Krugler, John D. 1940-

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Krugler, John D. 1940-


Born 1940. Education: Illinois College, B.A., 1964; M.A., 1966; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ph.D., 1971.


Office—Marquette University, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI, 53201-1881. E-mail—[email protected]


Historian, educator, administrator, and writer. Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, faculty member of the history department, beginning 1969, associate professor of history, 1977—, assistant chair of the history department, 1979-93, associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, 1993-96. Also visiting associate professor at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, 1989, and commissioner of the Historic St. Mary's City Commission, 1997—.


English and Catholic: The Lords Baltimore in the Seventeenth Century, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2004.

Contributor to books, including To Live Like Princes, edited by John D. Krugler, 1976; With a Gentle East Wind We Sailed, edited by Michael di Ieccia Farina, 1983; and The New Dictionary of National Biography, 2004. Contributor to periodicals, including Maryland Historical Magazine, Journal of Church and State, Catholic Historical Review, Mid-America: An Historical Review, Journal of American Culture, American Presbyterians: Journal of Presbyterian History, and the Historian. Visiting editor of the William and Mary Quarterly, 1989.


John D. Krugler is a historian whose scholarly efforts focus on research involving seventeenth-century Maryland and the Calvert family (the Lords Baltimore) that founded St. Mary's City, Maryland's colonial capital, in 1634. His book English and Catholic: The Lords Baltimore in the Seventeenth Century was referred to as "clear-sighted and detailed" by Jerome de Groot in a review on H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. The reviewer added that the author's "arguments are meticulously supported throughout," adding later in the same review that "this book nuances our understanding of the ways in which religious affiliation might affect elite families. It also complicates our understanding of early colonial politics and organization."

English and Catholic traces the development of the "Maryland Designe," a novel solution devised by the Calverts to help resolve the conflict they faced as English Catholics who were loyal to the throne. "This volume addresses a series of crucial political questions in seventeenth-century English history, not the least of which is the extraordinary oddness of a large residual Catholic presence both within the aristocracy and within the Stuart regime," wrote Michael Questier in the Journal of British Studies. "Relatively few historians have taken the period's Catholic peers (about twenty percent of the total on the eve of the civil war) seriously; this study does."

Facing persecution, financial penalties, and sometimes even deaths, Krugler points out in his book that English Catholics nevertheless often prospered and were successful in reconciling their faith with their loyalty to their country. Among the most successful of the English Catholics was George Calvert, who was a conforming protestant who converted back to Catholicism. Calvert became secretary of state under King James I and, after a crisis involving the family's close relationship with Spain forced him to resign his position in 1625, was named Baron of Baltimore in Ireland by the King. In his book, the author follows Calvert and his family as the Calverts not only enlarged the king's dominions but also embarked on colonial enterprises that eventually led the family to Maryland.

"He conceived the family's colonial enterprises and experienced the tribulations of colonization first hand, but he died before the Maryland charter received its final approval," the author writes of George Calvert in the book's preface. "That left implementation of his objectives to his eldest son, Cecil, the second Lord Baltimore. Cecil's son Charles, the third Lord Baltimore, eventually inherited a prosperous colony but lost it when a rebellion stripped him of his proprietary power."

As Krugler traces the history of the Calverts and the development of the "Maryland Designe," he places the founding and early history of Maryland within the context of pervasive anxieties in England over identity, allegiance, and conscience. In fact, the Calverts also faced anti-Catholicism in the colonies. American Historical Review contributor David L. Smith noted: "In addition to the practical difficulties that were inherent in establishing any colony in this period, the problems distinctive to Maryland stemmed principally from the visceral anti-Catholicism felt by the majority of the inhabitants not only of England but also of the other American colonies."

In the process of telling how the Calverts conducted a bold experiment in advancing freedom of conscience, the author also shows how the Calverts' story is both the story of English political and social issues and a story of the roots of American liberty as well. The author writes in his preface: "What did the Calverts' commitment to living as Catholics in Protestant England mean, not only for individual goals but for some of the larger political and religious questions that the English faced?" The author goes on to ask: "What circumstances and ideas motivated this Catholic family to risk their lives and their fortunes in the uncertain business of colonization? How did they implement their radical ideas? This study invites readers to think anew about the Catholic Lords Baltimore and their accomplishments in seventeenth-century England and North America."

English and Catholic received many favorable reviews. "The whole narrative is adroitly woven around a central theme of opposing polarities of religion and politics, state and church, conformity and dissent," wrote Michael J. Rozbicki in the Journal of American History. Tricia T. Pyne commented in the Catholic Historical Review: "This meticulously researched and well-crafted work will stand as the definitive study on the Lords Baltimore."

Several reviewers also noted that the author succeeds in shedding new light on George Calvert's motives concerning his religious stance and on the family's motives for colonization in America. Writing in Church History, Joe Creech commented that the author "offers keen insights into the motives, especially concerning religion, of the Lords Baltimore and how those motives shaped their colonial adventures." Creech went on to praise the book, noting: "Anyone who wants to understand the Lords Baltimore, English Catholicism, colonization in Ireland, Newfoundland, and especially Maryland, or questions about religious freedom in the English colonies will want to read this book."



Krugler, John D., English and Catholic: The Lords Baltimore in the Seventeenth Century, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2004.


American Historical Review, December, 2005, David L. Smith, review of English and Catholic, p. 1525.

Catholic Historical Review, October, 2005, Tricia T. Pyne, review of English and Catholic, p. 856.

Choice, June, 2005, W.T. Walker, review of English and Catholic, p. 1884.

Church History, March, 2006, Joe Creech, review of English and Catholic, p. 208.

English Historical Review, February, 2006, Keith Lindley, review of English and Catholic, p. 306.

Journal of American History, June, 2006, Michal J. Rozbicki, review of English and Catholic, p. 180.

Journal of British Studies, October, 2005, Michael Questier, review of English and Catholic, p. 829.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 2005, review of English and Catholic, p. 72.

William and Mary Quarterly, January, 2006, Owen Stanwood, review of English and Catholic, p. 192.


H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, (June, 2005), Carla Gardina Pestana, review of English and Catholic; (May 14, 2008), Jerome de Groot, review of English and Catholic.

Marquette University History Department Web site, (May 14, 2008), faculty profile of author and author's curriculum vitae.