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that place after the removal of Mr. Cobbs. After the removal of Mr. Caldwell the Rev. Mr. Sale took charge of it, and still is its canonical rector, although the duty of preaching is performed by the Rev. John Wharton, who has for some years been acting as sub-deacon. There are now no less than four parishes in that part of old Russell parish which lay in Bedford county, as now reduced in its dimensions. No parish register is found to supply a list of the old vestrymen of this parish.*
* I have been told of two other old churches in Bedford county, and as many other ministers, and had a promise of their names, but something has prevented its fulfilment.
Parishes in Amelia, Nottoway, and Prince Edward.
AMELIA County was cut off from Prince George in the year 1734. Raleigh parish was established in the following year. In the year 1754 the Rev. Musgrave Dawson was minister of Raleigh parish, how long, if before, not known. He was not the minister in 1758. The Rev. John Brunskill was minister in 1773–74-76.*
The following is from an aged lady:-
The Egglestons are of Irish extract, but came over to this country from England, and settled first on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. After some time two brothers-William and Joseph-came to Amelia county, and located near the central position, where they lived to the time of their death. They, with Mr. Thos. Tabb, Colonel Archer, and Mr. Edward Booker, of Winterham, built Grubhill Church, which was supplied by a minister sent from England,-Parson Brunskill,--who, although not an acceptable preacher, always had large congregations, composed of the families immediately around, and many from a distance. Those who had galleries in the church were the Tabbs, Egglestons, and Bookers,-one public gallery.
On one occasion, when the house was full, just before the Revolutionary War, when the whole Colony was incensed against England, Parson Brunskill arose, and, seeing Colonel Archer and one or two other gentlemen dressed in regimentals, called them rebels, and expressed himself indignant to see such indications of a general rebellion, and said he should write immediately to the King and inform against them. Whereupon nearly every one in the church got up and left the house, not before warning him, however, never to repeat such language, or he would receive harsh treatment added to disrespect. He never attempted preach afterward, but lived a quiet secluded life at the glebe, about five miles from Grubhill. Mr. McCreary was his successor,-a most pious and worthy man, whose sons fought in the Revolution.
The following is from high authority:
Joseph Eggleston, Sen. moved to Amelia county in 1758 or '59, as shown by the baptism of his third child by the Rev. John Fox, in Ware parish, Gloucester county, in 1758, and of his fourth child by the Rev. John Brunskill, in Raleigh parish, Amelia county, in 1759, as recorded in his Bible, now in the possession of his family. This proves that the Rev. John Brunskill was in this parish in 1759, where he continued till his death in 1803 or 1804. The Rev. John Brunskill was thought to be an amiable man and an indulgent master, but stood very low for piety, and the ruin of the Church here was attributed to him. glebe, near Amelia Court-House, in 1802 or 1804, in good circumstances, leaving hi servants free, and every thing else to a Mr. Richard Booker.
He died at his
It does not appear to have been represented in any of the Conventions subsequent to the Revolution, until some years after the revival of the Church, except in the years 1790 and 1791, by a lay delegate, Mr. John Royall. It is believed that Mr. Brunskill lived for many years to be a dead weight upon the Church. He never married, and lived a solitary, uncomfortable life. It is stated of him, and on authority entirely to be relied on, that, upon the declaration of war, he proclaimed from the pulpit that to take part in it was rebellion; upon which the gentlemen arose and carried their families out of the church, and, on consultation, determined to inflict punishment upon him, which was only prevented by the interference of two of the elder and most influential gentlemen present. But he was never permitted to officiate again, a lay reader being appointed to take his place. He continued until his death to hold the glebe and to live upon it.
Of the churches in Amelia I have received accounts from two of the oldest persons now living in it. There was one called Hun tington, (long since in ruins,) about five miles northwest of the court-house. There was another called Chinquapin Church, in the upper part of the county, built about the year 1749 or 1750, at a place since called Paineville. There were three other churches, called Rocky Run, Avery's, and Pride's, in different parts of the county, two of which have been claimed as private property, taken down, and used for farming-purposes. Of old Grubhill Church. we have more particular accounts. A venerable lady, now living, and in her ninetieth year, remembers, when a child, to have accompanied her parents to this church, and knows that the timber for it was furnished from her father's and uncle's lands, (Messrs. William and Joseph Eggleston.) Another old lady, now deceased, is known to have said that in the year 1768 she saw the workmen laying the floor of the wing of the church, the main. body having probably been built some years before. I have been visiting that old building since the year 1827 or 1828. It was even then in a somewhat tottering condition as to the galleries, which had been put up, with the permission of the
The families who attended Grubhill Church were the Bookers, Tabbs, Eggles tons, Archers, Royalls, and Meades.
