Religion in early Virginia
The history of religion in early Virginia begins with the founding of the Virginia Colony, in particular the commencing of Anglican services at Jamestown in 1607. In 1619, the Church of England was made the established church throughout the Colony of Virginia, becoming a dominant religious and political force. Throughout the 18th century its power was challenged by Protestant dissenters and religious movements. Following the American Revolution and political independence from Britain, in 1786 the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom disestablished the Church of England, ending public support and legalizing the public and private practice of other religious traditions. After the start of the Columbian Exchange in 1492, subsequent waves of European colonization of the Americas coincided with the Protestant Reformation and Counter-Reformation. With the English Reformation beginning in the 1530s, England broke from the Roman Catholic Church to form the Church of England as its official religion.
In turn, within England numerous groups of Protestants broke from the Church of England for theological and liturgical reasons. The increasing hostility and disputes in Europe between and among Catholics and various groups of Protestants would influence and spill into the European colonization efforts, in turn affect the internal relations among the colonists through the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1570, a group of Spanish Jesuit missionaries founded the Ajacán Mission in what would become the Tidewater region of Virginia. All but one of the missionaries were killed in 1571 by the indigenous populace. Subsequently, no Catholic churches would be founded in the future territory of Virginia until after the American Revolution. Anglicanism arrived in the Americas with the ill-fated Roanoke Colony, its brief existence saw recorded the first baptisms in North America into the Church of England. Anglican chaplain Robert Hunt was among the first group of English colonists arriving in Virginia in 1607.
He was succeeded as chaplain by Richard Buck, who served in the post until his death in 1624. By the time the Virginia Company of London was dissolved in 1624, authorities in England had sent 22 Anglican clergymen to the colony. Religious leaders in England felt they had a duty as missionaries to bring Christianity, to the Native Americans. There was an assumption that their own "mistaken" spiritual beliefs were the result of a lack of education and literacy since the Powhatan did not have a need for a written language. Therefore, teaching them these skills would logically result in what the English saw as "enlightenment" in their religious practices, bring them into the fold of the church, part of the government, hence, a form of control. One of the earliest of these missionaries was Reverend Alexander Whitaker, who served from 1611 until his death in 1616. Efforts in the early 17th century to establish a school for the Virginia Indians at Henricus were abandoned following the Indian Massacre of 1622, would not come about for another century.
Apart from the Nansemond tribe, which had converted in 1638, a few isolated individuals over the years, the other Powhatan tribes as a whole did not convert to Christianity until 1791. The Church of England was established in the colony in 1619. In practice, establishment meant that local taxes were funneled through the local parish to handle the needs of local government, such as roads and poor relief, in addition to the salary of the minister; as in England, the parish became a unit of local importance, equal in power and practical aspects to other entities, such as the courts and the House of Burgesses and the Governor's Council. A typical parish contained three or four churches, as the parish churches needed to be close enough for people to travel to worship services, where attendance was expected of everyone. Expansion and subdivision of the church parishes followed population growth; the intention of the Virginia parish system was to place a church not more than six miles -easy riding distance-from every home in the colony.
The shires, soon after initial establishment in 1634 known as counties, were planned to be not more than a day's ride from all residents, so that court and other business could be attended to in a practical manner. A parish was led spiritually by a rector and governed by a committee of layman members respected in the community, known as the vestry. There never was a bishop in colonial Virginia, in practice, the local vestry controlled the parish. Indeed, there was fierce political opposition to having a bishop in the colony. By the 1740s, the established Anglican church had about 70 parish priests around the colony. Parishes had a church farm to help support it financially; each county court gave tax money to the local vestry. The vestry provided the priest a glebe of 200 or 300 acres, a house, some livestock; the vestry paid him an annual salary of 16,000 pounds-of-tobacco, plus 20 shillings for every wedding and funeral. While not poor, the priests lived modestly and their opportunities for improvement were slim.
