Timeline Table

1610  Timeline - 1610 St. John's Church Hampton Virginia The first English-speaking parish in America, St. John’s Church, Hampton, Virginia, is founded in 1610.
The New Haven region is the home of the   Quinnipiac tribe who live in villages around the harbor. It was visited by the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block of Amsterdam in 1614. Subsequently, Dutch traders visited New Haven to trade beaver pelts with the tribe, but did not settle permantely there..
The map to the right from the New Netherlands Project is the engraved 1635 version of Adriaen Block’s 1614 manuscript map.  It is titled “Nova Belgica et Nova Anglica”. Â
For a more detailed look at the original manuscript and this charming first published map of New England with animals, Indians in canoes, and villages, click on the map or click here.  New Haven is shown on the map as the home of the “Quirepeys” tribe.
1638 In 1637 an advance party of English   Puritans scout the New Haven   region and winter near the harbor. That same year the Reverend John Davenport and much of his English congregation leave their refuge in Holland and sail to Boston. In April 1638, Rev. Davenport, the merchant Theophilus Eaton , and 500 settlers, hoping to found a more perfect theological community than the one in Boston – which they believe is too lax – sail into New Haven Harbor . Then under attack by the Pequots and   Mohawks , the Quinnipiacs sell their land to the settlers in return for protection, and the settlers found the   Colony of New Haven .  By 1740, a nine square grid centered on a central Green has been established near the harbor, and a meeting house built in its center.  A democratic-theocratic government was put in place, with the Puritan   Congregational Church   established as the only legal denomination in the colony.
1701 The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) is founded in London; it remains active today under the name United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel l (USPG). The Society funded and remotely administered the growing Anglican church from its early beginnings with missionary-led “house church” services held in parishioner’s homes, all the way to the Revolutionary War. The Bishop of London is the head not only of the largest British diocese in population in England, but because of his responsibility for all colonial ministers, the largest territory of any Bishop in history, covering all the British Empire’s colonies: the American colonies alone are many times the size of all of England.
To the left is a dynamic bookplate or seal issued by the society, which funded parish libraries and provided salaries for its missionary ministers.  It was rendered into a stained glass window by St. John’s Church Hampton Virginia (image on right), and it may be found on the north wall of the present day church there.
This year also a “Collegiate School at Saybrook” was founded on Saybrook Point, Connecticut. After 1718 it would be known as Yale College. The history of Trinity Church,  the missionary Society and the college will be intertwined from their beginnings on.
For more on the early years, and a description of the SPG and its bookplate, see â–º   The First Years: From Mission to Revolution.
1705 From the beginning, laymen were of great importance to Trinity Church. The wealthy Col. Caleb Heathcote of New York, founder and vestryman of Trinity Church New York – one commentator calls him the “lay bishop of New York” -  and a member of the SPG, accompanies the Rev. George Murison, a Scottish born Church of England missionary priest of the SPG based in Rye, NY, on trips around New York and Connecticut. Murison is a graduate of King’s College Aberdeen, who initially went to New York as a schoolmaster in 1703, but returned to England where he was was ordained in 1705. On returning to New York he began working as a missionary for the SPG. Thus the first minister assigned to the people of the region that includes what is now is the parish of Trinity New Haven was a Scottish Episcopalian — only the first of many significant Trinity Church ties to the Episcopal Church in Scotland .
Heathcote writes from his home in Westchester, NY:
“In some towns amongst 100 sober people, not ten will be admitted to the sacrament, and vast numbers are denied baptism. I am told there is a town called Newhaven within 14 miles of Stratford there are near 1000 unbaptized. Now if it be a good work and a great service to bring the Indians to the knowledge of our holy faith and to happiness, benefit and blessing of partaking of Baptism and the Lord’s Table, it must be of equal if not grater service to make those of our own blood and nation partakers of these great blessings”.
Murison and Heathcote make “ecclesiastical incursions” into Connecticut in 1706 and, but travel “fully armed” as they expect to encounter vigorous resistance from the Puritans, who threaten them with prison for trying to establish Anglican churches in the colonies. The image of Colonel (and later Mayor) Heathcote is courtesy of the New York Historical Society , and is described in their catalog entry .Â
While there is no record that the courageous duo made across the Housatonic and a dozen miles or so further up the coast to the “1000 unbaptized in Newhaven”, Rev. Murison was the first “priest in charge” of the region once called New Haven Colony.
1707 The parish of Christ Church, now   Christ Episcopal Church , the first Anglican parish in Connecticut, is established at Stratford. Murison is asked to visit it and other towns, “and he became a kind of traveling Missionary in the Colony.”  Murison describes one vist in a letter to the SPG :
“They. . . left no means untryed both foul and fair, to prevent the settling of the Church among them. . . the people were likewise threatened with Imprisonment, and a forfeiture of £5 for coming to hearing me. It would require more time than you would willingly bestow on these Lines, to express how rigidly and severely they treat our People, by taking their Estate by distress when they do not willingly pay to support their Ministers. . . . They spare not openly to speak reproachfully and with great contempt of our Church, they say the sign of the Cross is the Mark of the Beast and the sign of the Devil and that those who receive it are given to the Devil.”
1708 Rev. Murison dies in 1708 and the Rev. Christopher Bridges based in Rye, NY takes over the region from 1709 to his death in 1719, save for a brief period in 1712-1713 when for seven months the Rev. Francis Philips resides in Stratford and handles the missionary region around New Haven. No one seems to have officially served the parish region from 1720 to 1721. Southern Connecticut was also occasionally visited by a number of traveling missionary priests, including Rev.  John Talbot known as “The Apostle of the New Jersey Church”, a Rev. Bridge, a Rev. Sharpe.  Sharpe pays a month long visit to the colony in 1712, and among the people he baptizes is “an aged man said to have been the first white person born in the colony.”
