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Full text of "Old churches, ministers and families of Virginia : in two volumes"

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OLD CHURCHES, 



MINISTERS 



AND 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 

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BY BISHOP MEADE. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 
VOL. I. 



PHILADELPHIA: 

J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO. 
1861. 



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PREFACE. 



IN the fall of 1854, the author, heing solicited to furnish some 
personal reminiscences of the Episcopal Church in Yirginia, pro- 
mised two articles to one of our quarterly Reviews, which have 
most unexpectedly grown into two octavo volumes. He was led 
into this enlargement by the further solicitation of friends that he 
would extend his inquiries into former times; and by the discovery 
that there were materials, not yet lost to history, of which good 
use might be made. Besides the recovery of many old vestry- 
books, or fragments thereof, supposed to have been lost, he has, 
either by his own researches or those of friends, found interesting 
materials for his work in a number of the old records of the State, 
which may yet be seen, though often in a mutilated and moulder- 
ing condition, in the Clerk's Offices of various counties. One of 
these extends back to the year 1632,* and refers to acts of a still 
earlier date, while some approach within a few years of the same. 
Other documents, of general interest to all, and of special interest 
to Yirginians and their descendants wherever found, have been 
furnished from old family records and papers, never before used, 
and which must otherwise soon have perished. The author has 
also wandered, and not a little, nor in vain, amidst old churches or 
their ruins and the graveyards around them, and the old family 
seats. The accounts of these, and the inscriptions taken from them, 
form an interesting contribution to Virginia history. For nothing 
will the descendants of the old families of the State be more 
thankful than for the lists of vestrymen, magistrates, and others, 
which have been gathered from the earliest records, and by means 
of which the very localities of their ancestors may be traced. 
Nor has inquiry been limited to the records of our own State and 

* In the county of Northampton. 



4 . PREFACE. 

country. The archives of Parliament, and of Lambeth and Ful- 
ham Palaces, have, through the kindness and labours of others, 
furnished many important, deeply interesting, and hitherto unpub- 
lished documents, belonging to the history of the State and 
Church of Virginia. I shall not here mention the names of those 
numerous friends in Virginia and elsewhere who have kindly 
rendered me service in the preparation of this work, as they are 
referred to in one or more of those places where their contributions 
are introduced. 

The previous publication, in a weekly paper, of far the larger 
part of what is contained in these volumes has not only obtained 
very valuable contributions, but secured the correction of some 
errors into which the author could not but fall in such a work, so 
that it is believed no material mistakes now remain. While 
portions of the book may have less interest for the general 
reader, being occupied with things belonging especially to the his- 
tory of Virginia, yet it is hoped that even those may be found 
worthy of perusal, while far the larger part relates to what should 
be the subject of inquiry to all w r ho wish to be informed on the 
ecclesiastical history of our country. 

The table of contents will greatly facilitate a reference to the 
numerous topics which have been introduced. 

It was the intention of the writer to have presented, in this pre- 
face, a general view of the most important subjects treated of, and 
to have stated the chief results to which his own mind had come in 
the investigation of the same, by way of improvement and appli- 
cation; but time and opportunity are wanting, and the reader 
must be left to judge and decide for himself after examination. 

The work, which has cost much labour and research, and in the 
execution of which it has been endeavoured, and not without 
prayer, to deal fairly with all, is now commended to the blessing 
of Heaven and the candour of the public. 

WILLIAM MEADE, D.D., 

Bishop of the P. E. C. of Va. 

May 15, 1867. 



CONTENTS OF VOL I. 



ARTICLE I. 

PAOB 

UNFAVOURABLE circumstances of the Church from the first Scarcity of ministers 
Rev. Mr. Hunt's character Want of a Bishop Messrs. Whitefield, Davies, 
Jarrett Causes of prejudice against the Church Rev. Dr. Griffith chosen 
Bishop Bishop Madison General Convention of 1811 considered the Church 
of Virginia in danger of total ruin Evil character of her clergy The author's 
first recollections Old chapel in Frederick Rev. Mr. Balmaine Rev. Mr. 
Thruston Rev. Mr. Muhlenburg Rev. Mr. Wiley No family prayers at that 
day- Mr. Philip Nelson's family Bishop Madison's visit to Frederick Rev. 
Mr. Addison and the author Character of the preaching in Virginia In- 
troduction of evangelical preaching Bishop Porteus Wilberforce General 
Nelson and family Author's ordination and previous correspondence with 
Bishop Madison Williamsburg Author's ministry in Alexandria Rev. 
Bryan Fairfax and General Washington Rev. Bernard Page Author's set- 
tlement in Frederick, and missionary labours in surrounding counties Ordi- 
nation to the priesthood by Bishop Claggett Bishop Claggett's personal 
character 13 

ARTICLE II. 

My return to Frederick Missionary labours Mr. Balmaine Bishop Madison's 
death Convention of 1812 Rev. Mr. Low Second Convention Third 
Bishop Moore's election Convention of 1815 Code of laws revised Names 
of the clergy who engaged in the work of reviving the Church Theological 
Seminary First at Williamsburg General Seminary Clerical associations 
Conventions assume a religious character Lay delegates required to be 
communicants Tractarianism condemned Use of the Liturgy and vestments 
in Virginia Glebes and salaries withdrawn President Madison's opinion 
and course of action His mother Low state of morals in the Church The 
same in other denominations, North and South Concluding remarks The 
past and present Means used for the revival of the Church Death of Bishop 
Moore Election of Bishop Johns 36 

ARTICLE III. 

Parish of James City The first settlement in Virginia Missionary spirit of 
its founders in England Sir Walter Raleigh Peter Martyr Richard Hak- 
luyt Sir Philip Sydney Rev. Robert Hunt Captain Smith Early trials 
Wingfield Sack used for the Communion First church Rev. Robert An- 
derson Colonial churches Conway Robinson's visit to England, and dis- 
covery of valuable documents Piety of Captain Smith Rev. Mr. Bucke 
Sir Thomas Gates Lord De la War Missionary sermons in England Rev. 
Mr. Crashaw Second and third churches at Jamestown The two Ferrars, 
John and Nicholas Laudian tendencies Rev. Mr, Whittaker Rev. George 
Herbert's interest in the colony 62 

ARTICLE IV. 

Kindness to the natives still urged Prayer to be used by the watch on guard 
Sir Thomas Dale New Bermuda and Henricopolis established Mr. Whit- 
taker's life and character Rolph and Pocahontas Places of her residence, 
baptism, and marriage Visit to England Death Her descendants in Vir- 
ginia 73 

5 



CONTENTS. 



ARTICLE Y. 

PAQl 

Reflections on the marriage of Rolpli and Pocahontas Rev. Mr. Fontaine's and 
Colonel Byrd's opinion Burke's account of her descendants John Randolph 

Journal of a meeting of Burgesses in 1619, discovered by Mr. C. Robinson, 

of Richmond, while in London Education in Virginia College in Henrico 

Liberal donations Fifteen thousand acres of land on James River set apart 

for the College Rev. Mr. Copland Rev. Mr. Hargrave Massacre of 1622 
Proposed removal of all the colonists to the Eastern Shore Entire change of 
eeling toward the Indians Virginia ceases to be a missionary-field 81 

ARTICLE VI. 

Company sends over a number of virtuous young females to Virginia, King 
James as many convict men First cargo of slaves from Africa Reflections 
on the same in a note The ministers deteriorate in character Number of 
small parishes near Jamestown Rev. Mr. Hampton Rev. Mr. Gough 
Bacon's rebellion Colonel Mason and Captain Brent, of Stafford Commis- 
sary Blair its minister Rev. Mr. Le Neve Rev. Mr. Berkeley Rev. John 
Hyde Saunders Bishop Madison His reported infidelity untrue Church 
on the main The graveyard at Jamestown The sacred vessels presented to 
that church 8& 

ARTICLE VII. 

Connection between the Amblers of Virginia and those of Yorkshire in 
England Rev. George Ambler, of Wakefield, England Connection of the 
Speaker, Shaw Lefevre The Jaquelines of Huguenot descent Edward 
Ambler, of Jamestown Jaqueline Ambler, of Richmond Their mother 
Dr. Buchanon Extracts from his sermon on the death of the Treasurer, 
Jaqueline Ambler Jamestown as it now is Recent visit to it Most of the 
old town in the river The old church, when built The graveyard Com- 
missary Blair's tomb Mrs. Blair's, The Ludwells'. Lees', Jaquelines', Am- 
blers', &c. Size of the island, value, &c. The Main Church Vault under it 103 

ARTICLE VIII. 

Further proofs of the religious spirit of the enterprise from the instructions of 
King James The high character of its patrons in England Bishop of Can- 
terbury, &c. Further remarks on the Code of Laws, "Martial, Moral, and 
Divine" The times and modes of daily worship among the people and sol- 
diers Charge from the Chief-Marshal to his colonel Troubles of the colony 
after Hunt's death ascribed to their want of a preacher, among other things 
A fine passage, or God's providence over the colony Letter to Edwin 
Sandis about the College 116 

ARTICLE IX. 

Henrico parish Dale's gift Ferrar's Island Dutch Gap Remnants of Sir 
Thomas Dale's house and that of Rolpli and Pocahontas still seen Bermuda 
Hundred settled the same year Whittaker Rock Hall Glebe Letter of 
Rolph to Sir Thomas Dale about his marriage Conway Robinson Jefferson's 
Church Journal of the Burgesses in 1619 An important document Letter 
of the Earl of Essex to the Earl of Southampton 123 

ARTICLE X. 

The Indian character, by Mr. Whittaker Rolph's return to Virginia, and second 
marriage His brother's petition to the Assembly Preparations for the Col- 
lege Mr. Thorpe One hundred young women ordered over to Virginia Wil- 
liam Randolph, and Bacon the rebel, early settlers in Henrico Rev. Messrs. 






CONTENTS. 7 

PAOH 

Wickam and Stockara ministers Mr. Blair Parish in 1724 Rev. Mr. Stitli 
Curls Church built by Richard Randolph Sketch of the Randolphs 
Rev. Miles Selden St. John's Church, Richmond Meeting of the Revolution- 
ary Assembly in it First vestrymen after the Revolution Dr. Buchanon 
Richmond during the war Blair and Buchanon the only ministers The 
House of Burgesses the only place of worship Bishop Moore The Rev. Mr. 
Hart Case of the Glebe Font from Curls Church Rev. Mr. Lee Messrs. 
Peet, Croes, Morrison, Kepler, Nichols, Woodbridge, Norwood, Jackson, Jones, 
Empie, Bolton, Duval, Walker, Webb, Cummings, Peterkin, Minegerode 134 

ARTICLE XI. 

Williamsburg, Bruton parish First minister known to us, Rowland Jones Sides- 
men and vestrymen First church Present church John Page Autobio- 
graphy of Governor Page and genealogy of the family Rev. Messrs. Sclater 
and Eburne Beginning of the contest between vestries and Governors 
Rev. Messrs. Doyley and Whately Andros Nicholson Commissary Blair 
Spottswood State of the question between the vestries and Governors In- 
duction Though allowed, not enjoined, and seldom practised, at this day 
Vestries prepared the way for the Revolution The Convention of 1776 com- 
posed of vestrymen A list of that Convention Commissary Blair's character 
Extracts from his sermons, showing what was the style of his preaching... 146 

ARTICLE XII. 

Mr. Blair, as Founder and President of the College As one of the Council His 
conflict with Andros Their trial in London, before the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury and the Bishop of London Triumph of Blair Contest with Nicholson 
His triumph Nicholson and Miss Burwell Many of the clergy against 
Blair Governor Nott Colonel Spottswood The Commissary and himself 
soon disagree Spottswood's high views of the Governor's power Becomes 
unpopular Blair and himself at open issue before the Convention Journal 
of the Convention Spottswood superseded by Drysdale Character of the 
clergy of that day as set forth by Blair, Drysdale, the Rev. Mr. Forbes, and 
others Rules proposed by which to decide when a minister was drunk 
Governor Spottswood and family Different accounts of it 157 

ARTICLE XIII. 

Commissary Dawson President Dawson Brothers Best ministers educated 
at the College Case of discipline Rev. Mr. Davies, Presbyterian minister, 
comes to Virginia Rev. William Yates, President of the College Rev. 
William Robinson, Commissary Rev. Mr. Horrocks, President and Commis- 
sary Question of having a Bishop discussed Convention called Negatived 
Opinion of Bishop White and Dr. Hawks President Nelson's letter to his 
friend in London Rev. Mr. Camm, President and Commissary Dismissed by 
the Visitors, and Mr. Madison chosen President Revolution coming on Day 
of prayer and fasting appointed in 1774 George Mason's letter on the sub- 
ject Infidelity finding its way into Virginia Infecting the College Young 
men sent to Northern Colleges Correspondence between the Bishop of London 
and the Visitors of William and Mary Dr. Halyburton Troubles in the Col- 
lege Dr. Bracken Drs. Smith, Keith, Wilmer, Empie The Rev. Mr. Hodges 
Mr. Ewell Rev. Mr. Denison Rev. George Wilmer List of vestrymen 16* 

ARTICLE XIV. 

Notices of leading characters Daniel Parke John Custis Daniel Parke, Jr. 
His treatment of Mrs. Blair His execution Sir John Randolph Peyton 
Randolph Mr. Evelyn Edmund Randolph Letters to his children George 
Nicholas Robert ' C. Nicholas Lord Botetourt Mrs. Nicholas Letter to 
her son, W. C. Nicholas Mr. Burwell Bassett Mr. Robert Saunders 
Thoughts on the basis of the Virginia character The fathers and founders 
of the fajnilies of Virginia, from whence came the great men of the Revolution, 



g % CONTENTS. 

PAGB 

were men of education, ministers, teachers, lawyers, doctors, merchants, 
Huguenots, farmers, Cavaliers in the time of Cromwell, and some of his fol- 
lowers afterwards Virginia no place for turning paupers into rich men, or 
ignorant men into learned ones No education for the poor 180 

ARTICLE XV. 

Graveyard around the church Mutilated condition of the tombs Some buried in 
the church Some in the College chapel Names of persons with epitaphs Rev. 
Roland Jones Governor Nott Philip Ludwell Thomas Ludwell Richard 
Kemp Thomas Lunsford Philip Ludwell, Jr. Colonel John Page Mrs. 
Alice Page Francis Page Mary Page Michael Archer Joanna Archer 
Catherine Thorp Thomas Thorp Edward and Blumfield Barradall Colonel 
David Bray Elizabeth Bray David Bray John Greenhow Tombs of Colo- 
nel David Parker and Nathaniel Bacon in adjoining fields Tombs of Mrs. 

. Bacon and the Rev. Thomas Hampton on the bank of York River Chicka- 
hominy Church Extracts from the old records of the court and the College.... 194 

ARTICLE XVI. 

York-Hampton parish Change of name Rev. Francis Fontaine first minister 
Rev. John Camm Rev. Mr. Shield Mr. Graham Frank Temple Farm Go- 
vernor Spottswood's summer residence York almost deserted of people and 
ministers after the war Description of York Old York House Sketch of the 
Nelson family President Nelson Intimacy with Bishop Porteus Mr. Camm's 
sermon at his death Mrs. Nelson Her pious character General Nelson 
Judge Tucker's biography of him His generosity His honourable character 
His religious principles The place of his burial Chattellux's account of 
the family at Offley, in Hanover Loss of documents relating to President and 
General Nelson Inscriptions on the tombs around the old church in York 202 

ARTICLE XVII. 

The question of the Two-Penny Act, or Option-Law, considered Mr. Camm the 
champion of the clergy The principle tried by a suit with his vestry Pre- 
vious Acts of Assembly prepared the way for it Governor Dinwiddie con- 
demned the Act, but would not veto it Mr. Camm sent to England The 
Crown, Bishop of London, and Privy Council condemned it, but dared not take 
effective measures against it Suits brought in Virginia by several clergymen 
The case of the Rev. Mr. Maury Patrick Henry Pamphlets of Camm, 
Landon Carter, and Richard Bland Mr. Wirt's opinion -of the case Patrick 
Henry's religious character and Church-preferences Roger Atkinson's letter 
about him and the other delegates from Virginia to the first Congress Justi- 
fying reasons for the course of the clergy Past and present condition of York 
Its future prospects 216 

ARTICLE XVIII. 

Hampton, or Elizabeth City parish Its early settlement Records of the court, 

1685 Early ministers Offences punished Old church at Pembroke farm 

Tombstones Succession of ministers Warrington and Selden Condition in 
1724 Present church Desecration by the English Mrs. Carrington's letters 
about Commodore Warrington Rev. Mr. Skyren's tomb Revival of the Church 

Mr. Servant's letter List of the vestrymen Parishes in Warwick Visit to 

Warwick Denbigh House and Church The Diggeses, Coles, and Carys Old 

court records Names of early settlers Visit to Bellfield, on York River 

Tombs and inscriptions of the Diggeses 229 

ARTICLE XIX. 

Lynnha-Ken parish Cape Henry Parish before 1642 Oldest church and grave- 
yard Tinder water History of it Vestry-book, 1723 List of clergy and 
vestrymen The churches Present condition Causes of its decline 246 



CONTENTS. 



ARTICLE XX. 

PAGE 

Northampton Early names Sir William Berkeley's Asylum Records of the 
court go back to 1632 The oldest in Virginia Strict discipline by the 
court Instances of it The whole subject considered The treatment of the 
Quakers here and elsewhere Instances of piety and charity Stephen Charl- 
ton and the glebe Colonel Norwood's visit to the Eastern Shore Mr. 
Stringer and Major Custis Succession of ministers List of vestrymen 
Parsonage Case of the glebe considered Bowdoin family Custis family.. 252 

ARTICLE XXI. 

Parishes in Accomac Ministers Mr. Black in 1724 Charity-school endowed 
by Mr. Sanford still existing A premium for the baptism and instruction of 
every Indian or negro Patriotism of the Episcopal clergy Mr. Jefferson's 
testimony Rev. Cave Jones Rev. Mr. Eastburn Letter from his brother, 
Bishop Eastburn Principal families in Accomac 264 

ARTICLE XXII. 

Division of Norfolk in 1691 Colonel Byrd's description of Norfolk in 1728 
Names of its ministers Three parishes in Norfolk county Dispute between 
"Whitehead and Bland Mr. John Southgate's letter Origin of the present 
constitution of Christ's Church, Norfolk St. Paul's Church Its history 
Families in and around Norfolk Commodore Dale Ministers of Portsmouth 
parish Yellow fever in 1856 Rev. Messrs. Jackson and Chisholm 271 

ARTICLE XXIII. 

Nansemond Its early settlement Contiguity to North Carolina Colonel 
Byrd's account of North Carolina The character of the people and clergy 
Christina Mr. Griffin Mr. Fontaine His plan for converting the Indians 
The Rev. Mr. Anderson's history of the clergy who were sent to North 
Carolina different from Mr. Byrd's account 282 

ARTICLE XXIV. 

Vestry-book begins in 1743 First vestrymen List of the vestry Account of 
the churches List and character of the clergy Troubles of the vestry with 
unworthy ministers Number of Reddicks in the vestry Andrew Meade, the 
first vestryman and churchwarden on the list His family Sketch of it by 
Colonel David Meade, of Kentucky The old church in Suffolk The old 
graveyard at Mount Pleasant , 289 

ARTICLE XXV. 

Isle of WightEarly settlement Rev. Mr. Falkner in 1662 Destruction of 
records by Tarleton Old Smithfield Church An evergreen plucked from 
its walls Other churches Ministers Annoyance from the Quakers Fami- 
lies Part of a vestry -book found Its contents Part of another vestry-book 
belonging to Chuckatuck parish Its contents Southampton county Its 
parishes, churches, and ministers Surrey county Its churches- and minis- 
ters Recent efforts to revive the Church The Harrison family Sussex 
county The old vestry-book It was born, lived, and died under the Rev. 
Mr. Willie 299 

ARTICLE XXVI. 

Parishes in Charles City Early settlement Divisions Peter Fontaine Colo- 
nel Byrd The family of Byrd The family of Fontaines Annual meeting 



10 % CONTENTS. 

PAGB 

Peter Fontaine's temperance Other ministers Old Westover ^Church and 
graveyard Present Westover Church Other churches Families No ves- 
try-book 3:H 

ARTICLE XXVII. 

Gloucester Petsworth and Kingston Vestry-book from 1677 to 1793 Pets- 
worth Church The bricks removed when A description of it Its ministers 

Extracts from the vestry-book Names of the vestrymen Kingston parish 

Mathews List of ministers Peculiar vestry meetings Churches Eliza- 
beth Tompkins Names of vestrymen and families 321 

ARTICLE XXVIII. 

Letter from the Rev. Mr. Mann on Ware and Abington parishes No vestry- 
book List of ministers from the tombs and elsewhere Principal families 

Condition of Abington in 1724 Age of Abington Church Ware repaired 

Dr. Taliafcro Mrs. Vanbibber Richard Kempe Governor Page Rosewell 

Debt contracted by it Folly of large and expensive houses Major 

Lewis Burwell, of King's Mill, guilty of the same Governor Page's letters to 
his children Old stone chimney built by Captain Smith at Timberneck 
Powhatan's residence Letter of Captain Smith to Queen Anne concerning 
Pocahontas The Rev. Mr. Fontaine's sermon on the death of Mrs. Page 
The Page family , 328 

ARTICLE XXIX. 

Selim, the Algerine Early classical education at Constantinople Taken by 
pirates and carried to New Orleans Sent up the Ohio Escaped and came 
to Staunton Found nearly dead in the woods Kindly treated, and taught 
the religion of Christ Embraced it Dissatisfied Returned to Algiers Dis- 
owned by his parents Came back deranged Went to Williamsburg In- 
timate with the professors, with the families in York and at Rosewell, and 
with Councillor Carter, of Nominy Goes with Governor Page to Philadelphia 
His picture taken by Peale Hung up at Rosewell Now in Williamsburg 
Death 341 

ARTICLE XXX. 

Visit to Gloucester Examination of the old stone chimney Convinced that 
it is the one built by Captain Smith Question whether Timberneck or 
Shelly is the site of Powhatan's residence Examination of the tombs at 
Timberneck Inscriptions Tombs at Rosewell Inscriptions Tombs at 
Carter's Creek or Fairfield Inscriptions Tombs in Ware Church concealed 
by the floor Inscriptions on them , 349 

ARTICLE XXXI. 

Parishes in Middlesex When established First minister Henry Corbin 
Churches Rev. Mr. Shephard Major Smith Rev. Mr. Read His legacy 
The Yateses Their worth Tombstone of Bartholomew Yates Rev. Mr. 
Heffernon Legacy of Mr. Churchill The pretender Robinson 356 

ARTICLE XXXII. 

Middlesex a nursery for other parts of Virginia List of vestrymen Many 
members of the Council from it Robert Beverley Duty of vestrymen 
Matthew Kempe Claims of Governor Nicholson Edward Northy's opinion 
A few families owned all Middlesex Brandon and Rosegill Major John 
Grymes Epitaph Grymes family Wormleys Captain Bayley Colonel 
Chewning Rev. Messrs. Rooker and Carraway 364 



CONTENTS. 11 

ARTICLE XXXIII. 

PAGE 

Parishes in King and Queen and King William Stratton Major Rev. Mr. Skaife 
Commissary Robinson Robinson family Speaker Robinson His epitaph 
Vestry-book Vestrymen Church near Corbin's Recently removed St. 
Stephen's parish King William county Its churches still standing Rev. Mr. 
Dalrymple's account of them Rev. Mr. Skyren Letter concerning him 374 

ARTICLE XXXIV. 

Parishes in New Kent St. Peter's and Blissland Old vestry-book of St. Peter's 
Governor Nicholson's imperious letters Rev. Mr. Morgan's letter to the 
Bishop of London as to the morals of the clergy and people Rev. Mr. Lang's 
letter List of the clergy from 1696 Rev. Mr. Mossom Mr. Jarratt List 
of vestrymen Blissland parish Little known of it 383 

ARTICLE XXXV. 

Parishes in Essex county South Farnham Two churches both destroyed ruth- 
lessly Rev. Mr. Latane Governor Spottswood's interference in his behalf 
Succession of ministers Latane family Temples 389 

ARTICLE XXXVI. 

. St. Anne's parish Rev. Mr. Bagge Controversy with the vestry Governor 
Spottswood espouses his cause, but fails Rev. Robert Rose His journal 
found Executor to Mr. Bagge, Spottswood, and others Benevolent and 
active character Charity to the poor Four brothers came with him from 
Scotland His children His wives His journeyings His death Epitaph 
Mr. Smelt succeeds him Father of Caroline Smelt Other ministers 
Families in the parish Dangerfield family Lomax family Micous 
Matthews 396 

ARTICLE XXXVII. 

Parishes in Caroline county, St. Mary's, St. Margarett's, St. Asaph's, and Drys- 
dale St. Mary's List of ministers Rev. Mr. Boucher Rev. Mr. Waugh 
Churches Mount Church Its organ Its profanation Present use Reedy 
Greek Church Joy Creek Church St. Margarett's Its ministers Families 
Letter from a friend about it St. Asaph's and Drysdale Ministers 
Laymen Judge Pendleton Letter of his to Richard Henry Lee Petition to 
the Legislature against using intoxicating liquors at elections, drawn up 
and headed by Judge Pendleton, signed by the leading men of Caroline 
county 409 

ARTICLE XXXVIII. 

Parishes in Hanover St. Paul's and St. Martin's Rev. Mr. Brooke first minis- 
ter Rev. Charles Bridges next His attention to the servants Letter to the 
Bishop of London Division of the parish Ministers in them The Revs. 
Patrick Henry, Robert Barrett, &c. Character of the Rev. Mr. Philips 
Families in Hanover Old Mrs: Berkeley, of Airwell, and the Communion- 
plate Old Mrs. Nelson Her authority over her sons Her poverty Her 
death Mr. Frank Nelson 419 

ARTICLE XXXIX. 

Dissent finds its way into Hanover The treatment of Dissenters in Virginia 
considered Misrepresentations of it examined A case stated Treatment 
of the Quakers misunderstood Their treatment in Accomac Governor 
Spottswood and the Quakers The Baptists Rev. Mr. Maury's pamphlet 



12 CONTENTS. 

PAGl 

concerning them Mr. Sample's acknowledgment Case of Rev. Samuel 
Davies and the Presbyterians in Hanover Address of five Episcopal clergy- 
men to the House of Burgesses about Mr. Davies and his followers Governor 
Gooch and the Presbytery of New Castle History of the introduction of 
Presbyterianism into Virginia Correspondence between Dr. Davies, the 
Bishop of London, and Dr. Doddridge Result of the whole 426 

ARTICLE XL. 

Parishes in Prince George county Martins Brandon and Bristol No vestry-book 
of Martins Brandon Rev. Mr. Finnie His funeral-sermons Other minis- 
ters Churches, old and new Bristol parish Why so called Its ministers 
Robertson its minister for forty-six years His account of the parish in 
1724 Succession of ministers Churches Old Blandford Many others 
Petersburg made up of four towns Names of the vestrymen from the old 
vestry-book Genealogy of the Blands Old Mr. and Mrs. Grammar Rev. 
Mr. Slaughter's history of the parish 437 

ARTICLE XLI. 

Parishes in Chesterfield Dale and Manchester Dale parish Rev. George 
Frazer Rev. Mr. McRoberts His defection Correspondence with Jarratt 
Rev. William Leigh The Watkins family Churches Old Saponey Wood's 
Church Controversy about it Still standing Manchester parish Its 
ministers Churches Falling Creek Church Affecting account of it Old 
Mr. Patterson The Cary family 448 

ARTICLE XLII. 

St. James Northam, Goochland county Vestry-book Rev. Mr. Gavin His 
letter to the Bishop of London Rev. Mr. Douglass His register and notes 
A letter from him Rev. Mr. Hopkins and his descendants Rev. William 
Lee List of vestrymen Churches Parsonage the gift of Mr. William Boi- 
ling 456 

ARTICLE XLIII. 

King William parish, or Manakintown The Huguenot settlement Sketch of 
the Huguenot history Henry IV. Huguenots in America In Virginia The 
Fontaine and Maury families Succession of ministers at Manakin The 
Dupuy family Names of the Huguenot families of Virginia 463 

ARTICLE XLIV. 

Parishes in Dinwiddie and Brunswick counties Bath parish Succession of 
ministers Sketch of the Rev. Devereux Jarratt Mrs. Jarratt St. Andrew's 
parish Its churches Its ministers Its vestrymen Meherrin parish, Green- 
ville Its ministers and churches Tarleton's visit to it 469 

ARTICLE XLV. 

Parishes in Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, and Charlotte Cumberland parish 
Vestry-book Ministers and churches Caution in employing ministers- 
Clement Read Rev. Mr. Craig His patriotism Tarleton's visit to his mill 
-Rev. Dr. Cameron His school Hon. Duncan Cameron Long list of 
vestrymen- -Mr. Buford St. James parish, Mecklenburg Principal families 
Rev. Mr. Micklejohn Anecdotes of him Bishop Ravenscroft The Nel- 
sons Minister of the count 




OP 



VIRGINIA. 



[From the Protestant Episcopal Quarterly Review.] 

ARTICLE I. 

Recollections of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia, 
during the Present Century. With a Brief Notice of its Earlier 
History. By BISHOP MEADE.* 

IT is a useful employment for societies as well as individuals to 
look back through their past history and mark the dealings of a 
kind Providence towards them. The History of the Episcopal 
Church of Virginia has been, from the very beginning, a most inte- 

* Having been urged to furnish some personal recollections of the Church in 
Virginia for this Review, I have consented; and in this article commenced the 
delicate task. The candid and the charitable will make due allowance for the 
peculiar difficulties of it, especially that of avoiding the frequent mention of 
myself. Had I kept a diary for the last fifty years, and taken some pains during 
that period to collect information touching the old clergy, churches, glebes, and 
Episcopal families, I might have laid up materials for an interesting volume; but 
the time and opportunity for such a work have passed away. The old people, 
from whom I could have gathered the materials, are themselves gathered to their 
fathers. The vestry-books, from which I could have gotten much, and some of 
which I have seen, are, for the most part, either lost, or fallen into the hands of 
persons who use them for the establishment of land-claims or bounties, the regis- 
ter of baptisms and marriages sometimes rendering them assistance in their work. 
Small, therefore, is the contribution I can make to the ecclesiastical history of my 
native State. To Dr. Hawks's elaborate and able work I must refer the reader 
for the earlier history of the Episcopal Church of Virginia. A brief notice of that 
period is all that is necessary to prepare him for my own reminiscences, and that 
is furnished. W. M. 

13 



14 OLD CIHJRCHES, MINISTERS, AXD 

resting and eventful one beyond that of any other Diocese in the 
Union. I would briefly refer to some of its particulars, in order 
to raise our hearts in gratitude to God for its wonderful preserva- 
tion, and to make us more faithful and zealous in using the proper 
means for its further advancement. 

The Episcopal Church of Virginia commenced with the first 
settlement of the first Colony. The code of laws of that Colony 
was drawn up at a time when "religion (as Bishop Taylor expresses 
it) was painted upon banners," for it was "divine, martial, and 
moral," all in one, being enforced, even among Protestants, by 
civil pains and penalties which we would fain now. banish from our 
recollections and blot from the page of history. That there was 
much of sincere piety moving the hearts of those who incorporated 
the forms of the Episcopal Church with the Colony of Virginia, 
as well as of those who established other forms among the Pilgrim 
Fathers of New England, I doubt not. Nor do I question the 
piety and fidelity of some of the people and pastors during its 
whole subsequent history. But that its spiritual condition was ever, 
at any time, even tolerably good, bearing a comparison with that 
of the Mother-Church, over whose defects also there was so much 
cause to mourn, faithful history forbids us to believe. Many were 
the disadvantages under which she had to labour, during nearly the 
whole period of her existence in connection with the government 
of England, which were well calculated to sink her character 
beneath that of the Church of England, and of some other 
churches in America. Immense were the difficulties of getting a 
full supply of ministers of any character; and of those who came, 
how few were faithful and duly qualified for the station ! One who 
was indeed so faithful as to be called the Apostle of Virginia at 
an early period of its settlement, lamenting over the want of 
ministers in the Colony, thus upbraids those who refused to come. 
" Do they not either wilfully hide their talents, or keep themselves 
at home, for fear of losing a few pleasures ? Be not there any 
among them of Moses and his mind, and of the Apostles, who 
forsook all to follow Christ?" The Council of Virginia also 
addressed the most solemn and pathetic appeals to the clergy of 
Engbm 1 , beseeching them to come over to the work of the Lord in 
the Colony though, it is to be feared, with little success; for in 
the year 1655 it is recorded that many places were destitute of 
ministers, and likely still to continue so, the people not paying 
their "accustomed dues." There were, at this time, about fifty 
parishes in the Colony, most of which were destitute of clergy- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 15 

men, as there were only ten ministers for their supply. To 
remedy this evil it was proposed to establish in the English Uni- 
versities Virginia fellowships, imposing it as a condition, that the 
fellows spend seven years in Virginia ; but we do not read of its 
execution. That the ministers then in the Colony were men of 
zeal can scarce be supposed, as a law was required enjoining it 
upon them to preach constantly every Sabbath and administer the 
sacrament at least twice every year. If we proceed in the history 
of the Colony another fifty years, which will carry us beyond the 
first century of its existence, we shall find only a few more 
parishes established, and, though glebes and parishes had been 
provided, not more than one-half of the congregations were sup- 
plied with ministers, the rest being served by lay-readers. In 
some places indeed lay-readers were preferred to settled minis* 
ters, because less expensive to the parishioners. As to the un- 
worthy and hireling clergy of the Colony, there was no eccle- 
siastical discipline to correct or punish their irregularities and 
vices. The authority of a Commissary was a very insufficient sub- 
stitute for the superintendence of a faithful Bishop. The better 
part of the clergy and some of the laity long and earnestly peti- 
tioned for a faithful resident Bishop, as the Bishop of London was, 
of necessity, only the nominal Bishop. For about two hundred 
years did the Episcopal Church of Virginia try the experiment 
of a system whose constitution required such a head but was 
actually without it. No such officer was there to watch over the 
conduct and punish the vices of the clergy; none to administer 
the rite of Confirmation, and thus admit the faithful to the Supper 
of the Lord. It must be evident that the Episcopal Church, 
without such an officer, is more likely to suffer for the want of 
godly discipline than any other society of Christians, because all 
others have some substitute, whereas our own Church makes this 
office indispensable to some important parts of ecclesiastical 
government and discipline. Such being the corrupt btate of the 
Church in Virginia, it is not wonderful that here, as in England, 
disaffection should take place, and dissent begin. The preaching 
and zeal of Mr. Whitefield, who visited Virginia about this time, 
contrasted with the sermons and lives of the clergy generally, con- 
tributed no doubt to increase disaffection. The pious Mr. Davies, 
afterwards President of Princeton College, made the first serious 
inroad upon the unity of the Church. His candid testimony 
deserves to be here introduced. " I have reason to hope," he says, 
" that there are and have been a few names in various parts of the 



16 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Colony who are sincerely seeking the Lord and groping after re- 
ligion in the communion of the Church of England." " Had the 
doctrines of the Gospel been solemnly and faithfully preached in 
the Established Church, I am persuaded there would have been 
few Dissenters in these parts of Virginia, for their first objections 
were not against the peculiar rites and ceremonies of that Church, 
much less against her excellent Articles, but against the general 
strain of the doctrines delivered from the pulpit, in which these 
Articles were opposed, or (which was the more common case) not 
mentioned at all, so that at first they were not properly dissenters 
from the original constitution of the Church of England, but the 
most strict adherents to it, and only dissented from those who had 
forsaken it." 

That there was at this time not only defective preaching, but, 
as might be expected, most evil living among the clergy, is 
evident from a petition of the clergy themselves to the legis- 
lature asking an increase of salary, saying "that the small 
encouragement given to clergymen is a reason why so few come 
into this Colony from the Universities, and that so many who are 
a disgrace to the ministry find opportunities to fill the parishes." 
It is a well-established fact that some who were discarded from the 
English Church yet obtained livings in Virginia. Such being the 
case, who can question for a moment the entire accuracy of the 
account both of the preaching and living of the clergy of his day, 
as given by the faithful and zealous Mr. Jarrett? and who could 
blame him for the encouragement afforded to the disciples of Mr. 
Wesley, at a time when neither he nor they thought there could 
be a separation from the Church of England? Dissent, from 
various causes, was now spreading through the Commonwealth ; 
dissatisfaction with the mother-country and the Mother-Church was 
increasing, and the Episcopal clergy losing more and more the 
favour of God and man, when this devoted minister, almost alone 
in preaching and living according to the doctrine, discipline, and 
worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was glad to avail 
himself of any aid in the good work he was endeavouring to per- 
form. For the time, however, his efforts were unavailing. The 
War of the Revolution was approaching, and with it the downfall 
of the Church. Many circumstances contributed to this event. 
The opposition to the Dissenters in times past had embittered 
their minds against the declining Establishment. The attach- 
ment of some few of the clergy to the cause of the king sub- 
jected the Church itself to suspicion, and gave further occa- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 17 

sion to its enemies to seek its destruction. The dispute about 
Church property now came on, and, for twenty-seven years, was 
waged with bitterness and violence. At the commencement of the 
War of the Revolution, Virginia had ninety-one clergymen, offi- 
ciating in one hundred and sixty-four churches and chapels; at its 
close, only twenty-eight ministers were found labouring in the less 
desolate parishes of the State. Whither numbers of them, had fled, 
and to what secular pursuits some of them had betaken themselves, 
it is not in our power to state. Had they been faithful shep- 
herds, they would not have thus deserted their flocks. 

We come now to the efforts of the more faithful to strengthen the 
things that remained but were ready to die. In common with 
some other dioceses, the Church in Virginia resolved on an effort to 
obtain consecration from abroad for a Bishop who might complete 
her imperfect organization. A very worthy man, the Rev. Dr. 
Griffith, was selected for the purpose ; but so depressed was her 
.condition, so little zeal was found in her members, that, though 
for three successive years calls were made upon the parishes for 
funds to defray his expenses to England, only twenty-eight 
pounds were raised, a sum altogether insufficient for the purpose, 
so that the effort on his part was abandoned through poverty and 
domestic affliction. Even at a subsequent period, when renewed 
efforts, prompted by shame at past failures and a sense of duty 
to the Church, were made to secure what was necessary for 
Bishop Madison's consecration, a sufficiency, even with some 
foreign aid, was not obtained to pay all the necessary expenses 
of the voyage. The object, however, was accomplished, and at 
the end of almost two hundred years from the establishment of a 
most imperfect Church in Virginia a Bishop was obtained. But 
she was too far gone, and there were too many opposing difficulties, 
for her revival at that time. From the addresses of Bishop 
Madison to the Episcopalians of Virginia, it will be seen that he 
entered on his duties with no little zeal and with very just views 
of the kind of men and measures necessary for the work of re- 
vival. He plainly admits the want of zeal and fidelity in many 
of the ministers as one of the causes of the low condition of the 
Ohurch, and that the contrary qualifications were indispensable to 
her resuscitation. He made an ineffectual effort at bringing back 
into the bosom of the Church the followers of Mr. Wesley, for 
they had now entirely separated from her. After a few partial 
visitations of the Diocese, his hopes of the revival of the Church 
evidently sunk; and the duties of the College of William and 



18 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Mary, of which he was President, requiring his attention during 
the greater part of the year, at the Convention of 1805 he called 
for a Suffragan or Assistant Bishop. The subject was referred to 
the next year's Convention, but no such meeting was held, nor 
was there another until after his death. For seven years it 
seemed as if the worst hopes of her enemies and the most painful 
fears of her friends were about to be realized in her entire 
destruction. In the General Convention of the Church, held in 
the city of New Haven in 1811, there was no representation nor 
any report whatever from Virginia. The following entry is found 
on the journal : " They fear, indeed, that the Church in Virginia 
is from various causes so depressed, that there is danger of 
her total ruin, unless great exertions, favoured by the blessing 
of Providence, are employed to raise her." And what more 
could be expected from the character of the clergy generally at 
that time, or for a long time before ? It is a melancholy fact, 
that many of them had been addicted to the race-field, the card- 
table, the ball-room, the theatre, nay, more, to the drunken 
revel. One of them, about the very period of which I am speak- 
ing, was, and had been for years, the president of a jockey-club. 
Another, after abandoning the ministry, fought a duel in sight 
of the very church in which he had performed the solemn offices 
of religion.* Nothing was more common, even with the better 



* Another preached (or went into an old country church, professing to do it) 
four times a year against the four sins of atheism, gambling, horse-racing, and 
swearing, receiving one hundred dollars a legacy of some pious person to the 
minister of the parish for so doing, while he practised all of the vices himself. 
When he died, in the midst of his ravings he was heard hallooing the hounds to 
the chase. Another, a man of great physical powers, who ruled his vestry 
with a rod of terror, wished something done, and convened them for the purpose. 
It was found that they were unwilling or unable to do it. A quarrel ensued. 
From words they came to blows, and the minister was victorious. Perhaps it is 
fair to presume that only a part perhaps a small part of the vestry was 
present. On the following Sabbath the minister justified what he had done in a 
sermon from a passage of Nehemiah: "And I contended with them, and cursed 
them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair." 

This account I received from two old men of the congregation, of the most un- 
impeached veracity, one or both of whom was present at the sermon. 

All indeed of the cases alluded to in the note and the text came so near to my 
own time and even ministry, that the truth of them was assured to me by those 
whose testimony was not to be doubted. Gladly would I be spared the painful 
reference to them and others, could it be done without unfaithfulness to the task 
undertaken. In consenting to engage in it, which I have done with reluctance, it 
became my duty to present an honest exhibition of the subject, and not misrepre- 
sent by a suppression of the truth. God has set us the example of true fidelity 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 



portion of them, than to celebrate the holy ordinance of Baptism, 
not amidst the prayers of the congregation, hut the festivities 
of the feast and the dance, the minister sometimes taking a full 
share in all that was going on. These things being so, and the 
churches having been, on account of such things, almost entirely 
deserted or else occupied by those who only held our Zion up to 
derision, what but a firm conviction of God's watchful providence 
over her could keep alive hope in the most ardent of her friends ? 
How often, in looking at the present comparative prosperity of 
the Church, do we say, Surely God must have greatly loved this 
branch of his Holy Catholic Church or he would not have 
borne so long with her unfaithfulness and so readily forgiven 
her sins. 

Having presented this brief sketch of the past history of the 
Church in Virginia, I now proceed to execute the task assigned 
me by stating some things which came more or less under my own 
personal observation. 

My earliest recollections of the Church are derived from visits, 
while yet a child, to the Old Stone Chapel in Frederick county, 
(then the back-woods of Virginia,) either on horseback, behind my 
father, or with my mother and the children in my grandmother's 
English chariot, drawn by four /work-horses in farming-gear, 
richer gear having failed with failing fortunes. Some of the 
neighbours went in open four-horse plantation-wagons, very dif- 
ferent from the vehicles to which they had been accustomed in 
Lower Virginia, whence they emigrated.* My father took an 



in the biographical and historical notices which pervade the sacred Scriptures. 
The greatest failings of his best saints, as well as the abominations of the wicked, 
are there faithfully recorded as warnings to all ages ; though there are those who 
think that it had been better to have passed over some unhappy passages. I have 
gone as far as conscience and judgment would allow in the way of omission even 
of things which have passed under my own eyes. Some of those who are hostile 
to our Church have dwelt much, from the pulpit and the press, on the evil conduct 
of many of our old ministers, and doubtless have oftentimes overrated this evil, 
while making no acknowledgment of any good. Some of our own people, on the 
other hand, have been disposed to ascribe to malice much of that which belongs to 
truth. Let us seek the truth. It is not only mighty and will prevail, but will do 
good in the hands of the God of truth. Often and truly has it been said of the 
Church, in certain ages and countries where evil ministers have abounded, that but 
for God's faithful promise, those ministers would long since have destroyed it. It 
is some relief to my mind to be able to add, that in almost all the unhappy 
instances to which I have made reference, it pleased Providence to ordain that 
they should leave no posterity behind to mourn their fathers' shame. 

* My father had considerable possessions in land and servants in Lower Vir- 



20 OLD CIHJRCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

active part in the erection of this house, which was about seven 
miles distant from his residence. It was here that I officiated 
during the first twenty-five years of my ministry. The con- 
gregation, which now worships in a larger one four miles off, makes 
a kind of pilgrimage to it on one Sabbath each summer. It is 
still used for service in behalf of coloured persons, and on funeral 
occasions. Near it lies the parish burying-ground, where many 
dear friends and relatives are interred, and where I hope to find 
a grave. The Rev. Alexander Balmaine, a chaplain in the 
United States Army during the War of the Revolution, and who 
was married to a relative of Mr. Madison, one of the Presidents 
of our country, was the minister of it for more than thirty 
years, during the last ten or twelve of which I was associated 
with him. He lived in Winchester, and preached alternately 
there, in a stone church of about the same size, and at the 
chapel. 

There was a small wooden church very near the chapel, which 
was built before the war, and in which the Rev. Mr. Thruston offi- 
ciated. The Baptists were, in his day, establishing themselves in 
this part of the Valley of Virginia. With them, it is said, he had 
much and sharp controversy. On the declaration of war he laid 
aside the ministry and entered the army, attaining before the close 
of it to the rank of Colonel, by which title he was known to the 
end of his days. About twelve miles from my father's, in a direc- 
tion opposite to the chapel, there was another small log church, in 
which the Rev. Mr. Mughlenburg, afterwards General Mughlen- 
burg, occasionally officiated. He was the minister of the adjoining 
parish in Shenandoah county and lived at Woodstock. He also 
exchanged the clerical for the military profession and rose to the 
rank of General. Tradition says that his last sermon was preached 
in military dress, a gown being thrown over it, and that he either 
chose for his text or introduced into his sermon the words of 



ginia, but lost nearly all during the War of the Revolution, in which he served 
ns aid to General Washington. At the close of it, gathering up what little 
remained of money, and a very few servants, he removed to the rich and 
beautiful Valley of Frederick, lying between the Blue Ridge and Alleghany 
Mountains. The whole country was little else than a forest at that time. For 
a small sum he purchased a farm, with two unfinished log rooms, around which 
the wolves nightly howled. Laying aside the weapons of war, he took himself to 
hard work with the axe, the maul, and other instruments, while my mother 
exchanged the luxuries and ease of Lower Virginia for the economy and 'tiligence 
of a Western housewife. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 21 

Ecclesiastes, " To every thing there is a season, and a time to 
every purpose under the heaven," "a time of war and a time of 
peace," and that, the sermon being over, he laid aside the gown 
and walked forth the soldier in dress and office. He was esteemed 
a very upright and patriotic man. I have often in my younger 
days, and indeed after my entrance upon the ministry, seen a poor 
old lady at the chapel in Frederick, who sat under his ministry 
and still lived near his log church. Being twenty miles off from 
the chapel, she would come on horseback either to Winchester or 
to the house of my elder sister over night. Her visits were gene- 
rally on communion-days, and she always partook of it fasting. 
She spoke well of her minister as one who was faithful to his duty, 
for he rode twenty miles to preach to a few poor people in one of 
the poorest parts of the country. My next recollections of the 
Church are in the person of my teacher, who was educated in 
General Washington's Free School in Alexandria, and afterward 
on account of his promising talents sent to William and Mary 
College. At the end of his literary course he was admitted to 
Deacons' orders by Bishop Madison. A year or two after this he 
became teacher to the children of those few families who composed 
almost the whole of the chapel congregation. He was faithful as 
a classical teacher, heard us our catechism once a week, and for 
some time opened the school with prayer. He officiated also for a 
period at the chapel on those Sundays which Mr. Balmaine gave 
to Winchester; but, his habits becoming bad, he ceased ever after 
to exercise the ministerial office, being fully conscious that he had 
mistaken his calling. He left no posterity to be wounded by this 
statement, or I should have forborne to make it.* During this 



* Although there was no such thing as family prayers at that day, yet was the 
Catechism taught in many families of the Church ; pincushions to the girls and 
trap-balls to the boys were sometimes given, in the parish of Frederick, by the wife 
of the old parish clerk, as a reward for accuracy in saying it to the minister. My 
mother also (as was the case with many others) made her children get and repeat 
some of the hymns of the Prayer Book, especially Bishop Ken's, for morning and 
evening, and repeat some short prayer at her bedside. In my father-in-law's family 
(Mr. Philip Nelson, who has often been seen in our State and General Conventions) 
the practice of reading the Psalms, as arranged in the Prayer Book, was regularly 
practised each day by the females, so that my wife, at our marriage, could repeat 
nearly the whole book of Psalms. Her father used to hear his children the Cate- 
chism every Sabbath morning before breakfast ; and on the one after our marriage 
she took her accustomed place at the head of six or eight children and performed 
her part. She was then eighteen years of age. It was doubtless the practice of 
repeating the Catechism, reading the Psalms and other Scriptures daily, and using 



22 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

period of my life I had no other means of gaining a knowledge of 
the Church and her clergy than from my parents at home. When 
there was no service at the chapel or we were prevented from 
going, my father read the service and a sermon ; and whenever a 
death occurred among the servants he performed the burial service 
himself, and read Blair's Sermon on Death the following Sunday. 
Of the character and conduct of the old clergy generally I have often 
heard them speak in terms of strong condemnation. My father, 
when a young man, was a vestryman in Prince George county, 
Virginia, but resigned his place rather than consent to retain an 
unworthy clergyman in the parish. Of two clergymen, however, 
in King George county, the Stewarts, I have heard my mother, 
who lived for some time under the ministry of one of them, speak 
in terms of high commendation, as exceptions to the general rule. 
At the age of seventeen I was sent to Princeton College, where, of 
course, I had no opportunities of acquiring any knowledge of the 
Church, as it had no existence there at that time, though it was 
while there that I formed the determination, at the instance of my 
mother and elder sister, to enter the Episcopal ministry, as they 
perceived from my letters the serious turn of my mind. I ought 
to have stated above that my confirmation took place at a very 
early period, during the first and only visit of Bishop Madison to 
this part of Virginia. I have but an indistinct recollection of his 
having heard some of us the Catechism at church, and, as I sup- 
pose, laying his hands upon us in confirmation afterward, perceiving 
that we said our Catechism well. But as to both of them, espe- 
cially the latter, I have relied more on the testimony of older 
persons than on my own certain remembrance. At the age of 
nineteen or a few months sooner my college course was over. 
Through my beloved relative and faithful friend, Mrs. Custis of 
Arlington, I heard of the great worth of the Rev. Walter Addison 
of Maryland and determined to prepare for the ministry at his 
house and under his direction. In him I became acquainted with 
one of the best of men and saw one of the purest specimens of 
the ministerial character. Mr. Addison was of English parentage, 
and born to large landed possessions on the Maryland side of the 



the morning service on Sundays when there was no public worship, which kept 
alive the knowledge of and attachment to the Church in many families which might 
otherwise have been lost to it. Such families were found to be most effective auxi- 
liaries in its resuscitation. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 23 

Potomac opposite to Alexandria. He also inherited a number of 
servants, whom he emancipated. Through mismanagement his 
other property wasted away. But the God whom he served never 
permitted him to want, though he was allowed to end his days in 
poverty. It required but little to serve him, for he was a man of 
content and self-denial. At a time when wine, whiskey, rum, and 
brandy were so commonly and freely drunken by all, especially by 
many of the clergy of Virginia and Maryland, he made a rule 
never to drink more than one small glass of very weak toddy at 
dinner, but this was equal to total abstinence now. Wine he had 
none. He was faithful and bold in reproving vice from the pulpit 
and elsewhere, though one of the meekest of men. He told me 
of some mistakes into which he ran in his earlier days. He was 
probably one of the first of the Episcopal clergy in the United 
States who denounced what are called fashionable amusements. 
Some years before my acquaintance with him he published a small 
volume against balls, theatres, gambling, and horse-racing, ad- 
ducing some high authorities from the Church of England. His 
opposition to duelling and the means he adopted to prevent it made 
him for a number of years very notorious among the members of our 
American Congress. Being pastor of the church in Georgetown, 
though still living in the country at the time, he had the opportunity 
of exerting himself in the prevention of duels on several occasions. 
He has often detailed to me the circumstances attending those 
efforts, namely, his clothing himself with a civil office, in order the 
more effectually to arrest the duellists in their attempts to find some 
favourable place for the combat, his interview with Mr. Jefferson, 
when he had reason to believe that one of the parties was in the Pre- 
sident's house, his pursuit after them on horseback, his overtaking 
them just as the seconds were measuring the ground, their threaten- 
ing to bind him to a tree in the Arlington forest if he did not desist 
from the pursuit. These and such like things have I heard from 
his truthful lips. At the time of the threatened encounter 
between Mr. John Randolph and Mr. Eppes, he was fully prepared 
to prevent it, and if necessary deposit one or both of them in a 
place of confinement. Mr. Randolph was then an attendant at his 
church in Georgetown. Eleven o'clock on Sunday morning was se- 
lected for the combat, in order, as was believed, to evade Mr. Addi- 
son's vigilance, as it was supposed he would then be at his post of 
duty in the house of God. But he believed that his post of duty 
on that day was elsewhere, and did not hesitate about disappointing 
the congregation. For some time preceding the appointed hour he 



24 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

was secreted near the hotel where Mr. Randolph boarded, ready to 
arrest him should he leave the house. But an adjustment of the 
difference took place about that time. Mr. Stanford, a worthy 
member from North Carolina, the steady and judicious friend of 
Randolph, was doubtless engaged in the adjustment. At any 
rate, he knew what was going on and when the pacification was 
effected. He knew also where Mr. Addison was and what he was 
prepared to do. He it was who informed Mr. Addison that he 
might go with a quiet conscience to his Sabbath duties, as the diffi- 
culty was settled. This I had from the lips of Mr. Stanford him- 
self, with whom I had the pleasure to be intimately acquainted for 
many years. Mr. Addison was equally opposed to strife in the 
Christian Church. Although he was a true lover of our own and 
most passionately devoted to her services, yet he was no bigot, but 
embraced all Christians and Churches in the arms of his wide-ex- 
tended charity. The unchurching doctrine he utterly rejected. 
Just before I lived with him an Episcopal paper was commenced in 
the North in which that position was taken. He either subscribed 
to it, or it was sent to him; but, on finding that it declared all 
other ministries invalid and all other churches out of the covenant, 
he returned the paper or declined to receive it any longer. He 
loved to see sinners converted, by whatsoever instruments God might 
employ. There was a certain place in the corner of his large 
country parish where neither he nor any other Episcopal minister 
had been able to make any impression. Some Methodists being 
there and desiring to build a church, he bid them God-speed and 
furnished some pecuniary or other assistance, hoping that they 
might do what he had not been able to do. Such was the man of 
God with whom it was my privilege to spend some happy and I 
hope not unprofitable months, the period of my stay being abridged 
by a weakness in the eyes, which altogether prevented study. He 
lived to a good old age, loving all men and beloved by all who 
knew him. Many of his last years were spent in darkness, but 
not of the soul. His eyes became dim, until at length all was 
night to him. But while only a glimmering of light remained, he 
rejoiced and thanked God for it far more than those do who enjoy 
a perfect vision. And when all was gone, he was still the happiest 
and most grateful of all the happy and grateful ones whom I have 
ever^seen or known. In my visits to the district afterward, I ever 
felt it to be my sacred duty, as it was my high happiness, to enter 
his humble dwelling. But this was never done without bursts of 
feelings and of tears on both sides. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 25 

From this digression, which I am sure the reader will pardon, I 
return to the more immediate object of this article. 

As I am engaged in presenting my recollections of the state of 
things in the Church of Virginia, I think this a proper time for 
some notice of the character of the sermons which were preached 
and the books which were read among the Episcopalians of Vir- 
ginia. This was the period when the poet Cowper upbraided the 
clergy of the English Church with substituting morality for reli- 
gion, saying, 

" How oft, when Paul has served us with a text, 
Has Plato, Tully, Epictetus preached !" 

In the Church of Virginia, with the exception of Mr. Jarrett 
and perhaps a few others, I fear the preaching had for a long time 
been almost entirely of the moral kind. The books most in use 
were Blair's Sermons, Sterne's Works, The Spectator, The Whole 
Duty of Man, sometimes Tillotson's Sermons, which last were of 
the highest grade of worth then in use. But Blair's Sermons, on 
account of their elegant style and great moderation in all things, 
were most popular. I remember that when either of my sisters 
would be at all rude or noisy, my mother would threaten them with 
Blair's Sermon on gentleness. The sickly sensibility of Sterne's 
Sermons (and especially of his Sentimental Journey) was the 
favourite style and standard of too many of our clergy. After 
entering the ministry I heard several of such most faulty exhibi- 
tions of Christian morality. It is no wonder that the churches 
were deserted and the meeting-houses filled. But the time had 
come, both in the English and American Church, for a blessed 
change. There is something interesting in the history of one of 
the ways in which it was introduced into the Church of Virginia. 
The family of Bishop Porteus was Virginian of Gloucester 
county opposite old Yorktown, the residence of General Nelson. 
It is not certain but that Bishop Porteus himself was born in Vir- 
ginia and carried over when a child to England with his emigrating 
parents. Porteus became a tutor in the Eton school, and when 
General Nelson was sent to England for his education his father 
placed him under the care of Mr. Porteus. When Porteus was 
elevated to the rank of a Bishop he did not forget his former pupil 
and family, but sent them his first work, a volume of sermons, 
which were a great improvement on the sermons of that day. 
When Mr. Wilberforce, with whom he was intimate, published his 



26 OLD CSURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

celebrated evangelical work, "Practical View of Christianity," 
this was also sent, and afterward I believe the Bishop's Lectures 
on the Gospel of St. Matthew, which were an improvement on his 
sermons. A beginning of more evangelical views of Christian 
doctrine was thus made in one of the best and most influential 
families of Virginia. By my intimacy with one branch of this 
family, which led to a matrimonial connection before my ordina- 
tion, I became acquainted with Wilberforce's "Practical View of 
Christianity," and I believe Porteus's Lectures. These I read 
during the time I spent with Mr. Addison, and well remember the 
impression made upon me by the same. I felt that, if ever per- 
mitted to preach, I had only to present the views set forth in these 
books, and my hearers must be converted, though I was soon 
brought to the experience of Melancthon, "That old Adam was 
too strong for young Melancthon." These books were, I believe, 
republished in America about this time, together with some of the 
writings of Miss Hannah More, and all contributed to elevate and 
evangelize the style of preaching in our Church. Those who 
undertook the resuscitation of the Church in Virginia certainly 
adopted and in their sermons exhibited these views. In this they 
were greatly encouraged by the sermons of Mr. Jarrett, two edi- 
tions of which had been published.* 

* I will be pardoned, I hope, for placing in a note some facts in relation to the 
family of General Nelson, inasmuch as they are closely connected with the history 
of the Church in Virginia. His parents appear to have been pious persons. It is 
said that the mother was particularly attentive to the religious training of her chil- 
dren, teaching them to be punctual and conscientious as to their private devotions. 
If she had reason to fear that either of her sons neglected his morning prayers, 
instead of tempting him to untruth by asking if he had attended to this duty, she 
would say, " My son, if you have not said your prayers this morning, you had bet- 
ter go and do it," The grace of God has been poured out on great numbers of her 
descendants. General Nelson was blessed in a partner to whom, at his early death, 
he could confide with safety his large family of children. They inherited but a 
small portion of his once large estate, that having been nearly expended in the 
service of his country, and for which no remuneration was ever received. But they 
were the adopted children of God, and became active and zealous members of the 
Church in different parts of the State, bringing up large families in the same way 
in which themselves had been trained, in the love of the Gospel and the Church. 
The widow of General Nelson lived to the age of eighty-seven, being blind during 
the last seventeen years. Having been twice connected in marriage with her 
grandchildren, I was led, during many of her declining years, to pay an annual visit 
to her humble abode. On such occasions many of her children and descendants, 
who before her death had amounted to one hundred and fifty, though not all alive 
at one time, assembled together at her house, where I always administered the 
Holy Communion. On one of these occasions, I remember to have counted in her 









FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 27 

I am now brought to the period of my ordination, which intro- 
duced me to some things, in relation to the Church of Virginia, 
not without a painful interest to the lovers of true religion. But, 
before speaking of some circumstances attendant on my ordination, 
it may be well to allude to a correspondence between Bishop Madi- 
son and myself, some months before that event. It is the more 
proper so to do as it will serve to correct some misunderstandings 
which have gone abroad with respect to us both, and which have 
had a bearing on the reputation of the Virginia Churchmanship of 
that day. Passing through Philadelphia a year or more before my 
ordination, and staying at the house of an Episcopal clergyman, I 
heard some severe strictures on one or more of the ministers of our 
Church, in some other diocese or dioceses, for violating the rubrics 
of the Prayer Book by abridging the service. It was designated 
by no slighter term than perjury, in the violation of solemn ordi- 
nation vows. I learned afterward that such charges were made 
elsewhere. In examining the Canons of the Church I also found 
one which seemed positively to forbid, under any circumstances, the 
admission into an Episcopal pulpit of any minister not Episcopally 
ordained. I was aware that it was impossible to use the whole 
service in very many of the places where I might be called to offi- 
ciate, and well knew that ministers of other denominations preached 
in many of our old Episcopal churches, and, indeed, that it was 
questioned whether under the law our ministers had the exclusive 
right to them. I also saw that there was a canon forbidding ser- 
vile labour to the clergy, while from necessity for the support of a 
young family I was then taking part in the labours of the field, 
which in Virginia was emphatically servile labour. "Wishing to 
enter the ministry with a good conscience and correct understand- 
ing of my ordination vows, I wrote a letter of inquiry to Bishop 
Madison on these several points. To this I received a very sensible 
reply, nearly all of which, I think, the House of Bishops and the 
Church generally would now indorse, though there would have 
been some demurring in former times. On the occasion of my 
consecration to the office of Bishop it was objected by some that 
Bishop Madison had ordained me with a dispensation from canoni- 
cal obedience. Having his letter with me, which the reader may 



room and in the passage leading to it forty-three recipients of that rite, nearly all 
of whom were her descendents, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 
Four of her descendants are now ministering in the Episcopal Church, and one who 
4id minister in it has gone to his rest. 



28 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

see in the note, the objection was not urged.* In the month of 
February, 1811, I proceeded on horseback to Williamsburg, about 
two hundred miles, and on Sunday, the 24th, a clear, cold morn- 
ing, was ordained. My examination took place at the Bishop's, 
before breakfast, Dr. Bracken and himself conducting it. It was 
very brief. It has been asserted that Bishop Madison became an 
unbeliever in the latter part of his life, and I have often been 



* DEAR SIR: I received your letter by Mr. Bracken, and approve of your con- 
scientious inquiries respecting certain obligations imposed by the Canons. You 
know that every society must have general rules, as the guides of conduct for its 
members ; but I believe the Episcopal Church is as liberal in that respect as any 
other religious society whatever. The subscription required of the candidate is, 
that he will conform to the discipline and worship of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the United States. At the time of ordination he promises to conform to 
the Canons. With respect to the Book of Common Prayer, an adherence is re- 
quired, wherever the situation of the Chui-ch will permit : it happens, however, too 
often that the minister must be left to his own discretion, particularly on occasions 
when it may be necessary to abridge the service, or when there may be no Clerk, 
&c. No oath is administered or required, and that adherence to the book only is 
expected which may tend to further religion and good order in a religious society; 
for there can be no doubt of the superiority of forms of prayer for public worship. 
Before sermon many ministers, I believe, prefer a prayer of their own, and if it be 
well conceived I suppose no objection would be made. His private prayer, may cer- 
tainly be determined by himself. With respect to the use of our Church by other 
Societies, the general rule is often dispensed with, especially if the party wishing 
the use will assist in the preservation of the building, or the preacher be of 
known respectable character. Too often, indeed, our churches are now used en- 
tirely by other sects. The Canon could never intend that a minister should be pre- 
vented from following any occupation which was creditable. Hence the practice 
of physic, &c. is not deemed inconsistent with the ministerial profession, nor, I 
conceive, any other business which is free from a kind of public odium. It would 
be unfit for a minister to keep a tavern or grogshop, &c., but certainly not to 
follow any occupation where good may result both to the community and to the 
individual. The honest discharge of clerical duties, with a life preaching by ex- 
ample, are, in reality, the principal requisites : when these are manifested, and the 
piety and good behaviour of the minister cannot be questioned, he need not appre- 
hend the rigour of Canons, or any other spiritual authority. 

I am, sir, yours very respectfully, 
October 10, 1810. J. MADISON. 

REMARKS. Some years after my entrance on the ministry, I was conversing on 
the subject of dispensing with the regular service in preaching to the servants in 
their quarters, with one of our most eminent ministers, when he maintained, and I 
doubt not most conscientiously, that I had no right to open my lips in preaching to 
them, without first using the service according to the rubric. A very great change 
has recently come over the minds of many of our clergy on this subject, judging 
from some things seen in our religious papers, in which more latitudinarian views 
are taken than I ever remember to have heard of formerly. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 29 

asked if it was not so. I am confident that the imputation is 
unjust. His political principles, which at that day were so iden- 
tified in the minds of many with those of infidel France, may 
have subjected him to such suspicion. His secular studies, and 
occupations as President of the College and Professor of Natural 
Philosophy, may have led him to philosophize too much on the 
subject of religion, and of this I thought I saw some evidence in 
the course of my examination ; but that he, either secretly, or to 
his most intimate friends, renounced the Christian faith, I do not 
believe, but am confident of the contrary. To proceed with the 
ordination. On our way to the old church the Bishop and myself 
met a number of students with guns on their shoulders and dogs at 
their sides, attracted by the frosty morning, which was favourable 
to the chase ; and at the same time one of the citizens was filling 
his ice-house. On arriving at the church we found it in a wretched 
condition, with broken windows and a gloomy, comfortless aspect. 
The congregation which assembled consisted of two ladies and 
abolit fifteen gentlemen, nearly all of whom were relatives or ac- 
quaintances. The morning service being over, the ordination and 
communion were administered, and then I was put into the pulpit 
to preach, there being no ordination sermon. The religious con- 
dition of the College and of the place may easily and justly be 
inferred from the above. I was informed that not long before this 
two questions were discussed in a literary society of the College : 
First, Whether there be a God ? Secondly, Whether the Christian 
religion had been injurious or beneficial to mankind ? Infidelity, 
indeed, was then rife in the State, and the College of William and 
Mary was regarded as the hotbed of French politics and religion. 
I can truly say, that then, and for some years after, in every edu- 
cated young man of Virginia whom I met, I expected to find a 
skeptic, if not an avowed unbeliever. I left Williamsburg, as may 
well be imagined, with sad feelings of discouragement. My next 
Sabbath was spent in Richmond, where the condition of things 
was little better. Although there was a church in the older part 
of the town, it was never used but on communion-days. The place 
of worship was an apartment in the Capitol, which held a few hun- 
dred persons at most, and as the Presbyterians had no church at 
all in Richmond at that time, the use of the room was divided 
between them and the Episcopalians, each having service every 
other Sabbath morning, and no oftener. Even two years after 
this, being in Richmond on a communion-Sunday, I assisted the 
Rector, Dr. Buchanan, in the old church, when only two gentle- 



30 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

men and a few ladies communed. One of these gentlemen, the 
elder son of Judge Marshall, was a resident in the upper country. 
One of the old clergy who was present did approach to the chan- 
cel with a view of partaking ; but his habits were so bad and so 
notorious, that he was motioned by the Rector not to come. In- 
deed, it was believed that he was not in a sober state at the time. 

Before proceeding further in the narrative of such circumstances 
as may tend to throw light on the condition of the Church in Vir- 
ginia, I will, at the risk of being charged with even more of ego- 
tism than has already been displayed, make a few remarks, which, 
I think, are necessary to a right understanding of the whole subject 
I have taken in hand. So low and hopeless was the state of the 
Church at this time the time of my ordination but a few of the 
old clergy even attempting to carry on the work only one person 
for a long time having been ordained by Bishop Madison, and he 
from a distance, and a most unworthy one it created surprise, and 
was a matter of much conversation, when it was understood that a 
young Virginian had entered the ministry of the Episcopal Church. 
Even some years after this, when I applied to Judge Marshall for 
a subscription to our Theological Seminary, though he gave with 
his accustomed liberality, he could not refrain from saying, that it 
was a hopeless undertaking, and that it was almost unkind to induce 
young Virginians to enter the Episcopal ministry, the Church being 
too far gone ever to be revived. Such was the general impression 
among friends and foes. I had, however, throughout the State 
many most respectable and influential relatives, some still rich, 
others of fallen fortunes, both on my father's and mother's side,* 
who were still attached to the Church. My parents, too, were 
very popular persons, and had many friends and acquaintances 
throughout Virginia, who still lingered around the old Church. 
These things caused my ordination to excite a greater interest, and 
created a partiality in behalf of my future ministry. But still 
there were many who thought it so strange a proceeding, that they 
were ready to accept, as a probable mode of accounting for it, an 



* My great-grandfather on the paternal side was an Irish Romanist. Emigrating 
to this country, he married a Quakeress, in Flushing, New York, and settled in Suf- 
folk, Virginia. From this alliance sprang a large family of Protestant Episcopa- 
lians. Through my grandmother an infusion of Anglican Protestantism entered 
the family, as she descended from Richard Kidder, Bishop of Bath and Wells, after 
whom my father and many others of the family have been called. With scarce an 
exception, their descendants have all adhered to the Episcopal Church. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 31 

opinion expressed by one or more and soon put in circulation, that 
there was something unsound in mind or eccentric in character, at 
any rate a want of good common sense, or I could not make such 
a mistake as to attach myself to the fallen and desperate fortunes 
of the old Church. Some strange speeches of this kind were made. 
Nor were they or their effects confined to Virginia, or to that time. 
E am not sure that their influence has ceased to the present day. 
One good, however, resulted from them, namely, that certain views 
of religion and certain modes of life adopted by me and contrary 
to what were supposed to be the doctrines of the Episcopal Church 
certainly, contrary to the sentiments and practice of the people 
were ascribed to this natural defect and kindly dealt with, instead 
of awakening hostility which, under other circumstances, might 
have been exhibited. Certain it is that my ministry, from the first, 
was received with a favour which neither my imperfect theological 
education nor my most unfinished sermons nor any thing else 
about me were entitled to. Under such favour, I commenced my 
ministry in the spring of 1811, in Frederick county, as assistant 
to Mr. Balmaine, in the two congregations belonging to his charge, 
while living and labouring on a small farm, and having no design or 
wish to go elsewhere. But in the fall of that year I consented to 
the very urgent solicitations of the vestry of old Christ Church, 
Alexandria, to take charge of it, with the privilege of spending a 
portion of the year in Frederick and not entirely relinquishing my 
engagements there. Very peculiar were the circumstances of that 
congregation, and very strong the appeal, or I should not have 
been moved to undertake even the partial and temporary charge of 
it. Its last minister was from the West Indies, and after having 
married in Alexandria was found to have left a wife behind him. 
On her pursuing and reaching him he fled, and I believe was heard 
of no more. His predecessor was of an unhappy temper and too 
much given to the intoxicating cup. His predecessor again was 
one of the old-fashioned kind in his preaching and habits, being 
fond of what was called good company and the pleasures of the 
table. In order to insure full and frequent meetings of the vestry- 
men twelve in number and, for the most part, good livers he got 
them to meet once per month at each others' houses to dinner. 
These meetings continued until after I took charge of the congre- 
gation. I was present at one of them. The old minister who had 
established them was also there, being on a visit. He then lived 
in a distant parish. It was not difficult to perceive why such 
vestry-meetings were popular with certain ministers and vestry- 



32 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

men. I attended no more of them, and they were soon relin- 
quished. That a congregation having had three such ministers in 
succession should be desirous to try a young Virginian was not 
very wonderful. I should be guilty, however, if I did not pursue 
the history of the ministers of Christ Church further back. The 
next in order of time past was the good Dr. Griffith, of whom I 
have already spoken, as the first Bishop-elect of Virginia, but who 
was prevented by poverty from going to England for consecration. 
His predecessor was Lord Bryan Fairfax, of whom I have some- 
thing to say in another place. He was a pure and conscientious 
man, the friend and neighbour of General Washington, and a true 
Englishman. He attempted, in a series of private letters, which 
one of his children showed me and which have since been pub- 
lished, to dissuade Washington from engaging in or pursuing the 
war. General Washington dealt very tenderly with him in his 
replies, knowing how conscientious he was, and being much at- 
tached to him and the elder Lord Fairfax with whom he had lived. 
There was associated with Mr. Fairfax the Rev. Mr. Page, who 
afterward moved to Shepherdstown, and of whom I have heard 
that venerable old lady, Mrs. Shepherd, speak in the highest terms 
as an evangelical man of the school of Whitefield. 

A few remarks on my ministry during the two years of its 
exercise in Alexandria may serve to cast some light on the pro- 
gress of the Church in Virginia from that time. 1st. The old 
Virginia custom of private baptisms, christening-cake, and merri- 
ment, had prevailed in Alexandria. The ground, however, was 
now taken that the rubric was entirely opposed to this and that 
the whole meaning and design of the sacred rite forbade it and 
that it could not be continued. There were demurrings and refu- 
sals for a time, but a little decision with kind persuasion completely 
triumphed, as they did afterward at a later period both in Norfolk 
and Petersburg, where private baptisms were made to give place to 
public ones, when I had the temporary charge of these two con- 
gregations, peculiar circumstances inducing me to undertake it. 
2dly. The Gospel, it is to be feared, had not been clearly preached 
in times past. It was now attempted; and, though most imper- 
fectly done as to style and manner, God's blessing was granted. 
The services were well attended. Many were added to the Church 
of such as gave good proof afterward that they would be of those 
who should be saved. A goodly number of the members of Con- 
gress often came down on Sunday morning to attend the church, 






FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 33 

among whom were Mr. John Randolph* and Dr. Milnor, with 
both of whom I became then and thus acquainted. In the mind 
of the latter there was at that time going on the great change 



* It being known that there was a family connection and some intimacy and cor- 
respondence between Mr. Randolph and myself, I have been often asked my opinion 
as to his religious character. It is as difficult to answer this as to explain some 
other things about this most talented, eccentric, and unhappy man. My acquaint- 
ance and correspondence with him commenced in 1813 and terminated in 1818, 
although at his death he confided a most difficult and important trust to myself, in 
conjunction with our common and most valued friend, Mr. Francis S. Key. I pub- 
lish the following letter written in 1815, when his mind seemed to be in a state of 
anxiety on the subject of religion, and an extract from another paper in my 
possession, showing a supposed relief in the year 1818. Other letters I have, 
during the period of our intimacy, of the same character. The reader must judge 
for himself, taking into consideration the great inconsistencies of his subsequent 
life, and making all allowances for his most peculiar and unhappy temperament, his 
most diseased body, and the trying circumstances of his life and death. 

"RICHMOND, May 19, 1815. 

" It is with very great regret that I leave town about the time that you are con- 
fidently expected to arrive. Nothing short of necessity should carry me away at 
this time. I have a very great desire to see you, to converse with you on the sub- 
ject before which all others sink into insignificance. It continues daily to occupy 
more and more of my attention, which it has nearly engrossed to the exclusion of 
every other, and it is a source of pain as well as of occasional comfort to me. May 
He who alone can do it shed light upon my mind, and conduct me, through faith, 
to salvation. Give me your prayers. I have the most earnest desire for a more 
perfect faith than I fear I possess. What shall I do to be saved ? I know the 
answer, but it is not free from difficulty. Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner. I do 
submit myself most implicitly to his holy will, and great is my reliance on his 
mercy. But when I reflect on the corruptions of my nature I tremble whilst I 
adore. The merits of an all-atoning Saviour I hardly dare to plead when I think 
of my weak faith. Help, Lord, or I perish, but thy will be done on earth as it is 
in heaven. I know that I deserve to suffer for my sins ; for time misspent, faculties 
misemployed ; but, above all, that I have not loved God and my neighbour as we 
are commanded to do. But I will try to confide in the promises we have received, 
or rather to comply with their conditions. Whatever be my fate, I will not har- 
bour a murmur in my breast against the justice of my Creator. Your afflicted 
friend, 

"JOHN RANDOLPH, OF ROANOKE. 

"Rev. WILLIAM MEADE." 

August, 1818. "It is now just nineteen years since sin first began to sit heavy 
upon my soul. For a very great part of that time I have been as a conscious 
thief ; hiding or trying to hide from my fellow-sinners, from myself, from my God. 
After much true repentance, followed by relapses into deadly sin, it hath pleased 
Almighty God to draw me to him; reconciling me to him, and, by the love which 
driveth out fear, to show me the mighty scheme of his salvation, which hath been 
to me, as also to the Jews, a stumbling-block, and, as to the Greeks, foolishness. 
I am now, for the first time, grateful and happy ; nor would I exchange my present 
feelings and assurances, although in rags, for any throne in Christendom." 

3 



31 OLD CHUKCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

whose abundant fruits have so blessed mankind. 3d. It was during 
my stay in Alexandria that I procured from the library of Mr. 
Custis, of Arlington, the folio edition of Bishop Wilson's works, 
which had been presented to General Washington by the son of 
Bishop Wilson, and which works had been recommended to me by 
Bishop Madison. By the help of Mr. Edward McGuire, who, for 
more than forty-two years, has been the faithful and successful 
minister of the Church in Fredericksburg, and who was then pre- 
paring for the ministry with me, I selected from the various parts 
of that large book, a small volume of private and family prayers, 
which have gone through three editions, and which, being freely 
circulated among the families of Virginia, contributed greatly to 
introduce what was indeed a novelty in that day the practice of 
family worship.* It was during my short stay in Alexandria that 
the Rev. William Wilmer assumed the charge of St. Paul's congre- 
gation, and at the close of my ministry there that the Kev. Oliver 
Norris took charge of Christ Church. These beloved brothers, 
coming from Maryland with those views of the Gospel and the 
Church which the evangelical clergy and laity of England were 
then so zealously and successfully propagating there, contributed 
most effectually to the promotion of the same in Virginia, and to 
them is justly due much of the subsequent character and success of 
the Church in Virginia, as is well known to all of their day. I 
cannot take leave of Alexandria without referring to my admission 
to priests' orders, which took place there a year or two after this, 
and which were conferred on me by Bishop Clagget, of Maryland, 
our faithful brother the Rev. Simon Wilmer preaching on the 
occasion. Bishop Clagget, so far as I know and believe, enter- 
tained sound views of the Gospel and was a truly pious man. 



* Many of the sentences or petitions, making up these family devotions, are taken 
from short prayers found either before or after the printed sermons of Bishop Wil- 
son, and no doubt were used by him in the pulpit. They were evidently adapted 
to sermons. Such we know to have been the case with many if not all of the 
English clergy, for a long time. Specimens of the same may be seen in connection 
with a few of the homilies. Such is the practice of some of the English clergy to 
this day, as I know from having heard them while on a visit to England a few years 
since. It is well known that Bishop White did at one time, after the example of 
English Bishops and clergy, prepare and use such prayers after his sermons. Some 
of the Virginia clergy have done the same occasionally, and for it they have been 
denounced as transgressors of the law, and no Churchmen. I sincerely wish that 
so good a practice were generally adopted and that ministers would carefully 
prepare, either in writing or otherwise, a prayer suitable to the sermon. The col- 
lects might sometimes be found admirably adapted, but not always. 






FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 35 

There was much of the Englishman about him, I presume, from 
his wearing the mitre, and his mode of examining me, that con- 
forming so much to the character of the English University exa- 
minations.* Beside a number of hard questions in the metaphysics 
of divinity, which I was by no means well prepared to answer, but 
which he kindly answered for me, he requested that I would, in 
compliance with an old English canon, which had been, I think, 
incorporated somewhere into our requisitions, give him an account 
of my faith in the Latin tongue. Although I was pretty well 
versed in the Latin language, yet, being unused to speak it, I 
begged him to excuse me. He then said I could take pen and 
paper and write it down in his presence ; but he was kind enough 
to excuse from that also, and determined to ordain me with all my 
deficiencies, very much as some other bishops do in this day. 



* A singular circumstance occurred about this time in connection with Bishop 
Clagget's consecration of old St. Paul's Church, Alexandria. Putting on his robes 
and his mitre at some distance from the Church, he had to go along the street to 
reach it. This attracted the attention of a number of boys and others, who ran 
after and alongside of him, admiring his peculiar dress and gigantic stature. His 
voice was as extraordinary for strength and ungoyernableness as was his stature 
for size, and as he entered the door of the church where the people were in silence 
awaiting, and the first words of the service burst forth from his lips in his most 
peculiar manner, a young lady, turning around suddenly and seeing his huge form 
and uncommon appearance, was so convulsed that she was obliged to be taken out 
of the house. 



36 OLD CflURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE II. 

Recollections of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia, 
during the Present Century. 

ON leaving Alexandria I returned to my little farm in Frederick 
and to the tending, in conjunction with Mr. Balmaine, of the two 
small flocks at the chapel and in Winchester. During all the time 
of that joint rectorship I bestowed a considerable portion of my 
labours on five or six counties around, which were either destitute 
of ministers or very partially served. The continual presence of 
Mr. Balmaine in Winchester, and the lay-reading of my excellent 
father-in-law, Mr. Philip Nelson, at the chapel, enabled me to do 
this. In my absence from the chapel, the excellent sermons of 
Gisborne and Bradley and Jarrett were delivered by one of the 
best of readers, from its pulpit. I w r as happy to be able, during 
my visit to England some years since, to communicate to the two 
former the fact that they had thus, without knowing it, preached 
so often and so acceptably in my pulpit in America. Such was 
the scarcity of ministers and churches around, that my chapel ser- 
vices were attended by families living at the distance of twelve and 
fifteen miles. There are now seven churches, with regular services 
by six ministers, within that district to which I was a debtor for all 
pulpit and parochial ministration. My connection with Mr. Bal- 
maine was most pleasant and harmonious. He was one of the most 
simple and single-hearted of men. Himself and his excellent part- 
ner were the friends of the poor, and indeed of all, and were be- 
loved by all who knew them. They had no children, and having 
some property, as well as a few hundred dollars rent for the glebe, 
might have lived in a little style and self-indulgence, but they were 
economical and self-denying in all things, that they might have 
something for the poor and for the promotion of pious objects. 
They did not even keep fire in their chamber during the coldest 
weather of winter. They had one family of servants, who were 
to them as children. As children they inherited, and some still 
live in, the old mansion. As to some things Dr. Balmaine had 
been weak, and at times led astray by those who surrounded him. 
But I can truly say, that for many of the last years of his life, a 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 37 

more warm-hearted and exemplary man I knew not. Some of the 
most eloquent extempore effusions I ever heard were from his lips, 
while standing in the chancel on sacramental occasions, when he 
referred with tears to past errors and sought to make amends, by 
thus testifying to evangelical doctrine and holy living. In the 
spring of 1812, Bishop Madison died. And as Dr. Buchannon, of 
Richmond, was the Secretary to the last Convention, which was 
held. seven years before, Dr. Wilmer and myself united in a re- 
quest that he would call a special one in May. At that Convention 
fourteen clergymen and fourteen laymen assembled. It resulted 
in the election of Dr. Bracken as successor to Bishop Madison ; 
not, however, without opposition by some among us.* Another 
Convention was held in the following spring, at which only seven 
clergymen attended. To that Convention Dr. Bracken sent in his 
resignation. Our deliberations were conducted in one of the com- 
mittee-rooms of the Capitol, sitting around a table. There was 
nothing to encourage us to meet again, and but for that which I 
shall soon mention, I believe such profitless and discouraging efforts 
would soon have ceased. I well remember, that having just read 



* A circumstance occurred at this Convention worthy of being mentioned, as 
showing the effrontery of an unworthy clergyman, even at that day. One such, 
from New York, came to Virginia a few years before this, and excited considerable 
attention by his eloquence in Eichmond, Norfolk, and elsewhere. He soon settled 
himself in the vacant church at Fredericksburg, and collected crowds by his pulpit- 
powers. After a while rumours came that he had left his first and true wife in New 
York, and that the one with him was unlawfully married to him. This he solemnly 
denied in the pulpit, and in a letter to the vestry. The thing being to a certain ex- 
tent proved upon him during the week, he was obliged to admit it as publicly the 
following Sabbath and in a letter to the vestry. He shortly after left Fredericks- 
burg, (which was soon supplied with another from the same State, who also turned 
out badly,) and went to one of the lower counties of Virginia, where he was too 
well received and preferred to the incumbent who had the glebe, but was an intem- 
perate man. He was encouraged to go to the Convention, and see if there was no 
method by which the incumbent might be ejected and himself be substituted. On 
coming to Richmond, an interview took place between himself and one of the clergy, 
in which he was told that if possible he himself would be brought before the Con- 
vention, for his violation of the laws of God and man. Enraged by this, he raised 
his stick, and, shaking it over the head of the clergyman, bid him beware how he 
proceeded. He afterward, however, sought another interview with the same cler- 
gyman, to whom, in the presence of a third, he acknowledged his transgression. 
He was told that he ought, at any rate, to abandon the ministry. He disappeared 
that night, and soon after died. He had by his first wife a son of considerable 
talents who was attached to the stage. By the grace of God he was .led to exchange 
the stage for the pulpit, and, in the providence of Ood, was led to prepare for the 
ministry in my house, and became an acceptable and useful minister in the large 
congregation at Norfolk. 



38 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel," as I took my solitary way 
homeward on horseback, I found myself continually saying, in 
relation to the Church of Virginia, in the words of the elvish 
page, "Lost lost lost; 1 ' and never expected to cross the moun- 
tains again on such an errand. But in the course of that year, or 
in the early part of the following, it was suggested to Messrs. Wil- 
mer and Norris, and by none other than that unhappy man, the 
Rev. Mr. Dashiel, of Baltimore, (whom they then highly esteemed, 
but whom they abandoned as soon as his unworthiness was known,) 
that the Rev. Dr. Moore, of New York, was the man to raise up 
the Church in Virginia. Mr. D. had become acquainted with Dr. 
Moore at a recent General Convention, heard him eloquently advo- 
cate the introduction of more hymns into the Prayer Book, and 
preach the Gospel with zeal and power in several large churches. 
Dr. Wilmer and myself entered into a correspondence with Dr. 
Moore, which led to his election at the next Convention. Some 
objections, however, were privately made to Dr. Moore. It was 
said that Bishop Hobart had complaints against him for some 
irregularities in carrying on the work of the ministry, and that he 
was somewhat Methodistical. It so happened, however, that Bishop 
Hobart had written a most favourable letter concerning Dr. Moore 
to some one present, which being shown, all opposition was silenced 
and he was unanimously elected as Bishop of the Diocese, and im- 
mediately after, or perhaps before, as Rector of the Monumental 
Church, which had been reared on the ruins of the Richmond 
Theatre. Bishop Moore was consecrated in May of 1814, and en- 
tered on his duties in the summer of that year. Our organization 
was now complete, but on a diminutive scale. Besides the few older 
clergy, who had almost given up in despair, there were only the 
Rev. Messrs. Wilmer and Norris, in Alexandria, the Rev. Mr. 
Lemmon, who had just come to Fauquier, Mr. Edward McGuire, 
acting as lay-reader in Fredericksburg, (preferred by the people in 
that capacity to another importation from abroad,) and the one 
who makes this record. But from this time forth a favourable 
change commenced. Hope sprung up in the bosoms of many 
hitherto desponding. Bishop Moore had some fine qualifications 
for the work of revival. His venerable form, his melodious voice, his 
popular preaching, his evangelical doctrine, his amiable disposition, 
his fund of anecdote in private, and his love for the Church, all 
contributed to make him popular and successful, so far as he was 
able to visit and put forth effort. His parochial engagements and 
bodily infirmities prevented his visiting many parts of the diocese. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 39 

He never crossed the Alleghany Mountains, although he sometimes 
visited North Carolina, which then had no Bishop. In the spring 
of 1815, the first Convention under his Episcopate assembled in 
Richmond. It must be evident to all, from the account given of 
the past history of the Church in Virginia, that much prejudice 
must have existed against it, and that the reputation of both clergy 
and people for true piety must have been low, and that it was most 
proper to take some early occasion of setting forth the principles 
on which it was proposed to attempt its resuscitation. The last 
Convention, which was held under Bishop Madison, and which was 
followed by an intermission of seven years, had prepared the way 
for this, by declaring the necessity of a reform in the manners of 
both clergy and laity and by establishing rules for the trial of both. 
Wherefore, among the first things which engaged the consideration 
of the Convention of 1815, was the establishing a code of disci- 
pline. The Diocese of Maryland, from which two of our brethren, 
the Rev. Messrs. Wilmer and Norris, came, had already been en- 
gaged in the same work, and we did little else than copy the regu- 
lations there adopted. But although they were only the grosser 
vices of drunkenness, gaming, extortion, &c. which it was proposed 
to condemn, yet great opposition was made. The hue and cry of 
priestly usurpation and oppression was raised. It was said that 
the Clergy only wanted the power, and fire and fagot would soon 
be used again that we were establishing a Methodist Church, and 
that the new church needed reformation already. The opposition 
indeed was such at this and the ensuing Convention, that we had 
to content ourselves with renewing the general resolutions of the 
Convention of 1805, under Bishop Madison. In two years after 
this, however, in the Convention held in Winchester, when the 
number of the clergy and the piety of the laymen had increased, 
the subject was again brought up, and the condemnation of those 
things which brought reproach on the Church was extended to 
theatres, horse-racing, and public balls, by an overwhelming ma- 
jority. The same has been renewed and enforced at a more recent 
one. The Church now began to move on with more rapid strides. 
In looking over the list of the clergy who were added to our ranks 
in the few following years we see the names of such men as Haw- 
ley, Horrell, the two Aliens, the Lowes, Ravenscroft, Smith, now 
Bishop of Kentucky, Wingfield, the elder Armstrong, of Wheeling, 
Charles Page, Keith, Lippitt, Alexander Jones, Cobbs, George 
Smith, William Lee, John Grammer, J. P. McGuire, Brooke, the 
Jacksons, and others. The itinerant labours of some of them de- 



40 OLD CHTJRCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

serve special notice. Benjamin Allen's labours in the Valley of 
Virginia, Charles Page's in the counties of Amherst, Nelson, &c., 
Mr. Cobb's in Bedford and the counties round about, William Lee's 
in Amelia, Goochland, Powhatan, and others, Mr. Grammer's in 
Dinwiddie, Brunswick, Greenville, Surry, and Prince George, and 
J. P. McGuire's between the Kappahannock and James Rivers, 
were such as few professedly itinerant preachers ever surpass. 
Without such self-denying labours, the Church could never have 
been revived in these places. The faithful and zealous men, whom 
I have enumerated above, were accompanied and have been fol- 
lowed by other faithful ones, too numerous to mention. 

THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY. 

It is time that I should now advert to the origin and progress of 
one great instrument of the Church's prosperity in Virginia, the 
Theological Seminary at Alexandria. As Bishop Moore was about 
leaving New York for Virginia, in the summer of 1814, Dr. Au- 
gustine Smith, a native of Virginia, who had been for some years 
Professor in a Medical School in New York and who was then 
about to take charge of William and Mary College, met him in the 
street and proposed that the Church in Virginia should establish a 
Theological Professorship in Williamsburg, and thus make the Col- 
lege, what its royal patrons designed, a School of the Prophets. 
Bishop Moore encouraged the proposal, and a deputation of one of 
the Professors was sent to the Convention of 1815 for the purpose 
of promoting the plan. The Convention approved it, and the Rev. 
Dr. Keith became the minister of the Episcopal congregation in 
Williamsburg, and was prepared to instruct any candidates for the 
ministry who might be sent there. During a stay of two years 
only one presented himself. On various accounts Williamsburg 
was found to be an unsuitable place. The Convention of Virginia 
had appointed Col. Edward Colston and myself a Committee to 
correspond with the Bishop of Maryland and some leading laymen 
in North Carolina, proposing a union with Virginia in the establish- 
ment and management of the Seminary at Williamsburg. From 
North Carolina we received no answer. From the Bishop of Mary- 
land* we received a prompt and decided refusal, accompanied with 
such severe strictures on the religion and morals of Virginia that 
we did not present it to the Convention, but only reported our 

* Bishop Kemp. 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 41 

failure. Williamsburg especially was objected to on account of its 
infidelity as altogether unfit to be the seat of such an institution. 
Those of us who were engaged in the resuscitation of the Church 
were also said to be extravagant in some of our notions, as is apt 
to be the case with those who in flying from one extreme rush into 
the other. There was much in the letter but too true of the laity 
and clergy, both of Maryland and Virginia, in that and past days. 
Having failed in our experiment at Williamsburg, we determined to 
make trial of it in Alexandria, by the help of our Education Society 
Dr. Keith, Dr. Wilmer, and Mr. Norris, being the Professors. 
The General Theological Seminary was now getting under way, 
and its friends were afraid of some interference with its prosperity. 
The ground was taken that this was the institution of the Church, 
and its claims paramount to all others. Most threatening letters 
were addressed to Bishop Moore, calling upon him as a Bishop of 
the General Church, bound to guard its unity, to interpose and 
prevent the establishment of the Seminary at Alexandria. Hap- 
pily for us, Mr. Kohn had bequeathed a large fund for the General 
Seminary in New York, where it was located when the will was 
written ; but, meanwhile, it had been removed to New Haven, and 
it was contended that it could not inherit a legacy which was given 
to an institution in New York. Bishop Hob art now took the 
field in favour of Diocesan Seminaries and wrote a pamphlet on the 
subject, claiming the legacy for one to be established in New York, 
under Diocesan rule. A General Convention was called to settle 
the question, and it was compromised by restoring the General 
Seminary to New York, on certain terms, which, as it was foreseen 
and predicted, made it and has continued it, virtually, a New York 
Seminary. But we heard no more after that of the schismatical 
character of the Virginia Seminary, nor have we since that time 
heard any other objections of the kind to those established in Ohio, 
Kentucky, Illinois, and Connecticut. Our Seminary continued for 
several years in the town of Alexandria, until we raised sufficient 
funds to purchase its present site and erect some of its buildings. 
We are indebted to the zeal of Mr. John Nelson, of Mecklenburg, 
for the first moneys collected for that purpose. He visited a con- 
siderable part of the State, and raised a handsome contribution to 
it. In the year 1828 I took my turn, and visited a still larger 
portion of the State, realizing a greater amount. Other calls 
have at successive periods been made, and always with success. 
An attempt to raise an Episcopal fund for a time interfered with 



42 OLD CHTJRCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

and postponed this, but it was soon evident that this was the 
favourite with the people, and the other was relinquished. 



CLERICAL ASSOCIATIONS. 

Next in the order of time, and agreeably to a recommendation 
in one of the Conventions in Bishop Madison's time, comes the 
establishment of Clerical Associations. The first of these was in 
the Valley of Virginia, consisting of the ministers of Berkeley, 
Jefferson, and Frederick Dr. Balmaine, the Kev. Benjamin Allen, 
Enoch Lowe, Mr. Brian, and myself, Benjamin Smith, now 
Bishop Smith, coming among us soon after. We assembled quar- 
terly in each other's parishes; preaching for several days and 
nights ; having meetings among ourselves, and at private houses, 
for special prayer; taking up collections for missionaries to the 
western part of Virginia. The two first who went to Virginia 
beyond the Alleghanies the Rev. Charles Page and William Lee 
were sent out by our Society. These Associations were 
attended by much good and no evil, so far as I know and believe. 
I have ever encouraged them since entering the Episcopate, and 
Bishop Moore did the same before and after that time, as being 
most important auxiliaries to the Bishops, especially in large 
dioceses. I regard it as an evil omen, when ministers, favour- 
ably situated, are averse to such means of their own and their 
people's improvement, though I do not mean to say that there 
are not some good and pious men who regard them in a different 
light. 

OUR CONVENTIONS COME NEXT. 

For the first few years after our reorganization our Conventions 
were not only small as to numbers, but sad and gloomy in charac- 
ter, attracting no attention. A succession of the rainy seasons in 
May attended them for so many years that the two were closely 
associated in the public mind. For some years they were held in 
Richmond ; but the proverbial and profuse hospitality of that place 
was not then generally afforded them. For the most part, both 
clerical and lay delegates were to be seen only at the taverns, and 
but few religious services were held. The Convention at Frede- 
ricksburg the first after the system of rotation commenced was 
kindly and hospitably entertained, and from that time onward they 
became not only delightful to the clergy and laity composing them, 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 43 

but attractive to others. To understand aright the history of such 
large assemblies as our Conventions attract, and the reasons which 
justify our encouragement of them by making religious exercises 
so large a part of their doings, it must be stated that not only are 
the Virginians a people given to visiting, but that the Episcopalians 
are peculiarly so by reason of the fact that, for the most part, 
they have sprung from a comparatively few families, who, by mar- 
riages and intermarriages, though scattered all over the State, 
make up one great family of tenderly-attached relatives, who are 
always pleased at a good excuse, if the ability allows, to assemble 
together. The bond of Christian fellowship and of Church feeling 
also is very strong, even where the other is not, as well as where it 
is. Hospitality also is a strong principle with them, and it is easier 
here than in most places to throw open the doors and welcome all 
who will come in on such occasions. A more innocent mode nay, 
a more religious mode of gratifying the social feeling cannot be 
than that of meeting together at our Conventions ; and an impera- 
tive duty rests on the ministers to afford the people the most fre- 
quent and edifying services in their power, so that they may take 
up the song of God's ancient people, when going by Divine com- 
mand to the great feasts of His own appointment : 

"Oh! 'twas a joyful sound to hear 

The tribes devoutly say, 
Up, Israel ! to the temple haste, 
And keep the festal day." 

Sometimes they have been most edifying as well as joyful occa- 
sions. The presence of God has been felt. The word preached 
has been attended with great power. Many have remembered 
them as the means of their awakening, and many as the channels 
of more grace to their already converted souls. Long may they 
continue to be thus used. Even if some dioceses are so small, or 
the conveyances so convenient and rapid, that a few hours or at 
most a day can bring them all to the place of meeting, and a very 
short time may suffice for legislation and business, let it be remem- 
bered how very large are the dimensions of the Diocese of Virginia, 
how difficult and tedious the journey of many of its members to 
the Convention, and it will be felt and acknowledged that to meet 
on mere business for a few hours or a day would not be sufficient 
to induce and remunerate the attendance of either clergy or laity. 



44 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



THE REQUIRING OF LAY DELEGATES TO BE COMMUNICANTS. 

We have already spoken of the measures adopted for the purifi- 
cation of the Church from evil-livers, among hoth clergy and laity, 
hy the passage of wholesome canons. At three successive periods 
was this done, opposition being made each time, and six Conven 
tions in all being in part occupied in the discussion and contest. 
We now refer to the method adopted, after a considerable time had 
elapsed, for the purification of our Conventions from unworthy lay 
delegates, by requiring that they be in full communion with the 
Church, and not merely baptized members or professed friends, 
whether baptized or not. No law, either of the General or State 
Conventions, forbade an infidel or the most immoral man from being 
the deputy from a parish in the Diocesan Convention, although ques- 
tions might come before them touching the Creed and Articles and 
worship of the Church, or the trial of bishops, clergy, and lay- 
men. The strange anomaly of persons legislating for others and 
not being themselves subject to such legislation was allowed in the 
Church, when it would have been resisted in any and every other 
society. The consequence resulted, that, although there was a 
great improvement in the general character of the Church and the 
respectability of the lay delegation to our Conventions, we were 
still distressed and mortified at the occasional appearance of one 
or more unworthy members, who were a scandal to the Church, 
the scandal being the greater because of the number of attendants. 
The frequenters of the race-ground and the card-table and the 
lovers of the intoxicating cup sometimes found their way through 
this unguarded door into the legislative hall. It was proposed to 
close it ; but strenuous opposition was made by some, as to a 
measure assailing individual and congregational rights. It was 
discussed for three successive years, and though a considerable 
majority was always ready to pass the proposed canon, that ma- 
jority yielded so far to the minority as to allow of delay and 
further consideration, which only resulted in the final passage of it 
by increased and overwhelming numbers. An incident occurred, 
during one of the discussions, showing how the consciences of even 
those who are not in full communion with the Church approve of 
wholesome legislation and discipline. A worthy clergyman, who 
was opposing the canon, referred to his own lay delegate as a proof 
of what excellent men might be sent to the Convention, who were 
nevertheless not communicants. When he was seated, the lay dele- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 45 

gate, a very humble and good man, who had never spoken before 
in Convention, rose and expressed his entire dissent from his min- 
ister, and, as it was proposed to postpone the question until the 
next day, begged that there might be no delay, as he should sleep 
more quietly that night after having given his vote in favour of so 
necessary a regulation. He lived to appear in our body once more 
in full communion with the Church. We have never, since the 
adoption of this rule, had cause to repent of our legislation, or to 
blush for the scandal cast upon us by unworthy members. 

POLICY OF THE BISHOPS AND CLERGY OF VIRGINIA IN REGARD TO 

TRACTARIANISM. 

At an early period Bishop Moore called the attention of the 
clergy and laity of Virginia to this heretical and Romish move- 
ment, when it overhung our horizon only as a cloud no larger than 
a man's hand. But it was a black and portentous one. The Con- 
vention in Norfolk, with a few exceptions, agreed with him in the 
propriety of warning against the giving of any encouragement to 
the circulation of the insidious tracts. At the meeting in Alexan- 
dria, the following year, when they had been circulated through 
the land, having already done much evil in our Mother-Church, a 
call was made upon all to expose and condemn the false doctrines 
thereof. The Bishops and ministers did their duty in sounding the 
alarm, and the faithful Professors of our Seminary did theirs. The 
consequence is that the Church of Virginia has been preserved 
from the ill effects of the erroneous and strange doctrines taught 
by that school. 

THE USE OF THE LITURGY AND VESTMENTS IN VIRGINIA. 

From what has been said in the foregoing pages as to the 
deplorable condition of the Church in Virginia, it may well be 
imagined that its liturgical services were often very imperfectly 
performed. In truth, the responsive parts were almost entirely 
confined to the clerk, who, in a loud voice, sung or drawled them 
out. As to the psalmody, it is believed that the Hundredth Psalm, 
to the tune of Old Hundred, was so generally used as the signal 
of the Service begun, that it was regarded as the law of the Church. 
A case has been mentioned to me by good authority, where a new 
minister, having varied from the established custom, gave out a 
different psalm ; but the clerk, disregarding it, sung as usual the 
Hundredth. So unaccustomed were the people to join in the Ser- 



46 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

vice, that when I took charge of the congregation in Alexandria 
in 1811 I tried in vain to introduce the practice, until I fell on the 
expedient of making the children, who in large numbers came 
weekly to my house to be catechized, go over certain parts of the 
Service and the Psalms with me, and, after having thus trained 
them, on a certain Sabbath directed them to respond heartily and 
loudly in the midst of the grown ones. They did their part well, 
and complete success soon attended the plan. Throughout the 
State, when not only the friends of the Church were rapidly dimi- 
nishing and Prayer Books were very scarce, but even clerks were 
hard to be gotten, I presume that the Services were very irregu- 
larly performed. I knew of an instance where the clergyman did 
not even take a Prayer Book into the pulpit, but, committing to 
memory some of the principal prayers of the Morning Service, used 
them in the pulpit before sermon, after the manner of other deno- 
minations. I am unable to say whether it ever was, or had been 
for a long time, the habit of any or of many of the ministers to 
use what is called the full Service, combining what all acknowledge 
to have been originally the three distinct parts of the old English 
cathedral Service, and used separately at different portions of the 
day, namely, the Morning Service proper, the Litany, the Ante- 
Communion Service, and which, without law, were gradually 
blended into one, for the convenience of those who preferred one 
long to three short services. The probability is, that in a church 
without a head and any thing like discipline, the practice may have 
been very various, according to the consciences, tastes, and conve- 
nience of those who officiated. The practice of those who engaged 
in the resuscitation of the Church in Virginia, was to use the two 
former portions of the Liturgy the Morning Service and Litany 
and to omit the Ante-Communion Service, except on communion 
days. This was introduced among us by the brethren who came 
from Maryland, the Rev. Dr. Wilmer, Norris, and Lemmon, who 
doubtless believed that it was according to the design of those who 
arranged the American Prayer Book. They quoted as authority 
the declaration and practice of the Rev. Dr. Smith, who, as may 
be seen in the journals of our earliest General Convention, took a 
leading part in the changes of the Prayer Book. Dr. Smith, after 
leaving Philadelphia, settled in Chestertown, Md., where it was 
declared he never used the Ante-Communion Service. Dr. "VVilmer 
was one of his successors, and said that it was also affirmed that 
Dr. Smith avowed himself to have been the author of one or more 
of the Rubrics, on the meaning and design of which rested the 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 47 

question of obligation to use the Ante-Communion Service every 
Sabbath, and that he had in view the permission to leave it optional 
with the minister. I am aware that Bishop White has expressed a 
different opinion, and that his practice was otherwise, nor do I pur- 
pose to discuss the question or take sides, but only to state the 
authority on which the Virginia custom was advocated. Neither 
do I mean to appropriate this custom exclusively to Virginia and a 
part of Maryland. In other parts of the land there were those who 
adopted it. I had it from the lips of Bishop Hobart himself, that 
a portion of the clergy of New York omitted that part of the Ser- 
vice, and, as I shall show hereafter, it was this fact which had 
much to do with his proposition to abridge the Service in other 
parts, in order the more easily to enforce the use of this favourite 
portion. The Bishop acknowledged to me that the Virginia clergy 
were not the only transgressors in this respect. This much I can 
say, that if they did err in the understanding of the rubric, they 
made amends for the abridgment of the Service by seeking to 
perform what was used in a more animated manner, and to intro- 
duce a warm and zealous response among the people, and also by more 
lengthened, animated, and evangelical discourses from the pulpit. 
Nor was there any attempt to enforce upon all the practice thus 
commenced. From the first, every minister has been allowed the 
free exercise of his conscience and judgment in regard to it. For 
a time, Bishop Moore, who had been accustomed to the fuller ser- 
vice in the city of New York, was disposed to urge the same upon 
the clergy of Virginia, but, after some observation and experience, 
became satisfied that it was best to leave it to the discretion of each 
minister, and, though in his own parish he always used it, never 
required the same in his visits to others. 

As to the vestments, the same liberty and the same variety has 
ever existed in the Church of Virginia, without interruption to its 
harmony. It is well known that the controversy in our Mother- 
Church concerning the use of the surplice was a long and bitter 
and most injurious one; was, indeed, considered by some of her 
ablest Bishops and clergy as that which was the main point which 
caused the final secession ; that if the obligation to use it had been 
removed, the Church would, for at least a much longer period, have 
been undivided. Various attempts were made to abolish the canon 
or rubric enforcing it, but it was thought improper to humour the 
dissenters by so doing, and alleged that if this were done other 
demands would be made. At the revision of the Prayer Book by 
our American fathers, this and other changes, which had long been 



48 OLD CHRCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

desired by many in England, and still are, were at once made, and 
the dress of the clergy left to their own good sense, it being only 
required that it should be decent. I believe it has never been at- 
tempted but once to renew the law enforcing clerical habits. Soon 
after I entered the House of Bishops some one in the other House 
proposed such a canon. A warm but short discussion ensued, 
which ended in the withdrawal of what found but little favour. 
During the discussion the subject was mentioned among the Bishops, 
who seemed all opposed to it, and one of whom, more disposed, 
perhaps, to such things than any other, cried out, "De minimis 
non cur at lex.' 1 That the old clergy of Virginia should have been 
very uniform and particular in the use of the clerical vestments is 
most improbable, from the structure of the churches and the loca- 
tion of their vestry-rooms. The vestry-rooms formed no part of 
the old churches, but were separate places in the yard or neigh- 
bourhood, sometimes a mile or two off. They were designed for 
civil as well as religious purposes, and were located for the conve- 
nience of the vestrymen, who levied taxes and attended to all the 
secular as well as ecclesiastical business of the parish. The setting 
apart some portion of the old churches as robing or vestry-rooms 
is quite a modern thing, and it is not at all probable that the min- 
isters would have gone backward and forward between the pulpits 
and the former vestry-rooms in the churchyards, to change their 
garments.* The clergy of Virginia, from the first efforts at resus- 
citating the Church, have been charged by some with being too 
indifferent to clerical garments ; nor have they been very careful 
to repel the charge, thinking it better to err in this way than in the 
opposite. Bishop Hobart once taunted me with this, though at the 
same time he acknowledged that there were times and places when 
it would be folly to think of using the clerical garments, saying ? 
that in his visitations, especially to Western New York, he some- 
times dispensed not only with the Episcopal robes but even with 
the black gown. The Bishops of Virginia have sometimes been 
condemned for not requiring the candidates to be dressed in sur- 
plices at the time of their admission to deacons' orders, although 
there is no canon or rubric looking to such a thing. They are at 
least as good Churchmen, in this respect, as the English Bishops. 
When in England, some years since, I witnessed the ordination of 
fifty deacons, by the present Archbishop of Canterbury, in Durham 

* In the year 1723 the Bishop of London inquires of the clergy of Virginia con- 
cerning this. Some reply that the surplice is provided, and others that it is not. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 49 

Cathedral, not one of whom was surpliced ; some of them, as well 
as I remember, having on their college gowns, answering to our 
black gowns, and others only their common garments. There is, I 
think, less disposition to form and parade there than is sometimes 
seen in our own country. I only add that Bishop Moore, in his 
visitations, always took his seat in the chancel in his ordinary dress, 
except when about to perform some official act, and thus addressed 
the congregation after the sermon. I have seen no cause to depart 
from his example. 

