Seabury, Samuel

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First Protestant Episcopal bishop of Connecticut; b. Groton, Conn., Nov. 30, 1729; d. New London, Conn., Feb. 25, 1796. He was the son of an Anglican missionary. After graduating from Yale College (now University) in 1748, he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Having decided on the ministry, he was ordained in 1753 and served parishes in Jamaica, L.I., and Westchester (now Bronx), N.Y. When he published a series of pamphlets against the Continental Congress, using the pseudonym A Westchester Farmer, he was imprisoned in 1775 by the American authorities. Following his release, he joined the British army as a chaplain in 1776. Seabury, elected bishop of Connecticut, was consecrated in 1784 by the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church at Aberdeen. As bishop, he published The Order for Holy Communion, with Private Devotions (1786), which was adopted in the American Prayer Book of 1789. In the same year, he united the autonomous church in Connecticut with the Protestant Episcopal Church in the other states. He also secured restoration of the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, and clearer recognition of the episcopate, priestly orders, and Sacrament of Baptism.

Bibliography: e. e. beardsley, Life and Correspondence of the Right Reverend Samuel Seabury (Boston 1881). w. thom, Samuel Seabury (Greenwich, Conn. 1962).

[r. k. macmaster]