RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
LevelFile
Alt Ref NoFP XIII
TitleVOLUME XIII: General Correspondence
Date1744-1760
DescriptionVIRGINIA
1-2. William Gooch to Bishop Gibson, May 24, 1744. Introducing --- Marshall, a candidate for orders.
3-4. William Dawson to --- Vestry, College, Nov. 12, 1744. Recommending William Kay of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, as their rector. Notation: 'From the Commissary to my first parish.'
5-6. List of counties, parishes, and ministers of Virginia, Dec. 15, 1744.
7-8. Charles Rose to (William Kay), Westmorel'd Court, Mar. 29, 1748. Offering aid and sympathy in his conflict with his vestry. Notation: 'From a neighbouring clergyman when I was in distress.'
9-10. Acts of Council, Apr. 14, 1747, and Nov. 1, 1748, permitting Samuel Davies a dissenting (Presbyterian) minister who has qualified by taking the oaths and subscribing to the test, to officiate in certain meeting houses identified by naming the persons on whose lands they are erected, or to be erected.
11-12. A portion of the vestry and some members of Lunenburg Parish to the vestry of the southernmost parish in Amelia County, Dec. 26, 1748. Attesting to character of William Kay, who is removing from one parish to the other and expressing disbelief in charges of lying, swearing, drunkenness, and uncleanness that have been made against him. Notation: 'A Letter I requested at my Departure signed by five of my Vestry and Some others.'
13. William Mackay to the vestry and other inhabitants of the southernmost parish of Amelia County, Richmond County, Dec. 31, 1748. Says that Kay was well esteemed in the parish until he fell into a dispute with some of the influential members of his vestry, largely, in Mackay's judgement, through the imprudence of his wife. Notation: 'A Character from a Neighbouring Clergyman when I left my first parish.'
14-15. H. Dunbar to the gentlemen of the southernmost parish in Amelia, Jan. 14, 1748/9. Expresses confidence in Kay's character and ability and attributes row to 'a barbarous bad wife' and 'a certain Colonel who wants to subvert the Kings Supremacy'.
16. John Andrews to Bishop Sherlock, Feb. 23, 1749. Reports his arrival and settlement in Cameron Parish, Fairfax County, under the patronage of Lord Fairfax. Has presented his credentials to Commissary William Dawson.
17-18. Governor William Gooch to Bishop Sherlock, Apr. 20, 1749. Congratulates him on his translation, informs him of his election as chancellor of William and Mary, and introduces an unnamed candidate for holy orders. Alludes to the bishop's having previously declined both archbishoprics.
19-20. Latin certificate of Bishop Sherlock's election as chancellor of William and Mary, May 5, 1749.
21-22. William Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, May 5, 1749. Informing him of his election as chancellor.
23-24. Act which passed the House of Burgesses, Apr. 28, 1749, and the Council, May 6, 1749. Continues salaries of clergy at 16,000 lb. tobacco, with cask and allowance of 4 per cent. for shrinkage. Requires a glebe to be set up in parishes that do not yet have one. Makes the clergy responsible for repairs. (Formerly provided by the parish. Cf. xii. 41-84.) Provides that right of presentation shall remain with the vestry for twelve months after commencement of a vacancy. Does not say what will happen in event of its lapsing.
25-26. William Gooch to ---, May 10, 1749. Says that Kay is leaving his former parish for the sake of peace and for no other reason. Notation: 'From Governor Gooch to my last Parish.'
27-28. William Dawson to Vestry of Cumberland Parish in Lunenburg, William and Mary College, May 10, 1749. Recommends Kay as successor to Brunskill, who has removed to Amelia. Says that he has, 'as far as appears, undeservedly incurred the Displeasure of some Gentlemen in Richmond'. Notation: 'A Letter from the Commissary to my last parish.'
29-30. William Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, July 11, 1749. Introduces Adam Menzies, a candidate for orders. Surprised that young Blacknall, who was designed for his father's parish, has misbehaved and given up all thought of the ministry. Another parish has been vacated by the death of --- Hindman and two other parishes have been divided. Is assured of the genuineness of William Douglass's title from --- Morell in Maryland. 'Northern gentlemen', having been bred Presbyterians, do not have as high a regard for the Church as they should. Oxford and Cambridge men are preferred. William and Mary has trained some clergy who are as good as any from home.
