William Bretton, gentleman, arrived in Maryland in 1637 with his first wife Mary, her parents Thomas Nabbs and wife, his son William (aged four years) and three servants. For his services as Clerk of the Lower House of the Assembly, Clerk of the Council, and Clerk of the Provinvial Court he was granted a patent in 1640 establishing the Manor of Little Bretton, constituting 750 acres bounded by the Potomac River to the south, St. Clement's Bay to the west, and Bretton Bay to the east. He was a factor representing the financial interests in Maryland of the English Jesuits at Douai, where two of his uncles and at least two brothers studied and taught. In 1661 he and his second wife Temperance donated an acre and a half of the manor for the erection of a church and cemetery for the "divers good and Zealous Roman Catholick Inhabitants of New Towne and St. Clements Bay," and in 1668 sold the remainder of the manor to the Jesuits, which became their mission headquarters. The chapel and cemetery were located at what is now known as St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, and it contains the remains of many early Jesuit fathers and Catholic families. He appeared in legal records as late as 1672, and the marriage record of his grandson in 1681 implied he was still living at that time as well: "William Thompson ye son of William and Mary Thompson of St. Mary's County, (she being ye daughter of William Bretton of St. Mary's County) was Joyned in ye state of Holy Matrimony with Victoria Matthews ye daughter of Thomas and Jane Matthews of Charles County ye 11 day of April in ye year of our Lord 1681."
Luke Bretton (1576 - 1637)
Mary Pulleyn Bretton (1582 - ____)
Mary Nabbs Bretton (1620 - 1651)*
Mary Bretton Thompson (1638 - 1660)*
Saint Francis Xavier Church Cemetery
St. Mary's County
Created by: Todd Whitesides
Record added: Sep 06, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 116624776
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