Home - Trinity Episcopal Church

Trinity Church is a historic, well-endowed [4] parish church in the Episcopal Diocese of New York . It is located near the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway in the lower Manhattan section of New York City , New York . Trinity, a traditional High church , is an active parish centered around the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion in missionary, outreach, and fellowship.

The Trinity Church has been significant to New York City’s history for over 300 years. In 1696, Governor Benjamin Fletcher approved the purchase of land in Lower Manhattan by the Church of England community for construction of a new church. The parish received its charter from King William III on May 6, 1697. Its land grant specified an annual rent of 60 bushels of wheat. [5] The first rector was William Vesey (for whom nearby Vesey Street is named), a protege of Increase Mather , who served for 49 years until his death in 1746.

The first Trinity Church building, a modest rectangular structure with a gambrel roof and small porch, was constructed in 1698, on Wall Street , facing the Hudson River . The land on which it was built was formerly a formal garden and then a burial ground. [6] [ better source needed ] [7] [8] [9] It was built because in 1696, members of the Church of England (Anglicans) protested to obtain a “charter granting the church legal status” in New York City. According to historical records, Captain William Kidd lent the runner and tackle from his ship for hoisting the stones. [10] [11]

Anne, Queen of Great Britain , increased the parish's land holdings to 215 acres (870,000 m 2 ) in 1705. Later, in 1709, William Huddleston founded Trinity School as the Charity School of the church, and classes were originally held in the steeple of the church. In 1754, King's College (now Columbia University ) was chartered by King George II of Great Britain , and instruction began with eight students in a school building near the church.

During the American Revolutionary War the city became the British military and political base of operations in North America, following the departure of General George Washington and the Continental Army shortly after Battle of Long Island and subsequent local defeats. Under British occupation clergy were required to be Loyalists , while the parishioners included some members of the revolutionary New York Provincial Congress , as well as the First and Second Continental Congresses .

The church was destroyed in the Great New York City Fire of 1776 , which started in the Fighting Cocks Tavern, destroying nearly 400 to 500 buildings and houses, and leaving thousands of New Yorkers homeless. Six days later, most of the city's volunteer firemen followed General Washington north.