Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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RAVENSCROFT, John Stark, P. E. bishop, born near Blandford, Prince George County, Virginia, in 1772 ; died in Williamsborough, North Carolina, 5 March, 1830. His father and family removed to Scotland soon after the boy's birth, and John was sent to school in the north of England. In January, 1789, he returned to Virginia on family affairs, and, having a desire to study law, he entered William and Mary with this object; but he never accomplished it. In 1792 he went to Scotland again, settled his father's estate, and, on coming back to Virginia, surrendered himself to a country life in Lunenburg county, regardless of religion and religious obligations. In 1810 he united with a body of professing Christians, called "Republican Methodists," but the connection did not last long. In 1815 he became a candidate for orders in the Protestant Episcopal church, and he was licensed as a lay reader in February, 1816. So acceptable were his services that St. James's church, Mecklenburg county, chose him for its rector before he was admitted into the ministry. He was ordained deacon in the Monumental church, Richmond, Virginia, 25 April, 1817, by Bishop Richard C. Moore, and priest in St. George's church, Fredericksburg, 6 May, 1817, by the same bishop. He received the degree of D. D. from Columbia in 1823. This same year he was called to Norfolk, Virginia, but declined; and also was invited to become assistant to Bishop Moore, in the Monumental church, Richmond. At this time he was elected first bishop of North Carolina, and was consecrated in St. Paul's church, Philadelphia, 22 May, 1823. William and Mary also conferred upon him the degree of D.D. in 1823. In order to supplement his salary, he assumed the rectorship of Christ church. Raleigh, which he held for five years, during which time his health failed. He attended the general convention in Philadelphia in August, 1829, but. on his return home, gradually sank until his death. Bishop Ravenscroft published numerous sermons that he preached on special occasions, and episcopal charges. After his decease these were republished, together with 61 sermons, selected by himself, and a memoir of his life, edited by Dr. (afterward Bishop) Wainwright (2 vols., New York, 1830).
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