RICE, JACOB, minister in St John’s, Newfoundland, between 1705 and 1727; b. 1683, younger son of Thomas Rice of Newcastle, County Cardigan, Wales; d. 1728.
Rice took his b.a. degree from Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1703, and the following year was appointed to a remote curacy in Cardiganshire. When it was decided to recall John Jackson from Newfoundland in 1705, Rice was appointed in his place by the Bishop of London. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel proposed to sponsor Rice, but he failed to produce the required testimonials before his departure. In 1709 Rice returned to England, and on 30 May offered his services as a missionary to the society. His offer was refused – once more on the score of the lack of suitable testimonials – and the society declined to admit any responsibility where he was concerned. The society’s objection to Rice seems to have been a purely technical one, since, as far as can be judged, his behaviour was irreproachable and his religious commitment unquestioned. Indeed there are in the society’s records reports from merchants trading in Newfoundland that Rice lived soberly and peaceably, that he discharged his ministry with care and diligence, and that he set up a school for educating the children of the community.
Rice returned to Newfoundland as a free-lance minister. In 1712 he was having difficulties collecting his allowance of fish. Although he was supposed to get 3 quintals of “dry merchantable fish” from every shallop and a lesser quantity from smaller boats, he received a bare 100 quintals a year. The commodore of the convoy, Sir Nicholas Trevanion, confirmed his salary, and was evidently impressed by Rice’s fitness for the post. On 20 June 1727, Rice was appointed chaplain to the garrison at Placentia.
Rice died in September 1728, and so was probably the same man as a Jacob Rice, “clerk,” who died in September 1728 in North Cray, Kent, England.
PRO, C.O. 194/3, 195/5, 324/36, p.60. USPG, Journal of SPG, I, 18 May 1705, 15 June 1705, 17 Aug. 1705, 16 Sept. 1709; App.A, 384; App.B, 63; Committee, I. Classified digest of the records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts 1701–1892 (London, 1893). Index to the Act Books of the Archbishops of Canterbury, 1663–1859, compiled E. H. W. Dunkin, extended and edited Claude Jenkins and E. A. Fry (2v., British Record Soc., LV, LXIII, 1929, 1938), II. PRO, Acts of P.C., col. ser., Unbound papers; CSP, Col., 1706–8, 1712–14, 1726–27.
Alumni Oxonienses, ed. Joseph Foster (4v., Oxford, [1891–92?]). John Bacon, Liber regis, vel thesaurus rerum ecclesiasticarum (new ed., London, 1786). Lounsbury, British fishery at Nfld. Prowse, History of Nfld.