Jack Day's Worlds -- -- -- Browningsville Connections

Mary Kittimaquund

St. Mary's map

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It is uncertain exactly where the original Piscataway settlement was. There is a town today with the name Piscataway whose location on the map above would be about 5 miles south of Fort Foote. The river adjacent to this town would then be the Piscataway River. St. Mary's, toward the end of the peninsula where the Route 4 symbol is, was built on the site of Yaocomoco, where one of the first Jesuit missions was established.

Birth and Early Life

Mary Kittamaquund was born about 1633/4(1), daughter of Kittamaquund, who was Tapac, or Tayac, of the Piscataway Indians when the first English settlers arrived on the Ark and the Dove on March 25, 1634. On July 5, 1640, Jesuit missionary Father White in a public ceremony attended by the governor and several colonial officers baptized and gave Christian names to the Kittimaquund and his wife, afterward uniting them in Christian marriage.(2) While the Catholic Encyclopedia account states that Mary was given her Christian name and baptized at the same time, original records suggest her baptism took place a year or so later.

In February 1641, "the Tayac brought his seven-year-old daughter to be educated among the English at St. Mary's."(3) A letter written the following year recounted, "Not long after, the young Empress (as they call her) of Pascataway was baptized in the town of St. Mary's and is being educated there, and is now a proficient in the English language."(4)

Margaret Brent (1601-1671)

In St. Mary's, Mary Kittimaquund became the ward of Governor Leonard Calvert and his sister-in-law Margaret Brent as joint guardians, spending her time primarily in the home of Margaret Brent. Leonard Calvert's wife was Anne Brent, sister of Margaret.

Margaret Brent had arrived in Maryland November 22, 1638 on board the ship Elizabeth with her sister Mary and their brothers Giles(5), who immediately became a colony leader, and Fulke, who soon returned to England. They were children of Sir Richard Brent, who became Sheriff of Gloucester County in England in 1614, and in 1618 inherited the manor of Admington, becoming Lord of Admington and Stoke(6).

The Brents arrived in St. Mary's with a letter from Lord Baltimore recommending that they be granted land on the same favorable terms as the original Ark and Dove settlers. Margaret and Mary Brent took up the "Sisters Freehold" of 70 acres in the Maryland colonial capital, St. Mary's City,(7) and established a household independent of their brothers. As unmarried women, the sisters were legally able to own and manage property. Margaret was active in importing and selling servants and lending capital to incoming settlers. She appeared for herself in court to collect her debts and in general handled her business affairs as a man would have done and without assistance from her brothers.

There are accounts that the Brent family converted to Roman Catholicism in 1629 at the time Margaret's sister Catherine entered the English Abbey of Our Lady of Consolation at Cambrai;(8) of Margaret's six sisters, four became nuns and only one married. Carr reports more credibly the likelihood that "many English Catholics, especially among the men, conformed [to the Established Anglican Church] just enough to avoid the penal laws. Richard Brent began to be labeled a recusant and get into trouble shortly after his daughters broke the family 'cover' by entering convents. By this view, the Brents did not suddenly break into Catholicism, but, like George Calvert about the same time, elected to go public with their religion."(9) Noting that Margaret Brent and her sister Mary remained unmarried in the "extraordinarily woman-short society" of Maryland in the early 1600's, Carr conjectures that "Margaret and Mary were protected from marriage by vows of celibacy, possibly temporary but regularly renewed,." and may have been members of "Mary Ward's Institute, an unenclosed order of women who undertook to propagate the faith and strengthen belief through education. This Institute functioned in England, among other places, beginning about 1618, but was finally banned by the Pope in 1631. He gave the nuns three choices: to enter enclosed orders, live together under vows to local bishops, or marry. The English Jesuits had been much opposed to Mary Ward and her Institute, but individual Jesuits, among them Father Andrew White, had been sympathetic."(10) Carr asks, "In Maryland, could they have been living together under vows to an English bishop but working with the local Jesuits, among whom was Father White? If so, the sisters escaped mention in the surviving reports sent to Rome by the English Provincial before Ingle's Rebellion temporarily destroyed the mission."(11)

In 1642 and 1643 Mary Kittimaquund's name appears in the early Maryland records several times as her guardian Margaret sought appropriate support from Leonard Calvert. May 8, 1642: "Sold unto Mrs Mary Kitomaquund, foure kine, three yearling heifers, one yearling bullock, two bull calves, & 2. cow calves of his Lops stock, now being in the possession of mrs Margarett Brent; for the price of five thousand seven hundred wt of tob & cask, received by us of the said mary Kitomaquund to his Lops use afore the signing hereof. And we does hereby on his Lops behalfe warrant the said Kine & their encrease unto the said mary and her assignes against all men." Signed by Giles Brent, John Lewger and William Brainthwait.(12) "March 14, 1643[4]. Court orders attachment of 7,000 pounds of tobacco worth of chattels of Leonard Calvert until he or his attorney answers the suit of Margaret Brent "guardian to Mrs. Mary Kitomaqund" in an action of debt on March 16.(13) March 16, 1643[4]. "Margaret Brent guardian of mary Kitomaqund orphan p attorn Francis anthill" demands of Leonard Calvert Esq 7000 pounds of tobacco "for the price of 4 kine & 4 yong cattell & 3. calves due to the said orphan by the assumption of the said Leonard, for so much of her estate remaining in his hands upon acct of his guardianship."(14)

1644: The Marriage of Mary Kittimaquund and Giles Brent (1606-1671).

