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Dr William Holland Wilmer
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Birth: Oct. 29, 1782
Kent County
Maryland, USA
Death: Jul. 24, 1827
Williamsburg City
Virginia, USA

Dr. William Holland Wilmer, D.D.

A vaulted grave under this marble was marked in cement:

JULY XXV, MDCCCXXVII. THE REV'D WILLIAM H. WILMER, D.D. Rector of Bruton Parish Church, President of the College of William and Mary, and President of the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies of the Protestant Episcopal Church DIED JULY THE 24TH 1827.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren, and he what dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

All above quoted from the pamphlet titled A GUIDE TO THE MEMORIALS OF BRUTON PARISH CHURCH with maps, published by Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg, VA, 2006 edited by Susan H. Godson, maps by Joseph L. Spruill, photographs by Hal Lindsay and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
William Holland Wilmer was the eleventh president of the College of William and Mary from October 1826 until his death in 1827. Prior to that, he served as interim president from June 1826 to October 1826. He also served as professor of moral philosophy and as rector of Bruton Parish Church. His personal papers can be found at the Special Collections Research Center at the College of William and Mary.

(Source: College of William & Mary)
After the contentious tenure of Dr. John Augustine Smith, Dr. William Holland Wilmer became the eleventh president of the College of William and Mary. In searching for a new president and professor of moral philosophy, the Board of Visitors returned to the tradition of selecting Episcopal ministers.

Rev. Wilmer, rector at St. Paul's in Alexandria, had been involved with earlier efforts to revive the chair of theology and establish an Episcopal theological seminary. When plans faltered at William and Mary, Wilmer instructed students at a seminary founded in Alexandria. As the Second Great Awakening revived the Episcopal Church in Virginia, Wilmer's standing grew. Upon Smith's resignation from the presidency, Bishop of Virginia Richard Channing Moore sought to reaffirm the connection between the college and church. Moore began actively petitioning the Board of Visitors to elect Rev. Wilmer, and contacted Wilmer to ensure his acceptance of any offer. On October 16, 1826, the Board invited Wilmer to accept his election as president, in response Wilmer accepted, believing "a call from heaven to the presidency of William and Mary."

With a clergyman again the president, semiweekly prayer meetings in private homes and crusades of conversion replaced Williamsburg's formal balls and horse racing. A popular minister of stature and undoubted piety, Wilmer became enormously popular at the school and in the community. The future appeared brighter, until a series of events brought a renewed period of uncertainty and instability. Rev. Wilmer's sudden death following the session of 18261827 from "bilious fever" shocked the community, his replacement Rev. Adam Empie received unanimous election by the Board of Visitors.

A silhouette of Wilmer is part of the Muscarelle Museum of Art's collection. The silhouette is cut into fine paper laid over black fabric and the image measures 5 1/8 x 4 1/2 ins. It is not in a frame, it is currently archival hinged and matted and in a Solander box. The condition is fair though -- the paper is generally discolored and there are some smudges on the original as well.


By Jonathan Robert De Mallie, Historian and kinsman 
Family links: 
  Simon Wilmer (1749 - 1798)
  Ann Brice Fitzhugh Wilmer (1801 - 1854)
  Marion Hannah Cox Wilmer (1796 - 1821)*
  Richard Hooker Wilmer (1816 - 1900)*
  George Thornton Wilmer (1819 - 1898)*
  James Wilmer (1775 - 1831)*
  Simon Wilmer (1779 - 1840)*
  William Holland Wilmer (1782 - 1827)
  Peregrine Wilmer (1790 - 1836)*
  Lemuel Wilmer (1795 - 1869)*
*Calculated relationship
Note: Thanks and GOD Bless you Ron Stewart, your a true Virginian Gentleman !
Bruton Parish Episcopal Church Cemetery
Williamsburg City
Virginia, USA
Maintained by: A AAA American at Find A...
Originally Created by: Ron Stewart
Record added: Apr 10, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35712204
Dr William Holland Wilmer
Added by: A AAA American at Find A Grave
Dr William Holland Wilmer
Added by: L Evans
Dr William Holland Wilmer
Added by: Ron Stewart
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Dr, William Holland Wilmer, D.D.
- Jonathan Robert De Mallie, Historian
 Added: Jul. 13, 2016
May GOD Bless you as you have blessed us all!
- A AAA American at Find A Grave
 Added: Feb. 24, 2014

- Ron Stewart
 Added: Jan. 4, 2013
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