Elected 1817, Day 3; served to 1829

President of the House for four consecutive sessions, the Rev. William Holland Wilmer was also founder of the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS).  He was born in Kent County, Maryland, in 1782, to a family prominent and active in the Church (two of his brothers were also members of the clergy and his uncle, Rev. James Wilmer, is traditionally said to have suggested the name “Protestant Episcopal” for the new Anglican church in the United States).  He was ordained to the priesthood in 1810 and served as rector of St. Paul’s Church, Alexandria, VA, from 1812 to 1826, moving to Bruton Parish in Williamsburg, VA and finally serving at St. John’s Church in Washington, D.C.  Wilmer was a deputy to six General Conventions, from 1814 to 1826, and served as President of the House of Deputies for four consecutive Conventions.  Widely respected as a scholar and theologian, Wilmer wrote The Episcopal Manual, a treatise on doctrine and worship that was reprinted throughout the nineteenth century, and his influence on a new generation of Episcopal thinkers was profound.  From 1823 to 1826, he taught at the VTS; in 1826, he left to become the president of the nation’s oldest institution of higher learning, the College of William and Mary. Unfortunately, he enjoyed that call for less than a year, dying suddenly in 1827.  His son, Richard Hooker Wilmer, became the Bishop of Alabama.