Westwood Manor (18CH621)

Introduction

The Westwood Manor site (18CH621), located at the head of Wicomico River near Allen's Fresh in Charles County, Maryland, is believed to be the principal dwelling site of a 1600-acre tract of the same name. The dwelling appears to have been occupied from ca. 1680 until ca. 1715. The site was discovered in 1996 when property owners were excavating foundation trenches for a new house.

The Westwood Manor tract was first patented in 1651 to Dr. Thomas Gerard. Gerard had immigrated to Maryland by 1638 and maintained his principal residence at St. Clement's Manor (the Clifton site, located in St. Mary's County, is probably Gerard's dwelling at St. Clement's Manor). Gerard appears to have had tenants at Westwood Manor by 1664. In that year, appraisers identified 27 cattle, 33 pigs, and a building equipped with tools, domestic furnishings, and other goods at the property, including "two books," one of which was a bible. At the end of 1664, Gerard leased a portion of Westwood Manor to Major William Boarman for a term of seven years. Boarman placed some of his servants on the property but was later sued by Gerard for not holding up his end of the agreement.

In December, 1670, Cornelius Cornell was indicted for breaking into and stealing nails from Gerard's "Mansion howse" at Westwood Manor. The description of Cornell's alleged theft from Westwood Manor suggests a sizeable structure on the property that was vacant or otherwise uninhabited in 1670.

In 1672, Dr. Gerard sold the 1600-acre Westwood Manor and an adjacent 400-acre tract known as the Meadows to his son, also Thomas (sometimes referred to as Thomas Gerard the Younger). In 1682, John Pryor, "merchant of London," was described as "now resideing at the house of [Thomas Gerard] at Westwood." In 1683, the Maryland Assembly referred to "Westwood House" in "An Act for the Advancement of Trade," directing that a town be established between Chaptico Bay and Westwood House.

It is clear that, as early as 1670, when Augustine Herman was preparing his map of Maryland and Virginia, Westwood Manor had become a recognized landmark in the region. Gerard the Younger, who may have lived at Westwood intermittently but who also appears to have been living elsewhere, no doubt placed Pryor on the property to provide the growing number of English settlements in that area with access to English goods. Indeed, Thomas Gerard's ship, the Gerard, was often anchored in the Wicomico, not far from Westwood Manor.

Thomas Gerard died in 1686 in St. Mary's County, perhaps at Westwood Manor since the property was, at that time, located in area then recognized as St. Mary's. Thomas left Westwood Manor to his wife, Anne, who remarried the following year. Anne and her second husband, John Bayne, lived at Westwood Manor. Bayne was described as a planter and an innkeeper. Bayne, who was styled variously as 'Captain' or ‘Mr.,' held a number of offices during his lifetime, including surveyor, militia captain, sheriff, and burgess. A meeting of the Maryland Council was held at "the house of Captain John Bayne" on June 29, 1694. On this day, 'King Peter' and five great men from the Piscataway met with the Council, along with Quassapelagh, king of the Anacostin Indians.

John Bayne died at the end of 1701 in England and Anne died a year later, in August, 1702. The Baynes had two minor children at their death, including daughter Anne, who was 15 when her mother died, and son Ebsworth, who was 13. Where the children were sent is unknown, but their status as minors may have given Thomas Gerard's nephew, John (aged about 24), an opportunity to stake a claim to Westwood Manor. The records suggest that John took possession of Westwood Manor sometime in 1703 after Anne Bayne's death, perhaps also serving as guardian to the two minor Bayne children.

The archaeological evidence indicates that someone was living at the site through ca. 1715. John Gerard may have been living at Westwood Manor in 1707 when he married Jane Orrell (who appears to have been from Charles County), but they were soon living in Cople Parish in Westmoreland County, Virginia. John Gerard died in 1711, and Jane's father, Thomas, was reported to have been living at Westwood Manor in 1712. That year, Jane conveyed the property to George Eskridge, also of Cople Parish.

