Charles Ridgely

Painting of Charles Ridgely.
Charles Ridgely


After being educated at Baltimore private schools, in Europe, and at Harvard, John and Eliza’s son Charles Ridgely (1830-1872), returned home to Hampton in 1851 and married his first cousin, Margaretta Howard. He took over day to day management of the estate’s farming operation to assist his elderly father. Elected captain of the Baltimore County Horse Guard (a local pro-Confederacy defense militia) at the outbreak of the Civil War, Charles was threatened with arrest by the commander of United States forces then stationed at Fort McHenry for actions against the Army. He escaped incarceration through his father’s intervention, the guard was disbanded, and Charles remained inactive during the war despite his pro-Confederate sympathies.

Though Hampton was physically untouched by war, its enslavement-based economy was deeply impacted by emancipation and no longer functioned by the time Charles became the fourth owner of the Hampton Estate upon his father’s death in 1867. He and his wife, Margaretta, traveled to Europe with their children in summer 1870, managing Hampton by active correspondence with relatives and on-site overseers. He died of typhoid fever in Rome in March 1872 at just 42 years of age.



Learn More

  • The Ridgely Family of Hampton
    The Ridgely Family

    The Ridgely Family owned and managed the Hampton Estate for almost 200 years. Explore their impact on history!

  • 4 generations of ladies and girls of the Ridgely family on the north portico of Hampton mansion, NPS
    The Ridgelys of Hampton

    Learn about the history of the Ridgely family at Hampton.

  • Painting of Night scene of a battlefield with soldiers standing by cannons. Background are camps.
    Hampton During the Civil War

    The Ridgely's passed their lives without worry until it became apparent that a civil war was about to impact their lives.

  • Enslaved workers working on the plantation farm by the overseer's house and slave quarters.
    Slavery at Hampton

    From the colonial period through 1864, the Ridgelys enslaved over 500 people. Enslaved persons, from young children to the elderly

  • An artist's depiction of an overseer in the fields watching the enslaved. With a whip behind back.
    Forms of Control

    From physical to mental abuse for the youngest ages to the oldest. Learn about the harsh truths and forms of control.

  • Drawing of people working on a dock
    Indentured Servants at Hampton

    Indentured servants were not willing laborers and the working conditions at Northampton Furnace was grueling.

  • The Cedar of Lebanon covered in snow, Winter 2020. NPS
    Travels of the Ridgelys

    The wealth of the Ridgely family allowed for many extensive world travels.

  • c. 1897 image of a tenant farmer woman outside the Enslavement Quarters. NPS
    Revealing the Lives of the Enslaved

    A recent Ethnographic Study uncovered major information on the lives of those enslaved at Hampton and their descendants. Read about it here.

  • A historic picture of a part of the flower gardens called a parterre. A gardener in the middle. NPS
    History & Culture
    History & Culture

    Hampton National Historic Site today preserves the core of what was once a vast commercial, industrial, and agricultural plantation.

Last updated: April 12, 2024

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Mailing Address:

535 Hampton Lane
Towson, MD 21286


410-962-4290 (option 2)

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