Anne Arundel County Sheriffs
1658 - present

The office of sheriff first appeared in Maryland in 1637/8.1 Through the late 1650s, there were three sheriffs in the province, assigned to St. Mary's, Patuxent, and Potomac. The first known sheriff of Anne Arundel County assumed office around 1658, eight years after the county's founding.

In Colonial Maryland, the sheriff was responsible for collecting taxes, rents and other monies due owed to the governor, as well as issuing court summonses. The sheriff was appointed by the governor as a patronage position, and the fees the sheriff was allowed to collect for himself, could bring the officeholder significant profit. However, sheriffs would often put forward their own money to cover the obligations of citizens who could not pay, and could consequently lose a great deal of money if unable to collect. It was a position which required great skill and efficiency to perform well. As Stephen Bordley, Attorney General 1756-1763, wrote, "The Sheriffs office is a place of either Considerable gain or...Considerable loss; & the difference turns upon...Care, Exactness & diligence in the Execution of it."2

With the beginning of the American Revolution, Maryland changed its constitution and introduced democratic elections for sheriffs. From 1776 until 1851, sheriffs were elected to three-year terms and were ineligible to serve for four years after their terms.3 Terms were shortened to two years, with two years of ineligibility between terms, in 1851.4  Since 1915, sheriffs have served four-year terms and have been able to run for reelection.5 Today, the sheriff's responsibilities include serving warrants and court summonses, collecting fines, and transporting prisoners.

