1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

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 Malbone Family Collection

 Merchant family, Newport, R.I.

 Collection, 1728-1825

 Size: .25 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 549

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, July 1996

 USE MICROFILM    E445 .R4, part 2, reel 11; another reel has non-RIHS papers.

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The Malbone family in America originated in Virginia with Peter Malbone (1667-1738). Several branches of his descendants are represented here. His son Godfrey Malbone Sr. (1695-1768) became one of the wealthiest men in Newport trough privateering and the triangle trade, though the family fortunes ebbed after his death. He had two sons: Godfrey Jr. (b. 1724, d. Pomfret, Conn. 1785) and John (1735-1795). Godfrey Jr. married Catherine Brinley. John's son Edward Greene Malbone (1777-1807) became a prominent portrait painter.

            Francis Malbone (d.1791) was born in Virginia, probably the son or grandson of Peter. He settled in Newport and entered into trade with his brother Evan Malbone; after Evan's death in 1784, his partner was briefly Daniel Mason. Francis Sr. had at least two sons, Saunders (b. 1764) and Francis Jr. Francis Malbone Jr. (1759-1809) served as supercargo on several trade journeys, and was also active as a colonel in the Newport Artillery Company. Francis Jr. served as a U.S. Representative from 1793 to 1797, and was elected a United States Senator in 1809, but died shortly after taking office. He married Freelove Sophia Tweedy, and they had several children, including William T. (b. 1783) and Reodolphus (b. 1784).

            There were at least two Evan Malbones, father and son. The elder was married in Newport in 1738 to Mary Brewer, and died in 1784. Both Evans later settled in Connecticut.



Preston, Howard W. "Godfrey Malbone's Connecticut Investment", in Rhode Island Historical Society Collections, October 1923.

Tolman, Ruel P. The Life and Works of Edward Greene Malbone (New York: New York Historical Society, 1958)

Biographical Cyclopedia of Rhode Island, 159.

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Scope and content:

            This collection does not constitute anything like a complete collection of Malbone family papers. It includes only a few fragmentary items relating to the family. The most important is the Godfrey Malbone account book, which gives detailed accounts of the early triangle trade. Also noteworthy are the Evan & Francis Malbone letter book, and the various estate records. There is nothing in this collection pertaining to the portrait painter Edward Greene Malbone.

            There are several Malbone items in other collections at the Society; a list is provided after the inventory.

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            This collection arrived in several accessions. The Godfrey Malbone Sr. account book was donated in 1951 by Mrs. Henry Wharton. The 1768 Godfrey Malbone testimony was purchased from Frances Edwards in 1946, along with several other letters addressed by the Malbones to other persons. The small letter book of Evan and John Malbone was purchased from G.W.F. Blanchfield in 1914 for the sum of $6.00. The accounts with the William Hunter estate were purchased in 1986 from dealer Edward Craig. The provenance of the other papers is unknown; there were probably at least two other gifts, one for each branch of the family.

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Processing note:

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Accession information in brackets.

Series 1. Godfrey branch.

Volume 1. Godfrey Malbone Sr. account book, 1728-1738. [#1951.21]

Folder 1. Godfrey Malbone Sr. - misc.

            Deposition of Joseph Knowlton of Boston re cistern, March 27, 1729

            Deposition of John Browne of Boston, Sept. 5, 1729 re distillery. [was RIHSM 11-8]

            Deed from Philip Simmons of land in Rochester, Mass., 1729. Mss. copy.

            Deed from Joseph Atkins of land in Rochester, Mass., 1729. Mss. copy.

            Receipt for deed of Rochester land, Joseph Ashley, 1729.

            Letter from William Coddington, April 23, 1740

            Bill for coach ordered from England, 1742. Typescript copy.

            Account with William Vernon, to Godfrey & John Malbone, 9 items 1743-1766

            Remarks on William Vernon's account, undated.

            Deed to Charles Paxton, land in Conn., 1763. Mss. copy. [was RIHSM 12-53]

            List of William Vernon's ships, 1751-1766. Typescript copy from Mass. Hist. Soc.

