Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

First Lord Baltimore, statesman and colonizer. Born at Kiplin, Yorkshire, England, c. 1580; died in London, England, 15 April, 1632. He graduated from Oxford in 1597. In 1605 he married a daughter of John Mayne, a lady of distinguished family, who died in 1622. He spent some time on the continent, where he met Robert Cecil, the secretary of state. After his return, Calvert was made private secretary to Lord Cecil. He was soon appointed by the king a Clerk of the Crown for the Province of Connaught and the County Clare of Ireland. In 1609 he was sent to Parliament from Bossiney. He was sent on a mission to the French Court in 1610 on the occasion of the accession of Louis XIII. Upon the death of Lord Cecil in 1613, Calvert was made clerk of the Privy Council. Afterwards he was sent by the king to Ireland to report on the success of the policy of bringing the Irish people into conformity with the Church of England . There was a great deal of discontent among the Irish, and several commissions were appointed to hear and report on the grievances. Calvert served on two of these commissions. He became a favorite of King James I. He translated into Latin the argument of the king against the Dutch theologian, Vorstius. In 1617 the order of knighthood was conferred on him and two years later he was appointed principal secretary of state. Spain and France were rivals for English favor. Calvert, believing Spain would be the better friend or more formidable foe, favored the proposed marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales, with the Infanta Maria, daughter of Philip III, although the majority in Parliament were opposed to this union. In the year 1620 the king made Calvert one of the commissioners for the office of treasurer. In 1621 he served in Parliament as a representative from Yorkshire, and in 1624 from Oxford. He was one of the minority that favored the Spanish Court policy. He also tried to be a conciliator between the king and the country party. As a reward for faithful service the king granted him (in 1621) a manor of 2300 acres, in the county of Longford, Ireland, on the condition that all settlers "should be conformable in point of religion." Calvert, becoming a Catholic, in 1624, surrendered this manor, but received it again, with the religious clause omitted. On becoming a Catholic he resigned his secretaryship. The king retained him in his Privy Council and in 1625, elevated him to the Irish Peerage as Baron Baltimore of Baltimore in County Longford. After the death of James, Charles offered to dispense with the oath of religious supremacy, if Calvert would remain in the council, but Calvert declined.

Lord Baltimore purchased a plantation in Newfoundland in 1620, which he called Avalon, and quasi-royal authority was given him. He went to Avalon in 1627 to observe conditions in the province and to establish a colony where all might enjoy freedom in worshipping God. He landed at Fairyland, the settlement of the province, in 1627 and remained till fall. When he returned next spring he brought with him his family, including Lady Baltimore, his second wife, and about forty colonists. On his first visit to Avalon he brought two priests, and on his second visit one priest. After Lord Baltimore's second visit to Avalon, a Protestant minister, Mr. Stourton, went back to England and complained to the Privy Council that his patron was having Mass said in the province, and that he favored the Catholics. No attention, however, was paid to Stourton's complaints. In the war with France French cruisers attacked the English fisheries, and Lord Baltimore's interests suffered heavily.

About 1628 Lord Baltimore requested a new grant in a better climate. In the following year, before word came before the king, he went to Virginia and being a Catholic, was received with various indignities. He returned to England and at first received from Charles a grant of land south of the James River. Meeting opposition from some of the Virginia company, he sought another grant north and east of the Potomac, which he obtained. Before the charter was granted, however, he died. It is claimed that he dictated its provisions. Baltimore's works are "Carmen Funebre in D. Hen. Untonum." in a collection of verses on Sir Henry Unton's death, 1596; "The Answer to Tom Tell-troth: The Practice of Princes and the Lamentations of the Kirk," (1642), a justification of the policy of King James in refusing to support the claim of the Elector Palatine to the crown of Bohemia ; various letters and papers of value.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:1-6
1 I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to lead a life worthy ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all it contains, the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:54-59
54 He said again to the crowds, 'When you see a cloud looming up in the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 21st, 2016 Image

St. Hilarion
October 21: Abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great, ... Read More