Dates Served
1658-1663John Norwood aomol vol. 41, p. 86; aomol vol 49, p. 347; vol. 3, p. 448-450
1663-1664 Samuel Chew aomol vol. 49, p. 215; vol. 3, p. 481
1664-1665 Capt. William Burgess aomol vol. 49, p. 313; vol. 3, p. 491
1665-1666 Richard Ewen aomol vol. 57, p. 92; vol. 3, p. 518
1666-1670 Capt. Thomas Stockett aomol vol. 57, pps. 147, xli, 423; vol. 51, p. 321, 325; vol. 3, p. 341; vol 5, p. 70
1673-1676Henry Stockett aomol vol. 51, pps. 100, 130, 179
1676-1678/9John Welsh aomol vol. 51, p. 179, 220; vol. 67, p. 436; vol. 68, p. 178
1678/9-1682 Robert ffranklin6 aomol vol. 51, p. 246; vol. 17, p. 446; S536-11, p. 27.
1683-1685George Burgess aomol vol. 17, pps. 142, 463
1685-1690 Capt. Henry Hanslap7 aomol vol. 5, pps. 470, 545; vol. 8, p. 21; vol. 17, p. 378
1690-1692Abel Brown aomol vol. 13, p. 266
1692-1694Benjamin Scrivener aomol vol. 13, p. 298; vol. 77, pps. 3, 55
1694-1697Capt. William Holland aomol vol. 20, pps. 107, 461; vol. 19, p. 320; vol. 77, p. 55
1697-1699 Richard Beard aomol vol. 23, pps. 173, 330, 447; vol. 25, p. 52
1699-c.1701Thomas Reynolds S551-19, p. 96
c. 1701-1705 John Gresham, Jun aomol vol 25, p. 150; C91-1, p. 62, n.p.; C91-2, n.p.
1705/6-1708 Josiah Wilson C91-2, n.p., 801; C91-4, p. 1
1708-1711 John Gresham, Jun C91-4, pps. 1, 324, 372
1711-1714 Thomas Gassaway C91-4, pps. 372; C91-5, n.p.
1714-1717Thomas Reynolds C91-5, n.p.; C91-6, p. 46; C91-6, pps. 30, 79
1714-1718 Benjamin Tasker C91-7, p. 79, 231, 252
1718-1721Stephen Warman C91-6, pps. 252, 535; C91-7, pps. 241, 396
1721-1723Henry Lazenby C91-7, p. 396; C91-10, p. 29
1723 John Gresham8 S551-36, p. 269; C91-11, n.p.
1724-1725Zachariah Maccubbin S551-36, p. 385; S551-37, p. 1
1725-1726 John Gresham S551-37, pps. 115, 253
1726-1727 Daniel Mariartee S551-37, pps., 395, 483
1727-1730James Govane S551-38, pps. 1, 137, 203, 317; S551-39, pps. 1, 173
1731-1733Zachariah Maccubbin S551-40, p. 425; S551-39, p. 273; S551-41, pps. 1, 93; S551-42, p. 1
1733John Welsh9 S551-42, p. 120
1733-1736Nicholas Maccubbin S551-42, p. 161; S551-44, p. 146
1736-1739Zachariah Maccubbin S551-45, p. 223; S551-46, p. 173
1739-1742John Darnell S551-49, p. 1; C91-16, p. 469
1742-1745/6Samuel Smith C91-16, p. 573; C91-19, p. 1
1745/6-1748William Thornton C91-19, p 1; C91-20, p. 143
1748/9-1751 John Gassaway C91-20, p. 193; C91-21, p. 161; Maryland Gazette 4 Dec 1751
1751-1755Maj. Nathan Hammond C91-21, p. 321; C91-22, p. 41; Maryland Gazette 4 Dec 1751
1755-1757John Raitt C91-22, p. 95; C91-23, p. 101; Maryland Gazette 2 Jan 1755
1757-1760 Upton Scott C91-23, p. 159; C91-24, p. 1
1761-1763Kensey Johns10 C91-24, p. 85; C91-25, p. 695; Maryland Gazette 2 Jun 1763
1763Lancelot Jacques C91-25, pps. 760, 890
1764-1766Joseph Galloway C91-26, p. 1; C91-28, p. 224; C91-29, p. 236
1767-1769William Stewart C91-30, p. 303; S551-83, p. 1
1770-1772John Clapham S551-84, p. 401; S551-90, p. 375
1773-1775William Noke11 S551-93, p. 379; S551-94, p. 357
1776-1778Thomas Deale12 S397-1
1778William Harwood13 S397-1
1778-1779John Burgess14 S397-1
1779-1782Capt. Thomas Harwood S397-1
1782-1785 Richard Harwood S397-1
1785-1788David Stewart S397-1
1788-1791Benjamin Howard15 S397-1; Maryland Gazette 16 Oct 1788; 21 Apr 1791
1791Nicholas Watkins16 S397-1
1791Richard Wells17 S397-1
1791James Williams18 S397-1
1791-1794William Goldsmith S397-1
1794-1797 Richard Harwood S397-1
1797-1800John Welch S397-1
1800-1803Henry Howard S397-1
1803-1805Jasper E. Tilly S397-1
1805-1809John McCeney  S397-1; Maryland Gazette 1 Sep 1808
1809-1812John Cord S397-1
1812-1815Solomon Groves S397-1
1815-1818Robert Welch of Benjamin S397-1
1818-1821Benjamin Gaither S397-1
1821-1824William O'Hara S397-1
1824-1827Robert Welch of Benjamin Maryland Gazette 6 Jul 1826; C91-77
1827-1830Richard Iglehart C91-77
1830-1833Bushrod W. Marriott C91-78
1833-1836Robert Welch of Benjamin C91-79
1836-1841John P. Selby19 C91-80; S1004-242 
1842-1845Benjamin T. Pindle20 C91-81; Sun 10 Jan 42; Maryland Republican, 5 Feb 1845
1845-1848Richard Welch of Benjamin C41-1; S108-15
1848-1851William Bryan S108-21
1851-1853Nicholas I. Worthington C92-1
1853-1855Thomas Ireland C92-1
1855-1856Ezekiel E. Bell21 C147-1; Annapolis Gazette 20 Mar 1856
1856-1859Edwin W. Duvall C147-1; C92-1
1859-1861Thomas Ireland C92-2
1861-1863William Bryan C92-2
1863-1865P. M. McCullough C147-1
1865-1867R. S. Woodward C147-1
1867-1869P. Dorsey Carr C147-1
1869-1871Edwin W. Duvall C147-2
1871-1873Henry Chaire C147-2
1873-1875P. Dorsey Carr C147-2
1875-1877Thomas S. Nutwell C147-2
1877-1879J. B. Wells C147-2
1879-1881Thomas S. Nutwell C147-2
1881-1883H. S. Anderson C147-2
1883-1885Joseph O. Fowler C147-2
1885-1887R. P. Sellman C147-2
1887-1889John G. Crane C147-2
1889-1891James S. Armiger C147-2
1891-1893H. Clement Claude  C147-2
1893-1895Thomas I. Linthicum S108-89
1895-1897Joseph W. Fowler S108-90
1897-1899 Frank S. Revell Maryland Manual 1898, 130
1899-1901John Boure S63-3
1901-1903George T. Beasley Maryland Manual 1901, 181
1903-1905Samuel B. Hardy S63-7
1905-1907Joshua Linthicum  Maryland Manual 1906-1907, 222
1907-1909James E. Williams  Maryland Manual 1908-1909, 134
1909-1911 Frank S. Revell Maryland Manual 1910-1911, 134
1911-1913George T. Beasley Maryland Manual 1912-1913, 163
1913-1915 John E. Potee Maryland Manual 1913-1914, 168
1915-1917J. Carson Boush S63-27
1917-1919Joseph H. Bellis Maryland Manual 1917-1918, 182
1919-1921Thomas S. Dove Maryland Manual 1919-1920, 192
1921-1923Harry T. Levely Maryland Manual 1922, 89
1923-1926John Bowie  Maryland Manual 1924, 92
1926-1930 Michael F. Carter Maryland Manual 1926, 92
1930-1934R. Glenn Prout Maryland Manual 1930, 115
1934-1938Joseph W. Alton Maryland Manual 1934, 122
1938-1942Russell C. Turner  Maryland Manual 1938, 148
1942-1946Joseph C. Griscom  Maryland Manual 1943-1944, 148
1946-1949Joseph W. Alton22 Maryland Manual 1948-1949, 194; Sun 14 Sep 1949
1949-1950Charles M. Russell Maryland Manual 1950, 215; Sun 27 Sep 1949
1950-1962 Joseph W. Alton, Jr. Maryland Manual Online
1962-1990William R. Huggins Maryland Manual Online
1990-1994Robert G. Pepersack, Sr. Maryland Manual Online
1994-2006 George F. Johnson Maryland Manual Online
2006-present Ronald S. Bateman Maryland Manual Online


