« Provisor Provost, Samuel Provost »

Provost, Samuel

PROVOST, SAMUEL: First Protestant Episcopal bishop of New York; b. in New York City Mar. 11, 1742; d. there Sept. 6, 1815. He received his education at King's College (now Columbia University), graduating in 1761, and at the University of Cambridge, England, entering St. Peter's House (now St. Peter's College); he was made deacon and priest in London, 1766; and on his return to America became one of the clergy of Trinity Church, New York, where he became noted for his patriotism and received the title of "the patriot rector" after his selection to the rectorship in 1784. His service with Trinity was not continuous, however, as in 1774 political conditions led him to retire to a small estate in what was then Dutchess county. Here he indulged his love of botany (at Cambridge he prepared a manuscript index to Baubin's Historia planetarum) as a disciple of Linnæus. In 1786 he was elected bishop of New York, and was consecrated at Lambeth Palace. He offered his resignation of the bishopric in 1801, but it was declined and he was given a bishop-coadjutor. He published nothing, but was a scholar of notable attainments, being proficient in not only the classical languages, but in French, German, and Italian, translating but not publishing Tassot's "Jerusalem Delivered." He did excellent service for his church during a period when episcopacy was not popular in this country.

Bibliography: W. E. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, v. 240–246, New York, 1859; J. G. Wilson and others, Centennial Hist. of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New York, 1785–1885, ib., 1886; W. S. Perry, The Episcopate in America, p. 9, ib., 1895; M. Dix, Hist. of the Parish of Trinity Church, vol. ii., ib., 1901.

« Provisor Provost, Samuel Provost »
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