Charles Henry Wharton
(5 June, 1748 in St. Mary's County, Maryland – 22 July, 1833 in Burlington, New
Jersey) was a clergyman.
The family plantation, Notley Hall, was presented to his
grandfather by Lord Baltimore
1760 he was sent to the English Jesuit College at St Omer
he was very studious, and acquired the Latin tongue with such
proficiency as to converse in it.
He was ordered deacon in June, 1772, and priest the following
September, both in the Roman
. At the close of the American Revolution he resided at
England, as chaplain to the Roman Catholics in that
There he addressed a poetical epistle to George Washington
, with a sketch of his
life, which was published for the benefit of American prisoners in
England (Annapolis, 1779; London, 1780).
He returned to what had become the United States in 1783 in the
first vessel that sailed after the peace. In May, 1784, having
adopted the views of the Church of
England, he published his celebrated "Letter to the Roman
Catholics of Worcester" (Philadelphia, 1784), and became rector of
Immanuel Church, New Castle, Delaware.
At the general convention of 1785 he was on
the committee to "draft an ecclesiastical constitution for the
Protestant Episcopal church in the United States", also on the
committee "to prepare a form of prayer and thanksgiving for the
Fourth of July", and that to Americanize the Book of Common Prayer
. In 1786 he
was elected a mere-bet of the American philosophical society.
After ten years' further residence in Delaware, he became, in 1798,
rector of St. Mary's Church, Burlington, New Jersey. In 1801 he
accepted the presidency of Columbia
, New York, and was to assume the position at the August
commencement ceremonies, but he did not appear for them, and
resigned in the fall. He returned to his rectorship in Burlington,
which he held till his death in 1833.
He was always president of the standing committee of the diocese
and a deputy to the general convention, and among the first in
scholarship and influence of the clergy of his church in the United
States. The testimony of his contemporaries and his numerous
publications pronounced him an accomplished divine, a gifted poet,
and an able controversialist. At the time of his decease he was the
senior presbyter of the Protestant Episcopal Church
the works already mentioned, he published "Reply to an Address [by
Bishop Carroll] to the Roman Catholics of the United States"
(Philadelphia, 1785); "Inquiry into the Proofs of the Divinity of
Christ" (1796); and "Concise View of the Principal Points of
Controversy between the Protestant and Roman Churches" (New York,
1817). In 1813-14 he was co-editor, with Reverend Dr. Abercrombie,
of the Quarterly Theological Magazine and Religious
His "Remains," with a memoir, were published by
Bishop George W. Doane (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1834).