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Charter of Maryland


West’s District Columbia Code Annotated

2001 Edition – pages 19 & 20


The Charter of Maryland


Charles, by the Grace of God, of England, Scotland, France

and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all to

whom these presents shall come, Greeting.



II. Whereas our well beloved and rightly trusty subject Caecilius Calvert, baron of Baltimore, in our kingdom of Ireland, treading in the steps of his father, being animated with laudable and pious zeal for extending the Christian religion, and also the territories of our empire, hath humbly besought leave of us, that he may transport, by his own industry and expence, a numerous colony of the English nation, to a certain region, herein after described, in a country hitherto uncultivated, in the parts of America, and partly occupied by savages, having no knowledge of the Divine being. And that all that region, with some certain privileges and jurisdictions, appertaining unto the wholesome government, and state of his colony and region aforesaid, may by our royal highness be given, granted, and confirmed unto him, and his heirs.

III. Know ye therefore, that we, encouraging with our royal favour, the pious and noble purpose of the aforesaid barons of Baltimore, of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, have given, granted and confirmed, and by this our present charter, for us, our heirs and successors, do give, grant and confirm, unto the aforesaid Caecilius, now barons of Baltimore, his heirs and assigns, all that part of the peninsula, or chersonese, lying in the parts of America, between the ocean on the east, and the bay of Chesopeake on the west, divided from the residue thereof by a right line drawn from the promontory, or head-land, called Watkin’s Point, situate upon the bay aforesaid, near the river of Wighco, on the west, unto the main ocean on the east; and between that boundary on the south, unto that part of the bay of Delaware on the north, which lieth under the fortieth degree of north latitude from the aequinoctial, where New England is terminated:  And all the tract of that land within the metes underwritten (that is to say,) passing from the said bay, called Delaware bay, in a right line, by the degree aforesaid, unto the true meridian of the first foundation of the river Pattowmack, thence verging towards the south, unto the further bank of the said river, following the same on the west and south, unto a certain called Cinquack, situate near the mouth of the said river, where it disembogues into the aforesaid bay of Chessopeake, and thence by the shortest line unto the aforesaid promontory or place, called Watkin’s Point; so that the whole tract of land, divided by the line aforesaid, between the main ocean, and Watkin’s Point, unto the promontory called Cape Charles and every the appendages thereof, may entirely remain excepted for ever to us, our heirs and successors.

IV. Also we do grant, and likewise confirm unto the said baron of Baltimore, his heirs and assigns, all islands and islets within the limits aforesaid, and all singular the islands, and islets, from the eastern shore of the aforesaid region, towards the east, which have been, or shall be formed in the sea, situate within ten marine leagues from the said shore; with all and singular the ports, harbours, bays, rivers, and straits, belonging to the region or islands aforesaid, and all the soil, plains, woods, mountain, marshes, lakes, rivers, bays, and straits, situate, or being within the metes, bounds and limits aforesaid, with the fishings of every kind of fish, as well as of whales, sturgeons, and other royal fish, as of other fish, in the sea, bays, straits or rivers, within the premises, and the fish there taken: And moreover all veins, mines, and quarries, as well opened as hidden, already found, or that shall be found within the region, islands or limits aforesaid, of gold, silver, gems and precious stone, and any other whatsoever, whether they be stones, or metals, or of any other thing or matter whatsoever:  And furthermore the patronages, and advowsons of all churches, which (with the increasing worship and religion of Christ) within the said region, islands, islet and limits aforesaid, hereafter shall happen to be built, together with license and faculty of erecting and founding churches, chapels, and places of worship, inconvenient and suitable place, within the premises, and of causing the same to be dedicated and consecrated according to the ecclesiastical laws of our kingdom of  England, with all, and singular such, and as ample rights, jurisdictions, privileges, prerogatives, royalties, liberties, immunities, and royal rights, and temporal franchises whatsoever, as well by sea as by land, within the region, islands, islets and limits aforesaid, to be had, exercised, used and enjoyed as any bishop of Durham, within the bishoprick or county palatine of Durham in our kingdom of England, ever heretofore hath had, held, used or enjoyed, or of right could, or ought to have, hold, use or copy.