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5. Isaac, born April 16, 1662, member of the Provincial Legisla
ture, and of the Corporation; married Mary Van Baal. 6. Johannes, born and baptized September 22, 1666, Mayor of
New York 1698–9; Assessor, 1692–3; Assistant Alderman, 1694–6; member of the Provincial Legislature; married
Anna, daughter of Gerrit Bancker, October 10, 1688. 7. Cornelius, baptized October 4, 1673; first Chamberlain of
New York; married, 1st, Mary Bancker, September 20,
1694; 2d, the widow of Alex. Stewart. 8. Jacob, died young. 9. Cornelia, died young.
After her husband's death, Mrs. de Peyster continued to reside on Broad street, surviving him many years. The census of 1703, says her family consisted of a negro, a negress, and two children. Last Will and Testament of Cornelia de Peyster, April 23, 1692,
proved September 25, 1725. In the name of God, Amen.
Know all men by these presents, That on ye twenty-third day of Aprill in ye year of our Lord one thousand Six hundred and ninety-two, I, Cornelia de Peyster of the City of New York, considering mortality of all men, certainty of death, and ye uncertain time thereof, have made my last Will & Testament, well premeditated and out of a free mind, revoking and annulling all other acts of last Wills made by me before ye date of this present, desiring this only to stand in full power, force and virtue in law, being as viz. :
Imprimis : I recommend my immortal soul when departed out of ye body in ye merciful hands of God Almighty and my corpse to a decent burial.
Secondly: I confirm ye last Will & Testament made by my husband deceased, Johannes de Peyster, before ye Notary Walwyn van der Veen, dated ye 8 day August anno 1663.
Thirdly: I make and bequeath to my Eldest sonn, Abraham de Peyster, ye summe of Tenn pounds for his privilege of first borne to be delivered to him before any division is made of my Estate.
Fourthly: I make unto my youngest Sonn, Cornelis de Peyster, in case I come to die before he is married, an outsetting equal as ye other have had of bed, furniture and household stuff and bybel. Fifthly: I do make all my children by name, Abraham, Maria, Isaac, Johannes & Cornelis de Peyster, my only universall & equal Heirs of my Estate, which I shall leave by decease reall & personally, moveable and unmoveable, actions & credits, nothing Excepted, to be equally inherited & divided amongst them after my Decease without any distinction of Sonn or daughter or prerogative of one above other, and by decease of any of them, their Lawful Issue by representation.
Sixthly: I will & require in case any of my children shall come to dye not being married, or dyeing a widower or widow, leaving no children, then ye inheritance of their share equally devolve to ye survivant children, or their Lawfull Issue by representation.
Seaventhly: I doe make all my children Executors of my Estate to act & performe all things required according to Law and my cousin, Peter de la Noy, to be their assistant.
The premises I declare to be my last will & require ye Same may be performed in all points & accepted in ye law.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & affixed my seale ye year, day & month as above said.
CORNELIA DE PEYSTER. Sealed & Delivered in ye presence of
P. DLA Noy.
THE INDUCTION OF THE REV. WILLIAM VESEY.
During the more than fifty years of the ascendancy of the Dutch in this city, the affairs of their church moved with a tranquil current and their schools were carefully fostered; nor was there any radical change as to these under the early English Governors of the Province from 1664, when the Dutch control was destroyed, until the coming here as Governor in August,
1692, of Benjamin Fletcher. All the early English Governors, except Dongan, who was a Catholic, were Episcopalians, but were either indifferent as to the condition of religious affairs, or too deeply immersed in their private speculations and public duties to give attention to them. Not so with Fletcher: on his advent the quiet was disturbed, and peace was followed by turmoil. Fletcher was not a man of ability. An early historian describes him as a man of sordid disposition, violent temper and shallow capacity. He was an arrogant and overbearing soldier who bitterly resented opposition to his purposes, and who expected to be unhesitatingly obeyed whenever he commanded.
It will be historically interesting to trace the legislation he initiated before the Assemblies of the Province of New York for effecting the establishment of the English Church in the colony, and the means by which he secured that result. There had been worship according to the Church of England in the Fort, where the steamship offices are now, opposite the Bowling Green. The Dutch had erected a building there, and in the days of the government from Holland had worshiped there alone. But in 1664 services were held by the chaplain of the English forces alternately with the Reformed Church of Holland. With the growth of the town, however, this had become too small for the latter society, and they erected a new building in Garden street, now Exchange place, just where the eastern end of the Mills building is now to be found. This was in 1693. The building in the fort was abandoned to the garrison and such few others as adhered to the Church of England. No record exists as to who the earlier chaplains were, or by whom the Anglican services were celebrated. The Rev. Charles Wolley appears as the first chaplain whose name is recorded.
