RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoFP XII
TitleVOLUME XII: General Correspondence
1-2. Minute of meeting of Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Jan. 15, 1724. Reconsidering previous action, they decide that they cannot make King William Parish, Virginia, a mission, but will give £20 to the minister as a gratuity, hoping that the inhabitants will raise his salary to the Virginia standard.
3-4. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Feb. 10, 1723/4. Acknowledges letter by --- Irvine expressing bishop's intent to name him commissary. Under instructions originally given him by Bishop Compton, he has never attempted jurisdiction over the laity. With the clergy, except in the most scandalous cases, he confines himself to admonition, because of the scarcity of ministers. Ten parishes are now vacant. Legal stipend of 2,600 lb. tobacco is worth more than £100 in sweet-scented parishes and about £80 in others. Chief drawback is lack of induction.
5-6. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, May 13, 1724. He has received the queries and is distributing them. It would be desirable if his commission could be sent as soon as possible as two clergymen, Thomas Baylie and John Worden, are scandalizing the colony by continual drunkenness and fighting. Not being accustomed to exercise discipline over the laity, he asks the bishop what to do in the case of a gentlewoman who has borne a bastard to her half-brother. Two clergymen, Clark and Sclater, have recently died. He now estimates the vacancies as fourteen or fifteen.
7-10. Vestry, freeholders, and principal inhabitants of Wilmington Parish to Bishop Gibson, May 23, 1724. Protest dissolution of the parish by recent act of the legislature (xi. 300-1).
11-12. Emmanuel Jones to Bishop Gibson, Petsworth, June 1, 1724. Acknowledges the queries, his answers to which he has sent to Blair, and a friendly letter from the bishop. He has been treated with great kindness ever since he has been in the colony and made a governor of the college, defeating Blair's brother-in-law.
13-14. Thomas Dell to Bishop Gibson, Northampton, June 1, 1724. Supplementing his answers to the queries, he complains of lack of induction and want of regular discipline among the clergy and laity. He has baptized some Indians, but finds that masters are unwilling to allow Negroes time for instruction.
15. John Brunskill to Richard Brunskill (his brother), Wilmington Parish, June 27, 1724. Asks him to use his supposed influence with the bishop to prevent the dissolution of his parish. Encloses (16).
16. Petition of John Brunskill to the general assembly protesting the dissolution of Wilmington Parish. Undated, but enclosed with (15) Copy.)
17-18. John Brunskill to Reverend Doctor Grandorge, Rector of St. Denis [Dionis] Back-Church, London, July 6, 1724. Asks him to intercede with the bishop to secure the disallowance of the act dissolving his parish. Brunskill was formerly master of a school at Burgh.
19-20. Governor Hugh Drysdale to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, July, 1724. Acknowledges letter by John Garzia, whom he has sent to one of the best parishes. Wishes that more would come, as there are many vacancies. Encloses a petition from a French parish.
21-24. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, July 17, 1724. Garzia has been sent to Lower Norfolk. Blair fears that his imperfect English may antagonize some. Supply and quality of clergy would be improved by establishing a theological professorship at William and Mary. He suggests an appropriation for the purpose from the quitrents. He reviews the induction controversy. The matter might have been settled if Nicholson had persisted in collating to lapsed benefices, but he neglected to do so and Spotswood complicated the issue by claiming the right to collate in all cases. Prebyterians are increasing in the colony.
25-26. William LeNeve to Bishop Gibson, James-City Parish, July 20, 1724. He has sent his answers to the queries by Blair.
27-30. Alexander Forbes to Bishop Gibson, July 21, 1724. A gentlewoman willed that her estate should be sold for tobacco and the tobacco sold in England, the resulting funds to be used for the poor of the parish. The executor failed to sell the estate and used its income while living. On his death the testatrix's heir at law reclaimed the estate, but Forbes and the executor's executor, one of his wardens, with the advice of Governor Spotswood, recovered it in a suit in chancery. It has been sold and part of the tobacco sold and the proceeds deposited with their agent, Micajah Perry. Forbes asks the bishop to select some tracts for distribution to the poor. He mentions some catechetical discourses by 'one Doctor Bray' as possibly suitable.
31-32. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, July 28, 1724. Encloses some more answers to queries. He advises against disallowing the act dissolving Wilmington Parish (xi. 300-1). Its division between parishes on either side of the river is a much more convenient arrangement.
33-34. And. Cant to Bishop Gibson, Ailsbury, Bucks, Sept. 8, 1724. Unable to live in his own parish of Little Stanbridge, Essex, or in London, he asked the bishop for a curacy in some healthier place, but was told that such appointments were usually left to the incumbents. In seeking a post for himself he found that many of the clergy were disaffected and would only hire a curate who shared their views. Those of moderate political principles drove a hard bargain. Young men obtained curacies through influence and many clergy neglected the requirement that curates should be licensed. If the bishop cannot get him a curacy in a healthy place in England, he is willing to return to Virginia, provided he receives the royal bounty.
35-36. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Sept. 12, 1724. John Clarke, licensed for Antigua, finding it unbearably hot there, has come to Virginia, where he has been sent to St. John's, a sweet-scented parish. In answer to a query from the bishop, he says that young clergymen of established sobriety will have no difficulty in marrying daughters of the colonial gentry, especially if the induction matter can be settled.
37-38. John Bagg to Bishop Gibson, St. Ann's Parish, Oct. 14, 1724. Blair failed to give him a copy of the bishop's queries because he knew that Bagg would say things unfavourable to him. He does not support the clergy against the vestries and another commissary would be preferred. The bishop is referred to Colonel Spotswood for details. Bagg has evidently obtained a copy of the queries somewhere and sends his answers (41-44).
39-40. Queries addressed to commissaries. Answered by Blair. He summarizes the acts relating to the Church and says that the English Toleration Act is held to apply to Virginia. Visitations (he calls them conventions) were formerly held once a year, but now only on special occasions. All clergy exhibit their licences on arrival. A few licensed to other colonies have been allowed to settle, but the bishop has always been notified. All parishes have church buildings, except the new parish of Spotsylvania where one is being erected. Many parishes lack ministers. There are no revenues during vacancies as the poll-tax is not collected unless there is a minister. Wages of tradesmen and prices of 'merchant-goods' are from 40 to 50 per cent. higher than in England, but produce is as cheap as in the cheapest parts of England. The thing that would best promote the cause of religion would be to have a better supply of good clergy, one means of which would be a theological professorship at William and Mary (cf. 21-24). Regular induction would be another means to this end. He urges a special instruction to this end as Governor Drysdale, though well disposed to the clergy, hesitates to change the custom without such an instruction. A note by Governor Drysdale on the same sheet endorses what Blair says here and in his supplementary letter (21-24).
41-84. Answers to queries addressed to the clergy. See Introduction (p. xxiii) for numbered queries to which answers are queried.
41-44. John Bagg, St. Ann's: 1. He came to colony in 1709 as a deacon. 2. Curate of Ardsinan Parish, Diocese of Lismore, Ireland. Coming to Virginia he served Sittenbourn Parish, though only a deacon, until he quarrelled with one of the vestrymen and they refused to employ him any longer. 3. He returned to London and received priest's orders and the bishop's licence in 1717. 4. He relates the dispute concerning Governor Spotswood's collation of him to St. Ann's (cf. xi. 241-68). It is still unsettled, though he is evidently in possession. A test case was arranged between Blair and Spotswood but has been dropped since Spotswood's departure. 5. Yes. 6. 20-26 × 8-10 miles, about 130 families. 7. No Indians in parish. Owners oppose conversion of slaves. 8. Every Sunday and Christmas and Good Friday. 100-180 attend. 9. He has two churches in his parish at which he officiates on alternate Sundays. He administers Communion in one on Christmas and Easter and in the other on Good Friday and the Sunday after Christmas. Fifty to eighty communicants. 10. No answer. 11. Furnishings inadequate, but he has hopes of persuading the vestry to supply them. 12. Low price of tobacco makes salary less than the supposed £80 equivalent. It is supplemented by fees, also paid in tobacco. He gives some details of the problems involved in marketing the minister's tobacco. 13. He has a house and glebe, run by slaves, but lives on his own plantation. 14. House kept in repair by the parish. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
45. Thomas Baylye, Newport: 1. Ten years. 2. Formerly served St. John's, Baltimore, Maryland 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 80 × 20 miles, about 400 families. 7. He seeks to convert Indians and Negroes 'by instruction'. 8. Services every Sunday, divided among mother church and two chapels. About 500. 9. Eight times a year. About fifty communicants. 10. After the second lesson. 11. Lacks font and surplice. 12. £50 to £70, according to price of tobacco. 13 and 14. No. 15. He supplies a small neighbouring parish. 16. Four schools in the parish. 17. No.
