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Minutes of the Vestry of St. Paul's Parish, Chowan Precinct, including letters to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and Francis Nicholson
St. Paul's Parish (Chowan Precinct)
March 02, 1714
Volume 02, Pages 118-121

[From the Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, Chowan Precinct.]

At a Vestry met at the church on the North Shore of the Sound in Chowan prcinct March ye 2d 1713/14
The honoble Thoms Pollock Esq psidt
William Duckenfield Esq
Thomas Peterson
Thomas Luten
Thomas Lee
Leonard Loften
Samuel Patchet

And they having taken into Consideration the Letters from the Honoble Society by the Honoble Coll Nicholson, together with one from his Hono. the following Answers to the Said Letters were ordered.

To Honoble Society de propoganda &c


We whose names are here underwritten Vestrymen and Church Wardens of the precinct of Chowan in the County of Albemarle in the Province of North Carolina do for our Selves and on Behalf of the Rest of the Inhabitants of this said precinct in a most Grateful Manner, Return our hearty Thanks to the Honoble Society &c. for their great Care of our Souls' Health in Sending over Missionaries to preach the Word of God and Administer the Holy Sacraments among us. We and the whole English America ought to bless and praise the Almighty for having put it into the Hearts of so many Honorable and Great persons to think of their poor Country Folks whose Lot it hath been to come into these Heathen Countries, Where we are in Danger of becoming like the Indians themselves, without a God in the World.

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We of this precinct: with the Rest of the Govermt in particular have been for some time happy in the pious endeavours of divers of the Clergy Missy and others who have Set up the Worship of God according to the Church of England by Law established amongst us. but by the poverty of the Country, Unsettledness and Opposition of Sectaries. We never yet were able to make due provision, for those of that holy Order, which hath We fear been the Occasion of their short Stay with Us. None of them ever abode so long here as the Reverend Mr Urmston hath done. Yet have not been So happy in him neither as We would have desired, by reason that for the most part, there hath been no other Minister in these parts Since his arrival; and seeing the Confusions and Distractions of this Unhappy Colony, were so great, the opposers of the holy Church so numerous and their Endeavours to subvert the same indefatigable, he hath made the other precincts Sharers with Us in his Ministry. His great pains and unwearied Dilligence to keep together those of our Church, hath had good success. and will undoubtedly be very acceptable to the Society. It were to be wished he had met with due Encouragement proportionable to the great Feteagues and hardships, which he hath Undergone, but fear he hath failed thereof. We of this precinct allowed him according to our first act of Assembly in Favour of the Church of England, [which was not obtained without hard Strugling] 30£ pr annum, for the first year, and half hoping the other precincts where he officiated would have done the like. We cannot say we have fullfilled our promise. As for the two years last past he hath been prevailed with, and indeed Necessitated, not being able to travel any longer about the country to confine himself to this precinct, where his Residence hath constantly been. We have a large parish, many poor inhabitants, and those Seated at a great Distance from each other. passages very Uncertain by Reason of a broad River, which runs through the Heart of the Parish. near 100 miles in length. and in many places broad. and but one sorry Church on the North Shore of the Sound never finished, no Ornaments belonging to a Church. nor wherewith to buy any except the Bounty of the Honoble Col Nicholson Vizt 10 pounds, part of the 30lbs given by him when Govr of Virginia to three Parishes of this County which is not yet expended for want of an addition according to the Intention of the Donor, parsonage House and Glebe we have none, nor a School: The first Library of great Value Sent us by the Direction of the Reverend Dr Bray. thro' an unhappy inscription on the Back of the Books or Title page. Vizt Belonging to the parish of St Thomas of pamlico. in the then rising but now miserable County of

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Bath falsly supposed to be the Seat of the Governmt was lodged there. and by that means rendered useless to the Clergy. for whose service it was chiefly intended, and in what Condition We Know not. We fear the worst by Reason of the late war. The Library. sent in by Mr Gordon was all left with Mr Wallace late Minister of Keketan in Virginia Save Witby's Annotations on the New Testament. 2 Vol Fol and Pearson on the Creed. which we have. the said Mr Wallace upon due Application refused to deliver the Books. without an Order from the Society or Mr Gordon. There were missing Collection of Cannons. Peveridge on the Catechism Bennet agt the Quakers. Lucas of Happiness 2 Vol. 8vo. Eachards Ecclesiastical History fol. and now the said Mr Wallace is dead we fear the like ill Fate may attend the rest. those Charity Books to the value of 5 lbs the generous Gift likewise of the Society have been since Mr. Gordon's Departure, disposed of as was intended. What relates to the other parishes, within this Government, we presume will be laid before the Society by their respective Vestries, their necessity We believe to be great, but being under the like unhappy Circumstance beg leave only to supplicate for ourselves. and to pray the Honoble Society to continue or rather add to the Salary of Mr Urmston to the End he may be ennabled to stay with us. and that they will out of their great Charity concur with our Honest but weak Endeavors to establish a Church, Ministry, and a School, with the allowance of 10 or 15 lbs pr Annum to a person whom We shall be bound ever to pray that God All mighty may increase their Store and Strengthen their Hands in the carrying on the great Work they have so piously undertaken. and may meet with happy Success in that their Glorious Design.

So prays Sirs
Your most obliged poor Countrymen of the Vestry aforesaid.

To the Honble Coll Nicholson——

Honoured Sr

The Reverend Mr Urmston having acquainted Us with your Hon good Intentions towards this poor Country particularly Us of this parish and the Continuance of your Generosity to usward.

We humbly pray your Acceptance of our unfeigned thanks for all your Favors. Hoping We have complied with the Orders of the Holy Society in the enclosed. We humbly beg your Honr would pleased to

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concur with our Request to the Society and promote the Interest of a poor Country which you seem to wish so well. Your presence here is very much desired, all honest men and Friends of the Church are big with Expectation of the great Influence your good Endeavours may have over us all, to confirm and make all the Members of our Church adhere more Zealously to the Interest thereof.

Silence the Gainsayers and reduce the Authors of our late Confusions to a due Obedience to all lawfull authority in Church and State.

These with all unfeigned and humble
Respects are from
Honod Sr
Your &c.

Upon Complaint from Mr Urmston that the Sherriff Jno Hardy had failed in the Collection of forty five pounds ordered to be paid to the Said Mr Urmston. December ye 10th Anno 1711.

Ordered that the said John Hardy do give an Account to the Church Wardens. who ordered him to Collect the Same of all he hath received and paid on that account on or before the last of this month.

Ordered that the present Church Wardens pay James Beasley for a Desk in the Church as soon as it can be raised.

Ordered that Doctr Spruill be paid for the Cure of Ebenezer Aldridge. his Claim of twelve pounds by the present Church Wardens as soon as money can be raised.

Ordered that Mr Moseley be allowed forty Shillings for the Board of the Said Eben: Aldridge for four months by the present Church Wardens as soon as money can be raised.

That Mr Edward Moseleys Request for an allowance towards his Loss in the plank bought for the use of the Church be referred to the consideration of the next Vestry