An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Two-penny Act

Two acts passed by the Virginia Assembly concerning the payment of public officials, including clergy. In the Virginia colony the primary means of payment was in tobacco. In 1758 there was a “prodigious diminution” of this staple crop because of the “unseasonableness” of the weather. The legislature voted to pay public officials, including clergy, with money. A similar act in 1755 had caused very little protest, but the 1758 act caused considerable trouble. The clergy protested the most because they would receive less compensation. There were a number of court actions, of which the so-called “parson's cause” was the most famous.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.