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as true that there was no other Episcopal church in the parish; and that the property belonged to the Church of Alexandria, which, in this respect. represented the whole parish. And there can be no doubt that the Epis copal members of the parish of Fairfax have still, notwithstanding a sepa ration from the State of Virginia, the same rights and privileges as they originally possessed in relation to that church while it was the parish. church of Fairfax.
The next consideration is, whether the plaintiffs, who are vestrymen, have, as such, a right to require the lands of the church to be sold in the manner prayed for in the bill. Upon the supposition that no statutes passed since the Revolution are in force, they may be deemed to act under the previous statutes and the common law. By those statutes the vestry were to be appointed by the parishioners "for the making and proportioning levies and assessments for building and repairing the churches and chapels, provision for the poor, maintenance of the minister, and such other necessary purposes, and for the more orderly managing all parochial affairs;" out of which vestry the minister and vestry were yearly to choose two churchwardens. As incident to their office of general guardians of the church, we think they must be deemed entitled to assert the rights and interests of the church. But the minister also, having the freehold, either in law or in equity, during his incumbency, in the lands of the church, is entitled to assert his own rights as persona ecclesiæ. No alienation, therefore, of the church lands can be made either by himself, or by the parish. ioners, or their authorized agents, without the mutual consent of both And therefore we should be of opinion, that, upon principle, no sale ought to be absolutely decreed, unless with the consent of the parson, if the church be full.
If the statute of 1784, ch. 88, be in force for any purpose whatsoever, it seems to us that it would lead to a like conclusion. If the repealing statute of 1786, ch. 12, or the statute of 1788, ch. 47, by which the Church property was authorized to be vested in trustees chosen by the Church, and their successors, be in force for any purpose whatsoever, then the allegation of the bill that the plaintiffs "have, according to the rules and regulations of their said society, been appointed by the congregation vestrymen and trustees of the said church," would directly apply and authorize the plaintiffs to institute the present bill. Still, however, it appears to us that in case of a plenarty of the Church, no alienation or sale of the Church lands ought to take place without the assent of the minister, unless such assent be expressly dispensed with by some statute.
On the whole, the majority of the court are of opinion that the land in controversy belongs to the Episcopal Church of Alexandria, and has not been divested by the Revolution, or any Act of the Legislature passed since that period; that the plaintiffs are of ability to maintain the present bill; that the overseers of the poor of the parish of Fairfax have no just, legal, or equitable title to the said land, and ought to be perpetually enjoined
from claiming the same; and that a sale of the said land ought, for the reasons stated in the bill, to be decreed, upon the assent of the minister of said church (if any there be) being given thereto; and that the present churchwardens and the said James Wren ought to be decreed to convey the same to the purchaser; and the proceeds to be applied in the manner prayed for in the bill.
The decree of the circuit court is to be reformed, so as to conform to this opinion.
JOHN RANDOLPH'S RECANTATION.
NORFOLK, April 8, 1857.
MR. JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke, was at one time deeply impressed with religion, and in a pious frame of mind revised his copy of Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which he had filled with notes approving the deistical views of the historian. These notes, or most of them, he obliterated, and on the celebrated fifteenth chapter, in which the historian gives an account of the rise of Christianity, on either side of the text of several pages, he wrote the following remarks, which I now copy for you from the book before me:
"When the pencilled notes to this and the succeeding chapter were written, (and, indeed, all the notes, one excepted in volume tenth, page —,) the writer was an unhappy young man, deluded by the sophisms of infidelity. Gibbon seemed to rivet what Hume and Hobbes and Bolingbroke and Voltaire, &c. had made fast, and Satan-i. e. the evil principle in our (fallen) nature-had cherished; but-praised be His Holy name!-God sent the sense of sin and the arrow of the angel of Death, 'unless ye repent,' straight to his heart, and with it came the desire of belief; but the hard heart of unbelief withstood a long time, and fear came upon him and waxed great, and brought first resignation to his will, and after much refractoriness, (God be praised, but never sufficiently, that he bore with the frowardness of the child of sin, whose wages is death,) after a longer course of years, more than the servitude of Jacob for Rachel, God in his good time sent the pardon and the peace which passeth in the love which struck out fear. Allelujah."
The above is a true transcript from the original pencilled remarks of Mr. Randolph. His copy of Gibbon is in twelve volumes, printed in Dublin in 1784. The book belonged to Richard Randolph, the elder brother of John, and has Richard's name in it, with the endorsement "Matoax, 1790." HUGH B. GRIGSBY.
TO BISHOP MEADE.
THE REV. DAVID MOSSOM'S EPITAPH ON HIS TOMBSTONE, AT ST PETER'S CHURCH, NEW KENT.
REVERENDUS David Mossom prope Jacet,
Qui tandem Senio et Moerore confectus
Ex variis rebus arduis quas in hac vita perpessus est,
Qualis erat, indicant illi quibus bene notus
Non hoc sepulchrale saxum.
[IN my article on Amherst I omitted any special notice of my old friend Mr. Richard Ellis, of Pedlar Mills or Red Hill.
The following communication from our worthy fellow-citizen, Mr. Thomas Ellis, of Richmond, will more than compensate for the omission.]