GLEBES AND SALARIES WITHDRAWN. 

It has been made a matter of great complaint against the Legis- 
lature of Virginia, that it should not only have withdrawn the sti- 
pend of sixteen thousand-weight of tobacco from the clergy, but 
also have seized upon the glebes. I do not mean to enter upon the 
discussion of the legality of that act, or of the motives of those 
who petitioned for it. Doubtless there were many who sincerely 
thought that it was both legal and right, and that they were doing 
God and religion a service by it. I hesitate not, however, to ex- 
press the opinion, in which I have been and am sustained by many 
of the best friends of the Church then and ever since, that nothing 
could have been more injurious to the cause of true religion in the 
Episcopal Church, or to its growth in any way, than the con- 
tinuance of either stipend or glebes. Many clergymen of the 
most unworthy character would have been continued among us, and 
such a revival as we have seen have never taken place. As it was, 
together with the glebes and salaries evil ministers disappeared 
and made room for a new and different kind. Even in cases 
where, from some peculiarity in the manner in which the glebes 
were first gotten and the tenure by which they were held, the law 
could not alienate them from the parish, they have been, I believe, 
without an exception, a drawback to the temporal and spiritual 
prosperity of the congregations, by relaxing the efforts of the 
people to support the ministry and making them to rely on the 
uncertain profits of their contested or pillaged lands. The preju- 
dices excited against the Church by the long contest for them were 
almost overwhelming to her hopes, and a successful termination of 
that contest might have been utterly fatal to them for a long pe- 
riod of time. Not merely have the pious members of the Church 
taken this view of the subject, since the revival of it under other 
auspices, but many of those who preferred the Church at that day, 

4 



50 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

for other reasons than her evangelical doctrine and worship, saw 
that it was best that she be thrown upon her own resources. I had 
a conversation many years since with Mr. Madison, soon after he 
.ceased to be President of the United States, in which I became 
assured of this. He himself took an active part in promoting the 
act for the putting down the establishment of the Episcopal Church, 
while his relative was Bishop of it and all his family connection 
attached to it. He mentioned an anecdote illustrative of the pre- 
ference of many for it who still advocated the repeal of all its 
peculiar privileges. I give his own words. At a time when lobby 
members were sent by some of the other denominations to urge 
the repeal of all laws favouring the Episcopal Church, one, an 
elder of a church, came from near Hampton, who pursued his 
work with great fearfulness and prudence. An old-fashioned Epis- 
copal gentleman, of the true Federal politics, with a three-cornered 
hat, powdered hair, long queue, and white top-boots, perceived him 
approaching very cautiously one day, as if afraid though desirous 
to speak. Whereupon he encouraged the elder to come forward, 
saying that he was already with him, that he was clear for giving 
all a fair chance, that there were many roads to heaven, and he 
was in favour of letting every man take his own way ; but he was 
sure of one thing, that no gentleman would choose any but the 
Episcopal. Although I am far from assenting to the conclusion 
that no gentlemen are to be found in other denominations, or that 
there were none in Virginia at that time who had become alienated 
from the Episcopal and attached to other churches, yet it cannot 
be denied that the more educated and refined were generally averse 
to any but the Episcopal Church, while many, of whom the above- 
mentioned was a fair representative, were in favour of equal privi- 
leges to all.* It may be well here to state, what will more fully 
appear when we come to speak of the old glebes and churches in 
a subsequent number, that the character of the laymen of Virginia 
for morals and religion was in general greatly in advance of that 
of the clergy. The latter, for the most part, were the refuse or 
more indifferent of the English, Irish, and Scottish Episcopal 



* Mr. Madison's mother was a pious member of the Episcopal Church. She lived 
with him, but was of such feeble health that she could not attend public worship 
for many of her latter years. On this account, as doubtless from a general principle 
of hospitality, Mr. Madison, who was very regular in his attendance at worship, 
which, during his day, was held at the court-house in Orange county, there being 
no church for some time, always invited our ministers to his house, where they ad- 
ministered the Lord's Supper to his venerable mother. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 51 

Churches, who could not find promotion and employment at home. 
The former were natives of the soil and descendants of respectable 
ancestors who migrated at an early period. For high and honour- 
able character and a due appreciation of what was required in 
ministers of the Gospel there were numerous influential laymen 
who would favourably compare with those of any part of the land. 
Some of the vestries, as their records painfully show, did what 
they could to displace unworthy ministers, though they often failed 
through defect of law. In order to avoid the danger of having 
evil ministers fastened upon them, as well as from the scarcity of 
ministers, they made much use of lay-readers as substitutes. In 
some instances, as will be seen, such readers were very successful 
in strengthening the things which remained after the Church was 
deprived of her possessions and privileges and the clergy had 
abandoned their charges. The reading of the Service and sermons 
in private families, which contributed so much to the preservation 
of an attachment to the Church in the same, was doubtless pro- 
moted by this practice of lay-reading. Those whom Providence 
raised up to resuscitate the fallen Church of Virginia can testify 
to the fact that the families who descended from the above-men- 
tioned have been their most effective supports. Existing in greater 
or less numbers throughout the State, they have been the first to 
originate measures for the revival of the Church, and the most 
active and liberal ever since in the support of her ministers. 
More intelligent and devoted Churchmen, more hospitable and 
warm-hearted friends of the clergy, can nowhere be found. And 
when in the providence of God they are called on to leave their 
ancient homes and form new settlements in the distant South and 
West, none are more active and reliable in transplanting the 
Church of their Fathers. 

SOME REFLECTIONS GROWING OUT OF THE FOREGOING PAGES. 

The desertions from the Episcopal Church in Virginia on the 
part of many who were awakened to a deeper sense of religion, 
the violent opposition made to it, the persevering and successful 
efforts for its downfall, the advantage taken by politicians for pro- 
moting their objects, the abandonment of their charges by far the 
greater part of the ministers so soon as their salaries were with- 
drawn and when only unprofitable glebes remained to them, are 
events in history which must have resulted from some powerful 
cause or causes. The leading one must be found in the irreligious 



52 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

character and defective preaching of the clergy, operating more or 
less on the laity, for it will always be, in some degree, " like priest 
like people." The ignorance, superstition, and corruption of the 
Romish clergy and people invited that grand assault of the great 
enemy of God and man upon the Christian Church and religion in 
Europe, by the agency of Voltaire and his host of followers, which 
led to the French Revolution with all its horrors. It is not won- 
derful that the same great foe and his active agents should have 
turned their attention to the Church and people of Virginia, in 
their then most irreligious state, and made an effective assault 
upon them. Infidelity became rife in Virginia, perhaps beyond 
any other portion of the land. The clergy, for the most part, 
were a laughing-stock or objects of disgust. Some that feared 
God .and desired to save their souls felt bound to desert them. 
Persecution followed, and that only increased defection. Infidels 
rejoiced at the sight, and politicians made their use of the unhappy 
state of things. The Church fell. There was no Episcopal head 
to direct and govern either clergy or people. No discipline could 
be exerted over either. It is not surprising that many should 
think it was deserted of God as well as of man. Such a view has 
been taken of it by some ever since, and most diligently and suc- 
cessfully urged to our injury. Although our present condition 
ought to be sufficient proof that the Episcopal Church itself is 
not an offence unto God, while at one time it came under his dis- 
pleasure by reason of the unworthiness of many of its ministers 
and members, yet it may be well to advert, not in a spirit of 
retaliation but in the love of truth and justice, to some facts, 
showing that the Episcopal Church is not the only one in our land 
which has had its unworthy ministers and members, and been of 
course so far an object of the Divine displeasure. The history of 
the whole Christian Church, as one of our opponents has said, is 
the "history of declensions and revivals." The Baptist Church 
in Virginia, which took the lead in dissent, and was the chief 
object of persecution by the magistrates and the most violent and 
persevering afterward in seeking the downfall of the Establishment, 
was the first to betray signs of great declension in both ministers 
and people. The Rev. Robert Sample, in his History of the Bap- 
tists of Virginia, is faithful in acknowledging this. He informs us 
that at an early period Kentucky and the Western country took 
off many of their ministers in pursuit of gain. Some of these 
ministers had dishonoured the profession. "With some few ex- 
ceptions," he says, "the declension (among the people) was general 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 53 

throughout the State. The love of many waxed cold. Some of 
the watchmen fell, others stumbled, and many slumbered at their 
posts. Iniquity greatly abounded." At another time he says, 
" The great revival had now subsided, and the axe was laid at the 
root of the tree. Many barren and fruitless trees were already 
cut down. In many of the churches the number excluded sur- 
passed the number received." Again, he speaks of the undue 
dwelling on some highly Calvinistic doctrines. "Truth is often 
injured by an unsuitable application of its parts. Strong meat 
should not be given but to men. To preach the deep, mysterious 
doctrines of grace upon all occasions, and before all sorts of people, 
is the sure way to preach them out of the parts." Again, he says, 
in the same connection, " Unguardedness respecting preachers, in 
various ways, but especially as to impostors, has injured the Bap- 
tists in many parts, but in none more than on the Eastern Shore. 
They have probably suffered more by impostors than any other 
people in Virginia." He then mentions several sad instances of 
shameful misconduct, adding others afterward. I am also com- 
pelled in honest truth to say, that at a later period, many others 
coming within my own knowledge and observation must be united 
to the above ; but I am also rejoiced to declare, from the same 
knowledge, that the character of the ministry of that denomination 
for piety and ability, and no doubt that of the people with it, has 
been most manifestly improving for many years. I trust that with 
the acknowledged improvement of our own, there will be an in- 
creased disposition to forget all former animosities, to think and 
speak charitably of each other, and only strive which shall most 
promote the common cause of true religion. 

Leaving my own State and Diocese, I proceed to speak of some 
at a distance who have experienced like declension from the true 
faith and practice. Col. Byrd, of Virginia, in his "Westover 
Manuscripts," concerning a tour through the State in the year 
1733, speaking of the Pilgrim Fathers of New England, says, 
" Though these people may be ridiculed for some Pharisaical pecu- 
liarities in their worship and behaviour, yet they were very useful 
subjects, as being frugal and industrious, giving no scandal or bad 
example, at least by any open and public vices. By which excel- 
lent qualities they had much the advantage of the Southern colony, 
who thought their being members of the Established Church suffi- 
cient to sanctify very loose and profligate morals. For this reason 
New England improved much faster than Virginia." Strict, how- 
ever, as were the morals, and evangelical as were the doctrines, of 



54 OLD C&URCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

the Pilgrim Fathers of New England, the time of declension in 
both came on. We may trace the declension in doctrine to that 
which was the Mother- Church to many of them, the Church of 
Scotland. The moralizing system began there, as it had done in 
the English Church. I remember to have heard Mr. Balmaine 
once a member of that Church often compare together the moral- 
izing and evangelical parties of his early days, now a hundred 
years ago. Dr. Blair and Mr. Walker were the representatives of 
the two parties, though associate ministers in the same church in 
Edinburgh. He had heard them both. The more worldly and 
fashionable delighted in the sermons of Dr. Blair, who preached in 
the morning. The more zealous and evangelical attended in 
greater numbers the services of Dr. Walker, who preached in the 
afternoon. Dr. Witherspoon also, former President of Princeton 
College, has, in his work entitled "Characteristics," exercised his 
unsurpassed wit as well as pious zeal in portraying the two parties, 
the one, calling itself the "Moderate Party," which he charges 
with being "fierce for moderation" and zealous in nothing else. 
The same soon began to exist in New England. Low views of the 
qualification for baptism, the Lord's Supper, and the ministry, 
gradually crept in. The moralizing system took the place of the 
evangelical. The distinctive principles of the Gospel were kept 
back, and thus the way was prepared for the Unitarian heresy. 
The morals also of the Church, as might be expected, began to 
fail. The labours and preaching of Edwards and others and the 
great revival under them did much to arrest the downward ten- 
dency ; but the evil went on. The love of pleasure in the young 
and of strong drink in both young and old increased in many 
places. Deacons and elders sold rum by wholesale, and other 
members by retail. Nor did the clergy lift up their voices in 
solemn warnings, as they should have done, but very many freely 
used the intoxicating draught. That aged and venerable man, the 
Rev. Leonard Woods, of Andover, states that at a particular pe- 
riod previous to the temperance reformation he was able to count 
nearly forty ministers of the Gospel, none of whom resided at a 
very great distance, who were either drunkards or so far addicted 
to intemperate drinking, that their reputation and usefulness were 
very greatly injured if not utterly ruined. He mentions an ordina- 
tion at which he was present, and at which he was pained to see two 
aged ministers literally drunk and a third indecently excited by 
strong drink. "These disgusting and appalling facts," says this 
most esteemed minister of the Gospel, "I could wish might be 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 5O 

concealed. But they were made public by the guilty persons ; and 
I have thought it just and proper to mention them, in order to 
show how much we owe to a compassionate God for the great deli- 
verance he hath wrought."* (The Ninth Report of the Am. Tern. 
Society, as quoted in the Temperance Prize Essay, "Bacchus," pp. 
79, 80 ; edition of 1840.) To this I add a testimony of my own. 
About thirty-five or thirty-six years ago, I devoted some time to 
the service of the Colonization Society, forming the first auxiliaries 
and selecting the first colonists in some of the larger cities of the 
Union, North and South. Of course, I mingled freely with minis- 
ters and members of different denominations and had opportunity 
of knowing what I now affirm, namely, that many ministers of 
respectable standing, and not confined to any one denomination, 
were in the habit of using themselves and offering to others who 
visited them, not merely at the hour of dinner, but long before, 
brandy and other drinks. I have special reference to one large 
city, where, in a few years, the evil effects were seen and felt, in 
the reproach brought on several denominations by the partial if 
not total fall of some of their chief leaders. In proof of the pre- 
valence of such a ruinous habit I mention the fact, that in a funeral 
sermon preached about that time over a deceased minister, and 



* In the life of Mrs. Huntington, recently published, we have complaints of de- 
fection among the dissenters of England as far back as the beginning of the last 
century. After quoting from Bishop Burnet a strong passage as to the ignorance, 
want of piety and Scripture knowledge of the clergy of the Establishment, it is 
added : "No less mournful utterances came up from the bosom of dissent. Hear 
its voice of lament : ' The dissenting interest is not like itself. I hardly know it. It 
used to be famous for faith, holiness, and love. I knew the time when I had no 
doubt, into whatsoever place of worship I went among dissenters, but that my heart 
would be warmed and edified. Now I hear prayers and sermons which I neither 
relish nor understand. Evangelical truth and duty are old-fashioned things. One's 
ears are dinned with "reason," "the great law of reason," l( the eternal law of reason." 
Oh for the purity of our fountains!' " When Wesley and Whitefield and others 
began to preach the Gospel in its power and purity, they found as little favour with 
the dissenters as with the churchmen. Dr. Doddridge, after quoting the advice of 
some one of the English Church as to the best method of resisting encroaches on 
their flocks, namely, more fervent prayer, holy living, and evangelical preaching, 
says, "Let us of the dissenting churches go and do likewise." Seeing, then, 
that there is such a tendency to declension in all, we should learn to be charitable, 
and, even if it should be only a mote in our own eye, compared with the beam in 
our brother's, be very careful to eradicate that, remembering how soon it may 
increase so as to obscure our vision. We speak not this to prevent the honest 
declaration of truth and faithful warnings to churches, as well as individuals, but 
to put all on their guard, not to assign an undue portion of error and corruption to 
any one. 



56 OLD CIHJRCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

published to the world, it was mentioned to his praise, that such 
was his hospitality that he never permitted even a morning visit 
to be paid him without offering wine and other refreshments. How 
thankful we should be to God for the great change which he has 
caused to take place in the hospitalities of our day ! As for myself, 
I can never hear without pain a slighting remark made by any one, 
especially by a minister, and more especially by one of our own 
Church, concerning that society which I believe God has raised up 
in our land, as one instrument by which so much has been done 
for the diminution of this great evil. 

From this digression, if it be a digression, I return, and draw 
this article to a close. 

CONCLUDING REMARKS. 

Having thus presented a brief sketch of some of the most inte- 
resting incidents in the past history of the Church of Virginia, let 
us with deep humility and lively gratitude compare together our 
past and present condition, saying, "What hath God wrought!" 
Toward the close of two hundred years after its first establishment 
there were nearly one hundred ministers and one hundred and 
sixty churches, and then in seven years after only a few faint- 
hearted ones serving in the few remaining and almost deserted 
sanctuaries ; now again, after the labours of less than half a cen- 
tury, our hundred ministers are restored and more than one hun- 
dred and seventy churches are open for the people of God. For 
two hundred years not a Bishop ever visited the diocese, and even 
after one was sent only a few ministrations were performed ; now, 
two Bishops have full employment in visiting two hundred churches 
or stations. It was for years found impracticable to raise sufficient 
funds for the consecration of one Bishop ; now, funds are raised for 
the annual support of two, independent of parochial charges. It 
was once proposed, in a declining state of the Church, but in vain, 
to raise funds for the education of only two candidates for the 
ministry ; now, numbers are annually receiving preparatory in- 
struction at our Seminary. Formerly we were entirely dependent 
on foreign parts for our supply of clergymen, insufficient as to 
numbers and worse as to character ; now, by the blessing of God 
on our Seminary, we are enabled to send forth to the decayed 
churches of Greece, or to the heathen of Asia and Africa, a goodly 
number of faithful and zealous missionaries of the cross. Formerly, 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 57 

and for at least a century, numbers were deserting our communion, 
as that which had deserted God, and was deserted of God ; now, 
for the last forty years, either themselves or their children or chil- 
dren's children have in considerable numbers been returning to our 
fold, as to one which God himself was keeping and blessing. 
Whereas once almost all men thought and spoke ill of our clergy 
and communicants as devoid of piety, now, only those who are 
misinformed, or most prejudiced, refuse to acknowledge that 
through God's grace there is at least as large an amount of true 
piety in both ministers and people as is to be found in those of any 
other denomination. Whereas once we had for many years no 
Conventions and then for some years a few faint-hearted ministers 
and people meeting together, now, what numbers of clergy and 
laity delight to assemble, not for the dry business of legislation 
only, or for religious controversy, but chiefly for the blessed privi- 
lege of joining hearts and voices in the sweet exercises of God's 
word and worship, and thus becoming knit together in love ! Thus 
graciously hath God dealt with us. Out of gratitude to him, and 
that we may continue to enjoy his smiles, it becomes us ever to 
bear in mind by what means this hath been done ; how our Jacob 
arose, when he was not only so small, but crushed to the earth, 
trodden under foot of man, after having been betrayed by friends 
and dishonoured by the very ministers of God who were appointed 
to defend him. In the character, habits, views, and history of the 
man whom God sent to us from a distance to be our head and 
leader in this work, and in the views of those, whether from our 
own State or elsewhere, who entered into the service, may be seen 
the religious principles and methods of action by which, under God, 
the change has been effected ; and it need not be said how entirely 
different they were from those by which the disgrace and downfall 
of the Church had been wrought. Of the efficacy of these means 
we are the more convinced from the peculiar and very great diffi- 
culties to be surmounted, which have nevertheless in a great mea- 
sure been surmounted. We are persuaded that in no part of our 
own land were there such strong prejudices and such violent oppo- 
sitions to be overcome as in Virginia, in consequence of the former 
character of the Episcopal clergy, and the long and bitter strife 
which had existed between the Church and those who had left its 
pale, which latter were never satisfied until the downfall of the 
former was accomplished. 

Let me briefly recapitulate the means used. Bishop Moore, in 
his previous correspondence, and his first sermon and address, 



58 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

declared his determination to preach as he had ever done, when 
God so greatly blessed his ministry, the glorious doctrines of 
grace, instead of a mere morality, such as many of the English 
clergy had once preached, and such as had been but too common 
in Virginia. The young clergy, who engaged in the revival of 
the Church of Virginia, took the same resolve and made the great 
theme of their preaching "Jesus Christ and him crucified," on the 
ground of a total apostasy from God on the part of man which 
required such a sacrifice, as well as the renewing of the Holy 
Ghost in order to ineetness for the joys of Heaven. But they 
did not turn this grace of God into licentiousness and think that 
either priest or people might indulge in sin. Among the first 
acts of the earlier Conventions, it was at once set forth before the 
world that the revival of the Church was to be undertaken on 
principles entirely different from those which had hitherto pre- 
vailed, and under the influence of which religion had been so 
much dishonoured. It was plainly declared that there was need 
of discipline both for clergy and laity, and canons were provided 
for the exercise of the same. Not merely were grosser vices stig- 
matized, but what by some were considered the innocent amuse- 
ments of the world and which the clergy themselves had advo- 
cated and practised were condemned as inconsistent with the 
character of a Christian professor. 

Baptism, by which we renounce the pomps and vanities of the 
world as well as the sinful lusts of the flesh, and which had been 
customarily celebrated in private, directly in opposition to the 
rubric and often amidst ungodly festivities, was now sought to be 
performed N only in the house of God, and with pious sponsors 
instead of thoughtless and irreligious ones. Candidates for con- 
firmation, instead of being presented because they had reached a 
certain age and could repeat the Catechism, were told what a 
solemn vow, promise, and profession they were about to make, 
and that it was none other than an immediate introduction with 
full qualifications to the Lord's Supper. Of course very different 
views of the Lord's Supper and of the conduct of communicants 
were inculcated, and the ministers bound, by express canon, to 
converse with each one before admitting for the first time to the 
Lord's Supper. Thus were the whole tone and standard of 
religion changed, to the dissatisfaction and complaint, it is true, 
of some of the old members of the Church, and not without the 
condemnation of some from abroad. In due time, the important 
measure, requiring that all who enter our Convention to legis- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 59 

late for Christians and Christian ministers should themselves be 
Christian professors, was adopted, though there were those at home 
who feared the attempt, and those abroad who prophesied evil in 
such a manner as to encourage disaffection at home. But God 
was with us and has granted most entire success. 

As to the manner of exciting zeal in Christians and awakening 
interest in those who were not, it was thought that no better 
example could be followed than that of the apostles, who 
preached not only in the temple and synagogues, but from house 
to house, as occasion required and opportunity offered. As to 
the manner of preaching, written sermons were generally pre- 
ferred in the pulpit, while extemporaneous exhortations were 
often resorted to in smaller assemblies. Without slighting the 
excellent prayers of our Liturgy, there were many occasions, both 
in private families and in social meetings, when extemporaneous 
petitions seemed edifying both to the pastor and his flock. As to 
the great benevolent and religious institutions of the age, our 
ministers felt that they were doing well to encourage their people 
to a lively participation in them. The Missionary and Bible 
Societies, the Colonization and Temperance Societies, received 
their most cordial support, and they considered it a subject of 
devout thankfulness to God if their congregations took a deep 
interest in the same. To provoke each other and their con- 
gregations to zeal in all good works, and especially to awaken the 
careless to a sense of their lost condition, the ministers would 
meet together occasionally, and for several successive days make 
full trial of prayer and the word, expecting the blessing pro- 
mised to two or three who come together and ask somewhat of 
God. 

To these I will only add a few words as to the spirit cherished 
and the course pursued toward our Christian brethren who walk 
not with us in all things of Church order and worship. Long and 
bitter was the strife that subsisted between them and our fathers, 
violent the prejudices that raged against us, and it would have 
been easy to enter on the work of revival in the spirit of retalia- 
tion and fierce opposition. But would it have been right, and as 
our Master would have had us do? Our forefathers had done 
religion much and them some wrong. God made use of them for 
good. Many of them were doubtless most sincere in their fear 
of us and opposition to us. It became us rather to win them over 
by love, and secure their esteem by living and preaching dif- 
ferently from our predecessors. Such was the conciliatory course 



60 OLD CHJJRCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

pursued by our deceased father in God, and followed by those 
who perceived the good effects of his example, and most happy 
was the effect of the same. But while we have reason, at thought 
of our present by comparison with our past condition, to exclaim, 
"What hath God done!" "to thank him and take courage," yet 
should we beware of boasting, or of supposing that all is done, or 
that what remains will certainly and easily be done. I consider it 
as the great error of many in our Church, that we are too much 
given to boasting, too apt to overrate our own successes, and cal- 
culate too largely on far greater, while underrating the present or 
probable future successes of others. God will, in his own way, 
correct us, if we be guilty of presumption. Our Jacob is still 
small, and it becomes us now, as of old, to ask, By whom shall he 
arise ? Much is yet to be done, and there are many difficulties in 
the way. Though we have a goodly number of ministers, yet there 
are by no means enough to carry on the work of enlargement as 
we could wish, and as the door seems opening to us. Although 
we have many churches, yet how many of the congregations are 
small and not rapidly increasing, being still unable to afford even 
a moderate support to the ministry ! Many are the discourage- 
ments which meet us in our efforts to sustain some of the old and 
to raise up new congregations. Among the most painful is the 
difficulty of attaching the poor of this world to our communion. 
When our Lord was on earth he gave, as one of the signs of his 
heavenly descent, the blessed fact that " to the poor the Gospel 
is preached," and "the common people," it is written, "heard 
him gladly," " the multitudes followed him." Such should be 
ouT- constant endeavour; and if, from the causes alluded to in the 
past history of our Church, one description of the poor of Vir- 
ginia have been almost entirely alienated from us, let us rejoice 
to know that there is another description not less acceptable 
in the sight of Heaven, who, if we are kind to them and will 
take due pains to win them over, may more easily be led to come 
under the faithful preaching of the word. The poor servants will, 
if we persevere in our labours of love toward them, and be to 
them what God's faithful pastors in every age have been to the 
poor, be benefited by our ministry, and may if we will, in con- 
junction with their owners, attend to them betimes, as we do to 
our own children become regular and pious members of our com- 
munion. But whether we think of the rich or of the poor, or 
of those of any and every condition and character among us, 
with the hope of converting them to Christ and attaching them to 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 61 

the communion of our Church, we need not expect much success 
without great zeal and diligence, such as was put forth in our first 
efforts for its resuscitation. Our State is not one of those whose 
population is rapidly increasing, in which flourishing villages are 
springing up in every direction calling for neat churches to fill up 
the measure of their beauty and excellency, and where the sup- 
port of the ministry is sure, so that our Zion must needs lengthen 
her cords and strengthen her stakes. Very different is it with us 
now, has it been for many years, and will it in all probability be 
for many years to come. It is only by patient perseverance in 
well-doing that we can hope to make advances in the establish- 
ment of our Church. Much self-denial and enduring of hardship 
and abounding in labours and itinerant zeal and contentedness 
with a little of this world's goods, on the part of many of our 
ministers, are indispensable to the growth of the Church in Vir- 
ginia much beyond her present attainment. Without these things 
she may, except in the towns, continue stationary, or even retro- 
grade in some places, during years to come. 

To the foregoing I only add that in the summer of 1829 I 
was consecrated Assistant Bishop of Virginia, and continued to 
perform the duties of that office until, by the death of Bishop 
Moore, in 1841, I succeeded to the place which he occupied. 
During all that time, I can with truth say that not the slightest 
circumstance ever occurred to interrupt for a moment a most har- 
monious and pleasant relation between us. Bishop Johns was 
consecrated Assistant Bishop in the fall of 1842 ; and I can as 
truly say that thus far the same harmony has existed, and I feel 
confident that it will exist until death or some other circumstance 
shall dissolve the connection. Such is the extent of the Diocese, 
and such was the difficulty of traversing it, that, for the first 
twelve or thirteen years, I was engaged in visitation during eight 
months of each year, travelling over large portions of it on horse- 
back, or in an open one-horse carriage. During the latter period, 
six months suffice for such duties as devolved upon me, and these 
could not possibly be performed but for the greatly-improved 
modes of conveyance. I need not add, what is so well known, 
that they are most imperfectly performed. 



OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE III. 

The Parish of James City. 

I NOW enter upon the Parish of James City the landing-place 
of our first forefathers the seat of the first civil and religious es- 
tablishment on the shores of North America. It dates its begin- 
ning about two hundred and fifty years ago. But it found a place 
in the hearts of pious and philanthropic men at a still earlier 
period, and we must go back to that period with our preparatory 
remarks. We are greatly mistaken, if we suppose that the mis- 
sionary spirit, after slumbering from the early ages, was aroused 
to life and action only within the last hundred years. Instances 
may be shown, in which Kings and Queens of our mother-country 
and Church, moved to it by the pious zeal of Bishops and other 
ministers, have commanded, that together with the sword and artil- 
lery of war, and the implements of commerce and husbandry, the 
sword of the Spirit and the trumpet of the Gospel should be sent, 
with armies and navies and colonists, to the uncivilized nations of 
the earth. I confine my references to what the religious principle 
has done in behalf of the Colony of Virginia. 

The domestic troubles of the English State and Church, the 
controversies with Romanists, Puritans, and other disaffected bodies, 
delayed and hindered any great schemes for Christian colonization 
and missionary enterprise, just as civil wars prevent foreign ag- 
gressions and conquests. To the Rev. Richard Hakluyt the chief 
praise is due, for stirring up the minds of Christian statesmen and 
people to the duty of finding out barbarous countries, in order to 
their conversion to the Christian faith. To his friend, Sir Philip 
Sydney, he dedicates his first collection of voyages and discoveries, 
in 1570. In 1587, he republishes Peter Martyr's history of the 
New World, with a preface, dedicating it to Sir Walter Raleigh, 
together with another work on Florida, in which he urges him to 
persevere in the good work he had begun in Virginia.* In both of 
them he urges Sir Walter to prosecute the work from the only true 

* In the year 1588, Sir Walter Raleigh gave 100 for the propagation of Chris- 
tianity in Virginia. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 6d 

motive and design, the extension of Christ's religion, " The glo- 
rie of God, and the saving of the soules of the poor and blinded 
infidels." The numerous volumes collected and published by this 
laborious and zealous man on this subject have come down to our 
day, and are a most valuable depository of missionary information. 
After holding various preferments, he settled down as Prebendary 
of Westminster, and continued till his death, in 1616, to watch over 
the infant Colony of Virginia. The honour of being buried in 
Westminster Abbey was conferred on this man of a large soul. It 
deserves to be mentioned, that he not only by his pen and the 
press urged on the Christian colonization of Virginia, but sought 
and obtained the honour of being one of those to whom Virginia 
was consigned, by letters-patent from King James, that he might 
the more effectually labour for her welfare. To his exertions the 
expeditions in 1603, and again in 1605, may in a great measure be 
ascribed. The language used by the King, in the terms of the 
patent for Virginia, in 1606, shows also the religious character of 
the movement. One design was, that " so noble a work may, by 
the Providence of God, hereafter tend to the glorie of his divine 
majestic, in propagating of Christian religion to such people as sit 
in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge lind 
worship of God, and may in time bring the infidels and savages 
(living in those parts) to human civility and quiet government." 
Another evidence of the operation of the religious feeling in those 
who first engaged in the settlement of Virginia may be seen in 
what one writes, who went out with Weymouth in 1605, in regard 
to a proposal of some of the natives, that " the company would 
push their discoveries further." It was declined, he says, on this 
ground: "We would not hazard so hopefull a businesse as this 
was, either for our private or particular ends, being more regardful 
of a public goode, and promulgating God's holy Church, by plant- 
ing Christianity, which was the interest of our adventurers as well 
as ours."* 

In the following year, December, 1606, the first little colony 
came to Virginia, bringing with it the first minister of James City, 
the Rev. Robert Hunt. Mr. Wingfield, the first President of the 
Colony, gives the following account of his appointment: "For 
my first worke, which was to make right choice of a spiritual pas- 



* In the instructions of the King, in 1606, it was enjoined, that "all persons 
should kindly treat the savages and heathen people in these parts, and use all pro- 
per means to draw them to the true service and knowledge of God." 



64 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

tor, I appeal to my Lord of Canterbury, his grace, -who gave me 
very gracious audience in my request. And the world knoweth 
whom I took with me, truely a man, in my opinion, not any waie 
to be touched with the rebellious humour of a papist spirit, nor 
blemished with the least suspicion of a factious schismatic." In a 
narrative, kept by Stukeley and others, it is written, " On the 19th 
of December, 1606, we set sail from Blackwell, but by unpros- 
perous winds were kept six weeks in sight of England ; all which 
time Mr. Hunt, our preacher, was so weake and sicke that few ex- 
pected his recovery. Yet allthough we were but twenty miles from 
his habitation, (the time we were in the Downes,) and notwithstand- 
ing the stormy weather, nor the scandalous speeches of some few, 
little better than atheists, of the greatest rank among us, suggested 
against him, all this could never force from him so much as a 
seeming desire to leave the businesse, but preferred the service of 
God, in so good a voyage, before any affection to contest with his 
godless foes, whose disastrous designs, could they have prevailed, 
had even then overthrown the businesse, so many discontents did 
there arise, had he not only with the water of patience and his 
godly exhortations, but chiefly by his devoted example, quenched 
those flames of envy and dissention."* It is very certain, that 
notwithstanding the piety which prompted the expedition, and the 
devotion of Mr. Hunt and some others who embarked in that 
vessel, there was a considerable proportion of most unworthy 
materials on board, as shown by their opposition to Hunt and Cap- 
tain Smith, two men who seemed to know no fear, but that of God. 
The future conduct of the larger portion of the Colonists, after 
their arrival, too well established this fact. The company in Eng- 
land appears to have apprehended something of this, from their 
instructions, in which they say to the Colonists at their departure, 
that a the way to prosper and have success was to make themselves 
all of one mind, for their own and their country's good ; and to 
serve and fear God, the giver of all goodness, since every planta- 
tion which he did not plant would certainly be rooted out." Al- 
though Captain Smith was appointed one of the Council of the 



* The log church first erected was burned down the following winter, with many 
other houses. Mr. Hunt lost all his books and every thing else but the clothes on 
his back. " Yet none ever saw him repine at his loss." " Upon any alarm he was 
as ready at defence as any, and till he could not speak he never ceased to his ut- 
most to animate us constantly to persist, whose soul, questionless, is with God." 
Captain Smith's History of Virginia. 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 65 

Company, a violent opposition was made to his having a seat 
on their arrival. "Many," it is said in the narrative already 
quoted, " were the mischiefs which daily sprung from their ignorant 
yet ambitious spirits ; but the good doctrine and exhortation of 
our preacher, Mr. Hunt, reconciled them, and caused Captain 
Smith to be admitted of the Council." The next day, the Holy 
Communion was, for the first time, administered in Virginia. The 
number composing the first congregation at Jamestown was one 
hundred and four or five. "A circumstance," says the Rev. Mr. 
Anderson, author of three most laborious and interesting volumes 
on the Colonial Churches, " is mentioned in President Wingfield's 
manuscript, which I cannot find recorded elsewhere, which shows, 
in a very remarkable manner, the careful and pious reverence mani- 
fested by the Colonists for the due celebration of Christ's holy 
ordinance, in their sad extremity." He says that when "the com- 
mon store of oil, sack, vinegar, and aqua-vitae, were all spent, 
saving two gallons of each, the sack was reserved for the com- 
munion-table."* 



* The Rev. James S. M. Anderson, of England, one of the Queen's Chaplains, 
has been for some years, with great labour and research, preparing the history of 
the Colonial Churches. In a letter just received, he informs me that his third and 
last volume is in print. Being consulted by him, a few years since, in relation to 
the Episcopal Church of Virginia, and receiving his first two volumes, a channel 
has been established through which I obtain information, on some points, only to 
be gotten by those who have access to old documents in England. The manuscript 
of Wingfield, the first President of the Colony, from which some of the foregoing 
extracts are taken, has been discovered by his careful research. I shall be indebted 
to his volumes for many passages concerning the early history of the Church of 
Virginia. To our worthy fellow-citizens, Mr. Conway Robinson, of Richmond, and 
Mr. Charles Campbell, of Petersburg, both of whom are imbued with a large share 
of antiquarian spirit, I am already indebted for some documents which will be of 
much service to me in the preparation of these notices. Mr. Robinson visited Eng- 
land a few years since, mainly, I believe, on this errand, and the first acquaintance 
he formed was with the Rev. Mr. Anderson. Mr. Robinson not only sought out 
and copied some things of interest in the civil and religious history of Virginia, 
but established a channel through which much else may be procured, which would 
help to accomplish a work much needed in Virginia, viz.: a full history of the Co- 
lony and State from the beginning, consisting of the most important parts of those 
numerous documents, some of which have never been published, and others lie 
scattered through old volumes in England and America, but which are inaccessible 
to numbers whose patriotic and Virginian feelings would delight to read them. 
Such a work should be executed under the patronage of the State, as an accompa- 
niment to Henning's Statutes at Large, which is at present our best history, in 
connection with the brief one by Mr. Campbell. If such a lover of antiquities and 
go laborious a workman as Mr. Robinson were appointed to this duty, and fur- 
nished with sufficient means, and would undertake it, a great desideratum would be 

5 



66 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

In proof of the religious character of Captain Smith, as a part 
of the history of James City Parish, I quote the following account 
of the first place of worship in the same, in a pamphlet published 
in 1631, by Mr. Smith, some years after his History of Virginia, 
and entitled, "Advertisements for the unexperienced planters of 
New England, or elsewhere, &c." To the Rev. Mr. Anderson's 
labours we are indebted for the revival of this pamphlet. 

" Now, because I have spoken so much for the body, give me leave to 
say somewhat of the soul ; and the rather, because I have been demanded 
by so many, how we began to preach the Gospel in Virginia, and by what 
authority, what churches we had, our order of service, and maintenance 
for our ministers ; therefore I think it not amiss to satisfie their demands, 
it being the mother of all our Plantations, entreating pride to spare 
laughter, to understand her simple beginnings and proceedings. When 
I went first to Virginia, I well remember, we did hang an awning (which 
is an old sail) to three or four trees, to shadow us from the sun ; our walls 
were rails of wood, our seats unhewed trees, till we cut planks, our pulpit 
a bar of wood nailed to two neighbouring trees ; in foul weather we shifted 
into an old rotten tent, for we had few better, and this came by way of 
adventure for new. This was our church, till we built a homely thing 
like a barn, set upon crotchetts, covered with rafts, sedge, and earth, so 
was also the walls. The best of our houses were of the like curiosity, but 
the most part far much worse workmanship, that could neither well defend 
wind nor rain, yet we had daily Common Prayer morning and evening, 
every Sunday two sermons, and every three months the holy communion, 
till our minister died, (the Rev. Mr. Hunt.) But (after that) our prayers 
daily with an homily on Sundays, we continued two or three years after, 
till more preachers came, and surely God did most mercifully hear us, till 
the continual inundations of mistaking directions, factions, and numbers 
of unprovided libertines near consumed us all, as the Israelites in the wil- 
derness." " Notwithstanding, (he says,) out of the relicks of our mercies, 
time and experience had brought that country to a great happiness, had 
they not so much doated on their Tobacco, on whose furnish foundation 
there is small stability."* 

Of the piety of Captain Smith we have further evidence, in the 
account given of the survey of Virginia, when he and his valiant 
comrades fell into so many perils among the Indians. " Our order 
was daily to have prayer with a psalm, at which solemnity the poor 
savages much wondered." On Smith's return to Jamestown, not- 
withstanding all former opposition, such were his merits and such 
its difficulties, that the Council elected him President of the Co- 



supplied to all true Virginians and the lovers of history everywhere through the 
land. 

* Of the many evils to Church and State, resulting from the culture and use of 
tobacco, we have some account to give before we close these pages. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 67 

lony ; and the first thing done was to repair the church, which, 
during his absence among the Indians, had, with other houses, 
been destroyed by fire. Characteristic, and evincive of piety in 
him, is the statement of it : "Now the building of the palace was 
stayed as a thing needless, and the church was repaired." 

In what year the first minister, Mr. Hunt, died, is not now 
known, but that there was a vacancy for some years is declared in 
the foregoing passage from Captain Smith's last pamphlet. The 
next was the Rev. Mr. Bucke, who came over with Lord De la 
War, in the year 1610. The many disasters which had befallen 
the first emigrants to Virginia, so far from discouraging either the 
statesmen or the Christians in England, and causing them to aban- 
don the enterprise, only stirred them up to more active exertion. 
In the year 1609, a new company, called the London Company, 
was formed, and a new charter, with a larger territory and more 
privileges, was granted. Twenty-one of the peers, including a 
number of the bishops, and many of the first clergy and mer- 
chants of the kingdom, were among those who are mentioned in 
the charter. Mr. Edwin Sandys, the pupil of Hooker, the two 
brothers John and Nicholas Ferrar, one of them a pious divine, and 
both of them most active members of the board which managed 
the concerns of the company, are worthy of special mention. That 
a spirit of true piety to God and love for the souls of the heathen 
burned in the breasts of many of the members of the company, 
cannot be questioned. It is evident from the selection of the Go- 
vernor, who was a man of sincere piety ; and had his health been 
continued, so as to allow of a longer residence in America, much 
might have been expected from his example and zeal. The spirit 
which predominated in the company may also be seen in the minis- 
ter chosen for the new expedition, the Rev. Mr. Bucke, a worthy 
successor to Mr. Hunt, and from the sermons preached at their 
embarkation. Two of them were published, and are still extant. 
One of them, the first ever preached in England on such an occa- 
sion, was by the Rev. Mr. Crashaw, preacher at the Temple. 
"Remember," he says, "that the end of this voyage is the de- 
struction of the devil's kingdom, and the propagation of the Gos- 
pel." After upbraiding those who were anxious for acquiring 
wealth by voyages, but indifferent to this, he says, " But tell them 
of planting a church, of saving ten thousand souls, and they are 
senseless as stones ; they stir no more than if men spoke to them 
of toys and trifles ; they laugh in their sleeves at the silliness of 
such as engage themselves in such matters." To Lord De la War 



08 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

himself, who was present, he speaks as follows : "And thou, most 
noble Lord, whom God hath stirred up to neglect the pleasures of 
England, and, with Abraham, to go from thy country and forsake 
thy kindred and thy father's house, to go to a land which God will 
show thee, give me leave to speak the truth. Thy ancestor many 
hundred years ago gained great honour to thy house, but by this 
action thou augmentest it. He took a king prisoner in the field of 
his own land, but by the godly managing of this business thou 
shalt take the Devil prisoner in open field and in his own kingdom ; 
nay, the Gospel which thou earnest with thee shall bind him in 
chains, and his angels in stronger fetters than iron, and execute 
upon them the judgment that is written ; yea, it shall lead cap- 
tivity captive, and redeem the souls of men from bondage, and 
thus thy glory and the honour of thy house is more at the last 
than at the first. Go forward therefore in the strength of the 
Lord, and make mention of his righteousness only. Looke princi- 
pally to religion. You go to commend it to the heathen : then 
practise it yourself; make the name of Christ honourable, not 
hateful unto them." Another sermon was preached at White 
Chapel, London, in the presence of many honourable, worshipful 
adventurers and planters for Virginia. At its close he says, "If 
it be God's purpose that the Gospel shall be preached through the 
world for a witness, then ought ministers to be careful and willing 
to spread it abroad, in such good services as this that is intended. 
Sure it is a great shame to us of the ministry, that can be better 
content to set and rest us here idle, than undergoe so good a worke. 
Our pretence of zeal is clear discovered to be but hypocrisy, when 
we rather choose to mind unprofitable questions at home, than 
gaining souls abroad." From the above we shall see that the true 
missionary spirit, and missionary sermons and addresses to those 
about to embark on some foreign work, are not peculiar to our day, 
though, blessed be God, they are increased among us. For some 
cause, which need not now be dwelt upon, Lord De la War did not 
sail until the following year, though Mr. Bucke went over sooner, 
in a vessel with Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Summers. On 
reaching there, after having been wrecked themselves, and long 
detained at the Bermuda Islands, they found the Colony in a most 
deplorable condition, the greater part having been cut off by the 
Indians, and the remainder almost in a state of starvation.* On 

* When Captain Smith left the Colony, driven away by ill-usage, there were five 
hundred persons in it. When Lord De la War reached it, six months after, there 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 69 

landing, the first place visited by Gates was the ruined and unfre- 
quented church. " He caused the bell to be rung, and such as 
were able to crawl out of their miserable dwellings repaired thither, 
that they might join in the zealous and sorrowful prayer of their 
faithful minister, who pleaded in that solemn hour for his afflicted 
brethren and himself, before the Lord their God." After a few 
days, the provisions being nearly out, the whole Colony embarked 
for Newfoundland, " none dropping a tear, because none had en- 
joyed one day of happiness." "When this departure of Sir Tho- 
mas Gates, full sore against his heart, was put in execution," says 
Mr. Crashaw, " and every man aboard, their ordnance and armour 
buried, and not an English soul left in Jamestown, and giving, by 
their peal of shot, their last and woeful farewell to that pleasant 
land, were now with sorrowful hearts going down the river, be- 
hold the hand of Heaven from above, at the very instant, sent in 
the Right Honourable De la War to meet them at the river's 
mouth, with provision and comforts of all kind, who, if he had 
staid but two tydes longer, had come into Virginia and not found 
one Englishman." They all now returned to Jamestown. On 
landing, Lord De la War, before showing any token or performing 
any act of authority, fell down upon his knees, as Paul upon the 
sea-shore, and in presence of all the people made a long and silent 
prayer to himself. After which he arose, and, going in procession 
to the church, heard a sermon by the Rev. Mr. Bucke ; at the close 
of which he displayed his credentials to the congregation, and ad- 
dressed them in a few words of admonition and encouragement. 
The author from whom the above statement is taken, and who was 
Secretary and Recorder of the Colony, (Strachy, who wrote a 
narrative of all the proceedings of the same,) gives us the following 
sketch of the church, which he says the Governor had given order 
at once to be repaired: 

" It is in length threescore foot, in breadth twenty-four, and shall have 
chancel in it of cedar, a communion-table of black walnut, and all the 



were only sixty remaining, in a most wretched condition, famine and the natives hav- 
ing destroyed the rest. It was always afterward called "the starving- time." Truly 
was it said of this Colony at this and other periods, that "it grew up in misery." 
One of the historians of that day, Dr. Simons, assures us, that "so great was our 
famine, that a salvage (savage or Indian) we slew and buried, the poorer sort took 
him up again and eat him, and so did divers one another, boiled and stewed with 
roots and herbs. And one of the rest did kill his wife, powdered her, and had eaten 
part of her before it was known, for which he was executed, as he well deserved " 



70 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

pews of cedar, with fair broad windows, to shut and open, (as the weather 
shall occasion,) of the same wood, a pulpit of the same, with a Font 
hewn below, like a canoe, with two bells at the west end. It is so caste, 
as it be very light within, and the Lord-Governor and Captain-General 
doth cause it to be kept passing sweet, and trimmed up with divers flowers, 
with a sexton belonging to it; and in it every Sunday we have sermons 
twice a day, and every Thursday a sermon, having true preachers, which 
take their weekly turns ; and every morning, at the ringing of the bell 
about ten o'clock, each man addresseth himself to prayers, and so at four 
o'clock before supper.* Every Sunday, when the Lord-Governor and 
Captain-General goeth to Church, he is accompanied by all the counsel- 
lors, captains, other officers, and all the gentlemen, with a guard of Hal- 
berdiers in his Lordship's livery, (fair red cloakes,) to the number of fifty, 
on each side, and behind him. His Lordship hath his seat in the Quoir, 
in a great velvet chair, with a cloth, with a velvet cushion spread before 
him, on which he kneeleth, and on each side sit the council, captains, and 
officers, each in their place, and when he returneth home again, he is 
waited on to his house in the same manner." 

In the foregoing, it is said that there were true preachers, who 
took their weekly turns, which shows that there were more than 
the Rev. Mr. Bucke in the Colony at this time ; and we do read 
of a most venerable old man, by the name of Glover, who came 
over with Sir Thomas Gates, upon his second return to Virginia, 
and who was doubtless one of the true preachers (perhaps it 
should read two) spoken of above. In the account of the decora- 
tions of the church under Lord De la War, and the pomp and cir- 
cumstance of his own attendance at church, the reader will not 
fail to perceive some of the peculiarities of the Laudian school. 
That school was not very far off, in our Mother-Church, at this 
time. Some of those concerned in promoting and preparing this 
expedition of Lord De la War were, I doubt not, somewhat 
inclined to it. The secretary, Strachy, who has given this 
account, was, it is believed, the person who had much to do in 
drawing up the code of "Laws, moral, martial, and divine," which 
is so much tinctured with Romish and martial discipline, and 
which has ever been the reproach of the Church and State of Vir- 
ginia, though its penalties were so seldom enforced, and the worst 
of them were soon abolished. One, at least, of those excellent 
men, "the Ferrars," was somewhat inclined to a monkish religion. 
This, however, is the only instance in which such decorations and 
pomp are mentioned in the history of Virginia. Only a few years 
after this, the Rev. Mr. Whittaker speaks of the simplicity of our 



* They were then all living together, in one small place, with little work to do. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 71 

worship and liberality of our discipline in the following words : 
" But I much more muse, that so few of our English ministers 
that were so hot against the surplice and subscription come 
hither, where neither of them are spoken of." 

Having alluded to the Ferrars, the two brothers, as zealous and 
active friends of the Colony, and especially labouring for its 
religious condition, it is due not only to them, but to the whole 
family, to add a few more words. The father was a wealthy 
merchant in London, and a promoter of all the good works in 
which the sons were engaged. The mother was also lite-minded. 
The two sons, John and Nicholas, were highly-educated and 
talented men, labouring zealously, as members of the London 
Company, until it was dissolved by the tyranny and covetousness 
of King James, by a kind of Star Chamber operation, in the year 
1624, the year before his death. John, the elder, then entered 
into the House of Commons, and sought to promote the best 
interests of the Colony in that place. Nicholas, after debating 
the question whether he should remove to Virginia and seek her 
welfare here on the spot, or devote himself to the ministry at 
home, determined on the latter. In the words of Mr. Ander- 
son, who duly appreciated his worth, I make the following 
statement : 

" In 1626, Ferrar was ordained by Laud, then Bishop of St. David's. 
From that period, to the time of his death, which took place in 1637, he 
gave himself up to those duties, with an ardour and steadfastness of devo- 
tion which the world has never seen surpassed. It forms no part of the 
present history, to relate the particulars of the economy which he then 
established in his house, and in the church; still less can it be required 
to enter into any explanation of the personal austerities exercised by 
himself and the members of his family austerities not exceeded, as his 
biographer justly observes, by the severest orders of monastic institutions. 
It is clear that such rigorous observances were not required by that 
branch of the Church Catholic of which Ferrar was an ordained minister, 
and the exaction of them on his part may, therefore, have justly been dis- 
approved of by many who loved and snared the piety which prompted 
them. There is reason also to think that his own life was shortened by 
the hardships of fast and vigil which he endured." 

As it is well known that such a type of personal religion is 
often accompanied by an excessive regard to the ceremonial, the 
pomp and show of public worship, decoration of churches, &c., 
we may thus account for the fact that Lord De la War, who may 
have sympathized with the rising school of Laud, in England, 
introduced some parade, which had never been before, and, as we 



T2 OLD GHUBCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

believe, never was afterward seen in the Colony. In connection 
with this, we add that when George Herbert, a brother in soul to 
Nicholas Ferrar, was about to die, he sent some poems to Ferrar, 
which were published, and which showed how he sympathized 
with him, in his hopes from America. The two following lines 
are evincive of this : 

" Religion stands tiptoe in our land, 
Ready to pass to the American strand." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 73 



ARTICLE IV. 

The Parish of James City. No. 2. 

As it is an important object with the writer to furnish proofs 
of the benevolent and religious spirit which actuated the friends 
and patrons of the Colony, before proceeding with our narrative 
we invite the attention of the reader to the two following docu- 
ments. The first was written in the year 1612, and may be found 
in a pamphlet entitled "The New Life of Virginia," and shows the 
spirit of the author toward the Indians. 

"And for the poor Indians, what shall I say? but God, that hath many 
ways showed mercy to you, make you show mercy to them and theirs, and 
howsoever they may seem unto yon so intolerably wicked and rooted in 
mischief that they cannot be moved, yet consider rightly and be not dis- 
couraged. They are no worse than the nature of Gentiles, and even of 
those Gentiles so heinously decyphered by St. Paul, to be full of wickedness, 
haters of God, doers of wrong, such as could never be appeased, and yet 
himself did live to see that by the fruits of his own labours many thou- 
sands even of them became true believing Christians, and of whose race 
and offspring consisteth (well-near) the whole Church of God at this day. 
This is the work that we first intended, and have published to the world, 
to be chief in our thoughts, to bring those Infidel people from the worship 
of Devils to the service of God. And this is the knot that you must 
untie or cut asunder, before you can conquer those sundrie impediments 
that will surely hinder all other proceedings, if this be not first pre- 
ferred. 

"Take their children and train them up with gentleness, teach them 
our English tongue and the principles of religion. Win the elder sort 
by wisdom and discretion ; make them equal to you English in case of 
protection, wealth, and habitation, doing justice on such as shall do them 
wrong. Weapons of war are needful, I grant, but for defence only, 
and only in this case. If you seek to gain this victory upon them by 
stratagems of war, you shall utterly lose it, and never come near it, but 
shall make your names odious to all their posterity. Instead of iron and 
steel, you must have patience and humanity, to manage their crooked 
nature to your form of civility ; for as our proverb is, ' Look, how you 
win them so you must wear them ? if by way of peace and gentleness, 
then shall you always bring them in love to youwards, and in peace with 
your English people, and, by proceeding in that way, shall open the 
springs of earthly benefits to them both, and of safety to yourselves." 



7-i OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

The following extracts are from "A Prayer for the Morning 
and Evening Use of the Watch or Guard, to be offered up either 
by the Captain himself, or some one of his principal men or 
officers." It was probably prepared by Mr. Crashaw, and sent 
out with Mr. Whittaker. It furnishes a just view of the religion 
of that day, at any rate, of those who were engaged in this enter- 
prise. It is also a fair specimen of the theology and devotion 
of the English Reformers. While it is in faithful keeping with 
the prayers of our Common Prayer Book, it shows that our fore- 
fathers did not object to, but freely used, other prayers besides 
those in the Prayer Book. The reader is requested not to pass 
over it, but to read it in a prayerful spirit : 

" Merciful Father, and Lord of Heaven and Earth, we come before 
thy presence to worship thee, in calling upon thy name, and giving 
thanks unto thee. And though our duties and our very necessities call 
us hereunto, yet we confess our hearts to be so dull and untoward, that 
unless thou be merciful to us to teach us how to pray, we shall not please 
thee, nor profit ourselves in these duties. 

" We, therefore, most humbly beseech thee to raise up our hearts with 
thy good Spirit, and so to dispose us to prayer, that with true fervour of 
heart, feeling of our wants, humbleness of mind, and faith in thy gracious 
promises, we may present our suits acceptably unto thee by our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ. 

"And now, blessed Lord, we are desirous to come unto thee, how 
wretched soever in ourselves ; yea, our very wretchedness sends us unto 
thee, with whom the fatherless and he that hath no helper findeth mercy. 
We come to thee in thy Son's name, not daring to come in our own. 
In his name that cares for us we come to thee, in his mediation whom 
thou hast sent. In him, Father, in whom thou hast professed thyself 
to be well pleased, we come unto thee, and do most humbly beseech thee 
to pity us, and to save us for thy mercies' sake in him. 

"0 Lord, our God, our sins have not outbidden that blood of thy 
Holy Son which speaks for our pardon, nor can they be so infinite as thou 
art in thy mercies ; and our hearts, God ! (thou seest them,) our 
hearts are desirous to have peace with thee, and war with our lusts, and 
wish that they could melt before thee, and be dissolved into godly 
mourning, for all that filth that hath gone through them and defiled 
them. 

"OLord! Lord our God! thou hast dearly bought us for thine 
own self : give us so honest hearts as may be glad to yield the possession 
of thine own, and be thou so gracious, as yet to take them up, though we 
have desperately held thee out of them in time past; and dwell in us and 
reign in us by thy Spirit, that we may be sure to reign with thee in thy 
glorious kingdom, according to thy promise, through him that hath pur- 
chased that inheritance for all that trust in him. 

"And now, Lord of mercy! Father of the spirits of all flesh! 
look in mercy upon the Gentiles who yet know thee not ! And seeing 
thou hast honoured us to choose us out to bear thy name unto the Gen- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 75 

tiles, we therefore beseech thee to bless us, and this our plantation, which 
we and our nation have begun in thy fear, and for thy glory. We know, 
Lord ! we have the Devil and all the gates of Hell against us ; but 
if thou, Lord, be on our side, we care not who be against us ! Oh, 
therefore vouchsafe to be our God, and let us be a part and portion of thy 
people; confirm thy covenant of grace and mercy with us, which thou 
hast made to thy Church in Christ Jesus. And seeing, Lord, the highest 
end of our plantation here is to set up the standard and display the banner 
of Jesus Christ even here where Satan's throne is, Lord, let our labour 
be blessed in labouring for the conversion of the heathen. And because 
thou usest not to work such mighty works by unholy means, Lord, sanc- 
tify our spirits, and give us holy hearts, that so we may be thy instruments 
in this most glorious work. 

" And whereas we have, by undertaking this plantation, undergone the 
reproofs of this base world, insomuch as many of our own brethren 
laugh us to scorn, Lord, we pray thee fortify us against this temp- 
tation ! 

" And seeing this work must needs expose us to many miseries and dan- 
gers of soul and body by land and sea, Lord ! we earnestly beseech thee 
to receive us into thy favour and protection, defend us from the delusions 
of the Devil, the malice of the heathen, the invasions of our enemies, 
and mutinies and dissensions of our own people. Knit our hearts alto- 
gether in faith and fear of thee, and love one to another; give us patience, 
wisdom, and constancy to go on through all difficulties and temptations, 
till this blessed work be accomplished for the honour of thy name and 
glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ ! 

" And here, Lord ! we do upon the knees of our hearts offer thee 
the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for that thou hast moved our hearts 
to undertake the performance of this blessed work with the hazard of our 
person, and hast moved the hearts of so many hundreds of our nation to 
assist it with means and provision, and with their holy prayers. Lord, 
look mercifully upon them all, and for that portion of their substance 
which they willingly offer for thy honour and service in this action, re- 
compense it to them and theirs, and reward it sevenfold into their bosoms, 
with better blessings. Lord, bless England, our sweet native country ! 
save it from Popery, this land from heathenism, and both from Atheism. 
And, Lord, hear their prayers for us, and us for them, and Christ Jesus, 
our glorious Mediator, for us all. Amen \" 

We now proceed with the history. 

The services of Lord De la War were of short duration, being 
obliged to return to England early in 1611, by reason of ill 
health. Before his arrival in England, the Council had sent Sir 
Thomas Dale, giving him the title of High-Marshal of Virginia, 
with a fresh supply of men and provisions, and with the Rev. 
Alexander Whittaker, between whom and Sir Thomas there 
appears to have ever been a strong attachment. They remained 
together at Jamestown until the arrival of Sir Thomas Gates, in 
the same year, with full powers as Governor, when Sir Thomas 
Dale, the High-Marshal, by agreement with the Governor, went 



76 OLD CHUBCHES, MINISTEBS, AND 

higher up the river, with Mr. Whittaker and three hundred and 
fifty men, to establish two new positions, one of them called 
New Bermuda, in what is now Chesterfield county, in the angle 
formed by James River and the Appomattox, and which after- 
ward assumed and still retains the name of Bermuda Hundred; 
the other was five or six miles higher up, on the opposite side of 
the river, on what was called Farrar's Island, though it was, as 
Jamestown, only a peninsula. This was called Henrico City. In 
both of them churches were built, and small villages established, 
and Mr. Whittaker was the minister of both, alternately residing 
at each of them. As these were the first establishments after 
Jamestown, and are intimately connected in their history with 
that of Jamestown, the governors sometimes residing at Bermuda, 
we shall unite them together in our notices, until the destruction 
of Henrico in the great massacre of 1622. The Rev. Alexander 
Whittaker was the son of that eminent theologian of Cambridge 
who took part in drawing up the Lambeth Articles in the year 
1595, and was, as his various writings show, one of the first theo- 
logians and controversialists of his day. He was the friend and 
companion of Hooker, and sympathized with him in his doctrinal 
views. The son, Alexander Whittaker, was a graduate of Cam- 
bridge, and had been for some years a minister in the North of 
England, beloved and well supported by his people, with a hand- 
some inheritance from his parents. Crashaw says, " that having, 
after many distractions and combats with himself, (according to 
his own acknowledgment,) settled his resolution that God called 
him to Virginia, and therefore he would go, he accordingly made 
it good, notwithstanding the earnest dissuasions of some of his 
nearest friends, and the great discouragements which he daily 
heard of, touching the business and country itself." Again, says 
the same, " He, without any persuasion but God and his own 
heart, did voluntarily leave his warm nest, and, to the wonder of 
his kindred and amazement of them that knew him, undertook 
this hard, but, in my judgment, heroical resolution to go to Vir- 
ginia, and help to bear the name of God to the Gentiles. Men 
may muse at it, some may laugh, and others wonder at it ; but 
well I know the reason. God will be glorified in his own works, 
and what he hath determined to do, he will find means to bring it 
to pass. For the perfecting of this blessed work he hath stirred up 
able and worthy men to undertake the manning and managing of 
it." Mr. Whittaker had given himself to this work for three 
years, but at the end of that time, instead of returning to Eng- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 77 

land, as too many of the governors and other officers did, being 
weary of their banishment, he preached a sermon and sent it 
over to England, exhorting others to come over to his help, and 
declaring his intention to live and die in the work here. His text 
is, " Cast thy bread upon the waters, and thou shalt find it after 
many days." Pleading for the nations, he says, "Wherefore, my 
brethren, put on the bowels of compassion, and let the lamentable 
estate of these miserables enter into your consideration. One God 
created us. They have reasonable souls and intellectual faculties 
as well as we. We all have Adam for our common parent ; yea, 
by nature the condition of us both is all one, the servants of sin 
and slaves of the Devil, Oh, remember, I beseech you, what was 
the state of England before the Gospel was preached in our 
country." The whole sermon is full of such passages. In the 
year 1614, after having spent three years at Bermuda Hundred 
and Henrico, Sir Thomas Dale now removed to Jamestown, and, 
as Mr. Anderson affirms, Whittaker returned with him to that 
place. If so, he must, either before or after Sir Thomas's 
return to England in 1616, have gone back again to his old con- 
gregations, for, in the year 1617, Governor Argal, who succeeded 
Sir Thomas Dale, writes to the Council, from Bermuda Hundred, 
begging that a minister may be sent there, as Mr. Whittaker was 
drowned, and Mr. Wickham was unable to administer the sacra- 
ments. From this, it is probable that Mr. Wickham had been his 
curate, in deacons' orders. I am aware that there is a letter 
ascribed to a Rev. Mr. Stockam, and said to be dedicated to Mr. 
Whittaker, at a later period. But this letter of the Governor, 
declaring his death by drowning, would seem to be of higher 
authority. Within the period of which we have been discoursing, 
and during the ministry of Mr. Whittaker and the office of Dale 
as High-Marshal, there occurred some things in the Colony 
which deserve to be considered, viz. : the conversion of Poca- 
hontas to the Christian faith, her baptism, and marriage to John 
Rolph. The places of her residence, and of her baptism and mar- 
riage, have been matter of discussion, and are not unworthy of notice. 
As to the place of her birth and residence, there ought to be no 
doubt. Her father, the great King Powhatan, lived chiefly on 
York River, on the Gloucester side, some miles above York. 
Here, or at a place higher up, it was that Captain Smith was 
brought captive, and that Pocahontas saved his life. From one 
of these places, she occasionally visited Jamestown, and there 
doubtless became acquainted with Rolph, a young man of good 



78 

family and education from England, between whom and herself an 
attachment was formed. In the year 1612, Captain Argal, after- 
wards Governor for a short time, went up the Potomac River in 
quest of provisions, and finding, accidentally, that Pocahontas was 
there, artfully contrived to get her on hoard of his vessel, and 
carried her prisoner to Jamestown, in order by that means to get 
back from her father some of our men and arms, and implements 
of husbandry which he had, from time to time, stolen from the 
Colony. But he did not succeed in the effort. At this time, Sir 
Thomas Dale and Mr. Whittaker were up the river, engaged in 
their duties at Henrico and Bermuda Hundred. It is most pro- 
bable that Pocahontas was carried up the river to Sir Thomas 
and Mr. Whittaker, as being a more distant place, and one of 
greater safety, since her father might have attempted her rescue, 
or she her escape from Jamestown, the place being so much nearer 
to Powhatan's residence. Certain it is that, in the following year, 
Sir Thomas himself went on the same errand, up York River, 
then called Charles River, in a vessel, and succeeded in getting 
the prisoners and property from Powhatan. He took Pocahontas 
with him, and got her brothers to come on board and see her. 
She did not now wish to return to her father, (for she was engaged 
to Mr. Rolph,) and she did not go on shore to see him, as he 
might have forced her to stay. Sir Thomas, however, on leaving, 
caused the fact of her engagement to be made known to her 
father, who was quite pleased, and, in ten days, sent over his old 
uncle, Opachisco, and two of his sons, to bear his consent, and be 
present at the marriage. It is, therefore, altogether probable 
that the marriage took place at Jamestown, where Sir Thomas 
would stop to deliver to Governor Gates an account of the suc- 
cess of his expedition. From thence, they no doubt returned to 
Henrico, which was their residence until they went to England, 
with Governor Dale, in 1616. This I think to be the true 
account, from an examination of all the documents on the subject. 
As to the question whether her baptism was before or after mar- 
riage, there are some conflicting testimonies. Mr. Stith, in his 
History of Virginia, says, 

"All this while, Sir Thomas Dale, Mr. Whittaker, minister of Ber- 
muda Hundred, and Mr. Rolph, her husband, were very careful and 
assiduous in instructing Pocahontas in the Christian religion ; and she, 
on her part, expressed an eager desire and showed great capacity for 
learning. After she had been tutored for some time, she openly 
renounced the idolatry of her country, confessed the faith of Christ, and 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 79 

was baptized by the name of Rebecca. But her real name, it seems, 
was originally Matoax, which the Indians carefully concealed from the 
English, and changed it to Pocahontas, out of a superstitious fear, lest 
they, by a knowledge of her true name, should be enabled to do her 
some hurt. She was the first Christian Indian in these parts, and 
perhaps the sincerest and most worthy that has ever been since. And 
now she has no manner of desire to return to her father ; neither could 
she well endure the brutish manners or society of her own nation. Her 
affection for her husband was extremely constant and true; and he, on 
the other hand, underwent great torment and pain, out of his violent 
passion and tender solicitude for her." 

From the foregoing, we would infer that her marriage preceded 
her baptism. On what authority Mr. Stith (who wrote his work 
in 1746) relied, I know not, but the following testimony from Sir 
Thomas Dale, in 1614, is certainly to be preferred. In a letter to 
the Bishop of London, dated June 18, 1614, he thus writes : 

" Powhatan's daughter I caused to be carefully instructed in the Chris- 
tian religion, who, after she had made some good progress therein, renounced 
publicly her country's idolatry, openly confessed her Christian faith, was, 
as she desired, baptized, and is since married to an English gentleman of 
good understanding, (as by his letter unto me, containing the reasons of 
his marriage of her, you may perceive,) another knot to bind this peace 
the stronger. Her father and friends gave approbation to it, and her 
uncle gave her to him in the Church. She lives civilly and lovingly 
with him, and I trust will increase in goodness, as the knowledge of God 
increaseth in her. She will go into England with me; and, were it 
but the gaining of this one soul, I will think my time, toil, and present 
stay well spent." 

According to this communication to the Bishop of London, Sir 
Thomas Dale, whose return to England was delayed beyond his 
wishes or expectation, did, in the year 1616, carry with him Mr. 
Rolph and his wife. Her son, Thomas Rolph, was born while she 
was in England. On her return, she suddenly died, at Gravesend. 
The husband returned to this country, being made Recorder and 
Secretary to the Colony. The son, after being educated in England 
by his uncle, Henry Rolph, returned to America, and lived at Hen- 
rico, where his parents had formerly lived, and afterward became 
a person of fortune and distinction in the Colony.* 

* "He left behind him an only daughter, who was married to Colonel Robert 
Boiling, by whom she left an only son, Major John Boiling, who was the father 
of Colonel John Boiling, and of several daughters, one of whom married Colonel 
Richard Randolph, another Colonel Fleming, a third Dr. William Gay, a fourth 
Mr. Thomas Eldridge, and the last Mr. James Murray." To this statement of 
Stith, one of the family has furnished me with the following addition: "The son 



80 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Concerning the reception and behaviour of Pocahontas in 
London, I shall only give the account which Purchas, the cele- 
brated compiler of the many treatises called "Purchas's Pil- 
grims," has handed down to us: 

" She did not only accustom herself to civilitie, but still carried her- 
self as the daughter of a King, and was accordingly respected, not only 
by the company, (London Company,) which allowed provision for herself 
and son; but of divers particular persons of honour, in their hopeful zeal 
by her to advance Christianity. I was present when my honourable and 
reverend patron, the Lord-Bishop of London, Dr. King, entertained her 
with festival, and state, and pomp, beyond what I have seen in his great 
hospitalitie afforded to other ladies. At her return towards Virginia, she 
came to Gravesend, to her end and grave, having given great demon- 
stration of her Christian sincerity, as the first fruits of Virginian con- 
versions, leaving here a godly memory and the hopes of her resurrection, 
her soul aspiring to see and enjoy presently in Heaven what here she 
had joyed to hear and believe of her beloved Saviour." 



of Pocahontas, Thomas Rolph, married a Miss Poythress. Their grandson, John 
Boiling, married a Miss Kennon, whose son John married a Miss Blair, of Wil- 
liamsburg, while Richard Randolph, of Curls, fourth in descent from Pocahontas, 
married Miss Ann Mcade, sister of Colonel R. K. Meade. Their daughter married 
Mr. William Boiling, of Boiling Hall, Goochland county, each of them being fifth 
in descent from Pocahontas." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 81 



ARTICLE V. 

The Parish of James Oity. No. 3. 

THE history of Rolph and Pocahontas is so identified with that 
of Virginia, and with the Church of Virginia, that it deserves more 
than a passing notice. The account usually given of it is too 
often considered as an interesting and highly-exaggerated romance, 
though founded on the fact of the first marriage of an Englishman 
with an Indian. From an accurate examination of all the early 
statements concerning the two persons, and the circumstances of 
their marriage, we are persuaded that there is as little of romance 
or exaggeration about it as can well be. On the part of Poca- 
hontas, she was the daughter of the noblest and most powerful of 
the native kings of North America, who by his superior wisdom 
and talents had established his authority over all the tribes from 
James River to the Potomac, from Kiquotan or Hampton to the 
falls of James River, or what is now Richmond, with the exception 
of that on the Chickohomini. We read of two of his sons, and 
another of his daughters, who also rose superior to the rest of their 
race. Of one of the sons, Nantaquaus, Captain Smith says that 
he was "the most manliest, comeliest, boldest spirit I ever saw in 
a savage," and of his sister, Pocahontas, that she had "a compas- 
sionate pitiful heart." The other daughter Sir Thomas Dale en- 
deavoured without success to obtain, with a view to another alliance 
with some English gentleman. But Pocahontas was acknowledged 
by all to be cast in one of the first of nature's moulds, both as to 
person and character. She was declared to be the "nonpareil" 
of Captain Smith and his associates. Nor is it wonderful. At 
the age of twelve or thirteen, after using all her powers of persua- 
sion to obtain the release of Captain Smith, and to save him from 
the sentence of death, but in vain, when his head was laid upon 
the stone, and her father's huge club was uplifted by his arm, and 
ready to fall on the head of the prisoner, she threw herself upon 
him, laying her head on his, and folding her arms around him, 
thus moving the heart of her father, and, as Smith himself declared 
to the Queen, " hazarding the beating out of her own brains in- 
stead of mine." After this, her interest in Smith and the Colony 

6 



82 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

was displayed in frequent visits to it. " Jamestown with her wild 
train (of attendants) she as frequently visited as her father's habi- 
tation," says Smith, in a letter to the Queen, and often, by her 
timely warnings, saved the Colony from destruction. On one occa- 
sion, when Smith and a number with him were in most imminent dan- 
ger, she came along through the woods some miles, outstripping those 
who were seeking their destruction: "the dark night (he says in 
the same letter) could not affright her, but, coming through the irk- 
some woods, with watered eyes gave me intelligence." " She was," 
he adds, " the first Christian of that nation ; the first who ever 
spake English, or had a child in marriage." Her meeting with 
Smith also, in London, was very characteristic. It was unexpected 
by her, for she had been told that he was dead some years before. 
She was in the circle of the great when Smith came into her pre- 
sence, and he thought it prudent and right to address her with 
more ceremony and state than formerly in America, out of respect 
to those around. This distressed her much, and she resented it, 
and upbraided him with not calling her his child, as he did in 
America, and allowing her to call him father, as she used to do ; 
nor could he convince her to the contrary, she declaring that she 
would call him father. In relation to Mr. Kolph, there can be no 
doubt that he had conceived a strong affection for her, on account 
of her person, and deeply-interesting qualities, which affection was 
fully returned. There is extant a long and most affecting letter 
from Mr. Rolph to Sir Thomas Dale, declaring his wish and deter- 
mination to marry her, assigning his reasons, describing his feel- 
ings, and asking the Governor's approbation. He seems to have 
been much concerned and troubled in mind on the subject, and 
calls God to witness the purity of his motives, and how deeply his 
conscience had been engaged in the decision, and that not until 
much suffering had been endured was the determination made.* 



* The Rev. Peter Fontaine, in a letter to his brother in England, in which he 
advocates intermarriage with the Indians as a means of their pivilization and Chris- 
tianization, says, "But this, our wise politicians at home put an effectual stop to at 
the beginning of our settlement here, for when they heard that Rolph had married 
Pocahontas, it was deliberated in Council whether he had not committed high trea- 
son by so doing, that is, marrying an Indian princess ; and had not some troubles 
intervened, which put a stop to the enquiry, the poor man might have been hanged 
up for doing the most just, the most natural, the most generous and politic action, 
that ever was done on this side of the water. This put an effectual stop to all 
intermarriages afterwards." From whence Mr. Fontaine got this tradition I know 
not. Col. Byrd, in his Westover Manuscripts, advocates the same mode of convert- 
ing and civilizing the natives as did his minister, Mr. Fontaine. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 83 

The letter can only be understood by considering the character and 
position of Mr. Rolph. Here was a young Englishman, of family, 
education, and reputation, about to engage himself to an Indian 
girl, of a different and despised colour, of different manners, un- 
educated, of a hated nation, not one of whom had ever yet been 
married to one of the meanest of the Colonists ; his children, and 
children's children, to be regarded as an inferior race, his own pros- 
pects in life as to preferment all blasted, himself, perhaps, to be a 
byword and proverb. Such, doubtless, were his feelings when 
penning this letter. 

" For still the world prevail'd, and its dread laugh, 
Which scarce the firm philosopher can scorn." 

Principle, religious principle, as well as pure love of female excel- 
lence, prevailed and was rewarded. Not only did Sir Thomas 
Dale approve and encourage the alliance, but, after writing home 
most favourably of it, carried them with him to England, where 
they were most honourably received. It is said that King James 
was even a little jealous of them, lest, on returning to America, 
they might think, by right of inheritance from Powhatan, (a far^ 
nobler monarch than himself,) to establish themselves in rule over 
his Virginia territory. This was only one of the vain thoughts 
which found a seat in that weak and conceited monarch's mind. 
Nothing but good resulted from the union, and much more than is 
seen or acknowledged may have resulted. Instead of a race of 
despised semi-savages being the issue of this union, Mr. Burk, the 
historian of Virginia, after giving the names of some of his de- 
scendants, which have been already recorded, adds: "so that this 
remnant of the imperial family of Virginia, which long ran in a 
single person, is now increased and branched out into a very nume- 
rous progeny. The virtues of mildness and humanity, so eminently 
distinguished in Pocahontas, remain in the nature of an inheritance 
to her posterity. There is scarcely a scion from this stock which 
has not been in the highest degree amiable and respectable." He 
also adds, "that he is acquainted with several members of this 
family, who are intelligent and even eloquent, and, if fortune keep 
pace with their merits, should not despair of attaining a conspi- 
cuous and even exalted station in the Commonwealth." This was 
written in the year 1804, when Mr. Randolph of Roanoke, one 
of the descendants of Pocahontas, was just entering upon public 
life. 

We are now approaching a deeply-interesting, eventful, and de- 



84 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

cisive period in the history of the Colony. Until about the year 
1616, when Sir Thomas Dale returned to England, Jamestown, 
Henrico, and Bermuda Hundred formed nearly all of the Colony ; 
and at that time it is probable that Mr. Bucke, at Jamestown, and 
Mr. Whittaker, with his curate, Wickham, were the only ministers 
of the Colony. During the three following years, infant settle- 
ments, planted by Sir Thomas Dale on James River, and others, 
by his successors, Argal and Yeardley, began to increase, and as- 
sume the forms of villages, called Hundreds, and several new mi- 
nisters came over. We ascertain the names of Stockam, Meare, 
Hargrave, and Scale. In the year 1619, Yeardley, having visited 
Europe, returned with new instructions and enlarged authority. 
He was directed to convene the first legislative body ever held in 
Virginia. Eleven boroughs sent delegates, called Burgesses, to it. 
Mr. Bucke was still the minister at Jamestown, and opened the 
meeting with solemn prayers in the choir of the church, the Go- 
vernor sitting in his accustomed place, the Councillors on each side 
of him, and the Burgesses around; after which they all went 
into the body of the church, and proceeded with the work of legis- 
lation. The laws, martial, moral, and divine, were now superseded 
by some of a different character. The Church of England was 
more formally established than it ever had been before. * Now all 
things began to assume a more regular and promising aspect. 
More especially was the attention of the Company in London and 
of pious friends in England directed to the cause of education in 
the Colony. Many years before this, King James had, through 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, called upon the Bishops and clergy 
of England to take up collections for a University in Virginia, for 
the benefit of both natives and Colonists, and the sum of .1500 
had been raised for the purpose. Now an influx of charity poured 
in upon Virginia, especially for this object. I have before me a 
paper, copied from an English record, containing a list of the fol- 
lowing donations, during the years 1619-20-21 : " Mrs. Mary 
Robinson, for a church in Virginia, .200. An unknown person, 
20 for communion-service, and other things for the same. A 
person unknown, 30, for the College communion-service, &c. A 



* Mr. Henning, in his Statutes at Large, and all other writers on the early history 
of Virginia, have declared that no account of the acts of this first Assembly has 
been preserved; but Mr. Conway Robinson, in his researches among the public 
offices in England, during his late visit to that country, has discovered an old manu- 
script, of thirty or forty pages, being a journal or report of its proceedings. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 85 

person with the signature of Dust and Ashes sent 550, in gold, 
to Sir Edward Sandys, for the instruction of the natives in religion 
and civility. Nicholas Ferrar, 330 for the same, and ,24 an- 
nually. An unknown person, 10 for the Colony. For a free 
school in Virginia, by persons returning from the East Indies, to 
be called the East India School, ,70. Ditto for the same, by an 
unknown person, 30. Ditto by a person unknown, 25. Ditto 
a Bible, Prayer Book, and other books worth 10." The Rev. 
Mr. Hargrave also gave his library. The place selected for the 
College was Henrico City, before mentioned as settled by Sir Tho- 
mas Dale and Mr. Whittaker, on the north side of James River, 
about fifteen miles below Richmond. Not less than 15,000 acres 
of land were given as College lands, and for purposes connected 
with the Church and College, between the settlement and Rich- 
mond, by the Company in England. The East India School was 
to be established at Charles City, a place somewhere in what is 
now the county of Charles City, and probably not far from Hen- 
rico City. The Rev. Mr. Copland, chaplain of the East India 
Company, who had proposed the East India School in Virginia 
and contributed liberally to it, was appointed by the Company to 
be President of the College, and general manager of all its pro- 
perty. The East India School, in Charles City, was to be a pre- 
paratory one to the College. On the 13th of April, 1622, the 
Rev. Mr. Copland was requested by the. Company to deliver a 
thanksgiving sermon, in London, for all the late mercies of God to 
the Colony, and for the bright prospects before them ; but in about 
one month before that time, on the 22d of March, those prospects 
had been blasted by one of the most unexpected and direful cala- 
mities which had ever befallen the Colony. Since the marriage of 
Pocahontas all had been peace with the natives. The Colonists 
had settled themselves in various places along James River, from 
Kiquotan (Hampton) to Henrico, fearing no evil, although the 
dreadful massacre which then ensued had been secretly resolved 
upon for some years. On one and the same day the attack was 
made on every place. Jamestown, and some few points near to it, 
alone escaped, having received warning of the intended attack 
just in time to prepare for defence. Besides the destruction of 
houses by fire, between three and four hundred persons were put 
to death in the most cruel manner. Such was the effect of this 
assault, both in Virginia and in England, that a commission was 
sent over to the Governor, Sir George Yeardley, to seek for a set- 
tlement on the Eastern Shore of Virginia for those who remained. 



86 OLD CHUtfCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

That plan, however, was never put in execution, though steps were 
taken toward it. The hopes of the best friends of the Colony, 
and of the natives, were now overwhelmed. This, added to all 
preceding conflicts with the natives, and the continual defence re- 
quired before the marriage of Pocahontas, produced a change in 
the feelings and language of many toward the natives, which we 
should scarce credit if the records of the same were not too well 
authenticated. In unison with the feelings of the English, Cap- 
tain Smith, who was still alive and in England, offered himself as 
the commander of a company of young and valiant soldiers, to be 
a standing army in Virginia, going in among the tribes, inflicting 
vengeance for the past, and driving them out of their possessions 
to some place so distant from our people as to render them harm- 
less. The Company itself, hitherto so strong in its injunction of 
mild measures and the use of means for the conversion of the In- 
dians, now says, "We condemn their bodies, the saving of whose 
souls we have so zealously affected. Root them out from being 
any longer a people, so cursed a nation, ungrateful for all bene- 
fits and incapable of all goodness, or remove them so far as to be 
out of danger or fear. War perpetually, without peace or truce. 
Yet spare the young for servants. Starve them by destroying 
their corn, or reaping it for your own use. Pluck up their weirs, 
(fishing-traps.) Obstruct their hunting. Employ foreign enemies 
against them at so much a head. Keep a band of your own men 
continually upon them, to be paid by the Colony, which is to have 
half of their captives and plunder. He that takes any of their chiefs 
to be doubly rewarded. He that takes Opochancono (the chief 
and brother of old Powhatan, who was now dead) shall have a 
great and singular reward." At a somewhat later period, either 
an order in council or a law was passed, that " the Indians being 
irreconcilable enemies, every commander, on the least molesta- 
tion, to fall upon them." 

It may perhaps seem to some, that in giving such details of mas- 
sacre and revenge I am departing from that line of ecclesiastical 
notices hitherto pursued. A few words will, I hope, suffice for my 
justification, and show that I have a sufficient reason for it. In the first 
fifteen years of the Colony, it must be admitted that, so far as 
the few ministers who belonged to it, and a good proportion of the 
laity taking part in it, are concerned, there is as large a share of 
the true missionary spirit in its conduct as is anywhere to be found, 
not excepting any missionary movements since apostolic days and 
men. But this massacre, following others which had taken place, 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 87 

and the little success attending the conversion of the natives in 
this country, or in England, whither some had been sent for Chris- 
tian instruction, produced a sad revolution in public feeling. The 
missionary effort was considered as a failure; the conversion, or 
even civilization, of the Indian, was regarded as hopeless. The 
Company began, and probably continued, to appropriate .500 an- 
nually to the support of such men as Hunt, Bucke, Clover, Whit- 
taker, and other religious purposes ; but that Company was, in the 
year 1624, dissolved by the covetous and tyrannical act of James. 
Where now are to be found the considerations sufficient to move 
other such devoted missionaries to fill up the ranks made vacant 
by their death ? The Indians were now objects of dread, of hate, 
of persecution. A sentiment and declaration is ascribed to one of 
the last of the ministers who came over, "that the only way to 
convert the Indians was to cut the throats of their chief men and 
priests." It must also be acknowledged that the experience of 
two hundred and fifty years has proved that the North American 
Indian is the most unlikely subject for conversion to our religion 
of all the savage tribes on whom the missionary has bestowed his 
labour. Cowper may have poured out his soul of piety and poetry 
over some instance of conversion among them : 

" The wretch that once sang wildly, laugh' d and danced, 
Has wept a silent flood ; reversed his ways ; 
Is sober, meek, benevolent, and prays; 
Feeds sparingly, communicates his store ; 
And he that stole has learn'd to steal no more." 


But how many of such have there been ? Pocahontas, at the end 
of seven or eight years, was perhaps the only trophy of the mis- 
sionary labours of the Virginia Colony. In forming a judgment, 
therefore, of our Mother-Church, in regard to the ministers sent 
forth by, or issuing from her, from the time of this great failure, we 
must inquire into the arguments by which her clergy could hence- 
forth be urged to come over to this Macedonia. The only persons 
who could be brought under their pastoral care in Virginia were 
now the same kind of rich and poor who abounded so much more 
in the country they would leave, and these were placed under the 
greatest imaginable difficulties of access, scattered at great dis- 
tances from each other, and along the margins of wide rivers, 
with scarce a village, or village church, to be seen. To the present 
day, how great the impediment this to the full trial of the Gospel 
ministry ! As to the salaries and residences of ministers, we shall 



88 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

hereafter show that the former were most scanty and precarious, 
and the latter uncomfortable. For a long time, all things were 
most unfavourable for usefulness as well as comfort. Let us sup- 
pose that the present missionaries to China and Africa were sent 
merely to minister to the English and Americans scattered through 
those lands, no opening whatever being had to the natives, and, 
moreover, that, besides much and painful travelling through dark 
forests, they were most meagrely supplied with the means of sub- 
sistence, with clothing, and homes, so that scarce any of them 
could venture to assume the relation of husbands and fathers ; can 
we suppose that such men as those we now send out as missionaries 
would be ready to engage in the work, when there are so many 
stations at home furnishing larger opportunities of usefulness ? Let 
us not, therefore, be surprised, if, in subsequent notices, we should 
find an inferior order of men supplying the churches of Virginia. 
Nor let any denomination of Christians boast itself over the 
Church of Virginia, since, under similar circumstances, it might 
not have done better. 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 89 



ARTICLE VI. 

The Parish of James City. No. 4. 

HAVING brought the history of James City parish, in its con- 
nection with the few others then in existence, to the time of the 
great massacre, with some thoughts on its effects, I briefly allude 
to two events, occurring soon after, and calculated to concur with 
it in having an injurious influence over the future welfare of the 
Colony. While the Company and the Governors were endeavour- 
ing to improve the condition of the Colony, by selecting a hundred 
young females, of good character, to be wives to the labourers on 
the farms in Virginia, King James had determined to make of the 
Colony a Botany Bay for the wretched convicts in England, and 
ordered one hundred to be sent over. The Company remonstrated, 
but in vain. A large portion, if not all of them, were actually 
sent. The influence of this must have been pernicious. Whether 
it was continued by his successors, and how long, and to what ex- 
tent, I know not. Shortly after this, a Dutch vessel brought into 
Jamestown the first cargo of negro slaves which was ever cast on 
the shores of America. While we must acknowledge that "the 
earth is the Lord's, and all that therein is;" that he has a right, 
and will exercise it, to pull down one kingdom and raise up an- 
other, to dispossess the Indians of their territories and give them to 
the white men and the negroes for their possession ; while we must 
acknowledge that the advantage of the African trade, notwith- 
standing the cruelties accompanying it, has been on the side of 
that people, both temporally and spiritually ; yet can we never be 
brought to believe that the introduction into and the multiplication 
of slaves in Virginia have advanced either her religious, political, 
or agricultural interests. On the contrary, we are confident that 
it has injured all. But if our loss has redounded to the benefit of 
Africa, by affording religious advantages to numbers of her be- 
nighted sons, who, in the providence of God, have come hither, 
and especially if it should be the means, by colonization and mis- 
sionary enterprise, of establishing Christianity in that dark habi- 
tation of cruelty, we must bow submissively to the will of Heaven, 
and allow many of our sister States, with far less advantages of 



90 OLD CHINCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

soil, climate, and navigation, to outstrip us in numbers, wealth, and 
political power.* 



* I have been for the last fifty years, and more especially for the last thirty, tra- 
velling much through the length and breadth of Virginia, making observations for 
myself, conversing with intelligent farmers, politicians, ministers of the Gospel, and 
other Christians, on the subject referred to above. I have been not a little over 
other parts of our land, observing and conversing on the same, and I have read 
much of what has been written about it. Since the publication, in another form, of the 
few brief sentences referred to in this note, I have not only reconsidered them my- 
self, but freely conversed with many sound-minded persons concerning the views 
there presented ; and the result has been an increased conviction that they are cor- 
rect, and have been in times past, and still are, held by the great body of our citi- 
zens, Christians, and statesmen. There are some who seem to advocate slavery as 
though it were the only institution which is exempt from any of the evils incident 
to our fallen humanity, while others can see nothing but evil about it, ignoring the 
hand of a permissive Providence for good. We cannot agree with either of these 
classes, and are happy to think that but few belong to them. That the agriculture 
of Virginia has suffered in times past from the use of slaves we think most evident 
from our deserted fields, impoverished estates, and emigrating population, by com- 
parison with the condition of other parts of our land less highly favoured in natu- 
ral advantages. That a great improvement has already taken place, and is still 
going on, in many parts of the State, notwithstanding this system, we rejoice to 
know and declare ; and, even if the future should show that agriculture may be as 
well conducted by slave-labour as by free, our remark is true as to the past. That 
we have fallen behind in our white population, and of course in the number of our 
delegates to Congress, and thus in our political power, will not be questioned. That 
Virginia lias been the fruitful nursery of patriots and orators and statesmen, 
whether representing their own State or those to which they have emigrated, I re- 
joice to believe, and I acknowledge that the institution of slavery, by affording 
more leisure and opportunity to some for the attainment of the most thorough edu- 
cation, has contributed to this ; but that our political power as a State has been 
reduced is a fact not to be denied ; and that this has resulted from the preceding facts 
viz. : the wasteful agriculture and consequent emigration must be admitted. The 
effect of slavery upon our religious institutions has been a matter of remark and 
lamentation by some of the earliest writers on Virginia, beginning with the first 
century of her existence. They speak of the large estates cultivated by slaves, 
especially along the rivers, as preventing the establishment of villages, churches, 
and schools. To this day the ministers of religion deeply feel this in the distant 
abodes of their members. That slavery and its attendant a supposed disgrace 
belonging to labour has produced in many of the sons of Virginia gentlemen idle- 
ness and dissipation, who will deny ? On account of all the foregoing accompaniments 
of slavery, how long did our statesmen protest against the continuance of the slave- 
trade, making the "inhuman use of the royal veto" on an act prohibiting it one of 
the justifying causes of the Revolution ! And we all know that one of the first exer- 
cises of our independence was the entire abolition of it. But while thus satisfied, 
so far as Virginia is concerned, that slavery was attended by the above-mentioned 
evils, it is our privilege, as Christians, to view the whole subject in a higher and 
holier light and on a larger scale, and to be willing to suffer some loss for the sake 
of the greater good which Providence, through that loss, may bestow on a benighted 
portion of mankind. The whole earth is the Lord's," and not ours. He who 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 91 

That an unfavourable turn had taken place in the affairs of the 
Church of Virginia, by reason of the massacre and other circum 



drove out the Canaanites and gave their land to Israel for a possession has been 
pleased to drive out the Indians from Virginia and give it to white men and to the 
most amiable race of savages which I believe exists upon earth, and which is far 
more ready to receive the Gospel than the ferocious Indian. Though Virginia suf- 
fered some loss by the introduction of the Negro race, yet her advantages were, and 
still are, so great that she could and can afford to lose what God chooses to take 
in his own way. I trust that God will still be gracious to this race, and, when it 
shall overflow the first bounds which were set for it, will provide, in sufficient abun- 
dance, other and goodlier portions for her in our widely-extended territory. I 
trust that he will give wisdom and largeness of heart, even as the sea-shore, to our 
people and rulers in providing for this race, whether in bondage or in freedom. I 
am no politician to discuss the question of metes and boundaries in relation to their 
settlement. I do not plead for the extension of territory with any regard to the 
increase of wealth or political power to their owners ; but I do trust that the Lord 
has a goodly and large heritage for them, in such parts of this continent as shall be 
most suitable, and that our Senators and delegates may ever deliberate on this sub- 
ject in a spirit of enlarged Christian philanthropy. If there was any plan by which 
their own character and condition could, by emancipation, be improved without 
greater injury to their owners than good to themselves, I am sure that God in his own 
time will reveal it unto us ; but, all such attempts having hitherto failed, we should 
legislate for their good, as people in bondage and who may long continue so. Many of 
them will, I trust, go back, with something better than civil liberty, to the land of 
their fathers ; but many must long remain in America, probably to the end of 
time ; and cruel would be the policy which should seek to restrict them to limits too 
narrow for their comfort or that of their owners. Already the abundance of the 
South and West is attracting them, as it does their owners, and they leave many 
parts of Virginia with joy, in the hope of a milder climate, a richer soil, and am- 
pler provision for their bodily sustenance. While we admit and maintain that 
slavery has its evils, we must also affirm that some of the finest traits in the cha- 
racter of man are to be found in active exercise in connection with it. The very 
dependence of the slave upon his master is a continual and effective appeal to his 
justice and humanity, and the relation between them is generally a very different 
thing from what it is believed to be by many who have no opportunity of forming a 
correct estimate of the same. If the evil passions are sometimes called into exer- 
cise, the milder virtues are much more frequently drawn forth. If there be less of 
bodily labour, there is more of mental culture, among those who are not obliged to 
"hold the plough;" and thus it is that among the upper classes there is far more 
of academical and collegiate education in Virginia than in any other State of the 
Union, and the whole South and West have felt and do feel the effect of it. Nor 
as to religion are we, as some have supposed, so destitute, though we might have 
abounded more under different circumstances. Irreligion, false doctrines, Unita- 
rianism, belong neither to slavery nor freedom. At a time when all Christendom 
was covered with slavery of every degree, the Unitarian heresy prevailed for a pe- 
riod in its greatest extension, and so did a swarm of other false doctrines. That 
the slave-holding States are now most happily free from this and other pestilential 
errors, and have much of true piety in them, must be acknowledged ; and it were 
to be wished that, for the sake of peace and union, criminations and recriminations 
would cease. 



92 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

stances, although the temporal condition of the Colony and the 
numbers of Colonists soon began greatly to increase, is evident 
from various acts of the Assembly, and from letters to and from 
England, which show the difficulty of procuring such ministers as 
those who first came into the Colony. Laws now seem to be re- 
quired to keep the ministers from cards, dice, drinking, and such 
like things ; and even to constrain them to preach and administer 
the communion as often as was proper, yea, even to visit the sick 
and dying. It is true, the inducements as to earthly comforts, 
which might help to bring over respectable ministers, were very 
small. The Assembly, by various preambles and acts, declares 
that without better provision for them it was not to be expected 
that sufficient, learned, pious, and diligent ministers could be ob- 
tained, and admits that some of a contrary character did come 
over, while there were not enough of any kind to do the work 
required. From that time, until the close of the Colonial esta- 
blishment, Governors, Commissaries, and private individuals, in 
their communications with the Bishops of London and the Arch- 
bishops of Canterbury, all declare that such was the scanty and 
uncertain support of the clergy, the precarious tenure by which 
livings were held, that but few of the clergy could support families, 
and therefore respectable ladies would not marry them. Hence 
the immense number of unmarried, ever-shifting clergymen in the 
Colony. 

With these general remarks, we proceed with the special history 
of James City parish. It was not until the year 1634 that it could 
fairly be considered a parish. The settlements were for some time 
called Plantations, Hundreds, Congregations, &c. ; but in 1634, 
part of the State was divided into eight shires, as in England. 
They were James City, Henrico, Charles City, Elizabeth City, 
Warwick River, Warrosquijoake, Charles River, and Accawmac. 
Of these, all lay between York and James Rivers, and east of 
James City, except Henrico, Charles City, Accawmac, the latter 
being then all of what is now the Eastern Shore of Virginia. But 
in James City shire or county, a number of small parishes were at 
an early period established, for the convenience of the people, as 
Martin's Hundred, Chiskiake, Chippoax, Lane's Creek, and Har- 
rop parish, which in time were lost in James City parish, York 
Hampton, and Bruton parishes. The first minister of James 
City parish of whom we read, after Mr. Bucke, was the Rev. 
Thomas Hampton, in 1644, of whom we know nothing but the 
name, as no vestry-book or other document remains to tell who, if 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 9b 

any, intervened between him and Mr. Bucke. Nor have we, for a 
long time after, any name of a minister of that parish ; but an 
event occurred in the year 1675 or '76, by which the church and 
city, and probably all the church-records, were destroyed, which 
deserves to be mentioned.* 

BACON'S REBELLION. 

Jamestown having been the most prominent theatre of Bacon's 
rebellion, and the greatest sufferer thereby, the place being de- 
stroyed by fire, it becomes us to take some brief notice of it. 
Writers on the subject trace the beginnings of this movement to 
an enterprise against the Indians by Colonel Mason and Captain 
Brent, of Stafford county, in 1675, who, on some cruel murder 
committed by the former, collected troops and followed them 
over into Maryland, putting great numbers to death, bringing 
a young son of one of their kings or chiefs back a prisoner, f 
These wars with the Indians continuing to harass those who lived 
on the frontiers and in the interior, while the Governor and those 
living at or around Jamestown were quite secure, the former began 
to complain that they were not protected, and that they must fol- 
low the example of Mason and Brent, and take care of themselves. 
Among the dissatisfied was Bacon, a man of family, talents, cou- 
rage, and ambition. After applying in vain to Sir William Berke- 
ley for a commission to raise men for the purpose of assailing the 
Indians, he, urged by his own genius and the wishes of others, 
collected a considerable troop and spread terror around him, 
destroying a number of the hostile natives. The Governor pro- 
claimed him a rebel, but the people sent him back to the House of 
Burgesses, and the Governor thought it expedient even to admit 
him into the Council, where he had been before. But it did not end 
here. Bacon again raised a troop and sallied forth against the 



* The Rev. William Gough was also its minister, and died in 1683-4. He was 
buried in the old graveyard, near the church, at Jamestown. 

f Of him a circumstance is related, showing that there was not only religion in 
those days, but superstition also. The boy lying for ten days in bed, as one dead, 
his eyes and mouth shut but his body warm, Captain Brent, who was a Papist, 
said that he was bewitched, and that he had heard baptism was a remedy for it, and 
proposed the trial. Colonel Mason answered that there was no minister in many 
miles. Captain Brent replied, "Your clerk, Mr. Dobson, may do that office;" 
which was accordingly done by the Church of England Liturgy. Colonel Mason and 
Captain Brent stood godfathers, and Mrs. Mason godmother. The end of the 
story is, that the child, being eight years old, soon recovered. 



94 OLD CHUJICHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Indians. Again the Governor pronounced him a rebel, and raised 
.an army to subdue him and his followers. But Bacon, with an 
inferior force, besieged Jamestown, drove out the Governor and his 
men, and, lest he should regain this stronghold, burnt city, church, 
and all to the ground. The Governor had twice to seek refuge on 
the Eastern Shore. Whether Bacon's rebellion was a lawful one 
or not, I leave civilians to decide. Sir William Berkeley certainly 
gained no credit to himself, either for his military talents, or his 
truth, or humanity, for, in spite of all his assurances to the con- 
trary, and the express orders of the King, he did, after the sudden 
decease of Bacon, put to death a number of his followers. For 
this, and other high-handed acts, his memory is not dear to the 
lovers of freedom. 

Although a new and better church, whose tower still remains, 
was built at Jamestown, yet the city never recovered from this 
blow. The middle Plantation, or Williamsburg, was already be- 
ginning to rival it, and by the beginning of the next century the 
seat of government was removed to Williamsburg, where the Col- 
lege, State-House, and Governor's palace quite eclipsed any thing 
which had ever been seen at Jamestown. The Governor's house, 
at Green Spring, which Sir William Berkeley built, a few miles off, 
answered for a time in place of the State-House at Jamestown ; 
the Council and Burgh holding their meetings there. 

Proceeding now with the succession of ministers in Jamestown, 
we have been unable to ascertain any other until the Rev. James 
Blair, the Commissary, who came to this country in 1685, and set- 
tled in Henrico, whence, after remaining until 1694, he removed 
to Jamestown, and remained until 1710, preaching there, and at a 
church eight miles off, in the adjacent parish, and then moved to 
Williamsburg. Who succeeded him, and who ministered there 
until the year 1722, I know not. In that year the Rev. William 
Le Neve took charge of it. He reports to the Bishop of London, 
in the year 1724, that the parish is twenty miles long, twelve wide, 
has seventy-eight families in it, and usually twenty or thirty com- 
municants. He also preached every third Sunday at Mulberry 
Island parish church, lower down the river, where he had double 
the number of communicants, and a larger congregation. The 
congregation at Jamestown must have been small. There never 
was but one church in it ; and that was not a large one. The seventy- 
eight families must have been the whole flock of James City parish 
at this time. The salary of James City parish was only .60. 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 95 

The minister received 30 for preaching at Mulberry Island, and 
<20 for lecturing in Williamsburg on Sunday afternoons. In the 
year 1758, we find the Rev. Mr. Berkeley the minister. In the 
year 1772, the Rev. John Hyde Saunders was ordained for this 
parish by the Bishop of London. In the year 1785, the Rev. 
James Madison, afterward Bishop of Virginia, became its minister, 
and continued so until his death in 1812, long before which the 
congregation had dwindled into almost nothing, the church on the 
Island having sunk into ruins, and the little remnant of Episcopa- 
lians meeting at a brick church a few miles from the island, on the 
road from it to Williamsburg. That has also entirely disappeared. 
A young friend of mine, who was in Williamsburg about the year 
1810, informed me that, being desirous of hearing the oratory of 
Bishop Madison, he had once or twice gone out on a Sabbath 
morning to this church, but that the required number for a sermon 
was not there, though it was a very small one, and so he was dis- 
appointed. It might be expected that I should in this place say 
something about Bishop Madison, in addition to what may be found 
in my first article of Reminiscences of Virginia ;' but, though I 
have endeavoured to procure some of his papers for this purpose, 
I have thus far been disappointed. I can only say that in the 
year 1775 he was ordained deacon and priest by the Bishop of 
London. In the year 1774 he became Professor in the College of 
William and Mary, in the year 1777, President of the College, 
and in the year 1790 was consecrated Bishop of Virginia. His 
addresses to the Convention breathe a spirit of zealous piety, and 
his recommendations are sensible and practical. Although agree- 
ing in political principles with those who were foremost in the 
State for the sale of Church property and the withholding from 
her and other Societies any corporate privileges, he steadily and 
perseveringly, though ineffectually, resisted their efforts. I again 
repeat my conviction that the reports as to his abandonment of 
the Christian faith in his latter years are groundless ; although it 
is to be feared that the failure of the Church in his hands, and 
which at that time might have failed in any hands, his secular and 
philosophical pursuits, had much abated the spirit with which he 
entered upon the ministry. 

The old church at Jamestown is no longer to be seen, except 
the base of its ruined tower. A few tombstones, with the names 
of the Amblers and Jaquelines, the chief owners of the island for 
a long time, and the Lees, of Green Spring, (the residence and pro- 
perty, at one time, of Sir William Berkeley,) a few miles from 



96 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Jamestown, still mark the spot where so many were interred 
during the earlier years of the Colony. Some of the sacred ves- 
sels are yet to be seen, either in private hands or public temples 
of religion. The first I would mention are a large silver chalice 
and paten, with the inscription on each, 

"Ex Dono Jacob! Morrison Armigeri, A.D. 1661." 

Also a silver alms-basin, with the inscription, "For the use of 
James City Parish Church." When the church at Jamestown 
had fallen into ruin and the parish ceased to exist, probably at 
the death of Bishop Madison, these vessels were taken under the 
charge of the vestry in Williamsburg. During the presidency of 
Dr. Wilmer over the College, and his pastorship of the church in 
Williamsburg, in the year 1827, they were placed in the hands of 
the Rev. John Grammer, to be used in the church or churches 
under his care, on condition of their being restored to the parish 
of James City, should it ever be revived. In the year 1854, Mr. 
Grammer thought it best to surrender it into the hands of the 
Episcopal Convention, with the request that it be deposited for 
safe-keeping in the Library of the Theological Seminary of Vir- 
ginia, where it now is. The second is a silver plate, being part 
of a communion-service presented to the church at Jamestown, 
by Edmund Andros, in the year 1694, he being then Governor. 
The history of this is singular. In one of our Southern towns, 
about twelve years since, a gentleman, wishing something from a 
jeweller's shop, was directed by the owners of it to look into a 
drawer for the thing wanted, in which drawer was kept old silver 
purchased for the purpose of being worked up again. This piece 
of plate was noticed, being much bent and battered. It was pur- 
chased, and, being restored to its original shape, was discovered to 
be what we have stated ; this appearing from the Latin inscription 
upon it. This also has been presented to the Church of Virginia. 
The third and last of the pieces of church furniture which is 
now in use in one of our congregations is a silver vase, a font for 
baptism, which was presented to the Jamestown Church, in 1733, 
by Martha Jaqueline, widow of Edward Jaqueline, and their son 
Edward. In the year 1785, when the act of Assembly ordered 
the sale of Church property, it reserved that which was possessed 
by right of private donation. Under this clause, it was given 
into the hands of the late Mr. John Ambler, his grandson. The 
following lines in relation to it are from the pen of Mr. Edward 
Jaqueline's grand-daughter, the late Mrs. Edward Carrington, of 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 97 

Richmond. They have been furnished by one of her descendants, 
and I take pleasure in placing them on record : 

" Dear sacred vase ! do I indeed behold 

This holy relic of my church and sire, 
Not basely barter' d, or profanely sold, 

But pure and perfect, still preserved entire ? 

"No sordid act could change thy sacred use, 

No impious tongue condemn a gift so rare, 
While plate and chalice felt the dire abuse, 
That echoes loud in heaven's offended ear. 

" But thou, most precious vase, remain'st the same, 

Still waiting to perform the donor's will; 
And, when to men thou giv'st the Christian's name, 
Come thou, God, and grace divine instil!" 

I have also been permitted to make use of the papers of this 
excellent lady in presenting some sketches of the members of her 
family who were in connection with the old church at James- 
town. Nor can I do this without first making a brief reference 
to herself. Mrs. Carrington was a sincere and pious member of 
our Church in Richmond, from the beginning of its resuscitation 
in 1812, how much longer I know not. Being infirm, from the 
time of our first Conventions, she was unable to attend public 
worship, but was not ashamed to convert her house into a place 
of prayer and exhortation, inviting her neighbours and friends to 
assemble there. Some pleasant and edifying meetings have I 
been privileged to attend and participate in, under her roof, 
during the last years of her pilgrimage on earth. The paper from 
which I extract the following was drawn up in the year 1785, on a 
visit to one of the Amblers, at a residence called the " Cottage," 
in Hanover county, Virginia, and where were the portraits of the 
older members of the family : 

" The first was Edward Jaqueline, who was descended in a right line 
from one of those unfortunate banished Huguenots whose zeal in the 
good Protestant cause has made their history so remarkable. He was of 
French extraction, and, from his buckram suit and antique periwig, 
(alluding to his portrait on the wall,) must have arrived in this country 
in its early settlement. The costume of the young ladies and gentlemen 
bespoke more modern fashion ; amongst whom (and she was the youngest) 
stood my highly-respected aunt Martha, who, I well remember, told me 
she was born in the year 1711. She died at the age of ninety-three. 
From her I learned that the old gentleman, Edward Jaqueline, her father, 
settled in Jamestown, on his first arrival in this country, where his tomb- 
ptone still remains ; that he married in the Carey family, in Warrick 
county; that he had three sons and three daughters; that the daughters 

7 



98 OLD CHUftCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

only survived him; that the eldest of these, Elizabeth, married our 
grandfather, Richard Ambler, a respectable merchant in Yorktown ; that 
the second, Mary, married John Smith, of Westmoreland, from whom 
have descended our kinsfolks John and Edward Smith, of Frederick 
county. The third was our dear aunt, Martha Jaqueline, who choose to 
take upon herself the title of Mrs. at the age of fifty, this being the cus- 
tom with spinsters in England at that day. Richard Ambler was an honest 
Yorkshireman, who settled, as we have said, as a merchant in Yorktown, 
and married Elizabeth Jaqueline, and thus inherited the ancient seat in 
Jamestown, which was thus transmitted through several generations, 
being enlarged in size until the whole island came into the possession of 
the late John Ambler, of Richmond. Mr. Richard Ambler had a number 
of children, only four of whom reached maturity, Edward, John, Mary, 
and Jaqueline, the latter of whom, after being educated in Phila- 
delphia, entered into business with his father in Yorktown, and mar- 
ried Rebecca Burwell, daughter of Lewis Burwell, and niece of Pre- 
sident Nelson, who, having no daughter, took charge of her, she being 
left an orphan at ten years of age. Jaqueline Ambler and Rebecca his 
wife were the parents of Eliza, who married Mr. William Brent, of 
Stafford, and, at his death, Colonel Edward Carrington, of Cumberland.* 



* Colonel Carrington, the husband of her from whose papers I make these 
extracts, entered early into the army of the Revolution, and afterwards served his 
country in the American Congress. He was a great favourite of Washington, and 
endeared himself to Generals Green, Marion, and Sumpter, while rendering im- 
portant services in the Southern campaign, as their letters amply show. 

