A few ornamental brass book clasps excavated near Jamestown may have been used on early Bibles and Prayer Books. Under the care of Bruton Parish Episcopal Church in Willamsburg are four pieces of communion silver which were used in the church at Jamestown. Two pieces, an exquisite chalice and paten, were donated to the Jamestown church by Lt. Gov. Francis Morrison (or Moryson) in 1661. Inscribed on both is the legend: “Mixe not holy thinges with profane.” A second paten, made in London in 1691-92, was given to the Jamestown Church by Gov. Edmund Andros in 1694. Another paten, or a collection plate (also made in London), bears the inscription: “For the use of James City Parish Church.”
[Illustration: Decorated brass book clasps found near Jamestown which may have been used on an early Bible or Prayer book]
The officials of the Virginia Company of London, admonishing the first settlers to serve and fear God in order to plant a successful and prosperous colony, advised:
Lastly and chiefly the way to prosper and achieve good success is to make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your country and your own, and to serve and fear God the Giver of all Goodness, for every plantation which our Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted out.
Seemingly the advice was carried out, for from the small settlement on a tiny island in the James River grew a great and mighty nation.
[Illustration: Communion silver used in the Jamestown church after 1661. Both the chalice and paten were made in London, and donated to the church by Lt. Gov. Francis Morrison (or Moryson) in 1661. On both pieces is the legend: “Mixe not holy thinges with profane.”]
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