31-32. William Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary, Aug. 5, 1749. --- Jackson presented forged letters of orders to Dawson and disappeared when Dawson required him to leave the letters with him. Governor Gooch inserted a warning advertisement in the Virginia Gazette. Dawson recommends that persons coming from the colonies for orders be required to exhibit a valid title to the commissary before being recommended. He fears that college and Church will suffer a great loss in the departure of Governor Gooch.
33-34. William Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary, Oct. 16, 1749. Eleazar Robertson, ordained deacon and priest by the Bishop of Chester, came to Virginia to teach a school, but those who had contracted with him were unable to meet their commitments. He has applied for a parish and has been advised that he must have the bishop's licence.
35-36. Thomas Lee to Bishop Sherlock, Williamsburg, May 11, 1750. Asks the bishop's advice concerning Samuel Davies, who, since Governor Gooch's departure, has obtained additional licences to preach from some county courts. In stressing his desire to protect the Church, Lee says that his own father was instructed in its principles by Isaac Barrow in Cambridge.
37-38. William Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary, July 27, 1750. Acknowledges Bishop Sherlock's acceptance of the chancellorship. Notes that Archbishop Wake left the college £50 and that Archbishop Potter presented it with the works of St. Chrysostom and Clement of Alexandria, the latter in his own edition. He relates his own experience to illustrate procedure in regard to licensing. He waited on Bishop Gibson before he sailed, but, having been recommended to his professorship by Archbishop Potter, did not think it necessary to apply for a licence. When he found that he could not officiate in Virginia without one, he obtained one through the intercession of his uncle, Doctor Troughear (cf. xii. 140-1). He recommends a similar concession to Robertson (cf. 33-34.) The licence granted to Davies by a county court has been rescinded by the general court as exceeding the authority of the county court. Dawson regrets the spread of schism in a colony heretofore distinguished for uniformity in religion. Some improper persons have been sent to the colony as clergymen by others than the bishop. One bishop actually ordained a man who was ignorant of Latin. Acknowledges continuance as commissary. The bishop's letter on the earthquake has been reprinted here.
39-40. Extract from a letter of Samuel Davies to P. Doddridge, Oct. 2, 1750. Copy attested by Doddridge. Little dissent in the colony until about six years ago when Sam Morice, by independent reading, arrived at substantially orthodox Calvinism and collected a small group around him. After being served briefly by --- Robinson, they applied to the Synod of New York and Philadelphia, which was only able to send temporary supplies until two years ago, when Davies was appointed. Since his coming, he has organized seven meetings and would have an eighth, but the licence, granted by a county court, was rescinded by the general court. He complains that, though the Presbyterians have conformed to the requirements of the Toleration Act, the authorities try, in various ways, to restrict the freedom which it grants them. He has baptized about forty Negroes.
41-42. Bishop Sherlock to Doctor Doddridge, London, May 11, 1751 (draft, initialed by bishop). He holds that the Toleration Act, being designed to ease the consciences of those who could not conform, does not justify Davies in travelling about Virginia making proselytes. He uses some general strictures of Davies on the character of the clergy and laity in Virginia to point to the need for colonial bishops, mentioning his own efforts to secure them, and the opposition that came from New England.
43-44. P. Doddridge to Bishop Sherlock, Northampton, May 14, 1751. While he cannot be sure of what special circumstances there may be in Virginia, he believes that Davies's practice conforms to that followed in England. Dissenting places of worship are licensed on the application of three or more persons, including the occupant. Ministers ordained by the presbytery are licensed on conforming to the requirements of the act. If a licensed minister officiates in a licensed meeting-place, the legal requirements are held to be met. He agrees that it is unfair to deprive the Church of England of bishops in America. He holds that the New England opposition is the result of a fear of episcopacy inherited from their persecuted ancestors. As to the taxing of members of the Church of England in New England, he is not sure how far the status of the Congregational churches there is that of a genuine establishment, as of the Church of England and the Church of Scotland, but he has always acquiesced in the propriety of requiring dissenters to pay ecclesiastical taxes in England.
