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Introduction

Barbara MORGAN was born 5 Nov 1660, and her sister, Frances, on 1 Oct 1656 to Henry and Frances MORGAN of Kent Island, Maryland, both of whom were deceased by 22 Mar 1675 when their estates were inventoried by Richard WOLLMAN and Phileman LLOYD (MD Prerogative Court records, Inventories, 1.592, and Kent County Court Records for birth dates). It is not known if the parents were Catholic. Barbara was a Protestant, as were both her husbands, and Frances died a Catholic, also the religion of her husband.

By 1676, Barbara MORGAN was married to her first husband, John ROUSBY of Calvert County, the brother of King's Collector and Calvert County High Sheriff Christopher ROUSBY, and Frances MORGAN to Col. Peter SAYER of Talbot County, when the two couples engaged in a series of land settlements that included a Talbot County land dispute involving a tract on Tredhaven Creek claimed by both and also by William and Elizabeth ROE Combs and John and Mary ROE Combs, and Mary ROE, the widow of (1) a DUNCAN or DUNCOMBE and (2) Edward ROE of Lancaster County, Virginia and Talbot County, Maryland who died in 1676.

John ROUSBY died about 1685, and Barbara married next Richard SMITH, Jr. of Calvert County, s/o Richard SMITH, Sr. of Leonard's Creek, Calvert and St. Mary's Counties. In the Spring of 1689, the Rev. Col. John COODE spread rumors (allegedly false and allegedly deliberately) of an impending invasion of thousands of Indians, and again in the summer, this time including the claim that the Indians were being incited and led by "Roman Papists." Richard SMITH and others refused to follow Rev. COODE'S orders and were swiftly led off to prison, in Richard's case, accompanied by Calvert County High Sheriff Michael TANEY and, perhaps, Cecilius BUTLER (son-in-law of Robert CARVILE of St. Mary's County) to the Charles Town, Charles County jail.

Rev. COODE'S actions also had an adverse effect on Barbara's Catholic brother-in-law, Peter SAYER, a colonel in the militia, a county justice and the former High Sheriff of Talbot County, and ultimately, Barbara sailed to London to petition the King.

On September 10, Richard SMITH, Jr. and Michael TANEY wrote from prison:

Copie de la lettre que je viens de recevoir de Mr Michael
Taney Sheriff de Calvert County, et de Mr Richard Smith
junior a present en prison

Translation: Copy of the letter I have received from Mr.
Michael Taney, Sheriff of Calvert County, and of Mr.
Richard Smith, Jr., currently in prison.

Charlestowne in Charles County
Septer the 10th 1689.
Mr Col: Bertrand

Sir,

We are daily more and more satisfied that all those reports which have been on foot concerning a confederacy with the papists and Indians to destroy the Protestants, is only raised to carry on the designs of some prejudiced persons, whose Papers. malice, rancor, and haughty humours will have noe peace with any but their slaves, & vassells, and because we will not comply with their humour, are confined their prisoners, and we are well content soe to be as yett, and are well assured, had we submitted to their pleasure, many more had been prisoners now, but our duty to God, alleigance to the King of England and fidelity to the Lord Baltemore, in reverance to the power he hath from the crown of England, will not admitt us, to submit to any power, but what shall be lawfully descended from the crowne of England, which will ever be gladly and faithfully reverenced by us; but considering how highly we have been abused by this new taken up power, my wife Barbara Smith is intended to England, now immediately to make her personal petition, and complaint to His sacred Majesty the King of England, how their Majesties' Protestant Subjects are here abused & imprisoned contrary to all laws and justice under pretence of displacing the popish Officers; Our present request to you is that you will be pleased to write to my Lord Bishop of London to acquaint him of the matter, and we humbly pray that he will be aiding and assisting; that the said Barbara Smith may have opportunity to seeke His Majestic's Succour for us, that are now prisoners, although we were alwaies His faithfull loyall Subjects.

