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Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1681-1685/6
Volume 17, Preface 6   View pdf image (33K)
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x Preface.

Maryland. The Proprietary therefore, in 1683, commissioned George
Talbott, a kinsman of his own, who had a large grant of land on the
Susquehanna, as Surveyor General of the Province, charging him to see
that no encroachments were made, and directing him to demand from
Penn all the land west of the Delaware, and south of the 40th parallel,
as belonging to Maryland. When Baltimore went to England, in 1684,
leaving the Province in the hands of a commission of Deputy Governors,
to administer in the name of his infant son, Benedict Leonard, Talbott
was appointed their head. He built a fort near New Castle, and
employed a band of rangers in guarding the marches, to the great
annoyance of Penn and hindrance of his designs.

A great grievance in Maryland had been the conduct of the royal
collectors. Though the colony by its charter was exempt from taxation
by the crown, this exemption was not held to apply to custom-house
duties; and the collectors, considering themselves King's officers,
treated the Proprietary government with contempt, did all that they
could to stir up disaffection against it, and bullied, robbed, and insulted
the people at their pleasure. In this conduct they were warmly aided
and abetted by the captains of vessels in the revenue service.

In 1684 the King's collector was one Christopher Rousby, who seems
to have been more than usually outrageous in his behavior, in which he
was backed up by Captain Thomas Allen, commandingthe revenue vessel
Quaker, lying in Patuxent River. Talbott had some occasion to go on
board the vessel, where he found Rousby. Apparently some carousing
went on, for on Talbott's attempting to leave he was detained by the
company in the cabin. Presently a fierce quarrel broke out, and
Talbott, drawing a dagger, stabbed Rousby to the heart. Allen
immediately placed Talbott in irons, and on the Council's sending the
sheriff to take the culprit into custody, refused to deliver him, declaring
that he would carry him to Virginia for trial. This he did, despite the
protests of the Council, nor would Effingham, the Governor of Virgina,
surrender his prisoner, that he might be tried in the Province where the
offence was committed. These facts were reported to Baltimore, then
in England, who obtained an order from the Privy Council to have
Talbott sent to England for trial.

Before this order could arrive, in February 1684/5, Talbott's wife,
accompanied by two faithful Irishmen, sailed down the Bay in a shallop,
and putting into the Rappahannock, lay-to at a point near the place of
Talbott's imprisonment. Here Talbott, who had made his escape
probably by bribing the jailor, came off in a canoe, and getting on board


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Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1681-1685/6
Volume 17, Preface 6   View pdf image (33K)
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