Alfred Harding (bishop)
Alfred Harding (August 15, 1852 – May 2, 1923) was the second Episcopal Bishop of Washington. He was elected in 1909 to succeed the Henry Yates Satterlee, the founding bishop of the Diocese of Washington (1896–1908). Harding was de facto dean of the Cathedral from 1909 until 1916.
|Bishop of Washington|
Bishop Alfred Harding
|Predecessor||Henry Yates Satterlee|
|Successor||James E. Freeman|
|Other posts||Dean of Washington National Cathedral|
by Abram Newkirk Littlejohn
|Consecration||January 25, 1909|
by Charles E. Woodcock
|Born||August 15, 1852|
|Died||May 2, 1923|
Washington, D.C., United States
|Buried||Bethlehem Chapel of Washington National Cathedral|
|Spouse||Justine Prindle Douglas|
|Alma mater||Trinity College|
Berkeley Divinity School
Harding was born on August 15, 1852 in Ireland, the son of Richard Harding. He emigrated in 1867 to the United States, settling in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York. He became a naturalized citizen in 1870 and spent several years a businessman.
Harding married in 1887 Justine Prindle Douglas, who was born on Jun. 16, 1853 in New York City and died on February 6, 1909[unreliable source?] in Washington, D.C. She was the daughter of Dr. John Hancock Douglas, an 1843 graduate of Williams College, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1847. He was the personal physician for President Ulysses S. Grant, attending him from 22 October 1884, till the death of the latter, 23 July 1885. Alfred and Justine were the parents of four children, three of whom survived to adulthood: Alfred J., Charlotte G. and Paul Curtis. A son, Douglas died in 1891 at the age of 3.[unreliable source?]
In 1882, Harding was ordained a deacon by Abram N. Littlejohn, the first Episcopal Bishop of Long Island and in 1883 he was ordained a priest again by Littlejohn. The year of his deaconate was spent as an assistant to Henry M. Nelson, Jr., rector of Trinity Church, Geneva, New York. From 1883 to 1887, he was the assistant rector of Old St. Paul's Parish in Baltimore, Maryland. He was third rector of St. Paul's, K Street, Washington, D.C. serving from 1887 until 1909 when he became the Bishop of Washington, D.C. In 1889 he was invited to Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis, Missouri, but declined.
On January 25, 1909 Harding was consecrated the second Episcopal Bishop of Washington at Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. The consecrator was Charles Edward Woodcock, the third Episcopal Bishop of Kentucky. Harding was the 240th bishop consecrated in the Episcopal Church.
When the Harriet Lane Johnston choir school (St. Albans) opened, nine years after the National Cathedral School for Girls, Harding made Edgar Priest supervisor of music at these schools in August 1909. His formal appointment as the Cathedral’s first organist and choirmaster came in 1911 in anticipation of the opening of Bethlehem Chapel for services the following May.
Harding died on May 2, 1923 in Washington, D.C. Both he and his wife are buried in the Resurrection Chapel of Washington National Cathedral.
- Episcopal Diocese of Washington
- Washington National Cathedral
- Church Website
- St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church, Baltimore City, including photo from 1985, at Maryland Historical Trust
- Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church website
|Episcopal Church (USA) titles|
Henry Yates Satterlee
| Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington
James E. Freeman
| Dean of Washington National Cathedral
George C. F. Bratenahl