Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Parish History Notes 9: The Rev. William Swift

William Swift was born in London in 1696 and was ordained priest (“granted the Kings Bounty”) by the Bishop of London on December 20, 1719. In May 1722 he married Diana Hodgkin at St. Dunstons Parish Church of London. When his first child was born in 1723, Swift was serving the church in Bermuda. In 1728 he came to Virginia, and Gov. Gooch sent him to be the first minister of the new St. Martin’s Parish. At that time the parish included the Chapel in the Forks, Allen’s Creek Chapel and a “mountain chapple” in what is now western Louisa County. Rev. Swift did not live to see the construction of a designated parish church. He died in 1734, but his wife, Diana, and children, William, Thomas, Richard and Mary, continued to live in the parish.