America’s Anglican and English Roots

Rev. Richard W. Davies describes the founding of America:

In 1603, one of King James I interests was to colonize a new part of the world. The King was encouraged by the Rev. Richard Hakluyt, and priest of the Church of England, as an explorer and geographer. So the King issued letter patent to English businessmen to form a business venture called the Virginia Company (name for Elizabeth I, the “virgin queen.”) and to found a settlement and an English parish in the new world of America. The King named Hakluyt as the rector, and he named an English priest, Robert Hunt, to be his vicar and chaplain to the Virginia Company…

On April 19, 1607, the expedition touched American land and they erected a cross, prayed at a point they called Cape Henry. After exploring an river the named for King James, they selected a peninsula 45 miles inland and on May 13, 1607, they named it Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement, and initial Anglican congregation, in the new world.

Here are some interesting facts on King George; you know the guy that your American history teacher told you was a scoundrel and tyrant.

1. King George, a tyrant? He was a devout Christian man who loved his family and country. King George was not “insane” as many Americans claim he was. He became ill with porphyria, and lost much of his mental faculties later in life. He died of this disease on January 29, 1820.

2. King George simply wanted the colonies to help pay the expenses for the war against the French. England defended the colonies (America) against the French and was in need of financial help to pay for the expense. Much of England was living in poverty because of the war, while the Americans were living in luxury. America had been a very wealthy nation for quite some time, and had even built their Calvinistic theology around this desire for wealth (despite the fact that Calvin did not teach Christians to live in material wealth).

3. King George instituted the Stamp Act to help pay for the war. The Colonists complained and Parliament repealed the law, and later narrowed the taxes down to imported glass, paper, lead, and tea. This was called The Townsend Act of 1767. The colonists complained again, and the English gave in again, narrowing the tax to tea, only. This is when the Americans began to rebel, thus creating the “Boston Tea Party,” throwing (fits) the tea into the harbor. The King wrote to Lord North, “the truth is that the too great lenience of this country increased their pride and encouraged them to rebel.”

4. To influence the Americans against England, the Reformers published the Geneva Bible with the phrase “tyrant” in place of where “king” was supposed to be placed. Being the Reformed people that they were, the Americans began to call the King a tyrant.

5. Many Americans, such as Samuel Seabury, the first Bishop of the American Episcopal (Anglican) Church, refused to rebel against England and were thus marked as “Loyalists” (loyal to the crown). George Washington’s mother was a Loyalist and also a devout Anglican. Loyalists were treated very harshly during the Revolutionary times. Their homes were vandalized and many of them were tarred and feathered. Bishop Seabury said, “If I must be enslaved let it be by a King at least, and not by a parcel of upstart lawless Committeemen. If I must be devoured, let me be devoured by the jaws of a lion, and not gnawed to death by rats and vermin.” (Seabury, Letters of a Westchester Farmer, 1774–1775 (1970) p 61.).