September 30, 1849 (Sunday)

Cloudy this forenoon and rainy in the afternoon.

Went to St. Philip’s church this morning, and heard Mr. Neville deliver his “Farewell Sermon,” as he is about to go to New Orleans.  It was very affecting, and the congregation was deeply moved.  The house was crowded, so I was obliged to stand.  Did not go out again today.

The Reverend Edmund Neville (ca. 1805–1871), D.D. was the first rector of St. Philip’s church, serving from 1842 until 1849.  He was born in London and graduated from Oxford University. In the parlance of the day, he became dissipated (i.e., he over indulged in sensual pleasures) and then came to America. He eventually converted to Christianity at a camp meeting near Pittsburgh.  He then settled in Philadelphia, opened a school for young women, and studied the ministry under Reverend George Boyd, D. D., rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Northern Liberties (then a separate municipality, now part of Philadelphia).  Ordained in 1839, Neville was the rector at St. Thomas’ in Taunton, Massachusetts until 1842 and, after he left St. Philip’s, he became the rector at Christ Church in New Orleans. Subsequently, Dr. Neville became the fifth rector of St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York before moving on to posts in Newark, New Jersey and Hamilton, Ontario. For sermons and other writings by Rev. Neville in the AAS collections, click here.


Helffenstein, Abraham Ernest. Pierre Fauconnier and his Descendants: With Some Account of the Allied Valleaux. Philadelphia: S. H. Burbank, 1911.

Scharf, Thomas J. and Thompson Westcott. History of Philadelphia: 1608–1884. Philadelphia: L. H. Everts, 1884.

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