When Virginia became crown property (1624), the king could do with it what he pleased. King Charles I accordingly cut off a piece and gave it to George Calvert, Lord Baltimore.1 This Lord Baltimore was a Catholic who had tried in vain to found a settlement in Newfoundland. He died before the patent, or deed, was drawn for the land cut off from Virginia, so (1632) it was issued to his son Cecilius, the second Lord Baltimore. The province lay north of the Potomac River and was called Maryland.
By the terms of the grant Lord Baltimore was to pay the king each year two arrowheads in token of homage, and as rent was to give the king one fifth of all the gold and silver mined. This done, he was proprietor of Maryland. He might coin money, grant titles, make war and peace, establish courts, appoint judges, and pardon criminals. But he was not allowed to tax the people without their consent. He had to summon a legislature to assist him in making laws, but the laws when made did not need to be sent to the king for approval.
The First Settlers - The first settlement was made by a company of about twenty gentlemen and three hundred artisans and laborers. They were led and accompanied by two of Lord Baltimore's brothers, and by two Catholic priests. They came over in 1634 in two ships, the Ark and the Dove, and not far from the mouth of the Potomac founded St. Marys. In February, 1635, they held their first Assembly. To it came all freemen, both landholders and artisans, and by them a body of laws was framed and set to the proprietor (Lord Baltimore) for approval
· 9 years ago