Patrick, a S. county of Virginia, bordering on North Carolina, and drained by the Dan, Smith's, and North and South Mayo rivers, all of which have their sources in the Blue Ridge, which forms its N. W. boundary; area about 500 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 10,161, of whom 2,325 were colored. It has a mountainous surface, and is noted for its picturesque scenery; much of the soil is fertile, and iron ore is abundant. The chief productions in 1870 were 9,657 bushels of wheat, 12,984 of rye, 147,329 of Indian corn, 50,937 of oats, 17,166 of Irish and 8,205 of sweet potatoes, 85,545 lbs. of butter, 8,096 of wool, 37,211 of honey, and 323,-886 of tobacco. There were 975 horses, 2,196 milch cows, 3,279 other cattle, 5,028 sheep, and 11,560 swine. Capital, Patrick Court House.
Patrick (Lat. Patricius), Saint, the apostle and patron saint of Ireland. The place of his birth is uncertain. O'Curry discovered in the British museum a manuscript tripartite life of the 6th century, which affirms that Patrick was born in 372 at Bonavens Tabernise, thought by some to be the modern Boulogne. Others maintain that he was born near Kilpatrick in Scotland, in 373. He died in Down, Ulster, March 17, 493 or 495. The name of Patricius was bestowed on him in Rome by Pope Celes-tine, his original name having been Succath. At the age of 16 he was carried captive to Ireland by a band of marauders, but after six months escaped to Scotland. Carried off a second time, and again escaping, he resolved to become a missionary to the Irish, was ordained in Scotland, and after a long preparation was consecrated bishop. Having previously, according to some accounts, visited Gaul and perhaps Italy, he passed over to his chosen field of labor about 432, and preached the gospel with such extraordinary effect that, although not absolutely the first to introduce Christianity into that country, he has always received the credit of its general conversion.
He baptized the kings of Dublin and Munster, and the seven sons of the king of Connaught, with the greater part of their subjects, and before his death had converted almost the whole island to the faith. St. Bernard testifies that he fixed his metropolitan see at Armagh, and it appears that he appointed several other bishops, with whom he held councils to settle the discipline of the church. He is said in his old age to have written his " Confession," but its authenticity is considered doubtful by many. It may be found in Sir James Ware's edition of the works of St. Patrick (8vo, London, 1658). The Roman Catholic church keeps his festival on March 17. Patrick devoted the lands bestowed on him to the foundation of churches, of cloisters for both sexes, and of numerous monastic schools, which flourished during the next three centuries. He was also zealous for the suppression of slavery, which was one of the great incentives to the piratical expeditions so frequent in his day.