By John K. Nelson
During this ebook, John Nelson reconstructs daily Anglican spiritual perform and adventure in Virginia from the tip of the 17th century to the beginning of the yank Revolution. difficult past characterizations of the colonial Anglican institution as susceptible, he finds the elemental position the church performed within the political, social, and monetary in addition to the non secular lives of its parishioners. Drawing on large study in parish and county documents and different basic assets, Nelson describes Anglican Virginia's parish approach, its parsons, its rituals of worship and rites of passage, and its parishioners' diversified relationships to the church. All colonial Virginians--men and ladies, wealthy and terrible, old and young, planters and retailers, servants and slaves, dissenters and freethinkers--belonged to a parish. As such, they have been topic to its levies, its authority over marriage, and different social and fiscal dictates. as well as its spiritual services, the parish supplied crucial deal with the bad, collaborated with the courts to deal with civil disputes, and exerted its impression over many different features of group lifestyles. A Blessed corporation demonstrates that, via creatively adapting Anglican parish association and the language, types, and modes of Anglican spirituality to the Chesapeake's special environmental and human stipulations, colonial Virginians sustained a remarkably powerful and trustworthy Anglican church within the outdated Dominion.
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Additional info for A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776
A major challenge to lay control came not from ecclesiastical authorities in England but from another lay source—the royal governor. In the absence of a bishop and a diocesan structure, the governor’s commission as ‘‘ordinary’’ authorized him to oversee the aﬀairs of the church. However, the eﬀorts of Andros, Nicholson, Spotswood, and others to assert the governor’s right to present and induct ministers into parish livings failed. Similarly, the laity successfully resisted their attempts to oversee parish formation.
In the s two new wardens were selected every two years. Early in the s, however, the parish began staggering the two-year terms so that there was always one warden providing continuity of experience. Stratton Major (King and Queen) generally replaced its wardens every year. In dramatic contrast, Lynnhaven (Princess Anne) retained the services of Anthony Walke as warden from to . Jacob Ellegood shared the oﬃce with Walke for fourteen years, serving from to . 54 Those that have survived oﬀer compelling evidence of the work undertaken and conﬁrm the authority delegated to the churchwardens to act on behalf of the vestry.
Frequency of meetings in this instance has little to do with the relative importance of the institution. Vestries managed many of their duties informally and largely without beneﬁt of written documentation. Family ties and face-to-face personal contacts oﬀered the occasions for frequent and ongoing discussions of parish matters with understandings arrived at and commitments made unoﬃcially. Thus the annual ﬁnancial statements can be read as ratiﬁcation of decisions for many of which no prior vestry action is recorded.
A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776 by John K. Nelson