After a crop failure caused the price of tobacco to jump, the Two Penny Act was enacted by the General
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, extends 550 miles southwest from southern Pennsylvania through Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia; this province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. To the west of the Blue Ridge, between it and the bulk of the Appalachians, lies the Great Appalachian Valley, bordered on the west by the Ridge and Valley province of the Appalachian range; the Blue Ridge Mountains are noted for having a bluish color. Trees put the "blue" in Blue Ridge, from the isoprene released into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color. Within the Blue Ridge province are two major national parks – the Shenandoah National Park in the northern section, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the southern section – and eight national forests including George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Cherokee National Forest, Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest and Chattahoochee National Forest.
The Blue Ridge contains the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile long scenic highway that connects the two parks and is located along the ridge crest-lines with the Appalachian Trail. Although the term "Blue Ridge" is sometimes applied to the eastern edge or front range of the Appalachian Mountains, the geological definition of the Blue Ridge province extends westward to the Ridge and Valley area, encompassing the Great Smoky Mountains, the Great Balsams, the Roans, the Blacks, the Brushy Mountains and other mountain ranges; the Blue Ridge extends as far north into Pennsylvania as South Mountain. While South Mountain dwindles to mere hills between Gettysburg and Harrisburg, the band of ancient rocks that form the core of the Blue Ridge continues northeast through the New Jersey and Hudson River highlands reaching The Berkshires of Massachusetts and the Green Mountains of Vermont; the Blue Ridge contains the highest mountains in eastern North America south of Baffin Island. About 125 peaks exceed 5,000 feet in elevation.
The highest peak in the Blue Ridge is Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,684 feet. There are 39 peaks in North Tennessee higher than 6,000 feet. Southern Sixers is a term used by peak baggers for this group of mountains; the Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles along crests of the Southern Appalachians and links two national parks: Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains. In many places along the parkway, there are metamorphic rocks with folded bands of light-and dark-colored minerals, which sometimes look like the folds and swirls in a marble cake. Most of the rocks that form the Blue Ridge Mountains are ancient granitic charnockites, metamorphosed volcanic formations, sedimentary limestone. Recent studies completed by Richard Tollo, a professor and geologist at George Washington University, provide greater insight into the petrologic and geochronologic history of the Blue Ridge basement suites. Modern studies have found that the basement geology of the Blue Ridge is made of compositionally unique gneisses and granitoids, including orthopyroxene-bearing charockites.
Analysis of zircon minerals in the granite completed by John Aleinikoff at the U. S. Geological Survey has provided more detailed emplacement ages. Many of the features found in the Blue Ridge and documented by Tollo and others have confirmed that the rocks exhibit many similar features in other North American Grenville-age terranes; the lack of a calc-alkaline affinity and zircon ages less than 1,200 Ma suggest that the Blue Ridge is distinct from the Adirondacks, Green Mountains, the New York-New Jersey Highlands. The petrologic and geochronologic data suggest that the Blue Ridge basement is a composite orogenic crust, emplaced during several episodes from a crustal magma source. Field relationships further illustrate that rocks emplaced prior to 1,078–1,064 Ma preserve deformational features; those emplaced post-1,064 Ma have a massive texture and missed the main episode of Mesoproterozoic compression. The Blue Ridge Mountains began forming during the Silurian Period over 400 million years ago.
320 Mya, North America, Europe collided, pushing up the Blue Ridge. At the time of their emergence, the Blue Ridge were among the highest mountains in the world and reached heights comparable to the much younger Alps. Today, due to weathering and erosion over hundreds of millions of years, the highest peak in the range, Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, is only 6,684 feet high – still the highest peak east of the Rockies; the English who settled colonial Virginia in the early 17th century recorded that the native Powhatan name for the Blue Ridge was Quirank. At the foot of the Blue Ridge, various tribes including the Siouan Manahoacs, the Iroquois, the Shawnee hunted and fished. A German physician-explorer, John Lederer, first reached the crest of the Blue Ridge in 1669 and again the following year. At the Treaty of Albany negotiated by Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood, of Virginia with the Iroquois between 1718 and 1722, the Iroquois ceded lands they had conquered south of the Potomac River and east of the Blue Ridge to the Virginia Colony.
