Born: Au­gust 30, 1817, Deer­field, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Died: Feb­ru­a­ry 1899, Con­nec­ti­cut.

Buried: In­di­an Hill Ce­me­te­ry, Mid­dle­town, Con­nec­ti­cut.



John was the son of Eph­ra­im Will­iams and Em­i­ly Trow­bridge.

He was ed­u­cat­ed at Deer­field Aca­de­my, Har­vard, and Tri­ni­ty Col­lege, Hart­ford, where he gra­du­at­ed in 1835.

His par­ents were Un­i­tar­ian, but his time at Har­vard con­vinced him to join the Epis­co­pal de­no­mi­na­tion. He was or­dained a dea­con in 1838 and priest in 1841. He was rec­tor of St. George’s Church, Sche­nec­ta­dy, New York (1842–48).

He then served as pre­si­dent of Tri­ni­ty Col­lege (1848–53), and at the same time pro­fess­or of his­to­ry and li­ter­a­ture.

In 1851, Wil­liams was elect­ed As­sist­ant Bi­shop of Con­nec­ti­cut (53rd bi­shop in the Am­er­i­can Epis­co­pal church). On the death of Bi­shop Brow­nell in 1865, Will­iams suc­ceeded him in the sole charge of the diocese.

At the same time, from 1854 on, he served as dean of the Ber­ke­ley Di­vi­ni­ty School at Mid­dle­town, and was its prin­ci­pal in­struct­or in Church his­to­ry and the­o­lo­gy.

In 1887, Will­iams suc­ceeded Al­fred Lee of Del­a­ware as pre­sid­ing Bi­shop of the Epis­co­pal Church in the Unit­ed States. In 1896, he was ac­know­ledged as the sen­ior bi­shop in the Ang­li­can com­mun­ion.