Bishop Robert Stanser

(16 March 1760 - 23 December 1828)
Rev Robert Stanser, Bishop of Nova Scotia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Stanser)
     Bishop Robert Stanser was born on 16 March 1760 in Harthill, Yorkshire. He was the son of Rev Robert Stanser and Sarah Leeson. Bishop Robert Stanser was christened on 28 March 1760 in Harthill. He was christened on 30 March 1760 in St Leodegarius, Old Basford, Nottinghamshire.
     Robert was educated at Uppingham school, Rutland.
     Robert matriculated at St John's College, Cambridge University, between 1779 and 1783. He was admitted sizar of St John's Feb 12, 1779. Matriculated Mich. 1779, scholar 1770, LL.B 1789, D.D. (Lambeth) 1806. Ordained deacon 16 Mar 1783, priest 25 April 1784, curate of Bullwell 1783. Robert was a clergyman at Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, from 1783 to 1791. He witnessed the second marriage of Richard Ryther Popplewell Steer and Hannah Stanser on 24 May 1786, Bulwell, Nottinghamshire; The witnesses to their marriage were Robert Stanser jr., Cassandra Stanser and George Stanser. The Stamford mercury & the Leeds Intelligencer 30 May 1786 reported: Wednesday, was married Richard Ryder Popplewell Steer, Esq; of Sandtoft-Grove this county, to Miss Hannah Stanser, daughter of the Rev. Mr. Stanser, vicar of Bulwell and Basford, both near Nottingham.
     Bishop Robert Stanser married Mary Aust, daughter of Mary's Father Aust, on 18 January 1791 in Esher, Surrey. Robert Stanser, clerk, of the parish of Esher, bachelor, & Mary Aust, spinster of the parish of Thames Ditton married by licence. Witnessed by Geo. Stanser and Elizabeth Hattwood. Robert was the rector of St Paul's becoming Bishop in 1816 at Halifax, Nova Scotia, from 1791 to 1824. Bishop Charles Inglis described Mr Stanser as "a genteel young man" and in referring to his preaching said, "His voice is good, loud, rather than strong".
     Bishop Robert Stanser was on the passenger list of the "Sphinx", arriving at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on 15 July 1791. He departed from Portsmouth on June 1st.
     He came to Halifax as a "Candidate for the Rectory of St Paul's", on the recommendation of the SPG and Dr John Breynton, the former Rector of St. Paul's. In view of the famous controversy between St. Paul's and the Crown regarding the nomination of the Rev. JT Twining to the Rectory of St. Paul's in 1824, it is interesting to note the circumstances under which Robert Stanser became Rector of St Paul's.
The Parish had requested their former Rector, John Breynton, to consult with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the SPG, and to suggest to them a suitable man as their Rector, At a Parish Meeting held on September 5th 1791, the Hon. Henry Newton, being in the Chair, he read the following letter which he had received from the Rev. John Breynton, dated London, June 22 1791:
My good old friend,
Mr Stanser left London yesterday in such haste, that I had not time to write to many of my friends. I shall send this to Portsmouth in hopes it will find him before the sailing of the 'Sphynx'. I was always of the opinion that the people had the Right of Presentation, and my conference with the Attorney General decided the matter. Mr Stanser is therefore only a Candidate for the Rectory; and as his Character, Learning, and Abilities have been thoroughly investigated, I hope you will as usual, formerly promote peace and unanimity and use all your influence in establishing him as Rector. Were I not fully persuaded that Mr Stanser possesses a truly Christian spirit, as well as the other qualities of a Minister of the Gospel, I would not on any consideration presume to recommend him as your Rector; for, believe me, that I shall ever entertain the highest regard for the welfare of the good people of Halifax.
Your affectionate friend, John Breynton.
At this same Parish meeting, it is entered in the minutes; "His Excellency the Lieut. Governor communicated: through Mr Bulkeley, a paragraph of a letter he had received from the Archbishop of Canterbury recommending the Rev. Mr Stanser as a suitable and proper person to succeed the Rev. Mr Breynton to the Rectory of St. Paul's, which being read, was ordered to be entered in the Minutes of this day's Proceedings'. In this letter the Governor stated that " he was induced to recommend Mr Stanser to the Parish as a fit and proper person to be their Rector"'. After consideration, the Meeting passed the following Resolution: "That the Rev. Mr Stanser be presented to His Excellency, the Lieut. Governor, praying that he will be pleased to issue the necessary Orders for his Induction into the Rectory".
On September 30th 1791, Bishop Charles Inglis advised Governor Parr that "the Churchwardens, Vestry and Parishioners of St., Paul's Church, having with the Governor's approval, presented Mr Stanser to him to be their Rector, he had given him Canonical Institution into the same, and he requested the Governor to issue a Mandate of Induction according to the Law of the Province, so that he may be legally inducted into the Parish of St. Paul".
Rev. Robert Stanser had arrived in Halifax on July 15th 1791, but it was not until October 3rd that Bishop Inglis was able to report to the Archbishop of Canterbury that Mr Stanser had now been legally invested with the Rectory of St. Paul's Church in Halifax. He had arrived at a period of dissension in the Garish; some of the parishioners had wanted the Rev. J.W, Weeks, Mr Breynton's Assistant, to succeed him as Rector; some wanted an entirely new man. It was with a great deal of relief that the Bishop was also able to report in this letter "most sincerely do I rejoice that this business is accomplished. It has cost you an abundance of trouble, and gave me great uneasiness". The Rev. Mr Weeks was later appointed the first Rector of Preston, which at that time also included Dartmouth, Lawrencetown, Cow Bay and Eastern Passage.
Stanser's first letter to the SPG was written from Halifax on October 8th 1791. He informed the Society that he had arrived in Halifax on July 15th 1791; and that he had received Institution and Induction, and that he had received every mark of attention from the parish. They had taken a good house for him for the winter, and had promised to thoroughly repair the Parsonage in the Spring.
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     Lambeth Palace Library holds a certificate of Bishop Inglis, Clermont, Nova Scotia, 9 April 1799, saying that he has given Robert Stanser permission to visit England. Testimonial to Stanser from three parishioners of St. Paul's, Halifax, on same sheet, 18 Apr 1799.
     In 1806, Stanser was granted the Lambeth degree of Doctor of Divinity by the Archbishop, in acknowledgement of his devoted service to the Church. In all probability, this degree was conferred on him personally, as he visited England alone late in 1806. In a letter to the Society dated from Halifax on June 11th 1807 he writes that '"he had arrived in Halifax after a circuitous route by way of Bermuda on board the Frigate Mercury, after a passage of seven weeks, and I had the all happiness to find my wife and children in good health'".
     Bishop Robert Stanser lived at 'Sherwood", near Rockingham, Nova Scotia, Canada, to 1807.
     Halifax, Oct 9. MUTINEBRS.
On the 13th ult. a Court Martial was help on bound the [ILL], for the trial of forty four seamen, and a marine, belonging to the Jason frigate, charged with a [ILL] assembly on board that ship, when lying off New York, in September last, for the purpose of deserting in the boats. The trials continued until the 29th ult when Thomas Campbell, William Caton, Mounsey Tinning, Robert Denen, Peter Bond, John [ILL], William Lang, Edward Miston, Joseph Mosena, and Thomas Martin, seamen, and Patrick Brown, [ILL], were convicted, and received sentence of death. The others
were acquitted.
Oct 13.-Yesterday morning, William Caton and Mounsey Tinning, two of the mutineers on board the Jason, yere executed from the fore-yardarm of the Jason, Campbell, Brown, Bond, and Denen, were respited, after they had ascended the platform. The others convicted had been recommended to mercy. To raise compassion, these men
had agreed to porsist in a [ILL] of cruelty against their Officers; and the public [ILL] was much excited in their behalf; but just before the time of execution, they addressed the Reversed Clergyman who attended them, and confessed the falsehood of the charge, and "that they could not bear go out of the world wishes we in their [ILL]." They often signed the subsequent declaration, and asked pardon of their Officers for their injurious conduct in aspersing their [ILL], and [ILL] the strongest marks of [ILL] and [ILL].
