Celebrating 17 years

Clergyman and Adulterer

The Life and Career of William Peaseley
of Colonial and Revolutionary America

William Peaseley served the Church of England as missionary and minister in Newfoundland, South Carolina, and Virginia from 1743 until his death about 1786. Canadian sources give brief accounts of Peaseley's missionary activities in Newfoundland but say almost nothing about his subsequent career.1 Virtually the only information of his service in South Carolina comes from the minutes of a parish vestry.2 Virginia church historians have given very little attention to Peaseley. For example, they are unaware that a South Carolina parish dismissed him for an adulterous affair.3 Thus no inclusive, integrated study of Peaseley and his ministerial record exists. The purpose of this sketch is to identify Peaseley and to analyze his life and career as completely as the record permits. He was not a celebrated divine but he was a member of an important professional group in three provinces. His immorality cannot be condoned or overlooked yet his contributions to the church and society in colonial and Revolutionary America, often under primitive and adverse conditions, should not be ignored.

Peaseley, the son of an unnamed carpenter, was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1714. After attending Dr. Quigg's preparatory school in Dublin, he matriculated in Trinity College in the same city on 23 June 1732 at the age of eighteen as a pensioner, indicating that he paid all of his expenses and suggesting that his family was of moderate means. He took his B. A. degree in the spring of 1737 and possibly an M. A. degree later.4

On 19 December 1742 the bishop of London, the diocesan of the colonial churches, ordained him deacon and two days later the bishop of Exeter, at the request of the bishop of London, elevated him to the priesthood. About the same time the Church of England's Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) accepted him as one of its missionaries. He received the King's Bounty, £20 sterling to help defray passage costs, for Newfoundland on 8 March 1742/1743. He served first in Bonavista and then in St. John's.

Newfoundland was not a good setting for an Anglican minister. The members of the Church of England were a minority and were poor and the clerical income was sparse and unreliable. The parishioners were noted for their "niggardliness," according to the historian of Newfoundland. His cures were in isolated and undeveloped areas and the threat of military attack hung over the island. England and France were engaged in what the Americans called King George's War from 1740 to 1748. The island escaped direct military attack but there were secondary effects such as personal anxieties, scarcity of goods, and high living costs.5

The young priest arrived in Bonavista, a fishing village of about three hundred inhabitants, in July 1743. In October he wrote that he preached twice every Sunday but he said nothing about the church building. In the charity school, which his predecessor, Henry Jones, had organized, he taught poor children to read without remuneration, reporting that he had set aside four hours of each day for that purpose. Bonavista had no parish farm, that is, a glebe, nor a rectorate. The inhabitants offered to contribute £40 per annum in support of the missionary and the SPG provided a stipend of £40 annually. The voluntary contributions, however, were short of expectations. He apprehended an attack from France and thought Bonavista "must inevitably fall a prey to the Enemy." In his very first letter, after a residence of only three months, he implored Dr. Philip Bearcroft, the secretary of the SPG, to remove him to another mission. Soon the Society, "out of compassion to your circumstances and in consideration of having taught the poor children gratis," granted him a gratuity of £10 sterling. More importantly, at his request and because of the meager income, the Society transferred him to St. John's.6

Peaseley came to his new station, which had been vacant for nine years, in October 1744. St. John's was primarily a fishing village, but also the site of a military garrison, a center of local government, and increasingly a commercial hub. Exclusive of those associated with the garrison there were one hundred families living in St. John's, of whom forty professed loyalty to the Church of England, fifty-two to the Roman Catholic Church, and eight to dissenting churches.7 St. John's Anglicans pledged to contribute £40 annually in support of their minister and Michael Ballard, a merchant, gave bond or security for its payment. The Society promised an additional annual salary of £40. According to Peaseley there was "a handsome church built of wood in good repair " and in 1742 a visitor to St. John's reported that the church was sixty by twenty feet with "a decent Altar, Font and pulpit with the ten commandments and Lord's Prayer handsomely written over the communion Table." There was a glebe of unknown value or quality and a rectorate which Peaseley called "a good house."8

