Mountain, George Jehoshaphat (DNB00)

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MOUNTAIN, GEORGE JEHOSAPHAT (1789–1863), protestant bishop of Quebec, second son of Jacob Mountain [q. v.], was born in Norwich on 27 July 1789, and was brought up in Quebec. Returning to England at the age of sixteen, he studied under private tutors until he matriculated from Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1810, and D.D. in 1819. He removed again to Canada in 1811, and, becoming secretary to his father, was ordained deacon in 1812 and priest in 1816, at the same time being appointed evening lecturer in Quebec Cathedral. He was rector of Fredericton, New Brunswick, from 1814 to 1817, when he returned to Quebec as rector of that parish and bishop's official. In 1821 he became archdeacon of Lower Canada. On 14 Feb. 1836 he was consecrated, at Lambeth, bishop of Montreal, as coadjutor to Dr. Charles James Stewart, bishop of Quebec. Dr. Stewart shortly afterwards proceeded to England, and the charge of the entire diocese was under Mountain's care until 1839, when Upper Canada was made a separate see. It was through his earnest exertions that Rupert's Land was also, in 1849, erected into an episcopal see. He continued to have the sole charge of Lower Canada until 1850, when he secured the constitution of the diocese of Montreal, he himself retaining the diocese of Quebec, by far the poorer and more laborious of the two. During the greater part of his ministerial career he had to perform long, tedious, and oftentimes dangerous journeys into the interior of a wild and unsettled country, paying frequent visits to the north-west territory, the eastern townships, the Magdalen Islands, and the shores of Labrador; also to Rupert's Land, some three thousand six hundred miles, in an Indian canoe. He came to England in 1853 to confer with Dr. William Grant Broughton [q. v.], the metropolitan of Australasia, on the subject of synodical action in colonial churches, and he received the degree of D.C.L. at Oxford. The greatest of his works was the establishment in 1845 of the Lower Canadian Church University, Bishop's College, Lennoxville, for the education of clergymen. Mountain was a learned theologian, an elegant scholar, and powerful preacher. He died at Bardfield, Quebec, on 6 Jan. 1863.

Besides many single sermons, charges, and pamphlets, Mountain wrote:

  1. ‘The Journal of the Bishop of Montreal during a Visit to the Church Missionary Society's North-West American Mission,’ 1845; 2nd edit. 1849.
  2. ‘Songs of the Wilderness; being a Collection of Poems,’ 1846.
  3. ‘Journal of a Visitation in a Portion of the Diocese, by the Lord Bishop of Montreal,’ 1847.
  4. ‘Sermons published at the Request of the Synod of the Diocese,’ 1865.

[Armine W. Mountain's Memoir of G. J. Mountain, late Bishop of Quebec, 1866, with portrait; Morgan's Bibliotheca Canadensis, 1867, pp. 284–7; Appleton's American Biography, 1888, iv. 447–8, with portrait; Illustr. London News, 1862, xli. 576, 587; Gent. Mag. March 1863, pp. 388–9; Roe's First Hundred Years of the Diocese of Quebec; Taylor's The Last Three Bishops appointed by the Crown for the Anglican Church of Canada, 1870, pp. 131–86, with portrait.]

G. C. B.