Genealogy Club of Newtown, Connecticut

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            This 1789 subscription list by Newtown's Episcopal Society shows pledges for the support of the first American bishop.  The Rt. Rev. Samuel Seabury had been consecrated in Scotland in 1784.  The bishop's salary was paid by St. James Church, New London, where he became rector upon his return to New England in 1785, no regular diocesan support being organized until 1809.  Financial backing from other parishes at this earlier date was uncommon, attesting to strong convictions on the part of the Newtown Episcopalians.  Following this subscription, it was voted at a Vestry meeting of 5 Apr 1790, "That the Rev. Mr. Perry with the wardens and vestry men be impowered to appropriate such a part of the communion money as they shall judge proper to the support of the Bishop."

 The document is also unusual because it represents the earliest known listing of members of the Episcopal Society, now Trinity Church.  The society had been formed in 1732 under the direction of its first minister, John Beach, who served a shared ministry here and in Redding until his death in 1782.  His son, John Beach, Esq., and his successor, the Rev. Philo Perry, are the appointed collectors.  The earliest extant records for the church are minutes of Society meetings in 1764 through 1774 and resuming in 1782 which give names of vestry and committeemen.  Regular church registers are not found before 1818.

 The original document may be found in the vault of the Cyrenius H. Booth Library in Newtown.  It is on a single sheet of paper, measuring about 8"x12".  The names are not individual signatures but are all in one hand, likely that of the Rev. Perry as it bears this note on the reverse:  "Septr 17 - 1789  Received on the within subscription of John Beach Esqr three pounds, 0/6d  & of Mr Solomon Glover 6s/0d subscribed by him."  Names are in two columns and are repeated here in the order they appear.  Various marks and figures on the original seem to indicate pledges which had been paid.  The list with its preamble reads as follows:

 We whose names are under written promise to pay the sums affixed to our several names to Jno Beach Esqr or to the Rev'd Philo Perry by the 1st day of Novemr next, the same being to support the Rt. Rev'd Bishop Seabury promised by us Newtown  April 23d 1789

 

s

d

John Bamford

0

3

0

Amos Hard

0

3

0

Zechariah Ferris

0

4

6

Henry Glover

0

5

0

Abijah Curtiss

0

7

6

Reuben Booth

0

6

0

David Meeker

0

4

0

John Beach

0

9

0

Andrew Beers

0

4

0

Cyrenius Hard

0

5

0

Ebenezer Beers

0

3

0

Zechariah Clarke

0

6

0

Willm Burwell

0

6

0

Peter Nichols

0

6

0

Ezra Booth

0

9

0

Solomon Glover

0

6

0

Bennet Perry

0

3

0

Benjamin Curtiss Junr

0

1

6

Amos Hard Junr

0

1

6

John Walker

0

2

0

Salmon Glover

0

3

0

Bailey Stilson

0

1

6

John Sanford Junr

0

5

0

David Booth

0

3

0

David Baldwin

0

4

0

Isaac Towsey

0

3

0

Abraham Baldwin

0

3

0

Austin Beers

0

1

6

Josiah Beardslee Junr

0

3

0

Enos Johnson

0

1

6

Salmon Curtiss

0

3

0

Elias Beardslee

0

2

6

Thomas Bennit

0

2

6

Zerah Fairman

0

1

6

David Beers

0

2

0

John Hard

0

2

6

Samuel Ferris

0

1

6

Truman Beers

0

1

6

Jabez Beers

0

1

4

Eli Beers

0

1

0

Joseph Bristoll

0

1

0

Lewis Sherman

0

1

6

Daniel Booth

1

10

0

 

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Last updated: 03/24/2014