In 1872 a Provincial Synod was held for the purpose of electing a missionary bishop to oversee the great stretch of northern country known as Algoma.
This was rather a memorable session. It lasted four days, though called together for the one definite object of framing a canon for the establishment of missionary bishoprics, and for the election of a missionary bishop. At last everything was ready. The Upper House was to send down a name or names for selection by the Lower House. On the morning of the fourth day (December l4th. 1872) the Bishops, that is to say, Dr. Oxenden Montreal (Metropolitan); Dr. Lewis, of Ontario; Dr. Williams, of Quebec; and Dr. Hellmuth, of Huron, sent down the name of Rev. F. D. Fauquier. On the first ballot it became very evident that it would probably be a difficult matter to choose any one, for the clergy voted "Yes'' by 31 (necessary 25), and the laity '' no '' by 26 (necessary 18). Other names were sent down, but to no purpose. After the eighth ballot a conference was held, and it was agreed to unite upon the name of Rev. John Philip DuMoulin, who accordingly was elected on the ninth ballot by 27 clerical vales (necessary 23), and 33 lay (necessary 19).
Shortly after the Synod separated, however, Mr. DuMoulin withdrew from the offered post.*
The Provincial Synod, therefore, had to assemble again in the following year.
The Bishops sent down the name of
Rev. Charles Hamilton, of Quebec, who, however, stated that under no circumstances could he undertake the office.
By this time the Rev. Mr. Fauquier had been made an Archdeacon in his own diocese, and the Upper House returned to his name as to their first love.
It was sent down for election.
The clergy accepted it by a handsome majority, but the laity by four votes refused it.
On the third ballot, however, they, by four votes, accepted it.
Archdeacon Fauquier was therefore declared elected.
With, such difficulty was it - owing, alas, to party feeling - that the first missionary bishop of Algoma was secured.