1722 The Rev. George Pigot is sent by the SPG to Stratford, Ct. where he takes up residence. Shortly after his arrival, Rev. Samuel Johnson, a native of Guilford, a former Tutor at Yale, and now pastor of the Congregational Church in West Haven, Connecticut, travels down to Stratford and informs Pigot that he himself, the Rector of Yale Timothy Cutler, Yale Senior Tutor Daniel Brown, Rev. James Wetmore of North Haven, and five other Connecticut Congregational ministers, after studying the history of the early church together, doubt the validity of their Puritan ordination, and wish to convert to the Church of England. The “New Haven Nine” announce their conversion at Yale’s Commencement that year in an event that American Religion historian Sydney Ahlstrom calls “The Great Apostasy”. When asked to explain their position, two of the men announce they are now conformable with Presbyterian Orders, but six of the men write up a short letter giving their reasons for preferring the Episcopacy. This scene is depicted in the stained glass window from the Church of the Holy Spirit, West Haven, Connecticut . Rev. Johnson (in a red coat) is sitting at the table writing the letter, while Rector Cutler (light blue) above looks on. Above them are Rev. Wetmore of North Haven (blue) and Tutor Daniel Brown (blue-green), Rev. Jared Eliot of Clinton (green), Rev. John Hart of Madison (purple), and Rev. Charles Whittelsey of Wallingford (yellow). It isn’t clear why only Johnson and Culter are wearing wigs: Jared Eliot was older than Johnson and would go on to have a distinguished career as an agricultural scientist and member of the Royal Academy.
Under intense pressure, three of the men recant (the three at the top of the window looking away from the writing of the letter), including the Rev. Jared Eliot of Guilford, but Johnson and three other men journey first to Boston, then to England, for ordination. There Johnson and his fellow apostates are not only ordained, but are celebrated and meet just about everyone in Church, University, Social, Literary, and political circles – a network that will become useful when Johnson encounters bitter opposition to starting a Church in New Haven.
Note the circular medallion at the top of the window is yet another rendering of the seal of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.
1723 The founding of an Anglican Parish in New Haven. The American Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson (1696 — 1772) returns from his yearlong trip to England as an ordained SPG missionary priest, and replaces Rev. Pigot in Stratford.  Pigot, who has visited places as far off as Roxbury as part of his mission, hurries off to the more settled location of New London, Connecticut. Johnson has bee placed by the society in charge of a region stretching from Stamford to Guilford along the Connecticut coast, and inland north to New Milford and Waterbury — perhaps a third of Connecticut’s 5,544 square miles: he is very alone, “surrounded by enemies”, and required to travel to administer services to each local church once per month.Â
After seeing a church build in New Haven, he founded of King’s College (now Columbia University) in 1754, and was its President from 1754 to 1763.
Since there are records of Parishes founded in West Haven   and North Haven in 1723, it is almost certain that a parish was also founded in the much larger New Haven as well:  Johnson, had lived there as a Yale tutor from 1716 to 1720, and intended to use it as a base for converting Yale students, and were certainly have set up a parish with rotating house church meetings as well to support and instruct the Yale students and even some of its tutors. For more on the early days of Trinity Church, see â–º   The First Years: from mission to revolution.
It also seems that the Rev. Luk de Volder, Trinity’s Belgium born Rector installed in 2011, was not the first native French speaker to hold services in Connecticut. After 1723 when Johnson was installed as the regional head of the Southern Connecticut Church based in Stratford, “services were still carried on in Fairfield by a devout layman, Dr. Laborie, a Frenchman, who, previous to his arrival in this country, had conformed to the Church of England.”Â
Dr. Johnson, along with fellow converts Dr. Cutler and Dr. Chandler, is celebrated in in a feast day of the   Calendar of Saints of the Episcopal Church on August 17.
To the  left is a depiction of the American Rev. Dr. Samuel on a memorial window at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Milford, Connecticut. The small window was originally on the east side of the chancel of St. Peter’s, but when the adjoining parish hall was added, it was moved to the connecting hall, and now greets those who come from the classroom- side entrance to the church.  During the move the window had to be shortened to fit a lower and smaller space and thus Dr. Johnson is missing his feet, and some of the the yellow and white side scrolls seem to have been swapped in the move as well.  Today, some at the church believe it depicts Bishop Seabury.  Johnson would have taken such indignities with his usual good humor.  And then, low paced window is at the eye level of small children — which would have made the man who taught children for nearly sixty years in Guilford, Saybrook, New Haven, Stratford, and New York, who opened a common school in Stratford as well as a boarding school and a school for adults, and pioneered a kind and gentle approach to children’s education in America far ahead of his era — the move would made him very happy indeed.Â
1724 Dr. Johnson opens the first Anglican church built in Connecticut on Christmas Day, 1724 . He later writes to the SPG:
“It is a neat, small wooden building, forty-five feet and a half long, thirty and a half wide, and twenty-two between joints or up to the roof; but there is no house or glebe belonging to it, nor is it at all endowed, nor has it any settled salary besides the honorable society’s bounty; only the poor people are as liberal in small presents as can be expected of them.”Â
He adds that there were about fifty church families within the limits of the town, “and besides them, there are a considerable number of people scattered up and down in the neighboring towns, some five, some ten, twenty and thirty miles off, who come to Church as often as can be expected.”  But that there was “no Church westward within forty miles” and “no Church eastward within one hundred miles, only at New London, about seventy miles off, where I sometimes preach to a good number of people, and they are building a wooden Church somewhat larger than ours.” And that there was “no Church northward at all.”
