Joshua Watson: High Church Lay Activism and the Development of Colonial Anglicanism, 1814–1855

Robert M. Andrews

Joshua Watson (1771–1855) was a wealthy merchant who used his business acumen and administrative skills to become a key player in numerous Anglican societies that had missionary concerns, working alongside high-ranking clergy in various capacities. One aspect of Watson’s achievements was his impact on the emerging colonial church structures in Canada, India, Australia, and New Zealand. He was heavily involved in the reform and administration of the two main High Church mission societies: the SPCK and the SPG. Watson was a figure of immense significance to the development of early nineteenth-century colonial Anglicanism. His example illustrates the importance of lay figures both to the High Church tradition and to the broader history of Anglicanism.

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