An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Croswell, William

(Nov. 7, 1804-Nov. 9, 1851). Leading Anglo-catholic. He was born in Hudson, New York. Croswell graduated from Yale College in 1822, and for the next two years was an assistant teacher in a private school in New Haven. He then studied at the General Theological Seminary and graduated in 1826. Croswell also studied with Bishop Thomas Brownell of Connecticut. He was ordained deacon on Jan. 25, 1829, and priest on June 24, 1829. Croswell served Christ Church, Boston, and a church in Auburn, New York, before becoming rector of the Church of the Advent, Boston, in 1844. The Church of the Advent has many claims to be the first Anglo-catholic church in the Episcopal Church. Feasts and fasts were observed, the Daily Office was used, and the altar was placed within the rail. Some of Croswell's practices offended Bishop Manton Eastburn of Massachusetts, an evangelical, and Eastburn refused to visit the parish for Confirmation. General Convention subsequently passed a canon requiring diocesan bishops to visit each parish in their jurisdictions at least once in every three years. Croswell died in Boston. He was described by Phillips Brooks as “a man of most attractive character and beautiful purity of life.”

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.