An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Consecration of Samuel Seabury, First American Bishop, Feast of

On Mar. 25, 1783, ten clergy met at the home of the Rev. John Rutgers Marshall in Woodbury, Connecticut, and elected Samuel Seabury and Jeremiah Leaming as candidates for Bishop of Connecticut. Seabury accepted the election and sailed for England to be consecrated. He arrived in England on July 7, 1783, and spent over a year trying to get consecrated by English bishops. For a number of reasons, including the need to take the oath of allegiance to the King of England, no bishops would consecrate Seabury. He then went to Scotland, where he was consecrated at Aberdeen on Nov. 14, 1784, at the chapel in the home of John Skinner, Bishop Coadjutor of Aberdeen. The consecrator was Robert Kilgour, Bishop of Aberdeen and Primus of the Nonjuring Episcopal Church in Scotland. Kilgour was assisted by Arthur Petrie, Bishop of Ross and Murray, and John Skinner. On Aug. 3, 1785, the clergy of the Connecticut convocation elected Seabury their bishop. The consecration of Samuel Seabury and the bringing of the historic episcopate to the Episcopal Church is commemorated on Nov. 14 in the Episcopal calendar of the church year.

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.