Within the British Empire, including the American colonies, celebration of the King’s birthday was one of the social events of the year. Guests attending this year’s celebration will experience the day in the manner it might have been celebrated at Marlpit Hall, the 18th century home of Loyalist Edward Taylor. Marlpit Hall will be open from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. for tours. Edward Taylor and his wife Mary Osborne Taylor will welcome guests.
Loyalist Soldiers will be drilling in the yard beginning at 10:30. Visiting children can join the troops and learn to march with muskets. Throughout the day, children also will enjoy hoop-rolling, sack races and other party games.
At 2:00 musical entertainment of the period will begin. Guests will enjoy the sounds of “The Practitioners of Musick” featuring John Burkhalter of Princeton with harpsichord and recorder.
Craft demonstrations throughout the day will include needlework. Light refreshments will be served and admission is free. Parking is available at the adjacent Middletown Village School.
Marlpit Hall, built in 1686 and expanded in 1756, was home to the prominent loyalist Taylor Family at the time of the Revolution. Many of its members were among the area’s leading politicians, farmers, merchants and landowners. Edward Taylor endured house arrest for his political position and the family lost much of its fortune and influence. The house was restored, furnished and donated to Monmouth County Historical Association by Margaret Riker Haskell in 1936 when it became the first restored house museum in the region. Mrs. Haskell was one of the most significant collectors of Americana, notably decorative arts, in the United States and a well-respected figure in an historically significant trail of women involved in preservation work. Marlpit Hall is currently furnished to reflect the varying tastes and lifestyles of the 18th century Taylor Family and Mrs. Haskell’s 20th century colonial revival plan.
Monmouth County Historical Association is a private non-profit organization that has been working to preserve history and provide educational opportunities since its founding in 1898. The Historical Association’s Museum and Library is located at 70 Court Street, Freehold, New Jersey. Museum hours are: Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Library is open Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Historic Houses are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For membership or admission fees and further information, please call (732) 462-1466 or visit our web site at www.monmouthhistory.org.
Monmouth County Historical Association received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.
Photo caption: Monmouth County Historical Association’s Marlpit Hall