45-46. William Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, July 15, 1751. He has received a letter from the bishop by Mr. Menzies, but has failed to receive some others. Douglass told him that the bishop intended to send a letter by an elderly clergyman. He assumes that this is Doctor Spencer, who has gone to Maryland and who may have suppressed the letter because Dawson refused to recommend him for orders. He has held one commissarial court, but has doubts about the procedure. Under his predecessor (Blair) complaints against the clergy were heard by the governor and council sitting as a council of state. Question, Who has the right of patronage? is still undetermined. Fees listed.
47-48. William Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, Aug. 6, 1751. Though the Council has received a Delphic pronouncement from the Lords of Trade on the Davies case, addressed to the late president, Colonel Lee, the issue is still undecided. He quotes the act of 1642 which forbids officiating by anyone but a clergyman of the Church of England. Introduces Miles Selden, a candidate trained at the college, and renews his suggestion that candidates be required to present a valid title.
49-50. William Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, Feb. 10, 1752. Davies has shown him extracts of letters exchanged between Dawson and the bishop which Davies received from a friend in England. The governor is resolved to do everything in his power to support the Church.
51-60. Case of William Kay, clerk, v. William Degge, George Russell, and Thomas Russell from its inception, Apr. 10, 1747, to the appeal of the defendants to the King in Council. Transcript of the record certified by Governor Robert Dinwiddie and Benjamin Waller, Secretary, May 20, 1752. Kay prosecuted the defendants for trespass in intruding upon his glebe. The jury found them guilty, reserving the point of law whether or not a minister, received by a vestry, had the right to institute such an action. This was referred to the general court (governor and council) which decided for the plaintiff. In a statement accompanying the appeal they say that their decision was based on the established custom whereby a qualified and licensed clergyman was held to become the minister of the parish when received by the vestry on recommendation of the governor, and on the provision in the act of 1749 (23-24) which made the minister responsible for delapidations. This, they hold, would be an intolerable burden unless the minister is presumed to have de facto induction.
61-62. John Camm to Bishop Sherlock, York, June 4, 1752. Defends character of Kay, whom he has known since they were both at Trinity College, Cambridge, though Kay later transferred to Emmanuel. Decision in favour of Kay is reported to have been reversed in England. If true, this may have a disastrous effect on the clergy. The power of the vestries to appoint leads to a competition for desirable vacancies which results in some unworthy practices, such as canvassing for votes and disparagement of rivals. If the vestries gain the power to turn the clergy out, the clergy will become altogether subservient.
63-64. Governor Robert Dinwiddie to Bishop Sherlock, June 5, 1752. Surprised to discover, on coming into the government, that the clergy of Virginia were not inducted as in other colonies of which he has had experience. He holds that this situation, and in particular the provision of the act of 1749 (23-24) which provides a twelve-month right of presentation without specifying any qualification for the minister, violate the royal prerogative, the bishop's jurisdiction, and the governor's instructions. When Davies applied to him to license another church, the governor replied that no minister could properly care for seven churches (his present number) and that he could only be regarded as an itinerant. Davies countered by asking the governor to license --- Todd as an assistant, which he did. As Davies professed to regard himself as belonging to the Church of Scotland, Dinwiddie reminded him that that Church did not allow pluralism. A final paragraph, dated July 21, reports the sudden death of Commissary William Dawson of a violent fever and recommends the appointment of his brother Thomas.
65-66. William Robinson to William Dawson, June 11, 1750. Encloses £10 to aid Kay in pursuing his case but fears that enough cannot be raised by subscription and suggests a convention of the clergy.
67-70. William Kay to Bishop Sherlock, Williamsburg, June 14, 1752. Gives an account of his case. After being received in the parish of Lunenburg, Richmond County, he was dismissed when a hostile faction, led by Colonel Landon Carter, gained control of the vestry. He was locked out of both his churches. His followers broke into one, but he officiated in the open fields by the other for two years. The glebe was granted rent free to the defendants in his suit. As the damages were only £30 an appeal to England would not normally have been allowed, but Colonel Carter secured a special order permitting it.
