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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 683   View pdf image (33K)
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Ridgely's property was inventoried in 1773, the
first account was not filed until 1788. LAND: ca.
6,300 acres in Baltimore County, plus his one-
third interest in the lands of the Northampton

RIDGELY, CHARLES (1733-1790). BORN, on
September 17, 1733, in Baltimore County; younger
son. NATIVE: fourth generation. RESIDED: on
"Hampton Estate," Baltimore County. FAMILY
BACKGROUND. FATHER: Charles Ridgely (by 1705-
1772). MOTHER: Rachel Howard (?-1750). STEP-
MOTHER: as of ca. 1750 Lydia Warfield Stringer.
BROTHERS: Charles (1727-died young); John
Ridgely (by 1724-1771); and William (?-died
young). STEPBROTHERS: Samuel Stringer; Rich-
ard Stringer. SISTERS: Pleasance (1724-1777);
Achsah (1731-1785); and Rachel, who married
Darby Lux (?-1795). STEPSISTERS: Ann Stringer;
Lucy Stringer. FIRST COUSIN. Charles Ridgely, of
William (?-1810). NEPHEW: Charles Ridgely, of
John (ca. 1749-1786). NIECES. Rachel Goodwin
(? -1819), who married second, Jesse Hollingsworth
(1732/33-1810); Prudence Carnan (1755-1822),
who married Harry Dorsey Gough (ca. 1745-
1808); Deborah Ridgely (1749-1817), who mar-
ried John Sterett (1750/51-1787) ; and Mary Ridgely
(?-1804), who married Benjamin Nicholson (?-
1792). MARRIED ca. 1760 Rebecca (1739-1812),
daughter of Caleb Dorsey (1710-1772) of "Bel-
mont," Anne Arundel County, an ironmaster,
and wife Priscilla Hill. Rebecca was the niece of
Edward Dorsey (1718-1760); Mary Dorsey (1725-
ca. 1787), who married John Ridgely (by 1724-
1771). Her brothers were Henry (1735/36-1772),
who married Elizabeth Goodwin; Samuel (1741-
1777), who married Margaret Sprigg (?-1783);
and Edward (1758-1799), who married Elizabeth
Dorsey (?-1802). Her sisters were Mary (1744-
1833), who married in 1769 Dr. Michael Pue;
Milcah (1747-1829), who married William Good-
win (?-1809); Eleanor (1749-1813); Margaret Hill
(1752-1797), who married in 1772 William Bu-
chanan; Priscilla (1754-1756); and Priscilla (1762-
?), who married in 1782 Charles Carnan Ridgely
(1760-1829), governor of Maryland, 1816-1819.
Her first cousins were Frances Todd, who mar-
ried George Risteau (?-1792); Deborah Lynch (?-
1810), who married Samuel Owings, Jr. (1733-
1803); Thomas Dorsey (?-1790); Harry Dorsey
Gough (ca. 1745-1808); Achsah Dorsey (1746-
1799), who married Ephraim Howard (1745-1788);
Eleanor Dorsey, who married John Hall (1729-
1797); Mary Dorsey (?-1816), who married John

Weems (1727-1794); Charles Ridgely, of John (ca.
1749-1786); Deborah Ridgely (1749-1817), who
married John Sterett (1750/51-1787); Mary Ridgely
(?-1804), who married Benjamin Nicholson (?-
1792); Eleanor Dorsey, who married Upton Sher-
edine (1740-1800); Elizabeth Dorsey (?-ca.1811),
who married Richard Ridgely (1755-1824); and
Henry Woodward (1733-1761). CHILDREN. None
who reached adulthood. PRIVATE CAREER. EDU-
CATION: literate, but apparently had little formal
education. Ridgely has been described by a mod-
ern historian familiar with his correspondence as
a man who "could neither speak nor write ex-
ceptionally well." RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: An-
glican, St. Paul's Parish, Baltimore County. Re-
becca Ridgely became a Methodist and Ridgely
is reported to have given a farm to Robert Straw-
bridge (?-ca. 1781), a "Wesleyan lay preacher
from Ireland," in 1773. SOCIAL STATUS AND AC-
mariner by 1756, probably sailing first as super-
cargo on his father's ships; taken prisoner by the
French in April 1757. By July 1757, Ridgely was
captain of the snow Baltimore Town on a voyage
from London to Maryland and Virginia; by 1759
he was master of the ship Charming Nancy. Ridgely
joined his father and brother John Ridgley (by
1724-1771) in establishing the Northampton
Ironworks in 1761. When his brother died, Ridgely
purchased his share of the ironworks, giving him
a two-thirds interest in the business, which was
later known as Ridgely, Howard & Lux and
Ridgely, Lux & Co. During the Revolution, the
Northampton Ironworks produced cannon, can-
non balls, shot, kettles, and pig iron for Maryland
troops. From the early 1770s until ca. 1784, Ridgely
was a partner in the mercantile firm of Ridgely,
Goodwin & McClure. The firm continued as
Ridgely and Goodwin until Ridgely's death.
Ridgely backed at least two schooners as priva-
teers during the Revolution. In partnership with
Michael Pue, William Buchanan, Samuel Dorsey,
and William Goodwin, Ridgely purchased and
operated his father-in-law's extensive ironworks
operation in Anne Arundel County. During the
1780s, in partnership with Benjamin Nicholson (?-
1792), Darby Lux (?-1795), John Sterett (1750/
51-1787), Samuel Chase (1741-1811), and three
others, Ridgely purchased the Nottingham Iron-
works in Baltimore County. In partnership with
William Goodwin and Edward Dorsey, he also
purchased part of the Principio Ironworks. Both
companies had been sold by the state as confis-
cated British property. Ridgely owned a one-eighth



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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 683   View pdf image (33K)
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