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Near Weems in Lancaster County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Christ Church
 
Christ Church Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, September 5, 2009
1. Christ Church Marker
 
Inscription. John Carter had the first church built on this site; it was completed in 1670 after his death. In 1730, his son Robert “King” Carter, colonial Virginia’s most powerful planter, proposed to build a brick church here at his own expense, which the vestry of Christ Church Parish accepted. Finished in 1735, Christ Church is the best-preserved and most finely crafted of colonial Virginia’s Anglican parish churches. The church’s detailed brickwork, particularly the molded-brick doorways, distinguishes the exterior. The interior includes original high-backed pews, triple-decker pulpit, walnut altarpiece, and stone pavers. The elaborately carved tombs of Robert Carter and his two wives stand in the churchyard.
 
Erected 2002 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number J-86.)
 
Location. 37° 40.883′ N, 76° 25.4′ W. Marker is near Weems, Virginia, in Lancaster County. Marker is on Christ Church Road (County Route 646) just south of Weems Road (Virginia Route 222), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Weems VA 22576, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Corotoman (here, next to this marker); Christ Church Lancaster (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Irvington World War I Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away); A. T. Wright High School (approx. 2.8 miles away); Albert Terry Wright (approx. 2.9 miles away); The War of 1812/Capture of the Dolphin (approx. 3.1 miles away); Kilmarnock (approx. 3.1 miles away); First American Woman Missionary to China (approx. 3.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Weems.
 
Christ Church and Corotoman Markers Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, September 5, 2009
2. Christ Church and Corotoman Markers
 

 
More about this marker. This marker replaced an older marker with the same title and number that read “Christ Church was built in 1732, on the site of an older church by Robert (“King”) Carter, who reserved one quarter of it for seating his tenants and servants. It is one of the very few colonial churches in America that have never been altered, a typical early eighteenth-century structure. Robert Carter is buried here.”
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .  Formation of Christ Church Parish. “Though Christ Church and St. Mary’s White Chapel shared the same minister and a glebe, they considered themselves separate parishes. Each had its own vestry and churchwardens, but they met as a general vestry to consider issues related to both parishes, such as the minister, the glebe, and the glebe house. In 1752, residents of Lancaster County petitioned the Assembly to unite as one parish.” (Submitted on November 8, 2009.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Transcription of the Inscription of Robert Carter's Tomb
A picture of Robert Carter's tomb is below. The original inscription is in Latin:
H.S.E.
Vir honorabilis
 
Christ Church Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, September 5, 2009
3. Christ Church
 
Robertus Carter, Aminger, qui genus honestum dotibus eximiis et moribus antiquis illustravit. Collegium Gulielmi et Mariae temporibus difficillimis propugnavit, Gubernator.

Senatus Rogator et Quaestor sub serenissimis Principibus Gulielmo, Anna, Georgio Primo et Secundo.

A publicis concilliis concillii per sexennium praeses; plus anno Coloniae Praefectus, cum regiam dignitatem et publicam libertatem aequali jure asseruit.

Opibus amplissimis bene partis instructus, aedem hanc sacram, in Deum pietatis grande monumentum propriis sumptibus extruit.

Locupletavit.

In omnes quos humaniter excepitnec prodigus nec parcus hospes. Liberalitatem insignem testantur debita munifice remissa.

Primo Juditham, Johannis Armistead, Armigeri, filiam; deinde Betty, generose Landonorum stripe oriundam, sibi connubio junctas habuit: e quibus prolem numerosam suscepit, in qua erudienda pecuniae vim maximam insumpsit.

Tandem honorum et dierum satur, cum omnia vitae munera egregiae praestitisset, obiit Pri. Non. Aug. An. Dom. 1732, aet 69.

Miseri Solamen, viduae praesiduum, orbi patrem, ademptum lugent.

Translated into English, it reads:
Here is Buried

The Honorable Robert Carter, Esquire, a man who adorned good breeding with exceptional gifts and time-honored morals. As a Governor of the College
 
Triple Decker Pulpit in Christ Church Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., August 12, 2010
4. Triple Decker Pulpit in Christ Church
This triple deck pulpit is one of two surviving in Virginia from the colonial times. The other is in Aquia Church, which was itself modeled after this Christ Church. You can see the high-backed pews here as well. During the Civil War, many churches were used as stables, and horses often chewed the tops off the pews. During reconstruction, the pew tops were simply cut down instead of restored. Christ Church apparently didn't suffer the same fate, so its high-backed pews survived.
 
of William and Mary, he was its champion in perilous times.

Speaker of the House and Treasurer under the most serene Sovereigns William, Anne, George the First and Second.

While in the general assembly he became president of the council for a period of six years; for more than a year while acting Governor of the Colony, he defended with equal justice the royal authority and the common freedom.

