Tudor Hall (18ST677)

The Tudor Hall archaeological site (18ST677) (historic name: New Waterford), located near Leonardtown, Maryland, was the dwelling house of Stephen Murty, a planter, merchant, and innkeeper originally from Waterford, Ireland. The Tudor Hall site was discovered in 1997 when R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates undertook Phase I and II archaeological investigations at the proposed Tudor Hall Village Development. The Tudor Hall site, which contains both pre-Contact and 17th-century components, was found on the eastern edge of a low, gradually inclining terrace approximately 115 feet west of an unnamed tributary of McIntosh Creek.

The property containing the Tudor Hall site was first patented in 1651 by Walter Pake as the Mill Freehold and consisted of 1100 acres. The property changed hands a number of times between 1651 and 1656, when John Medley acquired the property. Medley did not live on the property. At his death in 1662, he left 550 acres and the mill at the head of Breton Bay to his son, William, a minor at the time.

In May 1676, Murty patented 800 acres he named Waterford; this patent appears to include William Medley's portion of the Mill Freehold. It is likely that Murty had entered into a contract or agreement of some sort with William Medley for the purchase of the Mill Freehold as, on February 21, 1677, Medley sold his portion of the Mill Freehold (550 acres) to Murty.

Stephen Murty had come to Maryland from Waterford, Ireland in 1670. Murty was an innkeeper and probably a planter, and he may have also been a merchant. He was a Roman Catholic and was addressed as a gentleman. He died in 1684.

Shortly after patenting Waterford, in August 1676, Murty hosted a meeting of the Maryland Council at his house. Councilors in attendance included some of the colony's heaviest hitters, including Deputy Governor Thomas Notley, Philip Calvert, William Calvert, Baker Brooke, and the clerk, John Blomfield. The business before them concerned arrangements for posting a guard at Mattapany, Lord Baltimore's plantation at the mouth of the Patuxent, as well as the military readiness of the colony. No doubt the councilors were reacting to news out of Jamestown concerning Bacon's Rebellion.

Also in attendance at that meeting were the "Emperor" of the Piscataway and the "King" of the Mattawoman, who the Council informed about "a person called Collonel Bacon." The councilors cautioned the Native leaders not to go into Virginia and that, if Bacon appeared in Maryland, they were at liberty to defend themselves. This was the only time the Council met at Murty's house, and it is not clear why his plantation was selected. Typically, the meeting would have been held at Notley's plantation at Manahowick's Neck (see Notley Hall), but the deputy governor and councilors may have felt that the location was more exposed than Murty's.

In 1679, William Medley sued for the return of his property. Apparently, Murty did not pay the required yearly rent on the Mill property. Depositions and other hearings were collected at Murty's house. In a complicated court case, a jury decided that the sale of the property from Medley to Murty was void and recommended to the Chancery Court that the property be returned to William Medley. This transfer, however, does not appear to have taken place because, later, Murty's son, Peter, was able to make a successful claim for the land.

Although Stephen Murty was styled a gentleman in the documents, his total estate value (excluding real estate) at death was 145 pounds. He owned the labor of only two servants. A surviving room-by-room probate inventory suggests that Murty occupied a fairly modest structure, consisting of, at most, two rooms (a hall and bed chamber) and possibly a loft. Three old Turkey-worked chairs, an old table, and an old bed were the principal furnishings. Yards of cloth, clothing, and shoes were also piled in the hall. The bed chamber contained an old feather bed, a chest, and an old tankard.

A detached quarter, also listed in the inventory, probably housed the servants. This structure contained an old bed, chest, tools, parcels of earthenware, including milk trays or pans, and iron cooking furniture.

Murty and his two male servants appear to be the plantation's only occupants. When Murty died, his wife, Elizabeth, was in Ireland, probably with his three sons, John, Anthony, and Peter, and other unnamed children. Peter later became a merchant in Tenerife in the Canary Islands and, as noted, was able to make a successful claim on the Waterford property.

Archaeological Investigations

A total of 79 shovel tests and twelve test units were excavated at the Tudor Hall site in late 1996 and again in August 1997. Shovel tests were placed at intervals of five meters; test units were placed in areas where shovel tests indicated features and/or relatively heavy concentrations of artifacts. All soils were screened through ΒΌ-inch hardware cloth.

