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From Queen Bess's Bricks


On this day in 1862, Harper’s Weekly published an engraving and short notice about the Old Hampton Church in Hampton, Virginia.

WE give on this page a picture which shows in the fore-ground the OLD CHURCH AT HAMPTON—the oldest in the United States, which was built of bricks brought over from England in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Hampton used to be a delightful place of residence, especially in summer. Rude war and the savage destructiveness of the rebels have now left it desolate, and many a year will revolve before it recovers its ancient aspect of quiet happiness and repose.

I am surprised to find very little (quickly retrieved) information on this church, but a) I am skeptical that it was made from Queen Bess’s bricks, she having been dead four years before John Smith even showed up; and b) this could not have been the old, old Hampton Church, that having “disappeared from the face of the earth,” according to this history of colonial churches in Virginia (1907).
Perhaps our readers know better?

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