Samuel Provoost

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The Most Reverend
Samuel Provoost
3rd Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
Samuel Provoost-Bishop Episcopal Church USA.jpg
Samuel Provoost
Province The Episcopal Church
Installed 1792
Term ended 1795
Predecessor Samuel Seabury
Successor William White
Other posts Bishop of New York
Ordination 1766, as priest
Consecration 1787, as bishop of New York
Personal details
Born March 11, 1742
New York City
Died September 6, 1815
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Samuel Provoost (1742 – September 6, 1815) was American Clergyman. He was the first Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, as well as the third (possibly the second) Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, USA. He was consecrated as bishop of New York in 1787 with Bishop William White.


Samuel Provoost was born in New York City, New York to John Provoost and Eva Rutgers in 26 Feb. 1742. He was baptized in 28 Feb. 1742 (The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649-1902). He was a descendant of William Provoost, who was of a Huguenot family (some of the early settlers in Quebec). Samuel was educated at King's College, which is now known as Columbia University. Provoost graduated from King's College in 1758. In 1761 he arrived in England and continued his studies at St. Peter's College, Cambridge. Samuel was fluent in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and while he was at the College he learned French and Italian gaining the distinction as a linguist.[1] Samuel Provoost also matriculated at the University of Leiden, July 28, 1764.[2][3] In 1766, Provoost was ordained a deacon at the Chapel Royal of St. James Palace in Westminster. On June 8, 1766 he married Maria Bousefield who was the daughter of a rich Irish banker. In September 1766, Provoost sailed to New York with his wife and in December he became an assistant minister of Trinity parish, a post he retained until 1774 when he withdrew. He declined to serve as delegate to the Continental Congress, though his patriotic impulses led him to join his neighbors in their pursuit of the British after the burning of the town of Esopus. He did not resume the active ministry until the close of the war. In 1784, he became rector of Trinity Church, New York and in 1785 chaplain of the Continental Congress. Provoost was elected first Bishop of New York at the Diocesan Convention in 1786. A short while later, he was honored with the degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1787, Provoost was consecrated with Dr. William White at Lambeth Place by Dr. John Moore. Provoost was elected Chaplain to the Senate of the U.S. in 1789. Due to health issues, he resigned the rectorship of Trinity in 1800. The following year, Provoost sought to relinquish his episcopal office, but the House of Bishops declined his resignation, instead appointing an Assistant Bishop. Provoost retired in 1801. Bishop Provoost died in 1815 due to a stroke.


Samuel Provoost was the 3rd bishop consecrated for the Episcopal Church of the United States.


  • W. S. Perry, The History of the American Episcopal Church, 1587-1883 (Boston, 1885)
  • The Centennial History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New York, 1785-1885, edited by J. G. Wilson, (New York, 1886)

External links[edit]

Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
1st Bishop of New York
Succeeded by
Benjamin Moore
Preceded by
Samuel Seabury
3rd Presiding Bishop
September 13, 1792 – September 8, 1795
Succeeded by
William White
Preceded by
1st US Senate Chaplain
April 25, 1789 – December 9, 1790
Succeeded by
William White


  1. ^ "Provost (or Provoost), Samuel (PRVT761S)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ Album Studiosorum Academiae Lugduno Batavae MDLXXV-MDCCCLXXV, kol. 1082.
  3. ^ Index to English speaking students who have graduated at Leyden university / by Edward Peacock, F.S.A. - London : For the Index society, by Longmans, Green & co. 1883, p. 80, 1082.

[1] [2] [3]


  1. ^ Chorley, E. C., "Samuel Provoost: First Bishop of New York" "Project Canterbury" 2010
  2. ^ Sprague, William B., "Rt Rev. Samuel Provoost" "Project Canterbury" 2008
  3. ^ Wilson, James G., "A Sketch of the First Bishop of New York" "Project Canterbury" 2008
  4. ^ "Samuel Provoost; American Clergyman" "Encyclopædia Britannica"