It is commonly believed that Richard Duke of Otterton, born 1599 to Richard Duke and Margaret Bassett, was an Ark and Dove colonist in Maryland, and the same individual who established the Brooke Manor family there. One Richard Duke who immigrated to Maryland has been identified in Colonial Families of the United States, Vol. V, List of the Ark and Dove Passengers, page 597, as follows:

“Richard Duke, 1633

Warrants, Lib. Lib. I, p. 20, 28, and Lib. A. B. H. p. 66,

Born in England about 1613, Deposition abt., 35 yrs. June 20—1648).

Md. Arch. Vol. 4, p. 392. Married in Eng. Son Richard Duke, born abt. 1633. Deposition, St. Mary’s Co. Md. Jan. 19—1665, abt.32 yrs. Of age – Pro. Court Lib. F. F. P. 161. Returned to Eng., & makes a deposition being abt. 47 yrs. Of age. Aug. 14, 1664 as a scrivener & citizen of London. Pro. Court—Lib. B. B. 393, 395.”

The birthdate suggested for this individual by his deposition does not conform to that of Richard Duke of Otterton.

Early Families of Southern Maryland, Vol. 5, Duke, Page 6, states that:

"Richard Duke (1), b. ca. 1613, age 35 in 1648 (MD); d. by 1681; married Mary ______; d. after 1681 Calvert Co.; Richard witnessed the will of John Speed of St. Mary's Co., which was probated 6 Oct 1639 (MCW I.1). Their known children:

 1. Richard Duke (2)

 2. James Duke

Mary's Dukedom (also called Mary Duke's Doom) or 100 acres surveyed 19 Dec 1681 for Mary Duke on the north side of the Patuxent; possd. by James Duke; Leonard Creek Hundred (CaCRR & SOM 24/358; 31/24) [note: this is a Calvert Co rent roll, undated]. . . .

James was among the legatees of William Jennings of Prince George's Co. written 23 May 1711 . . . "

From Colonial Genealogies #1, 1607-1920, Colonial Families of the United States, Vol. VI, Duke Family, Pages 197-198., Inc. Dec. 2, 2003, edited by George Norbury Mackenzie, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1912:

“The Dukes of Maryland are supposed to have originated in Devonshire, England, and Duke of Lake is presumed to be the head of the American branch. Richard Duke came to Maryland with Father White’s party in 1734, and settled at St. Mary’s; it is family tradition that he was Father White’s private secretary; he was also a close friend and advisor to Governor Leonard Calvert, who called him “my trusted friend;” he was on Kent Island in 1641; he was a Member of the Assembly 1637 to 1653 and a leading spirit thereat and was otherwise a prominent man in the affairs of the colony; his wife’s name is unknown; in 1653 he retured to England with his wife and sons Thomas and Richard, who d. young, it is believed in London, and never returned to Maryland.


Richard, returned to England, no further record.

Thomas, returned to England, no further record.

Andrew, no record

James I, died after 1672, of whom later.

William, returned to England, no further record.

James Duke, I, of Calvert Co., Maryland, in 1652; will proved there in 1672; m. Margaret, surname unknown.


       James II, d. 1693, of whom later.

       John, no record.

       Joseph, no record.

       William, no record.

The age of the older Richard Duke of the Ark and Dove is too young to be the disinherited individual from Devonshire (born 1599, before his younger brother Robert in 1600) and besides, his son left the colony. The Devonshire individual could still have been the Richard Duke of Brooke Manor Place.

The Dr. Lois Green Carr files at the Maryland Archives provide documentary evidence:

1213-01                         Duke, Richard, b. 1618, arr. 1634, free by 1639; selling Indians

1213-02                         1649 patent for 100 acres, Dukes Place

1213-03                         proxy to T. Cornwallis 1642 Assembly

1213-04                         transported 1634

1213-05                         witness to will of John Speed

1213-06                         servant to Mr. Pulton, oath concerning bequest

1213-07                         present at 1641/42 assembly

1213-08                         action of debt

1213-09                         action of debt 1642/43

1213-10                         action of debt 1647

1213-11                         action of debt 1648

1213-12                         deposition 1648 regarding sale of Indian

1213-13                         age 30; deposition regarding sale of Indian

1213-14                         action of debt 1648

1213-15                         action of debt 1650/51


1214-01                         Duke, Richard, immigrated 1653 with wife and two children, unnamed

1214-02                         demands 200 acres land

1214-03                         demands 200 acres land

1214-04                         age 32 in 1665/66; witness to sale


1215-01                         Duke, Thomas, b. 1651, servant to Wm. Hatton

1215-02                         No information on land

1215-03                         Servant to Hatton, age judged by court to be 16 years in 1667

Richard Duke of Otterton, disinherited, was admitted to the Inner Temple (as son and heir of Richard, of Otterton) in 1619 and was buried at Otterton 27 Mar 1653. (See Foster’s Inns of court Reg. The disinherited Richard had a son, Richard, who also matriculated at Exeter College, on 21 May 1669, aged 17; of the Inner Temple 1670, buried at Otterton 1 Oct. 1716. (See Foster’s Inns of Court Register).[1]

A Richard Duke, “citizen and scrivener of London”, died in England and his will was probated in 1670 (PRO Reference: Prob/11/332). His principal heir was a son, Richard Duke, but he listed “all my children” as Richard, Robert, Anne, Sara, Suzanne, and Elizabeth.  His estate included stock in the East India Company.  He does not appear to be the Maryland individual.

Another Richard Duke was indentured by his mother Jane Duke to John Dodman of Westmoreland Co on 1 Aug 1655 ( Colonial Abstracts, Volume I, Westmoreland County, 1653-1657, page 669.) Richard Duke appears in an account from Westmoreland Co. in 1652 (Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Volume I, Westmoreland County, 1653-1657, Page 663).


DNA Studies

Important information on these families has been obtained through yDNA studies. Details are available at:


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[1] Foster, Joseph, ed. 1968. Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1500-1714. Volume I: Early Series. Nendeln/Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint Limited. Page 430.