On the Trail of Patrick Henry - 2

Hanover Travel Blog

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Hanover Court House (1735)
The name "Court House" was traditionally appended to the name of the community that served as a Virginia county seat (i.e. the location of the particular county's court house).  Hanover Court House is a small community located a few miles East of Ashland. Hanover County's modern administrative complex is here, along with the original Court House built in 1735. It's not open to the public except on special tours. But, interpretive signage is displayed at the entrance.

The court house is significant, for, in 1763, Patrick Henry argued the "Parson's Cause" case here. This case, unnoticed today, resulted from the British Parliament having overruled Virginia's colonial House of Burgesses in setting the wages (paid then in tobacco) for the Anglican clergy in the colony.
Hanover Court House historical marker
A clergyman had then sued the county for back wages.  Patrick Henry defended the county and first showed himself a supporter of independence during his arguments by denouncing the clergyman for challenging the Virignia law in the first place and then denouncing the British monarchy for having annulled a locally made law. (The clergyman won the case, but the jury awarded him only a token amount.)

The brick court house is typical for the period, with the signature arches in front. Also on the old court house grounds are the Clerks' Office from 1829 (still in use as county office space) and the 1835 county jail that was used to the 1930s. Across the street is Hanover Tavern.  A tavern has been on the site since 1733 to house people having business with the county court. The present structure dates from 1791/1822 and houses a restaurant and stage theatre today. Close by is St. Paul's Episcopal Church.  The white clapboard church was built in 1895, but the parish has existed since 1702. In fact, Patrick Henry's uncle was Rector here from 1737 to 1777. (We didn't learn how much in tobacco wages he was paid, however!)
tj1777 says:
Never heard about this before - quite interesting.
Posted on: Dec 15, 2009
bigmac993 says:
Andy, very enjoyable blog! Thanks
Posted on: Dec 13, 2009
bkretzer says:
Love the history!
Posted on: Sep 15, 2009
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Hanover Court House (1735)
Hanover Court House (1735)
Hanover Court House historical mar…
Hanover Court House historical ma…
Hanover Court House historical mar…
Hanover Court House historical ma…
Clerks Office (1829)
Clerk's Office (1829)
Old Hanover jail (1835)
Old Hanover jail (1835)
Hanover Civil War memorial
Hanover Civil War memorial
Hanover Tavern
Hanover Tavern
Hanover Tavern
Hanover Tavern
Pamunkey Regional Library
Pamunkey Regional Library
St. Pauls Church (1895)
St. Paul's Church (1895)
Hanover
photo by: Andy99