Vesey, William

Vesey, William an American Episcopal clergyman, was born at Braintree, Mass., in 1674. He graduated at Harvard College in 1693, and pursued his theological studies under the direction of the Rev. Samuel Myles, rector of King's Chapel, Boston. Under a call from the members of the Episcopal communion of the city of New York, he embarked for England in the spring of 1697 to receive holy orders, and was ordained by Dr. Henry Compton, bishop of London, Aug. 16 of the same year. He returned to New York, and was inducted, under command of the governor, into his office by Rev. Henricus Selyns of New York, Rev. Johannes Petrus of Kingston, Thomas Wenham and Robert Lurting, church-wardens, in the Dutch Church, on Christmas, 1697. Mr. Selyns and Mr. Vesey preached alternately in this church-the one in Dutch, the other in English for about three months. Mr. Vesey was married to a Miss Reade early in March following. Meanwhile Trinity Church, the edifice under construction for the Episcopal society of New York, was approaching completion, and was formally opened for public worship on Sunday, March 13. 1698. Mr. Vesey was rector of this Church from that time until he was removed by death. In 1712, or about that time, he was appointed commissary to the bishop of London, which office he also held during the remainder of his days. His life, combining the two offices of rector and, commissary, was a very active and laborious one, and it seems that the work of God prospered in his hands. He was largely aided in his labors by schoolmasters and catechists provided for his assistance, and by regularly appointed assistants at different periods, viz. Rev. Robert Jenny, Rev. James Wetmore, Rev. Thomas Colgan, and Rev. Robert Charlton. Mr. Vesey was a man of eminent. piety as well as industry, and saw the fruits of his labors and example ripen in an abundant harvest. He died July 18, 1746, after a ministry of over forty-eight years in the same place. See Sprague, Annals of the Anmer. Pulpit, 5, 13 sq.

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