By John K. Nelson
During this booklet, 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. hard earlier characterizations of the colonial Anglican institution as vulnerable, he finds the elemental position the church performed within the political, social, and fiscal in addition to the religious lives of its parishioners. Drawing on broad learn in parish and county documents and different basic assets, Nelson describes Anglican Virginia's parish method, its parsons, its rituals of worship and rites of passage, and its parishioners' diverse 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 monetary dictates. as well as its non secular capabilities, the parish supplied crucial take care of the negative, collaborated with the courts to deal with civil disputes, and exerted its impression over many different points of neighborhood lifestyles. A Blessed corporation demonstrates that, via creatively adapting Anglican parish association and the language, kinds, and modes of Anglican spirituality to the Chesapeake's specific environmental and human stipulations, colonial Virginians sustained a remarkably potent and trustworthy Anglican church within the previous Dominion.
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Additional info for A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776
Reform came by ﬁts and starts, with vestries and parishioners providing the major impetus. As early as (anticipating Nicholson’s concerns), the assembly divided New Kent County, forming out of it King and Queen County on the north side of the Pamunkey River. In the same session Lower Norfolk County was divided into Norfolk and Princess Anne Counties, again in an eﬀort to improve travel and communication. The following year, two new counties, Richmond and Essex, were created out of what had been Rappahannock County, and the Rappahannock River now became the boundary line between the two.
Once the Jamestown beachhead had been secured and experimentation with tobacco had demonstrated its potential, population dispersed rapidly along the banks of the major rivers and then along their tributaries. The James, York, Rappahannock, and Potomac Rivers drew settlers on, aﬀorded means of communication, and provided unobstructed access to ocean-going shipping. So dominant was riverine settlement that the boundaries of early parishes in many instances were drawn to include persons settled on both banks.
Deep as their attachments were to local institutions (parishioners persisted in identifying themselves with St. Mary’s White Chapel, for example, long after its eﬀective merger with Christ Church), Virginians adjusted reasonably well to their changing circumstances. The reshaping of parish lines to make them more convenient and accessible accompanied the culling of stunted parishes. Nicholson would have been gratiﬁed to observe the ongoing eﬀorts to reduce or eliminate intraparish river crossings.
A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776 by John K. Nelson