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Norbourne Parish, Berkeley County.--No. 1.
Tots parish and county were, by Act of Assembly, taken from Frederick in the year 1769,-just after the completion of the church at Mecklenburg, or Shepherdstown, under the superintendence of Mr. Van Swearingen. A small church had previously stood probably on the same spot. By his will in 1776, the father of Mr. Abraham Shepherd—Mr. Thomas Shepherd—directed his executor to deed “a lot of two acres on which the English church stood.” A third was erected on that lot many years since, and has been enlarged of late years to its present dimensions. A new, larger, and more excellent one in all respects is now far advanced. Without detracting from the praise due to many who have contributed funds and efforts to the last two churches, we must ascribe the first of them chiefly to the zeal, perseverance, and liberality of that true friend of the Church in her darkest days, Mr. Abraham Shepherd, and its enlargement to the generous donation of eight hundred dollars by his pious widow; and the erection of the fourth to the gift of three thousand dollars by one of his sons, while other members of the family, and the parishioners generally, have not been wanting in their contributions. To an ' excellent parsonage for the minister they also contributed; but the holy woman, the aged mother, excelled them and all others,-contributing not less than one thousand dollars to it. From the year 1813 to the time of her death, in 1852, when she had reached her ninety-second year, I knew her well. It was good to hear her speak from the abundance of her heart on the subject which interested her most. Out of the Bible first, and then out of the writings of Hervey, Newton, and others of the evangelical school of the Church of England, she drew her views of doctrinal and practical piety. It so happened that several of those ministers under whose teachings she sat were of that class, having for a time been followers of Lady Huntingdon, Wesley, and Whitefield, but who drew back from their path when they were about to turn aside from the old way of the Church of England. She was most faithful in the use of all the means appointed of God in his Church for “ the perfecting of
his saints,”-in prayer private and public, in the participation of the Lord's Supper, in the strict observance of the Lord's Day, in fasting and alms, in simplicity and cheapness of apparel, in selfdenial that she might have to give to the poor and good objects. She was conscientious even to scrupulousness. Her sons delighted in fine cattle, and, at great expense and with great care, became possessed of some of the finest in the land, and sold the young ones at high prices. She has often told me that she could not be reconciled to their asking and receiving such enormous prices for poor little lambs and calves; and she took care to be in no way partakers with them. Much more might I say, but prefer directing iny reader to the excellent and just picture of her character given in a funeral-sermon by the Rev. Mr. Andrews, her minister.
Having thus referred to the first establishment of the Church at Shepherdstown, I proceed to notice its next settlement in the parish of Norbourne, at Charlestown, in what is now Jefferson county. It took its name from Mr. Charles Washington,-one of the brothers of General Washington,- who settled on some of the fine land taken up or purchased by the latter during the period when he was public surveyor. His house still stands in the suburbs of the village. Others of the family soon moved to this neighbourhood, and for the last forty years have formed a considerable portion of the flourish ing congregation now surrounding the county-seat of Jefferson. The venerable walls of an Episcopal church, built of stone, in the form of a T, are still to be seen a short distance from Charlestown. Various conjectures have been offered as to the age of this house. I have recently made particular inquiry on the spot, of some of the oldest inhabitants, and have no doubt that it was erected soon after the division of the parish from Frederick, in 1769, and not many years before the war. As Washington had large possessions in this neighbourhood, and was often there, none can doubt but that he was a contributor to its erection and had often worshipped within its walls. Under the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Allen, a new brick church was erected on the site of the present one. That becoming too small to hold the congregation, another, much larger and more expensive, was put up under the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Jones. Scarcely was it consecrated and begun to be used, before it was consumed by fire, owing to some negligence or defect about the furnace. To the praise of the congregation be it recorded, a third was immediately erected on the same spot, which now stands, and I hope will long stand, a monument of what may be done by zeal and enterprise.
As to the ministers who officiated in Norbourne parish at an early date, we have but little information. From a list of ministers licensed for the Plantations by the Bishops of London in 1745 and onward, I find that the Rev. Daniel Sturges was licensed for Norbourne parish, in 1771,-two years after its separation from Frederick, -and tradition speaks well of him. In 1786, he was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Veasy, of whom a venerable old lady in Charlestown—Mrs. Brown—speaks as a man who faithfully performed his duty in preaching and catechizing, as she was the subject of both. He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Wilson, of whom I can learn nothing. In the year 1795, the Rev. Bernard Page was minister. Of him I have often heard old Mrs. Shepherd speak as one of the evangelical school,—deeply pious, zealous, and far beyond the ministerial standard of that day. He had been previously an assistant minister to the Rev. Bryan Fairfax, in Christ Church, Alexandria. From Shepherdstown he went to the lower part of Virginia, but soon died from the effects of the climate. Mr. Page was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Heath, who was minister in 1800, and died in the parish. Mr. IIeath was a follower of Mr. Wesley, and came over to this country under his auspices, to preside over a female institution in Maryland, as appears by a letter to him from Mr. Wesley, which I have seen. Ie, I presume, like many
He, others, refused to separate from the Episcopal Church when the secession took place. The Rev. Emanuel Wilmer succeeded him, and was in the parish about the years 1806 and 1807. The Rev. Mr. Price had been occasionally preaching in this parish, especially at Martinsburg and Shepherdstown, when I first visited them about the year 1812 or 1813.