In November 1745 Peaseley reported that his congregation at St. John's was large and growing. The small church could "scarcely contain the number " who attended services and the people behaved "with much decency and Devotion." He had visited Petty Harbour, ten miles distant, four times where he preached to large congregations; his intention was to do that every summer. For this effort the SPG awarded him an additional salary of £10 per annum. The number of infant baptisms ranged from thirty-seven in 1749 to forty-eight in 1747 and there were from sixteen to twenty-one communicants. Often Peaseley requested Prayer Books, Bibles, Testaments, Psalters, primers and horn-books from the Society and upon their receipt distributed them or utilized them in his school. One of his first projects was to provide a Protestant school. A large number of children had been attending a Roman Catholic school and were in danger of imbibing "the corruption of popery." Thereupon the Society appointed him schoolmaster and added another £10 to his yearly salary. In November 1748 Peaseley reported that his school was "in a very flourishing condition."9

In a short time Peaseley began petitioning for a removal from this "miserable Country." He complained about the extravagant prices of provisions, the harsh climate, and the drop off of donations. In the summer of 1747 St. John's suffered two disastrous fires which led to a halving of subscriptions. It was only by securing the position of garrison chaplain that he managed to survive.

His biggest problem was with Michael Ballard, the bond holder, and William Keen, a magistrate and naval officer, who were persecuting him "in the most cruel manner." In virtually every communication he mentioned their antagonism toward him. He was "not conscious of giving them the least offense unless it is in the application of some sermons I have preached against the prevailing vices of this place." Some issues were monetary in nature. There was a dispute about a debt Peaseley had incurred which Ballard tried to collect. Since voluntary tithes were deficient, Peaseley attempted to draw from the bondsman, but Ballard resisted and withheld all payment. The merchant tried to withdraw his bond but the SPG was able to thwart the attempt. Ballard's strategy then was to oust the missionary from the station.10

If complaints about him and his ministry reached the Society, Peaseley alerted Bearcroft, one of his two irreconcilable enemies would make them. To deflect their possible criticisms he arranged for testimonials of support. In October 1746 Major Otho Hamilton, the commandant of the garrison, and about twenty leading citizens certified that Peaseley, "both by his Doctrine and good example," had proved to be a "worthy Minister " and had discharged "the Duties of his holy Station with Great ability, Diligence and industry." Peaseley sent a similar testimonial to the SPG in 1749; John Bradstreet, the lieutenant governor, and about thirty prominent local figures endorsed the second tribute.11

Peaseley's problem with Ballard and Keen intensified and his pleas for relocation became ever more insistent and desperate. It appeared to him that it was "impossible for a clergyman to live here without the Favour of those two men." He earnestly begged "for a removal to any other Mission out of this island," and declared that "my Life is really becoming a Burthen to me here." On 20 October 1749 the SPG transferred Peaseley to St. Bartholomew's Parish in South Carolina "because he has encountered opposition in St. John's; " when that anticipated vacancy did not occur the Society assigned him to St. Helena's Parish in January 1751. In the interval, "with the leave of the Society," Peasley returned to England.12

St. Helena's was in present day Beaufort County, South Carolina, situated on the southern coast of the colony midst bays and islands. He arrived in Charles Town (Charleston today) on 25 May 1751 and his name first appeared in the vestry book of the parish on 20 June. The church was located in Beaufort, the second largest town in the colony, and, according to Charles Woodmason, the well known clerical itinerant in South Carolina, it was "the very meanest Church " in the province. The parish church, after several renovations, has survived and is in use; a recent photograph suggests that it was not such a mean structure. There was also a chapel on St. Helena's Island and its ruins are still there.13

