Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

his ministry that the consecration of the church took place. On the 22d of July following, the Rev. Charles Goodrich, Deacon, was chosen as rector of this and Lamb's Creek Churches, and entered on his duties on the 1st of October, 1837. Of his services among us I need only say his praise is on all our lips, and the love of him fills all our hearts. He left us at the end of a year for New Orleans, where he has been faithfully labouring in his Master's cause. From October, 1838, to the fall of 1810, we were without the regular services of the Church. Repeated unavailing attempts were made to secure them, and in the mean time our kind and good neigh. bour, the Rev. William Friend, as he always has done in our need, would come among us and minister to us, as his convenience would allow or cir. cumstances might require. On the 26th of June, 1810, the Rev. John Martin, now of Maryland, was elected, and continued as minister of this parish and Washington parish, in Westmoreland, until July, 1814, when he resigned, and was succeeded by the Rev. Lewis Walke, Deacon. Difficulty in maintaining a minister in conjunction with other parishes having become manifest, it was determined to endeavour to do so ourselves, and Mr. Walke's services were obtained for our parish exclusively, and he continued to officiate for us most faithfully until the summer of 1818, when the parish was again vacant until the fall of 1851, when the Rev. B. B. Leacock took charge of it, and we were favoured with his valuable services for one year, when he resigned, owing to ill health, as well as with a view to a mission to Africa, and was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph A. Russell, our present rector. Of the glebes I can only say they were sold after the death of the last incumbent, Mr. Parsons, and as much of the proceeds of the sales as was needful were appropriated as before referred to,—the re. mainder being now a fund in the hands of a board of school-commissioners for the county, to aid in a system of education established under a late Act of the Legislature. The earliest notice of the plate of this parish is an entry on the vestry-book as follows :-On the 4th day of June, 1802, the following articles of church-plate belonging to this parish,-viz.: one large silver can, a silver chalice and bread-plate, —were deposited in the care of Mr. John Parsons, the then incumbent. *Signed,

TOWNSEND DADE, Warden.'

These same articles of plate are now in possession of the parish, and I am sure are familiar to you. They had been, at some period prior the above date, the gift of Colonel Henry Fitzhugh, of Stafford, in this county, as appears from the following inscription on each piece:-“Given by Henry Fitzhugh, of Stafford county, St. Paul's parish, Gent., for the use of your church.” There are also a large Bible and Prayer-Book belonging to the parish. The first has the following inscription in gilt letters on the back :“Given for the use of the church in St. Paul's parish, by the Rev. Wm. Stuart, rector of the same, 1762.” It is a Cambridge edition, appointed by his Majesty's special command to be read in churches, “Cum privilegiis," and its dedication is, “To our most high and mighty Prii. e James, by the grace of God King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, the translators of the

Bible wish grace, mercy, and peace, through our Lord Jesus
Christ.” The inscription on the Prayer-Book is, “Presented to
St. Paul's Church, King George county, by Miss Jane S. Parke,
1831.” Miss Parke was great grand-daughter to the Rev. William
Stuart, the former rector.

P.S.--Since the foregoing was written, the Rev. Mr. Russell has left the parish, and the Rev. Mr. Stuart has taken his place.

The following is the list of vestrymen of this parish from the year 1720 to the present time:

Richard Bernard, John Hove, Richard Foote, Captain John Alexander, Captain Baldwin Dade, Colonel Henry Fitzhugh, Jerard Fowke, John Stith, Cadwallader Dade, John Stewart, John Alexander, Jr., Francis Thornton, John Washington, Thomas Pratt, Thomas Bunbury, (Thomas Stribling, reader,) Henry Fitzhugh, Jr., Wm. Fitzhugh, Wm. Fitzhugh, Jr., Samuel Washington, Laurence Washington, Townsend Dade, in the place of Samuel Washington, who removed in 1770; John Berryman, in 1771, in place of William Fitzhugh, removed out of the county; Robert Washington, Andrew Grant, Robert Stith, W. G. Stuart, William Blooe, Daniel Fitzhugh, Wm. Thornton, Wm. Stith, Henry Fitzhugh, Robert Yates, Wm. Stork, Wm. Quarles, Thomas Short, Benjamin Grymes, Thomas Washington, Rice W. Hove, John B. Fitzhugh, John Waugh, Langhorne Dade, William Stone, Henry A. Ashton, Charles Stuart, J. K. Washington, Abraham B. Hooe, J. J. Stuart, William F. Grymes, Charles Massey, J. Queensbury, Robert Chesley, Needam Washington, Alexander Keech, Francis C. Fitzhugh, B. 0. Tayloe, Thomas Smith, Dr. Robert Parsons, G. B. Alexander, Henry Mustin, Gustavus B. Alexander, Hezekiah Potts, T. L. Lomax, Jacob W. Stuart, Henry T. Washington, Drury B. Fitzhugh, Benjamin R. Grymes, John T. Wash ington, W. E. Stuart, M. Tenent.