Although John and Jane Gerard may have had "peaceful possession" of the Westwood Manor property, Ebsworth Bayne was the property's lawful heir, not John Gerard. A complicated court case first heard in 1714 and subsequently decided in 1716 concluded that Ebsworth Bayne was the lawful heir as the court decided whether the sale of the manor to George Eskridge was legal.

Archaeological Investigations

Cellar feature, Westwood Manor (Mrs. Philip Harrison)

Portions of the Westwood Manor site were collected and/or excavated by the property owners in the mid-1990s and several features were noted, including a filled cellar and trash pit. Ed Chaney from the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory visited the site and reported some of his observations. In addition, the property owners took photographs, kept notes, and sketched locations of where they encountered features and/or artifacts.

Although the cellar uncovered at Westwood Manor was not completely exposed, evidence suggests that the feature measured at least 21 feet north-south by 16 to 18 feet east-west. Unglazed floor tiles were observed in the northern portion of the feature, with the tiled area measuring approximately 15 feet north-south by 16 to 18 feet east-west. One tile was removed, revealing that the tiles had been placed on a thin bed of mortar and were then mortared together. Chaney reported that, beneath the mortar bed was a "one-inch thick band of dark loam, which contained some charcoal," suggesting that the cellar originally had a dirt floor with the tile added later. A course of brick may have been used to fit the floor covering against the cellar wall.

Chaney went on to describe the stratigraphy observed in the cellar excavation:

The north end of the tile floor was overlain by a layer of silt wash containing numerous micro-bands of soil and some artifacts, but no rubble. The wash layer was about 4 inches thick at the north end, but eventually tapered out towards the south. Above [this layer] was a 6-inch mottled clay layer containing large amounts of brick rubble. It too tapered out toward the south. Above the clay was a dark loam layer containing rubble and artifacts, which was overlain by a thick brown layer containing few artifacts of any sort. This upper layer was probably produced in part by erosion from [the] slope above the cellar to the east. The fill varied elsewhere in the cellar, but was generally layers of dark loam containing artifacts and rubble, with occasional bands of charcoal.

Chaney also observed evidence for a possible bulkhead entrance into the cellar from the structure's northwest side; the cellar wall in this area was comprised of dark loamy fill, whereas in the feature's northeast corner, the cellar abutted an undisturbed subsoil wall. Chaney argued that this could explain the erosional levels in the northwest portion of the cellar.

The property owners found no evidence of an intact masonry foundation, leading Chaney to conclude that the building was in all likelihood of earthfast construction. The building probably had two fireplaces, one at the northeast corner of the structure and one at the south end. The fireplace at the north end was identified by the presence of a large quantity of Dutch yellow brick and a fragment of a charred hearthstone. Although Chaney noted that Dutch yellow brick was "most commonly used in fireplaces," analysis of the Dutch bricks has indicated that the brick recovered from Westwood Manor are exclusively of the "moppen" variety rather than the "klinker" variety. The fireplace at the south end of the cellar was "indicated by a large quantity of unarticulated red brick, the recovery of several charred hearth tile fragments (similar to the cellar floor tiles), and the presence of a charcoal band in the cellar fill."

The artifacts recovered by the property owners come from one of up to ten proveniences on the site. The majority of the artifacts come from the cellar fill, designated "Site I." Within Site I, Mrs. Harrison identified four areas, which she designated a, b, c, and d. Materials recovered from an area by a nearby walnut tree were designated Site II, and a large feature in the property owners' garden, probably a refuse-filled pit, was designated Site III. The property owners also collected and curated surface finds from across the property.

None of the soil from the site was screened.

Artifacts

In 2010, students from the Archaeology Practicum class at St. Mary's College of Maryland were able to borrow, process, and interpret the materials recovered by the property owners. Students washed, labeled, cataloged, and photographed the artifacts and prepared a report on their analysis of the materials. The collection has since been returned to the owners.

