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Charles Inglis

(1734—1816) American loyalist and bishop of Nova Scotia


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(1734–1816), bishop. From a Scotch-Irish clerical family, Inglis became a Church of England missionary to colonial America. He rose to become rector of Trinity Church, New York, the most sought-after preferment in the colonial church. At the onset of the American Revolution, in reply to Thomas Paine's Common Sense, he wrote True Interest of America Impartially Stated. A modern assessment of True Interest calls it the ‘greatest loyalist pamphlet of the war’. For his loyalism he was consecrated Bishop of Nova Scotia, with episcopal jurisdiction over British North America, thereby becoming the first overseas bishop in the Church of England. As bishop he is best remembered as the chief founder of King's College, Nova Scotia, the inspiration and directing force behind the construction of over 40 churches, and his episcopal tours during which he confirmed over 4,300 individuals. Throughout his ministry and episcopate, he held steadfastly to his belief that the king, as the supreme head of the Church of England as the national church, governed its proceedings. The alliance of church and state was for him essential, because only religion could provide the ultimate and necessary sanction for the laws and institutions of Christian society.

From The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: History of the Americas.


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