[ocr errors]

AN ACCOUNT OF THE FITZHUGH FAMILY; ESPECIALLY OF THE

FIRST ANCESTOR, WILLIAM FITZHUGI. The Fitzhugh family is a very ancient and honourable one in England. Some of its members were high in office and favour during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The name is a combination of the two names Fitz and Hugh. Sometimes one, sometimes the other, would precede, until at length they were united in Fitzhugh. The first who settled in this country was William Fitzhugh. His father was a lawyer in London, and himself of tiiat profession. He settled in Westmoreland county, Virginia, when a young man, and married a Miss Tucker, of that county. born in the year 1650, and died in 1701. lle left five sons,-William, Henry, Thomas, George, and John,-between whom, at his death, he divided 54,054 acres of land in King George, Stafford, and perhaps Essex. IIis sons and their descendants owned the

He was

seais called Eagle-nest and Bedford in King George, and Bellaire and Boscobel in Stafford. He had one daughter named Rosamond, who married Colonel Oberton, of Westmoreland, but died without issue. His son William married Miss Lee, of Westmoreland. Henry married Miss Cooke, of Gloucester. Thomas and George married daughters of Colonel George Mason, of Stafford, and John, Miss McCarty, of Westmoreland. From these have sprung all the families of Fitzhughs in Virginia, Maryland, and Western New York. The Rev. Robert Rose married Ann, the daughter of Henry Fitzhugh, of Eagle-nest, in the year 1740. She lived to the year 1789, surviving her husband thirty-five years. There are some things in the life and character of the father of this large family of Fitzhughs worthy to be mentioned for the benefit and satisfaction of his posterity. I draw them from his pious and carefullywritten will, and from a large manuscript volume of his letters, a copy

of which was some years since gotten from the library of Cambridge, Massachusetts, by one of his descendants, and which is now in the rooms of the Historical Society of Virginia.

It appears that he was, during the period that he exercised his profession, an eminent and most successful lawyer, and published in England a work on the laws of Virginia. He was much engaged in the management of land-causes for the great landholders, whether residing in England or America. He was counsellor for the celebrated Robert Beverley, the first of the name, and who was perse cuted and imprisoned for too much independence. He transacted business for, and purchased lands from, Lord Culpepper, when he held a grant from King Charles for all Virginia. In all these transactions he appears to have acted with uprightness and without covetousness, for in his private letters to his friends he speaks of being neither in want nor abundance, but being content and happy; though before he died he acquired large tracts of lands at a cheap rate. The true cause of this was his being a sincere Christian. This appears from his letters to his mother and sister, to whom he remitted pecuniary assistance according to his ability, increasing it as his ability increased. The following brief letter to his mother in the year 1694 will exhibit his filial and pious disposition:

a

God's grace

“DEAR MOTHER :—I heartily condole with you in your present sickness und indisposition, which your age now every day contracts. will make you bear it patiently, to your comfort, his glory, and your everlasting salvation. I cannot enough thank you for the present of your choice Bible. The money

you say you had present occasion for 1 Vol. II.-13

that

have ordered Mr. Cooper to enlarge, and you will see by his letter that it is doubled. Before I was ten years old, as I am sure you will remember, I looked

upon this life here as but going to an inn, and no permanent being. By God's grace I continue the same good thoughts and notions, therefore am always prepared for my dissolution, which I can't be persuaded ti prolong by a wish. Now, dear mother, if you should be necessitated for eight or ten pound extraordinary, please to apply to Mr. Cooper, and he upon sight of this letter will furnish it to you.'