Frontier conditions and religious agitation prevailed in the vicinity. During Peaseley's tenure in Beaufort the European nations were at peace. The location and natural features of the area, however, meant that Indian wars and attacks by Spanish forces from Florida and raids and harassment by Spanish and French freebooters were constant threats. Not long before Peaseley's arrival John Wesley and George Whitfield had evangelized the district and large numbers of people, including some prominent men, converted to the dissenting faiths. For example, Colonel Nathaniel Barnwell, one of Whitfield's converts, was and remained a leading vestryman of St. Helena's Parish. Methodist "strolling ministers " gave Peaseley "a good Deal of Trouble."14

According to the vestry book, which is extant and in print, Peaseley received £550 provincial currency per annum (about £78 sterling), payable in biannual installments of £275. There was a glebe of unknown acreage and quality, but there was no rectorate and Peaseley lived in a rented house in Beaufort. To assist him in making rental payments the vestry organized an annual subscription, to which parishioners made voluntary contributions.15 The Church of England was established in South Carolina but the parishes required supplemental support from the SPG.

Peaseley attended vestry meetings regularly and apparently there was harmony between clergyman and congregants for the first few years. He informed the SPG on 25 January 1754 that his parish was very flourishing and that he was performing divine service twice every Sunday. The church was generally filled and the people were orderly in their behavior. Only the notitia for 1753 has survived and in it he reported that he had baptized thirty-three infants and three adults and that there were twenty-seven communicants. He begged for a "Parochial Library," whereupon the SPG allowed him £10 for that purpose. He participated in colonial church affairs, preaching the sermon at the sixth annual meeting of the clergy in South Carolina in 1754.An account of the freemasons in South Carolina reveals that Peaseley was a mason, that he preached "an excellent sermon, suitable to the occasion " at one lodge meeting, and that he had been the "worthy Master " of the chapter in Beaufort at one time.16

The minutes in the vestry book for 14 April 1755 noted that Peaseley wanted to leave South Carolina and that he and the vestry had written letters to Secretary Bearcroft of the SPG, explaining the situation and praying for another missionary.17 This marked the beginning of a very bitter controversy between the churchmen and their rector. Subsequent correspondence, which may be followed in the vestry book, revealed that the two parties engaged in subterfuge; neither revealed the fact that Peaseley very much wanted to continue in St. Helena's but that the vestry sought to be rid of him because of his unacceptable behavior.

Both letters to Bearcroft were dated 21 April 1755. The vestry wrote that Peaseley, for reasons he would disclose, chose "to remove out of this province." The board tried to make a strong case for an early replacement. St. Helena's was "one of the outermost " parishes in South Carolina and was isolated and divided by "Bays Creeks & Rivers," so that it was very difficult to obtain ministers for emergencies and occasional services. It was an extensive parish with a large number of "Poor Settlers."18

In his missive Peaseley informed the secretary "that the frequent & severe returns of a Fever & Ague " had so far impaired his health, as to make it "absolutely necessary " for him to petition for "a removal to some northern mission," where he would not be "so much exposed to the extremes of Cold and Heat." The Society, he had no doubt, appreciated his thirteen years of service and would surely be pleased to grant his request.Possibly Peasley was having health problems but that was not his reason for seeking a new assignment. SPG records note that Peaseley "was seized . . . with a violent ague and Fever for more than four months " in 1753.19

While waiting for a response from the SPG the vestry continued to pay the minister's salary, but at the meeting on 19 April 1756 the members agreed that they would draw his salary no longer then 29 September 1756 and voted to advise him "to make Provision for himself by that Time."20