46. John Bell, Christ-Church: 1. Twelve years. 2. None. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 40 × 8 miles, 300 families. 7. Nothing. 8. Once a Sunday and Good Friday. Most white parishioners attend. 9. Christmas, Easter and Whitsunday. 60-80 communicants. 10. In Lent. 11. Lacks surplice. 12. About £80. 13. House and glebe, which he occupies. 14. Repaired by parish. 15. He serves St. Mary's parish every other Sunday. 16. No. 17. No.
47. William Black, Accomako: 1. Since 1708. 2. He had a church in Sussex County, Pennsylvania, but was driven out by the French in 1709: 3. He had a licence for his first parish and the bishop's permission to move. 4. Inducted March 1710. 5. Yes. 6.46 × 14 miles, 400-500 families. 7. He has baptized about 200 Negroes. 8. Every Sunday. Most attend. 9. Christmas, Easter, and Whit Sunday. About 200 communicants. 10. March 11 to Sept. 11. 11. No. 12. About £80. 13 and 14. Has house and glebe. Leases glebe, but house is good for nothing. 15. No. 16. A school endowed by Mr. [Thomas] Sandford [Sanford], late of London. John Horogh, an Irishman, is master. 17. No.
48. James Blair, Bruton: 1. He came to Virginia in 1685. 2. He served Henrico first; then served as college president; then James City; has served Bruton, in which the college is located, since 1710. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 10 miles square, 110 families. 7. He encourages the masters to bring those slaves who understand English to the church for instruction, but does not say with what result. 8. Every Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday, Ascension Day, and Jan. 30. Reads prayers Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent. Full congregations on Sunday. There is a 'lecture' every Sunday afternoon by Mr. LeNeve, supported by subscription. Not well attended, because people live at a distance. 9. Christmas, Easter, Whit Sunday and Sunday nearest to Michaelmas. About fifty communicants. 10. Every Sunday in Lent. 11. Yes. 12. About £100. 13. A glebe, but no house. Lives in a house of his own in the college. 14. Answered by 13. 15. He is also president of the college. 16. No. 17. No.
49-50. Zachariah Brooke, St. Paul's, Hanover County: 1. Four years. 2. He is still vicar of Hawkston, Cambridgeshire, which is supplied by a curate. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 60 × 12 miles, --- hundred families (preceding number effaced by wear). 7. No Indians. Negroes baptized, if their masters desire it, when they can say the catechism. 8. Services on Sundays at two churches and on week days at two chapels. Full attendance. 9. Four times a year in the churches and twice a year in the chapels. Over 100 communicants. 10. Spring and fall. 11. Yes. 12. He gives no estimate of sterling value. 13 and 14. Glebe worthless and house in disrepair, but vestry allows him casks for his tobacco in lieu of them. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
51. John Brunskill, Wilmington: 1. Eight years. 2. No other parish. 3. Yes. 4. No induction. 5. Yes. 6.30 × 9 miles, 180 families. 7. Nothing done to instruct slaves. 8. Every Sunday in rotation among three churches. Good attendance. 9. On the great festivals. About 100 communicants. 10. During Lent, continuing to Whitsuntide. 11. Yes. 12. About £80 a year. (There is an excursus on the difficulty of selling tobacco.) 13. Glebe leased. 14. Glebe house is a cottage. Repaired by the tenant. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
52. John Cargill, Southwark, Surry County: 1. Sixteen years. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 100 × 20 miles, 394 families. 7. Indian town on frontier of his parish formerly had a teacher, Charles Griffin, but he now resides in Williamsburgh, where he teaches Indians from several tribes under the Boyle legacy. Cargill has persuaded a few masters to have their slaves baptized, but not many. 8. He has a church and two chapels of ease. He preaches at the church two out of three Sundays and at one of the chapels the third. The other chapel is remote and he preaches there on a week day. Sunday services are well attended. 9. Three times a year at mother church and as often at one of the chapels. 40-80 communicants, depending on the weather. 10. In Lent. 11. Yes. 12. About £40. 13. He has a house and glebe. He tills the glebe but does not occupy the house. 14. The house is kept in repair by the parish. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
53. Henry Collings, St. Peter's: 1. One year and nine months. 2. No previous cure, but he served as schoolmaster and curate in West Fairfield, Yorkshire. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 20 miles, 204 families. 7. Some slaves are allowed by their masters to be baptized. 8. Every Sunday. About 180 attend. 9. Thrice a year. 40-50 communicants. 10. No catechizing. 11. Yes. 12. About £80. 13. House and glebe, which he rents. 14. Repaired by parish. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
54. Lawrence De Butte, Washington: 1. About three years. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 30 × 5 miles, 200 families. 7. He has baptized some slaves and admitted them to communion. 8. Every Sunday alternately in two churches. Well attended. 9. Thrice a year in each church. 10. Every Sunday in summer. 11. Yes. 12. Scarcely £50. 13. House and glebe. He occupies house and part of glebe, renting the rest. 14. Repaired at his expense. 15. Supplies three adjoining parishes, which are vacant. 16. Donor of glebe provided that it should be for the support of schoolmaster as well as rector. Vestry, instead of dividing it, allows De Butte the whole on condition that he supports a schoolmaster, which he does. 17. No.
55. Thomas Dell, Hungars, Northampton County: 1. Three years. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 40 miles, 365 families. 7. Both Indians and Negroes, but no special efforts to instruct them. 8. Every Sunday. Scarcely a third attend. 9. Six times a year. Eighty communicants. 10. Several Sundays in summer. 11. No. 12. £53. 13. House and glebe let. 14. Repaired by parish, but not very well. 15. Two churches in one parish. 16. No. 17. No.
56. James Falconer, Elizabeth City: 1. Five years, eight months. 2. Previously in Hungars and Norfolk parishes. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 60 miles in circumference, 350 families. 7. Owners are careful to instruct slaves capable of instruction and bring them to baptism, but it is impossible to teach those who are grown up before they are brought here. 8. Every Sunday and some feast days. Most attend. 9. Easter, Whit Sunday, and Christmas. 100 communicants. 10. In Lent. 11. Yes. 12. About £65. 13. House and glebe occupied by himself. 14. Repaired by parish. 15. No. 16. Two. John Mason and Abram Parsons are the schoolmasters. 17. No.
