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Marlboro Township

Marlboro Town Hall is located at 1979 Township Drive, Marlboro NJ 07746; phone: 732-536-0200.

Beginnings [1, 2]

Marlboro Township, set off from Freehold Township, was erected in 1848. It is situated on the northwest boundary of Monmouth County, having Middlesex County as its boundary.

The name Marlboro was given first to the village and later to the township, because of the extensive marl beds found in the vicinity, and because it was the first place where marl was used for fertilizer.

The first settlement was made in 1685 at a place the Indians called Topanemus, a little west of the village of Marlboro. The first settlers were Quakers, the first who came being George Keith, a leader and preacher of the sect. In ancient records he is mentioned as the first settler in Freehold; but Freehold then embraced the whole of the present township of Marlboro.

The settlement of the Marlboro area of Monmouth County was the result of an exodus by Scottish Presbyterians who were fleeing the brutal persecution at the hands of the British monarchy. The Scottish settlers had a profound effect on the colonization and culture of New Jersey, as well as the entire middle Atlantic region. By 1750, Scots comprised one-fifth of the central Jersey population. This group would continue to settle throughout central New Jersey during the eighteenth century, evolving into what would become the center of colonial Presbyterianism. The first half of the eighteenth century also saw the settlement at Freehold meld into a cohesive community, combining persons of all backgrounds ranging from former indentures to wealthy planters into a single community sharing a common religious and political identity. The roots of Scottish Presbyterianism, however, date back to 1567. Scottish reformer, John Knox established a doctrine that was centered around three core precepts: original sin, predestination, and severe punishment for wrongdoing. Knox and his fellow ministers adhered to a puritanical zealousness in all their teachings. The Calvinist extremism of the Scottish Reformation resulted in a bitter hostility toward Catholicism, even suggesting that refuting the pope and church hierarchy was the preferred method of serving God.

  1. History of Monmouth County, New Jersey 1664-1920: Volume II, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York, 1922.
  2. Gary P. Scharfenberger, M.A., R.P.A., Old Scots Burying Ground, Monmouth County, NJ, nomination document, 2001, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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