Col. Nicholas Greenberry


Family Links

1. Ann Newman

Col. Nicholas Greenberry 1 2 3

  • Born: 1627, England
  • Marriage (1): Ann Newman in 1671
  • Died: 17 Dec 1697, Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States) at age 70
  • Buried: St. Anne's Churchyard, Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States)

  Research Notes:

From ('s&CScntry=4&CSst=22&CScnty=1188&):

This name has been handed down in nearly every family of Anne Arundel. Col Greenberry's letters show him to have been a man of marked intelligence. As president of the Council, and Chancellor, he was Keeper of the Great Seal, and Judge of the High Court of Chancery.

Col Nicholas Greenberry came to Maryland on the ship "Constant Friendship" in 1670, accompanied by his wife Anne, his son Charles, his daughter Katherine, and three servants. Although he is perhaps the ancestor of more distinguished Marylanders than any other person, in certain respects his life has been a mystery. The name Greenberry does not seem to appear in English records, and yet Col Nicholas Greenberry was obviously a man of aristocratic lineage, probably of noble or, according to rumor, even of royal descent; highly educated and possessed of great ability. His rise to prominence in the civil and military affairs of Maryland was rapid.

In 1680 he purchased from the son of Capt Fuller, the Puritan military commander at the Battle of the Severn, a tract of land resurveyed as "Greenberry Forest". There Nicholas resided, naming his plantation "Whitehall". One of the most beautifully situated residential sites of all Maryland, Whitehall later was the residence of Gov Horatio Sharp, who had the architect William Bruckland build for him the famous Georgian mansion now known as Whitehall. In 1685, Col Greenberry sold a portion of Greenberry Forest and bought 250 adjoining acres, the point of which at the mouth of the Severn River is now known as "Greenberry Point".

He rose to prominence during the transfer of the proprietary government to King William and Queen Mary. The following year, 1686, he became a gentleman justice of Anne Arundel County. A staunch supporter of King William III, he was one of the leaders of the so-called Revolution of 1689. He was appointed captain of foot in the Anne Arundel Militia in 1689, and in 1690 became a Major. During that year, he was made Lieutenant of His Majesty's forces in the province. He was one of the military leaders who signed the address to William II after the capture of St Mary's City by the Royalists. In 1691, he was one of the seventeen prominent men who signed articles of impeachment against Lord Baltimore. He was appointed one of the Judges of Provincial Court and was a prominent part of the Committee of Twenty, which governed Maryland until the arrival in 1692 of Sir Lionel Copley, the new Royal Governor. As one of the military commanders, Col Nicholas Greenberry was authorized to erect three forts against invading Indians; being especially in charge of the one in Anne Arundel. He was further authorized to press all smiths in cleansing and fixing the public arms. As a member of the Governor's Council, he attended all meetings with punctuality and in 1693, became president of the Council. On the death of Gov Copley on 6 Apr 1692, Col Greenberry became the Governor of Maryland, serving such until Sir Edmond Andros was appointed Royal Governor in 1693. Thereafter he continued to serve on the Council. He was also Keeper of the Great Seal, Chancellor of Maryland, and Justice of His Majesty's High Court of Admiralty. When Col Ninian Beall became the chief military officer in Maryland, Col Nicholas Greenberry and Col Nicholas Gassaway became the commanding officers of the military forces of Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties.

Some of the honorable offices held by this distinguished man are recorded on page two of this application, but space does not permit a lengthy recital of his services. That they were of the highest importance will be seen from the confidence reposed in him, his position for a number of years being second only to that of the Governor himself. A fervid letter of thanks to their "Sacred Majesties, 'William and Mary', for giving to Maryland Protestant Governor, bore among other signatures the names of Nicholas Greenberry and Henry Ridgely. Col Nicholas Greenberry was President of his Majesty's Council for some years and at the time of his death. His loyalty and devotion to the service of their Majesties" is discussed in Council after his death. Very few volumes of the Archives of Maryland, but attest his constant attendance at assemblies, and devotion to the welfare of the colony.

The will of Col Greenberry, stamped with a remarkable seal and dated 5 Mar 1697/8, left his dwelling plantation to his beloved wife Ann; after her death to son Charles; in case his death without issue, to go to his three daughters.
--Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties

Family links:
Ann Newman Greenberry (1648 - 1698) *

(1) Some researchers have attributed a daughter to Edward DORSEY a daughter Ann who married Nicholas GREENBERRY. There is no evidence that Edward DORSEY had a daughter named Ann. While Nicholas GREENBERRY's wife was named Ann, she could not have been a daughter of Edward DORSEY. Nicholas GREENBERRY did not emigrate from England to Maryland until 1674, at which time he arrived with his wife and two children. (Maryland Patent Liber 18 (Vol. 21):160 FHL microfilm 0,013,071.) Land was claimed in 1674 for Nicholas GREENBERRY, wife, and two children (not named) who were on the ship "Constant Friendship." His wife could not have been the daughter of Edward DORSEY, who had been living in the colonies for over 25 years.


(1a) 1674: Land was claimed for Nicholas GREENBERRY, wife, and two children (not named) who were on the ship "Constant Friendship."

From Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, p. 58:

"In 1694, Major Dorsey was upon the committee with Major John Hammond, Hon. John Dorsey, Captain Philip Howard, Major Nicholas Greenberry and John Bennett, to layout town lots and a town common for 'the town of Proctor,' or Annapolis."

  Burial Notes:

Here lyeth interred the body of Col Nicholas Greenberry Esq, who departed this life the 17th day of December 1697

Nicholas married Ann Newman in 1671. (Ann Newman was born in 1648 in England, died on 27 Apr 1698 in Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States) and was buried in St. Anne's Churchyard, Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States).)



2 Warfield, J. D, The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland. (Baltimore: Kohn & Pollock, 1905), p. 58.


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