Anderson, Reverend David
b. 1814-02-10
d. 1885-11-05
Born in Edinburgh in 1814, David Anderson completed his education at Exeter College, Oxford, and was ordained as a deacon in the Anglican Church in 1837.1 After a decade of clerical positions in England, the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury led to his consecration in 1849 as the first bishop of the newly established diocese of Rupert's Land, which was partly endowed by the Hudson's Bay Company.2
Anderson did not prove a skilful church leader in a society divided by religious and ethnic differences. The associate governor of Rupert's Land lamented that the bishop not only never thinks of what he is going to say […] he is utterly incapable of remembering what he has said.3 During Anderson's 15 years as bishop, the Red River Settlement was torn by a series of religious and socio-ethnic conflicts, some exacerbated by his junior clerics, and some by the bishop himself.4
  • 1. F. Pannekoek, Anderson, David, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. E. E. Rich, ed., London Correspondence Inward from Eden Colvile, 1849-1852, (London: Hudson's Bay Record Society, 1956), 250.
  • 4. S. Van Kirk, Women in Fur Trade Society in Western Canada, 1670-1870, (Winnipeg: Watson & Dwyer Pub., 1980), 220-30; F. Pannekoek, A Snug Little Flock: The Social Origins of the Riel Resistance, 1869-70, (Winnipeg: Watson & Dwyer Pub., 1991), 119-59.
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Sumner, John Bird

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Red River Settlement

Rupert's Land