My Lady's Manor (Lord Baltimore's Gift)

My Lady's Manor is a 10,000 acre estate which Charles Calvert, the fourth Lord Baltimore, granted to his fourth wife in 1713. He died soon afterwards and she lived for another 16 years, when the Manor was willed to her step-daughter, Charlotte Calvert, who married Thomas Brerewood. They transferred the property to his father, Thomas Brerewood, Sr. who moved to the Manor in 1731. The elder Thomas attempted to develop the land, leased out parcels as surveyed by John Bond in the 1740's, and tried to create a town, Charlottetown, located generally where Monkton is today. Partly because he died only a few years later in 1746, and partly because he never obtained permission from the Provincial Assembly to form a town, that endeavor failed. There are no records in later years of its existence or of any continuation of the leases which he made to numerous craftsmen and workers.

The actual bounds of the Manor have always been in question. While the original 1713 survey describes the first 17 lines as being "up the Falls", they are anything but near the Falls. In attempting to plot the survey today, it would appear that the second line, instead of the stated "north northwest 40 perches" should have been "east 40 perches", but it is hard to imagine that such a mistake could have been made. In any event, even the 1791 resurvey, when a commission was created to fix the bounds, because "the courses whereof are continually varying", stated the resulting survey as an exact copy of the 1713 survey (converted from compass points to degrees and applying 4.5 degrees variation), but they seem to have chosen different "white oaks" as being the bounds, based on testimony from those who remember being pointed out the boundary tree decades earlier. It still described the first 17 lines as being "up the Falls".

It's anybody's guess where the surveyor got the 4.5 degrees declination as the variance in the compass from 1713 until 1791. Plotting thousands of surveys from the time now shows that the variation in this area during this period was about 2.5 to 3 degrees. Perhaps he read a treatise from New York where the change was more. (London, during this time, changed from 10 to 23 degrees declination.) In any event, his survey, as indicated by some stones which he set and which have been found today, was way off.

The actual bounds as they were thought to be at different times can be ascertained by careful plotting of the leases in the 1740's and 1750's, and the parcels patented or conveyed by deeds towards the end of the 18th century. They give a substantially different view, especially along the southern and eastern sides. In the interactive map provided in the link below, the purple lines are leases. One can see the southern edge being further south than the later bound formed by the patents (in black lines). In fact, successive deeds, in some cases, show the separation of areas originally thought to lie within the Manor, which were then determined to lie outside. For example, the certificate of survey (1799) for the Patent for the part of Lot #7 granted to Richard Hutchins (1802) refers to "ninety five acres and three quarters part thereof as was left out of said Manor by commission" (in 1791).

National Historic Trust
National Register

My map (1 MB)
Bounds of My Lady's Manor (an essay) (1.7 MB)
Report of sale - 1782
Interactive map (about 1 MB)
Download this KML file to open in GoogleEarth
Tract Index 1798-1851