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  • ID: I1721
  • Name: Benjamin NICHOLSON
  • Surname: NICHOLSON
  • Given Name: Benjamin
  • Prefix: Judge
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: BEF 1745 in Chestertown, Kent County, Maryland
  • Death: 1792 in Baltimore, Maryland
  • _UID: DD9F8F6F9731D5118680EF90A100BA0B13CD
  • Note:
    1. Captain Horse Troop in Revolutionary War.

    2. Judge Benjamin Nicholson (bef 1765 Kent Co, MD - 1792 Baltimore)

    3. From: "A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789" by Edward C. Papenfuse et al., The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

    Married: Mary Ridgely (?-1804), daughter of John Ridgely (by 1724-1771) and wife Mary Dorsey.

    Children: William; Benjamin, John Ridgely (abt 1772-1800), a doctor, who married Matilda Heath Smith; and Benjamin Joseph, who was possibly lost at sea by 1804; Mary, who married in 1798 Darby Lux (abt 1772-1812); Elizabeth; Eleanor; Sarah; and Juliet.

    Private Career: Education: studied law.

    Religious affiliation: Protestant, buried by Rev. John Coleman, rector of St. John's Parish, Harford County.

    Social Status and Activities: Gentleman by 1771; Esq. By 1789.

    Occupational profile: lawyer, admitted to the following courts: Queen: Anne's County, June 1765; Baltimore and Frederick Counties, August 1765; Provincial Court, October 1768; Anne Arundel and Cecil Counties by March 1769; merchant, by June 1771 until at least 1773, in partnership with his brother James; planter; mill owner;, 1789-1792 (although the mill land was mortaged shortly before his death, its assets were included in Nicholson's inventory).

    Public Career: Legislative service: Conventions, Baltimore County, 2nd-3rd, 1774, 4th, 1775, 5th, 1775, 6th-8th, 1775-1776 (did not attend the 8th Convention). Other state offices: Judge, Court of Admiralty, 1776-1789 (commissioned on October 30, 1776). Local offices: Committee of Observation, Baltimore County, 1776; Chief Judge, Baltimore City Court, appointed 1791. Military service: Captain, Baltimore County Militia, by 1776; Major, Baltimore Town Battalion, Baltimore County Millitia, 1777-1781 (commissioned on September 12, 1777); Captain, Volunteer Troop of Light Dragoons, Baltimore County Millitia, by October 1781; Nicholson undertook the last command at the request of the "youth in his neighborhood", even though it meant accepting a lower rank.

    Wealth During Lifetime: Personal property: assessed value 1,222.17.6, including 13 slaves and 24 oz. Plate, 1783; charged with 14 slaves, 1790.

    Additional comment: Nicholson was an executor of the estate of his father-in-law, John Ridgely (by 1724-1771), which was not settled until 1787. His financial troubles by the late 1780s were apparently exacerbated by Ridgely's outstanding debts. In 1791, Nicholson mortgaged 16 slaves, livestock, plantation equipment, and household furniture to Charles (Carnan) Ridgely. Land at first election: 513 acres in Baltimore County, one-half interest in 135 acres in Anne Arundel County, and one-third interest in the lease of a lot in Fell's Point, Baltimore Town (all by purchase), plus an undetermined number of lots in or near Baltimore Town left to his wife by her father.

    Significant changes in land between first election and death: purchased 25 acres in Baltimore County, 1775; sold Mary's Baltimore Town lots in 1775 and the Anne Arundel County land in 1779; charged with 4 improved lots in Baltimore Town, 1783. In partnership with Charles Ridgely (1733-1790), Darby Lux (?-1795), John Sterett (1750/51-1787), Samuel Chase (1741-1811), and three others, purchased the confiscated Nottingham Ironworks in 1782, giving Nicholson a one-eighth interest in ca. 4,000 acres of land in Baltimore County; mortgaged his 539 acres in Baltimore County to his brother-in-law, John Ridgely, to secure settlement of the estate of his father-in-law John Ridgely (by 1724-1771) in 1786; mortgaged the one-eighth interest in the Nottingham Ironworks to Charles Ridgely (1733-1790) in 1788; obtained the release of the mortgage on the 539 acres of the land plus a certificate of survey fro an additional 106 acres in Baltimore County; purchased another 530 acre tract, which included a grist mill in Baltimore County, 1789; mortgaged this 530 acre tract and sold his ironworks interest (already mortgaged) to Charles (Carnan) Ridgely, 1791.

