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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Urmston to David Humphreys
Urmston, John
October 23, 1717
Volume 02, Pages 294-295

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[From N. C. Letter Book of S. P. G.]

North Carolina Oct 23rd 1717.


In my last I acquainted you with a further Hardship than I have hitherto met with. I borrowed £30 to pay for the repairing my Houses. I was to pay it out of the Parish Levy which ought to have been raised six years ago. My Creditor is now Church warden and is obliged to collect my Salary which will at Christmas next amount to a hundred pounds besides £140 arrears due from the precinct before it was divided into two parishes, it ought to have been £240 but twas no wonder for their making such a defalcation was in order to cut off the whole, for unless it be to pay my debts I shall never see a farthing of it. The Church warden is a great Lawyer and Keeps the whole community in awe of him: he has taken upon him to recover two other debts and has arrested me in three several actions and threatens to seize my House and goods; all the Debt is but £90 and yet he will not take the Parish pay; it will be very severe, not to say unjust, they say I am not their Minister because forsooth not hired they are resolved to keep up that good old Custom, so that I am not entitled to the Salary allowed by Law I am blamed for not keeping constantly to my Parish, it is hard neither to pay me nor allow me to go to those that would. The Governor pressed me to make the other Country a visit, hoping they would have regard to my two former Journeys as well as last but find they are all of Carolina Principles: I went to a hole where I never was before: I baptized 63 children and one adult a young woman they say there are unbaptized not out of Principle, as a supine neglect of parents and their own shamefacedness, and I forbear not to be wrought upon, there was a great congregation most out of curiosity having never seen the face of a minister, 15 more I baptized the last six months I have not to add to my nota Parochialia. My people are as remiss as ever, a parish Levy puts 'em quite out of conceit with the Church: I preach often to 9 or 10 and sometimes ride five miles in vain not to find a soul there. Mr. Taylor arrived here about a month ago but is not fixed not being able to find a House to put put his head in, There's no living here for a Clergyman except he will keep house: I believe he will return to South Carolina, he is as unfit a man as they could have chosen, neither was it fair to send him. I understand

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the Society ordered one of their Missionaries whose parish was abandoned by reason of the War with the Heathen: he is not able to ride five miles were it to gain the world, he is aged and very infirm I have acquainted him with my usage he insists on being chosen or inducted for Life, which no Parish here will comply with. If my late letters are come to hand I hope for a favourable answer, if not you may expect to see me next spring, here I can not live without servants. These with my humble duty to the Honorable Society and earnest request for their Prayers are from, sir, Your most humble servt