The discouraged missionary Anglican among the contentious Puritans adds, ” We are oppressed and despised as the filth of the world .”
Still, Trinity Parish members now have a place they can visit for services only some 15 miles and one ride on Moses Wheeler’s ferry over the Housatonic. Though churches will be built all over the region in the next 20 years, the Puritans will not allow a church to be build in New Haven until 1752.
We don’t have a contemporary sketch of the building, but it might have looked like this illustration of the First Meetinghouse in Connecticut from Barber’s Connecticut Historical Collection s.
1727 The first pledge.   The first record of an Episcopal “house church” service in New Haven records an event that takes place probably at Christmas time this year or shortly after. Johnson delivers a sermon that so impresses a congregation of    “near a hundred hearers and among them several of the College”   that 10 members pledge 100 pounds to fund an Anglican church in New Haven.
On November 10, 1725, Thanksgiving Day,   Johnson opens his second regional church in the Mill Plains part of Fairfield, Connecticut, about one mile from the village center.  He had been given “Christ Church” as the name of his parish in Stratford, but going against the tradition of calling all non-self- supporting churches “Christ’s Church”, he calls his second church Trinity ;  today it is Trinity Episcopal Church, Southport, Connecticut. The parish he forms in New Haven is also called Trinity, and the last church he will see built before becoming President of King’s College would be Trinity Church New Haven. Clearly the Trinity was important to Johnson.
For more on the reason choosing for the name of Trinity, see Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson on the Trinitarian debate of the eighteenth century and the article â–º Why are we named Trinity?Â
The brass Trinity image of the triangle with three interlocking circles and three groups of three berries on a vine is taken from the pulpit in today’s Trinity Church. The same motifs are repeated in the Columbarium: see â–º In my Father’s house are many rooms: A Columbarium Walk-Through.
1734 After discussions with Johnson, the   Rev. Jonathan Arnold (1700 – 1753) of the Congregational Church in West Haven, Connecticut converts to the Church of England. Arnold was born in Hamden, Connecticut, graduated from Yale in 1723, was licensed to preach by a committee of the Hartford North Association in 1724, and early in 1725 was ordained pastor of the Congregational church in West Haven. The people of the town stipulated when he was hired that if he should embrace Episcopacy like his predecessor Samuel Johnson, the money paid to him as a settlement should be refunded. He married in 1728 Abigail Beard of Milford, a heiress: thus the clause turned out to be no protection, and he converts to the Episcopacy in 1734.  In 1735 he travels to England for ordination, and receives an honorary MA degree from Oxford. On returning in 1736 he becomes a SPG missionary priest and takes up residence in West Haven. He conducts services in New Haven, Derby, Waterbury, Milford and other towns in the region of New Haven County, covering an area of over 850 square miles.  During this period Rev. Samuel Johnson continues to minister to his missionary region, including Stratford and parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties, and co-administer the Berkeley Scholarship at Yale in frequent visits to New Haven where he continues to conduct services in the “house churchs” of Trinity parish.
1736 The first deed . Rev. Jonathan Arnold takes over as minister of Johnson’s New Haven county parishes. He obtains a record of a conveyance for land donated by William Grigson in New Haven “for the purpose of building and erecting a church thereupon, for the worship and service of Almighty God, according to the practice of the Church of England, and a parsonage or dwelling house for the incumbent of the said intended church for the time being, and also for a church yard to be taken thereout for the poor, and the residue thereof to be esteemed and used as Glebe Land by the minister of the said intended church for the time being forever.”
For more on the convoluted history of Trinity’s attempt to own land in New Haven, and the Puritan’s resistance to their attempt to set up a church in the town, with both legends and documents, see Judge Frederick Croswell’s 1868 â–º History of Trinity Church, New Haven.
1737 The Anglican parish now known as Immanuel St. James Church in Derby, Connecticut is formed in Derby in 1737 when Captain John Holbrook and 6 other men, who “desired to start an Episcopal Ecclesiastical Society”, began to build a church: they completed it the next year, and as was common with other Anglican churches of the time, it would be called Christ Church until it could be consecrated by a Bishop.
1738 The attack of a Puritan Mob. The Rev. Arnold attempts to clear the tract of land in New Haven donated by “Mr. Gregson of London” to form a church; his servant and his ox-cart is “mobbed off” by 150 angry Puritans.Â
1739 The famous “Great Awakening” preacher Rev. George Whitefield , declaring that the whole world is his parish, visits the American colonies in 1738–1740, and draws immense crowds everywhere he goes. Whitefield, though an Anglican minister, is doctrinally a Calvinist and closer to the Puritans on polity as well.  He additionally believes that you need to undergo a “conversion experience”, or “regeneration” to be saved: thus he is often considered the father of the born-again evangelical movement. Rev. Samuel Johnson attends one of Whitefield’s famous dramatic outdoor revival meetings in New Haven and is not impressed: he privately accuses Whitefield of “enthusiasm”, which is strong language for the genial Johnson.
