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house, at several meetings, on account of
the "severity of the winter," "scarcity of
workmen," "harvesting," "the sickly sea-
son," etc., but finally "gave his honor" to
finish the work if possible, by the 16th of
Sept. 1793. And he kept his word.

A few words in regard to the interior
arrangement of the church cannot be out
of place here. The main entrance was on
the south side, midway between the two
ends. Opposite this door stood the high
pulpit on the right side of which was the
"Communion Table" ornamented (let us
hope) in a suitable manner to the solemni-
ty of the place." In front of the pulpit
was placed the Clerk's desk. The Clerk
was an important official in the eighteenth
century both in England and America, and
received a salary for his services. He led
in the responses, and, as Prayer Books
were few and costly, in most parishes the
Clerk alone read all that was assigned to
the people except the more familiar parts of
the service. The floor of the church and
all the three galleries were full of square
box-like pews with high backs. The
Vestry had great trouble in assigning the
new pews to the satisfaction of the parish-
ioners. Indeed they found it impossible to
please the people, so the finally settled all
disputes by passing a resolution on the 14th
of April, 1795, "that all ancient claims be
abolished and forever relinquished and
that all subscribers for the repairs of the
church are vested with an equal right in
pews of said church." A new distribution
was then made, and the vexed question
disappears from the Records.

The Rev. Mr. Harrison was succeeded
in the rectorship by the Rev. John S. Say-
res who entered upon his duties in 1799
and remained five years, retiring in 1804.
Mr. Sayres was a native of New York and
was ordained by Bishop White in 1792.
After leaving Durham he removed to
Georgetown D.C., where he opened a pri-
vate school. He served as chaplain of the
United States Senate 1806-'7. He mar-
ried Miss Sophia Speake, daughter of Rich-
ard Speake, of this parish. After his death
Mrs. Sayres returned to her old home and
resided here until here death in 1827.
Rev. R. Prout officiated at her funeral.
Mr. Sayres is said to have been "a most
earnest man and much beloved." June
29th, 1805, The Rev Francis Walker was
elected rector and served until August 4th,
1806, but failing to procure the necessary
license from the Bishop, the Parish was
declared vacant by the Vestry. Shortly
after the advertised for a rector in "Yundt
and Brown's paper and the National In-
telligencer." In 1808 the instructed the
Register to write to "the Bishop of the
State" and tell him that they wanted a
clergyman, offering, besides the salary of
$400, "the Glebe which rents for 1900
pounds of tobacco per annum." In 1809
the Rev. William Duncan became rector.
He was a native of Kent county and had
been ordained Deacon by Bishop Claggett,
in 18008. He was originally a Methodist
minister, but conformed to the Church.
During the first year of his pastorate oc-
curred the most momentous event in the
history of Durham Parish thus far - an
Episcopal visitation. For the first time
since it's erection a successor of the Holy
Apostles stood within the sanctuary to bless
his children and to confer the "gift of the
Holy Ghost" by "the Laying on of Hands."
The year 1809 is, indeed, a blessed year in
our Parochial annals. It was the begin-
ning of a new era. Laus Deo! At the Con-
vention of 1810, the Rt. Rev. Thomas J.
Claggett, D. D., First Bishop of Maryland,
reported that "on Sunday, 24th September,
1809 he reached the Parish Church of
Durham in Charles County. This is a
brick building in good condition. The
parish has an attentive Vestry and it is be-
lieved a faithful and laborious rector. The
congregation was large and remarkably
attentive to its several duties. The Bishop
was met here by the Rev. Mr. Duncan,
the rector, and the Rev. Mr. Swan who
lives near Port Tobacco. The Rector read
prayers and the Bishop consecrated the
Church, preached a sermon on the occa-
sion and confirmed about 80 persons. The
next day the congregation assembled again.
The Rev. Mr. Swan read prayers, and the
Bishop preached and administered the
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper to 45 com-
unicants." In 1810 Mr. Duncan reported
36 communicants, 159 baptisms of which
white children 66, 19 marriages, 4 funer-
als. He remained in Durham until 1812
when he returned and became rector of All
Hallows', Anne Arundel county, where he
died in 1819. There is the following re-
cord of his labors here: "Mr. Duncan
was exceedingly popular and filled the
church. He was especially liked by Gen.

On the 1st of January 1813, the Rev.
Nobel Young became rector and remained
three years retiring in 1816. After an ab-
sence of two years he returned to Durham
in 1818, and continued to minister to his

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