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ledge was the Rev. Theodosius Staige, whose name is found incor porated with the Davis family, of Albemarle, and with some others, I think. He continued until November, 1728. The Rev. Mr. De Butts, of Westmoreland, became a candidate for the parish; but the Rev. Rodham Kennor, having been recommended by the Governor, was accepted. He continued the minister for eighteen months, and then preached there once a fortnight for more than two years, the Rev. Mr. Pearl occasionally officiating. The Rev. Mr. Kennor appears to have been a rolling stone,-passing from parish to parish,—and the vestry of St. George's were well pleased to part with him. In 1732, the Rev. Patrick Henry, uncle of the celebrated orator, and who was afterwards, and for a long time, minister of St. Paul's parish, Hanover, became the minister, and continued until April, 1734. Governor Gooch sent a Rev. Mr.
a Smith to the parish ; but his preaching was so unacceptable that the vestry sent a deputation to inform the Governor that they could not accept him. They also petitioned the Governor to allow the Rev. James Marye, who was the minister of the Huguenot settlement at Manakintown, in King William parish, then in Goochland, now in Powhatan, and who was willing to come, to leave his parish. He was accordingly inducted in October, 1735. During his ministry two chapels were built in the parish at places not now to be identified. Roger Dixon was allowed to have any pew in the church, except two already granted to Benjamin Grymes, provided he did not raise the pew higher than the other pews. In the year 1767, after a ministry of thirty-two years in this parish, Mr. Marye died, and was succeeded by his son, James Marye, who was born in Goochland, in 1731, was educated at William and Mary, and had been minister in Orange county. His father was one of the Huguenots who fled from France at the time of the persecutions of the Protestants in that country. He married a Miss Letitia Staige, of London, daughter of an English clergyman,-perhaps the one who was minister in Fredericksburg. Mr. Marye, Jr. continued the minister until 1780. He was the father of Mrs. Dunn, wife of the Rev. John Dunn, of Leesburg, and of Mrs. Yeamans Smith, of Fredericksburg. During his ministry a new church, near Burbridge's Bridge, was built, and was used as an Episcopal Church long after the Revolution, though now occupied by other denominations. The parish also was divided during his time, and Berkeley parish out off from it. The parish was now vacant for seven years, at the end of which the Rev. Thomas Thornton was chosen its minister. Under his ministry and the voluntary system, which was
of necessity adopted after the Establishment was put down, the congregation increased so as to require an addition to the church. This addition made it a cruciform church. It was, however, getting to be like an old garment with new cloth put upon its rent. During Mr. Thornton's ministry, General Washington, coming to Fredericksburg to visit his mother, attended, as usual, the Episcopal Church, which drew such a crowd that something gave way in the gallery, which produced great consternation in the attendants, who rushed out of it through the doors and windows. It, however, still lasted for a number of years. I was in it in the year 1811, but a more dark and cheerless place I have seldom seen. The rite of confirmation was first administered in this parish by Bishop Madison, in the year 1791, during the ministry of Mr. Thornton. Soon after this Mr. Thornton left the parish, and died at Dumfries. The following obituary, taken from a paper of that day, shows not only that he was a minister of that parish, but also the high esteem in which he was held :
“ Died, in Dumfries, on the 25th ultimo, in the 76th year of his age, the Rev. Thomas Thornton, late rector of this parish. He possessed steady faith, rational benevolence, and unaffected piety. With the dignity of the minister he associated the familiarity of the man, and was truly an ornament to human nature. In his sermons he was accurate and persuasive, more attentive to sense than to sound, to elevation of sentiment than to loftiness of style, expatiating on the evidences of Christianity when infidelity prevailed, and strongly urging the practice of Christian morality where vice predominated. His amiable qualities secured him universal respect, and his death is now the theme of universal lamentation.”
A successor to Mr. Thornton was chosen in 1792, in a way most unusual in an Episcopal congregation, and contrary to her laws, except in the case of Christ Church, Norfolk, which is provided for by a special act. A notice was given in the old “Virginia Herald” inviting the subscribers to the Episcopal church to meet in the town-hall to elect a clergyman. On that occasion ninety-six votes were given for the Rev. Mr. Woodville, and thirty-four for the Rev. Thomas Davis. Mr. Woodville resigned the parish in 1793,--the year after his election,--and removed to St. Mark's, Cul. pepper, where he lived until his death, respected by all who knew him.