This treaty made the Blue Ridge the new demarcation point between the areas and tribes subject to the Six Nati
Pohick Church is an Episcopal church in the community of Lorton in Fairfax County, United States. Called the "Mother Church of Northern Virginia," the church is notable for its association with important figures in early Virginian history such as George Washington and George Mason, both of whom served on its vestry; as Pohick Episcopal Church, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. The origins of Pohick Church can be traced to a chapel of ease for Overwharton Parish, which appears to have been built around 1695 in the Woodlawn area of today's community of Mount Vernon; this church, the first in the parish and thus the first in Northern Virginia, was recorded in a 1715 land grant as being along the Potomac Path, the "county main road," which today is U. S. Route 1. In 1730 the parish relocated the church south, building a frame structure, the so-called "church above Occoquan Ferry" near what became the community of Colchester; the site of this church is today occupied by Cranford United Methodist Church.
No other trace of the original structure or its site exists. By 1730 the population of the parish had grown and it was decided by the Virginia General Assembly to create a new parish, out of Overwharton to better serve the needs of the people; the church at Occoquan became the parish church of this new parish. In 1732 another split was made, Truro Parish was formed; the first person to preach there was the Reverend Lawrence DeButts, who in 1733 was contracted to preach at various points around the parish three times a month for a year, for the sum of eight thousand pounds of tobacco. Dr. Charles Green was the first rector of Pohick Church. Green was confirmed to the post in 1736 and traveled to London for ordination, returning to take up his duties the following year. During his tenure as rector Green was involved in a major scandal when he was accused by Lawrence Washington of sexual misconduct with his wife Anne. Washington demanded Green's ouster from his post at the church; this took place in the chapel of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg beginning on November 6, 1745.
In the end, the rector remained at Pohick for the next twenty years as a respected clergyman. He was replaced as rector by Lee Massey, a former lawyer, ordained in 1766 and took up his post the following year. Massey's duties took him to other churches in the parish, as a result Pohick Church was not open for services every Sunday of the year. George Mason began his long association with the church in February 1749–50, when he was named warden to replace the deceased Jeremiah Bronaugh. Elected to the post of warden, on October 25, 1762, was George Washington. He, would go on to serve as vestryman, attending frequent meetings at the church despite its distance from his home at Mount Vernon. In October 1763 Washington and George William Fairfax were appointed churchwardens for the following year. By 1767, the Pohick vestry determined that the now-dilapidated frame structure serving the parish should be replaced. George Washington argued the need for finding a new location, believing that the new building should be more centrally located, at the intersection of the Potomac Path and the back road – today's Telegraph Road – for the convenience of members of the congregation.
George Mason, for his part, argued that the new structure should be built at the site of the old church, as the cemetery contained the graves of many family members. The final vote was seven to five in favor of moving the site of the church; the new location was settled on, a building committee was impaneled. Recalling the Biblical image of a "city upon a hill", the highest point of land in the vicinity was chosen as the site of the new church. Twenty percent of the building's cost was raised at a 1772 auction of pews in which many local landowners participated; the churchyard was laid out at a meeting of the vestry, held on the future site of the church, in 1769.
George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R
House of Burgesses
The House of Burgesses was the elected representative element of the Virginia General Assembly, the legislative body of the Colony of Virginia. With the creation of the House of Burgesses in 1642, the General Assembly, established in 1619, became a bicameral institution. From 1642 to 1776, the House of Burgesses was an instrument of government alongside the royally-appointed colonial governor and the upper-house Council of State in the General Assembly; when the Virginia colony declared its independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at the Fifth Virginia Convention in 1776 and became the independent Commonwealth of Virginia, the House of Burgesses became the House of Delegates, which continues to serve as the lower house of the General Assembly. A synonym of burgher or bourgeois, the word "burgess" came to mean a borough representative in local or parliamentary government; the Colony of Virginia was founded by an English stock company, the Virginia Company, as a private venture, though under a royal charter.
