The confluence of these two rivers—one mighty, one minuscule—is one of the truly great natural features of our area. This view is from a piece of land originally called Cockshutt. John Cockshutt and his wife Jane (nee Hicks) and their daughters, Jane and Mary, immigrated to Maryland from England in 1741. He died the following year. Two years later his widow married Nicholas Causine, a native of France. Jane and Causine had two sons. In 1649 Causine received 1000 acres along the southern boundary of St Thomas Manor. His wife, the former Jane Hicks Cockshutt, received 1200 acres along the southern boundary of Causine Manor. At that point husband and wife held claim to a staggering 2200 acres overlooking this beautiful landscape. Daughter Jane Cockshutt married Dr Thomas Matthews, a widowed English immigrant, prominently associated with the Jesuits. Their grandchildren, Ann Matthews and Ignatius Matthews and great granddaughters Susannah and Anne Teresa figure prominently in the Carmelite story. This painting circa 1760 shows some clearing and cultivation and an English brig anchored away from the beach in deep water. Soon there will be one or more square, flatbottomed lighters built especially for the task making treks between the ship and shore as tobacco is loaded and much-needed merchandise and equipment are carried ashore. It is likely that another great grandchild, Luke Francis Matthews, built the existing Mount Air between 1794 and 1801.
One historical footnote: The process of establishing boundaries to the many claims being made for the land in early Maryland was challenging and many original claims were later resurveyed and revised. When grandson Jesse Matthews had Cockshutt resurveyed in 1760 it was reduced from 1200 to 100 acres! But there is yet another twist to this story. Both Causine’s patent and Cockshutt’s patent were originally surveyed in 1649 by Robert Clark. Clark became Jane Hicks Cockshutt’s third husband in 1656.
Oil on canvas 24x48 inches