John C. Eccleston

John C. EcclestonJohn C. Eccleston, M.D., D.D was a well-known man in Staten Island, attracting attention and a reputation from his talents as a reverend and doctor. He was a rector of Saint John’s church located in Clifton, where he pastored for twenty-six years.  

Before he settled in Staten Island, Eccleston was born in Kent County, Maryland, on May 6th, 1828. He is a descendant of the Eccleston, who originated from the village of Ecclestown, located in England. They were among the first Maryland colonists, which took part in revolutionary struggles; they had to forfeit their land to the estates in Great Britain.

Eccleston's father was the judge of the Supreme Court in Maryland and his uncle, Samuel Eccleston, was the archbishop of Baltimore and Metropolitan of the Roman Catholic church in the United States. Eccleston had graduated from the Roman Catholic College of St. Sulpice in Baltimore, on July 20th,1847.  On March 31st, 1850, he received his  M.D. degree from the University of Maryland.  For one year, he practiced the medical profession in the city of Baltimore, then entered the General Theological seminary located in New York. He graduated on June 27th, 1854. In the same year, on August 22nd, he was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Alonzo Potter. On April, 11th, 1855, he took on his priestly orders. His first call was to St. John's Church.

On February 27th, 1856, he became a part of the rectorship of Trinity Church in Newark, New Jersey. After many years serving different churches, He returned to St. John's church in Clifton on November 1st, 1867.

On Staten Island, he was known throughout based on his public speaking and lectures. Large numbers of people from all parts of Staten Island would attend his church services. "Free in lending, his influence on the advancement of everything that is noble, free and good, the doctor has made for himself many lasting and powerful friends, and the memory of his good works will long survive to testify of him" (Bayles). He is one of the oldest and most respected clergymen who presented himself as a citizen of Richmond County.

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