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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 146   View pdf image (33K)
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Court, 1766-1776 (quorum, 1766 and 1773);
judge, Admiralty Court, 1767-1776; judge, Assize
Court, Western Shore, 1767-1768; judge, Assize
Court, Eastern Shore, appointed 1768; commis-
sioner to run a boundary line between Maryland
and Delaware, appointed 1768; Council, 1768-at
least 1774 (appointed and qualified on May 24,
1768); 1st Council of Safety, Eastern Shore, 1775
(declined); judge, General Court, appointed 1777.
LOCAL OFFICES: clerk, Baltimore County, 1753-
1775 (resigned); commissioner, Baltimore Town,
in office 1768. OUT OF STATE SERVICE: appointed
by President Washington as a commissioner to
receive subscriptions to the Bank of the United


opposed jailing debtors; against intemperance;
condemned slavery on three points: first, because
it was contrary to Lockeian principles of equality;
second, because it was often accompanied by a
"scandalous lack of decency"; and third, because
it was not good for agriculture because a farmer
became a "slave to his slaves." Bordley manumit-
ted many of his own slaves or bound them out as
apprentices. After he declined to serve on the
Council of Safety on August 29, 1775, he said that
"The few who realy [sic] know my Sentiments, my
Principles, Feelings will not doubt of my Fidelity
to the interests of my country; and that, as an in-
dividual, in such sorts as is within the reach of my
talents every power will be exerted to that end."
Although he retired from politics, he continued to
support the Revolution. WEALTH DURING LIFE-
£6,044.6.8, including 162 slaves and 314 oz. plate,
Queen Anne's, Talbot, and Kent counties, 1783;
128 slaves, Queen Anne's County, 1790. LAND AT
FIRST ELECTION 8,498 acres in Baltimore, Freder-
ick, Kent, and Anne Arundel counties (inherited
at least 1,874 acres from his father, and at least
4,463 acres from his brothers). SIGNIFICANT


AND DEATH: acquired at least 1,400 acres of land
that his wife had inherited from her brother in
Queen Anne's County through his first marriage,
1 770; owned a total of at least 8,497 acres in Anne
Arundel, Cecil, Harford, Kent, Montgomery, and
Queen Anne's counties, plus 5 lots in Annapolis,
1783; there is evidence that Bordley gave large
portions of his estate to his sons John and Matth-
ias between 1783 and his death. Between 1783 and
his death he also signed several "deeds of intent to
sell" for large tracts in Harford and Montgomery
counties and instructed that these deeds be con-
firmed by his executors. WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED:
on January 26, 1804, in Philadelphia, Pennsylva-

nia. LAND: acreage could not be determined, but
Bordley owned at least 1,500 acres in Maryland,
plus lands on Bear Creek and in Chester County,
Pennsylvania, lots in Baltimore City and Annapo-
lis, and a stable and house on Union Street, Phila-
delphia, Pennsylvania.

BORDLEY, STEPHEN (ca. 1710-1764). BORN:
ca. 1710 in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County; el-
dest son. NATIVE: second generation. RESIDED: in
Annapolis, where he lived with his sister Elizabeth
in the family home, now called the Bordley-
Thomas Bordley (ca, 1683-1726). MOTHER: Rachel
(?-1722), daughter of Richard Beard (ca. 1648-
1703), a surveyor; granddaughter of Richard
Beard (?-1681). STEPMOTHER: Ariana (1690-
1741), widow of James Frisby(1684-1719); daugh-
ter of Matthias Vanderheyden (?-1729). She subse-
quently married Edmund Jennings (?-1756). STEP-
AUNTS. Francina Vanderheyden, who married
second, Charles Hynson (1692-1748); Augustina
Vanderheyden (?-1775), who married James
Harris (1682-1743). BROTHERS: William (1714-
1762); John (?-1718); and John (1721-1761).
HALF BROTHERS: Thomas (ca. 1724-1748); Matth-
ias (1725-1756); and John Beale Bordley
(1726/27-1804). STEPBROTHERS: Peter Jennings
(1729-by 1737); Edmund Jennings (1731-1819);
and (first name unknown) Jennings (?-by 1737).
SISTERS: Elizabeth (1716/17-1789); Margaret
(1719-by 1726/27); and Mary (1722-1722). STEP-
SISTERS: Sarah Frisby (1714-1782); Ariana Marga-
ret Frisby (1717-?), who married William Harris
(1704-1748); Francesca Augustina Frisby (1719-
1766); and Ariana Jennings (1730-?). MARRIED
school in Blackheath, London, England; served
law apprenticeship in London, England; admitted
to the Inner Temple in November 1729 and re-
turned to Maryland in 1733. RELIGIOUS AFFILIA-
TION Anglican, St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel
at death; member of the Tuesday Club, Annapolis.
OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: lawyer, admitted to the
following courts: Anne Arundel County in June
1733; Prince George's County in June 1733;
Baltimore County in August 1733; Provincial
Court in October 1739; Court of Chancery by Oc-
tober 1741; Frederick County in March 1748/49;
Kent County by March 1753; trained apprentices
in his Annapolis law office. PUBLIC CAREER. LEG-
ISLATIVE SERVICE Lower House, Annapolis, 1745
(Laws), Anne Arundel County, 1749-1751 (Laws
Cv-3), Annapolis, 1754-1756 (Laws 1-4; dis-


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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 146   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

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