I've just looked at the 1789 rubrics, and other than a direction at one point for the minister to stand at the north end of the table and to stand close to it during the consecration, and directions for the confession and reception of communion to be done kneeling, I see no rubrication of posture or position.
The altar rail was still a later addition. During the 1700s and early 19th c. The people *sat* around the 'table' while the priest (minister by some Prayer Books) stood at the north end. It was only later in the 19th c. that the table (again called altar) was separated from the laity. Are you certain you are not seeing 19th c. additions? Colonial churches were not 'museums' during the 19th c. Don't underestimate the influence of the Ritualists on the 'house use' even of late 19th c./early 20th c. Episcopal churches. Their influence was to return the altar to the apse (and reoriented) - where formerly it had been 'amongst the laity' lengthwise, with the communicants sitting around it (and, even the surplice and gown disdained as 'papist'.)
Fishing for "traditions" among the few English churches that retained their screen is, at best, the elevation of local custom to universal rule.
Because again, it isn't 'fishing for traditions' - it owes to the preservation by the Catholics of that period, not the Anglicans. Besides, something can't be universal if there is an exception. The rood screen is the architectural norm for the approved liturgical rites and ceremonies of our WRO tradition in the Russian Church. The Victorian 'revival' by the Anglicans was a borrowing of still existing Roman Catholic tradition (see JJ Overbeck http://anglicanhistory.org/orthodoxy/overbeck/catholic1866.html
as many of the Ritualists toured Continental Europe towards that end (even the 'Sarum' or 'English use' party were finding and adopting the same uses still in use in Northern France, the Low Countries, etc. at that time.) So, as Overbeck puts it - Roman Catholicism purged of its errors. (Of course, we take Overbeck seriously - the only error I believe he made would be in his understanding of the controversy surrounding Parker. If you can understand Overbeck's pov, you could understand ours - and why we can't be Episcopalians or Roman Catholics, but only Western Orthodox. )
I have to say that where an Anglican-based liturgy is being used in OWR churches, it's going to be a bit hard to cut the Anglicans out of the picture entirely.
The adaptations done by both the Antiochians and Russians are to formerly (no-longer) Anglican liturgies that with their restorations have more in common with Catholic liturgy than Anglican liturgy. What makes them 'Anglican' for the most part is keeping particulars belonging to the English uses of the Roman rite. Again, not things properly 'Anglican' though truly English. IIRC, Michno is still standard ceremonial in ECUSA where the parish tends towards 'high'? AWRV doesn't use Michno, and I know we don't.
I don't have as good a picture of the origins of the other rite, but I have to suspect that it has its origin in some modern Roman rite.
The 'other rite' is the traditional Roman rite in the vernacular (usually Benedictine or Sarum use.)
Well, okay, but then to wave Fortescue at that and then jump back four or five or six or ten centuries back from that is extremely uncompelling as tradition, because there is simply far too much tradition that has to dismissed to make such a leap.
No one is 'jumping centuries back' - the Church weighed the received traditions in their particulars - that in error was excised, that not contrary to the faith was retained. And, again - Fortescue and Lamburn is a description of the Antiochian use - I'm not Antiochian, though I also support their uses.
It is manifestly picking and choosing; and if that's what you want your tradition to be, okay; but complaining about what the Victorians did wrong in such a context is irrelevant to all, because they aren't in that context. You're using them as a whipping boy in the same manner as the modernist wrecknovators did.
You misunderstand and falsely accuse. Its not about using the Victorians as 'whipping boys' - it is simply a recognition that much they did was more from zeal than from knowledge, and affects us due to existing architecture which must be adapted as best as we can. Also, its not about 'wanting a tradition it is the tradtion we have handed down. We don't just get to 'choose' anything - it relies upon the Bishops and the tradition preserved by the communities recieved into the Church. Many ARWV parishes do have baldacchinos - it is appropriate to the ceremonial they have approved, as are altar rails. Our (ROCOR Western Rite) chapels by contrast where purpose built have the rood screen as a liturgical feature after the approved ceremonial for our rites. Part of the point being that most often we WRO don't get much of a choice - spaces formerly belonging to Lutherans, Catholics, Syriacs, Episcopalians, Methodists, etc. have to be adapted - often with the constraints that the fabric cannot be changed. IOW, the ideal is often just that - the ideal for future construction and/or renovation. The attempt to make 'guilt by association' with the wreckovationists is just pitiful though - no similarities nor mutual regard between either party. (But, speaking of Anglicans - the Anglicans in America, the AMiA, appear to be introducting the English 1662 BCP service in lieu of the American 1979. That might be an appropriate topic for another part of the site - but not Liturgy on an Orthodox Christianity board.)