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NOTE: This is an HTML-formatted copy of the original 1996 edition. That edition had 467 pages of text, with an additional 13 pages of front material, which included a title page, a listing of contents, abbreviations, tables, maps and illustrations, and acknowledgments. Page numbers have been inserted in this HTML edition that correspond with the numbering in the original edition. But in some cases these page numbers do not exactly correspond with the page numbers listed in the index. If the item listed in the index is not found on the listed page, it will be in the preceding or following page. In order to make the book reader -friendly, most of the 13-page front material has been placed at the end of the document, after the index. Only the table of contents remains in the front.



Social, Economic and Religious Beliefs among Maryland Catholic Laboring People During the Period of the English Civil War, 1639-1660

Edward Terrar

[FRONT MATERIAL, 1996 ed., p. iii]



List of Tables, Maps & Illustrations.................   ..................................




Note on Quotations, Dating, and Money Values


Note on "Career Files"




Introduction: The Argument, Methodology, and English Demographic-Career Background...............………….......................................



            The Argument


            Background: Demographic and Career Aspects of English



Chapter 1: The English Catholic Belief Background Concerning
                                                            Labor, Politics, the Clergy, and the Market.......................



            Catholic Labor Beliefs in England


            Catholic Political Beliefs in England


            English Catholic Beliefs about the Clergy


            Catholic Market Beliefs in England


Chapter 2: The Demographic and Career Backgrounds of the
                                                            Maryland Catholics and their Beliefs about Labor...........



            Maryland Demographic Background


            Beliefs of Laboring People


            Maryland Landlord Beliefs


            The English Gentry's Beliefs About Labor


Chapter 3: The Political Beliefs of Maryland Catholics..........................


            Self-Government and the Proprietor


            Independence from Proprietor: Legislative


            Independence from Proprietor: Judicial


            Independence from Proprietor: Taxation


            Independence from the Crown


            Royalist Accusations


            Gentry Catholics in England


Chapter 4: Beliefs about the Role of the Clergy...................................


            Parish Ministry


            Obstacles to Ministry


            Assembly Legislation Concerning Clergy's Role: Praemunire


            Legislation: Pastors


            Legislation: Church Courts


            Legislation: Tax, Military & Court Liability


            Legislation: Mortmain


            Legislation: Oaths and Covenants


            Legislation: Argument


[FRONT MATERIAL, 1996 ed., p. iv]

Chapter 5: Beliefs about the Market...............................................


            Depression Market Conditions


            Collectivist Corn Legislation


            Collectivist Tobacco Legislation


            Collectivist Land & Labor Legislation


            Legislation: Pelts, Merchants & Officials


            Legislation: Local Merchants & Officials


            Legislation: Foreign Merchants & Officials


            English Catholic Gentry Beliefs about the Market


Chapter 6: Catholic Beliefs in Relation to Gender................................


            Gender: Demographic Background


            Legislation: Contract Rights


            Legislation: Civil Marriage


            Court Decisions and Customs


            Customs: Family Formation


            English Catholic Gentry: Primogeniture


            English Catholic Gentry: Celibacy


            English Catholic Gentry: Obedience


            Beliefs in Relation to Race...................................................


            African & Indian Demography


            Religious Background


            African & Indian Laboring Background


            Conoy Labor Beliefs


            Conoy Political Beliefs


            Conoy Religious Beliefs


            Conoy Market Beliefs




Appendix 1: Biographical Information on the Documented and Some
            Undocumented Catholics in Maryland During the Civil War


Appendix 2: Documented Catholics Arranged According to Decade of
            Arrival and Status upon Arrival


Appendix 3: Documented Catholics Who Followed Non-Agrarian


Appendix 4: Catholics in the Assembly during the Civil War Period


Appendix 5: Maryland Catholics Who Carried on Business as Usual
            During the 1645 Overthrow and Those Against Whom
            Hostility Was Directed


Appendix 6: Religion of St. Mary's Troops Involved in the Battle of
            the Severn, 1655


Appendix 7: Chronology of the Civil War Period in England and


Appendix 8: Saints' Days and Other Festivals




Selected Bibliography.................................................................


            I.   Europe (Ancient, Middle Ages)/England (general)


            II.  England (Catholic)/Ireland


            III. Maryland primary


[FRONT MATERIAL, 1996 ed., p. v]

            IV.   Maryland secondary...................................................


            V.    Africa/African-American/Indian


            VI.   Women


            VII.  Economic/Political/Social


            VIII. Intellectual (primary)


            IX.   Intellectual (secondary)


            X.    America (general)/New England/New York/Virginia/


            XI.   Religion (general)/Rome/Italy


            XII.  France/Canada/Dutch Republic/Flanders


            XIII. Spain/Portugal/Mexico/South America/Caribbean/


            XIV. Law





[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 1]


The Argument, Methodology, and English Demographic-Career Background

            This study is about the beliefs of the Maryland Catholics during the period of the English Civil War. The center of their belief was that the world should be taken seriously. Their beliefs are studied by looking at four themes that were basic to their thinking: their belief about the value of labor, political independence, the role of the clergy, and the nature of market relations.

            It might be objected to this study's approach that the only beliefs which should be called "Catholic" were those which were "official," that is, those taught by the hierarchy, meaning the bishops and pope. In considering this objection, two points need to be observed. First, most of the Maryland Catholics' beliefs were those taught by the hierarchy at least in certain times and places. For example, in the seventeenth century the hierarchy taught that it was wrong but officially accepted the right of national governments to veto the appointment of bishops. The official church also often taught that it was wrong but in its canon law accepted the accumulation or multiple holding of benefices, that is, parish income, and acknowledged that the receiver of the benefices did not have to fill their conditions, that is, serve as pastor.[1] On the other hand, as will be seen, the Maryland Catholics prohibited the authority of canon law and legislatively required the clergy to serve as pastors. In this instance, the Catholics were more "official" than the hierarchy.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 2]

            The second point that needs to be observed in considering the objection that the Catholics' beliefs were not official is that the hierarchy and pope acknowledged that the traditions of the Catholic people were a source for "official" belief and that tradition at times took precedent over contrary written (canon) law.[2] An example of where Catholic custom became a source for "official" beliefs despite canon law to the contrary was Maryland's Act of Religious Toleration. The present-day hierarchy hold this up with pride but at the time it was enacted in 1649, it was in violation of official bulls and canons going back a century. Toleration was not then the doctrine of the hierarchy.

            To confine the study of seventeenth-century Catholic beliefs to those of the hierarchy, it is argued in this study, would be to miss more often than not the "official" beliefs. This is an ambitious study. It is about Maryland Catholic beliefs, but the theoretical framework it follows makes it applicable beyond its particular geographic and time limitations. The theoretical framework involves identifying what is official based on the universal acceptance of such beliefs by Catholics. The nature of the Catholics' beliefs will be addressed in the next six chapters. Then the argument about their official nature will be further developed in the concluding chapter.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 3]

            Another objection that might be raised to the this study's approach besides the "officialness" of beliefs concerns the use of the term "beliefs" rather than mentality or ideology. Beliefs is generally preferred here because it is a term with ancient roots that was used by the Catholics themselves. The terms mentality and ideology are more recent in origin and do not precisely cover what is studied here. This study is equally interested in the convictions or persuasions of truth held by the Catholics as it is in the Catholics themselves. The study of mentality tends to emphasize group psychology and give a secondary place to ideas or beliefs. Ideology or intellectual studies tend to disembody beliefs, and give secondary attention to the believers. This study finds that one cannot know the Catholics unless one knows their beliefs, and one cannot know their beliefs unless one knows the Catholics and their social situations.

            The study begins with a summary discussion of the English Catholic community and their beliefs, being the sources from which the Maryland community sprang. Then follows five chapters that take up the four substantive themes of the study. The first theme centers on the point that most Catholics were laboring people. They spent much of their lives doing manual labor of one type or another. To understand what it was to be a Catholic, it is necessary to look on their views of such an important part of their lives.[3] The study finds, not unexpectedly, that they viewed labor in a positive light, both as a means to an end and as a way of life. This was reflected in the Maryland assembly and judicial records, in their migration to and their remaining in Maryland, and in their everyday work-lives. This positive view of labor had the roots of what classical political economists formulated as the labor theory of value.[4] The Catholics were not concerned about formulating a theory of economic activity, but as Ronald Meek points out, throughout the period the "habit of thinking of `value' in terms of producers' cost remained firmly rooted in the consciousness of the direct producers themselves."[5] The Catholics' labor theory of value dominated their political, religious, and market beliefs.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 4]

            As laboring people the Catholics during the Civil War years had political interests and beliefs that were sometimes independent from and opposed to both the royalist and parliamentary gentry in England. This is the second theme that will be taken up. The Catholics succeeded in upholding the independence of their assembly, judiciary, and tax system, which included at times defiance of the crown, the proprietor, the Parliament, and the London merchants.

            The third issue looked at in this study is the belief of the Catholics about the role of the clergy. As laboring people, they had beliefs that on some fundamental issues ran counter to the thinking of the clergy. They believed the clergy should serve their needs, which involved the establishment of parishes and the employment of the clergy as pastors. The clergy were inclined toward Indian mission work or the manorhouse type of ministry which often dominated in England and which ignored the needs of laboring people. The Catholics through assembly legislation and court cases were able to prevail in making the clergy serve their needs.

            The fourth issue taken up concerns market relations. The Catholics believed the market should serve their needs. They were often able to make their market beliefs prevail through court cases and the legal codes which they enacted. Finally, beliefs in relation to gender and race are discussed.

            The prime argument or thesis of this study is that the Maryland Catholic laboring people had beliefs which served their needs and which they were often successful in defending. In being nearly a law unto themselves concerning their basic beliefs, the Catholics resembled the Protestant antinomians (literally "those against the law"), who were challenging the established order in church and state throughout the period. Not a few antinomian doctrines found their way into the Catholic pamphlet literature of the period, such as universal grace, an emphasis on the Holy Spirit, and eschatology.[6]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 5]

            The Catholics, like many of the Protestants, did not use the term "antinomianism" to describe their beliefs. The term was used mainly to insult them by their enemies.[7] The Maryland Catholics in 1649 outlawed the use of the term in their Act Concerning Religion.[8] The Catholics did not call their beliefs antinomian, but scholars who study Catholicism use the term about Catholics. For example, Jodi Bilinkoff in her study of the subject calls "antinomian" the teachings of Maria Vela y Cueto in sixteenth-century Spain.[9] James Gaffney labels the program of the English Benedictine priest Augustine Baker (d. 1641) "a virtual antinomianism predicated on the belief that nothing is finally normative for human behavior but the personal experience of what is taken to be a divine inspiration."[10] Vela and Baker never labelled themselves as antinomian. But Bilinkoff and Gaffney show that the substance of antinomianism, which included resistance to what authorities were calling God's order, existed among Catholics just as among Protestants.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 6]

            In using the term "antinomian" to indicate as much a material as a spiritual doctrine, this study follows Christopher Hill, Gertrude Huehns, Charles Francis Adams, and a general tendency in Civil War antinomian leveler tracts. The leveler Gerald Winstanley (d. 1652) taught that antinomianism was about the "here and now," that is, rent-free land, not only about the next life or the Holy Spirit.[11] The Presbyterian-dominated Parliament in 1646 called treasonous the teaching of antinomianism and enacted capital punishment against it.[12] The Presbyterian gentry did not fear antinomianism because of otherworldly considerations, but because, as occurred in Pride's purge in 1648, the antinomians were seeking political power at the expense of the Presbyterians.

            The antinomian Thomas Collier wrote in 1646 that "believers are a law unto themselves."[13] The English Catholic priest Thomas White's doctrine was antinomian, although he never labelled it that. He taught that, "It is a fallacious principle, though maintained by many, that obedience is one of the most eminent virtues and that it is the greatest sacrifice we can offer to God, to renounce our own wills, because our will is the chiefest good we have."[14] Augustine Baker and the English Benedictine nun Gertrude More (d. 1633) were antinomian in teaching that it was necessary to look to the "inner light," the "inward voice," "the illumination of God's Holy Spirit," "the liberty of the Spirit," and "in preferring interior divine guidance to the counsel of spiritual directors."[15] The term antinomian is used in this study to describe Maryland Catholics because it was used in the period in connection with the type of beliefs expressed by them. Like Thomas White, they did not believe that obedience or the renunciation of their wills concerning labor, politics, the clergy, and the market was something pleasing to God. Rather, they used their wills to benefit their own material needs.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 7]

            Besides the thesis that Catholics had beliefs that served their needs, this study makes several subsidiary arguments or observations. One is that the Civil War period is a good period for studying their beliefs. It is a good period because first, the sometimes sharp divisions that were present during the period in England and Maryland and the pamphlets, letters, legislation, and court cases that were generated to justify the various interests, bring into clearer focus beliefs which in other periods might be misinterpreted or missed entirely. It is no wonder that the period has attracted much attention among historians interested in studying the beliefs of laboring people in England. The war pitted the crown against Parliament. During the 1630s the crown had refused to call a Parliament and had imposed what were widely considered to be illegal taxes. In the 1640s the crown sought by armed force to overthrow Parliament, but ended up itself being abolished in 1649. Laboring people did the brunt of the fighting and left in the leveler and digger pamphlets a record of their thinking. The period in Maryland has a similar uniqueness for those interested in the beliefs of Catholic laboring people.

            The Civil War era is also a good period for studying the thinking of Maryland Catholics because the war and its prelude coincided with the establishment of the Maryland colony in 1634. Catholic laboring people dominated the assembly and courts to an extent that was not repeated in the post-war period. Many of the records they left express their beliefs.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 8]

            Another argument or observation of this study is that anti-Catholicism and anti-Protestantism were a relatively unimportant aspect of Maryland Catholic existence. This is a point about Maryland history that has been observed by Lois Green Carr, who expresses a certain amount of puzzlement:

Given the disruptions of the first twenty-five years of Maryland history, one might suppose it was a period of great internal conflict over religion. But in fact the evidence is strong that when Protestants and Catholics lived side by side they lived peaceably together. There was remarkably little open conflict between settlers as individuals over religious issues. One might have thought that the court records would abound with complaints that Catholics or Protestants had criticized each other's beliefs or religious behavior. But over the first twenty-five years there were only three such occurrences.[16]

            In finding anti-Catholicism and anti-Protestantism to have been of little significance, this study follows the pattern that has characterized the county studies of English Catholic history since at least World War II.[17] The work of those like J. T. Cliffe and Hugh Aveling has been criticized because they "have quite failed to provide a grass-roots background for the national policies of no-popery."[18] The most important work about the period, John Bossy's English Catholic Community is said to be "decidedly odd" for "scarcely mentioning anti-Catholicism, a persistent feature of English politics for nearly 300 years."[19] Like Bossy's study this present study is "not primarily concerned with the relation of minority to majority, considered either as a state or as a church, but with the body of Catholics as a social whole and in relation to itself, with its internal constitution and the internal logic of its history."[20] Nor is there in this study anything on other traditional themes: martyrology, apology, or debates on the hierarchy.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 9]

            In defense of the local English Catholic historians, it needs to be pointed out that they did not set out to ignore anti-Catholicism, anti-Protestantism or the traditional themes of other historians. Their work merely reflects the fact that these topics were not, as one writer puts it, a significant part of Catholic life:

The great value of the county studies has been to demonstrate in detail how mistaken this picture [of anti-Catholicism and anti-Protestantism] was, and how normal, even uneventful, was the life led by many English Catholics. Religion served as a pretext for occasional legal or even physical attacks upon Catholic gentry, but investigations of such incidents usually turn up the familiar motives for local feuding--personality, property, and prestige.[21]

            Likewise at the national level, the nature of anti-Catholicism and anti-Protestantism was probably not as simple as it is sometimes presented. Christopher Hill observes that anti-Catholicism was a way of attacking absolutism.[22] As will be seen, Catholics no less than Protestants promoted this "anti-Catholicism," which included rejecting the claims of the papacy to anything but a fraternal (not paternal or superior) relation. Catholic "anti-Catholicism" was not a result of Protestant influence but the continuation of an English Catholic tradition. The claim of the Roman emperor and later of Charlemagne and his successors to be above the law had never been a popular doctrine. Similarly when the papacy tried to make law on its own, this was not accepted. Edward Norman remarks:

The English Catholic Church of the middle ages had always been separated from Rome. The centralizing of the Council of Trent which ended in 1563 was foreign to traditional English Catholicism. . . There had been no agreement about the extent or nature of papal jurisdiction in English Catholicism of the past. Elizabethian Catholicism did not rush to assert the primacy of the pope. The Jesuits did.[23]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 10]

            "Penal" laws against Roman interference in the English Catholic church had been on the books for centuries prior to those enacted during the Reformation.[24] The First Statute of Praemunire was enacted in 1353. It outlawed legal appeals to Rome and the extension of Roman law to England.[25] Penalties included outlawry, forfeiture, imprisonment, and banishment. Pope Martin V (ruled 1417-1431) protested that the laws against the Jews and Saracens did not have such dire consequences as these.[26] The "Second Statute of Praemunire" (1393) made it treason for anyone to allow Rome to interfere with the election of bishops.[27] The same purpose had been served prior to praemunire by common law writs of prohibition, of quare impedit, of quare non admisit, of quare non-permittit, and by the long-established right, reaffirmed by an ordinance in 1343, of forbidding the introduction into England of papal bulls prejudicial to the church.[28] Beginning in the 1480s praemunire began to be applied not only to Roman courts but to litigation in the English church courts. Litigants used common law courts to punish those who sued them in church courts.[29] R. H. Helmholz remarks that by the time of the Reformation, a jurisdictional reformation had already occurred because of the expanded use of praemunire.[30] The nature of the English Catholic "penal" tradition was commented on at the time by those who disliked it. Robert Persons, S.J., for example, remarked:

If we caste back our eyes unto the former times in England, we shall find that for above five hundred years, even from the Conquest and entrance of the Normans and French Governors over our country, they have ever continued a certain faction and emulation of the laity against the clergy, which did make the path by little and little unto that open schism, heresy and apostasy, whereunto at length it fell.[31]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 11]

            In addition to being a way of attacking clerical absolutism, in which the Catholics had a hand, anti-Catholicism also had another use. Some of the magnates seem to have regularly employed it in their efforts to manipulate laboring people. The idea was to shift the blame away from themselves for an established order in England in which up to half the people were in poverty and without employment.[32] There were Chesapeake landlords who in a similar manner attacked the economic interests of white and black laboring people by attempting to pit them against each other to minimize their united opposition to the landlord order.[33] But just as in mid-seventeenth-century Maryland whites and blacks were not easily fooled in discerning what was in their interest, the English laboring majority and even many among the gentry were not generally misled.

            For example, one scholar believes that John Pym in 1641 and 1642 used anti-Catholicism to "hold a majority about him in Parliament" against the crown.[34] Pym used anti-Catholicism, but his main argument centered on anti-Royalism and anti-Laudism. There was unity against the crown because the gentry in Parliament had no interest in increasing their taxes so that the king could impose an episcopacy in Scotland. Not theoretical fear, but concrete dislike of clericalism and taxation was the issue.

