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people in holy things until 1826 when he
resigned. He died on his estate here in
1829, aged 49 years.

The Rev Robert Prout became rector
of Durham Parish in 1826. He was a na-
tive of Washington D.C. and studied
theology at the Virginia Seminary. He
was ordained Deacon by Bishop Moore in
the Diocese of Virginia. Coming to Dur-
ham in 1826 he remained until 1840 when
he accepted a call to the rectorship of St.
Paul's Calvert county, which he held un-
1847 when he returned again to Dur-
ham Parish. While Mr. Prout was here,
the first time, was erected a chapel near
"The Trap bridge" for the convenience of
the parishioners in "Lower Nanjemoy,"
many of whom could get to the Parish
Church but seldom, on account of the dis-
tance. This chapel was consecrated by
Bishop Stone under the title of "St.
James'," July 9th, 1835. In 1878 it was
replaced by the present chapel which
stands a few rods nearer the public road.
During the six years of his absence three
clergymen in turn had charge of the par-
ish, viz: the Rev. Messrs. T.B. Flower,
who was here in 1842-'2, during which
time he married a Miss Berry, Savington W.
Crampton who was rector in 1843-'4, and
R. Mitcheson in 1846. Of these three Mr.
Crampton alone survives. He is a native
of Washington county and was ordained
by Bishop Moore in 1840 and soon after
took charge of St. Thomas Church, Han-
cock, whence he came to Charles county.
After leaving here, the greater part of his
ministry was spent in Harford county. He
now resides in Baltimore, esteemed and
beloved by a wide circle of friends. In a
recent letter to the rector, acknowledging
the invitation to attend our Bi-Centennial
Celebration, Mr. Crampton gives these in-
teresting reminiscences of his residence
here: "My rectorship was a brief one, but
a busy and happy one...When I came
I found the church in a very dilapidated
condition. The whole interior was hardly
fit to worship in. We had a gallery on
three sides, the pulpit in the shape of a
wine-glass reached by tottering steps, a
clerks stand under it and also a commun-
ion table - all at the side opposite the
side door - a Vestry house in the corner of
the graveyard, but also so old and weak as to
be past use. It pitied all to see all so. The
ladies, always first in every good work,
stepped forth and proposed a fair and they
had a fair in the grove around the Church.
There was a stir all over the parish and if
you ever saw busy workers you would see
a bee-hive upset in those woods. Every-
body came and spent money freely and a
good pile was gathered. The Vestry met,
a contract was made, and we had almost
a new church....The parishioners most
of them lived remotely from the church
and on account of the roads and gates
came on horseback. The shore people
would meet at "the Trap" and we would
go up to the church in a troop. Hill Top peo-
ple and Chickamuxon coming from anoth-
er direction. All met at the church. Mr.
Haislip would raise the tunes and the
whole congregation join in. I recall those
days with pleasure."

In 1847 the Rev. Mr. Prout returned
to Durham Parish and here he labored,
in faith and prayer, until his peaceful
death at the end of 1880.* His two
rectorships covered fifty years. He alone
of all your pastors was permitted to rest be-
neath the shadow of the Old Church where
he ministered for a full half century. Dur-
ing the long period of his pastorate several
important changes were made in the church
and the services, Forty years ago the
whole interior was reconstructed. All but
the west gallery were removed, the old
pews were taken out, the high pulpit was
placed at the east end with a small chancel
below. About 1878 the present chancel
was made from the material of the old
pulpit, the altar being placed in the
middle of the east end, with lecturn on one
side and pulpit on the other. The first
organ was bought in 1868 and the choir
of "Nanjemoy Church" soon became well-
known for it's good music. The Rector
of Durham was, perhaps, one of the last
clergymen of the Diocese to use the black
gown. He did not adopt the surplice
until a few years before his death. In


* Mr. Prout was twice married. His first wife was Miss Eliza. Dyson daughter of B. Dyson, Esq., whom he wedded before he went to Calvert county. On their return to Durham Parish, Mr. and Mrs. Prout took up their residence at the Dyson mansion, "Holly Hall'" a place which retains unto this day, in spite of all vicissitudes, traces of its former beauty. Mrs. Prout died in Baltimore on 1863 and was buried there. In 1874 the Rector was married to Miss Bettie Cobey, daughter of the late W. B. Cobey, Esq. of "Efton Hills," The next year he purchased "Efton Hills" rebuilt the house and went there to live. His widow still resides there. She has in her parlor handsome oil portraits of her husband and the elder Mrs. Prout which she often points out to visitors as her most cherished possessions.

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