Carr reports that "sometime between May 8, 1644 and January 7, 1644/5(15)," Giles Brent married [Mary Kittimaquund], a little girl of 10 or 11 at the time...This event probably occurred before October, 1644, when Leonard Calvert returned from England, where he had gone in the spring of 1643 to confer with his brother, the Lord Baltimore.(16) During Leonard Calvert's absence in England, Giles served as deputy Governor.(17)

Giles Brent, brother of Margaret, had preceded his sister to the New World, originally landing at Jamestown, Virginia and then returned to England prior to his arrivial in St. Mary's County in 1638 with his brother Fulke and sisters. Earlier in his life he is referred to as Captain Giles Brent, and later as Col. Giles Brent. Like his sister Margaret, Giles Brent's "life in the colony was closely associated with that of Lord Baltimore's brother, Leonard Calvert, the resident governor."(18) Upon arrival, Giles Brent immediately became a leader of the colony, but financially did not do as well as his sister. In fact, on Oct. 18, 1642. Giles Brent conveyed to Margaret Brent all lands, goods, debts, cattle, and servants for payment of 73 in English money he owes her, plus 40-60 he owes to his uncle Mr. Richard Reed, 14,000 pounds of tobacco he owes to Mr. William Blunt, 4,000 pounds of tobacco he owes to Mrs. Purfrey of Virginia, plus other smaller debts.(19)

In 1642, Giles Brent turned over his 1000-acre Kent Fort Manor (all the land he had taken up) to his sister Margaret in return for payment of debts he owed: 73 English money owed her; 30 to 40 English money owed to his uncle Mr. Richard Reed; and some large tobacco debts in Virginia. Nevertheless, Carr reports, it is likely that Giles did not cease to manage the Kent Fort Manor so long as he lived in Maryland. As a councillor he needed to act and be seen as a manor lord.

Why Margaret Brent permitted such a marriage between her 11 year old ward and her brother 30 years Mary's senior is unknown; because Giles thereby acquired possible claims to the Piscataway property of Mary's father, in competition to Lord Baltimore's claim, the union was an irritant to Lord Baltimore in subsequent years. Carr notes "it is hard to believe that, if present, Leonard Calvert would have agreed to the marriage, given subsequent events. During the weeks after his return but before Ingle attacked, the court records show him in bitter conflict with Giles. Indeed, not long before Ingle's raid, the Governor ordered the St. Mary's County sheriff to "arrest the Body of Giles Brent Esq, and keepe him in safe custody in the house of John Cook in St Georges hundred, untill I shall call him to make answer to severall crimes agst the dignity & dominion of the right horle the Lord Proprietary of this Province." On the other hand, a few days later, Brent was sitting as a justice again.(20) Perhaps Margaret Brent's decision was affected by her brother's ambitions. "A statement made forty years later by Leonard Calvert's cousin George Talbot hints at what these might have been. At a conference with William Penn in 1684 at what is now Newcastle, Delaware, Talbot was making the third Lord Baltimore's case for lands that he and William Penn both claimed. Talbot mentioned in passing "Capt Brent who in right of his wife the Piscataway Emperors daughter and only Child pretended a right to the most part of Maryland but could doe noe good on't after a great bustle about it." This comment suggests the origins of Lord Baltimore's wrath against the Brents. The comment may be hearsay based on reports of the Proprietor's fears more than actual actions of Giles or Margaret, but the considerable conflict between Leonard and Giles indicates the Calverts' distrust. (21)

Ingle's Raid, or The Time of Troubles (February 14, 1645 - December, 1646)

In 1644, when Governor Leonard Calvert was in England and Giles Brent was Acting Governor, . Brent had a falling-out with Richard Ingle, "a Protestant ship captain who had been trading for tobacco in Maryland and Virginia since 1642....Brent... inadvisably arrested [Ingle] briefly for treason against King Charles I, [who was] by then literally at war with Parliament. Ingle escaped trial, but early in the following year, he appeared in the Chesapeake armed with letters of marque from Parliament that allowed him to seize ships or goods belonging to supporters of the king. He may not have left England planning a raid on Maryland, but in Virginia he was told that Leonard Calvert, under a commission from King Charles, was going to seize debts owed to Ingle. At that point, if not before, Ingle began to plan an attack on Maryland, perhaps in collaboration with William Claiborne, who had just made an abortive attempt to reclaim Kent Island. In Virginia Ingle picked up a few men willing to participate in his plans.(22)