            An over reliance on some of the gentry's pamphlets, especially from the period of the 1688 revolution, might lead one to conclude that anti-Catholicism was "the strongest, most widespread, and most persistent ideology in the life and thought of the seventeenth-century British and constituted one of the forces making for national unity."[35] However, this largely ignores local and national studies on the subject. There was as much disunity on religious, economic, and political issues as there was unity. The disunity was great enough to bring civil war. It was not Catholics who the Independents and levelers purged from Parliament in 1648. The Independents went after the Presbyterian gentry, who were seeking a settlement with the crown without satisfying the demands of the laboring people that in large part made up the New Model Army.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 12]

            Assertions about the strength of anti-Catholicism at the national level based on the unity which it produced need to be re-examined. Likewise one has to question the strength of anti-Catholicism when one finds Catholics being included in the various coalitions that were formed during the era. For example, the Presbyterian gentry formed a coalition with Catholic Royalists and the French government. This included starting in 1646 a plot with the Catholic queen, Henrietta Maria against the Independents.[36] Similarly, the levelers in 1649 opposed Cromwell's invasion of Ireland. They stated that the Irish Catholics were not their enemy, but the London merchants and English gentry who wished to weaken the power of the laboring people by sending off to Ireland their most effective protector, the army.[37] The leveler William Walwyn suggested that the English should look to "honest papists . . . to learn civility, humanity, simplicity of heart; yea, charity and Christianity."[38]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 13]

            Anti-Catholicism was not strong enough at the national level to produce unity or to prevent coalitions with Catholics. It was also not a significant issue in much of the pamphlet literature. Robin Clifton has done the most extensive study of pamphlet literature for the period. He finds that pamphleteers abandoned anti-Catholicism as a stock propaganda theme early in the war because the majority of English readers knew better and could not be manipulated by it: "Why should a writer in such evident need pass over a stock propaganda theme [as anti-Catholicism] unless he knew its value to be debased?"[39] At best the popular fear of Catholicism was a factor only until 1642, as Clifton sums up:

During the English Revolution the fear of Catholics had political significance for three years only, between 1640 and 1642. . . A few anti-Catholic alarms occurred early in 1643, but despite the confusion and defeats of war, the open presence of Catholics in the royalist army, Charles's negotiations to add Irishmen to his forces, and the most strenuous efforts of Catholic-baiting parliamentary propagandists, the alarms of 1640-1642 did not revive. Reports of plots against parliamentary garrisons abounded between 1643 and 1646, but only twice were Catholics mentioned among the conspirators and none of the plots were explicitly described as popish.[40]

            Illustrative of the limited usefulness of anti-Catholic propaganda during the war was the inability of the Presbyterian gentry in Parliament to enact legislation that would have solemnized Guy Fawkes Day.[41] This was designed in part, it seems, to keep laboring people in fear of Catholics instead of in rebellion against the established order. But the Independents in Parliament, who were considerably under the influence of the army, blocked the enactment.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 14]

            An over reliance on pamphlet literature mainly from later in the century can lead to false conclusions about the importance of anti-Catholicism. Similarly the reliance on anti-Catholic statutory law without studying its actual implementation can result in distorted conclusions.[42] The main practitioners of this type of history were the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century English Catholic martyr and "siege" historians. Caroline Hibbard remarks that "the existence of harsh legislation was often mistaken for evidence that it was enforced."[43] The legislation was enacted at times of national emergency, such as the 1588 attack of the Spanish Armada. In these periods England was at risk from Catholic powers. But the English Catholics were just as "anti-Catholic" in opposing the efforts of Spain to rule England through the pope as were the Protestants. The lax enforcement of the legislation was in part a recognition of this.[44]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 15]

            Had the penal legislation which started in 1559 been enforced, there would have been no recusants by the Civil War.[45] For example, a 1581 act imposed a fine of £20 per month on recusants to be paid directly to the exchequer.[46] Most recusants did not make half that amount in a year. Had it been enforced, they would all have died in debtor's prison. Another penal law imposed a 12d weekly fine. It too was not enforced because it would have forced most recusants into pauperdom. The parish enforcers of the 12d fine would then have had to support the recusant paupers from parish funds. Hugh Aveling remarks, "The exaction of the 12d fine was pretty universally disregarded by parochial officers, presumably because exaction meant distraint on the household goods of the poor, pauperdom, and a charge on the parish."[47]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 16]

            By the 1610s even the pretense of the penal system had been replaced by a system of compounding, that is, a tax on recusants.[48] Illustrative of how the compounding tax worked was the case of Thomas Meynell, who had an income of £500 per year. As a recusant, he was obliged in certain periods to pay up to one-fourth of it in fines. But for purposes of the fine, his income was rated at £40 per year. This meant he paid only £10 per year on an income of £500.[49] In the years when he chose to conform by taking the oath of allegiance, he seems to have paid no fine.[50] By using methods of undervaluation, as well as by using trusts, downers, debt laws, perjury, and bribery, recusants paid little or nothing for their religious beliefs. Peter Newman comments that the view "of all Catholics as committed sufferers in the cause of the faith is one more myth that the history of the Catholic community can do without."[51]

            It should also be noted in connection with the penal laws that as much as 80 percent of the Catholics as will be discussed shortly, were church Catholics. By partial conformity to the Anglican church they were not made subject to the penal laws.

            The reverse of anti-Catholicism was anti-Protestantism. The county studies as well as the present study do not find anti-Protestantism to have been any more significant a factor in the Catholic community than anti-Catholicism. This is not to deny that it was a doctrine of Roman clericalism and that there was an extensive controversial literature between the Catholic and Protestant clergy.[52] But this literature did not arise from the ranks of the laboring Catholics or of the Catholic clergy who were engaged in the pastoral and congregational ministry.[53] Some of Rome's "anti-Protestantism" was directed largely at Catholics and their clergy rather than at Protestants. For example, Thomas Sanchez, S.J. and Robert Persons, S.J. taught that partial conformers and the clergy who served them were apostates, schismatics, and excommunicate.[54]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 17]

            The county studies demonstrate that it is not accurate to reduce Catholic thinking to the beliefs of the gentry or of the Roman establishment. The Catholics were laboring people with beliefs that served their political, economic, and religious needs and they could not be easily manipulated. Where Catholicism did best in England it was not because of clerical doctrines but because the Catholic clergy served the pastoral needs of those who were neglected by the Protestant clergy. This is not to say that Catholics had any lack of doctrines. But their doctrines centered on the value of labor. The Catholics were Catholics because of their clergy who served them. But much of the substance of their religion, which encompassed their way of life and not merely their occasional cultic activity, came from themselves, not from the clergy. Many of the clergy, however, shared in their beliefs.

Demographic and Career Aspects of English Catholicism

            Besides the three theses or observations, this introduction will outline the demographic and career aspects of the Catholic community in England. Catholic beliefs, the Civil War, and the significance of anti-Catholicism and anti-Protestantism in Maryland cannot be viewed in isolation from but as an extension of the events in England. Maryland Catholic beliefs were influenced by local factors in Maryland like the crops which they produced and the clergy who ministered to them, but also by foreign developments, such as market conditions for tobacco in Europe, the progress of the war, and more fundamentally, by the beliefs they acquired in the communities in which they were born and raised. Except for the Conoy converts, most of the Maryland Catholics were migrants from England, with a minority being from Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, the Low Countries, and Africa. Their political, religious, and economic thinking was in part formed in England. David Allen has remarked on the continuity between old and New England, "The English who came to settle in New England gave up as little of their former ways of doing things as possible."[55] For Allen the Frederick Jackson Turner frontier thesis does not explain New England beliefs. This seems to have been the case with the Maryland Catholics.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 18]

            Because of the continuity, it is logical for Europe and especially England to be the starting points of this study. The beliefs encountered in Maryland are less surprising when the English background is understood. In most cases because Catholics dominated the Maryland assembly and embodied their beliefs in legislation, their thinking is easier to reconstruct in Maryland. On some points, however, the sources that reveal particular beliefs are more numerous in England and can help fill out what is sometimes encountered more briefly or obscurely in the Maryland sources.

            In looking at European Catholicism, one of the characteristics that distinguishes it from Maryland was its diversity. In Europe Catholicism was the religion of numerous nations and of various classes within those nations. During the 1640s there were rebellions and revolutions involving laboring people in most of the Catholic nations and city-states of Europe: France, Florence, the Kingdom of Naples, Spain, the Low Countries, and Germany.[56] As one might expect, the beliefs of Catholic laboring people were not necessarily the beliefs of the Catholic gentry. Diverse groups and beliefs existed alongside each other, sometimes in harmony and re-enforcing each other, sometimes in conflict. The gentry "improvers" and the Maryland proprietor sometimes had more in common with yeomen, that is, field workers, than with the idle rich in terms of belief about the value of productivity and labor. The Maryland Catholics were composed of various types of laboring people. The beliefs which they expressed had a continuity with the beliefs of the laboring people in England.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 19]

            It is these English Catholic laboring people from whom the Maryland Catholics sprang who are the focus of the latter part of this introduction and of the first chapter. Laboring people as used here includes anyone who made their living from their own labor, as opposed to landlords whose income derived mainly from rent or capitalists whose income derived from stock ownership. The expansive definition of laboring people used here has a basis in seventeenth-century economic thought. Ronald Meek, for example, in his study of the era's ideas about the relation of income and labor, finds that the income of employers and merchants was thought to derive solely from the labor of the employer and merchant:

It very often happened at this time that the employers of labor had risen from the ranks of the direct producers and still participated more or less actively in the actual process of production. Therefore they naturally persisted in regarding the differences between their paid-out costs and the price they received for their commodities as a sort of superior "wage" for their own personal efforts rather than as a "profit" on the capital, often very meager, which they had supplied. Even when such employers came to confine themselves to merely supervisory functions, it might still seem plausible to speak of their net reward, as so many economists at this time actually did of it, as the "wages of superintendence."[57]

            Because the earnings of merchants who profited from stock investments were commonly associated with labor, Adam Smith in the eighteenth century went to considerable lengths to show that the profits of stock were not "the wages of a particular sort of labor, the labor of inspection or direction," but were "all together different," being "regulated by quite different principles."[58] In the Smithian definition of laboring people followed here, merchants, improving landlords, and professionals such as architects, lawyers, physicians, and clergy are included. Unlike field hands, their labor was more mental or managerial than manual, but the income of both came from their selling their time and skills, not from capital or land rent. The beliefs of England's non-improving gentry are not the focus of this study, since they did not migrate to Maryland. It is necessary, nevertheless, to include them in the discussion. Their beliefs are informative about the thinking of the Maryland Catholics in indicating what was of less importance to them.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 20]

            In terms of methodology, this and the next chapter construct a paradigm, or what Max Weber calls an ideal type, of the beliefs of the ordinary English Catholics.[59] An ideal type is a simplified version which accentuates certain elements of reality without giving nuances and subtleties. The beliefs outlined here were also shared by many Protestants and were rejected by some Catholic laboring people, not to mention the non-improving Catholic gentry. It is in the nature of ideal types not to be full or unique pictures. But they are employed by scholars because they are a useful tool for discerning reality. In this particular study the ideal type helps introduce and fill out beliefs encountered in Maryland. There was probably no single individual in England or Maryland that embodied every aspect of the type outlined here, and even if there were, no pretense is made of giving a full, well-rounded social history of the English Catholic laboring people. The point is  to set the stage for Maryland in a fruitful manner.

            It might be argued that it is not analytically clarifying to lump together under the same heading as "laboring people" such widely divergent groups as merchants, lawyers, freeholders, and agricultural laborers. How would these people be supposed to have a coherent, unified world view? In answer, it needs to be observed that the ideal type presented here is not about a unified world view, as far as the merchants and professionals were concerned. The interest is about the positive belief concerning labor which each group shared to a greater or lesser degree and which was in contradiction to a negative view of labor which was held by many of the non-improving Catholic gentry and their clergy.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 21]

            In looking at the positive regard for labor which was shared by various groups, this study follows observations by those like Max Weber and R. H. Tawney concerning the divisions which they observe concerning the value of labor.[60] Weber finds the Protestant ethic ideal type, which he in part equated with the work ethic, to be characteristic of whole societies, including peasants as well as merchants. Studies by Wilfrid Prest and Christopher Brooks demonstrate that most seventeenth-century professionals had positive attitudes toward work that set them apart from the "landed ruling elite."[61] Lawyers put in long six-day weeks and were proud of their work.[62]

            A way to appreciate the value in which labor and laboring people were held by some groups, is to study how negatively labor was looked on by other seventeenth-century groups, most importantly the non-improving gentry. By legal definition the gentry were those who lived "idle and without labor." They had an elaborate system of beliefs which justified their view of labor and laboring people as evil, and which glorified the existing order in which the gentry had a monopoly on wealth, politics, housing, the military, education, and religion. Their views dated back to antiquity, during which period labor was associated with slavery, with sin, and with a fall from original perfection. The gentry's negative views of labor were taught to their children and clergy in the continental English language schools. Thomas Aquinas, whose works popularized the anti-labor social philosophy of Aristotle, was the dominant authority for the Catholic gentry and their clergy. Aquinas's doctrine for laboring people was obedience to the established order.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 22]

            The interest in this study is not the beliefs of the non-improving gentry. However, as mentioned earlier, their beliefs will be documented at some points because the laboring people's beliefs can better be understood by contrasting their thinking with that of the gentry. Nor is the interest in professionals or merchants. But their beliefs will be documented at some points because the laboring peoples' beliefs can be better understood by the similarity between their beliefs and those of other groups. There is nothing here about a "unified world view" with lawyers and merchants. But Catholic laboring people did at times share with these groups a rejection both of the gentry's negative views of labor and of the doctrine about obedience to the established order.

            Before looking at English Catholic beliefs, the demographic make-up of the Catholic population out of which the beliefs arose requires examination. The penal laws starting in the sixteenth century as well as the ability of the established church to meet popular needs in many parts of the country accounted for a rapid decline in the English Catholic population. But as Brian Magee pointed out fifty years ago, it was not until the papacy sanctioned the Spanish armada's invasion of England in 1588 that a majority of the English population went from one which was still loyal to Rome to one which had little fraternal regard for it.[63]

            Christopher Haigh suggests that the Reformation in England was introduced at a time when the Catholic church in England was vital and expanding, not the corrupt institution met with in some parts of Europe or in earlier periods of English history.[64] Anticlericalism, as manifested for example in resistance to tithes, was stronger in fifteenth-century England than at the time of the Reformation in the 1530s.[65] The established ministry starting in the 1580s and for the rest of Elizabeth's and the early Stuarts' reign, with its university education, professional cohesion, and synods, was sometimes more clericalist and unresponsive to the needs of rural and laboring people than the pre-Reformation priesthood.[66] Added to the problem as far as laboring people were concerned was the destruction of confraternities that had been the focus of their religion. The confraternities had controlled large numbers of unbeneficed clergy, who served the needs of working people.[67] As a result of the established clericalism, the traditional English Catholicism of the laboring people, continued to be attractive to some ordinary people throughout the first half of the seventeenth century.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 23]

            Catholicism did best in the poor northern and western areas of the country where Anglican parishes were large, offered little income, and attracted relatively few established clergy to serve the people. Those Anglican clergy who did serve in these areas were sometimes non-residents or pluralists, meaning they held incomes and responsibilities for two or more parishes.[68] In Yorkshire there were 314 parishes, but there were 470 settled places of worship. In effect this meant there were more than 100 potential Yorkshire parishes without regular clergy.[69] In these areas, as one writer puts it, Catholicism had "an ability to attract and hold people as diverse as Cleveland jetters, fisherman, tailors, small gentry, farmers, ambitious new peers, and declining old ones. It had an extraordinary tenacity of attraction for the most marginal."[70] John Bossy thinks the English Catholic population increased by one-half, from 40,000 to 60,000, between 1603 and 1641.[71] A similar growth in the Catholic population in Ireland occurred during the period, for the same reason.[72]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 24]

            No reliable census was taken. This means exact population estimates for Catholics during the seventeenth century are a "pipe dream," as Anne Whiteman puts it.[73] Some scholars such as Keith Lindley refuse to make an estimate.[74] Nevertheless, it is safe to say that by the Civil War period, Catholics were at best only 5 or 10 percent of the 5 million English population.[75] Estimates of the Catholic population in 1641 range from 60,000 to 500,000. The 60,000 figure consists of the convicted recusants for whom documentation still exists plus their children and an allowance for administrative inefficiency in enforcing the penal laws.[76] John Bossy is the chief defender of this figure.

            To the 60,000 figure a number of scholars would add several groups. First, poverty saved probably a quarter to one-half of the laboring Catholics from recusancy prosecution, assuming the proportion of poor Catholics was similar to the proportion of poor people in the English population as a whole.[77] According to Christopher Hill and Peter Burke, laborers, servants, the young, and the old may have rarely attended church, whether Catholic or Protestant. They did not have the money to make them worth prosecuting for non-attendance and consequently did not end up in the court records.[78] In some cases, the authorities prevented or attempted to prevent them from attending services because they did not have proper clothes for church. This non-enforcement of the penal laws was not a case of administrative inefficiency but a policy of efficiency. As was mentioned earlier, exaction of the 12d fine was disregarded by parochial officers because it would have meant pauperdom for the Catholics, Puritans, and others who did not conform. Paupers became a charge on the parish; that is to say, a financial drain.[79] The interest of the church warden was to collect parish revenue, not needlessly to expand obligations.[80]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 25]

            A second group that some scholars would add to the convicted Catholics were the church Catholics.[81] The church Catholics were those who escaped recusancy conviction by either partial or occasional conformity to the established church. Occasional conformity meant reception of communion in the established church at least once within forty days after Easter, as required by Canon 112 of the 1604 code.[82] Partial conformity meant those who attended services in the established church without taking communion. The requirement of communion was seldom imposed by governmental authorities as a test.[83]

            Determining how many Catholics were partial conformists is difficult because in some places one-half or more of those who attended established services, whether Catholic or not, never took communion.[84] As one study notes, partial conformers apparently went to see their friends, to pray and sing, and especially to hear the sermon, which sometimes was political in nature. Paul Seaver remarks:

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 26]

In an age when printing was still the only means of mass communication, and a means often obstructed by censorship and illiteracy, preaching understandably had a potency that it has largely lost since. In an age, moreover, when theology still provided the basis not only for cosmology but also for politics, . . . preaching necessarily had political implications.[85]

During periods when local Anglican parishes had preachers who were particularly popular or unpopular, attendance fluctuated significantly.[86] At Rowley in East Riding, for example, a new loft had to be built on the church there in 1634 to hold the overflow of non-parishioners attracted to hear sermons by anti-royalist lecturers.[87] Catholics who lived in the many areas that did not have regular access to Catholic clergy were probably partial conformers because they found a benefit from attending Anglican services rather than because of penal laws. A report in the early part of the seventeenth century noted that the Catholics enjoyed having the scripture and psalms in English and joined in the singing.[88]

            Even the Catholics who had regular access to the clergy were partial conformists when it came to matters such as baptism, marriage, and burial. Double baptism by both the Catholic and the established priest was common, especially among the ordinary people who wanted their children entered in the parish registers to avoid allegations of illegitimacy.[89] Double marriages among Protestant and Catholic couples was an accepted practice.[90] Partial conformity for burial was universal, as Catholics wished to be buried in consecrated ground. This included Jesuits like Edward Knott who had spent their life "impatient with eirenicism and ready to defend the privileges of the Jesuits and the prerogatives of the Holy See at the slightest provocation."[91] They preferred the Protestant church to burial in unmarked ditches among paupers.[92] The only objections came from some established clergy who tried to keep recusants out, on the principle that they died excommunicated.[93]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 27]

            Partial conformity among Catholics with regular access to the clergy also involved their children. Except for Catholic gentry who could afford to send their children abroad, the parish school was the normal way Catholic children were educated. Catholic children who attended parish schools attended parish services.[94] Even the gentry who sent their children to the continent for education started them off by sending them to learn the rudiments of latin grammar at the village school which was often run by the local curate. The standard latin grammar in the village schools was William Lily's A Short Introduction of Grammar, first published in 1549 and many times thereafter.[95] In the grammar one finds as teaching materials the latin prayers and hymns that Catholics had been using for centuries. These included the "Veni Creator Spiritus," "Pater Noster," "Credo," "Decaloguus Decem Praeceptorum," and the words for the sacrament of baptism. In his study of Yorkshire, Hugh Aveling discusses several of the Catholic gentry who chose to have their children educated completely in England:

Robert Holtby went to Oswaldkirk school. Ninian Girlington of Wycliffe, a recusant, sent his son William to the town school at Alderborough, Boroughbridge and then to Caius College, Cambridge, and Lincoln's Inn. Francis Scrope of Danby was sent to the ordinary schools at Thornton Steward and Pocklington before entering the Puritan Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge--and emerging to be convicted as a recusant. . . Henry Constable of Burton Constable, a Catholic seems to have attended the fashionable school run by the Rev. Anthony Higgin (later dean of Ripon) at Well in Richmondshire--and to have presented Higgin with a Catholic book.[96]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 28]

            What Anne Whiteman concludes about the Restoration period seems to hold for the Civil War, that it was by no means as easy to distinguish papists from conformists "as historians of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, accustomed to sharper divisions" between Catholics and Protestants, used to assume.[97] Along the same lines Christopher Haigh comments, "Catholicism was a varied and amorphous phenomenon, and individuals drifted in and out of formal recusancy while always regarding themselves as Catholics and retaining Catholic habits."[98] Elliot Rose in studying the penal laws remarks that "The church-papist must have thought of himself as a Catholic and that is how I shall regard him."[99]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 29]

            Reginold Kiernan and Brian Magee estimate the total number of Catholics at 500,000, while Martin Havran and Ludwig Pastor, citing contemporary estimates, put it at 360,000.[100] If Kiernan and Magee are near the mark, then 80 percent of the Catholics were church papists. This is consistent with the evidence from Maryland. Of the 100 known Catholics who lived there during the Civil War period, there is no record that any of them had ever been convicted recusants prior to migration or that any of their relatives who continued to live in England were ever convicted.[101] But there are records that some of them, including Leonard Calvert, the governor, and Thomas Cornwallis, had relatives who were church Catholics. Leonard Calvert's father, George Calvert, was from a non-noble, sometimes recusant family that was a tenant on and farmed land formally owned by a monastery.[102] To attend Oxford University, George Calvert conformed.[103] He conformed as a member of Parliament and secretary of state, which required taking the oath of uniformity and supremacy. He continued to conform until he was forced from office in 1624 along with John Digby, earl of Bristol and others, who had favored the unsuccessful Spanish marriage policy.[104] When it no longer was necessary for economic and political reasons, he stopped conforming. But he was never a convicted recusant or ever fined for failing to attend services of the established church.[105] He baptized his children, including Leonard, in the Protestant church and directed that he himself be buried in a Protestant church.[106] He was not subservient to the clericalism of either the Roman establishment or the established church. There are a number of possibilities as to where Cornwallis originated.[107] One possibility is he was related to an individual of the same name who attended established services but read from a Catholic prayer book which he kept in his pew.[108] From the perspective of Maryland, D. S. Reid's criticism of those who omit or minimize the church Catholics and poor Catholics in discussing population figures is well taken:

"Church Papists" can not be included among those whose numbers can be ascertained, for the whole point of being a "church papist" was to effect concealment of whatever attachment one might have to Catholicism.[109]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 30]

            A third group besides the poor and the church Catholics that might be added to the 60,000 recusant figure were those who either because of necessity or choice did not have the habitual services of a priest. John Bossy excludes these from his population estimates.[110] If they were excluded from Maryland estimates, there would be no Catholics to study. Maryland Catholics at several points did not have the services of a priest for up to two years. Nevertheless, they met without clergy and held their own services during these periods. Even when a priest was available, some Catholics did not make use of them. For example, one priest did not respect the rights of a Catholic's Protestant spouse. The planter involved along with other Catholics had the priest recalled to England.[111] To exclude from population estimates those who refused to permit excessive clericalism in Maryland might mean excluding much of the Catholic population. In some districts of England, a priest visited but once or twice per year.[112] The Catholics officiated at the sacraments themselves. For example, Richard Danby of Masham in York, for lack of a priest, baptized all seven of his children.[113] These individuals thought of themselves as Catholics, were recognized as such by other Catholics, and probably should have a place in the population statistics.

