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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, October 1773 to April 1774
Volume 64, Preface 24   View pdf image (33K)
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xxiv introduction.

was supported from public funds. The Rev. Hatch Dent was the first principal.

In Annapolis, King William's School, founded in 1696, had been struggling
along ever since then. When in 1730, Benedict Leonard Calvert, Governor
of the Province, died, he left to the school property to yield £40 a year. Gov-
ernor Sharpe and Governor Eden were both interested in education, and recom-
mended to the legislature to give some thought—and some money—to it. Eden
in his opening address to the two houses in 1769 wished that "a well founded
Provision for a more liberal Institution of Youth may be Established here"
(Archives, LXII, 4), and when he opened the second meeting and the second
session of the 1773 Assembly he expressed a warm wish that "a regular Semi-
nary for our Youth, liberally instituted and supported" be established (pp. 4,
41). For some time there had been agitation that the house begun in 1744,
as a residence for Governor Bladen and left unfinished for lack of funds, be
finished and used for King William's School. The Lower House passed a
bill to that end in 1763, and the Governor and the Upper House were probably
sympathetic to the idea, but when Governor Sharpe asked the Proprietary's
Secretary, he was told that the Proprietary would not consider the idea for a
moment. Support for the college included the tax on ordinary licenses, and
the Proprietary was unwilling to admit the right of the Assembly to that
money. On October 25, 1771 the Lower House passed a bill declaring that
$42,666 2/3 should be appropriated for establishing a seminary of learning,
but nothing came of it then. The provision was part of a bill for the emission
of bills of credit, and the two houses fell to quarreling over whether it was
or was not a money bill and whether the Upper House could amend it and thus
the bill did not pass. Apparently the amendment the Upper House wanted
would have delayed still longer the establishment of a college (Archives,
LXIII, 28, 33-34, 35, 127-128, 158, 176).

The Lower House was, however, still possessed of the desire for a seminary
of learning, and herein they had the support of Governor Eden. The Governor
in his opening address to the Assembly on October 13, 1773 again recom-
mended, as he had in 1769, "the establishment in this Province of a regular
Seminary for our youth liberally instituted and supported" (pp. 3-4). Two
months later the Lower House got down to the consideration of the idea and
again urged that the same sum of $42,666 2/3 be appropriated for the semi-
nary of learning (pp. 112-113). Again the appropriation was not made, but
in the March—April 1774 session some action began, and in the Upper House.
April 9, leave was given to introduce a bill for King William's School, the bill
was immediately introduced, passed and sent to the Lower House (p. 287).
It passed the Lower House almost as swiftly and, on April 16, 1774 it was
sealed into law by the Governor (293, 294, 301, 328, 344, 346, 348, 360).
Briefly, the act provided that the corporation of King William's School might
accept gifts given them, up to a total yearly income of £200, and that in the
absence of the rector, seven of the governors and visitors might act for the
corporation. King William's School could expand a little.

The November session established, at the request of the Baltimore County
delegation, the first official Baltimore market. Like most local laws, it began


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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, October 1773 to April 1774
Volume 64, Preface 24   View pdf image (33K)
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