    Wealth at death: Died: between March 10 and May 2, 1792, in Baltimore County. Personal property: TEV, 2,076.16.5 current money (including 19 slaves, 1 servant, at least 3 books, 54 oz. Plate, beehives, 2 and one-half tons of "ship stuff", and 74 barrels of :fine flour in the mill". Most of his property was already mortgaged). FB, 2.9.3. Land: probably 30 acres in Baltimore County.

    4. Maryland and Delaware Revolutionary Patriots, 1775- 1783 Military Records
    Baltimore Town and Baltimore County, Maryland, Revolutionary Patriots Listings, Page 195, Inc., July 27, 2004

    NICHOLSON, BENJAMIN. (1745 - 1792) Son of Joseph NICHOLS0N and Hannah SMITH of Kent County, MD. He married Mary RlDGELY, and their children were: William; Mary, md. Darby LUX; John R., md. Matilda SMITH; Benjamin J.; Elizabeth, Eleanor; Sarah; and, Juliet. Benjamin NICHOLSON was very prominent during the Revolutionary War. He was Baltimore's Representative (or, rather, one of them) to the Association of Freemen on July 26' 1775, and then represented the Upper Back River Hundred at the Association of Freemen on August 21, 1T75. He was elected to the Baltimore County Committee of Observation on September 23, 1775, and was a Delegate to the Provincial Convention. He served on the Baltimore Town Committee of Correspondence, Nov. 12, 1775, and became Captain of the Baltimore County Militia Company No. 2 on Dec. 19, 1775, commanding 62 Privates. He became Captain of Soldiers Delight Company No. 1 on May 13, 1776, and 1st Major in the Baltimore Battalion on May 25, 1776. On September 17, 1777, he was Lieutenant Colonel of Baltimore County Militia 3rd and 4th Classes, under Colonel John Moale. On October 13, 1780, he was Battalion Colonel, Baltimore County Militia, commanding 1,345 troops. Subsequently, he recruited a Troop of Horse in Garrison Forest at the request of the men of that area, and he even was willing to accept the lower rank of Captain (or Lieutenant Colonel) so as to command once again, June 7, 1781. He was also involved in the Baltimore Committee of Confiscated Property in 1782. He died in 1792, and Mary NICHOLSON was his named administratrix, August, 1794. [L~109, RR-50, SS-136, WW~443, FFF-468, BBBB-Z74, JJJ-497, CC-36, G-10. E-13. F-311, BBB-379. BB-2, FF-64, F-303, SS-130, SSS-110, RR-51, EEEE-1726)

    5. Maryland and Delaware Revolutionary Patriots, 1775-1783 Military Records Baltimore Town and Baltimore County, Maryland, Military Lists, Page 325, Inc., July 27, 2004

    BALTIMORE, JUNE 7, 1781

    ''Inclosed is a roll of a Troop of Horse which I have embodied in the Forest. They have agreed to equip themselves....(but)....lf the State could furnish pistols and swords the Troop might be greatly enlarged and would be in immediate readiness. It was at the solicitation of the youth in my neighborhood that I undertook the embodying and command of the Troop..... You'll find among our number some Veteran Officers, who have left the Continental Service and whilst in served with reputation." (Letter to Gov. Lee)

    (Source: Archives of Maryland, Vol. XLVII, page 274)

    6. 1783 Baltimore County Tax Assessment

    Benjamin Nicholson. Nicholsons Manor, pt, 25 1/2 acres. BA Middle River Upper & Back River Upper Hundred, p. 11. MSA S 1161-2-10 1/4/5/45

    Benjamin Nicholson. Welches Cradle, pt, 513 acres. BA Middle River Upper & Back River Upper Hundred, p. 11. MSA S 1161-2-10 1/4/5/45

    7. The Treasures of Loch Raven
    Information compiled by John McGrain, Baltimore County Historian Mills Near Loch Raven Summary (March 4, 2002)