            Exact population figures are difficult to determine, but, as has been noted, it is evident that by the Civil War, Catholics were a relatively small group, less than 10 percent of the total population by even the most liberal estimates. What is more certain than population figures is that a majority of Catholics both in England and Maryland were people of ordinary occupations, not gentry.[114]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 31]

            David Mosler finds the following occupational breakdown of Catholic recusants in the Warwickshire sequestration and composition records of 1642:

Table 1-1:[115]
Occupations of Warwickshire Recusants


Number of Catholics

Percentage of Catholics






















total (non-landlord)






gentry ("overwhelmingly marginal”)






total (landlord)



            In J. H. Hilton's study of northeast England, an area of relatively high Catholic concentration, 41 percent of the Catholics were husbandmen, mainly copyholders and cottagers, such as day laborers, ploughhands, dairymaids, artisans, and apprentices in husbandry.[116] They paid rent to a landlord and farmed up to 25 acres.[117] Among the better off Catholics were freeholders or yeomen who farmed their own land, which was generally less than 100 acres. They owned cows, horses, sheep, dwellings, and farm equipment worth up to £500 and averaged from £40 to £120 per year in income.[118]

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 32]

Table 1-2:
Expenditures and Receipts for a 100-Acre Farm[119]







rent  (28%)



fallow 25 acres




100 acres arable @ 15s






farm maintenance





seed (12%)







45 bu wheat @ 4s



20 acres wheat (400 bu @ 4s)

90 (30%)


19 bu barley @ 2s






128 bu oats @ 1s



5 acres barley (120 bu @ 2s)

15 (5%)


70 bu peas @ 2s





soil dressing (manure)




30 acres oats (1080 bu @ 1s)

101 (33%)

draught animals (11%)







feed (grass, hay, oats)



20 acres peas (560 bu @ 2s)

70 (23%)


interest & depreciation






misc (shoes, medicaments)



37 tons @ 10s

19 (7%)

labor (26%)





6  (2%)


plowing, harrowing & carting 600 person days @ 1s 2d












20 acres wheat @ 5s






5 acres barley @ 2s






30 acres oats  @ 2s






20 acres peas @ 2s












50 qtr wheat @ 2s






15 qtr barley @ 1s






135 qtr oats @ 1s






70 qtr peas @ 1s






miscellaneous (dunging, sowing, weeding)











total expenditures (100%)



total receipts


£302 (100%)




net profit


£35  (12%)

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 33]

            Peter Bowden gives the above table showing the expenditures and receipts of an average 100 acre farm during the early eighteenth century. Bowden's table suggests what occupied much of the life of a Civil War Catholic yeoman, and it will be found to be useful both as a comparison with Maryland farming and in the discussion of the relation of landlords and capitalist tenants.

            A majority of the Catholics were engaged in agriculture, but there were also sizable numbers involved in occupations that were not directly farming. In Hilton's study, 16 percent worked as blacksmiths, butchers, laborers, mercers (cloth sellers), millers, miners, saddlers, sailors, tailors, tavern keepers, teamsters, and textile workers.[120] The recusant records for Warwickshire list non-agrarian trades such as blacksmith, laborer, innkeeper, drover, barber, saw-maker, flax dresser, weaver, thread maker, musisioner, yeomen, husbandmen, and saddler.[121] Catholic women, in addition to the above, were engaged in dairying, semptrying, spinning, weaving, knitting, lacemaking, gardening, baking, and winnowing.

            In London as in the four other major towns and cities of Norwich, Bristol, Newcastle, and York, there were relatively large Catholic populations. Their occupations included apothecaries, goldsmiths, innkeepers, lace weavers, merchants, physicians, printers, schoolmasters, silk weavers, students pursuing their studies, tobacco pipe makers, and watermen.[122] One contemporary counted among the London Catholics 26 physicians, eight surgeons, and apothecaries (four in Fleet Street alone), and numerous barber surgeons.[123] There were also the unemployed Catholics: orphans, widows, spinsters, beggars, paupers, vagrants, wandering poor, blind, insane, and lame.

[INTRODUCTION, 1996 ed., p. 34]

            Along with laboring people, there were also gentry among the Catholic population. Nearly 30 years ago Lawrence Stone wrote, "For all intents and purposes seventeenth-century Catholicism was a quietest sect of aristocrats and upper-gentry families."[124] Stone wrote before the advent of the county studies. In a few areas of the country as indicated in Table 1-1, the gentry were as much as 17 percent of the recusant Catholic population. In the north and west, however, where most of the Catholics lived, they were closer to 5 percent of the total Catholic population. If the church Catholics were included, the gentry figure would probably be even smaller.

            To sum up, this chapter has set forth the three arguments or observations which this study makes, it introduced the ideal type methodology followed here and it discussed in demographic and career terms the English Catholics from which those in Maryland sprang. The English Catholics were relatively small in number and clustered in the north, west, and larger towns where the needs of laboring people were relatively less well attended by the established church.

            It was suggested that the partial conformers or church Catholics and those who were not prosecuted for recusancy because of their poverty should be counted as part of the Catholic population along with the convicted recusants. If only convicted recusants were counted, then not a single Catholic that migrated to Maryland could be counted a Catholic. The Catholic migrants and their relatives whom they left behind in England were church Catholics or too poor to be prosecuted for recusancy. From Rome's perspective the partial conformers were excommunicate, but they and the Catholic clergy who served them exercised on the subject a jurisdiction independent of Rome.

            It was also pointed out that the county studies since World War II have revised earlier ideas about the Catholic's occupational or career characteristics. Most were laboring people, mainly agrarian field workers and artisans. Nineteenth and early twentieth-century accounts over emphasized the Catholics as gentry and nobility. These were but a small percentage of the total population. The county studies confirm what one sees about the occupational characteristics of those who migrated to Maryland. They were laboring people. No Catholic gentry as measured by English standards lived in Maryland during the Civil War period.

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 35]


Chapter 1

The English Catholic Belief Background Concerning Labor, Politics, the Clergy, and the Market

            The demographic and career characteristics of the English Catholic community from which the Maryland community sprang have been outlined. This chapter discusses the English background to the four beliefs of the Maryland Catholics that will be taken up in later chapters. It will touch first upon the beliefs of English Catholics concerning labor, then concerning politics and the clergy, and finally market relations. It is the argument in this study that Catholics in England and in Maryland held beliefs that were consistent with the circumstances of their lives.

            One belief that was supportive of their careers concerned the value which they placed on labor. That English Catholics valued labor and productivity can be seen from a sampling of their pamphlet literature. Examples include Richard Weston of Surrey and Robert Wintour of Gloucestershire. They were gentry "improvers." Weston wrote a scientific treatise in 1650 on how to increase crop productivity in sandy soil by planting flax, turnips, and clover.[125] In his treatise he expressed his belief that God wanted and favored husbandry.[126] In Wintour's writings, agrarian husbandry was called the root of all riches.[127]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 36]

            Another Catholic, the London lawyer Edward Bolton, wrote a treatise in 1629 called Cities Advocate that defended those such as himself who worked for a living. He was critical of those who glorified the idle gentry. He held up for emulation Martin Calthorpe, who started out as an apprentice, became mayor of London, and to whose skills even Queen Elizabeth had paid homage:

Queen Elizabeth acknowledged Martin Calthorpe, the Lord Mayor of London, who started as apprentice. I pray to resemble the worthies of this city, out of whatever obscure parentage, than being descended of great nobles, to fall by vice far beneath the reckoning of the poorest prentiser.[128]

The value which English Catholics put on labor was reflected perhaps in the catechism written by Thomas White in 1637 and published several times during the Civil War period. White pictured God as a producer, the maker of the universe.[129] White was a secular priest whose many writings sympathized with the interests of ordinary Catholics. During at least part of the period, he lived in London and boarded in Drury Lane with John and Mary Gregson, who were apparently people of ordinary occupations.[130]

            Along with God as a laborer, the maker of the universe, Jesus and his followers were pictured as laboring people. "Each in scripture has a trade and exercises it daily," Paul the tentmaker, Peter the fisherman, Joseph the carpenter.[131] Kings, bishops, and popes claimed their positions were God's charism. Catholic laboring people countered by claiming their own skills were God's charism:

The virtuous industrious are to be cherished, yea, God himself (the only best pattern of governors) has made it known, that mechanical qualities are his special gifts and his infused, as it were charismata.[132]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 37]

Genealogy, a favorite theme used by the gentry to justify itself, was made to honor laboring people, "Scripture not only makes the skill of laboring people immortally famous, but puts down their parentage, and birth places in contrast to that of many princes. Thus in Hiram's case (1 Kings 7:13-47; 2 Chronicles 2:14), the brass-founder's family is recorded."[133] According to Edward Bolton, Solomon was satisfied with nothing less than the best in building the temple because there was a religious quality in work well done. Thus Hiram, who was not even a Jew, but was an artisan of great skill, was asked to come from Tyre to make the bronze pillars for the temple.

            One finds in Catholic pamphlets a bible that was filled with working people and God's love of them. Scripture that was quoted included that about Noah, the ark builder, and Genesis 4:20, which honored Jabel (Iabel), the father of agricultural husbandry: "Moses put into eternal monuments that Jabel was pater pastorum, the most ancient of increase."[134] At one point Edward Bolton compiled a list of various "secondary" trades given praise in the bible, such as iron workers, hammer-smiths, engravers, furniture makers, and metal founders. He remarked that if these non-essentials were delighted in by God, how much more were the essential trades to be honored:

If then such honor be done by God not only to those which are necessary hand-crafts, but to those also which are but the handmaid of magnificence and outward splendor, as engravers, metal founders and the like, he shall be very hardy who shall embrace honest industry with disgraceful censures, and too unjust who shall not cherish, or encourage it with praise and worship.[135]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 38]

            Several studies of religion among English laboring people indicate they had their own patron saints, feast days, clergy, street pageants, pilgrimages, and prayers, which celebrated labor.[136] In rural areas the symbolic rituals were related to the productive cycle, that is the harvest year. These rituals seem to have glorified labor and productivity.[137] Lady Day (March 25) marked the initiation of sowing and was the first day of the year in the old calendar. Michaelmas (September 29) was the beginning of reaping.[138] Martinmas (November 11) was the original harvest and thanksgiving day celebrating the filled barns and stocked larders. The farming people went to mass and observed the rest of the day with games, dances, parades, and a festive dinner, the main feature of which was the traditional roasted goose (Martin's goose).[139] The symbolic rituals included a cycle of eight feast-days, distributed throughout the year at intervals of about six weeks: Christmas, the first Sunday of lent, Easter, Whitsun, St. Peter and Paul (June 29), the Assumption (August 15), Michaelmas (September 29), and All Saints (November 1).[140]

            Rural religion was characterized by work-related songs, ballads, and jigs, which were sung while laboring. These songs concerned among other things, cultivated crops set in straight rows, well-kept homesteads, and satisfaction with the completion of the days' labor.[141] Perhaps also in the category of celebrating life and productivity were the Whitsun Ales, may-poles, morris dancing, village pipers, plays and drama, and pilgrimages.[142] The May festival commemorated full spring and nature's triumph, when trees stood in their early foliage and flowers blossomed in abundance. Cottages were adorned with flowers and the branches of pale-green tender leaves. A "May Queen" was chosen by vote of the young men, who led a procession to the place of the spring festival, where she presided over the celebration. She was crowned with a wreath of flowers and held a wooden scepter adorned with flowers in her hand.[143]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 39]

            These customs were strong in Catholic areas, such as Lancashire and North Riding and were sometimes led by Catholics.[144] Frederich Blundell remarks that both Catholic adults and their children enjoyed dancing around the maypole and flowering the marl pits.[145] Part of the festival included children burning their puppets with great solemnity.

            In urban areas, artisans celebrated their craft skills and labors on religious feast days in the common hall of their companies.[146] Every profession of men and women had its own patron saint whose virtues were held up for emulation.[147] Pride in labor was manifested in coats of arms: cloth workers had a coat of arms with a tezel on it, merchant taylors had one with a robe, grocers a clove, merchant-adventurers an anchor.[148] Such religion dated back to the pre-Reformation era, the guild system, and confraternities.[149] Guild priests were those who were employed by the guild and looked to the needs of laboring people.[150] One scholar suggests that the relative strength of Catholicism within some of the northern coal-mining communities was due to traditional habits like the observance of saints' days by coal miners.[151]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 40]

            In the thought of some Catholic urban laboring people was the belief that their labor was what accounted for progress and civilization. It was said that without those like Tubal Cain, the iron worker, hammer-smith, and founder of the guild of metal-workers, described in Genesis 4:22 and Ecclesiasticus, "there can be no civilization."[152] Labor was an honor:

Some say London is a place of vice and should be reduced to servility. But they are wrong. Industry and civil virtue are the lawful things of this life. Their nearest object is honor and honest wealth. It is a foul note to brand them as associated with bondage, or give them any the least disparagement at all. The ancient excellent policy of England did and does constitute corporations of artisans and adorns companies with banners of arms.[153]

            No doubt Protestant and Catholic laboring people shared some of this religion in common. This was despite efforts at times to outlaw it by both the established church and the Roman establishment.[154] One of the objections raised by some Protestant pamphleteers was that the religion of laboring people was based more on popular devotions than on scripture, that is, upon scripture as interpreted by clergy who had little regard for labor.[155] Christopher Haigh points out that some of the hierarchy and landlords attempted without much success to replace "socially-minded" religion with an easily manipulated type of personal devotion.[156]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 41]

            It might seem surprising that Catholic laboring people had positive views of labor. It will be recalled that the work ethic and Puritanism, not Catholicism, are seen to be almost synonymous in the works of Max Weber and R. H. Tawney.[157] An examination of the English Catholics and their Maryland counterparts seem to indicate, as John Bossy has stated, that Catholic opinions were "perfectly compatible with an entrepreneurial approach to agriculture or anything else."[158] In his study of the Yorkshire Catholic gentry, Hugh Aveling finds the Catholics were prospering in every part of the county because of their hard labor and skills at estate management, trade, or the professions. Thomas Meynell of North Kilvington, the Wintham family at Cliffe, the Yoward, Crosland, and Wycliffe families, and Thomas Middleton of Stockeld were constantly improving their holdings and income.[159] Bertrum Bulmer of Wilton, who was one of the trustees for the funds of the secular clergy, started a lead mine at Marrick in the 1630s and the Lawson family started a coal mine about the same time.[160] Hugh Smithson of Cowton Grange was a yeoman and tenant of Anthony Cotterick. He went to London, prospered in the haberdasher trade, returned to the county in 1638, and bought a farm called Stanwick from his former landlord.[161] Among the professional families were the Applebys of Clove Lodge, the Swales and Inglebys of Rudby, the Jacksons of Knayton, the Pudseys and the Metcalfes of Hood, the Tophams, Lawsons, and Pudseys, all of whom had successive generations of lawyers.[162] Ambrose Appleby did well enough in the law that he bought farms at Larrington and Linton on Ouse in 1640.[163] Two of his sons were ejected from Gray's Inn in London in 1638 for persistent non-communicating. Solomon Swale of Grinton entered Gray's Inn in 1630 and his son went there in 1648.[164] Among the professional Catholic women was Jane Grange who taught a private school at Bedale and was also a housewife.[165] Aveling sums up his study by saying that "there was no universal or necessary connection between Puritanism, the `new gentry' or officials, and economic progressiveness--and, in fact, comparatively little actual connection."[166]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 42]

            In addition to having beliefs about labor that grew out of and sustained their material lives, Maryland Catholics had a second belief, the European background of which will now be addressed. The Maryland Catholics believed that political independence from both the royalist and the parliamentary gentry served their interests. This belief corresponded to similar beliefs held by the English laboring people, both Catholic and Protestant. Familiarity with the English background makes one unsurprized at the spirit of independence in Maryland. During the Northern War in 1639 and the first Civil War between 1642 and 1646, most ordinary English Catholics took an independent position with only a minority serving in the parliamentary or royal forces or holding parliamentary or royal offices.

            It should be emphasized that the laboring Catholics who were the majority, unlike the gentry Catholics, did not take the royalist side. This is a point that has confused scholars like Christopher Hill and Francis Edwards, S.J. Edwards, for example, writes, "Inevitably, the Catholics supported the king's cause, and drew enmity on themselves for that alone."[167] Hill remarks in similar fashion, "The Catholics were solidly royalist in the Civil War."[168] If one looks only at the Catholic gentry, then Edwards and Hill are accurate. About one-third of the officers in the king's northern army were Catholic.[169] Of the 500 royal officers killed during the war, about 200 were Catholic.[170] The Catholic gentry's pamphlet literature abounded with admonitions about being obedient to the established royal authority.[171]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 43]

            However, in contrast to the gentry, the Catholic laboring people saw themselves as having nothing to gain in 1639 by having Scotland reduced to an English colony and by imposing a system of bishops on the Scottish church.[172] Nor was there any advantage to them in the first Civil War in helping the king to overthrow Parliament. Keith Lindley, J. T. Pickles, and J. M. Gratton have studied the diversity of economic and class interests within the Catholic community and note the corresponding political diversity. Lindley comments:

When Catholic royalism is related to Catholics generally in the counties, it is apparent that the Royalists managed to raise only a minority of Catholic support for their body. . . Catholics were not a unified group in this period, but were divided by status and interest, and to some extent they appear to have reacted to the formation of the parties in the same way as their Protestant counterparts.[173]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 44]

            In a sampling of 1,500 London Catholic recusants, Lindley finds that 82 percent took an independent position during the war; which is to say, they did not join the royal side.[174] In his history of the Lancashire County Catholic recusants, B. G. Blackwood documents that even among the gentry, a number served in the parliamentary army or in the parliamentary government as sequestration agents, assessors, collectors, or magistrates.[175] The Catholic Alexander Barlow, who was a sheriff for Lancashire in 1651 under the parliamentary government, had two uncles in the Benedictine religious order.[176]

            Hugh Aveling and John Cliffe's examinations of Yorkshire Catholic recusant gentry make findings similar to those of Lancashire. Of 110 Catholic gentry, 46 took an independent position.[177] Cliffe lists ten who served in the parliamentary army or government. This amounted to 11 percent of Catholic gentry for whom sufficient data could be found to determine loyalties.[178] Some Catholics such as Edward Saltmarshe of Saltmarshe in Yorkshire and Robert Brandling (1617-1669) of Leathley in York held positions of rank in the parliamentary army. Saltmarshe served as a captain "ever since the beginning of the war." His sons Peter and Gerald, became priests.[179] Brandling was commissioned a cavalry colonel on July 16, 1644.[180]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 45]

            In the North Riding district of Yorkshire, Aveling lists Charles Howard, Solomon Swale of Grinton, who as mentioned earlier was a member of Gray's Inn, Robert Hunter, the Beckwiths of Tanfield, and the Stapletons of Warter as having served in the parliamentary army or held offices such as treasurer under the parliamentary government.[181] Jordan Methan of Wigganthorpe in North Riding went to Rome to act as Parliament's agent there.[182] William Salvin of Newbiggin returned from college in Lisbon in March 1644 and immediately was in arms for Parliament in Colonel Welton's regiment.[183]

            A number of Catholic gentry including those who had served as royal military officers joined the parliamentary army starting in 1644, after it became evident the king was heading for defeat.[184] William Lloyd, a contemporary in speaking of royal officers, noted that "of the Catholics that fought for the king, as long as his fortunes stood, they stood; when that was once declined, a great part fell from him."[185] Among the former Catholic royal officers who became parliamentary military officers were Anthony Morgan of Marshfield in Monmouthshire, a colonel who came over in 1645.[186] Thomas Brockholder and Francis Morley of Lancashire had both started out as royal officers before joining Parliament.[187]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 46]

            Most of the Catholics, like most of the Protestants in the parliamentary army who are known by name, were officers and members of the gentry. But some of the Catholic rank and file are also known. Among these was John Hippon, a member of Cromwell's own regiment in the New Model Army.[188] Hippon referred to himself as a "Catholic and a Parliamentarian." Allen Prickett was a church papist who served first in the trained band for "part of St. Sepulchers parish and other parts adjacent to the city of London" and on March 8, 1642, he joined the parliamentary army.[189] Another was a weaver, who was mentioned by Richard Baxter in his account of the war. Baxter was a chaplain in the same unit with this follower of "Thomas More":

When I came to the Army, among Cromwell's soldiers, I found a new face of things, which I never dreamed of. I heard the plotting heads very hot upon that which intimated their intention to subvert church and state. Independency and anabaptistry were most prevalent; antinomianism and arminianism were equally distributed; and Thomas More's followers (a weaver of Wisbitch and Lyn, of excellent parts) had made some shifts to join these two extremes together. . . I perceived that they took the king for a tyrant and an enemy and really intended absolutely to master him or ruin him; They said, what were the Lords of England but William the Conqueror's colonels, or the barons but his majors, or the knights but his captains?[190]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 47]

            An anonymous parliamentary pamphlet in 1643 discussed the presence of Catholics within the parliamentary army, noting that unlike the royal army, where regiments or companies were led by Catholic officers and "exactly and distinctly known to be such," in the parliamentary army the Catholics were integrated in the ranks. The author maintained that even if it was desirable, Catholics could not be kept out of the parliamentary army because their friends among the Protestant captains and other officers paid no attention to their religion.[191] Royalists like the Catholic Edward Somerset (Lord Herbert) and non-Catholics like Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, and William Cavendish, Earl of Newcastle complained about the "very many" Catholics who joined the parliamentary army.[192]

                                                Laboring Catholics were to be found not only within the parliamentary army but in the parliamentary government. For example, Thomas Stich of Fetter Lane worked as one of Parliament's attorneys in the office of the Treasurers Remembrancer throughout the war. He lent Parliament £300 on December 4, 1644.[193] He appeared on the recusant rolls in 1644, 1650, and 1651.

