Jacobus Fabritius
Stefan Bielinski

Jacobus Fabritius was the first pastor of the Albany Lutheran Church. If he indeed was born in 1618, he would have been more than fifty years old when he came to New York in early 1669.

Fabritius was sent by the Classis of Amsterdam to serve the Lutherans living in the English colony of New York. During his short tenure, he spent more time in New York than in Albany - although he did sign the deed for the Albany Lutheran church lot in 1670.

Fabritius married the widow of a New York tavernkeeper named Lucas Dirksen. He reportedly dressed himself, his wife, and her five children all in red! This and other eccentricities and excesses occasioned great concern among his parishioners who petitioned for a more proper pastor lest they "perish again."

Fabritius was succeeded by Bernard Arnzius in 1671. He left New York for the Swedish Lutheran settlements on the Deleware River where he served until his death in Philadelphia in 1693.



the people of colonial Albany Not actually an Albany resident, the life of Jacobus Fabritius has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This profile is derived chiefly from Swan of Albany and other community-based resources.

Background: According to Frederick L. Weis, The Colonial Clergy of the Middle Colonies (reprinted Baltimore, 1978), 50, Fabritius was of German or Polish ancestry and was educated in Silesia. He preached in Dutch and Swedish.

Home | Site Index | Navigation | Email | New York State Museum

first posted: 6/10/02