New PDF release: A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in

By John K. Nelson

ISBN-10: 0807826634

ISBN-13: 9780807826638

ISBN-10: 0807875104

ISBN-13: 9780807875100

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. tough 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 huge examine in parish and county documents and different fundamental assets, Nelson describes Anglican Virginia's parish method, its parsons, its rituals of worship and rites of passage, and its parishioners' assorted relationships to the church. All colonial Virginians--men and ladies, wealthy and negative, 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 monetary dictates. as well as its non secular features, the parish supplied crucial take care of the negative, collaborated with the courts to address civil disputes, and exerted its impression over many different features of neighborhood existence. A Blessed corporation demonstrates that, by way of creatively adapting Anglican parish association and the language, types, and modes of Anglican spirituality to the Chesapeake's targeted environmental and human stipulations, colonial Virginians sustained a remarkably powerful and trustworthy Anglican church within the previous Dominion.

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

Example text

6 To assume that knowledge of the parish on one side of the Atlantic suffices for understanding it on the other, then as now invites confusion. Influencing the fashioning of Virginia parishes were the selective nature of migration, the development of tobacco as a staple crop and the resultant radical dispersal of population, the virtual absence of villages or  Map . Virginia parishes (italics) and counties (capitals), ca.  towns, the sizable unfree labor force, the inability of England’s ecclesiastical authorities to extend normal diocesan supervision, the disjunctive and disruptive effects of the Civil War and the Glorious Revolution at home, and the substantial measure of political autonomy exercised in the emerging colony.

Nonetheless, of the colony’s seventy-six parishes in , twenty-two ( percent) whose origins antedated  had totally selfperpetuating vestries. For another nineteen parishes ( percent), formed after , the only election was the initial selection of vestrymen. Thus, for slightly more than half of Virginia’s parishes ( percent), self-perpetuation was operative throughout the period. On the other hand, recurring new parish formation and vestry dissolutions provided thirty-five parishes with additional though irregular opportunities to make choice of vestrymen.

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 . John Smith Sr. was present at seventy-three of seventy-eight meetings ( percent) between  and . 31 Eighteenth-century Virginia vestries were remarkably stable bodies. 32 One consequence of new parish formation was that it steadily enlarged office-holding opportunities for Virginia planters.

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A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776 by John K. Nelson

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