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Maryland in 1671 - The Lord Baltimore Map

Views: 5280 Added: 05/17/2012 Updated: 05/17/2012


John Ogilby’s 1671 map “noua Terrae-Mariae tabula” is the earliest obtainable printed map of Maryland, and is a key item in a collection of antique Maryland Maps. The English translation of the title is “a new map of Mary-Land”, but it is usually referred to as the Lord Baltimore Map, easily recognizable by the inclusion of the large coat of arms of Cecil Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore, in the upper right portion of the image.


In 1632, King Charles I of England granted Cecil Calvert the right to a colony in North America which “shall be called Mariland or the province of Mariland in honour of the Queene”, thus endowing Calvert as the First Lord Proprietor of Maryland. Initially the grant was to have been given to Cecil’s father, George Calvert, First Lord Baltimore, and would have included lands south of the colony of Virginia and the entirety of the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Since George Calvert died in early 1632 and since Virginia settlers had already begun to cross the bay and settle at the tip of the eastern shore, the grant to his son was amended to include the eastern shore only as far south as a line drawn east from the Potomac River. Moving the grant north of Virginia was also an attempt by the English Crown to provide a buffer against Dutch settlers’ expansion from New Amsterdam (New York). Calvert immediately began plans to settle the colony, and two of his father’s former ships, the Ark and the Dove, sailed across the Atlantic laden with settlers, landing at St. Mary’s in 1634.


To promote his colony, Cecil Calvert published “A Relation of The Successful beginnings of the Lord Baltemore’s Plantation in Mary-Land to which is added the Conditions of plantation propounded by his Lordship for the second voyage intended this present yeere, 1634”. This pamphlet was authored by Father Andrew White, a member of the first contingent of settlers. In 1635, a revised “Relation…” was printed, and some copies of the 1635 pamphlet included a map probably drawn by Jerome Hawley and John Lewger, members of the first Maryland expedition. This hastily drawn map drew heavily on the seminal map of Virginia delineating the Chesapeake Bay region published in 1612 by Captain John Smith. Like the John Smith map, north is oriented to the right, and a compass rose indicates the northern direction. It was the first map showing the boundaries of the province of Maryland, and included a boundary with Virginia on the southern Potomac shore. It can be accurately described as the first state of the Lord Baltimore Map, but due to its excessive rarity, today it is found only in public institutions and a few private collections.


Surprisingly, there were no new maps of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay region published between 1635 and 1671 except for fanciful creations by George Alsop in 1666, and Virginia Farrer in 1667. None of the major cartographers of the mid 1600’s (Hondius, Merian, Blaeu, Jansson, et al) produced a map centering on Maryland, though most of them continued to publish derivatives of the Captain John Smith map of Virginia. Lord Baltimore was aware of the deficiencies of the 1635 map, particularly the glaring error of the northern boundary – the 1635 map inaccurately drew the northern boundary of Maryland (the 40th degree of north latitude) too far south, touching the head of the Chesapeake Bay - and efforts were made to gather more accurate geographical data.


Finally, in London 1671, the Englishman John Ogilby published “America, being an accurate description of the New World” with a suite of maps of regions of the western hemisphere. Ogilby’s “America…” was largely a translation of “De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weerld: of Beschryving van America” which had been published in Amsterdam by Arnoldus Montanus earlier in the same year. Ogilby even contracted to have the engraving plates for the maps shipped from Amsterdam to London to facilitate his own publication. It is clear that Ogilby had assistance from Lord Baltimore, and the nine page description of Maryland was his own. Additionally, Ogilby added five new maps in his work, one of which, the Lord Baltimore Map of 1671, contained information that must have come from Calvert. Adding to its scarcity, this “new” map was not initially included in Ogilby’s work. In a rush to print, Ogilby at first included the Montanus version of the John Smith map of Virginia, with the title amended in manuscript to include Terrae-Mariae.


However, at some point during the publication history, the Lord Baltimore Mapnoua Terrae-Mariae tabula” was included, with King Charles’s arms eliminated and Lord Baltimore’s arms greatly enlarged. It is a revision of the earlier 1635 map found in the “Relation…” with several important changes. Ogilby’s is the first map to include the counties of Maryland, ten in all, and notably named Cecil County which was not officially recognized until about three years later in 1674. Three early settlements (Calverton, Harvington and Herrington) are identified on the map. Most importantly, the earlier error as to the northern boundary of Maryland was amended, with the 40th parallel being pushed farther north. Although corrected on Ogilby’s map, the Proprietors of Pennsylvania used the erroneous line delineated on the 1635 “Relation…” map as evidence in a land boundary dispute that was not resolved for another century with the drawing of the Mason-Dixon Line in the 1760’s.


The Lord Baltimore map of 1671 stands as a testament to Cecil Calvert and the early history of Maryland. Belying its importance, the map image is not large, only about 12 by 15 inches. It was issued in an uncolored state, though early hand colored examples are known, and many examples have later hand coloring. Although it is not common, examples do occasionally appear on the market, usually in the low five-figure dollar range.

Cecil Calvert established and managed Maryland from his home in England, never setting foot on his dominions in America. As a Catholic, he continued the legacy of his father by promoting religious tolerance in the colony. In 1649 the colonial assembly passed the Maryland Toleration Act, the first law establishing religious tolerance in the British North American colonies. The Calvert arms are still seen today on the state flag of Maryland. Cecil Calvert, Lord Baltimore, died in 1675 and his title and lands passed to his son and heir Charles Calvert, Third Lord Baltimore.


 Author’s notes:

In this short article I have relied heavily on the following works: Edward C. Papenfuse and Joseph M. Cole III, “The Maryland State Archive Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland 1608-1908”, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2003; Philip Burden, “The Mapping of North America”, Raleigh Publications, England, 1996 and; Philip Burden, “The Mapping of North America II”, Raleigh Publications, England, 2007. These are extremely well done references, with copious illustrations. I recommend them to anyone interested in the early cartography of the eastern regions of North America. The John Smith Map and its derivatives mentioned above are found at Papenfuse and Cole, figure 1 and Burden, #164. The 1635 “Relation…” map of Maryland is cited at P&C, figure 7 and Burden, #240, while the Ogilby 1671 Lord Baltimore map is  P&C, figure 8 and Burden (II), #417.

A number of on-line sites illustrate these maps, in particular the Maryland State Archives website .


About the author:

Charles E. Puckett and his wife Teresa have done business as Charles Edwin Puckett for more than thirty years, concentrating on medieval illuminated manuscripts, rare maps, and classical antiquities. They are active members of the Antiques Council, and exhibit in more than a dozen antiques shows yearly. They are also available by appointment in Akron OH, and through their website, Mr. Puckett holds degrees from Colorado College (BA) and Wharton Graduate School, UofPA (MBA).





Author:   Charles Edwin Puckett
Phone: 330.668.0032
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