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Calvert, George, 1st Baron Baltimore

George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, c.1580–1632, English colonizer of North America. In 1606 he became private secretary to Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury, then a secretary of state. His advance was rapid. In 1609 he became a member of Parliament, in 1613 clerk of the privy council, and in 1619 secretary of state and a member of the privy council. He defended the measures of James I in the House until his resignation in 1625, when he declared himself a Roman Catholic. The king then created him Baron Baltimore. Calvert had been a member of the Virginia Company and a member of the council of the New England Company, but, wishing to found his own colony, he was granted in 1623 the peninsula of Avalon in Newfoundland. He spent much money on a colony that was established there, but it did not prosper, and in 1629 Baltimore petitioned for a grant farther south where the weather was less severe. In 1632 the king granted him the territory N of the Potomac River that became the province of Maryland. Baltimore prepared the charter of his proposed colony but died before it could be accepted. The grant passed to his son, Cecilius Calvert.

See C. C. Hall, The Lords Baltimore and the Maryland Palatinate (1902).

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