71-76. William Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, Juné 17, 1752. Argues at length, with reference to the Davies case, that a dissenting teacher should be licensed for one church only.
77-78. John Blair to Bishop Sherlock, Williamsburgh, July 25, 1752. After reviewing, by way of introduction, his uncle's career and noting that he was his adopted son, he recommends the appointment of Thomas Dawson as commissary, to succeed his brother. It is hoped that he will also be made president of the college, but he has a strong rival in William Stith, formerly master of the grammar school. As Blair's recollections of the régimes of Nicholson and Spotswood show, it is important for the commissary to enjoy friendly relations with the governor, and he thinks that Dawson is more likely to do this than Stith. William Dawson had brought a widowed sister and her children to the colony shortly before his death.
79-80. Governor Robert Dinwiddie to Bishop Sherlock, Williamsburg, July 28, 1752, attached to another of Aug. 5, both urging the appointment of Dawson as commissary. The second letter notes that Stith won the election as president of the college by the casting vote of the rector. Robinson was also a candidate. Stith was supported by his former pupils in the grammar school but was accused by his opponents of being unorthodox and turbulent.
81-82. Duplicate of the first letter in (79-80) attached to a letter of July 21, announcing William Dawson's death.
83-84. Thomas Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, July 30, 1752. Encloses some papers of his brother's relating to the Davies affair. Is aware of the application made on his behalf and will be honoured to serve as commissary if the bishop desires.
85-86. John Blair to Bishop Sherlock, Williamsburgh, Aug. 15, 1752. Opposing appointment of William Stith as commissary. Stith is charged with being anti-Trinitarian because he omits the Athanasian Creed from his services.
87. A separate copy of the second letter in (79-80).
88-89. William Stith to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, Aug. 15, 1752. Announces his election as president, offers himself as commissary, and defends his Trinitarianism.
90-91. William Stith to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, Sept. 1, 1752. Again recommends himself as commissary.
92-93. John Sharpe to Bishop Sherlock, Lincoln's Inn, Nov. 24, 1752. He has secured a postponement of the hearing of the appeal in the Kay case in case the bishop wants to retain him to support Kay.
94-95. Thomas Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, Nov. 24, 1752. The bishop has declared his intention of appointing him commissary, but desires an explanation of his declining an appointment to the council as reported in a letter from the governor to --- Le Heupe. The bishop, in common with former governor Gooch, holds that the commissary should be on the council. Dawson says he will be glad to serve on the council as commissary, but declined the previous appointment to make way for Colonel Carter Burwell whose support he was seeking in the contest for the presidency.
96-98. Bishop Sherlock to (John Sharpe), Fulham, Nov. 25, 1752. (draft.) Thanks him for acting in the Kay case and encloses papers relating to it. Notes that the vestry is seeking to take advantage of its own negligence in not presenting Kay for induction. Thinks it hard that the appeal was allowed in the case at all. If it becomes a precedent, it will make it difficult for any but the wealthy to obtain justice in Virginia.
99-100. Governor Robert Dinwiddie to Bishop Sherlock, Williamsburgh, Dec. 10, 1752. Thanks the bishop for appointing Dawson as commissary. He still thinks that the law allowing vestries the right of presentation invades the Crown's right of patronage. He proposes some changes in the procedure of qualifying ministers.
101-2. John Sharpe to Bishop Sherlock, Dec. 14, 1752. He thinks the Kay case turns on the interpretation of the act of 1727 which, though since repealed, was in force when his action was started. He thinks that they can sustain the verdict if they are permitted to present the explanation of the governor and council concerning the local usage (51-60). Unfortunately this was not made a part of the record and the defence will oppose its admission.
103-5. Bishop Sherlock to (John Sharpe), Mar. 7, 1753. (draft) Offers some arguments relating to the Kay case.