DECLARATION. "We, the undersigned, must solemnly declarebefore, the Rev. Dr. Stancer and Rev. George Wright, as we shall answer at the day of [ILL], that we have never been [ILL] or ill neated by Captain Cochrance, or any of the Officers of his Majesty's ship Jason; but on the contrary have always met with good usage, and have nothing to complain of. As witness our hands, October 12, 1807.
William Caten, Mounsey Tinning, Thomas Campbell, Robert Denen, Peter Bond's X mark, Pat. Brown's X.
Witness Robert Stancer and George Wright
The American rabble give every encouragemant and facility to our seamen to desert. A serious mutiny broke out on board the Jason, while she was of Sandy Hook, supposed to have bee excited by American instigators. Fortunately it was suppressed with little difficultly, and no loss of blood.
It appears the Jason had been sent to New York with dispatches for the British Consul. The Captain having fen, a boat on shore with a Lieutenant, the crew were surrounded the moment they landed, by a number of Americans, who [ILL] them to desert, telling them they were in a land of liberty; in consequence of which the boat's crew immediately ran away.
The Lieutenant, who was armed, endeavoured to stop them, but was prevented by the mob, and with difficulty escaped. Almost immediately after a mutiny broke out on board the Jason; the crew endeavoured to confine the Officers below, while they hoisted out the boats to go on shore. The Officers, however, by great [ILL]-
tions, forced their way upon deck, and after a short conflict, drove the mutineers below, and near 60 of them were put in irons
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     Bishop Robert Stanser was mentioned in the will of Rev Robert Stanser dated 30 May 1808.
     For the next two years [from 1807], he carried on his parochial duties under some difficulty due to the state of his health. Writing to the Society on May 15th 1809, he stated that the past winter was the severest he had ever experienced, and had proved fatal to many. He had been confined to his bed for six weeks and was still very weak. He also informed the Society that he was to move to a new parsonage in June; but he does not tell us why a new parsonage was necessary, when his parishioners had already provided him with a new one when he had returned from England in 1799.
     He only wrote once to the Society in 1810 and reported that his congregation was increasing to such an extent, that the Vestry was considering enlarging the church. He wrote twice in 1811 reporting that nothing of significance had happened in the parish, but that he himself as suffering severely from attacks of gout and rheumatism, which he imputed to the severity of the winter..
     
     On May 11th 1812 he wrote to the Society giving his Notitia Parochialis and added, "they are going to build an entire new steeple to St. Paul 's in order to enlarge the church oh, as it is still too small to contain the whole congregation. The cost will be about 1600 pounds, half of which will come from the King's Bounty and half from the people'. The actual cost amounted to nearly 2200 pounce of which 500 came from the Militia Arms Fund 500 from the confiscated estate of one Jonathan Clarke, and the remainder was borne by the parish. Mr Stanser was also glad to report in the same letter, ''that his flock have lately given another instance of their esteem and affection for him by adding 50 pounds a year to his salary, which owing to the high prices of everything due to the war, was absolutely necessary". He Wrote another short letter on October 30th informing the Society that "they had now completely finished the new steeple and the addition to the Church, which would be a handsome building, even in England. By the new addition, they gained 55 pews, which will accommodate about 330 persons''.
     It was at this period, 1813, that relations between Dr Stanser and his Bishop became somewhat strained. ill health and advancing years had made it absolutely necessary for Bishop Charles Inglis to have an Assistant. The Bishop had previously corresponded with the Archbishop of Canterbury regarding the appointment of a Suffragan, but nothing had Happened. The Bishop was now in his 80th year and in poor health; for practical purposes, his son John was administering the Diocese, and he fully expected him to be appointed his Suffragan. John Inglis was in England at the time, so his father wrote to him from Halifax on May 14th 1813 stating:
In one of my letters last week by the Packet, I informed you that to my great surprise, Dr Stanser was going about with a Petition praying that he might be appointed my Suffragan. This was all I had heard of the business, Just before the Packet sailed, Since then, I find that the prevailing opinion is that this extraordinary measure originated with the Judge of Admiralty, who on this as on every other occasion, influenced the Chief Justice and bent him to his purpose. Between them it is said, the plan of operation was concerted.
Last Sunday, when indisposition prevented me from going to Church, public notice was given by Dr Stanser that there would be a meeting of the parish on business of importance, the Monday following no intimation was given to me, of the business on hand; nor was it made known to any, except the few that were concerned in the intrigue, so that the people were taken by surprise. Had it not been for Sir John Sherbrooke, I should not have known anything of the plan before the Packet sailed.
When the people were assembled, a Petition was produced and read, as I have- been informed, for I have not seen it, stating at large Dr Stanser's good moral character and diligence to his duties, to which I have no objection, and would concur with the statement so far. But the Petition proceeds to request that Dr Stanser may be appointed my Suffragan, as a proper person well qualified for the office. The Petition has been signed by Members of the Council, and by the inhabitants in general; it has even the signatures of Methodists, Papists, and Presbyterians, such has been the diligence of its principal abettors.
It is needless to point out the extreme irregularity, impropriety and indelicacy of this procedure. Could I degrade myself by such a measure, I could procure fifty signatures in this Province and New Brunswick, for each one on behalf of' Stanser. You are well known and esteemed in both Provinces; all of Stanser 'e knowledge is confined to Halifax. He is a good parish priest; but his tameness, pliancy and want of firmness, to say nothing more, unfit him for the arduous office of a Bishop in this country at this critical period.
I write with the utmost difficulty, and I shall be obliged to get some friend to transcribe this out of my letter book. My hand shakes so much that it is scarcely legible; otherwise I should now write to the Archbishop. I hope your business will be in such favourable forwardness, that this attempt will not obstruct its success, if it still should not then be completed. I think this unkind interference will come too late. The Governor mentioned this to Stanser, when he consulted His Excellency on the matter; and Stanser was greatly agitated arid would have given it up, out he was pushed on. Indeed:, the measure itself is too repugnant to the usage of our Church, and savours so much of the disorderly spirit of these times, which should be firmly resisted, that it will probably injure Stanser more than anyone. He betrayed much weakness and want of firmness in yielding to the measure, and thereby his unfitness for the office to which he has aspired.
Finally, my dear John, Do not be discouraged nor diverted from your object by this unkind interference
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John Inglis was in London at this time endeavouring to get the nomination for the proposed office of Suffragan Bishop. Writing to him on May 25th 1813, Bishop Charles wrote: It my letter of the 14th reaches you, it will give you all the information I have been able to receive concerning an attempt to substitute Dr Stanser in your place for my Suffragan. I hope your business is in such a state of forwardness by this time, as to preclude any danger from a rival, especially such a rival as Stanser, who although a good parish priest, yet has neither the energy, firmness, or knowledge essentially necessary for a Bishop in these most trying times..... It appears that many who signed the paper on behalf of Stanser, did it under the persuasion that. I had been consulted and made acquainted with the whole business; whereas it was carefully concealed from me, and an ungenerous advantage was taken of my illness and confinement for that purpose. In this respect, Stanser was much to blamel.
     The final result of this disagreement between Stanser arid the Bishop was a decision by the Government not to appoint a Suffragan at this time. The Bishop wrote a letter of bitter disappointment to the Archbishop of Canterbury on November 6th 1813, ending his letter with the following words:- Regarding Stanser, he is a useful parish Minister and his moral character good, both of which I often mentioned to your Grace's most worthy predecessor. But it requires no proof to evince that every worthy parish Minister is not qualified for the station of Bishop. A degree of active energy, of sound judgement, which few possess, and has not fallen to the lot of the above gentleman, is indispensably necessary for discharging the Episcopal duties in this Diocese with benefit to the Church, at this very trying and eventful period.
With the controversy regarding a Suffragan over, Dr Stanser settled down to his numerous parish duties..