1. Archives of Maryland Online (hereafter given as aomol), Vol. 3, pps. 61, 63.

2. Bordley to Hercules Coutts, 11 Dec 1756. Bordley Papers, Letterbook of Stephen Bordley, 1756-59, pps. 224-24, Maryland Historical Society. Quoted in Donnell M. Owings, His Lordship's Patronage: Offices of Profit in Colonial Maryland (Baltimore, MD: Maryland Historical Society, 1953), 70.

3. Constitution of 1776, Sect. 42.

4. Constitution of 1851, Art. IV, Sect. 20.

5. Laws of 1914, Chap. 845.

6. ffranklin died in June or July 1682 and Burges probably was his replacement.

7. During the seizure of power by the Protestant Associators, 1689-1692, Hanslap either refused to serve under the provisional government or was dismissed and replaced with Brown, who was loyal. Hanslap continued to collect revenue due to Lord Baltimore. Brown began serving as sheriff in February of 1690. See Lois Green Carr and David William Jordan, Maryland's Revolution of Government 1689-1692 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974) 100, 107 n62.

8. Gresham died 24 December 1723.

9. Served May to October only.

10. Johns died 26 May 1763. Jacques served the end of his term.

11. Noke served at least until September, 1775, when the Provincial Court held its last term. Although the governor retained nominal control over the province as late as the beginning of 1776, the Council of Safety increasingly became the governing force in Maryland after its establishment in August, 1775. It is unclear who, if anyone, carried out the sheriff's duties from the end of Noke's tenure until the first popularly-elected sheriff was chosen in December, 1776.

12. Deale died 1 January 1778.

13. Appointed to finish Deale's term but refused the position

14. Appointed to succeed Deale.

15. Howard died 11 April 1791.

16. Appointed to succeed Howard but refused the appointment.

17. Appointed to succeed Howard by his bond was not accepted.

18. Appointed to succeed Howard

19. Selby resigned 20 December 1841. Pindle was appointed to replace him on 8 January 1842 and was subsequently elected to a term of his own.

20. Pindle failed to give bond in 1845 and was replaced in February by Welch. Welch was subsequently elected to his own term.

21. Bell died 14 March 1856. Duvall took office 18 March 1856 and was elected to a full term in October.

22. Alton died 14 September 1949. Russell was appointed to serve out the remainder of his term.


Archival Sources:
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY COURT (Bond Record) 1841-1851 [MSA C41].
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY COURT (Judgment Record) 1703-1844 [MSA C91].
BOARD OF STATE CANVASSERS (Election Returns) 1896-1976 [MSA S63].
COURT OF APPEALS (Miscellaneous Papers) 1776-1983 [MSA S397].
GOVERNOR (Election Returns) 1838-1895 [MSA S108].
MARYLAND STATE PAPERS (Series A) 1715-1847 [MSA S1004]
PREROGATIVE COURT (Inventories and Accounts) 1674-1718 [MSA S536].
PROVINCIAL COURT (Judgment Record) 1658-1775 [MSA S551].

Annapolis Gazette.
Maryland Gazette (Annapolis).
Maryland Manual.
Maryland Republican (Annapolis).
The Sun (Baltimore).

Published Sources:
Archives of Maryland Online.
Carr, Lois Green and David William Jordan, Maryland's Revolution of Government 1689-1692. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974.

Return to Maryland Government, Historical List