106-7. William Stith to Bishop Sherlock, Apr. 21, 1753. Answering some admonitions from the bishop who apparently had been informed that he was campaigning against Governor Dinwiddie for opposing his appointment as commissary, he says that his opposition to the governor antedated the late commissary's death and was occasioned solely by the governor's exacting a fee of one pistole on every patent for new land that passed the seal. Holding this to be an illegal tax, Stith spoke against it, and started a toast which became popular, 'Liberty and Property and no Pistole'. He is sending two of his printed sermons and would send his history of Virginia, but he understands that Doctor Dawson formerly sent the bishop a copy of that.
108-9. John Sharpe to Bishop Sherlock, May 10, 1753. He encloses some printed copies of the case which he, the solicitor-general (William Murray), and --- Henley have prepared in the Kay case. He is surprised, in view of the great names attached to it, to find that the opposition case contains more personal abuse than argument.
110-11. John Sharpe to Bishop Sherlock, May 16, 1753. Reports that the Lords of the Committee have decided in Kay's favour and reported to the Crown, recommending that the judgement of the Virginia General Court (51-60) be sustained. Sharpe led for Kay, on behalf of the bishop, and was supported by the solicitor-general and Henley and Paris. All served without fee. Sharpe writes in haste as he is busy preparing for the morrow when Doctor Cameron is to be brought from the Tower for arraignment.
112-13. Catalogueds of letters from Bishop Sherlock to Sharpe and the other counsel, May 18, 1753. Thanking them for their services.
114-15. John Sharpe to Bishop Sherlock, May 22, 1753. Acknowledging his letter of thanks.
116-17. Thomas Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, July 23, 1753. He has not yet received the royal order to pay his stipend as commissary. He denied a letter of recommendation to --- Chisholm because of unfavourable reports respecting his character, but gave one to --- Andrew, though he thinks that the Scotch, bred Presbyterians, do not have a sufficient regard for the Church. Mentions the placement of several clergymen. The council has again refused to license an eighth church for Davies and Todd. Dawson would like to obtain a law to restrain dissent and another to regulate presentation and induction. He has hopes of getting the first, but the second will depend on pressure from home.
118-19. John Blair to Bishop Sherlock, Williamsburg, Jan. 25, 1754. Asks the bishop to support the appointment of Carter Burwell to the council, succeeding John Lewis, deceased, as Burwell lost the previous appointment because of the bishop's intervention on behalf of his commissary. Stith has become chaplain of the House of Burgesses and induced them to address the King against the pistole fee (cf. 106-7). Blair defends the fee, which he considers reasonable.
120-1. Governor Robert Dinwiddie to Bishop Sherlock, Williamsburgh, Jan. 29, 1753(4). Acknowledges report of outcome of Kay case and complains of Stith's opposition to the pistole fee.
122-3. Anonymous letter to Bishop Sherlock, Feb. 1, 1754. Writer, though professing to be a Churchman, commends Davies and Todd and attacks the learning and morals of the Church clergy. He names Mungo Marshal, George Purdie, Robert McLaurin, and John Andrew (a candidate) as being conspicuously ignorant. Purdie he also accuses of being immoral. Mentions settlement of dissenters from the northern colonies on the frontier and the growth of Deism.
124-7. Speech of Governor Robert Dinwiddie to the assembly, Feb. 16, 1754. Printed by William Hunter, Williamsburg, 1754. Having received reports from Major Washington that the French are fortifying the Ohio, Dinwiddie has summoned the assembly into special session to vote supplies. He has already assembled part of the militia and sent them to build a fort on the Forks of Monongahela and applied to other colonies for aid.
128-9. Thomas Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, Mar. 11, 1754. Thanks the bishop for his support of Kay. Kay's suit for his salary has been decided in his favour in the colonial courts. Though Dawson has the bishop's letter of appointment, he fears that he cannot exercise any jurisdiction or even convene the clergy without a formal commission. Only two or three conventions were held in Blair's time and only one, on occasion of the rebellion of 1746, under William Dawson, but writer thinks more frequent conventions would be desirable.
130-1. Thomas Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, July 28, 1754. Introduces Reverend --- Hotchkiss, returning, for reasons of health, after two years in Virginia. Refers to defeat of English forces by French and Indians.
