Brent Hall

Woman Walking Toward Brent House, 1952


Margaret Brent is the namesake of Brent Hall.[1. Edward Alvey Jr., History of Mary Washington College 1908-1972 (United States of America: The University Press of Virginia, 1974), 293.] Margaret and her family were Catholics living in Gloucestershire. Religious persecution in 1638 drove the Brents to leave their home in England and they resettled in Maryland. Margaret served as an attorney on the Maryland Council. However, Margaret soon fell into disfavor because she requested the right to vote as a landowner and an attorney on the Council even though she was a woman. [2. Dr. Lois Green Carr, “Margaret Brent (ca. 1601-1671),” Margaret Brent (ca. 1601-1671), (accessed March 20, 2012).] Margaret’s request was met with hostility and the Brents were driven out of Maryland at the order of Lord Baltimore and were forced to settle in Virginia. [3. Dr. Lois Green Carr, “Margaret Brent (ca. 1601-1671),”] When they reached Virginia, the Brents purchased a plantation and Margaret dubbed their new estate Peace. Margaret Brent never married, and passed away in 1671. [4. Dr. Lois Green Carr, “Margaret Brent (ca. 1601-1671),”]

Building History

Brent Hall, commonly referred to as Brent House, was originally a private home. It was purchased in 1944 and converted to a residence hall. Initially, Brent Hall housed students of French. Eventually, Brent Hall became the campus police station.  [5. William B. Crawley, Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg, VA: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 56.]


Brent Hall, March 2012



1 thought on “Brent Hall

  1. Constance Stewart Etter

    I am a class of 1968 alumna, graduated in 1967. Recently I found a copy of the magazine Early American Life from June 2014 which has an article about Margaret Brent. I would like to donate it to UMW but would like to know where to send it. It is in good condition as it was in a box for years! Please direct me who to contact, or ask them to contact me! Thank you!

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