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Col Edward Dorsey, Jr
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Birth: 1645
Virginia, USA
Death: Dec. 31, 1705
Baltimore County
Maryland, USA

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 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.

—Anne Arundel Gentry: A Genealogical History of Some Early Families of Anne Arundel County, Maryland by Harry Wright Newman

Family links: 
  Edward Dorsey (1619 - 1659)
  Anne Howard Dorsey (1619 - 1690)
  Sarah Wyatt Dorsey (1657 - 1690)
  Margaret Ruth Larkin Dorsey (1643 - 1707)*
  John Dorsey (1688 - 1764)*
  Nicholas Dorsey (1690 - 1717)*
  Francis Dorsey (1696 - 1750)*
  Edward Dorsey (1645 - 1705)
  Ann Dorsey Greenberry (1648 - 1698)*
  Sarah Dorsey Howard (1651 - 1691)*
  John Dorsey (1658 - 1714)*
*Calculated relationship
Major's Choice Plantation
Howard County
Maryland, USA
Plot: Burial location is unknown.
Maintained by: meet Virginia
Originally Created by: P Fazzini
Record added: Jan 08, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 63895668
Col Edward Dorsey, Jr
Added by: Effie Dolan
Col Edward Dorsey, Jr
Added by: Effie Dolan
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To my 8th Great Grandfather
- Nameseeker
 Added: Oct. 22, 2014

- Suzie Nash
 Added: Aug. 2, 2014

- Bonnie's Daughter
 Added: Jul. 29, 2014
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