132-61. Proceedings of a convention of the clergy held at the College of William and Mary, Oct. 30-31, 1754. They heard a speech by Commissary Dawson and, on his recommendation, adopted addresses to the King, the bishop, and the governor, and formulated a plan for the relief of widows and orphans of clergymen. They also petitioned the governor against an order in council excluding the clergy from commissions of the peace. Records of meetings of the trustees of the relief fund extending through 1757 are appended to the journal of the convention.
162-83. Copy of (132-61) with minor variations. Carries trustee meetings only through 1755. Includes a list of all counties, parishes and clergy.
184-5. Thomas Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, Nov. 15, 1754. Notes meeting recorded in (132-61). Paris sent the clergy a bill for £40 for his services in the Kay case. It has been paid. The general assembly has voted the governor a supply of £20,000. Dawson applauds the bishop's recently published discourses. Bishop has refused to ordain James Garden because he had no title from the governor. Dawson assures the bishop that the governor had promised to recommend Garden to a parish, but, having agreed to leave all ecclesiastical affairs to the commissary, had not thought it necessary to write the bishop directly. --- Townshend, a clergyman, has recently arrived with a recommendation from Sir Thomas Robinson, Secretary of State, but without the bishop's licence. Placement of some other clergy noted.
186-7. Thomas Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, June 10, 1755. Encloses (162-83) and recommends Joseph Davenport, a native of Virginia and graduate of the college, for orders. Notes a preference of the people for native clergy. Mentions death of --- Cole.
188. Robert Orme to Governor Dinwiddie, Fort Cumberland, July 18, 1755. (Copy.) Gives an account of Braddock's defeat, which he attributes to panic in the ranks, though the officers made heroic attempts to rally the men. Report delayed, because all the leading officers were killed or wounded. Orme proposes to withdraw to Philadelphia and winter there as soon as his wound is healed enough for him to move.
189. George Washington to Governor Dinwiddie, Fort Cumberland, July 18, 1755. (Copy.) Attributes the defeat to cowardly behaviour of the British regulars. 'Our poor Virginians behaved like Men and died like Soldiers.' He estimates that two-thirds of the 300 dead and 300 wounded were hit by balls from their own forces. He himself was unwounded, though he had four bullets through his coat and two horses shot from under him.
190-1. Governor Dinwiddie to (Colonel Dunbar), Williamsburg, July 26, 1760. (Copy.) Urges him, as commander of the remaining forces, to attempt to retrieve the defeat. Promises to raise some additional militia, and thinks that the northern campaigns of Gen. Shirley and Colonel Johnson will weaken the French on the Ohio.
192-3. Governor Dinwiddie to Gen. Shirley, Williamsburg, July 27, 1753. (Copy.) Urges the proposal of (190-1) for a new advance. If Shirley does not approve of this, the governor hopes that he will at least order Colonel Dunbar to remain to defend the Virginia frontier.
194-5. Thomas Dunbar to Governor Dinwiddie, Fort Cumberland, Aug. 1, 1755. (Copy.) He held a council of war with the surviving officers on the governor's proposal (190-1), and it was held to be impracticable. He is retiring on Philadelphia, leaving the Virginia and Maryland militia to hold Fort Cumberland. He will leave one of the independent companies at Winchester to await the governor's orders.
196-7. Governor Robert Dinwiddie to Bishop Sherlock, Williamsburg, Aug. 11, 1755. His dispute with the burgesses (over the pistole fee? Cf. 106-7) has been settled by the King, and all is harmony internally, but they have met with a serious defeat from the French and their Indian allies. Introduces James Marye, a candidate for orders. He fears that the law concerning presentation could only be repealed by a royal mandate.
198-201. Thomas Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, Aug. 13, 1755. He has received a letter from the bishop by the hand of --- Davis, who arrived after a protracted voyage. It spoke of the bishop's ill health and contained instructions concerning the recommendation of candidates for orders. Introduces James Marye, Junior, a graduate of the college and former tutor in the family of Colonel Byrd, who has a title as curate to his father. Davenport was recommended just before the bishop's instructions were received. Dawson has received the order for his salary. He praises Dinwiddie's action in the crisis but criticizes Colonel Dunbar for going into winter quarters in summer and leaving the frontier unguarded. The New Lights seemed to be declining, but have revived since Davies's return.