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 48]

            Thomas Clancy, S.J. suggests that after the crown's defeat in 1646, Catholics "overwhelmingly" supported the Independent party within Parliament.[194] This included the Catholic gentry and clergy who wished to benefit from the religious toleration offered by the Independents. They drew up an oath of loyalty to the parliamentary government on September 10, 1647. In preparing the oath they had one of their priests, George Ward, S.J., formerly a professor of theology at Liege, consult with representatives (agitators) within the New Model Army.[195] The Norfolk lawyer, John Austin, one of the Catholic gentry seeking toleration published a study in 1651 that demonstrated most Catholics had not backed the crown. It made use of the case records of the Catholics who had appeared before the parliamentary committee for compounding at Haberdasher's Hall in London.[196] More recent studies of these records reach the same conclusion: only an eighth of all sequestered Catholics supported the king. The majority were sequestered, that is fined, merely as recusants.[197] Charles II complained of this in 1657:

It is necessary to take notice of the general temper of the kingdom and of the fact that the majority of the king's friends have an aversion for Catholics. This aversion is a natural consequence of the Catholics having "more than an ordinary zeal for Cromwell."[198]

            Among the Catholics who were independent in their political beliefs after the crown's defeat were the 450 Catholic secular clergy. They were governed by their own elective dean and chapter system. Their independence was based on goals such as the re-establishment of a system of Catholic bishops. They argued without success to Cromwell that allowing Catholic bishops in addition to Protestant bishops to govern in the ancient sees would counterpoint the Protestant bishops who had used their positions to promote the interests of the crown.[199]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 49]

            Unlike the gentry and clergy who came to independent beliefs after the crown's defeat, most ordinary Catholics took an independent political position throughout the war. This was because independence served their interests. Independence did not mean neutrality. They had nothing to gain but probably much to lose by the crown overthrowing Parliament. Derek Hirst has shown that Parliament was often responsive to laboring people. This was despite two-thirds of the adult male population, including a similar proportion of church Catholics, not having the franchise. Tenants and wage workers did not generally meet the requirement of possessing a freehold that produced an income of 40 shillings per year.[200] But as Ann Kussmaul finds there was little in the way of economic and political interests that separated yeomen and artisans who had the vote and the tenants and wage workers who did not.[201] The young in many parts of England served agrarian apprenticeships as wage laborers in order to acquire knowledge and savings prior to farming on their own account. Membership in Parliament was generally confined to the gentry, but the yeomen through the ballot exercised considerable influence over public policy.[202]

            Illustrative of a parliamentary policy that was favorable to ordinary people and that may have made them reluctant to see the crown overthrow Parliament was the tax system. During the 1630s when it ruled without Parliament, the crown imposed an illegal "ship money" tax to fund itself. This tax fell heavily on the ordinary people, both rural and urban, and was resented, especially by the poor.[203] The Catholic playwright Philip Massinger (d. 1640) was among those who protested against the tax. In his play The King and the Subject (1636), which the crown called "insolent" and refused to license, Massinger put the following lines into the tyrannical king's mouth:

Money? We'le raise supplies what way we please,
And force you to subscribe to the blanks, in which
We'le mulct you as we shall think fit. The Caesars
In Rome were wise, acknowledging no laws
But what their swords did ratify.[204]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 50]

In her writings the English Benedictine nun Gertrude More (d. 1633) remarked on the "unjust taxes" inflicted on the people.[205] In 1639 there was a mass refusal to pay the "ship money" tax.[206] Derek Hirst describes the widespread opposition to "ship money" taxation that was manifested in the parliamentary elections of 1640:

The likelihood is that the open challenges to aspects of government policy which took place at many of the 1640 elections were not wholly manufactured by the gentry. Unlike ordinary parliamentary taxation, which left the bulk of the population untroubled, ship money hit the pockets of a very extensive social group, and was correspondingly resented.[207]

            Not long after Parliament took over, it abolished the "ship money" tax. Beginning in 1643 an assessment tax explicitly on landowners was established as one of Parliament's main sources of revenue.[208] Tenants who paid what was due on account of their farms were entitled to deduct it from the rent. While the ordinary people had no objections, both the royalist and parliamentary gentry disliked the assessment, which was collected on a weekly and then a monthly basis and which equaled from 15 to 70 percent of the gentry's rent receipts.[209] It was only the New Model Army's threat of rebellion that kept Parliament from repealing the assessment after 1646.[210] The Catholic recusant landowners such as Arthur Tyrer and his wife Margaret in the parish of West Derbie (Liverpool), Lancashire had a double reason to resent the tax, as it was doubled against them.[211]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 51]

            Illustrative of how the tax worked was a case at the manor of Sowerby Thirsk in Yorkshire. Sowerby Thirsk had enough Catholics that it had its own Catholic school.[212] The manor was owned by the Catholic Thomas Meynell, a "radical encloser" who had been censured by the quarter sessions court as a depopulator. He rented to a number of tenants who were probably Catholic.[213] These included the families of Lawrence Brown and Christopher Hawe, who stopped paying rent all together during the Civil War period. His other tenants turned over their rent to the county committee instead of to Meynell. Meynell disliked this. As was mentioned earlier, his income was about £500 per year and was normally understated as £40 per year for tax purposes.[214] Meynell was unable to dodge his taxes when his tenants handed over their rent directly to the county committee. In 1647 he called his tenants "vulgar plebeians" because they "presumed to assess the true landlord. . . as thought he had been one of their coridons. . . The lord's rent at Sowerby was never assessed or questioned until these late new times. The bushhopper tenants were never so unkind or foolish to access their lords' rent."[215] Meynell appealed to the county committee, but it took the side of the tenants.[216]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 52]

            The independence which the tenants at the Sowerby Thirsk manor showed their landlord was a normal pattern both in England and Maryland. Manors were governed by assemblies of tenants, which as David Allen points out, required wide participation in government.[217] Manors dominated in areas of open field production, such as the north and west of England, where Catholics had their greatest strength. Allen takes note that Massachusetts towns such as Cambridge, Ipswich, and Watertown were settled by those from the eastern part of England, where government was not as "democratic--in the sense of offering wide participation."[218] Seen in this English context, the behavior of Maryland Catholics, who were at least as independent if not more so than their Massachusetts counterparts, is less surprising.

            Besides taxation, another policy that made laboring Catholics unenthusiastic for the royal side in 1642 was the crown's drafting and billeting of troops for the Northern War beginning in 1639.[219] Laboring people were targets of the troop levies and they resented it. On the other hand, Parliament found favor with ordinary people because it abolished many crown monopolies and patents, eliminated a number of rotten boroughs to improve Parliament's representativeness, abolished the Star Chamber, which had been used by the crown to control the county justice of the peace network, eliminated the House of Lords in 1647, which was a landlord institution, outlawed slavery (servitude) and the incidents of post-conquest feudal tenures in 1646, released poor debtors from prison, and in some cases allowed the landless to take over royal and common land.[220] Because the peerage was abolished Catholic nobles like Henry Arundell were denied trials in the house of peers. They had to appear in their county courts, which were sometimes more receptive to popular needs. Arundell fell victim to the local Wiltshire county court and resented its jurisdiction over him.[221]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 53]

            Abolition of the tithe and the establishment of a voluntary system for maintaining the clergy was a popular demand favored by the Catholics that was achieved by Parliament in November 1653. However, the Presbyterian and Anglican minority in the Barebones Parliament went to Cromwell and got him to overturn Parliament's decision.[222] But Cromwell was not able to prevent the people on their own from substantially reducing the income of the established clergy.[223]

            Catholics took an independent position because they had nothing to gain by the crown overthrowing Parliament, but they may also have had nothing to gain by the abolition of the monarchy in 1649. The crown was sometimes seen by laboring people as an asset. It forced the gentry in Parliament to seek the aid of and make concessions to the ordinary people, especially those in the army, in order to gain their support against the threats of the crown. As was noted, concessions were sometimes won on issues involving toleration of opinion, expanding voting rights, and taxes that hurt the poor, not the least of which were tithes and excises.[224] Because it eliminated some of their leverage against the gentry, there was opposition to the king's execution from the levelers and artisans, including weavers, painters, and journeymen in the city companies.[225]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 54]

            The opposition of laboring people against the excise tax illustrates how they used the crown against Parliament. The excise was a tax on consumer goods and, unlike the assessment, had a direct impact on laboring people in raising prices. It was often protested by the Moderate, which was the newspaper of the Leveler movement, although sustained opposition to it also came from overseas traders and merchants. Rioting in 1646 and 1647 and the threat that the population would join with the recently defeated Royalists forced Parliament to remove the excise tax on salt and meat in June 1647. The widespread refusal to pay it on other items thereafter lessened its usefulness as a revenue measure.[226] Another illustration of how the crown was used against Parliament by laboring people involved Catholic recusants. They joined the Independents in 1647 in winning increased religious toleration by playing the royalist and parliamentary gentry off against each other. The effectiveness of their tactics can be seen in the animosity shown by the Presbyterian gentry in Parliament who baited Cromwell and the Independents for their neglect to enforce the anti-Catholic laws:

Is not this like the practice of Garnet the Jesuit who did lay his commands on the papists to obey their king and keep themselves quiet, and all in order that the plot might not be suspected? If Cromwell follows Garnet's steps, I would have him take heed of Garnet's end.[227]

Cromwell took pride in stating that citizens of all creeds enjoyed liberty of conscience under his rule, provided they did not use religion as a cloak for rebellion.[228]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 55]

            At the local level, as well as at the national, Catholic political independency did not mean neutrality. This can be seen in the reaction of Catholic tenants both in England and Maryland who turned the Civil War into a war against their landlords. The troubles which the Maryland proprietor, Cecil Calvert and his Arundell in-laws had with their tenants are illustrative. Calvert and the Arundells were Catholics and lived in southwest Wiltshire. Arundell had at least some Catholic tenants.[229] The records are silent about the religious denomination of Calvert's tenants, but it was common for a Catholic landlord to have Catholic tenants.[230] Both Arundell and Calvert identified with the crown and were to a degree leveled during the war. Their tenants seem to have taken part in the leveling. Derek Hirst finds that assaults on the Catholic gentry's houses in the early part of the war were often a pretext for forays against the manorial records.[231] Tenants, including Catholics, took the war as an opportunity to settle economic grievances. The leveling in May 1643 of Wardour castle, which was the Arundell's residence, was precipitated by the siege there of Edward Hungerford, Edmund Ludlow, and their parliamentary troops. But when it came to confiscating from the castle and its surrounding lands some £100,000 worth of cattle, farm animals, tools, furniture, cartloads of fish from ponds that were drained dry, and oak and elms worth £5 per tree that were felled and sold at 4d per tree, the neighbors and tenants, including no doubt Catholics, took a hand.[232] A number of studies find that thousands of gentry houses, woods, and parks were plundered and at least 200 houses "of major importance" were reduced to ruins.[233] This looting was directed at both royalist and parliamentary, Catholic and Protestant gentry, and it would be natural that the beneficiaries sometimes included Catholic tenantry and laborers.

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 56]

            Likewise, some of Cecil Calvert's tenants turned the Civil War into a rebellion against him. After he was sequestered in November 1645 by the parliamentary Wiltshire County committee, his tenants questioned and at least one refused his right to hold a manor court, impose the homager's oath, and receive the economic benefits that went along with such rights.[234]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 57]

            The troubles which Arundell and Calvert had with their tenants were common throughout the period and reflected the tendency of copyholders and tenants-at-will, both Catholic and Protestant, to take a political position that was independent of and directed against the authority and rights of their royalist or parliamentary landlords. Tenants refused to pay rent or paid less than was customary. They ploughed up the landlord's pastures, put in improper crops, and neglected normal manuring and repairs. Christopher Clay comments, "Tenants threw up their farms, pressed for reductions in rent, ignored husbandry covenants, and encroached on their landlord's rights in other ways."[235] J. P. Cooper documents the "irrecoverable rent arrears piling up."[236] David Underdown quotes as not unusual the complaint by a landlord at seeing the "massive arrears" in rents being run up:

Now men are are lawless, trees and hedges are carried away without controlment; tenants use their landlord how they list for their rents, taking this to be a time of liberty.[237]

Most large landowners according to one study were forced to sell land because of lack of rental income in order to pay their debts and taxes.[238] Many were bankrupted and in counties such as Lancashire that had many Catholics, about half the gentry families disappeared permanently as landlords.[239]

            Especially in areas with relatively heavy Catholic population, the leveling of landlords has to be seen in part as a result of the independent political beliefs and resulting activities of the Catholic tenantry. They used the disruption caused by the war in behalf of their own rights and authority.

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 58]

            In addition to economic leveling, a second manifestation at the local level of politically independent beliefs among Catholics concerned enclosures. Enclosures and depopulation were long-standing grievances of copyholders and tenants-at-will in areas with relatively heavy Catholic concentrations, such as the western part of England. Landlord-dominated courts and parliamentary legislation allowed land to be confiscated by landlords and turned into pasture on which to raise sheep. In these areas there was more profit for the landlord in wool production than in the income that could be gained by a tenant's production of grain crops.[240] The complaint against enclosures was part of the Grand Remonstrance in 1641.[241] According to R. C. Richardson, "the central agrarian issue in the English Revolution was whether the landlords or the small farmers should control and develop the wastes."[242]

            During the 1620s and 1630s more profits for Catholic landlords like John Wintour and Basil Brooke because of enclosures meant the loss of livelihood for their tenants, some of whom were undoubtedly Catholic. The Catholic Philip Massinger in his plays wrote against those such as Wintour and Brooke who "intrude on their poor neighbor's right" and "enclose what was common land, to their use."[243] During the war, because of their independence from Wintour and Brooke's royalist inclinations, it was the tenants who profited and Wintour and Brooke who had a reduced livelihood.[244] Wintour, several of whose sons migrated to Maryland for short periods, held a monopoly on royal leases in Gloucestershire's Forest of Dean.[245] These leases were in Lydney and 28 other parishes as well as in several dozen manors. "Forest" did not mean a wooded area, but an area under the crown's ownership and under forest law, rather than common law. Wintour's leases involved some 18,000 acres of arable land, timber, iron mills, and coal mines, much of which had been enclosed in the years prior to the war.[246] The revenues from these leases was so great that Wintour had acted as a financier for the crown during the 1630s when the king had ruled without Parliament.[247]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 59]

            Wintour's displaced tenants used the war as an opportunity to stage a widespread, successful uprising. They tore down some 17 miles of enclosures standing 4½ feet high worth £1,000.[248] They burned structures used for coal mining.[249] At one point 3,000 people assembled including 8 score Welshmen and staged a mock funeral for Wintour. Armed with guns and pikes they carried his effigy accompanied by two drums, two colors, and a fife. Among the leaders was a cobbler, a glover, and a husbandman.[250] Since 800 A.D. the people of Dean had held land in common for their hogs and cattle to graze upon. They fought to preserve their rights.[251]

            What Wintour's tenants achieved was a common occurrence during the period, as Buchanan Sharp documents:

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 60]

As soon as the members of England's elite found themselves preoccupied with the political crisis that led to Civil War, the inhabitants of forests and fens took advantage of the times to riot once again and destroy the works of enclosers and drainers. In the years between 1642 and 1649 riots erupted in all those western forests which had been the scenes of the riots between 1626 and 1632.[252]

Those who lived in royal forests were militant because the crown's forest law governed. Forest law gave tenants fewer legal remedies than common law. This made rioting, petitioning, leveling, and illegality a necessity in maintaining rights.[253]

            Two factors suggest Wintour had at least some Catholic tenants who profited from his reversal during the war. First, as was noted earlier, the west was an area of relatively high Catholic concentration. Second, Catholics, especially recusant Catholics as opposed to church Catholics, tended to rent from the Catholic magnates. This was because the magnates were influential in local politics and prevented recusancy prosecutions or they sometimes paid the fines for their tenantry.[254] B. G. Blackwood documents that in the 1660s, one Catholic landlord had 68 percent, that is 68 of his 99 leases, with Catholics; and another had 85 percent of his leases with Catholics.[255] Catholic tenants of those like Wintour, no less than Protestant tenants, would have resisted being evicted from their customary leases in order to be replaced by sheep. At the national level in Parliament this militancy of both Catholic and Parliament tenants helped block the gentry from re-enacting enclosure and depopulation measures during the war period.[256]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 61]

            In addition to rent and enclosure, another manifestation at the local level of independent political beliefs held by Catholic laboring people concerned the relations of masters and servants. During the war servants found opportunities to make use of the political system which had traditionally been unsympathetic to their rights. The masters' world was so turned up-side-down that they sometimes complained of being slaves of their servants. An illustration of a Catholic servant who turned the tables on his master is given in the following account:

There were obvious dangers in sending away discontented servants at a time of national tension. One Lancashire servant "was required to go, as did his master and mistress, to hear a Jesuit preach. He did not go." He was presumably dismissed as a consequence. Naturally enough he turned informer. "As these times go," one lord was told by his son in similar circumstances, "all servants are masters, and we their slaves."[257]

            Prominent among the Catholic masters who were confronted by the independence of their servants was Inigo Jones (d. 1652). As a youth, he had started out as an apprentice joiner and ended up a London architect and surveyor in the employment of the crown and nobility. Among his achievements was an addition to London's St. Paul's Cathedral in the 1620s. He was a Royalist and at the beginning of the war, to avoid taxes and confiscation, he had his four servants bury his money in a secret place near his home in Scotland Yard. As the war continued, however, his servants, who were probably all Catholic, showed sympathy for Parliament. Jones, in his 70s, correctly feared that they would turn him and his money into Parliament. He managed to dig up and rebury his money in Lambeth Marsh before being arrested. He saved his money but spent part of the war in prison.[258]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 62]

            There was a third belief held by Maryland Catholics, the European background of which this chapter will discuss. As has been noted, most English Catholics were laboring people and believed in the value of their labor and in a political order which advanced their interests. They also believed the role of the clergy was to serve their needs, a belief that was repeated in Maryland. There were several obstacles to the full achievement of this belief in England, including first the penal laws and the established episcopacy's control of traditional church property, and second the sometimes contrary beliefs held by the Catholic gentry, who tended to monopolize the clergy as live-in chaplains and tutors.[259]

            Christopher Haigh and A. D. Wright argue that the Catholic gentry, more so than the penal laws, were the obstacle to the Catholics' belief about the role of the clergy. Haigh writes:

The Catholic gentry, the second group of heroes of the Persons' version of English Catholic history, arrogated to themselves an inappropriate share of the clerical resources of the post-Reformation mission. The gentlemen have been credited with ensuring "the survival of the faith" and so they did, but their faith, at the expense of everyone else's! The fact that English Catholicism became more and more seigneurial in structure does not demonstrate the crucial role of the gentry in its survival: that was the way it was, but not the way it had to be.[260]

            The gentry had a negative influence, but Haigh probably overstates the case in saying English Catholicism was gentry dominated. There co-existed along with gentry Catholicism and its beliefs that the role of the clergy was to serve gentry interests, the belief among the laboring majority that the clergy should serve their needs. This latter belief was demonstrated by the Civil War Catholics in Lancashire, Yorkshire, the Northern High Peake district, and Monmouthshire on the South Wales border. They had their own itinerant and congregational clergy who they supported financially. Ralph Corby, S.J. (1598-1644) was one of their priests. A report discussed the esteem in which he was held, "He was so beloved of the poor people and so reverenced and esteemed for his pious labors and functions that he was commonly called by them apostle of the country."[261] Henry Foley, S.J. writes of Corby:

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 63]

He pursued a moderate and poor style of living with the laboring class of men, and always visited the neighboring places on foot. In the neighborhood where he lived, were many Catholics of narrow means and obscure station. There he always thought it his duty to administer the sacraments and to visit among their villages and in their houses. He used to go without a cloak, in a very humble dress, so that he might have been taken for a servant, a farm-bailiff or letter-carrier. His reception too and manner of living was such as is usually to be met with among the laboring classes. He did not visit by appointment, but casually. And he was as much delighted with chance fare as with the greatest luxuries.[262]

            Another of their priests was Nicholas Postgate who served in Cleveland, which was in Yorkshire. He reported, "at this moment I have quite 600 penitents, and could have more if I wished; or rather, what I lack is not will, but help; I am working to the limits of my strength."[263] In parts of England the clergy of the established church did not very enthusiastically serve poor laboring people. In addition in some areas, such as Lancashire and Yorkshire, where Catholicism made advances among laboring people, there were large populations scattered over large areas and few established priests. While in some counties there was one Anglican priest per 400 people, in Lancashire's 56 Anglican parishes, it was sometimes closer to 1,700 people per priest.[264] Catholic priests willing to serve without pay or rather to serve a circuit in exchange for a meal with a family and a night's rest under their roof had unlimited congregations.[265] The Benedictine Ambrose Barlow (d. 1641), for example, served 23 years at Leigh in Lancashire. From a neighborhood gentry family, he spent one week in circuit for every three he spent at home. On circuit he lived with the country farmers, wore country dress, walked, not rode, and ate the meatless diet of whitemeats such as cheese and eggs and the garden produce of the ordinary people.[266] The circuits of some clergy, such as that of the Jesuit, Thomas Gascoigne, extended for 200 miles and took a month to complete.[267] At his home base, Gascoigne lived in a cottage and chopped his own wood for fire.

