Col. Edward Dorsey

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Edward Dorsey

Also Known As: "Edward d'Arcy"
Birthdate: (60)
Birthplace: Laurer, Norfolk County, Virginia Colony
Death: Died in Baltimore County, Province of Maryland
Place of Burial: Columbia, Howard, Maryland, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward Dorsey, I and Anne Dorsey
Husband of Sarah Ann Dorsey and Margaret Ruth Israel
Father of Edward Dorsey, Jr.; Sarah Petticoat; Hannah Howard; Samuel Dorsey; Capt. Joshua Dorsey and 8 others
Brother of Anne Dorsey

Occupation: military and politics
Managed by: Linda Sue
Last Updated:

About Col. Edward Dorsey

Edward Dorsey (d. 1705), m. circa 1670 Sarah Wyatt (d. 1692), m. circa 1693 Margaret Lacon (d. 1707)

Birth: 1645 Virginia, USA Death: Dec. 31, 1705 Baltimore County Maryland, USA

Anne Arundel Gentry

Of the three sons of Edward Dorsey the Boatwright, Edward, Jr., was undoubtedly the most outstanding. From young manhood until his death in 1705, he was actively associated in civil and military affairs, in fact with most every phase of life connected with the young Province. It is said that he became one of the most important and influential men of Anne Arundel County.

Col. Edward Dorsey, Jr., son of Edward Dorsey, Sr., and Anne _____, was born ca 1645 in Virginia. He was a youngster when his father brought him up to the Severn during the days of the Commonwealth in Maryland, 1649 or 50. The birth date of Edward Dorsey, eldest son of the immigrant, is unknown, but he was over sixteen years of age, when having left the province, he was again transported into it by Robert Bullen on March 25, 1661.

In 1664, the three sons of Edward Dorsey, Sr., took up and patented their father's 400 acre survey of "Hockley-in-the-Hole." Edward Dorsey first comes on the records as a planter in 1664, when he and his brothers were living on one of their father's surveys, as seen in a land patent of that date. Evidence is unmistakable that he followed for a time the occupation of his father and was certainly engaged in ship building as late as 1667.

Prior to May 6, 1667, Edward Dorsey transported seven persons into Maryland as proved by the following: "Know all when by these presents that I Edward Dorsey of Anne Arundell boatright does assign my right and title and interest o the within mencomed warrant unto Cornelius Howar his heirs and assigns the same for to hold without." It was signed by Edward Dorsey and witnessed by Daniel Jenifer.

Edward received several grants of land from the Lord Proprietor on which he first established his dwelling and plantation embraced a considerable portion of the present town of Annapolis. He spent his early days along the Severn and in that neighborhood found his first wife, Sarah Wyatt. They were married before November 30, 1670. Sarah, born 1657 in Anne Arundel County, was the daughter of Nicholas Wyatt and Damaris Stockett, Quakers who had also come up from Virginia.

Children of Edward and Sarah Dorsey 1. Edward Dorsey III, born bef 1677. 2. Sarah Dorsey Peddicord, born bef 1677. 3. Hannah Dorsey Howard, born 1679. 4. Samuel Dorsey, born 1682. 5. Capt. Joshua Dorsey, born 1686. 6. Col. John Dorsey, born 1688. 7. Nicholas Dorsey, born 1690. 8. Benjamin Dorsey, born 1692.

Upon the death of Sarah's father, Nicholas Wyatt, in 1673, he left a will made in 1671, in which Sarah's mother Damaris was made executrix. Col. Edward Dorsey, as the representative of his wife, the heir, contended for the administration of the estate, on the ground of a subsequent revocation of the will in 1671. The case was decided in favor of Maj. Dorsey, who administered.

Edward next appears as a boatwright in the port of Annapolis, and in 1675 is recognized as a successful young lawyer. It was not until 1679 that Edward Dorsey entered into the public or political life of the Province. In that year he was made a Justice of the Peace for Anne Arundel County and a Gentleman Justice of the Quroum. He continued to serve in that capacity for a number of years thereafter. From then on he quickly rose to prominence in both state and military affairs.

After the death of Samuel Wyatt, the only son and heir of Nicholas Wyatt, Edward Dorsey claimed his estate by rights of his wife, as sole-heiress. A battled ensued with Thomas Bland, who had married Damaris, step-mother of Sarah Wyatt Dorsey. Edward Dorsey had Bland arrested and caused him to be kept a prisoner at the Public Ordinary for several days. Thomas Bland petitioned the Provincial Court, swearing that in July 1677 he delivered to Mr. Edward Dorsey all the real and personal estate of the late Nicholas Wyatt, but Dorsey entered upon it and with force carried away three servants which were Bland's property and whom he had purchased with his own resources. Furthermore, John Booth one of the servants was so ill-treated by Dorsey that he ran away and Alice, another servant, was so misused that she was "brought to a dangerous sickness."

