On the 12th of August 1787 Dr. Charles Inglis was consecrated bishop of Nova Scotia, with jurisdiction over all the British possessions in North America. In 1793 the see of the Québec was founded; Jamaica and Barbados followed in 1824, and Toronto and Newfoundland in 1839. Meanwhile the needs of India has been tardily met, on the urgent representations in parliament of William Wilberforce and others, by the consecration of Dr. T. F. Middleton as bishop of Calcutta, with three archdeacons to assist him. In 1817 Ceylon was added to his charge; in 1823 all British subjects in the East Indies and the islands of the Indian Ocean; and in 1824 "New South Wales and its dependencies"! Some five years later, on the nomination of the duke of Wellington, William Broughton was sent out to work in this enormous jurisdiction as archdeacon of Australia. Soon afterwards, in 1835 and 1837, the sees of Madras and Bombay were founded; whilst in 1836 Broughton himself was consecrated as first bishop of Australia. Thus down to 1840 there were but ten colonial bishops; and of these several were so hampered by civil regulations that they were little more than government chaplains in episcopal orders.
In April of that year, however, Bishop Blomfield of London published his famous letter to the archbishop of Canterbury, declaring that "an episcopal church without a bishop is a contradiction in terms," and strenuously advocating a great effort for the extension of the episcopate. It was not in vain. The plan was taken up with enthusiasm, and on Whitsun Tuesday of 1841 the bishops of the United Kingdom met and issued a declaration which inaugurated the Colonial Bishoprics Council. Subsequent declarations in 1872 and 1891 have served both to record progress and to stimulate to new effort. The diocese of New Zealand was founded in 1841, being endowed by the Church Missionary Society through the council, and George Augustus Selwyn was chosen as the first bishop. Since then the increase has gone on, as the result both of home effort and of the action of the colonial churches. Moreover, in many cases bishops have been sent to inaugurate new missions, as in the cases of the Universities' Mission to Central Africa, Lebombo, Corea and New Guinea; and the missionary jurisdictions so founded develop in time into dioceses.
Thus, instead of the ten colonial jurisdictions of 1841, there are now about a hundred foreign and colonial jurisdictions, in addition to those of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States.
It was only very gradually that these dioceses acquired legislative independence and a determinate organization. At first, sees were created and bishops were nominated by the crown by means of letters patent; and in some cases an income was assigned out of public funds. Moreover, for many years all bishops alike were consecrated in England, took the customary "oath of due obedience" to the archbishop of Canterbury, and were regarded as his extra-territorial suffragans. But by degrees changes have been made on all these points.