Biography of Rev. Henry Patton

The Rev. Henry Patton, D.C.L., Trinity College Toronto, and Archdeacon of the Diocese of Ontario, died at Belleville, April 30, 1874. He was born at Chelmsford, Essex, March 27, 1806, and received his early education in England; came to Canada with his father, the late Major Patton, 45th Regiment, in 1816; completed his education at the Brockville Grammar School; and studied Divinity at Chambly in Lower Canada.

In 1829 Dr. Patton was ordained Deacon by the late Bishop Stewart in the Cathedral at Quebec, and the year following was made Priest by the same Bishop in St. James’ Church, York, now Toronto the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada then forming one Diocese under the Bishop of Quebec, while now there are seven Bishops presiding over as many Dioceses. He was appointed to the mission of Kemptville, in 1829, at that time embracing the Townships of Oxford, Marlborough, North and South Gower, Wolford, and the Villages of Kemptville, Burritts’ Rapids and Merrickville, where he labored unassisted for seventeen years, and was so beloved that when it was sought to transfer him to the Parish of Brockville, a numerously signed petition was forwarded to Bishop Stewart praying that he might not be removed. Even now, after the lapse of over 30 years, “the sweet remembrance of the just” lingers affectionately in the neighborhood, and through the exertions of the present venerable Rector, the Rev. Rural Dean Stannage, his name is being perpetuated by the erection of The Archdeacon Patton Memorial Church a spacious stone edifice, which for design and beauty, when completed, will rank among the best specimens of church architecture in the Province.

On the death of the Rev. J. B. Lindsay in 1845, Dr. Patton was appointed to Cornwall by the late Bishop Strachan, where he remained until 1871, officiating regularly also at Moulinette and Barnhart’s Island. In the last mentioned year he was offered the Rectory of Belleville by Bishop Lewis, and succeeded the late Rev. John Grier; but he most reluctantly severed the ties which had so long bound him to Cornwall, and where for the previous three years his exertions had been untiring in what was to him a labor of love the erection of “The Bishop Strachan Memorial Church.”

In 1862, on the formation of the Ontario Diocese, Bishop Lewis appointed him Archdeacon of Ottawa, and the Rev. Dr. Lauder Archdeacon of Kingston, but on the death of the last named he was made Archdeacon of the whole Diocese. In 1871 he succeeded the late Rev. Dr. Beaven as Prolocutor of the Provincial Synod, and was again elected in 1873; for though a High Churchman of the old school, he was moderate in his views, and was recognized as a sound churchman, thoroughly evangelical in his teaching and opposed to innovations, and being uniformly affable, considerate and conciliatory, he proved acceptable to the whole Synod.

Archdeacon Patton was known as an indefatigable worker all through life. Fifty years since, when the laborers were few, clergymen had difficulties and hardships to encounter such as can scarcely be realized at this day; but whether as a traveling missionary or as Archdeacon he was ever ready at the call of duty. His administrative capacity was very great, and while zealous in the discharge of every description of parochial work he yet found time to devote himself to the general interests of the Church elsewhere hence his appointment by Bishop Strachan in 1849, as Rural Dean of the Johnstown Deanery, and by Bishop Lewis as one of his examining Chaplains, and sole Archdeacon of his large Diocese. As chairman of the Mission Board and the Clergy Trust Committee, as well as an active member of all important committees his efficient services will long be held in grateful recollection in the Ontario Diocese.

He was twice married; Alfred Merwin, of the Trust and Loan Company, being the only survivor of several children by the first marriage in 1833, with Harriet Amelia nee Warner, of Geneva, U. S., and the Rev. Herbert Bethune, of Ottawa, Merriall Lucy, of Lichfield, and Francis Lawrence, of the Federal Bank, by his marriage in 1846 with Georgiana nee Dodson, of Lichfield, England, niece of the late Sir John Dodson.



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