John Ridgely

A historic black and white photograph of John Ridgely.
John Ridgely


The estate’s fifth owner, John Ridgely (1851-1938), was known as “Captain Jack” by virtue of his service as commanding officer of the Towson Company of the old first Maryland Infantry Regiment. He, his wife Helen, and mother, Margaretta, worked to preserve Hampton’s reputation as an historically important estate and as a premier agricultural center, maintaining and upgrading the mansion and outbuildings, and expanding the prize-winning herds of dairy cattle. In 1901, John sold Hampton’s renowned Madeira wine collection to J.P. Morgan and used the proceeds to add modern bathrooms and a new roof to the mansion. After his wife’s death, he had the house wired for electricity in 1929. ‘Captain Jack’ particularly delighted in buying stock for and breeding Hampton’s prize-winning Jersey cattle. An avid rider and fox-hunter with the Elkridge Hunt Club, he brought the Maryland Hunt Cup steeplechase to Hampton in 1895, 1903, 1919 and 1920.




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.

  • Living Historian demonstrates the 19th century technique for harvesting corn.
    Free Black Laborers

    Free Black Laborers worked at Hampton for various reasons. A good amount did to eventually purchase their family members.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

535 Hampton Lane
Towson, MD 21286


410-962-4290 (option 2)

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