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Charles, Benedict Leonard and Charles Calvert

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Lord Baltimore

By John T. Marck

Charles Calvert was born August 27, 1637, and was the only son of Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, and his wife, Anne Arundell, daughter of Lord Arundell of Wardour. Charles had only one sibling, a sister.

Charles was commissioned governor of Maryland on September 14, 1661, and served as such until the death of his father, November 30, 1675. Upon his father's death he succeeded to the proprietorship of the province, and the third Lord Baltimore.

Being a Catholic, his position as governor and as proprietor came with many problems, as Protestants in the colony outnumbered the Catholics ten to one. Additionally, the ranks of the dissatisfied were increased with recruits from those who had come to the colony as convicts or as indentured servants. His problems continued with the Susquehanna Indians, who were hostile.

Because of a boundary dispute with William Penn, Calvert was required to travel to England where his troubles continued in the Protestant Revolution of 1688, as well as the antagonistic attitude of King William III toward proprietary charters. King William III ascended to the throne jointly with his wife, Queen Mary II in 1688, upon the death of King James II. Although executive power was given to William, they served together from 1689 to 1694. Upon Mary's death in 1694, William III ruled alone until his death in 1702. William III was succeeded by Queen Anne, who ruled from 1702 to 1714. Although Charles was industrious in coping with these many difficulties, he did so with a bad temper, especially toward any opposition. In 1670, following a heated experience with the Assembly in 1669, votes in the Assembly were restricted to those freemen who had at least fifty acres of land, or who had an estate worth at least forty pounds sterling. Meanwhile, the practice began of summoning to the Assembly only one-half of the delegates who had been elected. Calvert was accused of abusing his privilege of appointing sheriffs to control elections. In 1672, Charles caused the election of Thomas Notley, a strong supporter of Calvert, as speaker. When delegates to the Assembly did not see issues Calvert's way, he would summon them to his chamber, where he prevailed upon them to yield. Calvert had a habit of vetoing acts in the Assembly years after they had been passed.

Charles Calvert was married four times. His second wife, Jane, was the daughter of Vincent Lowe and the widow of Henry Sewall. Charles and Jane had several children, one of which was Benedict Leonard Calvert, the fourth Lord Baltimore. Charles' children were intent on making government a family affair. This attitude was successful for a short time, but passed to incompetent guardians soon after Charles's departure from England in 1684, when Charles went to defend his charter and territory from attacks by William Penn. Calvert's charter and territory were overthrown in 1689 by a Protestant association led by the irreverent John Coode. In 1692 a royal government was established.

Charles Calvert died on February 21, 1715. Although Charles lacked vision and personal magnetism essential to success, he continued to fight against encroachment of his territorial rights until his death. He is buried at St. Panoras, Panoras, England, located outside London. Charles and Jane Calvert's son, Benedict Leonard Calvert succeeded to the title of fourth Lord Baltimore upon his father's death. In January 1698, Benedict married Charlotte Lee, the daughter of Edward Henry Lee. Benedict Leonard and Charlotte had seven children:

  • Charles Calvert, fifth Lord Baltimore, born September 29, 1699, and died April 24, 1751.

  • Benedict Leonard Calvert, born September 20, 1700, and died June 1, 1732, at sea.

  • Edward Henry Calvert, born August 31, 1701. Death date unknown.

  • Cecilius Calvert, born November 1702. Death date unknown.

  • Charlotte Calvert, born November 1702, and married Thomas Brentwood, Esq., in 1723. She died in 1744.

  • Jane Calvert, born November 1703, and married John Hyde, Esq., in 1720. Her death date unknown.

  • Barbara Calvert, born October 3, 1704 and died in 1704.

Benedict Leonard Calvert died on April 16, 1715. Having claimed the title of Lord Baltimore on February 21, 1715, and having died on April 16, 1715, he served less than two months in this position. Upon his death, his son, Charles Calvert succeeded to the title of fifth Lord Baltimore.

Charles Calvert, the fifth Lord Baltimore married Mary Janson on July 20, 1730, the daughter of Theodore Janson and Williamza Henley. Charles and Mary had three children:

  • Frederick Calvert, born February 6, 1731 and died September 14, 1771. Frederick, upon the death of his father Charles, succeeded to the title of sixth and last Lord Baltimore. On March 9, 1753, Frederick married Liana Egerton. Frederick died on September 4,1771.

  • Benedict Swingate Calvert, his birth and death dates unknown. In 1748, he married Elizabeth, the daughter of Governor Leonard Calvert.

  • Louisa Calvert, her birth and death date unknown, married John Browning, Esq.

  • Caroline Calvert, her birth and death date unknown, married Robert Eden.


Copyright 1992+ by John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author.

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