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A Declaration of The Lord Baltemore's Plantation in Mary-land
Volume 550, Page 10   View pdf image (33K)
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   Beginning about this time, crises in Calvert's private
and public life caused him to abandon his career at
court and turn his full attention to the New World. In
1622 his first wife died in childbirth after bearing him
eleven children. He described her to a friend as "the
dearest companion and only comfort of my life," and
the loss as "almost insupportable." Soon afterwards his
position at court began to weaken. Early in 1625 he was
finally forced to resign as secretary of state, although he
did not fall entirely from favor. James I kept him on the
privy council and made him Baron of Baltimore in the
county of Longford in Ireland as a reward for his years
of service. As these setbacks in his personal life and
political fortunes mounted, his interest in religion grew,
culminating in his conversion or reconversion to Roman

   In 1625 James I died and his son Charles I ascended
the throne. Lord Baltimore, summoned to take the
oaths of allegiance and supremacy to the new king, de-
clined as a matter of conscience. A good Catholic could
not recognize the supremacy of the king above the pope,
an attitude that many Tudor and Stuart Englishmen
interpreted as treason to the crown. The oaths were in-
tended as a test of loyalty to the king and the Church of
England, and refusal to take them barred anyone from
any public office. By this act Lord Baltimore gave up his
seat on the privy council and all hope of future offices
and the honor and profits they might bring.5

   Calvert turned his full attention to his tiny New-
foundland colony, Avalon. Although displaced from
court he could still serve his king by expanding the
king's dominions and he surely hoped that further
investment in his colony would be profitable to him.
Possibly he hoped that over the long run Avalon would



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A Declaration of The Lord Baltemore's Plantation in Mary-land
Volume 550, Page 10   View pdf image (33K)
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