The early history of Maryland is so closely interwoven with
that of the county which provided it with its final seat of
government, that there is hardly an old graveyard in Anne
Arundel but yields a record of important names. A survey of the
city of Annapolis in 1718, gives to the Church Circle an area of
94,025 feet. At that time all the citizens were nominally
parishioners of St. Anne's, and the churchyard was their common
burial ground. It was more than twice as large as it is now,
extending as far as the present Court House, and into the
grounds of the Executive Mansion.
By the year 1786, every inch of the space was full, and much of
it had been used over and over again. A piece of land, given to
the parish by Elizabeth Bordley about the year 1790, supplied
the pressing need for a larger graveyard, and this, until within
recent years, was always known as St. Anne's cemetery. Most of
the bodies around the church were removed to the new place of
burial; and in course of time the churchyard itself became
confined within its present limits. Some of the broken
gravestones have found their way into the street crossings near
St. Anne's; others have been utilized in various ways. In one
case fragments have been made to serve the purpose of steps to
the wing of the Brice House. These, through the courtesy of Mr.
Martin, owner of that historic mansion, were removed from their
position and turned over for the purpose of investigation.
On the under side of one of them were discovered the words:
"died July 14th, 1765."
The rest of the inscription had become obliterated, but by
searching among the obituaries of the Maryland Gazette, a
probable clew was found by which to reconstruct the whole.
"Sunday last died here of smallpox at the house of her brother,
Mr. Chief Justice Brice, Mrs. Anne Denton, widow, a gentlewoman
of pious and exemplary life and conversation."
The date of the Gazette where this extract appears is Thursday,
John Brice, the Chief Justice mentioned
above, was the son of John Brice of Haversham, England. He
outlived his sister about one year. Besides the position he
holds in local family tradition, he is among those to whom
complimentary allusions are made by Governor Sharpe in his
correspondence with Lord Baltimore preserved in the Maryland
archives. Designated by his Excellency as a man of " Good
Abilities and Fortune," he is recommended to the Lord
Proprietor as a gentleman fitted to fill the vacancy in the
Council left by the death of one of its members. This
position, however, he never held, as he died shortly
To return to St. Anne's and its funeral records, one reads in
the Register of 1707—the oldest volume preserved—of the burial
of such distinguished personages as
"His Excellency John Seymour, Capt. Gen., also Governour of the
Province and Vice Admiral," August 5, 1709; of " Marylandia,
daughter of His Excellency John Hart, Governour," September,
1716; of " Madam Margaret Lasonby, aunt of His Excellency
Charles Calvert, Governour," August 8, 1722.
Among the interments mentioned is also that of Capt. Ezekiel
Gillis, which took place on January 9, 1749, at Mrs. Hill's,
South River Neck.
This entry points to the existence of an old burial ground which
so far has escaped identification by members of the Memorial
In the cemetery of St. Anne's are to be found many names
familiar to the older residents of the capital, as well as to
the kindred families throughout the state; such, for instance,
as Calvert, Mackubin, Randall, Steele, Murray, Maynadier,
Steuart, Shaw, Nicholson, Mayo, Brewer, Harwood, Grammar and
The oldest date is 1763. It is preserved on a slab inscribed
with the initials M. & E. In point of age that of Fr. de la
Landelle, a French officer, comes next.
He was born in Brittany, France, and died in 1800. A third
without dates bears the names of John Kilty and William Kilty,
"Brothers, and revolutionary officers" and on the
title-page of The Landholders Assistant, printed early in the
nineteenth century, and appearing in nearly every gentleman's
library of that day, we find the same name perpetuated.
Besides these are other ancient stones of later date:
Osborne Ridgely, born 1742, died 1818.
Thomas Duckett, died in 1806 in his 64th year;
Miss Elizabeth Fulks, died in 1830 in her 73rd. year.
Mrs. Mary Miller, died in 1830 in her 71st. year;
Sarah Ann Terry, died August 29th, 1841 aged 68 years;
John T. Barber, Esq., died April 6th, 1822, in the 51st. year of
Honorable Peter Rich, late a delegate from Caroline County,
departed this life on the 30th day of January A. D. 1805.
It appears that the monument to the above was erected by the "Honourable
the General Assembly of Maryland" as a testimonial of respect to
the memory of the deceased.