Soon the vestrymen, concluding that the letters to Bearcroft had "miscarried," composed a memorandum to Peaseley, informing him of their intentions to seek help. They noted the general discontent of the parishioners which was increasing "to such a Degree as to utterly destroy all Union and Harmony between you and them." They had decided to consult "some Friends of the Clergy " in Charles Town. Their goal was to obtain a minister "whose Precepts may not only Dictate the true Principles of Christianity but [by] his Example forcibly Inculcate them." The clear implication was that Peaseley had not been that example. In contacting his peers they would be careful not to offer unnecessary detail or enter upon "Personal Reflections " which would "be injurious to you and your Family." Peaseley could hardly fault them, the vestrymen continued, for stopping his salary and for seeking assistance. The "animosities and Feuds " in the parish were "swelling to such a Degree as to keep the People from the Church and Communion." The vestry urged Peaseley to "neglect no Opportunity to Provide for your Self in some other Parish " before his salary ceased in September.21

In a letter dated 24 June 1756 the parish leaders requested advice from Alexander Garden, the rector of St. Philip's Parish in Charles Town and the bishop of London's commissary in South Carolina until his retirement in 1753. He acted as commissary after that date. The "Differences " between Peaseley and the parishioners, they began, had become so intense that the latter were refusing to attend worship or take communion. It was too painful to enter into "Particulars " but they were ready to prove the allegations if necessary. Peaseley's behavior had been "so open and Shameless as to Disgust all Ranks & Degrees of People." Their appeal to the SPG, for Peaseley's removal on account of his health and for "a Godly and Pious Divine " to replace him, had brought no response. The vestrymen did not want to go to extremes and "Willingly hurt " Peaseley if it could be avoided; their "Compassion " for his family made them "very tender of his Character lest he shou'd be deprived of the means to make a Provision for them in some other Parish."22

Garden responded immediately. He thought it had been "a very great mistake " to "Compromise " with Peaseley, by permitting him to plead ill health to the Society. Since he did not enjoy the right of tenure, Garden's "sincere advice " was to discharge him at once, to "draw up your articles of Complaint against him," and to transmit them to the Society."Tenderness to a Family is indeed very commendable " he wrote, "but when it happens in Competition with the Interests of the Church of God & the Souls of the parishioners it not only ceases to be Commendable but becomes very faulty & blameable." The SPG's earnest desire, Garden explained, was that mission stations and parishes give candid reports of the "offensive Behaviour " of its missionaries, so that it might transfer them or dismiss them from the service.23

In the meantime Peaseley continued to officiate and he proposed an extension of his salary after 29 September which the vestrymen rejected at their meeting on 2 August 1756. In a note they informed the parson that if he persisted in officiating after that date they were prepared to shut the church doors and if challenged transmit to "the Society & Bishop of London our Complaints and Accusations against you," as advised by Commissary Garden.24

Peaseley recorded his view of affairs in a letter to the vestry on 21 August 1756. First he protested that, contrary to their repeated promises, the vestry had complained to Garden about him "in very virulent, tho' general Terms," which might cause the commissary to think him "guilty of the most culpable actions." Peaseley was bound for Charles Town and he asked the churchmen to prepare a letter to the commissary in which they would "be a little more explicit " about the charges against him. He wanted Garden to know if their accusations were of a "highly Criminal, or immoral " nature, or if the alleged wrongdoing consisted "of indiscretions and imprudences only such as uneasiness in my Family, my warmth of Temper in resenting injuries and such like." His reason for wanting them to be "particular to Mr. Garden " was to preclude him from accepting "the Scandalous Story raised by Mrs. Cattell's Wench." Peaseley did not want Garden to "think you intended to prove me Guilty of that base Action." He seems to have been willing to concede culpability in other matters but not of adultery; possibly Mrs. Cattell was his paramour.25

In the last half of his letter of 21 August, Peaseley complained that there was no parsonage and that he had to pay "House-Rent." The Society had assured him that there was a "good " rectorate on the glebe, "and on no other Terms wou'd I have come here." He could not pay his rent of £150 without great distress to himself and his family. He asked that the sum, or at least half of it, be raised by subscription; he was under such "great straits," as to be obliged to sell some of his books. He also implored the vestry to pay one more half year's salary. His family's suffering could not serve them in any way, nor did he think they desired it. In closing he prayed that the vestry would "be good enough to represent my Case to Mr. Garden in as favourable Light as you can."26