It will not be inopportune here to introduce a passage from one of Mrs. Car- 
rington's letters to her sister, Mrs. Fisher, written from Mount Vernon, where she 
and Colonel Carrington were on a visit, not long before General Washington's 
death. I have always determined to give, in some part of these sketches, a view 
of the chamber of a Virginia lady, to show that, though abounding with servants, 
she is not idle; nay, that the very number of her servants creates employment. 
After speaking of the hearty welcome given them by the general and his lady, and 
the extension of the retiring-hour of the former from nine to twelve on one night, 
when he and Colonel Carrington were lost in former days and scenes and in the 
company of Pulaski and Kosciusko, she comes to Mrs. Washington, who spoke 
of her days of public life, and levees, and company, as "her lost days." "Let 
us repair to the old lady's room, which is precisely in the style of our good old 
aunt's, that is to say, nicely fixed for all sorts of work. On one side sits the 
chambermaid, with her knitting; on the other, a little coloured pet, learning 
to sew. An old, decent woman is there, with her table and shears, cutting out 
the negroes' winter-clothes, while the good old lady directs them all, incessantly 
knitting herself. She points out to me several pair of nice coloured stockings 
and gloves she had just finished, and presents me with a pair half done, which she 
begs I will finish and wear for her sake." "It is wonderful, after a life spent as 
these good people have necessarily spent theirs, to see them, in retirement, assume 
those domestic habits that prevail in our country." If the wife of General 
Washington, having her own and his wealth at command, should thus choose to 
live, how much more the wives and mothers of Virginia with moderate fortunes 
and numerous children ! How often have I seen, added to the above-mentioned 
scenes of the chamber, the instruction of several sons and daughters going on, the 
churn, the reel, and other domestic operations, all in progress at the same time, 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 99 

Mary married John Marshall;* Anne, George Fisher; and Lucy, Daniel 
Call. 

From the papers of Mrs. Carrington I take the following con- 
cerning the religious character of her mother : 

" Often, when a child, have I listened to my mother's account of her 
early devotion to her Maker: heard her describe how, at the age of 
thirteen, deprived of earthly parents, she, with pious resignation, turned 
her heart to God, and, in the midst of a large family, sought a retired 
spot in the garret, where she erected a little altar at which to worship. 
There, with her collection of sacred books, she gave her earliest and latest 
hours to God. Her character, in the opinion of her giddy companions, 
was stamped with enthusiasm. But who would not wish to be such an 
enthusiast? In after-years she made it her meat and drink to do the 
will of God, and never, in one instance, do I recollect her to have shrunk 
from it. Her whole life was a continued series of practical Christian 



and the mistress, too, lying on a sick-bed. There are still such to be found, 
though I fear the march of refinement is carrying many beyond such good old 
ways. 

* The papers from which I quote state that the first meeting of Captain 
Marshall and his future wife was at York, where the Amblers at that time lived ; 
that the father of Captain Marshall Colonel Thomas Marshall, from Fauquier 
was the commanding oflicer at York, and that his son, who was in the army, 
came to visit him and the family there, during some months when his services 
were not required in the army; that an attachment was formed, at first sight, 
between him and the youngest daughter of Colonel Ambler, she being only four- 
teen years of age; that Mr. Marshall endeared himself to them all, notwith- 
standing his slouched hat and negligent and awkward dress, by his amiable man- 
ners, fine talents, and especially his love for poetry, which he read to them with 
deep pathos ; that, during his absence from the army of a few months, he studied 
law in Williamsburg, obtained a license, and returned to the army as captain ; that 
immediately after the war he and Miss Ambler were married, at the Cottage, in 
Hanover, a seat of one of the Amblers ; that after having paid the minister his fee 
his fortune was only one guinea in pocket. In proof of the ardour of his cha- 
racter and the tenderness of his attachment to his intended wife, Mrs. Carrington 
remarks that he had often said to her " that he looked with astonishment on the 
present race of lovers," so totally unlike what he had been himself. The proof 
of this was seen in his persevering devotion to Mrs. Marshall during life. 

That Judge Marshall should be a reader and lover of poetry may be some- 
what unexpected to many who have been accustomed to regard him only as the 
able lawyer, the grave and dignified chief-justice, or the laborious historian ; yet 
it was nevertheless so, to a justifiable extent Hie education was, from the first, 
classical, under the Rev. Mr. Thompson, and was so continued, at William and 
Mary College, when the first scholars presided over it. I remember once to have 
heard him quote, with a playful aptitude, concerning some leading persons who 
had changed their political relations, these words of old Homer, 

"Ye gods, what havoc does ambition make 
'Mong all your works !" 



100 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

duty, and her example can never be effaced from the hearts of those who 
knew her." 

Mrs. Carrington also speaks, in like manner, of her father, Mr. 
Jaqueline Ambler : 

" His saintlike image is too deeply impressed to need any picture of 
mine to recall him to our remembrance. I find a complete portrait of 
him drawn by the inimitable Cowper: 

" ' He is the happy man whose life e'en now 

Shows somewhat of that happier life to come.'" 

Speaking of the piety of both of her parents, she says, 

"We boast not that we deduce our birth 
From loins enthroned, or rulers of the earth ; 
But higher far our high pretensions rise, 
Children of parents pass'd into the skies." 

Her aged aunt Jaqueline had assured her that piety distinguished 
her father from early youth. She herself had experienced the 
fruits of it in his assiduous care of herself and sisters. Her mo- 
ther being in very bad health, her father, though much engaged in 
the duties of his office, (collector of the King's customs at York,) 
devoted all his spare hours to the education of herself and her 
sister, (afterward Mrs. Marshall,) then only five or six years of age. 
The copies for writing were always written by himself, in a fair 
hand, containing some moral or religious sentiment, but defective 
in grammar, that they might correct them ; and so of other branches. 
The advantages they possessed were superior to any enjoyed in 
those days, when there were no boarding-schools and all that was 
taught "was reading and writing, at twenty shillings a year and 
a load of wood." Mrs. Carrington informs us that "the govern- 
ment exercised by her father was by some thought to be too severe, 
for the rod, at that time, was an instrument never to be dispensed 
with, and our dear father used it most conscientiously. I have 
since discovered that his superior knowledge of human nature led 
him to pursue the right course, (as to discipline,) and in my own 
subsequent experience, in the education of children, I have found 
that the present prevailing opinion, that youth may be reared and 
matured by indulgence, is erroneous. I will venture to say that, 
with a very few exceptions, it will be always proper to observe a 
well-regulated discipline. "We often hear the observation that a 
rigid parent never has an obedient child. Our experience certainly 
contradicts it. Where the parent is found to unite the virtuous 






FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 101 

Christian with the conscientious disciplinarian, he will never cease 
to be loved and respected. Such a father was ours, and the love 
and respect we bore him has seldom been equalled." His example, 
also, added weight to his precept and government. "Never did 
man live in the more constant practice of religious duties. Early 
and late we knew him to be in the performance of them. It was 
his daily habit to spend his first and latest hours in prayer and 
meditation. Every Sunday that his church was open, he was the 
first to enter it, and often would he be almost a solitary male at 
the table of the Lord/' This, she adds, was during the war, when 
the men were engaged in it, and when infidelity was spreading 
through the land. The last end of this good man was, as might 
be expected, one of peace. On his death-bed, when speaking of 
one of his neighbours, who had gone to some distant place in 
search of a home, he said, with his eyes uplifted to heaven, "I am 
going to a nearer, happier home " To a female friend, who was at 
his bedside when he died, he exclaimed, 

" See the New Jerusalem ! 
See it open'd to my eyes !" 

From such ancestors, as might well be expected according to the 
covenant of grace, many pious children have descended, who have 
faithfully adhered to the Church of their fathers. 

P.S. Since preparing the above, I have received a fuller ac- 
count of the descendants of the first of the Jaquelines. He came 
to this country from Kent, in England, in the year 1697, and, mar- 
rying Miss Carey, of Warwick, settled at Jamestown. His daugh- 
ter Mary married one of those Smiths in Middlesex of whom we 
shall make mention in our article on that parish, and two of which 
family were ministers of the Church in Gloucester and Matthews. 
Colonel Edward and General John Smith, of Frederick, and many 
others, were the children of Mary Jaqueline and John Smith. We 
have seen, in the account taken from the papers of Mrs. Carrington, 
the sketch of one braijch of the Amblers, that descended from Ja- 
queline Ambler, who married Miss Burwell. We have only to refer 
to that descended from Edward Ambler, who inherited Jamestown, 
or a large portion of it. Mr. Edward Ambler married Miss Mary 
Carey, daughter of Wilson Carey, the lady of whom Washington 
Irving, in his life of Washington, speaks, as the one to whom Gene- 
ral Washington was somewhat attached. One of his sons was Mr. 
John Ambler, first of Jamestown, then of Hanover, and afterward of 



102 OLD CHUBCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Richmond. His first wife was a Miss Armistead, by whom he had 
Edward, who settled in Rappahannock, and Mary, who married 
Mr. Smith. His second wife was the sister of Judge Marshall, by 
whom he had one child, Major Thomas Ambler, of Fauquier. His 
third wife was the widow of Mr. Hatley Norton, of England, and 
daughter of Philip Bush, of Winchester, by whom he had many 
sons and daughters, who are married and settled in various parts 
of the State, warm friends or members of the Church. Two of 
the descendants of this branch of the family are worthy ministers 
of the Church, the Revs. Charles and Thomas Ambler. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 103 






ARTICLE VII. 

Being an appendix to the articles on James City parish, and con- 
taining a further account of the Jaquelines, Amblers, and James- 
town. No. 5. 

SINCE the foregoing notice of these families was written. I 
have had access to some most reliable documents, from which have 
been obtained the following additional information : 

Within the last thirty years visits have been made to England 
by a number of their descendants, and an intercourse, personal 
and epistolary, been established between those in England and 
those in America. I am the more pleased at being allowed access 
to these documents, because I am enabled thereby to gratify a 
favourite wish and design of these articles in the establishment 
of a connection between the old families and the old Church of 
England and America. 

The tradition prevalent in Virginia as to the descent of the 
Ambler family is entirely confirmed by a letter of the Rev. 
George Ambler, of Wakefield, in Yorkshire, to one of his relatives 
in Virginia. Wakefield and Leeds are near to each other in 
Yorkshire, as they are in Westmoreland, Virginia, the latter 
deriving their names from the former through the instrumentality 
of the Washington and Fairfax families, whose residence was in 
that part of England. The Amblers were also from the same 
place > and Leeds Manor, in Fauquier, may have received its name 
through them. The following is an extract from a letter of the 
Rev. Mr. Ambler, of England, to Mr. Philip St. George Ambler, 
of Virginia: 

" I am seventy-four years of age, a graduate of the University of Cam- 
bridge, a clergyman, living in my native town (Wakefield, in York- 
shire) upon my private means ; am descended from John Ambler, of the 
city of York, who was sheriff of the county in 1721. My great-grand- 
father, the aforesaid John Ambler, had a son, Richard, who followed the 
fortunes of a relative in Virginia. That son had nine children, of 
which I happen to possess a list." 

This number exactly agrees with that of the children of Richard 
Ambler, of York, who married Miss Jaqueline, of Jamestown. A 



104 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

sister of this Richard Ambler (Mary Ambler) married the Rev. 
George Shaw, a minister of the Established Church, and was 
grandmother of Charles Shaw Lefevre, late Speaker of the House 
of Commons. For many years this Richard Ambler was collector 
of the port at Yorktown, an office both honourable and lucra- 
tive, and which he discharged with great integrity. Of his 
nine children by Elizabeth Jaqueline, all died at an early age, 
except Edward, John, and Jaqueline, as we have said in our last 
article. 

I find some interesting notices in the document before me con- 
cerning these three, which I shall introduce, but not without a 
previous notice, from the same source, of the family of their 
mother, Elizabeth Jaqueline: 

" Her father, Edward Jaqueline, of Jamestown, was the son of John 
Jaqueline and Elizabeth Craddock, of the county of Kent, in England. 
He was descended from the same stock which gave rise to the noble family 
of La Roche Jaqueline in France. They were Protestants, and fled from 
La Vendee, in France, to England, during the reign of that bloodthirsty 
tyrant, Charles IX. of France, and a short time previous to the Massacre 
of St. Bartholomew. They were eminently wealthy, and were fortunate 
enough to convert a large portion of their wealth into gold and silver, 
which they transported in safety to England/' 

"Whilst I was in Paris/' (says one of the travellers from America,) "in 
1826, the Duke de Sylverack, who was the intimate friend of Madame 
De la Roche Jaqueline, (the celebrated authoress of the 'Wars of La 
Vendee/) informed me that the above account which is the tradition 
among the descendants of the family in America corresponds exactly 
with what the family in France believe to have been the fate of those 
Jaquelines who fled to England in the reign of Charles IX. I found the 
family to be still numerous in France. It has produced many distin- 
guished individuals; but none more so than the celebrated Yende'an 
chief, Henri De la Roche Jaqueline, who, during the Revolution of 1790, 
was called to command the troops of La Vendee after his father had been 
killed, and when he was only nineteen years of age. Thinking that he 
was inadequate to the task, on account of his extreme youth and total 
want of experience in military afiairs, he sought seriously to decline the 
dangerous honour but the troops, who had been devotedly attached to 
the father and family, would not allow him to do so, and absolutely forced 
him to place himself at their head in spite of himself. As soon as he 
found that resistance was useless, he assumed the bearing of a hero and 
gave orders for a general review of his army : to which, (being formed in 
a hollow square,) in an animated and enthusiastic manner, he delivered 
this ever-memorable speech : 

" ' My friends, if my father was here you would have confidence in 
him ; but as for me, I am nothing more than a child. But, as to my 
courage, I shall now show myself worthy to command you/ 

" This young man started forth a military Roscius, and maintained to 
the end of his career the high ground he first seized. After displaying 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 105 

all the skill of a veteran commander, and all the courage of a most daunt- 
less hero, he nobly died upon the field of battle, at the early age of twenty- 
one, thus closing his short but brilliant career." 

The document thus concludes on the subject of the Jaque- 
lines : 

" By a mourning-ring now in possession of Mary Marshall, the wife of the 
Chief-Justice of the United States, it appears that Edward Jaqueline 
died in the year 1730. He died, as he had lived, one of the most 
wealthy men in the Colony." 

We now proceed to speak of the three grandsons of Edward 
Jaqueline. The sons of Bichard Ambler and Elizabeth Jaqueline 
were John, Edward, and Jaqueline. John was born in Yorktown. 
At the age of ten he was sent, with his elder brother, Edward, to 
Leeds Academy, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire, England, for his 
education. He afterward graduated with great credit at Cam- 
bridge, and then repaired to London, to begin the study of law. 
There he became a very learned and accomplished barrister-at-law. 
After travelling over Europe, he returned to Virginia and took 
possession of Jamestown, which estate had been given him by his 
grandfather Jaqueline. He represented the borough of James- 
town for many years, and was considered one of the most accom- 
plished scholars in the Colony. He was perfect master of seven 
languages. Many of his books in those different languages have 
come down to his relatives. His health sunk under his literary 
habits, and he died of consumption, at the age of thirty-one, in the 
island of Barbadoes. His body was brought to Jamestown, and 
deposited in the old graveyard around the church. The following 
inscription, taken in 1820 from a tombstone of which no vestige 
now remains, shows in what esteem he was held by his brother Ed- 
ward, who died on the day it was placed over his remains : 

"John Ambler, Esquire, Barrister-at-Law, Representative in the As- 
sembly for Jamestown, and Collector of the District of York River, in 
this Province. 

" He was born the 31st of December, 1735, and died at Barbadoes, 
27th of May, 1766. In the relative and social duties as a son, and a 
brother, and a friend few equalled him, and none excelled him. He 
was early distinguished by his love of letters, which he improved at Cam- 
bridge and the Temple, and well knew how to adorn a manly sense with 
all the elegance of language. To an extensive knowledge of men and 
things he joined the noblest sentiments of liberty, and in his own example 
held up to the world the most striking picture of the amiableness of reli- 
gion." 



106 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

To this brief testimony to the worth of one whose days were 
soon numbered, we add a more enlarged one to the virtues of hia 
brother, Mr. Jaqueline Ambler : 

"Jaqueline Ambler, the seventh child of Richard and Elizabeth Am- 
bler, was born in the town of Little York, on the 9th of August, 1742. 
At an early age he married Rebecca, daughter of Lewis Burwell, of White 
Marsh, in Gloucester county, Virginia. He was Councillor of State 
during the Revolutionary War, at the time that Thomas Jefferson was 
Governor of Virginia. He was afterward appointed Treasurer of State, 
which office he held until his death. He stood as high, as a man of 
honour, as any who had ever lived, either in ancient or modern times. He 
was indeed so remarkable for his scrupulous integrity that he was called, 
throughout the land, l The Aristides of Virginia.' Whilst Treasurer, one 
of his clerks robbed the Treasury of 5000. The officers whose duty it 
was to examine the Treasurer's books for that year failed to detect the 
defalcation, and reported to the Legislature that the Treasurer's books 
balanced as they should do. Mr. Ambler was the first to find out the vil- 
lany and immediately reported it to the Legislature, who caused a re-exa- 
mination of the books to take place, re-elected him to the office, and 
passed an act in which they declared that their confidence in his character, 
so far from being impaired by the event, had been greatly increased : 
whereupon he immediately paid the 5000 into the treasury, out of his 
own funds, and determined to continue in office. Pie was ae charitable 
as his means would allow him to be ; no meritorious person in distress 
ever applied to him in vain. There was living in Richmond a poor 
Scotch clergyman, named John Buchanan, whom he invited to make his 
house his home until he should be able to support himself. The invita- 
tion was accepted. 

" The excellent parson Buchanon lived with him till he died, offi- 
ciated when he was consigned to the grave, and preached his funeral 
sermon, from which the following extract is made : 

" l And when can we more seasonably apply to these duties than when 
we are warned by the loss of our friends to remember our latter end and 
apply our hearts unto wisdom ? We have, my brethren, been lately pay- 
ing the last sad tribute to a departed brother. He whose loss we now 
lament has passed the fifty-fifth year of his age without a blemish to 
his reputation; without an enemy; with numerous friends. Adored 
by his family, he has almost consoled them for his loss by the conviction 
that he has not gone too early for himself, and that he was mature in 
character. 

" 'Notwithstanding the constant exposure of an official man to the dis- 
pleasure of others, by the impartiality of his conduct, even those who went 
away from him unindulged in their applications were satisfied by a confi- 
dence in the purity of his motives. His public career for nearly twenty 
years was a series of testimony to this truth. Drawn from the peaceful 
walks of private life into public action, without a solicitation or a wish 
previously expressed, he was chosen by the Legislature to three important 
offices daring the Revolution and since the peace. His last, that of Trea- 
surer, presented for thirteen years to malice, envy, or enmity, had they 
existed against him, an annual opportunity of gratification. And yet was 
he annually re-elected, because he had unremittingly shown his fitness 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 



107 



for the office. His fatal disorder put human nature to the rack; but he 
bore his agonies with every firmness of which human nature was capable, 
cherished, strengthened, and animated by the divine glow of Christianity, 
and foreseeing with a smile the prospect opening to his view. The poor 
scarcely knew the hand from whence they so often received relief; and 
those who were his dependants could not but own how much their condi- 
tion was softened by the kindness of their master/ " 

" To this fair transcript of his character," says Dr. Bu- 
channon, the author of the sermon, " I might, from a fourteen 
years' knowledge of him, (ten whereof I spent in his family,) 
add many private traits which characterize him as the good man 
and sincere and pious Christian. I could set before you innume- 
rable instances of kind attention and anxious solicitude to alleviate 
the distresses, bear the infirmities, provide for the wants, nay, even 
anticipate the wishes, of her to whom he was united ; of the con- 
stant care and unremitted assiduity of the fond but judicious pa- 
rent training up his own children, as also the fatherless and those 
who had none to guide and direct them in the paths of religion and 
virtue, not merely by daily precepts, but by what is infinitely more 
efficacious, by daily example ; and thus conscientiously discharging 
that most important of all trusts, and securing their eternal as well as 
temporal interests. I might bear honourable testimony to his being 
as tender of the reputation of another ; repelling every report cir- 
culated by envy or malice against his neighbour's fame, and, like 
Christian charity, thinking no evil. I might adduce repeated 
proofs of his delicacy and purity of manners and conversation, 
and of his temperance and self-government. He may, however, 
have been thought by some too reserved and too much of a recluse ; 
and that he separated himself more than was necessary from 
scenes of cheerful and innocent sociability. But, it may be truly said, 
none had greater enjoyment in his family and the private circle 
of his friends whenever the state of his health would permit ; and 
that he was sufficiently conversant in the world to present a fair 
model of integrity, and a constant attention to his duties as an 
officer, though not enough to be seduced or contaminated by its 
follies and vices. To sum up all, I might lead to his private retire- 
ment, and there present to you the devout Christian, prostrate in 
humble supplication before his almighty Creator, which they only 
who follow his example can justly estimate, and which they know 
proves their greatest consolation in the various trials and calamities 
of life. In fine, I might conduct you to the altar of God, where 
you would hear him making a public profession of his faith, and, 



108 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

regardless of the scoffs of the infidel and the ridicule of a vain 
and inconsiderate world, giving an open and solemn testimony that 
he was not ashamed of the cross of Christ, which was to him both 
the wisdom and power of God to his salvation. 

" These and many more features of his character I might exhibit 
to your view. But though a minute and particular detail would 
still appear to myself as falling short of his merit, yet, to those 
less acquainted with him than I was, it might seem to be drawn by 
the flattering pencil of a friend. I therefore forbear a further 
recital, and make one reflection naturally arising from the subject : 
that whenever the eye of man is disgusted and shocked by scenes 
of impiety, rapine, cruelty, and bloodshed, let him cast it on such 
a fair and pleasing picture as the present, which does so much 
honour to human nature, and he will not fail to conclude that man, 
the prey of furious and malignant passions, resembles an infernal 
spirit ; but when actuated by the sacred dictates of religion and 
devoted virtue he claims kindred with the angels in heaven. 
'Mark, therefore, the perfect man, and behold the upright, for 
the end of that man is peace.' ' 

The following account of Mr. Edward Ambler is from the same 
source, the family document: 

"When he attained the age of twelve years he was sent to England to 
finish his education, accompanied by his younger brother, John. They 
were entered at Leeds Academy, near Wakefield, in the county of York, 
at which place they continued for several years; after which they were 
sent to Cambridge, where they went through a regular course of study 
and terminated their university career with the highest credit. The 
liberality of Mr. Richard Ambler allowed his son Edward to make 
the grand tour of Europe after he quitted the university, so that he had 
passed his twenty-first year before he returned to Virginia. After 
which event it was not very long before he led to the altar Miss Mary 
Gary, the daughter of Wilson Gary, Esquire, of Celeys, Elizabeth City 
county, Virginia, who was descended from one of the most noble families 
in all England. 

"The elder sister of Miss Mary Gary had married George William 
Fairfax, at whose house she was on a visit, when she captivated a young 
man, who paid her his addresses. His affection, however, was not re- 
turned, and the offer of his hand was rejected by Miss Gary. This young 
man was afterward known to the world as General George Washington, 
the first President of the United States of America. Young Washing- 
ton asked permission of old Mr. Gary to address his daughter before he 
ventured to speak to herself. The reply of the old gentleman was, 'If 
that is your business here, sir, I wish you to leave the house, for my 
daughter has been accustomed to ride in her own coach/ It has subse- 
quently been said that this answer of Mr. Gary to the stripling Washing- 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 109 

ton produced the independence of the United States, and laid the founda- 
tion of the future fame of the first of heroes and the best of men, our 
immortal Washington ; as it was more than probable that, had he obtained 
possession of the large fortune which it was known Miss Gary would carry 
to the altar with her, he would have passed the remainder of his life in 
inglorious ease. It was an anecdote of the day, that this lady, many 
years after she had become the wife of Edward Ambler, happened to be 
in Williamsburg when General Washington passed through that city at 
the head of the American army, crowned with never-fading laurels and 
adored by his countrymen. Having distinguished her among the crowd, 
his sword waved toward her a military salute, whereupon she is said to 
have fainted. But this wants confirmation, for her whole life tended to 
show that she never for a moment regretted the choice she had made. It 
may be added, as a curious fact, that the lady General Washington after- 
ward married resembled Miss Gary as much as one twin-sister ever did 
another. 

"Edward Ambler, after the death of his father, Richard Ambler, was 
appointed Collector of the port of York, which station he was induced 
to occupy, rather on account of the honour it conferred in those days, 
than for the sake of the emolument. He was a man of such considera- 
tion in the Colony, that when Lord Baron Botetourt came over to this 
country as Colonial Governor of Virginia he brought a letter of introduc- 
tion to him, which is now in possession of the writer. Upon the death 
of his younger brother, John, who gave him Jamestown, he removed 
there to live, and represented the old borough for many years afterward in 
the House of Burgesses. Edward Ambler died and was buried at James- 
town, in the thirty-fifth year of his age, Anno Domini 1767. His 
widow survived him fourteen years. When the Revolutionary War broke 
out she removed, with her children, from Jamestown to the Cottage, in 
Hanover county, which was a much less exposed situation. Several of 
her acquaintances and connections removed from the lower country and 
bought estates near the Cottage, merely for the sake of society. Among 
others were Robert Carter Nicholas, Esquire, who bought and lived at a 
place called ' The Retreat/ Wilson Miles Cary, Esquire, her brother, 
bought an estate near, as did the family of General Nelson ; so that this 
neighbourhood, as deserted and uninhabited as it now is, afforded at that 
time as polished society as any in Virginia. Mrs. Ambler was a woman 
of uncommon strength of mind and firmness of purpose. After the tea 
had been thrown overboard at Boston, she would not allow a particle of it 
to be used in her family, though fully able to have indulged in every 
luxury which the country afforded. And, as another proof of her pa- 
triotism, I will mention, what I have often heard my father say, that, at the 
time that the young Marquis De la Fayette was retreating before Lord 
Cornwallis, he passed with his army near the Cottage, taking the right- 
hand road to Negrofoot, about half a mile above Ground- Squirrel Bridge 
and two from the Cottage. As soon as she heard of it she procured uni- 
form and arms for my father, then a boy only sixteen years of age, buckled 
them on him with her own hands, and then bade him 'to go out and join 
the American troops ; and though you are my last and only child,' said 
she, l return to me with honour or return no more!' This most excellent 
and amiable lady did not live to see her country independent and the war 
terminate, as she fondly wished she might do, that she might once more 
return to light her hospitable fires in the hearths of her noble old family 



110 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

mansion at Jamestown ; to which every member of the family had been 
exceedingly attached for several generations past ; for at that spot almost 
all of the blood and the name had been born, had lived, had died, and 
been buried. Independent of its antiquity, being so celebrated as the 
spot where the first successful Colony from England located themselves in 
America, and where the first town and the first church had been built in 
America, with bricks brought from England, it is a noble estate of about 
thirteen hundred acres of land, situated on the banks of James River, 
where this noble stream is near four miles wide, and originally had one of 
the largest old mansions on it that was built in times when a Virginia 
gentleman vied in wealth with an English nobleman. Though half of 
this structure was destroyed by fire during the lifetime of the first John 
Ambler, yet the remainder presents as commodious and commanding an 
appearance as any dwelling-house in Virginia. The estate is now an 
island ; though it was formerly a peninsula, connected with the mainland 
by a narrow isthmus, which has in the last century been entirely washed 
away by the resistless action of the waves upon it. At Jamestown there 
abound, in the very greatest perfection in which they can be eaten, all 
sorts of fish, deer, wild ducks, sora ; and ortolans. Figs, grapes, and pome- 
granates here attain perfection. It is situated within eight miles of the 
ancient city of Williamsburg, which, during the lifetime of my grand- 
mother, contained as polished society as could have been found at the 
court of St. James itself. In the year 1781, Mrs. Mary Ambler, the 
widow of him whom we shall call the first Edward Ambler, whilst staying 
at the Cottage, in Hanover county, was attacked by that illness which 
ended in her death. Whilst on her death-bed she directed that her re- 
mains should be taken to Jamestown. But, as the war still raged with 
England, it was thought best to have them interred where she died. And 
even this precaution did not have the effect of securing them from the 
profanation of the British troops, a detachment of which overran this part 
of the country and came to the Cottage to ransack and to plunder. In 
looking for the family plate they took it into their heads that it was 
buried in the graveyard ; though they were assured to the contrary by the 
servants. They proceeded to the grave of niy grandmother, dug up the 
coffin, and actually opened it before they would be satisfied that the object 
of their search was not there. When the war was ended, Mrs. Ambler's 
remains were taken to Jamestown, according to her request, and placed by 
the side of those of her husband." 

The following account of a recent visit to Jamestown will con- 
clude our notices of this parish : 

On the 27th of October, 1856, I went to this place of ruins in 
company with the Kev. Dr. Totten, the Rev. George Wilmer, Mr. 
Richard Randolph, and Colonel Durfey. The latter had been 
owner of the place some years since, and was well acquainted with 
its past and present history. Mr. Randolph, our Virginia anti- 
quary, was also quite at home as to all that belonged to the 
scene. We entered the island in a boat, at the upper or western 
end of it, near to that which was once the neck constituting it a 
peninsula and uniting it to the mainland. This has long since 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. Ill 

been overflowed and the peninsula has become an island. About 
ninety years ago the late Mr. John Ambler, then owning the 
greater part of the island and residing on it, made a causeway on 
that which had been the neck of land, but which was now covered 
with water some feet deep. This, after some time, having been 
overwhelmed with the waves of James River, Colonel Durfey, on 
becoming the proprietor of the whole island, made a bridge to it at 
some distance from the causeway, over which the stage passed, car- 
rying passengers to the Old Wharf at Jamestown, where the 
steamboats received them. Only the piles on which the bridge 
rested now remain, and the steamboats receive passengers from 
Williamsburg and the country around at some other place. The 
only access at this time to the island from the mainland is by boat 
across Back River, which surrounds the island on the west and in 
part on the north and east, uniting with James River at the upper 
and lower ends of the island ; also stretching up some miles into 
the mainland, by ,a creek called Portan. While the neck of land 
stood firm, Back River terminated in this creek. Since the irrup- 
tion of the waters of James River over this neck, the upper part 
of the island has lost much of its ancient territory. The neck 
itself is in some places a third of a mile in the river. A large 
portion of the town also lies buried in the waves. At low-water 
some signs of it may yet be seen. As this was the highest part 
of the peninsula, and the most fertile and beautiful, the town was 
chiefly built on it. The work of destruction has now passed along 
nearly a mile, from the original connection with the mainland to 
the lower part of the town, where the public buildings and the old 
church stood. The bank is giving way within one hundred and 
fifty yards of the old tower and graveyard ; and, if some remedy 
be not applied in time, they also must be immersed in the waters 
of old Powhatan ; for that was the Indian name of James River. 
As the church was built on the fifty acres of land which is deeded 
to the authorities of James City for public houses, it is hoped that 
in due time either those authorities or that of the State will guard 
the same against destruction. The old tower and the ruins of the 
church are about fifty yards from the river, which in that place 
has not yet encroached on the bank ; although, as we have said, a 
hundred and fifty yards above it is rapidly advancing on the 
island. 

Something special deserves to be said of the ruins of the old 
church. The graveyard, in the midst of which it stood, contained 
about half an acre of land, which is covered with old sycamores, 



112 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

and mulberries, and smaller trees, and shrubberies, which form a 
dense shade. The old brick enclosure, which was mouldering into 
ruins, and some of the walls of the church, were used about sixty 
years ago by Mr. William Lee, of Green Spring, and the late Mr. 
John Ambler, of Jamestown, in making a small enclosure around 
the tombstones which were still remaining. This enclosure covers 
about one-third of the original one, and takes in a part of the spot 
on which the church stood. The foundation of the old church is 
still marked by the bricks which remain. On accurate measure- 
ment, we found it to be an oblong square of just twenty-eight feet 
by fifty-six. The ruined tower was judged to be about thirty feet 
high, and, by measurement, proved to be eighteen feet square. As 
there are conflicting opinions concerning the date of the erection 
of this old church, some affirming that what we see are the ruins 
of that which was destroyed in Bacon's rebellion, while others 
affirm the building of a new one after that event, we will briefly 
state the facts bearing on the case. The history of the succession 
of the Jamestown churches is as follows : The first place of wor- 
ship, as described by Captain Smith, was made of the awning, or 
old sails, taken from vessels, and fastened to trees. The second 
was a very plain log building, which was burned down in the second 
or third year of the Colony, during the ministry of the Rev. Mr. 
Hunt. The third was a larger and better one, probably of wood, 
built during the presidency of Captain Smith, and in a ruinous 
or neglected condition when Lord De la War arrived, in 1611. 
By him it was repaired and adorned as I have stated. Its dimen- 
sions were twenty-four feet by sixty. The chancel, called quoir, 
was large enough to hold the Governor, the Council, and other 
officers of state. This was doubtless the same in which Governor 
Yeardley, with the Councillors and Burgesses, held their legislative 
session in 1619 ; and, as we read of no other being built between 
that time and 1676, when the town and church were burned down 
by Bacon, it is most probable that this was the building. In oppo- 
sition to the theory that the present are the ruins of the old church 
which was burned in the rebellion, is the fact that the dimensions 
of the church which Smith built and Lord De la War repaired 
were different from the one whose ruins are now seen. The dimen- 
sions of the former were twenty-four by sixty ; those of the latter 
twenty-eight by fifty-six. Other circumstances there are, which 
render it almost certain that another church had been built since 
the destruction of the one by Bacon. Not only was there a goodly 
number of families residing in the place for some time after this, 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 113 

but the court-house and House of Burgesses were there until the 
removal of the seat of government to Williamsburg, after the year 
1705. Although the Governors may have lived at Green Spring, 
yet some of the officers of government, belonging to the port, and 
Legislature, were there; and it is not to be supposed that they 
would live for thirty years without a church. This improbability 
is strengthened by the fact that Governor Andros presenfed some 
communion-plate to the church at Jamestown in 1694; and yet 
more by another fact, that in 1733 a silver font, still in existence, 
was presented to it by two of the Ambler family. Surely these 
would not have been presented to the ruins of a deserted church. 
We must, therefore, suppose that the ruins which we now behold 
are those of a church put up since the rebellion. That they are 
not the ruins produced by fire I ascertain, not merely by the fact 
that there are no marks of destruction by fire, but by the testimony 
of an elderly gentleman, who assured me h.e was present when the 
wooden part of the tower was burned by accident. It is proper to 
state, in connection with this, that at a later period, the date not 
known, a brick church was built on the road from Jamestown to 
Williamsburg, called the "Main Church," in which Bishop Madi- 
son preached in the concluding years of his ministry. He doubt- 
less preached at Jamestown in the earlier part of it. The Main 
Church hae recently disappeared. Underneath it was found a brick 
vault, containing the remains of some unknown ones who were 
buried there.* Having thus disposed of the church, we add some- 
thing concerning the graveyard. Deep-pressed into the earth and 
almost covered up by it we found the following inscription : 
" Here lyeth the body of the Rev. John Gough, late minister of 
this place, who departed this life January 15th, 16834, and waits 
in hopes of a joyful reunion." This supplies one blank in our list 
of its ministers. Besides this, we found the tombstones, or frag- 
ments thereof, of Philip Ludwell and Sarah his wife, of Ursula 
Beverly, wife of Robert Beverly and daughter of William Byrd, 
(the first of that name, we presume, and who lived in Williams- 



* Since the above was written I have received the following information: "The 
last minister of the ' Main Church' before Bishop Madison was the Rev. Mr. Bland, 
afterward of Norfolk. His wife was a daughter of the Rev. William Yates, who 
was for a short time President of William and Mary College. When the church 
was taken down, a piece of timber broke the arch of a vault containing a coffin, 
with a plate on which was inscribed 'Elizabeth Bland,' with a vacant space suffi- 
cient for another coffin." 



114 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

burg during the building of the College.) The tombs of Edward 
Jaqueline and Jaqueline Ambler, also those of B. Harrison and 
Mrs. Edwards, may yet be seen. 

Something special in the way of notice is due to the condition 
of the tombs of Commissary Blair and Mrs. Blair; the latter being 
the daughter of Philip Ludwell, of Green Spring, who married 
Miss Sa'rah Grymes, of Middlesex. The tombs were placed side 
by side, and were very heavy and strong. The platform, sides, 
and ends were of white freestone, and the interior filled with 
bricks, well cemented. The top slab, on which the inscriptions 
were made, are of thick dark iron-stone, or black marble. A 
sycamore-shoot sprung up between the graves and is now a large 
tree. In its growth it embraced, on one end and on the top, the 
tomb of Mrs. Blair, one-third of which lies embedded in the body 
of the tree and is held immovable. All the interior, consisting of 
brick, and two of the side-stones, have been entirely forced out of 
their places by the tree and lie scattered around, while the dark 
iron-stone slab is held in the air three feet above the surface of the 
earth, fast bound by the embrace of the body of the tree, into 
which it is sunk between one and two feet, the inscription being 
only partially legible. On the other side, the whole tomb of Com- 
missary Blair has been forced away from its place by the roots 
and body of the tree, and is broken to pieces in all its parts. 
We found about two-thirds of the slab (on which was the inscrip- 
tion) scattered in three or four fragments at some distance from 
each other, and having put them together made out an imperfect 
Latin memorial, so imperfect that we shall not insert it. 

Leaving the ruins of the church and graveyard, we add a few 
concluding words as to the island. About two hundred yards be- 
low the church and a hundred from the river, is the old brick house 
of the Amblers, or a large part thereof, built, it is supposed, more 
than a hundred years since. It is still in good repair and is the 
residence of the manager of the present owner, Mr. William Allen. 
It is the only house on the island except the old brick magazine 
and a small frame room near it, both of which, unless preventive 
measures are adopted, must soon tumble into James River. At the 
lower end of the island there are still the remains of a graveyard 
belonging to the Travis family, which owned that part of the island 
for some generations. The house is gone. This part of the island 
became separated from the other by some low and swampy ground. 
Mr. Allen now owns the whole of the island, which consists of 
about seventeen hundred acres and is between two and three miles 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 115 

in length and three-quarters of a mile in width. Twelve hundred 
acres of it are now and always have been a marsh and incapable 
of use. There are one hundred acres of woodland and four hun- 
dred of arable land, very fertile and valuable. Within the last 
thirty years it has changed owners several times, being sold at 
various prices, from ten to thirty thousand dollars. 



116 OLD CHDJICHE8, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE VIII. 

The Parish of James City. No. 6.* 

SOME NOTES ON JAMESTOWN ; SUPPLEMENTARY TO BISHOP MEAPE'S 

ARTICLES. 

YOUR readers must have been deeply interested, Mr. Editor, by 
Bishop Meade's articles in your paper upon the " Old Churches, 
Ministers, and Families of Virginia." For a very long and im- 
portant portion of the history of the Episcopal Church in Vir- 
ginia, his own experience and observation have put him in posses- 
sion of the best materials ; and for the rest, his position and efforts 
have enabled him to avail himself of most of what others had to 
contribute. For a vast deal of information, therefore, must we 
acknowledge ourselves dependent upon and indebted to him. 

When he reached the parish of James City, however, he entered 
a field which has been long comparatively open to the researches 
of other inquirers. Dr. Hawks explored it some years ago with 
such industry and success, that we regret that he could not have 
had the rare opportunities for obtaining materials which have been 
enjoyed by the Rev. Mr. Anderson. No one can properly study, 
write, or appreciate Virginia history who does not largely and 
heartily enter into those parts relating and devoted to religion and 
the Church. So that, if confined to any two works for the history 
of Virginia down to the Revolutionary period, one could hardly 
do better than take Henning's Statutes at Large and Hawks's 
Contributions to the Ecclesiastical History of Virginia. 

It is hoped that a few supplementary notes will not be deemed 
by Bishop Meade or any one else as an intrusion, but as a co-opera- 
tion in the good work in which he is engaged. Should any new 
facts be brought out, or any inadvertences corrected, it may be of 
some little service when he comes to rewrite his articles for a more 
permanent form of publication. 

Bishop Meade gives deserved prominence and praise to the mis- 



* This article did not appear, as was designed, in the "Southern Churchman;" 
but it is here inserted as a valuable addition to the preceding ones. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 117 

sionary element that entered into the colonization of Virginia. 
Those adventurers who looked chiefly to the glory of God and the 
conversion of the Infidels were as sincerely convinced as any 
others of the bright prospects of gold and other temporal benefits ; 
but they used these mainly for the purpose of stimulating " the 
action," that the religious and spiritual blessings to which they 
looked might be realized. The constancy and continuousness with 
which these last are held up in all that was said, done, and written 
in behalf of this Colony until that awful check in the massacre by 
Opechancanough, in 1622, are remarkable. Even the business- 
entries in the records of the Company in London make express 
reference to the blessing of God and the favouring care of his 
providence. Whilst the motto of every patriot and Christian 
should be, "A religious nation, and not a national religion," yet a 
connection between Church and State is apt to confer upon the 
State the benefit of an express recognition, in all enterprises of 
public pith and moment, of God's supremacy and superintending 
providence. This is a good habit in itself; but, of course, its 
chief value consists in the sincerity of those who practise it, whe- 
ther rulers or ruled. In the case before us, numbers of Christian 
men and women were equally as fervent and sincere as Richard 
Hakluyt and Robert Hunt. 

Bishop Meade refers to the first charters and to the instructions 
issued by King James in 1606. But the passage in those instruc- 
tions which enjoins kind treatment of the savages, &c. has this 
singular addendum : " And that all just, kind, and charitable 
courses shall be holden with such of them as shall conform them- 
selves to any good and sociable trafic and dealing with the sub- 
jects of us, our heirs and successors, which shall be planted there, 
whereby they may be the sooner drawn to the true knowledge of 
God and the obedience of us, our heirs and successors, under such 
severe pains and punishments as shall be inflicted by the same 
several presidents and councells of the said several Colonies, or 
the most part of them, within their several limits and precincts, on 
such as shall offend therein or doe the contrary." We must not 
lose sight of the spirit of the age, especially when we come to 
judge of that after-policy which is said to have been ever the 
reproach of Virginia. 

In the third charter, 1611-12, March 12, which still recites 
that the plantation was undertaken " for the propagation of Chris- 
tian religion and reclaiming of people barbarous to civility and 
humanity," is a fact worth mentioning, viz.: The fifth section 



118 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

expressly admits and confirms among the adventurers, G-eorge, 
Lord-Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry, Earl of Huntingdon, 
Edward, Earl of Bedford, and Richard, of Clanrickard, \s*ho were 
named in this formal manner at the request of the Company, " for 
the good and welfare of the plantation, and that posterity may 
hereafter know who have adventured and not been sparing of their 
purses in such a noble and generous action for the general good of 
their country." These are the only four named in this charter, 
and, as they had all become members of the Company already, this 
was doubtless done to get the influence of their names. There are 
still extant alphabetical lists of the adventurers down to the year 
1620. 

It was under this charter that that code of "Laws, Divine, 
Moral, and Martial," was introduced by Gates and Dale, about the 
period when the Company were seriously debating whether they 
should not recall Lord De la War home and abandon the action. 
They called Gates from Virginia to England to advise them on 
that subject. He and Lord De la War induced them to persevere : 
but the state of affairs, especially in the Colony, required new and 
vigorous remedies. The colonists were heterogeneous, disorderly, 
wasteful, and mutinous ; they had to obtain something to return 
home by the ships ; they had to produce a part of their own sub- 
sistence, almost sword in hand ; for the Indians, spoiled by New- 
port and others, and no longer fooled with articles of mere trifling 
value, would not trade freely, and were not only not yet conciliated 
by the marriage of Pocahontas, but were really exasperated by the 
new intruders. The Colony had to be reduced into somewhat of 
a camp both for purposes of labour and of defence. Compulsion 
in religious matters was a long-practised thing in the mother-coun- 
try and in those countries with whom she had intercourse. Indeed, 
are not some compulsory features inseparable from any system that 
tolerates a union between Church and State ? Can there long be 
entire religious freedom and tolerance, save where religion is sus- 
tained and enforced solely on the voluntary principle ? as in this 
most glorious land of free freedom, the wonder, thus far, of hu- 
man history. 

Neither Gates nor Dale was a despot or tyrant. They had no 
Brewster cases and appeals during their administration. Argall 
was a tyrant, and a government of greater mildness theoretically 
would have been arbitrarily administered by him. 

In judging, then, of the code of laws referred to above, whilst 
we, with the road-to-Damascus light about us, cannot but condemn 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 119 

them, yet they should be viewed through the media of those days 
in which they were adopted. 

Bishop Meade says that Strachy probably had a hand in con- 
cocting them. This is doubtful ; but he certainly edited and vin- 
dicated them in 1612. 

Promising a narrative of what he had seen and suffered in Ber- 
muda and Virginia, he says, " I do, in the mean time, present a 
transcript of the Toparchia, or state of those duties by which 
their Colonie stands regulated and commanded, that such may 
receive due checke, who malitiously and desperately heretofore 
have censured it ; and by examining of which they may be right 
sorrie so to have defaulked from us as if we lived there lawlesse, 
without obedience to our countrey or observance of religion to 
God." He declares, moreover, that the laws are not new, but 
" the same constant asterismes and star res which must guide all 
that travel in these perplexed ways and paths of public affairs," 
&c. By this code, which deals so lavishly in capital punishment, 
many and the chief offences were cognizable loth by martial law 
and by the civil magistrate ; but there was a goodly catalogue ap- 
pertaining only to martial discipline, which were to be diligently 
observed and severely executed. Along with the laws, Strachy 
publishes instructions from the marshal to each officer, and even to 
the private soldier, for the better enabling each in executing his 
duty. These are in the nature of a long and wholesome lecture, 
or charge, and wind up with the lengthy but excellent prayer 
quoted from by Bishop Meade, and which was to be said twice 
daily, upon the court of guard, by the captain or one of his prin- 
cipal officers. 

The religious services enjoined were as follows : On week- 
days, early in the morning, the captain sent for tools, for which a 
receipt was given ; the companies assembled, with the tools, in the 
place of arms, where " the serjeant-major, or captain of the watch, 
upon their knees, made public and faithful prayers to Almighty 
God for his blessing and protection to attend them in this their 
business the whole day after-succeeding." The men were divided 
into gangs, who worked on alternate days. The gang for the day 
was then delivered to the maisters and overseers of the work ap- 
pointed, who kept them at labour until nine or ten o'clock, accord- 
ing to the season of the year ; then, at the beat of the drum, they 
were marched to the church to hear divine service. After dinner, 
and rest till two or three o'clock, at beat of drum, the captain 
drew them forth to the place of arms, to be thence taken to their 



120 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

work till five or six o'clock, when, at beat of drum, they were 
again marched to church to evening prayer : they were then dis- 
missed, those that were to set the watch with charge to prepare 
their arms, the others unto their rest and lodgings. After order 
given out for the watch, the captain had to assemble his company, 
except his sentinels, upon his court of guard, and there " humbly 
present themselves on their knees, and, by faithful and zealous 
prayer to Almighty God, commend themselves and their endea- 
vours to his merciful protection." Again, in the morning, an 
hour after the discharge of the watch, were they to repair to the 
court of guard, and there, "with public prayer, to give unto Al- 
mighty God humble thanks and praises for his merciful and safe 
protection through the night, and commend themselves to his no 
less merciful protection and safeguard for the day following." 

It was also the special duty of the captain to have religious and 
manly care over the poor sick soldiers or labourers under his com- 
mand ; to keep their lodgings sweet and their beds standing three 
feet from the ground, as provided in the public injunctions. 

A singular duty was laid upon him who was for the time the 
captain of the watch. Half an hour before divine service, morn- 
ing and evening, he had to shut the ports and place sentinels, and, 
the bell having tolled the last time, to search all the houses of the 
town, to command every one of what quality soever (the sick and 
hurt excepted) to repair to church ; after which he was to follow 
all the guards with their arms into the church and lay the keys 
before the governor. On Sunday, he was to see that the Sabbath 
was noways profaned by any disorders, gaming, drunkenness, in- 
temperate meeting, or such like, in public or private, in the streets 
or within the houses. On the Sabbath, all were required, under 
severe penalties, to attend divine service, sermons, and catechizing, 
morning and evening. Any disrespect to a minister or preacher 
was also punished, and every person then in or who might arrive 
in the Colony was required to give an account of his or her reli- 
gious faith to the minister and to seek instruction from him. 

In the midst of all this blended system martial, civil, and 
religious that same missionary spirit was maintained. Even in 
the charge from the marshal to his colonel in this passage : 

"If the wisest man that ever spake or writ (except him that was both 
God and man) summed up all the reckonings of worldly felicities in 
these two words, Icetari et benefacere, imploying a cheerful mirth with 
well-doing, (from which it cannot be severed,) who hath more cause to be 
cheerful and inly glad than you, that have the comfort of so great well- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 121 

doing, to which no other may be compared ? For what well-doing can be 
greater than to be stocks and authors of a people that shall serve and glo- 
rify God, which is the end of all our creation, and to redeem them from 
ignorance and infidelity to the true knowledge and worship of God, 
whereby you are made partakers of this promise, that they which lead 
others into righteousness shall shine like the stars in the firmament? 
wherein be right well assured that your happiness is envied by many a 
right-knowing and excellent virtuous man in England," &c. 

Bishop Meade has alluded to the fact that for several years 
after the death of Mr. Hunt the Colony was without a minister. 
This is referred to in "A True Declaration of the Estate of the 
Colony in Virginia," &c., published by the council in England, in 
1610, as one of the causes which had provoked God to visit the 
plantation with those dire calamities which beset it at the time that 
Lord De la War was first sent out as Governor for life. 

" Cast up," says the publication just referred to, " this reckoning toge- 
ther, want of government, store of idleness, their expectations frustrated 
by the traitors, their market spoiled by the mariners, our nets broken, the 
deere chased away, our boats lost, our hogs killed, our trade with the 
Indians forbidden, some of our men fled, some murthered, and most, by 
drinking of the brackish water of James Fort, weakened and endaun- 
gered, famyne and sickness by all these means increased, here at home 
the monies came in so slowly that the Lord Laware could not be dis- 
patched till the Colony was worne and spent with difficulties. Above all, 
having neither ruler nor preacher, they neither feared God nor man, 
which provoked the wrath of the Lord ,of hosts and pulled down his 
judgments upon them." 

Bishop Meade quotes from Crashaw how providential and op- 
portune was the arrival of Lord De la War. Indeed, there did 
seem then to be a most remarkable divine interposition in behalf 
of the Colony, the striking circumstances of which are exultingly 
set forth in the " True Declaration" already mentioned : 

" He that shall further observe how God inclineth all casual events to 
work the necessary help of his saints must needs adore the Lord's infi- 
nite goodness. Never had any people more just cause to cast themselves 
at the footstool of God and to reverence his mercy than our distressed 
Colony; for if God had not sent Sir Thomas Gates from the Bermudas 
within four days, they had all been famished ; if God had not directed 
the heart of that worthy knight to save the fort from fire* at their ship- 
ping, they had been destitute of a present harbour and succour ; if they 
had abandoned the fort any longer time and had not so soon returned, ques- 



* When they abandoned the town to return to England, the people were eager 
to burn up the place ; and, to prevent them, Sir Thomas Gates, with a select party, 
stayed on shore till they had all embarked. 



122 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

tionless the Indians would have destroyed the fort which had been the 
means of our safety among them and a terror to them. If they had set 
sail sooner and had launched into the vast ocean, who could have pro- 
mised that they should have encountered the "fleet of the Lord De la 
War ? especially when they made for Newfoundland, a course contrary to 
our navies approaching. If the Lord De la War had not brought with 
him a year's provision, what comfort could those souls have received, to 
have been relanded to a second destruction ? Brachium Domini, this was 
the arm of the Lord of hosts, who would have his people pass the Red 
Sea and wilderness and then to possess the land of Canaan. If God for 
man be careful, why should man be over-distrustful ?" 

The following letter, from an unknown person, relates to the 
proposition at a later period to establish a College at Henrico : 

" To SIR^ EDWIN SANDIS, TREASURER OF VIRGINIA. 
IHS 

" Good luck in the name of the Lord, who is daily magnified by the 
experiment of your zeal and piety in giving beginning to the foundation 
of the College in Virginia, the sacred work so due to heaven and so 
longed-for on earth. Now know we assuredly that the Lord will do you 
good, and bless you in all your proceedings, oven as he blessed the house 
of Obed-edom and all that pertained unto him, because of the ark of God. 
Now that ye seek the kingdom of God all things shall be ministered unto 
you. This I well see already, and perceive that by your godly determina- 
tion the Lord hath given you favour in the sight of the people ; and I 
know some whose hearts are much enlarged because of the house of the 
Lord our God, to procure your wealth, whose greater designs I have pre- 
sumed to outrun with this oblation, which I humbly beseech you may be 
accepted as the pledge of my devotion and as the earnest of the vows I 
have vowed unto the Almighty God of Jacob concerning this thing; 
which, till I may in part perform, I desire to remain unknown and un- 
sought after." 

This oblation consisted of a communion-cup with the cover and 
case, a trencher-plate for the bread, a carpet of crimson velvet- 
and a linen damask tablecloth. 

B. B. MINOR, Richmond, Va. 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 123 



ARTICLE IX. 

Eenrico Parish. No. 1. 

ABOUT twelve or fifteen miles below Richmond, on the north 
sme of James River, lies a tract of land, than which none, except 
the island on which Jamestown stood, has more interest to a Vir- 
ginian. It was the second settlement in the Colony, with the 
exception of the feeble attempts at the Falls of James River, at 
Nansemond, and Hampton. In the year 1611, four years after 
the first settlement at Jamestown, and while that was just strug- 
gling into existence, Sir Thomas Dale, High-Marshal of Virginia, 
divided the colonists with Governor Gates, and brought with him 
three hundred and fifty men, (chiefly German labourers,) and built 
three rows of houses for them, a church, a house for himself, and 
others for "the honester sort of people," that is, the farmers. 
Palisadoes, that is, fences, to be some guard against the 
Indians and to keep in the cattle, and small watch-towers and 
other works, were put up. The place on which these things were 
erected was afterward called Farrar's Island, from the name 
of the mm who bought it after the great massacre, but mis- 
named, just as Jamestown was ; for a narrow neck of land united 
them both to the main, though, in the case of Jamestown, that 
neck has been overflowed, and it is now not only in name, but in 
reality an island. The other, Farrar's Island, is sometimes 
called the Great Bend, because, while the neck is only one hun- 
dred and twenty yards across, you must go seven miles around by 
water to reach the opposite point. It has also been called Dutch 
Gap, because there are indubitable marks of the commencement 
of a channel by the first Dutch settlers across its narrow neck, 
by which the water might be let through and thus the seven miles 
of travel be saved. The channel was opened about half-way 
across, that is, about sixty yards, and then abandoned. A 
proposition to do this was also made during the last war, but 
never executed. The same reason probably prevented in both 
instances, viz. : the fear of injuring the bed of the river, or of 
inundating some of the adjoining lands. Another name was also 
given to the settlement in earlier times, viz.: Dale's Gift, 



124 OLD UHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

because Sir Thomas here first divided lands to the colonists, who 
hitherto (while at Jamestown) lived in common, cultivating the 
fields on the island, but living together in the. city. Fifty 
acres of fine river-bottom were allotted to each 1 family. The 
city was called Henricopolis, or the City of Henry, after 
Prince Henry. It was afterward in common use contracted to 
Henrico. There were probably about five thousand acres of 
land in the settlement as bounded by the circuit of the river 
and the long palisadoes which separated it from the main-land 
on the north. If its figure be compared to the human body, the 
head of a man would represent the island, or rather peninsula; 
the neck represents the narrow part where the river, after its 
circuit, almost touches ; and then, if the arms be a little raised 
from the body on each side, you would have the remaining part 
of the settlement extending about two miles between the two 
rivers, as they seem to be. Indeed, the visitor to this spot, stand- 
ing on the elevation where Henrico City once stood, may see, 
almost at one view, what appear to be four beautiful rivers, though 
only one in reality. The effect upon both mind and eye is truly 
romantic and worth a visit from places far more distant than 
Richmond, though it is believed but few of the inhabitants of that 
city have ever enjoyed the sight. Let those who have any thing 
of the feeling of an antiquarian, or even of a Virginian, only visit 
that spot, taking with them the account given of its first settle- 
ment by Captain Smith, Sir Thomas Dale, or any other of our 
early writers, with the guidance of our fellow-citizen, Mr. Richard 
Randolph, who was born near it and lived on it forty years ago, 
and they may verify the accounts on the ground, may gather up 
some broken bricks, which have been worn by the ploughshare for 
one or two centuries on the well-known spots where the houses of 
Sir Thomas Dale, Rolph, and Pocahontas once stood. The corre- 
spondence between the ancient account and the present appear- 
ances Mid relics is too strong to admit of a lingering doubt. 
Near the Dutch Gap, or narrow neck separating what appears to 
be two beautiful rivers only by a few paces, stood the second 
church in Virginia and America, built immediately on the landing 
of these Virginia Pilgrims, and before Sir Thomas Dale laid the 
foundation of his own residence. And this was only preparatory 
to a much better one of brick, whose foundation, Captain Smith 
informs us, was soon laid. Such was the piety of our first 
ancestors. It was soon discovered that another settlement on the 
other side of the river between James River and the Appo- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 125 

mattox was necessary to the security of the little colony at 
Henrico, for a troublesome tribe of Indians occupied that narrow 
corner between the two rivers, and annoyed the colonists. 
Accordingly, Sir Thomas, in a few months, divided his forces 
again, drove away the Indians from thence, and made a settle- 
ment, opposite to what is now called City Point, naming it 
Bermuda Hundred, and dividing lands here also to the settlers, 
and running a palisado from river to river across another neck. 
The Rev. Mr. Whittaker of whom we have before spoken was 
the minister to each of these settlements ; for they were both 
in one parish (Henrico parish) from the first, and for a long 
time, extending (as did the county) on both sides of James River, 
included what is now Chesterfield county and Dale parish. 
Wherefore Mr. Whittaker, in order to be convenient to his whole 
parish, chose for his residence what is well known at this day as 
Rock Hall, on the southern bank of James River, in what is now 
Chesterfield, and opposite to the lowest part of the Great Bend. 
At this point Sir Thomas Dale built him a parsonage and set 
apart his glebe.* It was probably in crossing the river near his 
house, in order to visit his parishioners on the island, that he was 
drowned, as we have before stated. Having referred to the 
residence of Rolph and Pocahontas, it will be interesting to point 
the reader and the visitor to the very spot, since it is clearly 
ascertained. Mr. Rolph's house and residence were about two 
miles from the city of Henrico, down the river, where the court- 
house afterward stood, and where a parsonage and glebe also were 
located. All these sites are well known, and constitute what was 
called Varina. 

Before proceeding further in our history of Henrico parish, we 
must make a digression, for which we are sure our readers will 
more than pardon us. It will be remembered that, in our 
sketch of the early history of Jamestown parish, we introduced 
some things concerning Henrico and Bermuda, alleging, as a 
sufficient reason, that the history of these three places were inti- 
mately connected and identified for some years, and, indeed, was 
the whole history of the colony at that time. For the same 
reason we now introduce into the early history of Henrico some 
things which might have formed a part of our notices of James- 



* At a later period a church called Jefferson's Church was built near Kock 
Hall, and supplied by the minister from Varina. This church, or a part of it, may 
be still standing. 



126 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

town, but which were not at that time in our possession. It will 
be remembered that, in speaking of the marriage of Rolph and 
Pocahontas in the church at Jamestown, we alluded to a letter of 
the former to Sir Thomas Dale, in which he sets forth all the per- 
plexities of his soul on that subject and submitted the final decision 
to that pious and noble-spirited man. Through the kindness of our 
worthy citizen, Mr. Conway Robinson, of Richmond, I have pos- 
session of that letter, which he obtained during a recent visit to 
England, and here submit it to the reader. None can fail to per- 
ceive what a genuine spirit of piety and philanthropy breathes 
throughout it. 



"The coppie of this Gentleman's Letter to Sir Thomas Dale, that after 
married Powhatan's daughter, containing the reasons that moved him 
thereunto* 

et HONOURABLE SIR, AND MOST WORTHY GOVERNOR : When your lea- 
sure shall best serve you to peruse these lines, I trust in God the beginning 
will not strike you into greater admiration than the end will give you good 
content. It is a matter of no small moment, concerning my own parti- 
cular, which here I impart unto you, and which toucheth me so nearly 
as the tenderness of my salvation. Howbeit, I freely subject myself to 
your great and mature judgment, deliberation, approbation, and determi- 
nation ; assuring myself of your zealous admonition and godly comforts, 
either persuading me to desist, or encouraging me to persist therein, with 
a religious fear and godly care, for which (from the very instant that this 
began to roote itself within the secrete bosome of my breast) my daily 
and earnest praiers have bin, still are, and ever shall bee poored forthwith, 
in as sincere a goodly zeal as I possibly may, to be directed, aided, and 
governed in all my thoughts, words, and deedes, to the- glory of God and 
for my eternal consolation ; to persevere wherein I had never had more 
neede, nor (till now) could ever imagine to have bin moved with the like 
occasion. But (my case standing as it doth) what better worldly refuge 
can I here seeke, than to shelter myself under the safety of your favour- 
able protection ? And did not my case proceede from an unspotted con- 
science, I should not dare to offer to your view and approved judgment 
these passions of my troubled soule ; so full of feare and trembling is 
hypocrisie and dissimulation. But, knowing my own innocency and godly 
fervour in the whole prosecution hereof, I doubt not of your benigne 
acceptance and clement construction. As for malicious depravers and 
turbulent spirits, to whom nothing is tasteful but what pleaseth their un- 
savoury pallate, I passe not for them, being well assured in my persuasion 
by the often trial and proving of myselfe in my holiest meditations and 
praises, that I am called hereunto by the Spirit of God ; and it shall be 
sufficient for me to be protected by yourselfe in all virtuous and pious 
endeavours. And for my more happy proceedings herein, my daily obla- 

* This letter is referred to in Sir Thomas Dale's, and went with it to England. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 127 

tions shall ever be addressed to bring to passe to goode effects, that your- 
selfe and all the world may truly say, c This is the worke of God, and it 
is marvellous in our eies.' 

" But to avoide tedious preambles, and to come nearer the matter : first, 
suffer with your patience to sweepe and make cleane the way wherein I 
walke from all suspicions and doubts, which may be covered therein, and 
faithfully to reveale unto you what should move me hereunto. 

" Let, therefore, this my well-advised protestations, which here I make 
before God and my own conscience, be a sufficient witnesse at the dreadful 
day of judgment, when the secret of all living harts shall be opened, to 
condemn me herein, if my deepest intent and purpose be not to strive 
with all my power of body and minde, in the undertaking of so mighty a 
matter, for the good of this plantation, for the honour of our countrie, for 
the glory of God, for my own salvation, and for the converting to the true 
knowledge of God and Jesus Christ an unbelieving creature, viz. : Po- 
kahontas. To whom my hartie and best thoughts are and have a long 
time bin so intangled and inthralled in so intricate a labyrinth, that I was 
even awearied to unwinde myself thereout. But Almighty God, who 
never faileth his that truly invocate his holy name, hath opened the gate 
and led me by the hand, that I might plainly see and discerne the safe 
pathes wherein to treade. 

"To you, therefore, (most noble sir,) the patron and father of us in this 
countrie, doe I utter the effects of this my settled and long-continued 
affection, (which hath made a mightie warre in my meditations j) and 
here I do truly relate, to what issue this dangerous combat is come unto, 
wherein I have not only examined, but thoroughly tried and pared my 
thoughts, even to the quicke, before I could finde any fit, wholesome, and 
apt applications to cure so dangerous an ulcer. I never failed to offer my 
daily and faithful praiers to God for his sacred and holy assistance. I for- 
got not to set before mine eies the frailtie of mankind, his proneness to 
evill, his indulgence of wicked thoughts, with many other imperfections, 
wherein man is daily insnared and oftentimes overthrown, and them com- 
pared to niy present estate. Nor was I ignorant of the heavie displeasure 
which Almightie God conceived against the sonnes of Levie and Israel 
for marrying strange wives, nor of the inconveniences which may thereby 
arise, with other the like good notions, which made me look about warily 
and with good circumspection into the grounds and principall agitations, 
which thus provoke me to be in love with one whose education hath been 
rude, her manners barbarous, her generation accursed, and so discrepant 
in all nurtreture from myself, that oftentimes with fear and trembling I 
have ended my private controversie with this : l Surely these are wicked 
instigations, hatched by him who seeketh and delighteth in man's de- 
struction j' and so with fervent praiers to be ever preserved from such 
diabolical assaults (as I tooke those to be) I have taken some rest. 

" Thus when I thought I had obtained some peace and quietness, 
behold, another but more gracious tentation hath made breaches into my 
holiest and strongest meditations, with which I have been put to a new 
triall, in a straighter manner than the former; for besides the many pas- 
sions and sufferings which I have daily, hourly, yea, and in my sleepe 
indured, even awaking me to astonishment, taxing me with remisness and 
carelessness, refusing and neglecting to performe the duties of a good 
Christian, pulling me by the eare, and crying, < Why dost not thou indea- 
vour to make her a Christian ?' And these have happened to my greater 



128 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

wonder even when she hath bin furthest separated from me, which in 
common reason (were it not an undoubted work of God) might breede 
forgetfulness of a fare more worthy creature. Besides, I say, the Holy 
Spirit hath often demanded of me, why I was created, if not for transi- 
tory pleasures and worldly vanities, but to labour in the Lord's vineyard, 
there to sow and plant, to nourish and increase the fruits thereof, daily 
adding, with the good husband in the gospel, somewhat to the talent, that 
in the end the fruits may be reaped, to the comfort of the labourer in 
this life and his salvation in the world to come ? And if this be, as un- 
doubtedly this is, the service Jesus Christ requireth of his best servant, 
wo unto him that hath these instruments of pietie put into his hands, and 
wilfully despiseth to worke with them ! Likewise adding hereunto her 
great appearance of love to me, her desire to be taught and instructed in 
the knowledge of God, her capablenesse of understanding, her aptness 
and willingnesse to receive anie good impression, and also the spirituall, 
beside her own incitements hereunto stirring me up. What should I doe ? 
Shall I be of so untoward a disposition as to refuse to leade the blind into 
the right way ? Shall I be so unnaturall as not to give bread to the hun- 
grie, or uncharitable as not to cover the naked ? Shall I despise to ac- 
tuate these pious duties of a Christian ? Shall the base feare of displeas- 
ing the world overpower and withhold me from revealing unto man these 
spirituall works of the Lord, which in my meditations and praiers I have 
daily made known unto him ? God forbid ! I assuredly trust he hath 
thus delt with inee for my eternal felicitie and for his glorie ; and I hope 
so to be guarded by his heavenly grace, that in the end, by my faithfull 
praiers and christianlike labour, I shall attaine to that blessed promise 
pronounced by that holy prophet Daniell unto the righteous that bring 
many unto the knowledge of God, namely : that ' they shall shine like 
the stars forever and ever.' A sweeter comfort cannot be to a true Chris- 
tian, nor a greater incouragement to him to labour all the daies of his life 
in the performance thereof, to be desired at the hour of death and in the 
day of judgment. Again, by my reading and conference with honest and 
religious persons, have I received no small encouragement ; besides mea 
screna conscientia, the cleannesse of my conscience, clean from the filth 
of impurity, quoeestmstarmuri ahenei, which is to me a brazen wall. If 
I should set down at large the perturbations and godly motions which 
have striven within mee, I should make but a tedious and unnecessary 
volume. But I doubt not these shall be sufficient, both to certify you of 
my true intent, in discharging of my duties to God and to yourselfe, to 
whose gracious Providence 1 humbly submit myself, for his glory, your 
honour, my countrie's good, the benefit of this Plantation, and for the 
converting of one unregenerate to regeneration, which I beseech God to 
grant for his dear Sonne Christ Jesus his sake. Nor am I in so desperate 
an estate that I regard not what becometh of mee ; nor am I out of hope 
but one day to see my countrie, nor so void of friends, nor mean in birth, 
but there to obtain a match to my great content ; nor have I ignorantly 
passed over my hopes there, nor regardlessly seek to lose the love of my 
friends by taking this course : I know them all, and have not rashly over- 
slipped any. 

" But shall it please God thus to dispose of me (which I earnestly 
desire to fulfill my end before set down) 1 will heartily accept of it, as a 
godly taxe appointed me, and I will never cease (God assisting me) until 
I have accomplished and brought to perfection so holy a worke, in which 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 129 

I will daily pray God to bless mee, to mine and her eternal happiness. 
And thus desiring no longer to live, to enjoy the blessing of God, than 
this my resolution doth tend to such godly ends, as are by me before de- 
clared, not doubting your favourable acceptance, I take my leave, beseech- 
ing Almighty God to rain down upon you such plenitude of his heavenly 
graces as your heart can wish and desire ; and so I rest, 

" At your command, most willingly to be disposed off, 

"JOHN ROLPH." 



FIRST JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES. , 

For the following deeply-interesting document I am also in- 
debted to the same hand. Mr. Robinson, in his careful examina- 
tion of papers in the State Office, in London, discovered a manu- 
script journal covering thirty pages, in which are the proceedings 
of a House of Burgesses held at Jamestown in 1619. It has 
been generally received and admitted, since the first volume of Mr. 
Henning's Statutes at Large were published, that no account of 
any such meeting was to be found for some years after this. 

My object in publishing it is not merely to gratify the curiosity 
and promote the objects of the historian and politician, but far 
more, to give additional weight to what I have already adduced in 
proof of the spirit of piety which animated the bosoms of the first 
founders of the Church and State of Virginia. 
. None can read the following document without admitting this : - 

"A report of the manner of proceeding in the General Assembly con- 
vented at James City, in Virginia, July 30, 1619, consisting of the Go- 
vernor, the Council of Estate, and two Burgesses elected out of each 
incorporation and plantation, and being dissolved the first of August next 
ensuing/' 

This is a document of the greatest interest to every Virginian. 
It is very satisfactory to find that it is quite a full report, em- 
bracing thirty pages. After the caption it proceeds as follows : 

"First, Sir George Yeardley, Knight, Governor and Captain-General 
of Virginia, having sent his summons all over the country, as well as to 
invite those of the Council of Estate that were absent, as also for the 
election of Burgesses, they were chosen and appeared. 

"1st. For James City Capt. Wm. Powell, Ensign Wm. Spenset 

" 2nd. For Charles City Samuel Sharpe, James Jordan. 

" 3rd. For the City of Henricus Thomas Dowce, John Potintine. 

"4th. For Kicciotan Captain Wm. Tucker, Wm. Capp. 

" 5th. For Martin Brandon, Captain John Martin's Plantation Mr. 
Thomas Davis, Robert Stacy. 

9 



130 OLD CHJJRCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

"6th. For Smyth's Hundred Captain Thos. Graves. Mr. Walter 
Shelley. 

" 7th. For Martin's Hundred Mr. John Boys, John Jackson. 

" 8th. For Argall's Plantation Mr. Powlett, Mr. Gourgemy. 

" 9th. For Flour De Hundred Ensign Poppingham, Mr. Jefferson. 

"10th. For Captain Lannis' Plantation Captain Christopher Lanne, 
Ensign Wisher. 

" llth. Captain Wirt's Plantation Captain Wirt, Lieutenant Gibbs. 

" The most convenient place we could find to sit in was the quire of 
the church where Sir George Yeardley, the Governor, being set down in 
his accustomed place, those of the Council of the Estate sat next him on 
both hands, except only the Secretary, then appointed Speaker, who sat 
before him. John Frome, Clerk of the General Assembly, being placed 
next the Speaker, and Thomas Pierce, the Sergeant, standing at the bar, 
to be ready for any service the Assembly should command him. 

" But for as much as men's affairs do little prosper when Grod's service 
is neglected, all the Burgesses took their places in the quire till a prayer 
was said by Mr. Bucke, the minister, that it would please God to guide 
and sanctify all our proceedings to his own glory and the good of this 
plantation. Prayer being ended to the intent that, as we had begun at 
Grod Almighty, so we might proceed with careful and due respect towards 
his Lieutenant, our most gracious and dread sovereign, all the Bur- 
gesses were instructed to retire themselves into the body of the church, 
which, being done, before they were fully admitted, they were called in 
order and by name, and so every man (none staggering at it) took the 
oath of supremacy, and then entered the assembly." 

To the foregoing documents in proof of the spirit which ani- 
mated the most devoted friends of the Colony, I add a third, 
furnished me by another true son of Virginia, Mr. Charles Camp- 
bell, of Petersburg. 

In the records of the London Company we meet with the name 
of the Earl of Southampton as the treasurer and most active 
friend of the same at the time of its greatest trials, when King 
James and his ministers were seeking its destruction. In the year 
1724, their object was effected and the Company summarily dis- 
banded, all their papers were seized upon, and the Colony taken 
under the sole charge of Government. The pious, zealous, and 
brave Earl of Southampton, however, never deserted the cause, 
but, in Parliament, boldly advocated such measures as he believed 
would most promote the true welfare of the Colony, in opposition 
to a corrupt king and cabinet. This was the more honourable to 
him from the relation he bore to the king. The Earl of South- 
ampton was the bosom-friend of the celebrated Earl of Essex, 
Prime Minister to Elizabeth, and was somewhat implicated with 
him in that conduct toward the queen which brought Essex to 
the scaffold. Southampton was imprisoned by the queen, though 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 131 

spared the fate of Essex. At the death of Elizabeth and the 
coronation of James, he was released from prison and placed in 
some offices of honour and trust, being a member of the Privy 
Council also. While thus honoured, in opposition to the wishes 
and remonstrances of the king, the earl, true to the best interests 
of the Company and the Colony, accepted the office of treasurer, 
attended all its meetings, often had them at his own house, and, as 
we have said, was the. zealous advocate of all measures in Parlia- 
ment calculated to promote the truest good of the Colony, after 
the company was dismissed by the king. The true secret of this 
moral courage was his fidelity to the King of kings. How much 
the following letter from his friend, the Earl of Essex, may have 
contributed to this, we know not, but that it was eminently calcu- 
lated to direct his mind to the only true source of moral greatness 
none can question. It has been a long time since its publication 
in a London chronicle, and it is well worthy of republication in con- 
nection with the name of Southampton and the early history of 
Yirginin. Let rue add that so high was the character of South- 
ampton held in Virginia, that one of her rivers for some time bore 
his name, and one of her largest counties still retains it. 

Letter from ike Earl of Essex to his friend the Earl of Southampton. 

" MY LORD : As neither nature nor custom ever made me a man of 
compliment, so now I shall have less will than ever for to use such cere- 
monies, when I have left with Martha to be solicitus circa multa, and 
believe with Mary unum sufficit. But it is no compliment or ceremony, 
but a real and necessary duty that one friend oweth to another in absence, 
and especially at their leave-taking, when, in man's reason, many acci- 
dents may keep them long divided, or perhaps bar them ever meeting till 
they meet in another world ; for then shall I think that my friend, whose 
honour, whose person, and whose fortune is dear unto me, shall prosper 
and be happy wherever he goes, and whatever he takes in hand, when he 
is in the favour of that God under whose protection there is only safety, 
and in whose service there is only true happiness to be found. What I 
think of your natural gifts or ability, in this age ,or in this State, to give 
glory to God and to win honour to yourself, if you employ the talents you 
have received to their best use, I will not now tell you ; it sufficeth that 
when I was farthest of all times from dissembling I spake truly and 
have witness enough. But these things only I will put your lordship in 
mind of. 

" 1. That you have nothing that you have not received. 

"2. That you possess them not as lord over them, but as an accountant 
for them. 

"3. If you employ them to serve this world, or your own worldly de- 
lights, which the prince of this world will seek to entertain you with, it 
is ingratitude, it is injustice, yea, it is perfidious treachery. 



132 OLD CHURCHES, MlfflSTERS, AND 

"' For what would you think of such a servant of yours that should 
convert your goods, committed to his charge, to the advantage or service of 
your greatest enemy; and what do you less than this with God, since you 
have all from him, and know that the world and prince thereof are at con- 
tinual enmity with him ? And therefore, if ever the admonition of your 
truest friend shall be heard by you, or if your country which you may 
serve in so great and many things be dear unto you ; if God, whom you 
must (if you deal truly with yourself) acknowledge to be powerful over 
all, and just in all, be feared by you; yea, if you be dear unto yourself 
and prefer an everlasting happiness before a pleasant dream, which you 
must shortly awake out of and then repent in the bitterness of your soul ; 
if any of these things be regarded by you, then, I say, call yourself to 
account for what is past, cancel all the leagues you have made without the 
warrant of a religious conscience, make a resolute covenant with your God 
to serve him with all your natural and spiritual, inward and outward gifts 
and abilities, and then He that is faithful and cannot lie hath promised to 
honour them that honour him; He will give you that inward peace of soul 
and true joy of heart which, till you have, you shall 'never rest, and that, 
when you have, you shall never be shaken, and which you can never attain 
to any other way than this that I have showed you. 

u I know your lordship may say to yourself and object to me, This is 
but a vapour of melancholy and the style of a prisoner; and that I was 
far enough from it when I lived in the world as you do now, and may be 
so again when my fetters be taken from me. I answer, though your 
lordship should think so, yet cannot I distrust the goodness of my God, 
that his mercy will fail me or his grace forsake me. I have so deeply 
engaged myself, that I should be one of the most miserable apostates 
that ever was ; I have so avowed my profession and called so many from 
time to time to witness it and to be watchmen over me, that I should be 
the hollowest hypocrite that ever was born. But though I should perish 
in my own sin, and draw upon myself my own damnation, should not you 
take hold of the grace and mercy, in God, which is offered unto you, and 
make your profit of my fearful and wretched example ? I was longer a 
slave and servant to the world and the corruptions of it than you have 
been, and therefore could hardly be drawn from it. I had many calls, 
and answered some of them, slowly thinking a soft pace fast enough 
to come to Christ, and myself forward enough when I saw the end of my 
journey, though I arrived not at it ; and therefore I have been, by God's 
providence, violently pulled, hauled, and dragged to the marriage-feast, 
as the world hath seen. It was just with God to afflict me in this world, 
that he might give me joy in another. I had too much knowledge when 
I performed too little obedience, and I was, therefore, to be beaten with 
double stripes. God grant your lordship may feel the comfort I now 
enjoy in my unfeigned conversion, but that you may never feel the 
torments I have suffered for my too long delaying it ! I had none but 
divines to call upon ; to whom I said, if my ambition could have entered 
into their narrow hearts, they would not have been so humble ; or, if my 
delights had been tasted by them, they could not have been so precise. 
But^your lordship hath one to call on you, that knows what it is you now 
enjoy, and what the greatest fruit and end is of all the contentments that 
this world can afford. Think, therefore, dear earl, that I have staked 
and buoyed all the ways of pleasure to you, and left them as sea-marks, 
for you to keep the channel of religious virtue : for, shut your eyes never 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 133 

BO long, they must be open at last; and then you must say with me, There 
is no peace to the wicked. 

" I will make a covenant with my soul, not to suffer my eyes to sleep in 
the night, nor my thoughts to attend the first business of the day, till I 
have prayed to my God, that your lordship may believe and make profit 
of this plain but faithful admonition; and then I know your country and 
friends shall be happy in you, and yourself successful in all you take in 
hand, which shall be an unspeakable comfort to 

" Your lordship's cousin and true friend, 

" whom no worldly cause can divide from you, 

" ESSEX." 



134 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE X. 

Henrico Parish. No. 2. 

WE introduce this second article by the following extract from a 
pamphlet of Alexander Whittaker, the first minister of Henrico 
parish. It was written in the year 1613. The account he gives 
of the Indian character has a bearing on that sad catastrophe 
which at an early period marred the fair prospects of Henrico 
College, and which, but for it, might have been the William and 
Mary of Virginia. 



"TRACTATE BY MASTER ALEXANDER WHITTAKER, WRITTEN AT 
HENRICO, 1613. 

" They (the Indians) acknowledge that there is a great good God, but 
know him not, having the eyes of their understanding as yet blinded ; 
wherefore they serve the Divell for feare, after a most base manner, sacri- 
ficing sometimes (as I have hearde) their own children to him. I have 
sent one image of their god to the Council in England, which is painted 
on one side of a toadestoole, much like unto a deformed monster. Their 
priests (whom they call Quickosoughs) are no other but such as our Eng- 
lish witches are. They live naked in body, as if their shame of their 
sinne deserved no covering. Their names are as naked as their body: 
they esteem it a vertue to lye, deceive, and steale, as their master the Di- 
vell teacheth them. 

11 Their men are not so simple as some have supposed them, for they are 
of body lusty, strong, and very nimble j they are a vety understanding 
generation, quicke of apprehension, sudden in their despatches, subtile in 
their dealings, exquisite in their intentions, and industrious in their labour. 
I suppose the world hath no better marksmen than they be : they will kill 
birds flying, fishes swimming, and beasts running. They shoote also with 
rnarvailous strength : they shot one of our men, being unarmed, quite 
through the body and nailed both his arms to his body with one arrow ; 
one of their children also, about the age of twelve or thirteen years, killed 
a bird with his arrow, in my sight. The service of their god is answerable 
to their life, being performed with great feare and attention, and many 
strange dumb shewes used in the same, stretching forth their limbs and 
straining their body, much like to the counterfeit women in England, ^bo 
fancie themselves bewitched or possessed of some evil spirit. They stand 
in great awe of the Quickosoughs or priests, which are a generation of 
vipers, even Satan's own brood. The manner of their life is much like 
to the Popish hermits of our age ; for they live alone in the woods, in 
houses sequestered from the common course of men neither may any 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 135 

man be suffered to come into their house, or speake to them, but when the 
priest doth call him. 

" He taketh no care for his victuals ; for all such kind of things, both 
bread and water, &c., are brought into a place neare his cottage and there 
left, which he fetcheth for his proper needs. If they would have raine, 
or have lost any thing, they have recourse to him, who conjureth for them 
and many times prevaileth. If they be sick, he is their physician ; if 
they be wounded, he sucketh them. At his command they make warre 
and peace ; neither doe they any thing of moment without him. Finally, 
there is a civil government among them which they strictly observe, and 
show thereby that the law of nature dwelleth in them ; for they have a 
rude kinde of commonwealth and rough government, wherein they both 
honour and obey their king, parents, and governors, both greater and 
lesser. They observe the limits of their own possessions. Murther is 
scarcely heard of \ adultery and other offences severely punished." 

We follow this sketch of the Indian character by stating that 
the efforts of Mr. Whittaker and others, and all the acts of the 
Company and Colony, seemed to have produced some effect on the 
natives, and to promise friendly relations with them. This pros- 
pect was brightened by the marriage of Rolph and Pocahontas. 
Even after her death, in 1617, a letter is written to the Company, 
saying, "Powhatan goes about visiting his country, taking his 
pleasure, in good friendship with us ; sorry for the death of his 
daughter, but glad her son is living. So docs Opechancanough. 
They both wish to see the boy, but do not wish him to come to 
Virginia until he is a man."* But, even at this time, it is to be 
feared that the perfidious Indians were meditating war. 

We now proceed with the history of the College and parish. 

We have already stated, in one of our articles on Jamestown, 



* Even as late as 1641 the boy Thomas Rolph asks and obtains leave of the 
Assembly to visit his uncle, Opechancanough. There is a document in the records 
of the Virginia Company of the 7th of October, 1622, which is worthy of insertion 
here. It appears that Mr. John Eolph, after returning to Virginia in 1617, mar- 
ried again and had other children, and that he died in or before 1622, leaving a 
widow and children. Mr. Henry Rolph, brother of John Rolph, addresses a peti- 
tion to the House of Burgesses, "desiring the estate his brother John Rolph, de- 
ceased, left in Virginia, might be enquired out and converted to the best use for 
the maintenance of his relict wife and children, and for his indemnity, (having 
brought up the child his said brother had by the daughter of Powhatan, which is 
yet living and in his custody.) It was therefore ordered that the Governor and 
Council in Virginia should cause inquiry to be made what lands and goods the said 
Rolph died seized of, and in case it should be found that the said Rolph made no 
will, then to take such order for the petitioner's indemnity, and for the maintenance 
of the said children and his relict wife, as they shall find his estate will beare, (his 
debts unto the Company and others being satisfied,) and return unto the Company 
an account of their proceedings." 



136 OLD CHIJRCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

that about the year 1619 it was determined to establish a College 
at Henrico, and that liberal contributions were made in England 
for that purpose. A pious and philanthropic man, a good scholar, 
a warm and confiding friend of the Indians, Mr. George Thorpe, 
was actually engaged in superintending all the preparatory opera- 
tions. How far they had advanced when the great massacre in 
1622 occurred, and in which Mr. Thorpe and so many others were 
killed and the city either destroyed or greatly injured, we have no 
means of ascertaining. We have reason to believe that some un- 
successful attempts were afterward made ; but neither the city nor 
the College ever recovered from this disastrous blow. 

Large tracts of land, called the College lands and the Com- 
pany's lands, to the amount of fifteen thousand acres, had been 
set apart on both sides of the river for the purpose of promoting 
the College and settlement. Between one and two hundred la- 
bourers were imported to cultivate them. One hundred young 
women, of good character, were ordered over to be wives to the 
workmen here and elsewhere. Eighty of them actually came. 
The massacre fell heavily on them upon both sides of the river. 
Despairing of success, at length the lands were otherwise dis- 
posed of. 

We are informed, by one of the descendants, that Mr. William 
Randolph bought at one time the whole of Sir Thomas Dale's set- 
tlement, amounting to five thousand acres of land, and as much 
more of other persons, reaching down to Four-Mile Creek, on 
James River. The two settlements of Varina and Curls, so long 
the property and abodes of the Randolphs, were on this estate. 
The estate of Bacon, the rebel, once formed a part of this tract, 
and there are still some remauis of the fort which he erected when 
contending with the Indians. The estate called Varina, which 
continued longest in possession of the Randolphs, was so called 
from a place of that name in Spain, because the tobacco raised at 
both places so resembled each other in flavour. 

As to the ministers and churches, we have seen that Mr. Whit- 
taker, who died in 1619, ministered to the people at Henricopolis 
and at Bermuda Hundred. He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. 
Wickam, and he by the Rev. Mr. Stockam. After these we have 
no authentic account of any minister until the time of the Rev. 
James Blair, who settled here in 1685, and was the rector until 
the year 1694, when he went to Jamestown and became Commis- 
sary and President of the College of William and Mary. The 
next account we have of the parish is in the year 1724, in an 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 137 

answer to the circular of the Bishop of London ; but unfortunately 
the name of the minister is cut off from the manuscript which is 
before us, and we can only give the report itself. The minister 
(whose name is lost) had been in the parish fourteen years ; that 
is, since 1710. There were two churches and one chapel. The 
parish was eighteen miles by twenty-five. There were eleven hun- 
dred tithables and four hundred families in it. The masters do 
nothing for their servants, but let some of them now and then go 
to church. One or two hundred persons are sometimes at church* 
The families are so distant that it is difficult to have the children 
brought to catechism, and when they grow to any bigness they do 
not like to be publicly catechized. The teachers and parents do 
whatever is done in that way. There was no public school for 
youth. There were only about twenty communicants at a time, 
when the sacrament was administered. 

The same evil is complained of here as is often elsewhere. The 
large estates on the river separate the families, so that it is difficult 
to get to church. It is so to this day along our rivers. Where 
the two churches and the chapel were at that time, we are at a loss 
to tell. Perhaps one may still have been at Henricopolis, the first 
settlement by Sir Thomas Dale. After a time, one was built by 
the first of the Richard Randolphs, which was called sometimes 
Four-Mile Creek Church, sometimes Curls Church, as it lay between 
these places. Whether there was a chapel at that time at the 
Falls that is, Richmond is not certainly known, but is probable. 
At a later period, the minister officiated alternately at the Four- 
Mile Creek Church, or Curls Church, on the north side of James 
River, and at a church on the south side, near Rock Hall, called 
Jefferson's Church. 

This was the case in the time of Mr. Stith, who wrote his His- 
tory about the year 1740, at Varina, when he was minister of 
Henrico parish. He removed to Williamsburg to preside over the 
College in the year 1752.* The building of the church at Four- 

* William Stith was the only son of Captain John Stith, of the county of Charles 
City, and of Mary, a daughter of " William Randolph, gentleman," of Turkey 
Island, in the adjoining county, Henrico, in the Colony of Virginia : their son Wil- 
liam was born in the year 1689. On the death of her husband, Mrs. Stith, at the 
instance of her brother, Sir John Randolph, removed to Williamsburg and placed 
her son in the grammar-school attached to the College of William and Mary, where 
he pursued his academic studies and graduated. His theological studies were com- 
pleted in England, where he was ordained a minister in the Episcopal Church. On 
his return to Virginia, in the year 1731, he was elected master of the grammar- 
school in the College and chaplain to the House of Burgesses. In June, 1738, he 



138 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Mile Creek, or Curls, is clearly ascertained, as to the time and the 
erection of it, by an extract from a letter of the eldest Richard 
Randolph, of Curls, to his son Richard, in 1748, in which he says, 
" Pray assist Wilkinson all you can in getting the church finished, 
and get the shells that will be wanted carted before the roads get 
bad. The joiner can inform you what shells I have at the Falls. 
If more are wanted you must get them." Some thirty or forty 
years ago, when this church was without Episcopal services, a man 
claimed it, and declared his intention to take it, when a great- 
grandson of old Mr. Randolph, of the same name, repaired to the 
place, and informed him that as soon as he touched it he would 
have him arrested. The desired effect was produced. It has, 
however, now disappeared ; and none, I believe, bearing the name 
of Randolph, owns a rood of that immense tract of land on which 
their fathers once lived.* 



was called as rector to Henrico parish, in the county of Henrico. He married his 
cousin Judith, a daughter of Thomas Randolph, of Tuckahoe, the second son. of 
William Randolph, of Turkey Island, and resided in the parsonage on the glebe 
near Varina, the seat of justice for the county of Henrico. There he wrote his 
History of Virginia, which was printed and bound in the city of Williamsburg, at 
the only printing-press then in the Colony. In August, 1752, he was elected Pre- 
sident of William and Mary College, to which he removed and over which he 
presided until his death, in 1755. 

* The connection of so many of the Randolphs, not only with the Episcopal 
Church, but ministry, both in England and America, merits some special notice of 
the family. It shall be very brief by comparison with the numbers and respect- 
ability of it. I leave it to some one of the name to trace back its history through 
the Church and State in England, and through the numerous branches which have 
spread themselves over Virginia and other parts of our land. I only abridge some 
of the genealogies placed in my hands, by giving a list of some of the earliest of 
the family, from whom all others have proceeded. The first of the name who 
settled in Virginia, Mr. William Randolph, became possessed of the large estate on 
James River called Turkey Island, bordering on Charles City, to which he added 
numerous other estates, on which he settled his sons, building excellent houses for 
all of them. He married Miss Mary Isham, daughter of Henry and Catherine 
Isham, of Bermuda Hundred, on the opposite side of the river. 

They had seven sons and two daughters. 1st, William, of Turkey Island, who 
married Miss Beverly, of Gloucester. 2d. Thomas, of Tuckahoe, who married 
Miss Flemming. 3d. Isham, of Dungeness, who married a Miss Rojers, of Eng- 
land. 4th. Richard, of Curls, who married a Miss Boiling, descendant of Poca- 
hontas. 5th. Henry, who died without issue. 6th. Sir John Randolph, of Wil- 
liamsburg, who married Miss Beverly, sister of his brother William's wif*. 7th. 
Edward, who married an \eiress in England, a Miss Groves. He was a captain 
of a ship. Some of his children settled in England and some in Virginia. Two of 
his daughters married the Revs. William and Robert Yates, of Gloucester county. 
A third married William Stith, and was the mother of the Rev. Mr. Stith, the his- 
torian of Virginia, minister of Henrico, and afterward President of William and 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 139 

To proceed with the history of the ministers of Henrico parish : 
we find, on the lists of the clergy in Virginia, that the Rev. Miles 

Mary College. His sister married Commissary Dawson, and he himself married 
Miss Judith Randolph, of Tuckahoe. Another of the family married the Rev. Mr. 
Keith, who settled in Fauquier, and was the ancestor of Judge Marshall. Another 
married Mr. Anthony Walke, of Norfolk county, and was the mother of the Rev. 
Anthony Walke, of that county. To their connection with the sanctuary in Vir- 
ginia may be added one in our Mother-Church of which the family may well be 
proud. Bishop Randolph, of the latter part of the last century, was frst Arch- 
deacon of Jersey, then Bishop of Oxford, and then of London, in all which stations 
he was most highly esteemed. His collection of tracts for the benefit of young stu- 
dents for the ministry show him to have been a Bishop of sound doctrines and of a 
truly catholic spirit. As to piety and active zeal, he is thought to have been consi- 
derably in advance of the generality of the Bishops of his day. It may not be 
amiss to state that Thomas Randolph, the poet, of England, was uncle to William 
Randolph, of Turkey Island, and that the nephew is said to have possessed something 
of his poetic genius. We must here stop, and only say that the family of Ran- 
dolphs is henceforth to be found mixed up with the Beverlys, Harrisons, Jennings, 
Lees, Grymes, Wormleys, Nelsons, Burwells, Lightfoots, Boilings, Spotwoods, 
Pages, Singletons, Flemings, Berkeleys, Stiths, Carys, Jeffersons, Carrs, Pleasants, 
Meades, Hackleys, Woods, Mumfords, Armsteads, and others, known and unknown 
and too numerous to mention. 

I add the following brief account from Campbell's History of Virginia : "Several 
of the sons of the first William Randolph, of Turkey Island, father of the family in 
Virginia, were men of distinction. William was a member of the Council and Trea- 
surer of the Colony. Isham was member of the House of Burgesses, in 1740, from 
Goochland, and Adjutant-General of the Colony. Richard was a member of the House 
of Burgesses in 1740, from Henrico, and succeeded his brother as Treasurer. Sir 
John was Speaker of the House of Burgesses, and Attorney-General. Peter, son 
of the second William Randolph, was Clerk of the House of Burgesses, and Attor- 
ney-General. Peyton, son of Sir John, was Speaker of the House of Burgesses 
and President of the first Congress held at Philadelphia. Thomas Mann Randolph, 
great-grandson of William, of Turkey Island, was a member of the Virginia Con- 
vention in 1775, from Goochland. Beverly Randolph was member of the Assembly 
from Cumberland, during the Revolution, and Governor of Virginia. Robert Ran- 
dolph, son of Peter, Richard Randolph, grandson of Peter, and David Meade Ran 
dolph, grandson of the second Richard, of Curls, were cavalry-officers in the Revo- 
lution. David Meade Randolph was Marshal of Virginia. John Randolph, of 
Roanoke, member of Congress and minister to Russia, was grandson of the first 
Richard. Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., was member of Congress, of the Legisla- 
ture of Virginia, and Governor of Virginia." To this we add, that Edmund Ran- 
dolph was Secretary of State of the United States and Governor of Virginia, besides 
holding other offices. 

Mr. Campbell remarks that the members of the numerous families of the 
Randolphs, in several instances, adopted the names of their seats, for purposes of 
distinction, as, Thomas of Tuckahoe, Isham of Dungeness, Richard of Curls, John 
of Roanoke. The following were the seats of the Randolphs on James River. 
Tuckahoe, Dungeness, Chattsworth, Wilton, Varina, Curls, Bremo, Turkey Island. 
In a work on the old families, &c. of the Church in Virginia, the above is not too 
mucli for one, whose branches have, with few exceptions, been so steadfast to her, 
and some of whom have contributed so liberally to her support, as old Mr. Richard 



140 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Selden was minister in 1*758 and also in 1776, from which we 
infer that he was the minister from 1758 to 1776; how long before 
1758 or after 1776, does not appear. Nor have I been able to 
ascertain any thing particular concerning him.* 

HENRICO PARISH AFTER THE REVOLUTION. 

Previous to the Revolution, it is probable that the families of the 
Randolphs at Turkey Island, Curls, Varina, Wilton, and Chatts- 
worth, with a few others in the neighbourhood of the old settle- 
ment of Sir Thomas Dale, formed the main strength of the Epis- 
copal Church in Henrico, and that the ministers resided at the 
parsonage and on the glebe at Yarina. But the scene will now 
be changed to Richmond, which, though still a very small place, 
became the seat of government during the war.f 

Randolph, of Curls, Mr. Thomas Mann Randolph, of Tuckahoe, and Colonel 
Robert Randolph, of Fauquier. 

* I have obtained the following notice of the Rev. Wm. Selden, a relative of Mr. 
Miles Selden: "The Rev. Wm. Selden was son of John Selden and Grace Rose- 
well, and grandson of the first of the name who came to Virginia, about 1690, and 
settled in the Northern Neck. Wm. Selden was born in 1741, was educated at Wil- 
liam and Mary College, studied law and practised it some years. Disliking the 
profession, he studied for the ministry, and went to London, where he was ordained 
in 1771. Returning to Virginia, he became the minister of Elizabeth parish. He 
continued in charge of this pai'ish until a short time before his death. He married 
Mary Ann Hancock, of Princess Ann county, by whom he had many children, two 
only of whom grew up and had issue, viz. : Dr. W. B. Selden, of Norfolk, only 
two of whose sons survive, viz., Dr. Wm. Selden, of Norfolk, and Robert Selden, 
of Gloucester, two others, Dr. Henry Selden and Miss Susan Selden, having fallen 
victims to the late epidemic in Norfolk. Mrs. Bagnal, the other child of the Rev. 
W. Selden who left issue, has now living two children, Mrs. Mary Grace, of Glou- 
cester, and W. D. Bagnal, of Norfolk. The Rev. Miles Selden, of Henrico, was 
the son of Joseph, the youngest son of the first settler, and, consequently, the first- 
cousin of the Rev. Wm. Selden." From their continuance during their ministry in 
the parishes which called them, and other considerations, we have reason to believe 
that they were both exemplary men. 

f The following account of Richmond at this time is from the papers of Mrs. 
Calonel Carrington, from which I have already borrowed so largely, and, I am sure, 
so acceptably to my readers : 

"RICHMOND AT THE TIME OF THE REMOVAL OF THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT THI- 
THER. It is indeed a lovely situation, and may at some future period be a great 
city, but at present it will afford scarce one comfort of life. With the exception of 
two or three families, this little to-wn is made up of Scotch factors, who inhabit 
small tenements here and there from the river to the hill, some of which looking 
as Colonel Marshal (afterward Judge Marshal) observes as if the poor Caledo- 
nians had brought them over on their backs, the weaker of whom were glad to stop 
at the bottom of the hill ; others a little stronger proceeded higher ; while a few of 
the stoutest and boldest reached the summit, which, once accomplished, affords a 
situation beautiful and picturesque. One of these hardy Scots has thought proper 




ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, RICHMOND, V A. 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 141 

St. John's Church, on Richmond Hill, whose age we are unable 
to ascertain, had been the sanctuary of patriotism, as well as of 
religion, more than once before and during the war, in which the 
voices of our Randolphs, Lees, Henrys, and Masons roused the 
citizens to arms. Beneath it, on the river Powhatan, (the ancient 
name of James River, and which ought never to have been 
changed,) lay the spot where the old King Powhatan sometimes 
held his court when warring with the fierce Monacans or Mana- 
kins, who never allowed him to extend his conquests above the 
Falls. Although it is clearly shown that Pocahontas was born and 
trained at a place far distant from this, and baptized and married 
at Jamestown, and though it is all a fable that it was here she 
rescued the gallant Smith, yet, during her residence with Rolph 
at Henricopolis, she may have visited the spot before any Chris- 
tian church was reared on its brows. 

From this time forward we have the sure guide of a vestry-book 
in tracing the history of this parish. The one before us opens 
with the first meeting of the parishioners, in March, 1785, to elect 
a vestry under the act of incorporation by the Legislature, which 
had before put down the Episcopal Church as an Establishment. 
The first vestrymen were Edmund Randolph, Turner Southall, 
Jaqueline Ambler, Nathaniel Wilkinson, Hobson Owen, William 
Fouchee, William Burton, Daniel L. Hylton, Miles Selden, Thomas 
Prosser, John Ellis, Bowler Cocke, of whom Edmund Randolph 
and Bowler Cocke were chosen churchwardens, and the former 
elected to the Convention about to meet in the May following. 
Previous to that meeting, the Rev. John Buchanon was elected 
minister of the parish. He had been the minister of Amherst 
parish some years before this. The following resolution of the 
vestry in the year 1789 will show their sense of the importance of 
religion, and their testimony to its low condition at that time : 

" We, the undersigned, (it was intended for vestrymen and others,) 
considering that the principles of true religion have a powerful tendency 
to promote as well the order and good government of the society at large, 
as the peace and happiness of those individuals who are influenced by 
them, and that there has been found no surer mode of establishing and 
rivetting such principles on the mind, and the uniform exercise of and 
attendance on public worship, and deeply deploring the almost total de- 
cline of divine worship for some years past, and the consequent deprava- 



to vacate his little dwelling on the hill ; and, though our whole family can scarcely 
stand up all together in it, my father has determined to rent it as the only decent 
tenement on the hill." 



142 OLD CHUKCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

tion of morals of every denomination among us, and earnestly wishing for 
a reformation on that head, more particularly on account of the rising 
generation, that the seeds of piety and virtue may be sown in their tender 
minds, and preserve them from the contagion and irreligion and the prac- 
tices of an evil world. To effectuate these important purposes, as far as 
our influence and circumstances admit, we have entered into the present 
association for the support of religion and the maintenance of regular 
divine worship, and do therefore hereby oblige ourselves, our heirs, &c. to 
pay or cause to be paid unto Jaqueline Ambler, Treasurer of the Protest- 
ant Episcopal Church in the parish of Henrico," &c. 

So low, however, was the condition of the church, that a very 
small sum was raised in this way for the support of the ministry, 
and Mr, Buchannon received but little beside the rent of the glebe 
and perquisites during the whole of his ministry ; and that little 
was always given to others. Having some property of his own, 
through the death of his brother, Mr. James Buchanon, and 
living with simplicity and economy, he did not need a salary for 
himself.* 

In the year 1790, the vestry passed a resolution permitting the 
churchwardens to allow ministers of other denominations to preach 
in our country churches in the daytime, when not occupied by Dr. 
Buchanon, provided they did not leave them open or injure them. 
At a later period, Mr. Blair is allowed to preach every other Sun- 
day in St. John's Church. This not only shows their kind feelings 
toward the other denominations, but that they considered the 
churches as not made common property by the law, as some have 
contended. In the year 1791, a committee appointed to inquire 
into the property of the parish report that the glebe consists of 
one hundred and ninety-six acres of land by an old patent, that 
the houses are out of repair, that the glebe rents for forty pounds, 



* The following letter from Mrs. Colonel Edward Carrington, of Richmond, to 
her friend Miss Caines, of London, (who had lived in Virginia,) will show what was 
the state of things at this time, in the year 1792, the date of the letter: 

"This evil" (the want of public worship) "increases daily; nor have we left in 
our extensive State three churches that are decently supported. Our metropolis 
even would be left destitute of this blessing but for the kind offices of our friend 
Buchanon, whom you remember well, an inmate of our family. He, from sheer 
benevolence, continues to preach in our capital, to what we now call the New 
School, that is to say, to a set of modern philosophers who merely attend because 
they know not what else to do with themselves. But, blessed be God, in spite of 
the enlightened, as they call themselves, and in spite of Godwin, Paine, &c., we 
still, at times, particularly on our great Church-days, repair with a choice few to 
our old church on the hill, (St. John's,) and, by contributing our mite, endeavour 
to preserve the religion of our fathers. Delightful hours we sometimes pasa 
there," &c. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 143 

and is supposed to be worth one thousand pounds, that there is 
one silver cup and salver. In the year 1714, the vestry elected 
the Rev. David Moore, son of Bishop Moore, to act as assistant 
to Dr. Buchanon ; but the offer was declined. In the year 1715, 
the Rev. William Hart was chosen and accepted. In the year 
1722, Dr. Buchanon died, and Mr. Hart succeeded to the entire 
rectorship of the church. 

On the 13th of May, 1826, Dr. John Adams presented to the 
vestry a marble font, which was obtained from Curls Church. In 
July of the year 1828, the Rev. Mr. Hart resigned and the Rev. 
William F. Lee was elected. Soon after Mr. Lee's entrance on 
the duties of rector, a proposition was made to remove the old 
church below the hill, or build or purchase a new one. This re- 
sulted in the resignation of Mr. Lee and of a number of the ves- 
trymen, and the formation of a new congregation and purchase of 
a Presbyterian church, since called Christ Church, in whose ser- 
vice Mr. Lee ended his days. 

In the year 1830, the Rev. Mr. Peet was chosen the minister of 
St. John's. In the year 1833, the Rev. Mr. Peet resigned and the 
Rev. Robert Croes was elected. Mr. Croes resigned in 1836, and 
the Rev. Mr. Hart was re-elected to his old parish, and continued 
its minister until the year 1842. In the following year, the Rev. 
Mr. Morrison was elected, and continued the minister until 1848. 
In the following year, the Rev. Mr. Kepler was called to be the 
minister of this parish, and continues such to this time. 

I close my notice of St. John's Church by referring to a subject 
on which I find that the vestry took action in the years 1826 and 
1828. At an early period, two hundred acres of land were laid 
off from the College or Company lands near Henricopolis or Dale's 
settlement, for a glebe, court-house, prison, &c., one hundred and 
ninety-six being for the former. It continued to be the residence 
and property of the successive ministers until the death of Dr. 
Buchanon, in 1822. A short time subsequent to this, the over- 
seers of the poor laid claim to it and offered it for sale. The Rev. 
Mr. Hart, assistant and successor to Dr. Buchanon, enjoined the 
proceedings, and filed a bill in Chancery to obtain ownership ; 
whereupon the Chancellor, at the January term of his court in 
1826, decided in favour of the church and against all claims of 
the overseers of the poor. It was then resolved by the vestry to 
sell their right and interest in the glebe to Mr. Pleasant Aiken, of 
Petersburg, in such manner as shall appear for the best interests 
of the parish. An appeal from the decision of the Chancellor was 



144 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

taken by the overseers of the poor, and Mr. Aiken declined closing 
the bargain until the decision of the Court of Appeals. In the 
month of March, 1828, the vestry direct the rector to lease the 
glebe-lands adjoining the Yarina estate, and belonging to the 
parish, to such person and upon such terms as he may think will 
best secure their preservation. This is the last entry upon the ves- 
try-book concerning it. I am privately informed that the vestry 
withdrew their claim, or did not prosecute it, rather than involve 
the church in what might prove a long and bitter controversy with 
the overseers of the poor representing the citizens of Henrico, 
although well persuaded that the Chancellor was right in his deci- 
sion. I presume that the claim of the vestry rested on the fact 
that this glebe was not purchased for the parish by a levy of the 
vestry on the people, as was the case of the glebes generally, and 
on which account the law for selling them was passed, but was a 
gift to the parish by the London Company out of the lands set 
apart for the College and the general uses of Henrico. In ceasing 
to contend for their rights, the vestrymen of Henrico only did 
what other vestrymen have done, preferring rather to suffer loss 
than promote strife and thereby injure the cause of religion. It 
has been the general sentiment of the clergy and laity of our 
Church in Virginia, with whom I have beon acquainted, that, 
though the glebes may have been wrongfully taken away, (about 
which there has been diversity of opinion,) yet even if they could 
be recovered by law, the effort should not be made, because of the 
discord and unhappiness which would certainly attend it. 