Edward Dorsey was interested in many civic endeavors. In 1681 he petitioned the Commissioner of Accounts to pay him for 15 days of service to the Province. The same year he was in receipt of 375 lbs. tobacco and at another time 300 lbs. tobacco. He was placed on the Commission in 1683 for the advancement of trade and for the laying out of ports in Anne Arundel County. The same year he with Henry Ridgely, Nicholas Gassaway and William Richardson was on a committee to erect a building for the Courts and Assembly of the Province, and for the keeping of the Secretary's office.

In 1686 he was stylized Captain Edward Dorsey of His Lordship's army. As Anne Arundel County Major of Horse, 1689., he joined Capt. Edward Burgess in asking for additional arms and ammunition for defense. He rose in the provincial forces from Captain to Colonel, a grade which he held at the time of his death. Captain of the Militia in 1685; Major, 1687; Field Officer of Calvert County, 1694; Colonel, 1702.

Edward Dorsey was a staunch and loyal supporter of the Calverts, for on November 28, 1689, he with many other prominent men of the Province endorse a petition to the "Most Gracious Majesty King William III" setting forth the privileges which they had received under the deposed Charles, Lord Baron of Baltimore, and protested against the intrigue of John Coode who with others undermined the Proprietary Government.

In politics Edward Dorsey was a supporter of the House of Stuart and an acknowledged member of the Jacobean Party. Frequently his home at Annapolis furnished the meeting place for some of its conclaves. He however was outspoken in his political views, for information was given the Council in 1692 that "Major Edward Dorsey had made several mutinous and seditious speeches on board Captain William Hill Ship."

The following excerpt from a letter of Colonel Nicholas Greenbury to his Excellency Lionel Copley, Esq., Governor of the Province, throws much light on the Jacobean leaders of that day. "Sire I have been creditably informed lately of a Great Cabal in our Country held by the grand Leaders of the Jacobite Party (vizt) Colonel Coursey, Major Sayer, Colonel Darnall, Major Dorsey, Richard Smith, Samuel Chew, and John Hinson their Rendezvous was at Darnalls, Chews, Dorseys, and one Marion Duval but the Occasion of meeting is not known." The letter was dated "Severn River 25 July 1692."

Sarah, Col. Dorsey's wife, died about 1690. He took for a second wife Margaret, ca 1693. All indicators point to the fact that she was one of the daughters of John Larkin, innkeeper, by his wife Katherine.

Children of Edward and Margaret Dorsey 9. Larkin Dorsey, born 1694. 10. Francis Dorsey, born 1696. 11. Charles Dorsey, born 1698. 12. Edward Dorsey, III, born 1700. 13. Anne Dorsey Hammond, born 1702.

Through this second marriage he came into possession of a large estate and several tracts of land on the north side of the Patapsco that Margaret had inherited from her father.

Col. Edward Dorsey was among the promoters and first subscribers to a fund for the founding of a free school for the Province. He subscribed 2,000 lbs. tobacco and was made a trustee of the system in 1694. As Major Edward Dorsey he was on the committee to erect the court house and the free school for Anne Arundel Towne and the committee to lay out town lots and a town common for the "town of Proctor" or Annapolis.

He entered the General Assembly 1694 as a delegate from Anne Arundel County and continued to serve in all succeeding sessions of the Lower House until his death. He was a member of the House of Burgesses from Anne Arundel County, 1694 to 1697, Judge of the High Court of Chancery, 1695, and Keeper of the Great Seal of the Province, 1696.

Edward Dorsey was granted the contract for the erection of the first church of St. Anne in 1696. An act was passed the same day imposing a tax of "three pence perhund on tobacco to continue and be in force until the 12 day of May, which shall be in the year of our Lord God 1698 and to be applied to the building of ye church in Annapolis." Edward Dorsey failed to have the church completed at the allotted time of November 30, 1697, and by an Act of the Assembly the time was extended until November 30, 1698. At the latter date the church was still unfinished which caused much dissatisfaction among several members of the Assembly. A bill was proposed and passed by the Assembly fining him for the unfulfillment of his contract. On May 4, 1700, the Rev. Thomas Bray appeared before the Board in behalf of Major Edward Dorsey and in his petition stated "he does not question the justice of the General Assembly in imposing the fine but forasmuch as Major Dorsey had a great charge of a wife and twelve children most of them small" prayed for clemency.

