Felix Angus, editor, The Book of Maryland: Men and Institutions, A Work for Press Reference (Baltimore: Maryland Biographical Association, 1920); 66, 152.


Richard Bennett Darnall, son of Frank II and Eleanor Carroll Darnall, was born at the family home, "Portland Manor," Anne Arundel County, on January 9, 1877. He received his collegiate education at Georgetown University and graduated in law at the University of Maryland, in 1899. He entered the practice of law in Baltimore in 1900 and was formerly associated with Judge Walter I. Dawkins. In September, 1919, a partnership was formed with Mr. Harry E. Karr and Mr. Edward M. Hammond, the firm style being Karr, Hammond & Darnall. Mr. Darnall is a member of the University, Baltimore, Merchants and L'Hirondelle I of Ruxton Clubs, also the Maryland Historical Society. He married Frances Hopkins, of Cecil County, Maryland. He resides at Ruxton, Maryland, and his law offices are in the Fidelity Building, Baltimore.

Mr. Darnall comes of very distinguished ancestry. Henry Darnall, of Birds' Place, Parish of Essenden, England, counselor at law of Gray's Inn, London, left at his death in 1607 seven children. (The portraits of Philip the fourth son, and that of his wife are at "Poplar Hill," one of the Darnall estates.)

John Darnall, Esq., a Secondary of the Pipe, married (first) Susan, daughter of John Mynne, secondly, Susan, daughter of Roger Lawrence and Elizabeth Mynne. As Sir George Calvert married for his first wife Anne Mynne of the same family, the relationship between the Darnalls and the Calverts is apparent, proofs of lineal descent being accessible in England. Hence it is not surprising to find two young scions of the Birds' Place Darnalls emigrating to Maryland, in 1672, to fill high and confidential offices under the Calverts. John, younger brother of Colonel Henry Darnall, was secretary to his Lordship, while Colonel Henry was made Collector of the Port of St. Mary's, Justice of Provincial Court, Member of Council, and Colonel of Horse. Later he was agent for the Proprietary and one time Deputy Governor of Maryland.

John Darnall located at Portland Manor, Anne Arundel County. He married Susannah, granddaughter of Governor Richard Bennett, of Virginia, the forbear of so many prominent Marylanders. This is the same Portland Manor, a large portion of which remains in the possession of Mr. Darnall and his father.

Upon the death of John Darnall in 1681 his widow became the wife of Colonel Henry Lowe, a nephew of Lady Jane Baltimore. Colonel Henry Darnall, who outlived his younger brother, was called "The Woodyard," the rather peculiar name of his great estate in Prince George's County. In addition to "The Woodyard," Colonel Henry Darnall owned other large estates, notably "My Lord's Kindness" and "The Girl's Portion." At the time of the Protestant Revolution, Colonel Henry Darnall, a strong adherent of his kinsman, the Proprietary, was active in raising a large force of men from up the Patuxent, with whom he hoped to go to the assistance of Col. William Digges, Deputy Governor of the Province, in his defense of St. Mary's. Unfortunately, Col. Darnall's men did not reach the capital in time to render the much-needed service for which they had taken up arms, and the little city had to be surrendered to Coade and his followers. St. Mary's was the social centre for the high Colonial officials and their families in the winter season. Here lived Col. Wm. Digges, Attorney-General, Charles Carroll and evidently the Darnalls part of the year at least.

For his second wife the dashing Colonel Henry Darnall, possessed of many dignities and wide-spreading acres, married the widow of Col. Thomas Brooke, of Brookfield, the erstwhile charming Elinor Hatton, by whom he had a large family.

That social lines were not relaxed in Provincial Maryland is strikingly illustrated in the marriage of the Darnalls, all of whom for four generations at least married representatives in the Province of titled English or Irish families, so descendants of the two early settlers could easily outrank in their quarterings many of the peerage of to-day.

Three beautiful Darnall women became wives of distinguished Carrolls, of Maryland, the men winning for their brides daughters of the early lords of the manor and their descendants. Henry Darnall, fourth of his name in Maryland, continued the family custom of marrying ladies of high degree by taking to wife the niece and ward of George, fourteenth Earl of Shrewsbury. Henry Darnall built for his son Henry, Jr., on the occasion of this marriage, "Poplar Hill," which has continued in the family, but curiously has not descended from father to son, and is now owned by Henry Dangerfield, who inherited it from an aunt, who in turn inherited it from an uncle, Robert Sewell, nephew of Robert Darnall.

An earlier kinsman had married Elizabeth Lowe, descendant of the Lowes of Denby. while the repeated intermarriages of the Darnalls and Diggs brought another notable strain of blood into the lineage of the Maryland descendants.

Major Nicholas Sewell, of Martapony, married Miss Darnall, of Poplar Hill, their son, Robert Darnall Sewell, inheriting this beautiful estate from his uncle, for whom he was named. Descendants of the Koziers, of Notify Hall, are also of the Darnall lineage.

Archbishop John Carroll's mother was Eleanor Darnall. The first Charles Carroll, of Douglioregan Manor, married Mary Darnall when she was fifteen years of age. Charles Carroll, most noted signer of the Declaration of Independence and grandson of the first settler, married Miss Darnall. daughter of Henry Darnall, of Prince George's County and Rachel Brooke.

The branch of the Carroll family of which Mr. Darnall's mother is descended was early seated in St. Mary's County, their old homestead at "Susquehanna Point." a most beautiful and notable estate in southern Maryland. This adjoined Mattapony, home of Gov. Charles Calvert, Third Lord Baltimore, after his marriage to the widow of his Provincial Secretary, Col. Henry Sewell. "Susquehanna Point," beautifully situated at the mouth of the Patuxent, was the home of the King's Collector. General Christopher Rottsby. He was the brother of John Rottsby, both of their tombs being still preserved there. Capt. Henry Carroll, first of this name to own "Susquehanna Point," acquired it through marriage with the niece of Col. John Rousby, sister and heiress of an officer in the British Navy. At the time of the marriage it is recorded that Captain Carroll's bride brought him a fortune of M.ono pounds. There are many traditions in the Carroll family about this bride of Captain Henry Carroll, young Araminta Thompson, who was so youthful at the time of the courtship that the gallant Captain bestowed on her imported toys for her amusement rather than the usual gifts of books and flowers. From this marriage descended Gov. Thomas King Carroll, of Kingston Hall, Somerset County, and Captain Michael Brown Carroll, of the United States Navy, who distinguished himself under Decatur at Tripoli. Mr. Richard Bennett Darnall has in his possession the sword presented Captain Michael Brown Carroll, his great grandfather, for gallantry in the Tripolitan War.

The Susquehanna Carrolls intermarried with the Darnall, Van Swearingen, Briscoe, King, Brooke, Brown and Briseno families and through ties of blond are kin to the Calverts of Mt. Airy, the Stewarts of Annapolis, and the Crandocks of Baltimore County.