|3rd President of the|
College of William & Mary
|Preceded by||William Dawson|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Dawson|
|Died||September 19, 1755|
|Alma mater||College of William & Mary |
The Queen's College, Oxford
William Stith (1707 – September 19, 1755) was an early American historian and a minister. He was the third president of the College of William & Mary (1752–1755), where Stith Hall was named for him.
Stith was the son of Captain John Stith and Mary Randolph, a daughter of William Randolph (1650– 1711).[a] Stith's grandfather was Major John Stith, who participated in Nathaniel Bacon's rebellion.
Stith was educated at the College of William & Mary's Grammar School and The Queen's College, Oxford. On May 27, 1728, he received his B.A. degree. On April 12, 1731, while still in England, he was ordained a minister of the Anglican Church. He then returned to Williamsburg.
In October 1731, he became a master of the College of William & Mary's Grammar School. He also began his role at the Virginia House of Burgesses as a chaplain. Stith was a minister for 16 years at the Henrico Parish in Henrico County beginning in 1736. He was also a minister in York County, Virginia of the York-Hampton Parish. In the 1740s and 1750s, three of his sermons were published.
The Sinfulness and Pernicious Nature of Gaming, 1752 was preached by Stith in Williamsburg before the Virginia General Assembly on March 1, 1752. The General Assembly had considered amending the 1748 Act for preventing excessive and deceitful gambling, but tabled the measure after hearing the sermon. The sermon was published in 1752 and became one of the best selling titles that year.
He is the author of one of the earliest histories of Virginia, The History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia: being an Essay towards a General History of this Colony, published in Williamsburg by William Parks in 1747.
Marriage and children
- Gordon, Armistead C (1914). "The Stith Family". In Tyler, Lyon G. (ed.). William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine. XXII. Richmond, Virginia: Whittet & Shepperson. pp. 44–45. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- Flora, Joseph M.; Vogel, Amber (June 21, 2006). Southern Writers: A New Biographical Dictionary. LSU Press. p. 384. ISBN 978-0-8071-4855-6.
- Page, Richard Channing Moore (1893). "Randolph Family". Genealogy of the Page Family in Virginia (2 ed.). New York: Press of the Publishers Printing Co. pp. 249–272.
- Goode, George Brown (1887). Virginia Cousins: A Study of the Ancestry and Posterity of John Goode of Whitby, a Virginia Colonist of the Seventeenth Century, with Notes Upon Related Families, a Key to Southern Genealogy and a History of the English Surname Gode, Goad, Goode Or Good from 1148 to 1887. J. W. Randolph & English. p. 211.
- Tyler, Lyon Gardiner, ed. (1915). "Burgesses and Other Prominent Persons". Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. II. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. pp. 330–331.
- Bond, Edward L. (2004). Spreading the Gospel in Colonial Virginia: Sermons and Devotional Writings. Lexington Books. ISBN 9780739107201. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
- "Discovery: Stith History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia". The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 2008. Retrieved June 1, 2008.[dead link]
- Fiske, John (1897). Old Virginia and Her Neighbours. Houghton, Mifflin and Company. pp. 255–256.
- "William & Mary - Bryan Complex". Wm.edu. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Stith Hall". William & Mary. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
- Stith, William (1747). The History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia.