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Memorial Tiles: Capt. Richard Lippincott

LIPPINCOTT, Capt. Richard: 1745 - 1826

Richard Lippincott was born on January 2, 1745 in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. He married Esther Borden (1754- 819) on March 4, 1770.

When the American Revolutionary War broke out, Richard sympathized with the Loyalist cause. We learn from a petition for land compensation filed after the end of the war in St. John, New Brunswick, on March 12, 1797, that “for trying to conceal a person sent from New York to New Jersey by General Sir William Howe to distribute proclamations, he was taken prisoner in October 1776.”(1) Richard later escaped from the jail in Burlington and joined the British in New York.

He was given a commission as ensign in the 1st New Jersey Volunteers, largest of the Loyalist corps that served in the American Revolution. He resigned this commission in 1777. In 1880 he recruited a Company of Loyalists, and on February 17, 1781, he was appointed Captain in the Associated Loyalist Refugees in New York.

Richard Lippincott is named in the annals of war records held in American archives as the officer in charge of the party who executed American Revolutionist, Captain Joshua Huddy, who was hanged in retaliation for the earlier murder of Loyalist Philip White on an order signed by the leader of the Board of Associated Loyalists, William Franklin (son of Benjamin Franklin). General George Washington was so angered when the news of Huddy’s execution reached him that he demanded that Lippincott be handed over for trial. Instead, the incident was investigated by the Board of Associated Loyalists and Captain Richard Lippincott was exonerated and later rewarded for his services to Britain with a land grant in Upper Canada. General Washington was determined to execute a prisoner of war held by his Continental forces in Lippincott’s place. A name was drawn from among thirteen officers confined in Pennsylvania but Captain Charles Asgill, the unfortunate twenty-year-old officer chosen, was from an illustrious family (his father, a former Lord Mayor of London). In addition, his treatment as a prisoner of war was protected by the terms of the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown on October 19, 1781, which effectively ended the war. The terms stipulated that prisoners would be protected. Even the French Foreign Minister interceded on behalf of the young man and in the end, the death sentence was cancelled by Congress and young Asgill was reprieved.(2)

Richard and Esther Lippincott had three daughters: Margaret, Rebekah and Esther. Their only surviving child, Esther Borden Lippincott, married George Taylor Dennison of York, on December 18, 1806. She received United Empire Loyalist status by Order in Council, April 19, 1808. Her husband, George Dennison, served with the rank of ensign in the 3rd York Militia in defense of Canada during the War of 1812.(3)

Richard Lippincott died in York (Toronto) on May 14, 1826 at the age of eighty-one and is buried in St. John’s Cemetery in Weston, Ontario.


1. Upper Canada Land Petitions (1763-1865), via

2. Thomas B. Allen, Tories: Fighting for the King in America’s First Civil War (Harper Collins, 2010), pp. 318-19.

3. William D. Reid, The Loyalists in Ontario: The sons and daughters of the American Loyalists of Upper Canada (New Jersey: Hunterdon House, 1973), p. 181.