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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 236   View pdf image (33K)
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COU BIOGRAPHIES

COURSEY, HENRY (ca. 1629-1695). BORN: ca.
1629, probably in Ireland. IMMIGRATED: in 1649
as a free adult with his brothers from Virginia.
RESIDED: briefly in St. Mary's County; Calvert
County, by 1651; the Eastern Shore by the late

1650s. FAMILY BACKGROUND. FATHER: Henry

Coursey. BROTHERS: John (?-1661), the sheriff of
Kent County in 1657; William Coursey (?-1685);
and James, of Lincoln's Inn, Middlesex, England.
SISTERS Jane; Catherine; Ann, who married Tris-
tram Thomas; and Juliana, who married John
Russell (?-1660). MARRIED first, in 1658 Mary,
widow of Richard Harris (?-1657). MARRIED sec-
ond, Elizabeth (?-1702), widow of Simon Carpen-
ter (?-1670). CHILDREN. SONS: Thomas (?-1700/1),
who married in 1699 Ann Harris; Henry Coursey
(1662-1707), who married Elizabeth (?-1728),
daughter of Elizabeth Desmyniers, of Dublin, Ire-
land; James (?-1714); and John (?-1713), who
married Mary, daughter of Michael Turbutt.
DAUGHTER Jane (?-1696). STEPDAUGHTERS: Ann
(?-ca. 1709), who married Michael Earle (?-1709);
Mary, who married John Lillingston (?-1709).
PRIVATE CAREER. EDUCATION: literate; probably
well educated; had clerical skills. RELIGIOUS AF-
FILIATION Protestant. SOCIAL STATUS AND AC-
TIVITIES: Mr. on arrival; Gent., by 1658; Esq., by
1660; protege of Philip Calvert (1626-1682), who
first appointed Coursey to provincial office and
defended him against attacks from the governor
and the proprietor. OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE
placeman; attorney, 1651; planter. PUBLIC CA-
REER. LEGISLATIVE SERVICE Upper House, 1661,
1662 (excused from attendance), 1663-1664, 1666,
1669 (Aggrievances), 1678-1682 (appointed before
the 2nd session, but first sat at the 3rd session;
Accounts 3), 1682-1684, special writ 1686
(speaker); Lower House, Talbot County, 1694-
1695 (died before the 4th session). OTHER PROVIN-
CIAL OFFICES clerk, Secretary's Office, by 1652-
1656/57; clerk. Council, by 1654-1659/60; secre-
tary and judge of Probate, 1660-1661; Council,
1660-1670, 1676-1684 (president, 1682-1684);
justice, Provincial Court, 1660-1670, 1676-1689
(chief justice, 1683-1689); surveyor and comptrol-
ler general, 1673-prior to June 23, 1680; agent to
New York on Indian affairs, 1678, 1681. LOCAL
OFFICE justice, Calvert County, 1658. MILITARY
SERVICE colonel, by 1677-1689; commander of
foot, Cecil and Kent counties, 1681. STANDS ON
PUBLIC/PRIVATE ISSUES: a leading provincial fig-
ure in matters relating to Indian affairs, he negoti-
ated many treaties with area Indians. Although he
rendered valuable service to the Calverts, Coursey
was never well-liked by Charles Calvert, 3rd Lord

Baltimore (1637-1714/15), who often removed
Coursey from office to make room for other favor-
ites and who omitted Coursey from the Council in
1684. Calvert later chastized his councilors for
their favoritism to Coursey, especially for having
him sit as speaker of the Upper House in 1686.
Nevertheless, when Catholicism excluded most of
the proprietary circle from eligibility for office af-
ter 1689, Calvert recommended Coursey to be-
come governor in 1690. Coursey was called a Jac-
obite in 1692. WEALTH DURING LIFETIME. LAND
AT FIRST ELECTION: ca. 2,100 acres. WEALTH AT
DEATH. DIED: by October 3, 1695. PERSONAL
PROPERTY: TEV, £1,667.17.1 sterling (including
15 slaves and 1 servant). LAND: ca. 3,225 acres.

COURSEY, HENRY (1662-1707). BORN: on
May 24, 1662, on the Eastern Shore; probably a
second son. RESIDED: in Talbot County. FAMILY
BACKGROUND. FATHER Henry Coursey (ca. 1629-
1695). MOTHER: Mary Harris. UNCLE: William
Coursey (?-1685). BROTHERS Thomas (?-1700/1);
James (?-1714); and John (?-1713). SISTER: Jane
(?-1696). STEPSISTERS: Ann (?-ca. 1709); Mary.
FIRST COUSIN: William Coursey (?-ca. 1717/18).
MARRIED Elizabeth (?-1729), daughter of
Elizabeth Desmyniers, of Dublin, Ireland. CHIL-
DREN. SONS: Henry (1693-?); Otho; and William
(1703-1769), who married Rachel, daughter of
Solomon Clayton (1685-1739). DAUGHTERS: Ara-
minta; Elizabeth, who married William Cumming
(ca. 1696-1752); Juliana; and Mary. PRIVATE CA-
REER. EDUCATION: literate; probably educated in
England. RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION Protestant.
SOCIAL STATUS AND ACTIVITIES: second genera-
tion burgess; Gent, on coming of age in 1682. OC-
CUPATIONAL PROFILE: agent of Robert Morris, a
mason and mariner of Middlesex, England, 1682;
attorney; merchant. PUBLIC CAREER. LEGISLATIVE
SERVICE. Lower House, Talbot County, 1704-
1706 (Laws 2; died before the 5th session). LOCAL
OFFICE: justice, Talbot County, 1685-1689.

STANDS ON PUBLIC/PRIVATE ISSUES, refused to

serve under the Protestant Associators1 govern-
ment, 1689; testified in England on behalf of Lord
Baltimore against the rebels, 1690; recommended
for appointment to the Council, 1707. WEALTH

DURING LIFETIME. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION
probably at least 1,675 acres inherited from his
father. WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED: by May 29,
1707. PERSONAL PROPERTY: TEV, £392.7.0 ster-
ling (including 2 slaves and law and medical
books).

236



 

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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 236   View pdf image (33K)
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