Early governors provided the stern leadership and harsh judgments required for the colony to survive its early difficulties. As early crises with famine, Native American attempts to retake land, the need to establish cash crops, insufficient skilled or committed labor, the colony needed to attract enough new and responsible settlers if it were to grow and prosper. To encourage settlers to come to Virginia, in November, 1618 the Virginia Company's leaders gave instructions to the new Governor Sir George Yeardley, which became known as "the great charter." Emigrants who paid their own way to Virginia would receive fifty acres of land and not be mere tenants. Civil authority would control the military. In 1619, based on the instructions, Governor Yeardley initiated the election 22 burgesses by the settlements and Jamestown, together with the royally-appointed Governor and six-member Council of State, would form the first General Assembly as a unicameral body; the governor could veto its actions and the Company still maintained overall control of the venture, but the settlers would have a limited say in the management of their own affairs, including their finances.
A House of Assembly was created at the same time in Bermuda and held its first session in 1620. A handful of Polish craftsmen, brought to the colony to supply skill in the manufacture of pitch, tar and soap ash, were denied the political rights of English settlers, they downed tools in protest, but returned to work after being declared free and enfranchised by agreement with the Virginia Company. On July 30, 1619, Governor Yeardley convened the General Assembly as the first representative legislature in the Americas for a six-day meeting at the new brick church on Jamestown Island, Virginia; the unicameral Assembly was composed of the Governor, a Council of State appointed by the Virginia Company and the 22 locally elected representatives. The Assembly's first session of July 30, 1619, accomplished little, being cut short by an outbreak of malaria; the assembly had 22 members from the following constituencies: James City, Charles City, the City of Henricus, Martin-Brandon, Smythe's Hundred, Martin's Hundred, Argall's Gift Plantation, Flowerdew Hundred Plantation, Captain Lawne's Plantation, Captain Ward's Plantation.
After the massacre of 400 colonists on March 22, 1621/22 by Native Americans, epidemics in the winters before and after the massacre, the governor and council ruled arbitrarily, showing great contempt for the assembly and allowed no dissent. By 1624, the royal government in London had heard enough about the problems of the colony and revoked the charter of the Virginia Company. Virginia became the governor and council would be appointed by the king. Nonetheless, the Assembly maintained management of local affairs with some informal royal assent, although it was not royally confirmed until 1639. In 1634, the General Assembly divided the colony into eight shires for purposes of government and the judicial system. By 1643, the expanding colony had 15 counties. All of the county offices, including a board of commissioners, sheriff and clerks, were appointed positions. Only the burgesses were elected by a vote of the people. Women had no right to vote. Only free and white men were given the right to vote, by 1670 only property owners were allowed to vote.
In 1642, Governor William Berkeley urged creation of a bicameral legislature, which the Assembly promptly implemented. In 1652, the parliamentary forces of Oliver Cromwell forced the colony to submit to being taken over by the English government. Again, the colonists were able to retain the General Assembly as their governing body. Only taxes agreed to by the assembly were to be levied. Still, most Virginia colonists were loyal to Prince Charles, were pleased at his restoration as King Charles II in 1660, he went on directly or indirectly to restrict some of the liberties of the colonists, such as requiring tobacco t
Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition which has developed from the practices and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called "Anglicans"; the majority of Anglicans are members of national or regional ecclesiastical provinces of the international Anglican Communion, which forms the third-largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. They are in full communion with the See of Canterbury, thus the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom the communion refers to as its primus inter pares, he calls the decennial Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of primates, the Anglican Consultative Council. Some churches that are not part of the Anglican Communion or recognized by the Anglican Communion call themselves Anglican, including those that are part of the Continuing Anglican movement and Anglican realignment. Anglicans base their Christian faith on the Bible, traditions of the apostolic Church, apostolic succession and the writings of the Church Fathers.
