Charles Inglis (bishop)

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The Right Reverend
Charles Inglis
Bishop of Nova Scotia
Charles Inglis by Robert Field.jpg
Church Church of England
See Nova Scotia
In office 1787–1816
Consecration 1787
Personal details
Born 1734
Died 24 February 1816
Previous post Rector of Trinity Church, New York

Charles Inglis (1734 – 24 February 1816) was an Irish clergyman who was consecrated the first Anglican Church of Canada bishop of the Diocese of Nova Scotia. He is buried in the crypt of St. Paul's Church (Halifax).


He was born in 1734, the son of a priest, Archibald Inglis, the rector of Glencolmcille, Donegal, Ireland.

He became rector of Killybegs, Donegal, but in 1755 he went to America and worked as a teacher. In 1758 he was ordained as a priest in London and spent several years in Delaware before moving to Trinity Church in New York in 1765, where his oldest child Charles is buried.[1]

Following the British occupation of New York in 1777, Inglis was promoted from curate to rector of Trinity Church.[2] As a Loyalist, it is recorded that Inglis prayed aloud for King George III while George Washington was in the congregation. The church was quickly surrounded by militia.[3][4] Inglis' home was plundered.[5] In November 1783, upon the evacuation of Loyalists from New York, Inglis returned to England. His whole congregation of Trinity Church went to Nova Scotia.[6][7]

On 11 August 1787, George III created the Diocese of Nova Scotia by Letters Patent, and named Inglis its first bishop. He preached at St. Paul's Church (Halifax).[4][8] The independence of the thirteen colonies which would form the United States had led to the creation of a new, autonomous, Anglican church there, with Samuel Seabury as the first bishop, but Inglis was the first Church of England bishop in North America, though technically his Episcopal see was "the Province of Nova Scotia".[4][8] Eager to increase the status of Anglicanism in the colonies, he supported the 1789 foundation of King's Collegiate School in Windsor, Nova Scotia, as an exclusive academy for sons of the Anglican elite. He also backed several missionary efforts to turn the majority of the population from their dissenting religious beliefs. These efforts were largely unsuccessful. Bishop Inglis died on 24 February 1816.

There is a silver plaque in honour of Charles Inglis St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.[9] He became a Doctor of Divinity.


Inglis was the third son of Archibald Inglis, the rector of the Church of Ireland parish church in Glencolumbkille, a remote district in south-west County Donegal. The county is on the rugged west coast of Ulster, a province in the north of Ireland. Inglis was born in Glencolumbkille. His son was John Inglis, who also became an Anglican bishop.

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