|ordered to be levied upon the parishioners.*
I believe that the church was built in
1734. According to local tradition, the
red and chocolate colored bricks neces-
sary for it's construction were brought from
England. A similar tradition clings to
almost every old brick edifice in Maryland
and Virginia. There is every reason to
believe that all these stories are unreliable.
"It is doubtful whether a single building
was built from imported bricks. They were
all made on the spot. Old brick houses
are always found on or near clay soil."
The first tax was not sufficient to finish the
church. In 1736 the Assembly authorized
the Vestry to make a second levy of 16,000
pounds of tobacco to complete the work,
and undoubtedly the venerable rector had
the pleasure of officiating in the new
church, which must certainly have been
considered an unusually handsome edifice
for the times, before he died in 1742.
On the 1st of March, 1743, the Rev.
Theophilus Swift became rector of Dur-
ham Parish. He was the first clergyman
who held exclusive charge here, as up to
that time Durham and Port Tobacco had
been served by the same rector. + He re-
mained until 1749 when he went to Port
Tobacco and was rector there until 1762
when he died. In 1749 the Rev. Alex-
ander Adams, Jr. came to Durham and
remained until 1764 when he retired. He
had been licensed for Maryland by the
Bishop of London in 1748. He died in
1767. In 1765 we find in charge the Rev.
Wm. Dowie of whom very little is known
except he was licensed by the Bishop
on London in 1762, and he died here in
1768. He married the daughter of Mrs.
|Ann Dent and left two small children to
their grandmother whom he made his
executrix. He was succeeded by the
Rev. H. Fendall who was licensed by the
Bishop of London in 1767. He became
rector of Durham in 1770 ++ and remain-
ed until 1776.
In 1772 begins the Book of Records (or
old Vestry Book as it is commonly called)
which has been deposited for safe keeping
in the Diocesan library at Baltimore. I
have given this book careful examination,
and find it full of interesting records of
which I give all of importance. The
Vestry Book is a thick substantial volume,
bound in leather. The records extend
from 1772 to 1824. As a rule the entries
are carefully and grammatically written,
the hand-writing being generally clear and
legible. It has upon the inside cover these
words: "Durham Parish - began the 2nd
of June, 1772." Unfortunately the first
two pages are missing, the first legible
entry reading as follows: "Met at the
Vestry house of Durham Parish on Easter
Monday, 9th day of April, Anno Dom.
1774, the reverend Henry Fendall, Mr.
Warren Dent, Mr. William Elgin, Capt.
Joseph Hanson Harrison, Mr. Samuel
Stone, Vestrymen; Messers. Richard Price$
and James Muncaster Church Wardens
- Together with the freeholders as many
would attend and did Ease Capt. Gerard
Fowke and Mr. Warren Dent from serving
as Vestrymen and Chose Messrs. Thomas
Perry and Henry Davis in their stead,
also Chose Hezekiah Franklin in place of
Robert M. Coarts Deceased as Vestryman,
also on the same day did Ease Mr. Rich-
ard Price and James Muncaster from serv-
the Appendix, at the end of this sketch, will be found some account of the use of tobacco
as currency, during the colonial era of Maryland. The subject is one of importance to any
one who wishes to understand the history of the colony. Up to the Revolution all
freeholders were taxed "40 pounds per poll" for the support of the Church. Extra
taxes were levied when necessary.
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