57. William Finney, Henrico: 1. Between fourteen and fifteen years. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 25 × 18 miles, 1,100 families. 7. Masters sometimes bring their slaves to church. 8. Once a Sunday and some holy days. 100-200 attend. 9. Six times a year at each church (he has two in his parish) and twice at the chapel. Twenty is the greatest number of communicants at any one time. 10. He does not catechize. 11. Yes. 12. No sterling estimate. 13. House and glebe, which he occupies. 14. Repair neglected. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
58. Francis Fontaine, York Hampton: 1. Since May 1721. 2. Formerly in St. Margaret's, King William County. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 20 × 4 miles, 200 families. 7. He catechizes such slaves as the masters will bring to him every Saturday afternoon. 8. Twice a Sunday--once at each of two churches, and on Christmas and Good Friday. About two-thirds of parishioners attend. 9. Three times a year in each church. About sixty communicants in town church, twenty in other. 10. Every Sunday afternoon in Lent and ten other Sundays after Evening Prayer. 11. Lacks surplice. 12. About £115. 13. House and glebe, self-occupied. 14. Repaired by parish. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
59. Peter Fontaine, Westover Parish: 1. Since Nov. 1716. 2. He served at first, without regular settlement, among several parishes which were merged to form Westover and Martin's Brandon parishes. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 30 × 12 miles, 233 families. 7. He does his best to persuade masters to instruct slaves and bring them to church for catechizing. 8. Once a week, distributed among three churches. About two-thirds of parish attend. 9. Three times a year in each church. About twenty-five communicants in each. 10. From first Sunday in April to last in June. 11. Yes for one church, partly for second, and no for third. 12. £55-60. 13. Two small glebes, no buildings. One glebe is rented. 14. No house to repair. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
60-72. Alexander Forbes, Upper Parish, Isle of Wight (printed form supplemented by letter): 1. Since 1710. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. (Reviews induction controversy.) 5. Yes. 6. 60 × 11 miles, number of families uncertain, but there are 700 assessed persons. He recommends that parish be divided. 7. Some masters instruct their slaves and bring them for baptism, but most neglect it. There is an Indian town in the parish. A few young men have been sent from there to be taught at William and Mary under the Boyle legacy. 8. Every Sunday and some holy days. Attendance small. 9. Thrice a year. 15-20 communicants. 10. Every Sunday when the parents permit them to come to church, but he is unsatisfied with the results. He has tried other methods but with no better results. 11. No. 12. £65. He explains the difference in value between the two varieties of tobacco. The sweet-scented is mostly grown north of the James River. 13-14. Glebe but no house, as glebe is not worth building on. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No. Letter continues by referring bishop to Colonel Spotswood for details of the induction controversy and by denouncing scandalous conduct of some of the clergy. He recommends the appointment of two 'visitors', one for the north and one for the south side of the James.
73. John Goodwin, St. Stephen's: 1. He came with Governor Drysdale. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 30 miles long, 300 families. 7. 'As in other places.' 8. Every Sunday. Attendance good. 9. Thrice a year. Sixty communicants. 10. During Lent. 11. Yes. 12. No sterling estimate. 13. A poor house and glebe, self-occupied. 14. In poor repair. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
74. Thomas Hughes, Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County: 1. Since July 1, 1716. 2. Formerly served the upper parish in Nanzemond County. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. He lives in Weare Parish as Abingdon Parish glebe is located there. 6. Thirty to forty miles in circumference, 300 families. 7. Nothing is done for the slaves. 8. Once a Sunday and Good Friday and Christmas. About 200 attend. 9. Thrice a year; 60-70 communicants. 10. During Lent. 11. Lacks surplice. 12. No sterling estimate. 13. House and glebe, self-occupied. 14. Repaired by parish. 15. He alternates with Emmanuel Jones in supplying Weare Parish, which is vacant. 16. Yes. George Ransom, master. 17. No.
75. Emmanuel Jones, Petsworth Parish: 1. Since 1700. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Inducted 1704. 5. Yes. 6. 22 × 4-6 miles, 146 families. 7. Masters often bring native-born slaves to be instructed. 8. Every Sunday, Christmas, Good Friday, and Ash Wednesday. 9. On the three great festivals and the first Sunday in October. 100 communicants. 10. During Lent. 11. Yes. 12. About £80. 13. House and glebe, self-occupied. 14. Repaired by parish. 15. Alternates with Hughes in supplying Weare. 16. No. 17. No.
76. Owen Jones, St. Mary's, Essex County: 1. Twenty years. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 20 miles, 150 families. 7. Instruction of slaves discouraged. 8. Every Sunday. About 150 attend. 9. Four times a year. 100 communicants. 10. During Lent. 11. No. 12. No estimate of sterling value. 13. House and glebe self-occupied. 14. Repaired by parish. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
77. Lewis Latané, South Farnham, Essex County: 1. Since 1700. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6.40 × 8 miles, 200 families. 7. No special work with slaves. 8. Every Sunday. Most of the parishioners attend. 9. Four times a year. Fifty communicants. 10. During the spring, but remoteness of many parishioners prevents some of the children from attending. 11. Yes. 12. No sterling estimate. 13. House and glebe self-occupied. 14. Repaired by parish. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
78. William LeNeve, James City: 1. Since 1722. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 20 × 12 miles, seventy-eight families. 7. Not much can be done with recently imported Negroes, but he has had some success in instructing those born in Virginia. 8. Two Sundays out of three in James City, the third on Mulberry Island, besides a lecture in Williamsburg Sunday afternoon. 130 attend at James City; 200 on Mulberry Island and 100 in Williamsburg. 9. Four times a year each in James City and Mulberry Island. 20-30 communicants in James City, twice that number on Mulberry Island. 10. In Lent. 11. Yes. 12. James City, £60; Mulberry Island, £30; Williamsburgh, £20. 13. and 14. Rented glebe, but not house. £7 house allowance. 15. Answered by 8. 16. No. 17. No.
79. George Robertson, Bristol: 1. Nearly thirty-one years. 2. Served as chaplain on board a man-of-war in 1692. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6.40 × 25 miles, 430 families. 7. Masters refuse to send slaves to church for instruction. A few instruct them at home and bring them for baptism. 8. Every Sunday, alternately in church and chapel. Well attended in good weather. 9. On Christmas, Easter, and Whit Sunday. About fifty communicants. 10. He used to catechize during the summer but has not done so for two years. 11. Yes. 12. £45-46. 13 and 14. A barren glebe. No house. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
80. John Skaife, Stratton Major: 1. Fourteen years. 2. Formerly curate at Croxton in Cambridgeshire and Eversholt in Bedfordshire. 3. Yes. 4. Inducted for almost thirteen years. 5. Yes. 6. 18 × 8 miles, 190-200 families. 7. No special effort for slaves. 8. Every Sunday. About 300 attend in fair weather. 9. Four times a year. 220 communicants. 10. In Lent. 11. Lacks a font. 12. About £80. 13. House and glebe, self-occupied. 14. Repaired by parish. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
81. Alexander Scott, Overworton Parish, Stafford County: 1. Since 1711. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. Extent of parish unknown, as it is a frontier parish, 650 families. 7. He instructs and baptizes those slaves who can speak English if their masters allow him to. 8. Every Sunday, alternating between church and chapel. Distance restricts attendance, but church usually full. 9. Six times a year. 80-100 communicants. 10. In Lent and a good part of the summer. 11. Yes, church; no, chapel. 12. No estimate of sterling value. 13 and 14. There is a glebe, which is rented, but no house. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
82. Daniel Taylor, Blissland: 1. Twenty-one years. 2. No. 3. No licence, but he was recommended by the bishop to Governor Nicholson. 4. He has been inducted for twenty years. 5. Yes. 6. 30 miles, 160 families. 7. He finds most slaves incapable of instruction, but has instructed and baptized those that are. 8. Every Sunday. Most of the parish attend. 9. On the three great festivals. 60-70 communicants. 10. In Lent. 11. Yes. 12. £80. 13 and 14. Worthless glebe, no house. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
83. John Worden, Lawns Creek: 1. Since 1712. 2. Briefly served James City, Waynoak, and Martins Brandon. 3. Yes. 4. Not inducted. 5. Yes. 6. 170 × 10 miles, 700 tithables. 7. Some masters will let their slaves be baptized, some will not. 8. Every Sunday in both church and chapel by himself or lay reader. Good attendance. 9. Thrice a year each at church and chapel. 12 communicants. at church; 30-40 at chapel. 10. No catechizing. 11. Lacks surplice. 12. No estimate of sterling value. 13. House and glebe, self-occupied. 14. Repair neglected. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
84. Bartholomew Yates, Christchurch: 1. Since 1700. 2. Formerly served Sittenburn and Kingston parishes in Virginia. 3. Yes. 4. Inducted Mar. 15, 1703. 5. Yes. 6. 40 × 3-7 miles, 260 families. 7. A few of the native slaves have been baptized. 8. Every Sunday, alternating between two churches. Also Christmas and Good Friday. About 200 attend. 9. Six times a year. 230 communicants. 10. In Lent. 11. Yes. 12. No estimate of sterling value. 13. House and glebe, self-occupied. 14. Repaired by parish. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
85-86. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburg, May 25, 1725. Several clergy recently arrived with the bishop's recommendation have been placed. Brunskill has been given a sweet-scented parish. Blair insists that he delivered queries to Bagg (cf. 41-44). Governor Drysdale has reluctantly decided to proceed against Bayley and Worden (cf. 5-6), since Blair has been advised that he cannot act without commission. Other clergy are rumoured to be misbehaving in the belief that no one can restrain them. There are still several vacancies in the colony and he expects Bayley and Worden to be removed, making two more.
