Thursday, May 31, 2012

Was Laurel Settled By Pirates?

For those that follow history in this area we are aware that Laurel was part of a tract of land called "Bachelor's Delight" patented for James Wyeth and Marmaduke Mister in 1684.



LAUREL SC 84
 Site of town was originally part of tract known as “Bachelor’s Delight.” From 1711 to 1768 it was included in Nanticoke Indian Reservation, comprising 3,000 acres, authorized by Act of Maryland Assembly. A village known as “Laurel” was in existence as early as 1799. Birthplace of Governor William H.H. Rose (elected 1850), and home to Governors Nathaniel Mitchell (elected 1804), William B. Cooper (elected 1840), Joshua H. Marvil (elected 1894), and Elbert N. Carvel (elected 1948 and 1960). The town’s central district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

I recently read an article by John Fitzhugh Millar
in which he writes about pirates having a ship called the "Bachelor's Delight" (a corvette of 14 main guns) The pirates went on their plundering spreed in the 1680's and after a while decided to stop being pirates and took their ship to Philadelphia where it was sold.  The crewmen made their way down the Chesapeake dropping off three crewmen in Sussex County Delaware.  The plantation those three created with their ill-gotten gains was called "Bachelor’s Delight", named after their ship and was located where the village of Laurel now stands.

Eventually the other crewmen of the "Bachelor's Delight" ended up having to forfeit part of their loot and that money went to create the College of William and Mary.

Interesting.

Certainly it would explain some of the thieving actions of certain people in Laurel - it's in their blood being descended from Pirates.

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