Robert Gray (bishop)

Robert Gray (bishop)

Robert Gray (3 October 18091 September 1872) was the first Anglican Bishop of Cape Town.


Gray was born in Bishopwearmouth, the son of Robert Gray, Bishop of Bristol, who ordained him deacon in Wells Cathedral on 11 January 1834. His first parish was at Whitworth. In 1845 be became the vicar of Stockton-on-Tees. As a priest he was interested in mission, and was local secretary for the SPG.

In 1847 he was ordained Bishop of Cape Town in Westminster Abbey, along with three bishops for Australia, and arrived in his diocese, the boundaries of which were undefined, in February the following year.

Soon after arriving he set out on a journey to explore his diocese, accompanied by James Green, who was to be rector of Pietermaritzburg in the Colony of Natal. On reaching Grahamstown he ordained William Long, with whom he was to come into conflict later.

In 1849 he visited St Helena, and in 1850 set out on another tour of the mainland, reaching as far as Pietermaritzburg. This journey convinced him that the division of the diocese was necessary. He returned to England to arrange for this, and in 1853 he resigned his diocese, and received fresh letters patent for a smaller Anglican Diocese of Cape Town, while two new bishops were consecrated: John William Colenso as Bishop of Natal and John Armstrong as Bishop of Grahamstown.

Robert Gray was married on 6 September 1836 to Sophy Myddleton, the daughter of county squire Richard Wharton Myddleton of Durham and Yorkshire, and founded Diocesan College, or Bishops as it is commonly known, in Rondebosch, Cape Town in 1849.


* cite book
last = Hinchliff
first = Peter
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = The church in South Africa
publisher = SPCK
year = 1968
location = London
url =
doi =
id = ISBN 0-281-02277-1

* cite book
last = Page
first = B.T.
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = The harvest of good hope
publisher = SPCK
year = 1947
location = London
url =
doi =
id =

External links

* [ A Journal of the Bishop's Visitation Tour through the Cape Colony with an Account of His Visit to the Island of St. Helena, in 1849.]
* [ A Journal of the Bishop's Visitation Tour through the Cape Colony, in 1850]
* [ In Memoriam]
* [ Robert Gray: First Bishop of Cape Town]

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