87-88. Governor Hugh Drysdale to Bishop Gibson, May 31, 1725. He is reluctantly unable to comply with he bishop's recommendation to appoint --- Grasly to a post as naval officer, because he does not have the character or estate to sustain it. Collectors are appointed by Commissioners of Customs, so Doctor Bettesworth had better apply to them.
89-90. Richard Hewitt to Bishop Gibson, York, June 1, 1725. Gives some account of his voyage and arrival, together with --- Finney. Parish to which he is sent is a combination of two former ones.
91-92. Stephen Fouäce to John Pratt, June 21, 1725. He quotes a letter from Blair saying that the clergy are getting out of hand because of a rumour that he has no authority and asking him to persuade the bishop to hurry up his commission. Unable to wait on the bishop himself, he asks Pratt, a 'Virginia Merchant' to present the matter to the bishop.
93-94. Walter Jones to Bishop Gibson, Copley Parish, Westmorland County, July 28, 1725. He arrived with Hewitt and Finney and has been sent to this parish. Their ship was stopped by a Turkish man-of-war, but allowed to continue after showing a Mediterranean pass. Notation identifies Jones as formerly schoolmaster in Philadelphia.
95-96. Richard Hewitt to Bishop Gibson, Warwick County, July 29, 1725. --- Ogilvie, whom the bishop had refused to ordain but licensed as a schoolmaster in New York came on H.M.S. Tartar under Captain Vincent Pierce. He was beaten and abused on board and some attempted to commit sodomy on him. Captain Pierce let him come ashore when they reached Virginia, but refused to receive him back for the rest of the voyage, so that he has been left stranded. Hewitt happend to meet him, and is looking after him until he can obtain passage to New York. Hewitt praises Captain Randolph with whom he himself sailed.
97-98. John Lang to Bishop Gibson, St. Peter's, New Kent County, Feb. 7, 1725-6. He was first appointed to Lyons Creek Parish, but transferred to St. Peter's, a better parish, on its becoming vacant through the death of Henry Collins. He is well pleased with his parish, but finds that the people of the colony, though strongly favourable to the Church (except for a few Quakers), are generally ignorant of its teaching and lax in morals. He attributes this to neglect by the clergy, many of whom are drunkards, while even the sober ones are lazy. Negroes are brought to baptism and then allowed to live without regard to Christian restraints. In his own parish he has Jacob Poindexter who has been living in a 'seeming marriage' with his brother's widow for seven years and had several children by her. John Doran keeps another man's wife, sister to his own deceased wife, as a concubine. Adultery and fornication are generally regarded as venial sins.
99-100. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburg, Mar. 24,1725/6. Recommends George Thomson, deacon, chaplain to H.M.S. Tartar under Captain Pierce (cf. 95-96), who is returning for priest's orders. Reports death of Seagood, Bagg, and Forbes. Last-named is the greatest loss, as he was 'a learned and very pious man'. Hugh Jones, formerly rector of St. Stephen's, on York River, has moved to Maryland.
101-2. Vestry of Christ Church to Bishop Gibson, Apr. 12, 1726. An affectionate testimonial to Bartholomew Yates, who is obliged, for family reasons, to return to England after a ministry of twenty-five years in Virginia, twenty-three in this parish.
103-4. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburg, Apr. 22, 1726. Praises Yates, who is going home to arrange a better education for his children than can be found in the colonies. --- Dunbar has arrived with a letter from the bishop saying that his application for a commission is well advanced, but --- Cawthorn, who was supposed to come with Dunbar has not arrived.
105-6. Emmanuel Jones to Bishop Gibson, Petsworth, Apr. 28, 1726. Introducing and praising Yates.
107-8. Bartholomew Yates to Bishop Gibson, Bridgnorth, July 23, 1726. Unable to wait on the bishop because he could not afford the expense of lingering in London, he has been informed by Micajah Perry that the bishop would like a statement of religious conditions in Virginia. He speaks of the precariousness of ministerial tenure, tending to timidity in preaching, and the need for a more regular discipline over the clergy.
109-12. The present state of Virginia, 1726. A list of public officials and clergy by counties, preceded by a list of provincial officers.
113. Some clergy and vestrymen to Bishop Gibson, June 28, 1727. A testimonial to James McGill, who is seeking orders. He studied Greek and philosophy at St. Andrews.
114-15. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburg, Oct. 18, 1727. He returned from a visit to England in September, on the same ship with Governor William Gooch, whom he praises. He has held a convention of the clergy which framed addresses to the King, the bishop, and the governor. (Not in present collection.) Taylor, Becket, and Marsden have recently arrived. Marsden, who has been in most of the colonies and has testimonials from them, left England hurriedly on this occasion because of bankruptcy proceedings.
116-17. William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Oct. 18, 1727. Speaks of enclosing the addresses of the clergy to King and bishop. The time is not ripe to introduce induction, but he is trying to prepare the people for it.
118-21. An act for the better support of the clergy. First year of George II (1727). Codifies earlier provisions relating to clerical salaries. Continues basic stipend of 16,000 lb. of tobacco, but provides that it be delivered in casks.
122-3. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Feb. 14, 1727/8. He will place --- Grasly, recently arrived with the bishop's recommendation, as soon as possible, though he wishes that he were more deserving. --- Smith, who arrived a while ago, is so unprepossessing that no parish will have him and is probably not strong enough to serve a country parish anyway. The governor has fixed him up with a lectureship in Williamsburgh, supported by subscription, and Blair pays him something for reading prayers. --- Robinson, son of a member of the council, educated at Oxford, has been appointed Professor of Philosophy in William and Mary and will wait on the bishop for his approval.
124-5. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, May 26, 1728. William Swift came from Bermuda in spite of an order from the bishop to stay until a successor was sent. The governor cannot blame him too much, because of the high prices and inadequate salaries on that island, and has sent him to St. Martin's, Hanover County. Mr. Smith is still a problem. The governor removed Bayley from his parish for drunkenness, but he was so poor that he took pity on him and let him go to another parish on promise of reform. Bearer of this letter is John Randolph, a lawyer and one of the governors of the college, who can give the bishop a confidential account of ecclesiastical affairs in the colony.
126-7. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, June 8, 1728. Mentions Swift and introduces Randolph, whose chief business is to carry out the 'transfer' of the college, an arrangement which will increase the powers of the governors. (Cf. xl. 120-206.)
128-9. David Mossom to Bishop Gibson, July 3, 1728. Says he only left Marblehead because he could not live at peace with New England clergy who were stirred up by Checkley (cf. iv. 142-3 and other letters). Through influence of Colonel Carter, President of the Council, he was appointed to St. Peter's, New Kent County. Praises Gooch and Blair. Letter is brought by William Nairn who is returning because he has the prospect of a good living in England.
130-1. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, July 10, 1728. Commends Nairn who is promised a parish in Wiltshire. French settlers would like a minister who can preach in French, and Society for the Propagation of the Gospel aid, as they are too poor to support a minister fully. Now that Nicholson is dead, it is hoped that the affairs of the college can be satisfactorily arranged.
