Maryland as a Proprietary Province


The deep waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the fertile tobacco-growing lands of Maryland became a top priority for colonization in the early 1600s, when troubles with Spain gave a new urgency to England's need to establish permanent settlements in the New World. Read here about the English monarchy, the Maryland Charter, the lord proprietor, development of the proprietary government, the petition of the Virginians against the Maryland Charter, boundary disputes, the Protestant Revolution of 1689, and industrial, social and political development.

Part I comprises five chapters. Chapter I, Land and the Land Office, explains the feudal features of the land system including the granting of land, freeholds, manors, jurisdiction and administration, and more. Chapter II, Territorial Revenue, discusses grounds for opposition to territorial revenue, complaints about the prices asked for vacant lands, quit-rents, ferry licenses, port duties, collection and its effect upon the government. Chapter III, The Activity of the Assembly in Territorial Affairs, examines the "Mediaeval Fief vs. the Maryland Assembly" and problems between the people and the lord proprietor. Chapter IV, The Industrial Development, deals mostly with the tobacco industry and discusses attempts to diversify into other areas of economic development. Chapter V, The Social Development, discusses political activity in the 17th and 18th centuries and the "divergence of extremes between social classes," including discussion of slaves, servants, paupers, insolvent debtors, the failure to educate children of the middle class, the education of "favored sons" in schools outside of the province, the affluence of the upper social extreme, and the concentration of wealth and power.

Part II, Government, contains eight chapters and examines every aspect of the development of government from the province to the modern state. Important influences here were finance, religion (including the influence of the Jesuit Priests, the Quakers, the Catholics and the Church of England), local government, the administration of justice, the breakdown of relations with the home government, and the participation of our Maryland forefathers in events of national importance such as the Stamp Act. An everyname index aids researchers.

Newton D. Mereness

(1901), 2021, paper, 530 pp.

ISBN: 9780788406676