Whitefield also meets with Rev. Arnold by accident in Philadelphia in 1739, and the two take an instant dislike to each other: Arnold prints a warning against Whitefield in the Boston News-Letter, while Whitefield writes a letter to the Secretary of the SPG, warning him that Arnold “is “unworthy of the name of a minister of Jesus Christ.” and that “I have been in his company several times and was obliged to reprove him openly for his misconduct. . . Wherever he has been, a very ill report is spread abroad concerning him.” Whitfield and other “New Light” revivalist preachers all too often attack their Anglican and Old Light rivals as “unconverted” and “damned”, so the source of the mutual dislike may be denominational more than an accurate reflection of character. The Old Light Rector of Yale, Rev. Thomas Clap, also meets, falls out, then exchanges bitter pamphlets with New Lights George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards.
All over the Colonies, particularly in Connecticut, the Great Awakening movement splits the Puritans into two factions, the Old Lights emphasizing reason, and the New Lights demanding an emotional conversion experience for salvation; the Anglicans generally retain their traditional polities and broad “middle way” doctrine. This is why today there are three churches on the New Haven Green.
Perhaps discouraged by the opposition in New Haven where he is living, Arnold quits Connecticut in the spring of the next year for a parish on Staten Island, New York, and established Anglican colony. The American Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson briefly takes over the parish again.
Rector Williams of Yale, a bitter and devious foe of Johnson and the establishment of an Anglican Church in New Haven, resigns, citing poor health; he recovers suspiciously quickly, and runs for office, possibly intending to run for Governor.  The stage is cleared for new and less partisan men in New Haven.
1740 The Rev. Theophilus Morris, an English SPG missionary priest, takes up residence in West Haven and ministers to Trinity Parish, though Rev. Samuel Johnson continues to spend a great deal of time in the town.  It is said that the churchmen welcomed Morris “with much pleasure, fearing they would be without a missionary. He speaks of the Church people as being intelligent, and well read as to the principles of Church government.”Â
A church is built in 1741 in West Haven, just four miles from New Haven’s Green.  Members of Trinity parish now have a place they can go to worship on Sunday.  This has important legal and tax benefits, as the law states that if you attend a church, the church tax you pay goes to that church. However, the Puritans will soon change the law to try to isolate Anglicans to only the town they live in, and only if their church is closer to their residence than a state sponsored Congregationalist one.
This year Rev. Thomas Clap of Windham, known for his aggressive orthodoxy, becomes the new Rector of Yale College. Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson, brings his 14 year old brilliant son William Samuel Johnson to Yale at the October commencement, and surprisingly forms not only a close friendship with Clap, but a partnership. Johnson helps Clap by designing an Enlightenment curriculum for Yale, a catalog scheme for their library, and a list of recommended reading, while Clap     privately agrees to a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy of tolerance towards Anglican students attending Yale. He allows the m to attend services in New Haven and in Derby instead of going to the nearby Congregational church on the Green.
1743 The Rev. James Lyons, an Irish SPG missionary priest, takes up residence at Christ Church, Derby, now  Immanuel St. James Church in Derby, Connecticut.  He ministers to Trinity Parish as well as the church in West Haven. In five years he leaves Derby for Setauket, in Brookhaven, New York on Long Island.
1748 The Rev. Richard Mansfield (1724 – 1820) replaces Lyons in Derby. Dr. Mansfield was born in New Haven, 1724. Raised a Congregationalist, he attended Yale as a “Berkeley Scholar”, graduated from Yale College in 1741, and remained there two years after his graduation: it was during these two years that he became an Episcopalian under the influence of Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson. He traveled to England and was ordained by Archbishop of Canterbury on August 7, 1748, and was placed as priest in charge of Derby and several other towns, though not his native New Haven which Dr. Samuel Johnson takes over.
In Lucy Jarvis’s Sketches of Church Life in Colonial Connecticut  it is recounted that, “His life was not an easy one, in fact so many dangers beset a clergyman in those days that when he went to England to receive Holy Orders, his sister prayed that he might be lost at sea.”  Either that, or as happened with many converts, his staunch Congregationalist family rejected him, and is effectively saying “better dead than Anglican”. Time heals all bigotry, apparently, for the local New Haven man over his long tenure earns the respect of his old college: in 1792, he becomes the first Episcopalian to receive a Doctorate from Yale.
1749 On December 28, the Rev. Ebenezer Punderson, who will soon become Trinity’s first minister, is thrown in jail for refusing to pay the established church tax.
1750 The Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson, while in New Haven at Yale co-administering the Berkeley scholarship with Yale’s President Clap, writes a letter to its donor, Bishop Berkeley on December 17, 1750, that, the parishioners in New Haven “have this winter got timber to build a church of the dimensions of sixty feet by forty, besides the steeple and chancel; and as this is a place of very great importance on account of the College being there, it would be very happy for them if the Society were able to assist them in providing for a minister, as I doubt they will not be able to do more than £25 sterling per annum themselves, especially while building.  He adds,  “We should soon have a flourishing church at New Haven, if we could get a minister.” He sends young “Mssrs. Camp and Colten” off to London in 1751; Camp returns safe, but Colten dies of small-pox on the way home.
There is also a record mentioning two wardens active this year for Trinity Parish, though no record has been discovered for the “official” founding date of the parish, which presumably took place sometime between 1723 and this date — if there ever was an “official” founding date.
The Anglican church in Connecticut is much put upon. On April 14, 1751, Johnson writes to Dr. Bearcroft, Secretary of the SPG, enclosing a copy of the state charter, the laws establishing the Congregationalist and attacking the Anglican religion, supporting their ministers, collecting rates, mandatory attendance for those not withing five miles of an Anglican church, exclusion from voting, and discrimination. He even proposes a new form of government for the state to make for consistent laws among the colonies, something Dr. Benjamin Franklin will also propose.