Anglicanism forms one of the branches of Western Christianity, having definitively declared its independence from the Holy See at the time of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. Many of the new Anglican formularies of the mid-16th century corresponded to those of contemporary Protestantism; these reforms in the Church of England were understood by one of those most responsible for them, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, others as navigating a middle way between two of the emerging Protestant traditions, namely Lutheranism and Calvinism. In the first half of the 17th century, the Church of England and its associated Church of Ireland were presented by some Anglican divines as comprising a distinct Christian tradition, with theologies and forms of worship representing a different kind of middle way, or via media, between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism – a perspective that came to be influential in theories of Anglican identity and expressed in the description of Anglicanism as "Catholic and Reformed".
The degree of distinction between Protestant and Catholic tendencies within the Anglican tradition is a matter of debate both within specific Anglican churches and throughout the Anglican Communion. Unique to Anglicanism is the Book of Common Prayer, the collection of services in one Book used for centuries; the Book is acknowledged as a principal tie that binds the Anglican Communion together as a liturgical rather than a confessional tradition or one possessing a magisterium as in the Roman Catholic Church. After the American Revolution, Anglican congregations in the United States and British North America were each reconstituted into autonomous churches with their own bishops and self-governing structures. Through the expansion of the British Empire and the activity of Christian missions, this model was adopted as the model for many newly formed churches in Africa and Asia-Pacific. In the 19th century, the term Anglicanism was coined to describe the common religious tradition of these churches.
The word Anglican originates in Anglicana ecclesia libera sit, a phrase from the Magna Carta dated 15 June 1215, meaning "the Anglican Church shall be free". Adherents of Anglicanism are called Anglicans; as an adjective, "Anglican" is used to describe the people and churches, as well as the liturgical traditions and theological concepts developed by the Church of England. As a noun, an Anglican is a member of a church in the Anglican Communion; the word is used by followers of separated groups which have left the communion or have been founded separately from it, although this is considered as a misuse by the Anglican Communion. The word Anglicanism came into being in the 19th century; the word referred only to the teachings and rites of Christians throughout the world in communion with the see of Canterbury, but has come to sometimes be extended to any church following those traditions rather than actual membership in the modern Anglican Communion. Although the term Anglican is found referring to the Church of England as far back as the 16th century, its use did not become general until the latter half of the 19th century.
In British parliamentary legislation referring to the English Established Church, there is no need for a description. When the Union with Ireland Act created the United Church of England and Ireland, it is specified that it shall be one "Protestant Episcopal Church", thereby distinguishing its form of church government from the Presbyterian polity that prevails in the Church of Scotland; the word Episcopal is preferred in the title of the Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church, though the full name of the former is The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America. Elsewhere, the term "Anglican Church" came to be preferred as it distinguished these churches from others that maintain an episcopal polity. Anglicanism, in its structures and forms of worship, is understood as a distinct Christian tradition representing a middle ground between what are perceived to be the extremes of the claims of 16th-century Roman Ca
Truro is a city and civil parish in Cornwall, England. It is Cornwall's county town and only city and centre for administration and retail. Truro's population was recorded as 18,766 in the 2011 census. People from Truro are known as Truronians; as the southernmost city in mainland Britain, Truro grew as a centre of trade from its port and as a stannary town for the tin mining industry. Its cathedral was completed in 1910. Places of interest include the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro Cathedral the Hall for Cornwall and Cornwall's Courts of Justice; the origin of Truro's name is debated. It has been said to derive from the Cornish tri-veru meaning "three rivers", but authorities such as the Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names reject this theory. There are doubts about the "tru" part meaning "three". An expert on Cornish place-names, Oliver Padel, in A Popular Dictionary of Cornish Place-names, called the "three rivers" meaning "possible". Alternatively the name may derive from similar, i. e. the settlement on the river Uro.
