The Maryland Colony

By | Mar 25, 2015

The history of the Maryland Colony began with a failed attempt by George Calvert, the First Lord Baltimore, in Newfoundland. Calvert had been the Secretary of State under King James I and he had requested a chance to build a colony in the New World. The “Province of Avalon” began settlement in 1623 and by 1627 when Calvert first visited the colony 100 men and women were living at Ferryland, a plantation that was being built for him.

He stayed for a while before returning to England. In 1628 he returned with his household with the intention of remaining there for the rest of his days. The winter of 1628-29 was much worst than he expected and he returned again to England. He continued to desire a colony in the New World and began the process that would become the Maryland Charter.

The colony was named in honor of King Charles’s Queen, Henrietta Maria. Even though Calvert was a Catholic, he viewed the colony as a place where Catholics and Puritans could live together without oppression because of their faith. The boundaries were the Potomac River to the South, the Atlantic to the East and the 40th Parallel to the North.

George Calvert died on April 15, 1632 and the Charter for the Maryland Colony was granted to his son Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore, two months later on June 20, 1632.

In November of 1633 two ships, the Ark and the Dove left England for the Chesapeake Bay and the Maryland Colony. They were led by Cæcilius Calvert’s brother Leonard.

After a stop at the Jamestown where they bought animals and other supplies they ventured further up the Chesapeake Bay. They landed on March 25th at a small island they called St Clement’s Island, called Blakistone Island in later years. Today, Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources controls the island as a state park.


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