George Calvert

(Lord Baltimore)


Lord Baltimore
George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore, was born in England about 1580, and was the descendant of a noble Flemish family of the same name. He studied at Oxford University. He was appointed by James I one of the principal secretaries of state, which office he resigned in 1624, when he avowed his conversion to the Roman Catholic faith. James, however, retained him in the Privy Council and made him Baron of Baltimore in Longford County, Ireland. Obtaining a grant from that sovereign of a large tract of land in Newfoundland, he founded there at great expense, and for several years sustained, a colony named Avalon. Owing to the rigorous climate and difficulties with the French, his efforts were not crowned with success. Desirous, however, of securing a place where his fellow Catholics could enjoy liberty of worship, he visited Virginia in 1628 and explored the adjacent territory. Returning to England, he obtained from Charles I a grant of land embracing the present State of Maryland. His death occurring in 1632, before the charter was issued, that instrument was made out directly to his son Cecilius. It guaranteed civil and religious liberty to the colonists and their exemption from English taxation.

Adapted from The Dictionary of Biography by Charles Morris

Key events during the life of Lord Baltimore:

Birth of Lord Baltimore.
Converted to Catholicism and resigned from the office of Secretary of State.
  Made Baron of Baltimore by King James I.
Visited Virginia.
  Founded Maryland Colony.
Death of Lord Baltimore.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
The Catholics in Maryland  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
Founding of Maryland  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
Other Colonies  in  American History Stories, Volume I  by  Mara L. Pratt

Image Links

George Calvert, the First Lord Baltimore
 in Builders of Our Country: Book I

Governor Calvert Bartering for Land on Chesapeake
 in Builders of Our Country: Book I

Short Biography
James I First Stuart king of England. Intelligent and competent, but unable to work effectively with Parliament.