REPORTS OF SURRY COUNTY MINISTERS TO THE BISHOP OF LONDON IN 1724
In 1724 the Rev. John Worden, minister of Lawne's Creek Parish, made this report to the Bishop of London.
"I arrived in Virginia in 1712, when Governor Spottswood sent me for six months to Jamestown. Thence I went to the parishes of Weynoake and Martins Brandon, both of which parishes were hardly sufficient to support a minister; therefore I removed to this parish, where I have been since January 30th, 1717." He says his parish is ten miles wide along the river and one hundred twenty long with seven hundred tithables in it. There are some Indians, bond and free, and negroes, bond and free. Some masters will have their negroes baptized, and some will not, because they will not be sureties for them. "I cannot persuade parents and masters to send their children and servants to be catechized. I sometimes get eight shillings and fourpence for my tobacco, per hundred, and sometimes no so much; and if I send it to Europe, perhaps it brings me in debt, as of late years it hath happened. The vestry will not keep my glebe-house in order; but if I choose to do it myself, I may and welcome. I have a church and chapel thirty miles apart, twelve communicants at the former, and thirty or forty at the latter."
The Rev. John Cargill, minister of Southwark Parish, made a similar report.
"I have been here sixteen years. My parish is twenty miles in width and one hundred inhabited in length, being a frontier parish. It has three hundred and ninety-four families. The school of Mr. Griffin, called Christina, for Indians, is on the borders of my parish. There is one church and two chapels and seventy or eighty communicants. My tobacco now sells at five shillings per hundred; my salary from thirty to forty pounds. My glebe house is in a very bad condition, and the parish will not repair it, so I must look out for a house elsewhere. No school, no library, in the parish."
Note: see Bishop William Meade, Old Churches Ministers and Families of Virginia (Baltimore, 1978) v.1, 309.
Page revised 31 December 1999.