BNHA Fell Family Tomb

Interpretive Framework

Seeking Prosperity on the Chesapeake: Baltimore History from Colonial Times through the 1800s

Star Attractions

Historic Fell’s Point Trail

Resource Type

Points of Interest

1607 Shakespeare St

Baltimore, Maryland 21231

Only William Fell, his son Colonel Edward Fell, and Colonel Fell’s son William are buried in the family vault. Although the first name on the memorial stone is Edward Fell (1686-1743), he actually died and was buried in his native England.

Edward Fell (1686-1743) was the first Fell family member to arrive in Maryland, sometime between 1723 and 1726. He was a land speculator, merchant, and importer and established a store in the area of Jonestown. William Fell (1697-1746), the elder Edward’s brother, was a Quaker who came to the area in 1730 and acquired 100 acres of land here, then known as Copus Harbor or Long Island Point on November 8, 1730. At his death he owned more than 1,000 acres in this area. A planter and merchant, he also represented his brother Edward’s land interests, many of which were in dispute. Before his death he had become a commissioner of Baltimore Town.

Colonel Edward Fell (1733-1766), William’s son, was a colonel in Maryland’s Provincial Army, which led to his rejection by his Quaker brethren. Also a merchant, he inherited the family estate. By the end of 1761 he had laid out most of Fell’s Point and began to sell and lease lots along this valuable deep water harbor. After his death, his wife Ann Bond Fell and her father John Bond aggressively and successfully promoted this new town.

William Fell (1758-1786), the son of the colonel, was a sheriff, merchant, and delegate to the state legislature. He died when he was 27, and according to a newspaper obituary, was buried in the “family vault” in Fell’s Point.

Fell ancestors were prominent jurists who owned Swathmoor Hall in the area of Furness, Cumbria, England. There never was an Admiral Fell, but once an admiral fell in the harbor after “one too many” at one of the local saloons—hence the “admiral fell in” and now the name of a popular boutique hotel at Broadway Square.

No one knows where the Fell women were laid to rest. The widowed wives remarried and the daughters married and moved elsewhere.

Site summary courtesy of the Preservation Society of Federal Hill and Fell’s Point