Maryland Settled


Cecil Calvert

George Calvert, otherwise known as Lord Baltimore, had renounced (gave up) the Anglican Church and returned to Catholicism. He wanted to found a colony where English Catholics would be free to practice their religion. Before he could set up a colony he died. His son Cecil obtained a charter for a colony from King Charles. The charter created what became known as a "proprietary colony"- a colony that belonged fully to the one who held the charter. Cecil named his brother, Leonard, to be the governor of the new colony.

Leonard recruited colonists among both the Protestant and Catholic population. He offered generous land grants that would grow in size if you had a large family.

200 settlers departed England in late 1633, arriving in Maryland in March of 1634. There, they bought land from the Native Americans. They first built the town of St Mary's. The colony grew rapidly. The land was fertile and the local rivers both provided a means of navigation, as well as a source of seafood.
It soon became apparent to Leonard that the Protestants would outnumber the Catholics in the colony. He issued the first law in the colonies guaranteeing freedom of religion called the Act Concerning Religion, otherwise known the "Maryland Toleration Act". The law guaranteed freedom of religion for Christians only and did not apply to Jews or non-believers.