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Monday, December 7, 2015

The Clergy

St. Luke's Church, Smithfield, Virginia
The average clergy in Virginia did better in the Colony that in England where rural ministers of the gospel stood in a position hardly superior to that of a menial servant. The ministers were hardly compensated for by the bed, food and pittance in money he received and children were in no better condition than the peasantry attending his church.  Since ministers were needed in the colony, it is surprising that more did not emigrate in order to enjoy an improved lifestyle.   Rev. Alexander Whitaker, writing to Rev. Crashaw in 1611, begged for young, godly and learned ministers of the Church of England. The London Company asked the Bishop of London to supply for the vacant.pulpits.  In 1629 Governor Harvey, just before he set sail for Virginia, addressed a letter to the Privy Council as to the colony's need for ministers. Souce: Maccauley's History of England, Chapter iii; British Colonial Papers, v. 5, Nos. 22, 23.

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