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Historical figures, I

February 28, 2011

JOHN HENRY HOBART, III Bishop of New York.

(Sept 14, 1775 – Sept 12, 1830) Born in Philadelphia, educated at the Philadelphia Latin School, the College of Philadelphia, and graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1793. Ordained deacon in 1798, priest in 1800, and called to Trinity Church as assistant minister in 1803. Elected assistant bishop of New York, with right of succession, in 1811. Chief among the founders of the General Theological Seminary in 1817, he became its professor of Pastoral Theology in 1821.

“Vigorous, contentious, and efficient, John Henry Hobart was in charge of his 45,000-square-mile diocese from the time of his consecration as assistant bishop, since the elderly bishop of New York, Benjamin Moore, was partially paralyzed. A high churchman in the tradition of Lancelot Andrewes, William Laud, and other divines who flourished during the reigns of Charles I and II, Hobart believed the episcopate, the priesthood, the sacraments, and the visible church to be the appointed channels for God’s grace. Although not a ceremonialist like the later ritualists, he stressed the importance of apostolic succession and emphasized the distinctiveness and superiority of the Episcopal Church – “the church” – over other denominations. Married to the daughter of an SPG high churchman who was a leading advocate of a colonial episcopate, Hobart continued that tradition in the early nineteenth century.”1

Works of John Henry Hobart, at

1. David Lynn Holmes, A Brief History of the Episcopal Church: with a chapter on the Anglican Reformation and an appendix on the quest for an annulment of Henry VIII (Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity Press International, 1993), 61-62.

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