As I am writing of the old churches and ministers of Virginia, 
leaving it to some one else, at a future day, with ampler materials 
than I possess for my work, to speak of more modern ones, a few 
words will suffice for the new parishes and churches in Richmond. 
Of the sad calamity which led to the erection of the Monumental 
Church, every modern history of Virginia and sketch of Rich- 
mond is full, and I shall not dwell upon it. Bishop Moore was 
called to be its first minister, and still lives in the hearts of all 
who knew him. The Revs. Mr. Croes, Nichols, Thomas Jackson, 
and Norwood, were successively his assistants. The latter suc- 
ceeded to the rectorship at the Bishop's death. A larger church 
being needed, St. Paul's was built under the auspices of Mr. Nor- 
wood and some active laymen. The Rev. Mr. Woodbridge, who 
had long laboured in the church vacated by the death of the Rev, 
Mr. Lee, took possession of the Monumental, when St. Paul's was 
completed and entered by Mr. Norwood and his congregation. 






FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 145 

Years before this, St. James's Church had been built and Dr. 
Empie called to be its pastor. After faithfully labouring many 
years, and being unable to labour more, he resigned the charge of 
it to the Rev. Mr. Cummings, at whose resignation the Rev. Mr. 
Peterkin succeeded. At the resignation of St. Paul's by Mr. Nor- 
wood, on account of ill health, the Rev. Alexander Jones was 
chosen, and continued some years. The Rev. Mr. Minegerode is 
the present pastor. Since Mr. Woodbridge's removal to the Monu- 
mental Church, Trinity Church has been mostly supplied by mis- 
sionary services. During the last spring, while under the charge 
of the Rev. Mr. Webb, the building was consumed with fire. It 
deserves to be mentioned that a missionary chapel was erected in 
the western part of the city, some years since, through the zealous 
. labours of the Rev. Dr. Bolton, though, from various unfavourable 
circumstances, it failed of its object and has been disposed of. 
Should I have failed to make mention of the missionary labours of 
the Rev. Mr. Duval, in Richmond, the memories and the hearts of 
all its citizens would have supplied the deficiency, even if the ex- 
cellent memoir of him by the Rev. Mr. Walker had not perpetuated 
the remembrance of one of the most devoted Christians and phi- 
lanthropists of Virginia. 



10 



146 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XL 

Williamsburg, Bruton Parish. No. 1. 

THIS parish was carved out of the counties of James City and 
Charles River. The latter county was, in 1642, changed into 
York county. The parish of Bruton, in the year 1723, was 
reported to the Bishop of London as ten miles square. At one 
time a parish called Marston was within these bounds, being the 
upper part, toward New Kent ; but that was soon dissolved and 
added to Bruton. Of the early history of Williamsburg, or the 
Middle Plantation, we know but little. That there was a church 
there in 1665 is certain from an entry in the vestry-book of Mid- 
dlesex parish, in that year, which directs a church to be built in 
thac parish, after the model of that at "Williamsburg, probably a 
wooden one. How long that at Williamsburg had been in existence 
"before this time is not known. The vestry-book of Bruton parish 
commenced in 1674, and continues until 1769, a few years before 
the Revolution. The first minister was the Rev. Rowland Jones, 
who continued from 1674 to his death, in 1688. Besides vestry- 
men and churchwardens, there were, after the English custom and 
canons, two officers, called sidesmen or questmen, who were espe- 
cially appointed to present unworthy persons to those in authority, 
for civil and ecclesiastical discipline. I have not met with these in 
any other parish. It appears that there were at this time, and 
had been, no doubt, for a considerable period, two other churches 
in this parish, an upper and lower, both of which needed repair ; 
and the vestry resolved, in the year 1678, not to repair either of 
them, but to build a new brick church at Williamsburg, to answer 
for all. Free donations were solicited before a levy was resorted 
to. A list of some of the donors is recorded. At the head is 
John Page (first of the name) for 20, and the ground for the 
church and graveyard; Thomas Ludwell, 20; Philip Ludwell, 
10 ; Colonel Thorp, 10 ; and many others, 5, among them 
the minister, Mr. Jones. A pew was put in the chancel for the 
minister, and Mr. John Page and Edward Jennings were allowed 




Wl LLI AMSBU RG CHURCH, BRUTON PARISH. 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 147 

to put up pews for their families within the same.* The church 
being finished, the Rev. Mr. Jones was requested to dedicate it. 



* The Autobiography of Governor Page, from which the following extract is 
taken, was written at the request of Mr. Skelton Jones, when he undertook the 
completion of Burk's History of Virginia : 

"I discover from the tombstones in Williamsburg churchyard," says Governor 
Page, "and from others in my grandfather's burying-ground at his family-seat 
called Rosewell: 1st, that one of my ancestors, named John Page, was an highly- 
respectable character, and had long been one of the King's Council in this Colony, 
when he died, viz.: on the 23d January, 1691-2, aged sixty. His manuscripts, 
which I have seen, prove that he was learned and pious. 2d, that his son, Matthew 
Page, was one of the Council, and his son Mann also, whose letters to his friends, 
and theirs to him, exhibit him as patriotic, well educated, and truly amiable. He 
had his classical education at Eton School, in England. He was my father's 
father, who might also have been appointed to the office of Councillor ; but he 
declined it in favour of his younger brother, John Page, who, my father said, 
having been brought up in the study of the law regularly, was a much more proper 
person for that office than he was. The John Page first above mentioned was, as 
we find by an old picture, a Sir John Page, a merchant of London, supposed to 
have been knighted, as Sir John Randolph long after was, for proposing a regula- 
tion of the tobacco-trade and a duty thereon, which if it was the case, I think his 
patriotism was premature, and perhaps misplaced : his dear, pure-minded, and 
American patriotic grandson, my grandfather, Mann Page, in his days checked 
the British merchants from claiming even freight on their goods from England, 
declaring that their freight on our tobacco and homeward-bound articles, added to 
their monopoly of our trade, ought to satisfy avarice itself. This he expressed 
repeatedly to his mercantile friends, and some near relations who were tobacco- 
merchants in London : however, he lived not long after. The fashion or practice 
then was for men of landed property here to dispose of their children in the fol- 
lowing manner : They entailed all their lands on the eldest son, brought up the 
others according to their genius or disposition, physicians, or lawyers, or mer- 
chants, or ministers of the Church of England, which handsomely maintained such 
as were frugal and industrious. My father was frequently urged by friends, but 
not relations, to pay court to Sir Gregory Page, whose heir, from his coat-of-arms 
and many circumstances, he was supposed to be. But he despised titles sixty years 
ago as much as you and I do now, and would have nothing to say to the rich silly 
knight, who died, leaving his estate and title to a sillier man than himself, his sister's 
son, a Mr. Turner, on condition that he would take the name and title of Sir Gregory 
Page, which he did by act of Parliament, as I have been told or read." 

It would appear from the above that Mr. Page, of Rosewell, had but little of the 
pride of family about him, and that his grandfather despised titles. From the 
vestry-book it seems that the second John Page defended the rights of vestries 
against the claims of King and Governor. From the autobiography it appears 
that Governor Page, of Rosewell, opposed Lord Dunmore in his attempt to place 
John Randolph, who went to England when the war commenced, among the Visitors 
of the College, and succeeded in getting Mr. Nathaniel Burwell (afterward of 
Frederick county) chosen, Lord Dunmore's vote alone being cast for Mr. Randolph. 
Governor Page was an officer for Gloucester in the Revolutionary War, and was 
with Washington in one of his Western expeditions against the French and Indians. 
He was the associate and intimate friend of Mr. Jefferson at college, and his 



148 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

The vestry now caused it to' be proclaimed throughout the parish, 
that the law against those who absented themselves from church 
would be enforced. It seems that, though much violated, it had 
not been enforced, and perhaps never was. The penalty was so 
many pounds of tobacco, after the laws "martial, moral, and divine" 
had been repealed. It was during Mr. Jones's ministry that the 
salary of .100, which had been paid him, was commuted for sixteen 
thousand-weight of tobacco, the minister consenting, as the people 
complained that they were not able to pay the <100. At the death 
of Mr. Jones, the Rev. Mr. Sclater was employed for six months, 
to preach every other Sabbath afternoon, and then the Rev. Mr. 
Eburne for the same time every other Sunday morning. It is 
probable that these were ministers of neighbouring parishes. At 
the close of Mr. Eburne's engagement they elected him for seven 
years, instead of inducting him for life. Lord Effingham, Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, then addressed them the following letter : 

" GENTLEMEN : I understand that upon my former recommendation 
to you of Mr. Samuel Eburne, you have received him, and he hath con- 
tinued to exercise his ministerial functions in preaching and performing 
divine service. I have now to recommend him a second time to you, 
with the addition of my own experience of his ability and true qualifica- 
tion in all points, together with his exemplary life and conversation. 
And therefore, holding of him in esteem, as a person who, to God's 
honour and your good instruction, is fit to be received, I do desire he may 
be by you entertained and continued, and that you will give him such 
encouragement as you have formerly done to persons so qualified. 

" October 25th, 1688. EFFINGHAM." 



follower in politics afterward, though always differing from him on religious sub- 
jects, endeavouring to his latest years, by correspondence, to convince him of his 
errors. He was a zealous friend of the Episcopal Church, and defended in the 
Legislature what he conceived to be her rights, against those political friends with 
whom he agreed on all other points. So zealous was he in her cause that some 
wished him to take Orders, with a view to being the Bishop of Virginia. His name 
may be seen on the journals of the earliest Conventions of the general Church, as 
well as of those of Virginia. I have a pamphlet in my possession, in which his name 
is in connection with those of Robert C. Nicholas and Colonel Bland, as charging 
one of the clergy in or about Williamsburg with false views on the subject of the 
Trinity and the eternity of the punishment of the damned. His theological library 
was well stored for that day. The early fathers in Greek and Latin, with some 
other valuable books, were presented to myself by one of his sons, and form a part 
of my library. It may not be amiss to repeat what I have said in a preface to the 

little volume written as a legacy by the first of this name to his posterity, that 

seven of them are now ministers of the Episcopal Church, and two who were such 
are deceased. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 149 

The meaning of the foregoing is plain, viz. : that the vestry- 
men apply to the Governor to induct Mr. Eburne for life, and so 
have him fixed upon them, unless by process of law he could be 
discarded for some great crime or crimes. The vestry, however, 
at the end of the seven years, passed a resolve never to elect a 
minister for more than one year at a time, and invited him to 
remain on these terms ; but he, getting old and infirm, preferred 
going to some milder climate. Here is the first recorded conflict 
of a vestry with the Governor on the subject of inductions. We 
shall very soon have occasion to consider the subject at some 
length. In the year 1697, the Rev. Cope Doyley was chosen 
minister. In the year 1700, Governor Nicholson appears on the 
vestry-book, in a manner characteristic of himself. He demands 
of the vestry, under their own hands, whether the Rev. Mr. 
Doyley reads the service of the Book of Common Prayer in the 
church. It is answered in the affirmative. In the year 1702, Mr. 
Doyley dies, and Mr. Solomon Whately is chosen from some other 
parish, not, however, without the Governor's leave being asked 
for his removal. After having preached his trial sermon, and 
being called, some objection was raised, and he is requested to 
preach again, for the satisfaction of those who were not present at 
his first sermon. His election for one year was confirmed, at 
the end of which time his call was not renewed ; but he was in- 
vited toTcontinue for a few months while looking out for another 
parish. One of the vestry was directed to see the Rev. Isaac 
Grace, who had just arrived in the colony, and get him to preach. 
Mr. Grace expressed a willingness to come, but said that his case 
was in the hands of the Governor, who had forbid him to come into 
the parish. It seems that Mr. Whately was a favourite of the 
Governor, and that he was offended with the vestry for not 
choosing him as their permanent minister. Mr. Whately was the 
most active minister in sustaining Governor Nicholson when, on 
various accounts, he had become so unpopular that, at the peti- 
tion of the Council and some of the clergy, he was withdrawn 
from Virginia. This case of the vestry and Mr. Whately led Mr. 
Nicholson to get the opinion of Mr. Edward Northy, one of the 
King's high legal advisers, as to the relative powers and privileges 
of the Governors and vestries in presenting and inducting minis- 
ters, and to order it to be entered upon all the vestry-books. I 
have seen it on a number of them, and find it on that of Bruton 
parish, from which I am drawing these statements. On receiving 
it, the vestry passed some resolutions, and directed Mr. John 



150 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Page, (grandson of the old* vestryman of that name, who was now 
dead,) an eminent lawyer and member of the Council, to draw up 
something on the subject, with the view of presenting it to the 
House of Burgesses, requesting them to take action on the question. 
We hear nothing more of the dispute, and the Governor was recalled 
in 1705 ; but this is evident : that the vestry never yielded the 
point ; for although they thought it expedient to retain Mr. Whately 
until his death, yet it was under a solemn declaration of their deter- 
mination to elect their minister every year, which was done in the case 
of Mr. Whately and his successors, during the Colonial Govern- 
ment, so far as the vestry-book shows. The history of the case is 
this : In theory, the Governor claimed to be the representative of 
the King, in Church and State, and patron of all the parishes ; also 
to be the representative of the Bishop of London, having the disposal 
of the ministers and the exercise of discipline over the clergy, 
thus making the office of the Commissary a nullity. Nor did the 
Commissaries object; for they were, with one exception, Presidents 
of William and Mary College, and fully employed. Dr. Blair did 
sometimes act. It was evident that if such was to be the construc- 
tion put upon the power of the Governor, as claimed by Effing- 
ham, Nicholson, and Spottswood, the vestries would have little 
power to prevent the settlement for life (with legal power to enforce 
their salaries) of many most unworthy ministers ; for although the 
law allowed them the right of choosing a minister within six 
months after a vacancy occurred, yet if they did not so do the 
Governor might send one and induct him for life. Now, such was 
the scarcity of ministers that they must wait the arrival of some 
new and untried one from England, or else take some indifferent 
one who was without a parish in this country. To save the 
congregations from imposition under such a system, the vestries 
adopted the method of electing from year to year, not presenting 
to the Governors for induction, by which induction so many un- 
worthy ministers might be settled upon them. Induction did take 
place in some cases where, after years of good conduct, it was 
safe to conform to the law ; and in some few others. Who could 
blame them for this act of self-defence against such mighty power 
in the hands of one man, when the consequences of induction were 
so evil, and when the circumstances of the parishes, the small 
salaries and extensive districts to be served, and the state of the 
Mother-Church, made it so difficult to get worthy ministers ? This 
was the practice of the vestries almost from the first and to the 
very last of the Colonial establishment. In vain did the clergy 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 151 

complain to the Bishop of London, and even to the Crown, of the 
uncertain and precarious tenure by which they held their livings 
from year to year. In vain did the Governors and Commissaries 
speak of this custom of the vestries, as preventing more and 
better ministers from coming over. In vain were the sympathetic 
responses from England. The vestries were unmoved. The 
Governors and Commissaries were wise enough to attempt nothing 
more than complaints ; for they must have seen that the vestries 
had much reason for their conduct, and that any rigid interpreta- 
tion of the law and effort to enforce it would meet with effectual 
resistance from the vestries. The Crown and the Bishop of 
London dared not issue any injunction of the kind. On the 
contrary, whatever was done in England from time to time was 
in modification of any supposed high rights of Governors and in 
favour of vestries, and the nearer the Revolution approached the 
more fearful were the authorities in England of doing any thing 
against the vestries. The vestries were the depositaries of power 
in Virginia. They not only governed the Church by the elec- 
tion of ministers, the levying of taxes, the enforcing of laws, but 
they made laws in the House of Burgesses; for the burgesses 
were the most intelligent and influential men of the parish, and 
were mostly vestrymen. It is easy to perceive why the vestry of 
Williamsburg wished the question between them and Nicholson 
referred to the Assembly; for it was only referring it to the other 
vestries, who were pursuing the same course with themselves. 
Nor were the vestries represented in the popular branch of the 
Government only. We will venture to affirm, and that not 
without examination, that there was scarce an instance of any but 
a vestryman being in the Council, although, as the Council was 
chosen by the Governor and the King, there was more likelihood 
of some being found in them who might favour high views of 
prerogative. 

In the history of the vestries we may fairly trace the origin, not 
only of that religious liberty which afterward developed itself in 
Virginia, but also of the early and determined stand taken by the 
Episcopalians of Virginia in behalf of civil liberty. The vestries, 
who were the intelligence and moral strength of the land, had been 
trained up in the defence of their rights against Governors and 
Bishops, Kings, Queens, and Cabinets. They had been slowly 
fighting the battles of the Revolution for a hundred and fifty 
years. Taxation and representation were only other words for 
support and election of ministers. The principle was the same. 



152 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

It is not wonderful, therefore, that we find the same men who took 
the lead in the councils and armies of the Revolution most active 
in the recorded proceedings of the vestries. Examine the vestry- 
books, and you will find prominent there the names of Washing- 
ton, Peyton Randolph, Edmund Pendleton, General Nelson, Go- 
vernor Page, Colonel Bland, Richard Henry Lee, General Wood, 
Colonel Harrison, George Mason, and hundreds of others who might 
be named as patriots of the Revolution. The principle for which 
vestries contended was correct, viz. : the choice of their ministers. 
I do not say that it must necessarily be by annual election ; but 
there must be a power of changing ministers, for sufficient reasons. 
The Governors and the clergy, who came from England, did not 
understand how this could be, so used had they been to a method 
widely different. It was reserved for the Church in America to 
show its practicability, and also to establish something yet more 
important, and what is by most Englishmen still thought a doubt- 
ful problem, the voluntary principle, by which congregations not 
only choose their ministers but support them without taxation by 
law. It may be wise to provide some check to the sudden removal 
of ministers by the caprice of vestries and congregations, as is the 
case in the Presbyterian and Episcopal Churches, where some 
leave of separation is required from Presbyteries and Bishops ; but 
neither of them are ever so unwise as to interpose a veto where it 
is evident that there is sufficient reason for separation, whether 
from dissatisfaction on either side, or from both, or any strong con- 
sideration. The people have it in their power, either by withhold- 
ing support or attendance, and in other ways, to secure their re- 
moval, and the ministers cannot be forced to preach. Either party 
have an inalienable right to separate, unless there be some specific 
bargain to the contrary. In one denomination in our land, it is 
true that ministers are appointed to their stations and congrega- 
tions are supplied by its chief officers ; but it must be remembered 
that this is only a temporary appointment, for a year or two at 
most. Let it ever be attempted to make it an appointment for life, 
or even a long term of years, and the dissolution of that Society 
would soon take place. In the first organization of our general 
Church in this country, after the separation from our mother-coun- 
try, an office of induction was adopted, with the view of rendering 
the situation of the clergy more permanent ; but such was the oppo- 
sition to it from Virginia and some other States, that it was deter- 
mined it should only be obligatory on those States which chose to 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 153 

make it so. Very few instances of its use have ever occurred in 
the Diocese of Virginia.* 

* In proof of what is said as to vestrymen, we publish the following list of the 
Convention of 1776. From our examination of the old vestry-books, we are con- 
fident that there are not three on this list who were not vestrymen of the Epis- 
copal Church. 

A list of the members of the Convention of Virginia which began its sessions in the 
City of Williamsburg on Monday the sixth of May, 1776, as copied from the 
Journal : 

Accomac Southey Simpson and Isaac Smith, Esquires ; Albemarle Charles 
Lewis, Esquire, and George Gilmer for Thomas Jefferson, Esquire ; Amelia John 
Tabb and John Winn, Esquires ; Augusta Thomas Lewis and Samuel McDowell, 
Esquires ; West Augusta John Harvie and Charles Simms, Esquires ; Amherst 
William Cabell and Gabriel Penn, Esquires ; Bedford John Talbot and Charles 
Lynch, Esquires ; Botetourt John Bowyer and Patrick Lockhart, Esquires ; Bruns- 
wick Frederic Maclin and Henry Tazewell, Esquires ; Buckingham Charles Pat- 
teson and John Cabell, Esquires ; Berkeley Robert Rutherford and William Drew, 
Esquires ; Caroline the Hon. Edmund Pendleton and James Taylor, Esquires ; 
Charles City William Acrill, Esquire, and Samuel Harwood, Esquire, for B. Har- 
rison, Esquire ; Charlotte Paul Carrington and Thomas Read, Esquires ; Chester- 
field Archibald Gary and Benjamin Watkins, Esquires ; Culpeper Henry Field 
and French Strother, Esquires ; Cumberland John Mayo and William Fleming, 
Esquires ; Dinwiddie John Banister and Boiling Starke, Esquires ; Dunmore 
Abraham Bird and John Tipton, Esquires ; Elizabeth City Wilson Miles Gary and 
Henry King, Esquires ; Essex Meriwether Smith and James Edmundson, Esquires ; 
Fairfax John West, Jr., and George Mason, Esquires ; Fauquier Martin Pick- 
ett and James Scott, Esquires ; Frederick James Wood and Isaac Zane, Esquires ; 
Fincastle Arthur Campbell and William Russell, Esquires; Gloucester Thomas 
Whiting and Lewis Burwell, Esquires ; Goochland John Woodson and Thomas M. 
Randolph, Esquires; Halifax Nathaniel Terry and Micajah Watkins, Esquires; 
Hampshire James Mercer and Abraham Hite, Esquires; Hanover Patrick Henry 
and John Syme, Esquires ; Henrico Nathaniel Wilkinson and Richard Adams, 
Esquires ; James City Robert C. Nicholas and William Norvell, Esquires ; Isle of 
Wight John S. Wills and Charles Fulgham, Esquires ; King George Joseph Jones 
and William Fitzhugh, Esquires; King and Queen George Brooke and William 
Lyne, Esquires ; King William William Aylett and Richard Squire Taylor, Esquires ; 
Lancaster James Seldon and James Gordon, Esquires ; Loudoun Francis Peyton 
and Josias Clapham, Esquires ; Louisa George Meriwether and Thomas Johnson, 
Esquires ; Lunenburg David Garland and Lodowick Farmer, Esquires ; Middlesex 
Edmund Berkeley and James Montague, Esquires ; Mecklenburg Joseph Speed 
and Bennett Goode, Esquires ; Nansemond Willis Riddick and William Cowper, 
Esquires ; New Kent William Clayton and Bartholomew Dandridge, Esquires ; 
Norfolk James Holt and Thomas Newton, Esquires ; Northumberland Rodham 
Kenner and John Cralle, Esquires ; Northampton Nathaniel L. Savage and George 
Savage, Esquires ; Orange James Madison and William Moore, Esquires ; Pittsyl- 
vania Benjamin Lankford and Robert Williams, Esquires ; Prince Edward Wil- 
liam Watts and William Booker, Esquires ; Prince George Richard Bland and 
Peter Poythress, Esquires ; Princess Anne William Robinson and John Thorough- 
good, Esquires; Prince William Cuthbert Bullitt and Henry Lee, Esquires; 



154 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

From this digression, should it seem so to any, I resume the his- 
tory of Bruton parish. At the death of Mr. Whately, the Rev. 
James Blair, Commissary to the Bishop of London, and President 
of William and Mary College, was chosen minister, with the un- 
derstanding that there was to be an annual election. He con- 
tinued the minister for thirty-three years, until his death, in 1743. 
Mr. Blair came over to Virginia in 1685, and was the minister of 
Henrico parish for^nine years, and then moved to Jamestown, in 
order to be more convenient to the College which he was raising 
up. In the year 1710, he became the minister of Bruton parish. 
The history of Mr. Blair during the last forty-three out of the 
fifty-three years of his ministry is so connected with the history 
not only of Williamsburg and the College, but of the Governors, 
the Council, the Assembly and Church of Virginia, that it will 
require some time and labour to do it any thing like justice. In- 
deed, with all the documents I possess, consisting of numerous and 
most particular communications made by him and others to the 
Privy Council, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishop of 
London, as to the personal difficulties between himself and the 
Governors and the clergy, communications never published, and 
which would form a large volume, I find it very difficult to form 
a positive opinion as to some points in his character. I begin with 
that which is most easy and satisfactory, his ministerial life. It 
commenced under the administration of Governor Spottswood, and 
with a tender from the Governor to the vestry of aid in building a 
new church ; the plan of which was sent by him, and is, I pre- 
sume, the same with that now standing. Its dimensions were to 
be seventy-five by twenty-two feet, with two wings, making it a 
cross as to form. The governor offered to build twenty-two feet 
of the length himself. Mr. Blair, so far as the vestry-book shows, 
lived in uninterrupted harmony with his vestry during the thirty- 
Richmond Hudson Muse and Charles McCarty, Esquires ; Southampton Edwin 
Gray and Henry Taylor, Esquires ; Spottsylvania Mann Page and George Thorn- 
ton, Esquires ; Stafford Thomas Ludwell Lee and William Brent, Esquires ; Surry 
. Allen Cocke and Nicholas Fulton, Esquires ; Sussex David Mason and Henry 
Gee, Esquires ; Warwick William Harwood and Richard Gary, Esquires ; West- 
moreland Richard Lee, Esquire, Richard Henry Lee, Esquire, and John A. 
Washington, Esquires ;* York Dudley Digges, Esquire, Thomas Nelson, Jr , 
Esquire, and William Digges, Esquire ; Jamestown Champion Travis, Esquire ; 
Williamsburg Edmund Randolph, Esquire, for George Wythe, Esquire ; Norfolk 
Borough William Roscow Wilson Curie, Esquire ; College of William and Mary 
John Blair, Esquire. 

* John A. Washington was probably the alternate of R. H. Lee. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 155 

three years of his ministry. As to his preaching, we have a 
full opportunity of deciding upon the style and doctrine, in four 
printed volumes upon the Saviour's Sermon on the Mount, con- 
taining one hundred and seventeen sermons. These sermons 
went through at least two editions in England. Dr. Waterhury 
published a preface to the second, in high praise of them. Dr. 
Doddridge also has spoken well of them. I have gone over 
these discourses with sufficient care to form a just judgment 
of the same. As an accurate commentary on that most blessed 
portion of Scripture, I should think it can never have been 
surpassed. Since it was reserved for the apostles, under the dic- 
tates of the Spirit, to dwell on the power of the resurrection, on 
justification by faith, on the cleansing by the blood of Jesus 
Christ, so Christ, in this discourse, was not setting forth the faith 
and doctrines of the gospel, but expounding the law, in opposition 
to the false glosses of the Jews, and showing the superior spirit of 
the gospel. Mr. Blair does not, therefore, enter fully into some 
of the doctrines of the gospel, though he recognises them suffi- 
ciently to show that he held them according to what may be 
termed the moderate Arminian scheme. A faithful exposition of 
the Sermon on the Mount must necessarily condemn all evil dispo- 
sitions and practices, and Mr. Blair does not soften any thing. 
His congregation was often composed of the authority and intelli- 
gence, fashion and wealth of the State, besides the youth of the 
College ; nor does he spare any. I do not wonder that some of the 
Governors and great ones complained of his being personal. From 
many sources of information, I fear that swearing was most com- 
mon among the gentlemen of that day, those high in office setting 
a bad example. In concluding his sermon on the third command- 
ment, as explained by our Lord in his Sermon on the Mount, he 
thus speaks : 

" Thus, now I have done with my text; but I am afraid I have done no 
good all this while, and that the evil one, from whom the spirit of lying 
and swearing comes, will be abundantly too hard for all that I can say or 
do to fortify you againist his devices. Learn, I beseech you, this easy 
part of Christianity, to be men of your word, and to refrain from the evil 
custom of swearing ; and to refrain from it from a right principle, the 
fear of God. I know no vice that brings more scandal to our Church of 
England. The Church may be in danger from many enemies ; but per- 
haps she is not so much in danger from any as from the great number of 
profane persons that pretend to be of her ; enough to make all serious 
people afraid of our society, and to bring down the judgments of God upon 
us, for ' by reason of swearing the land mourneth/ But be not deceived : 
our Church has no principles that lead to swearing more than the Dis- 





156 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

senters; but, whatever Church is uppermost, there are always a great 
many who, having no religion at all, crowd into it and bring it into dis- 
grace and disreputation ; but the time is coming that the tares must be 
separated from the wheat ; and they shall be cast with the evil one the 
devil that loved them into hell ; but the angels shall carefully gather 
the wheat into God's barn. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye 
do them." 

In speaking of the lusts of the flesh, he hesitates not to call 
things by their right names and to threaten the Scriptural penal- 
ties. In warning against the temptations and provocations to the 
same, lie speaks in different terms from many of that day of 
theatres, balls, frolics, rendezvous, promiscuous dances, interludes, 
and clatter of company, the intoxication of drink, the lulling the 
thoughts asleep by music, gaming, &c. In warning against the 
love of dress, from our Saviour's allusion to the flowers of the field 
being clothed with more glory than even Solomon, he says : 

" I doubt not but it was designed to cast a slur upon the vanity of ap- 
parel, since it is a thing of so little estimation in the sight of God that 
he bestows it in the highest degree on the meanest of his creatures. For 
it is to be presumed, had it been a thing of any great worth in itself, 
instead of bestowing these admirable varieties of colours, gildings, and 
embroideries upon tulips, he would have bestowed them upon creatures 
of higher dignity. Whereas, on mankind he has bestowed but very 
sparingly of these gaudy colours and features ; a great part of them being 
black, a great part of them being tauny, and a great part being of other 
wan and dusky complexions, show that it is not the outward gaudy beauty 
that he values, but the ornaments of the mind Christian graces and vir- 
tues which, in his sight, are of great price. " 

He is throughout a faithful reprover of sin. He admits that 
there is little or no infidelity known in the Colony, as in England, 
but a great deal of wickedness. As to Church principles, as some 
call them, he was no Sacramentarian, and denounces Romanism in 
no measured terms, but is still conservative. He admitted Mr. 
Whitefield into his pulpit, but, on hearing that the Bishop of Lon- 
don had proscribed him, made a kind of apology for it, and asked 
the Bishop's opinion about him. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 157 



ARTICLE XII. 

Williamsburg, Bruton Parish. No. 2. 

WE have now to consider Mr. Blair as Commissary, and 
having, with the Governors, the superintendence of the clergy 
and the affairs of the Church ; as representative of the Bishop 
of London, with no defined limits of authority ; as the founder 
and President of William and Mary College, having joint action, 
with visitors, professors, and others, in all things belonging to 
the College, and of course often coming in collision with them ; 
as member of the Council, consulting and deciding with the 
Governor and others the first men of Virginia on all the 
concerns of the State, civil and religious, and forming the 
great judicial body to whom all important causes were referred 
for final decision. That a man of his active character and supe- 
rior mind should, for more than half a century, have been thus 
associated in matters of such importance, without frequent colli- 
sion and without having many enemies, is not to be supposed. 
That he should be charged with worldliness and management, with 
being an informer to the Bishop of London and the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, with whom he must have had intimate correspond- 
ence, was to be expected ; that he should be misunderstood by 
many, and be very unpopular with some good men, through that 
misunderstanding, and perhaps through want of conciliatory man- 
ners, and a tact in the management of men : all these things 
might be expected. He was involved in difficulties with Gover- 
nors and clergymen, more or less, during almost the whole period 
of his Commissaryship and Presidency of the College. I have the 
whole of these controversies spread before me in long and tedious 
letters, from himself and his opponents, to the authorities in Eng- 
land, which have never been published. His first controversy was 
with Governor Andros, who came to Virginia, under no good 
character, from New York. By royal instructions Andros was not 
only Governor of Virginia, but the ordinary, the representative 
of the King and Bishop of London in Church matters, the Com- 



158 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

missary being comparatively a very negative character. When 
these complaints were made, which ended in his disgrace, Dr. 
Blair, then in England, about his College, preferred the charges 
against him as an enemy to religion, to the Church, the clergy, 
and the College, bringing proofs of the same. The charges cover 
thirty-two folio pages of manuscript, and are well written. But 
Blair had formidable foes to meet in London. Governor Andros 
sends over in his defence Colonel Byrd, of Westover, Mr. Harri- 
son, of Surry, Mr. Povey, a man high in office in the Colony, and 
a Mr. Marshall, to arraign Dr. Blair himself before the Bishop of 
London and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Two days were spent 
in Lambeth Palace in the examination. The charges and the 
answers are set down, and fill up fifty-seven folio pages of manu- 
script. Never were four men more completely foiled by one. 
The accusers seem to feel and acknowledge it, and doubtless 
wished themselves out of Lambeth Palace long before the trial 
was over. One of the chief charges was Mr. Blair's partiality to 
Scotchmen, whom they said he brought over to fill the churches, 
contrary to the wishes of the people. But, being called on to 
specify names, it was found that they had made egregious blunders 
as to facts ; that some whom they supposed to be Scots were 
Englishmen. Great was the prejudice against Mr. Blair, as being 
a Scot. This was the time when that unhappy feeling was at 
its height in England, when a "beggarly Scot" was the common 
phrase. A number of the private letters which I have show the 
prejudice to have been very strong. The result of it all was, that 
Mr. Blair came home with a good sum of money for his College, 
and Andros was sent back to England to stand his trial, from 
which he came out but badly. Governor Nicholson succeeded him. 
He had been Deputy-Governor before Andros came over, and 
there was then a good understanding and friendship between him 
and Mr. Blair. During the government of Andros he was Gover- 
nor of Maryland, and disagreed with the good Commissary Bray 
not a little. On returning to Virginia he seemed to be a changed 
man. A disappointment in love was thought to have much to do 
with it. He was vain, conceited, fickle, passionate, and acted 
sometimes like a madman, though still professing great zeal for 
the Church. After a year or two Dr. Blair and himself were open 
foes. Letters on both sides were written to England. Blair wrote 
four, covering in all forty-four pages folio, charging him with 
interfering with his province and with private and public miscon- 
duct ; dwelling on his furiousness in relation to the affair of Miss 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 159 

Burwell, and the Rev. Mr. Fouace.* The Council and some of 
the clergy joined with him in petitioning the recall of Nicholson, 
which petition was successful. The Church and State were in an 
uproar. A number of the clergy, with whom Mr. Blair was un- 
popular, and whom Mr. Nicholson had ingratiated by taking part 
with them against the vestries and representing Mr. Blair as less 
favourable to their cause, took part with Mr. Nicholson. Mr. 
Nicholson ordered a Convocation to be assembled for general 
purposes, and during its sitting had private meetings of those 
friendly to him, at his house or lodging, who signed a paper 
denying the charges of Mr. Blair and the Council. A great 
dinner or supper was given them at the hotel in Williamsburg, 
which was satirized in a ballad, in which their hilarity was set 
forth, and some of them depicted in rather unfavourable colours. 
It soon appeared in London. Mr. Blair, with his few friends, 



* The second Lewis Burwell had nine daughters, one of whom completely upset 
what little reason there was in Governor Nicholson of famous memory. He became 
most passionately attached to her, and demanded her in royal style of her parents. 
Neither she, her parents, or other members of the family, were disposed to com- 
pliance. He became furious, and for years persisted in his design and claim. All 
around felt the effects of it. The father and sons, Commissary Blair, and the 
Rev. Mr. Fouace, minister of an adjoining parish, were the especial objects of 
his threatened vengeance. 

To the young lady he threatened the life of her father and brothers if she did 
not yield to his suit, which caused a friend in England to write a letter of remon- 
strance, in which he says, "It is not here as in some barbarous countries, where 
the tender lady is dragged into the Sultan's arms just reeking in the blood of her 
nearest relatives, and yet must strangely dissemble her aversion." To Commissary 
Blair he declared that "he would cut the throats of three men, (if the lady should 
marry any other man than himself,) viz. : the bridegroom, the minister, and the 
justice who issued the license. The minister of the parish, the Rev. Mr. Fouace, in 
a letter to the Lord-Commissioners in England, complains of being assaulted one 
evening, on his return from a visit to the family, (the major being sick,) by 
Governor Nicholson, and commanded never again to go to this house without leave 
from himself. It seemed that the Governor was jealous of him. Besides abusive 
language and other indignities, he pulled off the minister's hat, as being dis- 
respectful to him, the Governor, for one to keep on his hat, even on horseback. 
Such was the misconduct of the Governor, in this and other respects, that the 
Council and some of the clergy united in a petition to the Crown for his removal, 
and the petition was granted. All this, and much more, is on record in the 
archives of Lambeth Palace. Copies of the records are now before me. What 
was the subsequent history of the young lady the innocent cause of so much 
strife is not told. Even her Christian name is not given. Perhaps some of the 
descendants of the family may find it out. I need not say, that if a Governor 
of Virginia, under our free system, should assume such royal airs, the case 
would be much more speedily and easily disposed of by the lady, the parents, 
and the minister. 



160 OLD CHUBCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

however, (for a large majority of the clergy present were against 
him, 17 to 6,) triumphed again, and Mr. Nicholson was recalled. 
In his place Mr. Nott, an amiable man, came out, and the Bishop 
of London sent with him a severe letter to the clergy, begging 
them not u to play the fool any more." Mr. Nott died in a short 
time, much esteemed and regretted. 

In 1710, Colonel Spottswood was appointed Governor, an old 
soldier, a man of resolute character, of liberal views on many 
points, but a most ultra man for the royal prerogative, and for the 
transfer of it to the Governor of Virginia. For some years he and 
Mr. Blair agreed well. They both were in favour of efforts for the 
Indians. Mr. Blair advocated the Governor's favourite enterprise, 
the ascending the Blue Eidge and looking upon the valley be- 
yond. At length the Governor became unpopular with the House 
of Burgesses for some measures supposed to be high-handed, and 
again Colonel Byrd is sent over, with others, to bring charges 
against him, and was more successful than in the case of Mr. 
Blair. About this time Governor Spottswood got into a difficulty 
with the vestry of St. Anne's parish, Essex, on the subject of the 
rights of the vestries and Governors in the matter of induction, in 
which he claims higher powers than had ever been claimed before. 
The Rev. Hugh Jones had been in England and reported some 
things to the Bishop of London unfavourable to the rubrical ex- 
actness of Mr. Blair and others ; and evil reports also as to the 
moral character of some of the clergy were rife in the mother- 
country. In 1719 the Bishop of London addressed a letter to the 
Governor and Commissary, directing a convocation of the clergy 
to receive a communication from him. At their meeting the letter 
is read. It referred to some reports as to the evil conduct of the 
clergy and the violation of the rubrics. Commissary Blair opens 
the meeting with a sermon and address. The Governor calls upon 
him for his sermon, which he immediately sent. The Governor 
was offended at something in it touching Government. Perhaps 
the Commissary, even at that day, had a little of the spirit of 
American independence in him. The Governor also sends in an 
address to the clergy in reference to the Bishop of London's letter, 
which he had previously read. He opens with a direct assault on 
Commissary Blair, saying that he knew of no clergyman who 
transgressed the rubrics except the Commissary, who sometimes 
let a layman read the service for him in church, and even the 
burial-service in his presence, and wished to establish lay-readers 
in the parishes. He also charged him with injuring the clergy by 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 161 

opposing their induction, &c. To all this the Commissary had an 
easj answer. Once or twice, when unable to go through the ser- 
vice through sickness, he had gotten a lay-reader to assist him. 
On some occasion he may have passed the churchyard when a clerk 
or lay-reader was burying some one, a thing very common in 
Virginia at that time by reason of the scarcity of clergymen, and 
when lay-readers were common and commanded by law. As to 
the discouraging of induction, he shows that he had always ad- 
vised it; but that the vestries would not present ministers for 
this purpose to the Governor, and that the Governors would not 
use the privilege granted and perform the duty enjoined upon them 
by the royal institution, viz. : after six months' vacancy to present 
and induct if the vestry did not supply the place. As to his own 
example, he said that he could not help it, for the vestry in Wil- 
liamsburg would not present him to the Governor for induction ; 
and that he, (the Governor,) though on the spot, had never remon- 
strated against it, but, on the contrary, when he communicated the 
fact of his election to the Governor he only received the assurance 
of the pleasure it gave him ; not one word being said about induc- 
tion.* The manuscript of the journal of this convocation is before 
me, covering some forty or fifty pages. Neither this nor any other 
journal of the Colonial convocation has ever been in print. It 
is one of the most interesting documents of the kind I ever read, 
and exhibits in a clearer light the true condition of the Church, 
and character of the clergy, and peculiarities of the two great 
combatants, Spottswood and Blair, than can be seen anywhere 



* Another insinuation against Dr. Blair by the Governor, and open charge by 
some of the clergy, was that he had never been Episcopally ordained. The Bishop 
of London, in his letter, inquired -whether any of those officiating in Virginia were 
without Episcopal orders. In reply to this, some of them expressed their doubts 
in open Assembly, whether Dr. Blair's papers were genuine. This was also satis- 
factorily answered. The triumph of Dr. Blair was again complete. Governor 
Spottswood was superseded in 1722 by Governor Drysdale ; and it is more than 
probable that his unfortunate assault upon Dr. Blair, and the high position he 
assumed in regard to the vestries, who were the Burgesses of the country, and 
opposed to Spottswood, contributed to this. Governor Spottswood evidently felt 
his defeat, and was not disposed to engage in another contest with Dr. Blair ; for, 
in a letter to the Bishop of London, speaking of some steps which ought to be 
taken in relation to a clergyman supposed to be an evil one, and who had been 
entertained in a parish in preference to one whom he had appointed, he says, 
"That I must remain passive, or else I shall raise the old combustion in this 
government, and be in danger of drawing your Lordship's Commissary on my back 
again." 

11 



* 

162 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

else. The whole history* of the dispute about induction is also 
there seen. The persevering determination of the vestries as to 
their defensive measures, and the fearfulness of the Governor, the 
Council, the Bishop of London, and the Crown, to come into colli- 
sion with the vestries, is there plainly seen. Though the vestries 
doubtless often made the position of the ministers a painfully-pre- 
carious one, and that doubtless prevented some good men from 
coming over, yet these were -lesser evils than would result from 
allowing the Governor to be the patron of all the livings, with 
authority to send to and keep in parishes any and all whom he 
should choose. So interesting and instructive is this journal be- 
yond that of any meeting ever held by the clergy of Virginia, that 
I shall subjoin the document in an appendix. There is one ques- 
tion, proposed by the Bishop of London, which was very difficult 
to be managed, viz. : whether any of them knew of the existence 
of evil livers among the clergy. It was first proposed in the 
meeting from the chair. The answer was, that none of them were 
personally acquainted with any notorious evil livers, and the same 
was introduced into an answer to the Bishop of London, drawn up 
by the committee. It was a trying question, and was doubtless 
evaded by denying that they were personally acquainted with such. 
It is probable that the notorious evil livers did not attend convoca- 
tions, especially this, as they might have heard the special object 
of it. As this seems to be a proper place for considering this 
painful question, I will adduce from letters addressed to the Bishop 
of London, from Governor Drysdale, Dr. Blair, and others, some 
passages which may give us a correct view of it. In 1723, Mr. 
Blair, in writing to the Bishop of London, says : 

"Bishop Compton directed me to make no further use of my commis- 
sion than to keep the clergy in order ; so that I have never pretended to 
set up any spiritual court for the laity, though there are enormities among 
them^which want to be redressed; and, as to the clergy, unless they are 
notoriously scandalous, I have found it necessary to content myself with 
admonitions ; for, if I lay them aside by suspension, we have no unpro- 
vided clergymen to put in their place. At present we have about ten 
vacancies and no minister to supply them. 

He complains of the precariousness of the ministers, by reason 
of their dependence from year to year on new elections by the 
vestries. "This (he says) has gone on so long, by the connivance 
of Governors, that though our present Governor (Drysdale) is very 
willing of himself to redress it, yet thinks it not prudent to do it 
without an instruction from his Majesty." Dr. Blair wished the 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 16S 

Governor, when a vacancy of more than six months occurred, to 
send and induct a minister, as by law directed. But neither the 
Governors not even the brave Spottswood dared to do it, nor 
did his Majesty dare order it to be done. In another letter from 
Mr. Blair to a worthy clergyman, Mr. Forbs, he says : 

" I met with the Eev. Mr. Baylye (the one referred to by Governor 
Spottswood) and admonished him pretty sharply, but I do not hear that 
it has had the desired effect. I doubt I must proceed to greater severity 
with him, and some others. But the difficulty is to find proof; there 
being many who will cry out against scandalous ministers, who will not 
appear as evidences against them. I hear a very bad character of Mr. 
Worthen, and I understand that you have mentioned him in a letter to 
the Governor. I shall take it kind if you will help me to any clear 
proofs of those scandals ; for, although for want of clergymen to fill the 
vacancies I prefer to lean to the gentle than to the severe side, yet cer- 
tainly the behaviour of some men is so flagrant, that we had better be 
without ministers than to be served with such as are scandals to the 
Gospel. I wish you your health and success in the ministry, in which 
you set so good an example/ 7 

In a letter to the Bishop of London, in 1724, on the same 
subject, he says, "I have never made but two examples (that is, 
of withdrawing their licenses during the Bishop's pleasure) in all 
the time I have been Commissary, now thirty-four years; and, 
indeed, for want of clergymen, we must bear with those we have 
much more than we should do." In the same year a joint letter 
from Governor Drysdale and Mr. Blair, and others from worthy 
clergymen, confirm the above. About the same time, several 
lengthy communications are sent over to England, containing 
schemes for a supply of more and better ministers for Virginia, 
and offering some suggestions as to their government and disci- 
pline. The reigning vice among the clergy at that time was 
intemperance ; as it probably has been ever since both among the 
clergy and laity of all denominations, having given great trouble to 
the Church of every age. The difficulty of proof is stated in one 
of these schemes for reformation ; and the following mortifying 
tests of intoxication are proposed to the Bishop of London, for the 
trial of the clergy in Virginia. They were these : 

" Sitting an hour or longer in the company where they are drinking 
strong drink, and in the mean time drinking of healths, or otherwise 
taking the cups as they come rouni, like the rest of the company ; strik- 
ing, and challenging, or threatening to fight, or laying aside any of his 
garments for that purpose; staggering, reeling, vomiting; incoherent, im- 
pertinent, obscene, or rude talking. Let the proof of these signs proceed 



164 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

so far, till the judges conclude that the minister's behaviour at such a 
time was scandalous, indecent, unbecoming the gravity of a minister." 

It was found then, as it ever has been, that one great source of 
the scandal brought upon the Church of God by the intemperance of 
clergy and laity, is to be found in the difficulty not only of witnesses 
and prosecutors, but of deciding when excitement from intoxicating 
liquors has reached that point which must be regarded as the sin 
of drunkenness. And what an argument this should be with both 
clergy and laity, but especially the former, to abstain altogether, 
lest they should appear to be, or be charged with, or suspected of 
this sin ! 

I have thus brought to a close my remarks on the chief incidents 
in the life of Dr. Blair, and the peculiar points of his character. 
Our impression of him is, that, though he could not be otherwise 
than busy, considering all the offices he held and the relation he 
bore to others, yet that the charge brought against him by some, 
that he was too busy, had truth in it. His most minute details of 
things said and done, in his long and tedious though well-written 
letters to England furnish proof of this. Still, we must esteem 
him a sincere Christian and a most laborious man in the perform- 
ance of duty in all his official relations. The College owed its 
existence to him, and was probably as well managed by him as 
times and circumstances allowed ; and it is probable that his faithful 
preaching and correct moral deportment did much to stem that 
torrent of wickedness which, in his day, flowed over England and 
America. Few men ever contended with more difficulties or sur- 
mounted them better than Dr. Blair. Few clergymen ever were 
engaged with such fierce opponents in high stations, and who not 
only bore up manfully against them, but actually overcame them. 
Governors of distant provinces have ever been proverbially corrupt 
and tyrannical men. Such were Andros and Nicholson. Spotts- 
wood was a nobler spirit, but he was brought up a soldier, and rose 
to high command in the English army, and had there learned both 
to obey and command. As Governor of Virginia, he thought it 
was his province to command, and that of all others to obey ; but 
Dr. Blair thought there were limits to submission. They were 
both of them benefactors to Virginia. Had there been many such 
before and after, it would have been well for the State. Of Dr. 
Blair I have nothing more to say, but that, in a letter from Go- 
vernor Gooch to the Bishop of London, at his death, he informs 
him that the Commissary left his library and five hundred pounds 
to the College, and ten thousand pounds to his nephew and the 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 165 

children of his nephew, besides some smaller legacies. His nephew 
was Mr. John Blair, who was so long President of the Council, 
and whose character was of the highest order. The son of this 
John Blair (whose name was also John) was distinguished as a 
patriot, statesman, and jurist. He represented the College of 
William and Mary in the House of Burgesses for a long time, 
took an active part in all the Revolutionary movements, was a 
member of the great Convention which met to revise the Articles 
of Confederation, and, finally, was one of the Supreme Federal 
Court. 

GOVERNOR SPOTTSWOOD AND HIS FAMILY. 

The following sketch has been furnished me, at my request, by 
one of the descendants in Virginia, and I take pleasure in adding 
it to this article. 

" Sir Walter Scott, in his History of Scotland, says : 
" ' The Parliament, consisting entirely of Covenanters, instigated by the 
importunity of the clergy, condemned eight of the most distinguished 
Cavaliers to execution. Four were appointed to suffer at St. Andrew's, t 
that their blood might atone for the number of men (said to exceed five 
thousand) which the county of Fife had lost during the Montrose wars. 
Lord Ogilvey was the first of these, but that young nobleman escaped 
from prison and death in his sister's clothes. Colonel Nathaniel Gordon, 
one of the best soldiers and bravest men in Europe, and six other Cava- 
liers of the first distinction, were actually executed. We may particularly 
distinguish the fate of Sir Robert Spottswood, who, when the wars broke 
out, was Lord-President of the Court of Sessions, and accounted a judge 
of talent and learning. He had never borne arms ; but the circumstance 
of having brought Montrose his commission of Captain-General of Scot- 
land was thought quite worthy of death, without any further act of trea- 
son against the estates. When, on the scaffold, he vindicated his conduct 
with the dignity of a judge and the talent of a lawyer, he was silenced 
by the Provost of St. Andrew's, who was formerly a servant of his father's 
when Prelate of that city. The victim submitted to that indignity with 
calmness, and betook himself to his private devotions : he was soon in 
this last act interrupted by the Presbyterian minister in attendance, who 
demanded of him if he desired the benefit of his prayers and those of the 
assembled people. Sir Robert replied, that he earnestly desired the 
prayers of the people, but rejected those of the speaker; for that, in his 
opinion, God had expressed his displeasure against Scotland by sending a 
lying spirit into the mouth of the prophets, a far greater curse than those 
of fire, sword, and pestilence. An old servant of his family took care of 
his body and buried him privately; and it is said of the faithful domestic, 
that, passing through the market-place a day or two afterwards, and, see- 
ing the scafibld still standing and stained with his master's blood, he was 
so much affected that he sunk down in a swoon and died as they were 
lifting him over his own threshold.' 



OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



" His son, Alexander Spottswood, was aide-de-camp to the Duke of Marl- 
borough. Afterward, he was Governor of Virginia. He married Jane 
Butler, sister of the Duke of Ormond, by whom he had two sons John 
and Robert; and two daughters Catherine and Dorethea: Catherine mar- 
ried Bernard Moore, and Dorethea, Nathaniel Dandridge. Robert was 
killed by the Indians on an expedition with his father beyond the Alle- 
ghanies. Whom John, my grandfather, married, I am not certain; but I 
think she was Mary Dandridge, the sister of Nathaniel Dandridge. He 
had two sons Alexander and John; and two daughters Mary and Ann. 
Mary married Mr. Peter Randolph. John married Mary Rouzey, of Essex 
county, by whom he had numerous children. Alexander (my father) mar- 
ried Elizabeth Washington, daughter of Augustine Washington, and niece 
of General George Washington, by whom he had seven children, myself 
the youngest. My father was a Brigadier-General in the Revolution : his 
brother John was a captain. I think I have given you a correct account 
of the genealogy of the Spottswood family. There is a difference in spell- 
ing the name in this and the Old World, the original name being spelt 
Spottiswood.*" 

* A worthy antiquary of Virginia thinks that Governor Spottiswood was not 
the son of Sir Robert Spottiswood, who was executed in Scotland, but the grand- 
son ; that his father was named Robert, but was a physician who died at Tangier, 
in Africa, in 1680, his son Alexander being born there in 1676. He also thinks 
that the name of Governor Spottiswood's wife was Anne Butler Bryan, the latter 
part being usually pronounced Brain, the middle name being taken from her god- 
father, James Butler, Duke of Orniond. He also states that Robert Spottiswood 
died near Fort Cumberland, in 1757, when serving under Washington, being killed, 
supposed, by the Indians. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 167 



ARTICLE XIII. 

Williamslurg^ Bruton Parish. No. 3. 

WITH the death of Mr. Blair closed all conflicts, so far as 
is shown, between Commissaries and Governors. The Rev. Wil- 
liam Dawson was chosen Commissary and President of the Col- 
lege, while his brother, the Rev. Thomas Dawson, was called to the 
rectorship of the church, Mr. Gooch being Governor. All the let- 
ters of Governor Gooch and Commissary Dawson to the Bishop of 
London show them to be truly anxious to promote the best inte- 
rests of the colony, though many difficulties seem to have impeded 
its prosperity and prevented a supply of worthy ministers. One 
thing is set forth in praise of William and Mary College, which we 
delight to record, viz. : that the hopes and designs of its founders 
and early benefactors, in relation to its being a nursery of pious 
ministers, were not entirely disappointed. It is positively affirmed 
by those most competent to speak, that the best ministers in Vir- 
ginia were those educated at the College and sent over to England 
for ordination. The foreigners were the great scandal of the 
Church. No vigilance on the part of the Bishop of London, the 
Governor or Commissaries, could 'altogether prevent this. Nor 
was the discipline exerted over the clergy, whether foreign or do- 
mestic, calculated to be a terror to evil-doers. We have seen 
what Dr. Blair acknowledged as to his forbearance ; and yet there 
was more of clerical discipline under his supervision than at any 
subsequent period. We read of none under the first of the Daw- 
sons. When Mr. Thomas Dawson, who succeeded his brother as 
Commissary, (Mr. Stith being called to the Presidency of the Col- 
lege,} was in office, a most flagrant case called so loudly for notice 
that Governor Dinwiddie summoned the offender (the Rev. Mr. 
Brunskill, of Prince William) to Williamsburg, and on trial dis- 
missed him from his parish. Mr. Dawson, however, shrunk from 
the proceeding, expressing a doubt whether they were authorized 
to exercise discipline. If what his successor, Mr. Robinson, stated 
to the Bishop of London be true, there must have been a secret con- 
sciousness of unworthiness which operated upon the mind of Mr. 



168 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Dawson, viz. : that he himself in his latter years became addicted 

to drink, to such an extent that the Visitors of the College arraigned 
him for it, hut let it pass on the plea that his troubles in office, as 
President and Commissary, so pressed upon him as to make him 
resort to this wretched refuge for consolation. It was in the time 
of the first of these brothers that the troubles about the Rev. Mr. 
Davis, the Presbyterian minister, took place ; and in the time of 
the second, that the great tobacco-question agitated the Church 
and State, and about each of which I shall have something to say 
in the proper place. The huge folio volume of manuscripts from 
Lambeth and Fulham Palaces which lie before me contains a num- 
ber of letters and memorials on these subjects from which to draw 
materials. At the death of the second Mr. Dawson, the Rev. 
William Yates, of Gloucester, one of that family which so abounded 
in ministers, succeeded to the rectorship of the church and 
Presidency of the College, while the Rev. William Robinson, of 
King and Queen, was made Commissary. Mr. Yates, dying in 
1764, was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Horrocks, in the College 
and the church, and about the same time, at the death of Commis- 
sary Robinson, he was appointed to that office also. 

In the year 1771, a meeting of the clergy was called by Mr. 
Horrocks, at the request of some of the Northern clergy, to con- 
sider the subject of applying for an American Episcopate. The 
desirableness of this, in order to complete the organization of our 
Church for the benefit of Episcopalians, without requiring others 
to be subjected to it, had been felt by its friends on both sides of 
the water for a long time. Various plans had been proposed for 
its accomplishment ; but difficulties, civil and religious, (of whose 
force it is impossible that we, at this distance of time, should be 
proper judges,) interposed and prevented. Enemies to the scheme, 
both in England and America, were always ready to rise up against 
it with political and religious objections. At length, when Episco- 
palians began to increase in the Middle and Northern States, 
(though still a small band,) the press was resorted to in advocacy 
of the measure. Dr. Chandler, an eminent divine of our Church 
in New Jersey, took the lead in defence of the measure. An effort 
was made to combine the Episcopalians of Virginia with those of 
the North, in a petition to the throne for an American Episcopate. 
Mr. Horrocks, the Commissary of Virginia, induced by various 
pressing letters from the North, called a convocation of the clergy, 
to be held in Williamsburg on the 4th of May, 1771, without men- 
tioning the object of it. But few attended, and they, on being 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 169 

informed of the object, determined that it was too grave a matter 
to be decided on by so small a number, and that another call should 
be made, specifying the object of the meeting. Another call was 
accordingly made for the 4th of June, when only twelve appeared, 
a smaller number than before, although many more than these lived 
very near the place of assemblage, and about one hundred were in 
the diocese. There must, of course, have been some serious objec- 
tion, in the minds of the great body of the clergy, to taking any 
part in it, for the subject was not new, having been under discus- 
sion for some time in the Northern papers. After some delibera- 
tion, it was determined not to address the crown, but to ask advice 
of the Bishop of London, the good Bishop Porteus, who, in a 
sermon, recommended the measure, but only in the event of the 
Government, in its wisdom, favouring the plan. It was thought 
proper, therefore, first to apply to him as the Diocesan and the 
warm friend of Virginia, where his parents had resided and he 
was perhaps born. This was passed by a unanimous vote. And 
yet, by one of those unaccountable revolutions which sometimes 
takes place in public bodies, before the final adjournment, the ques- 
tion was reconsidered, the vote reversed, and a direct petition to the 
King determined upon, two only dissenting, who were afterward 
joined by two others in a protest, with the reasons thereof. It was 
resolved that the votes of a majority must be obtained in some 
other way. But we hear nothing more of it. This protest of the 
Rev. Messrs. Gwatkin and Henly, Professors in the College, and 
Bland and Hewitt, ministers of parishes, called forth a pamphlet 
from the united Conventions of the clergy of New York and New 
Jersey in condemnation, and a reply of the protesters in defence. 
These were followed by various others, of the most severe and 
bitter character, by different persons in the Northern and Middle 
States. I have seen them all bound up in a number of volumes, 
and read some of them. Many of those, in small pamphlets or in 
newspapers, were written by those of other denominations, who 
were entirely opposed to the introduction of Episcopacy; and I 
feel confident that the Stamp Act, and the tax on tea and other 
articles, did not draw forth more violent denunciations and threat- 
enings than were spread throughout the Northern States against 
this proposal. All New England was in a flame. It may well 
appear strange that so many Episcopal clergyman as were in Vir- 
ginia should appear indifferent to a measure so suitable and neces- 
sary to the perfect organization and effectual working of our sys- 
tem, and it is right that their reasons, not only for indifference, 



170 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

but even opposition, should be stated. It appears, from what was 
written in their defence, that there was but one opinion as to the 
propriety and desirableness of the object, but only diversity as to 
the time and manner of effecting it. It was declared that all things 
were unfavourable to it at that time. The difficulties about the Stamp 
Act were not over. There was a root of bitterness still remaining 
in consequence of some deceptive measures charged on the British 
ministry in connection with its repeal. Other causes of dissatis- 
faction were arising. There was a filial feeling in Virginians toward 
the mother-country and Church, which made them averse to war 
and separation, and they wished to avoid every thing which would 
hasten it ; and yet there was a strong and firm determination not to 
continue the union except upon honourable terms. Their just 
rights they would maintain at all hazards. They believed that the 
proposition for an American Episcopate, no matter how modified 
the plan, was so offensive to all other Protestant bodies, both in 
this country and England, that, united with other causes which 
were increasing every day, it must decide the question of war if 
agreed to. The violent tones of the press on this subject were 
enough to justify the apprehension. But there was another very 
general source of fear throughout the land. It was believed that 
if Bishops should be sent they would be men, like the Governors, 
favouring the royal pretensions instead of American rights, and 
thus weakening the cause of proper independence. On this 
account, Bishop White, in his Memoirs, expresses the belief " that 
it would have been impossible to have obtained the concurrence of 
a respectable number of laymen in any measure for obtaining an 
American Bishop." He appeals to the conduct of Virginia, where, 
if anywhere in the land, such concurrence might be expected. 
And yet, ..nowhere was opposition greater than in Virginia, and 
among Episcopalians, under existing circumstances. We have 
seen the jealousies of the vestries as to the attempt of Governors 
and wishes of Commissaries and clergy to deprive them of the 
right to choose and displace their own ministers. The Governors 
claimed to be Bishops, or in the place of Bishops, and to have the 
right of inducting ministers for life, and, in many instances, of 
choosing them and presenting them. If Bishops should be sent, 
they would assuredly claim as much, if not more, and be more 
likely to obtain it, and also to have greater power of discipline. 
The laity, therefore, were on this account fearful of the experi- 
ment, and preferred losing the benefit of the rite of confirmation 
for a time, than be saddled with a power greater than Governors 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 171 

and Commissaries had been able to erect. In proof of this general 
aversion of the laity in Virginia to the proposal of a Bishop or 
Bishops, we find that soon after the small meeting of the clergy at 
Williamsburg which voted a petition to the Crown, the House of 
Burgesses met and unanimously passed a vote of thanks to the few 
who protested for the course they pursued. The thanks were car- 
ried them by two gentlemen whose attachment to the Church cannot 
be questioned, Colonel Bland and Richard Henry Lee, the latter 
of whom was our most active agent with the Court of St. James 
in obtaining our Episcopacy immediately after the Revolution. In 
proof that it was not a want of due regard to the Episcopal office, 
but a conviction that it could not be obtained in such a manner 
at that time as to comport with our civil and religious liberties, 
which made the Virginia laity and very many of the clergy to 
object, we would mention the fact that, so soon as we were free to 
establish it on right principles, the very men who, in the House of 
Burgesses and elsewhere, were most opposed to it, now came for- 
ward to our Episcopal Convention and zealously advocated the 
establishment of Episcopacy. There can be no doubt that the 
general feeling of the nation, and of no part of it more than of 
Virginia, was that America was destined to independence, though it 
was not wished to hasten it by a bloody war. Can any one doubt 
that the thought was often in the minds of our truest men, that the 
time for establishing our Episcopacy would not be until we could 
do it untrammelled by our connection with and subjection to Eng- 
land ? She, said some, is illy able to establish her own Episcopacy 
aright, much less one for us. Trammelled as the Church of Eng- 
land is by the State, her Bishops are almost powerless for dis- 
cipline, so complicated and expensive the machinery by which they 
must exercise it. Few as were the instances of clerical discipline 
under our Commissaries and Governors, it was believed that they 
were far more numerous than during the same period under the 
Bishops of England ; and if we had Bishops, they of course must 
be governed by the same laws as in England, whereas the Go- 
vernor, acting under some general instruction from the crown, has 
more liberty, especially when such a spirit as that of Spottswood 
ruled the Colony. A candid investigation of the whole subject 
will therefore lead to the same conclusion to which Dr. Hawks, an 
able jurist as well as eloquent divine and faithful historian, did, 
when he says, in his work on Virginia, " At this distance of time, 
it will probably be acknowledged that, on the question of expe- 
diency, the Virginia clergy judged wisely. In the temper of the 



172 OLD CHURCHES, 

times, the application coulcl not but have proved unsuccessful : to 
make it, therefore, could only serve to exasperate a large portion 
of the Colonists, without the prospect of obtaining the end de- 
sired." 

That the laity of Virginia, as represented by the Burgesses, had 
reason to complain of the attempt of the clergy to manage this 
delicate and important matter without any conference with them, 
seeing that they were so deeply interested in the matter, cannot be 
denied. In their meeting was no lay element whatever. One of 
the protesters stated this, and proposed consulting with the Go- 
vernor, Council, and Burgesses; but one of the leaders of the 
measure acknowledged that they would certainly be opposed to it, 
and therefore objected to the reference. The protesters, in their 
defence, make use of this argument, and say that, to establish a 
measure of this kind, without the co-operation of the laity, would 
be to adopt the Popish system of a spiritual dominion within the 
State, entirely independent of it and dangerous to the liberties of 
the people. The lay element in England was the King, Parlia- 
ment, and mixed courts ; the lay element here had been the Go- 
vernor and Council, House of Burgesses, and vestries ; but now all 
those were dispensed with, and the clergy proposed to act without 
advice and independent of these, that is, the few who adopted and 
signed the petition ; for the greater part stayed at home, well know- 
ing the opposition of the laity. The protesters, in their reply, charge 
their opponents at the North with a leaning to the Non-juring 
Bishops of Scotland, whom they call schismatics, and bid them, if 
they wished Bishops, apply to them, and thus set up a separate 
Church without the support of the State ; but not to disturb the 
peace of the land by endeavouring to involve the Government of 
England in the measure. They also intimate that some private 
objects perhaps ecclesiastical aspirations influenced the great 
and sudden change in the meeting at Williamsburg. Mr. Camm 
had recently been disappointed in succeeding to the Commissary's 
place, at the death of Mr. Robinson, in consequence of some diffi- 
culties with Governor Dinwiddie ; and Mr. Horrocks was suspected 
of some desires for the mitre. These were the leaders among the 
clergy. President Nelson, of York, writing to a friend in London 
at this time, says : 

"We do not want Bishops; and yet, from our principles, I hardly think 
we should oppose such an establishment. Nor will the laity apply for 
them,- Colonel Corbin having assured me that he has received no petition 
to be signed, nor any thing else about it from Dr. Porteus ; but Mr. Hor- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 178 

rocks, the Bishop of London's Commissary here, hath invited all the 
clergy of the Colony to meet him soon, in order to consider of an appli- 
cation for this purpose ; which he tells me he has done in compliance with 
the pressing instances of some of the Episcopal clergy northward. This 
gentleman goes to England for his health this summer : possibly a mitre 
may be his polar star, for we know that there is much magnetic virtue in 
such dignities, and I tell him he will be too late if he does not embark 
soon.* To which he, with the usual modesty on such occasions, replies, 
'Nolo Episcopari.'" 

As the clergy met in secret, the President could not then tell 
what they were about, but promises to write his friend hereafter. 

The vestry-book ceases in the year 1769, while Mr. Horrocks 
was minister, all the leaves being filled up. Doubtless a new one 
was gotten and records made in it ; but it is nowhere to be found. 
Mr. Horrocks was rector of the parish, President of the College, 
and Commissary as late as 1771. He was succeeded in all these 
by the Rev. John Camm, who continued until 1777, when Mr. 
Madison became President of the College. 

We must here cease from the private history of the parish for a 
brief space, in order to introduce a memorable passage from the 
history of the State, which occurred within the bounds of this 
parish. The decisive step was now about to be taken by the Co- 
lonies in relation to the mother-country. They had denounced and 
renounced her as a cruel step-mother ; they were about to take up 
arms and appeal to the God of battles to aid them in the defence 
of their just rights. The patriots of Virginia determined to do 
this with the most solemn forms of religion. On the 24th of May, 
1774, the members of the Assembly, at their meeting in Williams- 
burg, after setting forth in a well-written preamble the condition 
of the country, the evils already oppressing us, the dangers to be 
feared, and their determination to assert our just rights, "re- 
solved to set apart a day for fasting, humiliation, and prayer ; and 
ordered that the members of the House do attend in their places, 
at the hour of ten in the morning, on the first day of June next, 
in order to proceed, with the Speaker and the mace, to the church 
in this city for the purpose aforesaid ; and that the Rev. Mr. Price 
be requested to read prayers, and the Rev. Mr. Gwatkin to preach 



* I suppose he meant that the Government, if favourable to the measure, would 
give it to some one in England. It is a fact clearly proved by his own letters to 
Governor Hunter, of New York, that when at some previous period it was thought 
probable that a Bishop would be sent to America, Dean Swift wished and expected 
to be the Bishop. 



174 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

a sermon suitable to the* occasion." The following extract of a 
letter from George Mason, of Fairfax, a neighbour and friend of 
Washington, who was in Williamsburg at the time, though not a 
member of the House, (Washington being the delegate,) will show 
the religious feeling of the members. It is addressed to Martin 
Cockburn, one of his pious neighbours. 

"Enclosed you have the Boston Trade Act and a resolve of our House 
of Burgesses. You will observe that it is confined to the members of 
their own House; but they would wish to see the example followed 
through the country ; for which purpose the members, at their own pri- 
vate expense, are sending expresses with the resolve to their respective 
counties. Mr. Massie (the minister of Fairfax) will receive a copy of the 
resolve from Colonel Washington ' } and, should a day of prayer and fasting 
be appointed in our county, please to tell my dear little family that I 
charge them to pay a strict attention to it, and that I desire my three 
eldest sons and my two oldest daughters may attend church in mourning, 
if they have it, as I believe they have." 

This speaks well for the faith, and humble dependence on God, 
which dwelt in the breasts of our Virginia patriots. There were 
those, even then, among them, who had unhappily imbibed the 
infidel principles of France ; but they were too few to raise their 
voices against those of Washington, Nicholas, Pendleton, Ran- 
dolph, Mason, Lee, Nelson, and such like. And in proof that 
they were disposed to go further than mere prayer and fasting, a 
few years after, in the year 1778, when the American Congress 
added to their appointment of a day of prayer and humiliation, a 
condemnation of certain evil customs and practices as offensive to 
the God whose favour they sought to propitiate, we find our dele- 
gates, Richard Henry Lee and Marsden Smith, uniting with others 
in voting for and carrying the measure. The resolution is as 
follows : 

" Whereas, true religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of 
public liberty and happiness, Resolved, that it be, and is, hereby earnestly 
recommended to the several States, to take the most effectual measures 
for the encouragement thereof, and for the suppressing of theatrical en- 
tertainments, horse-racing, and gaming, and such other diversions as are 
productive of idleness, dissipation, and a general depravity of manners." 

Had there not been in all parts of our land a goodly number of 
our citizens of such a spirit and views, God might not have in- 
trusted such a gift as national independence to our keeping. It is, 
however, deeply to be lamented that the successful termination of 
the war, and all the rich blessings attending it, did not produce the 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 175 

gratitude to the Giver which was promised by the hearts of our 
people in the day of danger and supplication. The intimacy pro- 
duced between infidel France and our own country, by the union 
of our arms against the common foe, was most baneful in its 
influence with our citizens generally, and on none more than those 
of Virginia. The grain of mustard-seed which was planted at 
Williamsburg, about the middle of the century, had taken root 
there and sprung up and spread its branches over the whole State, 
the stock still enlarging and strengthening itself there, and the 
roots shooting deeper into the soil. At the end of the century the 
College of William and Mary was regarded as the hotbed of infi- 
delity and of the wild politics of France. Strong as the Virginia 
feeling was in favour of the Alma Mater of their parents, the 
Northern Colleges were filled with the sons of Virginia's best men. 
No wonder that God for so long a time withdrew the light of his 
countenance from it.* 



* Many years before the war the College was in a most unhappy condition. The 
Visitors and the Faculty were at variance, as the following correspondence will 
show : 

Substance of a letter written by the Visitors to the Bishop of London, dated 
July 15, 1767. 

They informed the Bishop that Dr. Halyburton, whom he had recommended to 
the Professorship of Moral Philosophy in the College, had arrived a few weeks 
before, when they had reason to expect him more than ten months ago. They fear 
that his Lordship had been imposed upon in regard to the qualifications of this 
person, whom, by his own confessions, they find was totally unqualified to dis- 
charge the duties of the Professorship. They say that Dr. H.'s letter "breathes 
so great levity, not to say profaneness, of sentiment," that they would think them- 
selves unpardonable should they admit him to the College. They complain, also, 
that those have been frequently sent to them "who were extremely unfit for the 
employments assigned them;" and, on that account, the education of the youth 
has been very defective; "a natural consequence of which have been riots, con- 
tentions, -and a dissipation of manners as unbecoming their characters as vitally 
destructive of the ends of their appointment." They quote the following from the 
letter of the Bishop, dated July 4, 1766: "From the discouragements which 
have been in the College, and the power which the Visitors seem desirous of exert- 
ing, in displacing at their pleasure the Professors and Masters, it was no easy matter 
to prevail upon any person to enter upon so precarious a situation." In reply to 
this, they said that they had censured some former Professors for immoralities 
and remissness in their duty ; and, a few years since, some were deprived for their 
contumacious behaviour. They then go on to give an account of the contests 
between the Visitors and the Professors, arising out of the conflicting authority 
of the two bodies in the appointment of Ushers for the Grammar-School ; and 
also on account of a statute enacted by the Visitors, prohibiting the Masters and 
Professors from engaging in any employment out of College without special 
permission. In justification of this statute, they say that one Professor had 



176 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Brief must be our remaining notice of the ministry, the Church, 
and the Presidents of the College. Dr. Bracken became the minis- 
ter in the year 1773, and continued so to be, in connection with 
the Professorship of Humanity in the College, until his death in 
1818. Bishop Madison became President in 1777, and Continued 
such until his death in 1812. After a temporary Presidency of 
one year by Dr. Bracken, Dr. Augustine Smith, a Virginian, and 
son of one of our most respectable clergymen, then the Professor 
in a Medical College in New York, was called to preside over the 
College. On entering upon its duties, he was conscious that the 
aid of heaven, through his Church and ministry, ought to be had 
in order to success, and therefore petitioned the now reviving Epis- 
copal Church of Virginia to establish a Professorship of Divinity 
in the College. The result was, the sending the Rev. Dr. Keith 
for that purpose, who succeeded Dr. Bracken as minister of the 
parish, and made the experiment. After the trial of a few years, 
being satisfied that success could not attend the effort at that time, 
he resigned, and became the head of the Seminary at Alexandria. 
Dr. Smith met with a good degree of success in increasing the 
number of the students, but not enough to encourage his continu- 



engaged in the practice of medicine ; that others had held parochial cures in 
the vicinity and at greater distances, causing them to neglect their duties in 
College, and more particularly on Saturdays and Sundaj^s, when the students, 
being left without any supervision, engaged in riotous conduct. According to that 
account of the matter, there had been a contest between the Visitors and Professors 
during the past twelve years, to the great detriment of the interests of the College. 
That now these differences are happily settled, and harmony in a degree restored ; 
and they ask his Lordship to recommend to them suitable persons to fill the Pro- 
fessorships of Moral Philosophy and Mathematics ; the salary to be 100 per 
annum, with board and lodgings, in the College building. 

In reply to this letter, the Bishop exhorts them to bury all former animosities, and 
speaks of the difficulty of finding men qualified for Professorships, who would be 
willing to go to a distant and unhealthy country for an advance of thirty or forty 
pounds per annum beyond what they might receive at home. 

By a statute of the Visitors, passed in 1770, provision is made for the salaries 
of eight undergraduates, of 30 per annum each; to be chosen, two each year, 
from the body of students, for their proficiency in learning and their exemplary 
conduct. They were to complete a full course of studies, probably including divi- 
nity, as the statute closes with these words : " Let those who shall have completed 
this course of education and propose to go home for orders be entitled to a bounty 
of 50 sterling, for their encouragement and to defray the expenses of their 
voyage." In 1775, James Madison was allowed 50 by the Visitors, to defray his 
expenses in going to England for holy orders. In the year 1775, Messrs. Gwatkin 
and Henly returned to England. In the year 1777, Messrs. Camm, Jones, and 
Dixon have difficulties with the Visitors. The two latter resign, and Mr. Camm, 
denying the authority of the board, is displaced. Mr. Madison is made President. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 177 

ance beyond the year 1826. At Ms resignation, the Rev. Dr. Wil- 
liam H. Wiliner, of Alexandria, was called to the rectorship of the 
church and Presidency of the College, both of which he discharged 
with zeal and ability, and with considerable success, during one 
year, at the end of which he died of fever, deeply lamented by all 
the friends of the church and College. The means of awakening 
pious fervour in the friends of the Church and of converting the 
irreligious youth had never been so earnestly employed before his 
time. Besides the regular services of the Sabbath and temple, 
lectures, exhortations, and prayers were most earnestly used in 
private houses twice in the week, and well attended. It was hoped 
that a genuine revival of true religion was about to take place in 
the College and town. The first-fruits of it had already appeared. 
Nor did he rely on moral suasion alone to govern the youth, but, 
when occasion called, resorted to proper discipline. One instance 
is worthy of being recorded. At Williamsburg, as at some other 
places, it was thought to be an exploit, becoming students, to annoy 
all around by ringing the College bell or some other to which access 
could be had. The large bell of the old church, in the midst of 
the town, was resorted to for this purpose by some troublesome 
youths. After due warning and admonition, Dr. Wilnier deter- 
mined to detect and punish the offenders. On the sound of the 
bell one night, he promptly reached the place, taking with him one 
of the chief citizens of the town, rather against his will. While 
the bell was still ringing, followed by his companion, he ascended 
in the dark the steps of the belfry leading up to the bell, not 
knowing who or how many he had to encounter, and, seizing on 
one of them, effectually 'secured him. Such resolution is not often 
to be found. At the death of Dr. Wilmer, the Rev. Dr. Empie 
was chosen his successor in both stations. He continued in them 
for eight or nine years, when he accepted a call to St. James 
Church, Richmond. As pastor and preacher he was admired, es- 
teemed, and beloved, as he had been elsewhere before, and was in 
Richmond afterward. He still lives. His many and increasing 
infirmities of body amply justify his retirement from public service, 
and his many excellencies secure him the affection and esteem of 
all who know him. His place in the College was supplied by Mr. 
Dew, a Virginia gentleman, a graduate of the College, and a 
scholar. His amiable disposition, fine talents, tact at management, 
great zeal, and unwearied assiduity, were the means of raising the 
College to as great prosperity as perhaps had ever been its lot at 
any time since its first establishment, notwithstanding many op- 

12 



^78 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

% 

posing difficulties. To this we must make one exception, viz. : as 
to the classical and mathematical departments, under some of the 
old and ripe scholars from England, before the Revolution. Mr. 
Dew being arrested by the hand of death in a foreign land, in the 
year 1846, the College was left in the temporary charge of Pro- 
fessor Saunders and Mr. Benjamin Ewell during the years 1847 
and 1848, when, by an arrangement with the Episcopal Church of 
Virginia, the Visitors secured the services of Bishop Johns for a 
few years. During the five years of his continuance, notwithstand- 
ing the arduous labours of his Episcopal office, he so diligently 
and wisely conducted the management of the College as to produce 
a regular increase of the number of students until they had nearly 
reached the maximum of former times, established a better dis- 
cipline than perhaps ever before had prevailed in the institution, 
and attracted more students of divinity to its lectures than had 
ever been seen there in the memory of any now living. At his 
resignation in 1854, Mr. Ewell resumed the government, and is now 
the President. 

Renewing and concluding the list of the ministers of Williams- 
burg, the Rev. Mr. Hodges succeeded Dr. Empie, and continued 
for many years to fill the pulpit and perform all the duties of the 
pastoral office most acceptably to the congregation. He was a 
great favourite with a congregation of coloured persons, who, 
though belonging to another denomination, preferred him as their 
minister ; and to the uttermost of his physical abilities he did for 
many years act as such. At the resignation of Mr. Hodges, the 
Rev. Mr. Denison became their pastor, and continued such for a 
number of years. The Rev. George Wilmer, son of the former 
rector and President, is their present pastor. 

List of vestrymen in the church at Williamsburg from the year 
1674 to 1769 : 

Hon. Daniel Parke, Colonel John Page, James Besouth, Robert Cobb, 
Mr. Bray, Captain Chesley, Mr. Aylott, Hon. Thomas Ludwell, Hon. 
Thomas Ballard, James Vaux, William Korker, George Poindexter, 
Thomas Whaley, Captain Otho Thorpe, Captain Thomas Williams, Mar- 
tin Gardiner, Daniel Wyld, Thomas Taylor, Christopher Pierson, Gideon 
Macon, Robert Spring, George Martin, Abraham Vinckler, Samuel Tim- 
son, John Ownes, Captain Francis Page, Thomas Pettus, Colonel Thomas 
Ballard, Ralph Graves, Captain James Archer, George Norvell, John 
Dormar, Edward Jones, Thomas Thorp, Daniel Parke, Jr., Hon. Edmund 
Jennings, Hugh Norvell, William Pinkethraan, Henry Tyler, John Ken- 
dall, Baldwin Mathews, Philip Ludwell, Jr., Robert Crawley, Timothy 
Pinkethman, Joseph White, James Whaley, Hon. John Page, Jr., Wil- 
liam Hansford, William Timson, Frederick Jones, David Bray, James Bray, 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 179 

Ambrose Cobb, James Hubard, Nathaniel Crowley, Matthew Pierce, John. 
Custis, Henry Carey, John Holloway, Archibald Blair, Michael Archer, 
Baldwin Mathews, John Clayton, Lewis Burwell, David Bray, Jr., Thomas 
Jones, Samuel Timson, Sir John Randolph, George Nicholas, William 
Robertson, Hon. John Blair, Sen., Thomas Cobbs, Ralph Graves, Edward 
Barradale, James Barber, Daniel Needier, James Bray, Jr., Henry Tyler, 
Jr., John Harmer, James Wray, Matthew Pierce, Edward Barradale, Jr., 
Benjamin Waller, William Parks, Peyton Randolph, William Prentiss, 
William Timson, Jr., John Holt, William Graves, Armstead Burwell, 
John Palmer, Pinkethman Eaton, Robert Carter Nicholas, Thomas Eve- 
rard, Nathaniel Shields, Frederick Bryan, George Wythe, John Prentiss, 
John Power, William Eaton. 



180 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XIV. 

Williamsburg, Bruton Parish. No. 4. 

ACCORDING to promise, I proceed to some notices of a few of 
the vestrymen of Bruton parish. There are doubtless others 
equally worthy of praise, but I have no information from which 
to speak. Mr. Daniel Parke, whose name stands first on the list 
of the first vestry in 1676, was from Surrey, England, and 
married a Miss Evelyn.* A tablet of him was placed in the 
first church at Williamsburg, and afterwards was transferred to 
the second. He appears to have been a man of worth and dis- 
tinction. Mr. John Custis, of Arlington, Northampton county, 
Eastern Shore of Virginia, married his daughter, and was also a 
vestryman. George Washington Parke Custis, of Arlington, Fair- 
fax county, grandson of Mrs. General Washington, was descended 
from the above-mentioned Daniel Parke and John Custis. It 
could be wished that the record of Daniel Parke his son, whose 
name is also on the vestry-book, were as worthy of notice. He 
was indeed more notorious than his father, but for other reasons. 
He conceived a great dislike to Mr. Blair, the minister of James- 
town, the President of the College, and who was living near 
Williamsburg. Having no pew in. the church at Williamsburg, his 
wife was indebted to the kindness of Mr. Ludlow, of Green Spring, 
whose daughter Mr. Parke married, for a seat. On a certain Sun- 
day, Mr. Parke, determined to mortify Mr. Blair by insulting his 
wife, in his absence (and doubtless in the absence of Mr. Ludlow, 
who afterward complained of it) came into the church, and, rudely 
seizing Mrs. Blair by the arm, drew her out of the pew, saying 



* If this Miss Evelyn whom Mr. Parke married was daughter or relative of the 
Mr. Evelyn whose name appears among the pious benefactors of that day in Eng- 
land, then was she connected with one of the truest friends of the Church of 
America. In all that was done by the two great societies for the promotion of Chris- 
tianity in foreign lands, the Propagation and Christian Knowledge Societies, Mr. 
Evelyn was among the foremost. Of him, at his death in 1705, it is said, "Evelyn, 
full of years and honour, and breathing to the last the spirit of prayer and thankful- 
ness, entered into his rest." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 181 

she should not sit there. He was a man of great violence of 
character, as otherwise appears. This is recorded in the archives 
of Lambeth, and speaks ill for the decorum and chivalry of the 
times. *In the Rev. Mr. Anderson's Colonial History of this period, 
we have the following account of a Mr. Daniel Parke, which 
answers but too well to the foregoing : 

"The offences of Parke's early life had compelled him to flee from Vir- 
ginia, the land of his birth, to England, where he purchased an estate in 
Hampshire and obtained a seat in Parliament. Not long afterward, he 
was expelled the House for bribery ; and the provocation of fresh crimes 
drove him again a fugitive to Holland, where he entered as a volunteer 
in the army of the Duke of Marlborough, and was made his aid-de-camp. 
He carried home, in a brief note written upon the field by Marlborough to 
his Duchess, the first tidings of the victory of Blenheim, and, through the 
interest which then prevailed at the Court of Anne, obtained the Govern- 
ment of Antigua. His arbitary and oppressive conduct in public matters 
and the gross licentiousness of his private life soon stirred up against him 
the hatred of all classes of its inhabitants. The home Government ordered 
his recall; but he, refusing to obey it, persisted with arrogant insolence 
in his course of tyranny. At length it could be endured no longer, and 
on the morning of the 7th of December, 1710, a body of five hundred men 
with numbers of the Assembly at their head, marched to the Government- 
House, determined to drive him from it by force. The orders of Parke 
that they should disperse, and the attempts of his enemies to negotiate, 
were alike fruitless. The attack was made, and resisted with equal vio- 
lence by the soldiers and others whom Parke had summoned to his aid ; 
but the assailants in a few hours conquered, and Parke fell a victim to 
their fury. It was a lawless punishment of a lawless act, and excited great 
indignation in England. But the catalogue of Parke' s offences had been 
so enormous, and the effusion of blood would have been so great had the 
sentence of capital punishment gone forth against all, or even the leaders 
of those who had been concerned in his violent death, that it was judged 
expedient to issue a general pardon." 

Of old Mr. Page, who stands next to Colonel Daniel Parke the 
elder, I have already spoken. Early on the list of vestrymen was 
Mr. John Randolph, alias Sir John Randolph, who was the father 
of Mr. John Randolph and Mr. Peyton Randolph, all of whom 
were in succession Attorney-Generals of Virginia. The father is 
spoken of as a most eminent man in his profession, and of high 
character. His son Peyton Randolph was also a vestryman of 
the church, and gave early signs of a too independent spirit to be 
very acceptable to the English Government. Being sent over to 
England on account of some of our complaints, and speaking his 
mind too freely for the Court and Cabinet, he was displaced from 
his office, and his brother John, who had been acting in his absence, 
was installed. At the breaking out of the war, John went to Eng- 



182 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

% 

land and was succeeded by his son Edmond. The former, bitterly 
repenting of his choice, died of a broken heart, and directed his 
remains to be brought back to Virginia. They are interred in the 
College Chapel. Mr. Peyton Randolph ever showed himself the 
warm and steady friend of the Church as well as of his country. 
He went by the name of Speaker Randolph, being for a long time 
the presiding officer in the House of Burgesses. He was also 
chosen Speaker of the first, second, and third Congress, but sud- 
denly died of apoplexy, during the last. He was buried for a time 
in Philadelphia, but afterward removed to Williamsburg. In con- 
nection with the foregoing notice of Mr. Peyton Randolph, I add 
something concerning his nephew and adopted son, Edmund Ran- 
dolph, of whose religious sentiments I have spoken in a former 
number. 

Extract from a paper written by Edmund Randolph, soon after the 
death of his wife, and addressed to his children. 

li Up to the commencement of the Revolution, the Church of England 
was the established religion, in which your mother had been educated 
with strictness, if not with bigotry. From the strength of parental ex- 
ample, her attendance on public worship was unremitted, except when 
insuperable obstacles occurred } the administration of the sacrament was 
never without a cause passed by ; in her closet, prayer was uniformly ad- 
dressed to the throne of mercy, and the questioning of the sacred truths 
she never permitted to herself or heard from others without abhorrence. 
When we were united, I was a deist, made so by my confidence in some 
whom I revered, and by the labours of two of my preceptors, who, though 
of the ministry, poisoned me with books of infidelity. I cannot answer 
for myself that I should ever have been brought to examine the genuine- 
ness of Holy Writ, if I had not observed the consoling influence which 
it wrought upon the life of my dearest Betsey. I recollect well that it 
was not long before I adopted a principle which I have never relinquished : 
that woman, in the present state of society, is, without religion, a 

monster. While my opinions were unsettled, Mr. and Mr. came 

to my house on Sunday evening to play with me at chess. She did 
not appear in the room ; and her reproof, which from its mildness was 
like the manna of heaven, has operated perpetually as an injunction from 
above; for several years since I detected the vanity of sublunary things, 
and knew that the good of man consisted in Christianity alone. I have 
often hinted a wish that we had instituted a course of family prayer for 
the benefit of our children, on whose minds, when most pliant, the habit 
might be fixed. But I know not how the plan was not enforced, until 
during her last illness she and I frequently joined in prayer. She always 
thanked me after it was finished ; and it grieves me to think that she 
should suppose that this enlivening inducement was necessary in order 
to excite me to this duty." 

It is sad to think that ministers of the Gospel should contribute 
to infidelity by recommending the examination of infidel works. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 183 

Who they were I am unable to ascertain. I have other reasons 
for knowing that infidelity, under the specious garb of Universal- 
ism, was then finding its way into the pulpit. Governor Page, 
Colonel Nicholas, and Colonel Bland made complaints against 
some one preaching in or near Williamsburg about this time, for 
advocating the doctrine with its usual associates, and prevented 
his preferment. The Rev. Mr. Yancey, of Louisa, also pub- 
lished a sermon on universal salvation, which has been recently 
republished by some of that school. A Rev. Mr. Tally, of Glou- 
cester, taught the same, and afterward gave a fit comment on his 
doctrine by dying the death of the drunkard, as one informed 
me who closed his eyes. At such a time, when the writings of 
French philosophers falsely so called were corrupting the 
minds of the Virginia youth, the testimony of such men as Peyton 
Randolph, Mr. R. C. Nicholas, Colonel Bland, President Nelson, 
Governor Page, and the recovery of Edmund Randolph from the 
snare, has peculiar weight. In the worst of times, God never 
leaves himself without a witness. 

There appears on the vestry-list the two names of George 
Nicholas and his son, Robert Carter Nicholas. The former came 
to this country a physician, doubtless duly qualified. He married 
the widow of Mr. Burwell, of Gloucester, a descendant of the Carters. 
His son, Robert C. Nicholas, was distinguished at the bar in Wil- 
liamsburg, in the House of Burgesses, in the Council, as Treasurer 
of the State, and as a patriot in the Revolutionary War. But he 
had a higher praise than all these offices could give him ; for he 
was a sincere Christian, and a zealous defender of the Church of 
his fathers when he believed her rights were assailed. Mr. Hugh 
Blair Grigsby, in his eloquent description of the Burgesses of 
1776, thus describes him: 

" He loved, indeed, a particular form of religion, but he loved more 
dearly religion itself. In peace or war, at the fireside, or on the floor 
of the House of Burgesses, a strong sense of moral responsibility was 
seen through all his actions. If a resolution appointing a day of fasting 
and prayer or acknowledging the providence of God in crowning our arms 
with victory, though drawn by worldly men with worldly views, was to 
be, it was from his hands it was to be presented to the House, and from 
his lips came the persuasive words which fell not in vain on the coldest 
ears. Indeed, such was the impression which his sincere piety embel- 
lishing as it did the sterling virtues of his character made upon his 
own generation, that its influence was felt upon that which succeeded it; 
and when his youngest son, near a quarter of a century after his death, 
became a candidate for the office of Attorney-General of the Common- 
wealth, a political opponent, who knew neither father nor son, gave him 



184 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

his support, declaring that no son of the old Treasurer could be unfaith- 
ful to his country. Nor was his piety less conspicuous in a private 
sphere. Visiting, on one occasion, Lord Botetourt, with whom he lived 
in the strictest friendship, he observed to that nobleman, 'My lord, I 
think you will be very unwilling to die;' and when asked what gave rise 
to that remark, ' Because/ said he, ' you are so social in your nature, and 
so much beloved, and have so many good things around you, that you must 
be loath to leave them." His lordship made no reply; but a short time 
after, being on his death-bed, he sent in haste for Colonel Nicholas, who 
lived near the palace, and who instantly repaired thither to receive the 
last sighs of his dying friend. On entering his chamber, he asked his 
commands. ' Nothing/ replied his lordship, ' but to let you see that I 
resign those good things, of which you formerly spoke, with as much 
composure as I enjoyed them/ After which he grasped his hand with 
warmth, and instantly expired." 5 * 

The children of R. C. Nicholas were blessed with a mother who 
was equally worthy. Let the following letter to her son, Wilson 
Gary Nicholas, on his entering public life, bear witness : 

"WlLLIAMSBURG, 1784. 

" DEAR WILSON : I congratulate you on the honour your county has 
done you in choosing you their representative with so large a vote. I 
hope you are come into the Assembly without those trammels which some 
people submit to wear for a seat in the House, I mean, unbound by 
promises to perform this or that job which the many-headed monster may 
think proper to chalk out for you ; especially that you have not engaged 
to lend a last hand to pulling down the church, which, by some imperti- 
nent questions in the last paper, I suspect will be attempted. Never, my 
dear Wilson, let me hear that by that sacrilegious act you have furnished 
yourself with materials to erect a scaffold by which you may climb to the 
summit of popularity; rather remain in the lowest obscurity: though, I 
think, from long observation, I can venture to assert that the man of 
integrity, who observes one equal tenor in his conduct, who deviates 
neither to the one side or the other from the proper line, has more of the 
confidence of the people than the very compliant time-server, who calls 
himself the servant and, indeed, is the slave of the people. I natter 
myself, too, you will act on a more liberal plan than some members have 
done in matters in which the honour and interest of this State are con- 



* Colonel Nicholas died at his seat in Hanover, leaving five sons, -George, who 
moved to Kentucky ; Lewis, who lived in Albemarle ; John, who moved to New 
York; Wilson Gary, who was member of the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives of the United States and Governor of Virginia ; Philip Norborne, called 
after Norborne, Lord Botetourt, his father's friend, and who, besides other offices, 
held that of Judge of the General Court. One of the daughters of Colonel Nicho- 
las married Mr. Edmund Randolph ; another Mr. John H. Norton, of Winchester. 
She was the mother of the Rev. Mr. Norton, a venerable minister of the Episcopal 
Church of New York, who has two sons in our ministry, one in Virginia, the other 
in Kentucky. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 185 

cerned ; that you will not, to save a few pence to your constituents, dis- 
courage the progress of arts and sciences, nor pay with so scanty a hand 
persons who are eminent in either. This parsimonious plan, of late 
adopted, will throw us behind the other States in all valuable improve- 
ments, and chill, like a frost, the spring of learning and spirit of enter- 
prise. I have insensibly extended what I had to say beyond my first 
design, but will not quit the subject without giving you a hint, from a 
very good friend of yours, that your weight in the House will be much 
greater if you do not take up the attention of the Assembly on trifling 
matters nor too often demand a hearing. To this I must add a hint of 
my own, that temper and decorum is of infinite advantage to a public 
speaker, and a modest diffidence to a young man just entering the stage 
of life : the neglect of the former throws him off his guard, breaks his 
chain of reasoning, and has often produced in England duels that have 
terminated fatally. The natural effect of the latter will ever be pro- 
curing a favourable and patient hearing, and all those advantages that a 
prepossession in favour of the speaker produces. 

" You see, my son, that I take the privilege of a mother in advising 
you, and, be assured, you have no friend so solicitous for your welfare, 
temporal and eternal, as your ever-affectionate mother, 

"ANNE NICHOLAS." 



The author of the above letter was the daughter of Colonel 
Wilson Gary, of Hampton, a descendant of one of the first 
families who settled in the lower part of Virginia. Tradition says 
that Mrs. Nicholas, after the death of her husband, R. C. Nicho- 
las, at his seat in Hanover, was visited by some British officers, 
and received them with great dignity. Her daughter-in-law, wife 
of her son George, and sister of Governor Samuel Smith, of Balti- 
more, being recognised by one of the officers as an old acquaint- 
ance in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, secured polite treatment for the 
family ; but the officers, on discovering that there were some jewels 
and other valuables in the house, seized upon them and carried 
them off. 

Although I have not continued the list of vestrymen beyond 
the period of the Revolution, there are two who must have been 
added to it soon after that event, of whom I wish to take a pass- 
ing notice. The first of these is Mr. Burwell Bassett. His name 
may be seen on one or more of the earlier journals of the Church 
of Virginia, when it was first organized on the American platform. 
He is also to be seen, for a long time, as the representative of the 
Williamsburg district in the American Congress, and very often as 
filling the Speaker's chair in the absence of that officer. I knew 
him from my very boyhood as my father's friend and visitor. The 
name of Bassett is an ancient and honourable one on the page 
of Virginia history, and Mr. Burwell Bassett did not dishonour it. 



186 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

He was loved and esteemed for his integrity and friendly qualities. 
An anecdote was related to me, more than forty years ago, by 
that worthy man, Mr. Stanford, member of Congress from North 
Carolina, which showed his generosity of character. On a certain 
occasion, a poor old soldier of the Rev6lution presented himself in 
Washington and asked an alms of the members of Congress. 
Mr. Stanford, seeing something really touching and worthy in the 
case, undertook a collection for him in the hall of Congress. He 
was mortified at the refusal of some, and at the small and re- 
luctant contribution of others, but when he came to Mr. Bassett 
the scene was changed. He was just receiving of some one a 
number of bank-notes, and, on the mention of the subject, imme- 
diately opened both his hands, in which he held the bank-notes, 
and said, " Certainly," bidding him take whatever he wanted. His 
hospitality was proverbial. You could do him no greater favour 
than to go to his house and take as many others with you as you 
pleased. He was, however, though a very ultra republican in 
theory, pertinacious in having his own way in some things. An 
instance of this was once displayed in the Board of Visitors of 
William and Mary College, with which he had been connected for 
a long time, and where his will had generally governed. On a cer- 
tain occasion, when, after much debate, he failed to carry his point 
against the younger members, he left the room, shaking his coat- 
tail, instead of the dust of his feet, against them. The Board 
could not think of thus parting with their old friend, and, at the 
suggestion of one of their number, contrived that evening to let 
him know that they wished to dine with him next day. This was 
enough. A hospitable feast was given, and nothing more heard 
of the difference. The democratic principle of Mr. Bassett, 
united with this pertinacity of character, was also evident in his 
opposition to the canon of the Virginia Convention excluding from 
that body all non-communicants. He held that the vestries had a 
right to send whom they pleased, and that it was interfering with 
their rights to impose any conditions. He came to the Conven- 
tion in Fredericksburg, at which the question was finally settled, 
and spoke nearly one whole day against it. Being old and 
infirm, when he was tired of standing he asked leave to sit, which 
was freely granted. From a seat in the middle aisle, near the 
chancel where the bishops sat, he still talked until toward the 
close of the day. As I had read a written (and afterward pub- 
lished) argument in its favour in the morning, his address was 
chiefly to myself, and in a very plain style ; but we allowed him 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 187 

all liberties, and, at the close, passed the canon by a majority of 
two-thirds or more. His vestry, sympathizing with him or unwill- 
ing to differ, resolved to send no more delegates or contributions 
while this canon continued, and were encouraged in their course 
by the strictures upon our canon in two of our Northern Epis- 
copal papers. Bishop Moore and myself did not change our re- 
lation to the parish, but continued to visit the congregation as 
usual, and said not a word to persuade the vestry to change their 
course. At the death of Mr. Bassett, not many years after, of its 
own accord a delegate was sent to the Convention, and all the back 
dues honourably sent with him. The kindness of Mr. Bassett to 
myself was increased during this period. He not only was most 
attentive to me when in Williamsburg, but, as I always came to it 
through New Kent, he would meet me in his carriage, more than 
twenty miles off, at old Colonel Macon's, and carry me thence to 
his hospitable home in Williamsburg, and, when my services 
there were ended, insist on sending me to the next point. Erom 
him I learned much of the character of the old church and its 
ministers. 

MB. ROBERT SAUNDERS. 

The other person to whom I alluded was the elder Mr. Robert 
Saunders, and father to the one of the same name now living in 
Williamsburg. Whether he was descended from either of the two 
ministers of that name on the list of the Virginia clergy, (one of 
early date,) or related to them, I know not. Mr. Saunders was a 
lawyer of distinction in Williamsburg, and highly esteemed by Dr. 
Wilmer and Dr. Empie for his religious character. He furnished 
Dr. Hawks a lengthy statement about the Church in Virginia, and 
especially about the parish of Bruton. The following is his opinion 
of the conduct of the Virginia Legislature in relation to the sale 
of the glebes : 

" It was not, I am persuaded, the result either of covetousness, infi- 
delity, or sectarianism, but proceeded from the same spirit which gave 
rise to the bill of rights and the Constitution bottomed upon them. I 
remark, further, that it is manifest, from the history of the day and the 
journal of the Legislative proceedings, that a great majority of both 
Houses were, at the time of passing these statutes, Episcopalians, and 
they clung to the Episcopal clergy as long as they could properly do so 
under the pressure of public opinion. As an individual I was opposed 
to the sale of the glebes, because I wished the Episcopal Church to be 
predominant; and, as no direct injury was done to the Dissenters by keep- 



J 

188 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

ing the glebes as appendages to the Church, I thought it was prudent to 
preserve this property in the channel in which it had passed for so many 
years, as an encouragement to the clergy of the Episcopal Church, to 
whom the people had been mainly attached by habit and education. But 
I cannot admit that the Legislature illegally seized and violated the 
rights of the Episcopal Church. The property belonged to the parish, 
and not to the clergy; and it is certainly now known that in very many, 
if not the larger number, of parishes in Virginia, the Episcopalians were 
not the majority, but a small minority at the time when this law was 
enacted." Letter to Dr. Hawks. 



I entirely concur with Mr. Saunders, that covetousness did not 
promote this law ; for, as I shall show hereafter, the glebes were 
not worth contending for. Infidelity and sectarianism, I think, 
must have had their share in the work. I shall have occasion to 
consider this question at a future time. 



CONCLUSION. 

Some thoughts on the formation of the Virginia character, as 
displayed in the American Revolution and previously, may with 
propriety follow after the history of the Church and College at 
Williamsburg, and the foregoing list of vestrymen. As London 
and the Universities were in one sense England, Paris and its Uni- 
versity France, so Williamsburg, while it was the seat of Govern- 
ment, and the College of William and Mary, were, to a great extent, 
Virginia. Here her Governor and chief officers resided ; here her 
Council often repaired and her Burgesses annually met. What 
was their character ? Whence did their ancestors come, and who 
were they ? Happily for the Colony, they were not Lords, or their 
eldest sons, and therefore heirs of lordship. With one or two ex- 
ceptions, none such ever settled in Virginia. Neither were they in 
any great numbers the ultra devotees of kings, the rich, gay, mili- 
tary, Cavalier adherents of Charles L, or the non-juring believers in 
the divine right of kings, in the days of Charles II. and of James II. 
Some of all these there were in the Colony, doubtless. Some dainty 
idlers, with a little high blood, came over with Captain Smith at 
first, and more of the rich and high-minded Cavaliers after the 
execution of Charles I. ; but Virginia did not suit them well 
enough to attract and retain great numbers. There was too much 
hard work to be done, and too much independence, even from the 
first, for those who held the doctrine of non-resistance and passive 
obedience to kings and others in authority, to make Virginia a 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 189 

comfortable place for them and their posterity.* And yet we must 
not suppose that the opposite class the paupers, the ignorant, the 
servile formed the basis of the larger and better class of the Vir- 
ginia population, when it began to develop its character at the Re- 
volution, and, indeed, long before. These did not spring up into 
great men in a day or a night, on touching the Virginia soil. Some 
of the best families of England, Ireland, Scotland, and France, 
formed at an early period a large part of that basis. Noblemen 
and their elder sons did not come over; but we must remember 
how many of the younger sons of noblemen were educated for the 
bar, for the medical profession, and the pulpit, and turned adrift 
on the world to seek their own living, without any patrimony. 
Some of those, and many more of their enterprising descendants, 
came to the New World, especially to Virginia, in search of fortune 
and honour, and found them here. Numbers of Virginia families, 
who are almost ashamed or afraid in this republican age to own it, 
have their genealogical trees, or traditionary records, by which 
they can trace their line to some of the most ancient families in 
England, Scotland, Ireland, and to the Huguenots of France. 
Where this is not the case, still they can derive their origin from 

* It may very properly be called a mixed basis of Cavaliers, of the followers of 
Cromwell and of the Pretender, and of the Huguenots, when persecuted and forced 
to fly for refuge to other lands ; and also of many respectable persons at other 
times. The Test- Act, or subscriptions required of the vestrymen and other officers, 
shows that no encouragement was held out, either to the followers of Cromwell or 
of the Pretender, to expect honours and offices in Virginia. They always required 
allegiance to the established Government, except during the temporary usurpation 
of Cromwell. After the establishment of the House of Hanover, the Stuart Pre- 
tenders and their followers were denounced in these test-oaths. Some specimens 
of these subscriptions, or oaths, are presented in our sketches. So that, probably, 
not many of either extreme came to Virginia, where they were thus stigmatized and 
excluded from office unless on condition of abjuring their principles. Dr. Hawks, 
in his History of the Church in Virginia, says that its population before the pro- 
tectorate of Cromwell was twenty thousand ; after the restoration of monarchy, 
thirty thousand. There were only ten thousand added in ten or twelve years. If 
we consider how many of this number were from natural increase in a new country, 
how many not of the Cavalier class had come over, and how many of that class 
returned on the accession of Charles II., it will not leave a large number to make 
an impression on the Virginia character. Most of those Cavaliers who, by their birth 
and talents, were most likely to make that impression, had gone to Surinam, 
Barbadoes, Antigua, and the Leeward Islands. These "were to be men of the first 
rate, who wanted not money or credit." (See Dr. Hawks's History, page 284.) 
After the restoration of monarchy, some of the followers of Cromwell came over to 
Virginia, but most probably in much smaller numbers than the Cavaliers had done, 
as they would not find so welcome a home, for the loyalty of Virginia at that time 
cannot be questioned. 



