Mathew Tilghman (1718 - 1790)

He was the youngest of nine children born to Richard Tilghman and Anna Maria Lloyd, and grew up on his family’s plantation, The Hermitage, in Queen’s Anne County. His grandfather, Richard Tilghman (1626 – 1675), had been a surgeon in the British Navy and was one of the earliest settlers of Maryland.

He lived at Rich Neck Manor in Talbot County. In 1741, he married his first cousin Anna Lloyd, with whom he had five children. His eldest child, Margaret, married her cousin, Charles Carroll, Barrister. His youngest, Anna Maria, married her first cousin Tench Tilghman. Mathew was a planter, merchant and politician. He owned nearly 7,900 acres of land in Talbot and Queen Anne’s county, and held more than 100 enslaved people. He was first elected to the Lower House of the General Assembly in 1751, and served until it was dissolved at the outbreak of the Revolution. 

He became deeply involved in the Patriot cause, and is known as the “father of the Revolution” in Maryland. He chaired the Annapolis Convention which became the defacto government of the province from 1774 – 1776 after the last British governor Robert Eden dismissed the Assembly. He was also chairman of the Committee of Safety and head of the Maryland delegation to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. 


Mathew Tilghman was one of the primary leaders of Maryland’s Revolutionary movement, by John Hesselius, circa 1748. Public domain image.

Although he debated and supported the Declaration of Independence, Tilghman had to return to Maryland to preside over a new session of the Annapolis Convention to establish a new government for Maryland. He was replaced at the Congress by his fellow Marylander, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who gained fame as the last living signer of the Declaration.

After the Revolution, Mathew served as a state senator until 1783. He also served as president of the Senate from 1780 to 1783. After retiring from public life, he returned to the Eastern shore where he died in 1790. 


The Tilghman Family plantation known as The Hermitage on the Chester River on Maryland's Eastern shore. Public domain image.

Anna Lloyd Tilghman (1724 – 1794)

She was the daughter of James Lloyd and Anne Grundy. She married Mathew Tilghman in 1741 and had five children, including two daughters and three sons. She and her husband raised their children at Rich Neck Manor, a large plantation on the Eastern shore. She died there at the age of 71.


Margaret Tilghman Carroll’s mother, Anna Lloyd Tilghman, along with her younger sister Anna Maria by John Hesselius, circa 1757. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.