On the 6th of January, 1794, the people assembled in the markethouse, and again, by a popular vote, unanimously elected the Rev. James Stephenson their minister. Mr. Stephenson resigned in 1805, on account of ill health. Mr. Stephenson married a Miss Littlepage, a lady of fine intellectual endowments. He was the father of the Hon. Andrew Stephenson and Mr. Carter Stephenson, also of Mrs. Woodville.
In 1806, the Rev. Abner Waugh took charge of the parish, but was obliged to relinquish it by reason of ill health. Retiring to Hazlewood, where he soon died, he addressed the following letter to his friends in Fredericksburg :
“ Impressed with a high sense of their friendly regard and general attention to him during his residence and want of health among them, the Rev. Abner Waugh begs them to receive his acknowledgments. Loss of health, and consequently loss of power of being any longer useful, compelled him to relinquish his prospects in Fredericksburg. In bidding the citizens farewell, he wishes them, individually and generally, as much comfort, ease, and happiness in this life as may be consistent with a more exalted degree of happiness in the next.”
In the year 1808, the Rev. Samuel Low succeeded Mr. Waugh Mr. Low was a man of gigantic stature, stentorian lungs, and for. bidding countenance. His powers of oratory were great. He had been, before his coming to Fredericksburg, preaching to crowds in Norfolk, Richmond, and elsewhere, on duelling and gambling, and other special topics. Some of these sermons were published. He was at that time living with a woman who was not his lawful wife, having deserted her who was his true wife and the mother of his children. It was some time before the news of this reached Fredericksburg, and when it did, he solemnly denied it in the pulpit. The fact being established beyond all doubt, he acknowledged it in a letter to the vestry, which is on record, and going to the North, obtained a divorce from his wife and married the other. The effect of all this must have been most disastrous to the Church.
In the year 1811, the Rev. Mr. Strebeck was chosen to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Mr. Low, but the Church was little benefited by the change. Such was the unhappy condition of the parish, that the people, in 1813, were glad to avail themselves of the services of their present minister, as lay reader, one year, I believe, before he was old enough to be admitted to Deacons' Orders.
As it has been a rule observed by me in these notices to avoid all praises or censures of the living, and in the fewest possible words refer to the acts and successes even of my oldest friends, therefore to Mr. Slaughter's account of the revival of the Church in this parish during the thirty-three years of Mr. McGuire's ministry, ending with his history of the parish, to which must now be added fourteen
more, I refer my readers for a full view of the subject. Suffice it to say that, from that time, a succession of revivals, or rather a continued one, under faithful evangelical preaching, has added great numbers to the Church; that two new churches, each increasing in size and expense, have been called for; that several young ministers have issued from the parish,-among them the Rev. Launcelot Minor, whose remains are on the African shore, alongside of those of Mrs. Susan Savage, the devoted missionary, whose spiritual birthplace was St. George's Church, as Fredericksburg was that of her other nativity. Mr. McGuire and he who makes this allusion entered the ministry at a short interval apart, and cannot be long separated in leaving it behind, for another and we trust higher ministry, in the presence of our Redeemer.
Having done with the ministers and churches of St. George's parish, nothing remains but to present a list of the vestrymen of the same.
Vestrymen from 1725 to 1847.
mans Smith, Thomas H. Hanson, Archibald Hart, W. M. Blackford, G W. Bassett, Murray Forbes, E. H. Carmichael, Thomas F. Knox, R. B. Maury, John Coakley, James Cooke, R. C. L. Moncure, William Pollock, J. B. Ficklin.
BERKELEY PARISH, SPOTTSYLVANIA COUNTY. This parish was taken from St. George's in March, 1769–70. The first minister was the Rev. James Stephenson, who was afterward the minister of St. George's. As he was ordained in London in 1768, and appears on the lists of 1773-74-76 as minister of Berkeley parish, it is more than probable that he was ordained expressly for this parish, and became its minister in 1769. He was, I believe, a citizen of Virginia, and an inhabitant of Fredericksburg, before his ordination. From the time that the Rev. Mr. Stephenson left it for Culpepper, previous to his removal to Williamsburg in 1794, we are unable to state who, if any, was the minister of Berkeley parish, until the year 1789, when the Rev. Hugh Coran Boggs appears on the journal of Convention. He was either ordained by some other English Bishop than the Bishop of London, or else by Bishop White, or some other American Bishop, since Bishop Madison was not consecrated until 1790. Mr. Boggs continued to be the minister of Berkeley parish until his death. Rev. Mr. Ward succeeded him in 1837. The Rev. Dabney Wharton, the present minister, succeeded to Mr. Ward in 1843. Two new churches have been built in this parish within the last year: one of them is near the court-house, and the other near the Louisa line.