Rev. John Thompson

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John Thompson, Rev.

Birthdate: (52)
Birthplace: Muckamoor Abbey, Belfast, Ireland
Death: 1772 (48-56)
Stevensburg, Culpeper, Virginia
Place of Burial: Stevensburg, Culpeper, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Husband of Elizabeth Thompson
Father of Mildred Rootes Gray; Phillip Rootes Thompson and Ann Thornton

Occupation: Reverend of St. Mark's Parrish
Managed by: Martin Paul Ludwig Andreas Günt...
Last Updated:

About Rev. John Thompson

Birth: 1720, Ireland Death: 1772 Stevensburg Culpeper County Virginia, USA

Born at Muckamoor Abbey near Belfast, Ireland received from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, his Master of Arts degree and became a minister before joining the Church of England. He was ordained by the Bishop of St. David's in 1734 at Westminster and received the Priest's order in the Palace of St. James of Westminster in 1719. He married Lady Spotswood, widow of Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia and built a large mansion, "Salubria" and they became parents of two children. When she died he married again in 1760, Elizabeth Rootes and had three more children.

Family links:

 Elizabeth Butler Brayne Spotswood (1700 - ____)

 Mildred Rootes Thompson Gray (1761 - 1828)*
 Phillip Rootes Thompson (1766 - 1837)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: "Salubria" private family plot Stevensburg Culpeper County Virginia, USA

Reverend John Thompson, the rector of the Little Fork Church from 1740 to 1772. ___________________________

The building remains as a testament of his love for the woman he sought to be his wife. The story of their union is romantic and endows Salubria with no small amount of rich historical texture. The story goes like this. At his death in 1740, colonial Virginia’s Governor Alexander Spotswood left a widow named Butler Brayne Spotswood. Reverend Thompson of the Little Fork Church longed to make this widow his wife and he was crushed when she first rebuffed his advances.

The widow Spotswood's family opposed the proffered marriage on the grounds that a clergyman was beneath the station of Lady Spotswood. Undaunted, Reverend Thompson appealed directly to Lady Spotswood imploring her with these words:

“Now, if I can make it appear that the ministerial office is an employment, in its nature most honorable and in its effects most beneficial to mankind, I hope your objections will immediately vanish and that you will keep me no longer in suspense and misery, but consummate my happiness.

I make no doubt, Madam, but that you will readily grant that no man can be employed in any work more honorable than immediately relates to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and to the salvation of souls, immortal in their nature and redeemed by the blood of the Son of God. And therefore if a gentleman of this sacred and honorable character should be married to a Lady, though of the greatest extraction and most excellent personal qualities, (which I’m sensible you’re endowed with) it can be no disgrace to her nor her family...

And therefore, Madam, your argument being refuted, you can no longer consistently refuse to consummate my happiness.”

Signed by the Reverend John Thompson, May 1742

They were married on November 9, 1742 and later lived at Salubria.

An interesting article appeared in the Belfast Telegraph in Belfast, Ireland about the mysterious Rev. Thompson. To read that article, click here.

Salubria is one of the few surviving structures linked to the time of the settlement of Germanna. It is located seven miles east of the town of Culpeper and stands as the oldest brick house in Culpeper County. It was constructed in formal Georgian style at a time when Culpeper County was still on the frontier. Although the precise date of construction is not certain, Salubria was constructed circa 1757 as the residence of Reverend Thompson and his new wife, Lady Butler Brayne Spotswood Thompson.

The house received the name Salubria , Latin for healthful, from a later owner, James Hansbrough, in the early 1800s and has been known by that name since that time.

Salubria's exterior is distinguished by unusually tall, corbel capped chimneys, enclosed at each end of a hip roof. The house has identical front and rear facades and is built of brick laid in Flemish bond. Three sides of the house are stuccoed in a manner simulating rustication, though for some reason the east end never received this treatment.

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Rev. John Thompson's Timeline

Belfast, Ireland
Age 23
Germanna, Virginia, United States
September 12, 1761
Age 41
Stevensburg, Culpeper, Virginia
March 26, 1766
Age 46
Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Virginia
Age 52
Stevensburg, Culpeper, Virginia
Stevensburg, Culpeper, Virginia