My Lady's Manor Pleasure Driving Club
My Lady's Manor Driving Club was founded in 1979 by a small group of local carriage driving enthusiasts headed by Mrs. Edward C. Dukehart and Mr. Dean Bedford. The club takes its name from an historic tract of land in Maryland's northeast Baltimore County and western Harford County.
The purpose was, and still is, to "promote the owning, training, driving, and exhibiting of all breeds of equines; and to hold such activities as will best contribute to those objects." All types of horses, ponies, and vehicles are encouraged to participate.
Throughout the year, the club sponsors various activities, which include an American Driving Society-approved pleasure driving show in October, fun shows, clinics, a Christmas party, and picnic drives scheduled and organized by its members.
A newsletter is sent out quarterly to notify members of club activities, as well as activities of other clubs and organizations. Memberships include individual and family. The majority of our members are from Carroll, Baltimore, Harford, and York counties, but anyone is welcome to join. Meetings are held every other month during the year and often include speakers and instructional videos.
What’s in a Name?
By Sarah Bruce
My Lady’s Manor Driving Club was founded in 1979 by a group of local
driving enthusiasts headed by Mrs. Edward C. Dukehart and Mr. Dean
Bedford. The club takes its name from an historic tract of land in
Maryland’s northeast Baltimore County and western Harford County.
In 1713, on the occasion of his fourth marriage, the 76-year-old Charles
Calvert, the Third Lord of Baltimore, gave his young bride, Margaret
Charlton, a wedding gift of 10,000 acres to be known as My Lady’s Manor.
However, Margaret never left England to visit her estate in the colonies
and thus never saw the “faire land” that so impressed Charles Calvert
when he first visited northern Baltimore County in 1667 to make “an
Amity with the Susquehannocks until the World’s End.”
Upon Margaret’s death in 1731, ownership of the land, designated in Margaret’s will as “Lord Baltemore’s Guift,” passed to Calvert’s granddaughter Charlotte Calvert Brerewood. To settle the debts of her poet husband, the heiress transferred the land to her father-in-law, Thomas Brerewood the Elder, who moved to Maryland to establish a community on the Manor. Thomas the Elder subdivided the Manor into 30-300 acres lots, which he leased out to farmers with rent to be paid in “good merchantable leaf tobacco.” He also laid out the only town within the Manor’s borders, originally called Charlotte Town, now known as Monkton, MD.
After Thomas the Elder’s death in 1744, the ownership of the land became involved in a lengthy litigation among the heirs, which continued until the Revolutionary War. After the war, with the question of ownership of the Manor still unresolved, the land was confiscated by the newly formed U.S. Government and auctioned off at Slade Tavern in 1782, mostly to establish tenant farmers and soldiers mustering out of the Revolutionary Army.
Of all the Manors established in colonial Maryland, My Lady’s Manor is quite unique in that it has preserved its identity through the years. The boundaries of the Manor are still defined by 16 cast iron markers, which have replaced most of the original stone markers engraved LBG (Lord Baltemore’s Guift), and much of the land is still owned by the original families. The area is well known for its natural beauty and rural, agricultural character, as well as many facets of equine activity, including My Lady’s Manor Timber Race, the first jewel in Maryland Hunt Racing Triple Crown, and the Elkridge-Harford Hounds’ traditional Thanksgiving Day Meet with the Blessing of the Hounds at St. James Church, the oldest remaining building on My Lady’s Manor.