    Rogers Mill
    This colonial mill and its successor paper mill were on the north side of Paper Mill Road, east bank of Gunpowder Falls, a substantial ruin that was discernible before the construction of the new Paper Mill Road bridge in 2001. The first mention of the mill here was in 1773 when Benjamin Rogers advertised that two Irish servants had run away from his mill on the Great Falls of Gunpowder. An early traveler, Ebenezer Hazard, noted in his diary for November 6, 1777: "Crossed the Falls of the Gunpowder at Redgers [sic] Mill." An advertisement for a stray mare was published in the Maryland Journal in 1787 that stated that the animal had gotten lost somewhere between Rogers and Gwynns mills on the Great Falls. In 1787, John Merryman advertised that he had been authorized to dispose of the property of Benjamin Rogers and Charles Rogers, and offered to sell a valuable farm of 530 acres with a grist and a sawmill. In 1792, Mary Nicholson, administrator of Benjamin Nicholson, advertised a large mill on the Great Gunpowder Falls, 17 miles from Baltimore on the road to York. That property was Ranelagh Mills and was the very same one shown on Dennis Griffith's 1795 map of Maryland and Delaware, where it was marked as the "Nicholas" mill, east bank of the falls on the road to Slade's Tavern. In the advertisement of 1800 describing the new election districts, there as mention of William C. Gouldsmith's Mill (formerly Rogers) on the Old York Road at Gunpowder Falls. In 1811, William Copeland Gouldsmith sold a mill on Great Gunpowder Falls to Charles Jessop. The deed in that transaction revealed that the land grant name was "Benjamin's Hills and Valleys." Charles Jessop's ledger survives at the Baltimore County Historical Society and shows that he moved to the Vaux Hall mansion in 1807. Later, he bought several mills, including Boyd's Mill and the Beaver Dam Mill. He referred to the mill nearest to his home as the Oxford Mill, which seems to mean the old Rogers Mill. Jessop's ledger records heavy damage in the flood of August 9, 1817. On January 30, 1822, the ice in the Gunpowder broke and water stood seven feet deep in the first story of the mill. Another flood hit on February 18, 1822. Jessop recorded on March 17, 1825, that William Price, a three-year-old had drowned in the forebay of the mill - that is, in the final sluice leading to the water wheel. The old colonial mill was apparently rebuilt, because a new works, the Marble Vale Mill equipped with four pairs of 4-1/2 foot burr stones and a sawmill was advertised in the Baltimore American of September 17, 1838. At that time, William Tyson was the tenant operator of the mill
  • Change Date: 13 Feb 2005 at 22:00:00

    Father: Joseph NICHOLSON b: 6 Aug 1709 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland c: 18 Oct 1709 in All Hallow's, Anne Arundel County, Maryland
    Mother: Hannah SMITH b: 14 Mar 1708 in Kent County, Maryland

    Marriage 1 Mary RIDGELY
    • Married: By 1771 in Baltimore County, Maryland
    • Note:
      Calendar of Wills, Vol 14, 1767-1772, Calendar of Wills 1767-1772, Page 170

      RIDGELEY, John, Baltimore Town Baltimore Co., merchant

      19 Mar 1771
      1 May 1771

      "To...Children:...Mary Nicholson, wife of Benjamin...

      Exs. Son Charles and son in law Benjamin Nicholson to be guardians to my children."
    1. Has Children Mary NICHOLSON b: ABT 1771 in Baltimore, Maryland
    2. Has Children John Ridgely NICHOLSON b: 1772 in Maryland
    3. Has No Children Eleanor NICHOLSON b: 24 Oct 1786 in Baltimore, Maryland
    4. Has No Children Benjamin NICHOLSON b: 17 Aug 1788 in Baltimore, Maryland
    5. Has No Children Sarah NICHOLSON b: 7 Apr 1790 in Baltimore, Maryland
    6. Has No Children William NICHOLSON
    7. Has No Children Benjamin Joseph NICHOLSON
    8. Has No Children Elizabeth NICHOLSON
    9. Has Children Juliet S. NICHOLSON b: in Baltimore, Maryland

    1. Title: A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789
      Author: Edward C. Papenfuse, Alan F. Day, David W. Jordan, and Gregory A. Stiverson
      Publication: The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1985