202-9. Some of the clergy of Virginia to Bishop Sherlock, Nov. 29, 1755. Complain of an act recently passed permitting the payment of tobacco debts in currency at a rate below its current market value, which has the effect of reducing their salaries. Occasioned by a poor tobacco crop as the result of a drouth the bill is also defended by those who believe that indigo is about to become a profitable crop, partly replacing tobacco.
210-11. Copies of the former act regulating clerical salaries and of the new law.
212-19. Another protest against the same law signed by a number of other clergymen, Feb. 26, 1756.
220-1. Thomas Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, Feb. 25, 1756. He has been elected president of the college on the death of Stith. He opposed the new law in council and the governor was reluctant to sign it, but was told that his rejection of it would inflame the whole colony against the clergy and him. The bill really aids the rich more than the poor. The poor usually pay their dues early, in tobacco of their own raising, but the rich wait until the last minute and then purchase inferior tobacco to make their payments. The currency equivalent is higher than the clergy formally received, but Dawson thinks it a dangerous precedent to break in on the existing establishment. Many of the clergy wanted him to call a convention but, as a lover of peace, he prefers this private communication.
222-3. Action of governor and council at meetings held Apr. 21, May 19, and May 20, 1757. Hearing complaints of the vestry of Hamilton Parish, Prince William County, against their rector, John Brunskill, for drunkenness, swearing, 'immoral practices', and neglect of duty, and finding him guilty, they held that the governor's 81st instruction gave him power to remove an unworthy clergyman.
224-5. Duplicate of (222-3).
226. Governor Dinwiddie to the vestry of Hamilton Parish, Williamsburg, May 20, 1757. Orders them no longer to receive Brunskill as their minister.
227. Minute of a meeting of the visitors and governors of the College of William and Mary, May 20, 1757. They vote to discharge Thomas Robinson from his post as master of the grammar school, on the ground of physical incapacity, and to petition the bishop to recommend a successor.
228-35. Thomas Robinson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, June 30, 1757. Protests at his dismissal. His alleged incapacity was a temporary illness from which he had recovered at the time of the meeting. He believes that their professed objection to having a clergyman as master arises from a belief that a layman would be more completely under their domination as having less resource in the event of dismissal. He says that the dispute really started in a controversy over the disciplining of an usher with important family connections. Four professors, William Preston, Richard Graham, John Camm, and Emmanuel Jones, sign a statement saying that they believe Robinson's statement to be correct.
236-7. Thomas Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, July 9, 1757. The proceeding against Brunskill (222-6) was instituted after Dawson had informed the governor that, lacking a commission, he could not exercise any jurisdiction. The clergy were alarmed by this establishment of a lay authority over them, though there were precedents in Blair's time, and wanted Dawson to call a convention, which he would have done but for the threat of war, the fear of controversy, the heat of the season, and doubt of his authority. A commission from the bishop would end the difficulty.
238-9. Thomas Dawson to Bishop Sherlock, William and Mary College, July 9, 1757. Since he wrote (236-7) he has been sent a copy of a notice in Brunskill's handwriting several copies of which he has posted, citing canon 122 and declaring his belief that the governor's order was a forgery. The governor and Dawson think that he must have been put up to the action by others as he himself is almost constantly drunk. The vestry of St. Andrew's, Brunswick, have made complaints against their minister, George Purdie.
240-1. Governor Dinwiddie to Bishop Sherlock, Williamsburgh, Sept. 12, 1757. He recounts the proceedings against Brunskill and justifies them in the absence of a commission to the commissary. He accuses Robinson (cf. 228-35) and the professor of philosophy, unnamed, who has resigned, of drunkenness and irregularity. They married and kept their families at the college, contrary to the rules. When this was stopped, they moved into the town and spent more time at home than at the college. Some of the clergy held an unofficial convention, but only nine attended, including the college professors. These have become hostile to Dawson. They refused to supply his pulpit when he was sick and have ceased from attending church in Williamsburg. Many people, in disgust with conditions in the college, are sending their sons to Philadelphia.
