The following are short biographies of the 12 judges who gathered in Frederick and unanimously voted to repudiate the Stamp Act in 1765.
Thomas Beatty was born in New York to John and Susanna Beatty in 1703. He first immigrated to Frederick County in 1733. At that time, he and his two sons, Charles and Thomas Jr., were among the largest landowners. His longest place of residence in Frederick County was a tract of land known as Beatty’s Delight, located near the Monocacy River. This tract of land was so large and important that it was used as an early landmark in the county.
In 1748, Thomas Beatty was part of the committee that formed Frederick County, out of what was then Prince George's County. At that time, Frederick County included much of Western Maryland. Additionally, the court suggested laying out a road and put Nathaniel Wickham Jr., Thomas Beatty, and Joseph Wood in charge of this project. This road would be the forerunner for modern day Md. 194.
Beatty was the longest appointed judge in Frederick’s early history, serving from 1748-1765, with a gap from 1751-1753. During these years, he served in the Lower House of the Maryland state government. Sometime between the years of 1757-1768, he purchased a mill with two other people. He died in 1768 but his will had a provision that all of his children’s education should be provided for.
Peter Bainbridge was born near Princeton, New Jersey, in 1721 to Edmund Bainbridge and Abigail White. He served in the French and Indian War with a captain’s commission. He first appeared in Frederick County in 1755, when he lived between modern day Myersville and Middletown. By 1768, he owned approximately 1,073 acres.
His first term as a Frederick county justice was in 1758. However, the citizens of Frederick were concerned that he was abusing his position and that it should be taken away from him. They sent a petition to Governor Horatio Sharpe, which said, “his bad Conduct in every Shape, Wrong Judgments, and other Grievous affairs too Tedious to mention here.”
An example of his supposed misconduct, Michael Cregar claimed that Bainbridge took and received double fees for one warrant. However, he requested that the “Frederick County Sheriff to summon fourteen witnesses to appear before the Governor and the Council.” They didn’t appear and the matter was dropped. Bainbridge was constable of the Upper Catoctin hundred in 1775. During this time, he was appointed to solicit subscriptions to purchase arms and ammunition. He died on Feb. 9, 1806.
David Lynn immigrated to Maryland from Dublin, Ireland. He married Elizabeth Copeland in 1746, and they had seven children. In 1751, he was appointed to a committee that was in charge of planning the new community of Georgetown, named after King George.
David Lynn was a judge of the Frederick County court from 1756 to 1776. In 1776, Montgomery County was founded as separate county and he became judge. In 1777, he transitioned into the position of judge of the Orphans Court until about 1779 when he died.
Capt. David Lynn
Capt. David Lynn, the elder Judge Lynn’s son, was one of the charter members of the order of the American Cincinnati, one of the founders of the Emmanuel Protestant Episcopal Church, and he built Rose Hill in Cumberland in 1801. Captain David Lynn enlisted in the Flying Camp in 1776. He then became a lieutenant in the Seventh Regiment of the Maryland Regulars. One of his family's descendants, also named David Lynn, was appointed as architect of the Capitol during the Coolidge Administration.
One of the first times that William Luckett’s name would appear in relation to Frederick County history would be on a petition dated Oct. 16, 1742 to Gov. Thomas Bladen, seeking the creation of Frederick County through a division of Prince George’s County. Luckett owned a ferry at the “mouth of the Monocacy.” The main tract of land he owned was known as Meredith’s hunting quarters, which is located near modern day Point of Rocks.
The town of Lucketts in northern Virginia is named after this branch of the Luckett family. During the French and Indian War, Luckett served as a captain and raised his entire company from the Frederick area. In 1761, he was appointed along with James Hook and Elias Delashmutt to oversee road construction from the top of Catoctin Mountain to Winchester Road. In 1767, he served as a member of the house of delegates in Annapolis. In 1772, he leased some land to John Hanson and Thomas Contee for the purpose of constructing a warehouse. In 1775, he was a part of the Committee of Observation. In 1776, he became a lieutenant colonel and his duties included inspecting recruits. Finally, he was an election judge in the Lower District of Frederick County.
