Richard Lippincott – Loyalist


Captain Richard Lippincott, U.E. (January 2, 1745 – 1826) was an American-born Loyalist who served in the British army during the American War of Independence. He is best known for his part in the Asgill Affair in which he hanged an enemy officer Joshua Huddy in revenge for similar murders of Loyalists, provoking an international incident.

Lippincott was born in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. He was descended from an old colonial family, and served during the revolution as a captain in the New Jersey volunteers. He was married on March 4, 1770, to Esther Borden, daughter of Jeremiah and Esther Borden, of Bordentown, New Jersey. On the outbreak of the revolution he warmly espoused the side of the Crown, and was captured early in the war and confined in the jail at Burlington, New Jersey, from which he escaped in 1776, making his way to the British Army at Staten Island. During the remainder of the war he served with his regiment. His connection with the execution of Captain Joshua Huddy, of the rebel service, attracted a great deal of attention both in Europe and America. Captain Huddy was a partisan officer of some repute in New Jersey, and had been allegedly concerned with the murder of a Loyalist named Philip White, who was a relative of Lippincott, and a resident of Shrewsbury. One Edwards of the same neighbourhood had also been put to death about the same time. Shortly after, Captain Huddy was captured and taken as prisoner to New York City. The “Board of Associated Loyalists of New York” sent Captain Lippincott to Middleton Point, or Sandy Hook, with Captain Huddy and two other prisoners, to exchange them for prisoners held by the rebels. He was authorized to execute Huddy in retaliation for White’s execution. Therefore, on April 12, 1782, having exchanged the two other prisoners, Captain Lippincott hung Huddy on a tree by the beach, under the Middleton Heights. In 1867 the tree was still to be seen.

Captain Lippincott was tried before a court martial for his actions, and was acquitted on the grounds that he had acted not from “malice or ill will, but proceeded from a conviction that it was his duty to obey the orders of the Board of Directors of Associated Loyalists.”

At the Evacuation of New York at the end of the war, Captain Lippincott removed first to Nova Scotia and later to Upper Canada eventually settling in York (now Toronto).