     In his letter of May 25th 1813 to the Society we first hear of him complaining of a sickness that was eventually to completely ruin his health, Erysipelas. He said the complaint was quite general throughout the parish. He wrote two letters to the Society in 1814; in the one of April 27th, he reported that the Bishop's health was sufficiently good for him to have assisted him at the Communion Service on Easter Day.
     Bishop Robert Stanser and Mary Aust and George Aust were beneficiaries in Ann Aust's will dated 12 June 1813 in Esher, Surrey.
     In a letter to the Society dated May 6th 1815 he reported that the Winter had been unusually severe. Mrs Stanser had become so infirm that she had been advised by her doctors to return to England, just as soon as her strength was equal to the voyage. From the minutes of St. Paul's Church Vestry under date of June 12th 1815, we find that Dr Stanser was granted a leave of absence of six months from that date, to enable him to visit England on urgent private affairs, and because of the precarious state of his wife's health, as well as his own. He left his parish in the capable hands of the Rev. Robert Willis, Chaplain to the Flagship on this Station.
Two events of this year, 1815, had had a tremendous effect on him. The first was a disastrous fire that took place in Halifax early in 1815. It took place in the middle of the night in the depth of winter; and soon after the alarm was given, Dr Stanser went to the scene and assisted in extinguishing the fire. It is said he suffered burns in the process; and with his recurrent attacks of Erysipelas, the cumulative effect was to undermine his health to such an extent that he never fully recovered. The second was the death of his wife.
. Bishop Robert Stanser was widowed on 7 June 1815 on the death of his wife Mary Aust. He sailed for Bermuda a few days later.
     Bishop Robert Stanser made a will dated 10 June 1815 in Halifax, NS, Canada. I Robert Stanser D.D. Rector of Saint Pauls Halifax Nova Scotia do make this my last will as follows that is to say I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved children to be divided among them share & share alike all my Real and Personal Property whatever to hold to them their Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns for ever and I do hereby appoint George Aust Esq. of Kensington Middlesex and my Brother Ltnt Colonel Charles Stanser Executors of this my last will not doubting that they will pay such attention to the interests of my children as may be at times required of them and I do hereby revoke all former Wills by me made Witness my hand and seal at Halifax the tenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen - signed Robert Stanser SS Signed Sealed published and declared by the above named Robert Stanser the Testator to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who subscribed the same in his presence and in the presence of each other - (Signed) H. N. Binny - Henry H. Cogswell, William B. Almon MD.
     The Leeds Intelligencer 27 May 1816 announced: His Royal Highness the Prince Regent has been most graciously pleased to appoint the Rev Robert Stanser, D D, eldest soo of the Rev Robert Stanser, A M, late Rectdor of Bulwell and vicar of Basford, near Nottingham, tot he Bishoprick of Nova Scotia, vacant by the death of Right Rev Dr Inglis.
     On February 24th 1816 Bishop Charles Inglis died at 'Clermont', and was buried beneath St. Paul's Church on February 29th. It had been generally assumed that his son John would be appointed as his successor. The Bishop had mentioned many times in his letters to the Archbishop that he wished his son to succeed him, as he felt he was the most capable man available. However, Stanser had powerful friends In high places in the Council and the Assembly, and these petitioned Earl Bathurst, the Secretary of State, for his appointment to the vacant see. The Earl speaking in the House of Lords said, "This gentleman has been Rector of St. Paul's for 25 years, and has given every satisfaction to his parishioners. His integrity and amiable disposition have gained him the goodwill and esteem of everyone. The memorial received in this country, signed by most of the respectable inhabitants, whatever their religious persuasion, states that he has served faithfully for 25 years as a clergyman in that country, and begs the Government to recommend his appointment to the vacant see. It so happens he has not, What is vulgarly called a "patron" in this country, or if he has, he has either forgotten the circumstance, or the patron has forgotten him. I have not received one word from any person in this country in favour of Dr Stanser, whilst I certainly have received applications in favour of others desirous of the office. Upon considering all the circumstances, I have submitted his name to His Majesty, who has been pleased to direct that a Patent should be made out appointing Dr Stanser, the Bishop of Nova Scotia".
Official announcement of the appointment was made in the "London Gazette" of May 6th 1816. The Archbishop had favoured John Inglis for the appointment so he was much distressed at the appointment of Dr Stanser, which he felt was a purely political appointment made: completely against his advice. His chagrin was such that he received Stanser with a brusque, if not rude manner, when he presented his Royal Mandate for Consecration to the Archbishop. However, Dr Stanser was duly consecrated in Lambeth Palace Chapel an May 19th 1816, by Archbishop Sutton, together with the Bishops of London, Exeter and Oxford. Before his departure to Halifax, he was granted a Coat-of Arms by the College of Arms. He was also the first Bishop of Nova Scotia to be granted the style of Lord Bishop, which was given him by the Prince Regent
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     In his first letter to the Society as Bishop, dated October 11th 1816, he reported he had arrived in Halifax on September 17th after a passage of 30 days. The Prince Regent had appointed him a member of the Council, to rank next after the Chief Justice. However his health was not improving; and in this same letter he stated that he wee very anxious for the return of Dr Inglis from England, for his health, 'which had already suffered much, will not allow him to do justice to the claims of his extensive Diocese".
     When he became Bishop, he wrote far more frequently to the Society, duly reporting the problems arid progress of his diocese He proposed to make an extensive Diocesan Visitation during the Summer of 1817. As Visitor of the College at Windsor, he attended two meetings of the Board of Governors there on September 23rd and December 30th 1816. He attended another meeting on March 15th 1817. As a Member of the Council, the Minutes show that he only attended two of its meetings.
It was obvious immediately on his return from London that his appointment as bishop had Been a dad mistake. His health was such that his active working days were numbered; but in spite of this handicap, he tried to carry out his episcopal duties to the best of his ability. Nelson's old Flagship the "Victory" was in Halifax in December of 1816, and he availed himself of the opportunity offered to write the longest letter he had ever written to the Society. In it, he reported the events that had happened since his arrival tack in the diocese
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     Writing to the Society on July 12th 1817, reporting the progress of his diocese, he added this personal note, "Notwithstanding a most severe and almost fatal attack of the Gout in the stomach, knees, feet and hands, that confined me to my bed for five weeks and to the house for four months, followed by the Erysipelas, a sickly and painful disorder which is even now very troublesome to me, I managed to meet my clergy on Thursday the 3rd of this month, according to appointment, and they were pleased to say that I got through the Visitation, Confirmation and Ordination in a manner that surprised them, as I was obliged to be supported in Church by reason of not being able to wear any other but cloth shoes, and the weakness of the ankles. There are many other circumstances that I intended to acquaint by this mall, had not the Ecclesiastical Commissary, Dr Inglis, kindly offered out of compassion for my infirm state of health, to give you every information". He was extremely fortunate in having a man of the energy and ability of John Inglis to assist him in duties which were now clearly beyond his physical capacities.
By the fall of 1817, it was obvious that Dr Stanser could no longer carry on. Writing to the Society on September 17th 1817, he stated, "I am now extremely grieved to be under the necessity of informing you, that the present state of my health will oblige me, I find, to retire from the Province during the winter months, and the enclosed letters and Medical Certificates: from the medical gentlemen who have attended me during my long illness, will convince the Society that it was with the greatest reluctance on my part, that I was at last prevailed upon to leave my Diocese, in the hopes that a sea voyage and residence in my native air in the west of England may, with the blessing of God, restore my health and enable me to return in the Spring ... My only consolation is that I leave my Diocese in good strong hands...     My spine is chiefly affected, and the least exertion gives me intolerable pain; of' course, exercise on horseback, or even riding in a carriage, is quite out of the question. It is with difficulty that I hobble along in my cloth shoes, with the assistance of a stick".
