Historic Structures

Godlington Manor, Chestertown Maryland

Date added: March 6, 2020 Categories: Maryland House

The old house on Godlington Manor, patented to Thomas Godlington, a London merchant, in 1659, is significant as a tract of land, originally 1,000 acres, owned at the end of the seventeenth century by Michael Miller, a large landowner, whose lineal descendants still owned and lived on the property in the 1970s.

Godlington's gambrel roof section constructed in the late eighteenth century was one of several houses on the manor tract. It is doubtful that Michael Miller or his son, Arthur, or grandson, Arthur, lived in the extant house. In 1747 the land on which the house stands was rented to John Jordan and then to Bartus Wilkins, a ship carpenter. After 1768 when the land returned to Arthur Miller's possession the same tract (although ten acres smaller) was conveyed to his daughter Sarah Miller Merritt and to her daughter Mary Ann Merritt who later married Robert Anderson. After Sarah Merritt, the mother, died in 1783, the tract, according to the terms of the original deed, would have become the property of her daughter, Mary Ann. A 1799 land transaction indicates the possibility that Mary Ann Merritt Anderson, Arthur Miller's granddaughter, lived in the extant house. She and her husband by 1799 residents of Chestertown sold the tract and the old house to her brother Samuel Merritt, son of Sarah Miller Merritt, who already owned the remainder of the Godlington Manor tract which he had inherited from his grandfather, Arthur Miller, in 1790.

It is possible that between c. 1783 and 1799 the Anderms lived in the old house on Godlington Manor before moving Chestertown. They may have enlarged the one room tenant ise (possibly rented by Jordan and/or Wilkins) to the present gambrel roof building. Samuel Merritt may have lived in old house on Godlington Manor tract, or he may have occupied his grandfather's house elsewhere on the manor.

Available documents give no clue as to the identification the person responsible for the stencilling at Godlington Manor. The New York Historical Association, cognisant of the importance of this folk art form has in its collection at Cooperstown the Bump Tavern which is noted especially for its stencilled rooms.