A total of 7,009 artifacts were present in the collection.

Ceramics in the Westwood collection amounted to 1,977 fragments, including tin-glazed earthenwares, North Devon gravel-tempered wares, North Devon Sgraffito, Staffordshire Slipware, Manganese Mottled, Buckley, Rhenish blue and gray stonewares, Hohr stonewares, English brown stoneware, Nottingham stoneware, white salt-glazed stoneware, and porcelain. Ten refined earthenware ceramics, including cream-colored ware, whiteware, and ironstone, are present in the collection and are considered intrusive.

Because the majority of artifacts recovered from the Westwood Manor site came from feature contexts, a number of ceramic vessel forms were easily identified. These forms includied a North Devon gravel-tempered milk pan, a Hohr ware jug with a William III emblem, a tin-glazed flower vase base, a Rhenish blue and gray jug with manganese decoration, tea cups, plates, galley pots, mug, pipkin, and salt(?).

A total of 1,085 tobacco pipe fragments were recorded for the collection; all but two derive from white European-made pipes. Two fragments are red in color and were probably made locally, but the size of the fragments precluded identification as mold-made or hand-built. Many fragments are decorated or marked. Perhaps the most common decoration is rim rouletting. Stem decorations include Bristol diamond pattern, a Dutch floral molded design, and a circle pattern thought to be Dutch. A crown over a harp motif was observed on a pipe heel. Maker's marks include WP (William Phillips), IF (James/John Fox), LE (Llewellin Evans), RT (Robert Tippett), and IP (James or Jacob Prosser?).

Glass artifacts, comprising 860 fragments, included wine and case bottle fragments, pharmaceutical vials, and 58 table glass fragments. An "IB" bottle seal is believed to represent John Bayne. Other domestic artifacts include an iron knife, a complete silver spoon with both a maker's and an owner's mark, a copper alloy spoon bowl, a copper alloy buckle, buckle hook, and buckle frame. One gunflint and five European flint fragments are also included in the collection. Two weights were recovered, including a lead bun weight and brass disk weight, along with a possible pan for weighing items. An unusual and elaborately decorated ivory walking stick handle was also recovered. A copper alloy sundial fragment is also present in the collection.

Architectural artifacts included 165 red and yellow brick and brick fragments, 56 red tile and tile fragments, 77 window glass fragments, 343 nails and nail fragments, and 106 plaster/mortar fragments. Whole red bricks and brick bats yielded measurements of 8 3/4 to 9 1/8 inches by 3 7/8 to 4 inches by 2 3/8 to 2 5/8 inches. Whole yellow bricks yielded measurements of 8 5/8 inches by 4 to 4 3/16 inches by 1 3/4 to 1 7/8 inches. The unglazed red floor tile measured approximately 9½ inches by 9½ inches by 1 inch. Whole nails measured between 1¼ and 3¼ inches.

Faunal remains, which were not available for reanalysis for this project, included animal bone and shell fragments. Three hundred eighty-one bone fragments came from mammals, eight from birds,and one from a reptile. Seventy fish bones and two fish scales were cataloged. Many fragments, however, remain unidentified. Three egg shell fragments were also found in the collection. Shell included 191 specimens, all but three which appear to have been oyster shell. The two exceptions include was a conch shell and two scallop shells, and one of these scallop shells is fossilized.

References

Archaeology Practicum Class, St. Mary's College of Maryland. 2010. The Westwood Manor Archaeological Collection: Preliminary Interpretations. St. Mary's City: St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Samford, Patricia. 2011. Walking Softly and Carrying a Big Stick: Being Fashionable on Maryland's Western Shore in the Late 17th-Century. Paper presented at the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference. Ms. on file, Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, St. Leonard Maryland

Further Information on the Collection

The Westwood Manor site collection is privately owned and not available for study.

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