By the honor of your Lordships letter bearing date the first of May last I am informed Mr Stevens came before your Lordship for ordination and brought him an appointment to the parish of Wilmington, which I believe to be a forgery: In the first place the patronage to livings is by the last Clergy Bill implied to be in the Crown, which patronage is reserved to the Governor for the time being by his Majesty's instructions; and secondly I cannot find any person who acknowledges to have given Mr Stevens such appointment. He was a short time in this province during which time he behaved himself so indiscreetly that I refused to give him letters recommendatory to your Lordship.
Mr Cosgreve also about the same time applied to me for a recommendation, but as his credentials were not so satisfactory as I could wish I declined complying with his request; This gentleman has however been successful.
He delivered me last week Mr Burton's letter notifying his being ordained and at the same time he produced letters of ordination. I have sent him to Pitt county for three months probation, at the expiration of which I propose to establish him in that county, if the Vestry report to me his conduct is agreeable to the parish. He made me fair promises; it will give me pleasure to hear he puts them into practice.
This probation I think for the interest of the cause of religion in these parts. the inhabitants seeming as jealous of any restraint put on their consciences as they have of late shewn for that on their property: Many persons have industriously spread among the parishes and vestries that as the patronage to livings is not specified in the above Act, the Crown cannot claim the patronage; some delicacy therefore your Lordship I hope sees is necessary in the establishment of the clergy here, where the minds of the larger body of inhabitants thro' the want of the means of culture are incapable of entertaining generous principles of public utility.
The Revd Mr Micklejohn arrived about three months since, I sent him into the back settlements but have not yet absolutely fixed him.n who come bare of fortune, as the parishes here seem to expect the parochial duty performed before the stipend is paid. Your Lordship's and the Society's endeavours to supply the parishes vacant in this province with men of character and abilities meet with my warmest acknowledgments, as I have pledged my faith to the province to persuade (as far as lay in my power) clergymen of character to reside among them; Men of plain characters and exemplary lives are best adapted for the manners of the people of this country. The parochial duties are more or less circumscribed according to the extent and limits of the respective couniies: Each county at present forms but one parish. I shall as occasion offers make use of the liberty your Lordship gives me in representing to you the character of such persons for the future as I know to be going from this province to England for ordination.