On 24 August the members of the vestry responded negatively to Peaseley's request for a letter to carry to Garden. In justice to themselves, they began, they could not have "said less " about his behavior in their appeal, and, they asked, "what room " is left for us to write anything "in favour of you? " Mrs. Cattell's slave, they declared, was only one of many witnesses to his immoral conduct. The subscriptions for his rent had been generous until his moral indiscretions became common knowledge. They made it clear that Peaseley could expect no more financial help or indulgent gestures from them. On 6 September he set off for Charles Town without a new message for the commissary.27

The parson soon returned from Charles Town where he had conferred with a group of five Anglican ministers. Garden died on 27 September and had not participated. On 7 October he sent a memo to the vestry in which he reported that the unanimous advice of his peers had been "that by quitting the Parish " before he heard from the Society he would be "guilty of the highest breach of Trust." He therefore begged the vestry to permit him to officiate and draw salary until Easter. He promised to quit the parish at that time, when he could do so "without giving the Society the least offence." Peaseley also argued that the vestry had not given him enough time to find a new parish.28

Peaseley's prayer for consent to officiate and receive salary until Easter gave the vestrymen "the greatest surprise." Surely "you cannot expect our Compliance with it from an approbation of your late Conduct," they stated in their response on 8 October. Later they would disclose the nature of his "late Conduct." The welfare of the parish was at issue and was "an Effectual Bar " to their assent."By no means " could they honor his request.29

Before the end of October the five clerics, whom Peaseley had consulted in Charles Town, addressed the vestry of St. Helena. The communication had been prepared and signed by Richard Clarke, who had succeeded Garden as rector of St. Philip's Parish in Charles Town. Since they thought "it unreasonable to condemn a man unheard," they had listened to Peaseley and from his "state of the Case " it appeared that things were "not so bad " as generally reported. But they had been unable to make a judgment after hearing "only one side." They had seen the letter to Garden but it contained only "general Assertions without Proof." Therefore, Clarke asked the vestry to transmit to the five of them the allegations, "supported with all reasonable evidence." The underlying purpose, Clarke explained, was to enable them to decide whether they could "Conscientiously " give Peaseley a recommendation to any other parish in the province.30 He seemed to realize that the embattled rector could not remain in St. Helena's.

In their response to Clarke and his fellow ministers on 5 November 1756, the board members observed that they had "resolved against entering into any further dispute " with their minister unless compelled to do so. The request of the clergymen forced them "with great Reluctance to point out a few particulars " of the subject's conduct. There had been many "Feuds " between the parson and his flock, but since the church officials had taken no part in them, they would offer no details.31

The chief accusation involved the minister's "too frequent and ill timed Visits to a Woman who then lived in this Town that gave great umbrage." This prompted one individual to present an affidavit to Captain John Fendin, a magistrate, alleging that the parson was engaged in sexual misbehavior. At the same time another person publicly affirmed before Fendin that he had witnessed "indecent familiarities " between the parson and the woman in question. Thereupon Fendin informed Peaseley of the charges, urging him to "clear himself of the Imputation." When he did not respond Fendin again strongly advised him to bring the accusers "to a strict Account."32

Peaseley then called a vestry meeting and complained of Fendin's "ill treatment " but, nevertheless, made a "Solemn Promise " never to see the woman again; yet he did so again "that very afternoon " and continued visiting her openly. One embarrassing reaction was that unknown persons placed "scandalous Advertisements " in public places which were "leveled at those Nocturnal and other meetings." Before he left for Charles Town he had stayed with the woman two days and two nights and when he returned he visited her before going home. All of this caused "Tumults and disorder in his own Family " and deterred potential worshippers from attending church.33