132. Receipt to William Dawson by E. Randolph for £15. 8s. 11d. for passage in the Williamsburgh to Virginia, Feb. 25, 1728(9).
132a. Receipt for wines supplied to Dawson by Benjamin Allen, Feb. 26. 1728(9). Endorsed by Robert Bright.
133. Joseph Smith to Bishop Gibson, Nansemond, Mar. 10, 1729. He was rejected by the first parish to which the governor sent him on the ground that his bodily weakness made him unfit for the work involved, but he has now been elected rector of Nansemond.
134-5. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, June 28, 1729. As no ships have come from London for several months, they are afraid that it is war. The bishop's letter on the instruction of slaves has had a good effect. Negroes are eager to become Christians, though he expresses some doubts as to their motives. 'Little Mr. Smith' has at last obtained a parish. Baylye is returning to England as no parish in Virginia, Maryland, or Carolina will have him. There is no clergyman in North Carolina.
136-7. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, June 29, 1729. He recommends three candidates for orders, --- Smith, --- Gemmill, and --- Fyfe, two private tutors and a schoolmaster. Marsden was placed in a parish, but has already run £400 in debt. Governor has proclaimed a fast because of threat from the caterpillar. He sent a chaplain, unnamed, with the commission that surveyed the Virginia-North Carolina border, who baptized over 100 children along the way. The church at Williamsburgh is begging for a royal gift of an organ. Dean Berkeley stopped in Virginia and was received with all honours. Gooch thinks it would be better if some place on the continent, rather than Bermuda, were selected as the centre for his project. Baylye, who was sent home on charity, left two boys behind. One is placed with a clergyman. The elder, age nine, the governor plans to place in the college. He encloses a box of roots and barks, the discovery of a Negro, which have been found an infallible cure for venereal disease in Virginia. He has placed --- Clarke, a clergyman formerly in Virginia, who had returned to England for a time, and --- Kenner, a young man of the colony who attended the college at Glasgow, 'for cheapness', and has returned in deacon's orders.
138-9. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, July 5, 1729. He has at last received his commission but is appalled to find that it includes Bermuda, which lies so far away that he cannot pretend to do anything about it. Worden died in South Carolina. Baylye returns with this fleet. Marsden has fled the colony for debt. Blair is sending the bishop six Virginia hams by the ship Spotswood, James Bradley, master.
140-1. Th. Troughear to Bishop Gibson, Northwood, Sept. 3, 1729. His nephew, William Dawson, has been appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy in William and Mary, but finds that he needs the bishop's licence if he is to officiate in the colony or accept a cure to supplement his professorship. The writer praises the bishop's recent pastoral letter.
142-3. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Sept. 8, 1729. Repeats objection to inclusion of Bermuda in his commission. Suggests that Dean Berkeley be made commissary there. Chapel at college is under construction. Moses Robertson has just arrived, with the bishop's licence. Dawson, an alumnus of Queen's College, Oxford, was recommended by Archbishop Wake and ordained by the Bishop of Oxford. The college has been transferred to the President and masters.
144-5. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Oct. 8, 1729. Holbrook, missionary at Salem, New Jersey, came to Virginia, seeking a parish, saying that he could not support his family on his Society for the Propagation of the Gospel stipend. Blair and the governor persuaded him to return, pending a ruling by the bishop, but will place him in Virginia if the bishop approves. Reports from New England say that Governor Burnet has died of spotted fever.
146-7. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Oct. 9, 1729. Repeats the information about Holbrook. Having seen a query in the bishop's instructions to his commissary as to what was done to carry out instruction issued to all governors to secure legislation for the presentment of crimes and vices to the temporal courts, he says that the instruction reached him after the adjournment of the burgesses, but he will bring it up at their next session and has already mentioned it in a charge to the grand jury. If three gentlemen lately gone to England for orders return, there will not be a vacant parish and the placement of Holbrook will depend on the resignation of --- Clarke, who talks of returning to England. He will give Grasly a post as land surveyor when one becomes vacant, as that seems to be the only thing for which he is suited.
148-9. John Brunskill to Bishop Gibson, St. Margaret's Parish, Caroline County. He is still protesting against the dissolution of Willmington Parish, although he now has another.
150-1. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, July 13, 1730. Introducing --- Hughes, who is going to Wales to claim an inheritance, but leaves his family in Virginia and plans an early return.
152-3. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, July 20, 1730. General assembly has passed a law to restrain sexual licence and affirm the prohibited degrees as in English law. There have been a number of Negroes brought into the faith recently in Williamsburgh. Recommends Roderick Macculloch for orders. He came over in the same ship with Blair and Governor Gooch and has behaved well since his coming. He has made considerable progress in Latin, Greek, and divinity.
154-5. I. Marye to Bishop Gibson, July 22, 1730. Recently arrived, he has been appointed to a parish, unnamed, in which there are a number of Quakers and Anabaptists.
156-7. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, July 23, 1730. He will recommend Dawson to a parish as soon as one becomes vacant near the college. He has discovered a relative of the bishop's, --- Gibson, in Virginia, and will give him a post under the new tobacco law, whose passage he secured, as soon as it becomes law. The new morals law requires wardens to present moral offences and gives their presentment the force of an indictment. It prohibits marriages within the Levitical degrees and provides penalties for incest, under cover of marriage, or otherwise. Marye, a Frenchman, has been given a parish near the French town. Other arrivals are mentioned. Maculloch is given a tepid recommendation.
158-60. Charge of Governor Gooch to the grand jury in Williamsburg, Oct. 19, 1730. Printed by William Parks, Williamsburg, 1730. A general statement of their function.
161-2. Jonathan Gibson to George Gibson, Apr. 27, 1731. He has refused a post under the tobacco law, as duties and penalties are too heavy, but he hopes that a word from the bishop will prompt the governor to favour him in other ways. Refers to an uncle, Matthew Gibson. Letter is brought by (Rodham) Kenner, curate of the parish, who is returning for priest's orders.
163-4. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, May 14, 1731. Introducing Rodham Kenner, a native of Virginia. Blair has received a box of the bishop's pastoral letters which will be helpful in combating infidelity. He has been made an attorney to sell Nicholson's property in Virginia for the benefit of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, but has received an offer for only one set of lots, in Yorktown. Is surprised by charges made by --- Lowther against --- Wright concerning Wright's conduct when tutor to Lowther's son in Rotterdam. Wright has behaved well since coming to Virginia. A threatened slave insurrection has been repressed.
165-6. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, May 15, 1731. A testimonial to Kenner.
167-8. Williams Dawson to Bishop Gibson, William and Mary College, May 17, 1731. Though as yet no suitable parish has become vacant, the governor has shown him various favours for which he expresses gratitude. The college flourishes.
169-70. Governor Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, May 28, 1731. Recommends --- Fox for orders. Reviews Wright case, but leaves precise nature of charges uncertain. Wright remains, on promise to amend. Threat of slave revolt arose because of a rumour that an order had been received from the King to free baptized slaves, but that it had been suppressed. He admits bishop's charge that some masters treat their slaves no better than cattle, but thinks that most are kind. When they are, slaves are better off than labourers in England. Gooch has raised the question whether Christian slaves accused of common-law crimes should not be allowed benefit of clergy. As the general court was evenly divided, the issue has been referred to England. The law regulating tobacco has been attacked before the commissioners of customs.
171-2. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, June 10, 1731. Introducing John Fox, a graduate of William and Mary and master of the Indian school, who is seeking orders.
173-4. Several clergymen, wardens, and vestrymen to Bishop Gibson, Apr. 4, 1732. A testimonial to John Boyd, a candidate for orders.
175-6. Francis Peart to George Gibson, Apr. 15, 1732. He is settled in a parish (St. Stephen's, Northumberland County) largely, he thinks, due to Gibson's good offices with the bishop. He introduces John Boyd, who has been practising medicine in Virginia, but, unwilling to charge the exorbitant fees exacted by most practitioners, has decided to enter the ministry. Regrets to hear of death of Lady Cromwell. Jonathan Gibson is well, and so are 'the old gentlewoman' and her family.
