• 1 Bishop John Horden

    Born in Exeter, England in 1828, John Horden apprenticed as a blacksmith and tutored at a boarding school before being sent to Moose Factory as a Church of England missionary. Moose Factory, near James Bay, was the site of an important Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) trading post and the home of a large Cree community. Desperate for a resident Protestant clergyman, HBC Chief Factor Robert Miles wrote to the company’s governor for support. Horden arrived with his wife in 1851 and was ordained a priest the following year. He promptly established a grammar school and began mastering the Cree language. He oversaw construction of St. Thomas’ Church, which was begun in 1864, and established a number of mission stations in the region. Horden served both the HBC employees and the region’s Protestant Cree for more than three decades, and translated portions of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer into Cree. In 1872, he was elected the first Bishop of the Diocese of Moosonee. He died in 1893 and is buried in the HBC cemetery.

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