GREAT SEAL of 1648
By John T. Marck
When Benedict, fourth Lord Baltimore, embraced the Anglican faith, full control of Maryland was returned in 1715 to the formerly Catholic Calvert family. Use of the Great Seal of 1648 was resumed on all official acts of government. The obverse, showing Lord Baltimore in an equestrian pose, originally bore on its border the name of Cecilius, second Lord Baltimore. Sometime after Charles, third Lord Baltimore, became proprietor in 1675, the seal was re-cut substituting the Latin "Carolus" for the former Cecilius.
Fashioned of silver, the Great Seal of 1648 was sent to Maryland by Lord Baltimore to replace the seal lost in Ingle's Rebellion. The reverse shows Lord Baltimore's hereditary coat of arms, incorporating heraldic elements of the Calvert (paternal) and Crossland (maternal) families. The plowman and fisherman supporting the shield probably signify the bounties of Maryland's land and water resources.
Copyright ©1990-2022 by John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author. Seals courtesy of the Maryland State Archives. Reprinted by Permission.
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