Jacob Mountain

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Jacob Mountain
Jacob Mountain, 1st Lord Bishop of Quebec,1778.jpg
1st Anglican Bishop of Quebec
In office
Succeeded byCharles Stewart
Member of the Legislative Council of Upper Canada
In office
Member of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada
In office
Personal details
Born(1749-12-01)December 1, 1749
Thwaite Hall, Norfolk, England
DiedJune 16, 1825(1825-06-16) (aged 75)
Marchmont House, Lower Canada
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Mildred Wale Kentish
Alma materCaius College, Cambridge

Jacob Mountain (December 1, 1749 – June 16, 1825) was an English priest who was appointed the first Anglican Bishop of Quebec. He served also on both the Legislative Council of Lower Canada and the Legislative Council of Upper Canada.


The third son of Jacob Mountain (1710–1752), of Thwaite Hall, Norfolk, and his third wife, Ann, daughter of Jehoshaphat Postle of Colney Hall, near Wymondham, chairman of the Norfolk Agricultural Association. Mountain was directly related to Michel de Montaigne via his great-grandfather, who also resided at Château de Montaigne, and whose family fled from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

The younger Jacob Mountain was born at Thwaite Hall on 1 December 1749.[1] He was educated at various Norfolk schools, including Scarning, where he was a pupil of the classicist Robert Potter (1721–1804), and at Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1774 and MA 1777.[2][3] In 1779 he was elected a fellow of his college, and, after holding the living of St Andrew's Church, Norwich, was presented to the vicarages of Holbeach, Lincolnshire, and Buckden, Huntingdonshire, which he held together. On 1 June 1788, he was installed as Castor prebendary in Lincoln Cathedral. He was consecrated at Lambeth Palace on 7 July 1793, and at the same time was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity (DD; jure dignitatis). These preferments he owed to the friendship of William Pitt the Younger, who also, on the recommendation of George Pretyman Tomline, gave him the appointment of first Anglican Bishop of Quebec in 1793.[4]

At that time there were only nine clergymen of the Church of England in The Canadas — at his death there were 61. For 30 years Mountain promoted missions and the erection of churches in all populous places, which he visited regularly, into old age.[4] He also built the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Quebec City.

Jacob Mountain died at Marchmont House, Lower Canada, 16 June 1825 and was buried under the chancel of Holy Trinity Cathedral, which also contains a monument to his memory.[4]


Jacob Mountain published Poetical Reveries, 1777, besides sermons and charges.[4]


Coat of Arms of Jacob Mountain

In 1783, Jacob Mountain married Elizabeth Mildred Wale Kentish (d. 1836), daughter and co-heiress of John Kentish of Little Bardfield Hall, near Braintree, Essex. The Mountains lived at Marchmont House, Quebec City, where he died, and they were the parents of six surviving children.[4]

Coat of arms[edit]

The arms of Jacob Mountain which were granted by the English Kings of Arms on 3 August 1793. He bore "Ermine on a chevron Azure between three lions rampant guardant Sable each supporting between the fore-paws an escallop erect Gules a mitre on each side a cross crosslet fitchy Argent."


  1. ^ T.R. Millman, Jacob Mountain: A Study in Church and State, Univ. of Toronto Studies, 1947
  2. ^ "Mountain, Jacob (MNTN769J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ Millman, Thomas R. (1987). "Mountain, Jacob". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. VI (1821–1835) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
  4. ^ a b c d e Boase 1894.