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A Declaration of The Lord Baltemore's Plantation in Mary-land
Volume 550, Page 8   View pdf image (33K)
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George Calvert

   The Maryland charter was largely the work of Cecil
Calvert's father, George Calvert (1580-1632), the first
Lord Baltimore, whose career was a seventeenth-
century success story. He was the oldest son of Leonard
Calvert, an obscure gentleman of small means in Kiplin,
Yorkshire. Leonard Calvert was a Catholic when
George was born and the family was subjected to the
harassments of English laws that tried to force confor-
mity to the Church of England on every Englishman.
George's father eventually submitted, although his sec-
ond wife, George's stepmother, probably never did.
George received a Protestant gentleman's education at
Oxford followed by a tour of Europe after he had com-
pleted his degree in 1597. About this time he met Sir
Robert Cecil, a member of Queen Elizabeth's privy
council, and evidently made the most of this opportu-
nity. In 1603 Cecil took the young man into his personal
service. This patronage set Calvert on the road to office
and power, and he showed his gratitude when he named
his eldest son and heir, Cecil, after his benefactor. In
1617 James I knighted Calvert in recognition of his ex-
cellent service and in 1619 appointed him as one of his
principal secretaries of state. George Calvert, who had
begun his career with little fortune or family promi-
nence, had used a good education and excellent abilities
to become a personage of great importance, with the
wealth that accompanied major office.1

George Calvert's Preparation for Establishing Maryland

   Calvert's work in the royal bureaucracy offered him
many opportunities to observe and participate in trad-
ing and colonizing ventures. It was a time of major

                      [viii]


 

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A Declaration of The Lord Baltemore's Plantation in Mary-land
Volume 550, Page 8   View pdf image (33K)
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