The Bordleys lie in a family vault. Thomas, the progenitor of
the family in Maryland, was attorney-general of the Province
from 1715 to 1726. He was born in Yorkshire,
England, about the year 1682 and came to Annapolis about the
year 1694, with an elder brother, the Rev. Stephen Bordley, who
in 1697 was duly installed as second
rector of St.Paul's Parish, Kent county. Thomas studied law and
was considered to be the first lawyer of his day. He married,
first, Rachel Beard of Annapolis, who died in 1722.
Four of their children lived to maturity—Stephen, William,
Elizabeth and John. On September 1, 1723, he married, secondly,
the Widow Frisby.
Their sons were named respectively Thomas, Matthias and John
Beale, the last of whom was born in February, 1726, old style,
four months after his father's death,
which occurred while on a visit to England for his health. A
portrait painted by Gustavus Hesselius before he sailed,
represents him as thin and pallid and dressed in gown and
wig. Although the gift of land made by Elizabeth Bordley was
conveyed to the vestry of St. Anne's parish, its old name of St.
Anne's cemetery has been lost through its incorporation of late
years with graveyards of other denominations. It is now more
popularly known as the " City Cemetery."
Clustered about the doorway and sides of St. Anne's church,
Annapolis, are to be found several ancient tombs of the tabular
kind, placed there in recent years to insure
their preservation, also others erected in the year 1826, to
replace the original ones that had occupied the same spot at a
much earlier period. To the right is that of Maj. John
Hammond, one of the commissioners appointed in 1694 " to survey
and lay out the said town into lots, streets and lanes.
" It stood formerly in a field at the head of "Hammond's
Creek," an estuary of the Severn river, about three miles
Amos Garrett's tomb occupies a corresponding position to the
left, while those of Henry Ridgely and Nicholas Gassaway
complete the number of the first group.
The inscriptions read as follows:
Here lieth interred the body of Major General John
Hammond who departed this life the twenty-fourth day of
November 1707 in the sixty-fourth year of his age.
Here lieth interred the body of Mr. Amos Garrett of the
City of Annapolis in Anne Arundel County of the Province of
Son of Mr. James and Mrs. Sarah Garrett late of St . Olives
Street, Southwark then in the Kingdom of England now a part
of Great Britain
who departed this life March 8th 1707.
Here Lyeth the body of Mr. Henry Ridgely who was borne
the 3rd of October 1669 and departed this life on ye 19th
day of March 1699-1700.
Here Lyeth Interred The Body of Nicholas Gassaway Son of
Coll Nicholas Gassaway who Departed This Life The 10 Day of
March Anno Domini 1699,
And In The 31 Year of His Age.
In the second group appear the following:
Here lies the remains of Rebecca late wife of Daniel
Dulany of Annapolis and fourth daughter of Colonel Walter
Smith. She faithfully and diligently
discharged her duty in all relations of Daughter and Wife,
Mother, Friend and Neighbor. She was virtuous and
charitable. She lived an unblemished life and died
universally lamented the
18th of March 1797 Aged 40 years. (Coat of Arms.)
Sacred to the Memory of Margaret Carroll Relict of
Charles Carroll and daughter of Matthew Tilghman. She was
born on the 13th day of Jan. 1742 and
died on the 14th day of March A. D. 1817.
In Memory of Benjamin Tasker Jun. Esq late Secretary of
Maryland Who died on the 17 Oct 1760 in the 39th year of his
In Memory of William Bladen Esq. Who died the 9th of
August Anno Domini 1718 in the 48th year of his Age.
Here are deposited the remains of the Honourable Benjamin
Tasker who departed this life the 19th of June A. D. 1768 in
the 78th year of his Age,
which though of a constitution naturally weak and tender, he
attained through the efficiency of an exemplary temperance.
At the time of his decease
he was President of the Council a station he had occupied
for thirty-two years. The offices of Agent and receiver
general and judge
of the prerogative Court he successively exercised. Such
were his qualities, his probity, equanimity, candor,
benevolence, that no one was more respected
more beloved. So diffusive and pure his humanity, so
singular the influence of his deportment that he was no
one's enemy nor any one his.
These tombs are erected in the year 1826 in the place of
the original ones, which have decayed, by the liberality and
filial affection of Mrs. Ann Dulany
of the City of London, still longer to perpetuate the memory
of those of her respected ancestors whose remains are
deposited beneath them.