There were additional complaints. Twice Peaseley had refused to visit people at the "point of death " when sent for by the families of the afflicted. He had "beat one Person to the great Effusion of his Blood " and had menaced others with similar violence. Once he had threatened to strike a member of the vestry for "differing with him in Opinion." Perhaps all of these things might "sound too much like a Romance," the parish officials concluded, yet they were all "certainly true."34

As the vestry reported, the rector's infidelity greatly disturbed his spouse and disrupted family relations, evidently to the extent that friends and acquaintances became involved. According to the St. Helena's Parish Register, his wife's given name was Mary but her surname is unknown. Since the couple's first child was born in Newfoundland in 1749 it can be assumed that she was either a resident of that island or of Britain. Three more children issued from the union in Beaufort but it may be that none of them reached adulthood.35 The vestry's concern for the family's welfare can be considered praiseworthy.

The vestry book says no more about the quarrel and Peaseley soon took his leave from Beaufort. On 17 December 1756, the last time his name is mentioned in its records, the Society recommended that his request for a northern mission be considered as soon as a vacancy occurred. But it was too late because Peaseley needed a parish and income immediately. He had to find a new cure himself. In May 1757 he began his duties as minister in St. Mark's, a difficult parish. His salary was to equal that of other ministers in South Carolina. Organized in 1757, St. Mark's was located between the Pee Dee and Stantee Rivers and extended westward indefinitely. The center of the parish was in the backcountry in what today is Sumter County. In his journal Charles Woodmason, the itinerant in St. Mark's after 1765, commented about the poverty, immorality, lawlessness, religious ignorance and indifference, and uncivilized manners of the inhabitants; moreover, he added, "the New Lights, now infest the whole Back Country." In 1761-1762 the Cherokee War brought upheaval to the area. In 1759 the parish acquired a glebe of 150 acres and selected a site for a church, but because of the "Smallness of their Fortunes " the parishioners were able to contribute only "a very inconsiderable " amount for "the undertaking." Thereupon the Assembly appropriated £700 toward the project, but a sanctuary and a rectorate did not materialize before Peaseley departed. At what sites and in which structures he conducted services is unknown. The extensive parish required onerous traveling by Peaseley and his problems were compounded by two competing vestries in the parish.36

The historians of St. Mark's and of the colonial church in South Carolina did not know, or failed to mention, that Peaseley had been rector of the parish.37 The only information about his incumbency comes from two petitions he sent to the Commons House of Assembly. On 6 July 1759 he dispatched a memorial, explaining that he had "undergone a very hard Duty, being obliged to ride two Sundays in three, between Thirty or Forty Miles." The inhabitants of the Pee Dee River area, where he evidently made his residence, had organized a vestry, he reported, and had given him an order for salary for six months service but the colonial treasurer had refused to honor it, claiming there was "another more legal Vestry at Santee." His prayer was for such relief as the lawmakers "in their great Wisdom " thought "most meet." The recipients ordered the petition to "lie upon the Table," but apparently did order the election of a new vestry.38

The next year, on 17 April 1760, Peaseley sent a similar entreaty. He reminded the lawmakers that he had "done a very laborious duty " because of the long riding that was required. He reported that the inhabitants had chosen a new vestry and his drafts on the treasurer for the first eighteen months of service had been paid. But his draft for the last six months service, ending May 1759, had once again been rejected on the premise that there "was a more legal Vestry on Santee." It was actually "impracticable " for him to hold services at Santee which involved a ride of ninety miles, but to "give all possible satisfaction " he had "performed Divine Service " there for three months for which he received a draft on the treasurer from the Santee vestry. Yet, he was "unpaid for 15 months Service." This time the legislators referred the petition to a committee but the result was not recorded.39

In October 1766 Woodmason observed that St. Mark's had "been destitute of a minister " for three years and it is known that the Reverend John Evans served the parish briefly after Peaseley left. Thus it may be surmised that Peaseley made his exit from St. Mark's about 1762.40

 
 

Endnotes

The author wishes to thank Erick D. Montgomery, Augusta, Georgia and Bradstreet Peaseley, Richmond, Virginia for their assistance. Both provided important genealogical materials and Mr. Montgomery read the manuscript and offered valuable suggestions. Mr. Montgomery is a descendant of our subject's second wife and her first husband and Mr. Peaseley is a descendant of William Peaseley and his second wife.