He adds a postcript to the letter, saying, “My sister died a true penitent of the Church of England.”

His sister had come over to America at his instance some years before and married here, but died without children. Other letters to his mother, who it seems was much afflicted with some troubles, which are not mentioned, he writes in a very consoling manner, bidding her regard her sorrows as from Heaven, and thanks her for pious instruction of him. His habits were strictly temperate. In writing to a friend who was much afflicted with the gout, he tells him the secret of his freedom from it,-viz.: that he never was ad. dicted to the orgies of Bacchus, or to the adoration of Ceres or Venus, never courted unlawful pleasures, avoided feasting and the surfeit thereof, and bids him tell the physician this.

Mr. Fitzhugh was not merely a moral man, but a sincerely religious man, beyond the measure of that day. He is not ashamed in one of his legal opinions to quote Scripture as the highest authority. He was a leading member of the Episcopal Church in his parish. Through him presents of Communion-plate and other things from English friends were made to the parish. Referring to the unworthiness of many of the ministers who came over from England, he communicated with his friends and with the Bishop of London, asking that sober, reputable, and educated men might be sent over instead of such as did come. All this appears from passages in his letters to England. But, were there none of these letters extant, the following extract from his will would testify to his sound and evangelical views of our blessed religion. E.ctract from the will of Colonel William Fitzhugh, of Stafford county,

Virginia, who died in October, 1701. He was the parent of the Fitzhugh family in Virginia, and the patentee of Ravensworth :

“At a court held for Stafford county, December 10, 1701. Present her Majesty's Justices for said county.

“In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Trinity in Unity, Unity in Trinity, Three Persons and One God, blessed forever. Amen. I, William Fitzhugh, of Stafford county, in Virginia, being by God's grace bound for England, and knowing the frailty and uncertainty of men's lives, and being at present in perfect health and memory, do now ordain, consti. tute, and appoint this my last will and testament, revoking all other and former, or other wills, this 5th day of April, 1701.

“Imprimis: I recommend my soul into the hands of God, through the mediation and intercession of my blessed Saviour and Redeemer, hoping by the merits of his death to have my sins washed away in his blood, nailed to his cross, and buried in his grave, and by his merits and passion to obtain everlasting life; therefore, now do bequeath and dispose such estate as it hath pleased God to bestow in his mercy upon me, after this manner following,

“After they have disposed of my body to decent interment, without noise, feasting and drink, or tumult, which I not only leave to, but enjoin, my executors, hereafter named, to see decently performed.

"Item: I give and bequeath to my eldest son, William Fitzhugh, all these tracts of land following,” &c. &c.

(Then follow the bequests to the various members of the family.)

It is evident that in the foregoing will there is much more than the usual formal recognition of a God and future state. Here is to be seen a true acknowledgment of the Holy Trinity, and an entire reliance on the merits of the Saviour's death and the cleansing of his blood, such as no orthodox divine could better express.

None can doubt but that the recorded sentiments and the consistent life of this father of a numerous family must have had its effect upon many of his posterity. I have known many, and heard of others, who imbibed his excellent spirit, and not in Virginia only, but in other States, to which they have emigrated. One there was, too well known to the writer of these lines, and to whom for Christian nurture and example he was too much indebted, ever to be forgotten. A beloved mother was a lineal descendant of this good man, born and nurtured on the soil which his economy and diligence had bequeathed to a numerous posterity. To her example and tuition, under God, am I indebted for having escaped the snares laid for the youth of our land and for having embraced the blessed religion of Christ. And if I may be permitted to single out one from the numerous families of the name, it must needs be that one which was nearest to me, and with which I have been most intimately acquainted from my childhood up. The name of Mr. William Fitzhugh, of Chatham, in the county of Stafford, as a perfect gentleman, as a most hospitable entertainer, and a true son of Virginia in her Councils, will not soon be forgotten. His name is not only on the journals of our civil Legislature, but may be seen on the ecclesiastical records of our Church, among those who were the last to give up her regular assemblies and the hope of her prosperity in her darkened days. Nor is it unlawful to proceed to some brief notice of the two children who survived him. His son, William

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »