Daniel Dulany the Elder

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Daniel Dulany
Daniel Dulany the Elder.jpg
Receiver General
Member, Maryland General Assembly
In office
Member, Governor's Council
Judge of Admiralty
Personal details
Queen's County, Kingdom of Ireland
Annapolis, Province of Maryland, British North America
RelationsDaniel Dulany the Younger (son)
Occupationlawyer, politician

Daniel Dulany the Elder (1685–1753) was a prominent lawyer and land-developer in colonial Maryland, who held a number of colonial offices. In 1722 Dulany wrote a pamphlet entitled The Right of the Inhabitants of Maryland, to the Benefit of the English Laws, asserting the rights of Marylanders over the Proprietary Government.

Early life[edit]

Dulany was born in Upperwoods, Queen's County, Ireland about 1685. In November 1702, a flotilla of merchantmen, known as the "Armada of 100 ships" Sailed for the Chesapeake Bay, arriving in March, 1703. Dulany, along with two older brothers (William and Joseph) landing at Port Tobacco, and became indentured to Colonel George Plater II for a three-year period. Plater put Dulany to work as a law clerk. In 1706, after the indenture was over, Dulany traveled to London, in order to study law.[citation needed]

Dulany returned to Maryland and in 1709 was admitted to the Charles County bar.[citation needed]


In 1720, Dulany moved to Annapolis. In 1722, he was elected to represent the town in the Maryland General Assembly where he was to serve for the next twenty years.[citation needed]

At that time the Province of Maryland was under the proprietary governorship of Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore. Lord Baltimore vetoed a bill in 1722 which the General Assembly had passed in order to bring the colony fully under all English statute law. Dulany led protests against this, writing a pamphlet entitled "The Right of the Inhabitants of Maryland, to the Benefit of the English Laws".[citation needed]

Lord Baltimore later appointed Dulany to the posts of Receiver General, Judge of Admiralty, and Commissary General,[1] as well as appointing him to the Governor's Council.[citation needed]

Border dispute with Pennsylvania[edit]

In the 1730s, under the rule of Governor Samuel Ogle, Maryland became engaged in a border dispute with Pennsylvania.[2] Several settlers were taken prisoners on both sides and Penn sent a committee to Governor Ogle to resolve the situation.[2] Rioting broke out in the disputed territory and Ogle appealed to the King for resolution.[2] In 1736 Ogle dispatched Dulany to Philadelphia in order to negotiate the release of a number of imprisoned Marylanders, though without success, and the border warfare continued.[3]

Lawyer, planter, land developer[edit]

Dulany became wealthy from his legal practice, and through the 1720s began to accumulate and develop land. He advertised for tenants to settle his land in Baltimore, Kent and Prince Georges county, paying with tobacco, corn or wheat.[4] He is credited with the founding of Frederick.

Family and legacy[edit]

Dulany married three times, first to Charity Courts Smallwood, widow of Bayne Smallwood. She died one year after wedding Daniel.[citation needed] By his second wife Rebecca Smith, the daughter of Colonel Walter Smith, he had a large family, not atypical for the time:

Daniel married a third time to Henrietta Maria Chew, a widow.[citation needed] By her he had another child, Lloyd.

Dulany died on December 5, 1753 in Annapolis. At the time of his death he owned 47,000 acres (190 km2) of land.[citation needed]

After his death, in 1754, Dulany's third wife Henrietta Maria, appeared before Michael MacNamara, then Deputy Commissioner of Anne Arundel County, seeking to overturn the will of her late husband.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In 1672, Lord Baltimore created the post of Commissary General, that official with administrative and judicial responsibility for all colonial Maryland probate matters. In 1777, during the American Revolution, the Maryland Legislature created the still-current Orphans' Court and abolished the Commissary General
  2. ^ a b c Warfield, Joshua Dorsey (July 1905). The Founders of Anne Arundel And Howard Counties, Maryland. Baltimore, Maryland: Kohn & Pollock. pp. 208. ISBN 0-8063-7971-5. Samuel Ogle.
  3. ^ Andrews, p230
  4. ^ "Advertisements". The Maryland Gazette. 8 April 1729.
  5. ^ Warfield, J. D., p. 184, The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland Retrieved November 2010
  6. ^ Wright, Edward F., p.8, Maryland Calendar of Wills, Volume 11: 1753-1760 Retrieved November 2010


  • Andrews, Matthew Page, History of Maryland, Doubleday, New York (1929)
  • Land, Aubrey C. The Dulanys of Maryland: A Biographical Study of Daniel Dulany, the Elder (1685-1753), and Daniel Dulany, the Younger (1722-1797). Baltimore, Maryland Historical Society: 1955.