Philip Ludwell III

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The Divine and Holy Liturgy of St. Gregory the Diologist translated by Col. Philip Ludwell III published by ROCOR

Colonel Philip Ludwell III (1716–1767) was the earliest known Eastern Orthodox Christian in North America. He was the grandson of Philip Ludwell (1637/38–c. 1716, Governor of the Province of Carolina 1691-94), and was a cousin of George Washington's wife Martha.[1]

Ludwell was received into the Orthodox church on December 31, 1738 (Old style) in London, England. To allow this, a special dispensation had been granted by the church's Holy Synod in Russia. He was also given exceptional permission to continue to attend Anglican services in Virginia, it being recognised that "apart from the Province of Pennsylvania, all religions but Protestantism are banned."[1]

In 1727 he inherited Green Spring Plantation, James City County, Virginia, from his father, Philip Ludwell II.[2] He also inherited Rich Neck Plantation near Williamsburg and Chippokes, south of the James River, which is now a state park.[3] His townhouse in Williamsburg still stands as a private residence within Colonial Williamsburg, known as the Ludwell-Paradise House: Ludwell's daughter Lucy inherited the house and her husband was John Paradise.[4] Ludwell translated The Orthodox Confession of Peter Moghila, Metropolitan of Kiev, from Latin, and published this book in London in 1762. He also translated, from Greek, the three principal liturgies of the Eastern Orthodox Church: The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, the Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great, and The Divine and Holy Liturgy of St Gregory the Dialogist,[5] which is used during Great Lent and is commonly called the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts today.[6]

Ludwell travelled to London in 1760 with his three daughters, Hannah, Frances, and Lucy, and died in London in 1767.[1] His life is celebrated by an annual panihida service in the Eparchy of Eastern America and New York of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.[7]

He died in 1767 while resident in London. His funeral was served at the Russian Church in London on Monday, March 30, 1767.[8] He was buried at Bow Church.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Chapman, Nicholas (November 23, 2009). "Orthodoxy in Colonial Virginia". Orthodox History. The Society for Orthodox History in the Americas. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Basic Chronology of Green Spring's Major Stages of Occupancy, 1645–1862". Friends of Green Spring National Park. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "A Modern Journey Past the Three Colonial Ludwell Plantations by the James River". Associates of Colonel Philip Ludwell III, Inc. Retrieved 21 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Ludwell-Paradise House". Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Liturgical Translations by Philip Ludwell III". Associates of Colonel Philip Ludwell III, Inc. Retrieved 21 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "The First English-Language Translator of Orthodox Divine Services |". Retrieved 2016-05-03. 
  7. ^ "An Annual Panihida for Colonel Philip Ludwell III". Life in the Diocese. Eastern American Diocese, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  8. ^

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