Mrs. Charlotte Duncan
First Avenue and "A" Street
Glen Burnie, Maryland
1965, Revised 1983
Marley Chapel Beginnings

The bricks of a colonial church, the growth of a community, and the unity of a congregation under steady leadership, all are part of St. Alban's of Glen Burnie.

The history of this Episcopal church began before the Revolutionary War, for the bricks of the original part of the church were once a part of Marley Chapel, built more than 200 years ago.


Marker for Marley Chapel located in front of St. Alban's
As early as 1692, the Maryland General Assembly passed "An Act for the Service of Almighty God and the Establishment of the Protestant Religion within this Province". This act provided for dividing the counties into parishes and for "a Tax . . . of forty pounds of tobacco . . . yearly upon every Taxable Person within each Parish aforesaid, . . ." to maintain the churches and the ministry.

One of the earliest parishes in Maryland was Broadneck Parish, later called Westminster, in which St. Margaret's was the mother church. By 1731 the number of families in the northern part of the parish had so increased that St. Margaret's obtained use of land on Marley Creek and built a Chapel of Ease, known as Marley Chapel. According to an old English custom, such chapels were located within a parish for the comfort and ease of communicants living at a distance from the mother church.

chapel of ease

Marley Chapel, a Chapel of Ease
Today, the residents of Marley and Country Club Estates drive within a few feet of where the old chapel stood, for the site is believed to have been at what is now the intersection of Baltimore and Annapolis Boulevard and Furnace Branch Road.


Ann Arrundell County Historical Society marker for Marley Chapel located near the intersection of Baltimore Annapolis Blvd. and Furnance Branch Rd. in Marley.
Like many of the early churches, however, Marley Chapel was built on private property, because the owner refused to sell less than 100 acres. Later when the chapel needed repairs, the vestry of St. Margaret's hesitated to spend money without a deed to the property. Consequently, they petitioned the Maryland legislature, and in 1747 an act was passed giving Westminster Parish authority to set a fair price on the land and obtain possession of it by court action if necessary.

According to notes among church records, the name of men appointed by St. Margaret's vestry to have Marley Chapel built were Smith, Cromwell, Sharpe, Hammond, and Robinson. Later, in the Act of 1747, Col. Charles Hammond, Capt. John Meriken, Mr. Lawrence Hammond, Mr. John Howard, Dr. James Walker, and Vachel Denton, Esq., were appointed to obtain the deed to the property. The families of these men are still active in St. Margaret's and St. Alban's parishes today.

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