In 1698 Major Edward Dorsey was on the commission to settle the boundary between Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties. Before 1700, Edward removed from Annapolis to "Major's Choice" on the south shore of the Patapsco, west of Waterloo, and north of the old brick church, then within the domains of Baltimore County where he continued to sit in the House of Burgesses as a delegate from Baltimore County, 1701-05; He was likewise elected to the Lower House and also served on many important committees.

The Stadt House was destroyed by fire in 1704. Until it was rebuilt, the General Assembly held its sessions in a house rented from Colonel Edward Dorsey. In 1705 he sold three houses on "Bloomsbury Square" to Lord Baltimore to be used for the storing of arms and ammunition.

Edward Dorsey, Jr., acquired large tracts of land in both Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties, which he divided among his sons and daughters. Sarah inherited "Wyatt's Neck," "Wyatt's Hills," "Wyatt's Ridge" and "Bear Ridge" from her father. These she passed onto her eldest son, and when he died they went to the next eldest.

On January 4, 1700/1, Edward Dorsey, of Baltimore County, and Margaret his wife, "for disposing of good and chattels for advancement of our children after death" assigned to his "well-beloved friends Major John Hammond, Captain Charles Hammond and my oldest son Edward Dorsey" four plantations bordering his dwelling plantation at Elk Ridge and one on the south side of the Patapsco a little beyond the Falls with negroes, livestock, household furniture whereon in trust for his five sons, that is, Samuel, Joshua, John, Nicholas, and Benjamin.

"To son Samuel the Patapsco plantation with three negroes and other personalty. To son Joshua the plantation ‘where Black Dick lives' with 100 adjoining acres, negroes and other personalty. To son John the plantation that negro Bacon ‘now lives on' with 100 acres, negroes. To son Nicholas the plantation ‘that negro Tom lives on' with 100 acres. To son Benjamin piece of land between Dick and Bacon."

In the event that any of the said sons died without issue then their estates were to be divided equally among their lawful heirs, but if any son proved "rudely," then the trustees had the power to bind him to a trade. The deed of trust was signed by both Edward Dorsey and his wife in the presence of John Hammond and Philip Howard. The latter, a Justice of the Peace, privately examined Margaret Dorsey without hearing of her husband who consented.

On June 25 1702, Edward Dorsey for £90 bought of Colonel John Larkin and Thomas Larkin, of Anne Arundel, a portion of "United Friendship" on the north side of the Patapsco in Baltimore County as laid out for 350 acres.

His original will, dated October 26, 1704, is on file at Annapolis. It was witnessed by Katherine Organ, John Huntsmen, John Dorsey, and John Ball. Col. Edward Dorsey, Jr., died, December 31, 1705 (about age 60) at "Major's Choice." His will was probated in Baltimore County on December 27, 1705.

"To son Larkin at 21 years ‘Hockley' of 100 acres on main falls of the Patapsco and personalty including boy servant William Jackson. To sons Charles, Larkin, Francis, and Edward all land on the North side of the Patapsco, and ‘Taylor's Forest' which the testator was negotiating to purchase. To daughter Anne personalty and a lot of Negroes. To daughter Sarah Petticoate personalty. To son Joshua ‘Barnes Folley' of 100 acres. To son Samuel portion of ‘Major's Choice' and also that which he had received as a gift. To son Nicholas 100-acre portion of ‘Long Reach' at Elk Ridge and personalty at 16. To son Benjamin 100-acre portion of ‘Long Reach' at 16. To son John the residue of ‘Long Reach' and a lot of silver spoons, to be delivered at 16. To three unnamed children of deceased daughter, Hannah Howard, personalty. To beloved wife, Margaret, personal residuary estate and executrix."

Edward, Jr., youngest son, inherited the Colonel's riding horse "Sparke," his best gun, largest silver tankard, tobacco box, seal gold ring, and one sealskin trunk marked "E.D.".

The inventory and appraisement of the personal estate were made by Thomas Hammond and William Talbott. The inventory was taken at the "seated plantation," and also at the "Upper Plantation," "Elk Ridge Quarters," the "Round Bay Plantation" and "in the store house" and "in Little Flat House." There were books, one Gould Seal ring, one Silver Scale, Ivery headed cane, silver tobacco box, silver hilted sword, silver plate and surveying chain. His wearing apparel was appraised at £7/10/-. There were also thirteen negro slaves and two white indentured servants. Samuel Dorsey, the eldest surviving son, approved the valuation of £528/8/11. It was filed at court on April 1, 1706.