177. Jonathan Gibson to (George Gibson?), Caroline County, May 4, 1732. Asks him to secure the bishop's intercession with Governor Gooch to give him the next vacancy as naval officer or clerk of the county court. Encloses letters to uncles Matthew and George.
178-9. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, May 27, 1732. Introducing --- Podin, a private tutor, formerly a Presbyterian, trained in philosophy and divinity at Glasgow, who is seeking orders. He is told that two others are seeking orders, Boyd and Cotton, but cannot recommend them, as they are 'both very scandalous'. Wright (cf. 163-4, 169-70) fled the colony after Blair had taxed him with rumours of 'scandalous conversations' with a gentlewoman. He went to Maryland, but Blair had forewarned Commissary Henderson, so he went on to Pennsylvania, where he was exposed by Colonel Spotswood, who happened to be there.
180. 'Philagathus' to Bishop Gibson, May 30, 1732. Praises Bartholomew Yates and pleads with the bishop to assist in the education of his sons, two of whom are now in England, one at a university.
180-1. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, June 17, 1732. Acknowledges a box of the bishop's pastorals. He has sold Nicholson's lots and transmitted the proceeds to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel treasurer through Alderman Perry, but has not heard of their receipt (cf. 163-4). There are three vacant parishes in the colony. Informed by Fouäce that Doctor Bray's executors plan a new edition of his work on the Sermon on the Mount, he asks permission to add a dedication to the bishop.
182-3. Extract of a letter from Adam Dickie to --- Newman, June 27, 1732. He has gone to Drysdale Parish, King and Queen County, a parish which has superior tobacco, but in which the vestry was in a continual quarrel with his predecessor. He has so far maintained amicable relations with the vestry, though he has met with some opposition from others for his systematic efforts to instruct the slaves. He presents three questions on which he would like the bishop's judgement. (1) If Christian slaves marry and are separated by their masters, should they not be allowed to remarry, being as effectively separated as by death? (2) If Christian slaves cannot be accepted as sureties and since masters are reluctant to stand surety, may not an adult make the promises for himself? (3) Should not Christian slaves be allowed to be churched and enjoy other Christian privileges?
184-5. T. Staige to Bishop Gibson, Charles Parish, York County, July 5, 1732. After three years in the parish, he begs for an appointment at home, because of his wife's health. Adds a copy of letter from Governor Gooch, Williamsburgh, July 18, 1728, recommending him to the vestry.
186. W. Dawson to Bishop Gibson, William and Mary College, Aug. 7, 1732. Since some infidels stubbornly refuse to be converted by the bishop's clear reasoning, he thinks that they should feel the displeasure of the civil magistrate.
187. William Dawson to Bishop Gibson, William and Mary College, Aug. 11, 1732. Describes opening of newly completed chapel. A house for the president is under construction. They propose to use some of the Brasserton [i.e. Brafferton?] income (cf. xi. 21) to purchase books for a library which can be conveniently housed in a room over the Indian school.
188-9. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Aug. 12, 1732. Letter to be delivered by John Randolph who has been sent home to protest against the injury done to the colony by illegal traders in tobacco who evade the duty. There was a revolt in the Northern Neck against the new tobacco act which Gooch sponsored, but it has been repressed. Gooch insists that the act saved the colony from ruin and restored the salaries of the clergy to their former worth, and that, after a year's trial, all but a few bad men like it. He accuses the London factors of double-dealing. He sent a copy of the act to them when it was first proposed and, in a letter by Micijah [sic] Perry, they expressed approval, but when it was passed, they sought to have it disallowed. He thinks that Perry is trying to have him recalled, though Perry pretends that he has prevented it.
190-1. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Aug. 14, 1732. Randolph has two commissions for the college, of which he is an alumnus, in addition to his mission for the colony. One is to secure royal action to protect the college's penny-a-pound of tobacco tax, which is being widely evaded. The other is to secure the consent of the bishop and archbishop to the use of Boyle funds for a library for the Indian school. Through the death of Colonel Robert Carter, Blair has become senior member of the council. Through a long-established tradition, based, Blair believes, on an early instruction, the senior councillor becomes president and acting governor in the governor's absence, or during a vacancy. Colonel Byrd is trying to cut Blair out of this on the ground of his cloth. Blair says that, while he personally does not want the responsibility, the rule has worked so well in the past that he thinks it should be continued.
192-3. Henry Newman to Bishop Gibson, Bartlet's Buildings, Nov. 15, 1732. Transmitting (182-3). Notes that S.P.C.K. gave Dickie a packet of books.
194-5. A list of Negroes baptized by John Garzia as rector of North-Farnham Parish, Richmond County, 1725-32. Listed under name of masters. Total number, 354.
196-7. A similar list, undated, but probably submitted at the same time as (192-3).
198. Certificate of good character by James Blair, seconded by William Gooch, for John Garzia on his removal from Virginia to North Carolina, Williamsburgh, Mar. 17, 1732/3.
199-200. Walter Jones to Bishop Gibson, Mar. 27, 1733. Recommends Richard Bowen as well qualified for orders, except that he lacks Greek. He is a native of Glamorganshire, south Wales. There are many vacant parishes in both Virginia and Maryland, Jones's parish, Copley, Westmoreland County, being on the border. He has written to clergymen in Wales, urging them to emigrate, but without success, though he says that the Virginia stipends provide a comfortable living. There has been a record mortality from pleurisy in both Virginia and Maryland this spring.
201-2. John Boyd to Bishop Gibson, Apr. 5, 1733. He has reached Virginia on his return from his ordination. He waited on Blair and says that he satisfied him as to his good character (cf. 178-9). Mr. Granville has left (North) Carolina and Boyd is preparing to move there.
203-4. Anthony Gavin to Bishop Gibson, Gibraltar, Apr. 20, 1733. (Placed here because of Gavin's later service in Virginia.) Gavin, a chaplain at Gibraltar, has been forbidden to officiate by the governor for marrying without the governor's licence. The marriage was that of Captain Hugh Plunkenet to an Irishwoman, reputed to be his mistress, but to whom he claimed to have been previously married, though they had no certificate.
205-6. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, May 5, 1733. Having had Boyd with him for five weeks, he is favourably impressed with his character and convinced that the unfavourable reports against him were products of malice (cf. 178-9).
207-8. William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, June 20, 1734. Apologizes for not having found a post for Jonathan Gibson. Offered him the post of tobacco inspector, but he declined, though he obtained it for a friend. Only naval-officer post available would have required him to move from his plantation. He will give him a clerk's place when one is convenient to his residence.
209-10. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Aug. 11, 1734. Introducing Colonel Danbridge, a member of the council and naval lieutenant, who is going home to seek promotion. Blair has received a box of the bishop's pastorals translated into French. Reports death of Swift and Yates. Fox could have any vacant parish he wants, but prefers to remain at the college because of bashfulness. He has mislaid a letter of Mr. Powlet's who, he thinks, wanted to know if Mr. Hughes or Hewit (his uncertainty) and Dawson were alive and married. They are.
211-12. William Dawson to Bishop Gibson, William and Mary, Nov. 8, 1734. Reports death of Yates, whom he praises highly. He died July 26, 1734.
213-14. William Dawson to Bishop Gibson, William and Mary, Nov. 22, 1734. On petition from the college, the assembly has taken measures to check frauds which are depriving the college of its duties on tobacco and hides, and has granted it some other duties.
215-16. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Jan. 14, 1734(5). Grateful to the bishop for accepting his excuse for not doing something for Jonathan Gibson. Reports death of Yates, Smith ('not the little gentleman'), and Swift. DeButte has moved to Maryland, to which province Keith saw fit 'to retire with his guilt'. There are two newly erected parishes, making a total of seven vacancies. As the death of Archbishop Wake is reported imminent, Gooch hopes to hear of Gibson's promotion.
