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The Charter of Maryland, June 20, 1632
Volume 549, Page 6   View pdf image (33K)
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the charter in Lord Baltimore is now the responsi-
bility of the State, although the amount of such land
remaining to be granted is infinitely less than in
Lord Baltimore's day.

    Since the seventeenth century Maryland has not
possessed an official copy of the charter in English
or Latin. The original recorded copy of the charter is
in Latin and today is in the custody of the Keeper of
the Records at the Public Records Office, London,
England. In 1765 the General Assembly gave its
blessing to a new translation of the charter by the
Reverend Thomas Bacon, who had searched in vain
for an authentic copy in the colony's archives.
Bacon's translation is considered by many to be an
authoritative text, but it was not what seventeenth-
century Marylanders read.

    The original parchment copy of the Maryland
Charter in Latin has long been lost from the papers
of the Calvert family. Fortunately the earliest
documented manuscript English translation of the
charter was recently discovered among the papers
of a former colonial governor, Sir Edmund Andros
(1637-1714). It was acquired by Arthur A. Hough-
ton, Jr., who generously agreed to entrust it to the
care of the Maryland Hall of Records.

    The Houghton manuscript of the Maryland
Charter will be discussed at greater length in the
introduction of the forthcoming facsimile edition.
It is a fascinating document written at two different
times on paper with two different watermarks. Each
portion is in a different clerk's hand (see figure 1).
Both sections date from before 1660 and there is


 

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The Charter of Maryland, June 20, 1632
Volume 549, Page 6   View pdf image (33K)
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