1Frederick Jones, "Peaseley, William," Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Mary McD. Maude et al., eds. (Toronto, 1974), 3:504; D[aniel] W[oodley] Prowse, "Peaseley, William," The Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador, (St. John's, Nfld., 1994), 4:241-42; Daniel Woodley Prowse, A History of Newfoundland from English, Colonial, and Foreign Records (2d ed., London, 1896), 580-81, 591-93.

2A[lexander] S[amuel] Salley, Jr., ed., Minutes of the Vestry of St. Helena's Parish, South Carolina, 1726-1812 (Columbia, S. C., 1919), 49-86; Frederick Dalcho, An Account of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South-Carolina, from the First Settlement of the Province, to the War of the Revolution (Charleston, S. C., 1820), 379; Dalcho has only a very short paragraph about Peaseley and deals with his scandal in one sentence.

3Virginia church authorities have only brief and incomplete biographical data about Peaseley; see Edward Lewis Goodwin, The Colonial Church in Virginia, with Biographical and Other Historical Papers, Together with Brief Biographical Sketches of the Colonial Clergy in Virginia (Milwaukee, 1927), 298; Frederick Lewis Weis, The Colonial Clergy of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina (Boston, 1955), 40; George MacLaren Brydon, "The Clergy of the Established Church in Virginia and the Revolution," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 41 (1933): 297

4George Dames Burtchaell and Thomas Ulick Sadlier, Alumni Dublinenses: A Register of the Students, Graduates, Professors and Provosts of Trinity College in the University of Dublin, l593-1860 (Dublin, 1935), 658; Weis, The Colonial Clergy, 40.

5James B. Bell, "Anglican Clergy in Colonial America Ordained by Bishops of London," American Antiquarian Society, Proceedings 83 (1973): 145; e-mail, Brian Carpenter, Archivist, Devon County [England] Record Office, to the author, 22 January 2007; The Journal of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Micro Methods, 1964), 9:78-79, 250; Prowse, A History of Newfoundland, 284-300, 580.

6Peaseley to the SPG, 19 June 1743 and 6 October 1743, Records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Letters Series B, 1701-1786 (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Micro Methods, 1964), 11:105, 106; the SPG to Peaseley, 26 April 1744, ibid., 13:35; Journal of the United Society, 9: 78-79, 123.

7Hans Rollmann and Bonita Power, "'Bonavista's Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water': The First School in Newfoundland, " http://www.mun.ca/rel/ang/texts/ang2.html; Jones, "Peaseley, William," 504.

8Peaseley to the SPG, 19 June 1743 and 6 December 1747, Records of the Society, 11:105, 13:203; theSPG to Peaseley, 26 April 1744, ibid., 13:35; for the pledge to raise £40 and Ballard's bond, see ibid., 11:107, 108; Journal of the United Society, 9:121-22, 203, 250, 10:15.

9Peaseley to the SPG, 1 November 1745, 6 November 1745, 6 December 1747, 15 November 1748, 3 November 1749, Records of the Society, 13:201, 203, 15:3, 16:1, 17:44; Journal of the United Society, 10:15, 95, 225-26.

10Peaseley to the SPG, 27 October 1746, 6 November 1747, 15 November 1748, 5 August 1749, 3 November 1749, Records of the Society., 14:81, 15:3, 16:1, 17:43-44; Journal of the United Society, 11:3, 89, 158. As late as 1754, when Peaseley was settled in South Carolina, Ballard tried, unsuccessfully it appears, to bring suit for the debt; see ibid., 13:47-48.

11Peaseley to the SPG, 27 October 1746 with enclosure, 3 November 1749 with enclosure, Records of the Society, 14:85, 17:44.

