Raving Wolves It was said by a Quaker witness in Northampton County that "the ministers who came into this country were raveninge wolves and hungry dogges and would preach no longer than they were fed." Rev. Robert Powes of Lower Norfolk County in 1652 owned 64 volumes of books. For four years Powes performed all of the ministerial duties of Lower Norfolk County and received no compensation. In 1648 the vestry paid him one years full tithe in tobacco and corn. An inventory taken in 1652 disclosed that he was the owner of no inconsiderable aount of property, however, his personalty was valued at nearly 12,000 pds of tobacco and included a large quantity of household furniture and utensils, 18 head of cattle and seven head of swine. He also possessed a boat. He instructed in his will that the cattle should pass to his daughter who was living in the Mother Country (England). To his only son, Robert, he devised the remainder of his estate. Hence, the life of clergymen in the Virginia Colony was a sparse existence at most, depending upon the parishers for support, even food. The churches were comprised of a vestry, who created boundaries, measured roads, visited parishioners, and a number of charitable duties. Attendance to the Anglican Church was required, as well as tithing which was usually done in the form of tobacco. Tobacco was widely traded for goods in the Colony and exported to England. But Virginians were adventurers who invested more in farm lands and out buildings than they did their own homes. The temperament of Virginians was not particularly religious in nature. By the time of the Declaration of Independence, Virginians had created an economy of thriving plantations which produced independent wealth in rice and cotton crops. After the war, as loyalists were declared traiters and their estates confiscated, an old colonial churchyard, St. John's Episcopal Church near Suffolk, County, suffered damage to its cemetery when patriots torn down Loyalist tombstones. Sources: Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. vi, p. 191 and Last Will and Testament, Norfolk County; Lower Norfolk Antiquity, vol. ii, pp. 124, 126; Northampton Records, 1657-64, p. 27.
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