Van Ranslaer (or Renslaer), Nicholas

Van Ranslaer (or Renslaer), Nicholas was ordained as a deacon by Dr. Earle, bishop of Sarunm, and as a presbyter by the bishop of Salisbury; was chaplain to the ambassador of the States-General at London; minister of the Dutch Church at Westminster; and lecturer at St. Margaret's, Loathbury, London. He came to America in 1675, with letters of recommendation from the duke of York to governor Andros, with a view to a living in one of the Dutch churches of the colony; and also laid claim to the manor of Rensselaerwvck. The governor assigned him to the Dutch Church in Albany, against the protests of their minister, Gideon Schaats, and the people. They denied both the validity of his ordination, which was not a tenable objection, and the right of the English governor to intrude him upon an unwilling Chutrch and congregatidn. A bitter contest and trial at law followed. Dominie Van Niewenlhuysen, of New York, was sent to aid in the controversy. Van Ranslaer, however, continued to officiate for about one year. For a short time he was imprisoned for utterances in his pulpit, for which Jacob Leisler (afterwards governor) and Jacob Milborne brought charges against him. This litigation ended in the defeat of his opposers and in the reconciliation of Schaats and Van Ranstaer.... The latter died soon after, and thus ended the disturbances of Church and State produced by his coming. He was suspected as a papist in disguise. His widow, nee Alida Schuyler, afterwards became the wife of Robert Livingston. See Documentary Hist. N. Y. p. 872-879. Corwin, Manual of the Ref. Church in America, s.v. (W. J. R, T.)

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