90 HIS LORDSHIP'S PATRONAGE
than forty percent with a comparable growth in the Keepers'
incomes. 70 However the greater part of this increment must have
gone to the Keeper for the Western Shore.
7. COLLECTORS, RECEIVERS, AND FARMERS OF QUIT-RENTS.
Apparently no regular method of collecting quit-rents arose in
the first proprietary period. Land grantees were bound by their
patents to pay these charges directly to the Receiver General at
St. Mary's twice yearly, each Lady Day and Michaelmas. By
1644, however, annual payments had become the rule, and these
were now taken up sometimes by specially appointed collectors,
sometimes by the sheriffs. 71
From the inception of royal government until passage of the
Equivalent Act in 1716 all quit-rents were taken by these col-
lectors, probably at a commission. They were appointed by the
Agent, except during the lease of 1699 to 1707, when Bennett
and Heath appointed them.
On resumption of quit-rents in 1733 the rent roll was found
to be in such confusion as to make collecting rather difficult.
For this reason the former method, and the previously existing
office of collector, were not revived. Instead, most counties were
now farmed out on three year contracts at a discount of twenty-
five percent on the estimated total, while the remaining counties,
those which could not be farmed, were entrusted to receivers at
a ten percent commission. Each farmer was responsible for the
entire amount of quit-rents, minus his discount, and was bound
to compile a county roll for the Rent Roll Keeper. A receiver,
on the other hand, was responsible only for what he could collect
and was not required to compile a rent roll. 72 In October, 1755,
all receivers were discharged. 73
Meanwhile the farmers' discount had been progressively re-
duced as the perfection of His Lordship's rent roll eased their
collecting. Sharpe in 1753 found it at twenty percent and at once
70 See tables in Barker, op. cit., 380.
71 Kilty, op. cit., 257; Archives, III, 147, 267-68; XV, 119-20.
72 See Lord Baltimore's instructions to Gov. Samuel Ogle, June 18, 1733;
Baltimore's instructions to Agent Benjamin Tasker, March 18, 1735/6; Gov.
Thomas Bladen's report to the Lower House, Sept. 10, 1745; Cecilius Calvert's
plan for collecting the quit-rents, May 4, 1753 (Ibid., XXVIII, 67; XXXIX,
513; XLIV, 151-52; Black Books, XI, 22, Hall of Records).
73 This was incident to employing the sheriffs as farmers.