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     He sailed for England on the "Perseverance" on October 19th 1817. He never saw his diocese again, out it was ably administered by John Inglis. He never ceased to hope that somehow his health would be
restored, and that he could return to Nova Scotia, but it was all in vain. He claimed he could not resign as he had no financial resources beyond his salary. Earl Bathurst had requested him to resign; but on learning of his circumstances, the Earl said, in addressing the House of Lords: "What could I do, my Lords? Could I have said to him, go back to Nova Scotia and die, or stay in this country and starve? If there is any blame for this action, then I alone am responsible; the SPG are exonerated".
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     Bishop Robert Stanser was mentioned in the will of George Aust dated 6 December 1822.
     Stanser finally resigned on December 4th 1824, after having been granted a pension of 250 pounds a year from Nova Scotia, 350 from New Brunswick, and 200 from the SPG. He was now able to live in comfort for the rest of his days at Hampton in Middlesex where he had gone to reside on his return from Halifax.
     Robert died of erysipelas on 23 December 1828 in Hampton, Middlesex, England, aged 68. He died in the 69th year of his age, the 46th of his Ministry and the 13th of his Episcopate.
His obituary was published in the "Acadian Recorder" of March 7th 1829 and also in the "Colonial Patriot" of Pictou, on March 18th 1829, copies of which can be seen in the Nova Scotia Public Archives. both papers pay tribute to Bishop Stanser's worth and work in Nova Scotia during the many years he had laboured in the Province. Sections of the last two paragraphs from the "Acadian Recorder" are a fitting way to end this story of a life and work.
"All the followers of the Master, in his opinion, constituted one great family, who although they may differ on certain points, nevertheless believe that 'charity suffereth long and is kind'. From this circumstance originated that high regard which was entertained for him by all the Dissenters, and his elevation to the Bishopric was hailed by them with satisfaction.
As a Churchman, he was free from that bigotry which denounces everything beyond the pale of the Establishment; as wrong; send he was devoid of the disposition to obstruct whatever tends to promote the temporal or spiritual interests of other denominations. As a member of Society, he was unreserved with his equals, kind and affable to his inferiors, beloved by his acquaintances, and highly respected by all parties. he left us an example which we should all imitate".
So passed a good man beyond the ken of mortal men
. He was buried on 31 December 1828 in St George, Esher, Surrey. In the old and now disused cemetery, there is an altar tomb with railings on the north side of which, under a carved mitre: Within this tomb are the remains of the Rt Rev Robert Stanser DD, late Bishop of Nova Scotia, who died at Hampton on the 23rd of December 1828 aged 68. "A good man's name is his best memorial" His obituary was published in the Acadian Recorder of March 7 1829 and the Colonial Patriot of Pictou, on March 18 1829.
     His will was proved on 7 April 1829 at Halifax, NS, Canada. Nova Scotia Court of Probate of Wills By the Honorable and Worshipful Charles Morris Surrogate General of his Majestys Court for the probate of Wills and for granting Letters of Administration within and throughout the province of Nova Scotia and its Dependancies etc etc etc. We do by these present make known to all Men that on Tuesday the seventh day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and twenty nine at Halifax in the Registry of the Court of Probate of Wills before us the Honorable and Worshipful Charles Morris aforesaid present John Spry Morris Esq: Registrar the last Will and Testament of the Right Reverend Robert Stanser late Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia deceased was Proved approved and Registered and I do further certify the following is a true Copy of the Will of the deceased.
Given at Halifax in the Registry of the Court of Probate of Wills under the seal thereof this seventh day of April aforesaid in the tenth year of his Majestys Reign. John Spry Morris, Registrar.

     The administration of his estate was granted to Robert Brymer Stanser on 17 June 1829 at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. As the executor had died (George Aust died 20th February 1829): On 17th June 1829 Admon (with the Will annexed) of the Goods Chattles and Credits of The Right Reverent Doctor in Divinity formerly Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia but late of Hampton in the County of Middlesex deceased was granted to Robert Brymer Stanser one of the natural and lawful children and as such one of the Universal legatees being first sworn duly to Administer Charles Stanser Esquire the Brother & surviving Executor named in the said will having first renounced the Probate & execution thereof the Letters of Admon of the Goods of the said deceased as dying a Widower and Intestate granted in the month of January last to the said Robert Brymer Stanser Esquire one of the natural and lawful children of the said deceased having been first voluntarily brought in and revoked by Interlocutory Decrees as by acts of Court appear.
     His sons died unmarried so that his name has died out. The daughters all married, and we were able to get, about 5 years ago, the silhouette likeness of the Bishop which accompanies this sketch (the only portrait of him, we believe, that exists) from his grand-daughter, Mrs Ingles of Radcliffe on Trent, Notts, England [Mockridge, The Bishops of the Church of England in Canada & Newfoundland. Toronto, 1896]
C E Thomas wrote in 1964: Of the ten Bishops who have occupied the see of Nova Scotia, Robert Stanser, the second Bishop, is the least known of them all. It is only within the last three years or so that sufficient material has become available in Nova Scotia that will enable us to have a much fuller account of his life here, first as the Rector of St. Paul 's Church, and later as Bishop. The basic source of the materials used for this paper have been obtained from the microfilms of the SPG letters and Journals, together with the 5 volumes of the "Correspondence and Journals of Bishop Charles Inglis of Nova Scotia 1775-1814". All these sources are now available in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia.
"Robert Stanser, son of the Rev. Robert Stanser, Curate of Harthill in Yorkshire, and Sarah, his wife, born March 16th 1760". That is his baptismal record. He graduated from St. John's college, Cambridge, with the degree of LL.B. in 1783; was Ordained Deacon on March 16th 1783 at the Chapel Royal in St. James' London, by the Bishop of Gloucester, and served as Curate to his father, who was then Rector of Bulwell in Nottinghamshire. He was raised to the Priesthood on April 25th by the Bishop of Gloucester at the Chapel Royal in St James'. He laboured at Bulwell until he came to Halifax in 1791...
Mr Stanser had arrived in Halifax at a time when the rigid old order of the establishment, both in Church and State, was unmistakably changing. The Loyalists from the old colonies to the south were gradually assimilating with the people of Nova Scotia. The newcomers had brought new ideas with them; and although a large part of them belonged to the Church of England, nevertheless there were many Dissenters among them, and they were beginning to make themselves heard. Not only that, but in a Province where there had been no toleration for Roman Catholics, officially at least, from the earliest years of the settlement, the obnoxious legislation against them had been repealed in 1783. Hence the paramount position of the Church was being challenged, and it was challenged still more later on when a goodly number of the Legislature were Dissenters and Roman Catholics.
In the years before the arrival of the Loyalists, the leaders in Church and State had more or less been the same; but now, the situation was changing. The Colony was developing; new settlements were being opened up, there was now a substantial negro population which required material as well as spiritual aid. Trade was increasing and conditions were vastly different to what they were when the Rev. John Breynton came here in 1753; and somehow, his successor, the Rev. Mr Stanser, an Englishman totally unfamiliar with local conditions in this land, was now called upon to minister in the oldest, biggest and wealthiest parish in Halifax.
He was fortunate in that he had made a good first impression, both on his parishioners and his Bishop. Quoting from the previously mentioned letter of Bishop Inglis to the Archbishop of October 3rd 1791, the Bishop wrote "I flatter myself that Mr Stanser will answer our expectations and be of service; His voice is good, and will be better; he possesses the dispositions I wish for in a Clergyman, and is generally well liked"
Stanser was not a prolific letter writer, but he wrote sufficient letters to give us a good account of his ministry here both as Rector and later as Bishop. Things did not always go right for him, and he complained bitterly at times of his treatment at the hands of Officialdom. Up to within four short years of his arrival here, the Rector of St. Paul's occupied the highest position in the Church in the land. However with the appointment of a Bishop in 1787, this position of prestige was now vested in him, so Stanser did not have the same official standing as had his predecessor.
