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John (Beall) Beale (abt. 1680 - abt. 1734)

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John Beale formerly Beall
Born about in Anne Arundel County, Province of Marylandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] in Anne Arundel County, Province of Marylandmap
[children unknown]
Died about in Anne Arundel County, Province of Marylandmap
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Profile last modified | Created 16 Dec 2011
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  • John Beall
  • John Beale, Gentleman [1]

1680 Birth and Parents

The exact date of John Beale's birth is not known. Also in question is his place of birth. [2]

John Beale was born say 1680, but in any event before 1687, the date of Robert Lee's will. He was "of Anne Arundel County" and probably born there. [1]

John Beale was "of age in 1707. He was probably the only son and probably second generation.[2]

He was the son of Thomas Beale (born before 1655) of St. Mary's County. [1]

Thomas Beale resided in St. Mary's City with his wife Elizabeth, his son John, and his daughter Elizabeth, so John Beale was probably the first of his family to live in Anne Arundel County. [2]

He resided in Annapolis and on his plantation Norwood's Beale in Anne Arundel Co... [2]

1707 Political Career

Beale's political career began in 1707 when he became clerk for the Provincial Court. [2]

He served as clerk there until 1718 and also was a clerk for the Land Secretary's Office and a register for the Chancery Court. Toward the end of his term, he was appointed a commissioner for the Land Secretary and Commissionary's Offices. In that position he was to "inspect into the several decays and defects of all the records of the Land Secretary and Commissionary's Offices and to judge of the necessary Amendments and reparations thereof, and to employ such clerks, book-binders, and other persons, as appear needful to them, for completing and perfecting." [2]

Beale also worked in the colony's legislature. He served as clerk for the Upper House, and was then elected by the citizens of Annapolis to represent them in the Lower House of the legislature in 1718 and 1719. He was discharged before the second session of 1719 for accepting an appointment as clerk of the Council, a position he held until 1721. In 1722, Beale was again elected to the Lower House, this time as a representative of Anne Arundel County. He served until he was again discharged, for accepting a position from the government, after the first session of the 1732-1734 term. This was probably for his position as a commissioner of the Paper Currency Office, to which he was appointed in 1733. One extremely important position that Beale held was that he was entrusted with the Great Seal of the Honorable Charles Calvert. This seal was used on all official documents from the colony and its governor.[2]

Beale also held many local offices. He served as Clerk of the Court for Anne Arundel County from 1711 until his death in 1734, while still holding various other provincial and local positions. He was an alderman for Annapolis from 1714 until at least 1726. He was commissioned as clerk for the county's Court of Oyer and Terminer and Goal Delivery in 1720, served as deputy commissary from 1720 to 1734, and was a trustee of the county's public schools. [2]

1708 Marriage to Elizabeth Norwood

On August 19, 1708 [3]he married Elizabeth Norwood, (1688-1753) the daughter of Andrew Norwood (?-1701) of Anne Arundel County, and his wife Elizabeth Howard . [2]

Elizabeth Howard;s brother was Andrew; her sisters were Ann; Hannah; and (first name unknown) [2]

Caution: Some sources have Elizabeth Norwood married instead to B-NIN-3 John Beall of Ninian. [1]

1711 Court

"John Beale, sworn at June Court, 1711; died in April, 1734." [4]

1713 St. Anne's Church

Beale was also a prominent member of St. Anne's Church, serving as vestryman from 1713 until 1720 and from 1727 until 1730. [2]

In 1727, Beale and several other parishioners of St. Anne's suggested erecting a chapel outside of Annapolis for those who were inconvenienced by traveling into the city. Governor Calvert gave permission for this construction to occur.[2]

1716 Paid a Fine

On 12 June 1716 paid the 30 shilling fine imposed on Sue, a Free Negroe, for having a bastard child fathered by Molato Emblin, belonging to Mr. Ingram. [5]

It may be assumed John Beale obtained some period of servitude from Sue by paying this fine. [1]

1717 Social Status

Mr by 1717; [2]
Gent by 1719; [2]
Esq, by 1727. [2]

Occupation: probably a planter; officeholder [2]

1718 Public Service

Planter, Officeholder. [1]

First elected to Lower house, Annapolis, 1718. [1] Clerk, Anne Arundel Co, 1711-1734; Alderman, Annapolis, 1714-at least 1726; Real Estate: 29 Oct 1708 or 1710 Received grant for 1/2 of St. Albans in Baltimore County in right of his wife Elizabeth as co-heir of Alexander Norwood. (FCB:19)