Richard SMITH, junior
signed thus Michel TANEY

(Archives of Maryland, Vol. 8:114-116)

Barbara did not manage to set sail until September 26, on Capt. Thomas EVERARD'S Thomas and Susanna, and it was not until December 30, 1689, Mrs. Barbara MORGAN (Rousby) Smith pled the case of the Protestants of Maryland before the Lord's Committee:

The Narrative of Barbarah wife of
Richd Smith of Puttuxent River in
Calvert County in the Province of
Maryland.

30th Decer 1689.

Upon the 25th of March last a rumour was spread abroard about the mouth of Puttuxent River that Ten Thousand Indians were come down to the Western Branch of the said River. whereupon my husband went up to the said Western Branch where he found noe Indians but there a strong Report that nine Thousand were at Matapany and at the mouth of Puttuxent [Patuxent] and that they had cutt off Capt BOURNES Family and had inforted themselves at Matapany, which was all false, upon these rumours the Country rose in Arms, but after diligent search and enquiry in all parts of the Province this rumour was found to be only a sham and noe Indians anywhere appeared to disturb or molest any the People of our Province. All which reports I do verily believe were designedly spread abroard to incite the People to rise in Armes as afterwards by the like Sham they were induced to doe. For in the latter end of July following one Capt CODE, Coll. JOWLES, Majr BEAL Mr BLACKISTON 1 with some others appeared in Armes and gave for their pretence that the Papists had invited the Northern Indians to come down and cutt off the Protestants and that their descent was to be about the latter end of August when roasting Eares were in season and that they therefore rose in Armes to secure the Magazine of armes and amunition and the Protestants from being cutt off by the said Indians and Papists, this was their pretence to those they found very apprehensive of the said Indians to others they said their design was only to proclaim the King and Queen, but when the aforesd persons with some others had gathered together a great number of People together they then came out and seized upon the Government, who withstood them first at St Maryes in the State House where the Records are kept, whom the said CODE and his party soon overcame and seized upon the Records, from thence he proceeded with his party to Matapany House, wherein Coll. DARNALL 2 with some Forces as many Protestants as Papists had garrisoned themselves, but were soon forced to capitulate, surrender and yeild, to the said CODE and his party. They having thus possessed themselves of the Government one JOHNSON Master of a Ship being bound for England, they gave him charge he should carry noe Letters but what was sent for themselves, and my Husband they arrested and put in prison for fear he should goe for England with the said JOHNSON to give an accompt of their proceedings and as soon as the said JOHNSON was gone they released him again. The said CODE and his Complices then sent out Letters to all the Countys of the Province to choose an Assembly; what was done in the rest of the Countys besides Calvert and Ann Arrundell I am not acquainted with, 3 but when the said Letters for the choosing of Burgesses came to our Sheriff to summon the people for that purpose he refused the same, they then went to Mr CLEGATT Corroner and he also refused (who are both Protestants) whereupon Coll. JOWLES rode about to give the people notice himself. When the County were come together most of the House Keepers agreed not to choose any Burgesses, and drew up an abhorence against such proceedings, the which Election was alsoe much opposed by our Sheriff, whereupon Coll. JOWLES gathered his soldiers and caused the Election to be made by the number he had which was not above Twenty and of them not above ten that were capable of Electing. Coll. JOWLES himself and Majr BEAL his next Officer were returned for two of the Burgesses elected, and because Mr TANEY the Sheriff and my Husband endeavoured to oppose the said Election, the said CODE caused them to be put in prison. Neither for this Election nor in their Cause did almost any of our County appear that were men of Estates or men of note, but they to the contrary published an abhorence against such proceedings and were themselves as are most of our County Protestants. The County of Ann Arrundell which is accounted the most populous and richest of the whole Province, and wherein is but one papist Family unanimously stood out and would not Elect any Burgesses. About the 21st of August, the Assembly of their calling mett before whom was brought Mr TANEY our Sheriff and my husband, and Capt CODE and his Complices having pretended they had the King's Proclamation for what they did my Husband demanded to see the same, but their Answer was take him away Sheriff Mr TANEY likewise asking them by what authority he was called before them, CODE answered, what, this is like King Charles, and you are King TANEY, take him away. Notwithstanding upon the said Code's riseing as before is said, their pretence was chiefly to secure the Country against the Indians, yett all this while not until my coming away which was the 26th of September last there was not the least appearance of any foreign or Home Indians coming to disturb us. What was there furthur proceedings in their Assembly I am not able to give any Account of but Mr TANEY and my Husband were detained Prisoners at my coming away.

