James Neale

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Captain James Neale (1615–1684) was an influential early immigrant to Maryland.[1]

Early life[edit]

Neale was born to Raphael and Jane Neale of Drury Lane, London and of Wollaston, Northamptonshire, England. One of his daughters was Henrietta Maria Neale, who married Richard Bennett Jr., son of Governor Richard Bennett of Virginia.


He immigrated to Maryland in about 1635. On June 19, 1641, Neale received 1000 acres (4 km²) of land for having transported himself and five servants into the Province of Maryland. He assigned these acres to Thomas Hebden.

In a warrant dated July 25, 1641 in London from Lord Baltimore, Neale was granted another 2000 acres (8 km²) on October 31, 1642 for a manor which would be called Wollaston. The manor would prove to be the principal seat of the Neale family for several generations and was situated in what would later be called Charles County, Maryland.

Neale was a member of the Maryland Council 1643 and again in 1644. By 1647 he had returned to England leaving his father-in-law, Benjamin Gill, as his attorney and representative in Maryland. During his absence from Maryland he resided in Spain and Portugal, where he engaged in commerce, and was also employed in various affairs by the King and the Duke of York.

In 1660 he was agent of Lord Baltimore at Amsterdam to protest against the settlement of Dutch upon the Delaware. On January 9, 1659/60 Lord Baltimore issued a special order, reciting that whereas Neale, formerly an inhabitant of Maryland, has been absent from the province for some years, and now desires to return with his family there to reside and inhabit, he has full leave to do so as also to possess such lands as he has a right to, and to enter and trade freely in any port in Maryland. Neale died 1684, leaving a will dated November 27, 1683 and proved March 29, 1684.


Many of Neale's descendants became Jesuit priests, including Father Bennett Neale, Archbishop Leonard Neale, Francis Neale and Father Charles Neale.