« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
whom have now (Anno Domini 1779) male issue. Joseph's male issue is extinct. General George Washington is his grandson, by his youngest daughter, Mary. Colonel Burgess Ball is the only child of Jeduthun, who was the third and youngest son of James, the third son of said William." On the tombstones around the church there is no inscription of the first William Ball or any of his children, but only of his grandchildren and other descendants. The first is over the grave of David Ball, seventh son of Captain William Ball, who was born in 1686. The others are the tombstones of Mildred Ball, Jeduthun Ball, Mary Ann Ball, daughter of the Rev. John Bertrand, of Jesse Ball, of Mary Ball, daughter of Edwin Conway, of James Bal), her husband, of William Ball, “who died in a steadfast faith in Christ and full hope of a joyful resurrection," of James Ball and Fanny, his wife, daughter of Raleigh, and Frances Downman, of Lettuce, third wife of James Ball, and daughter of Richard Lee, of Ditchley, of Colonel James Ball, of James Ball, second son of James and Mary.
P.S.-Since the above was written I have received a communication from a friend who has looked into the earliest records of Lancaster county, when Middlesex and Lancaster were one. They go back to 1650. A few years after this, in the absence of a vestry, the court appointed the Rev. Samuel Cole the minister of the whole county on both sides of the river. This is the same minister who appears on the vestry-book of Middlesex in the year 1664. The court also appointed church wardens and sidesmen, as in the English Church, on both sides of the river. They were John Taylor, William Clapham, John Merryman, Edmund Lurin, George Kibble, and William Leech. Other names also appear on the records. as Thomas Powell, Cuthbert Powell, Edward Digges, W. Berkeley, Robert Chewning, Henry Corbyn, David Fox, John Washington, of Westmoreland. In the year 1661, a general vestry is formed, and Mr. John Carter, Henry Corbyn, David Fox, and William Leech, are appointed to take up subscriptions for the support of the minister. They were chosen from each side of the river. An instance is recorded at this early period of a man being fined five thousand pounds of tobacco by the court for profane swearing.
In the year 1685, we find John Chilton fined, and required to appear four times on his bended knees, and ask pardon each time, for a misdemeanour committed in their presence.
In the year 1699, we find that none are allowed to be teachers of youth except such as are commissioned by the Bishop of London, and, in the same year, that inquiries were ordered as to any reli.
gious meetings except those of the Established Church. These things were under the mild reign of the amiable Governor Nicholson. In the year 1727, we find presentments for being absent from church one month and two months, for swearing, for selling crawfish and posting accounts on Sunday.
In addition to the above, it may be stated that the county records, as well as vestry-books, show that the family of Balls was very active in promoting good things. At an early period of our history, it is stated that a measure was set on foot for educating a number of Virginia youths for the ministry, in order to a larger and better supply. It would appear from the county records that this measure originated, in 1729, with Mr. Joseph Ball, of Lancaster. The following is the entry :
“ A proposition of Joseph Ball, gentleman, in behalf of himself and the rest of the inhabitants of Virginia, directed to the Honourable the General Assembly, concerning the instructing a certain number of young gentlemen, Virginians born, in the study of divinity, at the county's charge, was this day presented in court by the said Joseph Ball, and on his prayer ordered to be certified to the General Assembly.”
This Joseph Ball married a Miss Ravenscroft, of England, and settled in London as practitioner of law. He had only one daughter, Fanny, who married Raleigh Downman in 1750. Her children were Joseph Ball Downman, of Moratico, Fanny, who married Colonel James Ball, of Bewdley, and Mr. Raleigh W. Downman, of Belle-Isle. This Joseph Ball was the uncle of General Washington. I have before me two letters from him, the one addressed to his sister Mary, and the other to his nephew George Washington, from which I take the following passages. The first is to his sister, when her son was thinking of going to
It is dated Stratford-by-Bow, 19th of May, 1747 :
“I understand that you are advised and have some thoughts of putting your son George to sea. I think he had better be put apprentice to a tinker, for a common sailor before the mast has by no means the common liberty of the subject; for they will press him from a ship where he has fifty shillings a month and make him take twenty-three, and cut and slash and use him like a negro, or rather like a dog. And, as to any considerable preferment in the navy, it is not to be expected, as there are always so many gaping for it here who have interest, and he has none. And if he should get to be master of a Virginia ship, (which it is very difficult to do,) a planter that has three or four hundred acres of land and three or four slaves, if he be industrious, may live more comfortably, and leave his family in better bread, than such a master of a ship can. He must not be too hasty to be rich, but go on gently and with patience,
is things will naturally go. This method, without aiming at being a fine gentleman before his time, will carry a man more comfortably end surely through the world than going to sea, unless it be a great chance indeed. I pray God keep you and
To his nephew he writes thus after Braddock's defeat:
• STRATFORD, 5th of September, 1755. “Good COUSIN :- It is a sensible pleasure to me to hear that you
have behaved yourself with such a martial spirit, in all your engagements with the French, nigh Ohio. Go on as you have begun, and God prosper you. We have heard of General Braddock's defeat. Everybody blames his rash conduct. Everybody commends the courage of the Virginians and Carolina men, which is very agreeable to me. I desire you, as you may have opportunity, to give me a short account how you proceed. I am your mother's brother. I hope you will not deny my request. I heartily wish you good success, and am
"Your loving uncle,
“ Joseph BALL" “ To MAJOR GEORGE WASHINGTON, “At the Falls of Rappahannock, or elsewhere, in Virginia.
