King, Richard – Dunstan Settler

People Who Called Scarborough Home

By Charlene Fenlason

Richard King

Richard King House, Dunstan Landing, Scarborough, ca. 1930

Richard King House, Dunstan Landing, Scarborough, ca. 1930

Richard King, born in 1718 in Boston, settled in the Dunstan Landing area of Scarborough in 1746 after selling property in Watertown, Massachusetts where he’d had a successful timber exporting business. Richard bought 3,000 acres of land in Dunstan, which was divided into several farms. A successful merchant, he was also a farmer, owner of trading vessels and a town justice. The King home, built across from the marsh, was originally a one-story structure, added onto as King’s finances and family grew.

On 20 November 1753, Richard married Isabella Bragdon, by whom he had three children: Rufus, Mary, and Paulina. Isabella died 19 October 1759. Three years later on 31 January 1762, he married Mary Black, a cousin of Isabella’s. Six more children were born to this union, two of whom were William and Cyrus. Three of Richard’s children, Rufus, William, and Cyrus, became major public figures.

The King family prospered before the Revolutionary War. Suspected of having Tory sympathies, Richard was harassed by the Sons of Liberty and his house and financial records destroyed. Richard King died on 27 March 1775 on the eve of the Revolution.


Moulton, Augustus. Grandfather Tales of Scarborough. Portland, ME: Katahdin Publishing Co., 1925.

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