It is quite evident that the children of the second marriage did not have the advantages of those of the first wife. The widow remarried John Israel by February 15, 1706/7. He died in Baltimore County in 1723 and she married shortly thereafter Samuel Heighe. Perhaps, the children were neglected by their stepfathers. Anyhow they were not schooled in letters and as a consequence made their mark on official documents.

Family links:

 Edward Dorsey (1619 - 1659)
 Anne Dorsey (1619 - 1690)

 Sarah Wyatt Dorsey (1657 - 1690)
 Margaret Ruth Larkin Dorsey (1643 - 1707)*

 Joshua Dorsey (1686 - 1747)*
 John Dorsey (1688 - 1764)*
 Francis Dorsey (1696 - 1750)*
  • Calculated relationship

Note: The land known as "Major's Choice" is now part of Harford County, Maryland.


Burial: Major's Choice Plantation Bel Air (Harford County) Harford County Maryland, USA

Maintained by: meet Virginia Originally Created by: P Fazzini Record added: Jan 08, 2011 Find A Grave Memorial# 63895668

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Colonel Edward DORSEY was born in 1637. He died about 1705 in ____, Anne Arundel Co., Maryland. Colonel Edward Dorsey (this name was written both Dorsey and Darcy) is recorded as one of the Justices of Anne Arundel county (Maryland) in 1679 and 1685. He was foremost from the year 1680 to 1705 in all the most progressive movements of the Colony. He was Judge of the High Court of Chancery from 1694 to 1698, during which time he was comissioned to hold the Great Seal of the Province. He was a member of the House of Burgesses for Anne Arundel in 1694, and represented Howard county in the same body from 1679 to the year of his death, 1705. He was Captain of the Militia of Anne Arundel county, Maryland, in 1686, and Major in 1687. He was recommissioned Major 4 Sep 1689, and again 9 Oct 1694. As Major of Horse, he asked for additional arms and ammunition for the defense of the Province.

Major Edward Dorsey was one of a committee appointed in 1694 to lay out town lots and a common for Annapolis, and upon the same committee were his relations and friends, Hon. John Dorsey, Major John Hammond, Captain Phillip Howard, Major Nicholas Greenberry, Mr. Andrew Norwood, Mr. John Bennett, and Mr. James Sanders, all acting as commissioners.

The first session of the Legislature in Annapolis was held in the house of Major Edward Dorsey, beginning 28 February, 1694, O.S. or 1695, N.S. ("Sidelights on Maryland History", by Richardson, Vol. I and II, Pages 88, states that in 1696, the first meeting of the Assembly (Maryland) was held in the house of Major Edward Dorsey, which was evidently the most commodious house in the Town & Port of Annapolis.) Major was a subscriber to and treasurer of the fund for building St. Anne's Church, and also contributed toward establishing a free school for the province. He owned valuable property in Annapolis, and, infact, the second capitol of Maryland was located upon his land, and he took an active part in supervising all committees engaged in the building of the town.

In religion, he was a Protestant, but honored so highly the government that had respected religious liberty that he was one of those who signed the Protestant Address from Baltimore county to King William III -- it being an appeal on behalf of Charles, Lord Baron of Baltimore, the proprietary government having been wrested from the Calvert family through the influence of Captain John Goode.

At the time of his death in 1705, he resided at "Major's Choice", which is now located in Howard county, Maryland. His will is recorded both in Annapolis and in Baltimore, and it mentions several tracts of land: Hockley, on the Patapsco falls, land on the north side of Patapsco river, Barnes Folly, Major's Choice, Long Reach (at Elkridge), and two other sections by the same name. There were also negroes, personal estate, silver, etc. "My beloved wife Margaret" was his executrix. She afterward married John Israel, sold the estate Dorsey and some houses in Annapolis.

At his death, he left minor children of his second wife, Margaret Larkin. Mentioned in his will are Charles, Larkin, Francis, Edward and Ann.

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Dorsey, Edward,Balto. Co.,26th Oct., 1704; 31st Dec., 1705. To son Levin at 21 yrs. and hrs., 100 A., “Hockly” on main falls of Patapsco R., and personalty including boy William Jackson. To sons Charles, Levin, Francis and Edward and their hrs., all land on n. side Patapsco R., all “Taylors Forrest” if it be bought at testator's death. To dau. Ann, personalty. To son Joshua and hrs., 100 A., “Barnes Folly.” To son Samuell, part of “Major's Choyce” and also that which he has received by deed of gift. To son Nicholas, 100 A., part of “Long Reach” at Elk Ridge and personalty at 16 yrs. of age. To son Benjamin, 100 A., part of “Long Reach” and personalty at 16 yrs. of age. To son John, 148 A., residue of “Long Reach” at 16 yrs. of age. To dau. Sarah Petticoate and 3 child. of dau. Hannah Howard, personalty. Wife Margaret, extx. and residuary legatee. Test: Kathcrine Organ, John Huntsmen, John Dorsey and John Ball. 3. 725.


