An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Talbot, John

(1645-Nov. 29, 1727). Leading advocate for a bishop for the American colonies. He was born in Wymondham, Norfolk, England. Talbot studied at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he received his B.A. in 1664 and his M.A. in 1671. He was a fellow of Peterhouse, 1664 to 1668, and was rector of a church in Icklingham, Suffolk, 1673 to 1689. From 1695 until 1701 he was rector of the church at Fretherne, Gloucestershire. On Apr. 28, 1701, he sailed from Clowes, England, to Boston as Chaplain of the Centurion. On the ship were George Keith and Patrick Gordon, the first missionaries sent to the American colonies by the newly organized Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Talbot became an assistant to Keith after they arrived in Boston. On Sept. 18, 1702, Talbot was named a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Talbot and Keith made an extended missionary journey of the American colonies, which lasted two years and stretched from the Piscataway River in New England to Caratuck in North Carolina. By Oct. 1702 they had moved their missionary work into New Jersey. On Mar. 25, 1703, the Feast of the Annunciation, Talbot laid the foundation stone of St. Mary's Church at Burlington. He and Keith continued missionary work in the area until Apr. 2, 1704, when Talbot became the rector of St. Mary's, where he remained off and on until his death. From 1720 until 1723 he was in England trying to convince the society to send a bishop. Talbot, known as the “apostle to New Jersey,” died in Burlington.

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.