Although Stanser had come to Halifax with the approval of the SPG, he only received a nominal allowance of 30 pounds yearly from the Society. The main income of the Rector of St. Paul's had come from three sources, namely: nine tenths of the pew rents, the rents from the glebe lands, and the Chaplaincies or Deputy Chaplaincies, of the regiments in Garrison, or men of war on the station. When he left England, he had been assured that the income forthcoming from the Chaplaincies, would continue: but he had only been in St. Paul's a few months when he was deprived of them in favour of the Rev. Mr Weeks, who had powerful friends in high places. The loss of the Chaplaincies was a severe financial blow to him and he complained bitterly of his present circumstances, compared to what they had been in England. He put his case in a letter to the Society dated April 13th 1792, in which he stated his only source of local income was the rents from the pews and the globe, and these would only amount to about 150 Pounds annually.
Bishop Charles Inglis took up the problem with the Archbishop of Canterbury in a letter dated March 20th 1792. In it he wrote "... Mr Stanser goes on very well to my entire satisfaction and that of his parishioners. He is a very prudent, diligent, and exemplary clergyman. But I am sorry to inform your Grace that he has been deprived of the Deputy Chaplaincies of the two regiments sent out here last summer, and also that of the Flagship, which he had keen led to expect when he had left England. Governor Parr interfered while I was in the country, and made it a coins to procure these Chaplaincies for Mr Weeks, on finding that he were not to be the Rector of St. Paul's. This is really a hardship on Mr Stanser; Those perquisites belong to him as of right as Rector, and on the supposition that he would have them, the society allowed him no more than 30 pounds a year. I submit it to your Grace whether, as matters are circumstanced this point should not be reconsidered in favour of Mr Stanser ..."
The Bishop further took up the matter with Dr Morice, the Secretary of the SPG in a letter dated April 15th 1792. In this letter he asked the Society to increase their allowance to Mr Stanser. The Society duly considered his letter and decided "That the present allowance of 30 pounds a year was not given by the Society under the idea that the people of Halifax were incompetent to Provide for their Minister without it, but rather to give him a sanction and authority, which they thought would be of use to him, on his first going there". Thus Stanser had to carry on as best he could with his pew and glebe rents.
It was not long after this that Governor Parr died; and in 1792 he was succeeded as Governor by John Wentworth. Stanser ''s relationships with Parr had not been unduly cordial, but with the arrival of John Wentworth, he found a firm friend. Governor Wentworth wrote to the SPG on November 20th 1792, stating he had assured Mr Stanser that he could rely on him to do everything in his Power to make his Rectorship of St. Paul's useful and agreeable. He regretted that the present reduction in the Military and Naval establishments had diminished the perquisites which had been formerly enjoyed by the Rector of St. Paul's. His parish being considerably in debt, it could not do what they would like to do for him. No man could be more universally acceptable and approved as Mr Stanser was. The glebe formerly granted to St. Paul's had hitherto been unprofitable; to remedy this misfortune, the Governor had proposed to the Bishop and Mr Stanser to discover some good tract of land in the most eligible situation, which he would grant without any expense. He had also told Mr Stanser that he shall have a good tract for his own private property, as soon as the King's Instructions are received for granting lands, The Governor also observed that it is to be feared that Mr Stanser's prospects have hitherto not been equal to his expectations; but he trusts that the kindly aid of the Society to the parish will continue, So that they may hereafter be able to improve their Rector's situation.
In spite of his difficulties, Stanser worked hard and diligently in his parish. Reporting to the Society on April 30th 1793, he stated that the number of his parishioners were constantly increasing; on Easter Sunday, he had had 190 Communicants; there were 50 names upon the list for pews, The Governor, at great expense, had levelled the Parade so that there was now a fine open area in the front of the Church. Furthermore, the Governor had appointed him as Chaplain to his own Corps which was being raised in defence of the Province, since all the regular regiments had been ordered to the West Indies. However, since the Governor's instructions were only to employ half pay officers, he feared that Mr Weeks would have the appointment. He therefore requests the Society to ask the Archbishop to intercede with the Secretary of State on his behalf. The work of his parish was arduous; and were it not for the kindly assistance of the Bishop when he was in Halifax, and in his absence, r Wright, the Schoolmaster, he was afraid that the work of the parish would prove overwhelming for him.
Writing to the Society on November 11th 1794, he again mentioned that the work of the parish was becoming increasingly more burdensome. He celebrated the Lord's Supper every six weeks, and usually had about 200 Communicants. What with having to attend the numerous sick, he had been obliged to employ the Rev. Mr Wright, Master of the Grammar School, as his assistant on Sundays. For the first two years he had been in the parish, he had taken all the services; he preached two sermons every Sunday; he read prayers on Wednesdays and Fridays, and on every Saint's days and Holy days throughout the year; he had to catechise the children twice a week from the first of April until the end of September. In addition to the work of his own parish, he had: to conduct Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals for the Military. All these duties had materially affected his health and spirits, and he could not hope to continue any longer without help.
In this same letter, he advised the Society that he had received letters from England which stated that his presence was required in that country to attend to pressing private affairs. He had therefore applied to his parishioners, the Bishop, and the Governor for permission to visit England, and permission had been readily granted. He now requests the Society to grant him leave of absence. The Society granted his request provided that he made ample provision for the care of his parish during his absence, and that he would give a direct assurance of his intention to return ta Halifax. However, he was not to make the Journey for some years yet.
Waiting to the Society on May 23rd 1795, Stanser reported that the number of Communicants was increasing, for the Methodists are on the decline and one of their Chapels is soon to be shut up and converted into a store. The prejudices imbibed by the Dissenters against our form of worship are rapidly wearing away, and Dr Brown's congregation since his departure, have requested the Bishop to permit Mr Wright, his assistant at St. Paul's, to perform the whole of the Church services in their Meeting House on Sundays. This circumstance obliges me to postpone my intended visit to England".
In another letter in the same year to the SPG he wrote "The Methodists decrease daily, and Prince Edward has hired one of the largest of their buildings and converted it into a Garrison Chapel so that at present, they only have one small Conventicle". This is the first reference to a Garrison Chapel I have found on the SPG Reels. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the letter to suggest the location of this Garrison Chapel, but possibly it could have been Marchington's Meeting House.
By 1796, the Bishop spent a great deal of his time at "Clermont", so that St. Paul's saw very little of him. This caused Robert Stanser much concern, and in a letter to the society, dated August 10th 1797, he expressed his feelings in the following words: "I must candidly confess that I am sorry the Bishop thought proper to remove to Aylesford, for many reasons. The Society's Missionaries by his absence have a very expensive Journey to take of 90 miles, for the most part through rough country, and are unavoidably detained in Halifax a fortnight at least before they can go from here to the Bishop, which would be attended with great expense were they to reside at a Coffee House or a Tavern. It is on this account therefore, that I have always insisted upon their staying at my house whilst they remain here. On 30th June, we attended the Bishop's Visitation at Windsor. The weather was extremely hot, the mercury in the shade rose to 96, and in the open air to 104. On my return I was attacked with a bilious fever and a sore throat, which confined me to my bed for many days. All here are anxiously sighing for peace. The expense of living in Halifax at present is beyond all bounds; we have been paying until lately, half a crown for a pound of butter, and meats cost ninepence. If I had not obtained through the kindly assistance of the good Archbishop, the Chaplaincy of the Royal Nova Scotia Regiment, I could not have maintained my family; as the Rectory of St. Paul's, at the utmost, can never amount to more than 190 pounds per annum. Out of this, I pay my Assistant, Mr Wright, 40 pounds, for I really could not attend to the duties of this large parish, with any comfort to me or satisfaction to my people, without this assistance. I must desire you to consider this as addressed to you only, and what relates to the Bishop, who I am grieved to say is by no means a popular character, I must entreat you to consider as private and confidential"
It is from this point that we begin to detect that the relations between Stanser and his Bishop were not as cordial as they might have been. He was particularly disturbed by the Bishop residing at Aylesford, with the resulting frustration that both he and his fellow clergy felt at the absence of the Bishop from the Capital. It is well to bear in mind this fact, in order to fully understand Stanser's later actions regarding his Bishop.
