estate and shipping boom. It is a ghost town now, the only remaining building being the
County Almshouse, located on the south shore of South River close by the present South River
Bridge." The year 1689 is fixed by a minute of the Council as follows:
The Deposition of John Hammond of Anne Arundle County Gentleman Sworn,
saith that at August Court in the yeare 1689 at London Towne.......13
We know that some sort of building was set aside for the court during its stay in London-
town for in a conveyance of land of 1699 between John Larkin, grantor, and John Baldwin,
grantee, we find the following:
... all those two Lotts of ground to him belonging in London Towne in the said County
Together with all houses outhouses ..... excepted ... the Twenty five foot house where-
in the Court was formerly held as also as much ground besides between the said house
and the water as shall be sufficient to erect and build a Twenty foot house upon.14
We know nothing further about this building.
Return to Annapolis: Courthouse in the First State House
The General Assembly moved to fix the county seat at Annapolis, May 8, 1695, when a
law to accomplish that purpose was passed. Since this Act of Assembly set up a unique
arrangement between county and State, it merits being cited in full:
An Act for setling Anne Arundell County Court att the Porte of Annapolis within
the same County.
Forasmuch as there is not any good Court house built and fitted for the County
of Ann Arundell, And That the Provinciall Court is now by Law Established to be
held and kept forever hereafter att the Porte of Annapolis on the River of Seavern
within the same County where there is and must of necessity be a Court house for
the publick Service of this Province built which may be Sufficient for holding: the
County Courts in also and thereby the County saved the Charge of building a County
Court house and the said Porte of Annapolis propagated and encreased Be it therefore
Enacted by the King and Queen's most Excellent Maties by and with the Advice and
Consent of this present Gen" Assembly and the Authority of the same That the
Justices of the County Court of Ann Arundell County do att theire next meeting in
their County Court adjourn themselves from the place the same Court shall be held
to the Porte of Annapolis upon Seavern River in Ann Arundell and there att the said
Porte in the Court house of the Province hold and keep the said County Court and
so all County Courts for the sd County shall forever hereafter be held and kept att
the said Porte of Annapolis att Seavern River aforesaid in Ann Arundell County afore-
said & att no other place whatsoever in the said County and that the Records of the
said County be removed to the s" Porte there to be kept, and also that the Church to be
built and Erected for the Parish in which the said Porte of Annapolis is shall be built
and erected within the said Porte in such place and part thereof as to his Excellency
the present Govern' shall be thought fitt and Convenient, which shall forever here-
after be Denominated Called and Known by the name of the Porte of Annapolis and
by no other name or Distinction whatever.15
The last possible date of transfer from Londontown to Annapolis is fixed by an item in
the Proceedings of the Assembly for October 12 of the same year:
George Slacum his accompt examined for bringing the Cage Whipping post pillory
and Stone from London Towne to Annapolis referred to the County for his pay, being
the proper goods of the County.16
The last proved meeting of the court at Londontown was March 31, 1694/95, because a
transcript of part of that session, including the date and place of meeting, appears in the
Vestry Minutes of St. James' Parish for that year.17
12 A history of Londontown has been prepared by Henry J.
Berkley, "Londontown On South River, Anne Arundel County,
Md.," Maryland Historical Magazine, XIX, 134-41. This pub-
lication is hereafter referred to as Md. Hist. Mag.
13 Arch, of Md., VIII, 196.
14 A. A. Co. Deeds, W. H. No. 4, 168-69, Ms.
15 Arch. of Md., XIX. 208-09.
16 Ibid., 265.
17 Record, St. James' Parish, A. A. Co., f. 1, Ms.