242-3. Minutes of meetings of Visitors and Governors of the College of William and Mary, Nov. 1, Nov. 4, Nov. 11, and Dec. 14, 1757. They dismissed the three remaining professors, Camm, Graham, and Jones, for refusing to explain why they had discharged James Hubbard, an usher in the grammar school. Their refusal was based on the contention that the direction of the grammar school rested solely with the president and masters of the college.
244-5. A list of all counties, parishes, and present ministers of Virginia, Jan. 4, 1758.
246-7. Address of the clergy of Virginia to the King, signed by John Camm as agent for the convention. Undated, but enclosed with (248-9). Protest against a law lately passed permitting the payment of their salaries in currency.
248-9. John Pownall, Secretary to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, to Bishop Sherlock, Whitehall, May 24, 1759. Transmitting (246-7) and a copy of the law in question to him for comment.
250-1. Bishop Sherlock to the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, Fulham, June 14, 1759. He holds that the act, by curtailing the operation of an act approved by the King, without formally repealing it, is treasonable. Virginia, until recently distinguished for loyalty to Church and Crown, has become increasingly refractory in recent years. He traces the beginning to an act which is evidently (23-24) but which he speaks of as being passed in 1748.
252-7. Copy of (250-1) in a larger hand.
258-63. Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations to the King, Whitehall, July 4, 1759. They recommend the disallowance of the act. They refer to the earlier act (23-24) as passed in 1749. --- Paris represented Camm, as agent for the clergy, and --- Abercrombie appeared as agent for the colony in their hearings.
264-5. Copy of (258-63) in smaller hand.
266-71. Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations to the King, July 31, 1759. Since submitting (258-63) they have received a petition from the merchants of London trading with Virginia, a copy of which is attached, complaining of the same act as violating contracts on which payment in tobacco had been specified.
272-3. Record of the meeting of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, Council Chamber, Whitehall, Aug. 3, 1759. Recommend the disallowance of the act of 1758 and three earlier acts designed to secure the same object--the substitution of currency for tobacco in payments.
274-5. Court at Kensington, Aug. 10, 1759. The foregoing acts are disallowed.
276-7. Additional instruction to Francis Fauquier, Governor of Virginia, given at Court at Kensington, Sept. 21, 1759. He is instructed, under pain of royal displeasure and recall from his government, to observe strictly previous instructions not to approve any act in force for less than two years, or any act repealing a former law, unless it contains a suspensory clause witholding its operation until the royal pleasure is known.
278-9. Petition of the clergy, signed by John Camm as agent, to the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, Aug. 3, 1760. They request that the disallowance of the foregoing acts (272-3) be made retroactive to the date of their passage. Otherwise the assembly can achieve its objective by the passage of laws of temporary operation.
280-1. Duplicate of (278-9).
282-3. Duplicate of (278-9).
284-7. Proceedings of Visitors and Governors of William and Mary College at meetings Mar. 31, 1760, Apr. 25, 26, and 30, May 2, and Aug. 14, 1760. Signed by Francis Fauquier, rector. --- Rowe, professor of philosophy, on confession of drunkenness and swearing, was admonished but retained on promise of reform. When he subsequently led the students in a riot with the apprentices, and presented a pistol to John Campbell and Peyton Randolph, magistrates seeking to maintain the peace, he was dismissed.
288-93. William Robinson to Bishop Sherlock, York River, Nov. 20, 1760. Camm was grossly insulted by the governor when he returned with the disallowance and the additional instruction (274-7). Robinson encloses some pamphlets attacking the clergy and the council and endeavours to answer some of their arguments.
CustodialHistoryAlso cited as FP 13
CopiesMicrofilm: Lambeth Palace Library MS Film 758
PublnNoteFulham Papers XIII ff. 41-2: Stephen Taylor, "Archbishop Potter and the Dissenters", 'Yale University Library Gazette', vol. 67 (April 1993) [H5198.P6Y2]

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