LIND, HENRY, Church of England clergyman, missionary, and teacher; b. in 1805 in England; m. with two children; d. 19 May 1870 at St George’s, Nfld.
Nothing is known about Henry Lind until he first appeared in Newfoundland in 1829, a lay missionary of the Newfoundland School Society employed as a schoolmaster at Port de Grave on Conception Bay. He and his wife taught there with such success that within a year there were 150 pupils in the day school, 60 in the Sunday school, and 36 in the adult classes.
In 1840 Aubrey George Spencer*, the first Anglican bishop of Newfoundland, decided to expand the number of clergy by ordaining the society’s schoolmasters even though they lacked degrees or formal theological training. Lind was made deacon and moved to Catalina on Trinity Bay. Ordained priest in 1841, he was transferred to Heart’s Content on Trinity Bay. He took over a large mission of nine settlements and five churches, and for most of his time there he pursued a quiet missionary existence. It was a poor mission, however, which in 1855–57 was unable to send any contributions to the Newfoundland Church Society’s missionary fund.
Early in 1856, just before Lind was to depart for England on a leave of absence, Bishop Edward Feild* received a message from a married woman who accused Lind of having had “criminal connection with her.” At Feild’s request Lind signed a statement denying the charge, and then left for England. After Lind’s return a few months later Mr Ollerhead, magistrate of Heart’s Content, “spread and magnified” the report of Lind’s supposed adultery, even though the woman had signed an affidavit declaring Lind was innocent. Lind may have tactlessly antagonized the magistrate, for Bishop Feild later claimed: “The trouble was got up by a wicked man to get rid of a disagreeable cleric.”
When some of the parishioners of Heart’s Content denied Lind entry to the church, Feild consented to legal action being taken against Ollerhead for slander. The case was to be heard in May 1856, but after witnesses first for the defence and then for the prosecution failed to appear, it was adjourned. Persuaded by Ollerhead that Lind was afraid to prosecute, the people of Heart’s Content ostracized Lind and asked for his dismissal. But Feild refused to act without a legal decision. The case finally opened in November 1856, but it had to be abandoned when a juror was taken ill. It was not continued as Bryan Robinson* and Hugh William Hoyles*, the prosecution lawyers, felt that the evidence against Lind had already been shown to be too weak to credit.
Feild announced his belief in Lind’s innocence and moved him in 1857 from Heart’s Content to St George’s Bay area on the other side of Newfoundland. Legal expenses were paid by the Newfoundland Church Society and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Privately Feild said: “I have never had any matter which gave me so much distress, and I may say misery, since I have been in the Diocese.” At his new station Lind functioned as a competent missionary, and from 1857 to 1864 kept a diary which gives detailed and interesting accounts of local customs. There he died in 1870.
Lind was an undistinguished missionary whose grasp of church principle Feild found wanting. He is an example, however, of a clergyman who had the misfortune, as did two contemporaries, the Reverend William Kepple White of Harbour Buffet and the Reverend John Cyrus A. Gathercole of Burin, to offend a local magistrate and acquire notoriety as the subject of the intolerance possible in a small, claustrophobic community.