Calvert is the name of a family whose history is closely identified with that of the colony of Maryland. It includes:
1. GEORGE, the first lord Baltimore, who was born at Kipling, in Yorkshire, about 1580, and educated at Trinity College, Oxford. He early became secretary to Robert Cecil, one of the principal secretaries of state to James I. Soon afterwards he was made one of the clerks of the privy council, and in 1617 he was knighted. He afterwards became one of the two secretaries of state, and in 1620 received a pension of one thousand pounds annually.' In 1624 he frankly confessed to the king that he had become a Roman Catholic, and resigned his office. The king, however, retained him as privy-councillor during his entire reign; and in February, 1625, created him baron of Baltimore, in the county of Longford, Ireland. Calvert had obtained a royal patent for himself and heirs granting them the absolute proprietorship of the province of Avalon, in Newfoundland. He expended twenty-five thousand pounds in advancing this new plantation, and built a handsome house in Ferryland, to which he had sent a colony in 1621. He afterwards fitted out two ships at his own expense, with which he relieved the English fishermen of that coast from the encroachments of the French. Becoming dissatisfied with Newfoundland, he visited Virginia in 1628. Not being able to take the oath of supremacy required by the Episcopal party in that colony, he sought possessions outside of its limits. He returned to England, and in 1632 obtained a patent for the. territory within the limits of the present states of Delaware and Maryland. He died in London, April 15, 1632, before the grant was made out, and it was afterwards issued to: his son as below.
2. CECIL, second lord Baltimore, son of George, received June 20,1632, the charter which had been intended for his father, but which was executed for him by Charles I. It conferred on lord Baltimore and his heirs forever absolute ownership of the territory granted, and also civil and ecclesiastical powers of a feudal nature. The only tribute required was the annual payment of two Indian arrows, by which the proprietor as knowledged the sovereignty of the king. Cecil did not, go with his colony to America, but sent off an expedition in November, 1633, under the charge of his brother, Leonard Calvert. (q.v.), who became the first governor. Cecil Calvert died in 1676. The successive lords Baltimore were John (third), Charles (fourth), Benedict (fifth), Charles (sixth); and
3. FREDERICK, seventh lord Baltimore, was born in 1731, and succeeded to the title on the death of his father in 1751, and also to the proprietorship of Maryland. He died at Naples, Sept. 14,1771, leaving no legitimate children, and the title "lord Baltimore " ceased to exist.
See Fuller, Hist. of the Worthies of England; Kennedy, Character of George Calvert; Bancroft, Hist. of the United States; Hildreth, Hist. of the United States; Sparks, American Biog. vol. ix; Proceedings of the Maryland Hist. Society.