The plate was kept by Joseph Eggleston, Sen. and Jr., till the death of the latter, and was sold by order of the court a few years after,-in 1815.
The Archer family is one of early settlement in Virginia, and of high respectability. Some of them formed a part of that happy and interesting circle of which Judge Tucker speaks as dwelling in York before the Revolutionary War.
vestries, by some of the old families of Egglestons, Banisters, Tabbs, Archers, &c., for their own use. Although cold in winter, hot in summer, at all times dark and uncomfortable, (being high up, and near the roof,) yet such was the old family feeling of attachment to them on the part of the descendants of those who built and first occupied them, that even after it became somewhat unsafe to sit in them, being propped up with large poles and in other ways, they could not be induced to abandon them. This presented an obstacle for some time to remodelling and improving other parts of the church; and the attachment to the whole building, such as it was, though decaying and very uncomely and uncomfortable, for a long time stood in the way of a new and better one.
At length old feelings were so much subdued as to permit a new one to be erected and the old one to be removed. The attachment to the old name, Grubhill, though neither classical nor scriptural, was so great, that not even a compromise, by which it should be called St. Paul's, Grubhill, would be accepted by those whose antiquarian feelings were distressed by the change of the name given it by their ancestors and so long in use. The history of the transaction is on the pages of the vestry-book.
As names are not always things, we trust that the divine blessing will be as abundantly poured out on the religious services performed in it under the old and homely name of Grubhill, as of any other. Of the two extremes, an undue attachment to old things, or an undue fondness for new, we prefer the former, as most conservative; but "medio tutissimus ibis."
Having had access to the vestry-book of Raleigh parish, commencing in 1790, we are enabled to furnish a list of the vestrymen from that date. At an election at that time we find the name of William Giles, John Pride, Richard Eggleston, John Wiley, John Archer, Joseph Eggleston, Rowland Ward, John Towns, Jr., Daniel Hardaway,-John Archer and Richard Eggleston being made churchwardens. From that time until the year 1827 there does not appear to have been any election of vestrymen, or any thing done in the parish. In that year the Rev. William F. Lee was elected minister, and the following gentlemen vestrymen :Hodijah Meade, John R Robertson, Charles Eggleston, T. R. Banister, W. A. Mileston, Benjamin L. Meade, W. J. Barksdale, William Murray; to whom were added, at different times, John Booker, James Allen, Jaqueline Berkeley, Dr. Thomas Meaux, Dr. Skelton, Daniel Worsham, William Barksdale, Jr., Dr. Skelton,
Jr., B. M. Jones, Thomas G. Tabb, Egbert Leigh, J. W. Lane, Thomson Walthall. Here my list ends.
I have already said that the Rev. Mr. Lee, of whom I have spoken more fully in another place, became the minister in 1827. In the year 1835 the Rev. Farley Berkeley, the present minister, took charge of it, connecting with it the pastorship of either the church in Chesterfield, or that at Genito Bridge, in Powhatan, or sometimes of both. I see from the vestry-book, that he has ever insisted on an annual election, though the vestry protest against it as unnecessary, and record the same. How different from former days, when, though Governors, Commissaries, and clergy ever protested against annual elections, the vestries insisted on them. The difference arises from the great difference in the character of the clergy generally. I know of but one parish in the diocese which follows this ancient custom, and peculiar circumstances in its past history led to this. The clergy of our day are ready to relinquish their charges the moment they believe their services are unacceptable and unprofitable, while the people are anxious to retain as long as possible the labours of a worthy, pious, and zealous minister.
I have only to add, in relation to Raleigh parish, that the Rev. Mr. Chevers, a few years since, devoted himself very diligently to the effort at establishing the congregation at Chinquapin Church, but, after two years' faithful services, relinquished it as a hopeless task at the present time. "Non si male nunc et olim sic erit.”
NOTTOWAY PARISH, NOTTOWAY COUNTY.
Nottoway county was separated from Amelia in the year 1788. Nottoway parish was established in the county of Amelia, being separated from Raleigh parish before the year 1752, and after the year 1748. There being no account of the Acts of Assembly for 1749-51, in Henning, I am unable to decide the precise year. In the year 1754, and again in 1758, the Rev. Wm. Proctor was the minister, the same, no doubt, of whom mention is made in the vestry-book of Halifax. In the years 1773-74-76, the Rev. Thomas Wilkinson is the minister. Of him I have found a good account. The Rev. Mr. Jarratt informs us that Dr. Cameron was its minister for about two years after leaving Petersburg in 1793, but was obliged to resign for want of support. This was, no doubt, the last of Episcopal services in this parish, except some occasional ones of late years. As to the churches in this parish,