The very year that witnessed the landing of the Pilgrims records the beginning of another attempt to colonize the New World. While Secretary of State, having been appointed in 1619, Sir George Calvert, a member of the Virginia Company from 1609 until its dissolution in 1624, determinedto plant a colony for himself. In the memorable year 1620 he bought of Lord Vaughan the patent to the south-eastern peninsula of Newfoundland, the next he sent colonists thither with a generous supply of money for their support. In 1623 King James gave him a patent, making him proprietary of this region. In 1625 Calvert boldly declared himself a Catholic, and resigned his office of Secretary. Spite of this he was soon afterwards ennobled, and his new title of Lord Baltimore is the name by which he is best known. Visiting his little settlement in 1627 he quickly came to the conclusion that the severity of the climate would make its failure certain. He therefore gave up this enterprise, but determined to repeat the attempt on the more favorable soil of Virginia.Confident of the goodwill of Charles I., to whom he had written for a grant of land there, he did not await a reply, but sailed for Virginia, where he arrived in 1629. In 1632 the king issued a patent granting to Baltimore and his heirs a territory north and east of the Potomac, comprising what we now call Maryland, all Delaware, and a part of Pennsylvania. The name Maryland was given it by the king in, honor of his queen, Henrietta Maria. But before this charter had received royal signature Lord Baltimore had breathed his last, and his son Cecil succeeded to his honors and possessions.
The Maryland charter made the proprietary the absolute lord of the soil.He was merely to acknowledge fealty by the delivery of two Indian arrows yearly to the king at Windsor. He could make laws with the consent of the citizens, declare war or peace, appoint officers of government; in fact, in most respects he had regal power. The colonists were, however, to remain English subjects, with all the privileges of such. If they were not represented in Parliament, neither were they taxed by the Crown. If the proprietary made laws for them, these must not be contrary to the laws of England. And they were to enjoy freedom of trade, not only with England but with foreign countries.
See also: 1626-1630