190 

men of education, either In law, physic, or divinity, which things 
were too costly in the old countries to be gotten by the poorer 
classes, except in some few instances where charity was afforded. 
Ministers could not generally be ordained without degrees from 
Cambridge, Oxford, Dublin, or Edinburgh. Lawyers studied at 
the Temple Bar in London ; physicians at Edinburgh. For a long 
time Virginia was dependent for all these professional characters 
on English education. Those who came over to this country poor, 
and ignorant, and dependent, had few opportunities of elevating 
themselves; as has been happily the case since our independence, 
by reason of the multiplication of schools and colleges, and of all 
the means of wealth which are now open to us. Sir William 
Berkeley in his day rejoiced that there was not a free school or 
printing-press in Virginia, and hoped it might be so for a hundred 
years to come; and perhaps it was not much otherwise as to 
schools. In the year 1723, the Bishop of London addressed a 
circular to the clergy of Virginia, then somewhat over forty in 
number, making various inquiries as to the condition of things in 
the parishes. One of the questions was, "Are there any schools 
in your parish?" The answer, with two or three exceptions, (and 
those in favour of charity-schools,) was, none. Private schools at 
rich gentlemen's houses, kept perhaps by an unmarried clergyman 
or candidate for Orders, were all the means of education in the 
Colony, and to such the poor had no access. Another question 
was, "Is there any parish library?" The answer invariably was, 
none; except in one case, where the minister replied, "We have 
the Book of Homilies, the Whole Duty of Man, and the Singing 
Psalms." Such were the answers from thirty clergymen, whose 
responses I have before me.* If "knowledge be power," Virginia 
was, up to that time, so far as the poor were concerned, but a bar- 
ren nursery of mighty men. Would that it had been otherwise, 
both for Church and State ! Education was confined to the sons 
of those who, being educated themselves, and appreciating the 
value of it, and having the means, employed private teachers in 
their families, or sent their sons to the schools in England and paid 



* Even the little establishment of Huguenots at Manakintown, whose compact 
settlement so favoured education, and whose parentage made its members to desire 
it, was so destitute, that about this time one of their leading men, a Mr. Sallie, on 
hearing that the King was about to establish a colony in Ireland for the Huguenots, 
addressed him a letter begging permission to be united to it, saying that there was 
no school among them where their children could be educated. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 191 

for them with their tobacco. Even up to the time of the Revolu- 
tion was this the case with some. General Nelson, several of the 
Lees and Randolphs, George Gilmer, my own father and two of 
his brothers, and many besides who might be mentioned, just got 
back in time to prepare for the Revolutionary struggle. The Col- 
lege of William and Mary, from the year 1700 and onward, did 
something toward educating a small portion of the youth of Vir- 
ginia, and that was all until Hampden Sydney, at a much later 
period, was established. But let any one look at the published 
catalogue of William and Mary, and see how few were educated 
there from 1720 to the Revolution, and let him notice who they 
were. Let him also examine whatever lists of Burgesses, Hen- 
ning's volumes and the old Virginia almanacs furnish, and he will 
see who they were that may be considered the chief men of Vir- 
ginia. I have been recently examining another set of records 
which show who were considered her first men. I allude to the 
vestry elections ; and nine times in ten we are confident one of 
their body was the delegate. They were the ruling men of the 
parishes, the men of property and education. As we have said 
before, from an early period they were in training for the Revolu- 
tion, by the steady and ever-successful struggle with Commissaries, 
Governors, Bishops of London, and the Crown, on the subject of 
the calling and induction of ministers. They also spoke through 
the House of Burgesses, which was made up of themselves. We 
will venture to affirm that very few of the statesmen of the Revo- 
lution went into it without this training. Even Mr. Jefferson, and 
Wythe, who did not conceal their disbelief of Christianity, took their 
parts in the duties of vestrymen, the one in Williamsburg, the other 
in Albemarle ; for they wished to be men of influence. In some 
of the communications to England, the vestries are complained of 
by the clergy as the aristocratic bodies, the twelve lords or mas- 
ters of the parishes; and they did sometimes, I doubt not, rule 
the poor clergy with a rod of iron ; but they were not the men to 
truckle to George III., Lord North, or the Parliament. Well did 
Mr. Burke, in his celebrated speech on American affairs, reply to 
some who said that the rich slaveholders of the South would not 
stand a war, "that they were entirely mistaken; for that those 
who had been long accustomed to command were the last who 
would consent to obey."* In proof of my position that men of 

* In all that we say on this subject, concerning the patriots of the Revolution 
and their connection with the Episcopal Church, and especially the vestries, it must 



192 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

education, and that gotten" chiefly in Europe, were the ancestors of 
large numbers of those who formed at a later period the most 
influential class, I would here insert a list of the earlier clergy of 
Virginia which I got from some ancient documents, (most of them 
unpublished,) and this is but a small part of those whose names 
are lost to us forever. Let the reader compare these with names 
on the civil and military list of Virginia's history, and he must 
acknowledge the probability at least of consanguinity between 
many of them. I begin with the names of Bucke, Whittaker, the 
two Williamses, (names still common in Virginia,) Young, Key, 
Berkeley, Hampton, Richardson, Teackle, Cotton, Palmer, Gor- 
don, the Smiths, Ware, Doyley, the Bowkers, Saunders, Holt, 
Collier, Wallace, Walker, the Monroes, Slaughter, Blair, Ander- 
son, Ball, the Yateses, Hall, Latane, the Roses, the Joneses, Sharp, 
Waggener, the Taylors, Stith, Cox, the Brookes, the Robertsons, 
the Robinsons, Collings, Baylie, Bell, Warden, Debutts, Forbes, 
Marshall, Preston, Goodwin, Cargill, Hughes, the Scotts, the 
Fontains and Maurys, the Dawsons, Reid, White, Campbell, Gra- 
ham, the Thompsons, Fraser, Thackcr, Wilkinson, the Navisons, 
the Stewarts, the Dixons, Webb, Innis, Warrington, Cole, Purdie, 
Marye, Mackay, Jackson, Green, McDonald, Moncure, Keith, Le- 
land, Craig, Grayson, Bland, Manning, Hamilton, Dick, Clay, 
Lyons. Many of the foregoing belong to the first century of our 
existence and to the early part of the second. Many of the fami- 
lies' of Virginia may have descended from some of the foregoing 
without knowing it. I leave it to others to search out the civil 
list of Virginia names, in order to ascertain as far as practicable 
how many of their ancestors may have been well-educated doctors 
and lawyers, or respectable merchants and farmers, when first 
coming to this country. I hope I shall not be misunderstood. It 
is no dishonour to be born of the poorest parents in the land. It 
is a much greater honour to be descended from a poor and ignorant 



not be understood as excluding from their fair share in the assertion of the liberties 
of the country those of other denominations. The Baptists as a body soon ten- 
dered their services, and were accepted. They, however, were mostly descended 
from Episcopalians, having for conscience' sake separated themselves from the 
Established Church not long before the war. The same may be said of the Pres- 
byterians in Eastern Virginia ; they were not numerous, being chiefly in Hanover, 
Charlotte, and Prince Edward, but still they furnished most valuable men to the 
cause. Those of Western Virginia, as well as the Germans, were descended from 
European ancestors who were not of the Episcopal Church. They also were for- 
ward and most effective in the Revolution. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 193 

good man, than from a rich or learned bad man. I am only 
speaking of a historical fact. It was the shame of our forefathers, 
both here and in England, that they did not, by promoting educa- 
tion, furnish more opportunities to the poor to become in a greater 
degree the very bone and sinew of the State. It is our sin now 
that more and better attention is not paid to the common schools 
of Virginia, in order to make them nurseries of good and great 
men. 



194 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XV. 

Williamsburg, Bruton Parish. No. 5. 

SINCE the preceding articles on this parish were written, and 
published in another form, we have obtained some further informa- 
tion which may not be uninteresting to our readers. We have 
searched among the old tombstones in the graveyard surrounding 
the church, and deciphered some of the scarce-legible inscriptions 
on the time-worn or broken slabs, which are either still resting on 
their original foundations, or else prostrated upon the earth or 
leaning against the church-wall or on other tombs. Some, no 
doubt, were deposited beneath the church itself, as was the custom 
more in ancient than in present times. Some of our great men, as 
the Randolphs, Bishop Madison, and others, are in a vault beneath 
the College chapel, while others are in adjoining farms, where once 
stately mansions stood, and of which the tombstones are now the 
only witnesses that they once existed. Williamsburg was once the 
miniature copy of the Court of St. James, somewhat aping the 
manners of that royal place, while the old church and its grave- 
yard and the College chapel were si licet cum magnis componere 
parva the Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's of London, where 
the great ones were interred. 

We begin our transcript of inscriptions with that of the first 
minister of the parish, the Rev. Roland Jones, son of a minister 
of the same name, probably in England, and of which name, 
and doubtless family, several others ministered in Virginia : 

" Hie jacet Rolandus Jones, Clericus, films Rolandi Jones, Clerici. 
Natus Swirnbrook, juxta Burford in comitatu Oxon. Collegii Merton, 
Universitate Oxon., Alumnus. Parochise Bruton, Virginia, Pastor Pri- 
mus Delectissimus. Functione pastorali annis 14 Fideliter defunctus Pa- 

rochiae quam maximo de obiit April 23. die setatis suae. 45 

An. ... D. 1688." 

The blanks in the foregoing and others cannot be supplied, being 
illegible. 

Our next describes one of the best of our early Governors : 

" Under this marble rest y e ashes of his excellency Edward Nott, late 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 195 

Governor of this Colony, who, in his private character, was a good Chris- 
tian, and in his public, a good Governor. He was a lover of mankind, 
and bountiful to his friends. By the prudence and justice of his admi- 
nistration, he was deservedly esteemed a public blessing while he lived ; 
and when he died, it was a public calamity. He departed this life the 
23d day of August, 1706, aged 49 years. In grateful remembrance of 
whose many virtues, the General Assembly of this Colony have erected 
this monument." 

The next is taken from a slab lying in the graveyard against the 
wall of the church, in order to preserve it. Philip Ludwell lived 
within a mile or two of Williamsburg, and his uncle Thomas may 
have been buried there and removed by the nephew. Commissary 
Blair married the daughter of Philip Ludwell and lived on a farm 
adjoining, which was given to him by his father-in-law. 

"Under this marble lyeth the body of Thomas Ludwell, Esquire, 
Secretary of Va., who was born at Bruton, in the county of Somerset, 
in the kingdom of England, and departed this life in the year 1678. And 
near this lye the bodies of Richard Kemp, Esquire, his predecessor in the 
Secretary's office, and Sir Thomas Lunsford, Knight. In memory of 
whom this marble is placed, by order of Philip Ludwell, Esq., nephew of 
said Thomas Ludwell, in the year 1727." 

There can be no doubt but that the name Bruton was given to 
the parish in honour of Thomas Ludwell, who came from a place 
of that name in England. Originally the parish was called Mid- 
dletowne, when, in 1658, the inhabitants of Middle Plantation 
(Williamsburg) and of Harop parish (between it and Warwick) 
were united into one. 

From the fragments of a large slab which, for some time, has 
been lying at one of the gates of the churchyard, we take the fol- 
lowing imperfect inscription relating to the father of the Pages of 
Virginia : 

"Here lyeth, in hope of a joyful resurrexion, the body of Col. John 
Page, Esquire, of Bruton parish, one of their Majesties' Council .... 

dominion, Virginia departed this life, 28d of nuary, in the 

year of our Lord, 69 J, aged 65." 

From this and another inscription in Gloucester, it appears that 
Governor Page was wrong when, in his autobiography, he calls 
him Sir John Page. He is called Colonel John Page on this and 
tne tombstone in Gloucester, where he is mentioned as the father 
of Matthew Page, who married Miss Mary Mann, of Timberneck. 
Colonel Page died in 1690-J. 



196 OLD CHUBCHES, 

The following is the inscription over his wife : 

"Here lyeth the body of Alice Page, wife to John Page, of the county 
of York, in Va., aged 73 years, who departed this life the 22d day of 
June, anno domini 169-," [the other figure being illegible.] 

As York county took in a part of Williamsburg, Mr. Page may- 
have lived in or near it. 

Mr. Page's eldest son was named Francis, who died at the early 
age of thirty-five, but not without being much distinguished as a 
lawyer. To him, according to Henning, were committed several 
trusts ; among them, the revision of the laws of the Colony. He 
was also a vestryman of the parish of Bruton, and contracted for 
the building of the present church ; that is, for the part of it built 
before the time of General Spottswood. He died only a year or 
two after his father. The following is his epitaph : 

"Here lyeth, in hope of a joyful resurrexion, the body of Captain 
Francis Page, of Bruton parish, in the dominion of Virginia, son of 
Colonel John Page, of the same parish, who departed this life the 10th 
day of May, in the year of our Lord 1692, aged 35." 

The following is a fragment of the poetic eulogy on the broken 



" Thou wast, while living, of unspotted fame : 
Now, being dead, no man dares soil thy name ; 
For thou wast one whom nothing here could stain, 
Neither force of honour nor love of gain. 
spheres, thou hast well discharged thy trust, 
most truly pious, loyal, just. 

and goodness, my pen cannot expresse, 
virtues my tongue cannot rehearse, 
teemed by all the wise and sage 
thy country in thy age. 
we cannot now speak of thee 

to all posterity 
life did yourself create 
everlasting date 
your most happy wife 
and this life." 

Near to this is the tomb of his wife, with the following inscrip- 
tion : 

" Here lyeth, in hope of a joyful resurrexion, Mary, the wife of Cap- 
tain Francis Page, of Bruton parish, in the dominion of Va., daughter of 
Edward Digges, Esquire, of Hampton parish, in the same dominion, who 
departed this life the eighteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord 
169f, aged 3- ; " the second figure illegible. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 197 

Then comes the following eulogy : 

" Thy niodest, meek, and pious soul did shine 
With well-temper'd nature, and grace divine : 
One to excell in beauty, few could finde ; 
Yet thy rarest features were of the minde. 
Thou wast a faithful and virtuous wife ; 
Thou greatly loved peace and hated strife ; 
Thou wast a prudent and tender mother, 
A true-loving sister to each brother, 
A choice friend, a kind neighbour .... 
A good Christian, ready at God's call .... 
Thou lived and died, upon Christ relying ; 
Thou died to rise, and now livest by dying. 
Thy faith doth yield, thy piety doth give, 
Restoratives to make thee ever live. 
Thrice blessed friend, this epitaph is thy due ; 
When saints arise, thy Lord will say, 'tis true." 

The difficulty of deciphering an old and long-exposed inscrip- 
tion may cause injustice to the poetry, though we cannot expect 
much in that line at that day. 

It seems that Mrs. Page was the daughter of Edward Digges, a 
man so well known and so justly esteemed. He is said to be of 
the parish of Hampton. The reader must be guarded against the 
mistake of supposing him to have been of Hampton parish, in Eli- 
zabeth City county. There was, at an early period, a small parish 
between Williamsburg and York, called Kiskiacke, or Chiskiake, 
after a tribe of Indians which lived on York River. The church, 
which still stands a few miles from Williamsburg, on the road to 
York, vulgarly called Cheesecake, belonged to that parish. After 
a time, about the year 1742, its name was changed to Hampton 
parish, and was so called when the Digges lived in it. After some 
time, the parish of Hampton was united to that of York, and 
the name York-Hampton was given to the united parish. The 
family-seat of the Digges was Bellfield, about eight miles from 
"Williamsburg, and is the same now owned by Colonel Robert 
McCandlish. On a recent visit to it, I saw the large tombs of Mr. 
Edward Digges and others of the family, whose epitaphs I shall 
present to the reader in another article, in connection with some 
account of the Church in Warwick and of the family of Digges. 

There is also, in the Williamsburg churchyard, a tomb of a Mrs. 
Page, wife of John Page and daughter of Francis Page. This 
John Page was doubtless Colonel John Page, the lawyer, to whom 
the vestry intrusted the defence of their rights when Nicholson 
and others sought to invade them. 



198 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Following, as near as may be, the order of time, we give the in- 
scription on two of the Archer family : 

" Here lies y e body of Michael Archer, Gentleman, who was born the 
29th of September, 1681, near Rippon in Yorkshire, and died y e 10th of 
February, 1726, in the 46th year of his age. Also, Joanna Archer, wife 
of Michael Archer, who departed this life Octo. 1st, 1732. 

One of the earliest settlements was Archer's Hope ; and the pa- 
rish was called Archer's Hope Parish, coming up within a few miles 
of William sburg, to what is called the College Landing. It was 
in time merged in Bruton parish. Some of the Archer family 
continued to live in or about York until the Revolution. The 
name is often to be seen in Henning's Statutes, connected with the 
History of Virginia. 

THE FAMILY OF THORP. 

The name of Thorp must be dear to every Christian philan- 
thropist. Perhaps, of all the devoted friends to the first Colonists 
and the Indians, he who was martyred, in the Great Massacre, 
stands first among the laymen. The name did not die with him. 
Whether they were his descendants or the descendants of his rela- 
tives, we know not ; but we meet with many of the name in Vir- 
ginia. They abounded in Bruton parish, as the following epitaphs 
show : 

" Catherine Thorp, relict of Captain Thomas Thorp, nephew to Major 
Thomas Thorp, formerly inhabitant of this parish, after a pilgrimage of 
forty-three years in this troublesome world, lies down here to rest in hope 
of a joyful resurrexion. Obiit June 6th, 1695. 

" Here lyeth, in hope of a joyful resurrexion, the body of Captain 
Thomas Thorp, of Bruton parish, in the dominion of Virginia, nephew of 
Major Otho Thorp, of the same parish, who departed this life the 7th day 
of October, Anno .... aged 48. " 

THE BARRADALLS. 

This name is also an ancient and most respectable one. It is 
another name for one learned in the law, a name which for a long 
time was a terror to the young applicant for a license to practise 
law, and before which even a Pendleton trembled at his examina- 
tion. Two of these were buried in this churchyard. One or both of 
them had been vestrymen of the parish. Edward Barradall mar- 
ried Sarah, youngest daughter of the first William Fitzhugh, who 
settled in Virginia, and who was also an eminent lawyer in the 
Northern Neck, and belonged to the Council. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 199 



EPITAPH. 

" Edwardus Barradall, armiger, qui in legum studiis feliciter versatus 
Attornati-Generalis et admiral itatis judicis amplissimas paries merito 
obtinuit fideliter. Collegium Gulielmi et Marias cum Gubernator turn in 
Conventu Generali, Senator, propugnavit. Saram Viri Honorabilis Gu- 
lielmi Fitzhugh serenissimae Reginae anna, in Virginias Conciliis, filiam 
natu minimam, tarn mortis, quam vitas sociam, uxorem habuit. Obierant 
ille 13th Cal. Julii; ilia the 3d of the Non. Oct., Anno Domini 1743." 

On the same stone is the name of Blumfield Barradall, brother 
of Edward, and that of their sisters Elizabeth and Frances, who 
had placed the tomb over their brothers. 

We have also the monuments of the ancient and excellent family 
of Brays : 

" Here lyeth the body of Col. David Bray, of this parish, .who died 21st 
of Octo., 1717, in the 52d year of his age, and left his wife Judith and son 
David Bray, by whom this monument was erected, in memory of him/' 

On the same is the following : 

" Under this tomb, with her husband, lyeth Mrs. Judith Bray, who 
departed this life the 26th day of October, 1720, in the 45th year ! of 
her age." 

There is also a large marble monument, on one side of which is 
the following : 

" Hie depositum quicquid habuit mortale Elizabetha Bray, una cum 
marito desideratissimo, quas languenti morbo consumpta aniinam resignavit 
22 die Aprilis, anno 1734, astatis 32. JSquanimiter, Fortiter, Pie." 

On the other side as follows : 

" David Bray, armiger, vir, forma, ingenio, morum suavitate 

serenissimo reji Georgio Secundo, Concilii in Virginia constitutus, tainen 
ante munus susceptum, florente estate morteabreptus, Elizabetham Jo- 
hannis Page armigeri filiam natu primam, et sine prole masrentem reliquit, 
Octo. 1731, setate 32." 

The last I shall record is the following : 

" Here lies, in hope of a joyful resurrexion, all that was mortal of John 
Greenhow, late of this city, merchant. He was born in Staunton, near 
Kindall in Westmoreland, Great Britain, November 12th, 1724, and 
died the 29th of August, 1787. On his left side lies Elizabeth, the 
daughter of John Tyler, his second wife, who was born in James City, 
the 30th of January, 1744, and died of the small-pox on July the 23d, 
1781, which she endured with the greatest Christian fortitude and resig- 



200 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

I might add to these some monuments which lie all exposed in 
the neighbourhood of Williamsburg. Nathaniel Bacon, uncle or 
near kinsman of him who is called the rebel, and who was high in 
office during the period of the rebellion, as he was before and 
after, married Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of Richard 
Kingswell, of James City county. His residence was on King's 
Creek, near York River, and not far from Williamsburg. There 
are tombstones now near the bank of the river. The following 
inscriptions have been furnished me : " Here lyeth the body of 
Elizabeth, wife of the Honourable Nathaniel Bacon, who departed 
this life the second day of November, one thousand six hundred 
and ninety-one, in the sixty-seventh year of her age." Also, on 
a mutilated tombstone, may be deciphered these words : " The 
Rev. Thomas Hampton, rector of this parish in 1647." It is 
probable that he ministered in one of those churches which were 
closed when the first church at Williamsburg was built. Another re- 
sidence of Nathaniel Bacon must have been near Williamsburg ; for 
his tombstone now lies in a field on Dr. Tinsley's farm, while the 
tombstones of the Palmer family are in the garden of that place. 
The tombstone of Daniel Parke, whose name stands first on the 
old vestry-book of Bruton parish as vestryman and churchwarden, 
lies on the farm called Beal's, near Williamsburg. 

In connection with the above , I mention that, in the Virginia 
Gazette for March, 1746, it is stated that the plate- given by 
Colonel Nathaniel Bacon to York-Hampton parish was stolen. 
There are also, I am told, some graves and tombstones around a 
church about ten miles from Williamsburg, called Chickahominy 
Church, and lying near that river. It may be that it was in one 
of those numerous parishes which abounded in early times in and 
around James City. One there was, called Wilmington parish, 
which was taken partly from James City, and may have been 
united to Bruton parish. If so, all that I can find of it is that it 
was dissolved in 1723 and added to other parishes. At that time 
it lay most probably on both sides of the Chickahominy, was thirty 
miles long and eight wide, had one hundred communicants and one 
hundred and eighty families. The Rev. Mr. Brunskill was the 
minister, and reports that his parsonage had one room below and 
a garret above, and, together with his glebe, rented for forty shil- 
lings per annum. 

At a recent visit to Williamsburg, my steps were directed to the 
College and the old court-house, in order to see if I could find 
something additional from the records thereof. In the old books 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 201 

of the clerk's office, I was shown a deed of one acre of land from 
some one for a new church in Wilmington parish, probably the 
very church just spoken of. 

There is mention also of a letter of the Bishop of London 
against swearing, and frequent notices of thanksgiving-days. The 
Rev. James Horrocks, afterward President of the College, was 
prevented by the court for not reading the act for suppressing 
vice, as the law directs. Fifty acres of land at Jamestown, and 
a house lately occupied by the Burgesses, were given to the justices 
of James City for a free school. Susannah Riddle petitions that 
her servant, John Hope, (alias Caesar Barber, by which name he 
was afterward, and for a long time, well known,) might be allowed 
to be set free, as he had served her faithfully for thirty years. 
Mrs. Riddle was the friend of Mrs. Carrington, of Richmond, and 
aunt of Miss Caines, and great-aunt or relative of Lewis Warring- 
ton, who bequeathed to him one thousand pounds, as mentioned in 
a previous article. The Rev. Robert Andrews was the guardian 
of young Warrington. 

From the records of the College I obtained, besides those pre- 
viously gotten and used, one document worthy of insertion. In 
the will of Hilarity Giles, of Newport parish, Isle of Wight, giving 
a tract of land on Blackwater to the College of William and 
Mary, he thus begins : 

"First and principally, above all things, I give and commit my soul 
into the hands of Almighty God, my Saviour and Redeemer, by whom, 
through the merits of Jesus Christ, I believe assuredly to be saved, and 
to have full, full, full remission and forgiveness of all my sins." 



202 OLD CHUKCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XVI. 

York-Hampton Parish. No. 1. 

THIS was originally called Charles River parish, as the county 
of York was at first called Charles River county or shire, from 
the river whose early name was Charles, afterward York River. 
The name of Charles River county was changed to that of York 
in 1642. Of the earliest history of this parish but little is known, 
as there is no vestry-book to be found. In the first part of the 
last century it was considered one of the most desirable in the 
State, as Mr. Bartholomew Yates, of Middlesex, would have ex- 
changed his position for it, if his salary had not been raised to 
twenty thousand-weight of tobacco and his glebe-house repaired 
and enlarged.* In- the year 1724, we find, from a letter to the 
Bishop of London, that the Rev. Francis Fontaine one of the 
Huguenot family which first settled in King William parish, at 
Manakintown on James River had been the rector of this parish 
for two years, on a salary of .150, arising from the sale of twenty 
thousand-weight of sweet-scented tobacco, with a glebe and par- 
sonage. The parish was four miles wide and twenty miles long, 
having two churches and two hundred families in it. Mr. Fon- 
taine seems to have been a faithful minister, attending to the 
instruction of children and servants. He was unfortunate in his 
second marriage, and not a little injured by it, as may be seen in 
the History of the Fontaine Family, by Miss Anne Maury and 
Dr. Hawks. How long Mr. Fontaine continued to be the minister 
of York-Hampton we are unable to ascertain ; but, as he was a 
good man and it was a good parish, it is probable that he ended 
his days there. The Rev. John Camm was the minister there in 
1758, and, we have reason to believe, was there many years 
before. Although President of the College, and Commissary from 

* Governor Spottswood had his country-house near York, early in the last 
century, at Temple Farm, and, as will be seen, a Major Gooch, of York-Hampton 
parish, was buried at that place in 1665. It had probably been an old establish- 
ment, which the Governor selected for its beauty, and where he built a new and 
larger house, and where he was buried. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 203 

the year 1771 or 1772, he still continued to be the minister of the 
parish until he left the College in 1777: how much longer I know 
not. Mr. Camm was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Shield, who was 
the minister to some now living.* He was, it is believed, an 
intelligent and pious man. Some thought him rather too much of 
a Methodist. I have it from relatives of one of the party, that a 
lady of the old school, at a time when stiff brocades were the 
church dress of those who could afford it, would come home, after 
some of Mr. Shield's more animated discourses, and call upon her 
maid to take off her clothes, for she had heard so much of hell, 
damnation, and death, that it would take her all the evening to 
get cool. I have one of his sermons, which does credit to his 
head and heart, without being at all violent or extravagant. Mr. 
Shield had a correspondent in London, a merchant, of good 
sense and apparent piety, to whom he shipped his tobacco, a 
number of whose letters have been furnished me. In one of 
them there is allusion to the fact of Mr. Shield's retiring from 
the ministry, and engaging in political life by entering the Vir- 
ginia Assembly. Mr. Shield replies at length, and solemnly de- 
clares that preaching the gospel was the occupation of all others 
in which he delighted, but that loss of his voice had incapacitated 
him from either reading the service or preaching, and that he 
acted under the advice of Bishop Madison in discontinuing all 
efforts. The disease seems to have been what is now well known 
as bronchitis, though he is at a loss even to describe it, so rare 
was the complaint at that time. His correspondent Mr. Graham 
Frank, a gentleman well known to the merchants of York men- 
tions having seen Bishop Madison when he came to London for 
consecration, and that he was much pleased with the spirit and 
plans with which he was about to engage in his work. Mr. Frank 
had seen him some years before, on a visit to Virginia, and was 
not pleased with him on account of his political principles. As 
Mr. Frank was a man of zeal for the great doctrines of the 
Church, there can be no doubt but that the Bishop was in a good 
frame of mind, as may be seen in his address on entering upon 
the duties of the Episcopate soon after. Mr. Shield, in his letter 
to his friend, mentions that he had continued to perform his duties 
with great pain, and in part only, until he could get his place 



* Mr. Shield was a friend of General Nelson, who recommended him to Bishop 
Porteus for orders, in 1774, and wrote to the merchant to advance him 50. 



204 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

supplied, which was now about to be done by the ordination of a 
son of a former rector of the parish and President of the College. 
If the son did enter upon this charge, I do not think he continued 
it long, but removed to a parish in York county, called Charles 
parish, and which had formerly been served by the Rev. Thomas 
Warrington, grandfather of Commodore Warrington, and by a 
Mr. Joseph Davenport afterward. York had not recovered from 
the ruins of the siege, and was now no longer the desirable parish 
it had been. The old families were deserting it, and the inhabit- 
ants around connecting themselves with other denominations. 
Nevertheless, we hear of three ministers occupying it, a Rev. Mr. 
Scott, Mr. Henderson, and Brockenbrough, neither of whom were 
calculated to arrest its downfall. At length, in the year 1815, 
the old church was burned down. The material of the church was 
remarkable. The walls were made of blocks of marl, taken out 
of the bank of the river on which it stood, and which hardened by 
exposure. It was cemented yet the more by the fire, which 
caused it to melt somewhat and thus form one solid wall, which 
continued to stand until the roof and other parts were renewed 
a few years since, of which we shall speak more particularly here- 
after. 

We sometimes turn aside from the succession and character 
of ministers and churches, to cast a glance over the scenery, or to 
call up recollections of departed friends. We have recently done 
this in the case of Jamestown and some of its inhabitants, the 
Jaquelines and Amblers. Surely, if there be any spot in Vir- 
ginia where we may be allowed to pause and look around us, re- 
membering the past and dwelling with tender emotions on the 
present, that spot is old York. To use the language of one who 
has furnished materials for much of what follows : 

" The river is full a mile wide at York, which is eleven miles from its 
mouth, and is seen stretching itself away until it merges itself into the 
Chesapeake Bay. The sun rises immediately over the mouth of the 
river, and the water is tinged with the rainbow-hues of heaven. We 
have watched with much interest the decline of day from the New York 
Battery, but we doubt if New York Harbour compared, as it is, with 
the Bay of Naples ever presented to the eye a more enchanting spec- 
tacle than York River in its morning glory. Beautiful for situation is 
Old York, stretching east and west on as no-ble a sheet of water as rolls 
beneath the sun. But painful is the contrast of what it now is with 
what it once was. It is only when we turn to the river, ' the work of 
an Almighty hand/ that the force of that Scripture is felt, 1 1 change 
not/ 



05 I 




FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 205 

" * Here's nothing left of ancient pride, 
Of what was grand, of what was gay ; 
But all is changed, is lost, is sold : 
All, all that's left is chilling cold.' " 

A few venerable relics of the past are all that may now be 
seen. The old York House is the most memorable. The corner- 
stone of it was laid by old President Nelson, when an infant, as it 
was designed for him. He was held by his nurse, and the brick 
laid in his apron and passed through his little hands. The bricks 
were all from England, the corners of hewn stone. It was long 
the abode of love, friendship, and hospitality. 

" Farewell : a prouder mansion I may see, 
But much must meet in that which equals thee." 

As one said of modern Italy, " Our memory sees more than our 
eyes in this place." What Paulding says of Virginia may em- 
phatically be said of York, 

"All hail, thou birthplace of the glowing West! 
Thou seem'st the towering eagle's ruin'd nest." 

Let us, by the aid of well- attested tradition and history, speak 
a few words concerning it and some of its old inhabitants. It was 
established as a town and laid out in the year 1705. The founder 
of it was a Mr. Thomas Nelson, the first of the name in Virginia. 
He came from Penriff, near the border of Scotland, and was called 
Scotch Tom on that account. He set up a mercantile establish- 
ment in this place, as the first of the Amblers did soon after. He 
married a Miss Reid of the neighbouring country, and had two 
sons and one daughter. At her death he married a widow Tucker, 
whose husband was from Barbadoes, where, and in Bermuda, that 
name abounded. His two sons settled in York. His daughter 
married Colonel Berkeley, of Middlesex. His eldest son, Thomas, 
is the same who was called Secretary Nelson, because a long time 
Secretary of the Council. He had three sons in the American 
Revolution, whose descendants are all over Virginia. The other 
son of old Thomas Nelson was named William, and has always 
been called President Nelson, because so often President of the 
Council, and at one time President of the Colony. He married a 
Miss Burwell, grand-daughter of Mr. Robin Carter, called King 
Carter. He had many daughters, but none lived beyond the 
twelfth year. He had many sons also, the eldest of whom was 
General Thomas Nelson of the Revolution. One of his sons was 
burned to death, and another became an idiot by a fall from an 



206 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

upper story. These afflictions contributed to make Mrs. Nelson a 
"woman of a sorrowful spirit." She had been also educated 
religiously by her aunt, Mrs. Page, of Rose well. She was a truly 
pious and conscientious woman. Her private and public exercises 
of religion, her well-known frequent prayers for her children and 
pious instruction of them, and exemplary conduct in all things, 
established this beyond all contradiction.* Mrs. Nelson was not 
alone in her personal piety, nor in her wishes and endeavours for 
the religious welfare of her children. President Nelson performed 
his part most faithfully. His eldest son, afterward General 
Nelson, was placed under the care of the Rev. Mr. Yates, of 
Gloucester, afterward President of William and Mary College, in 
order to prepare him for an English University. At the age of 
fourteen sooner than was intended he was sent thither. The 
circumstance which hastened his going was the following. On one 
Sunday afternoon, as his father was walking on the outskirts of 
the village of York, (for it was then but a village, and never much 
more,) he found him at play with some of the little negroes of the 
place. Feeling the evil of such associations, and the difficulty of 
preventing them, he determined to send him at once to England, 
and, a vessel being ready to sail, he was despatched the next day 
to the care of his friends, Mr. Hunt, of London, and Beilby 
Porteus, then Fellow of Cambridge University. He went for some 

* The two following hymns have come down in the family as her morning exer- 
sises : 

HYMN I. 

" Preserved by thee another day. 

Another song I'll raise ; 
Accept, I pray, for Jesus sake, 
My gratitude and praise. 

" Then take me underneath thy wing, 

My God, my guardian be ; 
That in the morning I may sing 
Another song to thee." 

HYMN IL 

" Thanks to my Saviour for a bed 
On which to lay my drowsy head ; 
Oh, may my weary spirit rest 
As sweetly on my Saviour's breast. 

"Jesus, the sinner's precious friend, 
On Thee alone will I depend : 
Thou art my refuge, and to Thee 
My spirit shall in safety flee." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 207 

time to a preparatory school of Dr. Newcome, at Hackney, and 
then to the especial care and tutorship of Dr. Porteus. The letters 
of Mr. Nelson to Mr. Hunt and Dr. Porteus, copies of which I have, 
and the answers to which are acknowledged, evince deep anxiety 
for the improvement of his son in all things, but especially in 
morals and religion. He is evidently uneasy about the spirited 
character of his son, fearing lest it might lead him astray, and 
begs his friends to inform him if his son shows a disposition to 
idleness and pleasure. In order to avoid the temptations incident 
to young men during the vacation, especially such as are far away 
from friends, he requests Dr. Porteus to place him, during those 
seasons, with some eminent scientific agriculturist, and thus pre- 
pare him for dealing with the soils of America. After seven years, 
he returns home, being delayed several months beyond the time he 
intended, by a circumstance which showed the religious character 
of his father. In a letter to his friend Mr. Hunt, he alludes to the 
fact that two young Virginians, whose habits he feared were not good, 
were coming over in the ship in which he expected his son, and he 
must request that he be not sent with them ; that he would rather 
his coming be postponed six months than have them as his com- 
panions, though they were sons of some of the first families of 
Virginia, and of those who were on terms of intimacy with his. 
His return was accordingly delayed for some months. On his ar- 
rival, Mr. Nelson writes to his friends in England that he is much 
pleased with the general improvement of his son, but regrets to find 
that he has fallen into that bad practice, which most of the young 
Virginians going to England adopt, of smoking tobacco, adding, 
emphatically, "filthy tobacco;" also that "of eating and drinking, 
though not to inebriety, more than was conducive to health and 
long life." Still, he was rejoiced to see him, such as he was, with 
good principles. In proof of the respect in which President Nel- 
son was held, and the hopes entertained of his son, we state that, 
though having been absent seven years, and being just twenty-one 
years of age, he was elected to the House of Burgesses while on 
his voyage home. If it be said that even immoral and irreligious 
parents sometimes wish to see their sons moral and religious, we 
further add, that President Nelson gave most varied proof of great 
uprightness of character. One such is furnished in a letter to 
some relatives in the North of England. He had redeemed an 
estate in that region by paying off its debts, by which it became 
his own. It proved to be much more valuable than was expected, 
and, discovering that some other relative had a better right to re- 



208 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

deem it, voluntarily offered to surrender the estate or all the profits. 
His commercial character was of the highest order. He imported 
goods for merchants of Philadelphia and Baltimore, which places 
were then in an incipient stage. By this means he acquired a 
large fortune, leaving landed estates and servants to each of his 
five sons, Thomas, Hugh, William, Nat, and Robert, and all of 
his other property, amounting, according to the statement of the 
elder St. George Tucker, to forty thousand pounds, to his oldest 
son, General Nelson, who had been engaged in business with him.* 
His interest in the affairs of religion and the Church was mani- 
fested by his taking the lead in the parish. The parish, though 
narrow, was long, and many, especially of the poor, must come 
some distance to church. On Church-Sundays he always had a 
large dinner prepared, to which rich and poor were indiscriminately 
invited. After having been President of the Council for a long 
term of years, on the decease of Lord Botetourt there was an 
interregnum, during which he, as President of the Council, was 
Acting Governor of the State, the civil and ecclesiastical repre- 
sentative of the King. By two letters to Lord Hillsborough now 
before me, in the years 1770 and 1771, he displays his determina- 
tion to do his duty in relation to unworthy clergymen, of whom 
there were some needing discipline, and asks full and undoubted 
authority for so doing, as such authority required to be renewed 
from the throne. I conclude what yet remains to be said of Pre- 
sident "William Nelson by a few extracts from a printed sermon 
on his death, by Mr. Camm, the minister of York and President 
of William and Mary College. He ascribes to him "a rational 
and firm piety, an active and constant affection for the well-being 
and best interests of mankind;" speaks of him as "constant in 
his attendance at the ordinary service of God and the celebration 
of the Lord's Supper, and exhibiting unaffected and fervent devo- 
tion." He was 

a The kind and indulgent father, without suffering the excess of fond- 
ness to take off his eye from the true and best interests of his children; 
the tender husband, the affectionate brother, the useful and entertaining 



* Judge Tucker, on reaching this country from Bermuda or the West Indies, 
landed at Yorktown, and being invited to General Nelson's house, where he spent 
some days, a warm friendship commenced between them, which continued during 
the life of General Nelson, and was, at his death, transferred to the surviving 
family by Judge Tucker. The latter wrote a brief biography of General Nelson, 
of which I have a manuscript copy. Whether it was ever published or not, I am 
not able to say. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 



209 



friend, the kind and generous master. His hospitality was extensive and 
liberal, yet judicious, and not set free from the restraints of reason and 
religion. It was not a blind propensity to profuseness, or a passion for a 
name, by which he corrupted the morals of his friends and neighbours. 
He was no encourager of intemperance or riot, or any practice tending to 
injure the health, the reputation, the fortunes, or the religious attainments 
of his company. His charities were many, and dispensed with choice 
and discretion, and so as to be most serviceable to the receivers and the 
least oppressive to their modesty. As one of the first and most respect- 
able merchants in this dominion, he had great opportunity of being ac- 
quainted with the circumstances of many people whose cases otherwise 
would have escaped his knowledge. This knowledge was often turned to 
their advantage whose affairs fell under his consideration. I think I shall 
have the concurring voice of the public with me, when I say that his own 
gain by trade was not more sweet to him than the help which he hereby 
received toward becoming a general benefactor. He was an instance of 
what abundance of good may be done by a prudent and conscientious 
man without impoverishing himself or his connections, nay, while his 
fortunes are improving. An estate raised with an unblemished reputa- 
tion, and diffused from humane and devout motives in the service of mul- 
titudes as well as the owner's, it may reasonably be expected will wear 
well, and have the blessing of Providence to attend and protect it from 
generation to generation/' 

This last remark has certainly been in a good degree fulfilled in 
the descendants of President Nelson. Though they have not been 
rich in this world's goods, yet they have not suffered through want. 
Many of them have held respectable offices in the State and General 
Government. Almost all of them have been enabled to obtain a 
good education, the best fortune in a country like ours, so as to 
associate with the most respectable portion of the community. 
Many of them have obtained the highest of all honours, the 
honour which cometh from God only. It is true that the first son, 
to whom the birthright of those days the amplest fortune was 
given, spent it in his country's service, leaving his widow and 
children in comparative poverty. But he spent it nobly, as his 
father would have done had he lived to see the mighty struggle for 
our liberties. Although that father was the first in the Govern- 
ment only a few years before, and was the right hand of George 
III. in this Colony, addressed in his commission as " My well- 
beloved and worshipful, greeting," yet at that very time the letters 
to his merchants and friends in London show that he had the soul 
of a patriot as well as a Christian within him, that he was indig- 
nant at the imposition of the British Parliament, and leave none 
to doubt where he would have been found when the trumpet 
sounded to arms. The thousands which General Nelson cast upon 
the waters were not lost, but soon sprung up in a plentiful harvest 

14 



210 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

% 

of rich blessings to his country, on which let his latest posterity 
reflect with delight, and enjoy as a richer inheritance than thou- 
sands of silver and gold.* 

This leads me to add a few words concerning that patriot him- 
self, confining my remarks as nearly as possible to the special 
character of the work I have in hand. I mean the moral and 
religious character of the persons treated of. Whether General 
Nelson was ever in full communion with the Church, I am not able 
to say.f That he was a believer in the Gospel in that age of blas- 
phemy with so many, and that he was the friend of religion, cannot 
be doubted. In writing to his own and his father's friend in Lon- 
don, Mr. Samuel Martin, the 27th of January, 1773, he says : 

" It falls to my lot to acquaint you with the death of my father, who 
departed this life the 19th of last November. His life was exemplary, 
being blessed with both public and private virtues. His death was such 
as became a true Christian, hoping through the mediation of our blessed 
Saviour to meet with the reward promised to the righteous. But I must 
stop here, lest prejudice should lead me too far." 

His friendship to God's ministers may be seen, about that time, 
by the introduction of Mr. Samuel Shield to his friend in London, 
with a request that he would pay him <50 on his account. Hitherto 
there was a king's bounty of .50 to all who came over for Orders. 
But this was in the year 1774, and probably Mr. Nelson appre- 
hended some difficulty, for, only two years after, Orders were 
refused, such was the state of things between the Colony and 
Great Britain. J We have seen that in the year 1775 the College 



* Although it does not come strictly under the character of this work, I cannot 
help referring to a circumstance -which occurred just at the opening of the war, 
which shows that the citizens of little York were a valiant race. On a certain 
occasion, a Captain Montague drew up a ship-of-war before it, and threatened that, 
in a certain event, he would fire upon the town. Though full of helpless women 
and children, the committee of the place, on meeting to receive his message, "Re- 
solved, unanimously, that Mr. Montague had manifested a spirit of cruelty unpre- 
cedented in the annals of civilized times, and that it be recommended to the inha- 
bitants of the town and of the country in general, that they do not entertain, or 
show any other mark of civility to Captain Montague, besides what common de- 
cency and absolute necessity requires." 

f I have since heard that General Nelson was certainly a communicant of the 
Church, at any rate, during the latter part of his life. 

Jin a letter to one of his friends a year or two afterward, he says, "What 
think you of the Eight Reverend Fathers in God, the Bishops ? One of them 
refused to ordain a young gentleman who went from America, because he was a 
rebellious American ; so that, unless we will submit to Parliamentary oppression, 
we shall not have the Gospel of Christ preached to us." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 211 

voted <50 to Mr. Madison when he went over for Orders. In the 
following year I see an instance of liberality in General Nelson's 
provision for a number of families in York, who had been driven 
from their homes by Lord Dunmore's troops. Again I see his high 
and honourable character, in imitation of that integrity which his 
father displayed in all his dealings, when it was proposed in the 
House of Burgesses to adopt some method of discharging British 
debts which he considered improper. He indignantly opposed it> de- 
claring, some say, with an oath ; others, far more probably, " So help 
me God, others may do as they please, but I will pay all my debts 
like an honest man." I might add numerous testimonies to his 
unbounded liberality toward his comrades in the war when far from 
home. It becomes not me to speak of the hundreds of thousands 
procured on his own credit for the use of the State, when not a 
dollar could be gotten on its own, nor how the account stood be- 
tween them at the close of that war. He certainly entered upon 
it very rich, and came out of it so poor that when a few years had 
passed away, and he was laid in the old graveyard at York, without 
a headstone or slab to mark the spot, his property, save the old 
house in deserted York and some poor broom-straw fields in Hano- 
ver, was put up at public sale to pay the debts contracted in his 
country's cause.* Even the old family Bible, with the births and 
baptisms of the family, with the little table on which it stood, was 
(though, I doubt not, by mistake) sold on that occasion. Within 
the last year, in one of my visitations among the mountains, I 
heard of this Bible. So was it valued by the family now having 
it, whose baptisms and births had also there been registered, that 
they could not be induced to relinquish it to one of the descendants 
of its original owner. 

The following account of General Nelson's family at Offley, a 
small wooden house in Hanover county, Virginia, by the French 
traveller, Chattellux, soon after the war, will not be uninteresting 
to the reader : 

* Chancellor Nelson, the General's youngest son, used to amuse himself with his 
relatives in Hanover, by telling them that their favourite hymn seemed to be that 
one in which were the two lines, 

" Send comfort down from thy right hand, 
To cheer us in this barren land." 

But still, as some one said of the people of Iceland, that "poverty was the bul- 
wark of their happiness," so it is, and has been, with many of the descendants of 
General Nelson, in one respect: they have not been tempted by riches to "be full 
and deny God." 



212 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

" In the absence of the General, (who had gone to William sburg,) his 
mother and wife received us with all the politeness, ease, and cordiality 
natural to his family. But, as in America the ladies are never thought 
sufficient to do the honours of the house, five or six Nelsons were assem- 
bled to receive us, among others, Secretary Nelson, uncle to the General, 
his two sons, and two of the General's brothers. These young men were 
married, and several of them were accompanied with their wives and chil- 
dren, all called Nelsons, and distinguished only by their Christian names j 
so that, during the two days which I spent in this truly patriarchal house, 
it was impossible for me to find out their degrees of relationship. The 
company assembled either in the parlour or saloon, especially the men, 
from the hour of breakfast to that of bedtime ; but the conversation was 
always agreeable and well supported. If you were desirous of diversifying 
the scene, there were some good French and English authors at hand. An 
excellent breakfast at nine o'clock, a sumptuous dinner at two, tea and 
punch in the afternoon, and an elegant little supper, divided the day most 
happily for those whose stomachs were never unprepared. It is worth 
observing, that on this occasion, where fifteen or twenty people (four of 
whom were strangers to the family and country) were assembled together, 
and by bad weather forced to stay within doors, not a syllable was said 
about play. How many parties of tric-trac, whist, and lotto would with 
us have been the consequence of such obstinate bad weather I" 

We shall probably find an explanation of this absence of all 
games, not only by the presence of such pious ladies as General 
Nelson's mother and wife, but in the fact that old President Nelson 
had trained up his family otherwise, and at a time when card-play- 
ing and other games were but too common. We infer this from a let- 
ter of his to a friend in England, concerning some young man in 
whom, they were both interested, and of whom Mr. Nelson entertains 
painful apprehension because he had gone to a part of the State 
where cards, racing, and suchlike things were freely practised. 
We cannot forbear mentioning one circumstance that comes to us on 
undoubted authority, concerning the second son of President Nelson, 
Colonel Hugh Nelson, of York. He followed the example of his 
father's piety, and was a kind of lay preacher to the families in York, 
especially to those of his own name. Besides reading the service 
and sermon in the church every other Sunday in the absence of the 
minister, and every Sunday when there was no minister, as was 
often the case after the war, he acted as minister in preparing the 
candidates for the first confirmation ever held in York, soon after 
Bishop Madison's return from England with Episcopal consecra- 
tion. On the morning of the confirmation he assembled them all 
in the large parlour or hall at the old house in York, and addressed 
them on the nature of that rite. That, and the scene in church 
which soon followed, has been often described as most deeply 
affecting by one of his own children, the youngest recipient of the 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 213 

rite, the late Mrs. Edmund Pendleton, mother of the Rev. William. 
N. Pendleton. We close with the expression of deep regret that 
many documents, from which we might have drawn other passages 
of interest touching President and General Nelson, are not to be 
found. Of the numerous letters to correspondents in England, 
written during a long series of years, only those of the last six of 
President Nelson's life from 1766 to 1772 are to be had. The 
same loss is felt as to the letters of General Nelson. Not long 
before his death he caused them all to be collected and filed by 
his son, Mr. Philip Nelson, who had been trained to the mercantile 
life ; and among them that son always remembered and often 
spoke of some most interesting ones from Washington, Lafayette, 
and others during and after the war. These also have disappeared. 
His papers and those of his father descended, together with the 
old York house, to one of his- sons and the descendants of the 
same. They were doubtless objects of curiosity and desire to its 
numerous visitors from all parts of the State and land, especially 
after it became, as it was for many years, one of public entertain- 
ment. Too freely may the desire and curiosity of travellers and 
visitors have been yielded to, and too little, as in many other cases 
in Virginia, have such relics of our ancestors been prized. 

Although no apology is needed for the more full and particular 
notice of the family of Nelsons which has been given, it may be 
well to state that my more intimate connection with it for nearly 
fifty years has furnished me with the means of such fulness and 
particularity. As to others less known to me, and worthy of spe- 
cial notice for their religious character and attachment to the Epis- 
copal Church, I invite communications. Some have been sent and 
gladly used. 

TOMBSTONES AND INSCRIPTIONS IN THE OLD CHURCHYARD AT 

YORK. 

But few of these remain, and some of them are broken and ille- 
gible. That of the first Nelson and the founder of the town is as 
follows : 

"Hie jacet, spe certa resurgendi in Christo, Thomas Nelson, Generosus; 
Filius Hugonis et Sariae Nelson, de Penrith, in comitate Cumbrise. Na- 
tus 20mo die Februarii, Anno Domini 1677. Vitse bene gestae fmein im- 
plevit 7mo die Octobris, 1745, aatatis suse 68." 

Which is thus rendered into English : 



214 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

" Here lies, in the certain Tiope of being raised up in Christ, Thomas 
Nelson, Gentleman ; the son of Hugh and Sarah Nelson, of Penrith, in 
the county of Cumberland. Born the 20th of February, 1677. He 
completed a well-spdnt life on the 7th of October, 1745, in his sixty- 
eighth year." 

Adjoining this is the tomb of his son. President Nelson, whose 
character has been portrayed in the first article on this parish. 
The inscription is as follows : 

" Here lies the body of the Honourable William Nelson, Esquire, late 
President of his Majesty's Council in this Dominion j in whom the love 
of man and the love of God so restrained and enforced each other, and 
so invigorated the mental powers in general, as not only to defend him 
from the vices and follies of his age and country, but also to render it a 
matter of difficult decision in what part of laudable conduct he most ex- 
celled, whether in the tender and endearing accomplishments of domestic 
life, or in the more arduous duties of a wider circuit, whether as a 
neighbour, a gentleman, or a magistrate, whether in the graces of hospi- 
tality or piety. Reader, if you feel the spirit of that exalted ardour 
which aspires to the felicity of conscious virtue, animated by those conso- 
lations and divine admonitions, perform the task and expect the distinc- 
tion of the righteous man. He died the 19th of November, Anno 
Domini 1772, aged 61." 

The latter part of this epitaph savours much of the language of 
the pulpit in that day. The epitaph was probably written by 
President Camm. 

Very near to these tombstones General Thomas Nelson was 
buried ; but to this day not even a rough headstone marks the 
spot, and no hillock is to be seen ; and when one or two aged mem- 
bers of the family are gone, there will be none left to point out the 
place, when the gratitude of his country, or the filial piety of his 
descendants, which has been too long waiting the action of the 
former, desires to raise some humble monument to the most gene- 
rous and self-sacrificing of American patriots.* 

The only other inscriptions which could be deciphered were 
those of Abraham Archer, who died in 1752, aged sixty-two; of 



*An American writer, after describing the tombs of old Thomas Nelson and 
his son, President William Nelson, says that General Thomas Nelson was buried in 
a vault at the end of a fragment of the brick wall which surrounds the church, 
with nothing but a rough stone lying among the grass to mark the spot ; than 
which nothing can be more fabulous. He was buried near to his father and grand- 
father. The spot has been pointed out to me by one of the family, who is well 
acquainted with it. Not more than two or three others survive who could now, 
with certainty, from personal knowledge designate the exact place. 






FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 215 

Susannah Reignolds, daughter of William Rojers, who died in 
1768, aged sixty ; and of Jane Frank, the daughter of Mr. William 
Routh, of Kisklington, in Yorkshire. She died on her passage 
at sea, April 26, and was interred May 28, 1753, aged twenty- 
eight years. She was doubtless the wife of that pious man, Mr. 
Frank, of whom we have written as the friend and correspondent 
of the Rev. Mr. Shield and others in York and Williamsburg. 



I 

216 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS. AND 



ARTICLE XVIL 

York-Hampton Parish. No. 2. 

IN connection with York-Hampton parish and its minister, the 
Rev. John Camm, there is a subject which I shall now consider, 
deeming this the most suitable occasion, as the vestry was equally 
concerned in it with any other in the diocese, and the minister 
took a more active part than any other of the clergy. I allude to 
the celebrated contest between the clergy on the one hand, and 
the Council, Burgesses, and some of the vestries on the other, con- 
cerning the salaries of the former, in the year 1758. The act of 
Assembly which produced the contest, and convulsed both Church 
and State, was called the Option Law or Two-penny Act, because 
the people were allowed the option of paying as usual so much 
tobacco, or about twopence per pound instead of it. It was oc- 
casioned by the apprehension of a very short crop of tobacco, by 
the failure of plants in the spring in some parts of the State. 
The failure was very great, though not to the extent apprehended. 
It was, however, so great as, with other circumstances, to raise 
the price from sixteen shillings and fourpence the supposed 
average price of the clergy's tobacco to fifty and sixty shillings. 
In anticipation of the difficulty which many might find in dis- 
charging their debts to the clergy and others in tobacco, according 
to law or contract, the Assembly ordained that the debts due in 
tobacco to the clergy and to certain officers of Government, who 
were but few at that time, and from tenants to their landlords, 
or planters to merchants, &c., might be discharged by the pay- 
ment of twopence a pound in paper currency, which was only 
good in the Colony. In order to understand the subject aright, it 
is necessary to recur to some previous acts of the Assembly on 
the subject of salaries. 

For a long time the salary of a minister had been settled at 
sixteen thousand-weight of tobacco per annum ; and in the year 
1748 the Assembly passed a new act, confirming this, and giving 
to the vestries certain privileges hitherto claimed by the Crown, 
the Governors, and clergy, but in fact exercised by the vestries, 
as has before been stated. Though the clergy did not like some 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 217 

things in it, yet, unable to help themselves, they submitted, and 
the royal assent was given. According to a standing law of Eng- 
land, no act of the Colonial Legislature could contradict a previous 
act which had received the royal sanction, without suspending its 
execution until the King's pleasure could be known. The Assem- 
bly, finding it desirable to have the privilege of passing some acts 
and carrying them into execution sooner than the distance from 
England .and the time then required for communication with the 
Government would allow, petitioned the King in the year 1751 or 
1752 for leave to make some exceptions ; but the petition was posi- 
tively refused. Nevertheless, it began to act in a small way at 
first, on the principle thus refused. In the year 1753 it passed an 
act allowing the vestries of Frederick and Augusta to pay the 
salaries of their ministers in money instead of tobacco, as but little 
of the latter was raised in the valley, taking care, however, to 
allow them handsome salaries, so that no complaint was made. In 
the year 1754 the same was done in Norfolk and Princess Anne 
parishes without much notice or complaint. But in the year 1755, 
when there was the threatening of a very small crop of tobacco 
throughout the country, the Assembly proceeded to a bolder step, 
and passed a law allowing all who pleased to pay either in tobacco 
or money as suited best. The law was carried by only one vote*. 
A general feeling of uneasiness now seized upon the clergy, and 
they were preparing to make opposition. Letters and memorials 
were sent to England, and meetings of the clergy held ; but as the 
season became more propitious and the crop turned out nearly as 
good as usual, and the tobacco would generally be paid, no active 
measures were taken, though some even then threatened to resort 
to law. In the year 1758 a great failure was apprehended, and 
the Assembly now passed the obnoxious law of which we are speak- 
ing. Though opposed by some of the Burgesses and the Council 
as illegal and unjust, it was carried. The clergy who were nearest 
to Williamsburg assembled and asked to be admitted to the bar of 
the House, to be heard in opposition to the measure before it 
passed, but were refused. Governor Dinwiddie had been urged to 
veto the act of 1755, but declined, though saying it was unjust and 
illegal, asking, " What can I do ? If I refuse, I shall have the peo- 
ple on my back." Lieutenant-Governor Fauquier, now in office, 
when applied to for the same purpose, also refused, saying, " Whether 
it be just or unjust, contradictory to the King's instructions or not, 
is not the question. The question is, What will please the people ?" 
He took part with the Assembly ; and the Assembly, which had 



218 OLD CHUBCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

voted Dinwiddie only 500, (it was the custom to make a present 
to every new Governor,) voted him, though a more obnoxious man 
than even Dinwiddie, .1000. The clergy were now convened, 
and made an address to the Crown, through the Lord-Commissioner 
of Trade for the Plantation, pleading their grievances. The Bishop 
of London, being called upon for his opinion by the Commissioners, 
was decided and strong in favour of the clergy. The Rev. Mr. 
Camm was sent over by the clergy to plead their cause, and per- 
sons were employed by the Assembly on their part. The Rev. 
Mr. Camm remained eighteen months in England in the prosecution 
of the case. To oppose the Colonies in any thing where taxation or 
prerogative was concerned was now becoming a critical matter. 
The Stamp Act had just been repealed. Notwithstanding this, the 
Commissioners of Trade unanimously declared the law to be not 
only unjust, but null and void, and recommended the King to dis- 
allow it and require its repeal, which he accordingly did. As to 
the requiring the tobacco to be paid, they told Mr. Camm that the 
courts in America must do this, and certainly would do it, the case 
being so plain ; that if it should be otherwise, and an appeal was 
taken to the Privy Council in England, they would certainly be 
righted. On this, Mr. Camm immediately wrote to his agent in 
America to institute a suit against his vestry for the tobacco, and 
carry it before the Governor and Council, which was the Supreme 
Court in Virginia. The vestry declined standing the suit until 
the Assembly passed an act to support all vestries in their defence. 
The trial being had, it appears that Messrs. Randolph, Corbin, 
Carter, and Lee were in favour of Mr. Camm's claim, and Messrs. 
Byrd, Taylor, Thornton, Burwell, and Blair against it. The two 
Mr. Nelsons, of York, the President and Secretary, declined sit- 
ting, as they were a party concerned, being vestrymen of Mr. 
Camm's parish. It was understood that they were in favour of the 
claim of the clergy, one of them having told the Rev. Mr. War- 
rington that he regarded the law as most unjust, and had Mr. 
Warrington's case been permitted, as was attempted afterward, 
to come up for trial, they would have been on the court, and have 
made a majority of one in favour of the clergy, whereas, in the case 
of Mr. Camm, a majority of one was in favour of the law. There 
was now no other resort for Mr. Camm but to the English Court 
of Appeals ; and he was not the man to give up a contest until he 
could contend no more, especially as he was fighting not only his 
own battle, but that of all the clergy of Virginia. He accordingly 
sent his case to the Privy Council, expecting that the promises 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 219 

made to Mm while in England would be fulfilled, but was disap- 
pointed. After various delays, the case was dismissed, on the 
pretence of some informality, the blame being chiefly laid at the 
door of Lord Northington. Inasmuch as the Lord-Commissioners 
of Trade, Privy Council, and King had all so positively and unani- 
mously declared the law null and void, and the Governor of Vir- 
ginia had proclaimed its repeal by the order of the King, we must 
seek the cause of this dismissal in some other difficulty than an in- 
formality. It was doubtless to be found in the desire to avoid at 
this time a collision with the Virginia Assembly ; and the clergy 
were deserted. The Rev. Mr. Warrington, of Hampton, who was 
as brave and determined in the Church as his grandson Commodore 
Warrington afterward in the navy, had his case before the Council 
of Virginia, and, if unsuccessful, was prepared to try whether the 
Privy Council would, when the alleged informality was avoided, 
enter upon the cause ; but his suit was never permitted to be tried 
here, the court in Virginia professing to await the decision of the 
court in England, and thus ended the matter. Mr. Warrington 
brought suit for his full salary in the Court of Elizabeth City, and 
the jury brought in a special verdict for some damages, But still 
declared the law valid in opposition to the King. The Rev. Alex- 
ander White, of King William, also brought suit. The court de- 
clined instructing the jurors as to the law, and left it entirely with 
them, who brought in some trivial damages. But the instance of 
suit which caused most interest at the time, and has continued most 
to sparkle on the page of history, was that of the Rev. James 
Maury. It was tried in Hanover county, though he was in an 
adjoining parish. The high character of Mr. Maury entitles any 
account he may have given of the transaction to great confidence. 
We have it in a printed letter to Mr. Camm in the year 1763. In 
the November Court of that year, he says, the court decided in his 
favour that it was no law, and at the next court a select jury was 
to decide upon the damages. It was indeed, he says, a select jury, 
three or four being what were called New Lights, who were dis- 
senters from and enemies to the Church, and the others picked up 
on the occasion, and most unfit to decide such a cause. 

It was on this occasion that Patrick Henry, then young in the 
practice, made his first successful effort. It was truly an ad cap- 
tandum speech, being suited to the times and addressed to the 
passions and interests of the people. He praised the law as salu- 
tary, said that a king, by disallowing such a law, became a tyrant 
instead of the father of the people. He spoke in such a manner 



> 

220 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

that several persons in tfte crowd cried out, " Treason !" The cause 
being pleaded on both sides, by Mr. Lyons for Mr. Maury, by Mr. 
Henry for the vestry or collector, and it being intimated to the 
jury that, though they must find for the plaintiffs, yet one penny 
damages would suffice, in five minutes the jury brought in that 
verdict. Mr. Lyons moved that the jury should be sent back 
again, as having found against the evidence ; but this was refused : 
then that certain evidence should be recorded, which also was re- 
fused : and, lastly, that an appeal should be allowed, which shared 
the same fate.* It is due to Mr. Henry to state that he apolo- 
gized to Mr. Maury for some improper reflection made as to him- 
self, and pleaded, as an excuse for his course, that he was a young 
lawyer, a candidate for practice and reputation, and therefore must 
make the best of his cause. It is probable, also, that at this time 
Mr. Henry may have been a little alienated from the Church of 
his father and relatives, f The He vs. Mr. Davies and Mr. Waddell 
(the old blind preacher of whom Mr. Wirt speaks) were then in 
their height of zeal and eminence, and Mr. Henry often attended 
their services and admired them much. Disaffection to the Church 
was also getting quite strong in that region. Mr. Henry may for 
a time have sympathized in their religious views, though I have no 
testimony to this effect. The following extract of a letter of Mr. 
Roger Atkinson, of Mannsfield, near Petersburg, an old vestry- 
man and staunch friend of the Church in that place, to his bro- 
ther-in-law, Mr. Samuel Pleasants, may throw some light on this 
point. He is drawing the portraits of the members sent to the 
first Congress from Virginia. Of Mr. Henry he says, " He is a 
real half-Quaker, your brother's man, moderate and mild, and 
in religious matters a saint ; but the very d 1 in politics, a son 
of thunder. He will shake the Senate. Some years ago he had 

* Mr. Wirt, in his Life of Patrick Henry, while under the strongest temptation to 
place any thing he did or said in the most favourable light, yet hesitates not to 
acknowledge that the case was a bad one, and the law indefensible. Mr. Wirt, after 
reading all that was written on both sides of the case, says, "It seems impossible 
to deny at this day that the clergy had much the best of the argument." And 
again, that the court which had decided the principle of law in favour of the 
clergy, "very much to their credit, breasted the popular current." He also informs 
us that Mr. John Lewis, counsel for the people, was so satisfied that the case was a 
desperate one after the decision of the court, that he gave up the cause, saying to 
his clients that he could do them no service. Then it was that Mr. Henry was called 
in, who took care to say nothing about the law of the case. 

f He had an uncle in the Episcopal ministry, Patrick Henry, who lived near the 
place of trial, and would have been present, but at the request of his nephew stayed 
away. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 221 

liked to have talked treason into the House."* Whatever may 
have been the feelings of Mr. Henry as to the Episcopal Church 
at that time, it is very certain that in after-life he gave full proof 
that he was no enemy to it, and had no desire to deprive it of any 
just rights. At a time when such numbers were deserting it, 
when politicians were raising themselves on its ruins, when the 
worn-out glebes, and decayed parsonages, and sacred vessels were 
thought to be too much to be left in the hands of the few Epis- 
copal families which were remaining, Mr. Henry stood up in opposi- 
tion to every attempt at their alienation, with the same boldness 
and the same success as when he denounced British oppression ; 
nor did the advocates of the last act by which she was prostrated 
in the dust succeed in their endeavour until he had left the hall of 
legislation. f There may be some difficulty in reconciling his oppo- 
sition to this measure with his advocacy of that concerning which 
we have been writing, but there may have seemed to be one to him, 
and may have been a real one. At any rate, his attachment to the 
Church of his fathers is clearly established. There are abundant 
proofs that it continued through life, and that his descendants have 



* Mr. Atkinson was the grandfather of Bishop Atkinson. The remainder of this 
letter is so faithfully and happily descriptive of the other members of the delega- 
tion, that I make no apology for introducing it. Of Peyton Randolph he says, 
u A venerable man, whom I well know and love ; an honest man ; has knowledge, 
temper, experience, judgment, above all, integrity; a true Roman spirit. He, I 
find, is chairman. The choice will do honour to the judges, and the chairman will 
do honour to the choice." Of Richard Henry Lee he says, " I think I know the 
man, and I like him : need I say more ? He was the second choice, and he was my 
second choice." Of George Washington he says, "He is a soldier, a warrior; he 
is a modest man; sensible; speaks little; in action cool, like a Bishop at his 
prayers." Of Colonel Bland he says, "A wary, old, experienced veteran at the bar 
and in the Senate ; has something of the look of old musty parchments, which he 
handleth and studieth much. He formerly wrote a treatise against the Quakers on 
water-baptism." Of Benjamin Harrison he says, "He is your neighbour, and 
brother-in-law to the speaker, (Peyton Randolph:) I need not describe him." Of 
Mr. Pendleton he says, " The last and best, though all good. The last shall be 
first, says the Scripture. He is an humble and religious man, and must be exalted. 
He is a smooth-tongued speaker, and, though not so old, may be compared to old 
Nestor, 

K ( Experienced Nestor, in persuasion skill'd, 
Words sweet as honey from his lips distill'd.' " 

f I have often in my early days heard the delegate from Frederick county (Mr. 
Matthew Page) speak of the eloquence of Mr. Henry while defending the Church 
against this assault, and refer to the fact that his opponents could never succeed 
until he was out of the way. This circumstance seemed to have been well known, 
for Bishop White has introduced it into his Memoirs of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church of the United States. 



I 

222 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

inherited it. And now* should it be asked why the clergy alone 
of all who were affected by this law should have made such oppo- 
sition, when it was professedly designed to relieve the poor, in a 
year of unparalleled scarcity, I will endeavour to answer the 
question out of the mouths of the clergy themselves at the time. 
Their reasons and complaints were sent in lengthy letters memo- 
rials from themselves and the Commissaries Dawson and Robinson 
to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishop of London, and 
the Privy Council ; also in a letter from the Bishop of London to 
the Lord-Commissioners of Trade, and in an opinion of some of 
the first jurists in England, among them Lord Cambden. These 
have been preserved in the archives of Lambeth and Fulham. I 
have a copy of them before me, covering more than one hundred 
and fifty folio pages of manuscript. I have carefully examined 
the same, as well as whatever on the other side I could obtain, and 
will briefly state the substance of the clergy's plea. In the first 
place, it is declared to be untrue that no complaints came from 
other sources. In the year 1755, the same measure was carried 
by only one vote, such was the opposition to it. In the year 1758, 
some of the ablest and best men of the Assembly and the State 
were opposed to it. Those who were to be sufferers by it among 
the officers of Government were afraid to complain, as they might 
lose office. But the chief reason why many others did not com- 
plain more and longer was, that most of them were actually paid 
their full dues in tobacco. When the King disallowed the law at 
the petition of the clergy, and the Legislature was obliged to 
encourage the vestries to resent by promising to bear the expenses 
of the suit, but said nothing about any other suits, nearly all the 
other debtors, believing their cause to be a hopeless one, would not 
incur the expenses of a suit, but paid their dues as they stood 
before the law was passed. Thus the clergy alone were the suffer- 
ers, while the instruments of doing justice to others. Secondly, 
they maintained that theirs was a peculiar case, and might have 
been exempted from the operation of law, even if some such 
method could have been legally adopted with others. They, by 
their profession, were precluded from those various modes of 
acquiring property by which others might more easily bear a loss. 
Their salaries too were generally small, so small that a great 
number of them could not marry, that respectable families would 
not admit them into that relationship. In ordinary years most of 
them, it was declared, did not receive more than eighty pounds, 
sometimes much less ; and, when tobacco was indifferent, not more 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 223 

| 

than forty or fifty pounds, while cases occurred of still less. One 
great grievance was, that their salaries were not paid until eighteen 
months after their year's labour begun, the levy being never or- 
dered until twelve months had elapsed, and that not demandable 
for six months after ; and, if shipped to England, a still longer 
delay ; and, if they did not send it to England and get their goods 
there, must sell it here and buy indifferent articles at an advance 
of from twenty-five to fifty per cent. The consequence of this 
was, that the clergy were often deeply in debt long before their 
salaries were paid. They thought it hard, therefore, that when, 
in the course of Providence, an increase of funds occurred for one 
year, by which they might be set free from debt or be enabled to 
buy a few books, this should be prevented by such an act. They 
had often before, by bad seasons injuring the tobacco, or by an 
abundant crop reducing the price, suffered a great diminution of 
salary, but the Assembly had never regarded this their loss and 
sought to supply it in any other way, and it was not fair now to 
reduce it by an arbitrary, unjust, and unconstitutional act. More- 
over, they said it was an ex post facto or retrospective law, passed 
after they had earned their salary by a year's labour. It was thus 
their own property, though not in their hands, as it ought to have 
been. They also declared that, considering the high price at which 
tobacco sold that year, it was a prosperous one. The quantity of 
tobacco shipped was estimated at thirty-five thousand hogsheads, 
instead of fifty thousand, the average crop ; that, selling at fifty 
shillings a hundred instead of sixteen and eightpence, every man 
got two-thirds more than usual for his tobacco, and therefore could 
better afford to pay than in other years, except in such places as 
failed very greatly. The clergy thus lost two-thirds of their just 
expectations and lawful rights. They said the history of Virginia 
proved that a small crop of tobacco was best for the Colony, that 
the Legislature was often endeavouring to stint the crop of tobacco 
by preventing the culture of so much, and in former days had 
even destroyed some which was already made, and that now, when 
Providence had stinted the crop, it was hard that the clergy should 
be the chief, indeed only, sufferers. They most positively denied 
that the welfare of the poor was the object or the effect of the law, 
and said that the rich planters were the chief gainers by it, that 
they had few tenants to pay them in money instead of tobacco, 
but cultivated their lands with their own servants, and now paid 
the clergy and others to whom they were indebted at one-third of 
the price at which they sold their tobacco. They charged the 



224 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



Legislature with taking from them one penny for the poor and a 
shilling for the rich, and maintained that some other method might 
have been adopted for the relief of real sufferers far more just and 
equal. Comparing their tithes with those of Israel of old, they 
computed their portion of the tobacco on an average to be less 
than one-fiftieth, and even in that year less than a twentieth, and 
said that nothing whatever of any other crops was taxed, and 
that all other crops that year were uncommonly abundant. If, 
therefore, the Church was worth supporting, they maintained that 
it ought to be honourably done. They affirmed that the effect of 
this unjust proceeding must be to deter respectable clergymen 
from coming into the Colony, or young men of education and 
respectability here from entering the ministry. They declared 
that such an effect had already been produced ; that some of the 
best men had already left the Colony, and others were preparing 
to follow. There was, with one exception, (and he a young, con- 
ceited, and unworthy man,) entire unanimity among the clergy, 
while there was great diversity of sentiment among the laity, and 
certainly among the opponents of the measure there were many of 
the ablest and best men of Virginia. The clergy, indeed, boasted 
that what their advocates wanted in numbers was amply made up 
in quality. As the question came to be weighed in the balances 
of law and equity, it was more and more admitted to be 
unconstitutional and unfair. Many confessed their error ; but it 
was too late to retract. The clergy had committed the unpardon- 
able sin of appealing to the Crown ; and, though many of them 
became staunch Revolutionists, preaching and writing in behalf of 
the war, and some girding on their swords, the evil could not be 
repaired. Dissenters were rapidly gaming ground. They took 
possession of the vacant pulpits and drew off numbers from the 
Church, and no future Assembly could have been gotten to repair 
the wrong. Such was the permissive providence of God, and 
doubtless for wisest reasons. Had the one hundred clergy of Vir- 
ginia, or a large portion of them, been true men of God, not only 
leading holy lives, laboriously discharging all their duties, under- 
standing by their own heartfelt experience, and zealously preach- 
ing the doctrines of the Gospel as set forth by the Reformers in 
our standards, God would not have permitted that unjust act on 
the part of the Legislature of Virginia. There were doubtless 
many worthy men among them, and some few who understood, 
felt, and preached the Gospel ; but, if Mr. Jarratt's testimony is 
to be received, God could not have been among them to bless 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 225 

1 

them." After his ordination in England and settlement in Virginia, 
he attended one of the later convocations at Williamsburg, but 
was so disgusted at the manner in which he heard some of the doc- 
trines of the Gospel and the Church spoken of, that he resolved to 
attend no more of them. I doubt not there were many sober, 
good-natured men among the clergy, but they wanted weight of 
character, and were unfit for the ministry. There were many who 
preached a dry orthodoxy and frigid morality ; but that was not 
enough. The Dissenters came and gave hungry souls something 
else, though often mixed with what was not the Gospel. 

Still, all this did not justify the act of which we have been speak- 
ing, which must ever be regarded as a deep stain on the Legislature 
of that day. Necessity, indeed, has no law, and there are times 
when laws must be violated in order to prevent a greater evil. 
Government has a right to interfere with the property of individuals, 
when they greatly abuse it to the injury of the public. But no 
such necessity existed. If tobacco was scarce, the price was very 
high, and all the necessaries of life abounded. The clergy, whether 
deficient in right views of religion or not, performed a large amount 
of bodily exercise and went through their required duties, and 
therefore had a right to what was secured to them by law. There 
was the same scarcity in Maryland, where the salaries were larger ; 
and yet there was no such commutation enjoined there. We again 
therefore come to the conclusion that the clergy were sinking in 
public estimation, the dissenters from and enemies to the Church 
were increasing, the Revolutionary spirit, the unwillingness to be 
interfered with by the authorities of England, was daily strength- 
ening, and all these combined to permit the passage of the law 
and to forbid the reparation of the wrong that was done. I add 
that in the College of William and Mary the same contest was 
going on. The Visitors and the Faculty were at variance, the 
former claiming the right to dismiss the professors at pleasure, the 
latter affirming that, according to the charter of the College, a 
controlling power was in the authorities abroad ; but the former, as 
might be expected, prevailed. The time for revolution and inde- 
pendence was fully come, and there was no resisting it. President 
Camm, at the beginning of the war, being summoned before the 
Visitors to answer some complainfe, denied their authority, and, 
refusing to attend, was displaced, and Mr. Madison, of more re- 
publican spirit, was chosen in his room. 

Having closed the consideration of a question which for some 
years violently agitated the Church and Colony of Virginia, and 

15 



226 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

which on one side was mainly defended by the minister of York- 
Hampton parish, we take our leave of poor old York, but not with- 
out a word or two as to its past, its present, and its future, so 
far as man may look into the future of a dilapidated town or 
village. Little York was never much more than a village ; although 
merchants from Baltimore and Philadelphia at that time little 
more than villages once got goods from its warehouses. How 
many inhabitants it had, when at its height, cannot be said. Be- 
sides tradesmen and artificers arid shopkeepers, of whom we are 
unable to get any information, we learn that before and for some 
time after the Revolution there was one of the most delightful socie- 
ties anywhere to be found, consisting of Amblers, Archers, Gib- 
bons, Jamiesons, Macawleys, Nicolsons, Griffins, Nelsons, Diggeses, 
Smiths, Popes, Shields, Fouchees, &c. All these, with the other fami- 
lies of the place, and from the country around, filled the Episcopal 
Church in York, and formed a happy, undivided society. During 
the war, all fled who could : some did not return, or only returned 
to bid adieu to its ruins. From time to time, others removed, 
until it was left almost desolate, and the country around seemed 
likely to share the same fate. Agriculture grew worse and worse. 
Lands were almost given away. But within the last few years a 
favourable change has seemed likely to take place, in sympathy 
with the improvement of all Lower Virginia. A few zealous 
females, in the hope and anticipation of it, by the most indefatigable 
diligence, rebuilt the old church, which had been destroyed by fire, 
and the Rev. Mr. Withers, while Chaplain to the Lunatic Asylum 
in Williamsburg, rendered acceptable services to the few remaining 
inhabitants of York. It has been hoped that the railroad, intended 
to connect Richmond with Baltimore by York River, would have 
found a terminus here, and thus insured a revival of the town. In 
this its friends have been also disappointed, that terminus being 
established higher up. Still, hopes are entertained of its more 
gradual improvement by the increased commerce floating on the 
bosom of York River, and from the rise in lands all around. The 
demand for houses is increasing, and, if the present owner of nearly 
all York and its vicinity was disposed to sell, lots and small farms 
would be purchased and settled. There is one interesting and 
venerable establishment in the vicinity of York which deserves 
a notice. It is called Temple Farm. It was the country-resi- 
dence of Governor Spottswood in the beginning of the last cen- 
tury. It was called Temple Farm because of a house in its gar- 
den, built by the Governor as a cemetery. It was in the mansion- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 227 

house on this farm that Lord Cornwallis met Washington and 
signed the articles of capitulation. One of our Virginia antiqua- 
ries, (Mr. Caruthers,) in a semi-fictitious historical novel, after 
the manner of Walter Scott, has made this place a chief scene and 
Governor Spottswood the chief hero. But, it being so long since 
the date of the events described, many of its readers perhaps 
doubt whether the house was built by Governor Spottswood, or 
whether he ever lived there. Having myself had an interest, by 
marriage, in the house and farm, and knowing that there was much 
of the real in the traditionary accounts of it, but wishing to obtain 
the most reliable information, I addressed a letter to Doctor Wil- 
liam Shield, of York, who once possessed it, and received from him 
the following communication : 

"YoRKTOWN, 12th February. 

" REV. AND DEAR SIR : Yours dated the 30th of January, asking for 
some information relative to Temple Farm, near Yorktown, which, ac- 
cording to history, was once the residence of Governor Spottswood, and 
the house in which Lord Cornwallis signed the capitulation, was received 
a few days ago. 

"I purchased the farm and moved there in 1834, at- which time the 
walls of the Temple, from which the place takes its name, were several 
feet high : within them (after removing the ruins) I found heaps of broken 
tombstones, and on putting the fragments together, to ascertain, if pos- 
sible, the names of some of the persons who had been buried there, I 
succeeded in finding the name of Governor Spottswood, showing that he 
was buried at Temple Farm, a fact, perhaps, not generally known. There 
was one tombstone, however, entire and unbroken, with the following sin- 
gular inscription on it, and which, as it may be interesting to you, I send 
verbatim et literatim : 

' Major WILLIAM GOOCH, of this parish. 
Died October 29, 1655.' 

'Within this tomb there doth interred lie, 
No shape, but substance, true nobility. 
Itself, though young in years, just twenty-nine, 
Yet graced with virtues moral and divine ; 
The Church from him did good participate, 
In counsel rare, fit to adorn a State.' 

" The house at Temple Farm is built of wood, and is in rather a dilapi- 
dated condition at present. The original building was very large, and 
consisted of a centre building with two large wings, either one of which 
was as large as the present house, which in fact was originally the centre 
building. 

" I gave for Temple Farm, in 1834, three thousand dollars, and sold it to 
Mr. Pettit, in 1839, for seven thousand dollars. Mr. P. sold if in 1853 
for eleven thousand dollars, and the present owner informs me that he 
has been offered fifteen thousand dollars. The increase in the price of our 
lands here is not, perhaps, to be attributed so much to the effect of marl, 
as to the great benefits anticipated to all this country on York River from 
the completion of the contemplated railroad from Richmond to York 



228 OLD CHUKCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

River, and to the fact that the steamboats are now regularly plying from 
Baltimore and Norfolk, up York River, to the Mattaponi and Pamunkey 
Rivers. There are in Old York between twenty-five and thirty houses, 
all of which are generally inhabited ; and there is a demand for more. 

" With my best wishes for your health and happiness, I am, with the 
highest respect, your friend and servant, 

WILLIAM H. SHIELD." 

It is well known that Governor Spottswood died at Annapolis, in 
the year 1737, on his way to join the army which he was appointed 
to command, and which was about to engage in a Western expe- 
dition. His remains were doubtless carried by water to York, 
and deposited at this, his favourite residence, and in the tomb or 
temple which he had built, and in which other worthies were buried. 
It may be said, without fear of contradiction, that there is not on 
all York Eiver a more picturesque spot than Temple Farm. Its 
capacity for improvement is also very great. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 229 



ARTICLE XVIII. 

Hampton Parish, Elizabeth City County, and Parishes in Warwick. 

UNTIL the year 1751 it was called Hampton parish, and on one 
of my lists after this ; but on the vestry-book beginning in 1751 
it is changed to Elizabeth City. Elizabeth City county is one of 
the eight original shires of Virginia in the year 1634. It is situ- 
ated, as may be seen by looking at the map, just between the 
mouths of James and York Rivers. Its compass is so small 
and so compact that it does not appear that there was ever an at- 
tempt at building more than one church in it, that at Hampton, 
< unless there may have been one on the Back River portion of it, 
of which, however, we have no account. Although the parish and 
county of Elizabeth City be comparatively so small, only eigh- 
teen miles square, yet are they on many accounts deeply interest- 
ing. Old Point Comfort, which is a part of this county, was, with 
the exception of Cape Henry, most probably the first place in 
Virginia which was touched by Captain Smith in 1607. In ex- 
ploring the county for a suitable settlement, they met (says the 
historian Burk) with five of the natives, who invited them to their 
town, Kecoughtan or Kichotan, where Hampton now stands. It 
was doubtless one of the earliest Indian towns, as it became in 
1610 one of the earliest settlements of the Colony. Even before 
that, it became a kind of Cape of Good Hope to the Colonists, who 
called here on their expeditions up York, Rappahannock, Potomac, 
and Nansemond Rivers. It was also the first harbour which Eu- 
ropeans reached after their long voyages over the Atlantic. Here 
they usually stopped, and often proceeded to Jamestown and Wil- 
liamsburg by land. It is not, therefore, to be wondered at that we 
find a church and ministry here at an early period ; especially as 
this place does not appear to have suffered in the Indian massacre 
of 1622, the natives having probably at this time been driven from 
this corner of the Colony. We have no vestry-book of more an- 
cient date than 1751 from whence to draw our facts concerning 
the early history of this parish ; but the records of the court, 
which are equally trustworthy, as far back as the year 1635, have 
been preserved in the old clerk's office, and furnish us with some 



230 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

interesting documents touching the ministers and church at Hamp- 
ton. I am indebted to the researches of the Kev. John McCabe, 
late minister of Hampton, for the following facts out of the records 
of the court, and which he has embodied in his full and interest- 
ing account of this parish in the Church Review. 

In the year 1644 we find the churchwardens presenting to the 
court an unworthy female. In the year 1646 we find Nicholas 
Brown and William Armistead presenting one of their own body. 
In the year 1644 we read of a Rev. Mr. Mallory as performing 
service and being remunerated for it. In the next year we read 
of a Rev. Justinian Aylmer, who continued to ofiiciate until 1667, 
twenty-three years. In the year 1667 we read of a Rev. Jere- 
miah Taylor, who buried a Mr. Nicholas Baker in the new church 
of Kichotan, according to a request in the will. 

In the same year Mr. Robert Brough, by will, requests that he 
may be buried in the old church of Kichotan. In one and the 
same year there were an old and a new church standing at Kicho- 
tan. The old one had probably been built many years, and was 
going to decay. As there was a law passed in 1621, under the 
administration of Sir Thomas Yeardley, that a house of worship 
should be erected and a burial-ground set apart on every planta- 
tion, (that is, settlement,) there is reason to believe that there was 
one then built at Kichotan, if not before ; and that the new one 
was built between 1660 and 1667, and that new one is the present 
church of St. John's, at Hampton. As to the location of the old 
one, Mr. McCabe and some friends settled that point beyond all 
dispute. There is an old burial-ground, about a mile from Hamp- 
ton, on the Pembroke farm, now the property of John Jones, Es- 
quire, on which are a number of old gravestones, and where tradi- 
tion had located an ancient church. To this Mr. McCabe and his 
friends repaired with proper instruments, and, clearing away the 
rubbish and digging into the earth, soon found the brick foundation 
of the former church ; the superstructure having probably been, as 
with most other first churches, of wood. Among other interments 
in that graveyard are those of John Neville, Vice- Admiral of his 
Majesty's fleet in the West Indies, who died in 1697 ; of Thomas 
Curie, born in the year 1640, in Sussex, England, and dying in 
1700 ; also of the Rev. Andrew Thompson, minister of the parish, 
who died in 1719, "leaving the character of a sober and religious 
man." It seems that the old church had been repaired after the 
new one was built, and that it and the burial-ground were pre- 
served for funeral purposes, (as the old church and graveyard at 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 231 

Blandford and the old chapel and burying-ground in Clarke 
county ;) but now they are ruins in the midst of a field. From 
the examination of records Mr. McCabe concludes that the Rev. 
Mr. Mallory was the minister in 1664 ; how long before is not known. 
He was succeeded in 1665 by the Rev. Mr. Aylmer, who in 1667 
was followed by the Rev. Jeremiah Taylor. He was a disgrace to 
his name and the ministry. For his insolency and misbehaviour 
in open court, he was committed to confinement during the court's 
pleasure. Again he was presented by the grand jury for drunk- 
enness, and again for slander. It speaks well for the grand juries 
of that day, that they would take cognizance of and punish of- 
fences which are sometimes permitted to pass unnoticed or unpu- 
nished by some church judicatories of our day, of various denomi- 
nations. He was succeeded in 1677 by the Rev. John Page, who 
left the Colony in 1687. He was no doubt the same of whom we 
read as minister of St. Peter's, New Kent, for one year about this 
time. He was succeeded by the Rev. Cope Doyley in 1687. In 
1712 the Rev. Andrew Thompson became the rector, and died in 
1719.* In 1731 the Rev. Mr. Fife becomes the minister, and con- 
tinues until his death in 1756. He was succeeded by the Rev. 
Thomas Warrington, who died in 1770. The Rev. William Selden 
followed and continued until 1783, and was succeeded by the Rev. 
William JJixon. It does not appear how long he continued, as 
there is no meeting of the vestry from 1786 until 1806, twenty 
years. At that meeting the Rev. George Halson was chosen minis- 
ter. About this time also the Rev. Mr. Syme served for a short 
period. Twenty years longer elapsed before another meeting of 
the vestry occurred, when the Rev. Mark L. Chevers was chosen, 
who continued to serve the parish, in connection with the chap- 
laincy at Old Point, until 1842 or 1843. In the year 1845 the 
Rev. Mr. Bausman became its minister, and in 1850 the Rev. Mr. 
McCabe, who continued until the present year, 1856. 



* I am enabled to supply a deficiency in this catalogue, from a letter of the Rev. 
James Falconer, who was minister in this parish between the Rev. Mr. Thompson 
and the Rev. Mr. Fife. His report to the Bishop of London is, that his parish is 
fifty miles in circumference, with three hundred and fifty families ; that the owners 
were careful to instruct the young negro children and bring them to baptism ; that 
service is performed every Sunday, and that most of the parishioners attend ; that 
there were about one hundred communicants ; that his salary was about sixty-five 
pounds ; that there were two public schools in the parish, and one good private one 
kept by a Mr. William Fife, a man of good life and conversation. He was doubt- 
less the person that succeeded him in 1731. 



232 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Concerning two of the* preceding ministers, the Rev. Thomas 
Warrington and the Rev. William Selden, there is a transaction 
recorded on the vestry-book worthy of special notice, as serving to 
illustrate still more the contest between vestries and Governors, 
Commissaries, and the Crown. It seems that at the death of the 
Rev. Mr. Fife two candidates presented themselves, the Rev. Mr. 
Warrington, who was recommended to the parish by Governor 
Gooch, and Mr. William Selden, then a young lawyer, probably of 
Hampton, who, disliking his profession, wished to enter the minis- 
try, and applied for a title to this parish with which to proceed to 
the Bishop of London for Orders. The vote in the vestry being 
taken, there was a tie between the candidates. At this the Go- 
vernor and Commissary were much displeased, and wrote a sharp 
letter upbraiding the vestry with despising the authority of the 
Crown and the Bishop of London by thus refusing to comply with 
the recommendation of their commissioned agents in Virginia, 
that is, themselves, and again call upon them to receive Mr. 
Warrington. The vestry have no meeting for four months, and 
then the vote was the same as before. They, however, choose Mr. 
Warrington temporarily, and at the end of five months more unani- 
mously choose him as their minister; and he continued to serve 
them faithfully and acceptably until his death, thirteen years after, 
in 1770. At his death Mr. Selden is again an applicant for the 
parish, is elected, and goes to London for Orders, which he obtains 
that same year, and continues to be an acceptable minister until 
1783, when he resigned on account of ill-health, and soon after 
died. For an account of him and his descendants, I refer to a 
note in my second article on Henrico ; though I am unable to re- 
concile the date of his birth, as there given, with the date of his 
application to the vestry, and think there must be a mistake on 
the part of my informant. 

Of the Rev. Mr. Warrington I have information in other docu- 
ments, showing him to have been a fearless, upright man, and 
while reading of him have been reminded of his brave and patriotic 
grandson, Commodore Louis Warrington.* 

* The Bev. Mr. Warrington was the grandfather of Commodore Warrington. 
From his birth the latter became an object of peculiar interest to a lady in Wil- 
liamsburg, whom I am unable to name or identify except that she was the aunt of 
a Miss Frances Caines, the intimate friend of Miss Ambler, afterward Mrs. Edward 
Carrington, of Richmond, from whose papers I have often quoted. Both the young 
ladies had been companions of the mother of young Louis Warrington, and took a 
lively interest in him on that account. Miss Caines and Miss Ambler (afterward 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 238 

To the above I add a passage from the article of Mr. McCabe, 
which had escaped my notice while preparing the above : 

"The vestry-book here is defaced for some years, owing, we presume, to 
the fact that in the change of the Church from that of England to the 



Mrs. Carrington) corresponded for a long time after the former returned to England, 
as she was only a temporary sojourner in Virginia. The following extracts from 
one of Mrs. Carrington's letters to her old friend, Miss C., in 1820, will, I am sure, 
be gratifying to my readers, not only on account of what refers to young Warring- 
ton, but what relates to other subjects : 

"At our advanced age, my respected friend, it would seem incredible that a 
renewal of intercourse should take place between us. Years have passed since I 
have had the pleasure of hearing from you, and but for the visit of my cousin (John 
Jaqueline Ambler) to England, I might probably have gone to my grave without 
knowing what had become of you. Who can tell but it may be a foretaste of a 
reunion in a better world that a merciful God has in store for us ? The little book 
you presented to my cousin brought to my recollection the one you presented to me 
some forty years ago, entitled ' Sacred Dramas.' It was a precious gift to me, and 
led me to peruse every succeeding work of that excellent author (Miss Hannah 
More) with delight, and, I hope, with advantage. What a woman is she ! And what 
a gift have her writings been even to our remote corner of the world ! Whenever 
England is brought to my mind, I somehow or other so connect the names of Frances 
Caines, Hannah More, and the hallowed spot of Barley Wood, that altogether it 
seems a paradise. In one of your last letters you say, ' Can it be possible that the 
Captain Warrington I have seen announced in the Liverpool papers, as lately arrived 
in England with despatches from America, is our dear little Louis ?' It was the 
same little Louis that we so fondly doted on. His conduct through life has been 
distinguished, has raised him to high standing in our navy, and no doubt some 
future historian will do him ample justice in his naval character. In private life 
he has been alike deserving." 

Mrs. Carrington then mentions, in proof of his generosity, his dividing a thou- 
sand pounds, which had been left him by the aunt of Miss Caines, with two half- 
sisters who were in need. She speaks also of his having married a Miss Gary King, 
"a sprightly and amiable girl, an old schoolmate of hers." "They are now living 
in great comfort near Norfolk ; he holding some office in the navy-yard, and stand- 
ing high in the confidence of his country. It has been some years since I saw him, 
and on his last visit to Richmond my health was too bad to admit of my inviting 
him. It was a visit, however, of great interest to many, and produced an excite- 
ment that is rarely experienced. How would you have felt, my dear friend, had 
you seen him hailed as one of the choicest guardians of his country, called by the 
united voice of Virginia to receive a splendid sword as a token of her love and 
gratitude to him ? It is impossible for me to describe the emotions produced in my 
mind when I heard every voice united in commendation, and in rapture describe his 
modest manliness as he entered the Senate-Hall to receive his merited reward. In 
an instant my thoughts flew back to your aunt's room, where you first saw the 
lovely boy ; and busy recollection carried me still further back, two years previous, 
when on a visit to Williamsburg I was ushered in to see your aunt, who laid him 
on my lap, and in agony left the room." 

Mrs. Carrington adds a passage from a projected novel of her aunt Jaqueline, in 
which Louis Warrington was to be the hero: "This must ever be the lot of our 



234 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Protestant Episcopal Churclf of the United States, begun in 1783, con- 
summated in 1787, and the first Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 
1789, with Bishops of our own presiding, this parish did not procure a 
minister during that period. A tomb has recently been erected, from 
which we infer that the Rev. Mr. Skyren was probably the first minister 
after the Revolution. The inscription on the tomb reads as follows : 
' Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Henry Skyren, rector of Elizabeth 
City parish. Born in Whitehaven, England, anno domini 1729. Died 
in Hampton, Virginia, A.D. 1795. This monument is erected by his 
surviving children, Elizabeth Temple and John Spottswood Skyren/ " 

The following inscription, on a stone near the east entrance to 
the church, will show that very soon after the change spoken of 
above, the parish was supplied with regular services : " Sacred to 
the memory of the Rev. John Jones Spooner, rector of the church 
in Elizabeth City county, who departed this life September 15th, 
1799, aged forty-two years." And then, to the right of the door 
entering from the east, another, bearing the following : " Departed 
this life January 17th, 1806, the Rev. Benjamin Brown, rector of 
Elizabeth City parish, aged thirty-nine years." 

Another extract also I take the liberty of making : 



poor clergy, a scanty subsistence while living, and at their death poverty and 
misery is their children's only inheritance." In which, however, we must beg leave 
widely to differ from this excellent lady ; and must class this sentiment and asser- 
tion among many others in novels, projected or executed, as we believe the de- 
scendants of pious clergymen have many special blessings entailed upon them. 
The prayers and example of Commodore Warring ton's pious grandfather may have 
been among the means appointed of Providence for promoting the future greatness, 
and, what is infinitely better, the future piety, of Commodore Warrington. My resi- 
dence in Norfolk, as minister of Christ Church, for two years, enabled me to form a 
just estimate of his character. Though his station was at the navy-yard in Gos- 
port, and his residence there, he was a most punctual attendant on the Sabbath in 
Christ Church, Norfolk. Mrs. Carrington speaks of the modest manliness, admired 
of all, with which he entered the Senate-Chamber to receive the sword which was 
voted him by the Legislature of Virginia. I have seen him on every succeeding 
Sabbath for the greater part of two years in a much more desirable and honourable 
place, when walking up the middle aisle of Christ Church with the same "modest 
manliness." There was in him the dignity of the soldier and the modesty of the 
Christian blended together. He was not then in full membership with the Church, 
though all thought he might with propriety have been. But, even then, his devout 
behaviour and respectful use of the Prayer Book was an example to all others. As 
through life he had always, so far as I know and believe, been the friend of religion, 
and manifested it in those public ways required of naval officers, so, in his latter 
days, he sealed that testimony by entering into full communion with the Church of 
his choice and of his ancestors. 

P.S. I have since discovered that the lady who patronized Louis Warrington was 
Mrs. Riddle, sister of the Rev. Thomas Warrington and great-aunt of Commodore 
Warrington. 




ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, HAMPTON. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 235 

" During the last war with Great Britain, Hampton was sacked, its 
inhabitants pillaged, one of its aged citizens, sick and infirm, wantonly 
murdered in the arms of his wife, and other crimes committed by hireling 
soldiers and by brutalized officers, over which the chaste historian must 
draw a veil. The Church of God itself was not spared during the satur- 
nalia of lust and violence. His temple was profaned and his altars 
desecrated. What British ruthlessness had left scattered and prostrate 
was soon looked upon with neglect. The moles and bats held their revels 
undisturbed within its once hallowed courts, and the obscene owl nestled 
and brought forth in the ark of the covenant. The church in which our 
fathers worshipped stabled the horse and stalled the ox. The very tomb 
of the dead, sacred in all lands, became a slaughter-ground of the butcher, 
and an arena for pugilistic contests. A few faithful ones wept when they 
remembered Zion in her day of prosperity and beheld her in her hour of 
homeless travail, and uttered their cry, l How long, oh Lord, how long ?' " 

The following preamble, accompanying a subscription, tells the 
story of her woes, and breathes the language of returning hope : 

" Whereas, from a variety of circumstances, the Episcopal Church in the 
town of Hampton is in a state of dilapidation, and will ere long moulder 
into ruins unless some friendly hand be extended to its relief, and, in the 
opinion of the vestry, the only method that can be pursued to accomplish 
the laudable design of restoring it to the order in which our forefathers 
bequeathed it to their children, is to resort to subscription, they do 
earnestly solicit pecuniary aid from all its friends, in a full belief that our 
appeal will not be made in vain. And, hoping that God will put it into 
the hearts of the people to be benevolently disposed toward our long- 
neglected Zion/' &c. 

A committee was appointed to take counsel with Bishop Moore 
as to the best method of raising funds for the purpose. The sub- 
scription-paper was circulated, not merely in Hampton, but sent 
to some whose fathers had once worshipped in the old house, and 
the desired object was attained. Among the subscribers we notice 
Commodore Warrington for fifty dollars ; Commodore James Bar- 
ron, one hundred ; the latter, as well as his brother, who was also a 
commodore in the American navy, having been born in the parish. 

Funds being raised, the church was thoroughly repaired. It 
was consecrated by Bishop Moore on Friday, the 8th of January, 
1830, and is now one of the most interesting and comfortable 
places of worship in Virginia. 

A list of the vestrymen from 1751 to 1826 will close our notice 
of this parish : 

Mr. Booth Armistead, George Wray, William Armistead, Henry King, 
Wilson Miles Gary, William Mallory, William Wager, Jas. Wallace, John 
Tabb, Joseph Selden, Miles King, Gary Selden, Warlock Westwood, 
Merit Sweny, Robert Armistead, John Allen, Anthony Tucker, Baldwin 



236 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Shephard, William Westwood, Charles King, Charles Jennings, West- 
wood Armistead, William Parsons, John Moore, Jacob Walker, Thomas 
Latimer, James Wallace, William Latimer, William Armistead, Booth 
Armistead, Wilson Miles Gary, William Mallory, Joseph Selden, Miles 
King, Robert Bright, William Brough, Thomas Allen, Robert Armistead, 
John Cowper, James Latimer. Thomas Watts, Samuel Watts, Miles Gary, 
William Loury, Benjamin Philips, William Armistead, Thomas Latimer, 
Robert Lively, John Gary, Dr. Wm. Hope, J. W. Jones, Westwood T. 
Armistead, Col. Gr. A. Gary, Capt. T. Hope, Capt. J. Herbert, Dr. R. G. 
Banks, Capt. John F. Wray, Richard C. Servant, Samuel Dewbre. 

The last-named vestryman but one Mr. Richard B. Servant 
was for many years, and to the close of the vestry-book, the secre- 
tary of the vestry. It has now been many years since he left 
Virginia and moved to Illinois, which was once a county of Vir- 
ginia, made so for special purposes, at a time when Virginia's 
western boundary was the Eastern Ocean, and embraced even 
modern California, at least in theory or by royal grant. Mr. Ser- 
vant, as may be seen by the following letter, has not forgotten the 
old State and Church of Virginia : 

" CHESTER, ILLINOIS, Nov. 27, 1856. 

" RT. REV. AND VERY DEAR SIR : I have read with deep and filial 
interest your reminiscenses published in the Southern Churchman, and I 
send you a memorandum, nastily made from recollection. I have no 
disposition to have niy name appear in print, but if you have not already 
all the information that you may desire in regard to Elizabeth City parish 
and the old church at Hampton, you may use such parts of the following 
memorandum as may suit you : 

" ' I think that the record will show that Parson Brown was the last 
settled minister, and I think his immediate predecessor was Parson Simms, 
said to be the best reader in the diocese, but a great " fox-hunter ;" and, to 
the best of my recollection, Parson George Halson, who was also principal 
of the Hampton Academy, was the incumbent, whether regular or not I 
am not sure, but the record will explain. He officiated until the war of 
1812. During the interval between Parson Brown and the war, the 
framework of the tower, which stood on the west end of the church, be- 
came so decayed that the "Old Queen Anne Bell" had to be taken down 
and was placed in the angle made by the church and the tower. From 
that position it was removed, by the order of Major Crutchfield, who com- 
manded the troops encamped on Little England Farm, to the " guard- 
house" of that encampment, and a short time after the tongue became 
loose, an axe was used to strike the hour, and the bell cracked. We had 
it recast about the year 1825. It was probably the best bell in the Colony. 

"'After the British troops evacuated Hampton, on, I think, the 27th of 
June, 1813, I, then a boy twelve years old, went into town; and the first 
thing that attracted my attention was, that the enemy had used the 
churchyard, where the last mortal remains of my ancestors for one hun- 
dred and fifty years or more had been deposited, for slaughtering cattle, 
and the walls were smoked in numerous paces where they had made fires 
with which to cook their provisions, The venerable old church was also 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 237 

much misused in the interior, as that seemed to have been used as a com- 
mon barrack. 

"'From this time until about the year 1824, the church and the walls 
surrounding it were rapidly going to decay, the church a common shelter 
for horses, cattle, and hogs, and was profaned by men and boys also. I 
had often said to my dear sainted mother, that if I lived to be a man I 
would stir up the people to repair the old church and walls. In the year 
1822 or 1823, just as I was arriving to manhood, an incident occurred 
which I shall never forget. Mrs. Jane Hope, eldest daughter of the late 
Commodore James Barron, was spending the evening with my mother, 
(who resided on the lot adjoining, west of the church,) and she proposed 
a visit to the graves of our ancestors ; and, while standing at the front 
door of the church, within a foot of the graves of my ancestors, she re- 
marked to me, " Cousin, if I were a man I would have these walls built 
up." Her words were like electricity, and from that moment my deter- 
mination was fixed. The very next day I called on the late Westwood Armi- 
stead, Dr. William Hope, Captain Robert Lively, and Colonel Wilson W. 
Jones; and the result of our interview was, that we should prepare a sub- 
scription-paper to have the wall around the old graveyard repaired, little 
thinking then that the repairs of the " old church" would follow. I com- 
menced on the same day, and, after raising all that I could in the parish, 
proceeded to Norfolk, and with the assistance of Commodores Barron 
and Warrington, (the grandfather of the latter having been one of the 
ministers of the church,) Miles King, late Navy Agent, and Dr. William 
Selden, whose ancestors were buried in the old churchyard, Judge Strange, 
of North Carolina, who also had a relative buried there, and subscribed 
liberally, raised a sufficient sum to repair the walls around the graveyard, 
which in a short time were completed, and a substantial wrought-iron 
gate placed at the entrance. 

" l About the year 1824 or 1825, (the record will show,) a meeting of 
the friends of the church was called, a vestry elected, and an effort made 
to repair the church, which, with the assistance of our friends at Norfolk, 
was successful beyond our most sanguine anticipations. A short time 
after, the Rev. Mark L. Chevers was elected rector : of this, however, 
and what has followed, the record will show. 

" l When we undertook to repair the church there was nothing standing 
but the bare walls and a leaky roof, not a vestige of doors, windows, or 
floors. In order to give an impetus to our proceedings, we prevailed upon 
good old Bishop Moore to pay us a visit, and, to make his visit the more 
effective, we had the accumulated filth cleansed out, and the old walls, 
after a lapse of many years, resounded with prayer and praise. I sat on 
the bare tiles ; but what a seat, and what a day ! It was manifest to all 
that " the glory of the Lord filled the house." Dr. Ducachet occasionally 
came over to preach for us, and at every visit the remark was that "some 
more nails were driven into the church." 

" ' Upon the election of the vestry there was not a vestige of the church- 
furniture to be found. We, however, succeeded in finding the old vestry- 
book, which had been carefully preserved by the late Samuel Watts, or, 
as he was more familiarly called, " Uncle Sammy." 

" * I doubt very much whether, upon the reorganization and resuscitation 
of the parish, there were a half-dozen Prayer Books in the parish.' 

"You will see that I have written the foregoing just as circumstances 



J 

238 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

occurred to me : if you can* cull any thing out of it and put it in shape, 
you can use it. 

" I am, with great esteem, 

" Your brother in Christ, 



^reat esteem, 

Your brother in Christ, 

"R. B. SERVANT. 



'"P.S. My great-grandfather was commandant of the garrison at Old 
Point Comfort, more than one hundred and eighty years ago, and since 
that time there has not been a Dissenter in the family. Do you ask how 
this happened, when the church had sunk so low that there was scarcely 
any to do it reverence ? I answer, the habitual use of the Prayer Book 
and FAMILY PRAYERS. My father died when I was sixteen years old, 
and my mother had an aversion to leading in prayer, but she insisted 
that I should do so, and our family were kept together in the ' one fold ' 
by means of FAMILY PRAYER. " 

PARISH OF WARWICK. 

Of this we can say but little. The county was one of the eight 
original shires in 1634. It is a small county on the lower part of 
James River, lying alongside of Elizabeth City and York counties. 
Of course it became a parish and county at the same time, and 
they have always been known by the same names. The first 
information we have of its ministers is in 1754, when the Rev. 
Roscoe Cole had charge of the parish. In the year 1758 the Rev. 
Thomas Davis was minister. In the years 1773, 1774, and 1776, 
the Rev. William Hubard was there. In the year 1785 the Rev. 
William Bland, of whom we have already written, was in the Con- 
vention which organized the diocese, with Mr. Richard Cary as 
his lay delegate. The Carys were a very ancient and most re- 
spectable family in that part of Virginia. It is our purpose to 
visit their ancient seat and the Clerk's Office of the county, in the 
hope of finding something worth adding to this meagre account; 
and, in the mean while, would be thankful to any member of the 
family for some account of it.* 



* We enlarge our notices of Warwick a little by the following account of the 
Digges, some of whom lived in it. The family of Digges is most ancient and 
honourable. Virginians and Episcopalians need not wish to go further back than 
to the Hon. Dudley Digges, one of the most active members of that most noble and 
Christian association, the London Company, far more of a missionary institution 
than any of that day. The minutes of the London Company show him to have 
ever been at his post in the meetings of the committee, with such men as the Earl 
of Southampton, the Ferrars, and others. Mr. Burk, after speaking the praises 
of this Company for purity of morals, for noble motives, and even a tolerant spirit 
of religion, which was high commendation from an infidel as he was, then extols 
its literary character, representing Southampton as the friend of Shakspeare, and 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 239 



CHARLES, OR CHARLES RIVER PARISH, YORK COUNTY. 

This was separated from York-Hampton parish before the year 
1754, but how long we have been unable as yet to ascertain. The 
Rev. Thomas Warrington was ordained in 1747 and was its minis- 
ter in 1754, and until he went to Hampton in 1756. As I do not 
see his name as belonging to any other parish, it is probable that 
he entered at once on the ministry in this parish. 

The Rev. Joseph Davenport was the minister in 1773, 1774, and 
also in 1785. In the last year he appears in the Convention with 
Mr. Robert Shield as lay delegate. This is all we can learn as to 
the parish of Charles, so called because on York River, which 
was once called Charles River, and because York county was once 
called Charles River county. 

Before crossing York River to treat of the parishes of Glouces- 
ter and Mathews, it may be well to observe that at an early period 
there may be found the names of a number of parishes which once 

George Sandys, the Company's Treasurer in Virginia, as translating Ovid in the 
wilds of Virginia, concluding thus: "Sir Edwin Sandys, Sir Dudley Digges, Sir 
John Saville, with several other members of the London Company, were considered 
the most elegant scholars and the most eloquent speakers in the nation." The name 
of Digges was soon transferred to Virginia. We read of Digges's Hundred among 
the early settlements on James River. We read in 1654 of Edward Digges made 
one of the Council, and so approving himself in that office as to be called to preside 
oyer the Colony ; and then, at the expiration of his term, to be requested to con- 
tinue in it as long as he continued in the country, with other marks of distinction. 
Thence onward we meet with thp name in the lists of vestrymen and Burgesses, 
until the period came in our country's history which tried the souls even of the 
bravest, when, in 1773, we find the name of Dudley Digges on the first committee 
for correspondence with the other Colonies about our grievances; and in 1776 the 
names of Dudley Digges and William Digges as members from York with General 
Nelson in the great Convention. And ever since that time it has been our happiness 
to find that name often enrolled on the lists of vestrymen and communicants of our 
Church. One of the descendants of the Digges, who died in 1700, was named 
Cole Digges, a man of large property, owning Chilham Castle near York, Bellfield 
on York River, between York and Williamsburg, and Denbigh in Warwick. His 
sons were Edward, William, and Dudley. Among his grandchildren were William, 
who married his cousin Elizabeth, of Denbigh ; Dudley, who married his cousin 
Louisa : Thomas and Edward moved to Fauquier and had families. One grand- 
daughter married a Mr. Powell, of Petersburg. Two married Fitzhughs, of Fau- 
quier. The first wife of the first Dudley was a Miss Armistead ; the second, Miss 
Wormley, of Rosegill. He had two sons, Cole and Dudley, and several daughters, 
one of whom married a Burwell, another a Stratton, of the Eastern Shore, a third 
a Digges, and two of them married Nicolsons. The wife of the Rev. Mr. Wood- 
bridge is daughter of one of the last. One daughter of the first Cole Digges mar 
ried Nathaniel Harrison, of Brandon ; another, Nathaniel Harrison, of Wakefield 



240 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

existed in that part of Virginia lying between Warwick and 
Charles City, below and above Jamestown and round about Wil- 
liamsburg ; as, for instance, Southwark, Chiskiack, Middletown, 
Harop, Nutmeg and Denbigh, Wilmington, Marston, which were 
soon merged into James City, York-Hampton, Bruton, and West- 
over parish. Soon after the settlement of the country, when the 
Indians abounded and it was dangerous to go far to worship, every 
little plantation or settlement in that region was made a parish. 
There is one parish, by the name of Westminster, which as yet I 
have been unable to locate, and which made a report to the Bishop 
of London in 1724. Its communicants only numbered sixteen. I 
incline to think it was somewhere on the Chickahominy. Its minis- 
ter was the Rev. Mr. Cox. 