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Colonel Edward Dorsey, son of Edward Dorsey, the American ancestor, came to Maryland before 1664. He is doubtless the Edward Dorsey brought over by Robert Bullen in 1661; but whether this was his first trip across the sea is not known. He was a Justice for the County of Anne Arundel in 1679, again in 1686, and again in 1689; was styled "Captain in 1686, "Major" in 1687; commissioned Major of Horse, of Anne Arundel county, September 4, 1689; Major of Anne Arundel county, October 9, 1694; was commissioned Associate Commissioner in Chancery, October 17, 1694; Burgess of Anne Arundel county in 1694, again in 1695, 1696, 1697, and for Baltimore county, 1701-1705. He was Commissioner, also Judge of High Court of Chancery, March 2, 1695-96; and was styled "Colonel" in 1702; was one of the committee in 1694 to lay out town lots and a common for Annapolis, Trustee of King William and Mary School in 1696, and a Commissioner for the erection of St. Anne's Church, Annapolis. The first session of the Legislature in Annapolis was held at the house of Major Edward Dorsey, commencing February 28, 1694-95. Prior to 1700, and after his marriage to his second wife, Margaret Larkin, Colonel Edward Dorsey removed from Annapolis to "Major's Choice," west of Waterloo, and north of the Old Brick Church. Colonel Dorsey's sons by Sarah Wyatt, his first wife, were located near him upon "Long Beach" and "Major's Choice." Colonel Dorsey owned landed estates not only in Anne Arundel county, but also in Baltimore county. Colonel Edward Dorsey died at "Major's Choice" (now Howard county), in 1705. His will is dated October 26, 1704, and was proved December 31, 1705. Children by first wife, Sarah (Wyatt) Dorsey: 1. Edward, died young. 2. Samuel, married Jane Dorsey. 3. Joshua, of whom later. 4. John, born 1688; married, April 8, 1708, Honor Elder. 5. Nicholas, died 1718; married, December 20, 1709, Frances Hughes. 6. Benjamin, living in 1715. 7. Hannah, married Samuel Howard. 8. Sarah, married John Petticord. Children by second wife, Margaret (Larkin) Dorsey: 9. Larkin. 10. Charles. 11. Francis, died 1749; married Elizabeth . 12. Edward. 13. Ann, married John Hammond. The widow, Margaret (Lacon) Dorsey, married (second) John Israel, formerly of London, England.

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  • DORSEY, Colonel Edward (1652-1705) MD
    • Bulkley, Caroline Kemper. "The Identity of Edward Dorsey I", The
  • Maryland Historical Magazine, Volume 33, 1938
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Edward Dorsey Died 1705 Major's Choice, Baltimore Maryland Spouse(s) Sarah Wyatt (d. 1692), Margret Lacon (d. 1707) Parent(s) Edward (d. 1659) Col Edward Dorsey (died 1705) was a Colonial settler of Maryland and Anne Arundel County.

Early life

On 25 March 1661, 16-year-old Edward Dorsey returned to Maryland on a boat captained by Robert Mullen. His father was a converted Quaker who had claimed lands in Maryland before drowning off Kent Island in 1659. In 1664, he was registered as a planter on one of his father's land surveys. In 1667, he had taken on the craft as a boat-wright and house builder around the settlement of Annapolis, Maryland. By 1666, he was captain of the militia rising to Major in 1667. In 1675, he was registered as a lawyer. In the years 1679 and 1685, he was the justice of Anne Arundel County, Maryland. In 1694, he returned to the military as Field officer of Calvert County, becoming Colonel in 1702.

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Col. Edward Dorsey's Timeline

Laurer, Norfolk County, Virginia Colony
Virginia Colony
Age 30
Elk Ridge, Baltimore County, Province of Maryland
Age 30
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Age 33
Annapolis, Anne, Maryland, USA
Age 36
Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Age 40
Middle Neck, Anne Arundel County, Province of Maryland
June 15, 1688
Age 42
Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Province of Maryland, Colonial America
Age 43
Bel Air, Harford County, Maryland, United States