John MacTavish (British Consul)

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John MacTavish
Born ca. 1787
Died 21 June 1852
Howard County, Maryland
Occupation Fur Trade Entrepreneur, British Consul

John MacTavish, born ca. 1787 in Stratherrick, Invernesshire, Scotland,[1] was a Scots-Canadian heir to the North West Company[2] and British Consul to the State of Maryland.[1][3] He was a nephew of Scots-Quebecer entrepreneur Simon McTavish, who took him in to raise after his father's death.

MacTavish married on 15 August 1815 to Emily Caton, the fourth daughter of Richard and Mary (née Carroll) Caton,[4] and granddaughter of Charles Carroll of Carrollton the only Catholic and the longest-surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence.[5][6] They lived first at Brooklandwood estate in the Green Spring Valley of Baltimore County, where Emily had been born,[7] and later at Folly Quarter, built by her grandfather Charles Carroll near his home Doughoregan in present-day Howard County, Maryland.[4][8] They were staunch Roman Catholics, members of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Baltimore County.[9]

Emily's three sisters Marianne, Bess, and Louisa Caton, entered British society and married into British nobility, Louisa marrying first Sir Felton Hervey-Bathurst 1st Baronet Bathhurst and second Francis Godolphin D'Arcy Osborne Marquess of Carmarthen the future 7th Duke of Leeds; Marianne marrying first Robert Patterson brother of Elizabeth Patterson the first wife of Napoleon's younger brother Jérôme Bonaparte and second Richard Wellesley 1st Marquess Wellesley and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland older brother of the Duke of Wellington; and Bess marrying Sir George William Jerningham 8th Baron Stafford and 7th Baronet of Costessey Hall in Norfolk, England.[6]

John and Emily (Caton) MacTavish were the parents of four children, Charles Carroll MacTavish, born 1 January 1818, married a daughter of Lieutenant General Winfield Scott;[10] Richard Caton MacTavish, born 24 March 1821, died 20 March 1841; Mary Wellesley MacTavish, born 21 November 1823, married the Hon. Henry George Howard, youngest son of the Earl of Carlisle;[11][12] and Alexander Simon MacTavish, born 28 April 1829, died 28 May 1863.[13]

Photograph of the grave marker of John MacTavish, 1787-1852, British Consul for Maryland, Green Mount Cemetery, 9 October 2011.

John MacTavish died 21 June 1852 at age 65, and Emily (Caton) MacTavish 26 January 1867 at Folly Quarter; they are interred in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland.[13]


  1. ^ a b Sylvanus Urban: The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume XXXVIII, New Series, July to December 1852, John Bowyer Nichols and Son, London, p. 213.
  2. ^ Jehanne Wake: Sisters of Fortune: America's Caton Sisters at Home and Abroad, Simon and Schuster, New York, 2011.
  3. ^ Cynthia H. Requardt: Descriptive Summary, Register of the Carroll-McTavish Papers, MS 220, Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, Md.,, June 1979.
  4. ^ a b John Martin Hammond: Colonial Mansions of Maryland and Delaware, J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia & London, 1914, pp. 125-127.
  5. ^ Shrine of Saint Anthony: Faith at Folly Quarter,,, accessed 8 Sep 2011.
  6. ^ a b Anne Sebba (reviewer): "They adore titles..." Sisters of Fortune: The First American Heiresses to Take Europe by Storm, by Jehanne Wake, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2010-08-13. , accessed 10 Oct 2011.
  7. ^ Robert Erskine Lewis: "Brooklandwood, Baltimore County" in: Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. XLIII, No. 4, December 1948, pp. 280-293,
  8. ^ Maryland Historic Trust: Nomination Form for the National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, Folly Quarter Manor, Carrollton Hall, MacTavish House (including photos of the house),, undated.
  9. ^ Celia M. Holland: Ellicott City, Maryland, Mill Town, U.S.A., Printers II, Tuxedo, Md., 1970, p. 48.
  10. ^ John O'Hart: Irish Pedigrees, or, The Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation, Third Edition, Edinburgh: M. H. Gill & Son, 1881, p. 109fn.
  11. ^ Edmund Burke: The Annual Register, or a View of the History and Politics of the Year 1845, Vol. 87, London: F. & J. Rivington, 1846, p. 218.
  12. ^ Thomas Allen Glenn: Some Colonial Mansions and Those Who Lived in Them, Philadelphia: Henry T. Coates & Company, 1899, p. 362.
  13. ^ a b Green Mount Cemetery: Features,, accessed 10 Sep 2011.