REVENUE OFFICERS: PROPRIETARY 91
made two year contracts at fifteen percent. 74 On expiration of
these he ordered the sheriffs to farm the quit-rents at ten percent. 75
This was at the suggestion of Secretary Cecilius Calvert, who
knew, he said, at least seven reasons why the sheriffs would be
the best and cheapest farmers. 76 Experience however proved him
wrong. The sheriff was too much engaged in other matters;
and farming attso low a rate could be profitable only to one with
several counties in his charge. 77 The farming of quit-rents to
private persons, at discounts of ten or fifteen percent, was conse-
quently resumed in 1767. 78 They ceased to act in 1775.
74 See Lord Baltimore's additional instructions to Gov. Horatio Sharpe, March
30, 1753, and Horatio Sharpe to Cecilius Calvert, May 3, 1754 (Portfolio No. 2,
folder 4(1), par. 78, Hall of Records; Archives, VI, 60).
75 Horatio Sharpe to Cecilius Calvert, Oct. 20, 1755 (Ibid., VI, 295). By
1756 this new method seems to have produced some increase, perhaps twelve or
fifteen percent, in the proprietor's income (Calvert Paper No. 953, Md. Historical
76 Cecilius Calvert's plan for collecting the quit-rents, May 4, 1753; Cecilius
Calvert to Agent Edward Lloyd, March 9, 1756 (Black Books, XI, 22, Hall of
Records; Calvert Paper No. 1181, Md. Historical Society).
77 Edward Lloyd to Cecilius Calvert, Dec., 1755, quoted in Cecilius Calvert
to Edward Lloyd, March 9, 1756; Horatio Sharpe to Lord Baltimore, Aug. 15,
1765 (Calvert Paper No. 1181; Archives, XIV, 213-14).
78 Horatio Sharpe to Lord Baltimore, March, 1767 (Ibid., XIV, 375-76). On
the commissions offered the various farmers see Ibid., XXXII, 409, 447, 488.