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The Reverend Charles Green was born in Ireland around 1710 and lived in Dublin before receiving his degree in 1731 from Balliol College, Oxford. After graduating, Green moved to Virginia by 1733. He began practicing medicine and lay ministering to the Anglican parishioners of Cople Parish in what was then Westmoreland County, Virginia. Cople Parish was the religious home of the Washington family and the location where Green met Augustine Washington, George Washington’s father. After relocating to a plantation on Little Hunting Creek, Augustine Washington recommended Charles Green in 1736 to be the minister of the Truro Parish in what became Fairfax County; Truro Parish was where the Reverend would spend the rest of his life as a large landowner and rector of the parish.

The present-day Pohick Church succeeded an earlier church found two miles to the south where Charles Green was the rector.

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The Reverend Charles Green's Colchester store purchases from 1760-1761.

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Pohick Church in 2021

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Historic marker at the site of the original Pohick Church, now Lewis Chapel/Cranford Memorial Methodist Church.

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Historic marker along US Route 1: The Washingtons at Pohick Church

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Created in 1732, Truro Parish comprised lands in present day Fairfax and Loudon counties; the parish represented both civil and religious authorities within specific geographical boundaries of the community. In 1735, Augustine Washington was sworn in as a vestryman of the Truro parish and on August 19, 1736, Washington nominated Charles Green to be its new Rector; Green was quickly accepted into the position subsequently traveling to London to be ordained. He became the first permanent rector of the parish at Pohick Church and continued his work there until his death in 1765.

Charles Green was very active in the community. Like many of his parishioners, he shopped in Colchester (the town being not far from the church) at the John Glassford & Company store purchasing a variety of fabrics and notions for the making of his and his wife's clothing. Given his position with the church, Green's salary was paid in tobacco annually tithed from the eligible Truro parishioners - and this tobacco was how he primarily paid for his purchases at the store by exchanging the tobacco for tangible goods.

In 1745, Green found himself the center of a scandal and an ecclesiastical trial in Williamsburg involving himself and the Washington family. Lawrence Washington, eldest son of Augustine and half brother of George Washington, accused Green of multiple attempts of assault upon his wife, Ann Fairfax, before their marriage. Washington demanded Green's removal as Rector at Pohick Church; Green refused and brought a countersuit against Washington for slander, causing Washington to insist on an ecclesiastical trial. The trial took place in the chapel of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, beginning on November 6, 1745; however, before a verdict was reached, the colony's governor, William Gooch, ordered Green to drop the countersuit, in exchange for not being removed as the Rector of Truro Parish.

Even with the trial and the scandal with George Washington’s half-brother, Washington had Charles Green consult him in matters of physical health. Even with the seriousness of the claims brought against Green, his position within Fairfax County allowed for Green to move on without consequence. It's consequence to Ann Fairfax Washington is unknown.

In the Reverend's later years, as his health began to decline, his will left 3,000 acres lying in Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun Counties to his wife (Margaret) (probated August 19th, 1765). Interestingly, the Reverend’s will told his wife to return to his homeland of Ireland showing his continued ties to Ireland. The present-day Pohick Church succeeded the earlier church that lay two miles to the south of the church’s current location. The former church was the lower church in the Truro Parish, established in 1732, and was replaced by the present-day location in 1774.

Founders online: From George Washington to Charles Green, 13 November 1757. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2021, from Green&s=1111311111&sa=&r=3&sr=

Peter R. Henriques. “Major Lawrence Washington Versus the Reverend Charles Green: A Case Study of the Squire and the Parson.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 100, no. 2, Virginia Historical Society, 1992, pp. 233–64.

Slaughter, P. (2012). The history of Truro parish in Virginia. Retrieved Winter, 2021, from

Bond, Edward. Parish in Colonial Virginia, The, Encyclopedia Virginia. December 7th 2020. Accessed January 27th 2022.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Connor Neal

History Revealed, Inc., and the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division

Connor Neal

Connor Neal

Connor Neal