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Stafford in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
First Roman Catholic Settlement in Virginia
 
First Roman Catholic Settlement in Virginia Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin White, August 24, 2007
1. First Roman Catholic Settlement in Virginia Marker
 
Inscription. The crucifix by sculptor Georg J. Lober, erected in 1930, commemorates the first English Roman Catholic settlement in Virginia. Fleeing political and religious turmoil in Maryland, Giles Brent and his sisters Margaret and Mary established two plantations called Peace and Retirement on the north side of Aquia Creek between 1647 and 1650. Later, they jointly acquired 15,000 acres in Northern Virginia, including the site of present-day Alexandria. Their nephew George Brent, whose plantation Woodstock and family cemetery were located nearby, represented Stafford County in the House of Burgesses in 1688, the only Roman Catholic delegate in the colonial period.
 
Erected 1998 by Department of Historical Resources. (Marker Number E-76.)
 
Location. 38° 28.524′ N, 77° 23.573′ W. Marker is in Stafford, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker is on Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. Rt 1), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stafford VA 22554, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. In the Name of Christ the King (here, next to this marker); Historic Aquia Creek (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fleurries (approx. one mile away); Aquia Church (approx. one mile away); Little Forest Baptist Church (approx. 1.5 miles away); Peyton’s Ordinary (approx. 1.7 miles away); Mary Kittamaquund (approx. 1.8 miles away); Island Ownership (approx. 1.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Stafford.
 
Marker and Crucifix Sculpture Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin White, August 24, 2007
2. Marker and Crucifix Sculpture
The 1930 cast copper sculpture, entitled "In the Name of Christ the King," is by Georg Lober (1892–1961). It is approx. 14½ feet tall on a base of Aquia freestone a little over six feet tall.
 

 
More about this marker. This marker replaced an earlier marker with the same title and number that read, “The crucifix by sculptor Georg J. Lober was erected in 1930 and commemorates Spanish Jesuits who were martyred nearby in 1571. It also honors the first English Roman Catholic settlers, Giles Brent and his half-sister Margaret, who emigrated from Maryland in 1647. Brent constructed his house, which he named ‘Peace,’ on land granted by King James II. Many members of the Brent family are buried in the nearby cemetery.”
 
Regarding First Roman Catholic Settlement in Virginia. The crucifix, erected in 1930, memorializes the first English settlers of Stafford County, the Brents. Colonel Giles Brent of Maryland and his Piscataway Indian wife settled at the mouth of Aquia Creek in 1647. His sisters Margaret and Mary joined them. Margaret Brent was a prominent landowner and attorney, a remarkable achievement for a woman of that time.
 
Also see . . .
1. In 1648 Margaret Brent Asks for “Vote...And Voyce”. Margaret Brent is also commemorated in Maryland with this marker. (Submitted on August 27, 2007.) 

2. Attempted Jesuit Settlement. For more on the Spanish Jesuits mentioned on the earlier E-76 marker, take a look at this one. (Submitted on August 19, 2011.) 
 
Plaque located on the South base of the Crucifix Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin White, August 24, 2007
3. Plaque located on the South base of the Crucifix
“That the beauty of His countenance be not hidden from His own. That His wounds and woe wherein He wrote his love be known to all the people He redeemed.” —Inscription by Father Walter Nott (1891–1932)
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on August 24, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,358 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 24, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
 
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