Writing to the Society on May 12th 1798, he lamented the continuing war and stated "The merchants are the only class among them who have reaped any benefit by the dreadful war. Those who have only stated salaries by which to live have been much distressed, as the prices of even the necessities of life is enormous, especially in Halifax; and in respect to his own family, he is obliged to pursue the most rigid economy. The winter has been most severe, and had proved nearly fatal to Mrs Stanser". It seems to me that it was not too long ago that I heard similar sentiments expressed regarding the merchants of Halifax.
At any rate, life was somewhat difficult for Robert Stanser; and in due time, his difficulties came to the attention of his Bishop, who thereupon wrote to the Society on his behalf, in a letter dated September 28th 1798, from Aylesford. He stated "There is one other particular to which I request the Society ''s attention, It is the case of Mr Stanser at Halifax, In the course of this war, the price of every necessity of life is increased to double and treble what it was formerly. To bear the increasing expense, Mr Stanser has not any addition to his fixed salary than the Chaplaincy of the Nova Scotia Regiment, which is inadequate for the purpose. I spoke to the late Admiral Murray on his behalf that he might have the Chaplaincy of a man-of-war; who, though well disposed to serve him, had it not in his power, as all the Line-of-Battle ships on this station had Chaplains, When Admiral Vanderput, an old friend of mine arrived, I wrote very earnestly to him on behalf of Stanser; but he, like Admiral Murray, assured me it was not in his power to serve him, as each Line-of-Battle ship had a Chaplain of its own. The consequence is that this very worthy clergyman, who from his station is exposed to extraordinary expense with a numerous young family, is now in very straightened circumstances. I would therefore humbly and earnestly propose to the Society that some addition be made for the present to Mr Stanser's salary. Perhaps it need not be made permanent, but a yearly donation might be continued till the state of things is changed, either by an addition to his income from some other quarter, or by a reduction in the cost of the necessities of life. Motives of duty as well as friendship induce me to urge this application, which I hope the Society will attend to"

At this time, the Bishop was 68 years old, and was beginning to feel the weight of his years, For health reasons, he preferred to live at Clermont"; and since he was away from the Capital, he had discussed the matter of appointing a Commissary with the Archbishop of Canterbury, In a letter from Aylesford to the Archbishop, dated December 17th 1798, he wrote: - "Your Grace desires me to name the person whom I think proper to be Commissary; and as I have always taken the liberty to open my mind to you without reserve, I shall do so now on this occasion. It would be my wish to avoid giving offence to anyone, but from the state of things here, I fear it is scarcely practicable in the present case; especially as there are several respectable clergymen for whom I have esteem. MP Stanser is of that number, and it would be desirable that the Commissary should reside at Halifax. But the misfortune is that the parochial duties at Halifax are very laborious, and require constant attention and residence; and these must be neglected, were Mr Stanser to give me any: assistance that would be of use. Besides I hope Mr Stanser will soon be appointed the Garrison Chaplain for Halifax....'
The Bishop's letter of September to the Society in which he pleaded for some increase in Stanser's salary was successful, and his salary from the SPG was raised from 60 pounds to 70 pounds a year. This eased his burden somewhat, but he soon had another very personal problem in the very serious state of his wife's health. Her physicians had advised him that the only hope for her recovery was a sea voyage back to her native land; and so on April 10th 1799, he wrote to the Society advising them that his long nut off Journey to England would shortly have to be undertaken. However, he was troubled because Mr Houseal, the German Minister at the German Church had died on 9th March, and the Germans were anxious to have his assistant, Mr Wright, as their Minister. St. George's German Church at that time was still a part of St. Paul's parish, and Stanser was dubious of Mr Wright's ability to handle the two churches. Apparently he became satisfied on that point, and late in April of 1799 he left for England with his family.
Stanser's own health at this time was also showing some signs of strain; and his financial worries due to insufficient income had made him somewhat unhappy with his position at St. Paul's. The Bishop was fully aware of his feelings, and he also felt that it Stanser returned to England with his family, he would not return to Halifax. The Bishop expressed his fears in a letter to the Archbishop, dated April 15th 1799, in which he wrote requesting "that if Mr Stanser was provided for in England and remained there, that a suitable successor be sent out in the same manner, and with the same recommendations that he was sent on the resignation of Mr Breynton; and also that his Grace would support Mr Stanser in procuring the Garrison Chaplaincy in Halifax, if he returned".
However Stanser did return. In a letter to the Society dated from Halifax December 19th 1799, he stated that he sailed from Falmouth on October 25th and arrived in Halifax on December 11th after a Journey of almost seven weeks during which they endured much suffering and discomfort. He also stated that the great Joy expressed by his parishioners on his return, was very pleasing to him. His Pleasure was further enhanced when he learned, that during his absence, a new Rectory had been built for him, and was ready for him to move into forthwith
A few months after his return, an incident occurred which caused him great distress. From the very beginning of the settlement, the issuing of Marriage Licences had been a perquisite of the Governor. Originally, only marriages solemnized in accordance with the Rites of the church of England were considered legal; but as the years rolled by, marriages by Dissenting Ministers were acknowledged, but it was still mandatory that all Carriage Licences in Halifax should be addressed to the Rector of St. Paul's, who was to duly sign them. However, in the later years of Dr Breynton's ministry, it had been his practice, if the parties were Dissenters, to send them down with the licence to the Minister at Mather's Meeting House, who would conduct the ceremony according to their Rites. Officially, this was illegal; but the procedure was common practice and no one paid much attention to it.
What caused Stanser great distress was that a German had been granted a Marriage Licence; and as was the usual custom, it had been directed to the Rector of St. Paul's. However, through some misunderstanding, the German took the licence to Mr Wright, who was the Minister of the German Church. Mr Wright, in high dudgeon, sent it back to the Secretary's office asking why the licence had been directed to the Rector of St. Paul's, and not to him. All parties concerned were soon in hot dispute; and although Stanser had offered Mr Wright that he would send him the licence duly endorsed, for anyone who wished to be married in the German Church, his offer was refused. This had always been the procedure with Mr Houseal, Mr Wright's predecessor. Of course, as nominal soon as it became known that the exclusive right of the Rector of St. Paul's was being challenged, Mr Grey, the presbyterian Minister; Mr Jones, the Roman Catholic Priest, and many others of Dissenting bodies, asked for the same privilege for themselves. Everybody took sides on the question. The Attorney General, R J Uniacke, was of opinion that the Governor, as Supreme Ordinary, could issue Licences to whom he pleased. The Governor had therefore declared that, in future, he would grant licences without distinction to Ministers of all persuasions. The answer of the Anglican clergy to this was, that the "Ordinary", as far as they were concerned was the Bishop of the Diocese, and not the Governor, Mr Bulkeley, the Provincial Secretary, was of opinion that all licences should be directed to the Rector of St, Paul's, and that it was totally illegal to grant licences to Roman Catholic or Dissenting Ministers.
The Bishop entered the dispute by letter. He wrote to the Governor on April 4th 1800 protesting against his claim to be able to grant licences indiscriminately to Ministers of all denominations. He pointed out to him that "Your Excellency knows as well as I do, that the establishment of the Church of England in this Province is little more than nominal; and that the good of the community and its peace and order require the Establishment to be strengthened. but this new measure will have a tendency to weaken it by throwing down one of the few distinctions in favour of its Clergy, which has hitherto subsisted, and go far to increase the levelling spirit which is already too prevalent.
The matter of Marriage Licences was solved a few weeks later by a letter from the Duke of Portland to Governor Wentworth instructing him to adhere forthwith to the previous custom of granting licences to clergy of the Established Church only. On April 25th 1801, Stanser wrote to the Society that Mr Wright had written him a long letter of apology regarding the dispute, and undertaking never to interfere in this matter in future. In this same letter, Stanser wrote that "91 had died of the Smallpox, of whom I had died the natural way, and 20 of inoculation".
