The Right Rev. Charles Hamilton , D.D., D.C.L.
Second Bishop of Niagara and First Bishop of Ottawa

Early Years   -   Bishop of Niagara   -   Bishop of Ottawa


Diocese of Ottawa Under Archbishop John Lewis an Episcopal Endowment fund for the proposed new Diocese of Ottawa was begun in 1885.   The fund was completed, and the new Synod called together on the 18th of March 1896, in the city of Ottawa, to elect a bishop.   On the first ballot there were 13 clerical votes for Bishop Hamilton out of 53 and 11 for Rev. A. Phillips of Hawesbury.   The other 29 votes scattered among eight different persons.   The lay suffrages, representing 49 parishes, showed an extraordinary scattering of votes.   The Very Rev. Dean Carmichael, of Montreal, received 11 votes out of 49, and the Bishop of Niagara 8.   The remaining 30 votes were scattered among 16 different "candidates."   In the second ballot Bishop Hamilton received 22 clerical and 15 lay votes, and on the third ballot he was elected by 33 clerical and 25 lay votes - 25 lay votes and 27 clerical being necessary for a choice.

His Lordship at the time was in the Diocese of Algoma, taking duty for Bishop Sullivan.   The telegram announcing his election followed him through an abundance of snow before he could be found.   He accepted the position by telegram, subject to the reception of his resignation of his present diocese by the House of Bishops, as required by canon of the Provincial Synod.   The House of Bishops accepted His Lordship's resignation at their meeting in Montreal on the 17th of April, and Bishop Hamilton a few days afterwards was installed in his new cathedral, Christ Church, Ottawa.   He met with a magnificent reception in Ottawa on the 30th of April, when many of the elite of the capital vied with one another to welcome what Ottawa had been wanting for many years bishop of its own.

Thus did Ottawa rejoice and the Diocese of Niagara was distressed.   The Episcopal Endowment Fund of Ottawa being small, yielding an income of only about $2,000 a year, Bishop Hamilton will be of the greatest possible use there with his private means, always generously used, and with his ripe experience.   Wherever he goes he carries with him his cheerful and conscious bearing which wins the hearts of men.   He has gone back close to the place of his birth, and his voice which was first heard on the banks of the Ottawa, will now be lifted up in the same region on behalf of the great cause which he for so many years has made his own.

From: The Bishops of the Church of England in Canada and Newfoundland:
being an illustrated historical sketch of the Church of England in Canada, as traced through her episcopate
by Charles Henry Mockridge
published in 1896 by Church Bells, London, England; F.N.W. Brown, Toronto, Ontario.


Charles Hamilton continued to be Bishop of Ottawa until 1914.   He was Metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Canada from 1909 to 1912.   In 1912, when the dioceses of Algoma, Huron, Niagara, Ontario, Ottawa and Toronto separated from the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada and the Diocese of Moosonee separated from the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land to form the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, Bishop Hamilton became its first Metropolitan from 1912 to 1914.   Bishop Hamilton died at La Jolla, Califonia on March 14, 1919.