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 64]

            To get a picture of how effective the Catholics were in realizing their belief about the role of the clergy, the number, geographical, and class distribution of the Catholic clergy can be considered. There were between 750 and 1,000 Catholic priests serving in England during the Civil War.[268] John Bossy, assuming the lower figure, estimates that about 450 were secular priests and 300 were regular priests, that is Jesuits, Benedictines, and those of several other orders. Of the seculars, 70 served in the north, 60 in Wales, 40 in London, and 270 in the south and midlands. The regular clergy were similarly distributed. More than half, especially among those serving in the south and midlands, were chaplains and tutors for the gentry, with little service to the ordinary Catholics.[269]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 65]

            That more than half the clergy should have ended up serving at best 20 percent of the Catholic population is not surprising. Two-thirds of both the seculars and regulars were from gentry families, as it was generally the gentry who could afford to send their children to the continent for the extensive education received by the clergy.[270] Service to the gentry meant earning £20 to £25 per year, twice what laboring Catholics who supported families were able to make.[271] Leander Jones noted in 1634 that being a priest was a way for the gentry to gain a comfortable living.[272] In addition the ordered clergy, such as the Jesuits and Benedictines, were by their beliefs, constitutions, and customs restricted from pastoral-congregational-parish employment.[273] Robert Southwell, S.J., one of the early ordered priests in the country after the Reformation, was a domestic chaplain to the countess of Arundel. He was critical of another priest who served laboring people through an itinerant ministry, "I am much grieved to hear of your unsettled way of life, visiting many people, at home with none. We are all, I acknowledge, pilgrims, but not vagrants; our life is uncertain, but not our road."[274] Thomas Aquinas, an ordered priest himself, taught that the secular clergy who served in parishes belonged to a "lower grade of perfection" than the ordered clergy, whose only employment was prayer.[275] It was the exception rather than the rule when laboring Catholics were able to obtain the services of the ordered clergy for their congregations.

            What is surprising is not the number of clergy who served the gentry, but that the laboring people were able to attract to their service the number that they did, despite all the obstacles. In some places the congregation of mainly tenants and yeomen owned their own chapel or held services in barns and farmyards.[276] A few congregations numbered up to 200 people. In and about Lancashire there were Catholic chapels, some of which are still in use, at Brindle, Chorley, Claughton, Gillmoss, Little Crosby, Liverpool Lytham, Manchester, Pleasington, Preston, Wigan, and Woolton.[277] There were villages that were entirely Catholic in population.[278] In some villages the school master or catechist were Catholics, either licensed or as in the case of Thomas Wood at Leake and Emmanuel Dawson at Lanmouth, unlicensed.[279] They taught the rudiments of religion as well as English and Latin. Women who had been educated in the seventeen English language continental convents also served as school teachers and catechists in these villages.[280] In 1637 Mary Ward established a community of women at Newby, Ripon, which made its living as teachers.[281] In 1639 three English Franciscan nuns established a convent in York to teach school.[282]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 66]

            Hugh Aveling has studied the congregational structure of the Catholic community in York, which was probably similar to that in Maryland. In the Langbaurgh district of York there were eight Catholic congregations in 1642, with a total membership of about 500.[283] In the North Riding district there were 28 self-supporting congregations served by both secular and ordered clergy. These congregations and the number in them were: Egton (28), Lythe (40), Forcett (81), Thronton-le-Street (64), Bradsby (38), Malton (42), Northallerton (39), Leake (38), Wensley (35), Catterick (31), Manfield (28), Brotton (43), Crathorne (25), Bedale (19), Yarm (13), Hilton (21), Helmsley (28), Hovingham (40), Kirkleavington (23), Arsgarth (19), Appleton Wiske (25), Stokesley (21), Grinton (24), Masham (62), Whitby Strand (58), Stanwick St. John (61), Kirkby Ravensworth (43), and Middleton Tyas (16).[284] Catholics in some Yorkshire districts seemed to have persuaded their landlords, such as the Constable, Gascoigne, and Fairfaxe families, who had their own house chaplains, to pay for the services of a second priest to serve themselves.[285]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 67]

            The Catholics' belief in the role of the priest as their servant successfully met with another obstacle besides that presented by the gentry. Some of the Roman establishment's ideas about the role of the clergy ran counter to that of providing service. Many of the popes at the time believed they had the right to demand that the clergy and Catholics seek the overthrow of the English government. These popes also believed they had the right to excommunicate priests and Catholics who took oaths of allegiance to the English government or who attended services in the established church.[286] Had the Maryland Catholics permitted such authority to the Roman establishment, they would have all been excommunicated. It was standard for migrants to take an oath of allegiance to the English government on departing from England and upon arriving in Maryland. The assembly in 1639, a majority of whose delegates were Catholics, enacted legislation providing for swearing allegiance to the English government.[287] In England it has already been noted, up to 80 percent of the Catholic population may have been church Catholics. If they had permitted papal authority they would have been cut off from the services of the clergy.

            In maintaining their belief about the role of the clergy, the Catholics had several defenses against Roman authority. First, from the beginning, the English church was self-financed.[288] The Roman establishment had no economic leverage. The papacy also had no political leverage with the English government, but just the opposite. For example, the English Catholic bishop Richard Smith sought to set up a church court which would have had jurisdiction to excommunicate Catholics for failure to follow Roman authority. In response, the Catholic gentry went to the privy council for help. The council issued a proclamation for the bishop's arrest on a charge of treason. This forced him into exile in 1631.[289]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 68]

            All during the Civil War, England's only Catholic bishop lived in exile in Paris until he died in 1655. This was despite the change in government during the war and even the negotiations with the Protestant Independents in 1647 to re-establish the system of Catholic bishops as a balance against the established bishops. At least part of the reason he remained in Paris seems to have been Catholic hostility against his interest in church courts. It is perhaps more than a coincidence that one of the first enactments of the Maryland assembly, a majority of whose members with known religion were Catholics, was a praemunire law in 1638.[290] The law provided for the hanging of any Catholic bishop that came to Maryland or anyone else who sought to extend Roman judicial jurisdiction there. The Maryland law was one of a series of measures designed to make the clergy there serve the interests of the laboring people.

            An even more dramatic example of the political vulnerability of the Roman establishment is discussed by Thomas Hughes, S.J. It started in 1647 and involved an effort to deport the entire 170 Jesuits plus the Catholics who were associated with them from England into Maryland. The Jesuits in reputation, if not always in fact, had a special allegiance to Rome's authority. They received their authority or faculties to serve in England directly from Rome, whereas the seculars received their faculties from their locally elected dean and chapter government.[291] The deportation scheme failed, but it demonstrates the strategy and the length to which Catholics would go in defending their beliefs against Roman interference. Hughes remarks:

A project had been started by a certain class of Catholics, to invoke the power of the heterodox Parliament to expel from England into far-off Maryland another class of Catholics who did not agree with them in religion and political views. And the Jesuits they proposed to rid the realm of altogether. . . Whereas the Cromwellian formula had been "Off to Virginia," or "Off to Barbados," for the Scotch prisoners taken at Dunbar, the Catholic agitators in 1647 introduced the variation, "Off to Maryland," as the lot of English Roman Catholics.[292]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 69]

            The Catholic attempts to expel the Jesuits continued after the Civil War. Caroline Hibbard remarks that "some seculars entered into a curious practical alliance with the English government with the hopes of effecting an expulsion of the Jesuits. It was an alliance that would persist into the Restoration period and produce government-sponsored anti-Jesuit literature from Catholic hands that was as violent as any Puritan publican."[293]

            Coinciding with the deportation scheme were the maneuverings in 1647 mentioned earlier of the Catholic gentry with the Protestant Independents to gain toleration. The Catholics proposed that they take an oath to the parliamentary government. Anyone including the clergy who refused to take it would be banished. Among the advocates of the oath was Andrew White, S.J., who had served in Maryland.[294] When the pope learned of the oath and that the clergy had agreed to take it, he ordered the Jesuit and Benedictine superiors to give up their offices and go into exile.[295] Over the seculars the pope was powerless. Part of the Catholic proposal was that the bishops who would be established would be outside of the pope's power to remove. If he refused to consecrate them, they would get themselves consecrated in France or Ireland by their fellow bishops.[296] The issue of "exterior spiritual jurisdiction," that is, an effective clerical superiority over the spiritual aspects of English Catholicism, was left negotiable.

            In defending their right to have the clergy serve their needs against Roman clericalism, English Catholic laboring people generally had an ally in the chapter government of the secular clergy. A description of the chapter written some years after the war described its 28 members. One was John Medcalf, who was archdean of Northumberland and Cumberland. He maintained that if he headed the English government, he would proscribe all priests who refused to take the oath of allegiance.[297] Rome asked Humphrey Waring, who was dean or head of the chapter, why he was unwilling to comply with "the decrees of His Holiness, for the keeping of which decrees one hundred and forty martyrs had shed their blood, and undergone a glorious death." He responded that he and the other clergy had made up their minds "to live for the future according to the customs of the Gallican church."[298] Chapter member and archdeacon Henry Turbervill was said by Rome to "constitute himself defender of the oath, commonly known as the oath of allegiance, in which are contained many things contrary to Catholic faith and the authority of the Roman church."[299] Thomas Carr another member of the chapter "to the best of his power promoted Jansenism."[300] Chapter member John Leyburn was a "`neopoliticus Gallus,' looking after his own rather than the public good," the "public" being Rome.[301] The non-sectarian bent of some secular priests, such as Thomas Carter and William Johnson included occasional attendance at services in the established church.[302]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 70]

            Roman interference with the rights of the Catholics was limited, but that does not mean there were not instances of it, as when particular priests would uphold prohibitions on church Catholicism. A Northumberland priest in the 1650s did not allow a nine year old to make his first communion because he attended a village school, which included attending services at the established church.[303] When a priest in Maryland similarly attempted to excommunicate a planter there in the 1650s, he was arrested, taken to court, and later recalled to England by his superiors.[304]

            The ordinary Catholics, in seeking to make the clergy serve their needs, manifested a low regard for clericalism. One can see in the pamphlets of Catholic professionals like John Austin and Thomas Hawkins a respect for the clergy but an apparently widespread Catholic impatience with and embarrassment at the doctrines of papal temporal power and papal infallibility.[305] Their low regard for these doctrines was similar to the independence they showed toward the pretensions of both the royalist and parliamentary gentry during the Civil War. When the king was in power, church Catholics lied in taking the oath of supremacy, which acknowledged the king as head of the church. Then the Catholics lied in taking Parliament's oath of abjuration when that oath was imposed after 1642.[306] Blaise Pascal in his Provincial Letters of 1656 blamed Rome and the Jesuits for teaching the doctrine of equivocation, that is, that it was licit to lie under oath. But Rome and the Jesuits were teaching just the opposite. Pope Innocent X in 1649 denounced equivocation because it was "ecclesiastically subversive."[307] If the pope had had his way, Catholics would not have taken the oaths. They would have shed their blood for Roman clericalism.

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 71]

            Against both Rome and the royalist and parliamentary gentry the Catholics constituted themselves as a law unto themselves, not unlike the Protestant antinomians. Antinomianism, meaning literally "against the law," involved, as Christopher Hill points out, the repudiation of "all human law, not just Mosaic law."[308] It is not surprising, as noted earlier, that the Presbyterian-dominated Parliament in 1646 enacted the death penalty against those who taught the antinomian doctrine.[309] Because they did not control the army, however, the Presbyterians were unable to enforce the prohibition against antinomianism. The parliamentary gentry used antinomian arguments against the crown, but once they achieved success during the first Civil War, they wished to cut off the doctrine to the laboring people.

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 72]

            One can see repeated in the Catholic pamphlets that took the side of the laboring people, the antinomian themes that were developed by the Protestants, such as universal grace and eschatology.[310] The secular priests William Rushworth and Henry Holden wrote that it was wrong to look to the law and scripture like the pharisee, "We should look to our own hearts: Christ's law is written in a Christian's heart."[311] In justifying the overthrow of the crown, Holden remarked that the royalist "sycophants" did "basely flatter all supreme power and act as if we ought to look upon them as to be worshiped and adored as Gods."[312] Catholic millennialists wrote of the imminent rule of the saints on earth during which wealth would be redistributed to producers, social injustice would be eradicated for a thousand years prior to the final judgment day and a "third age of the church" would be established.[313]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 73]

            The Catholics believed that the role of the clergy was to serve them and allowed neither the crown, Parliament, or the pope to stand in their way. If as much as 80 percent of the Catholics were church-going, it seems appropriate to also mention their beliefs about the Anglican clergy, whom they encountered when they attended established services. As in the Catholic church, Catholics no doubt believed the established clergy should serve their needs. This belief would have inclined them to take the Independent side on the questions that arose during the war about how the established church was to be governed. That is, just as in civil politics, so in church politics, there was an Independent-Presbyterian split throughout much of the period. The Presbyterian gentry and clergy wanted to make the church serve their interests. After the abolition of episcopal judicial control in January 1643, the Presbyterian clergy, through parliamentary legislation, sought to put the church under the control of regional and national clerical-dominated assemblies.[314]

            However, the Presbyterians, despite controlling Parliament until 1648 and enacting legislation on the subject, were for the most part never able to actually gain control of the church at the parish level. The local congregations refused to recognize the synods or send deputies to them.[315] They remained under the control of local communities and their elected parish vestries and wardens. In these local church governments, church Catholics or their bailiffs no doubt did service. Those Catholics with more than an ordinary voice in their parish governments included Ralph Sheldon who paid to have the church built at Beoley, Thomas Stonor who gave the parish at Watlington its bell, and Thomas Nevill who paid for an addition to the parish church at Holt, which to the present day has his name inscribed over the entrance along with the phrase, "Built this porch at cost 1635."[316] Those like Thomas Arundell who owned the rectory and advowson of the vicarage of Anstye in Wiltshire until his death in 1643, and Edward Vaux who owned the rectory and parsonage at Irthlingborough, likewise had an economic leverage that gave them a voice in parish government.[317]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 74]

            Church Catholics probably had a hand in ejecting some 2,000 established clergy from their churches because these clergy were unsympathetic to congregational needs.[318] Dominated by the Court of High Commission, the ejected clergy had made the pulpit an instrument of crown propaganda.[319] The ejected were often pluralists and non-residents who took the parish income but neglected to minister to the people. Hugh Aveling remarks, "We know that Protestant society then contained many features closely resembling Catholic ones. . . a violent and increasing discontent with the `mass priest' type of incumbent and curate which the church of England had inherited from the middle ages, together with lay impropriation, non-residence, and pluralism."[320] In addition to supporting the ejectment of pluralists and absentees, the church Catholics, like the Independent Protestants probably found the threat of clericalism from the Presbyterian synods just as unattractive as that from the Anglican episcopacy or the Roman establishment. On this an Independent remarked:

Far better to have one tyrant [the pope] whose power is limited to spiritual things and who is outside the realm than to have a tyrant in every parish who meddled in temporal affairs as did the Presbyterians."[321]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 75]

            Retention of local control over the parish clergy served the needs of church-going Catholics. There were other Independent goals that served the needs of the Catholic recusants as well as those of church Catholics concerning the role of the Catholic clergy. One of the obstacles to having the Catholic clergy serve them had always been the established episcopacy, which through a system of courts enforced the penal laws. Independent-backed legislative enactments in 1643 and 1646 abolished the episcopacy and the church and prerogative courts which had enforced the penal laws._ The courts abolished included the High Commission, the Court of Wards, the Council of the North, the court before the president and council in the Marches of Wales, the court of the duchy of Lancaster, and the court of exchequer of the county palatine of Chester._ After the restoration these courts were not re-established. The Catholic support for independent policies helped eliminate this obstacle to the services of their clergy.

            There was a fourth and final belief held by Maryland Catholics, the European background of which this chapter will discuss. Ordinary Catholics believed market relations should serve their needs. The Maryland assembly enacted a comprehensive system of market regulations to achieve this end. In England similar regulations existed and were expanded during the Civil War. It is more difficult to pinpoint Catholic support for such legislation in England, because they did not dominate the legislature there, as they did in Maryland. Nevertheless, sentiments supporting market relations that served their needs can be seen in their pamphlet literature and in their political activity.

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 76]

            Illustrative of their belief that market relations should serve their needs was the attitude of Thomas White. He condemned "private" interests that sought to subordinate the market at the expense of the public:

When I see the same person work for a commonwealth, in a free way doing it good, and again for a private person, I see a vast distance between his pretended ends. There is an eminent generosity in one over the other. Whence, I believe it comes that heroes and heroical virtues are chiefly taken in respect of doing good to the whole society.

When I see it thought that good is the same, I find it an intricate labyrinth of equivocation wherein we endless err. To cry the common good is a mere deceit and flattery of words unless we can show that the common good is as great to us as we make it sound.[322]

            According to John Bossy, White was the intellectual leader of the 450 secular clergy during much of the period.[323] Robert Bradley, S.J. states, "Few English Catholics of that century had such an impact on their contemporaries as Thomas White had."[324] The Catholic priest George Leyburn remarked at the time on the "zeal" which Catholics had for White, his "wonderful influence," and his being looked to as an "oracle."[325] White's leadership was dependent in part on his representing a broad spectrum of Catholic belief. That White was representative of the thinking of laboring people was also testified to at the time. Robert Pugh, for example, complained that White took the side of the "meanest of the commons, against the just rights of the king, the nobility, and a great part of the gentry."[326] Roger Coke was upset because White spoke for those with "plough-holding" hands.[327]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 77]

            Pugh and Coke were accurate in attributing to White a sympathy for laboring people. But support for market regulations existed among many of the gentry as well. Derek Hirst remarks on the ubiquity of the "commonweal" market beliefs:

Dearth caused both rich and poor to turn on profiteering middle men, the `caterpillars of the commonweal': the magistrates through quarter sessions and the enforcement of the marketing regulations, the commons by less peaceful means. There was a common espousal of a philosophy of an ordered, inter-dependent commonwealth. While on the one hand this was indeed frequently a pious cover for unrestrained capitalistic enterprise, there seems to have been less hypocrisy from the other side, for there was little direct challenge to the ideal of the commonweal from the poor.[328]

            Government granted corporate charters were one of the forms of regulation. These charters gave monopoly rights in a certain area of the economy. But as Astrid Friis remarks, in the seventeenth century the term "monopoly" was generally applied only to something prejudicial to the commonwealth while there was a reluctance to call anything a monopoly when it was considered as contributing to the public welfare.[329] For example, in foreign trade the East India Company had considerable public respect. The trade to Japan and China required the accumulation of large amounts of capital because of the distance and risks. Defenders of monopolies such as that of the East India Company noted that individual merchants had no protection for their ships in piratical waters except that furnished by their own guns. Monopolies dispatched their vessels in fleets. The collective unit increased the potentialities of defense. Joint-stock companies were also able to accumulate the necessary funds to erect warehouses for their own trade, and establish consular offices, which helped promote favorable relations in the diplomatic as well as commercial spheres. Finally, it took large funds to compete against the Dutch, Spanish, and Italians who had monopolies of their own in Asia.[330]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 78]

            The East India monopoly gave a benefit, but the monopolies in trade to the Baltic, Muscovy, Germany, Holland, and the Mediterranean were often seen as less justifiable. No monopoly existed in trade with France. There was a desire to extend such free trade elsewhere by English producers of cloth, wool, lead, and tin, along with those who imported from abroad and those who lived in port cites like Bristol, Hull, York, and Newcastle.[331] London had one-tenth of the English population, but accounted for eight-tenths of the English foreign trade. It brought in £70,000 of England's £90,000 annual custom revenue in the early part of the century.[332] The English Catholics, who had relatively large concentrations in York, Bristol, and Newcastle were no doubt among those who looked negatively on London's foreign trade monopolization. One can see in the drama of Philip Massinger a Catholic's protest against court party monopolists as "parasites of the kingdom."[333]

            There seems to have been a particular dislike of the Merchant Adventurers. They had a monopoly on the export of cloth to the Netherlands and Germany. Clothmakers throughout the country had long sought an end to the monopoly. It enriched the London merchants at the expense of producers.[334] Among the migrants to Maryland who had a dislike of the Merchant Adventurers was Thomas Weston (1575-1647). Weston was an ironmonger of unknown religion. As early as 1617 he was engaged in unlicensed shipments of cloth to the Netherlands. The privy council at the request of the Merchant Adventurers forced him to cease his trade.[335]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 79]

            Like foreign monopolies, domestic trade and manufacturing monopolies had a potentially positive aspect for laboring people. The justification for domestic monopolies was that they regulated trade, along with justices of the peace, the House of Commons, the common law, and the parish governments. They helped maintain quality and gave uniform prices and supplies. For example, Walter Raleigh had had a patent to issue licenses to tavern keepers and wine retailers.[336] Raleigh performed a governmental function in regulating taverns for the public benefit. In addition, a company was obligated because of its charter to have financial obligations to the state commensurate with the scope of its enterprise and investment. These duties would involve furnishing a loan to the government, providing a guarantee of credit to the king, or making extraordinary customs payments.