217-18. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Jan. 15, 1734/5. It takes about a year after the erection of a new parish before it is ready to receive a clergyman, as the first year's revenues are usually given to erecting a church and obtaining a glebe. Four parishes will now be ready for clergymen by the time the bishop sends them. Keith was guilty of fornication with a gentlewoman whose family thought so ill of his character that they would not let her marry him. The new revenues will not be available to the college for several months. Blair suggests that Sir R. Walpole, or his brother, 'our auditor', might be induced to release other funds during the interim.
[This letter is oddly bound and microfilmed, and in fact comprises five sections of text (because the first folio, f. 217, has been cut, and the lower section glued to the upper section back to front), which should be read in this order: top of f. 217r; bottom of f. 217v; top of f. 217v; bottom of f. 217r; f. 218]
219-20. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Mar. 24, 1734/5. The bishop has sent him two anonymous letters, one attacking the morals of the clergy, especially in regard to drink, and the other saying that a dozen clergymen could be placed in the colony. He says that excessive drinking is too prevalent among the clergy, but not to the extent represented by the letter. He endeavours to curb it, with some success, by admonition. At the time the other letter was written there were only two vacancies, except for newly erected parishes not ready to receive a minister (cf. 217-18). As these parishes are now ready and there have been several deaths and removals, the number of vacancies is now high. He adds the name of Rodham Kenner to the list of clergy recently deceased. He is enclosing a list of parishes and incumbents (221-2). He is now in his eightieth year, but still active, though he employs Dawson to read prayers when he is indisposed. Deism is not highly prevalent in Virginia. Its principal leader, Nicholas Smith, died recently. They sent a schoolmaster, --- Mead, home for ordination, but he took their money and never returned.
221-2. List of parishes and incumbents, Mar. 25, 1735. Enclosed with (219-20).
223-4. William LeNeve to Bishop Gibson, James City, July 1, 1735. Defends himself against unspecified charges in anonymous letter. William Stith, the bearer of this letter, can testify to his character.
225-6. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamburgh, July 7, 1735. Introducing Stith, master of the grammar school, who has been highly satisfactory, and promises an early return.
227-8. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, July 8, 1735. He has seen the anonymous letter (cf. 219-20) and thinks the writer was probably trying to cover his own guilt. He reviews the accusations. Dicky has an excellent reputation. The governor once rebuked him for dressing too gaily, but he said it was the only coat he had. He has recently married well. LeNeve is susceptible to drink and occasionally overcome. Becket, who lives in the Northern Neck, is a bit rough and over-inclined to drink, but a devoted pastor. Swift is dead, and was so at the time of writing. Dunbar was wild, but has reformed since his marriage, two years ago.
229-30. Patrick Henry to Bishop Gibson, Sept. 4, 1735. Thanks the bishop for recommendations to governor and commissary which obtained him a parish in Virginia. Recommends --- Pasteur, the bearer, for ordination.
231-4. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Sept. 18, 1735. Introduces Pasteur, a graduate of William and Mary. Gives more detail about revenue that might be made available to the college. Revenue of province is derived partly from quitrents and partly from a duty of two shillings on each hogshead of tobacco. The quitrents are controlled by the Crown. The two-shilling tax provides the normal income of the provincial government. As there is a current surplus in this, he believes that the auditor-general of the plantations, Horace Walpole, would approve if the governor and council granted relief to the college out of this surplus. Anthony Gavin has arrived after an overland journey from Maryland, where his ship landed him. Keith obtained an recommendation from Governor Gooch to the governor of Maryland, but Blair does not know how.
235-6. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Sept. 20, 1735. He will send Gavin to the parish vacated by Keith. Introduces --- Pasture, candidate for orders, a graduate of the college and former usher in the school, son of a resident of Williamsburgh who has brought up a large family respectably, though in poor circumstances.
237-8. Charles Bridges to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburg, Oct. 20, 1735. Influenced by the bishop's pastoral letter on the subject, he proposes a scheme for charity schools for Negroes modelled on the London charity schools with the beginning of which he had some connexion.
239-40. The plan proposed in (237-8).
241-2. Henry Armistead, Rector of William and Mary College, to Bishop Gibson, June 8, 1736. The bishop's seven-year term as chancellor having expired, they have elected Archbishop Wake.
243-4. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, June 18, 1736. Names six clergymen recently arrived. Pasteur died at sea on return voyage. Bartholomew Yates's son and a brother of --- Rose, both now in England, will soon seek orders and a licence for Virginia. Stith is leaving the grammar school for a parish, and --- Reed, a deacon, is going home for priest's orders. The bishop has approached Horace Walpole on behalf of the college, and it is hoped that something will come of his efforts.
245-6. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, June 25, 1736. Enclosing a letter from the governors of the college (241-2?).
247-8. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Aug. 20, 1736. Mentions death of Pasteur (cf. 243-4). Some newly erected parishes will be ready for ministers by the end of the year. Is sending the bishop a box of Barbadoes sweetmeats.
249-50. William Dawson to Bishop Gibson, William and Mary, Sept. 14, 1736. Provincial orthodoxy has been disturbed by the importation of a work called The Plain Account. He has ordered works relating to the controversy from a London bookseller, but, fearing that he will make a bad choice, he asks the bishop to advise him.
251-2. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Mar. 3, 1736/7. Introduces --- Read, who is going home for priest's orders. Governor has not yet been able to find a post that will suit Jonathan Gibson.
253-4. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Mar. 11, 1736/7. Read, after supplying Yates's parish, which is being reserved for Yates's son, has lately succeeded to parish vacated by death of Skaife and will return to it when priested. He is much respected, in spite of the handicap of deafness. --- Ross has changed his mind about coming to Virginia. Fox has obtained a good parish. Praises bishop's recent stand against the Quakers. Thanks him for continuing to aid the college in view of incapacity of the present chancellor, Archbishop Wake (cf. 241-2).
255-6. John Fox to Bishop Gibson, Ware Glebe, Gloucester County, Aug. 15, 1737. Says that his recently accepted parish is regarded by many as the best in the colony. Introduces William Barrett, a graduate of the college, formerly usher in the grammar school, who succeeded Fox as head of the Indian school and is going home for orders.
257-8. Joseph Blumfield to Bishop Gibson, Sept. 3, 1737. He is going to Jamaica, as the parish to which the governor sent him in Virginia will not receive him, though Barrett, who brings this letter, can testify to his good behaviour.
259-60. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Apr. 20, 1738. Introduces George Fraser, who is recommended by many in his parish who wish him to be ordained to succeed their late minister, Scott. (Joseph) Smith chose to surrender his parish rather than face a hearing in the commissary's court. He is charged with 'grievous crimes', is a sot, and is so weak in mind as well as body that he is unable to perform his pastoral duties. The vestry have reluctantly voted a sum for his support.
261-2. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Apr. 21, 1738. Introduces Fraser who, since passing his course in philosophy in Aberdeen has served three years as a tutor in Virginia. Another candidate, George Darling, will soon follow.
263-4. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Apr. 21, 1738. Introducing Darling, who studied philosophy and divinity in Edinburgh and has been in Virginia three years. Black and Scott have died recently. Black's parish is supplied by Arthur Emmerson, who came from Barbadoes, with testimonials from Commissary Johnson. --- Ormsby, who came from Bermuda, where he was in want of bread, has been sent to Amelia, one of the new parishes. 'Poor little crooked Mr. Joseph Smith' grew too weak to serve his parish and took to drink when his parishioners tried to oust him. They accused him of various immoralities, but he resigned before the case came to trial. Blair does not know what to do with him, as he is fit only for an infirmary, and there is none in Virginia.
265-6. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, May 13, 1738. The bishop has apparently made some objection to recommendations from Virginia, for he promises that Darling, who carries this letter, shall be the last. At the same time he hopes that other recommendations from thence will not prevail. This refers to recommendation of --- Green by Lord Fairfax, who apparently thought that he has power to collate to the parish in question (unnamed) though Gooch insists that it lies entirely within his government. Smith is dead.
