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Leonard Calvert

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Proprietary Governor of Maryland, 1634-1647, born in England, 1607; died in Maryland, 9 June, 1647. He was the second son of George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore. In 1629 he was sent to Newfoundland in charge of a vessel to protect the colony of Avalon against the depredations of French cruisers. In 1633, his brother, the second Lord Baltimore, appointed him Governor of Maryland and sent him in charge of an expedition to make a settlement. Two vessels, the Ark and Dove, carrying over 300 settlers sailed from the harbour of Cowes, 22 November, 1633, arriving at point Comfort, Virginia, 24 February, 1634. On 27 March they landed at what is now St. Mary's, then the site of an Indian village, and they began the work of establishing a settlement. The Indians received them kindly and sold them the land. Clayborne of the Virginia colony had established a trading post on Kent Island, which was in the domain of Maryland. After the settlement at St. Mary's this trade was continued. Trouble arose and Clayborne went to England to lay is claims before the king, but was informed that the island belonged to Lord Baltimore. The governor at once took possession of the island and established a settlement there.

The troubles in England following 1640 were responsible for disturbances in Maryland. In 1643 Governor Calvert went to England to discuss policies with the proprietor, leaving the affairs of the colony in charge of acting Governor Brent. At the close of 1643 Captain Ingle appeared at St. Mary's with a vessel commissioned by Parliament. The ship was captured and the oath against Parliament was tendered the crew. Ingle escaped. When Governor Calvert returned he found the colony distracted by factions. Ingle returned the following year, and, with the assistance of the Protestants and Clayborne, the Catholics, including Governor Calvert, were driven into Virginia. An oath of submission was tendered but not one Catholic took it. The Jesuit priests were sent to England. A state of anarchy prevailed for two years. Calvert returned in 1646 and captured St. Mary's, and in the following year Kent island. he favored the right of initiative in legislation by the colonists and won for them this privilege. In the difficulty between the proprietor and the Jesuits, he sympathized with the latter and prevented a rupture between them. In 1890 the state of Maryland erected a monument to him and his wife at St. Mary's.

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