            The problem with monopolies for laboring people came when their benefit was less than their burden. Conyers Reid maintains the Stuarts generally turned monopoly corporations from being effective governmental regulative devices into mere money-raising expedients. This was because the Stuarts sought to rule and spend money without the consent of Parliament.[337] The dislike of patents came when they were given as one contemporary put it, for "a private and disordered engrossing, for the enhancing of prices, for a private purpose, to a public prejudice."[338] The crown granted patents to get loans and revenue, and often ignored the abuses caused by monopolies.

            During the Civil War Catholics, as given voice in the writings of Thomas White, along side the levelers, supported the parliamentary council of trade at the national level and its promotion of free trade and the right to unrestricted migration and naturalization.[339] Free trade meant freedom from private monopoly, it did not mean freedom from government regulations. Government regulations were sometimes desired because they were beneficial to trade and protected the public from private monopoly.[340]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 80]

            The enthusiasm which those like Thomas White had for the council of trade and more generally for the republican order established by the abolition of the crown was due in part to their belief that republics were better for producers than monarchies.[341] J. P. Cooper points out, it was "the commonly held view that republics were more beneficial for trade than monarchies."[342] Thomas Violet in 1660 wrote that the "common sort of people" do better under a commonwealth than "the nobility and gentry." This idea "has for twenty years been the oil that fed the flame of rebellion in London."[343]

            Just as at the national level, so at the local level, the Catholics' belief about market relations seems to have coincided with the thinking of the Protestants who helped enact and enforce legislation at the county and parish level that made the market responsive to the needs of laboring people. One type of local regulation was directed against monopolization by merchants. County committees, grand juries, assize courts, and parishes such as in Wiltshire and Cheshire, no doubt with the help of Catholics, licensed grain dealers or set up commissions to see that grain was sold without hoarding for unjust profits.[344] The same forces also made prohibitions during times of shortage on the export of items such as beer, cattle, corn, cheese, beef, port, candles, and sheepskin.[345]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 81]

            When crops were bad, county and parish governments sometimes suppressed alehouses and limited the sale of grain to maltsters in order to get a better distribution of grain.[346] Ale making wasted barley, which was the ordinary bread corn. As in Maryland, typical English ordinances authorized the constables to search all "houses, barnes, and men holding corn more than for necessary support of themselves and their families."[347] Those with excess were obliged to bring the corn to market by installment and sell it at "at reasonable rates to the poor people." J. A. Chambers writes about the enforcement of antimonopoly regulations during the period:

The middle years of the seventeenth century saw new vigor in the enforcement of the statutes. During the Interregnum, and at least until the later 1680s, active prosecution of offenses by middlemen continued.[348]

            Market regulations during the period were not meant to prevent trade but to make it serve more than merely the interests of the merchants. For example, in the 1650s free export was allowed on basic commodities, but only as long as the domestic prices remained below established prices, such as 40s per quarter ton for corn, 24s per quarter ton for peas and beans, and 6d per pound for butter.[349] Merchants could make profits, but not at the undue expense of the ordinary people.

            A second type of regulation which corresponded to Catholic ideas about market relations being responsive to ordinary people dealt with unemployment. One of the demands of the Levelers was that the government provide jobs for the unemployed.[350] Mobilized and demobilized parliamentary and royal troops, including no doubt Catholics, were militant in pressing for unemployment and pension measures and sometimes took the law into their own hands.[351]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 82]

            For example in 1647 many gentry in Parliament proposed to disband the New Model Army without providing for the disabled, the families of those killed, and the arrears of pay. In response the rank and file established a military command system independent from that of their officers, and they set up a press and published newsletters and pamphlets to make their case known to the English people. Then they successfully marched on Parliament to aid those who had been defending their economic rights there.[352] One of their pamphlets demanded that all the "ancient rights and donations belonging to the poor, such as alms houses, enclosed commons, etc. throughout all parts of the land, now embezzled and converted to other uses, may forthwith be returned to the ancient public use and services of the poor, in whose hands soever they be detained."[353]

            Most of the areas where Catholics were strongest were areas of chronic unemployment, such as Gloucestershire and Wiltshire in the west, and Lancashire and Yorkshire in the north. These were cloth producing areas. Unemployment was a problem because the market for English undressed broadcloth was in the process of being replaced by a demand for lighter materials produced in Holland. The numbers of cloth pieces produced for export declined from 60,000 in 1600 to 30,000 in 1640.[354] The land in the clothmaking areas had been converted by enclosure from arable to pasture in order to raise wool for cloth production. The small farmers were dependent on clothmaking to supplement their farm income.[355]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 83]

            Joan Thirsk has remarked that concern for full employment for laboring people quite naturally distinguished their thinking from most gentry.[356] To solve the unemployment problem, a wide range of measures were initiated or continued during the war by England's 10,000 parish governments. F. G. Emmison writes, "It was the duty of everyone to work. It was equally the responsibility of the parish to help them get work."[357] Parish measures sought to provide for full employment and job training through the spinning and weaving of wool, fisheries, the establishment of municipal brewhouses, the draining of fens, clearing of wasteland, working up of flax, and the distribution of confiscated royal estates to the landless for farming.[358] In many parts of the country the relief system gave laboring people the security of a job and of knowing that in their senior years they would not have to worry about their necessities.[359] In London Parliament established the London Corporation of the Poor in 1647 and made it a model for the country.[360]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 84]

            At the national level Parliament sought to help alleviate unemployment by giving state backing to the subsidization of manufacturing and agricultural projects and the establishment of high import duties that made the import of foreign manufactured goods into England difficult.[361] Illustrative was the House of Commons 1642 Book of Rates, which was protectionist.[362] A 1649 ordinance renewed a 1619 act that prohibited the export of wool. This subsidized cloth spinners and weavers by keeping the cost of wool low.[363] One of the complaints in the Grand Remonstrance of 1641 had been about the decline of the cloth-making trade because the government of Holland was more aggressive in promoting the trade there.[364] The Catholic improver, Richard Weston was among those who wrote pamphlets advising Parliament to enact legislation to promote hemp and flax production, which would reduce unemployment:

You shall do a charitable deed by bringing that manufacturer [of flax] into this country. For it keeps a very great number of poor women and children at work in Flanders and Holland that otherwise would not have means to live.[365]

In August 1650 a Council of Trade was set up to consider "how the traders and manufacturers of this nation may most fitly and equally be distributed to every part thereof," and "how the commodities of this land may be vented to the best advantage thereof into foreign countries."[366]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 85]

            Several studies have commented on how the local and national measures made market relations during the period serve the interests of the ordinary people despite the economic disruption caused by the war.[367] Margo Todd and Valerie Pearl discuss how laboring people sometimes turned up-side down the gentry's approach to market relations and poor relief. The approach of the gentry was often punitive and designed to enforce obedience to the established order.[368] Provision for full employment and poor relief were part of what Hirst calls the philosophy of the "ordered, inter-dependent commonwealth."[369] Thomas White and the gentry improver Robert Wintour reflected this justification for full employment regulations in their writings.[370] Unemployment hurt market relations: "God and nature have so managed humanity, that none have as much as they desire, but regularly abound in one kind of goods, and want some others which their neighbor has. Hence they mutually assist society to be accommodated with such necessities, as they cannot have but by communication one with another."[371]

            Besides regulations directed at monopoly and unemployment, there was a third type of regulations favored by Catholics that addressed the work conditions of laboring people. As John Bossy remarks, the laboring Catholics "invented" and enforced these regulations without the benefit of written legislation. In Maryland, this type of regulation found embodiment in the assembly's legislative code. Laboring Catholics, as in the case of Yorkshire coalminers, limited the amount of time they would work for their masters in part by a system of up to 52 feast-days per year, which they took off as holidays. They valued labor, but they also valued rest.[372]

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 86]

            Catholic laboring people resisted not only the market forces that influenced their masters' interest in excessive profit, but those clergy and Roman pontiffs who throughout the period were seeking to reduce the number of feast-days.[373] Edgar Furniss has shown that a prevalent doctrine among seventeenth-century masters was that wages should be kept at the minimum and hours of labor at the maximum of physical subsistence.[374] Catholic masters and gentry, like their Protestant counterparts, had an extensive literature that justified, as would be expected, their doctrine on work and wages and that looked with disfavor on the efforts of laboring people to better themselves. Robert Persons, S.J., for example, was an archetype of this type of gentry thinking. Thomas Clancy, S.J. writes of his negative ideas on economic mobility among laboring people:

As for the commons, their economic welfare was to be made the responsibility of their feudal lords. In England there was great inequality among the members of the third estate. . . It was said some gave themselves the airs of gentlemen. This social mobility was to be stopped.[375]

            What is of interest is that the English Catholic laboring people had their own pamphleteers, such as Thomas White, who defended their interests. For example, against the claim that the master-servant relation was God-ordained, unchangeable, and not subject to contractual rights by laboring people, White responded, "None think a husbandman, who is hired to till or fence a piece of ground, obeys the hirer more than he that sells a piece of cloth obeys the buyer, because he takes his money; but they are said to contract and perform their part of the bargain."[376] White praised working people who stood up to undue market domination, as he put it, "seeing their labors disposed on to people, of whom they have opinion that they are idle, vicious and unworthy, therefore desire freedom from such a yoke and become masters of their own goods and labors."[377] He pointed out:

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 87]

What are people better than a herd of sheep or oxen, if they be owned, like them, by masters? What difference is there between their masters selling them to the butcher, and obliging them to venture their lives and livelihoods for his private interest?[378]

About the anti-yoke symbolism used by White, Christopher Hill has remarked on its long-standing popularity among the ordinary English people, especially during the Civil War.[379] It had been a theme since the Norman Conquest.

            To sum up, this chapter has looked at the European background to four themes or beliefs that were part of the thinking of Maryland Catholics: the value of labor, political independence, the role of the clergy, and market relations. On these issues the ideal type Catholic seen in this chapter often thought of themselves as a law unto themselves. The resemblance between the Catholic independence and antinomianism was noted in the discussion on the role of the clergy. The Protestant Gerard Winstanley (1609-1652), who demanded that producers have the land rent free, had taught that antinomianism was about the "here and now, not about damnation in the next life."[380] The gentry in making the teaching of antinomianism a treasonable offense in 1647 gave witness to their fear of the doctrine. Catholics like Thomas White were accused of sedition for publishing antinomian passages such as the following:

It is a fallacious principle, though maintained by many, that obedience is one of the most eminent virtues and that it is the greatest sacrifice we can offer to God, to renounce our own wills, because our will is the chiefest good we have. . . To renounce any natural faculty or the legitimate and fitting use of it, under pretense of pleasing God, is a folly, not a virtue.[381]

But despite hostile claims, the Protestant and Catholic antinomians were not anarchists. The antinomians did not intend to remove the essence of the Mosaic law--its political and moral content--but rather to clear the way for its realization, which the established system prevented.

[CHAPTER ONE, 1996 ed., p. 88]

            In being a law unto themselves, there was a continuity between the English and Maryland Catholic population. A majority of Maryland Catholics were born and grew up in England. Their political, religious, and economic thinking was in part formed in England. Most English Catholics were working people and, like their Protestant counterparts, they seemed to have held to views that served their interests. The antinomian beliefs held by Maryland Catholics are less surprising when the English background is understood. In most cases, because the Catholics dominated the assembly in Maryland and embodied their beliefs in legislation, their thinking is easier to reconstruct in Maryland. But the English background in some instances provides a supplement to and further understanding of what was enacted in Maryland.



Map 1: English Counties

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 89]

Chapter 2

The Demographic and Career Backgrounds of the Maryland Catholics and their Beliefs about Labor

            This and the following chapters take up the Maryland Catholic beliefs about labor, politics, the clergy, and the market during the period of the English Civil War. This particular chapter is about the demographic background of the Maryland Catholics and their beliefs concerning labor. Ninety-five percent of the Maryland Catholics spent much of their lives doing manual labor. To understand what it was to be a typical Catholic, it is necessary to reconstruct their beliefs about such an important part of their lives.

            Scholars like Max Weber and Richard H. Tawney identify positive views of labor with the "Protestant ethic."[382] This chapter finds that in Civil War Maryland, the "Protestant ethic" was likewise the "Catholic ethic." As reflected in their migration to the province and the work-lives they led, in their assembly and judicial records, and in their pamphlet literature, most Catholics viewed labor in a positive light, both as a means to an end and as a way of life. John Krugler finds a similarity in some political beliefs between the Maryland Catholics and the Massachusetts Puritans.[383] This chapter finds the similarity extended to beliefs about labor.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 90]

            That most Catholics had beliefs about labor that grew out of and supported their careers is not to deny that some might have preferred to be like the English gentry, who lived "idle and without labor." Or more to the point, that some Catholics, if not all, would have opted for slaves, had they been available.[384] In fact, by 1700 a minority of the next generation owned slaves. While some Civil War Catholics may have dreamed of owning slaves, they adjusted to a reality without slaves. Field labor had been a way of life for them in England. It continued to be so in Maryland. A more basic dream was that migration would improve their way of life. Slaves were unnecessary to achieve this goal. Very few if any owned slaves during the war years and most did not own slaves later. That some did not fulfill their desire to own slaves does not mean they did not achieve their more basic dream, which included a positive view of labor.

            A more convincing argument against positive views about labor than the desire for slaves was the widespread existence of indentured servitude. Between 1634 and 1639, but not afterwards, a majority of the Maryland population were indentured servants, owned mainly by 5 percent of the Catholic and Protestant population.[385] These masters exploited their servants, sometimes brutally. One-third of the population died within the first several years of arrival.[386] Disease was the chief killer, but in some cases harsh masters with a low regard for labor were also a cause.

            A class system prevailed in Maryland and a diversity of views about labor. The diversity reflected the division in economic interests. The evidence does not support equating the views of the servant with those of the master. Ordinary people, as this chapter will show, were capable of having their own interests, which included a positive view of their labor. Just as they rejected the dominant religious beliefs of the crown, despite considerable obstacles, they had no trouble maintaining their own beliefs about labor, despite the local magnates.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 91]

            This chapter will first discuss the demographic and career background of the Maryland Catholic population. Second it will take up the beliefs of the owner-operators, indentured servants, artisans, and professionals, as manifested in their work-lives, legislation, and court cases. Third it will examine the beliefs of the Maryland landlords. Fourth it will look at several of the theses of this study in light of the discussion presented in the chapter.

            The first part of the chapter is about the demographic and career background of the Catholics. Unlike in England, in Maryland everyone was involved in the productive process. There were no gentry, idle or otherwise, although the 5 percent of the population who were landlords and owned most of the indentured servants, were the source of some anti-labor beliefs and activity. Most Catholics were owner-operators, or hoping to become owner-operators. Most owner-operators, unlike landlords, did field labor during the Civil War period.[387] The assembly and judicial records make statements about the value of labor, but they can be fully understood only when read in the context of the owner-operator's work-life of manual labor.

            The Catholics were small in number but there were enough to show a pattern of belief about labor. No census of Catholics or of the population generally survives for the period. Scholars, however, using what became the "Career Files of Seventeenth-Century Lower Western Shore Residents," have reconstructed the general figure. The "Career Files" are a modern-day census made from the surviving court and other records.[388] From the general population figure it is possible to give a range of estimates for the Catholic figure, as indicated in Table 2-1.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 92]

Table 2-1:
Euro-Catholic Population Estimates


Menard's Total Pop[389]

10% Cath Pop

25% Cath Pop






682 (200 women)[390]







Recusants and church Catholics made up perhaps 10 percent of the total English population.[391] Column two assumes Catholics were the same percent of the population in Maryland.[392] However, the 25 percent estimate in column three can be justified at least until 1650 on several grounds. The Jesuit archival sources and the testimony of the provincial secretary stated as much.[393] A second ground for the higher figure is that while there were English Catholics in Virginia and the West Indies, they probably came in higher proportions to Maryland because their clergy were there and because they were actively recruited.[394] The clergy even managed a London migration office in the early 1630s.[395]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 93]

            Whatever the exact population figures, a Catholic belief pattern about labor can be identified. The pattern was that Catholics came to work. A recruiting pamphlet composed by the clergy summarized the inducement to migrate, "those that do good service, shall receive no small share in the profits of trade."[396] Free unimproved land was given to all migrants. In order to turn the land into a market crop that in boom periods gave a good return on labor expended, it took three ingredients: capital, skill, and labor. Of these three, labor was the common element possessed by all the Catholics.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 94]

            As seen in Table 2-2, several categories of Catholics migrated to Maryland. About half of the total as indicated by the "Career Files" paid the £5 passage and arrived as free but for the most part with no capital.[397] Another group, which was about a quarter of the total had a landlord or merchant pay their way. They arrived as indentured servants. A third group, about 5 percent of the total, were landlords. They actually were a subset of the first group mentioned above. They paid their own way and had sufficient capital to purchase indentured servants to work for them. For the fourth group there is not sufficient data to determine arrival status.

Table 2-2:
Arrival Status

Arr Status



Rel. Unknown


28 (28%)

19  (24%)

721 (53%)


47 (47%)

39  (49%)

244 (18%)


25 (25%)

22  (28%)

389 (29%)





The work-life and expectations of each group were somewhat different and will be expanded upon shortly.

            Having outlined their demographic and career background, the second part of the chapter now takes up the beliefs about labor of the owner-operators, indentured servants, artisans, and professionals. The positive views about labor encountered in the discussion of the English Catholics were undoubtedly carried over or re-invented in Maryland. In addition the Catholics in Maryland possessed some of the same literature discussed earlier, including the bible, that took a positive view of working people. Seventy-five percent of the Maryland Catholics in the "Career Files" for whom there is sufficient evidence to make a determination were literate.[399] Pamphlets were plentiful, judging from the Maryland estate inventories.[400]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 95]

            However, the best evidence for the Maryland Catholics' views about labor is their work-lives, legislation, and judicial cases. This is the focus in this second part of the chapter. The largest group of Catholic migrants were those who arrived free but without capital. Between 1633 and 1641, and from 1649 to 1656, they were granted a tract of 100 acres. From 1642 to 1648 the grant was 50 acres. Additional tracts were granted for a spouse or child. Single women received headrights equal to those of men. In Virginia the headright was 50 acres, so that between 1633 and 1641, and after 1649, an immigrant got twice as much acreage for coming to Maryland. The quit rent, which amounted to 1 percent of their gross income or about 1s for 50 acres, was what the market would allow and was the same in Virginia as in Maryland.[401] This was cheaper than in England, where annual rents averaged about 30 percent of the tenants gross income or between 5s to 8s per acre and £1 per acre. This reflected the difference in the market value of land and produce between England and Maryland and perhaps the Maryland tenants' political strength.[402]

            Because one received free land did not mean it was possible to set up immediately as an independent operator. Table 2-3 shows that by 1642 after almost a decade of settlement, 76 percent (136 of the 177) of the free Europeans in Maryland still owned no land.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 96]

Table 2-3:
Non-Landowner Figures in 1642




Status Tot









Indentured Svt




Total Taxables




            The land was free, and it only took three acres to grow the 3,000 to 10,000 tobacco plants that made up a 1,200 pound (4 hogsheads) harvest worth £15 in good years.[405] Three acres was about the maximum a single individual could farm. But as was noted earlier, one of the three ingredients for setting up a plantation besides the land was a minimal amount of capital, about £15, to pay survey and patent fees, to build a house, barn, and other outbuildings, and to purchase seed, cooking gear, hardware, tools, cloth, nails, and farm animals. A 100-acre tract could be patented for 500 of pounds of tobacco, which was equal to five months labor or £5.[406] The same tract could be rented for 100 pounds of tobacco per year.[407] Some bought their land by working it as sharecropper-tenants and purchasing it on credit over a three to seven year period.[408] A dirt-floored cottage from 10 feet by 10 feet to 15 by 30 feet could be put up, depending on size, for from 60 to 500 pounds of tobacco.[409]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 97]

            Most free Catholics arrived with no capital. Between 1638 and 1645 they were faced with a depression in tobacco prices and a cut off in foreign capital investment. This made borrowing capital to set up one's farm difficult but not impossible. In 1642 the five major local landlord-creditors had extended at least some credit to 90 people.[410] The debtors were owner-operators, tenants, and servants who used their loans to buy farm animals, raise crops, or build a house. The pattern was often to become a free servant or tenant to one of the twelve landlords for the first five or ten years of settlement. During this period the immigrants accumulated enough capital to set up on their own. The wage scale was a "full share" or about £10 pounds per year, that is, the same as one would make by setting up as an independent operator. Therefore free laborers were not hired to work in the fields, but to engage in profitable sidelines.[411] Those with specialized skills did better. During the 1630s, Maryland carpenters got wages that were two to three times higher than in England and Ireland, plus food.