Joseph Smith served as a Justice for Frederick County from 1753-1759 and again in 1763. In 1768, he was part of group in charge of developing a road from Antietam to Captain Luckett’s Ferry. He was on the Committee of Observation in 1775. He became a lieutenant colonel in the 36th battalion of militia in Frederick on Jan. 6, 1776 and was promoted to colonel on April 20, 1776. As a colonel, his job was similar to William Luckett’s, evaluating new recruits. He is listed as a colonel in Washington County on June 22, 1778. In 1799, in the constitution of Maryland he listed as one of the election judges for Washington county.
William Blair was of Scots-Irish descent. An important meeting happened on Aug. 28, 1770, the meeting at Tom's Creek, near present-day Emmitsburg. William Blair was the chairman of this meeting. In this meeting, all who participated were reaffirming their rights, the right to religion and free speech (political) given to them by Lord Baltimore. He served as a judge of the Frederick County from 1763-1765. He was appointed by the Committtee of Correspondence to solicit money for arms and ammunitions. After that, he was a judge for the Orphan's Court on July 4,1777, and became a court justice on Nov. 21, 1778. He died a few days later, and left behind his wife Hannah and six children.
Samuel Beall was born in 1713 on Kelly's Purchase which would later become part of Washington County. He was a planter by trade and a member of the Anglican church. He had three business partners, David Ross, Joseph Chapline, and Richard Henderson. They bought land to build an ironworks, a furnace, and forge. Beall served as sheriff in 1753-1756 and he served as a collector of land tax from 1759-1762. He served as a justice for Frederick County from 1763-1775. He was a colonel from 1761-1776. His will was probated in Washington County on Jan. 10, 1778.
James Dickson served as under sheriff to John Thomas in the first Frederick County court in 1748. In 1760, he was listed as a sheriff for Frederick County. He was a steward on Monocacy Manor and was responsible for the collection of rent for the Lord Proprietor. By 1765, he served on the court as a justice and witnessed several deeds. He was married to Ann Darnall.
Josiah Beall was the younger brother of Samuel Beall. He was also a significant landowner; he had 482 acres at the time of his death. He was mainly a planter but he also had several other jobs. He was a tobacco inspector at Rock Creek from 1748-1750. Also during 1748, he served as Frederick County’s coroner.
His appearance as a justice would be in the months of August and November in 1750. He was also a sheriff from 1752-1753. He served in the Maryland Legislature from 1754-1757. After a short career in public service, Josiah Beall becomes an agent of Hartly & Sons of Whitehaven, England. In 1758, he acquired a property known as Smithfield. He died in 1768
Thomas Price was born on Sept. 3, 1732, probably in Philadelphia to John Price and Rebecca King. He lived in Frederick Town but his family also owned a plantation in Frederick County. He was a hatter, owning a shop in Frederick. Later in life, he became a planter. He was a part of the Committee of Correspondence in 1774 and the Committee of Observation in 1775.
He had a long military career. In 1759, he served as captain during the French and Indian War in Pennsylvania. He was also a captain of the Maryland Rifle Company which took part in the siege of Boston in 1775. He was a major in Smallwood’s Maryland Regiment which was stationed in Annapolis. Next, he became a colonel in the 2nd Regiment Maryland Line in which he enlisted Dec. 10, 1776 and resigned from April 31, 1780. At the time of his death in 1795, he owned land in Frederick County, Sharpsburg, and Hamburgh (Prince George’s County).
Charles Jones lived in the lower part of the Potomac Hundred. He was a justice for Frederick County from 1756-1775. He served in the Lower House of the Maryland Legislature from 1769-1770. In 1775, he was appointed by the Committee of Correspondence to solicit subscriptions for the purpose of purchasing arms and ammunition. He is listed as one of the representatives for Montgomery County for the Maryland Council of Safety in 1777. He was a witness for numerous land transactions here in Frederick County.
Andrew Heugh was born in Scotland around 1727. He immigrated to Maryland and resided in the lower part of the Potomac Hundred which would later be part of Montgomery County. He was a merchant by trade. He served as a justice in Frederick County from 1754-1775.
In 1765, the year in which the Stamp Act was repudiated, he was the coroner and justice. After the Revolutionary War, he was a justice in Montgomery County from 1787-1788. At the time of his death, he owned 500 acres of land in Montgomery County and had property in Scotland, probably inherited from his father.