Soon after Fletcher's arrival here, he caused application to be made to the Assembly for the passage of an act for the building of a church in the City of New York and the settlement of a Protestant minister. This in his view would undoubtedly be an Episcopalian one. The Assembly stood by the faith of their fathers, and refused to pass the enactment. This refusal brought upon the Assembly all the wrath of the Governor. In 1693 he was somewhat more successful. He secured from the new
Assembly, grudgingly, as will be seen later on, and not without expectation that its phraseology would defeat its execution according to the Governor's intent and meaning, the passage of an act, “ Providing for the building of a church in the City of New York, in which was to be settled a Protestant minister." This bill, known as the “ ministry act,” was urged through by Fletcher, after the Assembly had lopped off many of its provisions as proposed to them. When passed, it read as follows: An Act for settling a ministry and raising a maintenance for them
in the City of New York, County of Richmond, Westchester
and Queens County. Whereas Prophaneness and Liscentiousness hath of late overspread the Province for want of a settled Ministry throughout the same, To the end the same may be removed, and the ordinances of God daily administered, Be it Enacted by the Governour and Council, and Representatives convened in General Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That in each of the respective Cities and Counties hereinafter mentioned and expressed, there shall be called, inducted and established a good sufficient Protestant Minister, to officiate and have the care of souls, within one year next and after the Publication hereof. That is to say, in the City of New York One, in the County of Richmond one, in the County of Westchester two; one to have the care of Westchester, Eastchester, Yonkers, and the Mannor of Pellham, the other to have the care of Rye, Manironeck and Bedford; in Queens County two, one to have the care of Jamaica, and the adjacent towns and farms, the other to have the care of Hempstead, and the next adjacent towns and farms.
And for their respective Encouragement, Be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That there shall be annually and once in every Year in every of the respective Cities and Counties aforesaid, assessed, levyed, collected & paid for the maintenance of each of their respective Ministers the respective Sums hereinafter mentioned, that is to say, For the City and County of New York, One Hundred Pounds; for the two precincts of Westchester, one hundred Pounds, to each fifty Pounds, to be paid in Country Produce at Money price. For the County
of Richmond forty Pounds, in Country Produce at Money price. And for the two Precincts of Queens County one hundred and twenty Pounds, to each sixty Pounds, in Country Produce at Money price.
And for the more orderly raising the respective maintenances for the Ministers aforesaid, Be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the respective Justices of every City and County aforesaid, or any two of them, shall every year issue out their Warrants to the Constables, to summon the Free-holders of every City, County, and Precinct aforesaid, together on the second Tuesday in January, for the chusing of ten Vestrymen and two Church-Wardens, and the said Justices and Vestry-men, or major part of them, are hereby impowered, within ten days after the said day, or in any day after, as to them shall seem convenient, to lay reasonable Tax on the respective City, County, Parish, or Precinct, for the maintenance of the Minister and poor of thei respective Places. And if they shall neglect to issue their Warrants, so as the Election be not made that day, they shall respectively forfeit five Pounds current Money of this Province. And in case the said Free-holders duely summoned, as aforesaid, shall not appear, or appearing do not chuse the said ten Vestry-men and two Church-Wardens, that then in their default, the said Justices shall within ten days after the said Tuesday, or in any day after, as to them shall seem convenient, lay the said reasonable Tax on the said respective Places, for the respective maintenances aforesaid. And if the said Justices and Vestry-men shall neglect their Duty herein, they shall respectively forfeit five Pounds current Money aforesaid.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That such of the Justices and Vestry-men that shall not be present at the time appointed, to make the said Tax, and thereof be Convicted, by a certificate under the hands of such as do appear, and have no sufficient Excuse for the same, shall respectively forfeit five Pounds current Money aforesaid. And a Roll of the said Tax, so made, shall be delivered into the hands of the respective Constables of the said Cities, County, Parishes and Precincts, with a Warrant signed by any two Justices of the Peace, impowering him or them to levy the said Tax, and upon Refusal, to distrain,