* Please direct for me at Stratford-by-Bow, nigh London."
A few words concerning a minister and church of another de nomination will close my notices of Lancaster.
The county of Lancaster was the scene of the early labours of the Rev. Mr. Waddell, the blind Presbyterian preacher who is so feelingly described by Mr. Wirt, in the British Spy. At a time when disaffection toward the Established Church was spreading through Virginia, and great numbers were leaving it, Mr. Waddell, by his talents, zeal, and piety, gathered two congregations in this county. One of the churches was near the court-house. The zraveyard, in its ruins, is the only relic of the establishment of that denomination in Lancaster county. About fifty years since, the church shared the same fate with those of the Establishment which have now passed away. The two acres of land on which it stood, and beneath which are the remains of numerous adherents to that denomination, has ever been regarded as sacred. of ooks, sycamores, pines, and other trees shaded the hillocks and some tombstones which were spread over the surface of the earth, which was carpeted with a covering of green grass. It was, I am told, a favourite resort to the people of the village and country around,—to the young as a play-ground, to the old as a scene of contemplation. I recently visited the spot, but found it no longer a scene for the young or old, the gay or the grave. Nearly every
A grove tree was gone, having been, within a year or two, cut down and converted into cord-wood and sold to the steamboats. Nothing is now to be seen but stumps and piles of dead branches, which hide not only the hillock-graves, but the few tombstones which were once to be seen. Young cedars are everywhere putting forth their shoots, and in a few years it will be with this spot as with many like it in Virginia,-it must be so hidden from the view that it will be difficult for any ecclesiastical antiquary to discover the spot where Mr. Waddell once proclaimed the Gospel of Christ. Rumour says that, in the absence of any member of the Church near at hand, application was made to some Presbyterian ininisters at a distance, and leave granted to do something to this interesting spot which has resulted in such utter desolation.
Parishes in Northumberland County.- Wycomico and St.
NORTHUMBERLAND county, lying on the bay and the Great Potomac, was partially settled at an early period. In the year 1616, during the government of Sir William Berkeley, we find the following Act of Assembly :—“Whereas, the inhabitants of Chicawane, alias Northumberland, being members of this Colony, have not hitherto contributed toward the charges of the war, [with the Indians,] it is now thought fit that the said inhabitants do make payment of the levy according to such rates as are by this present Assembly assessed. ... And in case the said inhabitants shall refuse or deny payment of the said levy, as above expressed, that, upon report thereof to the next Assembly, speedy course shall then be adopted to call them off from the said Plantation.” It had in the previous year been allowed a Burgess, in Mr. John Matram. In the following year Mr. William Presley was the delegate. In the year 1648, we find the following Act:—“That the ninth Act of Assembly of 16-17, for the reducing of the inhabitants of Chickcoun and other parts of the neck of land between Rappahannock and Potomacke Rivers be repealed, and that the said tract of land be hereafter called and known by the name of the county of Northumberland.” In the year 1649, it is declared “that the inhabitants on the south side of the Potomacke [Potomac) shall be included, and are hereafter to be accounted within the county of Northumberland.” In the year 1653, the bounds of Northumberland are reduced by the establishment of Westmoreland county, which was made to extend “from Matchoactoke River, where Mr. Cole lives, and so upward to the falls of the great river Potomacke above the Necostins town;" that is, above what is now Georgetown, in the District of Columbia. In the year 1673, the boundary-line between
Lancaster and Northumberland is settled, according to an order of • the Assembly, by Colonel John Washington, (the first settler, and great-grandfather of General Washington,) Captain John Lee, William Traveson, William Moseley, and R. Beverley. While we