The earliest records and archaeological findings of a permanent settlement in the Truro area date from Norman times. A castle was built there in the 12th century by Richard de Luci, Chief Justice of England in the reign of Henry II, who for his services to the court was granted land in Cornwall, including the area surrounding the confluence of the two rivers; the town grew in the shadow of the castle and was awarded borough status to further economic activity. The castle has long since disappeared. Richard de Lucy fought in Cornwall under Count Alan of Brittany after leaving Falaise late in 1138; the small adulterine castle at Truro, Cornwall known as "Castellum de Guelon" was built by him in 1139–1140. He styled himself "Richard de Lucy, de Trivereu"; the castle passed to Reginald FitzRoy, an illegitimate son of Henry I, when he was invested by King Stephen as the first Earl of Cornwall. Reginald married Mabel FitzRichard, daughter of William FitzRichard, a substantial landholder in Cornwall.
The 75-foot -diameter castle was in ruins by 1270 and the motte was levelled in 1840. Today Truro Crown Court stands on the site. In a charter of about 1170, Reginald FitzRoy confirmed to the burgesses of Truro the privileges granted by Richard de Lucy. Richard held ten knights' fees in Cornwall prior to 1135 and at his death the county still accounted for a third of his considerable total holding. By the start of the 14th century Truro was an important port, due to its inland location away from invaders, prosperity from the fishing industry, a new role as one of Cornwall's stannary towns for assaying and stamping tin and copper from Cornish mines; the Black Death brought a trade recession and an exodus of the population that left the town in a neglected state. Trade returned and the town regained prosperity in the Tudor period. Local government was awarded in 1589 by a new charter granted by Elizabeth I, giving Truro an elected mayor and control over the port of Falmouth. During the Civil War in the 17th century, Truro raised a sizeable force to fight for the king and a royalist mint was set up.
Defeat by the Parliamentary troops came in 1646 and the mint was moved to Exeter. In the century, Falmouth was awarded its own charter, giving it rights to its harbour and starting a long rivalry between the two towns; the dispute was settled in 1709 with control of the River Fal divided between them. The arms of the city of Truro are "Gules the base wavy of six Argent and Azure, thereon an ancient ship of three masts under sail, on each topmast a banner of St George, on the waves in base two fishes of the second." Truro prospered in the 18th–19th centuries. Industry flourished through improved mining methods and higher prices for tin, the town attracted wealthy mine owners. Elegant Georgian and Victorian townhouses were built, such as those seen today in Lemon Street, named after the mining magnate and local MP Sir William Lemon. Truro became the centre for society in the county dubbed "the London of Cornwall". Throughout those prosperous times Truro remained a social centre, many notable people came from there.
Among the noteworthy were Richard Lander, an explorer, the first European to reach the mouth of the River Niger in Africa and was awarded the first gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society, Henry Martyn, who read mathematics at Cambridge, was ordained and became a missionary, translating the New Testament into Urdu and Persian. Others include Humphry Davy, educated in Truro and the inventor of the miner's safety lamp, Samuel Foote, an actor and playwright from Boscawen Street. Truro's importance increased in the 19th century, when it had an iron-smelting works and tanneries; the Great Western Railway arrived in the 1860s. The Bishopric of Truro Act 1876 gave the town a bishop, subsequently a cathedral; the next year Queen Victoria granted Truro city status. The New Bridge Street drill hall was completed in the late 19th century; the start of the 20th century brought a decline in mining, but the city remained prosperous and continued to develop as the administrative and commercial centre of Cornwall.
Today, Truro remains the county retail centre, but like other places, faces concerns over replacement of speciality shops by national chain stores, erosion of identity, doubts about how to accommodate the growth expected in the 21st century. Truro lies in the centre of western Cornwall, about 9 miles from the south coast at the confluence of the rivers Kenwyn and Allen, which combine to become the Truro River, one of a series of creeks and drowned valleys leading into the River Fal and th