son, Samuel, 1st bishop of the diocese of Connecticut, born in Groton, Connecticut, 30 November, 1729; died in New London, Connecticut, 25 February, 1796, was graduated at Yale in 1748, was a catechist of the Society for propagating the gospel, and a student of theology under his father, until 1752, and then for a year a student of medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He was ordained deacon by Dr. John Thomas, bishop of Lincoln, 21 December, 1753, and priest by Dr. Richard Osbaldiston, bishop of Carlisle, in London. 23 December, 1753. He served as a missionary at New Brunswick, New Jersey, from 25 May, 1754, became rector of Jamaica, including Flushing and New-town, L. I., 12 January, 1757, and rector of St. Peter's, Westchester, New York, 1 March, 1767. There he was prevented from the exercise of his ministry by the Whigs, by some of whom he was at one time seized and imprisoned in New Haven for six weeks. He then retired to the city of New York, where he supported himself in part by the practice of medicine, serving also as chaplain of the king's American regiment under commission of Sir Henry Clinton of 14 February, 1778. He was particularly obnoxious to the American party on account of his authorship of the series of pamphlets signed A. W. Farmer, and entitled "Free Thoughts on the Proceedings of the Continental Congress" (16 November, 1774); "The Congress Canvassed" (26 November, 1774): and " A View of the Controversy between Great Britain and her Colonies" (24 December, 1774). He received the degree of D.D. from the University of Oxford, 15 December, 1777. Dr. Seabury was elected Bishop of Connecticut by the Church of England clergy therein at Wood-bury, 25 March, 1783, and applied to the English episcopate for consecration in London. He awaited their assent sixteen months, but it was withheld on account of unwillingness to act without the sanction of the civil authority, and failure at that time to procure such sanction; one who was to exercise his office in a foreign state not being able to take the oath of allegiance required by law of those who were consecrated bishops in the English church. He was finally consecrated bishop, 14 November, 1784, at Aberdeen, by Bishops Kilgour, Petrie, and Skinner, representing the episcopate of the Scottish church, who could not be deterred from exercising the powers of the episcopal office by the apprehension of the loss of temporalities of which they had been long since deprived. Bishop Seabury exercised episcopal jurisdiction with the acceptance of the laity as well as of the clergy in Connecticut, residing in New London as rector of St. James's church until his death, and also, by its invitation, over the church in Rhode Island. He was the first presiding bishop of the churches in the several states, united under the general convention in 1789, and joined with Bishops Provoost, White, and Madison in the consecration of Bishop Claggett, through whom every bishop of the Anglican communion subsequently consecrated in tile United States traces his episcopate. Bishop Seabury's knowledge of and devotion to the church system, applied with remarkable prudence and patience, made him peculiarly valuable to his church in this country in that formative period that succeeded the Revolution. The special benefits for which it is indebted to him are, directly, the transfer to this country of a free, valid, and regular episcopacy, and, indirectly, the clearing of the way for the transmission of the episcopate of the established Church of England by demonstrating the possibility of obtaining consecration from another and equally valid source, and the fact that episcopacy could live in this country; the reunion through him, in the consecration of Claggett, of the lines of the Scottish church and of the English non-jurors with the line of the established Church of England, represented by White, Pro-roost, and Madison; the securing of the just rights of the episcopate in the government of the church, which was attained by the amendment of its constitution changing the house of bishops from a mere house of revision to a co-ordinate branch of the legislature; and, lastly, the restoration of the oblation and invocation to the communion office. Two volumes of his sermons (1791) and many occasional papers were published during his life, and a third volume of discourses after his death (1798). See his "Life and Correspondence," by Reverend Eben Edwards Beardsley, D.D. (Boston, 1881). The "Bishop's palace," as his simple residence at New London was jestingly styled, is shown in the accompanying illustration.--His grandson, Samuel, clergyman, son of Reverend Charles Seabury, born in New London, 9 June, 1801; died in New York city, 10 October, 1872, was privately educated, and received the degree of 25I. A, and D. D. from Columbia college in 1823 and 1837, respectively. He was ordained deacon in 1826, and priest in 1828, by Bishop Hobart, and was professor of languages in Flushing institute and St. Paul's college until 1834, after which he was editor of " The Churchman" until 1849. He was rector of the Church of the Annunciation, New York, from 1838 till 1868, and professor of biblical learning, etc., in the General theological seminary, New York, from 1862 till his death. His reputation and influence were chiefly established by his editorial writings. He was the author of "Historical Sketch of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo" (New York, 1833) ; "The Continuity of the Church of England in the 16th Century" (1853); "The Supremacy and Obligation of Conscience" (1860) ; "American Slavery distinguished from the Slavery of English Theorists, and justified by the Law of Nature" (1861); "Mary the Virgin" (1868); and "Theory and Use of the Church Calendar in the Measurement and Distribution of Time" (1872).--The second Samuel's son, William Jones, clergyman, born in New York city, 25 January, 1837, was graduated at Columbia in 1856, and admitted to the New York bar in 1858, but, abandoning law for divinity, was graduated at the General theological seminary in 1866, ordained deacon, 5 July, 1866, and priest, 30 November, 1866, by Bishop Horatio Potter. He has been rector of the Church of the Annunciation, New York, from 1868, and professor of ecclesiastical polity and law in the General theological seminary since 1873. He received the degree of D. D. from Hobart college in 1876 and from the General theological seminary in 1885. He has edited Dr. Samuel Seabury's "Memorial" (New York, 1873), and " Discourses on the Nature and Work of the Holy Spirit" (1874), and is the author of "Suggestions in Aid of Devotion and Godliness" (1878), and various pamphlets, including "The Union of Divergent Lines in the American Succession" (New York, 1885). For a complete bibliography of these four clergyman see the "American Church Review" for July, 1885.

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