By 1801 Stanser's financial affairs had improved considerably. He had been appointed Chaplain to the Naval Hospital; and in 1802 he became Chaplain to the Flagship H.M.S. Leander, wearing the flag of Vice Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell. However his health was deteriorating, and so he had had to spend much of his time in the country during the Summer. Writing to the Society on April 22nd 1802, he stated "My parishioners as usual, have been extremely kind to me. Mr Belcher made me a present of 15 acres of land in the vicinity of Halifax, perfectly sheltered from the sea breezes, which had proved inimical to my constitution; and several other friends have assisted me in the erection of a small cottage, so that with the blessing of God, the change of air and the rides on horseback will be a means of restoring my health. Measles have been very fatal in the town. My youngest daughter narrowly escaped, but I lost a son aged 2 years and 7 months-"
The estate which he referred to was, of course, Sherwood. It had been bought by the Hon. Alex Brymer from the estate of John Willis; he, in turn, sold it to Andrew Belcher who presented it to Stanser "in consideration of esteem and veneration and the sum of five shillings'. Later, in 1807, it was sold by Stanser to Sir Brenton Halliburton for "the sum of six hundred pounds current money of the said Province of Nova Scotia". Sherwood remained in existence until the middle 1950's when it was destroyed by fire.
Now that Stanser had two Naval Chaplaincies, he was in a far happier frame of mind. Bishop Inglis had written to the Archbishop on July 26th 1800, stating of Stanser, "A part of his church is set apart for the King's troops, and thereby he loses a part of the emoluments arising from the pews; and although few of the troops during the residence of the Duke of Kent here, went to St Paul's other plans being provided for them - yet this made no difference with respect to Mr Stanser. The pews in the church were still vacant for them, and as he has much of the duty to perform for the soldiers in baptising their children, burying the dead, marrying them, and visiting the sick. The Chaplaincy should go to the Rector of St Paul's Mr Stanser, who is a useful and diligent clergyman. The Chaplaincy would make him easy in his circumstances, and he very well deserves it". However he still did not get the Military Chaplaincy, out the grant of the two naval ones greatly relieved his anxiety.
His letters to the Society from 1802 to 1804 are written in a more contented and happy frame of mind. His parishioners appreciated him and were good to him. Nevertheless "he feels himself very indisposed, although his health is much improved by residing in the country, and riding every day to and fro to Halifax'.
In a letter to the Society dated April 11th 1804, he wrote "My parish has been uncommonly healthy. My parishioners are repairing the Church, and they have sent to England for the King's Arms in artificial stone". These are the King's Arms that you see now in St. Paul's. They were made by "The Ornament and Stone Manufacturing Co" of Lambeth in London, at a cost of 23 pounds five shillings, and nine pence. They were shipped to Halifax late in 1804, and were paid for on November 5th as can be seen from the Minutes of St. Paul's. It had been proposed to carve the King's Arms on the front of the organ and choir loft when the church was enlarged in 1812, out this was never done and the old arms were installed where you see them today.
About this time, 1802, Stanser, and later the Rev. William Cochran engaged in controversy with the Rev. Edmund Burke, later to become the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Halifax. Edmund Burke was an unusually able man, who had laboured as a Missionary in Quebec, Ohio and western New York State. He arrived in Halifax in 1801 from Quebec; and on the first day of his arrival, he commenced a Parish Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials for the Church of St Peter, Which was then the only Roman Catholic Church in the town. The story of Edmund Burke is the story of the Roman Catholic Church from 1801 to 1820; without his leadership, perhaps there might have been a different story to tell. He was one of the greatest scholars of his times in North America; and Stanser, and later Mr McCulloch of Pictou, were to find in him no ordinary adversary.
During this religious controversy, Stanser published a booklet entitled "An examination of the Rev. Mr Burke 's letters of Instruction to Roman Catholic Missionaries in Nova Scotia and its Dependencies, addressed to Christians of all denominations". This 96 page booklet et was published in Halifax in 1802, and a copy was sent to the SPG. After arguing back and forth for a couple of years, with many of the Protestant clergy entering the fray, Edmund Burke in 1805, wrote a booklet entitled "Remarks on the Rev. Mr Stanser's examination of the Rev. Mr Burke's Letter of Instruction to the Catholic Missionaries in Nova Scotia, together with a reply to the Rev. Mr Cochran's fifth and last letter to Mr Burke, published in the Nova Scotia Gazette; also a short review (by E. Burke) of his former letters, and the replies which were made'
.

Children of Bishop Robert Stanser and Mary Aust

Sarah Stanser

(2 November 1771 - 25 January 1864)
     Sarah Stanser was born on 2 November 1771 in Basford, Nottinghamshire. She was the daughter of Rev Robert Stanser and Sarah Leeson. Sarah Stanser was christened on 6 November 1771 in Old Basford. She was listed in the household of Rev Robert Stanser paying tax in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, between 23 May 1795 and 30 April 1796.
     In Rev Robert Stanser's will dated 30 May 1808 in Bulwell, Sarah Stanser was named as heir; His will mentions land at Wickerly, Yorkshire in trust for his grand daughter Mary Robinson, copyhold lands in Wales, Yorkshire to his daughters Maria and Sarah, the deceased Richard Ryther Popplewell Steer, his eldest son Robert Stanser Doctor of Laws and Rector of St Paul's at Halifax in Novia Scotia (who is amply provided for), other son Charles, a major in the Royal Marines (who is already provided for), son in law John Johnson & daughter Hannah his wife, nieces Ann Leeson & Hannah James. Sarah Stanser, executrix.

     This is the last will and testament of me Robert Stanser, Rector of Bulwell in the county of Nottingham. I give devise and bequeath all that my messuage farm lands, tenements and hereditaments at Wickersley in the county of York, (now vested in me as surviving mortgagee in fee thereof, in trust for my grand daughter Mary Robinson, Richard Ryther Popplewell Steer my co-mortgagee and trustee being dead and the money due on which mortgage were monies we held in trust for my said grand daughter) and all principal monies estate and interest thereon and therein unto and to the use of my said grand daughter Mary Robinson her heirs executors administrators and assigns.
I give and devise my customary or copyhold messuages lands, tenements, hereditaments and estate at Wales in the said county of York (which copyhold premises I have surrendered to the use of my will) unto my two daughters, Sarah Stanser and Maria Stanser equally to be divided between them and to their respective heirs and assigns for ever as tenants in common and not as joint tenants.
I give unto my eldest son, Robert Stanser, Doctor of Laws and Rector of Saint Pauls at Halifax in Nova Scotia (and who is amply provided for in the world) all my manuscripts, sermons and works and a mourning ring.
I give unto my other son, Charles Stanser, a Major in the Royal Marines (and who is already provided for)
To my son in law John Johnson Esquire and to my daughter Hannah, his wife, a mourning ring each, which I request they will accept as tokens of my regard and affection for them.
I give to my niece, Ann Leeson, twenty pounds and to my niece Hannah James, ten guineas, and as to all the rest residue and remainder of my ready money and securities for money goods, cattle, chattels, personal estate, debts, credits and effects whatsoever and wheresoever, I give and bequeath the same (subject to the payment of all my just debts and funeral expenses) unto my said two daughters Sarah Stanser and Maria Stanser equally to be divided between them and I do hereby nominate and appoint my said daughter Sarah Stanser sole executrix of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former and other wills by me at any time heretofore made.
In witness whereof I the said Robert Stanser the testator have to this my last will and testament set my hand and seal this thirtieth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight.
Signed sealed published and declared by the above named Robert Stanser the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses. Robert Stanser. Alfred Padley. Samuel.... , Thomas Chester.
She was an executor of Rev Robert Stanser's estate on 12 May 1812 in the Prerogative Court of York.
