Charles James Stewart was Hatley’s first Anglican pastor. He was born in England in 1775 and lived in his native country until he was 42 years old. He arrived in Quebec in 1817. One year later, he built his first church.
In 1822, he founded the Anglican parish of Charleston—Charles being one of Stewart’s given names. The villagers adopted the parish name, and the village of Hatley was known as Charleston almost until it became a municipality in 1912.
Stewart was appointed Bishop in 1826. The Anglican diocese of Quebec at that time covered all of Lower and Upper Canada. He was responsible for a vast territory, yet he never forgot Hatley. Because the location of his first church was less than ideal, he went on to build the Saint James Church.
Charles served on the Academy’s first board of directors along with Louis-Joseph Papineau, a Catholic, as well as Baptist and Methodist members.
His last visit to Hatley was in 1833, for the consecration of Saint James Church.
The pastor fell ill two years later, exhausted, and died in England in 1837, after having lived a full life.