"On February 14, 1645, [Ingle] surprised the settlement at St. Mary's City, "burned the Catholic chapel and plundered the homes of Catholic settlers. Councillor Giles Brent was captured immediately. He was visiting the Dutch ship Looking Glass anchored in the river. Ingle seized the ship as a prize. Governor Calvert managed to collect and arm supporters and create some sort of fortification called St. Thomas's Fort, which was probably located on the properties of the Brents. (Giles Brent's town land property and that of his sisters were referred to in some documents as St. Thomas's Lot.) The rebels fortified Calvert's own house near the original St. Mary's Fort, which was evidently too decayed for use. From these two temporary strongholds, both sides foraged in the community for corn and cattle, and Ingle's men, along with Protestant rebels, looted and sometimes burned the homes of leading Catholics. Ingle even sailed to Kent Island and looted and burned Giles Brent's estate there. In late March or early April, 1645, "Ingle sailed for England...his vessel packed with plunder. He carried with him as prisoners Giles Brent; John Lewger, the Provincial Secretary; and two Jesuit priests, Father Andrew White and Father Thomas Copley.(23) "Governor Calvert fled to Virginia, and the Calverts came close to losing the colony entirely...The population of Maryland, perhaps 500-600 people at Ingle's raid, probably dropped to under 100, fewer than had come on Ark and Dove eleven years before. If Maryland was to recover, the province had to start anew.

During this time no mention is made of Mary Kittimaquund, but one can imagine the turmoil faced by a young Indian girl, taken from her own home and culture at the age of 7 and married to a man in his late thirties when she was 11. Now, less than two years later, she is 13. Is she taken prisoner on the ship with Giles? Is she left behind? The record doesn't say. By the time of the restoration, if not earlier, Mary's father died.

Restoration of the Calverts, December 1646

Leonard Calvert..."arrived at St. Mary's, probably in late December, with a force of 28 soldiers, about half of them former inhabitants. It appears that he met with little resistance. He quickly called up the Assembly that had been elected under Hill; he did not try to call elections for a new one. In the presence of this Assembly, six of his soldiers swore that Calvert had told them before leaving Virginia that if he found that the inhabitants of St. Mary's had accepted his pardon the soldiers were to expect no pillage; he would receive the inhabitants in peace and ask only that they aid him in reducing Kent. With these reassurances, and doubtless feeling little appetite for violence, the Assembly sat for four days. It passed several laws, the most important being an act for collecting a custom of 60 pounds of tobacco per hogshead of tobacco exported from Maryland. This revenue was intended to support and pay the soldiers, although Leonard Calvert had to pledge payment from both his own and his brother's estate should the custom prove insufficient.(24)

When Leonard Calvert returned in December 1646, a group of Protestant dissidents fled to Chicacoan, a small settlement across the Potomac river in Virginia, and from there made efforts to raise resistance in Maryland. Problems on Kent Island were even more dangerous. One Peter Knight had seized the Brent properties and led the inhabitants in refusal to accept Lord Baltimore's government. And William Claiborne had returned in a last ditch effort to end Calvert rule by inducing the Islanders to attack St. Mary's. In the end Claiborne failed, and Knight, seeing no hope of help from Virginia, departed for Chicacoan after looting the Brents' estate. When Calvert arrived with his soldiers in early April of 1647 he had little difficulty persuading the few men who by then remained on the island to take the oath of fidelity and accept Lord Baltimore's government. On April 16, he pardoned all on Kent who had taken the oath, and on April 18, he reestablished the local government in the name of Lord Baltimore with the appointment of a commander and justices of a county court. Thus ended what Marylanders called the Time of Troubles and what historians have called Ingle's Rebellion.(25)

Leonard Calvert achieved success, but Lord Baltimore might have lost his colony just the same had not the second half of the 1640s been a time of boom in the tobacco industry. When Ingle began his raid, there were probably between 500 and 600 inhabitants; when Calvert returned there were probably only about 100. The others had left in search of peaceful rule and opportunities to achieve prosperity without constant threat of violence. Had poor economic prospects caused the population drain to continue, the Calvert colony would have come to an end. Instead, however, once peace appeared to be established, the Maryland population grew rapidly. There would be future challenges to Calvert rule, but no lack of settlers to exploit the land.(26)

Carr notes that while "Giles was in Maryland by November 6, 1646, he does not appear again in the Maryland records until after Leonard Calvert's death. Apparently Brent did not participate in the recovery of Maryland or share in the pacification of Kent Island. Were he and his [13 year old] wife living with the Piscataway Indians and perhaps trying to garner support there for a claim to Indian lands? Or was Giles in Virginia, scouting out opportunities there?(27)

"With the return of proprietary government, [Margaret Brent] handled the litigation for recovering the extensive damage to a mill and a house and for loss of equipment and cattle, and this took her to the island on occasion. Until he moved to Virginia, Giles acted for himself in seeking damages for loss of his cattle and the burning of his books. (Margaret still held title to the manor [on Kent Island], but not to livestock that Giles had acquired since, and not to his personal library.) The Kent County court records show little additional. Late in 1648, Margaret was at Kent long enough to supply sugar, spice, and strong waters to William Cox in his last sickness and "for a funerell Diner for him." And on January 13, 1648[/9] she gave Zachary Wade power of attorney to recover her debts and collect rent corn due the proprietor. Probably neither she or her brother attempted to rebuild the plantation he had lost.(28)