Barbara SMITH.

In London the 30th of December 1689.
Mrs Smith's Narrative of the
trowbles in Maryland.

To the Right Honble the Lords Commns
of their Majties Plantacons.
The humble Petition of Barbarah
Smith the wife of Capt Richd Smith
in their Majties Province of Maryd

Sheweth.

That your Petitionrs said husband together with Mr Michaell TAWNEY high Sheriff there, upon the rising in Maryland for choosing Burgesses in July last having had no knowledge of their Majties accession to the Crown, & altogether ignorant of any change of Government in England they chanced to oppose the Elections purely to the end of keeping the Peace, and are well knowne to be very good Protestants not repugnant to Protestant Government.

And for as much as your Petitioner's said husband and Mr. TAWNEY are now Prisoners, and have been ever since the 25th of August last having a great charge of Children neere 100 miles of their habitacon and in a very indigent Condicon. Therefore humbly prays your Lordspps Consideracon of the premises, and in your great pity and compassion grant your Lordpps. speedy Order for their Discharge. And your Petr as bound shall ever pray etc.

The Peticon of Barbarah Smith.
1689

In Talbot County, Peter SAYER'S long time associate and neighbor, Major William COMBES, had opted for Rev. Col. COODE. In Calvert County, Enoch COMBES joined with others to sign a Protestant Petition that was also delivered to London, perhaps even by Barbara herself.

It is not known when Barbara MORGAN Rousby Smith returned from London, nor when her husband, Richard SMITH, was ultimately released from prison, but there is an end to their story... of sorts:

On 12 Sep 1712, from London, England, where he was still Lord Baltimore and still the owner of tens of thousands of acres in Maryland, Charles Calvert's instructions to his newly-appointed receiver and agent, Charles CARROLL of Annapolis County, Maryland (son-in-law of his predecessor, Col. Henry DARNELL, who had died the year before):

Whereas I have received from Captain Richard SMITH, two letters in one whereof he claimes the benefitt of a promise of mine and of a letter by me writ to his wife Barbara, dec'd, about one thousand one hundred acres of escheat land by me promised to be-granted her; you are to inspect into my letter, and to comply with the contents thereof in reference to the said one thousand one hundred acres of escheat land; in his other letter he complains of a suit commenced against him by Mr. BENNETT and HEATH for rent for which I ordered he should be acquitted of during my life; inspect also into that matter, and give him what assistance you can towards receiving the benefitt of any order you shall find by me made in his favor…

(Archives of Maryland, Vol. 73:133)

It is also not known when or where Barbara died. Her husband, Richard SMITH, Jr., died abt 1714 at St. Leonards, St. Mary's County, Maryland.


  1. The Rev. Col. John COODE, Col. Henry JOWLES, Major Ninian BEALL and Col. Nehemiah BLAKISTON. See also Charges and Counter Charges
  2. Col. Henry DARNELL also sailed on the Thomas and Susannah on the 26th. See Col. Darnell Surrenders and Flees.
  3. Distances notwithstanding, it is difficult to believe that Barbara knew nothing of what was going on in the Province other than in Calvert and Anne Arundel Counties, particularly given her brother-in-law's situation in Talbot County and the fact that Col. DARNELL voyaged with her to London. Perhaps, however, the various petitioners had determined, probably on advise of Lord Baltimore or one of his advisors, to each restrict him/herself to personal knowledge only.

The Maryland Protestant Revolution of 1689


Edited and proofed by Combs Researchers from Archives of Maryland, Vol. VIII, Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1687/8-1693, "Letters Illustrating the History of Maryland in the Years 90," William Hand Browne, Editor, Maryland Historical Society, 1890, pp. 152-154

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