By John K. Nelson
During this publication, John Nelson reconstructs daily Anglican spiritual perform and adventure in Virginia from the tip of the 17th century to the beginning of the yank Revolution. difficult past characterizations of the colonial Anglican institution as susceptible, he finds the basic position the church performed within the political, social, and fiscal in addition to the religious lives of its parishioners. Drawing on wide examine in parish and county documents and different fundamental resources, Nelson describes Anglican Virginia's parish process, its parsons, its rituals of worship and rites of passage, and its parishioners' diverse relationships to the church. All colonial Virginians--men and girls, 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 non secular services, the parish supplied crucial deal with the terrible, collaborated with the courts to address civil disputes, and exerted its impression over many different elements of neighborhood existence. A Blessed corporation demonstrates that, through creatively adapting Anglican parish association and the language, types, and modes of Anglican spirituality to the Chesapeake's certain environmental and human stipulations, colonial Virginians sustained a remarkably potent and devoted Anglican church within the outdated Dominion.
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Extra resources for A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776
43 Petitioners found a responsive House in the s, when it ordered ﬁve dissolutions ( percent), and in the s, when it agreed to ﬁfteen ( percent). Thereafter in the sixteen years leading up to the Revolution, the House generally held oﬀ petitioners and granted only six ( percent) of the thirty-two requests received. Vestry dissolutions had no uniform impact on membership. Extant vestry records make it possible to follow some, but by no means all, of the election results. 44 Elsewhere, in St.
16 Adjusting local institutions to demographic change posed a daunting problem compounded by Virginia’s reluctance to count its population. 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.
In the same session Lower Norfolk County was divided into Norfolk and Princess Anne Counties, again in an eﬀort to improve travel and communication. The following year, two new counties, Richmond and Essex, were created out of what had been Rappahannock County, and the Rappahannock River now became the boundary line between the two. 30 In the half-century following Nicholson’s recall, twelve parishes were dissolved. Denbigh and Mulberry Island in Warwick County, for example, were little more than ‘‘plantation’’ parishes that had sprung up about the sites of original settlements but over time failed to develop the population base essential for supporting a public ministry.
A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776 by John K. Nelson