What are the odds that two Richmonds a world apart would boast two historic churches named St. Johns? St John’s in Richmond was built in 1837 and is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Australia (actually, Tasmania). The structure is situated near the oldest bridge, built between 1823 and 1825 by Australian convicts over the Coal River, and was used by military police and convicts between Hobart and Port Arthur.
St. John’s Episcopal Church was built in Richmond in 1741. In 1775, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, Peyton Randolph and other important Virginia delegates met in the church for the Second Virginia Convention of the House of Burgesses, where Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech: “Give me Liberty or Give me Death.” The delegates were so impressed by the speech that they decided to organize a Virginia militia, which led the way to Revolutionary War.
Coincidentally, both St. John churches were built on top of hills.