Edward Wix

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Ven. Edward Wix (1802–1866) was an English clergyman best known as an Anglican missionary in Canada.

Early life[edit]

The eldest son of Samuel Wix, he graduated from Trinity College, Oxford.[1]

In Nova Scotia[edit]

Wix served in the Diocese of Nova Scotia with Bishop John Inglis, as Archdeacon of Newfoundland. According to the records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (S.P.G.), Wix was in Halifax from 1826 to 1829 when he went to Bonavista, and to St. John's in 1830.

Wix first went to Newfoundland with Inglis in 1827, as his chaplain. H. W. LeMessurier, in a short history of St. Thomas Church, St. John's, describes him as an "indefatigable Missionary." Bishop Feild, in his 1848 Journal, had previously described Wix as "indefatigable". He was a missionary at Bonavista in 1830 before he went to St. John's, as cited in an 1830 report of the S.P.G.

Later life[edit]

In 1839 Wix went home to England and served as vicar of St. Michael's, Swanmore. He died November 24, 1866.[1]

Evaluations[edit]

Archdeacon Edward Wix's presence in Newfoundland and Labrador had a lasting effect in unlikely places. In 1848 the Bishop of Newfoundland, sailing on the Hawk, visited the Venison Islands (Labrador) and made the following entry into his journal.

The head of the other family is also an Englishman named Stevens, who married, as he said, a "sort of half Indian." I found, to my surprise, that this man had been married, and two of his children baptized, in the year 1831, by Archdeacon Wix, or, as poor old Stevens said, "by the head-man of St. John's." He could not remember the head-man's name; but the Archdeacon had kindly left behind a Prayer-book and Testament, in which he had written the names of the children baptized, with his own name and title. No person here can remember how the Archdeacon came or departed, and I have found no trace or remembrance of him in any other settlement on the coast. It would, I think, be a gratification to that indefatigable pioneer of the Church, to know that I read a chapter to the poor man and his family from the Testament presented seventeen years ago. The book is carefully preserved, and is not likely to be worn out by use, as none of the family can read.

— Bishop Edward Feild[2]

Again in 1849

I should have mentioned that at Battle Harbour, and St. Francis Harbour, no Clergyman of our Church had ever been seen before; but it appeared that Archdeacon Wix had called at the Venison Islands seventeen years ago—or, as an old fisherman told me, "the head man of St. John's." He had married and baptized, and had left Prayer-books and Bibles with his name, and the names of the children he baptized, inscribed. I had the pleasure of reading a chapter in a poor fisherman's hut, from a Testament given so long ago by Mr. Wix, and bearing his name. It was well preserved, but, it is too probable, had never been used, for none of the family could read. They were indeed deplorably ignorant. I could not discover that Mr. Wix had called at any other place, or any other traces of his visitation. Then in 1850 Bishop Feild mentions Mr. Wix on three different dates in his journal (July 26, August 2 & 4).

— Bishop Edward Feild[3]

Both entries in Bishop Feild's journal that place Archdeacon Wix in Labrador are place in Venison Islands. Edward Jesse in Anecdotes of Dogs, 1883, conveys a story told about the Archdeacon's Newfoundland dog.

Writings[edit]

Family[edit]

Wix was married and dedicated his 1835 journal, Six Months of a Newfoundland Missionary's Journal, to his wife. His son, Richard Hooker Edward Wix (1832-1884), succeeded him in the Parish of St. Michael's.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lee, Sidney, ed. (1900). "Wix, Samuel" . Dictionary of National Biography. 62. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. ^ http://anglicanhistory.org/canada/nf/spg21.html
  3. ^ http://anglicanhistory.org/canada/nf/spg19.html