Born in Plymouth into an ecclesiastical family — his father was Septimus Courtney, vicar of Charles Chapel —, he was educated at King's College London and ordained in 1864. His first post was a curacy at Hadlow, Kent after which he was the incumbent of Charles Chapel, Plymouth (which became St Luke's) until 1870 and then St Jude’s, Glasgow until 1876 when he emigrated to North America. He was an Assistant at St Thomas’s, New York City until 1880 then Rector of St James’s, Chicago. His last post before appointment to the episcopate was at St Paul’s, Boston.
After he retired as Bishop of Nova Scotia in 1904, he returned to New York to serve as Rector of St James' Church on Madison Avenue, a position from which he retired in 1915. He died in New York on 29 December 1918.
- The Times, Thursday, Feb 02, 1888; pg. 5; Issue 32298; col F New Bishop of Nova Scotia
- Courtney, Frederick. ukwhoswho.com. Who Was Who. 1920–2016 (April 2014 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "The Clergy List, Clerical Guide and Ecclesiastical Directory" London, Hamilton & Co 1889
- Anglican Bishops of Canada
- NY Times
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