Rev. Robert Addison (1754 - 1829)
The Rev. Robert Addison had the blessing of being the son of parents whose circumstances enabled them to give him a liberal education. From a respectable grammar-school he was transferred to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with credit, and attracted, by his classical and mathematical attainments, the notice of several of the senior members of the University, and among the rest of Dr. Watson, the celebrated Bishop of Llandaff, who used to say that young Addison could master any subject, and might become an ornament to the University, if only he would exert himself to overcome the natural indolence and diffidence of his character. Soon after leaving Cambridge he married, and engaged in tuition, an employment for which he was more than ordinarily qualified. But his prospects were early blighted by an afflicting mental disorder which attacked his wife, and from which she never recovered. This heavy visitation, and the hopelessness of his obtaining any preferment in this country, seem to have directed his thoughts to the Colonial Church. He felt that a Missionary might be as happy as "the Archbishop of York." Accordingly he applied to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, for a Mission in the North American Colonies, and was appointed in 1791 to the charge of Niagara, a station which had been for some time in want of a clergyman. As soon as he had made the necessary arrangements, he embarked for his mission, but arrived at Quebec too late in the year to proceed further till the spring, when he continued and completed his long and expensive voyage.
In those early days of the colony but few settlements had been formed, and those who had to traverse the country were subjected to hardships and privations for which commonly they were but ill prepared.
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This account of the Rev Robert Addison is from The Colonial Church Chronicle and Missionary Journal No. IX, March, 1848, pages 333-338.
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