Margaret Brent, Executrix for Leonard Calvert

On June 9, 1647, Leonard Calvert died. He had not been sick long, having presided in court June 1. Calvert made Thomas Greene governor in his place and Margaret Brent his executrix, living for about six hours after doing so. Ten days later, June 19, 1647. Margaret Brent asked the Governor to give testimony Under oath about Leonard Calvert's nuncupatory will. Greene asks Giles Brent, Esq. "one of his Lops Councell" to administer the oath. Greene states that about six hours before Calvert died, he said to Margaret Brent "I make you my sole Exequutrix, Take all, & pay all." The court then mades Margaret administrator of Calvert's estate.(29)

Carr believes Margaret Brent was chosen over Giles as Leonard Calvert's executrix because "Giles probably was not in St. Mary's City when Leonard was dying. After his brief appearance in Maryland in November 1646, he does not turn up in the Maryland records again until June 19, ten days after Calvert had expired. However, Calvert might not have selected Giles had he been on hand. The Governor had reason to distrust him after his marriage to Mary Kittomaquand. He had not participated in the restoration of Lord Baltimore's government and may have been at Piscataway trying to establish his wife as the inheritor of her deceased father's position....At the same time, Calvert knew Margaret Brent had the necessary ability and courtroom experience to carry out his instructions.

"On January 3, 1647[/8], it was "moved in Court whether or noe Mr Leon: Calvert (remayning his Lps Sole Attorney within this Province before his death, & then dying) the sd Mr Calvert's admistrator [sic] was to be received for his Lps Attorney wthin this province, untill such time as his Lp had made an new substitution, or tht some other remayning uppon the prnt Commisn were arryved into the province. The Governor demanding Mr Brent's opinion uppon the same Quere. Hee answered tht he did conceive tht the administrator ought to be lookd uppon as Attorney both for recovering of rights into the estate, & taking care for the estates preservation: But not further, until his Lp shall substitute some other as afresd." Governor Thomas Green concurred and "it was ordered tht the Administrator of Mr Leon: Calvert aforesd should be received as his Lps Attorney to the intents abovsd." (19.)

This opinion does not say that Margaret had power to pay away anything belonging to the Proprietor without his consent. However, powers that Lord Baltimore had granted to Calvert and John Lewger on November 15, 1646 had included powersto demand and receive his rents, debts, and other dues and "to dispose thereof as I shall from time to time direct, & in default of such directions, according to yor best discretions, for my most advantage, until I shall give further orders therein." (7.) If Leonard Calvert had been granted such powers, then could Margaret as his substitute exercise them? Evidently she was not sure, nor was her brother. She did not sell any of Lord Baltimore's property until circumstances absolutely demanded it. It is suggestive, furthermore, that Lord Baltimore did not believe that he had given his brother such powers unless exercised with Lewger. The Proprietor was furious with Leonard for promising the soldiers that the Proprietor's own estate would be liable if necessary. He stated in his letter to the Assembly in 1649 that he had not authorized Leonard to act alone and that Lewger had denyed "to us here" that he had given his assent. (39.) (Apparently, Lewger was in the colony at Calvert's arrival, but had left for England before Calvert's death.)

Why did the Provincial Court -- which consisted at the moment of Governor Thomas Green, Giles Brent, and Thomas Gerard -- choose Margaret Brent? One can only offer speculations. She was already handling Leonard Calvert's estate and negotiating with the soldiers well. Diplomatic talents were essential. Leonard Calvert had put his trust in her with the words "Take all & pay all." And of course, the appointment was only until His Lordship could make his own. ([39], [13], [19].) One might have thought that Giles Brent would have wanted and been able to insist on the appointment, but the other men probably did not trust him.

Margaret Brent, Suffragette or Cattle Thief?

"There is no doubt that at that moment Margaret Brent's courage and diplomacy were important to Maryland's survival. Without her, the Calverts might have lost their territory to Virginia and the experiment in religious toleration would have ended then and there. The soldiers were clamoring for their pay. There was a shortage of food. New disorders seemed imminent. Leonard Calvert had pledged his whole Maryland estate and that of his brother, the Lord Baltimore, to pay the soldiers, but Leonard's movable assets were insufficient, and under English law, as executor, Margaret could not readily sell his land. She kept pacifying soldiers who at times were threatening mutiny. Finally, on January 3, 1648, the Provincial Court appointed her attorney-in-fact for Lord Baltimore -- replacing Leonard Calvert -- so that she would have power to sell the Proprietor's cattle."(30)

"At this point, Margaret made the move for which she is most famous today. On January 21, 1648, she appeared before the Assembly to demand two votes, one for herself as a landowner and one as Lord Baltimore's legal representative.... [The scene of Margaret Brent before the legislature has since been memorialized by Louis Glanzman at http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/speccol/1545/html/0789.html] ...The Assembly refused her request and she departed with the statement that she "Protested against all proceedings ... unless she may be present and have vote as aforesaid." It is unlikely that she expected success, but she knew well that the Assembly was unwilling to vote taxes to pay soldiers whom Governor Calvert had promised to pay himself. She may have hoped by her protest to cover herself as she faced the immediate necessity of selling the Proprietor's cattle without his knowledge and consent. That day she began the sale, thereby averting a crisis that might have destroyed the colony and its policy of religious toleration." (31)