Having treated of the churches about Shepherdstown and Charlestown, and the ministrations in Norbourne parish generally, I shall now give an account of the churches in Martinsburg and the vicinity, with some notice of certain laymen whose names are worthy of a place in these sketches. The first church built at Martinsburg, and which stood in the suburbs of the town, was erected chiefly at the cost and under the superintendence of Mr. Philip Pendleton,-father of the present Mr. P. Pendleton, of that place. He was a zealous Churchman, and, so far as we know and believe, a good Christian. IIe had a brother, Mr. William Pendleton,--who lived some miles off, and who, for a number of years during the almost entire destitution of ministers, acted as a lay reader in Martinsburg and at the church in Hedgesville,—the latter having been built chiefly by himself and Mr. Raleigh Colston. Of the
latter we have already spoken as vestryman near the old chapel in Frederick. The families of Hedges, Coxes, and Robinsons also took part in it. As it is a part of our plan to introduce brief notices of some of the old families of the Church, and as there is mention of the name of Pendleton, a name belonging to so many true friends of the Episcopal Church of Virginia and elsewhere, we shall devote a short space to a notice of the family. That notice shall be chiefly taken from a brief autobiography of Judge Pendleton, President of the Court of Appeals, and from a genealogy by the same, —both executed not long before his death. From these we learn that about the year 1674 there came from England to Virginia two brothers,-Nathaniel, a minister, and Philip, a teacher. The former died without issue. The latter left three sons and four daughters. The two younger sons married and had children, but of them there is no certain account. The four daughters married Messrs. Clayton, Vass, Taylor, and Thomas,-leaving numerous descendants. The eldest son married, at the age of eighteen, Mary Taylor, who was only thirteen. Their sons were James, Philip, Nathaniel, and Edmund,—the latter being the President of the Court of Appeals. Their daughters were Isabella and Mary, who married William and James Gaines, from one of whom the late General Gaines was descended. The sons all married and left children, except Edmund, the Judge, who first married Miss Roy, having one child, who died, and next Miss Pollard, who had none, and who lived to the age of ninety. The descendants of the above-mentioned grandchildren of the first Pendleton have intermarried with the Taylors, Pollards, Roys, Gaineses, Lewises, Pages, Nelsons, Harts, Richards, Taliaferos, Turners, Shepherds, Carters, Kemps, Palmers, Dandridges, Cooks, and others unknown to me, and who now exist in thousands throughout Virginia and elsewhere. I shall only particularize the line of those above mentioned in the parish of Berkeley. Nathaniel Pendleton-grandson of the first of the name and brother of Judge Pendleton—lived in Culpepper and had four sons,—Henry, Nathaniel, William, and Philip. Henry was put in business in Falmouth or Fredericksburg, but, not liking it, and his father not consenting to its relinquishment, ran away and became a great man in South Carolina,—having the Pendleton district of that State called by his name. Nathaniel studied law,—went first to Georgia, then to New York, where he became the intimate friend of General Hamilton, and was the father of the late member of Congress from Cincinnati. William was the faithful lay reader in Berkeley, whose son followed his example, and whose grandson is the Rev. William
H. Pendleton, of Virginia. Philip-the last of the four sons—was the father of the present Philip Pendleton, of Martinsburg, and the late Edmund Pendleton, of Maryland, and of Mrs. Cook and Dandridge. The Rev. William N. Pendleton, of Virginia, belongs to a different branch of the same family,—his mother being the daughter of Colonel Hugh Nelson, of Yorktown. It would be inexcusable in me not to record something more particular of one member of this large and respectable family,-viz.: Mr. Edmund Pendleton, President of the Court of Appeals. He was born in Caroline county, and brought up in the clerk's office of that county. At an early age he was clerk of the vestry, and the little which he received for that office was spent in books, which he diligently read. At twenty years of age he was licensed to practise law. In a few years we find him in the General Court. He was in the House of Burgesses in the beginning of the war,—taking a leading part in all its incipient steps. He was also in the first Congress. After this, and until his death, he was Judge and President of the Court of Appeals. Thus he says, (in that brief autobiography from whith I have taken the above,) “Without any classical education, without patrimony, without what is called the influence of family connection, and without solicitation, I have attained the highest offices of my country." His following words deserve to be written in letters of gold :-“I have often contemplated it as a rare and extraordinary instance, and pathetically exclaimed, “Not unto me, not unto me, O Lord, but unto thy name, be the praise !'” I cannot refrain from adding the following words, written by himself, in the year 1801, at the bottom of a genealogical tree of the family drawn by his own hand :—“I have never had curiosity (or, more properly, pride) enough to search the IIerald's Office or otherwise inquire into the antiquity of my family in England, though I have always supposed the two brothers who came here were what they call there of a good family, fallen to decay,—since they were well educated, and came the one as a minister, the other as a schoolmaster: however, I have had pleasure in hearing uniformly that my grandfather and his immediate descendants were very respectable for their piety and moral virtue, –a character preserved in the family to a degree scarcely to be expected in one so numerous. My mother was among the best of women, and her family highly respectable.” The elevation to which Judge Pendleton attained by diligence and moral worth,—the latter resulting from true piety,-without the advantages of birth, education, and fortune, affords great encouragement to the young men of our land to imitate his noble example. He did not despise such advantages, but he considered the