An American Family History

Richard Clark


All Hallows or South River Parish, Anne Arundel County, Maryland was created in 1672.

In the 17th century jails were used as places to hold people accused of crimes until they were brought to trial, but not as places of punishment. A debtor could be held in jail until he paid his debts and political dissidents were also jailed. Punishments included execution, maiming, public humiliation and monetary fines.
A society's legal system reveals much about it. A broad spectrum of behavior was considered criminal in Colonial Maryland and punishment was harsh.
A society's legal system reveals much about it. A broad spectrum of behavior was considered criminal in Colonial Maryland and punishment was harsh.

The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay and is about 405 miles long.

Richard Clark was born about 1665. He married Elizabeth Mariarte. His parents were Rachel Beard and Neal Clark.

Neal, Sr.'s will was probated on July 3, 1678. Richard received part of Clarke's Inheritance.

In the early 1700s, Richard Clark terrorized Annapolis. He threatened

to seize the town's supply of gunpowder, burn buildings, and arm the Indians for a revolt against the government.

In 1705, Neal and Jane Clark and Thomas and Rachel Robinson sold Clarke's Inheritance to John Brice. Richard had been living at there.

Benjamin Gaither testified about events that happened in March, 1705.

. . .Richard Clarkes Wife some time in March last Came to his house on a Brown bay horse . . .she Importuned him to go up with her to Neal Clarks to Carry some things to her husband He went up with her & lay at Neals house Neale Came home very late in the Night as he told the Dept from his mother in Law [Mrs. William Jones].

The next Day the Dept Clarks wife went to Richard Clark in the lane in sight of the house the Dept Ask'd him why he lay out & told him Col Hamond Advised he should Come in & submitt himself to his Exncy

The said Clark had very Good Cloths on A Coate he said he had from Edwd Mariartee & a good Suite from Topp to Toe . . . & some neates Tongues and Cheese he had of [his sister] Majr [Charles] Greenberrys wife he was mounted on a Black horse with a Bald Face long Dock and 2 white feet belonging to Edward Meriartee.

His wife brought him two Pistols she not long before bought of James Lewis. After Richard Clarke fitted his Pistolls & Saddle upon Danll Meriartees brown bay horse which he Changed for Edward Meriartees horse

They went in the house upon which Neale seemed to be Angry at him upon which Richard went out and they had many Cross words. While they were in the house Richd Clark ask the Deponent and Neale Clarke to go with him and Assist him over Potomack River which they Refused.

all that Day at night Richard Clarke and his wife lay on some Straw in an out house belonging to Neale and the next Day about Twelve of the Clock Clark urged that he was afraid he should be hanged if he did not make his Escape prevailed upon the Depon[en]t& his Brother Neale to promise and go with and Assist him over Potomack

Accordingly they sett forward and Clark Bad them say if any should ask who he was to say his name was Robert Greenberry

they Came upon Mr Roziers negro Quarter the Depont and Neale Clark Called for a lodging Richard Clark keeping out of Sight in the Woods they went into the house

after a while Richard Clark Came into the house but tooke no Notice of his Brother & Depon[en]t as if he knew them the Negroes gave them their supper all Three Eat together.

Afterwards went away and Lay in the woods the Negroes being afraid to entertain them but promised them the Canoe the next day—then the Negroes endeavoured to secure them. But Fletchill letting them go they went to Neale Clarks that night

after they had been there an hour Richard Clarke Came to the pailes brought his Pistolls & his Sword & told them he had a great Combustion with the Negroes who had shott his horse but he had escaped

The Next Day he saw him again in the Woods under a great Tree and he told him he did not know what to do he feared he should be killed the Depont then Departed with him and has never seen him since but believes he is not quite gone out but Lurking about.

On May 18, 1705 his mother, Rachel was jailed and on May 21, 1705 she was convicted of treason.

In April, 1707 Thomas Ricketts testified that he had seen Richard. Thomas' wife was Richard's first cousin.

On March 29, 1707, Richard Clark sent a small boat to take his wife and children away from South River. They were not successful and those who helped were arrested for aiding the outlaw.

In April, 1707 Aaron Rawlings testified that he ordered his man and boy to go with his team and assist Richard Clark's wife

with her goods downe to the Landing which he says he did in his ignorance being told by her boy the Sloop had entered Annapolis and would clear there againe. His Excellency ask him if he did not know that Richard Clark was Outlawed. He said Yes, but did not intend to assist him, for the woman said she would pay him for the use of his teame. His Excellency tells him he knew better.

Richard returned to South River to be near his family. In 1708, he turned himself in and was immediately hung without a trial.

Planter is an archaic term for a settler. Plantation was a method of colonization where settlers were "planted" abroad. A plantation is also the kind of large farm that was the economical basis of many American Colonies and owners of these farms were also called planters.

Anne Arundel County, Maryland was established in 1650.
European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.

A deponent (dept, dpnt) gives testimony under oat.

The first European settlements in Maryland were made in 1634 when English settlers created a permanent colony.
Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.


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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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