Provided with extensive wealth worthily acquired, he erected at this own expense this sacred building as a great monument of devoted duty towards God. He enriched it.

To all whom he courteously entertained he was neither a lavish nor a frugal host. Debts generously forgiven bear witness to a remarkable liberality.

He joined to himself in marriage, first Judith, the daughter of John Armistead, Esquire; then Betty, descended from the gentle line of Landons; by whom he begot a numerous progeny, in the educating of whome he expended a vast amount of money.

At length, full of honors and of days, having displayed the rewards of an illustrious life, he died on the fourth day of August in the year of our Lord 1732, at the age of 69.

The unhappy mourn the comfort, the widows the protection, and the orphans the father, taken away from them.
    — Submitted August 18, 2010, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
 
The walnut altarpiece and original high-backed pews in Christ Church Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., August 12, 2010
5. The walnut altarpiece and original high-backed pews in Christ Church
The Ten Commandments shown here is a reproduction. The original were inscribed in black leather, long since deteriorated.
 
 
The Carter Tombs Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., August 12, 2010
6. The Carter Tombs
 
 
Robert Carter's Tomb Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., August 12, 2010
7. Robert Carter's Tomb
 
 
Transcribed Inscription on Robert Carter's Tomb Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., August 12, 2010
8. Transcribed Inscription on Robert Carter's Tomb
See commentary above for the text on this plaque.
 
 
Transcribed Inscription from the Tomb of<br>Betty Carter, 2d. Wife Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., August 12, 2010
9. Transcribed Inscription from the Tomb of
Betty Carter, 2d. Wife
To the memory of Betty Carter, second wife of Robert Carter, Esq., youngest daughter of Thomas Landon, Esq., and Mary, his wife, of Grednal in the county of Hereford, the ancient seat of the family and place of her nativity.
She bore to her husband ten children, five sons and five daughters, three of whom Sarah, Betty, and Ludlow died before here and are buried near her.
She was a person of great and exemplary piety and charity in every relation wherin she stood; whether considered a s a Christian, a wife, a mother, a mistress, a neighbor, or a friend, her conduct was equalled by few, excelled by none.
She changed this life for a better on the 3rd. of July 1719, in the 36 year of her age, and 19th of her marriage.
May her descends make their mother’s virtues and graces the pattern of their lives and actions.
 
 
Transcribed Inscription of the Tomb of<br>Judith Carter, 1st. Wife Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., August 12, 2010
10. Transcribed Inscription of the Tomb of
Judith Carter, 1st. Wife
Here lyeth buried the body of Judith Carter the wife of Robert Carter, Esq., and the oldest daughter of the Hon. Jno. Armistead, Esq., and Judith his wife. She departed this life the 23rd. day of February Anno 1699, in the [34th.] year of her age, and in the eleventh year of her marriage having borne to he husband five children, four daughters and a son, two whereof Sarah and Judith Carter, died before, and are buried near her. Piously she lived, and comfortably died, in the joyful assurance of a happy Eternity, leaving to her friends the sweet perfume of a good reputation.
 
 
The Carter Tombs Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., August 12, 2010
11. The Carter Tombs
After nearly two and a half centuries of exposure to the elements, and many attempts at restoration, the tops of the Carter Tombs had become fragmented beyond repair and the bases themselves were in danger of complete collapse.
To preserve this priceless heritage, it was reluctantly decided to replace with replicas the tops of these 18th Century tombs, to store the remains of the tops for safe-keeping, and to repair the bases. The tombs now appear much as they did when first erected.
This preservation of the Carter Tombs is the result of careful research and fine craftsmanship.
July 1, 1980
 
 
Christ Church Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., August 12, 2010
12. Christ Church Marker
Under this stone are the remains of Mary Carter, the affectionate wife of Charles Carter of Corotoman, who died on the 30th of January, 1770, after a painful illness of three months during which time she discovered a truly Christian fortitude. Aged 34 years.
 
 
Tomb of John Carter, inside Christ Church Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., August 12, 2010
13. Tomb of John Carter, inside Christ Church
Here lyeth buried ye body of John Carter Esqr who died ye 10th day of Jan Anno Domini 1669 & also Jane ye daughter of Mr. Morgan Glyn and George her son & Elinor Carter
& Ann ye Daughter of Mr Cleave Carter & Sarah ye daughter of Mr Gabvil Ladlow & Sarah here daughter which ware all his wives sucksessively and dyed before him
Blessed are ye dead which die in ye Lord even soe saith ye spirit for they rest from their labours & there works doth follow them.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on November 8, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 806 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 8, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on August 17, 2010, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. More detailed photos of the church exterior. • • Can you help?
 
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