April 2, 1857.
The name of ELLIS appears at an early day in connection with the Colony of Virginia. David Ellis came out in the second supply of emigrants from England, and was one of the men sent by Captain Smith to build a house for King Powhatan at his favourite seat, Werowocomico, on York River. John Ellis was one of the grantees in the second charter of the Virginia Company.
My immediate family is of Welsh extraction, and my descent traced to JOHN ELLIS, who settled on Peters's Creek, a branch of Tuckahoe Creek, in Henrico county. He was born in the year 1661, and he appears at Varina, the county seat of Henrico, October 1, 1683. His wife was named Susannah, and their children were John, William, Thomas, Henry, James, Joseph, Mary, and Charles.
JOHN, the eldest son, married Elizabeth Ware, a relation of Baldwin and Ware Rockett, seafaring men, who owned the property in the city of Richmond since called "Rocketts'." He was a magistrate and sheriff of Henrico. His eldest son, who was also named John, inherited the family residence, and lived in it during his life. It still belongs to the family of one of his grand-daughters, who married John Bowles, of Louisa county. The land on which it is situated was patented to William Glover, April 28, 1691, and by him sold to John Ellis (the first named) for two thousand pounds of tobacco.
WILLIAM, the second son, lived to be eighty-three years of age, and died leaving four sons and four daughters. One of his grandsons, William Burton Ellis, who married Elizabeth West, is still living on Tuckahoe, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.
THOMAS, the third son, was inspector of tobacco at Shockoe Warehouse, and owned the coal-property since known as the "Edgehill Pits." He married Elizabeth Patterson, by whom he had two sons and threo daughters, all of whom married and have left families.
HENRY, the fourth son, never married.
He died in the year 1768.
JAMES, the fifth son, married, but died without issue. JOSEPH, the sixth son, married Elizabeth Perkins and raised a very numerous family. He has a grandson, Daniel Ellis, born May 2, 1774, now living near Watkinsville, in Goochland county. The Ellises at this day on Tuckahoe Creek are principally the descendants of Joseph Ellis. His will, dated 11th June, 1785, is proved in court January 7, 1793 His wife died about the year 1798.
MARY, the seventh child and only daughter, married John Smith, who owned the fine farm now belonging to Mr. Robert Edmond, of Richmond, called "Strawberry Hill."
CHARLES, the seventh son, (my great-grandfather,) was born in Henrico county in the year 1719, was married, by the Rev. William Stith, to Susannah Harding, daughter of Thomas Harding and Mary Giles, in the year 1739, and had issue two sons and eight daughters. He removed with his family to the county of Amherst, thc the county of Albemarle, in the year 1754, and settled the original seat of the Ellises in that county, since called "Red Hill," on the waters of Pedlar River. He died May 4, 1759, and was buried in the family burying-ground at Red Hill. His widow lived to the ninety-fifth year of her age, and was buried by his side. The children of Charles Ellis and Susannah Harding were
Hannah, Edith, Susannah, Josiah, Mary Ann, Charles, Sarah, Bethena,
Elizabeth, and Rosanna.
HANNAH married William Haynes.
EDITH married Devereux Gilliam.
MARY ANN married Peter Carter.
CHARLES married-first, Elizabeth Waters, secondly, Sarah Tucker.
SARAH married John Harrison.
BETHENA married Thomas Leftwich.
ELIZABETH married William Gilliam.
ROSANNA married Charles Davis.
Josiah, (my grandfather,) above named, inherited the "Red Hill" estate, and lived and died there. His wife a daughter of Richard Shelton-was born September 1, 1747. They were married on the 3d of April, 1766, and had issue John, Nancy, Charles, Richard Shelton, Josiah, Mary Wright, Thomas Harding, Jane Shelton, Lewis, Joshua Shelton, and Powhatan.
[The following letter, from the Rev. Mr. Caldwell, will be read with interest by all who were acquainted with Mr. Richard Ellis, of Red Hill, and his estimable family.]
MY DEAR MR. ELLIS :-I fear that I shall be able to communicate very little in regard to the church on Pedlar. Your uncle Richard was one of the old-school, true Virginia gentlemen,-hospitable, unaffected, polite, courteous, and as regardful of the rights and feelings of a servant as he was of the most favoured and distinguished that visited his house. I had not been in his house five minutes before I felt it to be what he and his delightful family ever afterward made it to me,- -a home. I, however, experienced at their hands only what every clergyman of our Church who has been connected with the parish experienced.
Your uncle's hospitality was not, however, the most captivating trait of his character. The most captivating trait in his character was his simplehearted piety and devotion to the Church. His devotion was the same when the ways of our Zion mourned, and when none came to her solemn feasts, and when her sanctuaries in his neighbourhood were levelled by the stranger and the spoiler. I think he told me that the first time the services of our Church were held in the Pedlar neighbourhood after the Revolution, the people met in a tobacco-house, and that many aged per sons who had been accustomed to our services in their youth, when the clergyman repeated the sentences and exhortation, stood up and wept like children, big tears coursing their way down their cheeks in spite of every effort to restrain them. The confession following was made, by every one whose feelings did not stifle utterance, with a voice tremulous with eme