Despite the successful opposition of the Puritans in New Haven, more than 25 Anglican churches have been built under the energetic leadership of Rev. Johnson in various parts of Connecticut “before a spade was taken to dig for the foundations of an Episcopal house of worship in New Haven.” Dr. Johnson himself preached in New Haven on Sunday May 6, 1750: his parochial register notes that he baptized six male children, all the sons of Daniel and Mehetabel Trowbridge: Joseph, Newman, Thomas, Rutherford, Stephen and John.  Thus begins the close association of that wealthy, large, and soon to be distinguished family with Trinity Church.
At some point, possibly around 1750, Johnson appoints Enos Ailing and Isaac Doolittle as Wardens, and they begin the difficult task of trying to find someone in New Haven who will sell land to Anglicans for a church.

&nbsp1610 The first English-speaking parish in America, St. John’s Church, Hampton Virginia, is founded in 1610.
The New Haven region is the home of the Quinnipiac tribe who live in villages around the harbor. It was visited by the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block of Amsterdam in 1614. Subsequently, Dutch traders visited New Haven to trade beaver pelts with the tribe, but did not settle permantely there..
The map to the right from the New Netherlands Project is the engraved 1635 version of Adriaen Block’s 1614 manuscript map.  It is titled “Nova Belgica et Nova Anglica”. Â
For a more detailed look at the original manuscript and this charming first published map of New England with animals, Indians in canoes, and villages, click on the map or click here.  New Haven is shown on the map as the home of the “Quirepeys” tribe.
1638 In 1637 an advance party of English Puritans scout the New Haven region and winter near the harbor. That same year the Reverend John Davenport and much of his English congregation leave their refuge in Holland and sail to Boston. In April 1638, Rev. Davenport, the merchant Theophilus Eaton , and 500 settlers, hoping to found a more perfect theological community than the one in Boston – which they believe is too lax – sail into New Haven Harbor . Then under attack by the Pequots and Mohawks , the Quinnipiacs sell their land to the settlers in return for protection, and the settlers found the Colony of New Haven .  By 1740, a nine square grid centered on a central Green has been established near the harbor, and a meeting house built in its center.  A democratic-theocratic government was put in place, with the Puritan Congregational Church established as the only legal denomination in the colony.
1701 The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) is founded in London; it remains active today under the name United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel l (USPG). The Society funded and remotely administered the growing Anglican church from its early beginnings with missionary-led “house church” services held in parishioner’s homes, all the way to the Revolutionary War. The Bishop of London is the head not only of the largest British diocese in population in England, but because of his responsibility for all colonial ministers, the largest territory of any Bishop in history, covering all the British Empire’s colonies: the American colonies alone are many times the size of all of England.
To the left is a dynamic bookplate or seal issued by the society, which funded parish libraries and provided salaries for its missionary ministers.  It was rendered into a stained glass window by St. John’s Church Hampton Virginia (image on right), and it may be found on the north wall of the present day church there.
This year also a “Collegiate School at Saybrook” was founded on Saybrook Point, Connecticut. After 1718 it would be known as Yale College. The history of Trinity Church,  the missionary Society and the college will be intertwined from their beginnings on.
For more on the early years, and a description of the SPG and its bookplate, see â–º The First Years: From Mission to Revolution.
1705 From the beginning, laymen were of great importance to Trinity Church. The wealthy Col. Caleb Heathcote of New York, founder and vestryman of Trinity Church New York – one commentator calls him the “lay bishop of New York” -  and a member of the SPG, accompanies the Rev. George Murison, a Scottish born Church of England missionary priest of the SPG based in Rye, NY, on trips around New York and Connecticut. Murison is a graduate of King’s College Aberdeen, who initially went to New York as a schoolmaster in 1703, but returned to England where he was was ordained in 1705. On returning to New York he began working as a missionary for the SPG. Thus the first minister assigned to the people of the region that includes what is now is the parish of Trinity New Haven was a Scottish Episcopalian — only the first of many significant Trinity Church ties to the Episcopal Church in Scotland .
Heathcote writes from his home in Westchester, NY:
“In some towns amongst 100 sober people, not ten will be admitted to the sacrament, and vast numbers are denied baptism. I am told there is a town called Newhaven within 14 miles of Stratford there are near 1000 unbaptized. Now if it be a good work and a great service to bring the Indians to the knowledge of our holy faith and to happiness, benefit and blessing of partaking of Baptism and the Lord’s Table, it must be of equal if not grater service to make those of our own blood and nation partakers of these great blessings”.
Murison and Heathcote make “ecclesiastical incursions” into Connecticut in 1706 and, but travel “fully armed” as they expect to encounter vigorous resistance from the Puritans, who threaten them with prison for trying to establish Anglican churches in the colonies. The image of Colonel (and later Mayor) Heathcote is courtesy of the New York Historical Society , and is described in their catalog entry .Â
While there is no record that the courageous duo made across the Housatonic and a dozen miles or so further up the coast to the “1000 unbaptized in Newhaven”, Rev. Murison was the first “priest in charge” of the region once called New Haven Colony.
1707 The parish of Christ Church, now Christ Episcopal Church , the first Anglican parish in Connecticut, is established at Stratford. Murison is asked to visit it and other towns, “and he became a kind of traveling Missionary in the Colony.”  Murison describes one vist in a letter to the SPG :
“They. . . left no means untryed both foul and fair, to prevent the settling of the Church among them. . . the people were likewise threatened with Imprisonment, and a forfeiture of £5 for coming to hearing me. It would require more time than you would willingly bestow on these Lines, to express how rigidly and severely they treat our People, by taking their Estate by distress when they do not willingly pay to support their Ministers. . . . They spare not openly to speak reproachfully and with great contempt of our Church, they say the sign of the Cross is the Mark of the Beast and the sign of the Devil and that those who receive it are given to the Devil.”