In accordance with the determination expressed above, I have 
visited old Warwick, which, though the least of all shires of Vir- 
ginia, was one of the most fruitful nurseries of the families of 
Virginia. Its contiguity to James River and Jamestown rendered 
it a safe place for early Colonists to settle in. It was probably at 
one time, according to its dimensions, the most populous of all the 
counties. In evidence of which, I find from an examination of the 
records of the Clerk's Office, which extend back to about 1642, 
that there were, at one time, not less than eight parishes in War- 
wick. Two of these were on Mulberry Island, one called Stanley 
Hundred, and the other Nutmeg Quarter. It is really not an 
island, as Jamestown was not an island, though both of them so called. 
Mulberry Island joined the mainland in its upper part, and one of 
its parishes at least Stanley Hundred was at one time connected 
with the church at Jamestown, and had much the largest congre- 
gation. The result of my hasty examination of the old and de- 
cayed records at Warwick Court-house, some of which are like the 
exhumed volumes from the long-buried towns of the East, and will 
scarce bear handling, was the discovery that the following were the 
most prominent names in this county in times long since gone 
by : Fauntleroy, Hill, Bushrodd, Ryland, Ballard, Purnell, 
Ashton, Clayborne, Gary, Dade, Griffith, Whittaker, Pritchard, 
Hurd, Harwood, Bassett, Watkins, Smith, Digges, Dudley, Petit, 
Radford, Stephens, Wood, Bradford, Stratton, Glascock, Patti- 
son, Barber, Allsop, Browninge, Killpatricke, Nowell, Lewellin, 
Goodale, Dawson, Cosby, Wythe, Reade, Bolton, Dixon, Lang- 
horne, Morgan, Fenton, Chisman, Watkins, John, Lang, Parker, 
West. No one can look over this list without exclaiming, " What 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 241 

a prolific nursery of Virginia families was old Warwick !" In what 
part of Virginia are not some of the descendants of these first 
settlers to be found ?* 

Besides visiting the old court-house and Clerk's Office and jail 
(the latter without an inmate) of Warwick county, I went to the 
ancient seat of the Coles and Digges, at Denbigh, on James 
River, just opposite to Nutmeg Quarter, on Mulberry Island, the 
island reaching down to this place and only separated from it by 
Warwick River. The ancient house at Denbigh is no more, ex- 
cept one wing of it, which forms a part of the habitation of the 
present owner, Mr. Young, a descendant of one of the old Epis- 
copal families of Denbigh parish. The settlement at Denbigh was 
formerly the seat of the Coles and Digges, who intermarried. 
The Hon. Edward Digges, no doubt, at one time lived at this place 
and owned part of Mulberry Island, which may have received its 
name from the trees which furnished food for the worms which 
were used in the raising of silk, of which operation Mr. Digges was 
the great patron, as appears from history and his tombstone. There 
is still handed down, in the family residing there, a ball of the raw 
material, made at an early period, a portion of which was pre- 
sented to me. Within a few miles of Denbigh farm is one of the 
ancient seats of the Cary family, and, at the same distance, old 
Denbigh Church. I paid a visit to the latter, and found it in a 
much better condition than I could have expected. It is in the 
parish called Upper Denbigh, there being formerly one called 
Lower Denbigh. The present building was erected one hundred 
and ten years since ; and the weatherboarding was so well done, 
and was of such excellent material, that it is still good. The 
foundation of an older one is plainly to be traced a short distance 
behind it, in the woods which come up to the present church, which 
is only a few yards from the main Warwick road leading up and 
down the country. There is only one large tombstone there, on 
which is the following inscription : 

" Mary Harrison, daughter of the Hon ble Cole Digges, of his Majesty's 

* The following extract, from an old will among the records, is worthy of inser- 
tion : 

"In the name of God, Amen: I, Garnett Corbett, of the county of Warwick, 
being now sick and weake, but of sound and perfect memory, and knowing not how 
soone it may be the pleasure of Almighty God to release mee out of this transitory 
world, doe hereby make my last will and testament, in form following, viz. : 

" First, and principally, I most humbly recommend my soule into the protection 
and conservation of my blessed and precious Redeemer, Jesus Christ, with full and 
whole trust in him, by his bitter death and passion, to receive salvation." 

16 



242 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Council, wife of Nathaniel Hafrison, of Prince George county, died No- 
vember 12th, 1744, in her 27th year. She so discharged the several 
duties of a wife, mother, daughter, and neighbour, that her relations and 
acquaintances might justly esteem their loss insupportable, was it not 
chastened with the remembrance that every virtue which adds weight to 
their loss augments her reward." 

Mrs. Harrison was grandmother of the late George Harrison, 
of Lower Brandon, and of Mr. William Harrison, of Upper Bran- 
don, on James River.* I also visited the site of another old 
church in Warwick, in the parish of Martin's Hundred a few 
miles from the Grove, the former seat of the Burwells. After 
much exploring of the place, now covered with trees and bushes 
and leaves, my companion, Mr. Richard Randolph, and myself felt 
beneath our feet a tombstone covered with moss and leaves, and, 
on clearing them away, deciphered the name of " Samuel Pond, 
of Martin's Hundred parish, in the Colony of Va., who departed 
this life in the year of our Lord 1694, aged 48." By this disco- 
very alone have I been able to locate the parish of Martin's Hun- 
dred, so often mentioned in the early history and statutes of Vir- 
ginia. A part of this parish may have been in James City county. 

The family of Cary owned large tracts of land in this county, 
and had two family-seats, well known and much visited in former 
days. One of them is near Denbigh. The tombs of a number of 
the family are still to be seen there. The other, called Richneck, 
is about eight miles off, and higher up the county. The last occu- 
pant bearing the name was Mr. Cary, who moved to Carys- 
brook, in Fluvanna county. On visiting this place, and going to 
the graveyard where some of the ancestors had been buried, I 
found that the brick enclosure had been removed, and even the 
bricks underneath the only large tombstone which was there had 
been taken away, and used in constructing a steam mill for sawing 
up the timber of the plantation. The whole estate, consisting chiefly 



* I ascertained, also, that the last ministers who officiated at Denbigh Church 
were the Rev. Mr. Camm, son of the Rev. Commissary Camm, and a Mr. Wood, 
both of them respectable men. They officiated at some other place or places in 
Warwick at the same time. The old high-backed pews are still retained. I was 
told that after the Episcopal Church had ceased to have services in this church, and 
other denominations had taken possession, on the occasion of some protracted and 
very exciting meeting, when the old pews seemed to be in the way of promoting a 
revival, it was proposed from the pulpit that they be taken away and benches put 
in place of them. The measure was about to be carried, when a young man, whose 
ancestors had worshipped in the old church as it was, rose up and protested against 
it, saying that he would appeal to the law and prevent it." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 248 

of forest, either of ancient or modern growth, and amounting to 
fifteen hundred acres, had been sold to persons from a distance, 
who were converting it into lumber and wood. What is true of 
this is true of many other old settlements in Warwick. Impove- 
rished by improper culture, and deserted of its former owners, what 
was once covered with habitations and people has now returned to 
its primeval state, and is dense forest. It is now feeding the steam- 
boats and furnishing building-materials for our towns. A few 
more generations may see it once more in a different condition. 

Before leaving this county, it will be interesting to our readers 
to have an extract from the Acts of Assembly, in the year 1654, 
touching one whose family name is on the list of the early inha- 
bitants of Warwick, and who may himself have belonged to it at 
the time : 

"PUBLIQUE ORDERS OP ASSEMBLY 

" Whereas, Col. Edward Hill, unanimously chosen Speaker of this House, 
was afterward maliciously reported by William Hatcher to be an atheist 
and blasphemer, according to an information exhibited against him the 
last Quarter-court, from which the Honourable Governor and Council then 
cleared the said Edward Hill, and now certified the same unto the House ; 
and forasmuch as the said William Hatcher, notwithstanding he had notice 
given him of the Governor and Council's pleasure therein, and of the said 
Col. Hill being cleared as aforesaid, hath also reported that ( the mouth of 
this House was a devil/ nominating and meaning thereby the said Right 
Worshipfull Col. Edward Hill, it is therefore ordered by this House, 
that the said William Hatcher, upon his knees, make an humble acknow- 
ledgment of his offence unto the said Col. Edward Hill and Burgesses of 
this Assembly; which accordingly was performed, and then he, the said 
Hatcher, was dismissed, paying his fees/ 7 

The above shows in what horror an atheist was then held, and 
what a reproach it was to have such a one in a public office. 

I also promised to examine further into the history of the Digges, 
supposing them to belong much more to the county of Warwick than 
I find them to have been. Although they intermarried with the 
family of Cole, and some of them were Warwick men, yet, for the 
most part, they lived in York county. Their two seats, Chilham, 
near Yorktown, and Bellfield, some miles higher up the river and 
about eight miles from Williamsburg, were both on the river. The 
latter is just opposite to Shelly, on the Gloucester side, and was in 
the parish first called Chiskiack, and afterward Hampton, until it was 
merged into York-Hampton. Captain Smith, in his history of the 
Colony at its first establishment, speaks of King Powhatan as being 
sometimes with this tribe of Chiskiack Indians. He had only to 
cross the river from his residence at or near Shelly to Bellfield, 



244 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

now owned by Colonel McCandish, of Williamsburg, and he would 
be in the midst of this tribe. Being informed that Bellfield was 
the burial-place of the Digges, I recently spent a night there with 
Colonel McCandlishandapart of his family, who met me at this 
which is only their occasional residence. I found the tombs in 
much better order than at most of the old family graveyards. 
They are very massive. The top-stones, on which the inscriptions 
are put, are of what is called ironstone, or black marble, being the 
hardest and heaviest stone in England, scarcely less heavy than 
iron itself. Nearly all of the old imported tombs are of this kind. 
It preserves the inscriptions also much better than any other kind 
of stone or marble. The following are the inscriptions : 

i. 

" To the memory of Edward Digges, Esquire, sonne of Sir Dudley 
Digges, of Chilham, in Kent. Knight and Baronett, Master of the Rolls 
in the reign of King Charles the 1st. He departed this life the 15th of 
March, 1675, in the 55th year of his age, one of his Majesty's Councill 
for this his Colony of Va. A gentleman of most commendable parts and 
ingenuity, and the only introducer and promoter of the silk-manufacture 
in this Colonie, and in every thing else a pattern worthy of all pious 
imitation. He had issue six sonnes and seven daughters by the body of 
Elizabeth his wife, who of her conjugal affection hath dedicated to him 
this memorial." 

II. 

This is to the memory of his son Dudley, who married Miss 
Cole, of Denbigh: 

" Sub hoc marmore requiescit in pace Dudleus Digges, armiger, Susannas 
Digges juxta depositge maritus amantissimus. Vir et virtute, et pro sapi- 
entia, vere inclytus, qui hujusce Colonise primo Consilioris, dein ad Audi- 
toris dignitatem, erectus est. Obiit, omnibus desideratus, 27 Januarii, 
1710, aetatis suae 47. Justorum animge in manu Dei sunt." 

Which is thus rendered : 

" Under this marble rests in peace Dudley Digges, gentleman, the most 
loving husband of Susannah Digges, buried near him. He was a man 
very eminent for virtue and wisdom, who was first raised to the dignity 
of Councillor and then Auditor of this Colony. He died, lamented by 
all, the 27th of January, 1710, in his forty-seventh year. 'The souls of 
the righteous are in the hand of God.' " 

III. THE TOMB OF HIS WIFE. 

" Hie subtus inhumatum corpus Susannas Digges, filiae Gulielmi Cole, 
armigeri, nee non Dudlei Digges, armigeri, conjugis fidelissimae, quae en 
hac vita decessit 9th Kal. Decembris, anno salutis 1708. JEtatis suae 34. 

IV. 

"This monument was erected by Col. Edward Digges to the memory 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 245 

of a most indulgent father, the Hon ble Col. Digges, Esquire, who being 
many years one of his Majesty's Hon ble Council for this Colony, and 
some time President of the same, died in the 53d year of his age, and in 
the year of our Lord 1744. 

"Digges, ever to extremes untaught to bend; 
Enjoying life, yet mindful of his end. 
In thee the world an happy meeting saw 
Of sprightly humour and religious awe. 
Cheerful, not wild ; facetious, yet not mad ; 
Though grave, not sour ; though serious, never sad. 
Mirth came not, call'd to banish from within 
Intruding pangs of unrepented sin ; 
And thy religion was no studied art 
To varnish guilt, but purified the heart. 
What less than a felicity most rare 
Could spring from such a temper and such care ? 
Now in the city, taking great delight, 
To vote new laws, or old interpret right ; 
Now crowds and business quitting, to receive 
The joys content in solitude can give. 
With equal praise thou shone among the great, 
And graced the humble pleasures of retreat ; 
Display'd thy dignity on every scene, 
And tempted or betray 'd to nothing mean. 
Whate'er of mean beneath it lies, 
The rest unstain'd is claimed4>y the skieft." 



246 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERSj AND 



ARTICLE XIX. 

Jjynnhaven Parish, Princess Anne County. 

CAPE HENRY, in this county and parish, was probably the first 
point at which our Virginia Colonists touched on reaching America. 
Here a fort was established, either then or soon after. At what 
time other settlements were made on the coast and bay surrounding 
this part of Virginia on three sides cannot certainly be determined, 
though there is every reason to believe it must have been at a very 
early period. In the year 1642 we find Lynnhaven parish recog- 
nised as existing, and its boundaries were then fixed. How long 
before this it had been a plantation, or congregation, or hundred, 
or parish, for by all these names were the first settlements called, 
sometimes long before parish-boundaries were fixed, we cannot 
ascertain. The following is the Act of Assembly which establishes 
the existence of this and other parishes in the year 1642-3: "Be 
it further enacted and confirmed, upon the petition of the inhabit- 
ants of Lynnhaven parish, by the Governor, Council, and Bur- 
gesses of this Grand Assembly, that the parish of Lynnhaven be 
bounded as follows." The bounds are then stated. After which 
it is added: "Provided it be not prejudicial to the parishes of 
Elizabeth River and Southern Shoare by taking away any partes 
of the said parishes." Then follow certain immunities granted to 
the people of this parish. 

The following interesting account of the first church and grave- 
yard in this parish will very properly introduce our notices of it : 

"There is much that is curious, at least, connected with the Lynnhaven 
country, besides what immediately pertains to the old church, of which 
nothing now remains but the mound which hardly marks the spot. I 
need not enter into the details, however. 

"The church itself was probably built by the earliest settlers in this 
region, upon a flat surface about half a mile from Little Creek, which 
then ran east and west in a narrow channel, separated from the Chesa- 
peake or Lynuhaven Bay by a sand-beach about a quarter of a mile wide. 
The creek communicated with the bay through an inlet about thirty yards 
wide, and distant from the church some three or four miles. The people 
living on Little Creek were profitably engaged in the business of seine- 
hauling ; but the profits were much reduced by the distance they had to 
go by water through the inlet to the bay shore, where the seines were 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 247 

hauled. To go and return by water required six miles, whilst to reach 
the fishery across the sandy beach was hardly half a mile; and the people, 
to remedy this objection, gathered their hands together, and, with their 
field-hoes, opened a trench across the beach wide enough to admit the 
passage of a canoe, not dreaming of any consequences beyond their im- 
mediate object. The moment, however, the trench was opened, the 
waters of the bay, probably piled up by an easterly wind from the Atlan- 
tic, rushed through the sandy beach, opening what is now the mouth of 
Lynnhaven, and passed through the lower lands of the neighbourhood, 
not stopping until they had run beyond what is now known as London 
Bridge, about five or six miles, and forming in their mad career the pre- 
sent beautiful Lynnhaven River, which varies from a quarter to three- 
quarters of a mile in width. This invasion of the waters carried away 
nearly the whole of the burying-ground attached to the church, which it 
left standing on the bank of the new-formed river, and divided the church 
from the glebe-land, which now lies on the eastern side of the river, and 
is still claimed and owned by the vestry of Lynnhaven parish ; although 
the overseers of the poor, it is said, are seeking to possess themselves of it. 
"It was many years after this event that the old Donation Church, in 
its neighbourhood, was built. This, in its turn, has been abandoned to 
the beasts and bats ; though still a strong, commodious house, built of 
English brick. As to the remains of the Lynnhaven Church, they are 
covered with large trees and are scarcely discernible ; but the writer of this 
note has, within the last forty years, seen the bones of the buried parish- 
ioners protruding from the sides of the bank of the river, and the tomb- 
stones strewed along its shores. In 1819, Commodore Decatur and another 
eminent person still living were bathing there, and in the middle of the 
river were enabled, by feeling with their toes, to decipher the names of 
those whose graves they had covered before the waters of the bay had 
carried away the churchyard. These stones are now many of them at the 
bottom of the stream ; but, although the water is not more than five or six 
feet deep, they are so covered with sand and marine shells that it would 
be difficult to recover them. The stones which fell and were left on the 
shore have long since been taken away by the fishermen and broken up 
for killicks, or anchors for their small boats, and for other purposes/' 

The following synopsis of the contents of the vestry-book of 
Lynnhaven parish have been furnished me by a friend, as I could 
not have access to the record : 

" The only parish-record known in this county commences the 20th of 
November, 1723, on which occasion were present the Rev. James Tenant, 
minister; Major Max'n Boush, churchwarden; and the following-named 
gentlemen, who composed the vestry: Colonel Edward Moseley, Captain 
Henry Chapman, Mr. Win. Elligood, Captain John Moseley, Mr. Charles 
Sayer, and Captain Francis Lund. It appears that Mr. Tenant had been 
the minister for some time before; but when he entered upon his duties, 
or when he ceased to perform them, does not appear upon the record. Nor 
is it known whether he died in the service of the Church or not. No- 
thing is said of him after the 3d of November, 1726, on which day his 
last account with the parish was settled, showing that his regular salary 
had been sixteen thousand pounds of tobacco. 



248 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

" Mr. Jas. Nimrao is mentioned as being the clerk of the Brick Church 
and lower chapel, Mr. Andrew Peacock being the clerk of the upper one. 

"At the first meeting, say November 20, 1723, the parish is made debtor 
to Captain Hillary Moseley, for quitrents of glebe-land, which shows that 
the church was then in possession of the glebe, which is frequently men- 
tioned throughout the record. On the 15th September, 1724, Major Maxi- 
milian Boush and Mr. John Cormick are mentioned as churchwardens, 
and the names of Solomon White, John Bolithor, Captain Anthony Walke, 
Captain Robert Vaughan, and John Bonney, are mentioned as constituting 
a part of the vestry. At this meeting, a resolution was passed for building 
a new wooden chapel on the eastern shore of the county; and, on the 
7th July, 1725, an order was passed that Captain Robert Vaughan, one 
of the vestry, should employ persons to repair the chapel at Machipungo, 
showing that a brick church and two chapels (one on the Eastern Shore, 
and one in Pungo, or Machipungo) were then in possession of the Epis- 
copalians of Lynuhaven parish, which seemed to embrace the whole county 
of Princess Anne. 

" On the 2d February, 1726, about nine months previous to the settle- 
ment of Mr. Tenant's account, already referred to, Mr. Nicholas Jones, 
minister, was engaged to preach in the Brick Church and Eastern Shore 
Chapel once every month, and he was allowed four hundred pounds of to- 
bacco for each sermon; and with this engagement he appears to have com- 
plied until the 18th October, 1728. 

" The Brick Church, already mentioned, was very old at that time, and 
in a dilapidated state, as appears from the frequent orders passed by the 
vestry for repairing it, and from the fact that it was given up to be used 
as a school-house on the 2d March, 1736, as appears by the record. It 
was the same church, no doubt, which stood on the western bank of Lynn- 
haven River, on what was then called Church Point, which point has been 
washed away by the encroaching tides, leaving nothing scarcely to desig- 
nate the spot where the church stood, the graveyard which was annexed 
to it being now entirely under water at high tide. 

"On the 3d June, 1728, Mr. James Nimmo was employed, on a mes- 
sage to the Governor, for removing Mr. Thomas Bayly, who (contrary to 
the desire of the vestry) insisted on being the minister of the parish; and 
it is supposed that Mr. Nimrno succeeded, after a second application to the 
Governor, as no further notice is taken of it. At this time, the names 
of Christopher Bourroughs, Major Anthony Walke, Major Henry Spratt, 
and Mr. George Kempe, are mentioned as forming a part of the vestry. 

"On the 7th January, 1729, the Rev. Richard Marsden was engaged 
to preach once every month, at the church and chapels, and he continued 
to do so until the 14th November, 1729, the same year when the Rev. 
Henry Barlow was engaged as the regular minister; and he continued to 
perform the duties until the 14th October, 1747, (about eighteen years,) 
after which he is not mentioned. 

"On the 29th November, 1732, Mr. James Nimmo and Mr. William 
Keeling were engaged as clerks to the church and chapel for one year, 
and to receive one thousand pounds of tobacco each. On the 3d Novem- 
ber, 1733, an order was made that Colonel Anthony Walke, Captain 
Francis Lund, and Captain Jacob Elligood, or any two, agree with Peter 
Malbone on terms to build and finish the new church near the ferry. 

"On the 25th of June, 1736, the vestry (having given up the Old Brick 
Church, on the 2d March of the same year, to be used as a school-house; 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 249 

which has been already stated) received from the contractor and builder, 
Mr. Peter Malbone, the 'New Church/ near the ferry, as it was then 
called, but which has been better known since as the 'Donation Church/ 
probably from the circumstance of its being very near the farm donated 
to Lynnhaven parish by Parson Dickson. From the above date, say 25th 
June, 1736, the services were regularly performed by Mr. Barlow in the 
new church, until the close of his ministry in 1747. 

"On the 13th July, 1748, the Rev. Robert Dickson being minister, the 
following new names appear among the vestry : Major Nathaniel Newton, 
Mr. Joseph Gaskin, James Nimmo, Major Thomas Walke, and John 
Whitehead. 

"The Rev. Robert Dickson continued to discharge the duties of minister 
until the 23d February, 1776, nearly twenty-eight years, at a salary of 
sixteen thousand pounds of tobacco, which had been paid to the regular 
ministers who preceded him. 

"When Parson Dickson died is not known exactly, but his will was 
admitted to record on the 14th February, 1777, in which he gives to the 
parish a farm, on certain conditions, which farm, within a few years, has 
passed into the hands of the overseers of the poor, the glebe referred to 
having been sold within the last three or four months. 

"There appears to have been no regular minister after Mr. Dickson 
until 1785, and the church and chapels were much neglected. 

"At a meeting of the vestry on the 22d November, 1779, the sum of 
twenty pounds was allowed Anthony Fentress for taking care of Pungo 
Chapel. This chapel has not been used by the Episcopalians for a great 
many years, and is now entirely out of repair. 

"On the 28th March, 1785, a new vestry was elected, (under an Act 
of Assembly, passed the previous session, dissolving the former vestries 
throughout the State,) when the following names appear as composing the 
new vestry, viz. : Anthony Walke, Edward H. Moseley, John Ackiss, 
James Henley, William White, John Cornick, Joel Cornick, and Francis 
Lund; and, on the 6th May, 1785, the Rev. James Simpson was inducted 
minister of the parish, and continued to officiate until May, 1788, when 
he formally resigned, having given notice of his intention to do so about 
four months previously. 

"On the 3d July, 1788, the Rev. Anthony Walke was inducted minister, 
and continued to discharge the duties until the 10th of October, 1800, 
when he formally resigned. Some new names appear here among the 
vestry, viz. : John Hancock, Peter Singleton, Cason Moore, and Dennis 
Dawley. 

"On the 1st November, 1800, the Rev. Cornelius Calvert, Jr., was in- 
ducted minister, but served a short time only, as an entry on the book 
shows that there was no minister in the parish on the 18th July, 1801. 

"On the llth August, 1803, the Rev. George Halson was inducted 
minister, and discharged his duties as such until the close of the year 
1805. 

"At this time, the names of John Smith, Erasmus Haynes, James Ro- 
binson, Thomas Lawson, George D. Corprew, John James, and William 
Boush, appear as composing the vestry. 

" The parish was then without a regular minister for some years, being 
served occasionally and irregularly by ministers from Norfolk. 

"On the 28th November, 1821, the Rev. Robert Prout was elected 
minister, and served until about the year 1824. Thomas Hoggard, John 



250 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Thorougood, Henry Keeling, and William Shepherd, having been elected 
to fill vacancies in the vestry. 

" On the 7th May, 1838, the Rev. D. M. Fackler was elected, and 
served as minister until the 8th November, 1841. 

"On the llth May, 1842, the Rev. John G. Hull was elected, but, 
being in very delicate health, only continued to discharge the duties of 
minister until the llth March, 1843, when he resigned. By his influ- 
ence, however, a neat little brick church was built in Kempsville, called 
1 Enianuel Church/ which was consecrated by Bishop Meade, on the 27th 
November, 1843. Since its erection, no services have been performed in 
the 'Donation Church/ which would now require $1200 or $1400 to put 
it in order. 

"On the 1st November, 1846, the Rev. Henry C. Lay was elected 
minister, who served but a few months. 

"In July, 1848, the Rev. Lewis Walke was elected minister, and con- 
tinued to discharge the duties about four years. 

"Nothing of consequence appears upon the record since that time. It 
closes with a notice of a meeting held in March, 1856, when William P. 
Morgan, John S. Woodhouse, Solomon S. Keeling, A. G. Tebault, and 
William C. Scott, qualified as vestrymen by subscribing their names in due 
form." 

To the foregoing it may be added that the Rev. Robert Gatewood, 
a Deacon, spent a part of the last year in this parish. I must 
not omit to take special notice of one of the last of the ministers 
who officiated in this parish, the Rev. Mr. Hull, an alumnus of our 
Seminary. So entirely devoted was he to his work in public and 
in private, so beloved as a man and as a minister, that when, 
through failing health being unable to preach, he resigned his 
charge, the people refused to accept it, and insisted upon his con- 
tinuing their minister ; only asking such private intercourse as he 
could carry on while going from house to house. Such was his last 
year's ministry among them. Our prospects in this parish are now 
and have been for a long time discouraging. Formerly this was 
one of the most nourishing parishes in Virginia. Many circum- 
stances have concurred to promote its declension. In my early- 
youth I remember to have heard my parents speak of it as having 
what is called the best society in Virginia. The families were in- 
teresting, hospitable, given to visiting and social pleasures. They 
whose words I quote had some experience of it. Both of them 
were by marriage connected with the Rev. Anthony Walke, whose 
mother was a Randolph. At his glebe they were sometimes 
inmates. The social glass, the rich feast, the card-table, the 
dance, and the horse-race, were all freely indulged in through the 
county. And what has been the result ? I passed through the 
length and breadth of this parish more than twenty years ago, in 
company with my friend, David Meade Walke, son of the old 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 251 

minister of the parish, who was well acquainted with its past his- 
tory and present condition, and able to inform me whose were once 
the estates through which we passed, and into whose hands they 
had gone; who could point me to the ruins of family seats 
which had been consumed by fire; could tell me what were the 
causes of the bankruptcy and ruin and untimely death of those 
who once formed the gay society of this county. Cards, the bottle, 
the horse-race, the continual feasts, these were the destroyers. 
In no part of Virginia has the destruction of all that was old been 
greater. But let us hope for better things, and strive for them by 
the substitution of honest industry for spendthrift idleness, of tem- 
perance for dissipation, of true piety for the mere form of it. 
Some excellent people, doubtless, there always were. Their num- 
ber has increased of late years. Some have I known most worthy 
of esteem. May God strengthen the things that remain, though 
they seem ready to perish ! 



252 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XX. 

Hungar's Parish, Northampton County. 

NORTHAMPTON was originally called by the old Indian name of 
Ackowmake or Accowmake. In the year 1642 the name was 
changed from Accowmake to Northton or Northampton, the name 
of a county in England from whence the family of Robins came, 
and on account of which it probably received this name. In that 
same year 1642 the parish was divided, all below King's Creek to 
Smith's Island being one parish, afterward called Hungar's parish, 
and all from King's Creek to Nuswattock Creek being the other, 
and called Nuswattocks or Nassawattocks Church or parish. Ac- 
cowmake was one of the original shires established in 1634. Being 
cut off from the mainland by the Chesapeake Bay, and the passage 
being difficult and dangerous, it was permitted for a considerable 
time to be somewhat independent in the execution of the laws, no 
appeal from the decision of its authorities to the higher court on 
the other side of the bay being allowed, except for great causes. 
On account of its detached position, the title of the Colony in early 
writers is that of Virginia and Accomac. This independent 
condition probably contributed to something like a rebellion in 
the time of Governor Yeardley, which required a visit from him 
and the Council, and suitable attendants, in order to its suppression. 
In this suppression Colonel Scarborough took an active part. 

It was always an interesting part of Virginia. In the year 
1622, when the great massacre of the Indians took place in all 
other parts of the State, it was in serious contemplation to remove 
the whole colony to the Eastern Shore; and when, in Bacon's 
Rebellion, Mr. William Berkeley was obliged to fly, he twice found 
an asylum there. Could an accurate history of its early settle- 
ment and of the chief families which have ever since been living 
there, and of the old churches and ministers, have been preserved, 
perhaps no portion of the State would have furnished a more inte- 
resting one ; and had that justice been done to the culture and 
improvement of its soil, and the use of its many advantages, which 
now has begun to be done, few parts of Virginia would have been 
more valuable. In one remarkable particular it has retained a 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 253 

I 

more accurate record of its early history than any other part of 
the State. While the oldest vestry-books and county-records have 
been burned by fire or lost through negligence, the proceedings 
of the court of Accomac, from 1632, ten years before it changed 
its name, and yet more, before it was divided into two counties, 
have been preserved, and now furnish documents from which to 
estimate the discipline of the court and the manners of the people. 
A friend,* at great pains, has furnished me with copious extracts 
from the records of the court from the year 1632 to 1690, and 
some of a later date, out of which I shall select as many, and 
of such kind, as shall best suit the size and character of this 
work. 

Those who examine these records are struck with nothing so 
much as the penitentiary discipline which they exhibit, more like 
that of the early ages than is to be found in Protestant times and 
countries. As we have, in connection with certain parishes, taken 
up some special topic for consideration, as those of induction of 
ministers and the Option or Two-penny Act, we will, before entering 
on the statistics of this parish, very briefly consider the subject of 
discipline as exhibited in the early history of the Church and State 
of Virginia. We have already alluded more than once to the 
"laws moral, martial, and divine," which were introduced under 
Governors De La War, Dale, and others from the Low Countries of 
Europe, where they were in use among the armies of that time, 
and which were better suited for a rude soldiery, in a barbarous 
age, than for the Christian Church in any age. We have said 
that the most severe of those enacted against heresy and blasphemy 
and non-attendance at church were never executed. Mr. Burke, 
whose skeptical principles and ill opinion of Christians cannot be 
concealed, is forced to acknowledge this. 

I have met with but one instance of the infliction of that most 
painful punishment, "the running of an awl or bodkin through 
the tongue;" and that was not for any violation of the laws con- 
cerning religion, but for a sin of the tongue, in uttering a base 
and detracting speech against Mr. Hamar, a worthy gentleman of 
the CounciPat an early period of the Colony. The guilty person 
was a Mr. Barnes, of Bermuda Hundred, who was sent to James- 
town for trial, and condemned "to have his tongue run through 
with an awl, to pass through a guard of forty men, and to be 
butted by every one of them, and at the head of the troop 

* Mr. Anderson, of Franktown. 



254 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

% 

knocked down, and footed <3ut of the fort." I find that, for the 
violation of the seventh and ninth commandments, which God 
himself delivered amidst lightnings and thunders from Sinai, the 
most frequent and disgraceful punishments were inflicted. As 
to slander, the bearing false witness against fellow-beings, at 
the early period of the Colony, if a woman was convicted of it, 
her husband was made to pay five hundredweight of tobacco; 
but, this law proving insufficient, the penalty was changed into 
ducking, and inflicted on the woman herself. Places for ducking 
were prepared at the doors of court-houses. An instance is men- 
tioned of a woman who was ordered to be ducked three times from 
a vessel lying in James River, near Bermuda Hundred, for scold- 
ing. No doubt she was notorious for it. If a man was guilty 
of slandering a minister, he was required to pay a fine of five 
hundred pounds of tobacco and ask the pardon of the minister 
before the congregation. Now, however we- may lament and 
condemn the modes which were sometimes adopted by our 
ancestors for declaring their abhorrence of these crimes and 
seeking to banish them from society, we must do them the justice 
to acknowledge that it was evidence in them of a hatred of sin 
and irreligion, and of a desire and determination to punish what 
was offensive to God. We must also ever make due allowance for 
the times and circumstances in which laws are made and enforced. 
In examining the early history of Hungar's parish, we find that 
in the year 1633, the offence of slandering the first minister, the 
Rev. Mr. Cotton, was punished in the following manner : " Ordered 
by the court that Mr. Henry Charlton make a pair of stocks and 
set in them several Sabbath-days, during divine service, and then 
ask Mr. Cotton's forgiveness, for using offensive and slanderous 
words concerning him." In the year 1643 the court inflicted 
punishment on one Richard Buckland for writing a slanderous song 
on one Ann Smith, ordering that "at the next sermon preached at 
Nassawattocks, he shall stand, during the Lessons, at the church- 
door, with a paper on his hat, on which shall be written ' Inimicus 
libellus,' and that he shall ask forgiveness of God, and also in 
particular of the said defamed Ann Smith." In the year 1647, 
Mr. Palmer being minister at Nassawattocks, the churchwardens 
presented two persons to the court, which ordered them to stand 
in the church during the service, with white sheets over their 
shoulders and white wands in their hands. In the year 1652 the 
Rev. Mr. Higby is brought before the court for scandalous speeches 
against Major Robins, the issue of it not being mentioned. In 



FAMILIES OF VIKGINIA. 255 

the year 1664 Major Robins brought suit against Mary Powell for 
scandalous speeches against the Rev. Mr. Teackle, and she was 
ordered to receive twenty lashes on her bare shoulders, and to be 
banished the county. In the year 1664, Captain John Custis 
being High-Sheriff, there were eight presentments for violating the 
seventh commandment, one for swearing, one for not attending 
church, two for playing cards on Sunday. We have already men- 
tioned that a few Quakers had before this time been brought before 
the court for blasphemy and ordered out of the county. It is 
due to the people of the county to say that they did tolerate 
respectable persons of that sect at a later period. Between the 
years 1680 and 1690 there were such living quietly and unmolested 
in that region. It is on record that " Thomas Brown and his wife, 
though Quakers, were yet of such known integrity that their affir- 
mation was received instead of an oath." That the citizens of 
the Eastejn Shore were not cruel and bloodthirsty may be inferred 
from the fact that the first capital punishment was inflicted in the 
year 1693. The above-mentioned Mr. and Mrs. Brown were the 
ancestors of that large and respectable family of Upshurs which 
have since been spread over the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The 
old family seat, called Brownsville, on the sea-shore of Northampton, 
still in possession of an Upshur, was the ancient residence of the 
Browns, who were there visited by some of the more eminent 
Friends from Philadelphia, who came to have fellowship with them 
in their peculiar mode of worship. 

Before attempting a list of the names of the ministers and a 
notice of the churches, I will mention a few things reflecting credit 
on a few individuals. The first notice is due to Mr. Stephen 
Charlton, who, in the year 1653, bequeathed the glebe which has 
so long been the subject of dispute between the Episcopalians of 
Northampton and the overseers of the poor. I find honourable 
mention of Mr. Charlton in the account given by Colonel Norwood 
in his visit to the Eastern Shore in the year 1649. Being on a 
voyage from England to Virginia, he and his company were cast 
away on one of the islands in the ocean. After remaining there 
more than a week, they were conducted by some friendly Indians to 
the main land, and found their way to Captain Charlton's hospitable 
abode. " When I came to the house of one Stephen Charlton^ he 
not only did outdo all that I had visited before him, in variety of 
dishes at his table, which was very well ordered in the kitchen, but 
would also oblige me to put on a good farmer-like suit of his wear- 
ing-clothes for exchange of my dirty habit; and this gave me 



256 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

opportunity to deliver my camlet coat to JaTce, for the use of my 
brother of Kickotanke, [the Indian chief who had been kind to 
them,] with other things to make it worth his acceptance." Mr. 
Charlton was not only a hospitable but a pious man, if we may 
judge from the language and bequests of his will. After some 
expressions showing that he had just views of a Saviour, he divides 
his property equally between his wife and two daughters, Elizabeth 
and Bridget, whom he directs to be educated in a godly manner, 
and to be under guardians until the age of fourteen. Should 
Bridget, the eldest, die without children, her share was to be given 
to the church in Northampton, for the support of the minister. 
She married a Mr. Foxcroft, a worthy man, and until his death a 
vestryman of the church. They both lived to a good old age, and, 
dying childless, the father's will was readily complied with. The 
glebe, consisting of fifteen or sixteen hundred acres of the best 
land in the county, has been in possession of the vestry ever since 
her death, though the overseers of the poor have for some time 
been endeavouring to take it from them. The other daughter, 
Elizabeth, while at school, and only twelve years of age, was per- 
suaded to elope with a Mr. Getterrings, and, being unable to get a 
license on that side of the bay, they came over to the western, and 
contriving, by some artifice, to evade the laws, were married. She 
soon died, and the husband sought to recover the estate to himself. 
It was carried into court. A Colonel Scarborough, ancestor of 
those bearing that name, prepared an address to the court in 
writing, setting forth the iniquity of the conduct of Mr. Getter- 
rings, especially and emphatically dwelling on the right of every 
man to dispose of his property according to his own will, an argu- 
ment which may, with mighty power, be used in the case of the 
other child's property also, since nothing can be clearer than that 
Mr. Charlton's desire and intention was to leave her property, if 
dying without issue, to the Episcopal Church of Northampton, or 
in a certain event to one of his relatives. 

In the year 1689, I read of the death of Colonel John Stringer. 
His will indicates just views and feelings on the great subject of 
man's redemption. In the preamble he says, " I bequeath my 
soul to God, who first gave it me, Father, Son, and Spirit, Unity 
in Trinity, Trinity in Unity, who hath redeemed and preserved 
me, in and through Jesus Christ, who died for my sins and the sins 
of all people that truly and unfeignedly believe in him, for whose 
sake and loving-kindness I hope to obtain everlasting life ; where- 
fore, dear Father,, have mercy on my soul." Among other legacies, 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 257 

he leaves one thousand pounds of tobacco to have the Lord's Prayer 
and Commandments put up in the new church about to be built in 
the lower part of Northampton. He also forbids all drinking and 
shooting at his funeral, as things altogether unbecoming the 
occasion. 

I may also mention the fact of Major Custis, who lived some 
time in Williamsburg and married a daughter of Colonel Daniel 
Parke, presenting sets of heavy silver Communion-service to both 
the churches, upper and lower, of Northampton ; and when the 
lower church was built, in 1680, near which was his residence, he 
promised to give the builder one hogshead of tobacco, or its equi- 
valent, and thirty gallons of cider, to put up for him the first pew 
(the best, I suppose) in the church. Several other donations might 
be mentioned. Let these suffice. 

We now proceed to speak of the ministers and churches of 
Northampton. It is somewhat difficult to determine their order 
with accuracy, from the fact that there were from the year 1642 
two parishes, the upper and lower, divided as we have already 
said, and the ministers and people responsible to the one civil court, 
from whose records we get our information. We shall not be very 
anxious to decide this point, it being of little consequence. 

Mr. Cotton is the first minister of whom we find notices on the 
records of the court. He is often named therein from 1633 on- 
ward, as bringing suits for his tithes. We read of a Mr. Cams, 
or Cams, who received one hundred pounds of tobacco for preach- 
ing a funeral sermon in the parish of Mr. Cotton. We read also 
of John Rodger s, Thomas Higby, Francis Loughty, Thomas 
Palmer, John Almoner, Thomas Teackle. Thomas Teackle was 
the first minister of the upper church. Mr. Higby was then 
minister of the lower. All of them, with the exception of Mr. 
Teackle, served but a short time, and the records show many suits 
for their salaries. Mr. Teackle had his difficulties also, and to the 
end of his life sought his dues in a legal way. He seems to have 
acquired much property in land. Though fiercely assailed as to 
his moral character, in one instance by Colonel Scarborough, he 
seems to have retained the confidence of the people. 

About the year 1660, settlements had spread themselves up the 
neck, toward Pungoteage, so as to call for a church and other 
public buildings. In the year 1662, the county of Accomac was 
formed. Of these things we shall treat in our next article. 

In the year 1676, we find a Rev. Mr. Key the minister of the 
lower parish. The Rev. Mr. Teackle, we presume, was still the 

17 



258 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

minister of the upper ; for we find, in 1689, he recovered twenty 
thousand-weight of tobacco from the vestry. A Kev. Mr. Rich- 
ardson preceded Mr. Key, but it seems he was not an orthodox 
minister ; that is, one regularly ordained by an English Bishop ; 
for such was the use of the word orthodox at that time. From 
necessity, the great difficulty of getting such, the vestries some- 
times employed those who were not Episcopally ordained. An 
opportunity offering to get an Episcopal minister of good charac- 
ter, they dismissed Mr. Richardson, and wrote to the Governor, 
Sir "William Berkeley, to induct Mr. Key. The Governor readily 
complied, and, being well acquainted with Mr. Key, recommended 
him highly. 

In the year 1691, a petition was made to the Assembly to unite 
the two parishes of Northampton, on the ground that they were 
unable, each of them, to give such a support as would secure an 
able minister and build a good church. The petition was granted, 
and the two merged in one, and called Hungar's parish. It was 
after this, I presume, that the large church at Hungar's was built.* 
In the following year, Mr. John Monroe was the minister of the 
united parishes. Of him we read in some of the convocations of 
the ministers in Williamsburg. 

In the year 1703, the Rev. Mr. Collier was minister. He mar- 
ried a widow Kendal, who had previously made an assault on some 
one in church, and was afterward presented in court for cursing 
and swearing. 

Mr. Foxcroft died in 1702, leaving all his property to his wife, 
Bridget, who died two years after, and fifty years after her father's 
death. Being childless, the glebe-land, by his will, was the pro- 
perty of the church. 

In the year 1712, the Rev. Patrick Falconer is minister, and con- 
tinues so until 1718, when, after having given much to the poor, 
he left his property to his brother James, in London, and desired 
that his body be buried before the pulpit in Old Hungar's Church. 
The Rev. Thomas Dell was then minister until the year 1729. 
Then John Holbroke to 1747. The Rev. Edward Barlow probably 
succeeded him, and died in 1761. Then the Rev. Richard Hewett, 
who died in 1774 ; and in that year the Rev. Mr. McCoskry was 
chosen, who died its minister in the year 1803. He married a 



* I am informed by one now living that there were, as late as 1809, the remains 
of a fine organ in Hungar's Church. "It was entirely broken up by ruthless hands, 
and the lead and other parts used for sacrilegious purposes." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 259 

daughter of John Bowdoin, of Virginia. They died childless.* 
Mr. McCoskry was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Gardiner. The 
Rev. Thomas Davis followed him, and was followed by the 
Rev. Mr. Symes. In the year 1820, the Rev. Simon Wilmer 
appears on the vestry-book as minister, and so continued until 
1823. Stephen S. Gunter was elected in 1824, and continued 
until his death, in 1835. W. G. Jackson was elected in 1836, and 
resigned in 1841. J. P. Wilmer was elected in 1841, and resigned 
in 1843. John Ufford was elected in 1843, and resigned in 1850. 
James Rawson was elected in 1850, and died in 1854. John M. 
Chevers was chosen in 1855, and is the present rector. 

The following is the list of vestrymen since 1712 : Peter Bow- 
doin, John Eyre, Nathaniel Holland, John Addison, John Goffigan, 
John Upshur, John Winder, Littleton Upshur, George Parker, 
William Satchell, Thomas Satchell, S. Pitts, Jacob Nottingham, 
Isaac Smith, John T. Elliott, J. H. Harmonson, James Upshur, Abel 
P. Upshur, W. Danton, Charles West, W. G. Smith, John Leather- 
bury, Severn E. Parker, John Ker, T. N. Robins, N. J. Winder, 
Major Pitts, G. F. Wilkins, Simkins, Fisher, Evans, Bell, Adams, 
Nicholson.f One generous act of him who stands second on the 



* A Rev. Mr. Seward, who went afterward to the Northern Neck, was his as- 
sistant. 

f By going back a century and a half, and then coming down the records, we 
meet with, as acting in the vestries and courts, the names of Scarborough, Robins, 
Littleton, Charlton, Severn, Custis, Yeardley, (son of Governor Yeardley,) Kendal, 
Purnell, Waltham, Claybourn, Andrews, Wise, Foxcroft, Parker, Eyre, Upshur, 
Hack, West, Vaughan, Preston, Marshall, Burton, Stith, John Bowd&n. Concerning 
the ancestors of the latter, something more particular will be interesting to the 
reader. I take it from an address of the Hon. Robert Winthrop, of Boston, de- 
livered before the Maine Historical Society at Bowdoin College, at the annual com- 
mencement of 1849. The first of the family who came to America was Pierre 
Boudouin, a French Huguenot, who, driven from France, first settled in Ireland, 
then, with a wife and four children, came to Casco, in Maine. Of him Mr. Win- 
throp says, " He was one of that noble sect of Huguenots of whom John Calvin 
may be regarded as the great founder and exemplar ; of which Gaspard De Coligny, 
the generous and gallant admiral who filled the kingdom of France with the glory 
and terror of his name for the space of twelve years, was one of the most devoted 
disciples and one of the most lamented martyrs, and which has furnished to our 
land blood everyway worthy of being mingled with the best that has ever flowed 
in the veins of either Southern Cavaliers or Northern Puritans. He was of that 
noble stock which gave three presidents out of five to the old Congress of the Con- 
federation, which gave her her Lawrences and Marions, her Hugers and Manigalts, 
her Prioleaus, and Galliards, and Legares to South Carolina; which gave her Jays to 
New York, her Boudinots to New Jersey, her Brimmers, her Dexters, and her Peter 
Faneuil, with the cradle of liberty, to Massachusetts." Pierre Boudouin escaped 



260 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

% 

foregoing list deserves a mention. Besides being always most 
liberal to the minister and to all the wants of the church, and 
most punctual at the meetings of the vestry and at church, for a 
long series of years, toward the close of his life Mr. John Eyre 
gave the sum of three thousand dollars for the erection of that 
model parsonage which may be seen a mile from Eastville, and 
from which the great Atlantic may be surveyed. To Dr. W. Gr. 
Smith, the faithful lay-reader and vestryman of so many years, 
and the active friend of the church in so many ways, the church 

from the place of his first settlement, the fort at Casco, in 1690, only a few hours 
before it was sacked and its inhabitants generally massacred by the Indians, and 
removed to Boston. Dying shortly after, he left his family to the care of his eldest 
son James, then seventeen years of age, who, besides providing for it, amassed the 
largest fortune then possessed by any one person in Massachusetts. He left two 
sons ; the youngest, James Bowdoin, (the name being now changed from Boudouin,) 
was the friend and compatriot of Washington and Franklin, delighting in the same 
philosophical pursuits with the latter, and agreeing and acting with both in the 
great political movements of the day. He was a man of high moral and religious 
character, which, together with his patriotism and statesmanship, made him for a 
long time the first man in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. But for his own 
and Mrs. Bowdoin's ill-health, he would have been in that Congress which signed 
the Declaration of Independence. 

A daughter of Mr. Bowdoin married a Mr. Temple, who, though born in Boston, 
was of an old English family and inherited a title. Into this family of Temples, 
a Mr. Robert Nelson, of England, married, previous to their emigration to America. 
Hence the names and families of Temples and Nelsons in Massachusetts. It may 
be that those in Virginia and Massachusetts are derived from the same English 
stock. The ancestor of the Bowdoins Pierre Boudouin was godfather to Peter 
Faneuil, the donor of Faneuil Hall, Boston. His great-grandson, James Bowdoin, 
son of the Revolutionary patriot, was also a distinguished man, not only holding a 
seat in both branches of the Legislature, but being sent as minister to the Courts 
of France and Spain. He died without children, and was the founder of Bowdoin 
College, Massachusetts. One of the grandsons of Pierre Boudouin John removed 
to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, at the beginning of the last century. It is said that 
his relative, the founder of Bowdoin College, offered to adopt his son Peter if he 
would change his name, but that the offer was declined. His grandson, Peter 
Bowdoin, has succeeded to his father's and grandfather's place as vestryman in 
Northampton. One sister married Professor George Tucker, of the University of 
Virginia ; another, Dr. Smith, of Eastville, Northampton. Two brothers are 
living in Baltimore. All of the Bowdoins now pronounced Bodens of Virginia 
are of this family, and, so far as I know and believe, have belonged to the Epis- 
copal Church. Their first ancestor, Pierre Boudouin, it is presumed, was of that 
Church, as he was godfather to Mr. Faneuil's child. The Winthrops and Lloyds of 
Boston were also connected with the Temples and Bowdoins. 

[Since the above was written and published in its first form, a letter from a friend 
says that I am mistaken in supposing that the John Boudouin who came to Virginia 
was the grandson of Pierre Boudouin, of Boston, and is confident that he was his 
son. Not having in possession Mr. Winthrop's pamphlet, I cannot re-examine it. 
That document will correct my error if I have made one.] 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 261 

is indebted, not only for the judicious planning of it, but for one 
year's devotion of almost all his time and attention to the erection 
of it, and of all the surrounding improvements. 

The Episcopal congregation of Northampton is now, and has 
been for a long time, a deeply-interesting one. Its peace and 
happiness, however, has been much marred for many years by a 
painful and protracted controversy with the overseers of the poor 
concerning the glebe. More than two hundred years ago the 
worthy and pious Charlton, in view of his approaching dissolution, 
and in the event of one of his two daughters dying childless, left 
a portion of that earth, which is all the Lord's, for the perpetual 
support of the Church of his fathers, and of that religion which 
had been his happiness in life, and was now to be his consolation 
in death. 

He did this in the exercise of a right recognised by God himself 
in the law of his word, and secured to men by the laws of every 
government on earth, the right of disposing of our property by 
will. It pleased that God, who put it into the heart of his servant 
thus to will a portion of his property, to cause that contingency to 
happen on which the bequest to the Church depended. He with- 
held the blessing of children from the daughter, and so ordained 
that the church of Northampton should be her heir. At her death 
that church took quiet possession of it, and long enjoyed it. The 
Legislature of Virginia, both under the Colonial Government and 
since our independence, has by several acts ratified her claim. But, 
after a long period of acquiescence in the church's right, the over- 
seers of the poor, under that act of the Legislature which had 
never before been suspected of embracing this case, determined to 
claim it, and actually did sell it, conditionally, at public auction.* 
The question was brought before the Legislature, and a sanction 
for the sale sought for ; but it was dismissed as unreasonable. The 
question was taken before a court of law, and twice decided in 
behalf of the church. An appeal, however, has been taken from 
the last decision to a higher court, and when the vexatious suit 
will be decided, no one can tell. Years have already been passed 
in painful controversy. Great have been the expenses to the 
church, and much the loss in various ways which has been sus- 
tained. The peace of the county has been much impaired by 

* Soon after the passage of the Act the servants belonging to the farm and the 
other glebe in the county, which properly came under the Act, were disposed of by 
the proper authorities ; but this was not touched. 



262 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

it. Political questions, and election to civil offices, have been 
mixed up with it, and Christians of different denominations 
estranged from and embittered toward each other. Surely, when 
our Legislators reserved all private donations from the operation 
of the law which ordered the sale of glebes, if this case could have 
been presented to them, and they been asked whether it could come 
under the sentence of it, the bitterest enemies of the Episcopal 
Church, and the most unbelieving foes of our religion, would have 
shrunk with horror from the mere suggestion. May God overrule 
it all for good ! 

A friend on the Eastern Shore, whose delight is in searching its 
ancient records, has sent me a full account of the Custis family, 
which so abounds in that part of the State. Its name and blood 
are intermingled with those of most of the families of Northamp- 
ton and Accomac, whether rich or poor. I give a brief statement 
of it. The name of John Custis first appears on the record in 
1640. It is probable that he was the person of whom Colonel 
Norwood speaks, in his account of his voyage to America and 
shipwreck on the Eastern Shore in 1649, as having been a hotel- 
keeper in Rotterdam and a great favourite with English travellers. 
He had six sons and one daughter. The daughter married Colonel 
Argal Yeardley, son of Governor Yeardley, of Virginia. His 
sons were John, William, Joseph, who were in Virginia, Thomas, 
who was in Baltimore, (Ireland,) Robert, who resided in Rotterdam, 
and Edmund, who lived in London. The family is of Irish descent. 
John appears to have taken the lead. He was an active, enter- 
prising man, engaged in making salt on one of the islands ; fore- 
most in all civil and ecclesiastical matters ; was, in 1676, during 
Bacon's Rebellion, appointed Major-General ; a true royalist ; a 
law-and-order man ; a favourite of Lord Arlington in the time of 
Charles II., after whom he called his estate Arlington, on the 
Eastern Shore, which he received by his first wife. His second 
wife was daughter of Colonel Edmund Scarborough. He died at 
an advanced age, after having been full of labours through life. 
He had only one son, whom he named John. This John Custis 
had numerous children, whose descendants, together with those of 
his uncle, William Custis, have filled the Eastern Shore with the 
name. His son John, being the fourth of that name, after being 
educated in England, received from his grandfather the Arlington 
estate. He was the John Custis who moved to Williamsbursr and 

o 

married the daughter of Colonel Daniel Parke, and was the father 
of him whose widow married General Washington. His tomb is 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 263 

at the Arlington House, in Northampton, and its inscription one 
of the curiosities of the Eastern Shore. It is plainly to he in- 
ferred from it that he was not very happy in his matrimonial rela- 
tions ; for it says that he only lived seven years, those seven 
which he spent as a bachelor at Arlington. His wife, it is to be 
feared, was too much like her brother, and unlike her father, both 
of whom were spoken of in one of our articles on Williamsburg. 



264 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XXI. 

Parishes in Accomac. 

AT the first, as we have seen in the article on Northampton, the 
whole of the Eastern Shore of Virginia was called Accowmake; 
then changed to Northampton; then divided into Northampton 
and Accomac. Soon after this, in the year 1762, the county of 
Accomac was divided into two parishes, by a line running from the 
bay to the sea, the upper being called Accomac parish, and the 
other St. George's. The dividing-line runs about three miles north 
of Drummondtown. 

From a record in the Clerk's Office in Northampton there is 
reason to believe that the church at Pongoteague was built before 
the division of the Eastern Shore into two counties, and was the 
first erected in Accomac. The next was that which stood a few 
miles from Drummondtown, and was, until the year 1819, called 
the New Church. At that time the name of St. James's was given 
to it. It was subsequently removed to Drummondtown, and now 
forms the church in that place. In the year 1724, there were 
three churches in the upper parish, (Accomac,) about ten miles 
distant from each other. The first minister of whom we read in 
this parish was the Rev. William Black, who, in the year 1709-10, 
wrote to the Bishop of London that he had taken charge of it, 
that there had been no minister there before for fifteen years. In 
the year 1724 he is still the minister; and, in answer to certain 
questions by the Bishop of London, writes, that he preaches at 
these churches, has twa hundred communicants, four or five hun- 
dred families under his charge, instructs the negroes at their mas- 
ters' houses, has baptized two hundred of them, catechizes the 
children on Sunday from March to September, has no Communion- 
service or any thing decent in his church, receives a salary of forty 
pounds per annum, (that being the value of his tobacco,) rents his 
glebe for twenty shillings per annum, has a school in his parish, 
endowed by one Mr. Sanford, of London, and which is still in 
existence.* 

* The attention paid to the servants by Mr. Black is deserving of special notice, 
as showing the feeling of the pious ministers on the subject at that day. It was 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 265 

How Iqpig the pious labours of Mr. Black continued after the 
year 1724 is not known. In the year 1755, we find, from an old 
list of the clergy of Virginia, that the Rev. Arthur Emmerson, 
afterward well known in other parishes, was the minister. In the 
year 1774, the Rev. William Vere is set down in the Virginia Al- 
manac as the minister of Accomac parish. He was doubtless the 
last minister of this parish. In the year 1785, when the first Con- 
vention after the Revolution met in Richmond, there was no clerical 
delegate from either of the parishes of Accomac. Mr. Jabez Pittis 
was the lay delegate from Accomac parish, and Mr. Levin Joynes 
and Tully Wise from St. George's. 

I conclude this brief notice of the old and decayed parish of 
Accomac, in Accomac county, with the following paper, furnished 
by my friend, T. R. Joynes, Sr., of that county, touching the 
school. The document consists of an extract from the will of Mr. 
Sandford, with some remarks by Mr. Joynes : 

"In the will of Samuel Sandford 'sometime of Accomack county, Vir- 
ginia, and now being in the city of London, dated the 27th day of March, 
1710, in the ninth year of the reign of our sovereign Lady Queen Anne, 
over England, alias Great Britain' there is a very long preamble in the 
usual pious style of that age; and, after a number of other devises, he 
says, ' For the benefit, better learning, and education of poor children, 
whose parents are esteemed unable to give them learning, living in the 
upper part of Accomack county, in Virginia ; that is to say, from Guild- 
ford Creek directly to the seaside, and likewise from Guildford Creek to 
the dividing-line parting Virginia from Maryland, the rents and profits, 



always recognised as a duty by the civil and ecclesiastical rulers in England, and 
more or less practised by the better sort of our ministers in Virginia. About 
this time I find the following proposition, which is preserved among the archives 
of Lambeth: 

"A Proposition for Encouraging the Christian Education of Indian, Negro, and 

Mulatto Children. 

"It being a duty of Christianity very much neglected by masters and mistresses 
of this country (America) to endeavour the good instruction and education of their 
heathen slaves in the Christian faith, the said duty being likewise earnestly recom- 
mended by his Majesty's instructions, for the facilitating thereof among the young 
slaves that are born among us; it is, therefore, humbly proposed that every Indian, 
negro, or mulatto child that shall be baptized and afterward brought to church 
and publicly catechized by the minister in church, and shall, before the fourteenth 
year of his or her age, give a distinct account of the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and 
Ten Commandments, and whose master or mistress shall receive a certificate from 
the minister that he or she hath so done, such Indian, negro, or mulatto child shall 
be exempted from paying all levies till the age of eighteen years." 



266 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

(of the three tracts of land therein described, containing together three 
thousand four hundred and twenty acres,) authorizing and empowering such 
person or persons who are justices of the peace, churchwardens, or of the 
vestry for the time being, or the major part of them, being inhabitants of 
those aforesaid parts of y e county of Accomack aforesaid, to sett and lett the 
aforesaid premises for the better improvement thereof, and for the support 
of better learning and better education of poor children ; for which uses 
the rents and profits thereof is bequeathed and given forever, hereby 
humbly praying the Honourable the Governor of Virginia for the time- 
being, with the Honourable Council of State, their care that the lands 
by this will given may be appropriated for the uses intended and pre- 
scribed/ 

" In the will, the testator speaks of his ' living' in the county of Glou- 
cester, from which I infer that he was probably a minister of\ the Gospel, 
who was, at one time, a minister in Accomac, and, at the time of the date 
of his will, was a minister in the county of Gloucester, in England. 

" T. K. JOYNES, Secretary." 

From the same source I learn that the churches in Accomac 
were a brick one, at Assawaman, on the seaside ; a wooden one, 
on the Middle or Wallop's Road, about five miles from the southern 
line of the parish ; and another of wood, at Pocomoke, near the 
Maryland line, called the New Church. None of them now remain, 
and very few of the inhabitants of the parish retain any attach- 
ment to the Church of their fathers. About thirty years past, the 
overseers of the poor took possession of the Communion-plate, and 
sold the same to a silversmith, who intended to melt it up ; but, 
being advised that it was doubtful whether they had any authority 
to sell the plate under the law directing the sale of the glebe-lands, 
and there being a tradition that the plate was a private donation, 
the sale was rescinded. 

As to the ministers of St. George's parish, in Accomac, our 
records before the Revolution fail us altogether. It is probable 
that some of the ministers of Hungar's parish rendered service 
here for some time after the division of the Eastern Shore into the 
counties of Northampton and Accomac, especially Mr. Teackle. 
The first minister on any of our lists was the Rev. John Lyon, 
from Rhode Island, who was in the parish in the year 1774, and 
continued there during and some time after the war. Being more 
of the Englishman than the American in his feelings, his time was 
very uncomfortable during the Revolutionary struggle ; but, being 
married into a respectable family, his principles were tolerated and 
his person protected. While as a faithful historian we shall truth- 
fully admit whatever of Toryism there was among the clergy of 
Virginia, we shall as faithfully maintain that there was a large 
share of noble patriotism in the clergy of Virginia. Mr. Jefferson 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 267 

declares this most emphatically. In a late number of the Lynch- 
burg Republican the editor refers to it, as may be seen in the note 
below.* 

In the year 1786 the Rev. Theopolus Nugent was present in the 
Convention as the rector of St. George's parish, Accomac. But 
nothing more is known of him. The following is the list of the 
clergymen from the time of Mr. Nugent to the present day : The 
Revs. Cave Jones, Ayrs, Reese, Gardiner, Eastburn, Smith, Chase, 
Goldsmith, Carpenter, Adams, Bartlett, Winchester, Jonathan 
Smith, Wm. G. Jones, and Zimmer. I am not able, at present, 
to get the surnames of some of the foregoing. A few remarks 
concerning two of the above-mentioned ministers will be acceptable 
to the reader. The Rev. Cave Jones was a native of Virginia, 
probably a descendant of one of the three of that name who 
ministered in the early Church of Virginia. He was a man of 
talents and eloquence, which, after some years, attracted attention 
beyond the bounds of our State, and led to a call to Trinity Church, 

* We affirm that no element was more often invoked in the earlier history of 
Virginia than the influence of ministers of the Gospel, in producing a feeling of 
resistance to the oppressions of England; and no class from whom the Henrys, 
Jeffersons, and patriot politicians of that day received greater aid in opening the 
eyes of the people and preparing them for a severance from Great Britain. Mr. 
Jefferson himself acknowledges this in his works, vol. i. pp. 5, 6. 

" Describing the influence of the news of the Boston Port Bill upon himself, Mr. 
Henry, R. H. Lee, Francis Lightfoot Lee, and some others, in June, 1774, he says, 
' We were under conviction of the necessity of arousing our people from the lethargy 
into which they had fallen as to passing events, and thought that the appointment 
of a day of general fasting and prayer would be most likely to call up and alarm 
their attention. No examples of such a solemnity had existed since the days of our 
distresses in the war of '55, since which a new generation had grown up. With the 
help, therefore, of Rushworth, whom we rummaged over for the precedents and 
forms of the Puritans of that day, preserved by him, we cooked up a resolution, 
somewhat modernizing their phrases, for appointing the 1st day of June, on which 
the Port Bill was to commence, for a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, to 
implore Heaven to avert from us the evils of civil war, to inspire us with firmness in 
support of our rights, and to turn the hearts of the King and Parliament to 
moderation and justice. To give greater emphasis to our proposition, we agreed 
to wait the next morning on Mr. Nicholas whose grave and religious character was 
more in unison with the tone of our resolutions and solicit him to move it. We 
accordingly went to him in the morning. He moved it the same day: the 1st 
of June was proposed, and it was passed without opposition. The Governor 
dissolved us. We returned home, and in our several counties invited the clergy to 
meet the assemblies of the people on the 1st of June, to perform the ceremonies of 
the day, and to address to them discourses suited to the occasion. The people 
met, generally, with anxiety and alarm in their countenances, and the effect of the 
day, through the whole Colony, was like a shock of electricity, arousing every man 
and placing him erect and solidly on his centre.' " 



268 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

New York. He was so popular in that situation as to become a 
formidable rival to Dr. Hobart, afterward Bishop of New York. 

The Rev. Mr. Eastburn was from New York, and brother to 
Bishop Eastburn of Massachusetts. From every account we have 
received of him, whether from New York or Accomac, he must have 
been one of the most interesting and talented young men of our 
land. He came to Virginia at a time when ample material still 
remained in Accomac for the exercise of his pious zeal, and it was 
exercised most diligently in all the departments of ministerial duty, 
but especially in the instruction of the young by the means of 
Sunday-schools. He is still spoken of in the families of Accomac 
as that extraordinary young man. The following letter from his 
brother, Bishop Manton Eastburn, in answer to one from myself, 
furnishes some particulars worthy of being recorded : 

" NEWPORT, R. I., Aug. 25, 1855. 

" MY DEAR BISHOP : Having been at this place during the present 
month, your letter of the 16th has only just reached me. Nothing was 
published after my dear and distinguished brother's death, except the 
poem of ' Yamoyden, a Tale of the Wars of King Philip/ which he com- 
posed in company with his friend, Robert C. Sands, and which the latter 
edited. I can only say, in a few words, that he was ordained by Bishop 
Hobart at the Diocesan Convention of New York, in October, 1818 j 
commenced his ministry in Accomac county almost immediately; and, 
after a short but truly glorious ministry of about eight months, (during 
which, as I heard him say, he thought he had been the instrument of the 
conversion of seventeen persons,) returned, broken in health, to New 
York, and expired in December, 1819, on his passage to St. Croix, W. I., 
to which island, in company with his mother and myself, he was pro- 
ceeding for the benefit of his health. He had just reached the age of 
twenty-two years; but he was mature in mind, accomplished in attain- 
ments both of ancient and modern learning, and one of the most u burning 
lights" in the Church of God I ever knew. I think he left an impression 
in Accomac which is not yet effaced. 

" Excuse me for this unavoidable delay, and believe me to be 
" Faithfully yours, 

"In one dear Lord and Saviour, 

" MANTON EASTBURN. 
" RT. REV. BISHOP MEADE. 

"P.S. My brother's name was James Wallis Eastburn, M. A., of 
Columbia College, New York. He composed, at eighteen years of age, 
the beautiful Trinity-Sunday Hymn in our collection, No. 77 j beginning, 
<0h, holy, holy, holy Lord/ &c. The 'Summer Midnight' being five 
or six stanzas composed at Accomac in June, 1819 is, for beauty and 
elevation of thought, and heavenly aspirations after immortality, one of 
the most exquisite things in our language. It was published in the New 
York Commercial Advertiser soon after its composition. 

"His studies for the ministry were pursued for two years with Bishop 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 269 

Griswold, at Bristol, R. I. There is a letter of my father's, in relation to 
him, in Stone's life of the Bishop." 

The Episcopalian cannot but think with melancholy feelings of 
the gradual decline, as to numbers, of the Church in Accomac. from 
the time of Mr. Black, in 1710, to the present day. Then, in one 
parish only the upper there were four or five hundred families, 
three overflowing churches, and two hundred communicants, with 
scarce a Dissenter in it. Now, in both parishes, covering the whole 
county, there are only three churches and about fifty communicants. 
Other denominations, chiefly the Methodists, have drawn away the 
great body of the people from our communion. There are still a 
number of very interesting and intelligent families remaining to us, 
in which are not only some attached Churchmen, but truly pious 
Christians. May God strengthen the things that remain, and grant 
us there, as he has done in so many other parts of the State, a 
great increase ! 

It deserves to be mentioned that, some years since, the Rev. 
Ambler Weed, of Richmond, undertook the revival of the Church 
in the lower part of St. George's parish, and by great diligence 
caused a new church, by the name of St. Michael's, to be erected 
near Bell Haven. In this and in old Pongoteague Church he 
officiated for some years with great diligence and self-denial, and 
with some success. 

Old Pongoteague the first house of prayer erected in Accomac, 
and probably not much less than two hundred years old still stands, 
a remarkable monument of former days, among some old trees, 
perhaps as ancient as itself. It is a brick building in the form of a 
cross. Though well-built, and in some parts still firm and unyielding, 
yet in others it gives signs of decay and ruin. Breaches in the 
walls are apparent, and the rains from above find their way through 
its mouldering roof. 

I am sorry to be unable to give a list of the ancient vestrymen of 
Accomac. The only documents of which I have heard, from which 
to derive such list, and other particulars, perished during the last 
year. Would that all the friends, members, and ministers of the 
Church of Virginia, and any others who have any care for her 
past history, would but inquire for such documents, and search for 
them among the neglected papers of old family mansions -and 
clerk's offices ! How much might still be rescued from destruction and 
oblivion, which is worthy of preservation in some permanent form ! 

In place of a list of the vestrymen of the parish, I subjoin the 
following, of the families which from the earliest period to the 



270 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

present time have belonged to the Episcopal Church in Accomac. 
It has been furnished me by a friend, with the qualification that it 
is imperfect, and that there were others who might be added: 
"Bowman, Cropper, Joynes, West, Satchell, Smith, Wise, Finney, 
Bayley, Snead, Parker, Stratton, Bagwell, Andrews, Arbunkle, 
Scarbrough, Robinson, Custis, Stokely, Poulson, Downing, Bell, 
Upshur, Pasamour, Teagle, Hack, Seymour, Kellam, etc." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 271 



ARTICLE XXII. 

Parishes in Norfolk County. 

UNTIL the year 1691, that which is now Princess Anne and Nor- 
folk was called Lower Norfolk, in contradistinction to Upper Norfolk, 
now Nansemond. In that year Lower Norfolk was divided into 
Norfolk and Princess Anne, the parishes being still called Elizabeth 
River and Lynnhaven parishes. 

The town of Norfolk was established in 1705. Colonel Byrd, in 
his Westover Manuscripts, in the year 1728, after speaking of its 
prosperous condition, says, " The worst of it is, they contribute 
much toward debauching the country, by importing an abundance 
of rum, which, like gin in Great Britain, breaks the constitution, 
vitiates the morals, and ruins the industry of most of the poor people 
of the country." Of the people of Norfolk he says, "The two 
cardinal virtues which make a place thrive industry and frugality 
are seen here in perfection ; and, so long as they can banish luxury 
and idleness, the town will remain in a happy and flourishing con- 
dition." Although it has not increased in numbers and wealth as 
some other places, if religion and morality constitute the real pros- 
perity of a place, then Norfolk has to this day flourished much 
beyond most other towns in our land, and her industry and frugality 
have ministered not a little to these. 

Of the churches and ministers in Lower Norfolk before the year 
1691, when the division above mentioned took place, we have but 
scanty accounts. I state it on the authority of one who would not 
speak unadvisedly, that, in the year 1637, one John Wilson was 
minister of Elizabeth River parish, in Norfolk county. From this 
until the year 1749 there is no information to be obtained as to 
this parish or its ministers, except that in the year 1724, when 
answers were sent to the Bishop of London's circulars, there were 
no ministers of the parish to furnish one. 

On a loose piece of paper which has come into my hands, I find 
that, in the year 1728, a Mr. Thomas Nash who was, I believe, 
both clerk of the vestry and lay-reader of the South Branch Chapel 
gave in a list of births occurring in that part of the parish during 
the year 1727. The number of these shows that there was a 



272 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

considerable population at* that time in the county, and that their 
reliance here, as in some other places, was on the cheaper supply 
of readers. 

From the vestry-book, which begins in 1749 and ends in 1761, 
twelve years, I learn that the Rev. Charles Smith was the minister 
during all that period : how long before is not known, but it is 
probable from the year 1743, from the following inscription on his 
tombstone at the glebe, near Portsmouth, as he was the minister 
of Portsmouth parish at his death in 1773 : 

"Here lies interred the Rev. Charles Smith, rector of Portsmouth 
parish, who died the llth of January, 1773, in the 61st year of his age. 
He officiated as minister upwards of thirty years, and his conduct through 
life was unexceptionable. He was a sincere friend, a most tender hus- 
band, an affectionate father, and a humane, good man. He was esteemed 
and beloved when alive, and died universally lamented. In testimony of 
their tender regard, his son-in-law, James Taylor, and daughter, Alice 
Taylor, have erected this monument." 

It appears, by what we learn from the vestry-book and tomb- 
stone,, that he was probably the minister of Elizabeth River parish 
and of a division of the same during the whole period of a more 
than thirty years' ministry. 

In the year 1761 the parish of Elizabeth River, covering all 
Norfolk county, was divided into three, Portsmouth, St. Bride's, 
and Elizabeth River. We cannot say whether Mr. Smith continued 
to minister in Norfolk and Elizabeth River after this, or at once 
chose Portsmouth town and parish as his place of residence and 
field of labour. In the years 1773-4-6 we find, on our old lists, 
the Rev. Thomas Davis the minister in Norfolk. He was one of 
the ministers who zealously advocated the Revolution, and preached 
on some public occasion by request of the Assembly. In the year 
1785 he was the minister in Northumberland county, afterwards 
in Alexandria, and lastly in Northampton, where he died. In the 
year 1785, when the first Convention was held in Richmond, no 
clerical delegate appeared from Norfolk, and it is probable there 
was no minister there, as two lay delegates were present, Dr. 
James Taylor (son-in-law to the Rev. Mr. Smith, we presume) and 
Mr. George Kelly. Although no clerical or lay delegation appears 
from Norfolk in the years 1786-88, yet it is believed that the Rev. 
Walker Maury was minister during a part of that time. The fol- 
lowing inscription on his tombstone in the graveyard at Norfolk, 
put there, it is believed, by the congregation, would indicate that 
he was the minister : 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 273 

" Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Walker Maury, who departed this 
life in the city of Norfolk, October llth, 1788, in the 36th year of his 
age." 

He died of the yellow fever of that year. Mr. Walker Maury 
was the son of the Rev. James Maury and brother of the Rev. 
Matthew Maury of Frederickville parish, Albemarle, of whom we 
have written. He married a Miss Grimes, of the Lower Country. 
They were the parents of the ladies who married Mr. Isaac Hite 
and John Hay, of Frederick county, and Mr. Polk, of Washington. 
More pious and estimable ladies than the mother and daughters are 
not easily found. There were also several sons. 

In 1789-91, the Rev. James Whitehead appears in the several 
Conventions as minister of Elizabeth River parish, Norfolk ; and 
again in 1805. During the interval no delegation appears. Soon 
after this, it is believed, Mr. Whitehead accepted a charge in Balti- 
more. From all the accounts I have received, Mr. Whitehead was 
a worthy minister of the Gospel. He was also a good scholar, and 
presided over the academy in Norfolk. He was the father of Mrs. 
Commodore Skinner, and other children, who inherit the father's 
attachment to the Episcopal Church. 

It was during the ministry of Mr. Whitehead that a most unhappy 
and bitter controversy occurred in the congregation, concerning 
himself and the Rev. William Bland, who was the favourite of a 
portion of the congregation, and was claimed, by some, to be the 
minister, although he never had a seat in the Conventions. Mr. 
Bland was ordained by the Bishop of London in 1767, and had 
been floating about various parishes until he came to Norfolk. His 
only virtue was an attachment to the Revolutionary cause while he 
was minister in James City, and which brought him into some notice 
by our patriots in Williamsburg. He was a man of intemperate 
habits at any rate while in Norfolk but still had something about 
him which created a party in his favour. The controversy was car- 
ried on in the newspapers in Norfolk during the week, and also in 
the pulpit on the Sabbath, the same pulpit serving both ministers, 
the one in the morning, the other in the afternoon. The following 
extract of a letter from my friend, Mr. John Southgate, of Norfolk, 
contains the most accurate account of the transaction which is to 
be had : 

" I think it was in the year 1790 or 1791 that I arrived in Nor- 
folk, at which time, or very soon thereafter, the controversy that you 
speak of commenced between the partisans of Bland and Whitehead, who 

18 



274 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

were both elected by their separate vestries (for both parties had their 
separate vestries and wardens) to the rectorship of old St. Paul's. Of 
course a good deal of ill blood was engendered between the reverend gen- 
tlemen. This state of things lasted for some years, until Mr. Whitehead 
and his friends ; who amounted to a large majority, perhaps nine-tenths 
of the church, and who were most moderate in their pretensions, for the 
sake of peace gave way, and occupied the court-house as a place of worship, 
and where the ordinances of the Church were for some time administered. 
In the year 1800, April 16th, the friends of Mr. Whitehead met for the pur- 
pose of making arrangements for building a place of worship, which they 
called Christ Church, at which time sixteen thousand dollars were promptly 
subscribed, and on the 24th of June of the same year the corner-stone 
was laid ; and, for the purpose of avoiding difficulties heretofore existing, 
it was determined that the appointment of the rector should be made by 
the pew-holders, and that annually.* Mr. Whitehead continued to be the 
pastor of the same until the early part of the year 1806, when he received a 
call to a church in Baltimore; and, what may surprise us at this day, his only 
compensation during sixteen years, for his services, was one hundred pounds 
or three hundred and thirty- three and one-third dollars per annum. " 

Mr. Whitehead was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Davis, from 
Alexandria, (the same who had formerly been minister in Norfolk,) 
who continued with us until October, 1808, having received a call 
from Hungar's parish, on the Eastern Shore. Mr. Davis was suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. Mr. Syme, who continued until February, 1815, 
when he was not re-elected. He, however, occasionally did the 
duties of the clerk and pulpit, in connection with the Rev. Mr. 
Brown, until July, 1816. At this time Mr. Brown either died or 
removed, and Mr. Syme was called to Hungar's parish. In August, 
1816, the Rev. Samuel Low became rector of the parish, and con- 
tinued until his death in 1820. Mr. Low was the son of the un- 
happy man who was minister in Lancaster and Fredericksburg and 
gave much trouble to the Church, and of whom we shall have some- 
thing to say hereafter. His son was as a brand plucked from the 
burning in more ways than one. Being of a literary and poetic turn, 
and having some talent for the stage and passionately fond of it, he 
for a time addicted himself to its performances ; but the Spirit of God 
followed him even into that synagogue of Satan, and brought him 
forth and placed him on a higher and holier stage in the Church 



* Although we can never be brought to approve of annual elections, and that by 
the pew-holders instead of vestrymen, yet it must be confessed that thus far it has 
happily succeeded in this congregation. But we are persuaded this has resulted 
from the peculiarly excellent materials of which it has been composed, and not 
from the mode of election. Painful fears have often been felt of evil in its ope- 
ration. May it long be averted by the good providence of God ! 






FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 275 

of Christ. What little preparation he was able to make for the 
pulpit was chiefly made under my own roof. His father's sin and 
disgrace produced an abiding impression of pensiveness, if not of 
melancholy, on a naturally sensitive mind, and this was deepened 
still more by the early death of a lovely young woman (Miss Brown, 
of Norfolk) whom he married soon after taking charge of Christ's 
Church. His pious conversation and evangelical preaching began 
that work which to this day has gone on. His successor, Mr. 
Enoch Lowe, who had been a soldier in the late war and brought a 
soldier's spirit with him into the ministry, by a bold and fearless 
declaration of evangelical truth and a very impressive delivery, 
advanced the work with rapid strides. He was succeeded by the 
Rev. Mr. Wickes, originally a Methodist minister. His preaching 
also was bold, impressive, sound, and experimental, and he was 
effecting much good when the destroyer came in the form of strong 
drink. He fell a victim to it, as many of God's ministers have 
done, who, listening to the voice of the tempter, " Ye shall not 
surely die," have fallen into the snare. Acknowledging his great 
guilt, and not denying it, as too many do, he submitted to the 
discipline of the Church, and afterward returned to the communion 
he had left. 

In the year 1825, the Rev. George A. Smith became the minister 
of Christ Church, but was only able to continue one year, on ac- 
count of feeble health. He was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Du- 
cachet. On his being called to St. Stephen's Church, in Philadel- 
phia, in 1834, 1 was induced, under peculiar circumstances, to leave 
my old charge in Frederick to the care of another, and take the 
temporary charge of this congregation, not knowing how long it 
might seem to be my duty to continue. At the end of two 
years, among the happiest and perhaps most useful years of my 
ministerial life, I resigned the charge of it into the hands of the 
Rev. Mr. Parks, whose ministry was highly acceptable. During 
these two years I had also the care of the congregation at old 
St. Paul's, which was without a minister, and in almost a despair- 
ing condition. I was successful in keeping alive its hopes, and 
preventing a dissolution of the congregation, and placing over it 
the Rev. Thomas Atkinson, who was ordained a deacon by me 
while in Norfolk. On the resignation of Mr. Parks, the Rev. 
Upton Beale became its minister. His faithfulness in all the de- 
partments of the ministry, private and public, his sound judgment 
and prudence, and his unceasing labours and sound evangelical 
and experimental preaching, secured for him the increasing affec- 



$ 

276 OLD CHUKCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

tioi: and esteem of the congregation until his death. To the Rev. 
Mr. Beale succeeded the Rev. George Cummings, who, after a 
ministry of a few years, was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Minnege- 
rode, who has just resigned the charge. 

THE CHURCHES OF NORFOLK COUNTY AND ELIZABETH RIVER PARISH. 

As we hear of a minister in 1637, we must suppose that some 
kind of a church was erected in Norfolk at that early period. The 
first churches were always rude and indifferent, destined soon to 
pass away. There were, indeed, very many such even to the time 
of the Revolution. 

I have no information concerning the old churches except that 
contained in a vestry-book commencing in 1749 and ending in 
1761. At the close of it a new vestry-book is spoken of as about 
to be. Doubtless there was one, but it is nowhere to be found. 

In the year 1750, there is, in the old one, a record evidently 
alluding to St. Paul's Church that now is, and to one that had been 
there some time before, but how long cannot be ascertained. It is 
ordered in that year that Mr. James Pasteur be allowed to have 
the bricks and timber of the old church to build a house on the 
school-land, a school-house, we suppose. This proves that the 
present St. Paul's was built before 1750, and that there was a brick 
church some time before this on or near the same place. It is 
otherwise known that St. Paul's was built in 1739. There is an 
entry showing that Mr. Smith, the minister, received sixteen thou- 
sand-weight of tobacco for preaching at the mother-church, (St. 
Paul's, in Norfolk) and four thousand for each of the three cha- 
pels, that at the Great Bridge, where the first battle of the Revo- 
lution was fought, that at Tanner's Creek, and the Southern Branch 
Chapel. In the year 1753, a Western Branch Chapel is also spoken 
of. There are, I believe, some remains of one or more of these 
chapels to this day. In regard to St. Paul's ; in the year 1750, 
we have an account of some of the interior of the same. It is 
ordered " that Captain John Cook, Captain John Shriff, Captain 
John Calvert, and Mr. Charles Sweny be allowed to build a gal- 
lery in the church in Norfolk, reaching from the gallery of Mr. 
John Taylor to the school-boys' gallery, to be theirs and their heirs' 
forever." Also, "that Mr. Mathew Godfrey, Mr. William Nash, 
Captain Trimagan Tatum, and Mr. William Ashley have leave to 
build a gallery from the pulpit to the school-boys' gallery, to be 
theirs and their heirs' forever." The whole church in each member 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 277 

of the cross was, therefore, galleried by private individuals, except 
that set apart for the school-boys. It appears from the foregoing 1 
extracts that there was one church (St. Paul's) and four chapels, 
with one minister and three readers. The readers were Chamber- 
laine, Granbury, and Nash. 

One-half of the glebe rented for thirty-six shillings ; but there 
were parish servants, and a parsonage which cost <181 10s. After 
the building of the new church (Christ Church) in 1800, St. Paul's 
was for a time loaned to the Baptist denomination, and was used 
first by the white and afterward by the coloured portion of that 
denomination. But in the year 1832 it was resumed and repaired 
by the Episcopalians and solemnly consecrated by Bishop Moore. 
It must not be omitted on our record that, during the war, all the 
combustible materials of St. Paul's were consumed by the fire which 
laid the town in ashes. The well-built walls, however, not only 
resisted the fire, but the cannon-balls of our foe. There is still to 
be seen a considerable indentation in the corner of one of them 
made by a ball from the frigate Liverpool, and the ball itself may 
also be seen in the vestry-room, although a Governor of Virginia 
has petitioned that it might be placed in the public library at Rich- 
mond. The communion-plate was taken by the enemy and carried 
to Scotland. Some tidings of it have recently been received, 
and hopes are entertained of its recovery.* 

In relation to the other church in Norfolk, which was built in 
1800, that was also destroyed by fire in the year 1827. A new 
one, the present Christ Church, was immediately erected, which, 
being planned before the new style of architecture was introduced, 
(one so unfavourable to both speaker and hearer, in winter and in 
summer,) is one of the most capacious and comfortable churches in 
the land, and when well lighted up at night, and filled with wor- 
shippers, as it almost always is, presents to the eye one of the most 
delightful spectacles on earth, f 



* The following lines, taken from the Rev. John McCabe's fuller account of St. 
Paul's, in the Church Review, will interest the reader : 

On it, Time his mark has hung ; 

On it, hostile balls have rung ; 

On it, green old moss has clung ; 

On it, winds their dirge have sung : 

Let us still adore thy walls, 

Sacred temple, old St. Paul's." 

j- Mr. Swain, the architect of this church, deserves to be mentioned for the extra- 
ordinary fidelity displayed in its erection. 



278 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

I would that it were in my power to furnish a larger list of the 
vestry of the old church in Norfolk, but the brief term of twelve 
years, to which the vestry-book is limited, forbids. Among the first 
was Colonel Samuel Boush, who gave the land on which St. Paul's 
and its graveyard stands, and whose tombstone, at the door of the 
church, tells where his body lies. Himself, Colonel George New- 
ton, Colonel William Crawford, Captain William Hodges, Captain 
Willis Wilson, Mr. Charles Sweny, Captain James Joy, Captain 
John Shriff, and Mr. Samuel Boush were the first vestrymen on 
the book. The two last were in place of Mr. John Scott and Cap- 
tain Samuel Langley, former vestrymen. To the above, at different 
times, were added, Colonel Robert Tucker, Mr. Mathew Godfrey, 
Mr. James Webb, Thomas Newton, Major John Willowby, Captain 
George Yeale, Mr. Robert Tucker. This list comes down to 1761. 
Should the new vestry-book which then commenced be discovered, 
the list can be greatly enlarged.* 



* I must not omit to mention, among the families of Norfolk county, that of Dale 
an ancient and respectable one of this and surrounding counties, nor can I other- 
wise than specially refer to one member of it, Commodore Richard Dale, who was 
born in this county in the year 1756. At an early period twelve years of age 
he chose the sea for his habitation. Five times was he taken prisoner by the 
British during the war of the Revolution. He was in the Mill prison, at Liverpool, 
but escaped, and was seized by a press-gang, carried back, and thrown into a noi- 
some dungeon for forty days. Being released, he was again thrown into the Black 
Hole for singing rebellious songs. Again escaping, he fled to France, and was 
appointed first lieutenant in the Bon Hornme Richard, in the fleet of Paul Jones, 
which spread such terror along the western coast of Scotland. In the desperate 
action with the Serapis he distinguished himself, and was wounded in the head. 
Being appointed captain of an armed merchantman in the American service, he con- 
tinued to command her to the end of the war. In 1794 he was made captain in 
the United States navy; and in 1801 he commanded the Mediterranean squadron. 
In 1802 he retired to private life, and spent the remainder of his days in Phila- 
delphia, where he died in 1826, aged seventy years, loved and honoured by all who 
knew him. But I should not have introduced his name into this work except for 
the fact that his religious character, for many years before his death, was as 
marked as his military one had been before. My acquaintance with him com- 
menced about six or eight years before his death, and was most intimate to the last. 
His house was my happy home during our General Conventions. 

He was one of those open, honest men who could and did speak freely on all 
subjects to all men and yet not give oifence. It was expected of him to reprove 
sin and irreligion, no matter in whom it was seen. He took an active part with 
the philanthropic of Philadelphia in all their great plans of benevolence. Espe- 
cially did he patronize all religious efforts for the seafaring race. He had a large 
sailors' loft for a chapel, which was always considered as Dale's Chapel, and which 
he often attended, even though he must leave his own church to do it. A pious 
old Presbyterian minister was the officiating clergyman in it, and was most devoted 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 279 



ST. BRIDE'S PARISH, NORFOLK COUNTY. 

Of the position, lines, and boundaries of this we have no accu- 
rate idea, but must refer our readers to the delineation of it in the 
Act of Assembly, in 1761, which carved it out of Elizabeth River 
parish. (See Henning's Statutes, 1761.) Having no lists of clergy 
from 1758 until the year 1773, we must begin with 1773, when, as 
well as in 1774, we find the Rev. James Pasteur its minister. In 
the year 1776, the Rev. Emanuel Jones, Jr. becomes the minister. 
How long he may have continued is not known. We know nothing 
more of the parish until the year 1787, after the Revolution, when 
the Rev. Needier Robinson appears on the list for one year, and 
one only, as minister of St. Bride's parish. We presume he was 
the last of her ministers. 

Which of the old churches were embraced within her bounds I 
know not, nor whether she erected any new ones. 

PORTSMOUTH PARISH, NORFOLK COUNTY. 

Of this I have rather more information, though no vestry -book 
after 1761 affords it. 

We have seen that the Rev. Charles Smith was its minister when 
he died in 1773. He was succeeded in 1774 by the Rev. William 
Braidfoot. He was a native of Scotland, and had not been long 
in the ministry when it became evident that war between England 
and the Colonies was inevitable ; and, as he believed the Colonies 
were contending for 'their just rights, he warmly espoused their 
cause, and entered the army as chaplain, continuing to fill that 
station until the close of the war, when he returned to Ports- 
mouth parish, and died at the glebe about the year 1784 or 1785. 



to his work. I have attended with the old commodore in that loft, and preached to 
his congregation with great satisfaction. Although full of charity to all others, 
and holding no exclusive views, yet was Commodore Dale warmly attached to the 
Episcopal Church, and may be regarded as the father of St. Stephen's, which was 
built for his nephew, Dr. Montgomery. It was good to see his large manly form 
go through all the postures, and hear his bold seaman's voice in all the responses 
of the Liturgy. 

Commodore Dale was in his religious as in his military character no halfway 
man : he did not attempt to serve God and Mammon, to carry religion in one hand 
and the world in the other. He was among the first in Philadelphia to break 
away from an old system of Churchmanship which allowed such a compromise with 
the world. May his spirit descend to his latest posterity, and his example be faith- 
fully copied ! 



280 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Mr. Braidfoot married a Miss Mosely, of Princess Anne, and left 
one son, whose descendants are now living in Portsmouth. Mr. 
Braidfoot was succeeded by the Rev. Arthur Emmerson, son of 
one of the same name who was minister on the Eastern Shore. 
The son was minister in Meherrin parish, Greensville, and in 
Nansemond, before coming to Portsmouth parish in 1785. He 
ministered there from that time until 1801, much esteemed as a 
man and minister, though from feeble health unable to lead an 
active life. His wife was the widow of the Rev. John Nivison. 
He was followed by the Rev. George Young, who continued until 
the year 1808 or 1809. After his death or resignation there was 
a vacancy until the year 1821, when the present rector, the Rev. 
Mr. Wingfield, began his labours in that parish. In the absence 
of any vestry-book to supply the names of vestrymen before the 
time of Mr. Wingfield, I mention the following names of old 
friends of the Church: Sproull, Chisholm, Agnew, Herbert, 
Hansford, Joins, Dyson, Porter, Godfrey, Wilson, Wallington, 
Tankard, Parker, Veal, Roberts, Nivison, Marsh, North, Edwards, 
Davis, Luke, Cowper, Blow, Braidfoot, Dickson, Thompson, Young, 
Kearns, Grew, Garrow, Kidd, Mathews, Brown, Etheridge, Mush- 
row, Shelton, Pearce, Satchwell, Milhado, Cox, Butt, Maupin, 
Swift. 

As to churches, there were three built in Portsmouth parish, 
one in the town of Portsmouth, in 1762, on a lot in the centre of 
the town, given by William Crawford, Esq., the original proprietor 
of the land on which the town is built ; one on the north bank of 
the Western Branch, and one near a village called Deep Creek. 
The church in Portsmouth was rebuilt and enlarged in 1829, under 
the rectorship of Mr. Wingfield. The country churches have long 
since fallen into ruins. When the present rector took charge of 
the parish, in 1821, the vestry had long since been dissolved, and 
the members of the three congregations had united themselves 
as in many other places with the various surrounding denomina- 
tions. 

A few years since, another congregation was formed in Ports- 
mouth, a church built, and the Rev. James Chisholm called to be 
its rector. After labouring zealously and preaching faithfully and 
affectionately for some years, he fell a victim, during the summer 
of 1855, to the yellow fever, when, with the spirit of a martyr, he 
was nursing the sick and dying of his congregation and of the 
town. For the particulars of the life and death and character of 
this most talented and interesting young minister of the Gospel, I 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 281 

refer my readers to the Memoirs of the Rev. James Chisholm, by 
his particular friend and former parishioner, Mr. Conrad, of Mar- 
tinsburg, a biography which for thrilling interest is not easily 
surpassed. For the biography of his brother and companion in 
toils and sufferings and death, the Rev. William Jackson, the 
minister of St. Paul's, Norfolk, I refer in like manner for a faith- 
ful sketch of him to the work of the Rev. Mr. Cummings. 

I now add, what was omitted in the proper place, that it was to 
the labours of the Rev. Mr. Boyden, during the rectorship of Dr. 
Ducachet in Christ Church, that the congregation of St. Paul's 
owed its revival after a long, deathlike slumber. Its life was con- 
tinued and its energies increased under his successor, the Rev. Mr. 
Atkinson. The Rev. B. M. Miller, who followed him, increased it 
still more, especially by his attention to the poor. The Rev. Mr. 
Caldwell was doing a good work, when failing health required his 
withdrawal. The Rev. Joseph Wilmer and Leonidas Smith had 
each rendered temporary services, not to be regarded as those of 
regular pastors, as had also the Rev. R. K. Meade; but it was 
reserved for the Rev. William Jackson and his faithful and 
acceptable services to fill the church to such overflowing that it 
was evident, if his life had been spared, a new and larger church 
would have been built for him. His successor is the Rev. Mr. 
Okeson. 



282 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XXIII. 

Parishes in Nansemond. No. 1. 

THERE were settlements in Nansemond at a very early period. 
The Acts of Assembly in dividing counties and parishes are nearly 
all of its early history that can be gotten. A vestry-book of the 
upper parish, commencing in 1743 and continuing to 1787, 
contains all the statistics I can get. These are painfully interest- 
ing. But as I propose to follow the course of the North Carolina 
and Virginia line in some of the following articles, if materials 
can be obtained in time, I think it best to begin with some notice 
of the borders on that line. The running of it, in the year 1728, 
by Colonel Byrd, Fitz William, and Dandridge, commissioners on" 
the part of Virginia, and others on the part of Carolina, led 
to some information which must be interesting to all who take 
pleasure in such things, and especially to the citizens and Church- 
men of the two States. This has recently been given to the 
public in a small volume entitled " Westover Manuscripts," 
taken from a large folio volume of Colonel Byrd's manuscripts on 
various subjects, which is in the hands of one of his descendants, 
or deposited for safe-keeping in the rooms of the Historical So- 
ciety of Virginia, in Richmond. Colonel Byrd was a man of 
great enterprise, a classical scholar and very sprightly writer. 
The fault of his works is an exuberance of humour and of jesting 
with serious things, which sometimes degenerates into that kind 
of wit which so disfigures and injures the writings of Shakspeare. 
Although he never loses an opportunity of a playful remark about 
Christians, and especially the clergy, it is proof of an admission 
on his part that Christianity is divine and excellent, that he took 
with him, on this difficult and somewhat hazardous expedition, the 
Rev. Peter Fontaine, his parish minister, to be chaplain to the 
joint company, with a salary of twenty pounds for the expedition. 
Of Mr. Fontaine, the Huguenot minister, we have something to 
say in the proper place. His conduct in this journey, and all the 
witticisms of Colonel Byrd, testify to his piety. What I have to 
say will be chiefly in the language of Mr. Byrd's journal, which is 
to be taken with the qualifications above stated. After the com- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 283 

missioners had wandered for some time about the Dismal Swamp, 
they reach " Colonel Andrew Meade's, who lives upon Nansemond 
River. They were no sooner under the shelter of that hospitable 
roof but it began to rain hard, and continued so to do during the 
night." On leaving that, with a cart-load of provisions to eat 
and drink, which Colonel Meade insisted on sending with them, 
he says, 

" We passed by no less than two Quaker meeting-houses. That per- 
suasion prevails much in the lower end of Nansemond county, for want 
of ministers to pilot the people a decenter way to heaven. The ill repu- 
tation of the tobacco in these lower parishes makes the clergy unwilling 
to accept of them, except such whose abilities are as mean as their pay. 
People uninstructed in any religion are apt to embrace the first that offers. 
It is natural for helpless man to adore his Maker in some form or other; 
and, were there any exception to this rule, I should expect it to be 
among the Hottentots of the Cape of Good Hope and of North Carolina. 
.... For want of men in Holy Orders, both the members of the Council 
and magistrates are empowered to marry all those who will not take each 
other's word. But for the ceremony of christening their children they 
leave that to chance. If a parson comes in their way, they will crave a 
cast of their office, as they call it; else they are content that their children 
should remain as arrant pagans as themselves. They do not know Sunday 
from any other day any more than Robinson Crusoe, which would give 
them a great advantage were they given to be industrious." 

During a few days' delay at a certain point, the chaplain was al- 
lowed " to take a turn to Edenton, to preach the Gospel to the infi- 
dels and to christen the children there." Of Edenton at that time 
he says, " I believe this is the only metropolis in the Christian or 
Mohammedan world where there is neither church, chapel, mosque, 
synagogue, or any other place of public worship of any sect or re- 
ligion whatever. Justice herself is but indifferently lodged, the 
court-house having much the air of a common tobacco-house." 
"Our chaplain," the journal proceeds, "returned to us, having 
preached in the court-house and made no less than nineteen Chris- 
tians, that is, baptized so many." 

On their route the company stop and tarry for a time at Nottoway 
Town, which must be near the dividing line and either in Nanse- 
mond or Southampton, and which we suppose to be Christina, where 
the Indian school was, and of which we shall soon speak. Of the 
people of Nottoway Town, Colonel Byrd thus writes : 

" The whole number of people belonging to the Nottoway Town, if you 
include women and children, amounts to about two hundred. These are 
the only Indians of any consequence now remaining within the limits of 
Virginia. The rest are either removed or dwindled to a very incon- 



284 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

siderable number, either by* destroying one another, or else by smallpox 
or other diseases; though nothing has been so fatal to them as their 
ungovernable passion for rum, with which, I am sorry to say it, they have 
been but too liberally supplied by the English that live near them. And 
here I must lament the bad success Mr. Boyle's charity has hitherto had 
toward converting any of these poor heathen to Christianity. Many 
children of our neighbouring Indians have been brought up in the College 
of William and Mary. They have been taught to read and write, and 
have been carefully instructed in the Christian religion till they came to 
be men; yet after they returned home, instead of civilizing and con- 
verting the rest, they have immediately relapsed into infidelity and bar- 
barism themselves. 

"And some of them, too, have made the worst use of the knowledge 
they acquired among the English, by employing it against their bene- 
factors. Besides, as they unhappily forget all the good they learn and 
remember the ill, they are apt to be more vicious and disorderly than the 
rest of their countrymen. I ought not to quit this subject without doing 
justice to the great prudence of Colonel Spottswood in this aifair. This 
gentleman was Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia when Carolina was en- 
gaged in a bloody war with the Indians. At that critical time it was 
thought expedient to keep a watchful eye upon our tributary savages, 
whom we knew had nothing to keep them to their duty but their fears. 
Then it was that he demanded of each nation a competent number of their 
great men's children to be sent to the College, where they served as so 
many hostages for the good behaviour of the rest, and, at the same time, 
were themselves principled in the Christian religion. He also placed a 
schoolmaster among the Saponi Indians, at a salary of fifty pounds per 
annum, to instruct their children. The person that undertook that cha- 
ritable work was Mr. Charles Griffin, a man of good family, who, by the 
innocence of his life and the sweetness of his temper, was perfectly well 
qualified for that pious undertaking. Besides, he had so much the secret 
of mixing pleasure with instruction, that he had not a scholar who did 
not love him affectionately. Such talents must needs have been blessed 
with a proportionate success, had he not been unluckily removed to the 
College, by which he left the good work he had begun unfinished. In 
short, all the pains he had taken among the infidels had no other effect 
than to make them cleanlier than other Indians are. The care Colonel 
Spottswood took to tincture the Indian children with Christianity produced 
the following epigram, which was not published during his administration, 
for fear it might then have looked like flattery : 

" ' Long has the furious priest assay 'd in vain 
With sword and fagot infidels to gain ; 
But now the milder soldier wisely tries, 
By gentler methods, to unveil their eyes. 
Wonders apart, he knew 'twere vain t'engage 
The fixed perversions of misguided age : 
With fairer hopes, he forms the Indian youth 
To early manners, probity, and truth. 
The lion's whelp, thus, on the Libyan shore, 
Is tamed and gentled by the artful Moor, 
Not the grim sire inured to blood before.' 

"I am sorry I cannot give a better account of the state of the poor 
Indians with respect to Christianity, although a great deal of pains has 






FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 285 

been taken and still continues to be taken with them. For rny part, I 
must be of opinion, as I hinted before, that there is but one way of con- 
verting these poor infidels and reclaiming them from barbarity, and that 
is, charitably to intermarry with them, according to the modern policy of 
the most Christian King in Canada and Louisiana. Had the English done 
this at the first settlement of the Colony, the infidelity of the Indians had 
been worn out at this day, with their dark complexions, and the country 
had swarmed with people more than it does with insects. It was certainly 
an unreasonable nicety that prevented their entering into so good-natured 
an alliance. All nations of men have the same natural dignity, and we 
all know that very bright talents may be lodged under a very dark skin. 
The principal difference between one people and another proceeds only 
from the different opportunities of improvement. The Indians by no 
means want understanding, and are in figure tall, and well proportioned. 
Even their copper-coloured complexions would admit of blanching, if not 
in the first, at the furthest in the second generation. I may safely ven- 
ture to say, the Indian women would have made altogether as honest 
wives for the first planters as the damsels they used to purchase from 
aboard the ships. It is strange, therefore, that any good Christian should 
have refused a wholesome straight bedfellow when he might have had so 
fair a portion with her as the merit of saving her soul." 

Colonel Byrd often speaks of Mr. Fontaine as preaching to the 
heathen of North Carolina, and baptizing their children to the 
number of one hundred during the route, and in his way taunts 
the Carolinians for not caring for the souls of their children enough 
to take the trouble of bringing them over into Virginia to have 
them made Christians, and thinks that if the clergy of Virginia 
were as zealous as they ought to be, they would make more fre- 
quent excursions into Carolina for the same purpose. He was 
under the impression that there was not a single minister in North 
Carolina. In this he was, we think, mistaken, although correct in 
the statement that the moral and religious condition of the people 
was most deplorable, and that the clergy, when any were there, 
were not allowed to marry, the perquisite for this being claimed by 
the magistrates. The following statement, in the third Volume of 
the Rev. Mr. Anderson's History of the Colonial Churches, is 
doubtless the true one. Speaking of the missionaries sent out by 
the Propagation Society in the beginning of the last century, he 
says : 

" Foremost among these were the services of John Blair, who first came 
out in 1704 as an itinerant missionary through the courtesy of Lord Wey- 
mouth, and, after suffering many hardships, returned to encounter them a 
second time as one of the permanent missionaries of the Society and Com- 
missary of the Bishop of London. At the time of Blair's first visit, he 
found three small churches already built in the Colony, with glebes belong- 
ing to them. His fellow-labourers sent out by the Society in 1707 and 
the few next years were Adams, Gordon, Urmston, Rainsford, Newman, 



286 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Garzia, and Moir, some of "whom, worn out by the difficulties and dis- 
tresses which poverty and fatigue and the indifference or hostility of the 
people brought upon them, returned not long afterward to England. 
Compelled to lodge, when at home, in some old tobacco-house, and, when 
they travelled, to lie oftentimes whole nights in the woods, and to live for 
days together upon no other food but bread moistened in brackish water, 
journeying amid deep swamps and along broken roads through a wild and 
desert country, and finding themselves at the distance of every twenty 
miles upon the banks of some broad river, which they could only cross by 
good boats and experienced watermen, neither of which aids were at their 
command ; encountering upon some of the plantations the violent opposi- 
tion of various non-conformists, already settled there in preponderating 
numbers ; receiving in others the promise of some small stipend from the 
vestry, which was called a ( living/ and, if paid at all, was paid in bills 
which could only be disposed of at an excessive discount ; forced, there- 
fore, to work hard with axe and hoe and spade to keep themselves and 
their families from starving, and discerning not in any quarter a single ray 
of earthly hope or comfort, it cannot be a matter of surprise that some of 
them should have sought once more the shelter and rest of their native 
land. Governor Eden, and, after him, Sir Richard Everett, both appear 
to have done what they could to bring about a better state of things ; and, 
at a later period, (1762,) Arthur Dobbs, who filled the same high office, 
made earnest but vain appeals to the authorities at home, that a Bishop 
might be sent out to the Province. The Assembly, also, had passed an 
act as early as the year 1715, by which the whole Province was divided 
into nine parishes, and a stipend, not exceeding fifty pounds, was fixed 
for their respective ministers by the vestries. But, regard being had to 
the peculiar condition of the Colony at that time, the letter of such an 
enactment served only to provoke and aggravate dissensions. There was 
no spirit of hearty co-operation in the great body of the people ; and the 
unwillingness of the magistrates of the several districts to set an example 
of earnest and true devotion may be learned from a strange fact recorded 
by Blair upon his first visit to the Province, that, while he administered 
every other ordinance required of him by the Church, he abstained from 
celebrating any marriage, because the fee given upon such occasions was a 
perquisite belonging to the magistrates, which he was not desirous to 
deprive them of. 

" Of the zeal and diligence of the clergy of North Carolina, whose 
names I have given above, the reports which reached the Society in Eng- 
land were uniformly satisfactory- and a deeper feeling, therefore, of regret 
arises, that one of them should afterward have forfeited his good name 
at Philadelphia. 

" Two more of the North Carolina clergy at this time deserve to be 
named with especial honour, because they had both resided as laymen for 
some years in the Province, and therefore been eye-witnesses of the hard- 
ships to which the Church there was exposed. Nevertheless, they came 
forward with resolute and hopeful spirit to encounter them, and were ad- 
mitted into the ranks of her ordained missionaries. The first of these 
John Boyd received from the Bishop of London authority to enter upon 
his arduous work in 1732 ; and the manner in which he discharged his 
duties in Albemarle county, North Carolina, until his death, six years 
afterward, proved how fitly it had been conferred upon him. 

" The other Clement Hall pursued a yet more distinguished course, 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 287 

and for a longer period. He had formerly been in the commission of the 
peace for the Colony, and had officiated for several years as lay-reader in 
congregations which could not obtain the services of an ordained minister. 
The testimony borne to him in the letters which he took with him to 
England, in 1743, from the Attorney-General, sheriffs, and clergy of the 
Province, was amply verified by the zeal and piety with which he after- 
ward fulfilled the labours of his mission. Although chiefly confined to 
Chowan county, it was extended at stated periods to three others ; and the 
number and variety of his services may be learned in some degree from 
one of his earliest reports, from which it appears that he had preached 
sixteen times and baptized above four hundred children and twenty adults 
in three weeks. But the mere recital of numbers would describe very 
imperfectly the amount of labour involved in such visitations. The dis- 
tance and difficulties of the journeys they required must also be taken 
into account; and, in the case of Hall, the difficulties became greater 
through his own weakness of health. But no sooner did he end one visi- 
tation than he made preparation for another ; and, except when sickness 
laid him prostrate, his work ceased not for a single day. In the face of 
much opposition and discouragement, he still pressed onward, and in 
many places was cheered by the eager sympathy of the people. The 
chapels and court-houses of the different settlements which he visited 
were seldom large enough to contain half the numbers who flocked toge- 
ther to hear him. Sometimes the place of their solemn meeting was 
beneath the shades of the forest; at other times, by the river-side or upon 
the sea-shore, the same work of truth and holiness was permitted to ' have 
free course and be glorified/ A summary of the labours of Clement 
Hall, made about eight years after he had entered upon them, shows that 
at that time (1752) he had journeyed about fourteen thousand miles, 
preached nearly seven hundred sermons, baptized more than six thousand 
children and grown-up persons, (among whom were several hundred 
negroes and Indians,) administered the Lord's Supper frequently to as 
many as two or three hundred in a single journey, besides performing the 
countless other offices of visiting the sick, of churching of women, and 
of catechizing the young, which he was everywhere careful to do." 