     Sarah Stanser mentioned on 16 September 1818?. She was a subscriber to the volume "Old John's tale" published in 1819 in Doncaster, Yorkshire. She wrote "Old John's tale, or half an hours amusement to the not too difficult to please, an irregular poem by a lady, cheerfully dedicated to the good- natured" London: printed by S McDonell, Lombard St for the author and published by B Bisby & M Simpson, Doncaster, 1819. A copy in the Mitchell Library, NSW [from the collection of David Scott Mitchell] has the inscription: Mary Elizabeth Bingle - from the author 1859. Some of the presumed relatives were subscribers to the volume: Dr Best, Capt Best and Miss Best, all of Bulwell; Mr, Mrs & Miss Robinson of Winthorpe House, Dr Robinson, Mrs Robinson & Mr R Robinson of Doncaster, Mrs Robinson of Stoke Golding, Miss Robinson of Blencogo, Mr F Robinson of Nottingham & Mrs S Robinson of Bulwell; Mr & Mrs Steer of Doncaster and Miss Stanser of Doncaster.
     Sarah Stanser and Maria Robinson appeared on the 1841 census in Bromley College for Clergy widows, Bromley, Kent. Maria Robinson, 59, Sarah Robinson 25, Elizabeth Robinson 20, all independent and not born in the county. In the same household was Sarah Stanser, 65, ind?, not born in the county with a servant Ann Finch aged 15, born in the county.
     Sarah Stanser lived at Bromley, Kent, 20 March 1844.
     In Robert Brymer Stanser's will dated 20 March 1844 in 'Woodbine Cottage', Regent's Park, Middlesex, Sarah Stanser was named as heir; The beneficiaries were: Aunt Sarah Stanser of Bromley, Kent £300
Frances Robinson and Elizabeth Robinson, £200 each, children of widowed Aunt Maria Robinson, of Bromley.
Elizabeth Bowker of Bulwell, Notts £200
Henry Scarth, friend, a solicitor of Lyons Inn, Middx £200, Executor
Thomas Poynter of Karters Common, London £100, Executor
Martha Gillard servant £50
Elizabeth Bennett servant £50
Sarah Bennett servant £50, 2nd Codicil
James Stanser McNair nephew a ring
Robert Charles Robinson cousin a ring
J.J.Wrigley 19 Guineas for a ring a friend of Charlton Kings, nr Cheltenham, 2nd Codicil
Martha Loveday cook, one years wages, 2nd Codicil
Ann Read housemaid, one years wages, 2nd Codicil
Henry Scarth a ring
Thomas Poynter a ring
Residue of the estate divided into five equal parts :-
late sister Mary Anne Slade son-James Stanser Slade; daughter-Mary Elizabeth Slade
widowed sister Elizabeth Best
widowed sister Eleonor McNair widow of late Lieut. Col James McNair
a sister Sarah Stewart Giles wife of John Cooper Giles, Master in the Royal Navy
sister Hannah Slade wife of Septimus Cambell Moody Slade.
     Sarah Stanser and Maria Robinson were recorded on the 1851 census in Eno? Fair Terrace, Bangor, Caernarvonshire, Wales. Elisa Maria Davies, head, widow, 86, annuitant born Ludlow, Shropshire: Eliza Ann Jones, daughter, married 26, annuitant, born Amboch, Anglesey; Maria Robinson. visitor, widow, 69, proprietor of land, Bulwell, Ntt; Elizabeth Robinson,visitor's daughter, 30, ditto, born Stoke Golding, Leics; Sarah Stancer, visitor, unmarried, 76, proprietor of house, born Basford, Ntt, and a servant. They witnessed Mary Robinson's will dated 15 August 1853 in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire. Sarah Stanser was listed as the sister of Maria Stanser in the 1861 census in West Town, Backwell, Somerset. Maria Robinson, head, widow, 75, landed proprietor, born Bulwell; Elizabeth Stanser Robinson, daughter, 40, born Basford; Sarah Stanser, sister, unmarried, 84, annuitant, born Basford; Elizabeth Trehaine, visitor, unmarried, 52, annuitant, born Basford Ntt.
     Sarah died on 25 January 1864 in Fir Grove, West Town, Blackwell, Somerset, aged 92. She was buried on 2 February 1864 in St Andrew, Backwell.
     The administration of her estate was granted to Maria Stanser on 30 March 1865 at the Principal Probate Registry, London. Sarah Stanser late of Fir Grove, West Town in the parish of Backwell, Somerset, who died 25 January 1864 at Fir Grove, a spinster without parent and intestate, to Maria Robinson of West Town, widow, the sister of the deceased. Effects under £300.

Lt Col Charles Stanser

(25 November 1762 - before 6 March 1834)
     Lt Col Charles Stanser was christened on 25 November 1762 in St Leodegarius, Old Basford, Nottinghamshire. He was the son of Rev Robert Stanser and Sarah Leeson.
     Lt Col Charles Stanser served in the military in the Army between 1787 and 1814. On 26 Dec 1787 in Ireland he was promoted to Lieutenant. He was appointed Colonel in the Army from Major in the Royal Marines in June 1814. In May 1808 he was appointed Lt Colonel in the Army from Captain of the Royal Marines. Charles served in the Royal Marines between 1796 and 1826. He was in Command at Woolwich and was a Major in the Royal Marines. He last appears in the Navy List as Lt Col in the Royal Marines, having attained that rank on 20 June 1825. He retired in Feb 1826 when he was succeeded by Major W W Higgins, as Lt Colonel of Infantry by purchase. He was a bachelor and died without issue.
     Lt Col Charles Stanser was mentioned in the will of Rev Robert Stanser dated 30 May 1808.
     In Bishop Robert Stanser's will dated 10 June 1815 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Lt Col Charles Stanser was named as executor of the estate.
     Lt Col Charles Stanser made a will dated 3 August 1832 in Lymington, Hampshire. This is the last Will and Testament of me Charles Stanser of Woodside near Lemington in the County of Hants Esquire made this third day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two being weak in body but of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding First I direct that all my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses be fully paid and satisfied by my Executors hereinafter named out of my personal Estate I give devise and bequeath unto my Nephew Robert Brymer Stanser now residing at Fulham in the County of Middlesex all that my Copyhold Estate situate lying and being in the town of Fulham aforesaid now in the possession of Mr Bignold or his undertenants by virtue of a lease thereof granted by me to him To hold the said Copyhold Estate with its appurtenances unto my said Nephew Robert Brymer Stanser his heirs and assigns for ever according to the Custom of the Manor of Fulham under which the same is held All the rest residue and remainder of my property I give and bequeath unto the said Robert Brymer Stanser and Charles Edward Cox of Bartletts Buildings Holborn Esquire and to the survivor of them and their Executors Admons and assignes To and for the following trusts and purposes that is to say upon trust in the fist place to convert every thing into money and to Invest the same after payment of my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses as hereinbefore mentioned in the purchase of Government Stock or securities in their own names and upon further trust to pay and apply the interest and dividends thereof unto my Sister Maria Robinson who now resides with me for and during the term of her natural life and from and after the decease of the said Maria Robinson upon further trust to divided the same into three equal parts of shares and to pay one third part thereof unto my Nephew Robert Charles Robinson one other third part thereof unto my niece Sarah Frances Robinson and the remaining third part unto my Niece Elizabeth Stanser Robinson the aforesaid shares not to be paid until they respectively attain twenty one years of age and in case of the death of any or either of them under that age then I give the share of him or her so dying unto the survivor of them in equal shares and proportions And I hereby direct my Executors to retain and reimburse themselves respectively All costs charges and expenses which they may incur or sustain in and about the execution of the trusts of this my Will And I hereby declare that the one shall not be answerable for the other of them but each of them for his own acts deeds or default And I appoint the said Robert Brymer Stanser and Charles Edward Cox Executors of this my last Will and do give unto the said Charles Edward Cox the Sum of ten pounds for his trouble In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal the day and year first before written -
Chas.Stanser - (seal) -
Signed sealed published and declared by the said Testator Charles Stanser as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence and at his request have subscribed our names as witness thereto Henry Scarth Sol of Lyons Inn Strand, John Walker Fulham Middx, Elizabeth Twallin.

     Charles died before 6 March 1834 in Lymington, HAM. He was buried on 6 March 1834 in Lymington.
     His will was proved on 31 May 1834 at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.