            The work-life and expectations of the second largest group of Catholics, those who arrived as indentured servants, were similar to the first group. However, they were usually younger than the first group, with many being teenagers. To this group was added an initial period of from four to seven years of labor, depending on age and skill, prior to becoming a free servant or tenant. Those with skills served a shorter time.

            Part of the indenture contract and "custom of the country" sometimes required that indentured servants be given land to plant their own crops and raise their own pigs, calves, and other farm animals, which they kept at the end of their service.[412] The master was also required at the end of service to give the servant 50 acres of land, five of which were cultivated, along with clothes and tools.[413] But the servant still had to accumulate capital in order to have the land surveyed and patented and to acquire the other necessities for establishing a plantation. A considerable number of former indentured servants had already managed to set themselves up as owner-operators by 1642. Russell Menard writes of them, "Men who had arrived without capital were establishing households with ease. Twenty to twenty-five men who arrived in Maryland as servants or poor immigrants had become freeholders by 1642."[414] By 1652 74 percent (16 out of 25) of the former indentured Catholic servants had become owner-operators.[415]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 98]

            Free and indentured immigrants were not able to become owner-operators immediately both because they lacked capital and because tobacco farming was a skill that could be obtained only with experience. Working for one of the landlords was a way to obtain an education in soils, rainfall, mean temperatures, planting, tending, curing, and packing tobacco. Gloria Main comments on the skill demanded in tobacco production:

The success of tobacco culture demands the kind of knowledge acquired only through long experience and diligent attention to detail. Failure to make a proper judgment at any one of the crucial steps in harvesting, curing, and packing might not only reduce the quality of the product but even damage it beyond salvage by inducing fermentation and ultimate spoilage.[416]

Frequent court cases testify to the skill needed in production and the lack thereof.[417]

            Labor was the common element in achieving capital and skill for most Catholics and was the third ingredient in rising from free or indentured servant to owner-operator. Tobacco was a labor intensive crop that required diligence for ten months of the year. It required more work per unit of output than any other commercial crop except flax and rice. It did not do well under gang labor, like sugar or cotton.[418] A nineteenth-century tobacco farmer commented on the work demanded of a tobacco farmer:

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 99]

It would startle even an old planter to see an exact account of the labor devoured by an acre of tobacco, and the preparation of the crop for market. . . He would be astonished to discover how often he had passed over the land, and the tobacco through his hands, in fallowing, hilling, cutting off hills, planting and replantings, toppings, succerings, weedings, cuttings, picking up, removing out of ground by hand, hanging, striking, stripping, stemming, and prizing.[419]

            The tobacco crop cycle had three parts: growing, curing, and packing.[420] The first part of the cycle began in early spring. The planter made a seedbed and sowed tobacco seeds kept from the previous year. When the plants had grown to three inches, they were transplanted to prepared hills about four feet apart in other fields. The replanting took place in moist weather in June. The ground was kept clear of weeds by continuous hoeing, and tobacco worms were picked off daily. Within a month, the plant grew to a foot high. After the plants had put out about nine leaves, they were topped to prevent flowering and to force maximum growth in the existing leaves. The planters' large thumb nail, hardened in a candle, served as a tool for the topping process.[421]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 100]

            Growing ended in September when the second part of the tobacco cycle, the curing process, began. Harvesters cut down the entire plant. The stalks were then taken to specially built houses where they were pegged and hung to cure in the air. It could take six weeks for the tobacco to reach the proper texture. The third part of the tobacco cycle was packing. The plants were "struck" down in moist weather when the leaves were made pliable by the dampness. They were stripped off the stalks, bundled into "hands," and packed into hogsheads. Average tobacco production rose from 700 pounds per planter in the 1630s to 1,300 in the 1650s.[422] The total provincial value of the tobacco as it left the farm in the 1640s was conservatively worth between £800 and £1,200.[423] A planter's average yearly income came to between £5 and £10 per year.[424]

            Besides tobacco, the planters' labor was directed at other crops, including grain, livestock, pelts, and cider. An owner-operator would typically plant two or three acres of corn yielding 7 barrels in addition to tobacco. A 50 acre plantation usually consisted of one-half the land in woods, one-fourth in pasture, one-tenth under cultivation, and the rest fallow and waste.[425] Lois Green Carr and Russell Menard characterize Maryland husbandry as a new "long-fallow agriculture," based on the value of labor, which yielded impressive productivity gains and substantial increases in wealth and income. They describe the system, which did not undermine the long-term fertility of the soil:

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 101]

First, because the main crops, tobacco for export and corn for subsistence, were very demanding of soil nutrients, they required long rotations after short use if the land was to regain its fertility without manuring. The planter could grow tobacco for three years, followed by another three of corn, which has a deeper root system than tobacco and hence draws on another layer of soil, but the land then had to lie fallow for 20 years before yields could once again be profitable. To maintain this rotation, the planter required 20 acres per head, just for these two crops. Second, while seventeenth century planters introduced domestic livestock, they did not fence and feed it and hence could not use animal manure. Long rotations were therefore the rule, Third, the new system of husbandry afforded few returns to scale.[426]

            This chapter argues that their migration to Maryland and back-breaking work in the tobacco fields is evidence of the value which Catholics placed on labor. The tree can be known by its fruit. In England an ordinary person with a low regard for labor could minimize work in their own lives by living at a subsistence level and on the margins of the market economy. The people who migrated to Maryland directed the bulk of their labor to the market economy. They did not tend, even during the depression between 1638 and 1645, to subsistence production, which would have lessened their labor. As John McCusker and Russell Menard put it, the planters responded "creatively" to the periodic depressions. Instead of "retreating into subsistence and riding out the storm," they improved productivity and sharply increased output per worker in the middle decades of the seventeenth century. Tighter and more-careful packaging led to permanent savings in shipping costs.[427] They also experimented with new exports like grain, meat, and wood products.[428]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 102]

            A further observation needs to be made about the work-lives of indentured servants. Once their indentures were served, most continued to labor in tobacco and eventually became owner-operators. They did not return to England or become subsistence farmers, which would have minimized their work. However, for a considerable number, during the period of their indenture, there is evidence that they did not have a high regard for labor. Many unilaterally ended or modified their indenture contracts by running off to live in nearby Indian villages or in Virginia, New York, Delaware, New England, or back to England, or by resorting to other forms of resistance, such as laziness, feigned sickness, theft, refusal to work, breaking and losing tools, mistreating and maiming animals, fighting, arson, alcohol abuse, murder, vexatious lawsuits, and suicide.[429] For example, the Catholic Thomas Allen in 1648 seems to have abused two Irish indentured servants, Nick and Mark. Allen made a will in April 1648 stating that if he died unexpectedly to suspect the pair. Later that year Allen's body washed up on shore at Point Look Out with three holes under the right shoulder and a broken skull.[430] Abbott Smith in his study of Maryland servants, refers to them as "at best irresponsible, lazy, and ungoverned, and at worse frankly criminal in character."[431] Russell Menard comments that servants were "unruly and difficult to discipline."[432] Eugene McCormac writes that running away was characteristic of servitude and that it cut into profits:

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 103]

One of the most noticeable features of indentured servants, and one which greatly impeded the successful operation of the institution, was the large number of runaways. There is abundant evidence that large numbers of servants deserted the service of their masters.[433]

            Servants in the other English colonies and in England also showed negative views about labor and their masters. At St. Kitts and Nevis, they betrayed their masters to Spanish fleets; those in Barbados staged an island-wide rebellion.[434] Timothy Nourse wrote of the "pride" held by the servants whom he encountered:

There is not a more insolent and proud, a more intractable, perfidious, and a more churlish sort of people breathing, than the generality of our servants.[435]

Richard Dunn and Warren Billings remark on the tendency among indentured servants and slaves in Virginia to be lazy and rebellious. In Dunn's view, the laboring people were not so much opposed to labor as they were against not receiving the fruit of their labor, "They worked unwillingly because they could see no personal gain in their work."[436] Timothy Breen argues that the militancy of the Tidewater planters at the time of the American Revolution was related to their fear of losing personal autonomy because of debt to London creditors.[437] The eighteenth-century planters did not want to be slaves to London merchants and probably their seventeenth-century ancestors did not want to be slaves to the local landlords. The eighteenth-century planters, as Breen points out, had a belief in labor. Idleness was seen as a vice. They had a sense of power and responsibility. They would rush out of bed when it rained at transplanting time and would stay up late at night in the fall involved in stripping, stemming, and packing.[438]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 104]

            Although many Catholic indentured servants hated indentured labor, most of them, based on their post-indenture work-lives, held positive views toward labor when it was freely performed. The militancy against labor by some of them during their period of indenture, as Dunn and Breen suggest, had more to do with not receiving the fruit of their labor than with not liking labor. The tendency among indentured servants to resist exploitation can be seen as testimony to their belief in the labor theory of value. Instead of being an argument that servants had a low regard for labor, servant militancy against their masters can be seen as an argument for the value which they placed on their labors. It was in part because laboring people knew their value and resisted exploitation that the French in establishing settlements in Canada had the home government at times pay the passage and subsidize laboring people in their farming.[439] In eighteenth-century South Carolina, the provincial government also paid the passage for immigrants and subsidized their farming.[440]

            It is in the context of laboring people having a high regard for the value of their labor that the leveling of most Maryland landlords in 1645 and 1646 should perhaps be regarded. The leveling followed the overthrow of the proprietor, which was led by the London ship captain Richard Ingle and his crew. Some Maryland working people, including Catholics, took a hand in the overthrow. They overthrew the absentee proprietor's governor and secretary because of his pro-royalist policies. But the six landlords that were leveled at the same time had generally been united with the ordinary planters in opposing the proprietor. The landlords included both Catholics and Protestants and their own tenants and servants, who were about 20 percent of the population, were the main local levelers. The owner-operators were not generally disturbed. Economics, including ideas about labor, not politics, seems to have been one of the reasons the local tenants and servants took part in the leveling. In England landlords, regardless of their religious or political beliefs, were similarly being leveled by tenants and servants seeking agrarian reform.[441]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 105]

            The leveling's political background will be discussed in the next chapter. The interest in this chapter is the relation of the leveling to beliefs about labor. The Maryland levelers, like the levelers in England, did not wish to abolish property rights but rather to distribute property more in their own direction, that is in the direction of those whose work had produced it. The English levelers complained that they were "levelers, falsely so called."[442] One pamphlet stated, "We profess we never had it in our thoughts to level men's estates, it being the utmost of our aim that the commonwealth be reduced to such a pass that every man may with as much security as may be enjoy his property."[443] Morton points out that at the time laboring people saw the small property of the small man menaced "not by the poor but by the rich--by monopolists, greedy entrepreneurs, and enclosing landlords." It was against these that security was needed. The levelers represented and appealed in the main to the small and medium producers.

            Some scholars maintain that the levelers also did not wish to abolish social hierarchy. However, leveler support for eliminating the peerage and episcopacy, two pillars of hierarchy, argues against this. The labor theory of value and the doctrine of antinomianism that were part of leveler thought also argue against a desire on their part to retain a landlord hierarchy based on birth and unearned wealth. Even among the gentry there were those who wished to reduce the hierarchy. An example was the Catholic Kenelm Digby, who served as an unofficial ambassador to France for Cromwell. R. T. Petersson describes Digby's "horizontal" views, "He was a believer in the idea of progress then sweeping across Europe, the new, disorganizing horizontal force that was gradually weakening and replacing the order of things called the `great chain of being.'"[444]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 106]

            The role which ideas about labor played in the justifications for leveling in England was illustrated earlier. It will be recalled that Catholic pamphleteers called it a virtue for working people to rise up against the yoke of their "idle, vicious, and unworthy" masters and become masters of their own goods and labor.[445] The Catholic-educated William Petty viewed landlords as parasitical and tenants as productive, "Labor is the father and active principle of wealth."[446] He advised the establishment of a tax system that would transfer wealth "from the landlord and lazy, to the crafts and industrious."[447] From the antinomian perspective, as set forth in the leveler tracts, agrarian reforms against the landlords, including the liberation of indentured servants and tenants from exploitative conditions, brought the kingdom of God to earth.[448]

            The Maryland levelers apparently thought the landlords were in possession of more than they deserved, that is, more than their "wages of superintendence" had produced. Aron Gurevich remarks, "In a class society, the commandment `Thou shalt not steal' protected property in a way that was much in the interests of the `haves'."[449] But in a society dominated by the labor, the commandment about theft became the justification for laboring people to repossess the wealth they had created. Catholic tenants like William Lewis, Henry Hooper, and Robert Percy stopped paying the three barrels of corn in annual rent on their 21 year leases.[450] Indentured servants like the Catholic Elena Stephenson ran off or became squatters on the land they had been working for their masters.[451] Both indentured servants and tenants divided up the landlords' cattle, tools, grain, and household goods for their own use.[452]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 107]

            Scholars like Lois Green Carr, Russell Menard, Lorena Walsh, and David Jorden find that servants generally had an opportunity to move up and have remarked that the relatively small number of levelers and the extent of their leveling should be kept in perspective.[453] Stephen Crow in discussing the leveling, mentions that "placed besides the Levelers, Diggers, and Fifth Monarchy Men, the colonists were a conservative lot, indeed."[454] However, the differences between Maryland and English leveling was probably not about belief in the value of labor. Levelers both in England and Maryland, as indicated by their conduct, held there was nothing sacred about landlordism and the ability of a small class of people to accumulate wealth produced by others. To the extent the Maryland leveling can be called "conservative," it was probably because there was less to level in Maryland than in England. A majority of the working people in Maryland had already achieved and were in the process of achieving much of the Digger program by 1645: taxes were small and non-existent on food and other necessities, and the colony had an annual parliament, a wide franchise, equal constituencies, no tithes or bishops, a simplified legal system, no imprisonment for debt, and no enclosures.[455] The Maryland levelers were small in numbers, just as in England, but their beliefs about labor were widely shared. Keeping the levelers in perspective does not mean ignoring them, as they give evidence about the way labor was viewed in Maryland. Morton remarks about the English levelers:

A party that held the center of the stage for three of the most crucial years in our nation's history, voiced the aspiration of the unprivileged masses, and was able to express with such force ideas that have been behind every great social advance since their time, cannot be regarded as wholly a failure or deserve to be wholly forgotten.[456]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 108]

            A second source in addition to work-lives, militant or otherwise, for evidence that the Catholics had positive beliefs concerning labor is the assembly and judicial records. There are two themes in the records that seem to make a statement about the value of labor. These are first, the honor and rights which were given working people and second, their pride in and lack of shame for being working people.

            Concerning the first theme, one way the records show working people were held in honor relates to terms of honor such as "gentleman." In England such terms of honor were not customarily used for manual laborers. But it was noted earlier that there were English Catholics, as reflected in their pamphlet literature, who turned the customary use of such terms on their head and used scripture to support their thinking. The assembly records suggest the terms were likewise turned on their head by Maryland Catholics. The term "gentleman" was often used to honor the hardest working and most successful manual laborers. At least eight Catholics who started out as indentured servants and became owner-operators or artisans were referred to as gentlemen. They did not have great wealth or substantial amounts of land. This indicates manual workers were honored.[457] Every owner-operator was a manual laborer, complete with calloused hands and hardened thumbnails, for whom hoeing hills and pinching suckers was a way of life. Being a Maryland gentleman, as Lois Green Carr, Russell Menard, and Lorena Walsh point out about the Catholic Robert Cole during the 1650s, did not mean quitting manual labor; rather manual labor was for most Catholics an indispensable part of being a gentleman.[458] Cole called himself a yeoman, meaning a field worker, and a gentleman.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 109]

            The records show working people were given honor and also at least three different types of rights. In England the franchise was limited to about a third of the adult male population: the gentry, the 40 shillings freeholders, and the merchants.[459] Property qualifications kept working people from holding office. In Maryland all freemen, not merely freeholders, both European and African, including artisans with no land, tenants, and share croppers voted and served as assembly delegates, jury members, and holders of public office such as sheriff.[460] Mathias de Sousa, a mulatto who migrated in 1633 from Portugal, was a member of the March 23, 1642 assembly.[461] The 1638, 1642, and 1648 assemblies were run as town and parish meetings, which, if like in England and New England, would have included women.[462] Edward Papenfuse lists Margaret Brent as an official member of the tenth assembly.[463] As a lawyer she was politically influential throughout the period. In England birth and inheritance were often honored by political privileges. In Maryland, labor was sometimes honored by such privileges.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 110]

            Besides the franchise a second political right enjoyed by working people, including indentured servants and women, was the right to contract and to litigate in the provincial court.[464] Indentured servants, including the Catholics John Askins, Henry Adams, John Harrington, and James Langworth, brought suits against their masters, summoned witnesses, and demanded jury trials, which they sometimes won.[465] Susan Frizell ran away from her master because of harsh usage. The provincial court freed her from servitude on condition she pay her master 500 pounds of tobacco to reimburse his cost.[466] Russell Menard comments that "the provincial courts seem to have taken seriously its obligation to enforce the terms of indentures and protect servants' rights."[467] Being a laborer with valued skills at times could save one from the full rigors of the law. John Dandy was an illiterate Catholic blacksmith. In 1644 he was sentenced by the provincial court to death for shooting to death an Indian boy named Edward in the stomach. Because Dandy was one of the few people in the province that knew how to make gun locks and other necessities, however, he was pardoned, on condition he become a servant for seven years and serve as the public executioner. However in 1657 Dandy killed his lame servant, Henry Gough by breaking his head with the pole of an ax. This time Dandy was sentenced to be hung by 24 jurors. Despite his skill as an arms manufacturer, the sentence was carried out.[468]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 111]

            In addition to franchise and judicial rights, a third group of rights that reflected the value in which labor was held were possessed specifically by indentured servants. In some assemblies starting in 1638, a large number of the voters and assembly delegates were former indentured servants. The legislation of servant rights may have reflected in part the value which the former servants placed on protecting indentured servants.[469] If such was the motivation, then it was different from that which motivated Parliament in making concessions to laboring people. As described by Clive Holmes, Christopher Hill, and Roger Manning, the English gentry in Parliament made concessions not because it was in their interest but because they feared revolution. Hill comments about the parliamentary cliques having to come into the open in 1642 to head movements which "threatened to turn. . . against the gentry as a whole if those who were able to give a lead failed to do so." "`I am their leader, I must follow them.' To say that by these means `incipient social tension was quickly brought under control' is to ignore the history of the next decade in which `the leaders' badly lost control."[470]

            One right specifically for indentured servants began with the second assembly in 1638. It limited the period of service time for which a landlord could contract.[471] If servants came at age twenty or above, four years was the limit. Another right granted servants freedom from labor on Sunday and perhaps on about forty holydays.[472] Saturday afternoons and Sundays were the days indentured servants customarily tended to their own crops, as well as to hunting, fowling, fishing, and spiritual and social needs. A third right made them full members of the militia, including having their own arms provided and periodic drilling instructions.[473]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 112]

            The institutionalized denial of labor's rights through the enslavement of Africans and Indians existed in the 1650s in a few instances but was a minor part of the economy.[474] There were several proposed acts in 1639 dealing with slaves, but they were not enacted.[475] In 1649 capital punishment was provided by the assembly for anyone attempting to enslave Indians.[476]

            Besides honoring and giving rights to laboring people, the records seem to make a statement about the value of labor in a second way. In some of the Catholic gentry's literature in England, labor was viewed as a base activity about which one should be ashamed. However, this was not a view shared by all English Catholics. In the Maryland assembly and court records, one finds no indication that Catholics viewed their labor with shame.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 113]

            For example, the assembly of 1649, a majority of whose members with known religion were Catholic, was unwilling to enact a code of laws that the proprietor had sent over. They justified themselves not by detailing their objections to the code, but by saying they were ordinary laboring people who had to be at work in their fields. They did not have time to develop an elaborate criticism of his code. "Most of us," they wrote, "are forced upon necessary employment in a crop at this time of year, most of us having no other means of subsistence."[477] Had the assembly representatives been embarrassed about their labor and their having "no other means of subsistence," they probably would not have publicized it in a public document which they collectively sent to the proprietor. They could have found a more "honorable" objection to the code.

            Another illustration in the records of a seeming absence of shame about being planters occurred the following year. The transplanting of tobacco from seed beds to prepared hills in other fields took place in moist weather in June. A court day broke up on June 25, 1650 in St. Mary's, when "upon the earnest motion of the inhabitants to be discharged, it being very like to be plantable weather."[478] Enthusiasm not to let judicial matters interfere with their crops was a natural reaction of planters who valued their work. There was no shame associated with it.

