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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 267   View pdf image (33K)
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BIOGRAPHIES DEN

AND ACTIVITIES: second generation burgess; Gent,
on coming of age; he enjoyed considerable patron-
age from Gov. Francis Nicholson, who was possi-
bly a kinsman. OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: promi-
nent lawyer, admitted to the following courts:
Charles County in 1682/83; Provincial Court in
1684/85. Planter; merchant. PUBLIC CAREER. LEG-
ISLATIVE SERVICE: Lower House, Charles County,
1692-1693 (Laws, chairman 1; Aggrievances,
chairman 2), 1694-1697 (Laws 3-5, 7, 8, probably
chairman 3-5); Upper House, 1698 (special writ
2); Lower House, Charles County, 1701-1704
(Laws, chairman 1-3; speaker 4), 1704 (speaker 1;
died before the 2nd session). OTHER PROVINCIAL
OFFICES: clerk, Lower House, 1686-1688; solicitor
general, 1688-1689, 1694; naval officer, North
Potomac (joint appointment, 1694-1696, sole ap-
pointment, 1696-1704); deputy attorney general,
1694-1698; Council, attended meetings in 1698,
but was never officially commissioned; attorney
general, 1698-1704; advocate, Court of Admiralty,
1698; commissary general, 1704. LOCAL OFFICES:
clerk of Indictments, Charles County, 1685; Nan-
jemoy Parish Vestry, Charles County, 1696-1697;
justice, Charles County, 1700-1704 (president).
MILITARY SERVICE: major, 1696-1704; lieutenant
colonel, 1704; colonel, 1704. WEALTH DURING

LIFETIME. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: Over 2,171

acres. WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED: in November

1704. PERSONAL PROPERTY: TEV, £3,023.19.1

sterling (including 34 slaves, 7 servants, 153
books, considerable silver plate, a sloop, and mer-
chandise worth £300); FB, £783.9.3. LAND: 6,000
acres.

DENTON, VACHEL (ca. 1696-1752). BORN: ca.
1696. NATIVE: at least second generation. RESIDED:
in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, by 1722;
Anne Arundel County, by 1742. FAMILY BACK-
GROUND. FATHER: Henry Denton, Gent. (?-1698),
of St. Mary's County, clerk of St. Mary's County
from 1692 to 1695, clerk of the Lower House from
1692 to 1693, clerk of the Council from 1693 to
1698, appointed first register of the Admiralty
Court in 1694, and naval officer of Annapolis
from 1696 to 1698. GUARDIANS: Thomas Beale (?-
1713); John Beale (?-1734). MOTHER: Mary, who
subsequently married Andrew Price, of Queen An-
ne's County. She left Vachel in the care of his
guardians. MARRIED in 1721 Anne (1708-1765),
daughter of John Brice (?-171 3); niece of Matthew
Howard (ca. 1675-1750). Her brother was John
(1705-1766), who married Sarah, daughter of
James Frisby (1684-1719). Her half brother was
Thomas Worthington (ca. 1691-1753). Her sister

was Rachel (1711-1786), who married Philip
Hammond (1697-1760). Her nephews were John
Hammond (1735-1784); Rezin Hammond (1745-
1809); Matthias Hammond (1740-1786); John
Brice (1738-1820); James Brice (1746-1801); and
Benedict Brice (1749-1786). Her half nephews
were Samuel Worthington (1734-1815); Brice T. B.
Worthington (1727-1794); and Nicholas Worthing-
ton (1734-1793). CHILDREN. No surviving chil-
dren. PRIVATE CAREER. EDUCATION: literate. RELI-
GIOUS AFFILIATION: Anglican. SOCIAL STATUS
AND ACTIVITIES: Mr., 1715; Esq., 1727; Gent.,
1726 until death. OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: office-
holder; merchant. PUBLIC CAREER. LEGISLATIVE
SERVICE: Lower House, Annapolis, 1725-1727
(Laws 1-4), Anne Arundel County, 1734/35-1737
(Accounts 1, Cv, 2-4), 1738 (Accounts; Laws),
1739-1741 (Accounts Cv-3; Laws Cv-3). OTHER
PROVINCIAL OFFICES: clerk, Secretary's Office and
Provincial Court, 1718-1732; register in Chancery,
1718-1720 (resigned); clerk, Prerogative Office,
1721-1723 (resigned). LOCAL OFFICES, justice,
Anne Arundel County, in office 1717; alderman,
Annapolis, in office by 1720-1721, 1723-at least
1730; mayor, Annapolis, 1722-1723; churchwar-
den, St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel County, in
office 1723; St. Anne's Parish Vestry, Anne Arun-
del County, 1724-1727, 1733-1736. WEALTH DUR-

ING LIFETIME. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: proba-
bly 2,459 acres in Dorchester, Cecil, and Anne
Arundel counties (1,904 acres in Dorchester and
Cecil counties inherited from his father; probably
555 acres in Anne Arundel County acquired
through his marriage). SIGNFICANT CHANGES IN

LAND BETWEEN FIRST ELECTION AND DEATH:

sold 400 acres in Dorchester County in 1726; pur-
chased 2 lots in Annapolis and 662 acres in Anne
Arundel and Baltimore counties, 1727-1728; sold
280 acres in Baltimore and Anne Arundel
counties, 1737-1742, and in 1747 put his remain-
ing 938 acres in Anne Arundel County and 4 lots
in Annapolis under the trusteeship of Alexander
Hamilton (1712-1756) for his heirs, reserving a life
estate in the land for himself and his wife; proba-
bly sold 1,000 acres in Cecil County before his
death. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: held a number of
mortgages, especially during the 1730s, and as
early as 1729 he was accepting goods to cancel
debts owed to him. WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED: will
probated on August 25, 1752, in Anne Arundel

County. PERSONAL PROPERTY: TEV, £10.17.0

gold, £139.16.0 sterling, £1,486.8.0 current money
(including 21 slaves and 1 servant); FB, £9.11.2
gold, £110.15.9 sterling, £1,411.14.2 current
money; however, his estate was still liable for a

267



 

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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 267   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  
  << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>


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