"Some modern advocates of women's rights have interpreted Margaret Brent as an early feminist. This she surely was not. Well born, exceptionally able, and entrusted with a heavy responsibility, she undoubtedly felt entitled to participate in making the decisions necessary to rescue the colony; but nothing indicates a belief that women generally should have the vote or that the patriarchal arrangements that deprived married women of independence were wrong. The Maryland Assembly expressed well the nature of Margaret Brent's achievement. "We do verily believe," they wrote Lord Baltimore, "... that [your estate] was better for the Collonys safety at that time in her hands then in any mans else ... for the soldiers would never have treated any other with ... Civility and respect .... She rather deserved favour and thanks from your Honor for her so much Concurring to the publick safety then to be justly liable to ... bitter invectives." In their view, it was not only courage and diplomacy that enabled her to save the day, but her womanliness, which demanded and received "Civility." The men of her place and time would not give her the vote, but they openly acknowledged that her abilities and civilizing talents were of crucial importance to the "publick safety." (Carr)

The Dispute with Lord Baltimore

Lord Baltimore was furious at what he saw as confiscation of his property and he was suspicious of Margaret's motives. When Leonard Calvert had been away in England in 1644, she had allowed her brother Giles to marry her ward, the Piscataway "empress" Mary Kittomaquand, and Lord Baltimore evidently feared that Giles would claim Indian lands in her name. By 1650, his wrath had driven all the Brents to remove to the Northern Neck of Virginia, where they brought in dozens of settlers and thereby took up and developed large grants of land. Margaret lived on her plantation, named "Peace," until her death about 1671." (32)

It is known from the Assembly's letter to Lord Baltimore on April 21, 1649, more than a year later, that Lord Baltimore was very angry at the appointment and at the sale of his cattle that began shortly afterwards. He was equally angry with Giles Brent, who, according to letters from Governor Greene and others, had led an anti-proprietary faction in the Assembly that met off and on from January 22 through March 4 1647[/8]. This Assembly had voted to repeal laws passed in the Assembly of December 1646 -- including the act for tobacco custom intended to pay the soldiers -- and had sent the Proprietor a "seditious" "Remonstrance." (39.) What is not known is just when all this news reached Lord Baltimore. In Maryland, Margaret continued to act as the His Lordship's attorney, and Giles continued to sit on the Council through at least December 10, 1648. ([31]; [31a]; [31b]; [33]; [34]; [35].) Thereafter Giles disappeared from the Council and seems to have left the colony. Margaret appeared for the last time as His Lordships attorney at court on February 9, 1648[/9]. (35.) One can suppose that denunciations and orders from Lord Baltimore arrived soon thereafter.

Lord Baltimore... was furious with Giles for his role in the Assembly of March 4, 1647[/8], which 1) refused to recognize the Assembly of 1646 or any of the laws it had passed on the grounds that Leonard Calvert had not called for a new election; 2) refused to pass sixteen acts the Proprietor had sent with orders to pass them as a body unaltered; and 3) prepared a remonstrance that Governor Greene had refused to sign. From what Lord Baltimore said about this documment, one can infer that it had criticized the Act for Recognition and the act laying down the wording of the oath of fealty, two of the sixteen acts. The words objected to were "Absolute Lord and Proprietary," from which some inferred "a slavery in the people to us," and "Royall Jurisdiction," seen as exceeding "the power intended to us by the ... charter." Lord Baltimore interpreted the remonstrance and rejection of the acts as indications of possible conspiracy against his auhority and as efforts to alienate the people "from the present government." (39.) He may also have interpreted Giles's marriage to Mary Kitomaquund as positioning to acquire Indian lands without a proprietary grant. In 1685, Lord Baltimore's nephew George Talbot said as much to William Penn. ([30]; "Conference between Penn and Talbot, at New Castle in 1684," Maryland Historical Magazine 3 [1908]) The fall of the Brents from grace was undoubtedly inevitable, no matter how conscientious Margaret may have tried to be.

On Dec. 7, 1648. Giles Brent is still a member of the council and sitting as a Provincial Court judge. He has missed very few sessions since his return to Maryland a few days after the death of Leonard Calvert. But this is his last appearance. Archives 4:458. News of Stone's appointment may have arrived, along with notice of Lord Baltimore's displeasure with the Brents.

Giles Brent's wife Mary Kittimaquund is now fifteen years of age.

Move to Stafford County, Virginia

In 1647 the Brents, weary of the political battles with the Calverts and disheartened by religious dissension between Protestants and Catholics in Maryland, had already left the colony to settle near Aquia in Virginia. American Horticultural Society, "A History of George Washington's River Farm," (http://www.ahs.org/nonmembers/rivfarmhistory.htm)

The next year Margaret and Mary Brent also took up lands in Virginia, on the Northern Neck, gradually settling their estate with migrants from England. Margaret Brent died on her Virginia "Peace Plantation" in 1671, leaving extensive property in Virginia and Maryland, mostly to her brother Giles and his children.(6)

Some sources say that Katherine Brent, born 1649, is the daughter of Mary Kittimaquund [now 16]. If so, the birth took place in Virginia on Peace Plantation. However, more reliable sources now suggest that Katherine Brent is the daughter of Giles' brother Edmund, and therefore a niece of Mary Kittimaquund.