1708 Rev. Murison dies in 1708 and the Rev. Christopher Bridges based in Rye, NY takes over the region from 1709 to his death in 1719, save for a brief period in 1712-1713 when for seven months the Rev. Francis Philips resides in Stratford and handles the missionary region around New Haven. No one seems to have officially served the parish region from 1720 to 1721. Southern Connecticut was also occasionally visited by a number of traveling missionary priests, including Rev.  John Talbot known as “The Apostle of the New Jersey Church”, a Rev. Bridge, a Rev. Sharpe.  Sharpe pays a month long visit to the colony in 1712, and among the people he baptizes is “an aged man said to have been the first white person born in the colony.”
1722 The Rev. George Pigot is sent by the SPG to Stratford, Ct. where he takes up residence. Shortly after his arrival, Rev. Samuel Johnson, a native of Guilford, a former Tutor at Yale, and now pastor of the Congregational Church in West Haven, Connecticut, travels down to Stratford and informs Pigot that he himself, the Rector of Yale Timothy Cutler, Yale Senior Tutor Daniel Brown, Rev. James Wetmore of North Haven, and five other Connecticut Congregational ministers, after studying the history of the early church together, doubt the validity of their Puritan ordination, and wish to convert to the Church of England. The “New Haven Nine” announce their conversion at Yale’s Commencement that year in an event that American Religion historian Sydney Ahlstrom calls “The Great Apostasy”. When asked to explain their position, two of the men announce they are now conformable with Presbyterian Orders, but six of the men write up a short letter giving their reasons for preferring the Episcopacy. This scene is depicted in the stained glass window from the Church of the Holy Spirit, West Haven, Connecticut . Rev. Johnson (in a red coat) is sitting at the table writing the letter, while Rector Cutler (light blue) above looks on. Above them are Rev. Wetmore of North Haven (blue) and Tutor Daniel Brown (blue-green), Rev. Jared Eliot of Clinton (green), Rev. John Hart of Madison (purple), and Rev. Charles Whittelsey of Wallingford (yellow). It isn’t clear why only Johnson and Culter are wearing wigs: Jared Eliot was older than Johnson and would go on to have a distinguished career as an agricultural scientist and member of the Royal Academy.
Under intense pressure, three of the men recant (the three at the top of the window looking away from the writing of the letter), including the Rev. Jared Eliot of Guilford, but Johnson and three other men journey first to Boston, then to England, for ordination. There Johnson and his fellow apostates are not only ordained, but are celebrated and meet just about everyone in Church, University, Social, Literary, and political circles – a network that will become useful when Johnson encounters bitter opposition to starting a Church in New Haven.
Note the circular medallion at the top of the window is yet another rendering of the seal of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.
1723 The founding of an Anglican Parish in New Haven. The American Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson (1696 — 1772) returns from his yearlong trip to England as an ordained SPG missionary priest, and replaces Rev. Pigot in Stratford.  Pigot, who has visited places as far off as Roxbury as part of his mission, hurries off to the more settled location of New London, Connecticut. Johnson has bee placed by the society in charge of a region stretching from Stamford to Guilford along the Connecticut coast, and inland north to New Milford and Waterbury — perhaps a third of Connecticut’s 5,544 square miles: he is very alone, “surrounded by enemies”, and required to travel to administer services to each local church once per month.Â
After seeing a church build in New Haven, he founded of King’s College (now Columbia University) in 1754, and was its President from 1754 to 1763.
Since there are records of Parishes founded in West Haven and North Haven in 1723, it is almost certain that a parish was also founded in the much larger New Haven as well:  Johnson, had lived there as a Yale tutor from 1716 to 1720, and intended to use it as a base for converting Yale students, and were certainly have set up a parish with rotating house church meetings as well to support and instruct the Yale students and even some of its tutors. For more on the early days of Trinity Church, see ► The First Years: from mission to revolution.
It also seems that the Rev. Luk de Volder, Trinity’s Belgium born Rector installed in 2011, was not the first native French speaker to hold services in Connecticut. After 1723 when Johnson was installed as the regional head of the Southern Connecticut Church based in Stratford, “services were still carried on in Fairfield by a devout layman, Dr. Laborie, a Frenchman, who, previous to his arrival in this country, had conformed to the Church of England.”Â
Dr. Johnson, along with fellow converts Dr. Cutler and Dr. Chandler, is celebrated in in a feast day of the Calendar of Saints of the Episcopal Church on August 17.