Folder 2. John Malbone

            Letter from ___ and Benjamin Austin of Boston, 10/29/1790, with draft of response

            Account with Elijah Bates, 1792.

Folder 3. Godfrey Jr. and John Malbone estates

            Administration certificate of John Malbone, 1792

            Petition of John Malbone and Francis Brinley to probate court, 1793. (mss. copy)

            Inventory of John Malbone estate, 1796

            Court file on estate of Godfrey and John Malbone, 1809 (1810 mss. copy)

            4 accounts of Francis Brinley with estates of John and Godfrey Malbone, 1797-1822

            Notes on accounts with Brinley and Malbone estates, 1825, 4 pages.

Folder 4. Malbone family - accounts with the estate of William Hunter. [#1986.12]

            With John Malbone, 1771-1176

            With Katherine Malbone, 1768-1776

            With estate of Godfrey Malbone Sr., 1763-1768

            With estate of Godfrey Malbone Jr., 1764-1774.


Series 2. Francis branch.

Folder 5. Evan & Francis Malbone letter book, 1763-1764. 20 pages. [#1914.14.1]

            Includes correspondence and crew lists re West Indies trade.

Folder 6. Francis Malbone Sr.

            Testimony re Jonathan Hazard vs. Enoch Hazard, 10/29/1768 [#1946.10.11]

            Document re William Godfrey's court costs, 1770

            Prayer in unknown hand, undated, unsigned. Found filed under Francis Malbone.

Folder 7. Francis Malbone Jr.

   Deed to Peleg Clarke of Newport land, from Francis Malbone Jr. & Evan Malbone Jr., 1791.

   3 receipts for Francis Brinley Sr. estate to Francis Brinley Jr., 1805.


Folder 8. Reodolphus Malbone.

            Deed to mother Freelove Malbone, 1821

            Account with father Francis Malbone's estate, 1814

            Power of attorney to mother Freelove Malbone, 1814

Folder 9. William T. Malbone.

            Power of attorney to mother Freelove Malbone, 1811

            Power of attorney to mother Freelove Malbone, 1812

Malbone papers in other R.I.H.S. collections:

Evan Malbone. Letter from Samuel Ward, 1775. In MSS 776.

Francis Malbone Jr. Letter from Samuel Ward, 1775. In MSS 776.

                                    Letters to Peter Ayrault, 1787-1790. In MSS 9001-A

                                    Letters to U.S. Customs House, 1792. In MSS 28.

                                    Letters to Christopher Champlin, 1794, 1800. MSS 554.

                                    Letter to Welcome Arnold, 1794. In MSS 9001-A.

                                    Letter to James Brown, 1797. In MSS 310.

                                    Letter to William Marchant, 1797. In MSS 552.

                                    Letter to Jeremiah Olney, 1798. In MSS 18.

                                    Letter to James Fenner, 1807. In MSS 9001-F.

Godfrey Malbone Sr. Letter to Gideon Wanton, 1727. IN MSS 9005, vol. 1, p. 28.

                                    Receipt to Daniel Ayrault, 1730. In MSS 554.

                                    Account with Mrs. Temperance Grant, 1746. In MSS 554.

Saunders Malbone   Letters to Peter Ayrault. In MSS 9001-A.

There are also many letters and notes regarding the Malbone family silver in the Anne Putnam Malbone Browne Papers, MSS 9001-A, dated 1922-1941.

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Austin, Benjamin. Of Boston, 1790.

Brinley, Francis

Brown, John. Of Boston, 1729.

Clarke, Peleg

Coddington, William

Distilleries - Rhode Island - Newport

Hazard, Enoch

Hazard, Jonathan

Hunter, William

Knowlton, Joseph

Malbone, Evan (d.1784)

Malbone, Francis Sr. (d.1791)

Malbone, Francis Jr. (1759-1809)

Malbone, Godfrey Sr. (1695-1768)

Malbone, Godfrey Jr. (1724-1785)

Malbone, John (1735-1795)

Malbone, Reodolphus (b. 1784)

Malbone, William T. (b. 1783)

Merchants - Rhode Island - Newport

Newport, R.I. - Trade

Slave trade - Rhode Island - Newport

Vernon, William

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