Alexander Viets Griswold

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Bishop Griswold.

Alexander Viets Griswold (April 22, 1766 – February 15, 1843) was the Episcopal Bishop of the Eastern Diocese, which included all of New England with the exception of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.

Born in Simsbury, Connecticut as the son of Elisha Griswold and Eunice Viets, Griswold died in Boston, Massachusetts. He married Elizabeth Mitchelson on 6 May 1785 or 1786 at Scotland (now Bloomfield), CT. They had 12 children.

Griswold received the degree of D.D. from Brown in 1810, from Princeton in 1811, and from Harvard in 1812.

He was ordained deacon on June 7, 1795, and priest on October 1, 1795. Griswold served three small churches in Litchfield County and also taught school. Griswold was chosen rector of St. Michael's Church, Bristol, Rhode Island, in 1804. He was elected bishop and consecrated on May 31, 1811. As the eldest serving bishop, he also served as the Episcopal Church's fifth Presiding Bishop from July 17, 1836, until his death.

Griswold wrote the hymn Holy Father, great Creator. He also published Discourses on the Most Important Doctrines and Duties of the Christian Religion (1830); The Reformation and the Apostolic Office (1843); and Remarks on Social Prayer Meetings (1858). His memoirs were published by Dr. J. S. Stone. Some of his papers and a lock of his hair are stored in the University Library, University of Rhode Island.

Rivermont Collegiate renamed their Davenport location in honor of Dr. Griswold.


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Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
William White
5th Presiding Bishop
Succeeded by
Philander Chase
Preceded by
Samuel Parker
Bishop of Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Manton Eastburn
Preceded by
Edward Bass
Bishop of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
John Prentiss Kewly Henshaw