The reader will more than excuse us for the foregoing notices 
of the early condition of our sister State and diocese of North 
Carolina. 

According to promise, I now present a view of the Indian school 
at Christina, in a report to the Bishop of London by its teacher, 
the Rev. Mr. Griffin : 

"CHRISTINA, January 12, 1716. 

" MY LORD : Being employed by Colonel Spottswood, our Governor, 
to instruct the Indian children at this settlement, I thought it my duty to 
address your lordship with this, in which I humbly beg leave to inform 
you what progress I have made in carrying on this charitable design of 
our excellent Governor. Should I presume to give an account of the kind 
reception I met with at my arrival here from the Indian Queen, the great 
men, and, indeed, from all the Indians, with a constant continuance of 
their kindness and respect, and of the great sense they have of the good 
that is designed them by the Governor in sending me to live with them 



OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

to teach their children, as also at the great expense he has been at, and 
the many fatigues he has undergone by travelling hither in the heat of 
summer, as well as in the midst of winter, to the great hazard of his 
health, to encourage and promote this most pious undertaking, I should 
far exceed the bounds of a letter, and intrude too much on your lordship's 
time. I shall, therefore, decline this, and humbly represent to your lord- 
ship what improvements the pagan children have made in the knowledge 
of the Christian religion, which I promise myself can't but be very ac- 
ceptable to you, a pious Christian Bishop. We have here a very hand- 
some school-house, built at the charge of the Indian Company, in which 
are at present taught seventy Indian children ; and many others from the 
Western Indians, who live more than four hundred miles from hence, will 
be brought hither in the spring to be put under my care, in order to be 
instructed in the religion of the Holy Jesus. The greatest number of my 
scholars can say the Belief, the Lord's Prayer, and Ten Commandments, 
perfectly well ; they know that there is but one God, and they are able to 
tell me how many persons there are in the Godhead, and what each of 
those blessed Persons have done for them. They know how many sacra- 
ments Christ hath ordained in his Church, and for what end he instituted 
them ; they behave themselves reverently at our daily prayers, and can 
make their responses, which was no little pleasure to their great and good 
benefactor, the Governor, as also to the Rev. Mr. John Cargill, Mr. Attor- 
ney-General, and many other gentlemen who attended him in his progress 
hither. Thus, niy lord, hath the Governor (notwithstanding the many 
difficulties he laboured under) happily laid the foundation of this great 
and good work of civilizing and converting these poor Indians, who, 
although they have lived many years among the professors of the best 
and most holy religion in the world, yet so little care has been taken to 
instruct them therein, that they still remain strangers to the covenant of 
grace, and have not improved in any thing by their conversing with Chris- 
tians, excepting in vices to which before they were strangers, which is a 
very sad and melancholy reflection. But that God may crown with suc- 
cess this present undertaking, that thereby his Kingdom may be enlarged 
by the sincere conversion of these poor heathen, I humbly recommend 
both it and myself to your lordship's prayers, and beg leave to subscribe 
myself, with great duty, my lord, your lordship's 

" Most dutiful and most obedient, humble servant, 

" CHARLES GRIFFIN." 

I am sorry to add that, Mr. Griffin's labours proving much less 
successful at Christina than he fondly anticipated in his letter, he 
was some years after this removed to the Braflerton Professorship 
at William and Mary College, and the institution at Christina 
abandoned. He, however, still continued to pay attention to such 
Indian youth as came to the College. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 289 



ARTICLE XXIV. 

Parishes in Nansemond. No. 2. 

HAVING thus availed myself of the journal of Colonel Byrd, and 
the report of Mr. Griffin concerning the Indian School, and Mr. 
Anderson's account of the Church in North Carolina, I return to 
the brief sketch of the Church in Nansemond. It was divided into 
two parishes, the upper and lower. The lower was sometimes 
called Suffolk parish, although the town of Suffolk was in the 
upper parish. All that I have yet learned of the Suffolk or lower 
parish is, that there are two old brick churches in it, one on the 
left and the other on the right bank of the Nansemond River, each 
about ten miles from Suffolk. There is a valuable glebe attached 
to them, which, being a private donation, has not been touched. 
There is no minister in the parish. 

The vestry-book of the upper parish dates back as far as 
November 30th, 1743. At the first vestry-meeting there were 
present Colonel Andrew Meade, Edward Norfleet, Lemuel Reddick, 
John Gregorie, John Norfleet, Daniel Pugh, Jethro Sumner. In 
the year 1744 Captain William Wright and Captain Williams 
appear on the list, and the Rev. Mr. Balfour is minister. In the 
year 1745 Mr. David Meade and Mr. Daniel Pugh take the places 
of Colonel Andrew Meade and Colonel Daniel Pugh, the sons suc- 
ceeding the fathers. In this year the Rev. Mr. Balfour is arraigned 
by the vestry for drunkenness, swearing, and other vices, and nothing 
more is heard of him. In the year 1746 Henry Temple, Christo- 
pher Norfleet, Miles Reddick, and Mr. Wimburn are vestrymen. 
In this year a new brick church is ordered in Suffolk in the place 
of the old one. In the year 1747 the Rev. Willis Webb is elected 
minister, Richard Baker chosen vestryman, and a chapel at Holy 
Neck ordered, the minister to preach at Middle Chapel and 
Somerton Chapel until the new chapel is built. In the year 1748 
the order for a new church at Suffolk is renewed. It is to be a 
handsome brick church, and David Meade and Lemuel Reddick 
allowed to put up, at their own expense, galleries for their families. 
Win. Moore, Thomas Sumner, Messrs. Hunter and Rawles, Henry 
Holland, and John Ashburn, vestrymen. In the year 1758 a 
chapel is ordered at Mr. Norfleet's, like that at Nottoway. Richard 

19 



J 
290 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Webb, James Gibson, Jt)siah Reddick, are elected vestrymen. In 
the year 1760 the Rev. Mr. Webb either died or removed, having 
been minister without reproof for thirteen years. In the same 
year the Rev. Patrick Lunan is chosen to preach at Nottoway 
Chapel, Cypress Chapel, Holy Neck, and Suffolk Church, and the 
Rev. Mr. Burgess assisted. In the year 1766 Jeremiah Godwin 
was chosen vestryman, and the Rev. Mr. Lunan was presented by 
the vestry to Commissary Robinson ; and in the following year Mr. 
David Meade and Thomas Gilgrist were ordered to prosecute the 
case, and to apply to the Attorney-General and Mr. Wm. Waller. 
This, and several other cases in different parishes, led Commissary 
Robinson to write to the Bishop of London, stating the uncertainty 
of the authority given to the Commissaries for the purpose of 
discipline over the clergy. I presume that no change was made, 
and this and other cases were left to be settled by the vestry as 
they could ; for we find that, though this Mr. Lunan did not preach 
for the parish, he held the glebe until the year 1775, when he 
relinquished all claim on glebe and parish for three hundred pounds, 
paid in three annual instalments. In the year 1774 the Rev. Mr. 
Agnew preached at Cypress Church and Suffolk, and the Rev. Mr. 
Burgess at Holy Neck Chapel once a month. In the year 1775 the 
Rev. Mr. Andrews is elected. Going back two years, we find that in 
the year 1773 Mr. Lemuel Reddick resigned on account of age and 
infirmities, having served forty years, and Mr. David Meade being 
about to move from the county, having served twenty-seven years, 
John Reddick and Andrew Meade were chosen in their room. 
Walls Cooper, Willis Streaton, and William Pugh and Samuel 
Cohoon appear on the vestry. In the year 1777 Mr. Andrew 
Meade removed; and Jacob Sumner resigned. John Driver and 
Christopher Roberts were elected. In the year 1781 John Brinkle 
and John Coles were vestrymen. In the year 1785, according 
to Act of Assembly, a new vestry was elected. There were six of 
the Roddicks placed on it, and Richard Baker, Dimsey Sumner, 
and John Giles, William King and Abraham Parker. Richard 
Baker and Willis Reddick were appointed to attend the Episcopal 
Convention to be held at Richmond that year. The church- 
wardens were directed to advertise for a minister. Meetings of the 
vestry were also held in the years 1790 and 1791, when Henry 
Harrison and Hardy Parker were chosen vestrymen. Thus 
closes the journal. The misconduct of several of the ministers, 
and several other circumstances, had combined for a long time to 
bring the Church and religion to a sad condition. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 291 

On the journal of the Convention of 1785, the Eev. Arthur 
Emmerson appears as the clerical delegate, and Willis Reddick, 
Richard Baker, and Solomon Shepherd as lay delegates. In the 
years 1790 and 1791 a Rev. Mr. Taylor appears on the journals 
from Suffolk. In the year 1812 the Rev. Jacob Reeling's name 
appears on the journal, he having been ordained by Bishop Madi- 
son, but how long before is not known. The excellencies of this 
simple-hearted and single-minded man are known to some now 
living. During the latter years of his ministry he had much aid 
from the Rev. Mr. Jones, of the adjoining parish in the Isle of 
Wight, and the Rev. Mr. Wingfield, of Portsmouth. In process 
of time the Rev. Mr. Disbrough became the minister of the parish, 
and during the period of his ministry the present brick church was 
erected. After his departure, the Rev. Aristides and the Rev. 
Leonidas Smith rendered much service to the congregation while 
engaged as instructors of youth in Norfolk. The Rev. Chauncey 
Colton is its present minister. 

Having thus presented the fullest sketch of the parish history I 
have been able to get, I close, as in some others, with a notice of 
some families which once belonged to it. Though there may be 
others more deserving of notice, yet, as that of my own ancestors 
is the only one known to me, I will be excused for saying something 
of that. It is chiefly taken, even to the letter, from papers found 
among the relics of the late David Meade, of Kentucky, eldest 
brother of my father, who lived to be more than ninety years of 
age, and was much addicted to the study of genealogy. 

The family is- traced by him to Thomas Cromwell, a blacksmith 
of Putney, in Ireland, who was the father of Thomas Cromwell, 
servant of Cardinal Wolsey, and his successor in the favour of Henry 
the Eighth, but who, forfeiting that, was beheaded by his orders. 
Oliver Cromwell was his nephew. One branch of this family was 
the Everards, of Essex, from whom Richard Kidder, Bishop of 
Bath and Wells, was derived, who, together with his wife, was 
killed by the falling upon them of a stack of chimneys in a thunder- 
storm. From him came the name of Richard Kidder, so frequent 
in the family, and from the Everards the name of Everard, also 
common in the family. The name of Oliver is also to be found in 
it. The paternal ancestor of the family in this country, Andrew 
Meade, was born in the county of Kerry and kingdom of Ireland 
about the latter part of the seventeenth century. Tradition says, 
that on leaving his native country he went first to London, and from 
thence came to New York, where he, though a Romanist, married 



292 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Miss Mary Latham, a Quakeress, of Flushing, (a family still residing 
there,) a heterogeneous kind of union, less obnoxious to nature than 
to bigotry, says Mr. Meade. Some five years after, he removed to 
Virginia and settled in Nansemond county. It has never been 
certainly ascertained whether he formally renounced the Catholic 
faith, though he was for many years a representative of his county 
in the House of Burgesses, judge of the county, and colonel of the 
militia.* 

He is said to have been a large, muscular man, of great corporal 
strength, and rather hard-featured in the face, but of fine form. 
He died in the year 1745, leaving a character without a stain, 
having had the glorious epithet connected with it, The Honest. 
One son and daughter were all the children which he left. His 
son David Meade, and wife Susannah, afforded their posterity an 
example of conjugal felicity which has been rarely equalled. The 
God of Love was present at their first interview, and made them 
feel the effects of his disposition at the same moment. But there 
was a considerable lapse of time between their first meeting and 
marriage. Her father was Governor Everard, of North Carolina, 
then living with his family in Edenton, and was unwilling to leave 
his daughter in the wilds of America when he should return home. 
When about to sail, the ship in which they were to embark lying 
in Hampton Roads, then called Nansemond River, there was no 
other house at that time, convenient to the place of embarkation, at 
which they could be well accommodated but Andrew Meade's. 
To this they went ; and, being detained some time by adverse winds, 
or other causes, the earnest entreaties of a most affectionate father, 
almost distracted at the thought of parting with his only son, (who 
was determined to follow her,) at length prevailed, and they were 
immediately married ;f and the daughter of Andrew Meade was 
named Priscilla, and married a Mr. Wilson Curie, of Hampton, by 
whom she had two daughters and not less than six sons. 



* From his holding these offices, we may certainly conclude that he had renounced 
it, since test-oaths were required of such officers, and he was reputed to be an 
honest man. In this I am further confirmed by the fact, that the name of Colonel 
Andrew Meade stands first on the list of vestrymen in the year 1743, when the list 
I have commences. He was at Suffolk, and a hospitable entertainer, in 1728, as 
Colonel Byrd testifies. 

f The case of David Meade and Susannah Everard had something so touching 
in it as to give rise to some little novel or poem, but of which nothing remains but 
uncertain tradition. David Meade is represented as rigid in his morals, and one 
who could not tolerate vice. He was active in enforcing discipline against evil 
ministers. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 298 

David Meade had two daughters and five sons. His daughters 
were Anne, who married Richard Randolph, of Curls, and Mary, 
who married Colonel Walker, each of them leaving many children, 
who are scattered over the land. The sons were David Meade, who 
inherited the estate in Nansemond, married a Miss Waters, of 
Williamsburg, then settled at Macox, in Prince George, then re- 
moved to Kentucky, devoting his time and fortune to the improve- 
ment of the seats on which he lived, and which were celebrated all 
over Virginia and Kentucky. The others were R. K. Meade, aid 
to General Washington, Everard Meade, aid to General Lincoln 
and afterward raised to the rank of General, Andrew Meade, who 
settled in Brunswick, and John, who died in his youth. The three 
elder children were sent to England for their education, and placed 
under the care of Dr. Thackery, the Principal of Harrow School, 
and Archdeacon of Surrey. The celebrated Sir William Jones, Sir 
Joseph Banks, and Dr. Parr were at that time among its scholars.* 

As it is good sometimes to wander amidst ruins and graveyards, 
I will take my readers for a few moments to the spot where my 
ancestors lived and some of them died and were buried, and from 
whence they will rise up on the great day. It stands on an eminence 
about a mile back of the town of Suffolk. An avenue of trees led 
from it to the church in Suffolk, through which the family, at the 
sound of the bell, repaired to church. Andrew Meade, having made 
a handsome fortune, first by the fur-trade with Indians up the 
Roanoke in Virginia and North Carolina, and then by the lumber- 
trade, built a large house on this spot for his residence, and store- 
houses also, as he still carried on trade by a creek which came up 
almost to his door. The mansion has long since been consumed by 
fire, and the other houses mouldered into ruin. The estate has 
passed into many hands since the last of the family parted with it. 
But there was one spot which it was hoped would be spared until 
the dissolution of the earth, the graveyard, so well was it guarded. 
It was a small square lot, around which cedar-trees were planted so 
thick that their bodies reached within one or two feet of each 
other. A better enclosure, and one more likely to endure, cannot 
well be imagined. I visited the place some years since for the first 



* The talented and unhappy Dr. Dodd, of London, used to preach at Harrow to 
the boys of that school. I have seen his sermons to them, and heard my father 
speak of his eloquence. "When he was executed, the boys of the school were either 
sent or permitted to go. My father witnessed the scene. I may be permitted to 
ddd concerning my father, that while at the school his teacher said of him that he 
would never make a great scholar, but he will be what is much better, vir probus. 



294 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

time, and was sorry to find that the last owner of it had cut down 
every tree and converted them into stakes and firewood. The 
stumps, however, were perfectly apparent. The graveyard was 
thickly covered with grass, leaves, briers, and shrubs, so much so, 
that a friend and connection of the family who was with me could 
with difficulty get a few yards into it, to search for some memorial 
of the dead, for nothing of the kind appeared on the surface. The 
corner of one slab, thickly covered with grass and mould, was all 
that he could see or feel. We left the spot, convinced that a better 
protection for the place and its monuments, whatever they were, 
could not be provided, than that which they then had. But we 
were mistaken. A few months since, I wrote to that same friend 
and companion, saying that in view of this work whiph I am now 
engaged in, I wished him to get some suitable hands with proper 
implements, and remove all the trees, shrubs, briers, and rubbish, 
so as to find out what was concealed by them. According to my 
request, he went to the spot prepared to make the examination, when 
to his surprise he found not a stump or shrub remaining, but only 
a number of small fragments of tombstone about the spot, which 
was now in the midst of a cultivated field, itself ploughed up and 
cultivated. The names of Caruthers and Vail were all that could 
be distinguished. That of Meade could not be made out on any 
of the fragments. Perhaps no tombstone with that name was 
ever there, although some of the family must have been buried 
there. 

I shall be excused for adding in this place some other particulars 
concerning my father. He married, at the age of nineteen, Miss 
Jane Randolph, of Curls, sister of Richard Randolph, who mar- 
ried his sister, and aunt of John Randolph, of Roanoke, who 
always called him Uncle Kidder. His wife was some years older 
than himself, which called from the elder Judge Tucker some 
humorous poetry, entitled Happy Dick, in which he condoles with 
the younger ladies on James River upon their disappointment. 
This wife lived but a few years, having several children during the 
time, and leaving none behind. During his first marriage he lived 
at Coggin's Point, in Prince George, the present possession and 
residence of Edmund Ruffin, and which he sold during the war, 
though, by means of the depreciation of money, he realized but 
little from it. In Prince George he was a vestryman, but resigned 
because the vestry would not discharge an unworthy clergyman. 
He entered early into the Revolutionary War, being one of twenty- 
four persons among whom were James Monroe, George Wythe, 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 295 

Benjamin Harrison, Colonel Bland, &c. who, in June, 1775, seized 
upon the arms and ammunition in Dunmore's house, in Williams- 
burg, carrying the powder to the magazine, and dividing the arms 
among themselves for safe-keeping and the service of the country. 
In December of that year he was found at the battle of Great 
Bridge, near Norfolk, the first battle fought in Virginia. He had 
raised a company, and was then serving as captain under General 
Woodford. [See the account which he gives in the Bland Papers.] 
He was soon taken into the family of General Washington as his aid, 
and was the most active in reconnoitring, being a good rider and 
having a fine animal, the black mare so well known to the British 
as well as American armies. [See Campbell's History of Virginia.] 
He used to say that Hamilton did all the head-work for the General, 
and he the riding, reconnoitring, and carrying orders on the field. 
He was with Washington in all the great battles of the Revolution. 
To him was committed the superintendence of the execution of 
Major Andre', of which he always spoke with much feeling, saying 
that he could not forbear tears at seeing the execution of so un- 
common and interesting a man, though he entirely approved the 
order. At the close of the war he married the widow of Mr. Wil- 
liam Randolph, of Chattsworth, near Richmond, the brother of 
Governor Beverly Randolph, of Cumberland, and Colonel Robert 
Randolph, of Fauquier. She is mentioned in Campbell's History 
as among the female contributors to the expenses of the war in a 
time of great need. Her contribution was eight hundred dollars. 
Perhaps this circumstance may have first attracted my father's 
attention to her. When Washington was taking leave of some of 
his aids, a circumstance occurred which showed his estimate of 
their different characters. To Hamilton he said, "You must go to 
the bar, which you can reach in six months ;" to Laurens, some- 
thing as appropriate ; to Colonel Meade, whom he then called by 
his familiar name, "Friend Dick, you must go to a plantation in 
Virginia ; you will make a good farmer and an honest foreman of 
the grand jury of the county where you live." And so it proved; 
for he became a most attentive, successful, and, at first, hard- 
working farmer, and was, while health permitted, always, the fore- 
man of the grand jury of the old District Court of Frederick 
county. He rejoiced as a citizen in those blessings which his mili- 
tary services had helped to obtain, and often said that there was 
no debt he so gladly discharged as the taxes levied for the main- 
tenance of our free and happy government. He never allowed a 
tax-gatherer to come to his house in search of what was due, but 



296 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

always anticipated this by paying it beforehand at some appointed 
place. The same was true of all his debts. As infirmities of body 
increased, the foundation of which were laid in his exposure during 
the war, and he could no longer fell trees and maul rails with the 
very few servants saved from the wreck of his estate, he still 
laboured in other ways. A box of tools, imported from England, 
stood in the corner of the old log dining-room, and a saddler's 
bench during the winter season was on one side. All the helves, 
rakes, cradles, gates, and plantation-gear were made by his own 
hands ; and so expert was he in the latter manufacture as to pro- 
duce a compliment from an old friend, that " a good saddler was 
spoiled in.-, the attempt to make a gentleman of him." Neverthe- 
less, he did not entirely discard books and politics, but sometimes 
wrote an article for the press on some subject which deeply in- 
volved our country's interests. Nor did Washington disdain to 
consult with him as to the choice of officers when, in the near pros- 
pect of war with France, he was called on once more to head the 
armies of our country. The year before the death of Washington, 
my father paid him a visit at Mount Yernon. They had not met 
since the close of the war. The general was on his farm. They 
met in one of the fields, near a pair of draw-bars. Each, recog- 
nising the other, dismounted and shook hands over them, the Ge- 
neral insisting that he would pull down his own bars, and my father 
that he would be his aid still. 

My father survived but a few years. Several interesting obitua- 
ries, in prose and verse, appeared at his death. From them I take 
the following extracts. The first is from the pen of Mr. Robert 
Page, of Janeville, Frederick county: 

" His virtues, though of that dignified kind which enforce respect, were 
yet so tempered by gentleness and condescension that they never failed 
to conciliate affection. In public life his conduct was such as to secure 
the esteem and friendship of those accurate discerners of merit, Washing- 
ton and Hamilton. This speaks sufficiently his eulogium. His benevo- 
lence was ardent, active, and disinterested ; and one of his greatest plea- 
sures consisted in promoting the happiness and welfare of all around him. 
The death of his friend, General Hamilton, made an impression of me- 
lancholy on his mind, which, it is believed, was not obliterated until the 
hour of his death/ 7 



The following is from the Rev. Mr. Wiley : 



The heart that beat for public weal, 
Where justice held her steady way, 

Where glow'd the flame of patriot zeal, 
Is now a lump of inert clay. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 297 

But memory often shall rejoice, 

With pensive pleasure, to retrace 
His form, the accents of his voice, 

And every valued mental grace. 
His social gayety, whose flow 

Could pleasure ever new impart ; 
His candour, which could never bow 

To veil in dark disguise the heart ; 
His goodness, active, ardent, great, 

And prompt the sufferer's wants to aid ; 
These, whilst the pulse of life shall beat, 

Will never from remembrance fade." 

The last is from Mrs. Mary Page, of Pagebrook, Frederick 
county : 

" Though wars have ceased, the hero claims renown ; 
With choicest myrtle let his tomb be crown'd ; 
And ye, sweet nine, your plaintive tribute pay, 
And o'er his virtues shed a milder ray. 
In scenes domestic man is truly known ; 
In scenes domestic Meade forever shone. 
His soul, unconscious of one narrow thought, 
Of self regardless, did the thing he ought. 
Where'er his form benignant bent its way, 
Grim care soon vanish'd and each heart was gay. 
At mercy's call he ever foremost press'd ; 
For meek-eyed pity sway'd his manly breast. 
Hasten, fair nymphs of Frederick's peaceful plains; 
Attend, fond youths, to breathe your mournful strains ; 
Votaries of Hymen, follow to deplore 
That Meade, your pride and father, is no more. 
But why, blest shade, should friends lament thy doom ? 
Joys celestial hover o'er thy tomb ; 
Thy Mary, purer than the snowdrop white, 
Shall guide thine offspring to the realms of light." 

I conclude this article by a brief reference to one individual 
belonging to Suffolk parish, whom not to mention in its history 
were an unpardonable neglect. In the history of Bruton parish, 
Williamsburg, we have on the list of vestrymen and active mem- 
bers of the Church the name of Prentiss more than once. Mr. 
Prentiss, of Suffolk, was a worthy successor to the virtues of his 
ancestors. To his persevering attachment to the Church of his 
fathers during a long and dark period of almost despair, may be 
mainly ascribed, under God, its continuance in Suffolk. A more 
humble and conscientious Christian and more true-hearted Epis- 
copalian, a more honourable and courteous gentleman, a more 
affectionate husband and tender father, was, and is, nowhere 



I 

298 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

to be found. His descendants still cherish the Church in which 
they were trained, and will so do, we trust, to the latest gene- 
rations. 

Other members might, doubtless, be found among the Reddicks, 
the Joneses, the Bakers, the Hallidays, and other families of the 
parish of Suffolk, most worthy of special notice ; but the writer has 
not the necessary information for the purpose. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 299 



ARTICLE XXV. 

Parishes in Isle of Wight and Southampton. 

THE Isle of Wight was one of the eight original shires in the 
year 1634, and embraced what is now Southampton, extending 
from James River to the North Carolina line, a distance of ninety 
miles. The first name it bore was Warrosquoyacke, which, in the 
course of three years, was changed to its present. In all the early 
notices of the Colony we have frequent mention of this settlement, 
for it was among the earliest, being not far from Jamestown, on 
the other side of the river. We find in Henning's Statutes, that 
in 1642 it was divided into two parishes, the upper and lower, or 
Newport and Warwicksqueake, each extending the full length of 
the county, or ninety miles. The condition of the division, how- 
ever, was that the Rev. Mr. Falkner, the minister, should not lose 
any thing of his salary by the change. In the year 1734, those 
parts of the two parishes which lay south of Blackwater were 
united in one, under the name of Nottoway parish, while those on 
the north of it were to be united under the name of Newport parish. 
In the year 1748, fourteen years later, Southampton was cut off 
from Isle of Wight, the parish still retaining the name of Nottoway. 
In the year 1762 this was again divided by the Nottoway River 
running through Southampton, into two parishes, and St. Luke's 
established. There are no Church records of this parish to which 
I can resort for information about it. At the time of Tarleton's 
invasion of Virginia, he sent a detachment to Macclesfield, the 
residence of Colonel Josiah Parker, of Revolutionary memory, in 
hopes to take him and destroy his papers, &c. In the former he 
failed, but in the latter succeeded. Among the effects destroyed 
were the vestry-book and some Church-papers, which he, as a warm 
friend of the Church, had in keeping. It appears, however, that, 
notwithstanding the vigilance of Arnold's men, some papers relating 
to the Church were preserved and remained in possession of his 
daughter, Mrs. Cowper, until the war of 1812, when a militia force 
which was stationed near Macclesfield, being in want of cartridge- 
paper, obtained from the servants what they supposed was waste 
paper ; and thus what remained of Church records was used in the 
service of the country. Such being the case, I must rely on tradi- 



I 

300 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

tion for any statements not provable by later records. There 
have been some very old persons in the county, who have transmitted 
to the present generation some testimonies which have probable 
accuracy in them. There is a tradition that the old and venerable 
brick church a few miles from Smithfield was built in 1632 and 
was the second church erected in the Colony. Dr. Hawks men- 
tioned this as probable. It is quite likely that the date of its erection 
was as early as 1632, but that it was the second church in the 
Colony is disproved by all the early writers, who tell us of one at 
Henrico in 1611. Others, no doubt, though of a rude character, 
were raised in earlier settlements long before this time, and perhaps 
some cheap and plain one at Warrosquoyacke itself. The building 
of which we are speaking is a remarkable one. All of its materials 
must have been of the best kind, and its workmanship superior, 
whether those materials were from England and the workmanship 
as to the interior done in England, as tradition says, or not. Its 
present condition fully proves this. Its thick walls and high tower, 
like that of some English castle, are still firm, and promise so to 
be for a long time to come. The windows, doors, and all the inte- 
rior, are gone. It is said that the eastern window twenty-five 
feet high was of stained glass. This venerable building stands 
not far from the main road leading from Smithfield to Suffolk, in 
an open tract of woodland. The trees for some distance around 
it are large and tall and the foliage dense, so that but little of the 
light of the sun is thrown upon it. The pillars which strengthen 
the walls, and which are wide at the base, tapering toward the 
eaves of the house by stair-steps, have somewhat mouldered, so as 
to allow various shrubs and small trees to root themselves therein. 
Some few, indeed, though quite small, have issued from between 
the bricks beneath the eaves, on other parts of the walls. This, 
arising from the dense shade around, gives the building and the 
picture of it (which I have) a deeply-interesting appearance.* 
Some twenty or thirty years ago a new roof was put upon it 
and worship occasionally held there, in which I have partaken on 

* Some years since, in the month of November, toward the close of day, I passed 
by this church in company with an active young man ; and, as usual^ turning aside 
to survey it, I saw among the shrubs a delicate young cedar, about a foot long, 
issuing out of the wall just under the cornicing of the roof. On expressing a wish 
that I had it, without dreaming that it could be gotten, my companion immediately 
began to clamber up the pillar nearest to it, and, ascending twelve feet, got in a 
position which enabled him to remove several of the loosened bricks and get the 
young plant, with good roots, from its nest. It is now a flourishing tree, eight feet 
high, near my study-window. 



ii in 




FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 301 

several occasions; but, the neighbourhood being deserted of 
Episcopal families and a new church built in Smithfield, it is now, 
like the tomb or body of Sir John Moore, " left alone in its glory." 

There were two other old churches in this county. The Bay 
Church was a brick building about five miles northwest of Smith- 
field, near a bend in James River called Burwell's Bay, (some of 
that name having settled there at an early period,) originally 
Warrosquoyacke Bay. It was erected about the middle of the last 
century on the lands of Colonel Burwell, who was a Colonial clerk 
of the county. About the year 1810, the estate came into other 
hands; the church was pulled down and a kitchen built of the 
bricks ; the sides and backs of the pews were used to make stalls for 
a stable and divisions in a barn, which was last struck with light- 
ning and burned down. The bell of the church was exchanged in 
Richmond for a brandy-still. The other church, called the Isle of 
Wight Chapel, was a framed wooden building about fifteen miles 
southwest of Smithfield, and was erected about the year 1750. It 
was destroyed by fire some thirty or forty years since. The new 
church at Smithfield was built in 1832, and has been under the 
charge of the Rev. C. J. Hedges, Thomas Smith, Jonathan Smith, 
John Downing, John C. McCabe, H. T. Wilcoxon, and Chauncey 
Colton. 

Of the ministers in the county of Isle of Wight, previous to the 
year 1724, we have not yet been able to learn any thing except 
what has been already stated, that, in the year 1642, the Rev. Mr. 
Falkner was rector of the whole county. It was then divided into 
two parishes. In the year 1724 the same division continued. The 
Rev. Alexander Forbes was minister of the upper parish, called 
Warwicksqueake, and Thomas Bayley of the lower or Newport 
parish. I have before me a letter from eacb of them, in that year, 
to the Bishop of London, giving an account of their parishes. Mr. 
Forbes enlarges in a second letter on all the points contained in 
his first, and gives a most particular, faithful, and painful his- 
tory of all the difficulties and trials of his ministry, and of the 
unhappy condition of things in his parish and in the Colony. His 
parish is eleven miles wide along the river, and more than sixty 
miles long, extending to the North Carolina line. He has three 
churches, one of which was doubtless the old one near Smithfield. 
He speaks of the impossibility of any successful efforts at doing 
much good either by preaching or catechizing, whether in churches 
or private houses, both of which he had diligently tried, by reason 
of the extent of his parish and the scattered position of the families 



I 

302 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

of his charge. He complains much of the Quakers, who annoyed 
him not a little ; somewhat of the Anabaptists, who were then find- 
ing their way into Virginia ; but most of all of some of our own 
clergy, whose evil lives hindered the religion of the laity. His 
nearest neighbour, as we shall see, was an instance of this. He 
speaks of the Indian settlement on the Nottoway River, Christina, 
where Mr. Griffin's school was, and which was in his parish, though 
afterward in Southampton, which was cut off from the Isle of 
Wight, and deplores the ill example of the Colonists and its influ- 
ence on the natives. There were no schools in his parish. His 
number of communicants not more than thirty or forty. His glebe 
was indifferent and had no house on it. The tobacco raised there, 
being of bad quality, sold at a very reduced price, so that his salary 
was small. From the testimony of Commissary Blair and others, he 
was, however, not a mere complainant, but a very faithful and labo- 
rious man, who continued at his post for along time, perhaps until 
his death. 

As to his neighbour, the Rev. Mr. Bayley, in the lower parish, 
he was, from all the accounts we have of him, the very reverse. 
Commissary Blair and Governor Spottswood speak of him, in their 
letters to the Bishop of London and others, as a most notoriously 
wicked man. Mr. Blair says that he has tried sharp reproof 
without effect, and thinks that he shall be obliged to adopt some- 
thing more severe. Whether he ever did does not appear. He 
acknowledges that the difficulties in the way of discipline were so 
great, and ministers so scarce, that he was obliged to pass by many 
offences. 

From his answers to the Bishop of London, it appears that Mr. 
Bayley had been ten years in the States, during a part of which he 
was minister of St. John's Church, Baltimore, that there were four 
hundred families in his parish, and about forty communicants. He 
also had the small parish of Chuckatuck, in Nansemond, under his 
care, at which he preached during the week. In answer to the ques- 
tion whether there were any infidels in his parish, he says, u Yes, 
both bond and free;" and the method of their conversion was "by 
baptism and instruction." He speaks also of there being some 
unendowed schools in his parish, but in such way that we conclude 
they are none other than private schools. 

After these we learn, by oral tradition, that there was a Mr. 
Pedier, who probably was minister of the parish in which the old 
church was situated, as he was buried in the aisle of it. Then the 
Rev. J. H. Burgess, afterward of Southampton, was minister of 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 303 

the parish for the years 1773, 1774, 1775, and 1776 ; how much 
longer we know not. He went from thence to Northampton. 
The last of whom we hear was the Rev. Mr. Hubard, who was 
ordained by the Bishop of London in 1766. When he entered on 
his charge we know not, as he was minister in Warwick in the 
year 1776. He died in the parsonage on the glebe of Newport 
parish, after the year 1802. He manifested his attachment to the 
Church by preaching to the last, though there were only two or 
three persons present. 

No vestry-book furnishing us with a list of the vestrymen, we 
insert the names of some of the families in this parish : Bridger, 
Smith, Pierce, Parker, Young, Gary, Pedier, Wills, Godwin, Bur- 
well, Cocke, Holliday, Todd, Purdy, Tucker, Butler, &c. The 
tombstone of an ancestor of the Bridgers still stands on a farm a 
few miles from the Old Brick Church, with an inscription which 
declares him to have been a Councillor of State for Virginia 
under Charles II., and that he died in 1682. 

Since writing the foregoing, I have received further information 
concerning this parish from a friend, who has come into possession 
of the fragments of an old vestry-book, which partially cover 
the period lying between 1724 and 1771. As we have stated 
above, the worthy Alexander Forbes was the minister in 1724, 
as appears by his letter to the Bishop of London in that year; 
but, according to the vestry-record, in two years after the Rev. 
Mr. Barlow is the minister officiating occasionally, being the 
minister of some neighbouring parish. In the year 1727, we find 
the Rev. Mr. Bayley the minister of the lower parish, of whom 
we spoke as being so unworthy a man applying for this parish. 
The vestry dispose of his application by electing him on the con- 
dition that " he make it appear that he is not in any ways de- 
barred or silenced by any order of Government." It appears, 
from other documents in my possession, that he had been thus 
" debarred and silenced." He was a notorious character, and, 
either before or after this, was in North Carolina and other parts 
of Virginia, seeking employment. 

In the year 1729, the Rev. John Gammill was chosen minister, 
and continued so until his death in 1744. The following letter 
from Governor Gooch to the vestry speaks well of him : 

" GENTLEMEN : 

" It is a great satisfaction to me that I can now recommend to your 
parish, which has been so long without a minister so good a man as the 



9 
304 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

bearer hereof, the Rev. Mr. Gammill, whose good life and conversation 
will be very agreeable to you, as it is to, gentlemen, 

" Your affectionate friend and humble servant, 

"WILLIAM GOOOH. 

'WILLIAMS BURG, March 8, 1729-30." 

Commissary Blair also recommends him highly. 

After Mr. Gammill's ministry the Rev. Mr. Camm occasionally 
officiated in this parish. Then the Rev. Mr. McKensie preached 
nine sermons. In the year 1746, we find the Rev. John Reid 
present with the vestry ; and he seems to have been the minister 
until 1755, when the record becomes defective. In 1766, the 
Rev. Mr. Milner is the minister, and resigns in 1770. Tradition 
says, as we have stated, that a Rev. Mr. Pedier was once minister, 
and was buried in Old Smithfield Church. It is probable he suc- 
ceeded Mr. Milner. Then came Mr. Burgess and Hubard, as 
before stated. The old vestry-book confirms what has been stated 
as to the position of the three churches of this parish. 

The following is the list of vestrymen during the period of which 
it is a record : 

" Laurence Baker, Samuel Davis, Matthew Jones, Thomas Walton, 
William Kinchin, William Crumples, William Bridger, James Day, 
George Reddick, Matthew Wills, Reuben Proctor, Nathaniel Ridley, 
Thomas Woodly, John Goodrich, George Williamson, James Ingles, John 
Porson, John Davis, John Simmons, William Wilkinson, Joseph Godwin, 
Henry Lightfoot, James Bridger, John Monro, Thomas Parker, Hardy 
Council, Henry Pitt, Arthur Smith, Richard Wilkinson, Henry Apple- 
whaite, Thomas Day, John Laurence, Hugh Giles, Thomas and John 
Applewhaite, Thomas Tynes, John Eley, Thomas Smith, Jordan Thomas, 
John Darden, Dolphin Drew, John Wills, William Hodsden, William 
Salter, Robert Barry, Charles Tilghman, Robert Burwell, Miles Wills, 
Edmund Godwin." 

In the foregoing list, my friend remarks, are forty different 
surnames, almost all of which are now to be found in Isle of Wight 
and Southampton counties ; that is, within the original bounds of old 
Warwicksqueake shire and parish. It appears from the vestry- 
book that, in the year 1737, that is, one hundred and five years 
after it was first built, the Old Smithfield Church had a new 
covering of shingles put upon it. This was doubtless the first 
repair of the kind since its erection, for it was no uncommon thing 
for a well-built roof to last thus long. Old Yeocomico Church, in 
Westmoreland, has one on it at this time of greater age. 

I have alluded to the families of Bridger and Parker, and their 
mansion at Macclesfield, a few miles from Old Smithfield Church, 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 305 

in the first part of this article, and to a tombstone thereat ; and 
a friend has furnished me with the following inscription, with the 
explanatory remarks : 

"Inscription on the tomb of the Hon Ue Joseph Bridger, Paymaster- General 
to the British troops in America during Bacon' s Rebellion, in the reign 
of Charles the Second of England. 

" Sacred to the memory of the Hon ble Joseph Bridger, Councillor of 
State to Charles the 2d. He dyed Aprill 15, Anno Domini 1688, aged 
58 years, mournfully leaving his wife, three sons, and four daughters/' 

Some eulogistic verses are added, from which we select the fol- 
lowing : 

"Can nature silent mourn, and can dumb stone 
Make his true worth to future ages known ? 
Here lies the late great minister of state, 
That royall virtues had, and royall fate." 

Perhaps it was as great an honour to him to be the son of the 
man who built Old Smithfield Church as to have been one of the 
Councillors of the corrupt Charles II., and to have acted with 
Sir William Berkeley against him who is called the rebel Bacon. 
That he was the son of the man who contracted for the church is 
stated in the following words accompaning the inscription : 

" General Bridger was the son and heir of the Joseph Bridger who 
superintended the building of St. Luke's, (the Brick Church,) in New- 
port parish, Isle of Wight county." 

My friend adds these words : 

11 The above is taken from a copy made by the late Mrs. Anne P. P. 
Cowper, of Macclesfield, from the tombstone, which is erected on a 
farm about three miles below the Old Brick Church, and is still in a 
perfect state. This farm was a part of an immense landed estate which 
descended to Mrs. Cowper from her mother, who was a widow Bridger, 
and married Colonel Josiah Parker, of Revolutionary celebrity." 

I have also referred to a small parish, called Chuckatuck, in 
Nansemond county, of which I could say nothing for want of any 
documents. A friend has sent me the copy of a portion of an old 
vestry-book of this parish, which contains the proceedings of the 
vestry from December of the year 1702 to 1709. I will first 
give the names of the gentlemen composing the vestry during that 
period : 

"Captain Edmund Godwin, Major Thomas Swann, Captain L. Havield, 
Mr. James Davis, Mr. Oliver Slaughter, Mr. James Cewling, Mr. Thomas 

20 



$ 

306 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Drury, Colonel Thomas (Godwin, Captain John Pitt, Mr. Thomas Corbell, 
Colonel George Norsworthy, Captain Charles Drury, Mr. John Brasseur, 
Major Thomas Jordan, Captain B. Kearne, Mr. John Lear, Peter Best, 
Thomas Cutchins, John Isles." 

The vestry seems to have been an energetic and decided one. 
In April, 1703, is their first action : 

" The vestry, being willing to embrace the first opportunity for the 
service of God, have therefore entertained and agreed with Mr. William 
Rudd, minister, to preach a sermon every intervening Thursday until the 
1st of October next, at the rate of three hundred and eight pounds of 
tobacco per sermon, and also to pay twelve shillings for his ferrying over 
the river : which Mr. William Rudd accepts, and promises, with God's 
assistance, to perform his duty. During the summer they invite him to 
become their minister and preach every other Sunday, for eight thousand 
pounds of tobacco." 

Mr. Rudd was then the minister of Norfolk, in Elizabeth River 
parish, and it was customary to ask the consent of the Governor 
to a separation ; wherefore the vestry addressed a letter to Governor 
Nicholson. Mr. Rudd became their minister, and remained such 
for some years. After this they had the services of the Rev. 
Thomas Hassell, but how long is not known. It was during the 
infancy of this vestry that Governor Nicholson was endeavouring 
to establish his authority over the vestries in relation to induction 
of ministers and the supply of vacancies. The opinion of Sir 
Edward Northy, the King's Attorney, was sent to all the vestries 
and ordered to be recorded on the vestry-books. The vestry of 
the little Chuckatuck parish obeyed the Governor's order and 
placed the document on record, but added this spirited resolution 
to it : 

"But as to presenting our present or any other minister for induc- 
tion, are not of opinion, [here is something not very intelligible by itself, 
but rendered perfectly so by what follows,] but are willing to entertain 
our present minister upon the usual terms, as formerly hath been used in 
this Colony." 

I do not know that there was ever more than one church in this 
parish. That is still standing, and has been occasionally supplied 
by. ministers from Suifolk and Smithfield. I have often been in 
it, and enjoyed the services held therein. 

On the few pages of this vestry-book which are before me, I 
find all the oaths which at that time were required of vestrymen 
and churchwardens. As they varied according to times and cir- 
cumstances, and some are to be seen in one vestry-book and some 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 307 

in another, I will present them all to the reader as they here 
appear : 

"The oaths appointed to be taken, as by an Act of Parliament, in the 
reign of William the Third, instead of allegiance and supremacy. 

"I, A. B., do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be true and faith- 
ful, and bar [bear] true allegiance to his Majesty King George the Third. 
So help me God. 

" I, A. B., do from my heart abhor, detest, and abjure, as impious and 
hereticall, that damnable doctrine and position, that Princes excommuni- 
cated or deprived by the Pope, or any authority of the See of Rome, may 
be deposed or murthered by any of their subjects whatsoever; and I do 
declare, that no foreign Prince, Person or Prelate, State or Potentate, 
hath, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, power, superiority, predominance, 
or authority, ecclesiasticall or spiritual, within this Realm. So help me 
God. 

" I, A. B., do sincerely believe that there is not any transubstantiation 
in the Sacraments of the Lord's Supper, or in the elements of bread and 
wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever." 

"The oath of a vestryman, being the oath of obedience canonical. 

" I, A. B., do swear, that I approve of the doctrine and discipline, or 
government, in the Church of England as concerning all things necessary 
to Salvation; and that I will not endeavour, by myself or any other, 
directly or indirectly, to bring in any Popish Doctrine contrary to that 
which is so established; nor will I ever give my consent to alter the go- 
vernment of this church by Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, and Archdeacons, 
&c., as it stands now established, and as by right it ought to stand, nor yet 
ever to subject it to the usurpations and superstitions of the See of Rome. 
And all these things I do plainly and sincerely acknowledge and swear, 
according to the plain and common sense and understanding of the same 
words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret reservation 
whatsoever; and this I do heartily, willingly, and truly, upon the faith of 
a Christian. So help me God." 

'The oath of a churchwarden. 

" You shall execute the office of churchwarden in the parish where you 
are chosen, according to your discretion and skill, in his Majesties' eccle- 
siastical laws of this Realm now in force. So help me God." 

PARISHES IN SOUTHAMPTON. 

Having exhausted our little stock of information concerning the 
Isle of Wight parishes, we proceed to Southampton, which was cut 
off from it in the year 1748, and the parish called Nottoway, which 
was in a few years divided and St. Luke's parish established. In 
the year 1758 we find a Rev. Thomas Burgess minister of the un- 
divided Nottoway parish ; and in the year 1773, the Rev. William 
Agur minister of Nottoway parish, and the Rev. George Gurley 
of St. Luke's, and the same in 1774. But in the year 1776, the 



308 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Rev. William Andrews takes the place of Mr. Agur in Nottoway 
parish. In the year 1785, Mr. George Gurley appears in the Con- 
vention at Richmond as rector of St. Luke's still, and in 1786 the 
Rev. Benjamin Blunt has taken his place. This is the last repre- 
sentation from Southampton until after the revival of the Church 
in Virginia. I have, however, some private information concerning 
a portion of its intermediate history. During the war the Rev. 
John Henry Burgess, who had been before ministering in Newport 
parish, Isle of Wight, moved into Southampton, and there both 
preached the Gospel and instructed the youth. He probably 
preached at all the churches in the two parishes, and supported 
himself by teaching, as the salaries of the ministers were very 
badly paid during the war, if at all, and many of them ceased to 
preach. There were not less than seven churches in the two 
parishes, including one built under his auspices. The names of five 
of them were Lecock, Oberry's, Simmons's, Jones's, and Millfield. 
The latter, Millfield, was near his residence, and is now in posses- 
sion of the Baptists. All the rest have passed away. Mr. Bur- 
gess's school was held in high esteem. Among those which were 
educated in it we may mention one of the late Presidents, William 
Henry Harrison. To the number of patriotic ministers we may 
surely add the Rev. Mr. Burgess ; for so zealously did he advocate 
the cause of America, both privately and publicly, that the British 
got possession of him during the war, and kept him a prisoner 
until the close of it. So entire was the prostration of the Episco- 
pal Church in this county, that it was some time after our efforts 
at resuscitation commenced before attention was turned toward it. 
The Revs. Edmund Withers and Edward B. McGuire gave a portion 
of their time and labours to it a few years since, and not without 
effect. The Rev. Mr. Gibson, of Petersburg, and Robert, of 
Greensville, have added their occasional services since then, and we 
hope the time is not far distant when we shall have a regular 
ministry and temples of our own. 

PARISHES IN SURREY COUNTY. 

This county originally contained all that is now Surrey and 
Sussex. There were two parishes in it in 1738, called Lawn's 
Creek and Southwark, running the whole length of the county 
toward the Carolina line, being one hundred and twenty miles. 
At that time each of them were curtailed ; and, as in the case of 
the Isle of Wight parishes, Black River divided them. Those 
parts of the parishes which lie south of Blackwater River formed 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 309 

a parish by the name of Albemarle, in what is now Sussex county, 
and the parts north of Black River formed another parish, retain- 
ing the name of Southwark, that of Lawn's Creek being hence- 
forth dropped. Although there were many ministers in the parishes 
of Surrey before the year 1724, and between that and 1754 and 
1758, and though I have their names on different documents in 
possession, I am not able to identify or locate them, because these 
documents do not appropriate them to their parishes. I am able to 
say who were the ministers in 1724, because their answers to the 
Bishop of London show it. I can say who were the ministers in 
1754 and 1758, because I have a list both of the ministers and 
parishes of those years. Had I the old vestry-books, they would 
supply the deficiency ; but I have none of either of these parishes ; 
and yet they may be in existence, though in some tattered form. 

I givfe, first, some of the answers of the Rev. John Worden, 
who says, 

"I arrived in Virginia in 1712, when Governor Spottswood sent me for 
six months to Jamestown. Thence I went to the parishes of Weynoake 
and Martins Brandon, both of which parishes were hardly sufficient to 
support a minister ; therefore I removed to this parish, where I have been 
since January 30th, 1717." His parish, he says, " is ten miles wide 
along the river, and one hundred and twenty long, with seven hundred 
tithables in it. There are some Indians, bond and free, and negroes, bond 
and free. Some masters will have their negroes baptized ; and some will 
not, because they will not be sureties for them. I cannot persuade parents 
and masters to send their children and servants to be catechized. 1 some- 
times get eight shillings and fourpence for my tobacco, per hundred, and 
sometimes not so much ; and if I send it to Europe, perhaps it brings me 
in debt, as of late years it hath happened. The vestry will not keep my 

flebe-house in order; but if I choose to do it myself, 1 may and welcome, 
have a church and chapel thirty miles apart, twelve communicants at 
the former, and thirty or forty at the latter." 

The following are the answers of the Rev. John Cargill, minister 
of Southwark parish : 

" I have been here sixteen years. My parish is twenty miles in width, 
and one hundred inhabited in length, being a frontier-parish. It has 
three hundred and ninety-four families. The school of Mr. Griffin, called 
Christina, for Indians, is on the borders of my parish. There is one 
church and two chapels, and seventy or eighty communicants. My to- 
bacco now sells at five shillings per hundred ; my salary from thirty to 
forty pounds. My glebe-house is in a very bad condition, and the parish 
will not repair it, so I must look out for a house elsewhere. No school, 
no library, in the parish." 

Such is the sad account in 1724 of the two parishes in Surrey 
county. 



* 

310 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

In the year 1758, after the arrangement by which all on the north 
side of Blackwater is united in Southwark parish, we find the Rev. 
Peter Davis its minister ; in the years 1774 and 1776, the Rev. 
Benjamin Blagrove. In the year 1785, the Rev. John Henry 
Burgess, of whom we recently spoke as minister in Southampton, 
appears in the Convention as minister of Southwark ; and, in the 
years 1790 and 1792, the Rev. Samuel Butler. After this we hear 
of it no more. Its last minister was a man of pleasure, so devoted 
to the turf that he was made President of the Jockey Club of 
Surrey and Charles City, as I was informed by the clerk of the 
same. Nothing else was to be expected but that the Church should 
perish in such hands. 

Since the revival of our Church in Virginia, efforts have been 
made in behalf of the parishes in Surrey, and not without some 
effect. Between twenty-five and thirty years ago the Rev. John 
Cole, encouraged by the zeal of good Mrs. Falcon and others of 
Southwark parish, preached for one year at Old Surrey and Cabin 
Point Churches, reviving not a little the hopes of our few remaining 
friends. At a later period the Rev. Edmund Christian spent some 
time in the same ; and for the last few years the Rev. John 
McCabe, recently of Hampton, has devoted one Sunday in four to 
Old Surrey Church. Under his ministry the congregation increased, 
and a new church has been recently erected near the old one.* 
I know of no other churches in Surrey but those of Old Surrey and 
Cabin Point, unless there be one standing about eight or ten miles 
from the court-house. I made one visit to it about twenty years 
ago. In company with a zealous female member of the Church, 
some notice having been previously given, I approached the old 
and desolate-looking place. No horses or carriages were around 
it ; but on the sill of an open door was sitting an old negro man, 
who I was told had in former times been the sexton. We three 
were the congregation. My visit has not been repeated. 

To the foregoing I add the following communication from my 
esteemed friend, William Harrison, of Brandon : 

<( In the will of Benjamin Harrison, of Surrey, who was buried at the 
chapel near Cabin Point, and who, according to the epitaph on his tomb- 
stone, was born in Southwark parish in 1645, and which will was ad- 
mitted to probate in 1712, I find the following passage : 'Item, I give 
twenty pounds sterling to buy ornaments for the chapel, and that my exe- 

* The old one was built in the year 1754 ; the age of the one at Cabin Point 
unknown. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 311 

cutor take care to provide them, so soon as may be, after the new chapel is 
built; and my will is that five acres of my land be laid out, where the old 
chapel now stands, and that it be held for that use forever/ '' 

The plate of this church, I have reason to believe, was sold by 
a person having charge of it, and the proceeds applied to private 
use. The Harrisons, Shorts, Aliens, Cockes, and Peters, in olden 
time, were leading families around this church.* 



* To this I add the following from the History of Virginia, by Mr. Charles Camp- 
bell. The following is the epitaph: "Here lyeth the body of the Honourable 
Benjamin Harrison, Esquire, who ' did justice, loved mercy, and walked humbly 
with his God,' was always loyal to his Prince, and a great benefactor to his coun- 
try." He had three sons, of whom Benjamin, the eldest, settled at Berkeley. He 
married Elizabeth, daughter of Lewis Burwell, of Gloucester, and was an eminent 
lawyer, and sometime Speaker of the House of Burgesses. He died in April, 1710, 
aged thirty-seven, leaving an only son, Benjamin, and an only daughter, Elizabeth. 
A monument was erected at the public expense to his memory in the old Westover 
churchyard. The son Benjamin married a daughter of Robert Carter, of Coroto- 
man, (called King Carter,) in Lancaster county. Himself and two daughters of 
this union were killed by the same flash of lightning at Berkeley. Another daughter 
married Mr. Randolph, of Wilton. The sons were Benjamin, the signer of the De- 
claration of Independence, Charles, a general in the Revolution, Nathaniel, Henry, 
Colin, and Carter H. From the last-mentioned descended the Harrisons of Cum- 
berland. Benjamin Harrison, Jr., the signer of the Declaration, and otherwise 
celebrated, married a Miss Bassett. Their children were Benjamin, father of the 
late Benjamin Harrison, of Berkeley, Carter B., sometime member of Congress, and 
William Henry, President of the United States ; one daughter who married a Mr. 
Randolph, and another who married a Mr. Copeland. The second son of Benjamin 
Harrison, of Surrey, (the first of the family in Virginia, ) was Nathaniel. His eldest 
son was also named Nathaniel, and his only son again was Benjamin Harrison, of 
Brandon, member of the Council of Virginia at the same time with Benjamin 
Harrison, of Berkeley, about the commencement of the Revolution. This Benjamin 
Harrison, of Brandon, who married a daughter of the last Colonel Byrd, of West- 
over, was father of the present William Harrison, of Upper Brandon, and of the 
late George Harrison, of Lower Brandon, on James River, besides four daughters. 
If the first of the name was a zealous friend of the Church and liberal contributor, 
his posterity have ever continued true to it ; and the two last named, with their 
families, have done much to its partial revival within the last thirty years. The 
ministers have ever found their seats to be hospitable homes when in that part of 
the parish. They have set good examples in encouraging the religious teaching 
of their servants, and, in order to promote this, have built a chapel between them 
for the especial benefit of the same. 

For a full description of Mr. Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of 
Independence, Governor of Virginia, and holder of so many offices during and after 
the war, I refer the reader to Mr. Griggsby's book on the Convention of 1776. 
Of the family of Harrison he says, " Of all the ancient families in the Colony, that 
of Harrison, if not the oldest, is one of the oldest. The original ancestor some 
time before the year 1645 had come over to the Colony ; but, as his name does not 



I 

312 , OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



SUSSEX COUNTY. 

A few words suffice for Sussex county, and Albemarle parish in 
Sussex county. The parish, as has been stated above, was divided 
from Lawn's Creek and Southwark parishes in 1738. We have an 
old tattered register, which seems to have begun in 1738, and at 
the bottom of each page is the name of William Willie, minister. 
It continues until 1776 with the same name. I find the name of 
William Willie, as its minister, on a list in 1754, the earliest list to 
be found on record. I find it also in a list for 1776 in an old Vir- 
ginia almanac. In both instances he is the minister of Albemarle 
parish, Sussex. The parish, I doubt not, began and ended with 
him, as does the old register, for we hear no more of him or the 
parish after the year 1776. It is by far the most particular 
register I have ever met with. It states the days on which he 
preaches at each of his four churches, St. Mark's, St. Andrew's, 
St. Paul's, and Nottoway, and the number of persons present, and 
occasionally other circumstances. It states the births, baptisms, 
deaths, marriages, sponsors, names of masters, of bond and free, 
black and white. So methodical and pains-taking a man, living for 
thirty-eight years among a people (judging from the names in the 
register) as respectable as any in Virginia, was, it is to be hoped, 
a worthy minister in other respects. 

In speaking of the church in Sussex as being born and dying 
with Mr. Willie, we do not mean to say that there were no churches 
and ministers in that region before, the contrary being evident, 
but that its separate parochial existence commenced with him and 
died with him so far as regular ministerial services were concerned. 
Nor do we mean to say that no efforts have been made of late to 
resuscitate it. Some years since a new church was erected by the 



appear in the list of early patentees recorded by Burk, it is probable that he pur- 
chased land already patented, or may have engaged in mercantile pursuits. The 
first born of the name in the Colony of whom we have any distinct record was Benja- 
min Harrison, who became a member of the Council, and was Speaker of the House 
of Burgesses, and died in Southwark parish, in the county of Surrey, in the year 
1712, in his sixty-second year." Mr. Griggsby thinks it probable that his father 
was the Herman Harrison who came over in what is called the " second supply" in 
Smith's History, or of Master John Harrison, who was Governor in 1623, and 
adds: " That from the year 1645 to this date a period of more than two centu- 
ries the name has been distinguished for the patriotism, the intelligence, and the 
moral worth of those who have borne it." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 313 

zeal of a few surviving friends and members of the church, and 
the Rev. Mr. Withers, McGuire, and others, have performed 
services in it. We hope the ground will never be abandoned, but 
that in this and the neighbouring county of Southampton the 
twelve churches which once were, but now are not, may in time 
have their places supplied by the blessing of God on the labours 
of faithful men. 



J 

314 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XXVI. 

Parishes in Charles City, Surrey, and Sussex. 

ALTHOUGH Charles City was one of the eight original shires or 
counties into which the Colony was partitioned in 1634, and holds 
so central a position among the old counties, and lies on one of our 
noblest rivers, yet have we little knowledge of either its civil or 
ecclesiastical history during the first century of our Colonial exist- 
ence. We read indeed of Westover Hundred, and Weynoake 
Hundred, and Charles City Hundred, as early settlements on 
James River, within its bounds, and of the destruction or great 
injury of them by the Indians in the great massacre of 1622. We 
read of a school being established, or about to be established, at 
Charles City Hundred, in aid of the proposed College at Henrico, 
without being able to ascertain the location of it, though we pre- 
sume it was somewhere on the river. The dimensions of the parish 
we are able accurately to define. As was the case with some other 
counties on this and other rivers, it extended some distance on 
both sides of James River. Inconvenient as this must have been 
to the inhabitants in many respects, yet such was the unwillingness 
to divide what God had divided, that two court-houses were used 
in the one county, one on each side of the river, for a long period 
of time. Still more inconvenient must this have been to the 
ministers of religion and the people of their charges, whose 
parishes were thus divided. There were two parishes in Charles 
City, Westover or the upper, and Weynoake or the lower, each 
divided by the river into two parts, until the year 1720, when the 
two parts of Westover and Weynoake on the north of James River, 
together with a part of another parish called Wallingford, extend- 
ing to the Chickahominy, were all united into one, and took the 
name of Westover parish ; while the two parts of Weynoake and 
Westover on the south of the river were united to one called 
Martins Brandon in Prince George, which latter county had been 
taken from Charles City, being that part of it lying south of James 
River. It is not until after this arrangement that we have any 
account of the ministers of Charles City county and Westover 
parish as they now are. We have no means of ascertaining the 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 315 

name of a single minister of this ancient shire for nearly a century 
after its establishment. In the year 1724, the Rev. Peter Fon- 
taine gives an account of himself and his parish. He came into 
it nine years before that time, had officiated in Wallingford, 
Weynoake, Martins Brandon, and Jamestown, before the new ar- 
rangement. He had now three churches in Westover parish, the 
upper or Westover Church, and the lower church near the Chicka- 
hominy, formerly in Wallingford parish. The length of this parish 
was thirty miles ; the number of families two hundred and thirty- 
three, of communicants seventy-five. He was as attentive to the 
instruction of children and servants as circumstances would allow. 
There were two glebes in his parish, neither of which had houses 
on them, and the best of them rented for thirty shillings. He 
lived in his own house and on his own farm. His salary, besides per- 
quisites, was from fifty to sixty pounds. Mr. Fontaine is the same 
minister of whom we have spoken as accompanying Colonel Byrd 
on that most laborious and dangerous expedition for running the 
dividing-line between Virginia and North Carolina. Colonel Byrd 
evidently held him in the highest esteem, as doubtless did all his 
parishioners. We find him still living in their affections and labour- 
ing among them in the year 1757. He died in the month of July 
of that year. After expressing a firm trust in a joyful resurrec- 
tion through the blood of a merciful Redeemer, he concludes his 
will by saying, " My will and desire is, that I may have no public 
funeral, but that my corpse may be accompanied by a few of my 
nearest neighbours ; that no liquors be given to make any of the 
company drunk, many instances of which I have seen, to the 
great scandal of the Christian religion and abuse of so solemn an 
ordinance. I desire none of my family to go in mourning for 
me." 

Concerning this good man and his family, something more must 
be said. I have already, in my article on one of the parishes in 
Albemarle, referred to the interesting history of the Fontaine 
family as set forth by Miss Ann Maury and Dr. Hawks. I refer 
to it again, and commend it to all as having all the interest of the 
best novels, without their imperfections and evils. Mr. Peter Fon- 
taine was one of six children (five sons and one daughter) of two 
pious and valiant Huguenots, who fled from France to England. 
Giving their children a good education, especially as to religion, 
they committed " them to the providence of a covenant God to seek 
their fortune in the wide world." All of them came to America, 
though two of them Moses and John returned to England. The 



I 

316 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

daughter, Mary Ann, married Matthew Maury, from Gascony, and, 
coming to America, became the mother of a numerous posterity. 
James Fontaine settled in King William as a farmer, and is also 
the ancestor of many most respectable families in Virginia and 
elsewhere. Francis was the minister of whom we have already 
spoken in our article on York-Hampton. Peter is the worthy 
person of whom we are now speaking, and who also has his descend- 
ants spread over our own and other States. Nor are the names of 
Fontaine and Maury absent from the lists of our present American 
Episcopal clergy. Of Mr. Peter Fontaine, who spent his whole 
ministry of about forty years in the county of Charles City, with 
the exception of a short time at Jamestown and Wallingford parish, 
it becomes us to add something more. His letters to various rela- 
tives, and one of his sermons, furnish us with the means. It was 
the pious custom of the Fontaines to assemble annually, and hold a 
solemn religious thanksgiving in commemoration of their deliverance 
from persecution in France, and remarkable preservation when 
attacked by French privateers in the North of Ireland. I have 
before me a sermon on one of those occasions, preached by Peter 
Fontaine. After a suitable prayer, which is prefaced to it, he takes 
for his text that passage from Romans, " That ye may with one 
mind and with one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ." After a general consideration of the duty enjoined 
by the text, he applies it to their particular case. Alluding to the 
former, he says, 

"Several months was our parent obliged to shift among forests and 
deserts for his safety, because he had preached the word of God to a con- 
gregation of innocent and sincere persons, who desired to be instructed in 
their duty and confirmed in their faith. The woods afforded him a shelter 
and the rocks a resting-place; but his enemies gave him no quiet, until, 
of his own accord, he delivered himself up to their custody. They loaded 
his hands with chains, his feet stuck fast in the mire, a dungeon was his 
abode, and murderers and thieves were his companions, until God by 
means of a pious gentlewoman, whose kindness ought to be remembered 
by us even to latest posterity, withdrew him from thence, and was the 
occasion that his confinement was more tolerable." 

He exhorts them in the close of the sermon never to forsake 
their annual meetings, which were so calculated to keep up the 
remembrance of their parent's virtues and sufferings, and the won- 
derful deliverance of God. " Would to God," he says, " that you 
would make it your business to teach them to your children, that 
they may be qualified to perpetuate them to infinite generations to 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 317 

come, and thereby engage the protection and draw the blessing of 
the Almighty upon them ; for God is not like Jacob, who hath only 
one blessing in store. He hath millions of millions to bestow on 
those who love and fear him." We believe that the recollection of 
these things has had a happy religious effect on very many of this 
wide-spread family. A passage from one of the letters of Mrs. 
Maury, the sister of Peter Fontaine, concerning his family, is 
worthy of insertion : 

" My brother Peter's first wife, Lizzy, was one of the loveliest creatures 
I ever saw. God had endowed her with all the virtues of a good Christian 
wife and a watchful mother. She never let the least thing pass in her 
children that had any apperance of evil in it, and was very tender of them. 
His present wife is a lovely, sweet-tempered woman, and she, Mary Ann, 
and Peter, have an unusual tenderness for each other ; and I believe if 
they were her own children she could not show more tenderness to them. 
My brother has two children by her, a boy and a girl. The boy is named 
Thomas. I hope God will spare my brother's life to raise them as he hath 
the other two, who are examples of piety and wisdom, and a great comfort 
to their parents and us." 

There is one passage from a letter of Mr. Fontaine to one of his 
brothers in England, on the subject of preserving health, which is 
worthy of him as a man and as a minister. Besides commending 
active exercise in the open air on foot and horseback, and a careful 
consideration of one's own constitution so as to be our own physi- 
cian, he adds this valuable hint: "I drink no spirituous liquors at 
all ; no small beer ; but when I am obliged to take more than ordi- 
nary fatigue, either in serving my churches or other branches of 
duty, I take one glass of good old Madeira wine, which revives me 
and contributes to my going through without much fatigue." 

Happy would it have been for the Church of Virginia had all 
her members prescribed such bounds to themselves. Mr. Fontaine, 
though living in the midst of the opulent and voluptuous gentlemen 
on James River, was no wine-bibber sitting at their tables and 
quaffing glass after glass of their rich wines after having imbibed 
something stronger, perhaps, before and at dinner, but confined him- 
self to one glass of pure wine when weariness called for it, eschew- 
ing all other liquors. Though we think expediency and a due 
regard to personal security now call for even more abstinence, on 
the part of the clergy especially, yet we are free to say that if all 
had restricted themselves as did Mr. Fontaine, there would have 
been no need, so far as the clergy are concerned, of a temperance- 
society. No one can doubt on which side of the question Mr. 



I 

318 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Fontaine would be were he living in our day. And had the rich 
gentlemen of Virginia but followed his example, how many estates 
would have been saved from ruin, how many families from disper- 
sion, how many young men from the grave of the drunkard! 

Our remaining work as to the ministers of Westover parish will 
be brief. In the year 1758 three years after the death of Mr. 
Fontaine we find on an English list the name of William Davis as 
minister of this parish ; and the same is found on a list in the Vir- 
ginia Almanac for 1773. In the year 1776 we find the name of 
James Ogilvie. No accounts have reached us of the character of 
either of them. In the year 1786 we meet with the name of the 
Rev. John Dunbar, a name to be met with previously as minister- 
ing in other parishes. For the honour of the Church it were to be 
wished that it had never been on any list of the clergy. He mar- 
ried a daughter of Colonel Byrd, of Westover, of whom we have 
already spoken.* By none was he better known and more despised 
than by the members of that family. Often has one of its most 
pious members, who in infancy was baptized by him, spoken to me 
with concern about her baptism, asking whether it could not be 
repeated, saying that she found it hard to regard herself as bap- 
tized. Nor is it wonderful, when it is considered that, besides other 
vices, he openly renounced the ministry and with it the Christian 
faith, and, if I have been rightly informed, fought a duel in sight 
of Old Westover Church, in which he had once officiated. Hap- 
pily, he left no descendants to blush at the above recital. 

In the year 1793 we find the Rev. Sewal Chapin in the Episcopal 
Convention at Richmond, with Mr. Charles Carter, of Shirley, as 
lay delegate. Mr. Chapin continued on the list of clergy as long 
as the Conventions continued ; that is, until the year 1805, when 
they ceased until 1812. How long Mr. Chapin was minister after 
1805 we are unable to state, nor can we speak with any certainty 
as to his religious views and character. Thus ends the history of 



* There were three of the name of Byrd in Virginia, of whom we read in various 
Virginia documents. The first, who was the father of the family and early owner 
of lands about Richmond and of the place called Belvidera, is spoken of in my 
Lambeth Documents as being engaged with Commissary Blair in the incipient steps 
about the College of William and Mary. The part of it called the Chapel was 
contracted for and the erecting of it superintended by him in the time of Governor 
Andros, between the years 1690 and 1700. The second was Colonel Byrd, the 
author of the Westover Papers and owner of Westover. The third was the last 
of the name who owned Westover, and was with General Washington when encamped 
at Winchester and defending the frontiers against the Indians. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 319 

Westover parish previous to the revival of the Church, which com- 
menced in 1812. So low was the condition of the parish that it 
was some time before even an effort was made in its behalf. In the 
year 1833 the Rev. Farley Berkeley, now of Amelia, acted as mis- 
sionary in Charles City, Chesterfield, and King William, and some- 
what revived the hopes of these old parishes. He was followed in 
Westover parish in the year 1835 by the Rev. Alexander Norris, 
who continued its minister until 1838. The Rev. Mr. Leavell suc- 
ceeded Mr. Norris, and continued in the parish until 1853. The 
Rev. Mr. Okeson took his place. Mr. Okeson resigned his charge 
the past year, (1856,) and the Rev. Dr. Wade has accepted a call 
from the parish. 

As to the churches in Westover parish, we know nothing of the 
history of that at Weynoake, or of that near the Chickahominy, 
except that they are now nowhere to be seen. The Old Westover 
still stands, a relic and monument of ancient times. A new 
church in the neighbourhood of Weynoake was put up some years 
ago, but has recently been destroyed by fire. Another is now 
rising up upon the same site. 

I wish it were in my power to furnish a list of the vestrymen of 
Westover parish from an early period, as in so doing I should give 
the names of the principal Episcopal families of Charles City ; but, 
no remnant of a parish-record being preserved, I am unable to do 
any thing more than mention a few names familiar to my ears. 
The Lightfoots, Minges, Byrds, Carters, Harrisons, Tylers, Chris- 
tians, Seldens, Nelsons, Lewises, Douthats, and Wilcoxes, are 
those best known to me. 

The following extract from the letter of a friend is an interest- 
ing addition to this article : 

"The old church and churchyard were near the present Westover 
House, about one-quarter mile up the river-bank, where are some very 
old tombstones, besides that of Benjamin Harrison. The present West- 
over Church was built by Mrs. Byrd on her land, called Evelington. The 
minister once resided on the adjacent tract, called Westing, which also 
belonged to the Westover estate, across the creek from the Westover 
House. Perhaps it was only Mr. Dunbarwho occupied that farm; for the 
glebe proper was between the two churches, and below the present court- 
house about two miles. 

"The clerk of the county has told me that the county was divided into 
two parishes, Westover and Mapsco. The part abov v e the court-house was 
called Westover, and the part below called Mapsco, from an Indian tribe 
who gave name to the creek near where the Old Brick Church, called 
Mapsco, stood, about seven miles below the court-house and immediately 
on the road to Sandy Point, the old seat of the Lightfoot family. That 



I 

320 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

church was convenient to* the Chickahominy neighbourhood, being onh 
seven or eight miles from the mouth of that river, where the most of th* 
earlier friends of the Church in that part of the county must hav< 
resided; and it was behind the Old Mapsco Church that it is said that 
one of its ministers either Davis or Dunbar fought a duel. The quarrel 
originated about a horse-race. An additional fact was related to me by 
the late Benjamin Harrison, of Berkeley, viz. : That this Mr. Dunbar 
offered to be the bearer of a challenge from Benjamin Harrison, of 
Berkeley, to Benjamin Harrison, of Brandon, assuring the former, as his 
friend, that the conduct of the latter justified such notice. But Mr. 
Harrison, of Berkeley, was not persuaded by him. The note was at 
Berkeley, and Mr. Harrison promised to show it to me when he had more 
leisure ; but he died suddenly soon after. 

" In addition to the names of the old ministers you have mentioned in 
your article, I have been told by some very old servants, and some of the 
oldest citizens too, that there were two others remembered besides Chapin, 
who was the last occupant of the glebe, whilst the churches mouldered 
away or were used as barns. That of Westover was so used at the time 
the friends of the Church got possession of it, when the family at Berke- 
ley and Shirley undertook its repairs. The other two ministers were 
Black and Blagrove. Several servants told me they were christened by 
Parson Black. Old Mr. Chapin occupied the glebe until persuaded by 
Mr. F. Lewis, of Weynoake, and Mr. Colier Harrison, of Kettiuvan, to rent 
out the place and come and live with them. He died at Weynoake, the 
residence of Mr. F. Lewis, and was buried in the aisle and under the 
present chancel of the Westover Church. I have made frequent inquiry 
for his sermons, &c., but have never been able to find any: all that could 
be remembered of them was that they served the young ladies for paper 
in which to roll up their hair at night." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 321 






ARTICLE XXVII. 

Parishes in Gloucester. No. 1. Petsworth and Kingston. 

GLOUCESTER is recognised as a county in 1652, when it was repre- 
sented in the House of Burgesses by Colonel Hugh Gwinne and 
Francis Willis. No change took place in it until 1790, when 
Mathews county was cut off. The parishes in Gloucester in 1754 
were Petsworth, Abingdon, Ware, and Kingston, the last being cut 
off with Mathews in 1790. The Rev. Mr. Carraway, having hunted 
up some mutilated copies of the vestry-books of Petsworth and 
Kingston, has furnished the following summary of the contents of 
the former : " Petsworth exists only on paper : its church and 
worshippers have alike ceased to be." The writer, feeling a com- 
mon interest with those who wish to gather up the history of the 
Colonial times, proceeds to note some facts drawn from the old ves- 
try-book. This book contains, with a slight exception, the records 
of the vestry-meetings from the year 1677 to 1793. When com- 
menced and closed, its torn condition permits us not to discover. 
In 1677 there is an order for the completion and furnishing of a 
church at Poplar Spring. At this date there is mention of a lower 
church within the parish, which in the year 1695 is spoken of as the 
" Old Church." It being then a ruin, it was determined not to re- 
build on its site, but to have only one place of worship, and that to 
be kept in "thorough order and repair." 

In 1684 we find the following entries: "His Excellency the 
Governor, having given to this Church one large Bible, one Book 
of Common Prayer, one Book of Homilies, the Thirty-nine Articles, 
and Book of Canons of the Church of England : it is ordered that 
the clerk of the vestry enter the same in the register, to the end 
His Lordship's so pious a gift may be gratefully remembered." 
" Ordered, that the clerk enter into the register of this parish the 
generous and pious gift of the Hon. Augustine Warner, deceased, 
to this church, viz. : one silver flagon, two silver bowls, and two 
silver plates, which, though long since given, hath not yet been en- 
tered." In 1723 an order was made for the building of a new 
church at Poplar Spring, the cost of said building, exclusive of 
painting, &c., to be eleven hundred and ninety pounds Virginia 

21 



J 

322 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

currency. This churcn was standing a few years since, and but for 
the ruthless hand of cupidity it might have stood for centuries. The 
writer will never forget his feelings as he looked upon it when the 
wprk of destruction and desecration was going on. There remained 
enough then of its former condition and elegance to assure the be- 
holder that they who erected this temple entered into the meaning 
of God's ancient prophet, who taught that sacred edifices should 
exceed, in comfort and stability and magnificence, private abodes. 
We gather from the records in the large expenditure for painting, 
and in the way of furnishing and ornamenting, that no means were 
spared to present a church of the finest taste and finish. Such it 
doubtless was, perhaps too gorgeous for our republican simplicity. 
The writer has talked with persons who remembered this church. 
One of them the late Mrs. Page, of Shelly had much to say of the 
former glory of old Petsworth. She, in childhood, had been a wor- 
shipper within its hallowed courts, and had united her voice in songs 
of praise with the swelling notes of the organ. In confirmation of 
the liberality of this congregation and the elegance of the church, 
we make the following copies from the record : At a vestry-meeting 
in 1735, it is noted that "there were great subscriptions made by the 
present vestry for an organ, to be purchased for the use of the church 
at Petsworth ; also, it was directed that seven hundred gold leaves 
be ordered for the use of the painter. In 1751 the vestry ordered 
Mr. Augustine Smith to send to England for ' pulpit, and table-cloth, 
and cushion ;' the cloth to be of crimson velvet, with a gold fringe 
and lace." A subsequent entry shows that the cost of the same was 
one hundred and fifty-four pounds, sixteen shillings, sixpence, cur- 
rent money. Much refinement and wealth were found in the numerous 
families who worshipped within the venerable church. Among those 
who were active in the duties of the parish may be mentioned the 
name of Porteus. It appears on the record from the earliest date. 
This is the family of Beilby Porteus, Bishop of London, who, it is 
supposed, was a native of Gloucester. Also, Colonel John Wash- 
ington, and son Warner, and their ancestor, Augustine Warner.* 



* The following letter is from a lady who in her youth saw this church at Poplar 
Spring : 

" DEAR BISHOP : I have been thinking you might perhaps like to hear a little of 
Old Poplar Spring Church, in Gloucester, which was a few miles above Rosewell, on 
the road that passed up to King and Queen. My first recollections of it were very 
pleasing, as I was going with my mother in the old Rosewell coach. It was in warm 
weather, and mamma desired the driver to stop under the shade near the spring, 
while we all got out ; and, after drinking some of the cool water, she took us into the 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 323 



A LIST OF THE MINISTERS OF THE PARISH. 

In 1677, Rev. Thomas Vicaris, who continued until his death in 
1697, when the Rev. Joseph Holt was employed as a temporary 
supply. In 1700, Rev. George Young was elected upon the nomina- 
tion of Governor Nicholson ; he remained only a few months, when 
the Rev. Emanuel Jones was chosen, who served until his death, in 
the year 1739. Rev. John Read supplied the pulpit until the return 
of Mr. Ford. In 1741, Robert Yates, a member of the congregation, 
was sent to England for Orders. He continued the minister until his 
death, in 1761. In 1762, Rev. James Horrox served in the place 
of Mr. James Maury Fontaine, who had been sent to England for 
Orders. In 1764, the Rev. James M. Fontaine was the minister 
for a few months, and removed to Ware parish. The vestry then 
elected one of their own body, Captain Charles Minn Thruston, 
who went to England for Orders. In 1767, Rev. Charles M. Thrus- 
ton ; he served until the year 1768, when he resigned. In 1768, 
Rev. Arthur Hamilton : no mention of him after this year. 1776, 
1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, supposed to be vacant. In 1782, 

church, and showed us the remains of the fine painting, over what had been the 
chancel, and told us how it had been when she first remembered it. I think I then 
first received a correct idea of the solemn use and importance of a church, as I must 
have been very young. I remember a broad cornice, painted with the resemblance 
of a bright blue sky, and clouds rolling off on either hand ; below this were frag- 
ments of the plaster, extending farther down at the corners, and representing an 
immense crimson curtain drawn back. I remember seeing part of what seemed a 
very large cord and tassel. Mamma said there used to be an angel just where the 
curtain was drawn on one side, with a trumpet in his hand, and rolling on toward 
him were vast bodies of clouds with angels in them, and that she used to fancy one 
of the faces was like her dear little brother John, who was drowned when only ten 
years old, and who had been her playfellow, she being next to him in age. I feel 
sure that then. I first understood about the last Judgment ; for I seldom think of that 
great day, but what my dear mother and the painting at Poplar Spring Church 
are not united in my memory as a kind of picture, the groundwork being the ruined 
church, the bright green grass, the shade, and the cool spring. Our dear mother's 
teachings, on that and other occasions, were so mixed with a sorrow for the state 
of the Episcopal churches, and the want of ministers 'since Mr. Fontaine's death,' 
that, childlike, I thought Mr. Fontaine must have been the best and greatest man 
in the world, except my grandpapa. Most of the flagstones in the middle aisle were 
there on my first visit. On passing it in later years, all trace of the bright colours 
had departed, and the stones which had so often echoed the steps of those who 
came to worship God had been removed for more unhallowed purposes. And the 
last time I saw it some cows were reposing on the bare ground within, and swallows, 
bats, and other birds occupied the large roof. As regards the painting, I have so 
often heard my mother speak of it, that I am sure I cannot do it full justice by my 
description, but can only say what I remember." 



I 

324 OLD CHURCHES, 

Rev. Thomas Price: not known how long he served. In 1790, 
Rev. James Elliott. In 1791, Rev. James Fontaine was elected as 
weekly lecturer; in 1792, Rev. Thomas Hughes. Mr. Hughes 
was a member of the congregation, and ordained by Bishop 
Madison. 

We make the following significant extract from the vestry-book. 
It has reference to one who had been the minister of the parish for 
many years: "Ordered, that Mr. Vicaris, the present minister, 
continue in his charge and exercise his ministerial functions until 
the next shipping, in hopes of his future amendment, he declaring 
his willingness then to leave the place if not approved by the pre- 
cinct and vestry." He became a reformed man, and was minister 
for some years. (By the next shipping was meant the next impor- 
tation of ministers from England.) On agreeing with a clergyman it 
was ordered, "That he, the said clergyman, will behave himself in 
his ministerial function upon all occasions." 

The site of this church, now only marked by a few ancient tombs, 
is claimed as private property. The glebe was sold under the law 
of 1802. No information is possessed by the author concerning the 
plate. The sermons of the Rev. Robert Yates were found in the 
library of Mr. John Randolph, and were sold and purchased with 
other books and manuscripts.* 

Vestry of Petsworth Parish. 

John Buckner, Robt. Lee, Thomas Royston, Philip Lightfoot, William 
Thornton, Thomas Pate, William Pritchet, John Ascough, William Throck- 
morton, William Hansford, Thomas Ramsey, Thomas Miller, Richard 
Barnett, Ralph Greene, Robert Carter, Charles Roan, William Thorn- 
ton, Jr., Robert Cobb, Edward Porteus, William Grymes, Thomas 
Buckner, James Dudley, John Evans, Colquit Wyatt, Robert Yeardley, 
Captain John Smith, Richard Stignor, William Barnard, William Brook- 
ing, Thomas Cook, Nicholas Smith, David Alexander, William Dodsley, 
William Upshaw, John Pate, Robert Porteus, John Pratt, John Coleman, 
Albion Throckmorton, Augustine Smith, Philip Smith, Richard Seaton, 
Henry Willis, Francis Wyatt, Thomas Green, Thos. Booth, Sr., Bayley 
Seaton. Thomas Stubbs, Francis Thornton, John Read, John Washington, 
William Miller, Thomas Green, Captain John Alexander, Seth Thornton, 

* The following account of the bricks has been given me : 

" Several efforts were made to remove the bricks from Petsoe, and were prevented 

by presentments before the Grand Jury ; but some years since, Mr. , whilst 

building a hotel at Old Point, purchased from Mr. , who owned the land, 

any right he might have in the remains of the old church, and under that deed 

Mr. removed the bricks. The hotel was struck by lightning and injured 

before its completion." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 325 

Samuel Buckner, Mr. John Throckmorton, Thomas Booth, John Royston, 
David Alexander, George Reade, Gwynne Read, Bayley Seaton, Warner 
Washington, John Stubbs, James Carter, James Hubard, Edward Wyatt, 
John Shirmon, William Thornton, Richard Jones, Peter Kemp, Francis 
Stubbs, Ludwell Grymes, John Wyatt, John Scott, Geo. Booth, John 
Buckner, Chas. Minn Thruston, John Roots, Alexander Dalgleish, James 
Hubard, Jr., Henry Whiting, Richard Taliafero, Lewis Booker, William 
Duval, John Fox, Captain John Hubard, Jonathan Watson, Sterling 
Thornton, Peter Wyatt, Win. Sears, Robert Yates, Charles Tompkins, M. 
Anderson, Benjamin Dabney, James Baytop, Lewis Booker, Jr., Chris- 
topher Garland, Meaux Thornton, Major John Hughes, William Booth, 
Francis Duval, Lewis Wood. [The remainder torn out.] 

KINGSTON PARISH, MATHEWS COUNTY. 

This was originally one of the parishes in Gloucester. There 
are loose leaves of an old vestry -book, going back to the year 1677, 
the first of which leaves do not indicate how much older the book 
was. It was called the parish in North River precinct. It has a 
peculiarity distinguishing it from all other parishes. With the 
vestrymen, who were generally very few, there met a larger number 
of the inhabitants, who seem to have managed the affairs of the 
parish in conjunction. 

From 1677 to 1691 the Rev. Michael Typerios and James Bowker 
were ministers ; but when their ministries began or ended cannot 
be made out. In the year 1740 the Rev. John Blacknal appears 
on the first page of another imperfect vestry-book. It cannot be 
ascertained how much of the vestry-book was lost, and how long 
Mr. Blacknal may have been the minister before 1740. He died 
in 1747, and was succeeded by the Rev. John Dixon in 1750, the 
Rev. John Locke having served meanwhile for three months. In 
the year 1770 Mr. Dixon resigned, and died in 1777. Four appli- 
cants appeared for the parish, the Revs. Thomas Baker, Thomas 
Field, Arthur Hamilton, and Archibald Avens, of whom Mr. Field 
was chosen, Mr. Baker having previously served three months. 
In the year 1778, Mr. Field either dying or resigning, Revs. Robert 
Read and William Dunlop were candidates, when the former was 
chosen. In the year 1784 the Rev. Thomas Hopkinson became its 
minister, and in the year 1789 the Rev. James McBride. In 1794 
the Rev. Armistead Smith, of the old family of Smiths in that part 
of Virginia, became the minister, being ordained by Bishop Madi- 
son. He served the parish until his death in 1817. " His descend- 
ants and relatives," says the Rev. Mr. Carraway, the present 
minister of* the parish, " are amongst the foremost friends of the 



I 

326 OLD HURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Church, and most of them communicants." One of the family, the 
late Miss Elizabeth Tompkins, was the instrument under God for 
the revival of the church. Under circumstances the most discou- 
raging, she determined to build a house of prayer, in which the few 
scattered ones " who loved the old paths" might worship the God 
of their fathers. Her efforts were crowned with success. She 
lived to witness the completion of her dear little church, and her 
highest earthly joy was experienced when she first heard within its 
walls these solemn words : "The Lord is in his holy temple," 
"declared by the minister of salvation." Mr. Carraway adds that 
there were once four places of worship in the parish, over two of 
which the plough and the harrow have passed. On the sites of the 
others two churches have recently been erected, the one just men- 
tioned, and another under his special care. Tradition says that 
one of the old churches was a private chapel of the "family of 
Hesse," the residence of the Armisteads. 

By giving a list of the old vestrymen we shall see who were the 
most prominent persons in Church matters. Mr. Carraway mentions 
them as the " Dudleys, Armisteads, Carys, Tabbs, Gwynns, Billops, 
Throckmortons, and Sir John Peyton," the latter being the patriot 
of the Revolution as well as the Churchman. 

Names of the Vestrymen, beginning in 1677. 

Richard Dudley, James Ransom, James Hill, Sands Knowles, George 
Surge, Thos. Bayley, Robert Elliot, Ambrose Dudley, Peter Ransom, 
John Billop, William Tompkins, Charles Jones, John Coot, Humphrey 
Tompkins, Edmund Roberts, George Dudley, John Hayes, Hugh Gwinne, 
Robert Barnard, Charles Debrum, William Marlow, Humphrey Joye 
Tabb, Wm. Armistead, Kemp Plumer, Gwinne Reade, Thomas Hayes, 
Wm. Tabb, Chas. Blacknal, John Peyton, Captain Thomas Smith, Kemp 
Whiting, George Dudley, John Armistead, James Ransom, Robt. Tabb, 
Wm. Plummer, Wm. Armistead, of Hesse, Edward Hughes, Francis 
Armistead, John Willis, Gabriel Hughes, John Billop, Walter Keeble, 
Edmund Custis, Edward Tabb, John Dixon, Thomas Peyton, Robert 
Mathews, Dudley Gary, Mordecai Throckmorton, James Booker, Josiah 
Dean, Thos. Smith, Jr., Samuel Williams, Joel Foster, Armistead Smith, 
Robert Gary, Thomas Tabb, Richard Gregory, James Bibber, Sands Smith, 
John Gary, Wilton Glasscock. 

In the above list hundreds scattered through Virginia and various 
parts of the land will see the names of their forefathers. 

The remaining history of Kingston parish is very brief. The 
erection of a church, chiefly through the zeal of Miss Elizabeth 
Tompkins, near her father's house, led to the employment of a 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 327 

missionary about the year 1841 or 1842. The Rev. Mr. Booker 
spent some time between the two counties of Mathews and Middlesex 
in this capacity. He was followed by the Rev. Mr. Carraway, who 
to this day continues to perform the arduous labours required by so 
large a field. Under his ministry a new church on the opposite 
side of the county has been built on the ruins of one of the old 
ones. 



9 
328 OLD CHUKCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XXVIIL 

Gloucester County, Abington, and Ware. No. 2. 

I TAKE these together, since they have so long been identified 
in the public mind, so long under one minister, and so little to be 
said of them, though so much might be said, had we any ancient 
records. The following letter from the Rev. Mr. Mann, the present 
rector, forbids the hope of ever recovering what is lost in regard 
to these parishes : 

" MY DEAR BISHOP : Nothing has astonished me more in this county 
than the utter ignorance of the people as to the early history of the 
Church. All our records of former times are lost, the church registers, 
with the county records, by the burning of the court-house many years 
since. The late Dr. Taliafero told me that the first church in Ware parish 
stood on Mr. William P. Smith's land, where there is an old graveyard, 
and near to which was the glebe. The parish church of Ware is built on 
land granted to the parish by the Throckmorton family, the female an- 
cestors of the Taliaferos : when erected, no one knows. On the outside 
of the church is the tombstone of the Rev. James Black, a native 
of England, and many years minister of Ware parish. He died in 1723. 
On the inside, near the chancel, are the tombstones of the Rev. John 
Richards and his wife, and their beloved servant Amy. Mr. Richards was 
once rector of Nettlehead, and vicar of Leston, England, and died rector 
of Ware in 1735. Adjoining these is a stone erected by the Rev. John 
Fox over his wife, who died in 1742, and two of his children, who died 
in 1742 and 1743. The Rev. James Maury Fontaine was once minister 
of this parish and kept a school near it..* The Rev. Mr. Smith, father of 
Mr. W. P. Smith and Colonel Thomas Smith, and of the first Mrs. Colonel 
Tompkins and the first Mrs. Tom Tabb, held the church, I believe, until 
his death, preaching in all the churches of this county and Mathews. 
Then came a long vacancy, and with it the desolation and destruction of 
the building, which continued until the Rev. Mr. Games took charge of 
it, when it was repaired by the exertions of Colonel Thomas Smith, Mr. 
Tom Tabb, Dr. Taliafero, and others, and remained as they left it until 
last year, (1854,) when a new roof was put upon it, and the inside altered 
and improved. A few hundred dollars will render it a handsome as it is 
now a convenient place of worship. Dr. Taliafero, Jr., has lately placed 
the old subscription in my hands which was made for Mr. Carnes, and I 

* There is no mention of this minister in the history of the Maury and Fontaine 
families by Dr. Hawks and Miss Ann Maury; but we doubt not he was one 
of them, probably the son of Mr. James Fontaine, one of the five brothers, and 
who settled in King William. 






FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 329 

find very much the same names of families now attending the church. 
The Corbins and some others have removed from the county. The first 
subscription to Mr. Carnes was four hundred and ten dollars. 

" Of Abington as little is known as of Ware. The first church stood 
near the present building, and its foundations are easily traced. It seems 
originally to have been a very small building to which a section was sub- 
sequently added. Then the present noble building was erected. On the 
arch of the door, 1765 has been cut, but whether at the time of building 
no one can say. This church was repaired by the exertions of Colonel 
Lewis, of Eagle Point, the present residence of J. K. Bryan." 
> 

To the foregoing information as to the earlier ministers of 
Abington I am able to add something from documents in pos- 
session. In the year 1724 the Rev. Thomas Hughes writes to the 
Bishop of London " that he has been living in this parish for four 
or five years, after having lived in the upper parish of Nansemond 
for three years ; that he was not inducted, only four ministers in 
the Colony being inducted; that he has three hundred families 
under his charge, about two hundred attendants at church, sixty 
or seventy communicants, no surplice used in the parish, as is the 
statement in many other reports, a free-school endowed with five 
hundred acres of land and servants ; no parochial library here or 
in any other parish in the colony." There being no minister in 
Ware parish, he gives a portion of his time to it. 

In the years 1754 and 1758 the Rev. William Gates was minister 
of Abington, and the Rev. John Fox of Ware parish. In the years 
17734 and 1776 the Rev. Thomas Price was minister of Abington, 
and the Rev. James M. Fontaine of Ware. In the year 1785 
neither Abington nor Ware was represented in the Convention by 
the clergy, Mr. John Page (Governor) being the lay delegate from 
Abington, Mr. Thomas Smith from Kingston, and Matthew An- 
derson from Petsworth. Mr. Page attended the next two Conven- 
tions, and Mr. Anderson one. Mr. Thomas Lewis also attended 
from Abington in 1787. After this we find no more delegates, 
either clerical or lay, from Abington until long after the revival 
of the Church commenced. The Rev. Mr. Carnes was the first 
minister after that work commenced. He continued for some 
years in zealous prosecution of it, and was succeeded by the Rev. 
John Cole, now in Culpepper, who was followed by the Rev. Mr. 
Mann, the present rector of the parishes of Abington and Ware. 

In the absence of all records from which to draw the names of 
vestrymen, and thus ascertain who have been the leading families, 
from the earliest to the present times, in the parishes of Abington 
and Ware, we furnish the following imperfect list of families 



330 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

known to us, or mentioned to us by one who is better acquainted 
with the history of the old settlers. 

Of the Burwells, who at an early period settled at Carter's 
Creek, we have already said something when speaking of the 
family at King's Mill and the Grove, in York and James City. 
To this we add the Manns, who settled at Timberneck Bay, on 
York River, not far from Shelly and Rosewell, the Montagues, the 
Kempes, the Carys, the Tabbs, the Taliaferos, the Dabneys, 
Thrustons, Catletts, Throckmortons, Roots, Lewises, Nicholsons, 
Nelsons, Yanbibbers, Pages, of Shelly and Rosewell, Byrds, Cor- 
bins, Joneses, Ennises, Curtises, Robinses, Harewoods, Dicksons, 
Roys, and Smarts. 

Of old Mrs. Yanbibber and Dr. Taliafero two of the props 
of the Church in the day of her adversity I need not speak to 
the present generation in Gloucester, as there are still some living 
who knew their religious worth and continue to dwell upon the 
same before the younger ones. Of Mrs. Yanbibber some interest- 
ing notices appeared many years since in one of our religious 
papers. Of Dr. Taliafero I may say from personal knowledge 
that it is not often we meet with a more pious and benevolent man 
or more eminent physician. There is one name on the foregoing 
list to which I must allude as having, at an early period in the 
history of Yirginia, been characterized by a devotion to the wel- 
fare of the Church and religion, that of Kempe. The name often 
occurs on the vestry-book of Middlesex county in such a way as 
to show this. The high esteem in which one of the family was 
held, is seen from the fact that he was the Governor of the Colony 
in 1644, and the following extract from the first volume of Hen- 
ning's Statutes will show not only the religious character of those 
in authority at that day, but the probability that Governor Kempe 
sympathized in the movement, for the Governors had great power 
either to promote or prevent such a measure. In 1644 it was 

" Enacted by the Governor, Council, and Burgesses of this Grand As- 
sembly, for God's glory and the public benefit of the Colony, to the end 
that God might avert his heavy judgments that are upon us, that the last 
Wednesday in every month be set apart for fast and humiliation, and that 
it be wholly dedicated to prayers and preaching, &c. 

"RICHARD KEMPE, Esq., Governor." 

I do not remember ever to have seen such an indefinite and pro- 
longed period appropriated by a public body to public humiliation. 
It speaks well for the religion of our public functionaries of that 
day. What would be thought of such a measure at this ? 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 331 

Of Governor Page and his family I have already spoken some- 
what in treating of the Church in Williamsburg, where the first 
of his name were huried ; but, as the celebrated Rosewell and its 
graveyard full of tombs with that name are in Abington parish, I 
shall add something. And first I must take occasion to speak of 
the great folly of erecting such immense and costly houses as that 
of Rosewell, even in monarchical and aristocratic days. Richly- 
carved mahogany wainscothigs and capitals and stairways abound, 
and every brick was English. The house was built, or rather 
begun to be built, by Mr. Mann Page, grandson of old Sir John 
Page, who wrote the good book to his son Matthew, father of 
Mann. I am sure the grandfather would not have approved the 
act of his grandson. It may be said that, as his mother was the 
rich heiress of Timberneck Bay, he had a right to do it, and could 
afford it, as he was the first-born son and chief heir. We do not 
admit that any one has a right thus to misspend the talent given 
to him by God to be used for his glory, and God often punishes 
such misconduct by sending poverty on the persons thus acting, 
and on their posterity. A most remarkable exemplification of this 
appears in the case of Mr. Page, who began to build Rosewell, 
and which was finished by his widow and son. 

Whoever will look into the fifth volume and at the 277th page 
of Henning's Statutes will see an Act of Assembly covering more 
than seven octavo pages, and describing all the property in lands 
and servants belonging to Mr. Page, and the former of which his 
embarrassed son, Mann Page, Jr., petitioned to be allowed to sell, 
in order to pay off his father's debts in Virginia and England, and 
which all his real estate, though he had many servants on various 
estates, was incompetent to discharge. His landed estates were in 
Prince William, Frederick, Spottsylvania, Essex, James City, 
Hanover, Gloucester, and King William. He had eight thousand 
. acres in Frederick called Pageland, more than ten thousand in 
Prince William called Pageland also, four thousand five hundred 
in Spottsylvania, one thousand called Pampatike in King William, 
two thousand in Hanover, near two thousand in James City, &c., 
besides other lands not mentioned. Leave is asked and granted 
that his son Mann might sell them, in order to pay off the debts 
which had been for many years accumulating by interest, and 
which the real estate was unable to discharge, and in order to pay 
the portions of his brothers and sisters. For a long time had he 
been labouring from the proceeds of the estates to do this, but in 
vain. Now, it cannot be doubted that the tradition is correct that 



332 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

much if not all of the original debt was contracted for the erection 
of this immense pile of building, every brick of which, and doubt- 
less much other material, together with the workmen, were imported 
from England and not paid for, except by his agents and friends 
there, until the sale of these lands in Virginia enabled his son, long 
after, to do it. The whole of the roof of this ancient building was 
covered with heavy lead over the shingles. The result of this im- 
mense expenditure was not only the entailing a heavy debt upon 
his estate, and the causing a sale of lands which might have fur- 
nished his posterity for some generations with farms, but the keep- 
ing up such an establishment has been a burden on all who have 
possessed it to the present day, as must be the case with all such 
establishments. For a long time old Rosewell has been standing 
on Carter's Creek, in sight of York River, like an old deserted Eng- 
lish castle, in solitary grandeur, scarce a tree or shrub around it 
to vary and beautify the scene. No one of the name of him who built 
it has owned it or could afford to own it for generations. " Some 
stranger fills the Stuarts' throne." "Sic transit gloria mundi!" 

Would that this were the only folly of the kind in ancient or 
modern Virginia ! The Acts of Assembly give us other instances 
in old Virginia. Mr. Lewis Burwell, of King's Mill, near Wil- 
liamsburg, built a large house worthy of his first-born son to live 
in ; and that first-born son, after his father's death, was obliged to 
petition the Legislature for leave to break the entail and sell a 
large tract of land in King William to pay for it. The folly is still 
going on in many parts of our land ; the greater folly now, because 
the law of primogeniture being happily abolished, and different and 
better views prevailing as to the division of estates among children, 
the proud homestead must be sold or be an expense and burden to the 
child who inherits it. Even in England the land of entails and 
primogeniture the philanthropic Howard, a man of birth and 
inherited wealth, instead of listening to the plea that our houses 
must be proportioned to our wealth, to the extent even of palaces, 
and that it was a charity to the poor to employ numbers of them 
in the erection of stupendous and costly mansions, built one of 
more moderate size and expense for himself, and employed greater 
numbers of workmen in rearing neat and comfortable cottages for 
the poor on his large and numerous estates. How much of that 
now needlessly expended in building and furnishing large houses 
might be more rationally and charitably devoted to the improve- 
ment of the dwellings of the labourers, whether on the plantations 
of the South or the neighbourhoods of the North ! 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 333 

How much wiser was it in the first William Randolph, of Turkey 
Island, to live in a house of moderate dimensions himself, though 
with every comfort, and to build during his lifetime good houses 
for his numerous children in various parts of the State ! How 
much more becoming Christians, instead of building extravagant 
mansions for themselves, to see that the houses of worship are 
comely and comfortable, and that all God's ministers are well pro- 
vided with houses becoming their station and the means of living 
in them ! 

To return from this digression, let me say that Governor Page, 
though living in this proud mansion of his forefathers, was not him- 
self a proud man. He was not only a true republican in politics, but 
an humble man in his religion, and doubtless often wished himself, 
on more accounts than one, well rid of his large abode. The poor, 
I doubt not, were often kindly treated at Rosewell, and the ser- 
vants justly dealt with. There was once a picture among many 
others of higher degree on the walls of Rosewell parlour, which 
shows that he was not too proud to allow the head of a poor 
African to be there. It was the head of Selim, an Algerine negro, 
well known at Rosewell, York, and Williamsburg, which Mr. Page 
had taken while he was a member of Congress in Philadelphia, and 
hung up among his portraits. There was something so touching and 
very remarkable in the captivity, conversion, and latter end of 
Selim, that the Rev. John H. Rice, a Presbyterian minister of high 
standing, wrote an account of him, which was published in a Pres- 
byterian magazine, I think. It is so interesting and so edifying in 
a religious point of view that I shall insert it in these sketches; 
and I am the more induced so to do because I am able to add some 
particulars not contained in Mr. Rice's notice. 

Before I introduce this, however, (reserving it for another 
article,) I will add that Mr. Page was not only the patriot, soldier 
and politician, the well-read theologian and zealous Churchman, 
so that, as I have said before, some wished him to take Orders with 
a view to being the first Bishop of Virginia, but he was a most 
affectionate domestic character. His tenderness as a father and 
attention to his children is seen in the fact that, when attending a 
Congress held in New York, he was continually writing very short 
letters to his little ones, even before they could read them. I have 
a bundle of them, from which I extract the following : 

"NEW YORK, March 16th, 1789. 

"MY DEAR BOBBY : My letters to your brother Mann and your sisters 
will inform you how and when I arrived here. I will tell you then what 



9 
334 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

I have not told them, and what you, a young traveller, ought to know. 
This town is not half so large as Philadelphia, nor in any manner to be 
compared to it for beauty and elegance. Philadelphia, I am well assured, 
has more inhabitants than Boston and New York together. The streets 
here are badly paved, very dirty, and narrow as well as crooked, and filled 
up with a strange variety of wooden, stone, and brick buildings, and full 
of hogs and mud. The College, St. Paul's Church, and the Hospital are 
elegant buildings. The Federal Hall also, in which Congress is to sit, is 
elegant. What is very remarkable here is, that there is but one well of 
water which furnishes the inhabitants with drink, so that water is bought 
here by every one that drinks it, except the owner of this well. Four 
carts are continually going about selling it at three gallons for a copper; 
that is, a penny for every three gallons of water. The other wells and 
pumps serve for washing, and nothing else.* I have not time to say more 
about this place and the other towns through which I passed, but will by 
some other opportunity write you whatever may be worth your knowing. 
You must show this to Frank. Give my love to him, and tell him I will 
write to him and Judy next. Kiss her for me, and be a good boy, my 
dear. Give my love to your brothers and sisters and to your cousin Mat 
and Nat. Tell Beck [a maid-servant] that Sharp [the servant that went 
with him] is well, and sends his love to her, [his wife, I suppose.] That 
God Almighty may bless you all, my dear, is the fervent prayer of your 
affectionate father, JOHN PAGE." 

These letters were written on very coarse, stiff, dingy paper, 
such as no country-merchant would use in wrapping any but his 
heaviest and roughest goods in at this day. Some of them were 
sent by the two Randolphs, John and Theodoric, who were going 
to school in New York at that time.f 



* In another letter he says that he was mistaken that there were several good 
wells. 

f Mr. Page, of Rosewell, was twice married. First to Miss Frances Burwell, of 
the Isle of Wight, and next to Miss Louther, of New York, whom he met with 
while in Congress, which sat in that place. I have before me the funeral sermon 
preached on the occasion of the death of the former by the Rev. James Maury 
Fontaine, minister of Petsoe parish, and for some time of Ware parish, Gloucester. 
I quote a few passages from it, not only to show the character of Mrs. Page, but 
also the theology of Mr. Fontaine: 

"The voice of all proclaim aloud her praise. It was Mrs. Page's peculiar felicity 
to have no enemies. This is only to be accounted for by her having no competitions 
with the world but that laudable one,who should outdo in kindness and good offices. 
A contest of this kind always leaves the victor as amiable as triumphant. To be 
more particular: she was a faithful member of our Church. Hor piety was exem- 
plary. Her charity was universal. Her patience and fortitude in travelling the 
painful and gloomy road to dissolution were uncommonly great. She was a fair 
pattern of conjugal perfection. A better wife never died. She was a complete 
example to mothers. Sensible of the great blessing of early instruction, she 
laboured gradually and pleasingly to infuse into the tender minds of her offspring 
suitable portions of knowledge and virtue, and, knowing the force of good example, 
she did wbat she would have her children practise, and was what she wished them 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 335 



GLOUCESTER, THE RESIDENCE OF POWHATAN AND POCAHONTAS. 

We are now in the region where by general consent the chief 
residence of King Powhatan has been placed, after discussion and 
accurate investigation. Mr. Howe, in his laborious though some- 
times inaccurate History of Virginia, quotes from Captain John 
Smith as saying that'" twenty-five miles lower (than what is now West 
Point, the junction of the Pamunkey and Mattapony) on the north 
side of this river (York River) is Werowocomico, where their great 
king inhabited when I was delivered to him a prisoner," and where 
Smith in another place says "for the most part he was resident." 
Mr. Howe says, "Upon a short visit made to that part of Glou- 
cester county a year or two ago, I was satisfied that Shelly, the 



to be. She was an amiable pattern for mistresses ; a fast, valuable friend, and 
emphatically a good neighbour ; in fine, a pattern to her sex and an ornament to 
human nature." 

Although we could wish to have seen more of the Gospel throughout the sermon, 
yet at the close there is a recognition of it which shows that he understood and, we 
hope, practised it. In exhorting the bereaved members of the family to a proper 
resignation, he says, "Others have been as deeply afflicted as you. Jesus, the 
Captain of our salvation, was made perfect through sufferings. He knows how to 
pity you. And his sorrows have sufficient efficacy in them to convert yours into 
real blessings. Let patience have her perfect work. Still confide in the power, 
goodness, and faithfulness of God. Still rely on the mediation, advocacy, and grace 
of the Lord Jesus Christ. And still expect those aids and support from the blessed 
Spirit which you may yet need." 

The effects of paternal as well as maternal examples have been seen in the nu- 
merous descendants of Mr. Page who have embraced the religion and loved the 
Church of their fathers, instead of abjuring the former and deserting the latter, as 
too many of that day did. Of one of them I may be permitted to speak a special 
word. She inherited her mother's name as well as her virtues. I mean the late 
Mrs. Frances Berkeley, of Hanover. Her first husband was Mr. Thomas Nelson, 
of York, son of General Nelson, by whom she had a daughter who was dearer to 
me than life itself. They owned and for a time lived at Old Temple Farm, the an- 
cient seat of General Spottswood, the head-quarters of Washington during the siege 
of York, and the place where Cornwallis signed his capitulation. After the death 
of Mr. Nelson his widow married Dr. Carter Berkeley, of Hanover. Each of them 
contributed a number of children by their first marriage to the joint family at 
Edgewood, and others were born to them afterward. Instead of discord and 
Strife, a threefold cord of love was formed, seldom to be seen. Mrs. Berkeley was 
added to the number of those excellent ones belonging to the much-abused family 
of step-mothers, who knew no difference between her own and adopted children, 
while all regarded her equally as their own mother and each other as children of 
the same parents. She was in mind and person and character one of "nature's 
nobles," sanctified by divine grace to be among the finest specimens of renewed 
humanity. Less than this I could not say of one who was to me as a mother. 



