Henry Caner Letterbook

Scope and Content

The book consists of some 700 letters spanning 1728-1788. Among correspondents were officials of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Bishops Edmund Gibson, Thomas Sherlock, and William Warburton, as well as Archishop Secker, Reverend Samuel Johnson, Beilby Porteus, East Apthorp, and William Smith of Philadelphia. The book contains only copies of Caner's outgoing correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Reverend Henry Caner, 1700-1792, was a prominent Church of England clergyman in Connecticut and Massachusetts in the Eighteenth Century. Little is known of his early life, but it is commonly surmised that his father, a craftsman and emigrant took him to America as a child. He graduated from Yale, and returned from there to England for ordination. He was appointed as a missionary by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel at Fairfield, Connecticut. In 1747 he was appointed Rector of King's Chapel, Boston, the most prominent Anglican Church in New England. During the period of the American Revolution, he wrote several vigorous defences of the Church of England, and suffered during the events leading to the Revolution. In 1776, he fled with a group of English loyalists to London, from where he moved to Cardiff in 1778. Subsequently he lived in Long Ashton, near Bristol, where he died in 1792.

Access Information

Accessible to all bona fide readers.


Compiled by Martin Hall, Assistant Archivist, University of Bristol Information Services - Special Collections.

Other Finding Aids

Typescript catalogue available in Special Collections.

Alternative Form Available

See DM 1889 - Microfilm copy of Henry Caner's letterbook. Also see "Letter-Book of the Reverend Henry Caner, SPG Missionary in Colonial Connecticut and Massachusetts Until the Revolution: A Review of his Correspondence from 1728 Through 1778" by Kenneth Walter Cameron.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to copy material must be obtained from University of Bristol Information Services - Special Collections.

Geographical Names