To the  left is a depiction of the American Rev. Dr. Samuel on a memorial window at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Milford, Connecticut. The small window was originally on the east side of the chancel of St. Peter’s, but when the adjoining parish hall was added, it was moved to the connecting hall, and now greets those who come from the classroom- side entrance to the church.  During the move the window had to be shortened to fit a lower and smaller space and thus Dr. Johnson is missing his feet, and some of the the yellow and white side scrolls seem to have been swapped in the move as well.  Today, some at the church believe it depicts Bishop Seabury.  Johnson would have taken such indignities with his usual good humor.  And then, low paced window is at the eye level of small children — which would have made the man who taught children for nearly sixty years in Guilford, Saybrook, New Haven, Stratford, and New York, who opened a common school in Stratford as well as a boarding school and a school for adults, and pioneered a kind and gentle approach to children’s education in America far ahead of his era — the move would made him very happy indeed.Â
1724 Dr. Johnson opens the first Anglican church built in Connecticut on Christmas Day, 1724 . He later writes to the SPG:
“It is a neat, small wooden building, forty-five feet and a half long, thirty and a half wide, and twenty-two between joints or up to the roof; but there is no house or glebe belonging to it, nor is it at all endowed, nor has it any settled salary besides the honorable society’s bounty; only the poor people are as liberal in small presents as can be expected of them.”Â
He adds that there were about fifty church families within the limits of the town, “and besides them, there are a considerable number of people scattered up and down in the neighboring towns, some five, some ten, twenty and thirty miles off, who come to Church as often as can be expected.”  But that there was “no Church westward within forty miles” and “no Church eastward within one hundred miles, only at New London, about seventy miles off, where I sometimes preach to a good number of people, and they are building a wooden Church somewhat larger than ours.” And that there was “no Church northward at all.”
The discouraged missionary Anglican among the contentious Puritans adds, ” We are oppressed and despised as the filth of the world .”
Still, Trinity Parish members now have a place they can visit for services only some 15 miles and one ride on Moses Wheeler’s ferry over the Housatonic. Though churches will be built all over the region in the next 20 years, the Puritans will not allow a church to be build in New Haven until 1752.
We don’t have a contemporary sketch of the building, but it might have looked like this illustration of the First Meetinghouse in Connecticut from Barber’s Connecticut Historical Collection s.
1727 The first pledge.   The first record of an Episcopal “house church” service in New Haven records an event that takes place probably at Christmas time this year or shortly after. Johnson delivers a sermon that so impresses a congregation of  “near a hundred hearers and among them several of the College”   that 10 members pledge 100 pounds to fund an Anglican church in New Haven.
On November 10, 1725, Thanksgiving Day, Johnson opens his second regional church in the Mill Plains part of Fairfield, Connecticut, about one mile from the village center.  He had been given “Christ Church” as the name of his parish in Stratford, but going against the tradition of calling all non-self- supporting churches “Christ’s Church”, he calls his second church Trinity ;  today it is Trinity Episcopal Church, Southport, Connecticut. The parish he forms in New Haven is also called Trinity, and the last church he will see built before becoming President of King’s College would be Trinity Church New Haven. Clearly the Trinity was important to Johnson.
For more on the reason choosing for the name of Trinity, see Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson on the Trinitarian debate of the eighteenth century and the article â–º Why are we named Trinity?Â
The brass Trinity image of the triangle with three interlocking circles and three groups of three berries on a vine is taken from the pulpit in today’s Trinity Church. The same motifs are repeated in the Columbarium: see â–º In my Father’s house are many rooms: A Columbarium Walk-Through.
1734 After discussions with Johnson, the Rev. Jonathan Arnold (1700 – 1753) of the Congregational Church in West Haven, Connecticut converts to the Church of England. Arnold was born in Hamden, Connecticut, graduated from Yale in 1723, was licensed to preach by a committee of the Hartford North Association in 1724, and early in 1725 was ordained pastor of the Congregational church in West Haven. The people of the town stipulated when he was hired that if he should embrace Episcopacy like his predecessor Samuel Johnson, the money paid to him as a settlement should be refunded. He married in 1728 Abigail Beard of Milford, a heiress: thus the clause turned out to be no protection, and he converts to the Episcopacy in 1734.  In 1735 he travels to England for ordination, and receives an honorary MA degree from Oxford. On returning in 1736 he becomes a SPG missionary priest and takes up residence in West Haven. He conducts services in New Haven, Derby, Waterbury, Milford and other towns in the region of New Haven County, covering an area of over 850 square miles.  During this period Rev. Samuel Johnson continues to minister to his missionary region, including Stratford and parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties, and co-administer the Berkeley Scholarship at Yale in frequent visits to New Haven where he continues to conduct services in the “house churchs” of Trinity parish.
1736 The first deed . Rev. Jonathan Arnold takes over as minister of Johnson’s New Haven county parishes. He obtains a record of a conveyance for land donated by William Grigson in New Haven “for the purpose of building and erecting a church thereupon, for the worship and service of Almighty God, according to the practice of the Church of England, and a parsonage or dwelling house for the incumbent of the said intended church for the time being, and also for a church yard to be taken thereout for the poor, and the residue thereof to be esteemed and used as Glebe Land by the minister of the said intended church for the time being forever.”
For more on the convoluted history of Trinity’s attempt to own land in New Haven, and the Puritan’s resistance to their attempt to set up a church in the town, with both legends and documents, see Judge Frederick Croswell’s 1868 â–º History of Trinity Church, New Haven.
1737 The Anglican parish now known as Immanuel St. James Church in Derby, Connecticut is formed in Derby in 1737 when Captain John Holbrook and 6 other men, who “desired to start an Episcopal Ecclesiastical Society”, began to build a church: they completed it the next year, and as was common with other Anglican churches of the time, it would be called Christ Church until it could be consecrated by a Bishop.
1738 The attack of a Puritan Mob. The Rev. Arnold attempts to clear the tract of land in New Haven donated by “Mr. Gregson of London” to form a church; his servant and his ox-cart is “mobbed off” by 150 angry Puritans.Â
1739 The famous “Great Awakening” preacher Rev. George Whitefield , declaring that the whole world is his parish, visits the American colonies in 1738–1740, and draws immense crowds everywhere he goes. Whitefield, though an Anglican minister, is doctrinally a Calvinist and closer to the Puritans on polity as well.  He additionally believes that you need to undergo a “conversion experience”, or “regeneration” to be saved: thus he is often considered the father of the born-again evangelical movement. Rev. Samuel Johnson attends one of Whitefield’s famous dramatic outdoor revival meetings in New Haven and is not impressed: he privately accuses Whitefield of “enthusiasm”, which is strong language for the genial Johnson.