The site's stratigraphy consists of a very dark grayish brown (2.5YR3/2) silt loam topsoil ranging in depth from five to ten cm overlying a relatively thin plow zone of yellowish brown (10YR5/8) silt loam ranging in thickness from 15 to 20 centimeters. Subsoil consists of a light yellowish brown (10YR6/4) sandy silt loam.

A number of features were documented at Tudor Hall, including four pit features and an overlying refuse midden and/or destruction level. Three "aberrant soil inclusions" within the four pit features were also designated as separate feature deposits.

Artifacts

The archaeological testing at Tudor Hall generated 4,732 items, including ceramics, tobacco pipes, bottle glass, nails, brick, daub, plaster, mortar, European flint, animal bone, and a number of small finds.

The artifacts recovered from the site suggest an occupation from ca. 1670 to the late 1680s, a range that fits well with Stephen Murty's occupation of Waterford.

Tobacco pipe stem bore diameters are predominantly 7- and 8/64ths-inch in size. At least one white clay tobacco pipe bowl exhibits a mid-17th-century shape (with a bore diameter of 6/64ths-inch) and a second bowl, with a rouletted rim, exhibits a 1650-1680 shape. Four pipes exhibit maker's marks, all "LE," the mark of Llewellyn Evans, a Bristol, England pipemaker working from 1661 until 1689 (Cavallo's [2004] analysis of LE pipes in southern Maryland suggest that these pipes may not have arrived in the colonies until 1670 or later).

Red clay tobacco pipes are also found in the collection. Thirteen of these pipe fragments are undecorated, three have rouletted bowls; one a rouletted stem, and one circular punctates.

Ceramics consist of tin-glazed earthenwares (all undecorated), North Devon Gravel-Tempered earthenware, North Devon Sgraffito earthenware, Morgan Jones earthenware, Rhenish Brown stoneware, Rhenish blue and gray stoneware, and a number of unidentified earthenware and stoneware fragments. The absence of North Italian slipwares, lead-backed tin-glazed earthenwares, Staffordshire slipware, and English Brown stoneware points to a date of between 1670 and the late 1680s. This is a little later than the date suggested by the tobacco pipe stem bore diameter data but in keeping with the marked pipes. The relatively large numbers of North Devon Sgraffito may reflect Murty's occupation as an innkeeper.

Three fragments of an indigenous fine sand-tempered ceramic type known as Moyaone were also recovered from the site. These ceramics are likely contemporary with Murty's occupation of the property and, along with the Native-made pipes, suggest at least some interaction with local indigenous groups.

Architectural artifacts include iron nails, brick, daub, plaster, and a fragment of flagstone. The quantity of brick (n=1871) suggests that this likely earthfast dwelling was heated with a chimney at least partially constructed of brick. Other architectural artifacts include an iron latch fragment and a piece of flagstone. The plaster fragments indicate that at least one room was finished with a coat of plaster; this plaster coat would have made the interior space cleaner and brighter. On the other hand, the absence of window glass and window leads suggests that the house did not have glazed windows.

Small finds recovered from the site include three buttons, one buckle, one leather ornament, and an unusual fragment of silk-wrapped silver thread.

The faunal assemblage recovered from Tudor Hall yielded the remains of a minimum of one cat, one chicken, one striped bass (rockfish), one snapping turtle, one deer, one pig, and two cows (of 1304 animal bone fragments, 200 could be identified to species). When biomass (meat weight) was calculated for these species (excluding the cat), it appears that Murty and his two servants consumed a diet comprised of beef and pork (84.4 percent of the total biomass). Deer contributed approximately 14 percent to the biomass. The single deer in the collection was represented only by forequarter, hindquarter, and foot elements, suggesting the deer was field-dressed at the kill site. It is possible that the deer meat was provided to Murty by local Indians. In addition to the animal bone, 126 bird eggshells, 216 oyster shells, seven clam shells, one crab shell, and nine unidentified shells were recovered.

References

For primary documents, see the bar at right.

R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. 1998. Phase II Archeological Evaluation of Five Sites and Architectural Evaluation of Standing Structures for the Proposed Tudor Hall Village Development, St. Mary's County, Maryland. Report prepared for K.A.A.V, LLC. On file, Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, St. Leonard.

Hatch, D. Brad. 2014. Analysis of Faunal Remains From Tudor Hall, Site 18ST677.

Further Information on the Collection

The Tudor Hall collection is owned by State of Maryland and curated by the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory. For more information about the collection and collection access, contact Rebecca Morehouse, Collections Manager, at 410-586-8583; email rebecca.morehouse@maryland.gov.

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