12Peaseley to the SPG, 5 August 1749, 3 November 1749, ibid., 17:43, 17:44; William Wilson Manross, comp., S. P. G. Papers in the Lambeth Palace Library: Calendar and Indexes (Oxford, 1974), 23-31; see also the Journal of the United Society, 11:158, 302.

13Peaseley to the SPG, 12 September 1751, Records of the Society, 19:137; Salley, ed., Minutes of the Vestry, 49-79; Richard J. Hooker, ed., The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution: The Journal and other Writings of Charles Woodmason, Anglican Itinerant (Chapel Hill, 1953), 71; for a history of the parish and recent photographs of the exterior and interior of the church and the derelict chapel, see Suzanne Cameron Linder, Anglican Churches in Colonial South Carolina: Their History and Architecture (Charleston, 1999), 66-71.

14Lawrence W. Rowland, Alexander Moore, and George C. Rogers, Jr., The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina, vol. 1: 1514-1862 (Columbia, S. C., 1966), 130-33, 142-54; Journal of the United Society, 12:352, 13:207.

15Salley, ed., Minutes of the Vestry, 49-79.

16Journal of the United Society, 12:352; Wilmot G. Desaussure, "Address of the History of Freemasonry in South Carolina, 1878," http://www.scgrandlodgeafm.org/desaussure1878.htm.

17Salley, ed., Minutes of the Vestry, 68.

18The vestry to the SPG, 21 April 1755, ibid., 84-85.

19Peaseley to the SPG, 21 April 1755, ibid., 85-86; Journal of the United Society, 12:352.

20Salley, ed., Minutes of the Vestry, 71.

21The vestry to Peaseley, no date, ibid., 73-74.

22The vestry to Alexander Garden, 24 June 1756, ibid., 74-75.

23Garden to the vestry, 16 July 1756, ibid., 76-77.

24Ibid., 77.

25Peaseley to the vestry, 21 August 1756, ibid., 78.

26Ibid., 78-79.

27The vestry to Peaseley, 24 August 1756, ibid., 79-80.

28Peaseley to the vestry, 7 October 1756, ibid., 80.

29Ibid., 81.

30Richard Clarke to the vestry, 20 October 1756, ibid., 81-82. The four other clergymen were Jonathan Copp, James Harrison, Charles Martyn, and John Andrews.

31The vestry to Clarke, 5 November 1756, ibid., 82.

32Ibid., 83-84.

33Ibid.

34Ibid. The church wardens during the controversy at first were John Chapman and William Reynolds and then John Gordon and John Heyward. The other members of the vestry were Nathaniel Barnwell, Thomas Wigg, John Mullryne, William Harvey, John Barnwell, John Delegaye, and Joseph Jenkins.

35The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine 23 (1922): 146-48. Erick D. Montgomery, Augusta, Georgia called the author's attention to this source. The four children were John, born 17 May 1749 in St. John's and buried 29 October 1752 in Beaufort; Daniel, born in Beaufort 5 September 1751 and buried there 10 November 1751; Edith, born in Beaufort 29 June 1754, and William, born in Beaufort 29 May 1755.

36Linder, Anglican Churches, 119-20; Hooker, ed., The Carolina Backcountry, esp. 68; The Colonial Records of South Carolina: The Journal of the Commons House of Assembly, October 6, 1757 – January 25, 1761, Terry W. Lipscomb, ed. (Charleston, 1996), 289-90, 359.

37James M. Burgess, Chronicles of St. Mark's Parish, Santee Circuit, and Williamsburg Township, South Carolina, 1731-1885 (Columbia, S. C., 1888),13; Dalcho, An Historical Account, 323; Linder, Anglican Churches, 119-21.

38Journal of the Commons House of Assembly, 414.

39Ibid., 502-03.

40Hooker, ed., The Carolina Backcountry, 8, 21, 21n.