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Col Nicholas Greenberry
Birth: 1627, England
Death: Dec. 17, 1697
Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
Maryland, USA

Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties

Col. Nicholas Greenberry came to Maryland on the ship "Constant Friendship" in 1670, accompanied by his wife Anne, his son Charles, his daughter Katherine, and three servants.

Although he is perhaps the ancestor of more distinguished Marylanders than any other person, in certain respects his life has been a mystery. The name Greenberry does not seem to appear in English records, and yet Col. Nicholas Greenberry was obviously a man of aristocratic lineage, probably of noble or, according to rumor, even of royal descent; highly educated and possessed of great ability. His rise to prominence in the civil and military affairs of Maryland was rapid. Colonel Greenberry's letters show him to have been a man of marked intelligence.

In 1680 he purchased from the son of Capt. Fuller, the Puritan military commander at the Battle of the Severn, a tract of land resurveyed as "Greenberry's Forest". There Nicholas resided, naming his plantation "Whitehall". One of the most beautifully situated residential sites of all Maryland, Whitehall later was the residence of Gov. Horatio Sharp, who had the architect William Bruckland build for him the famous Georgian mansion now known as Whitehall.

Col. Greenberry was one of the commissioners, in 1683, to lay out "towns at Towne Land at Proctor's –att South River on Colonel Burgess' Land and att Herring Creek on the Towne Land." In 1685, Col. Greenberry sold a portion of Greenberry Forest and bought 250 adjoining acres, the point of which at the mouth of the Severn River is now known as "Greenberry Point".

The following year, 1686, he became a gentleman justice of Anne Arundel County. He rose to prominence during the transfer of the proprietary government to King William and Queen Mary. Nicholas Greenberry was appointed captain of foot in the Anne Arundel Militia in 1689, and in 1690 became a Major. A staunch supporter of King William III, he was one of the leaders of the so-called Revolution of 1689 which deposed Charles Calvert, third Lord Baltimore. The next year, John Coode was made commander-in-chief of his majesty's forces in the province, with Major Nicholas Greenberry and Colonel Nicholas Gassawy as two of his lieutenants. In 1692, Col. Greenberry was authorized to erect three forts against invading Indians; being especially in charge of the one in Anne Arundel.

He was one of the military leaders who signed the address to William II after the capture of St Mary's City by the Royalists. In 1691, he was one of the seventeen prominent men who signed articles of impeachment against Lord Baltimore. He was appointed one of the Judges of Provincial Court and was a prominent part of the Committee of Twenty, which governed Maryland until the arrival in 1692 of Sir Lionel Copley, the new Royal Governor. He was then appointed a member of the Council and in 1693, became president of the Council.

On the death of Gov. Copley on 6 Apr 1692, Col. Greenberry became the Governor of Maryland, serving such until Sir Edmond Andros was appointed Royal Governor in 1693. Thereafter he continued to serve on the Council with Governor Andros. He was also Keeper of the Great Seal, Chancellor of Maryland, and Justice of His Majesty's High Court of Admiralty.

Colonel Nicholas Greenberry died at Whitehall on December 17, 1697, according to the inscription on his tombstone: "Here lieth interred, the body of Colonel Nicholas Greenberry, Esq., who departed this life the 17th day of December, 1697, Aetatis suae seventy."

The will of Col. Greenberry, dated 5 Mar 1697, left his dwelling plantation to his beloved wife Ann; after her death to son Charles; in case his death without issue, to go to his three daughters, Catherine, Ann and Eliza forever.

"I give to son Charles; my plantation ‘White Hall.' The remainder of my personal estate here and in Kingdom of England, after my wife's third part is deducted therefrom, to be divided by equal portions to my son Charles and daughters, with this proviso: as to my daughter, Ann, in case her husband, John Hammond, be not seized in fee simple of the plantation on which he now dwells, or any other, then in that case, my portion to her shall remain in my executor's hands till the death of said John Hammond, as a reserve for her support in widowhood. If she die before her husband, then my bequest to her children. Wife Ann and son Charles, executrix and executor."

Colonel Nicholas Greenberry affixed his seal to his will. The seal impression, which would serve to identify the English ancestry of the Greenberry family, has been difficult to decipher. Henry Ridgely Evans, in his book "The Founders of the Colonial Families of Ridgely, Dorsey, and Greenberry," comments that the seal on Colonel Nicholas Greenberry's will is all but obliterated, but it seems possible to distinguish a bend with three lozenges. Above the knight's helmet appears a crest which Evans suggests may be the head of a unicorn or possibly a stag's head. In 1703 Colonel Charles Greenberry used the same seal on a document which has been preserved. In his book, "Heraldic Marylandiana," Harry Wright Newman states that the shield bears a well-recognized bend on which are three lozenges, the crest being indistinct, perhaps the head of a beast.

Colonel Greenberry's widow, Ann, died 1698. Both were buried at "Greenberry Point Farm," on the north side of the Severn River, opposite Annapolis.

His son, Colonel Charles Greenberry, bore many of the busy characteristics of his father and held many important provincial offices but died in 1713, leaving a daughter, but no son. The male line was thereby extinguished.

 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Ann Dorsey Greenberry (1648 - 1698)*
 
 Children:
  Katherine Greenberry Howard (1671 - 1703)*
  Ann Greenberry Hammond (1676 - 1715)*
  Elizabeth Greenberry Goldsborough (1678 - 1719)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
Here Lyeth Interred
The Body Of Col Nicholas Greenberry Esq
Who Departed This Life
The 17th Day Of December 1697
Aetatis Suae 70

 
Burial:
Saint Annes Churchyard
Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
Maryland, USA
 
Maintained by: meet Virginia
Originally Created by: Izzebella
Record added: Oct 30, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12216842
Col Nicholas Greenberry
Added by: Tim McCabe
 
Col Nicholas Greenberry
Added by: Tim McCabe
 
Col Nicholas Greenberry
Added by: Izzebella
 
 
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- Mary Ann Bumgarner
 Added: Jan. 24, 2017
Remembering my 9 times great-grandfather. A truly great man.
- Donna
 Added: May. 24, 2015

- Debbie Turley Schmidt
 Added: May. 17, 2015
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