By John K. Nelson
During this ebook, John Nelson reconstructs daily Anglican spiritual perform and adventure in Virginia from the top of the 17th century to the beginning of the yank Revolution. tough prior characterizations of the colonial Anglican institution as susceptible, he finds the elemental function 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 files and different basic resources, 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 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 fiscal dictates. as well as its non secular capabilities, the parish supplied crucial take care of the negative, collaborated with the courts to address civil disputes, and exerted its impact over many different points of group lifestyles. A Blessed corporation demonstrates that, by means of creatively adapting Anglican parish association and the language, varieties, and modes of Anglican spirituality to the Chesapeake's certain environmental and human stipulations, colonial Virginians sustained a remarkably powerful and trustworthy Anglican church within the outdated Dominion.
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Additional resources for A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776
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. By , , Virginians were distributed among ﬁfty-three parishes, an average of , persons per parish. But half of the population increase after was accounted for by the importation of African slaves; thus the parish average of the white population in stood at , persons.
Between and the General Assembly established ﬁfty-seven new parishes. In addition, it repeatedly authorized minor adjustments of parish boundaries to accommodate population shifts and environmental obstacles other than rivers. 38 What impelled vestries and parishioners to push for change, particularly since increased local taxes were the most immediate consequences? One behavioral clue appears in the correlation between the number of tithables and a decision to divide. St. Mark’s Parish (in Orange County until and thereafter in Culpeper) underwent three divisions between and .
If parish authorities lost touch with parishioners, trouble inevitably ensued, as John Austin made plain in his outburst. Across the parishes of Virginia John Austins kept a watchful eye on their vestrymen and county justices and were prepared to take action if the need arose. 60 What is most striking about local lay control and more often than not unacknowledged was its remarkable sense of responsibility in ensuring that Anglican worship—in form and substance— prevailed everywhere in the colony.
A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776 by John K. Nelson