Located in the Shenandoah Valley, the county was established in 1778 from Augusta County. The county is named for Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, a British statesman (1730–1782). He was Prime Minister of Great Britain twice, and a keen supporter of constitutional rights for the colonists. During his first term, he repealed the Stamp Act of 1765, reducing the tax burden on the colonies. Appointed again in 1782, upon taking office, he backed the claim for the independence of the Thirteen Colonies, initiating an end to British involvement in the American Revolutionary War. By 1778, it was unusual to honor British officials in Virginia, fighting for its independence. However, long their political supporter in the British Parliament, the Marquess of Rockingham was a popular figure with the citizens of the new United States.
Augusta, Albemarle, Shenandoah, Page and Greene counties in Virginia. Additionally, it is adjacent to Pendleton and Hardy counties of West Virginia and the independent city of Harrisonburg, Virginia.
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