(1704 – July 10, 1776) was an American
cleric and a civil servant in colonial Pennsylvania
. For many years he was the rector of Christ Church
He was born in Liverpool
, where his father, Ralph Peters, was the town clerk. He was educated at Westminster School
, where he married a servant girl, and then went to school in Leyden
. He was ordained in the Church of England
and undertook further studies at Wadham College, Oxford
. Believing that his first wife was dead, in 1734 he remarried. A bigamy scandal arose when Peters's first wife reappeared, and he sought exile in America in 1735.
Peters became an assistant at Christ Church in Philadelphia and served there for two years. He then became a registrar at the land office. He also served as secretary to a series of colonial governors and on the Governor's Council
from 1737 until the Revolution
In 1762 Peters returned to Christ Church, this time as rector, and remained until his health forced him to resign in September 1775. Throughout these years he was active in many religious, civic, and educational affairs. He worked with Benjamin Franklin
to establish a public academy, which became the Philadelphia College and then the University of Pennsylvania
, and served as President of the school's Board of Regents from 1756 to 1764. He served as a director of the Library Company of Philadelphia
(1750-1764), a manager of Pennsylvania Hospital
(1751–1752), and a member of the American Philosophical......