Benjamin Cronyn

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The Right Reverend Benjamin Cronyn
The Right Reverend Benjamin Cronyn

Benjamin Cronyn (11 July 1802 – 21 September 1871) was the first bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Huron.

Cronyn was born in Kilkenny, Ireland. A member of the prominent Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy Cronyn family, and a relative of Robert Whitehead, he emigrated to Canada in 1832. He was posted to London, Ontario, where he completed the church building started by his predecessor. In 1844 he relocated the church to a better site, now occupied by St Paul's Cathedral. When the new Diocese of Huron was created in 1857 he was elected its first bishop and travelled to London to be consecrated, the last Canadian bishop required to do so.

A noted Low Church cleric, he distrusted what he considered to be the romanizing tendencies of Toronto's Trinity College, in 1863, he founded Huron University College which in 1908 grew into the secularised University of Western Ontario.

He died in London, Ontario in 1871. He had married in Ireland Margaret Ann Bickerstaff of Lislea, Longford with whom he had seven children. On her death he was remarried to Martha Collins. He was father to Benjamin Cronyn, Jr. a former mayor of London, Ontario. He was the father-in-law of Edward Blake, Premier of Ontario and grandfather of politician Hume Cronyn, Sr. and great-grandfather of actor Hume Cronyn, Jr. and artist Hugh Verschoyle Cronyn GM.

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