By John K. Nelson
During this publication, John Nelson reconstructs daily Anglican non secular perform and event in Virginia from the tip of the 17th century to the beginning of the yank Revolution. difficult prior characterizations of the colonial Anglican institution as susceptible, he finds the basic position the church performed within the political, social, and monetary in addition to the religious lives of its parishioners. Drawing on huge learn in parish and county documents and different fundamental resources, Nelson describes Anglican Virginia's parish procedure, its parsons, its rituals of worship and rites of passage, and its parishioners' assorted 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 non secular capabilities, the parish supplied crucial take care of the terrible, collaborated with the courts to deal with civil disputes, and exerted its impression over many different features of neighborhood existence. A Blessed corporation demonstrates that, through creatively adapting Anglican parish association and the language, types, and modes of Anglican spirituality to the Chesapeake's distinct environmental and human stipulations, colonial Virginians sustained a remarkably potent and trustworthy Anglican church within the outdated Dominion.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
Did this margin of support hold true over time and across the colony? The provincial pattern, in fact, held up regionally. Everywhere the average annual parish tax was at least double that of the county. The mean annual parish levy for the Tidewater area, for example, was thirty-four pounds; for Tidewater counties it was thirteen pounds.
As was true of the Christ Church Parish (Middlesex) vestry on October , they had collective responsibilities that could only be discharged by formal gatherings. What is initially puzzling is the infrequency of vestry meetings. Extant parish minutes record an overall average of only two meetings a year. 50 If relative importance were measured by the frequency of meetings, then the inescapable conclusion would be that eighteenth-century Virginia vestries counted for little in the scheme of things.
In , Virginia’s forty-seven parishes served an estimated population of ,, an average of , persons per parish. If the parish was intended primarily, although not exclusively, for its white inhabitants, then the mean per parish in was persons. By , , Virginians were distributed among ﬁfty-three parishes, an average of , persons per parish. But half of the population increase after was accounted for by the importation of African slaves; thus the parish average of the white population in stood at , persons.