There is some evidence to suggest that after 1651 -- or in Giles's case, 1652 -- neither Giles or Margaret ever dared to visit Maryland again to manage their affairs there. Instead, Mary Brent acted for them. In 1651 Mary was reported to be on Kent Island killing unmarked bulls and sending the meat to St. Mary's to be sold. Secretary Hatton found the meat badly deteriorating in the custody of Thomas Matthews. He seized it and resalted it, and then brought an information against Mary Brent on the grounds that wild cattle belonged to the Proprietor. She defended herself in court, arguing that the cattle on the island were of Giles Brent's stock. The court ordered the sale of the meat, but otherwise postponed judgment to the next meeting of the assembly, which, because of the disruptions after the arrival of the Parliamentary Commissioners early in 1652, did not occur until 1654, when the matter was long forgotten. On two other occasions, both early in 1654, Mary appeared for Giles in actions brought against him in the Maryland Provincial Court. Although Mary appeared in the records but little, she evidently could take action and be a public figure when necessary. She died in 1658, leaving her property to Margaret and after her death to Giles. (French, "The Brent Family," 44-45; Archives 10: 149-152, 164, 327, 335, 348.)

On 17 April 1654, Giles Brent of Peace in the County of Westmoreland, Esq., made a deed to his sister Mary Brent of the same place, conveyong the whole of his personal estate in Virginia and Maryland, in trust to educate his children decently and Christianly and to allow maintainance to Mary, his wife. The said Giles Brent is about to go to England.(33)

After Margaret joined her brother across the Potomac, there are only two more references to her interest in the manor. The first is in her will, written in 1663, eight years before her death. She left "my lease of Kent Fort Mannor in Maryland" to her nephew Richard, a fact that shows conclusively that she had never surrendered it to Giles. The second is a document in the Kent County records of 1669 granting power of attorney to an agent to collect rents and debts. Evidently by this time, and probably since Giles left Maryland, all the manor had been divided into tenements. ([51.6 (quote)]; French, "The Brent Family," 144-145, 184;

In 1670, Margaret Brent died at her plantation "Peace" in Staffordshire County, Va. She had distributed some of her property and devised the rest in 1663. That year she assigned to her nephew, James Clifton, her rights to 1,000 of the 2,000 acres in Maryland due to her and her sister Mary for the transportation of themselves and nine servants. Her will left her remaining rights in Maryland not disposed of to her nephew George Brent.* To her nephew Richard Brent, son of Giles, she gave land in Virginia and her proprietary lease for Kent Fort Manor, unless her brother Giles decided to sell it, in which case he was to give his son the equivalent in other property. Except for some legacies of livestock and six silver spoons that were to go to her neices, she gave the rest of her estate to her brother Giles.(34)

Giles Brent's Second Marriage, ca 1654

Frances Whitegreave, sister to Thomas Whitgreave, m (1) Dr. Jeremiah Harrison and came with him "to Virginia about 1653 in company with Dr. Harrison's brother, John Harrison." (The July, 1924 issue of Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol VI) Dr. Jeremiah Harrison settled on Queen's Creek, York County, near his kinsman Richard Harrison, (who had arrived earlier) but did not survive long. In 1654 Mrs. Frances Harrison, widow, patented 1000 acres in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and about the same time John Harrison patented a thousand acres in the same county, failing his heirs to his sister, Mrs Frances Harrison, and failing her heirs to Giles Brent of "Peace" in the same County. Mrs. Harrison became the wife of Col. Giles Brent, (His second wife) but appears that she died and had no issue by either marriage(35)

Giles, Margaret, and Mary were all buried in the Brent Cemetery at Aquia which can be visited. It is unknown to this writer and others exacctly what happened to Mary Kittimaquund. Some say that she died in late 1654. Local historians and tradition say that she separated from Giles, then continued to live with Margaret and Mary and others and did not die until about 1700.(36)

Children of Mary Kittimaquund and Giles Brent.

The wills of Margaret Brent (December 26, 1663) and Giles (August 31, 1671)(37) each mention children of Giles. Margaret's will lists Richard, Mary, and Giles. Giles' will lists a daughter Mary and son Giles. At the time of the wills, Mary Kittamaquund probably was deceased, having living to an age no greater than 22, when Giles Brent married Frances Whitgreaves about 1655. Giles and Frances had no children. Numerous secondary writings describe a larger number of children than the two or three which can be proved. One,(38) for instance, states, "and here his wife bore six children, of whom four lived. The eldest, a daughter Mary, later married the Englishman, John Fitzherbert..... The others were named Giles, Richard, Katherine, Henry and Margaret. Henry and Margaret died young. Katherine married Richard Marsham." Argueing for the other side, Charles Horton Brent states that "no authority can be found for these three children given to the first Giles Brent: Katherine, Henry and Margaret. They are not named in the father's will, nor in that of his sister, Margaret. Katherine is given as marrying Richard Marsham.(39) Alternatively, sources indicate that Katherine is a daughter of Giles' brother Edmund, and therefore a niece of Mary Kittimaquund.

