Charles Carroll Barrister (March 22, 1723 - March 23, 1783) was an American lawyer and statesman from Carrollton, Maryland. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776 and 1777.
This Charles Carroll was born at Annapolis, Maryland and was a first cousin of Charles Carroll of Carrollton and Daniel Carroll. His father, also Charles Carroll, took him to Europe in 1733 for his education. Young Charles spent six years at the English House school in Lisbon, Portugal. He then went to England to complete his education at Eton and Cambridge. After graduating Cambridge in 1746, Charles returned to Annapolis. He took up residence there. He busied himself learning to manage the family's farm and mills at Carrollton.
In 1751 Charles decided on a more specific career. He journeyed to London, England, took up residence at the Middle Temple, and studied law. He was admitted to the bar at the Inns of Court there before returning to Maryland early in 1755. Since there were now three other relatives named Charles active in public affairs in the area, he began to call himself Charles Carroll, Barrister. Three months later his father died, leaving Charles, at 32, one of the wealthiest men in Maryland. He was elected to his father's seat for Anne Arundel County in the Maryland Assembly.
In 1756 he started construction of his principal home and estate at Carrollton, west of Baltimore. He named the home Mount Clare after his grandmother. In June of 1763 Charles married, to Margaret Tilghman (1742-1817), daughter of Matthew Tilghman of Talbot County. Although the couple had no children who reached maturity, they remained together until his death. She became the mistress of Mount Clare, and earned a reputation for her greenhouses, where she grew oranges, lemons, and pineapple.
Carroll continued in the Assembly until it was prorogued at the beginning of the Revolution, and then met with other leaders in the Annapolis Convention and had important roles in all their sessions. He joined the Committee of Correspondence in 1774, and the Committee of Safety in 1775. He presided over several sessions of the Convention, which was the early revolutionary government in Maryland.
Charles was one of the committee of the convention that drafted the Declaration and Charter of Rights and form of government for the state of Maryland which served as Maryland's first new constitution after it was adopted on November 3, 1776. When the convention voted to expel the royal governor, Robert Eden, he delivered the message as the chairman of the Convention. Then, in an action typical of his style, he entertained the governor and his wife as house guests at Mount Clare until they sailed for England.
Later in November of 1776, the Convention sent Carroll as a delegate to the Continental Congress to replace his cousin, Charles Carroll of Carrollton. He served in that Congress until February 15, 1777. He declined the position of Chief Justice in the new revolutionary government. But when he returned, he was elected to the first state Senate in 1777. Later he was re-elected and served in that office until his death, on March 23, 1783, at Mount Clare. His funeral was held at Old St. Paul's Episcopal Churh in Baltimore, but he was buried in St. Anne's Churchyard in Annapolis.
Mount Clare and other
In the early 1760s, Carroll took the lead and encouraged a group of his business associates to build a fund for a young saddler, Charles Willson Peale, so that he could go to Europe and study painting.
After Charles' death, his wife Margaret stayed at Mount Clare until her death there on March 14, 1817. Their home today is a museum, owned by the city of Baltimore. The core of the home is the refurbished original. The wings, which had been lost over the years, have been rebuilt. A great deal of the family furniture and possessions are preserved there. The home is a fine example of Georgian architecture, and stands on a rise in the center of Carroll Park in southwest Baltimore. The home and its museum are open to the public on a limited basis.