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Memorable Manitobans: Edwyn Sandys Wetmore Pentreath (1846-c1913)

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Edwyn Sandys Wetmore Pentreath
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Born at Clifton, New Brunswick on 15 December 1846, the eldest son of Captain Edwin Pentreath, a United Empire Loyalist. In 1856 his family moved to Cornwall, England. He was educated at the grammar schools at Fowey and Devonport, where he passed, with honours, the Oxford and Cambridge local examinations for the degree of Associate in Arts in 1863.

In 1865 he returned to New Brunswick, and in 1867 he became the private tutor for the family of Mr. Mahlon Vall of Plainfield, New Jersey. In 1869 he entered the General Theological Seminary, New York. He graduated in 1872, taking the alumni prize in ecclesiastical history. He was ordained in 1872 and served at Grace Church, Rutherford Park, New Jersey.

In 1874 he was called upon to take charge of St. George’s Church, Moncton, New Brunswick. In 1875 he married Clara Woodford Sayre, the third daughter of Thomas S. Sayre, with whom he had a son and two daughters. In May 1882, he accepted the encumbency of Christ Church, Winnipeg, the parish becoming a rectory in 1883. In 1885 he was appointed chaplain to the 91st Battalion. In 1887 he was appointed rural dean of Selkirk and in 1891 was made an Honorary Canon of St. John’s Cathedral, the first appointment of the kind made in the diocese. In 1887 he became a Bachelor of Divinity, and in 1889 received his Doctorate from St. John’s College.

He was prominently identified with immigration work and the temperance movement, and for some time was president of the Dominion Alliance. Under his guidance and arduous work a new church school, rectory and mission chapel were built at Point Douglas. He retired in 1895 but in 1897 became Archdeacon of Columbia and superintendent of missions for the diocese of New Westminster. With the formation of the diocese of Kootenay in 1900 he became Archdeacon of the division. He was a delegate to the Bi-Centennial Anglican church celebration in Halifax in 1910.

Pentreath contracted pneumonia while visiting his family in California during the winter of 1912-1913 and passed away on 19 March 1913 after a short illness.


Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

“News of death of Archdeacon Pentreath,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 March 1913, page 1.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 September 2015

Memorable Manitobans

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