1. Katherine, believed by many sources to be the child of Giles Brent and Mary Kittamaquund, and to have been born about 1649(40), but not mentioned in either will. Ned Markey notes an interesting possibility suggested by W. B. Chilton, who published a Brent genealogy in 1905-1914. Chilton notes that Richard, brother of Giles Sr, married Margaret Peshall, daughter of Sir John Peshall, and had a daughter, Katherine, born May 6, 1639. The church at Illmington in Warwickshire has a memorial tablet accounting for a number of Brent marriages and deaths including those of Richard Brent and Margaraet Peshall, but not a daughter Katherine. It has therefore been speculated that this Katherine is the one who emigrated to Maryland and married Richard Marsham. Alternatively, Katherine may be a daughter of Giles' brother Edmund.

2. Giles, Jr., b. 1652, mentioned in the wills of both his father and his aunt. In 1653/54, Giles Brent received patents totaling 1,800 acres from Thomas, Lord Culpepper for his year-old son, Giles, Jr. The grant...was named Piscataway Neck and included the land which is now River Farm.(41)

3. Mary, mentioned in the wills of both her father and her aunt, and has been described as the eldest. Mary married John Fitzherbert by 1673 and therefore would have been born approximately 1654.

4. Richard, not mentioned in his father's will but mentioned in the 1670 will of Margaret Brent, under which he was to receive land in Virginia and her proprietary lease for Kent Fort Manor, unless her brother Giles decided to sell it, in which case he was to give his son the equivalent in other property.

5. Henry, not mentioned in either will, said to have died young(42)

6. Margaret, not mentioned in either will, said to have died young.(43)

Brent Legacy

In 1930 a crucifix was erected in Aquia, Stafford Co, VA to memorialize the first English settlers in the County, the Brents. "Colonel Giles Brent of Maryland and his Piscataway Indian wife settled at the mouth of Aquia Creek in 1647.(44)

Subsequently, the American Bar Association has termed Margaret Brent the first lawyer in North America. "Most people who discuss Margaret Brent speak of her as the first women lawyer in Maryland and emphasize the extent of her participation in legal actions in the courts. This is a misleading picture of what she was doing. She was not a lawyer. Indeed, there were no lawyers admitted to practice in Maryland courts before the 1660s. From the beginning, people were allowed to plead their own cases, and women could do so if they were unmarried. Margaret made loans and brought actions for repayment; she was the defendant also on occasion. As Leonard Calvert's executrix, she used the courts as necessary to collect debts owed him and pay those he owed. She accepted commissions to act for others as attorney-in-fact, most often for her brother Giles and for Lord Baltimore. None of her cases involved complex technical procedures." (Carr)

Basically, Margaret Brent was a business woman. That she was far and away the most active woman in litigation is certainly true, and that she was usually successful is also true, but she was not the only woman to act for herself. For example, in the year 1643, the recently widowed Mary Lawn Courtney, formerly Margaret Brent's servant, brought two actions to collect debts owed her and defended herself against two actions.(45)

Maryland Public Schools have been named for Margaret Brent in St. Mary's County and Baltimore.


General Note: References to "Carr" are to : Lois Green Carr, "Margaret Brent - A Brief History."(46) Maryland State Archives. http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/speccol/sc3500/sc3520/002100/002177/html/mbrent2.html

1. "After Feb. 15, 1640[1/]. The "King" of the Piscataway "brought his daughter, seven years old ... to be educated among the English at St. Mary's, and when she shall well understand the Christian mysteries, to be washed in the sacred font of baptism. (Annual Letters of the Jesuits; from the Annual Letter of 1640 in Clayton Coleman Hall ed., Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684 (New York, 1910, reprinted 1946), 132.)" cited in Carr.

2. "Piscataway Indians" in The Catholic Encyclopedia, © 1913 by The Encyclopedia Press, Inc. Electronic version © 1998 by New Advent, Inc.

3. "After Feb. 15, 1640[1/]. The "King" of the Piscataway "brought his daughter, seven years old ... to be educated among the English at St. Mary's, and when she shall well understand the Christian mysteries, to be washed in the sacred font of baptism. (Annual Letters of the Jesuits; from the Annual Letter of 1640 in Clayton Coleman Hall ed., Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684 (New York, 1910, reprinted 1946), 132.)" cited in Carr.

4. A Narrative derived from the Letters of Ours, out of Maryland [1642] in Hall, ed., Narratives of Early Maryland, 133-134. (Archives 3: 130, 160, cited in Carr)

5. Reginald Wilson, Notes on Brent Genealogy, 1993.

6. Francis Michael Walsh, "Resurrection: The Story of the St. Inigoes Mission 1634-1934", 1997.

7. Professor James Henretta, "Margaret Brent: A Woman of Property", in James A. Henretta, Elliot Brownlee, David Brody, Susan Ware, and Marilynn Johnson, America's History, Third Edition, Worth Publishers, Inc., 1997. © Worth Publishers, Inc.

8. "The Catholic Brents of Colonial Virginia: An Instance of Practical Toleration," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 70 (1962), 392-393 and note 21, cited in Carr.

9. "Margaret Brent: Attorney, Adventurer, and America's First Suffragette" [ms. in possession of the author], 2-3, cited in Carr.

