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Charles Ridgely II

  Col. Charles Ridgely II, "Charles The Merchant" (1702-1772) of "Ridgely’s Whim", a Justice, planter, mechant, ironmaster, and member of the Lower House. Charles II, was the son of Charles Ridgely I, "Charles The Planter" (ca. 1670-1705) and Deborah Dorsey (ca. 1685-1752).

Charles was born in Prince George’s County, and still a minor at the death of his father in 1705. He inherited the estates "White Wine" and "Claret" from his grandfather Hon. John Dorsey, Capt. (ca. 1645-1715), although he never lived at either. At the time they totaled 1,400 acres (5.7 km²) between them, and Charles later resurveyed them into 2,145 acres (8.68 km²) by adding some surplus land.



First Marriage

Charles married Rachel Howard (ca. 1696-1750) of "Hampton", in about 1722. Rachel was born in about 1696 in Baltimore, Maryland, and died in 1750 in Baltimore County. Rachel was the daughter of Capt. John Howard, Jr. (ca. 1667-1704) and his first wife, Mary Warfield (ca. 1670-1699).

Political career

Ridgely became a Justice of the Peace in Baltimore County in 1741, a position he held until 1753, and became a Justice of the Quorum in 1750. In addition he served as a justice of the Especial Court of Oyer, Terminer, and Gaol Delivery in 1748 and 1750. Charles served on the Lower House of the General Assembly in Baltimore County from 1751-1754, and at the same time County Commissioner. Charles was commissioned a Major in 1751, and became a Colonel by 1757. He was also a vestryman and churchwarden of St. Paul’s Parish.

Land Holdings

Upon his marriage to Rachel, he acquired the estate known as “Howard’s Timber Neck” from his father-in-law. In 1732, this land was combined with another property known as “Brotherly Love”, resurveyed and termed “Ridgely’s Delight”. In 1735, Ridgely began leasing parcels of land in “Ridgely’s Delight”. The historic district and neighborhood which remains today and is still known as “Ridgely’s Delight”, is situated on what was first a Susquehannock Indian path, and in the Federal period, a main highway from Washington to Philadelphia (now Washington Boulevard). The earliest houses within today’s boundaries of “Ridgely’s Delight” date from about 1804. A large portion of the development of “Ridgely’s Delight” occurred between 1816 and 1875, with particular intensity during the 1840s and 1850's.

He was the first of the family to reside in Baltimore County when he moved there in 1734. He became a Gentleman by 1738, and Esquire by 1748, and was styled “Charles The Merchant”. Charles was a planter, merchant, ironmaster, and owner of a furnace and forges. Although his mercantile base was in Baltimore Town and Baltimore County, his interests extended into Anne Arundel County where he purchased tobacco, crops, livestock, and slaves from at least 1736 through the 1740s.

In 1745, He acquired "Northampton", near Towson, Maryland, and was founder of the Ridgely family of "Hampton". By 1750 "Charles The Merchant" had taken up or purchased altogether 26 parcels in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County, aggregating 8,000 acres (32 km²). These parcels were not all contiguous, and they included areas as distant as the present Roland Park, Guilford and Blythewood.


It was "Northampton", which became the centerpiece for the Ridgely family setting. The tract of land was originally granted to Col. Henry Darnall, Sr. (1645-1711), who immigrated to Maryland from Hertsfordshire, England. The 1500 acre (6 km²) parcel was surveyed for Colonel Darnall in 1695. Colonel Darnall was Gov. Charles Calvert, 3rd Lord Baltimore’s (1637-1714) primary agent in Maryland for many years. The property was inherited by his daughter, Ann Hill (1680-1749) in 1745, in consideration of 600 pounds of sterling. In the early 1760s Col. Ridgely established several large ironworks, which thrived from the easily mined deposits of iron ore in the area. The large mansion "Hampton" was built on the tract of land containing 10,000 acres (40 km²), called "Northampton" between 1783 and 1790 by Col. Ridgely's youngest son Captain Charles Ridgely III “Charles The Mariner” (1733-1790). “Hampton” is about 13 miles due north of Baltimore and about 2 miles north of Towson, in Baltimore County.

Second Marriage

Charles married secondly on December 5, 1747, Lydia (Warfield) Stringer, widow of Dr. Samuel Stringer (d. 1747) of Queen Caroline Parish, Anne Arundel County. Lydia was the daughter of Richard Warfield III, Esq. (ca. 1677-1755) and Ruth Crutchley (ca. 1683-1713).


In 1760 Ridgely and his two sons built Northampton Ironworks, which included a furnace on Patterson’s Run and forges at Long Cam near Gunpowder Falls. Between November 1763 and April 1764, the ironworks shipped over 1,858 pounds worth of pig and bar iron to London.


At the time of his death in 1772, Charles estate was valued at 6,285.16.9 pounds current money, including 36 slaves, 6 servants, 121 oz. plate, his one-third interest in the Northampton Ironworks valued at 322.9.3 pounds, and 603 pounds worth of goods shipped by London merchants. He died at “Northampton”, near Towson, Baltimore Co., Maryland, and his will was probated on June 8, 1772.


1. John Ridgely, Sr. (ca. 1723-1771), who married Mary Dorsey (1725-1786), daughter of Caleb Dorsey (1685-1742) and Elinor Warfield (1683-1752).

2. Pleasance Ridgely (1724-1755), who married Lyde Godwin (1718-1755).

3. Charles Ridgely (1727), who died young.

4. Achsah Ridgely (1729-1778), who married 1) Dr. Robert Holliday (d. 1747). 2) John Carnan (1728-1767). 3) Daniel Chamier, a Tory merchant of Baltimore.

5. William Ridgely (ca. 1731), who died young.

6. Capt. Charles Ridgely III "Charles The Mariner" (1733-1790), builder of "Hampton", who married Rebecca Dorsey (1738-1812), daughter of Caleb Dorsey, Jr. (1710-1772) and Priscilla Hill (1718-1782).

7. Rachel Ridgely (1734-1813), who married Lt. Col. Darby Lux II (1737-1795), son of Capt. Darby Lux I (1695-1750) and Ann Saunders (1700-1785).


Col. Ridgely II, was the son of Charles Ridgely I, "Charles The Planter" (ca. 1670-1705) and Deborah Dorsey (ca. 1685-1752). Deborah married secondly Richard Clagett, Sr., of “Croome” (1681-1752).

Deborah was the daughter of Hon., Capt. John Dorsey (ca. 1645-1715) of "Hockley", Anne Arundel County, and his wife Pleasance Ely (ca. 1660-1734).

Charles I, was the son of Hon. Robert Ridgely (d.1681) of "St. Inigoe's Creek", St. Mary's Co., Maryland, and Martha “Mary” Darnall (1678-1742). Martha married secondly, Anthony Underwood (1659-1689), and thirdly, Charles Carroll I (1660-1720).

Martha was the daughter of Col. Henry Darnall, Sr. (1645-1711) of “Darnall’s Delight”, and his second wife, Eleanor (Hatton) Brooke (1642-1725), widow of Maj. Thomas Brooke, Sr., Esq. (1632-1676) of “Brookefield”.


  • Fendall, Douglas Allen. The Descendants of Governor Josias Fendall.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Charles_Ridgely_II". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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