267-8. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, July 13, 1738. Retracts recommendation of Darling, as one of those who supplied his testimonials claims to have discovered evidence of a long liason with a woman servant in the family with which he formerly lived.
269-70. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, July 17, 1738. Received letter by Barrett, who has become chaplain to a man-of-war. Agrees with bishop that it is better to spend Archbishop Wake's bequest on books of divinity rather than on the classics. Joseph Smith, 'the little infirm man', died after becoming largely incapacitated. He left five children, badly educated, who must be provided for by charity. The reprinting of Blair's discourses (cf. 180-1) has been tied up in legal technicalities relating to Bray's will. The account of this refers to Fouäce as 'the late'. The college authorities have asked George Fothergill of Queen's College, Oxford, to recommend an usher for the grammar school. He will receive £50 sterling besides perquisites and board at the college table. £25 pounds has been deposited with Alderman Perry to pay his passage. --- Balfour has succeeded to Smith's parish and there are no more vacancies.
271-2. James Blair to John Moncure, Williamsburgh, July 21, 1738. He will notify the bishop of Moncure's settlement in Overwharton Parish, so that he can receive the royal bounty.
273-4. Anthony Gavin to Bishop Gibson, St. James's Parish, Goochland, Aug. 5, 1738. After serving nine months in the parish to which he was sent on arrival, he learned that this frontier parish was vacant and asked to be sent there. He has three churches, twenty-three to twenty-four miles from his glebe, at which in turn he officiates every third Sunday, besides seven stations in the mountains, served by clerks. He visits twelve places twice a year, over a total distance of 400 miles. On his first trip he baptized 229 whites and 172 Negroes. The whites included 15 Quakers and 2 Anabaptists. Only 6 persons received communion when he came to the parish. Now there are 136. He meets with opposition from Quakers.
275-6. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Aug. 25, 1738. At request of --- Balfour, he tells the bishop that Balfour is settled in a parish and entitled to receive the bounty.
277-8. John Moncure to Bishop Gibson, Sept. 10, 1738. Asks the bishop to give the bearer, John Buchanan, an order for the royal bounty. The bishop had refused to pay it in advance because Moncure did not have a title.
279-80. Charles Bridges to Bishop Gibson, Hanover, Oct. 19, 1738. He cannot do much to promote his plan of charity schools for Negroes (cf. 237-40) without the bishop's support and Bridges and the commissary are both growing old. He gives a picture of them nodding with sleep as they discuss the plan.
281. Peter Wagener to Bishop Gibson, Jan. 5, 1738/9. He is minded to return to Virginia, where his son lives. As his son writes that Blair is not expected to live much longer, he asks the bishop for appointment as commissary.
282-3. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, May 12, 1739. Introducing --- Ford, master of the grammar school, who is returning on business relating to a fellowship that he holds in Oxford, and, being a deacon, is recommended for priest's orders. Colonists fear that threatened war with Spain will interrupt trade.
284-5. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, May 21, 1739. Introduces Ford. Informed of Wagener's application by his son, a lawyer in Virginia, he opposes it, though it is said to be supported by Gooch's friend, Colonel Bladen. Wagener is remembered in Virginia as a bad painter, rather than as a divine. He now has a living in Essex. Gooch strongly recommends Dawson as commissary. He is well liked in the colony and is married to a niece of John Randolph's.
286-7. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, May 29, 1740. Introducing Thomas Dawson, master of the Indian school, who is seeking orders. He was mostly educated in the college and trained in divinity by his brother William. Four vacancies have occurred recently, but are in process of being filled. George Robertson and Emmanuel Jones have died. John Becket and Robert Chaplin both resigned when under charges of fornication. Becket's parish is supplied by John Thomson, who came to Maryland but found no vacancy. --- Smith will probably be given Chaplin's. He had to resign his former parish because of lameness but can probably serve this, which is small and has only one church. Blair asks advice concerning Richard Hartwel, a deacon who seems to have left England hurriedly and has no licence.
288-9. William Dawson to Bishop Gibson, William and Mary, June 2, 1740. Introduces his brother and asks the bishop to authorize the payment of the bounty to himself, as he has never received it, though it has been paid to other clergy who came to non-parochial posts. He notes that he was educated under --- Wilkinson in Lowther, the bishop's birthplace, and at Queen's College, Oxford, which has elected him to a fellowship. If the bounty is granted, he wants it spent on a collection of religious books for the benefit of the Negroes and poor of the colony.
290. Vestry of Albermarle Parish to Bishop Gibson, June 19, 1740. Inform him that William Willie is now settled as their rector and entitled to the bounty.
291-2. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Oct. 11, 1740. The bishop's directions to the clergy arrived after a year's delay, as the boat carrying them grounded off New England. Blair recommends payment of the bounty to Willie. Death of Colonel Spottswood has caused Gooch to succeed to his military command, thus taking him from the colony. Blair thinks that he should become President in the governor's absence but, to avoid controversy, has yielded his claims pending a ruling from England.
293-4. Jonathan Gibson to Bishop Gibson, May 9, 1741. He has finally obtained a lucrative post, that of clerk to the County of Orange, but he credits it to John Carter, the Secretary, not to Governor Gooch.
295-6. William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Sept. 16, 1741. Recommends --- Scott for orders. He is the son of a planter with a substantial estate in the colony. Gooch has just returned from his expedition on which he was wounded. He thinks the wound saved his life, for, if he had not been confined, he thinks that he would have died 'by sickness' as many did.
297-8. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Sept. 17, 1741. In spite of what is said above (291-2) he speaks of having served as President for ten months in the governor's absence. He recommends --- Scot for orders, though there is at present no vacancy. A large parish is about to be divided and the new parish thus formed will receive Scot. He would have waited until this happened, but he has to return at this time to claim an inheritance in Scotland.
299-300. William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Oct. 5, 1741. He recommends --- Crystall for orders, though there is no vacancy. He is pretty sure that parishes will be available for both Crystall and Scot when they return. If not, some gentlemen have undertaken to provide for Crystall until he has a cure.
301-2. William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, Feb. 4. 1741/2. Introduces --- Maurie, a candidate for orders. His father, a French refugee, has a large estate. There are two parishes become vacant since Scot and Crystall were recommended (295-300) and a third will probably be vacant by the time Maurie returns.
303-4. James Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, Feb. 19, 1741/2. Recommends James Maury for orders. He is 24 years old and a graduate of the college.
305-6. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, May 10, 1743. Reports death of Blair and recommends appointment of William Dawson as commissary. He has been elected president of the college. Blair's parish remains vacant. A young clergyman, unnamed, employed as curate, died of smallpox. Blair suffered for forty years from a rupture but kept it secret from all but one acquaintance. He was 88 when he died. He left £500 and his books to the college, £1,000 each to his nephew's five children, and the residue, estimated at £5,000 to his nephew.
307-8. John Blair to Bishop Gibson, Williamsburgh, May 28, 1743. Reports death of his uncle, acknowledges receipt of letter and parcel of books addressed to his uncle, and quotes him as expressing, in his last illness, the hope that William Dawson would succeed him as commissary. William Dawson assisted Blair in Bruton Parish until a few months ago when he became rector of James City. Thomas Dawson, who assisted Blair after his brother's removal, has been elected rector of Bruton.
309. Copy of Bishop Gibson's appointment of William Dawson as commissary, July 18, 1743.
CustodialHistoryAlso cited as FP 12
CopiesMicrofilm: Lambeth Palace Library MS Film 757
PublnNoteFulham Papers XII ff. 290-2: "The correspondence of James Blair as acting governor of Virginia, 1740-1741", ed. J. C. Van Horne, 'The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography', vol. 84, no. 1 (Jan 1976), pp. 19-48 [Z664.L2 3.28].

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