CHARLES BANCROFT*
1819-1877

From: "Montreal History and Gazeteer to the year 1892"
By Rev. J. Douglas Borthwick, John Lovell & Son, Montreal 1892


The subject of our sketch is one of the very few in this great list of seven hundred, Biographies published in this GAZETTEER that was born in Montreal, therefore claiming the Metropolitical city of the Dominion as his birthplace, and like the others being an ornament to Montrral.  He was born in Montreal, July 19th, 1819; educated at Rev. Dr. Muhleuberg's School, New York, and afterwards entered as a student in Columbia College (which formerly was called King's), New York City. There he passed through all his classes with distinction, and after his curriculum graduated first as B.A., then M.A,, and latterly D.D.  He was one of our Montreal clergy who received more honors than generally falls to the lot of citizens of this city. He received an ad eundem M.A., and afterwards L.L.D. from Bishop's College, Lennoxville, and an M.A. and LL.D. from  McGill University, Montreal--honors  well bestowed on a son of the soil.

Dr. Bancroft was ordained Deacon in 1843, and Priest in 1844 by the Bishop of Quebec.  He was first appointed to St. Paul's Chapel, Quebec; afterwards he was Curate at St. Anne's, Brooklyn, N.Y.  Resigning this cure he was appointed to St. Thomas's Church, Montreal, before that edifice was donated to the diocese by the will of the late Thomas Molson, and the choice had fallen on him.  It is rather remarkable that the choice has ever since been given to St. Johns or neighbouring clergy.  They have been since Dr. Bancroft's day : Rev. Mr. McLeod, late of Christieville; Rev. Robert Lindsay, late of Brome, and now Rev. Mr. Renaud, late Rector of St. Johns, Quebec.

In 1848, he left St. Thomas and became Rector of St. Johns, where he remained till September,1858.  In October of the same year he was appointed Rector of  Trinity Church, Montreal, where he continued till his death.  His great work was in erecting that beautiful structure, the present Triaity Church in Viger Square, the graceful spire of which was raised at the sole expense of the late William Molson, Esq.  For years the large congregation worshipped in what was once a Dissenting Chapel, then the Cathedral Church, after the Parish Church was burned in Notre Dame street, and it is now a manufactory opposite the north entrance to the Champ de Mars. When Trinity finally abandoned this building it was used as a Military Chapel, and the writer and Author of this volume (Rev. J. Douglas Borthwick) was one of Her Gracious Majesty's Military Chaplains, who conducted services in it.  Before that and for some time he had been Assistant Minister to Dr. Bancroft in Trinity Church (the same building). This was his first clerical charge.

In 1854, Dr Bancroft was made an Honorary Canon of Christ Church Cathedral. He published a volume called "The Church Hymn Book," which was greatly used throughout the Diocese in these days,  He also issued " Family Prayers", a "Sunday School Manual'' and a volume of Sermons. After a busy, earnest and successful life he died near Boston, Mass., November 26th, 1877.  He married in Philadelphia, in 1844, Miss Smith, and had two sons* and five surviving daughters.**


Notes:
* His son Henry Bancroft married Annie Brown, sister of David Robertson Brown, and neice of Andrew Robertson.
** His daughter Grace Bancroft married Rev. George Abbott-Smith
** His daughter Annie Bancroft married John Torrance Fraser, grandson of  John Torrance
* see also his son W.M. Bancroft

* Researching Charles Bancroft.........Percy Bancroft (grandson) c/oPatty Brown (1st cousin twice removed of Percy)

Return to Notable Montrealers page

Back to the homepage

Questions, Comments or Suggestions?
contact
Patty Brown
coordinator of the MontréalGenWeb