Dear Engaged Couple
If you follow my blogs with any regularity, you may be tired of reading about all the many wedding venues that are scattered across the state of Virginia. Vineyards are my primary venue topic, and a logical choice, of course. There are over 50 vineyards in Virginia and most of these are open for use by couples who want to marry (for a price, of course). But if you are a history-phile—if there is such a word—then you might be interested in saying your “I do’s” at the Hanover County Courthouse.
The Courthouse was built in 1735; that’s right, before our country became a nation. Patrick Henry known in history books for his fiery speech at St. John’s Church, which ends“Give me liberty or give me death!” practiced law at the courthouse. His most famous case, according to my research, was the Pastor’s Cause. It seems that the King
of England had ruled that the colonists must pay Anglican pastors in the form of tobacco—which went for two pennies a pound. But then the colonists had a bad tobacco year and tobacco went up to six pennies a pound. The colonists balked at what amounted to a tripling of the priests’ salaries. Patrick Henry defended the colonists against an Anglican priest who brought suit against the colonists for his tobacco payment. It was Patrick Henry’s first important case and it was tried, where? You’ve got it! At the Hanover County Courthouse. He won his case.
A portrait of Patrick Henry hangs front and center in the Courthouse, but Samuel Davies’ portrait is also very prominently displayed. Ah, Samuel! I served an historic church in Covesville, Virginia for 5 1/2 years. Samuel Davies was that church’s founding pastor. He was one of the few
Presbyterian pastors serving Central Virginia in the mid 1700’s. He left Central Virginia to serve as President of Princeton Seminary.
The Courthouse is still in use today, for the purpose for which it was originally and beautifully constructed. However, couples may rent it for weddings when court is not in session. Convenient from an engaged couple’s point of view, is the Tavern across the street from the courthouse. This tavern is also historic. It once served as a hotel/pub/restaurant for Virginia law makers. Patrick Henry slept there, for real! The tavern is still in operation today and has been updated to accommodate today’s 21st century visitors’ needs and sensibilities.
I have included in this post pictures of the Courthouse, the Tavern, and the couple who married there last week.
If you, like me, are a history-phile, you may want to check out the Hanover County Courthouse.
Happy Wedding Planning!
Your Wedding Preacher for Hire