      HOPPER, WILLIAM (by 1747-1806). BORN: between 1741 and 1747 in Queen Anne's County; only son. NATIVE: third generation. RESIDED: in Queen Anne's County (later became part of Caroline County) until 1785; Queen Anne's County, 1785 until death. FAMILY BACKGROUND. FATHER: William Hopper (1707-1772). MOTHER: Mary Anne (?-1747), daughter of Thomas Hynson Wright (1688-1747) and wife Mary Turbutt; granddaughter of Solomon Wright (ca. 1655-1717). STEPMOTHER: Sarah Dockery (?-ca. 1775). UNCLE: Thomas Wright (?-ca. 1784). AUNT: Ann Wright (?-by 1754), who married Edward Oldham (1709 - 1773). SISTER: Mary Anne (1742-by 1792), who married second, James Bordley (? - a. 1793). HALF SISTERS: Mary; Elizabeth (1739 - 1806), who married Joseph Nicholson, Jr. (?-1786); Henrietta; Sally (?-1761); and Dorothy. FIRST COUSINS: Samuel Turbutt Wright(1749-1810); Ann Oldham (?-by 1794), who married Joshua Clarke (?-1781); Hannah Oldham (?-1828), who married Nicholas Martin (1743-ca.1808). MARRIED first, by 1769 his first cousin Elizabeth (?-by 1776), daughter of Edward Oldham (1709-1773) and wife Ann Wright (?-by 1754); stepdaughter of Ann Goldsborough (1732-?); granddaughter of John Oldham (?-1729); stepgranddaughter of Nicholas Goldsborough (ca. 1689-1766); niece of Hannah Oldham (1702-1759), who married James Edge (ca. 1710-1757), Mary Anne Wright (?-1747), who married William Hopper(1707-1772), and Thomas Wright (?-ca. 1784); stepniece of Thomas Goldsborough (ca. 1728-1793). Her sisters were Anne (?-by 1794), who married Joshua Clarke(?-1781); Hannah (?-1828), who married Nicholas Martin (1743-ca. 1808); and Mary (7-by 1772). Her first cousins were Samuel Turbutt Wright(1749-1810); Mary Ann Hopper (1742-by 1792), who married second, James Bordley (?-ca. 1793). ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: by 1759 Elizabeth and her sister Anne were living with their aunt Hannah Oldham Edge from whom they inherited the lands of their uncle James Edge(ca. 1710-1757). MARRIED second, on April 17, 1776, Ann, daughter of Daniel Cox. CHILDREN: SONS William (?-1793); Daniel Cox (1777-?), a lawyer by 1807; Thomas Wright (1783-?), a surgeon's mate in the Thirty-eighth Regiment, Maryland Militia in 1808, who married on August 9, 1808, Ann Emory (ca. 1789-1821) Philemon Blake (1791-?), a lawyer, who married first, Rebecca (ca. 1794-1822), and second, on September 2, 1822, Margaret Anne Thomas, and William (a minor in 1807). DAUGHTERS: Sarah (1779-?); Mary (1787-?); and Anna Maria. PRIVATE CAREER EDUCATION: entered the University of Pennsylvania on May 3, 1762, attended until 1765, but did not graduate. RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Anglican; Methodist by 1794. SOCIAL STATUS AND ACTIVITIES: Gent., 1767, subscriber to Washington College, Chestertown, Kent County. OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: merchant, 1774, in partnership with James Kent (ca. 1738-1805); farmer, 1795. PUBLIC CAREER LEGISLATIVE SERVICE: Convention, Caroline County, 5th, 1775; Lower House, Caroline County, 1780 (elected, but did not attend; resigned on November 1, 1780), 1781-1782, 1782 - 1783, 1783. LOCAL OFFICES: St. Paul's Parish Vestry, Queen Anne's County, in office 1771-1774; justice, Queen Anne's County, commissioned 1773 and 1794; Committee of Correspondence, Caroline County, elected 1774; sheriff, Caroline County, commissioned 1774, 1775, 1777, and 1778; trustee for the poor, Queen Anne's County, 1801 - 1805. MILITARY SERVICE: captain Caroline County Militia, by 1777, colonel, by 1806. Criticized by Col. Mordecai Gist in a letter to Gov. Thomas Johnson after the Battle of Germantown in 1777 in which Hopper was said to have been attacked "with qualms of sickness" that forced him to leave his regiment when under attack. WEALTH DURING LIFE TIME. PERSONAL PROPERTY: assessed value 1,015.0.0 current money, including 20 slaves 1783; at least 21 slaves, 1803. Declared insolvent in 1788, at which time his personal property included 59 slaves and 86 oz. plate; he was able to repurchase 21 of these slaves in 1803. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: at least 3,167 acres in Queen Anne's, Talbot, and Caroline counties (at least 1,028 acres inherited from his father; 1,877 acres through his first marriage, at least 1,297 acres of which was given to his wife in 1759 by her aunt Hannah Edge, widow of James Edge; and one-third share of 786 acres held in partnership with John Markland and John Brown). SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN LAND BETWEEN FIRST ELECTION AND DEATH: obtained 1,713 acres through his second marriage, 1776; charged with 4,246 acres in Queen Anne's, Talbot, and Caroline counties, 1783; turned at least 4,753 acres over to trustees when he declared insolvency 1788; repurchased ca. 3,400 acres, 1803. WEALTH AT DEATH: Died: in late November 1806 in Queen Anne?s County; size of estate unknown.
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