10. See Jeanne Cover, Love, the Driving Force: Mary Ward's Spirituality , Its Significance for Moral Theology [Marquette University Press, Milwaukee, WI, 1997], 9-24, 160-161, cited in Carr.

11. "Extracts from the Annual Letters of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, 1634, 1638, 1639, 1640, 1643, 1654, 1656, 1681," in Clayton Coleman Hall, ed., Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684 [New York, 1910), 118-140], cited in Carr.

12. Archives 4: 271-272, cited by Carr.

13. Archives 4:259-260, cited by Carr

14. Archives 4: 264, cited by Carr.

15. On Jan., 9 1644[/5], Lewger delivers to Leonard Calvert the petition of "Giles Brent Esq, and of mary his wife to the horle the Counsell of the Province." Asks Calvert to deliver to the Brents Mary's cattle or the value thereof to 5700 pounds of tobacco. Archives 3: 162, 3: 130, 160. Cited by Carr.

16. Archives 3: 130, 160, cited by Carr.

17. Francis Michael Walsh, "Resurrection: The Story of the St. Inigoes Mission 1634-1934", 1997. See also George Norbury Mackenzie, Colonial Families of the United States, VII, 105: "Giles, b. 1606; d. 1671; Lieut. Governor of Maryland; Burgess; Member of Council; Lord of Kent Fort Manor, etc.

18. American Horticultural Society, "A History of George Washington's River Farm," (http://www.ahs.org/nonmembers/rivfarmhistory.htm)

19. Archives 4: 132-133, cited by Carr.

20. Archives 4: 301 (quote), 302., cited by Carr.

21. "Conference Between Penn and Talbot, at New Castle in 1684," Maryland Historical Magazine, 3 [1908], 30 [quote]), cited by Carr.

22. Timothy B. Riordan, "The Plundering Time: Maryland in the English Civil War, 1642-1650"chap. 8: 1-22; 9: 14-17, 23-28; 10:10-23; 11: 6-23, 34-35, cited by Carr.

23. Riordan, Chap. 11: 6-23, 34-35; 12: 1-20; "Richard Ingle in Maryland," Maryland Historical Magazine 1 [1906], 125-140, cited by Carr.

24. Riordan, Chap. 15: 9-30, cited by Carr.

25. Riordan, Chap. 17: 1-10, cited by Carr.

26. Russell R. Menard, "Maryland's 'Time of Troubles': Sources of Political Disorder in Early St. Mary's," Maryland Historical Magazine 76 (1981), 137; Riordan, Chap. 17: 4-5., cited by Carr.

27. "Conference Between Penn and Talbot, at New Castle in 1684," Maryland Historical Magazine, 3 [1908], 30 [quote], cited by Carr.

28. Archives 4: 132-133, 394-395, 417, 419, 434, 435, 436-438, 440-441, 449, 454-56, 489, 517; Archives 10: 4-5; Archives 54: 3, 98 [quote], cited by Carr.

29. Archives 4: 312-313, cited by Carr.

30. Carr

31. Carr

32. Carr

33. Virginia Magazine XVI, p. 211, cited in Reginald Wiolson, letter, Jan 23, 1995.

34. Patents 1: 24, 31-33; 6: 26-27; 11: 282-283; W. B. Chilton, comp.,"The Brent Family" in Genealogies of Virginia Families from The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 1 (Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1981), 320-321; David M. French, The Brent Family, The Carroll Families of Colonial Maryland (privately published, Alexandria, VA, 1981; copy at the Maryland State Archives), 44, cited by Carr..

35. Vs. Magazine, XVI., p. 97, cited at http://moon.ouhsc.edu/rbonner/HarrList/msg00882.html

36. Mentioned by Reginald Wilson, Comments on Brent Genealogy, 1993

37. Virginia Magazine of Biography and History, XVI, July, 1908.

38. Elizabeth Rigby, "Maryland's Royal Family", in Maryland Historical Magazine, Volume XXIX (1934), p. 221

39. Charles Horton Brent, The Descendants of Colonel Giles Bgrent, Capt George Brent, and Robert Brent, Gent, Immigrants to Maryland and Virginia (1946). Forward, p. 2

40. Research of Mollie King, who has a web site for The King Family in Maryland. Note that there is a possible break in the line if Katherine is not proved to be a daughter of Giles Brent and Mary Kittimaquund

41. American Horticultural Society, "A History of George Washington's River Farm," (http://www.ahs.org/nonmembers/rivfarmhistory.htm. See also Patents 1: 24, 31-33; 6: 26-27; 11: 282-283; W. B. Chilton, comp.,"The Brent Family" in Genealogies of Virginia Families from The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 1 (Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1981), 320-321; David M. French, The Brent Family, The Carroll Families of Colonial Maryland (privately published, Alexandria, VA, 1981; copy at the Maryland State Archives), 44.

42. Mentioned by Reginald Wilson, Comments on Brent Genealogy, 1993

43. Mentioned by Reginald Wilson, Comments on Brent Genealogy, 1993

44. http://stafford.va.us/aquiacruc.htm

45. Archives 4: 178, 196, 226, 279., cited by Carr.

46. Archives 3: 130, 160., cited by Carr.

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