An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Brownell, Thomas Church

(Oct. 19, 1779-Jan. 13, 1865). Seventh Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was born in Westport, Massachusetts. Brownell began his education at the College of Rhode Island, but transferred to Union College where he graduated in 1804. From 1805 until 1817, he taught at Union College, and during his last years there he studied theology. He was ordained deacon on Apr. 11, 1816, and priest on Aug. 4, 1816. After serving briefly as assistant minister at Trinity Church, New York, he was elected Bishop of Connecticut and was consecrated on Oct. 27, 1819. One of his major accomplishments was the founding of Washington College, Hartford, in 1824. He remained president of Washington College until 1831. While Bishop of Connecticut he made several missionary trips through Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. On Sept. 20, 1852, he became Presiding Bishop and served until his death. Brownell published more than ten books, the most important being Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer (1843). He died in Hartford.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.