Land at first election, 640 a. Anne Arundel Co, plus 1 lot in Annapolis; acquired additional 1138 acres in Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties. [1]

Public Career: Lower House, Annapolis, 1718 (elected to the 3rd session to fill vacancy; Accounts 3), 1719 (Accounts 1; discharged for accepting an appointment as clerk of the Council between the 1st and 2nd sessions), Anne Arundel County, 1722-1724 (Accounts 1-3), 1725-1727 (Accounts 1-4; Aggrievances 1-4), 1728-1731 (Accounts 1-5; Aggrievances 1-5), 1732-1734 (Accounts 1-Cv; Aggrievances 1-Cv; discharged during convention for accepting an office “of trust and profit” from the government); clerk, Secretary’s Office and Provincial Court, 1707-1718: register, Chancery Court, 1708-1709; clerk, Council, 1719-1721; commissioner, Paper Currency Office, appointed 1733. [2]

Local Offices: clerk, Anne Arundel County, 1711-1734; St. Anne’s Parish Vestry, Anne Arundel County, in office 1713-1720, 1727-1730; alderman, Annapolis, 1714-at least 1726; clerk, Court of Oyer and Terminer and Gaol Delivery, Anne Arundel County, commissioned 1720; deputy commissary, Anne Arundel County, 1720— 1734; trustee of public schools, Anne Arundel County, period of service unknown [2]

1734 Death

John Beale died in April of 1734, between March 5 and May 9, 1734, in Anne Arundel County [2]

He willed his personal property and real estate to his wife. She was also to pay off his debts, of which there were many. Much of his land, 1628 acres of land in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties in addition to three lots in Annapolis, were sold to pay his debts. As the Accounts records show, his estate was valued around 1,558.147 pounds. His inventory lists eleven slaves as well as some silver pieces, several horses, and a few sheep. [2]

Wealth: 640 acres in Anne Arundel County, plus 1 lot in An-napolis; acquired an additional 1,138 acres in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties; gave 150 acres in Anne Arundel County to son-in-law William Nicholson in 1731; at death Personal Property TEV, £1,558.14.8 (including 13 slaves and books); FB, estate overpaid £3448.11; Land, ca. 1,628 acres in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties, plus 3 lots in Annapolis; after his death his land was sold to pay his debts [2]

1743 Slave Suit

1743 Slave Suit (see discussion under John's father Thomas). Slave Suit asserts that Mary Fisher was treated as a slave ("unjustly detained") by "John Beale of Ann Arundel County, Gentleman, son of the aforesaid Thomas Beale." Mary Fisher's eight children were subsequently, and before 1743, sold to various prominent Anne Arundel fammilies and to John's sister Elizabeth.[1]


Children of John and Elizabeth

Together John and Elizabeth had three children:

  1. Thomas, (1714-1717) who died while still a young child,
  2. Elizabeth (1711-?) who married first in 1729 William Nicholson, a merchant, and later Richard Dorsey,
  3. Ann, (1716-17-?) who married Thomas Rutland. [2]


John Beale was also the guardian of three other individuals:

  1. Andrew Norwood, Jr., a minor brother of Beale's wife Elizabeth, [2]
  2. John Howard (ca 1709-1805), [2]
  3. Vachel Denton (ca 1696-1752) who was perhaps a cousin of Beale's.[2]

Grandchildren (children of Elizabeth Beale)

Elizabeth Beale and William Nicholson had one child. Elizabeth Beale and Richard Dorsey had five. [1]

  1. Beale Nicholson, son of Elizabeth and William Nicholson
  2. Caleb Dorsey, son of Elizabeth and Richard Dorsey
  3. Eleanor born 1740
  4. Eliz.
  5. Mary
  6. Anne


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Jackson H. Day Maryland Pre-1800 Beall Database. Entry for John Beale (B-ARUNDEL-12) Private Manuscript available from author. Accessed July 16, 2017
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 Archives of Maryland, Biographical Series. Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 3520-56. Based on Papenfuse, Edward C., et al., A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789, Vol. I, A-H, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979), 121. John Beale (?-1734) Accessed July 16, 2017. jhd
  3. Barnes:11/St. Ann's Parish:378
  4. Owings, Donnell MacClure. His Lordship's Patronage: Offices of Profit in Colonial Maryland. (Baltmore: Maryland Historical Society, 1953.), 148. Cited in Archives of Maryland, Biographical Series. Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 3520-56. Based on Papenfuse, Edward C., et al., A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789, Vol. I, A-H, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979), 121. John Beale (?-1734) Accessed July 16, 2017. jhd
  5. Court Slave Records of Anne Arundel Co, p. 295

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