Download A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in by John K. Nelson PDF

By John K. Nelson

ISBN-10: 0807826634

ISBN-13: 9780807826638

During this ebook, John Nelson reconstructs daily Anglican spiritual perform and event in Virginia from the tip of the 17th century to the beginning of the yankee Revolution. demanding earlier characterizations of the colonial Anglican institution as vulnerable, he finds the elemental position the church performed within the political, social, and monetary in addition to the non secular lives of its parishioners. Drawing on large study in parish and county documents and different basic assets, Nelson describes Anglican Virginia's parish process, its parsons, its rituals of worship and rites of passage, and its parishioners' various relationships to the church. All colonial Virginians--men and ladies, wealthy and bad, old and young, planters and retailers, servants and slaves, dissenters and freethinkers--belonged to a parish. As such, they have been topic to its levies, its authority over marriage, and different social and financial dictates. as well as its spiritual services, the parish supplied crucial take care of the bad, collaborated with the courts to deal with civil disputes, and exerted its impression over many different elements of neighborhood existence. A Blessed corporation demonstrates that, via creatively adapting Anglican parish association and the language, varieties, and modes of Anglican spirituality to the Chesapeake's specified environmental and human stipulations, colonial Virginians sustained a remarkably potent and trustworthy Anglican church within the previous Dominion.

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Extra resources for A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776

Sample text

Eleven ( percent) served thirty years or more each. 29 Matthew Kemp, William Skipwith, Edmund Berkeley, Christopher Robinson, and Henry Thacker, who served , , , , and  years respectively, joined the vestry as young men. 30 How active were these long-term vestrymen? Ten whose service exceeded thirty years each in Christ Church Parish (Middlesex) participated regularly in vestry meetings. Matthew Kemp, for example, attended sixty of ninety-two meetings ( percent) between  and .

Although Virginia was the most populous of Britain’s mainland North American colonies, no censuses were taken between  and . 17 But enlargement of the parish-county system proceeded anyway. 19 Several observations are in order. First, parish formation strove to keep  .  pace with population growth. In , Virginia’s forty-seven parishes served an estimated population of ,, an average of , persons per parish. If the parish was intended primarily, although not exclusively, for its white inhabitants, then the mean per parish in  was  persons.

The journals of the House of Burgesses provide graphic evidence of the persistence of parish issues. 24 Seventeenth-century parish creation reflected conditions peculiar to early settlement, including a powerful sense of rivers as life-sustaining and unifying. Once the Jamestown beachhead had been secured and experimentation with tobacco had demonstrated its potential, population dispersed rapidly along the banks of the major rivers and then along their tributaries. The James, York, Rappahannock, and Potomac Rivers drew settlers on, afforded means of communication, and provided unobstructed access to ocean-going shipping.

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