Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

1 October 1724 A.D. Rev. Richard Mansfield Born—Colonial Anglican & Royalist in Connecticut; He Opted out of CT Congregationalism While at Yale

1 October 1724 A.D.  Rev. Richard Mansfield Born—Colonial Anglican & Royalist in Connecticut;  He Opted out of CT Congregationalism While at Yale

No author. “Rev. Richard Mansfield.”  Derby History Quiz.  N.d.,richard.htm.  Accessed 26 May 2014.,revrichard.gif

Rev. Richard Mansfield

Reverend Richard Mansfield, the first resident Church of England clergyman in Derby, lived from 1724 to 1820 and served for 72 years, a period marking the longest rectorship recorded in the United States. He was born in New Haven and his father was a deacon in the Congregational Church. However, while studying at Yale he became interested in the Episcopal faith. In 1748, he sailed to England, was admitted to Holy Orders by the Archbishop of Canterbury and swore an allegiance to the king that would later cause him some difficulties at home.

Upon his return to America, he was assigned to Derby. There he married Sarah Anna Hull in 1751. When the Revolutionary War broke out, Dr. Mansfield found himself in an awkward situation having pledged his loyalty to the king. When a pro-British letter that he had written to British authorities in New York fell into the hands of patriots, he had to flee for his life to Long Island in 1775. He believed that the colonists should remain loyal subjects of the King of England (As did many others in Derby at the start of the War!). He fled Derby from his pulpit on a Sunday morning just ahead of a pursuing band of patriots who didn't take kindly to his pro-British sermons. 

Though he escaped safely to Long Island, while he was away, both his wife Anna, and their infant daughter died while living in the Episcopal Glebe House Rectory. Following the war he returned to Derby and took up his old rectorship at St. James' Church. The animosity prevalent because of his pro-British stance seemed to fade as the citizens turned to building their new country. Mansfield was a very active clergyman serving all of Derby including Seymour and Oxford.

Mansfieldgrave.jpg (44575 bytes)

He died in 1820 and is buried in the old cemetery on Elm Street in Ansonia which had been the site of the first Episcopal church in the Valley.

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