"In 1693, Lionel Copley, the first royal governor, died, and Francis Nicholson, who had been Deputy Governor of New York and Lieutenant Governor of Virginia…succeeded to the office by virtue of a commission issued in 1691, appointing him Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, with the succession in the event of Copley's death…The first Assembly called by Nicholson met on September 20, 1694, in the old capital, St. Maries, and among other proceedings erected the settlement called Severn, on the river of that name, into the town and port of Anne Arundel." The Assembly moved the seat of government to Anne Arundel Town (Annapolis), a more central location, along with the Provincial Court and public records. "One thing Nicholson had much at heart, in Virginia, as in Maryland, and that was the cause of public education. It was by his exertions that William and Mary College in Virginia was founded in 1693; and one of his first acts in Maryland was to urge upon the Assembly the establishment of a system of free schools…At the October session an Act was passed imposing a duty on furs exported, the proceeds to be applied for the maintenance of a free school or schools." An Act was also passed establishing the Church of England in the Province. A matter of great importance was the case of John Coode, a clergyman of notorious depravity, who had been elected a burgess. Nicholson refused to swear him in on the grounds that a priest was ineligible to sit in the Assembly. As a whole, Maryland was fairly prosperous under Nicholson's administration.
William Hand Browne
(1900), 2007, CD, Graphic Images, Searchable, Adobe Acrobat, v6, PC and Mac, 621 pp.