336 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

seat of Mrs. Mann Pa%e, is the famous Werowocomico. Shelly 
adjoins Bosewell, formerly the seat of John Page, (sometime Go- 
vernor of Virginia), and was originally part of the Rosewell plan- 
tation ; and I learned from Mrs. Page, of Shelly, that Governor 
Page always held Shelly to be the ancient Werowocomico, and ac- 
cordingly he at first gave it that name, but afterward, on account 
of the inconvenient length of the word, dropped it and adopted 
the title of Shelly, on account of the extraordinary accumulation 
of shells found there. The enormous beds of oyster-shells de- 
posited there, especially in front of the Shelly House, indicate it 
to have been a place of great resort among the natives. The 
situation is highly picturesque and beautiful; and, looking as it 
does on the lovely and majestic York, it would seem of all others 
to have been the befitting residence of the lordly Powhatan." 

Our worthy fellow-citizen, Mr. Charles Campbell, of Petersburg, 
after having adopted the above opinion, has renounced it in favour 
of another place only two or three miles, I believe, lower down 
York River. On paying a visit a few years since to Shelly and 
the neighbourhood, for the purpose of examining the question, he 
became satisfied that Timberneck Bay, in Gloucester, the ancient 
seat of the Manns, only a mile from Shelly, is the famous spot. 
Smith, he says, in his work "Newes from Virginia," says "the bay 
where Powhatan dwelleth hath three creeks in it." "I have 
visited," says Mr. Campbell, "that part of Gloucester county, 
and am satisfied that Timberneck Bay is the one referred to by 
Mr. Smith. On the east bank of this bay stands an old chimney 
known as 'Powhatan's chimney,' and its site corresponds with We- 
rowocomico as laid down in Smith's map." Mr. Campbell sup- 
poses this to be the chimney of the house built by the Colonists to 
propitiate the favour of Powhatan, and says he is supported by 
tradition. May not the two opinions be reconciled in the follow- 
ing manner? Shelly may have been the original place of his resi- 
dence or of his frequent residence ; but when it was offered to build 
him a house after the English fashion, he may have preferred a 
situation a few miles off, for reasons best known to his royal 
majesty. And now, although I have already introduced some 
documents touching Powhatan and Pocahontas into my article on 
Jamestown and Henrico, yet, as there is another most worthy of 
preservation and use, I will do my part toward its perpetuity by 
inserting it in this place. It is the famous letter of Captain Smith 
to Queen Anne, soliciting her attention to Pocahontas when in 
England, a letter not easily surpassed by any one in any age. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 337 

"To the Most High and Virtuous Princess, Queen Anne, 
of Great Britain :* 

" MOST ADMIRED MADAM : The love I bear my God, my King, and 
my Church., hath so often emboldened me in the worst of extreme dan- 
gers, that now honesty doth constrain me to presume thus far beyond my- 
self, to present to your Majesty this short discourse. If ingratitude be a 
deadly poison to all honest virtues, I must be guilty of that crime if I 
should omit any means to be thankful. So it was, that about ten years ago, 
being in Virginia, and being taken prisoner by the power of Powhatan, 
their chief king, I received from this great savage exceeding great cour- 
tesy, especially from his son, Nantiquaus, the manliest, comeliest, boldest 
spirit I ever saw in a savage, and his sister Pocahontas, the king's most 
dear and beloved daughter, being but a child of twelve or thirteen years 
of age, whose compassionate, pitiful heart of my desperate estate gave me 
much cause to respect her. I being the first Christian this proud king 
and his grim attendants ever saw, and thus enthralled in their power, I 
cannot say I felt the least occasion of want that was in the power of those, 
my mortal foes, to prevent, notwithstanding all their threats. After some 
six weeks' fattening among these savage courtiers, at the minute of my 
execution she hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save mine ; 
and not only that, but so prevailed with her father that I was safely con- 
ducted to Jamestown, where I found about eight-and-thirty miserable, 
poor, and sick creatures to keep possession of all those large territories in 
Virginia. Such was the weakness of this poor Commonwealth, as had not 
the savages fed us, we directly had starved. And this relief, most gra- 
cious Queen, was commonly brought us by the Lady Pocahontas. 

"Notwithstanding all those passages, when inconstant fortune turned 
our peace to war, this tender virgin would still not spare to dare to visit 
us ; and by her our fears have been often appeased and our wants still 
supplied. Were it the policy of her father thus to employ her, or the 
ordinance of God thus to make her his instrument, or her extraordinary 
affection to our nation, I know not. But of this I am sure ; when her 
father, with the utmost of his policy and power, sought to surprise me, 
having but eighteen with me, the dark night could not affright her from, 
coming through the irksome woods, and, with watered eyes, gave me in- 
telligence with her best advice to escape his fury, which had he seen, he 
had surely slain her. 

" Jamestown, with her wild train, she as freely visited as her father's 
habitation ; and during the time of two or three years, she, next under 
God, was still the instrument to preserve this Colony from death, famine, 
and utter confusion, which in those times had once been dissolved, Vir- 
ginia might have lain as it was at our first arrival till this day. Since 
then this business, having been turned and varied by many accidents from 
what I left it, is most certain ; after a long and troublesome war, since my 
departure, betwixt her father and our Colony, all which time she was not 
heard of. About two years after, she herself was taken prisoner, being so 
detained near two years longer ] the Colony by that means was relieved, 
peace concluded, and at last, rejecting her barbarous condition, she was 
married to an English gentleman, the first Virginian who ever spake Eng- 



* King James's wife was named Anne. 
22 



338 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

lish, or had a child in marriage by an Englishman, a matter surely, if 
my meaning be truly considered and well understood, well worthy a 
prince's information. Thus, most gracious lady, I have related to your 
Majesty what, at your best leisure, our approved histories will recount to 
you at large, as done in your Majesty's life. And, however this might be 
presented you from a more worthy pen, it cannot from a more honest 
heart. 

"As yet, I never begged any thing of the State; and it is my want of 
ability and her exceeding deserts, your birth, means, and authority, her 
birth, virtue, want, and simplicity, doth make me thus bold humbly to be- 
seech your Majesty to take this knowledge of her, though it be from one so 
unworthy to be the reporter as myself, her husband's estate not being able 
to make her fit to attend your Majesty. The most and least I can do is to 
tell you this, and the rather of her being of so great a spirit, however her 
stature. If she should not be well received, seeing this kingdom may rightly 
have a kingdom by her means, her present love to us and Christianity might 
turn to such scorn and fury as to divert all this good to the worst of evil ; 
when, finding that so great a Queen should do her more honour than she 
imagines, for having been kind to her subjects and servants, would so 
ravish her with content as to endear her dearest blood to effect that your 
Majesty and all the King's most honest subjects most earnestly desire. 
And so I humbly kiss your gracious hands, &c. 

" Signed, JOHN SMITH." 

Since the above was in print, we have received the following 
extract from one of our public papers : 

11 POCAHONTAS. An interesting link in the chain of American Docu- 
mentary History has just been given by the rector of Gravesend, in Kent, 
to the Rev. R. Anderson, for his ' Colonial Church History/ It is the 
fac-simile copy of the entry of the death of Pocahontas, in the register 
of that parish, where she died three years after her marriage, when on 
the point of embarking to return to her native land with her husband, 
who was appointed Secretary and Recorder-General for Virginia. It runs 
thus : < 1616, March 21. Rebecca Rolfe, wyffe of Thomas Rolfe, gent., 
a Virginia lady borne, was buried in y 8 Chauncell/ The present church 
at Gravesend is an erection later than the date of this entry ; so that, in 
all probability, it is the only tangible relic of the last resting-place of 
one called by our forefathers 'the first-fruit of the Gospel in America/ of 
whom Sir Thomas Dale (Marshal of Virginia) wrote, 'were it but the 
gaining of this one soule, I think my time, toile, and present stay well 
spent.' Poor Pocahontas ! who shall say what emotions passed through 
her mind, when, strong in affectionate confidence, she accompanied her 
husband from the pleasant savannas of Virginia, which she was never to 
see again, to the Court of England, and still (in the words of Purchas) 
'did not onely accustom herselfe to civilitie, but carried herselfe as the 
daughter of a king.' Every trait preserved of her in the records of the 
time testifies to her 'increasing in goodness as the knowledge of God in- 
creased in her/ Her true story is one that can never become hackneyed 
even with familiarity, and should be religiously kept free from burlesque 
association." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 339 



GRAVEYARDS IN GLOUCESTER COUNTY. 

There are three graveyards of some note near to each other : 
that at Rosewell, where the Pages are buried ; at Timberneck Bay, 
where the Manns are buried; and at Carter's Creek, where the 
Burwells alone are buried. Many inscriptions upon the old tomb- 
stones have been furnished me. 

The first of the Pages was John Page, usually called Sir John, 
of Williamsburg, who wrote the good book to his son Matthew. 
His son Matthew married Mary Mann, of Timberneck Bay, a rich 
heiress, and bequeathed an immense estate to his son Mann, who 
built Rosewell. His son Mann, Jr. married, first, Judith Wormley, 
who had only one child who lived ; and she married Thomas Mann 
Randolph, of Tuckahoe. Mr. Page's second wife was Judith Carter, 
daughter of Robert Carter, of Corotoman, commonly called King 
Carter. By this marriage he had Mann Page, of Rosewell, John 
Page, of North End, Gloucester, and Robert Page, of Broadneck, 
Hanover. The first of these three married Alice Grymes, of Mid- 
dlesex, by whom he had two children, John Page, of Rosewell, 
alias Governor Page, and Judith, who married Lewis Burwell, of 
Carter's Creek. At the death of his first wife, Alice Grymes, 
Mann Page married Miss Ann Corbin Tayloe, sister of the first 
Colonel Tayloe, of Mount Airy, by whom he had Mann Page, of 
Mansfield, near Fredericksburg, who married his cousin, sister of 
the late Colonel Tayloe, of Mount Airy ; Robert Page, of Hano- 
ver Town, who married a daughter of Charles Carter, of Frede- 
ricksburg ; Gwinn Page, who married first in Prince William and 
then in Kentucky ; Matthew Page, of Hanover Town, who died 
unmarried; Betsey Page, who married Mr. Benjamin Harrison, of 
Brandon ; Lucy Page, who married first Colonel George Baylor, 
and then Colonel Nathaniel Burwell. 

The second son of Mann Page and Judith Carter John Page, 
of North End married Jane Byrd, of Westover, whose son Mann 
married Miss Selden, and was the father of William Byrd Page, of 
Frederick, who married Miss Lee, and was the father of the Rev. 
Charles Page, and many others. 

John Page, second son of John, of North End, married Miss 
Betty Burwell, and had several children. Their daughter Jane 
married Mr. Edmund Pendleton. William, third son of John, of 
North End, married Miss Jones, and had three children, Jane, 
Byrd, and Carter. Carter Page, of Cumberland, fourth son of 



I 

340 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

John, of North End, married, first, Polly, daughter of Archibald 
Gary, then Lucy, daughter of General Nelson, of York. Robert 
Page, of Janeville, Frederick county, married his cousin Sarah, 
of Broadneck. The sixth son was Matthew, who died unmarried. 
The seventh, Tom, who married Mildred, daughter of Edmund 
Pendleton, of White Plains. The eighth, Judith, who married 
Colonel Hugh Nelson, of York. The ninth, Molly, who married 
Mr. John Byrd, and had no children. The tenth, Jane, who mar- 
ried Nathaniel Nelson, and was the mother of Mrs. Nathaniel Bur- 
well, of Saratoga. The eleventh, Lucy, who married Mr. Frank 
Nelson, of Hanover. The above eleven were all the children of 
Mr. John Page, of North End, second son of Mann and Judith 
Page, of Rosewell. Their third son was Robert, of Broadneck, 
Hanover county, who married Miss Sarah Walker. Their chil- 
dren were, first, Robert, who married a Miss Braxton, and was the 
father of Carter B. Page, John White Page, Walker Page, and 
three sisters. Second, John, of Page Brook, who married Miss 
Byrd, of Westover, and left many children. Third, Matthew 
Page, of Annfield, who married Miss Ann R. Meade, and left two 
daughters. Fourth, Catharine, who married Benjamin Waller, of 
Williamsburg. Fifth, Judith, who married Mr. John Waller. 
Sixth, Sarah, who married Mr. Robert Page, of Janeville. 




OLD S E L I M. 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 341 



ARTICLE XXIX. 

Gloucester. No. 3. History of Selim, the Algerine Convert. 

THE following article was written by the Rev. Benjamin H. Rice. 
The addition is from a descendant of Mr. Page, of Rosewell : 

THE CONVERTED ALGERINE. 

The following narrative was committed to writing by an aged 
clergyman in Virginia, and is communicated for publication by a 
missionary of known character. Its authenticity may be relied on. 
It is introduced by the writer with the following paragraphs : 

I have long been of opinion that even the short account I am able 
to give of Selim, the Algerine, is worth preserving, and suppose that 
no person now living is able to give so full an account of him as 
myself, not having the same means of information. 

Had Selim ever recovered his reason so far as to be able to 
write his own history and give an account of all the tender and 
interesting circumstances of his story, it would undoubtedly have 
been one of the most moving narratives to be met with. All I 
can write is the substance of the story as related to me, most of 
it many years ago. I have been careful to relate every par- 
ticular circumstance I could recollect worthy of notice, and make 
no additions and very few reflections of my own. I publish 
these narratives at this time for the sake of a few observations 
which they naturally suggest, and which I think seasonable at the 
present day. 

About the close of the war between France and England in 
Virginia, commonly called Braddock's War, a certain man, whose 
name, as I have been informed, was Samuel Givins, then an inha- 
bitant of Augusta county, in Virginia, went into the woods back of 
the settlements to hunt wild meat for the support of his family, 
a practice which necessity renders customary for the settlers of a 
new country. He took more than one horse with him, that it 
might be in his power to bring home his meat and skins. As he 
was one day ranging the woods in quest of game, he cast his eyes 
into the top of a large fallen tree, where he saw a living creature 



$ 

342 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

move. Supposing it to be some kind of a wild beast, he made 
ready to shoot it, but had no sooner obtained a distinct view than 
he discovered a human shape, which prevented the fatal discharge. 
Going to the place, he found a man in a most wretched and pitiable 
condition, his person entirely naked (except a few rags tied about 
his feet) and almost covered over with scabs, quite emaciated and 
nearly famished to death. The man was unacquainted with the Eng- 
lish language, and Givins knew no other. No information, there- 
fore, could be obtained who he was, whence he came, or how he was 
brought into a state so truly distressing. Givins, however, with 
the kindness of the good Samaritan, took a tender care of him, 
and supplied his emaciated body with the best nourishment his 
present circumstances would afford. He prudently gave him but 
little at a time, and increased tbe quantity as his strength and the 
power of digestion increased. In a few days the man recovered 
such a degree of strength as to be able to ride on horseback. 
Givins furnished him with one of those he had taken with him to 
carry home his meat, and conducted him to Captain (afterward 
Colonel) Dickerson's, who then lived near the Windy Cave. Dicker- 
son supplied his wants, and entertained him for some months with a 
generosity that is more common with rough backwoodsmen, who 
are acquainted with the hardships of life, than among the opulent 
sons of luxury and ease. 

The poor man considered that he had no way to make himself 
and his complicated distresses known, without the help of lan- 
guage : he therefore resolved to make himself acquainted with the 
English tongue as soon as possible. In this his progress was sur- 
prising : he procured pen, ink, and paper, and spent much of his 
time in writing down remarkable and important words, pronouncing 
them, and getting whoever was present to correct his pronunciation. 
By his indefatigable application, and the kind assistance of Colonel 
Dickerson's family, he in a few months was so far master of Eng- 
lish as to speak it with considerable propriety. When he found 
himself sufficiently qualified for communicating his ideas, he gave 
the colonel and others a most moving narrative of his various 
unparalleled misfortunes. He said his name was Selim ; that he 
was born of wealthy and respectable parents in Algiers ; that when 
a small boy his parents sent him to Constantinople, with a view to 
have him liberally educated there ; and -that after he had spent 
several years in that city, in pursuit of learning, he returned to 
Africa to see his parents, with a view to return to Constantinople 
to finish his education. The ship in which he embarked was taken 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 343 

by a Spanish man-of-war or privateer, and Selim thus became a 
prisoner of war. The Spaniards were at this time in alliance with 
France against England. Falling in with a French ship bound to 
New Orleans, they put him on board this vessel, which carried him 
to the place of its destination. After living some time among the 
French at New Orleans, they sent him up the rivers Mississippi 
and Ohio to the Shawnee towns, and left him a prisoner of war 
with the Indians, who at that time lived near the Ohio. There 
was at the same time a white woman, who had been taken from the 
frontiers of Virginia, a prisoner with the same tribe of Indians. 
Selim inquired of her, by signs, whence she came. The woman 
answered by pointing directly toward the sunrising. He was so 
far acquainted with the geography of America as to know that 
there were English settlements on the eastern shore of this conti- 
nent ; and he rightly supposed the woman had been taken prisoner 
from some of them. Having received this imperfect information, 
he resolved to attempt an escape from ihe Indians to some of these 
settlements. This was a daring attempt, for he was an entire 
stranger to the distance he would have to travel and the dangers 
which lay in his way ; he had no pilot but the sun, nor any pro- 
visions for his journey, nor gun, ammunition, or other means of 
obtaining them. Being thus badly provided for, and under all 
these discouraging circumstances, he set out on his arduous journey 
through an unknown mountainous wilderness of several hundred 
miles. Not knowing the extent of the settlements he aimed at, he 
apprehended danger of missing them should he turn much to the 
north or south, and therefore resolved to keep as directly to the 
sunrising as he possibly could, whatever rivers or mountains might 
obstruct his path. Through all these difficulties Selim travelled 
on until the few clothes he had were torn to pieces by bushes, 
thorns, and briers. These, when thus torn and fit for no other 
service, he wrapped and tied about his feet to defend them from 
injuries. Thus he travelled naked, until his skin was torn to 
pieces with briers and thorns, his body emaciated, his strength ex- 
hausted with hunger and fatigue, and his spirits sunk under dis- 
couragements. All he had to strengthen and cheer him was a few 
nuts and berries he gathered by the way, and the distant prospect 
of once more seeing his native land. But this pleasing prospect 
could animate him no longer, nor could these scanty provisions 
support him. His strength failed, and he sank into despair of 
every thing but ending a miserable life in a howling wilderness, sur- 
rounded by wild beasts ! Finding he could travel no farther, he 



I 

344 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

fixed upon the top of the tree where Givins found him, as the spot 
where his sorrows and his life must end together. But God, whose 
providence is over all his creatures, had other views. While Selim 
was dying this lingering, painful death, and was scarce able to move 
his feeble limbs, relief was sent him by the beneficent hand of 
Givins : he is again restored to life, and hope once more revives 
and animates his sinking heart. No doubt Colonel Dickerson was 
sensibly touched with this moving tale of woe, and the generous 
feelings of his humanity greatly increased. I infer it from his 
conduct ; for he furnished Selim with a horse to ride, treated him 
as a companion, and took him to visit the neighbours and see the 
country. He accompanied the colonel to Staunton, where the 
court of Augusta county sat, and where the inhabitants of the 
county were assembled, it being court-day. Among the rest was 
the Rev. John Craig, a Presbyterian minister of the Gospel, who 
resided a few miles from town. When Selim saw Mr. Craig he 
was struck with his appearance, turned his particular attention to 
him, and after some time came and spoke to him, and intimated a 
desire to go home with him. Mr. Craig welcomed him to his 
house, and then, or afterward, asked him why he desired to go 
home with him in particular, being an entire stranger, whom he had 
never seen before. Selim replied : 

" When I was in my distress, I once in my sleep dreamed that I 
was in my own country, and saw in my dream the largest assembly of 
men my eyes had ever beheld, collected in a wide plain, all dressed 
in uniform and drawn up in military order. At the farther side 
of the plain, and almost at an immense distance, I saw a person 
whom I understood to be one of great distinction ; but, by reason 
of the vast distance he was from me, I could not discern what sort 
of a person he was. I only knew him to be a person of great emi- 
nence. I saw every now and then one or two of this large as- 
sembly attempting to go across the plain to this distinguished 
personage ; but when they had got about half-way over, they 
suddenly dropped into a hole in the earth, and I saw them no 
more. I also imagined that I saw an old man standing by himself, 
at a distance from this large assembly, and one or two of the mul- 
titude applied to him for direction how to cross the plain in safety ; 
and all who received and followed it got safe across. As soon as 
I saw you," added Selim, "I knew you to be the man who gave 
these directions ; and this has convinced me that it is the mind of 
God that I should apply to you for instructions in religion. It is 
for this reason I desire to go home with you. When I was among 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 345 

the French, they endeavoured to prevail on me to embrace the 
Christian religion. But, as I observed they made use of images in 
their religious worship, I looked on Christianity with abhorrence ; 
such worship being, in my opinion, idolatrous." 

Mr. Craig cheerfully undertook the agreeable work he seemed 
called to by an extraordinary Providence. He soon found that 
Selim understood the Greek language, which greatly facilitated the 
business. He furnished a Greek Testament ; Selim spent his time 
cheerfully in reading it, and Mr. Craig his leisure hours in explain- 
ing to him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the space of about two 
weeks he obtained what Mr. Craig esteemed a competent knowledge 
of the Christian religion. He went to Mr. Craig's house of wor- 
ship, made a public profession of Christianity, and was baptized 
in the name of the adorable Trinity. Some time after this, Selim 
informed Mr. Craig that he was desirous to return to his native 
country and once more see his parents and friends. Mr. Craig 
reminded him that his friends and countrymen, being Mohammedans, 
entertained strong prejudices against the Christian religion, and 
that, as he now professed to be a Christian, he would probably be 
used ill on that account, and that here in America he might enjoy 
his religion without disturbance. To which Selim replied, that his 
father was a man of good estate, and he was his heir ; that he had 
never been brought up to labour, and knew no possible way in 
which he could obtain a subsistence ; that he could not bear the 
thought of living a life of dependence upon strangers and being a 
burden to them ; that he was sensible of the strong prejudices of 
his friends against Christianity, yet could not think that, after all 
the calamities he had undergone, his father's religious prejudices 
would so far get the better of his humanity as to cause him to use 
his son ill on that account ; and that, at all events, he, desired to 
make the experiment. Mr. Craig urged that the favourable 
regards of his friends and a good estate on the one hand, and a 
life of poverty and distress on the other, might prove a too power- 
ful temptation to renounce that religion he now professed to believe 
true, and to return again to Mohammedanism. Selim said, what- 
ever the event might be, he was resolved never to deny Jesus. 

When Mr. Craig found that he was fully resolved, he applied to 
some of his neighbours, and, with their assistance, furnished Selim 
with as much money as they supposed sufficient to defray his ex- 
penses to England, from whence he said he could easily get a 
passage to Africa. He furnished him, also, with a letter to the 
Hon. Robert Carter, who then lived in Williamsburg and was 



I 

346 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

noted for his beneficence to the poor and afflicted, requesting him 
to procure for the bearer an agreeable passage in some ship bound 
to England. Mr. Carter did more than was requested of him : he 
furnished Selim plentifully with sea-stores. Being thus provided 
for, he set sail for England, with the nattering prospect before him 
of being once more happy in his own country and in the arms of 
his affectionate parents. For many months no more is heard of 
him by his American acquaintance. 

How long after this I do not recollect, perhaps some years, 
the poor unfortunate Selim returned again to Virginia in a state 
of insanity. He came to Williamsburg, and to the house of his 
old benefactor, Mr. Carter. His constant complaint was, that he 
had no friend, and where should he find a friend ? From which 
complaint the cause of his present very pitiable situation was 
easily conjectured : his father was not his friend. Notwithstanding 
the derangement of his mental powers, he had certain lucid inter- 
vals, in which he so far enjoyed his reason as to be able to give 
a pretty distinct account of his adventures after he left Virginia. 
He said he had a speedy and safe passage to England, and from 
thence to Africa ; and that, on his arrival, he found his parents 
still alive, but that it was not in his power long to conceal it from 
them that he had renounced Mohammedanism and embraced the 
Christian religion, and that his father no sooner found this to be 
the case than he disowned him as a child and turned him out 
of his house. Affection for his parents, grief for their religious 
prejudices and his own temporal ruin, tormented his tender 
heart. He was now turned out into the world, without money, 
without a friend, without any art by which he could obtain a sub- 
sistence. He left his own country, the estate on which he ex- 
pected to spend his life, and all his natural connections, without 
the most distant prospect of ever seeing or enjoying them more. 
He went to England, in hopes of there finding some way to live, 
where he could enjoy his religion when every other source of com- 
fort was dried up. But, having no friend to introduce him to the 
pious and benevolent, he found no way to subsist in that country ; 
on which he resolved to return to America, it being a new country, 
where the poor could more easily find the means of support. In 
his passage to Virginia while he had probably no pious friend to 
console him in his distresses nor to encourage and support him 
under them, and while he had little to do but pore over his wretched 
situation he sunk, under the weight of his complicated calamities, 
into a state of insanity. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 347 

Though Selim's great distress was that he had no friend and 
he was constantly roving about in quest of one, yet of friendship 
he was incapable of enjoying the advantages. In pursuit of his 
object he went up to Colonel Dickerson's, but to no purpose. 
From thence he wandered away to the Warm Springs, where was 
at that time a young clergyman of the name of Templeton, who, 
having understood something of his history, entered into conversa- 
tion with him. He asked him, among other things, whether he 
was acquainted with the Greek language ; to which he modestly 
replied that he understood a little of it. Mr. Templeton put a 
Greek Testament into his hand, and asked him to read and con- 
strue some of it. He took the book and opened it, and, when he 
saw what it was, in a transport of joy he pressed it to his heart, 
and then complied with Mr. Templeton's request. By these 
actions he showed his great veneration for the Sacred Scriptures, 
and how long he had retained the knowledge of the Greek in cir- 
cumstances the most unfavourable. From the Warm Springs he 
went down to Mr. Carter's, (who, by this time, had removed from 
Williamsburg to his seat in Westmoreland county,) in hopes that 
gentleman would act the part of a friend, as he had formerly 
done; but still, poor man, he was incapable of enjoying what he 
greatly needed and most desired. He soon wandered away from 
Mr. Carter's, was taken, and carried to the madhouse in Williams- 
burg. 

The above account I received from Mr. Craig, Mr. Carter, and 
Mr. Templeton ; and it is the substance of all I knew of Selim 
before I came to reside in this State. Since my arrival here I 
have seen several men who were personally acquainted with him 
while in a state of derangement. They say he was commonly in- 
offensive in his behaviour, grateful for favours received, manifested 
a veneration for religion, was frequently engaged in prayer, that 
his prayers were commonly, though not always, pretty sensible 
and tolerably well connected, and that he appeared to have the 
temper and behaviour of a gentleman, though he was in ruins ; 
that he went roving from place to place, sometimes almost naked 
for want of sense to keep on the clothes that he had received 
from the hand of charity, until he was taken with the sickness 
which put an end to his sorrows ; that when he was taken sick his 
reason was restored and continued to his last moments ; that the 
family where he lay sick and died treated him with great tender- 
ness, for which he expressed the utmost gratitude, and that, at his 
request and importunity, no persons sat up with him on the night 



i 

348 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

in which he died. It appears, however, that he died with great 
composure; for he placed himself, his hands, his feet, and his 
whole body, in a proper posture to be laid in his coffin, and so 
expired. 

The following is added by a descendant of Mr. Page : 

" Among the pictures that made the deepest impression on me at Rose- 
well, and which decorated the old hall, was that of Selim. He was painted 
Indian fashion, with a blanket round his shoulders, a straw hat on his 
head, tied on with a check handkerchief. This portrait Governor Page 
had taken in Philadelphia, by Peale -, and, when the box arrived at- Rose- 
well, the family and servants were all assembled in the hall to see it opened. 
Great was their astonishment and disappointment to find, instead of a por- 
trait of their father and master, Selim's picture, which was greeted instantly 
with his usual salutation, ' God save ye. 7 He was a constant visitor at 
Rosewell, and was always kindly received by servants and children, who 
respected him for his gentleness, piety, and learning. One of his fancies 
was never to sleep in a house, and, unless he could be furnished with regi- 
mentals, disdained all other clothing. One of his greatest pleasures, when 
in Williamsburg, was to read Greek with Professor Small and President 
Horrocks, of William and Mary, and at Rosewell, with Mr. Page, and his 
youngest son, who read Greek and Hebrew at a very early period ; but it 
was always out of doors. 

" When in Yorktown, the old windmill (which was blown down by a 
late tornado, and was long a relic of olden times, and which ground nearly 
all the bread used in York) was his resting-place. The only time he was 
ever in the York House he was coaxed by General Nelson's oldest daughter 
and niece to take his seat in Lady Nelson's sedan-chair. As they bore 
him in and rested in the passage, he rose up, and sang melodiously one 
of Dr. Watts's hymns for children, 

'How glorious is our heavenly King!' 

The first time it was ever heard in Yorktown. Where he learned it was 
never known, but we suppose it must have been from his Presbyterian 
friends in Prince Edward. He had a trick of constantly passing his 
hands over his face, and, when questioned about it, would say, ' It is the 
blow that disgrace to a gentleman given me by that Louisiana planter ; 
but thank God! thank God! but for the Saviour I could not bear it.' 

" I have always understood he went to South Carolina from Phila- 
delphia with a gentleman who took a fancy to him and got him off with 
the promise of a full suit of regimentals, and there we lose sight of him." 

The picture of Selim may still be seen in the library of Mr. 
Robert Saunders, of Williamsburg. Mr. Saunders married a 
daughter of Governor Page, and thus inherited it. Selim, out of 
his attachment to Mr. Page, either followed or went with him to 
Philadelphia, where the American Congress was sitting, of which 
Mr. Page was a member. Mr. Peale was then a most eminent 
painter. 



-- 
FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 349 



ARTICLE XXX. 

Gloucester. No. 4. Supplement to the Articles on Gloucester. 

ACCORDING to a purpose expressed in one of my previous numbers, 
I have visited some places in Gloucester, with a view of obtaining 
the most accurate information concerning some antiquated places 
which have interest in them for more than mere antiquaries. My 
first visit was to the old stone chimney which tradition says be- 
longed to the house built by Captain Smith for King Powhatan at 
or near his residence on York River, in Gloucester. I acknowledge 
that I had never placed much confidence in this tradition ; for, though 
I did not doubt but that Captain Smith had built a log room with 
a stone chimney for the King, yet I did doubt whether any remains 
of the room or chimney could now be seen. I am sure that there 
is now no other remnant of such architecture, either in stone or 
wood, to be found in Virginia. I went therefore to the spot with 
no little of skepticism on the subject. On a high point of land, 
divided by Timberneck Creek from Mr. Catlett's farm, the former 
seat of the Manns, there is a wooden "frame room, of more recent 
construction, attached to a low, Dutch-built chimney intended only 
for a single-story house. The chimney has recently been covered 
on the outside with a coat of plastering. The fireplace within was 
eight feet four inches wide that is, the opening to receive the 
wood and four feet dep, and more than six feet high, so that the 
tallest man might walk into it and a number of men sit within it 
around the fire. All this was royal enough ; but as many of the old 
chimneys in Virginia, especially of the negro quarters, were as 
large in former days, when wood abounded, rny skepticism was not 
entirely removed until I perceived, in the only crack which was to 
be seen outside of the wall, something which showed that the mate- 
rial was of no ordinary kind of stone, but like that of which the 
old church at York was built, viz. : marl out of the bank, which 
only hardens by fire and by exposure. To render this more certain, 
I asked the owner of the house if he could not get me a small block 
of the material from the bottom of the chimney, near the ground, 
so as not to injure it. He obligingly consented, and, bringing an 
old axe, by repeated and heavy blows disengaged from the chimney a 



350 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

fragment of it, which I found to be what I conjectured, a particular 
kind of marl, composed of shells, and which abounds on some of 
the high banks of York River, on both sides. I am now satisfied 
that this is really the stone chimney built by Captain Smith. 
There is no other kind of stone if this may be called stone in 
this region ; and it was much easier for Captain Smith to use this 
than to make and burn brick. It is, moreover, more durable than 
brick or stone. It is impossible to say how many generations of log 
or frame rooms have been built to this celebrated chimney. There 
is a contest between this spot and Shelly for the honour of being 
Powhatan's residence ; and it is thought by some that the old chimney 
decides it in behalf of this. Shelly, in a straight line, is little more 
than a mile from this, and may have been the residence of the 
King and his tribe (and there are some strong marks of this) at the 
time, though he may have preferred to have this house built on the 
high and commanding bluff on which it stands. Moreover, Smith 
and his men may have preferred, while at their work, to be at a 
little distance from his royal majesty and his treacherous people. 

Bearing away with me the piece of marl-stone from Powhatan's 
chimney, to be kept in proof of what I now believe to be fact, I 
crossed the creek, and sought at the old homestead of the Manns 
for some sepulchral monument showing that tradition was true in 
relation to the residence of a family whose name is only to be 
found incorporated with other names, inheriting an estate which 
not only once covered the half of Gloucester, if report be true, but 
was scattered in large parcels over numerous other counties. In 
or near the stable-yard, in an open place, there is to be seen a pile 
of tombstones lying upon and beside each other in promiscuous 
confusion, on which may be read the following inscriptions : 

u Here lyeth the body of John Mann, of Gloucester county, in Virginia, 
gentleman, aged sixty-three years, who departed this life the 7th dav of 
January, 1694." 

Also, 

" Here lyeth the body of Mrs. Mary Mann, of the county of Gloucester, 
in the Colony of Virginia, gentlewoman, who departed this life the 18th 
day of March, 1703-4, aged fifty-six years." 

Their daughter and only child married Matthew Page, son of 
John Page, the first of the family. They buried a child at this 
place, whose tombstone is a part of this pile, and reads as follows : 

" Here lyeth the body of Elizabeth Page, daughter of Matthew Page, 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 351 

of the Colony of Virginia, gentleman, aged three years, who departed this 
life the 15th of March, Anno Domini 1693." 

THE TOMBS AT EOSEWELL. 

My next visit was to Rosewell, the mansion of which I have 
spoken in one of the preceding articles. 

Mr. Matthew Page moved to this place from Timberneck. Three 
of his young children Matthew, Mary, and Ann are buried here 
before the month of August, 1704. This appears, or did appear, 
from their tombs. The following is the inscription on the heavy 
ironstone tomb of Matthew Page : 

i. 

"Here lyeth interred the body of the Hon ble Col. Matthew Page, one of 
Her Majesty's most Hon ble Council, of the parish of Abington, in the 
county of Gloucester, Colony of Virginia, son of the Hon ble John Page, of 
the parish of Bruton, in the county of York, in the aforesaid Colony, who 
departed this life the 9th day of January, Anno Domini 1703, in the 
45th year of his age." 

II. 

" Here lyeth interred the body of Mary Page, wife of the Hon ble Matthew 
Page, Esquire, one of Her Majesty's Council of this Colony of Virginia, a 
daughter of John and Mary Mann, who departed this life the 24th day of 
March, in the year of our Lord 1707, in the 36th year of her age." 

ill. 

" Here lie the remains of the Hon ble Mann Page, Esquire, one of His 
Majesty's Council, of the Colony of Virginia, who departed this life the 
24th day of January, 1730, in the 40th year of his age. He was the only 
son of the Hon bhi Matthew Page, Esquire, who was likewise member of His 
Majesty's Council. His first wife was Judith, daughter of Ralf Wormley, 
Esquire, Secretary of Virginia, by whom he had two sons and a daughter. 
He afterward married Judith, daughter of the Hon ble Robert Carter, Es- 
quire, President of Virginia, with whom he lived in the most tender reci- 
procal affection for twelve years, leaving by her five sons and a daughter. 
His public trust he faithfully discharged, with candour and discretion, 
truth and justice. Nor was he less eminent in his private behaviour; for 
he was a tender husband and indulgent father, a gentle master and faithful 
friend, being to all courteous and beneficent, kind and affable. This 
monument was piously erected to his memory by his mournfully surviving 
lady- 
There were tombstones with inscriptions over each of the wives 
of this, the first Mann Page, one in Latin and the other in 
English. The latter was first broken and then crumbled away. 

One of the sons of the above-mentioned Mann Page was named 
Mann, and inherited Rosewell. The following is the inscription 
over his first wife : 



352 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

TV. 

" Here lyeth the body of Alice Page, wife of Mann Page, who departed 
this life the llth day of January, 1746, in childbed of her second son, in 
the 23d year of her age, leaving two sons and one daughter. She was 
the third daughter of the Hon ble John Grymes, Esquire, of Middlesex 
county, one of His Majesty's Council in this Colony. Her personal beauty 
and the uncommon sweetness of her temper, her affable deportment and 
exemplary behaviour, made her respected by all who knew her. The 
spotless innocency of her life and her singular piety, her constancy and 
resignation at the hour of death, sufficiently testified her firm and certain 
hope of a joyful resurrexion. To her sacred memory this monument is 
piously erected." 

His second wife was Miss Ann Corbin Tayloe. Two of their 
sons, who died young, are buried at Rosewell, having tombs and 
inscriptions. Governor Page, of Virginia, was a son by his first 
wife, Alice Grymes. There is no tombstone over the second Mann 
Page. Governor Page died in Richmond, and was buried in the 
old churchyard around St. John's. 

My next visit was to the old seat of the Burwells, about two 
miles from Rosewell, on Carter's Creek, and in full view of York 
River. It was formerly called Fairfield, and is so marked on 
Bishop Madison's map of Virginia. It has for some time past been 
called Carter's Creek only. The house, as appears by figures on 
one of the walls, was built either in 1684 or 1694. A portion of 
it has been taken down : the rest is still strong and likely to endure 
for no little time to come. The graveyard is in a pasture-lot not 
far from the house. Being unenclosed, it is free to all the various 
animals which belong to a Virginia farm. Hogs, sheep, cows, and 
horses, have free access to it ; and, as there is a grove of a few old 
trees overshadowing it, the place is a favourite resort in summer. 
The tombs are very massive. The slabs on which the inscriptions 
are engraved are of the same heavy ironstone or black marble with 
those at Rosewell, Timberneck, and Bellfield, of which we have 
spoken. The framework underneath them lias generally given way, 
and they lie in various positions about the ground. A large honey- 
locust, around which several of them were placed, having attained 
its maturity, was either blown down by the wind or struck by light- 
ning, and fell across them, breaking one of the largest into pieces. 
The young shoots of the tree, springing up, have now themselves 
become trees of considerable size, and afford shade for inanimate 
tombs and living beasts. None of the family have for a long time 
owned this ancient seat. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 353 



TOMBS AT CARTER'S CREEK, OR FAIRFIELD. 

i. 

" Teethe lasting memory of Major Lewis Burwell, of the county of Glou- 
cester, in Virginia, gentleman, who descended from the ancient family of the 
Burwells, of the counties of Bedford and Northampton, in England, who, 
nothing more worthy in his birth than virtuous in his life, exchanged this 
life for a better, on the 19th day of November, in the 33d year of his age, 
A.D. 1658." 



ii. 



" The daughter of Robert Higginson. She died November 26th, 1675. 
. . . . She was the wife of Major Lewis Burwell." 



ill. 

" Here lyeth the body of Lewis, son of Lewis Burwell and Abigail his 
wife, on the left hand of his brother Bacon and sister Jane. He departed 
this life y e sixteenth day of September, 1676, in the 15th year of his 
age." 

rv. 

" Here lyeth the body of Mary, the daughter of Lewis and Martha his 
wife. She departed this life in the first year of her age, on the 20th of 
July." 

y. 

"To the sacred memory of Abigail, the loving and beloved wife of 
Major Lewis Burwell, of the county of Gloucester, gent., who was de- 
scended of the illustrious family of the Bacons, and heiress of the Hon. 
Nathaniel Bacon, Esq., President of Virginia, who, not being more 
honourable in her birth than virtuous in her life, departed this world the 
12th day of November, 1672, aged 36 years, having blessed her husband 
with four sons and six daughters." 

VI. 

" Beneath this tomb lyeth the body of Major Nathaniel Burwell, eldest 
son of Major Lewis Burwell, who, by well-regulated conduct and firm in- 
tegrity, justly established a good reputation. He died in the 41st year 
of his age, leaving behind him three sons and one daughter,* by Elizabeth, 
eldest daughter of Robert Carter, Esq., in the year of our Lord Christ 
1721." 

VII. 

" Here lyeth the body of the Hon. Lewis Burwell, son of Major Lewis 
Burwell and Lucy his wife, of the county of Gloucester, who first married 

* Of these, the daughter, Elizabeth Burwell, married President William Nelson, 
and was the mother of General Thomas Nelson, &c. One son, Lewis, was the grand- 
father of the late Lewis Burwell, of Richmond, &c., and father of Mrs. P. B. Whi- 
ting ; and the other was Carter Burwell, of The Grove, who married Lucy Grymes, 
the sister of Alice, wife of Mann Page, and daughter of the Hon. John Grymes ; 
and he was the father of Col. Nathaniel Burwell, of Carter Hall, in Frederick 
county, Virginia ; and the third son was Robert Carter Burwell, of the Isle of 
Wight, the father of Nathaniel Burwell of the same county, (whose children were 
Robert C. Burwell, of Long Branch, Frederick, and his four sisters,) and Fanny, 
the first wife of Col. John Page, of Rosewell, since Governor of Virginia. 

23 



I 

354 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Abigail Smith, of the family of the Bacons, by whom he had four sons 
andsix daughters; and, after her death, Martha, widow of the Hon. Wil- 
liam Cole, by whom he had two sons and eight daughters, and departed 
this life 19th day of Dec., 1710, leaving behind him three sons and six 
daughters." 

VIII. 

" Sacred to the memory of the dearly-beloved . . . Martha, daughter 
of .... of Nansemond county, in Virginia, married to Col. William 
Cole, by whom she had no sons and no daughters. Afterward married 
to M ? ajor Lewis Burwell, by whom she had six sons and three daughters ; 
resigned this mortal life the 4th day of Aug. 1704." 

Copies of inscriptions on the tombstones of Ware Church, which stones 
were covered % the erection of a new chancel-floor in said church in 

June, 1854. 

I. 

" Underneath this stone lyeth interred the body of Amy Richards, tfie 
most dearly-beloved wife of John Richards, minister of this parish, who 
departed this life 21st of November, 1725, aged 40 years. 

"Near her dear mistress lies the body of Mary Ades, her faithful and 
beloved servant, who departed this life the 23d of November, 1725, aged 
28 years." 

n. 

" Here lyeth the body of Mrs. Ann Willis, the wife of Col. Francis 
Willis, who departed this life the 10th of June, 1727, in the 32d year 
of her age. Also the body of A., daughter of the abovesaid, aged 7 days." 

in. 

" Underneath this stone lyeth the body of Mr. John Richards, late rector 
of Nettlestead, and vicar of Teston, in the county of Kent, in the kingdom 
of England, and minister of Ware, in the county of Gloucester and Colony 
of Virginia, who, after a troublesome passage through the various changes 
and chances of this mortal life, at last reposed in this silent grave in ex- 
pectation of a joyful resurrexion to eternal life. He died the 12th day 
of November, in the year of our Lord MDCC ... V., aged 46." 

IV. 

" Here lyeth the body of Isabel, daughter of Mr. Thomas Booth, wife 
of Rev. John Fox, minister of this parish ; who with exemplary patience 
having borne various afflictions, and with equal piety discharged her several 
duties on earth, cheerfully yielded to mortality, exchanging the miseries 
of this life for the joys of a glorious eternity, on the 13th day of June, in 
the year of our Lord MDCCXLIL, of her age 38." 

V. 

1 Here also lie the bodies of Mary and Susannah, daughters of the 
above-mentioned John and Isabel. The one departed this life on the 5th 
day of September, 1742, in the 4th year of her age ; the other on the 
8th of October, in the 3d year of her age, MDCCXLIIL" 

Doubtless there are other tombstones in the county bearing the 
names of the old worthies of former days ; but no information con- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 355 

cerning them has been furnished me. There is, I am told, an old 
graveyard, with tombstones, at the old seat of the Washingtons, 
in Gloucester, on the Piankatank, from which I have been desirous 
to hear, but have failed. One of the sons of the first John "Wash- 
ington married a Miss Warner, of Gloucester, and settled at the 
above-mentioned place. Hence sprung the combination of the 
names Warner and Washington, so common in these families. 



I 

356 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XXXI. 

Parishes in Middlesex. No. 1. 

MIDDLESEX county was originally a part of Lancaster county, 
when the latter covered both sides of the Rappahannock River for 
an indefinite distance. Between the years 1650 and 1660 it is 
probable that it was made a separate county. Until that time one 
minister served the whole county, although it is probable there 
were two parishes on either side of the river before the division of 
the county. Those on the south side were called Lancaster and 
Piankatank. They were originally one, and called Lancaster ; 
and, in 1666, became one again, under the name of Christ Church, 
Lancaster county. 

I have before me the vestry-book of the parish, from the yea,r 
1663 to the year 176T, commencing two years before the reunion. 
There is reference to a Rev. Mr. Cole, who was minister of both 
of the parishes in the year 1657; also to a Mr. Morris, as being 
minister previous to the reunion. A short time afterward, some 
dissensions as to the bounds of the two parishes and other matters 
led to the reunion. 

The first entry states the appointment of Mr. Henry Corbin to 
keep the register of the parish, according to a late Act of As- 
sembly. 

The next is the vestryman's oath: 

" I, A. B., as I do acknowledge myself a true son of the Church of 
England, so I do believe the articles of faith therein professed, and do 
oblige myself to be conformable to the doctrine and discipline therein 
taught and established; and that, as a vestryman of Christ Church, I will 
well and truly perform my duty therein, being directed by the laws and 
customs of this country and the canons of the Church of England, so far 
as they will suit our present capacity; and this I shall sincerely do, ac- 
cording to the best of my knowledge, skill, and cunning, without fear, 
favour, or partiality; and so help me God/' 

Previous to the reunion, the vestry of Lancaster parish had de- 
termined to build a church, after the model of that of Williams- 
burg, either on the north or south side of Sunderland Creek. By 
lot it fell on the north side ; but it was never done. - 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 357 

In the reunion, in 1666, it was agreed by the vestry to build a 
mother-church, by the name of Christ Church, at a place about 
midway the parish, after the model of that at Williamsburg, the 
glass and iron to be gotten from England. It was accordingly 
built about midway between Brandon and Rosegill, the seats of the 
Wormleys and Grymeses, not far from the Rappahannock River, 
and was used until the year 1712, when a new one was built in the 
same place. 

On the 29th of January, 1666, it was resolved to continue Mr, 
Morris as the minister, but that he be not inducted. On the fol- 
lowing day, at a meeting of the vestry, his salary was paid, and 
he was dismissed. I suppose he would not consent to serve with- 
out induction, or that some difficulty arose between himself and 
the vestry. Major-General Robert Smith and Mr. Henry Corbin 
were directed to write to Richard Perrott, then in England, for a 
minister. Measures were also taken for the purchase of a glebe. 
In the year 1668 it was agreed to employ the Rev. Mr. Shephard 
for six months. At the end of that time he was chosen for twelve 
months, and so on until the year 1671, when he was elected as 
rector for the future. Mr. Shephard continued their minister until 
his death, in 1683. The following extracts from the proceedings 
of the vestry will show their estimate of his character, and their 
desire for a worthy successor : 

" It is ordered by this present vestry, that, whereas it hath pleased 
Almighty God to take out of this life Mr. John Shephard, our late worthy 
minister, and this vestry and the whole parish desiring to have his place 
supplied with a gentleman of good life and doctrine, and a true son of the 
Church of England, and they knowing of none such at present in this 
country but have benefices, it is, therefore, unanimously agreed by the 
vestry, that the Hon. Ralph Worinley, Esq., and Mr. Robert Smith, be 
desired and empowered to write in the name of this vestry to the Hon. the 
Lady Agatha Chichely and Major-General Robert Smith, who, it is hoped, 
are now safe in London, to request them, or either of them, that they will 
please to take the trouble to procure a fit minister in England to come over 
and supply the place of Mr. Shephard ; and for whose better encourage- 
ment this vestry do promise, and accordingly resolve, that they will enter- 
tain no minister in the said parish, except for the present time only, until 
they have an answer from those honourable persons; and that they will 
willingly accept and receive into this parish such minister as they shall 
persuade to come and recommend to this vestry; and that such minister 
shall have, beside the glebe-land and plantation, (which contains four hun- 
dred acres of land,) the sum of sixteen thousand pounds of tobacco and 
caske, yearly paid him by this parish, besides all perquisites and other 
profits which have been enjoyed by our said worthy minister, Mr. John 
Shephard/' 



1 

358 OLD CHUECHES, MINISTERS, AND 

In the interval between the death of Mr. Shephard and his suc- 
cessor, the parish was supplied by the Revs. Mr. Superiors and Mr. 
Davis. In November of that year, Major- General Robert Smith 
appears on the vestry-book, having returned from England and 
brought with him the Rev. Duell Read, who was chosen their 
minister for one year; and in proof that the earnest desire and 
endeavour of the vestry were rewarded of God, by sending a 
faithful minister, I adduce the following extract from the vestry- 
book the year after his entrance on the ministry : 

"Memorandum: That the Rev. Duell Read, our present minister, out 
of his pious intentions to the good of the souls of his flock, mentioned 
that the blessed sacrament of the Lord's Supper (too much neglected) 
might for the future be more frequently administered and attended. To 
this intent, he, the aforesaid Mr. Read, propounded the monthly observation 
thereof; that is to say, on the first Sunday in every month according to 
course, that the congregation should assemble to divine service at the 
mother-church, then and there the sacrament of the Lord's Supper 
should be celebrated. And, moreover, that this great solemn mystery 
might as well worthily as frequently be observed, he, the said Mr. Read, 
did then frankly and freely promise a sermon at the said church monthly; 
that is to say, on the Saturday, in the afternoon, for the guiding the com- 
munion, not doubting that all parents and masters of families, who ponder 
the everlasting welfare of the souls committed to their charge, would readily 
comply, and allow convenient liberty to their children and servants to repair 
to church at such times, there to be instructed and prepared for this re- 
ligious duty. This motion was then thankfully and cheerfully entertained 
by the present vestry, and they did unanimously concur with the said 
Mr. Read therein." 

The duty of more frequent communions in the churches of Vir- 
ginia was evident. By Act of Assembly, which was only the re- 
newal of one of the canons of the English Church, it was only 
required that the sacrament be administered twice a year at the 
parish churches, the chapels of each not being provided for. Even 
in this case it is only proposed to have it at the mother-church, which 
was about midway of a parish forty miles in length. There were 
two chapels or churches toward either end of the county, not less, 
we suppose, than twelve or fifteen miles distant from the central 
one. Those communicants who lived at either end of the parish 
must have had twenty miles to travel in order to partake of the 
communion. At a later date the communion was administered at 
all the churches. Mr. Read's services continued seven years, at 
the end of which time he returned to England ; cause not known. 
That he did not forget his parishioners is evident from the following 
entry on the vestry-book : 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 359 

" I, Duell Read, late of Middlesex, in Virginia, having lived in the 
said county for at least seven years past, and received divers kindnesses 
from the parishioners thereof, and Almighty God in his great goodness 
having preserved me through many dangers in my return to England, and 
heing most kindly received by my Right Honourable and Right Rev. 
Henry Lord Bishop of London, do, in point of gratitude to Almighty 
God and in honour for the Church of England, freely give and bestow, for 
the use of any successors in the said parish, four milch-cows and calves, 
four breeding sows, a mare and colt, to be delivered on the glebe of said 
parish to the next incumbent, he to enjoy them and their increase for his 
own use, and leaving the like number and quality on his death to his suc- 
cessors; humbly requesting my aforesaid Right Rev. Diocesan to give 
charge to his Commissary there to take due care herein, and to settle it in 
such manner as to him shall seem fit, according to the true intent hereof. 

" Witness my hand, in London, this 12th day of November, in the 
second year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord and Lady, King William 
and Queen Mary, &c. 

" DUELL READ." 

Should any smile at the value and character of the bequests, they 
should remember that they were, in all probability, his whole pro- 
perty, not to be despised until the widow's mite has lost its value 
with heaven. Nor were they so valueless as some might suppose. 
In those days a few such animals were of great use and worth. 
In proof of which I adduce the following act of the vestry in this 
parish, in the year 1665 : 

" The following gentlemen, vestrymen of the parish, viz. : Henry 
Corbin, Richard Perrott, Abraham Weeks, John Hastewood, Richard 
Cock, Robert Chewning, agree, each of them, to mark one cow-calf with 
a crop in the right ear, to be kept as well as their own cattle until they be 
two years old, then given to the vestry as stock for the parish." 

In the year 1692 the Rev. Matthew Lidford was chosen minister 
of the parish for one year, but soon died. He was succeeded by 
the Rev. Mr. Gray, who agreed, in 1698, to relinquish, for a certain 
amount of tobacco, all claim on the parish arising from his induc- 
tion. Mr. Gray was a most unworthy minister. The records of 
the court show him to have been much engaged in lawsuits, either 
suing or being sued for property. At length he caused the death 
of one of his slaves, by severe whipping, and was tried for his life. 
This, it is presumed, was the occasion of his resignation. 

In the year 1699 the Rev. Robert Yates is minister, and con- 
tinues so until the year 1703 or 1704, when he returned to Eng- 
land in ill health. He appears to have been esteemed by his vestry, 
who continued his salary for some time in the hope of his return. 
The Rev. Bartholomew Yates (believed to be his son) succeeded 



I 

360 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

him. After eighteen yfears of faithful service, the parish of York- 
Hampton, a more desirable one, endeavoured to obtain his services. 
The vestry of Middlesex, however, raised his salary to twenty 
thousand pounds of tobacco, and enlarged and improved his house. 
The following entry shows that, in order to raise his salary, they 
thought it necessary to make application to the Legislature : 

" To the Honourable the General Assembly : 

" The humble petition of the vestry held for Christ Church parish the 
7th day of May, 1722, showeth that this vestry, taking into consideration 
the great satisfaction given to this parish for about eighteen years, and the 
general good character of our minister, Mr. Bartholomew Yates, which we 
are apprehensive has induced some other parishes to entertain thoughts 
of endeavouring to prevail with him to quit this parish for some of those 
more convenient, humbly pray they may be enabled to make use of such 
measures as may be proper and reasonable to secure so great a good to 
the parish. 

" And they shall pray, &c. 

" JOHN ROBINSON." 

Such were the manifestations of regard for him that he continued 
their minister until his death, in 1734, being more than thirty-one 
years their pastor. Having sons in England at college, the vestry 
waited for two years until his son Bartholomew was ordained. In 
the interval the parish was served by the Revs. John Reade and 
Emanuel Jones, from neighbouring parishes. He served them 
until the year 1767. In 1758, we also find the Rev. William 
Yates and the Rev. Robert Yates, ministers of the adjoining 
parishes of Petsworth and Abington, in Gloucester county, be- 
lieved to be either sons or grandsons of the elder Bartholomew 
Yates, and grandsons or great-grandsons of the Rev. Robert Yates. 
All of them are believed to have been worthy ministers of the 
Gospel. They have been often quoted as proof that there were 
some deserving ones among the old clergy of Virginia, and that 
ministers' sons are not always the worst in the parish, as some 
enemies of religion say. A large tombstone was placed, by the 
parishioners, over the grave of the elder Bartholomew Yates, 
which is still in good order and the inscription legible. It is as 
follows : 

" Here lie the remains of the Rev. Bartholomew Yates, who departed this 
life the 26th day of July, 1734, in the fifty-seventh year of his age. He 
was ^ one of the visitors of William and Mary College, as also Professor of 
Divinity in that Royal Foundation. In the conscientious discharge of his 
duty few ever equalled him, none ever surpassed him. He explained the 
doctrine by his practice, and taught and led the way to heaven. Cheer- 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 361 

fulness the result of innocence always sparkled in his face, and, by the 
sweetness of ^ his temper, he gained universal good- will. His consort 
enjoyed in him a tender husband, his children an indulgent father, his 
servants a gentle master, his acquaintance a faithful friend. He was 
minister of this parish upward of thirty years; and, to perpetuate his 
memory, this monument is erected at the charge of his friends and 
parishioners." 

The descendants of Mr. Yates are numerous, and scattered over 
the State. One of them the late Mr. Yates, of Jefferson county, 
Virginia charged all his children in turn to protect and preserve 
this tomb. 

The Rev. John Klug succeeded to Mr. Yates in 1767, and, it is 
believed, continued until his death, in 1795. His name appears on 
the list of delegates to the two first Conventions of the Church in 
Virginia, in 1785 and 1786. He is represented to have been a 
pious and efficient minister. He was followed by the Rev. Mr. 
Heffernon, who was a dishonour to the Church for eighteen years. 
To him I have alluded in my first article. He married into one 
of the most respectable families of that part of Virginia, but, 
happily, left no posterity to be ashamed of their father's name, 
which was a by-word and proverb at that day,, and continues so to 
the present time. Hunting, gambling, drinking, were his constant 
occupations. I have before me the following copy of an extract 
of the will of Mr. William Churchill, in 1711: 

" I give 100 sterling to the vestry of Christ Church parish in Middle- 
sex, which said 100 I would have put to interest, and the interest- 
money to be given to the minister for preaching four quarterly sermons 
yearly, against the four reigning vices, viz. : atheism and irreligion, 
swearing and cursing, fornication and adultery, and drunkenness ; and 
this I would have done forever. I give to the said parish and vestry 
aforesaid 25 sterling, to be put to interest, and the interest-money to be 
given yearly to the clerk and sexton attending said sermon."* 

Mr. Heffernon, with all his vices, preached or professed to 
preach these sermons in one of the churches, and received the 
benefit of this bequest. I have often heard old Mr. Nelson, my 
father-in-law, say that the last time he saw Mr. Heffernon was in 

* By atheism we must not understand a denial of the existence of a God, but rather 
irreligion, a living without God in the world; for, at this time, infidelity was un- 
known in the Colony. In the year 1724 thirteen years later the clergy informed 
the Bishop of London that there were no infidels in Virginia but Indians and ne- 
groes. When the first infidel book was imported into Virginia, after the year 1730, 
it produced such an excitement that the Governor and Commissary communicated 
on the subject with the authorities in England. 



362 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

a tavern-porch in Urbantia, reeling to and fro with a bowl of toddy 
in his hand, inviting the passers-by to come and drink with him.* 
From the year 1813 the time of Mr. Heffernon's death no 
effort was made to have any services in that church. Indeed, it 
is presumed that there were none for many years before his death. 
The prostration of the church seemed to be complete. There was, 
however, a kind of farce following that sad tragedy, to which I 
must refer. In the year 1836, at the Convention in Fredericks- 
burg, a person calling himself Robinson, and professing to be a 
minister of the Episcopal Church of England, presented himself 
to Bishop Moore and myself, and produced some worn and dingy 
papers, purporting to be letters of Orders. We neither of us were 
pleased either with him or his papers. Bishop Moore soon turned 
him over to me. He expressed a wish to unite with the Church in 
Virginia; said that he did not care for salary, being in abundant 
circumstances ; that he wished to settle in some good society, and 
not far from the ocean; that he had some of the best English 
breed of sheep and Durham cattle, and wished to purchase a 
farm. I told him plainly my opinion as to his course of duty; 
that, if he wished to be useful in the ministry, he had better dis- 
pose of his cattle and engage earnestly in the duties of it. He 
expressed surprise that I should seem to think an attention to fine 
cattle inconsistent with the duties of the ministry, and spoke of 
one or more of the English Bishops who were great patrons of 
cattle. We soon parted, mutually dissatisfied with each other, and 
I never met him again. He took a fancy to the lower part of 
Middlesex, in sight of the bay, bought or rented a farm there, and 
moved some cattle to it, I believe. He had quite a library and a 
great deal of English plate. He invited company, and entertained 
at late fashionable hours. He also preached, either at some old 
church or the court-house. His robes were those of English Fel- 
lows or Doctors, having several pieces of different colours, besides 
the gown and surplice. The same dress, I am told, he used when 
performing the service at the White Sulphur Springs, in Western 
Virginia, making changes in it during the service. How long he 
continued in Virginia I know not; but, determining on a visit to 
England, he wrote me a long letter, containing many questions 
concerning the Church in America, which he said would doubtless 



* What became of that fund I have not yet been able to ascertain. It ought to 
be carefully inquired for, and sacredly applied according to the will of the testator. 
Surely the overseers of the poor could not have claimed this ? 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 363 

be proposed on his return to England, and to which he wished for 
answers. My reply to him was very short, and such as he would 
take care not to show. A few months after this, we received intelli- 
gence that he was taken up as an impostor and swindler in Liver- 
pool, and was then on his way to Botany Bay. All that he had 
brought with him to America was stolen, and he went back to re- 
plenish his treasury, and had wellnigh, by a forged note, robbed 
the bank at Liverpool of a very large sum of money. Indeed, he 
had it in his possession, and was on the point of sailing to Ame- 
rica, when pursued and overtaken. This closes, I hope, forever, 
the disgrace of the Church in Middlesex. Henceforth we look for 
better times. But before we enter upon those I wish to add some- 
thing concerning the laity of the old Middlesex parish. 

P.S. A recent communication states that this impostor got 
away from his place of exile and reached California, where he 
died a few years since. 



$ 
364 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XXXII. 

Parishes in Middlesex. No. 2. 

HITHERTO we have been entirely occupied with the history of 
the clergy of this county. This being an early settlement, 
lying on one of the finest rivers in Virginia, and near the 
bay, we might expect to find here many of the ancestors of 
some of the most respectable families of Virginia. As the ves- 
trymen were chosen from the leading citizens of each parish, we 
shall give, in the order in which they appear on the vestry-book 
for more than one hundred years, a full list of all who served the 
parish in that capacity. Those who have any acquaintance with 
the Virginia families, and with many who have dispersed them- 
selves throughout the West and South, will readily trace great 
numbers to the parish of which we are treating. For the sake of 
brevity we shall only mention the surnames, and afterward be more 
specific as to a few of them. Corbin, Perrott, Chewning, Potter, 
Vause, Weeks, Willis, Cock, Curtis, Smith, Dudley, Thacher, Skip- 
with, Beverley, Wormley, Jones, Miller, Scarborough, Woodley, 
Whitaker, Kobinson, Warwick, Gordon, Chichester, Midge, Church- 
ill, Burnham, Wormley 2d, Kemp, Smith 2d, Cary, Dudley 2d, 
Smith 3d, Daniel, Price, Mann, Seager, Vause 2d, Cock 2d, Cant, 
Skipwith 2d, Wormley 3d, Thacher 2d, Grimes, Beverley 2d, Kil- 
bee, Kemp 2d, Corbin 2d, Robinson 2d, Walker, Jones 2d, Wormley 
4th, Stanard, Churchill 2d, Robinson 3d, Walker 2d, Robinson 4th, 
Hardin, Wormley 5th, Corbin 3d, Smith 4th, Grymes 2d, Stanard 
2d, Reid, Carter 2d, Elliot, Miles, Montague, Grymes 3d, Nelson, 
Smith 5th. (The figures 2, 3, 4, 5 signify how many of the same 
name and family held the office of vestrymen at different times. 
They were probably sons, grandsons, &c.) The old English aristo- 
cracy is apparent on the vestry-books. Sir Henry Chichely, Baronet 
and Knight, (he was once Deputy-Governor of Virginia,) Sir William 
Skipwith, Baronet and Knight, appear always at the head of the 
vestrymen as written in the vestry-books, these titles giving them 
the precedence. They appear to have been active and liberal, giving 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 365 

land and plate to the churches. John Grymes and Edmund Berkeley 
appear to have been churchwardens for a longer period than any 
others. The Thackers and Robinsons were also constant attendants 
and active churchwardens for a long time. So also the Smiths, 
Churchills, Curtises, Corbins, and Beverleys. Many of the above- 
mentioned vestrymen were members of the Council, and held other 
offices in the Colonial Government. The first Beverley on the list 
was the celebrated Robert Beverley, so noted in the early history of 
Virginia as a martyr in the cause of liberty. He was Clerk to the 
House of Burgesses, and father of Robert Beverley, the historian of 
Virginia, and ancestor of the other Beverleys. There were always 
three lay readers, one to each of the churches, the middle or mother, 
or Great Church, and the upper and lower. We read the names of 
Chewning, Baldwin, and Stevens, among the lay readers. They 
were required not only to read Homilies, but to catechize the chil- 
dren and see that every thing about the churches was kept clean 
and in order, that the leaves around the churches (which were built 
in the woods) should be burnt, in order to preserve the churches 
from being destroyed by some of the great fires which were common 
in the woods. It was not always easy to get suitable persons as 
lay readers. We find at one meeting an express act of the vestry, 
requiring that they be sober and reputable men ; and this was only 
an echo of the Act of Assembly. Complaints appear on the vestry- 
books of the irregular attendance of the members, and a fine was 
imposed of so much tobacco for each failure. The vestry appear 
on several occasions to have taxed themselves with something extra 
for the clergyman, though for every thing done and furnished for 
the church, even the wealthiest made charges, as for communion- 
wine, putting up a horse-block, &c. The duties of the vestrymen 
were to see that the salaries of the ministers be collected, which 
was no easy matter, seeing that it must be gotten from the whole 
country. They also took care of the poor, of orphan and ille- 
gitimate children, imposed fines, and appointed persons to procession 
the lands, that is, renew the landmarks from time to time. Certain 
ofiences against good morals were sometimes punished by them. In 
one instance a lady of respectable family was fined five hundred- 
weight of tobacco for breaking the seventh commandment.* The 

* It is due to these times to say that the courts and juries were not entirely 
negligent of their duties, but sometimes set examples which those of our day 
would do well to follow. The following extracts from the presentments of a Grand 
Jury of Middlesex in 1704 are proofs of this : 



366 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

greatest difficulty which'they appear to have had was with the hired 
servants, of whom, at an early period, great numbers came over to 
this country, binding themselves to the richer families. The num- 
ber of illegitimate children born of them and thrown upon the 
parish led to much action on the part of the vestries and the legis- 
lature. The lower order of persons in Virginia, in a great measure, 
sprang from those apprenticed servants and from poor exiled culprits. 
It is not wonderful that there should have been much debasement 
of character among the poorest population, and that the negroes 
of the first families should always have considered themselves a 
more respectable class. To this day there are many who look upon 
poor white folks (for so they call them) as much beneath themselves ; 
and, in truth, they are so in many respects. The churchwardens 
in this parish, among other things, were directed to assign seats in 
the churches to the different families, which they no doubt did with 
some reference to family and wealth, as in England. Mr. Matthew 
Kemp, as churchwarden, received the commendation of the vestry 
for displacing an unworthy woman, who insisted on taking a pew 
above her degree. Four of the families of Wormley, Grymes, 
Churchill, and Berkeley, obtained leave of the vestry to put an 
addition of twenty feet square to one of the churches (the lower 
one) for their special use. It was very common, as we shall see 
hereafter, for certain families to build galleries for themselves after 
the manner of their forefathers in England, and it was hard some- 
times to dislodge their descendants, even when their position was 
uncomfortable and not very safe. There was one very important 
duty which the vestries had to perform, and which was sometimes 
a subject of dispute between them and the Governor of Virginia, 
viz. : to maintain their rights, as representing the people, in the 
choice and settlement of ministers. In the English Church the 
congregation have no part in the choice of their ministers. Patrons 
appoint them, and livings support them. In Virginia, as the salary 
was drawn directly from the people by the vestries, the vestries 
sometimes claimed not only the right to choose the ministers, but 
to turn them away at pleasure. In the absence of Bishops and 

" 1st. We present Thomas Sims for travelling on the road on the Sabbath-day 
with a loaded beast. 

"2d. We present William Montague and Garrett Minor for bringing oysters 
ashore on the Sabbath-day. 

" 3d. We present James Lewis for swearing and cursing on the Sabbath-day. 

"Ordered, That John Hutney be fined according to law for being drunk on the 
Sabbath-day." 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 367 

canons to try the ministers, it is evident that there would be a strong 
temptation on the part of the vestries to act arbitrarily if the power 
was entirely vested in them. To prevent this, the Governor claimed 
to be the ordinary, and to act as Bishop in relation to this point. 
He, appealing to an English canon, allowed the vestries the right 
of choosing their minister and presenting to him for induction. 
Being inducted, the minister could not be displaced by the vestry : 
he had a right to the salary, and might enforce it by an appeal to 
law, unless, indeed, for misconduct, he could be deprived by some 
difficult and tedious process under the direction of the Governor. 
Should the vestry not appoint a minister within six months after 
a vacancy, then the Governor might send one, and induct him as 
the permanent minister, not to be removed by the vestry. The 
Governor of Virginia in 1703, Mr. Nicholson, at the time about 
which I am writing, maintained also that he had a right to send a 
temporary supply to any parish immediately on the occurrence of 
a vacancy, which supply might be superseded by one of their own 
choice within the six months. It is the same power which some 
have proposed to vest in our Bishops in relation to a temporary 
supply of vacant parishes. It is evident that such a power would 
very much interfere with the free choice of ministers by the vestries, 
since the minister thus sent as the supply would have a great ad- 
vantage over others who might be obtained. To refuse him after 
trial would be to condemn the choice of the Bishop, and be an of- 
fence to himself. The above is the view taken of the relative 
power of the vestry and Governor, in an opinion of the Queen's 
Attorney-General, Mr. Edward Northy, which was sent by the 
Governor to all the vestries of the Church, and directed to be put 
on record.* The action of the vestries uniformly show their deter- 
mination to defend themselves as well as they could against the 
evils consequent upon such a construction of the law. As to the 
immediate temporary supply of the vacancies, that does not appear 
to have been attempted by the Governor, although the right was 
claimed. In order to prevent the minister being suddenly inducted 
and put upon them for life, (whether one of their own choice or 
of the Governor,) who might soon prove unworthy, while in reality 
there was no method of getting rid of him, since no civil Governor 

* Beverley, in his History, expresses the following opinion of Governor Nicholson: 
" And lastly, Governor Nicholson, a man the least acquainted with the law of 
any of them, endeavoured to introduce all the quirks of the English proceedings, 
by the help of some wretched pettifoggers, who had the direction both of his con- 
science and his understanding." 



368 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

could depose a minister; the vestries fell upon the expedient of em- 
ploying ministers for a limited time, generally twelve months, 
sometimes less, repeating the same again and again until they were 
sufficiently satisfied of their worthiness and suitableness, and then 
of presenting him to the Governor for induction and permanent 
settlement. Against this there was no law, and the Governor 
acquiesced in it. And who can blame them for adopting such a 
course ? Bad as the state of things was even under that wise pre- 
caution, how much worse would it have been, if the choice of the 
vestry or the appointment of the Governor, after such a slight 
acquaintance as either of them were likely to have with foreigners, 
must be perpetuated for better for worse, even as the marriages of 
some in that day, who imported their wives from England without 
knowing them ! It is but justice to the vestries to say, that as a 
general thing, when they secured the services of a respectable 
minister, they retained him during life. Although I shall shortly 
show one instance to the contrary, I shall also show a number in 
confirmation of it. It is also due to the vestries to say, that, in. 
compliance with the decision of the Governor, they always allowed 
to the ministers who were not inducted the same rights, perquisites, 
and privileges with those who were inducted. This principle is, I 
believe, confirmed by one of the canons of our General Convention. 
If now it be asked what was the state of morals and religion in 
the parish where the leading men, the nobility and the gentry, took 
such an active part in support of the public service of God, and 
when the moral character of the ministers appears to have been 
good, whatever may have been the substance and style of their 
preaching, I must point to the fact that a pious man, Mr. William 
Churchill, being a churchwarden, by his last will, in the year 1711, 
left a sum of money, whose interest was to be used for the encou- 
ragement of the minister to preach "against the four reigning vices 
of atheism and irreligion, of swearing and cursing, fornication and 
adultery, and drunkenness." They must have been prevalent in 
that day to have prompted such a bequest. That they increased 
more and more, even to the time of the French Revolution, is but 
too probable. It was so with all ranks of the community. The 
seats of the rich and the educated were the scenes of a more refined 
voluptuousness, while many of . the abodes of the poor were filled 
with the lowest vices. And what has been the end of these things? 
But for the uneducated and sometimes fanatical ministers, who, in 
the providence of God, were after a time permitted to preach the 
Gospel to the poor in Middlesex, where would have been the Church 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 369 

of God in that region, during a long, dark period? What has 
become of the old Episcopal families, the Skipwiths, Wormleys, 
Grymeses, Churchills, Robinsons, Berkeleys, and others? What 
has become of, or who owns, those mansions where were the volup- 
tuous feasts, the sparkling wine, the flowing bowl, the viol and the 
dance and the card-table, and the dogs for the chase, and the 
horses for the turf? I am told, and I believe it, that the whole of 
that county was at one time in possession of some few of these old 
families, and that now not a rood of it is owned by one of their 
name, and scarcely by one in whom is a remnant of their blood. 
Old Brandon, the seat of my maternal ancestors, the Grymeses, is 
gone, except a small part of it. Rosegill, where the Wormleys 
lived in English state, has passed from hand to hand, and is re- 
duced to less than half its size. Even the places of many others 
cannot now be found. The ploughshare has been over them, as it 
has been over the ruins of many an old church in Virginia. But 
still there were good and holy men and women there, in whom the 
spirit of the Gospel and of the Prayer Book reigned, and that spirit 
has possessed many of their exiled posterity. While some of the 
descendants of those whose names I have recorded have been but 
too well known in Virginia as unworthy, there have been a good 
number of both sexes who have proved themselves to be an honour 
to the State, and active agents in rebuilding the Church of their 
fathers. Old Middlesex, too, once about to be deserted of its in- 
habitants by reason of disease, exhaustion, and barrenness, has of 
late years entered upon a new and unexpected career. Resting as 
it were on a bed of richest marl, her agriculture has been revolu- 
tionized, and she bids fair one day, and that not a distant one, to 
compare with some of the fairest portions of our land. And what 
has become of the old Mother-Church the Great Church, as she is 
styled in her journal standing in view of the wide Rappahannock, 
midway between Rosegill and Brandon ? More perhaps than fifty 
years ago it was deserted. Its roof decayed and fell in. Every 
thing within it returned to its native dust. But nature abhors a 
vacuum. A sycamore-tree sprung up within its walls. All know 
the rapidity of that tree's growth. It filled the void. Its boughs 
soon rose above and overspread the walls. In the year 1840, when 
it pleased God to put it into the hearts of some, in whom the spirit 
of old Virginia Episcopalians still remained, to seek the revival of 
the Church's dry bones in Middlesex, that huge, overspreading tree 
must first be removed piecemeal from the house, and the rich mould 
of fifty years' accumulation, to the depth of two feet, must be dug 



$ 

370 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

up, before the chancel-floor and the stone aisles could be reached. 
The walls faithful workmanship of other days were uninjured, and 
may still remain while generations of frail modern structures pass 
away. The house is now one of our best country-churches. The 
graves of our ancestors are all around it. In scattered fragments 
some of the tombstones lie ; others, too substantial to be broken, too 
heavy to be borne away, now plainly tell whose remains are protected 
by them. To the attention and kindness of a young female near 
the spot, I am indebted for the following inscription, selected from 
many others, and which will not be without interest to some Vir- 
ginians, and to others who have long since left the old homes of 
their fathers for the Far South or West : 

EPITAPH OF MR. JOHN GRYMES. * 

"Here lies interred the body of the Honourable John Grymes, Esq., 
who for many years acted in the public affairs of this Dominion, with 
honour, fortitude, fidelity to their Majesties King George I. and II. Of 
the Council of State, of the Royal Prerogative, of the liberty and property 
of the subject, a zealous asserter. On the seat of judgment, clear, sound, 
unbiassed. In the office of Receiver-General, punctual, approved. Of the 
College of William and Mary an ornament, visitor, patron. Beneficent to 
all, a pattern of true piety. Respected, loved, revered. Lamented by his 
family, acquaintance, country. He departed this life the 2d day of No- 
vember, 1748, in the 57th year of his age."f 



* Mr. John Grymes was the grandfather of Mrs. General Nelson, of York, and 
of Mrs. Susan Burwell, first wife of Colonel Nathaniel Burwell, of Carter Hall, 
Clarke county, Virginia, all now deceased. 

f In connection with this epitaph on Major John Grymes, who appears to have 
been highly esteemed in Church and State, we give the following account of the 
family, which is taken from tradition, the vestry-records, and some registries of 
"baptisms and marriages. It is believed that Thomas Grymes, who was a lieutenant- 
general in the army of Cromwell, was the father of the first Grymes who came to 
Virginia ; that his son was well pleased to come to Virginia after the fall of Crom- 
well and the restoration of monarchy, and there is a tradition that he even made 
some change in his name when coming to this loyal Colony. The son's name was 
John, who appears on the vestry-book as one of the vestry in 1694. He and Anne 
his wife were sponsors to a child of the Rev. Mr. Gray, the minister in 1695 and 
1696. They lived in Middlesex, near to Piankatank, at a place called Grymesby 
to this day. Their tombstones still lie in an open field, upon the ground, and the 
plougshare sometimes passes over them. Although the family has long since parted 
with the place, I am happy to say that it is in contemplation to remove the monu- 
ments to the old churchyard, where so many of their descendants are buried. 
This John Grymes continued to act as vestryman until 1708, when he withdrew, no 
doubt from old age or infirmity, as he died not long after. His son John, whose 
epitaph we have given, was born in 1693, and became a vestryman in 1711, when 
only eighteen years of age, and continued to be such until his death in 1748, thirty- 
seven years. Whether the first John Grymes had other children besides the second 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 371 

The following have also been sent me : 

"This monument is erected to the memory of Ralph Wormley, Esq., 
of Rosegill, who died on the 19th day of January, 1806, in the 62d year 
of his age. The rules of honour guided the actions of this great man. He 

on Christianity." 



ui ms age. j.ne ruies 01 nonour guiaea tne actions or tnis great man. He 
was the perfect gentleman and finished scholar, with many virtues founded 

- - istiflTiif.Tr " * 



"Beneath this marble lies interred the remains of Mrs. Eleanor Worm- 
ley, widow of Ralph Wormley, Esq., of Rosegill, and sister of Col. John 
Tayloe, of Mount Airey, who died the 23d day of February, 1815, in the 
60th year of her age. Few women were more eminently distinguished for 



John does not certainly appear ; but from a baptismal registry we think it probable 
he had a son named Charles, as one of that name had a child baptized in 1734. 

The second John and Lucy his wife had the following children between 1720 and 
1733: Lucy, Philip, Charles, (who died early,) Benjamin, Sarah, Charles, Ludwell. 
Of these, Lucy married Carter Burwell, of The Grove, near Williamsburg ; Philip 
married Mary Randolph, daughter of Mr. John Randolph, of Williamsburg, in 1742; 
and Benjamin married Miss Fitzhugh, sister of William Fitzhugh, of Chatham, near 
Fredericksburg. Lucy was the mother of Mr. Nathaniel Burwell, of The Grove, 
who afterward moved to Frederick. 

Philip was the father of Lucy, John, (who died early,) Philip Ludwell, John 
Randolph, Charles, Benjamin, Susannah, Mary, Peyton, and Betty. Lucy married 
General Thomas Nelson ; Philip Ludwell married, first, a Miss Randolph, daughter 
of John Randolph who went to England, but had no children, then Miss Wormley, 
by whom he had Mrs. Sayres and others. John Randolph Grymes followed Mr. 
John Randolph to England and there married his daughter. Of Charles we know 
nothing certain. Benjamin married Miss Robinson, of King William, and had nu- 
merous children, (names of all not known,) of whom only Peyton Grymes, of Orange, 
and one sister, survive. Betty married Dr. Pope. Susannah, Mr. Nathaniel 
Burwell, of The Grove, and afterward of Frederick. Mary married Mr. Robert 
Nelson, of Malvern Hill, brother of General Nelson. Benjamin, the son of the 
second John Grymes, and who married Miss Fitzhugh, settled near Fredericksburg 
and had large iron-works. He was the father of Mrs. Colonel Meade, of Frederick, 
and of Captain Benjamin Grymes, of King George, by his first wife ; and, by a second, 
of Ludwell Grymes, Charles Grymes, Randolph Grymes, Mrs. Wedderburne, and 
Mrs. Dudley. 

The following is also worthy of insertion : 

11 Here lyeth the body of Lucy Berkliey, who departed this life y e 16th day of De- 
cember, 1716, in y* 33d year of her Age, after she had been married 12 years and 
15 days. She left behind her 5 children, viz. : 2 Boys and 3 Girls. I shall not 
pretend to give her full character: it would take too much room for a Gravestone : 
shall only say she never neglected her duty to her Creator in Publick or Private, 
she was Charitable to the Poor, a Kind Mistress, an Indulgent Mother, and Obedient 
Wife. She never in all the time she lived with her husband gave him so much as 
once cause to be displeased with her." Copied from a tombstone at Barn Elm, 
Middlesex. 

* Mr. Wormley attended a number of the Episcopal Conventions after the Revo- 
lution. After his death, the descendants of Colonel Edmund Berkeley appear to be 
almost all that remained of the church. That family preserved the vestry-book, 
from which I have obtained the foregoing information. 



J 

372 OLD CHUBCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

correctness of deportrnen* and for the practice of all the Christian virtues : 
as a wife she was conjugal, as a widow exemplary, as a mother fond and 
affectionate, as a neighbour charitable and kind, as a friend steady and 
sincere." 

There were also buried within the church Sir Henry Chichely, 
Knight, Deputy-Governor of Virginia in 1682. The Rev. John 
Shephard in the same, and the Honourable Lady Madam Catharine 
Wormley, wife of the Honourable Ralph Wormley, (the first Ralph 
Wormley,) in the year 1685. The following is a communication 
from the present minister of our partly-resuscitated Church in 
Middlesex, (the Rev. Mr. Carraway.) 

" The upper and lower churches or chapels are still standing. One of 
them is about to be repaired by the Baptists, who will claim the chief 
though not exclusive use of it. The lower chapel retains some appearance 
of antiquity, in spite of the efforts to destroy every vestige of Episcopal 
taste and usage. The high pulpit and sounding-board have been removed, 
and the reading-desk placed within the chancel, before which is the 
roughly-carved chest that formerly held the plate and other articles for 
the decent celebration of the Holy Communion. There were three sets of 
plate in the parish. A descendant of one of the earliest families, now the 
wife of one of our Virginia clergy, on removing from this county, took 
with her, in order to keep from desecration, the service belonging to the 
lower chapel. She lent it to a rector of one of the churches in Richmond, 
with the understanding that upon the revival of the parish it must be 
restored. Application was accordingly made in the year 1840, and the 
vestry received the value of the plate in money, which was given at their 
suggestion, they having a full service in their possession. The plate owned 
by Christ Church was presented by the Hon. Ralph Wormley. It num- 
bered five pieces. But for the inscription bearing the name of the donor, 
it would have shared the fate of much that was irreligiously and sacri- 
legiously disposed of. The administrator of Mr. Wormley deposited it in 
the bank at Fredcricksburg, where it remained for more than thirty years. 
It has been in use up to a few months since, when, we regret to say, it 
met with almost entire destruction by fire. Enough has been gathered up 
to make a service more than sufiicient for the present little company of 
communicants. It will perpetuate the name of the donor and indicate his 
pious intention. The third set, belonging to the upper chapel, was sold 
by the overseers of the poor. We omitted to mention in the proper place 
that there are some slight traces of the foundation of a building, now 
overgrown with pine-trees, which tradition says was the chapel of the 
Buckingham farm, the residence of Mr. Henry Corbin." 

A few words will suffice for the history of efforts for the revival 
of the Church in Middlesex. The Rev. Mr. Rooker was employed 
as missionary, in this and the adjoining county of Mathews, for a 
few years after 1840. His preaching and labours excited a con- 
siderable zeal in the few remaining members of the Church in those 
counties. He was succeeded by its present minister, the Rev. Mr. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 373 

Carraway, who has devoted himself now for about ten years most 
faithfully and laboriously to those two counties. Though the fields 
be large and comparatively unproductive, requiring great toil and a 
large amount of itinerancy, and the salary small, still, no invitations 
to more promising and less laborious positions have tempted him to 
leave them. Himself and companion are now, and have been for 
some years, the welcome inmates of the family of Captain Bailey, 
who, with his excellent wife, (a pious member of the Church,) is 
living at old Rosegill, the ancient seat of the Wormleys, on the 
high banks of the Rappahannock, a few miles from Christ Church. 
Captain Bailey, (the relative of our old friend Colonel Chewning, 
of Lancaster, one of whose descendants was vestryman and another 
lay reader in Middlesex, whose dwelling is on the opposite shore,) 
when an orphan boy, in a spirit of independence, left Lancaster to 
seek his fortune in the wide world. He launched forth for Balti- 
more in a merchant-vessel, traversed many seas, visited many lands 
and experienced many dangers and hardships, was shipwrecked 
often, (Mrs. B. being with him in one shipwreck,) but still preserved 
by a kind Providence. Occasionally, in the midst of his various 
efforts to realize a fortune, in which he was at length most success- 
ful, he would return to his native place, and, as Colonel Chewning 
has often told me, cast a wishful eye on old Rosegill, towering on the 
high banks of the Rappahannock, and declaring his determination, 
if Providence spared his life and prospered his efforts, that he 
would spend the evening of his days as the owner of that mansion. 
Providence has spared his life and prospered his efforts in laying 
up a fortune gathered from various seas and countries, and he and 
his wife are now the hospitable owners of Rosegill. More than 
half of the huge pile has been removed by him, and the remainder 
exalted, beautified, and improved. Hospitality, though modified 
and improved from former times, still distinguishes the place. 
Captain B. and his excellent wife are glad to have the society of 
Mr. and Mrs. Carraway as permanent guests, free of all charge. 
Besides patronizing old Christ Church on the one side of him, he 
has recently purchased the old court-house in Urbanna on the other, 
and converted it into a neat and comfortable house of worship. 
Mr. Carraway's services are very acceptable, and the Episcopal 
Church is gradually rising in the estimation of the inhabitants of 
Middlesex. 



I 

374 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 



ARTICLE XXXIII. 

Parishes in King and Queen and King William. Stratton Major. 

THIS is one of our oldest parishes, being established in 1664-65. 
Of the ministers previous to the year 1724 we know nothing. In 
that year the Rev. Mr. Skaife, who had been its minister for thir- 
teen years, and continued to be so for twelve years longer, informs 
the Bishop of London that his parish was eighteen miles in length 
and thirteen in breadth ; that there was only one church, and that 
open every Sunday ; that there were three hundred attendants, two 
hundred and twenty communicants ; that his salary was eighty 
pounds. In answer to the question, Are there any infidels in your 
parish? the reply is, Generally negroes are unbaptized; they 
that desire it have it ; the church is open to all. In 1736 the Rev. 
John Reade becomes minister, and either dies or resigns in 1743. 
The following year the Rev. Mr. Robinson becomes the minister, 
9,nd so continues until his death in 1767 or 1768. Of him we shall 
speak more in a little while. On the 4th of April, 1768, the Rev. 
William Dunlap is received as their minister. In the year 1773 a 
letter is received from Mr. Dunlap, in the West Indies, asking 
leave of six months' absence longer, which is granted, and the Rev. 
Mr. Dixon, from a neighbouring parish, is employed every other 
Sabbath. In the year 1778 the vestry and their minister, Mr. 
Dunlap, seem to be involved in a difficulty. The Rev. Mr. Dunlap 
writes them a letter, which they wish to consider as a resignation, 
and so record it, directing the churchwardens to advertise his re- 
signation three times in the Virginia Gazette. This is in April ; 
but in September of the same year we find the following record : 
" Ordered that churchwardens make application to the Rev. 
William Dunlap and the Rev. Arthur Hamilton about moving from 
the glebe ; and, provided they refuse to move, the churchwardens 
are hereby authorized to commence suit against them." In the 
following year I find the following order: "That the church- 
wardens wait on the Rev. Mr. Hamilton, offering him the use of the 
glebe, house, garden. &c., on condition that he preach once a month 
and be ready to remove whenever required, and that the church- 
wardens rent out the glebe." These unhappy notices are the last 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 375 

on the record about the ministers of this once flourishing parish. 
There are subsequent records of vestry-meetings and proceedings, 
but not a word is written about even an effort to secure the services 
of a minister. The last entry was in 1783. In vain do we turn 
over the pages of our journals of Convention from the year 1785 
and onward in search of some clerical or lay delegate from this 
parish. The name of Stratton Major is nowhere to be found upon 
them. 

About twenty-five years ago, for the first and last time, I passed 
through that part of the county where I think it probable that this 
old church, of which I shall soon speak, stood. At a little distance 
from the road I saw (for I had not time to stop, having to travel 
thirty-five miles that day across three counties to my appointment) 
a large and venerable old church, which had long been in possession 
of others. One of the noble trees which almost touched its walls, 
and gave shade to the house and those around and within, had a 
short time before been cut down, by some idle and wanton ones, 
merely to obtain a small quantity of wild honey which was supposed 
to be in some hollow part of it. Whether its walls are still standing, 
or what is its condition, I know not. 

There never were, so far as the vestry-book shows, but two 
churches in this parish, called in the entries of the book the Upper 
and the Lower. In the year 1768, as soon as the new church of 
which we are about to speak was finished, the vestry order that 
the Upper Church should have the doors and windows studded and 
boarded if necessary. It is probable that, after this, the new church, 
which may have been in some central position, was the only one used. 

This new church was probably the largest and best church built 
in Virginia before that time, and for years after. That in Pets- 
worth parish, built a few years before, cost eleven hundred pounds, 
and far exceeded any thing before seen ; but this was contracted for 
with Mr. Henry Gaines, for thirteen hundred pounds. Its dimen- 
sions were fifty by eighty feet, and of corresponding height, with 
galleries. When finished, the pews were not rented or sold as now, 
but were assigned by the vestry to the individuals and families of 
the parish. On two pages of the large folio vestry-book are the 
names of two hundred and seventy-five individuals or heads of 
families to whom these pews, or seats in them, are assigned. The 
Hon. Richard Corbin's and John Robinson's (Speaker Robinson, 
though he was just dead) families seem to be assigned the highest 
seats. Commissary Robinson and family had one near the pulpit. 
Then come the Merediths, Roots, Shacklefords, Gaines, Whitings, 



376 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Taliaferos, Metcalfs, Andersons, Hunts, Dudleys, Wares, Wed- 
derburnes, &c., though it does not appear whether the aristocratic 
principle was adopted in the general distribution. Whoever would 
see the names of half the families in King and Queen one century 
ago would probably find them on this vestry-book. 

The following list of vestrymen, commencing in 1739, will show 
who were the leading men in all the civil and ecclesiastical matters 
of the parish and county : Richard Roy, Richard Johnson, Henry 
Hickman, Edward Ware, Thomas Foster, Thomas Dudley, John 
Collier, Gawin Corbin, Valentine Ware, Roger Gregory, Richard 
Anderson, John Robinson, Benjamin Needier, Robert Dudley, John 
Livingston, Robert Gaines, Philip Roots, John Ware, Richard 
Shackleford, William Taliafero, John Strakey, William Lyne, 
Charles Collier, Thomas Thorpe, Thomas Langford, John Shackle- 
ford, John Foster, Philip Roots, Francis Gaines, John Whiting, 
Thomas Reade Roots, John Whiting, James Prior, Thomas Dillard, 
Lyne Shackleford, Hon. Richard Corbin, William Hall, John Tay- 
lor Corbin, Benjamin Robinson, Humphrey Garrett, Richard Bray, 
James Didlake, Philip Taliafero, Lyne Shackleford, Jr., Thomas 
Dillard, John Kidd. 

It is painful to see in this and other vestry-books, how, as the 
Church began to decline and dissent to increase, and some of the 
old friends disappeared from the vestries, it was difficult to supply 
their places. Some who were elected refused to serve, and even 
some who had served resigned their places. It must be said, how- 
ever, of the vestry of Stratton Major, from its first beginning to 
its close, that it seems to have been attentive to all its duties, es- 
pecially in providing for the comfort of its ministers. While most 
of the vestries purchased miserable glebes for eighty or a hundred 
pounds, and were content with glebe-houses in proportion, this ves- 
try gave seven hundred pounds for one glebe, and when it was ex- 
pedient to dispose of that bought another for six hundred pounds, 
and provided all necessary houses upon them of a comfortable kind, 
even to a hen-house twenty feet long, and a dairy suitable for the 
purpose. Mr. Richard Corbin is the first instance I have met 
with who furnished the bread and wine for sacrament gratuitously. 
He also presented a marble font to one of the churches, and the 
land on which the new church was built was his gift. It was built 
on a place not far from his residence, called " Goliath's Field." Its 
size and walls were answerable to that name. The walls began 
with five bricks at the foundation, and ended with four at the top, 
and were twenty-seven feet high. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 377 

The Rev. William Robinson, as appears by the following extract 
of a letter to the Bishop of London, and the records of the vestry- 
book, was ordained in 1743, and became minister of Stratton Major 
in 1744, continuing to be so until his death in 1767 or 1768. He 
became Commissary in the year 1761. Governor Fauquier was 
much dissatisfied with his appointment, and so expressed himself 
in a letter to England. The opposition of the Governor was no 
sure proof of the unworthiness of Mr. Robinson. He was an arbi- 
trary and high-tempered man, who could not brook opposition, and 
Mr. Robinson was no negative submissive character to crouch before 
authority. They had had one or two serious rencounters. During 
the six or seven years of his Commissaryship, his correspondence 
with the Bishop of London on the affairs of the Church was lengthy 
and able. He espoused the cause of the clergy on the occasion 
of the Two-Penny Act, or Option Law, with zeal and fearlessness, 
though without success. He had an independent fortune of his 
own, and was therefore the less liable to be charged with mercenary 
motives.. The following extract from a letter to the Bishop of Lon- 
don in 1765 shows that he had reason to believe that he still had 
enemies whose communications to the ears of the Bishop were un- 
favourable. The continuance of his labour during the whole of his 
ministry, for twenty-four years in the same parish, and where there 
was much of character and wealth and talent, and such zeal and 
liberality in regard to all Church matters, speaks well in his behalf. 

Extract of a letter from Mr. Robinson to the Bishop of London, dated 

May 23, 1765. 

" MY LORD : I have some reasons to apprehend that endeavours have 
been made to prejudice your Lordship against me, but in what particular 
I know not. I must therefore beg your Lordship's patience while I give 
some account of myself. I was born in Virginia. At ten years old I was 
sent to England for my education, which was in the year 1729. I con- 
tinued at school in the country until the year 1737, at which time I was 
admitted a member of Oriel College, in Oxford. After I had taken 
my B.A. degree, I was chosen by the Provost and Fellows to one of Dr. 
Robinson's Bishop of London's exhibitions, (who was my great-uncle,) 
which I enjoyed for three years, the term limited by his Lordship. In 
June, 1743, I was ordained Priest by Dr. Gibson, Bishop of London. I 
returned to my native country in the year 1744, (October;) the November 
following I was received into Stratton Major parish in King and Queen 
county, where I have continued rector ever since. 

" I can with truth assure your Lordship, I have always lived in the great- 
est harmony with my parishioners, and I believe no minister can be more 
respected by them than I am. I have always studiously avoided giving 
any just cause of offence to any one, especially those in authority. Your 
Lordship, I hope, will excuse my saying so much in my own behalf; but 







378 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

there is a time when it is requisite for a man to praise himself; and as to 
the truth of what I have said, I can appeal to my whole parish."* 

* The first of the Robinson family of whom we have any account was John Robin- 
son, of Cleasby, Yorkshire, (England,) who married Elizabeth Potter, of Cleasby, 
daughter of Christopher Potter, from whom no doubt the name of Christopher, so 
common in the family, was derived. The fourth son of John Robinson was Dr. John 
Robinson, Bishop of Bristol, and, while Bishop, was British Envoy for some years at 
the court of Sweden, writing, while there, a history of Sweden. He was also British 
Plenipotentiary at the Treaty of Utrecht, being, it is supposed, the last Bishop or 
clergyman employed in a public service of that kind. He afterward became Bishop 
of London, in which office he continued until his death, in 1723. He was twice mar- 
ried, but left no issue. He devised his real estate to the eldest son of his brother 
Christopher, who had migrated to what was Rappahannock, on the Rappahannock 
River. He was one of the first vestrymen mentioned on the vestry-book in Middle- 
sex county, in 1664, and married Miss Bertram. His oldest son, who inherited 
the Bishop of London's estate, was John Robinson, who was born in 1683, who 
was also a vestryman of Middlesex, and became President of the Council of Vir- 
ginia. He married Catharine Beverley, daughter of Robert Beverley, author of 
the "History of Virginia" published in 1708. He had seven children; one of 
them, named John Robinson, was Treasurer and Speaker of the Colony. Another 
Henry married a Miss Waring. Another married in New York. Christopher 
Robinson, who first came over to Virginia, had six children. Of John, the eldest, 
we have already spoken. Christopher married a daughter of Christopher 
Wormley, of Essex. Benjamin, Clerk of Caroline county, married a Miss King, 
and was the father of the Rev. William Robinson, minister of Stratton Major, 
in King and Queen. His daughter Clara married Mr. James Walker, of Urbanna, 
in Middlesex. His daughter Anne married Dr. John Hay. Of his daughter Agatha 
nothing is known. One of the descendants of the family married Mr. Carter Brax- 
ton, and others intermarried with the Wormleys, Berkeleys, Smiths, &c. The 
worthy family of Robinsons, in Norfolk and Richmond, also those in Hanover, 
were derived from the same stock. A branch of this family moved to Canada ; and 
some of them have held high civil and military station under the English Govern- 
ment there, and in the mother-country. The reputation of Mr. Speaker Robinson 
suffered from the fact that as Treasurer he loaned to some of his friends large 
sums of the public money. The Government, however, sustained no loss, as it 
was all made good out of his private estate at his death. In all other respects he 
stood high in the public confidence. He was never suspected of using the public 
money for his own private advantage. He was held in high esteem by General 
Washington, as their correspondence shows. 

The following epitaph has been furnished me : 



EPITAPH. 

"Beneath this place lieth all that could die of the late worthy John Robinson, 
Esq., who was a Representative of the county of King and Queen, and Speaker to 
the House of Burgesses above twenty-eight years. How eminently he supplied that 
dignified office, and with what fidelity he acted as Treasurer to the country beside, 
is well known to us, and it is not unlikely future ages will relate, He was a tender 
husband, a loving father, a kind master, a sincere friend, a generous benefactor, 
and a solid Christian. Go, reader, and to the utmost of your power imitate his 
virtues.'* 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 379 



ST. STEPHEN'S PARISH, KING AND QUEEN. 

This parish was probably established in 1691, there being no 
certain account of it.* In the years 1754 and 1758, and again in 
the years 1773-74 and 1776, the Rev. Mr. Dunbar was minister of 
this parish. No minister appears on our journals to represent this 
parish until the year 1793, when the Rev. Thomas Andrews ap- 
pears from St. Stephen's parish, but whether St. Stephen's of King 
and Queen, or of Northumberland, does not appear ; but there 
were some faithful laymen in that parish, who steadily adhered 
to its falling fortunes. Anderson Scott and Henry Young appear 
as lay delegates in 1785 and 1786. Mr. Thomas Hill and William 
Fleet are lay delegates in 1796. Mr. Thomas Hill had attended 
alone, without minister or associate layman, during several of the 
preceding Conventions ; but, after 1796, St. Stephen's parish ap- 
pears to be deserted. 

Of the churches in this parish I know nothing, unless the follow- 
ing is a description of one of them : " In the northwest of the 
county, in an old and venerable grove, stands St. Stephen's Church, 
I think in the form of a cross. There is no wall around it, but it 
is in good repair. It is principally used by the Baptists, but Epis- 
copal services have sometimes been held in it of late years, and 
one of the Bishops has visited it, I believe." 

From this whole county Episcopalians have nearly disappeared, 
either by death, removal, or union with other denominations. 

KING WILLIAM COUNTY AND THE PARISHES IN IT. 

King William was taken out of King and Queen in 1701. At 
that time St. John's parish was the only one in the county. In 
1721, St. Margarett's parish was established. A part of this 
being in Caroline, when that county was established in the year 
1744, St. Margarett's was divided, and that part in Caroline was 
called St. Margarett's still, and that in King William called St. 
David's, so that the two parishes in King William were henceforth 
St. John's and St. David's. In the year 1754, the Rev. Alexander 
White, afterward minister in Hanover county, and one of those 

* In 1724 the Eev. John Goodwin was minister. The parish was thirty miles 
long, had three hundred families, sixty communicants, a very poor house and glebe, 
two or three little schools, unendowed. The parish-libra^' consisted of three 
books, the Book of Homilies, the Whole Duty of Man, and the Singing Psalms. 



m 
380 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

who opposed the Two-Penny Act by a lawsuit, was the minister of 
St. David's, and Mr. John Robertson of St. John's parish. The 
same continued in these parishes in 1758. In the years 1773-74- 
76, the Rev. Alexander White is still the minister of St. David's, 
and the Rev. William Skyren of St. John's. At the first Con- 
vention in 1785, the Rev. William Skyren is still the minister of 
St. John's, attended by Mr. Carter Braxton as lay delegate, Mr. 
William Temple being the lay delegate from St. David's. In 1786, 
the Rev. Mr. Skyren is still in St. John's ; Mr. Carter Braxton 
the lay delegate from the same, and Mr. Benjamin Temple and 
William Spiller from St. David's. In 1787, Mr. Skyren still from 
St. John's, and his lay delegates, William D. Claiborne, William 
Spiller, and Benjamin Temple, from St. David's. In the year 
1790, Rev. Reuben Clopton appears in Convention from St. Da- 
vid's, with Nathaniel Burwell as lay delegate. There was no 
representative from St. John's, the Rev. Mr. Skyren having re- 
moved to Hampton. In 1791, Mr. Clopton is still the minister of 
St. David's ; also in 1792, with Mr. Nathaniel Burwell as lay dele- 
gate. St. John's is once more represented by Carter Braxton, Jr. 
as lay delegate, in 1792. In 1794, St. David's is represented by 
Mr. Joseph Guathney as lay delegate, and in the following year 
by Mr. Thomas Fox and Mr. William Dabney. In the year 1797, 
the Rev. Thomas Hughes and Mr. Benjamin Temple represent St. 
David's, and the Rev. John Dunn and Mr. James Ruffin represent 
St. John's. In the year 1799, the Rev. Thomas Hughes and Mr. 
Thomas Fox represent St. David's, and Mr. Edward Chamberlayne 
and John Lord represent St. John's. In the year 1805, the Rev. 
Duncan McNaughton and Mr. John Hull represent St. Stephen's 
parish, but whether the parish of that name in Northumberland or 
King William is not known. This concludes the list of ministers 
of King William county, until the Rev. Farley Berkeley was sent 
there as missionary, who remained one year. 

The Rev. John McGuire, while minister in Essex, often visited 
one or more of the old churches in King William, and since his 
removal the Rev. Mr. Temple has done the same ; but the revival 
of the Church in that county is at this time very unpromising, the 
old Episcopal families having long since either removed or united 
with other denominations. 

Of the old churches in King William I have received the follow- 
ing account : 

" King William has still not less than four old Episcopal churches. 



FAMILIES OP VIRGINIA. 381 

First, West Point Church, or St. John's, in the central part of the lower 
section. There is neither grove or graveyard now around it. The pulpit 
was of the ancient and customary shape, that of a bottle turned upside 
down, the neck of the bottle representing the stem on which the body 
was sustained. The stem is said to be still preserved somewhere in the 
church. A new and ruder pulpit has been substituted. The second is 
called Acquinton Church. It is a large old church, in the form of a cross, 
having the aisles paved with flagstones. The third is St. David's, about 
ten miles higher up, which is a regular quadrangular building, and is 
sometimes called Cattail. Fourth, Mangochick Church, in the upper part 
of the county, which is also quadrangular. All of the churches are said 
to be in pretty good preservation. The old high-back pews have in some, 
perhaps in all of them, given place to benches, and the Commandments 
disappeared, except in two of them, from the walls. They have been re- 
garded and used as common property for a long time. I have officiated 
in two of them. In one of them I found the old pulpit still standing, 
though a new one or a kind of stage has been erected in another part 
of it, and used, I was informed, by one of two contending parties, who 
officiated in the church, the others still preferring the old pulpit. 



POSTSCRIPTS TO THE ARTICLES ON THE PARISHES OP KING- AND 
QUEEN, AND KING WILLIAM. 

Two letters from brethren who are well acquainted with these 
counties enable me to correct some errors in the preceding account. 
As to King and Queen, I was mistaken in supposing that I may 
have once passed by the large church in Stratton Major parish, 
which was built on Mr. Corbin's land, called Goliath's Field. The 
one I saw was in St. Stephen's parish, and is still standing, being in 
possession of the Baptists. The Stratton Major Church has been 
sold, some years since, and the bricks entirely removed. There is 
still one church standing in Stratton Major parish. A third was 
destroyed by fire. There was also another church in St. Stephen's 
parish, called the Apple-Tree Church. Among the families be- 
longing to St. Stephen's parish may be mentioned the Temples, 
Hoskins, Scotts, Youngs, Hills, and Fleets. 

The following account of the Rev. Henry Skyren, the last of the 
ministers who regularly officiated in the churches of King William 
and King and Queen, will be read with deep interest : 

" The Rev. Henry Skyren was born at White Haven, England. The 
date of his birth I am unable to give, as the family Bible was lost, though 
it may be seen on his tombstone at Hampton. The exact time of his 
arrival in this country is not known ; but the first field of his ministry 
was in King and Queen and King William counties, preaching alternately 
in two or three of the old Colonial churches, and residing in the family 
of Colonel Corbin, of Laneville. In 1774, he married Miss Lucy Moore, 
the youngest of the three daughters of General Bernard Moore and Kate 



382 OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND 

Spottswood, whose education he had completed, having resided in her 
father's family for several years previous to his marriage. He continued 
in the same parish for four or five years ; afterward removed to Hampton, 
where, after officiating for six years, he died universally beloved and la- 
mented. It is much to be regretted that his widow, who was too amiable 
to refuse a favour, no matter how unreasonable, allowed the ministers of 
the neighbouring parishes to pick over and take away the best of his ser- 
mons, which were never returned ; so that when her brothers-in-law, Mr. 
Walker, of Albemarle, and Mr. Charles Carter, of Shirley, sent to her for 
them for publication, only a few fragments could be collected. 

" He was said to be an elegant scholar and accomplished gentleman, 
who was alike remarkable for his eloquence and piety, never participating 
in any of the worldly amusements so common in that day with the clergy. 

" These last facts we have learned from the elder residents in Norfolk 
and Hampton, many of whom a few years back were living, who retained 
a perfect recollection of him ; and there is a lady living in this place, 
(Fredericksburg,) Mrs. John Scott, Sr., who recollects to have heard him 
spoken of in her early youth as the most eminent divine of the age in this 
diocese. He left three sons and three daughters. None of his sons ever 
married, and the name became extinct in this country with the death of 
Colonel John Spottswood Skyren. His eldest daughter first married 
Mr. Frazier, of Washington, and afterward Dr. Lewis, of King William. 
The youngest married Mr. Tebbs, of Culpepper. The second, the only one 
of his children now living, married the late Robert Temple, of Ampthill, 
eldest son of Colonel Benjamin Temple, of King William, and is now 
residing in Fredericksburg. Her children and grandchildren number 
upward of fifty, many of whom still cling to the Church of their fathers 
with a strong affection, mingled with veneration and love for the memory 
of their ancestors ; and it may be well to add that Colonel Benjamin. 
Temple and Parson Skyren were both members of the first Episcopal Con- 
vention ever held in Virginia. A reliable witness says that, when Mr 
Skyren preached in King William, ' the Acquinton Church was always so 
crowded that the people used to bring their seats and fill up the aisle after 
the pews were full. The other churches in which he preached were Cat- 
tail, and what was called the Lower Church. The church at Hampton 
was in a very flourishing condition, and it was with difficulty Mr. Skyren 
could get the consent of his congregation to preach in Norfolk, where he 
was frequently invited/ ;; 

During the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Dalrymple in New Kent, 
in the years 1843 and 1844, he made an effort to revive the old 
churches in King William, by preaching there, and the parishes 
were received into the Convention. The Rev. Edward McGuire, 
who succeeded him, also officiated occasionally, I believe ; but suf- 
ficient encouragement was not afforded for the settlement of a 
minister among them. We will not, however, despair. 



FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. 383 



ARTICLE XXXIV. 

Parishes in New Kent. St. Peter's and Blissland Parishes. 

NEW KENT was cut off from the upper part of York county in 
1654. It commenced on Scimon's Creek, on the north of York 
River, some distance above Williamsburg,