Up to the time to which we have now arrived, the whole region west of the Blue Ridge constituted a part of the county of Orange. In the year 1738, however, on November 1, the General Assembly of the colony of Virginia passed an act establishing the counties of Frederick and Augusta. The new counties were so named in honor of Frederick, Prince of Wales, son of King George II, and father of George III, and his wife, the Princess Augusta. * The act separated all the territory west of the Blue Ridge, and extending in other direction “to the uttermost limits of Virginia, from Orange county, and erected it into the two counties named. The line between them was “from the head spring of Hedgman’s river to the head spring of the river Potomack.” Augusta was much the larger of the two counties. It embraced northward, the present county of Rockingham and a part of Page; to the south, it extended to the border of Virginia; and to the west and northwest, it extended over the whole territory claimed by Great Britain in those quarters. It included nearly all of West Virginia, the States of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and, as contended by Virginians, a part of western Pennsylvania.
* Prince Frederick died March 21, 1751, after a short illness. According to Thomas Carlyle, he was “a poor dissolute, flabby fellow-creature.” The following epigram, which Carlyle compliments as “an uncommonly successful piece of its kind,” expressed the feeling of the country about him:
Here lies Prince Fred, Who was alive and is dead: Had it been his Father, I had much rather; Had it been his brother, Sooner than any other; Had it been his sister, There’s no one would have missed her; Had it been his whole generation, Best of all for the Nation; But since it’s only Fred, There’s no more to be said.
Princess Augusta fell into disrepute after the death of her husband, and was accused of undue intimacy with her confidential adviser, Lord Bute. She and Bute ruled the young King, George III, for some years with a rod of iron.—Macaulay’s Essay on Chatham.
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Edited Annals of Augusta County,Virginia, from 1726 to 1871 copyright © 2006-2017 by EagleRidge Technologies, Inc..