Whitefield also meets with Rev. Arnold by accident in Philadelphia in 1739, and the two take an instant dislike to each other: Arnold prints a warning against Whitefield in the Boston News-Letter, while Whitefield writes a letter to the Secretary of the SPG, warning him that Arnold “is “unworthy of the name of a minister of Jesus Christ.” and that “I have been in his company several times and was obliged to reprove him openly for his misconduct. . . Wherever he has been, a very ill report is spread abroad concerning him.” Whitfield and other “New Light” revivalist preachers all too often attack their Anglican and Old Light rivals as “unconverted” and “damned”, so the source of the mutual dislike may be denominational more than an accurate reflection of character. The Old Light Rector of Yale, Rev. Thomas Clap, also meets, falls out, then exchanges bitter pamphlets with New Lights George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards.
All over the Colonies, particularly in Connecticut, the Great Awakening movement splits the Puritans into two factions, the Old Lights emphasizing reason, and the New Lights demanding an emotional conversion experience for salvation; the Anglicans generally retain their traditional polities and broad “middle way” doctrine. This is why today there are three churches on the New Haven Green.
Perhaps discouraged by the opposition in New Haven where he is living, Arnold quits Connecticut in the spring of the next year for a parish on Staten Island, New York, and established Anglican colony. The American Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson briefly takes over the parish again.
Rector Williams of Yale, a bitter and devious foe of Johnson and the establishment of an Anglican Church in New Haven, resigns, citing poor health; he recovers suspiciously quickly, and runs for office, possibly intending to run for Governor.  The stage is cleared for new and less partisan men in New Haven.
1740 The Rev. Theophilus Morris, an English SPG missionary priest, takes up residence in West Haven and ministers to Trinity Parish, though Rev. Samuel Johnson continues to spend a great deal of time in the town.  It is said that the churchmen welcomed Morris “with much pleasure, fearing they would be without a missionary. He speaks of the Church people as being intelligent, and well read as to the principles of Church government.”Â
A church is built in 1741 in West Haven, just four miles from New Haven’s Green.  Members of Trinity parish now have a place they can go to worship on Sunday.  This has important legal and tax benefits, as the law states that if you attend a church, the church tax you pay goes to that church. However, the Puritans will soon change the law to try to isolate Anglicans to only the town they live in, and only if their church is closer to their residence than a state sponsored Congregationalist one.
This year Rev. Thomas Clap of Windham, known for his aggressive orthodoxy, becomes the new Rector of Yale College. Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson, brings his 14 year old brilliant son William Samuel Johnson to Yale at the October commencement, and surprisingly forms not only a close friendship with Clap, but a partnership. Johnson helps Clap by designing an Enlightenment curriculum for Yale, a catalog scheme for their library, and a list of recommended reading, while Clap privately agrees to a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy of tolerance towards Anglican students attending Yale. He allows the m to attend services in New Haven and in Derby instead of going to the nearby Congregational church on the Green.
1743 The Rev. James Lyons, an Irish SPG missionary priest, takes up residence at Christ Church, Derby, now  Immanuel St. James Church in Derby, Connecticut.  He ministers to Trinity Parish as well as the church in West Haven. In five years he leaves Derby for Setauket, in Brookhaven, New York on Long Island.
1748 The Rev. Richard Mansfield (1724 – 1820) replaces Lyons in Derby. Dr. Mansfield was born in New Haven, 1724. Raised a Congregationalist, he attended Yale as a “Berkeley Scholar”, graduated from Yale College in 1741, and remained there two years after his graduation: it was during these two years that he became an Episcopalian under the influence of Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson. He traveled to England and was ordained by Archbishop of Canterbury on August 7, 1748, and was placed as priest in charge of Derby and several other towns, though not his native New Haven which Dr. Samuel Johnson takes over.
In Lucy Jarvis’s Sketches of Church Life in Colonial Connecticut  it is recounted that, “His life was not an easy one, in fact so many dangers beset a clergyman in those days that when he went to England to receive Holy Orders, his sister prayed that he might be lost at sea.”  Either that, or as happened with many converts, his staunch Congregationalist family rejected him, and is effectively saying “better dead than Anglican”. Time heals all bigotry, apparently, for the local New Haven man over his long tenure earns the respect of his old college: in 1792, he becomes the first Episcopalian to receive a Doctorate from Yale.
1749 On December 28, the Rev. Ebenezer Punderson, who will soon become Trinity’s first minister, is thrown in jail for refusing to pay the established church tax.
1750 The Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson, while in New Haven at Yale co-administering the Berkeley scholarship with Yale’s President Clap, writes a letter to its donor, Bishop Berkeley on December 17, 1750, that, the parishioners in New Haven “have this winter got timber to build a church of the dimensions of sixty feet by forty, besides the steeple and chancel; and as this is a place of very great importance on account of the College being there, it would be very happy for them if the Society were able to assist them in providing for a minister, as I doubt they will not be able to do more than £25 sterling per annum themselves, especially while building.  He adds,  “We should soon have a flourishing church at New Haven, if we could get a minister.” He sends young “Mssrs. Camp and Colten” off to London in 1751; Camp returns safe, but Colten dies of small-pox on the way home.

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