            Rather than shame, one sometimes sees pride. It was noted that in the English pamphlet literature, some of the Catholics manifested a pride in labor. This can also be seen in the Maryland pamphlet literature. The anonymous author of the pamphlet, Complaint from Heaven with a Hue and Cry (1676), looking back to the Civil War period, told with pride of how indentured servants had been able by "hard labor" to advance themselves:

We confess a great many of us came in servants to others, but we adventured our lives for it, and got our poor living with hard labor out of the ground in a terrible wilderness, and soon have advanced ourselves much thereby.[479]

In 1649 the Catholic laborer Nicholas Keiting described his period of service with apparent pride as "truly accomplished."[480]

            It has been seen that most Catholics, whether they arrived as indentured or free, were manual laborers. They manifested a belief in the value of labor by their work-lives. Their assembly and judicial records also reflected such beliefs. Mention also needs to be made, however, about the labor beliefs of two other groups of Maryland Catholics who did not spend most of their time hoeing tobacco: the artisans and professionals on the one hand and the landlords on the other. Both these groups, it is argued, had a positive view of labor, although some contrary views were held by the landlords.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 114]

            About one quarter of the Catholics in the "Career Files" never owned land at all. They worked as artisans, innkeepers, professionals, and merchants. Among the Catholic artisans were carpenters, blacksmiths, millers, tailors, and surgeons.[481] Catholic women artisans and professionals included Elizabeth Willan and the Irish-born Audrey Daly, who were tailors.[482] Several Irish Catholic women worked as maid servants for the Protestant merchant Robert Slye and the Catholic planter Thomas Gerard in the 1650s.[483] During the 1650s the Maryland assembly authorized a Catholic woman to run a public ferry, since her cottage was near the crossing.[484] The Catholic Katherine Hebden worked as one of the province's two or three physicians during the 1640s and 1650s. That she had an extensive practice can be seen by the numerous suits which she had to file for her fees. These included suits against the government to pay for doctoring injured militia members.[485] Margaret Brent was an attorney.[486] Among her clients were both Catholics and Protestants. The diligence of the work-life and views about labor among artisans and professionals do not seem to have differed from those of the owner-operators.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 115]

            The third part of this chapter examines the labor beliefs of the Maryland landlords. With the exception of a few professionals, about 95 percent of the Catholics, like the Protestants, supported themselves by manual labor. This needs to be emphasized because it has sometimes been held, even as recently as 1984 in the authoritative Maryland Historical Magazine, that Catholics were not laboring people, but gentry.[487] Some Catholics were gentry in the eighteenth century, but by English standards there were no gentry in the Civil War period. Starting more than 40 years ago, Wesley Craven and many since him have pointed out that it was not the gentry but owner-operators who dominated seventeenth-century tobacco production.[488] But since Craven and those after him have not specifically studied the Catholics, the belief has persisted that Catholics were an exception, the one group of gentry landlords that migrated to Maryland.

            One of several factors which has misled writers about the nature of Maryland Catholicism was that the gentry institution of "manor lord" was transported to the province.[489] But this was merely a marketing device created by the proprietor in his unsuccessful effort to interest people with wealth to migrate to Maryland.[490] Maryland's manor lords were not gentry, but mainly laboring people like Nicholas Harvey and Richard Gardiner (1616-1651). Neither could spell their names. They lived in one- and two-room cottages, of wattle and daub, with thatched roofs, dirt floors, and clay-covered log chimneys.[491]

            The Catholic landlords have sometimes been over-emphasized. But this is not to deny that they existed or that some of them did not have negative or ambivalent views of labor. As indicated in Table 2-4, five percent of the population in the early 1640s, that is six Catholics and six Protestants were landlords, composing the closest thing Maryland had to a gentry class.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 116]

Table 2-4:
Property Distribution in St. Mary's Co., 1642

Freemen & Freewomen


Tenants, sharecroppers (includes mates)


Inmate sharecropper and wage laborers




Non-planting specialist (professional, artisan and laborer)


Manorial Lords major investors
                                    minor investors




Indentured Servants






The six Catholic landlords or at least those who made relatively large investments and had large landholdings during some part of the Civil War period were Giles Brent, Leonard Calvert, Thomas Cornwallis, Thomas Copley, S.J., Thomas Gerard, and John Lewger.[493]

            There would have been more landlords, but those with the most negative views about labor seem to have returned to England soon after arriving in Maryland in the 1630s. They had come to make a quick fortune through land speculation and the exploitation of indentured labor. But they found that only labor awaited them. In 1635 one of them voiced the low regard which perhaps most of them felt about laboring people: "They [the Maryland population] are for the most part the scum of the people taken up promiscuously as vagrants and runaways from their English masters, debauched, idle, lazy squanderers, jailbirds, and the like."[494]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 117]

            An illustration of the negative views about labor from among those who chose to remain in Maryland was articulated by the clergy in 1633. As might be expected, it had a theological twist and was similar to some of the English gentry pamphlet literature, "Enthusiastic souls and noble minds think of nothing but divine things, and consider nothing but heavenly things."[495] Andrew White, S.J. did not think labor was part of the heavenly order. At one point the clergy complained that the economic downturn might force them "to become planters ourselves," as if that was an evil.[496] The clergy had been trained in Spain and Portugal where domestic African slavery and the negative views of labor which went with it were common.[497] Having an African as a domestic slave was a fashionable item in seventeenth-century Portugal and ten percent of Lisbon's population in the 1600s were slaves. The Jesuits were the largest institutional owner of slaves in Brazil.[498] The Maryland clergy transported Mathias de Sousa, who was of African origins in 1633 from Portugal.[499] Between 1580 and 1640 the Spanish crown ruled the Portuguese empire. As early as 1444 the Portuguese Bishop of Algarve, like many landlords of the period, had invested in slave buying expeditions to Guinea. In 1537 Pope Paul III authorized a slave market at Lisbon at which 12,000 Africans were sold yearly for transportation to the West Indies. Each slave that passed through Sâo Tomé, a central Portuguese port for Angola and the Congo, was branded with a cross.[500] Between 1516 and the 1620s, the crown commonly sold licenses to Portuguese convents, monasteries, and religious orders to import slaves. By 1620 Spain and Portugal had 250,000 African slaves.[501]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 118]

            Despite what ever negative sentiments they may have had, the landlords who ended up staying in Maryland, including the clergy, were or became less negative about labor. Several of the clergy even became full-time or part-time farm managers, which would indicate the value which they came to attach to such work.[502] Another of the clergy worked as a school teacher.[503] It was not unusual for them to be on the side of the planters in their confrontations with the proprietor. Andrew White, S.J., for example, taking the point of view of labor, criticized the proprietor for living like a prince in splendor when he should be considering "the poverty and paucity of the planters."[504]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 119]

            It might be thought that because they owned most of the indentured servants and land, the landlords could afford to be idle and indulge a contempt for labor. But just the opposite was the case. Prior to and during the Civil War, being a Maryland landlord was a losing business for even the best managers. A depression in tobacco prices occurred from 1636 to 1645, followed by a political revolution that included an economic leveling of many landlords. Indentured servants during the depression cost more to maintain than the value they produced in cash crops.[505] By 1642 the number of indentured servants had dropped to between 13 and 37 percent of the total population, depending on how one calculates it.[506] Few indentured servants were brought in after 1638 because it was unprofitable, and the indentures of those brought in prior to 1638 were running out. The landlords were reduced to asking their former servants to stay on to work for full shares of the tobacco and corn crops. In return, the tenants would help with the other chores.

            In addition to indentured servants, land was also a liability to the landlords during the depression because the proprietor collected an annual tax, based on the number of acres, which became substantial on large holdings. This was despite much of the land not being in productive use. For example, Thomas Greene, although he was not a large investor, had been induced to migrate in the first ship of settlers in return for a 10,000 acre grant. According to his calculations, the ten barrels of corn valued at between £15 and £30 he paid yearly in quit rent to the proprietor was worth more than the value of the tract.[507] In 1639 he was contemplating deserting the province because he had only three servants to help him. Even these would shortly be free.[508]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 120]

            The clergy were articulate in recording the double liability concerning servants and land to which the depression exposed landlords. Thomas Copley, S.J., summarized the problem in a 1638 letter:

A payment of one barrel of corn for every one hundred acres of ground yearly is perhaps not very heavy to one who getting a mate and laboring faithfully himself, and taking but one hundred acres, will have no great difficulty to pay it, but to a gentleman, who has a company of headstrong servants who in the beginning especially shall scarcely maintain themselves, this burden will come heavy.[509]

            The Maryland landlords who actually stayed in Maryland were all "improvers," either by desire or necessity.[510] According to Ronald Meek, such landlords believed their income came from their own labor and knowledge, the "wages of superintendence" as it was called.[511] In his study of Virginia, Martin Quitt finds the landlords there had a positive view of labor not unlike that of their counterparts in Maryland. There was no "counter ideology as in England that denigrated" labor. Quitt remarks:

If the ideal gentleman in England was a rentier whose income let him devote himself to a life of cultivated leisure, there is no evidence to suggest that this concept weighed much in the cultural baggage of immigrant leaders. Historians often have noted how the exigencies of tobacco culture and merchandising left little time for leisured pursuits even for the wealthiest planters. . . Theirs was not the ethic of the English country house or the London court, where refined idleness was considered a gentlemanly virtue. Their values were akin to the city of London.[512]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 121]

            Typical of the Catholic landlord improvers was Thomas Cornwallis. His £1,000 investment was not great by English standards, but in Maryland that made him, along with the clergy, Maryland's largest landlord. In contrast to the Maryland landlords, who at best netted less than £100 per year, the rental income for the lowest rank of English gentry, the gentlemen, averaged £280.[513] Cornwallis owned 100 cattle and oversaw the production of 100,000 pounds of tobacco per year. He transported 71 indentured servants, was a licensed Indian trader, and owned 16,000 acres.[514] Cornwallis worked hard supervising wage laborers and indentured servants, building and managing an unprofitable grain mill, buying and selling commodities and supplies, not only on his own account but as the agent of many of the small planters, and contracting, collecting, and paying debts.[515] He wrote in 1638 that "I have to my no little prejudice employed myself and servants in public service. . . I love to be the manager of my own affairs."[516] Despite his labor he was barely able to "keep from sinking."[517] He stated he was lucky to make £60 per year.[518] He sold out at the end of the Civil War period for £1,200, little more than what he had started with and returned to England.[519]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 122]

            In addition to the depression, the landlords who stayed were unable to live idle lives despite their investment because of the constant tendency of their servants to run off and otherwise minimize the landlord's profits. The largest example of this, the 1645-1646 leveling, has been noted. Landlords lost their livestock, household furnishings, and crops. Thomas Cornwallis alone lost 100 head of cattle, each of which was worth a full years labor to the servants and tenants who took them. Years later Cornwallis and the other landlords were still trying to reclaim their cattle from those who had changed the markings on them.[520] It was because of the depression and the servant revolt that very few indentured servants were owned during the Civil War era. None of the twenty-three documented Catholics who died during the period, including at least one who was a landlord, had any record of having owned an indentured servant at the time of their death.[521] Some of the landlords probably had a low regard for labor, but by necessity they spent their lives contributing to the productive process.

The English Gentry's Beliefs About Labor

            The fourth and last part of the chapter compares the thinking of the Maryland Catholics with the beliefs about labor of at least one type of frequently publishing English Catholic gentry. The beliefs of these non-improvers are sometimes referred to as "bastard feudalism," that is, a revival of ideas that were never widely believed in the feudal period except by landlords and were glorified in the seventeenth century mainly by the gentry. How these gentry disseminated their beliefs will be taken up later. This study is not about the gentry, but it is useful to outline their thinking to show what the Catholics did not find useful in Maryland. It was mentioned in the discussion of the Maryland leveling that the Catholics did not think the landlord order was especially sacred. By looking at the gentry's thinking, it can be seen that it was not a random event that the working people arrived at their views. The gentry had a system of beliefs designed to make themselves and everyone else believe in the sacred nature of unearned wealth.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 123]

            In the pamphlets which many Catholic gentry wrote or purchased for themselves, wealth was said to come from God, a windfall.[522] It did not come from laboring people. The Catholic landlord Thomas Meynell of North Kilvington in Yorkshire gave thanks in his commonplace book because God had always maintained him in gentry status:

God's providence did very much increase our estate. . . I poor wretch beseech his blessed mother to thank this majesty in my behalf to uphold our name, family, and armory: so he always furnished with means to maintain our gentry--my worthy mother brought lands and worship to this house from whom I derived and had five cote armours.[523]

Wealth was also said to be a reward to the gentry for being morally superior to laboring people, "Our ancestors who raised their titles upon noble actions were men of heaven."[524] Landlords were "types of the heavenly lord," the "image and splendor of the lord's divinity."[525]

            To reach an alternative position, it is argued here, Catholic laboring people had equally strong beliefs. The contrast between the non-improving gentry and working people's beliefs points up both the uniqueness and the antinomian character of the Maryland Catholic thinking. Catholic thinking was not derivative from or respectful of the gentry's thinking. In taking up the views of the gentry, it is appropriate to recall that one of the arguments in this study is that anti-Catholic persecution was not significant in the lives of most Catholics. There was persecution, but it was mostly economic, and it was waged by Catholic and Protestant landlords against the Catholic and Protestant tenantry. The vehicles of persecution were economic institutions, the law, education, and theology. The teaching of contempt for labor and laboring people that was reflected in gentry theology was part of the persecution.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 124]

            The gentry's beliefs about labor not only contrasted with but were an assault on the beliefs of working people. In some instances the contempt was blatant, as when landlords and their clergy ridiculed tenants as "base-born and lowly," called labor a vile activity, refused basic ecclesiastical services to them, and advised gentry sons and daughters against marrying them. The contempt, however, was probably mainly embodied in doctrines that sought to divert laboring people from their political rights and economic justice. These doctrines taught that God had a special regard for the rich. This included the idea that God had established the landlord system, that it was a virtue for a small number of landlords to monopolize the land and draw away much of the annual wealth produced by the tenantry, and the idea that disobedience or rebellion against the established order was sinful.

            To appreciate the significance of the gentry's beliefs about labor, it is useful to outline the economic context of their beliefs. In 1641 about 4.5 million acres or 15 to 20 percent of England's 25 million cultivated acres was monopolized by 200 families. These were mainly peers, that is dukes, marquises, earls, viscounts, and barons.[526] The peerage was established by law as a separate order and their yearly rental income as a group amounted to £600,000 or about 5s to 8s per acre. Fifteen percent (20 out of 125) of the peers were Catholics.[527] In addition to the peerage, about 50 percent of the land was owned by less than 20,000 gentry or one percent of England's 5 million population.[528] Several thousand of these were Catholics.[529] They took in the form of rent and the surplus value created by wage labor about one-third of the annual wealth produced by tenants and labor.[530] The non-peerage landholding families were what one contemporary called "lower class nobility."[531] Peter Laslett remarks that "the peerage in England was for all purposes at one with the gentry as a whole," rather than "a class apart."[532]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 125]

            The Catholic gentry were less than 5 percent of the estimated 60,000 recusant Catholic population.[533] They received the housing, nutritional, educational, and political benefits which land ownership brought. Many of the Catholic gentry who partially conformed to the established church attended Oxford, Cambridge, and the inns of court, and they were elected to the House of Commons.[534] They also did service in lesser offices, such as sheriff, constable, and justice of the peace.[535] They had a share in leases of crown (national) resources, in the sale of political offices, and in the royally granted manufacturing and trading monopolies.[536]

            The gentry-subsidized Catholic books, sermons, schools, and priests taught that God intended landlords and the wealthy to live off the labor of and dominate over the majority.[537] This was the same doctrine held dear by Protestant landlords.[538] One Catholic writer, said by bibliographer Joseph Gillow to have been "for many years in great favor, especially among Catholics," summarized the gentry's glorification of their idleness:

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 126]

O you noble men, God uses you as Adam in terrestrial paradise, he suffereth you to eat the corn at ease, which others have sowed, and the wine which others pressed; he causes your meat to come to your table, as if it were borne by certain invisible engines; he holds the elements, creatures, and men in breath, to supply your necessities.[539]

            The gentry to a greater or lesser degree commonly believed God had constituted their blood a separate, non-laboring race, distinct from and better than ordinary people. This idea of a separate race paralleled the type of racial beliefs based on national origins and color which resulted in those of African and semitic origin not being allowed at the time to attend various Catholic colleges, enter some religious orders, or gain church offices.[540] The blood which flowed in the gentry's veins was said to be the source of their supposed beauty, impetuosity, leadership, and martial qualities. One had to have noble blood in order to ride and control a horse well. The following illustrates typical racial beliefs:

Great men have many more talents from God, for the traffic of virtues than others have. The bodies of nobles and gentlemen are ordinarily better composed, and as it were more delicately molded by the artful hands of nature. They have their senses more subtle, their spirits more agile, their members better proportioned, their garb more gentle and grace more accomplished, and all these prepare a safe shop for the soul to exercise her functions with greater liberty.[541]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 127]

            The history of these beliefs about the racial superiority of the gentry went back at least to the slave system of classical antiquity in which people of different race, language, and religion were attacked.[542] The Greek and Roman slavocracy taught that certain people were by nature destined to be slaves. As set forth in Aristotle and Cicero these people, along with women, were justifiably subordinated because by nature the landlord class was superior in reasoning ability.[543] The early Christian and ancient classical writers found in the libraries of and cited by seventeenth-century landlords as authorities were themselves landlords and their dependents.[544] These included the fifth-century Macrobius in Saturnalia, Pseudo-Dionysius in The Celestial Hierarchy, Augustine in The City of God, and the sixth-century Gregory the Great (Pope Gregory I) in The Pastoral Care.[545] Augustine was typical in using the argument of the superior nature of the slave-owning class to justify slavery, "The justice of masters dominating slaves is clear, because those who excel in reason should excel in power."[546]

            Probably the leading authority on the superiority of the gentry and on issues relating to labor and frequently cited in the writings of gentry like George Calvert, the proprietor's father, was Thomas Aquinas.[547] Aquinas was from a gentry family.[548] The Council of Trent (1545-1564) had sparked a revival of interest in him and his popularization of Aristotle's conservative views of society.[549] Aquinas was probably more authoritative with the seventeenth-century gentry than he had been in his own time. One can see in the notebooks kept by Catholic students on the continent, which found their way into the libraries at Cambridge and Oxford, the influence of Aquinas. Margo Todd remarks concerning these commonplace books:

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 128]

Extant notebooks of English Catholic students at Cagliari (in Sardinia), Rome and Salamanca consist either of unadulterated Thomistic commentary on the Latin text of Aristotle, or of the combined comments of the medieval schoolmen and such contemporary figures as Cajetan, Tolleta, Desoto, Medina, Molina, Suarez, Becanus, and Vasquez.[550]

            One does not find in Aquinas a justification for the agrarian reform and slavery abolition doctrines that had been sought by working people beginning at least with the ancient Romans. Instead it was said that landlords collected the rent as "God's elected stewards of His goods."[551] Heaven was the ideal that should be imitated on earth, a place both of contemplation (mental prayer, the "beatific vision") and of military orders of angels, but not of productive labor.[552] The further from the material, the closer to God. Robert Bellarmine, S.J., a widely read Thomistic theologian of the period, commented:

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 129]

Things are so much the more noble, and eminent, by how much the more pure, and more abstracted from matter. This we see first in corporeal things: for water is superior to earth in nature, because purer. On the same account, air is superior to water, fire to air, and heaven to fire. We see the same thing in spiritual things. For the understanding is superior to sense, because sense has a bodily organ, which the understanding needs not. The understanding of an angel is superior to that of man, because man needs the ministry of imagination and fancy, which an angel does not. Among angels, those are of a superior rank, who understand most things by the general species. God, only is a pure act, and stands in need of nothing without himself, neither organ, imagination, nor species. No, not the presence of any object without himself, but his essence itself is all things to him. . . On these accounts I say the divine nature is most high and sublime, and God can by no means have an equal.[553]

            In the pamphlets written and translated by many seventeenth-century gentry, both Catholic and Protestant, the heavenly order was held to resemble the Platonic ideal-changeless and motionless.[554] This was the point of the Catholic royalist army officer, Vivian Molyneux, in his translation of A Treatise of the Differences between the Temporal and Eternal.[555] Prayer and religious practices, and even public service, meaning ruling and soldiering, were compatible with the Platonic ideal, but not manual labor. God himself and the angels were warriors who combined contemplation and war. Catholic gentry like Garrat Barry lived the tradition of the monk-knights and militarized prayer. They praised themselves for "their excellence of war-like virtue," or what one of their critics called "heroic laziness."[556] Some 8,000 English Catholic troops, half in the Scottish regiment under the Scotch Catholic Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyle, served in the Spanish army in the 1620s and 1630s against the Dutch during the Republic of the Seven United Provinces's war for independence. The conflict started in 1581 and lasted until 1648._ The Catholic gentleman Richard Gerard came to Maryland from Lancashire in 1634 but left within six months to follow the "honorable" career of a soldier in the Spanish army against the Dutch. Manual labor was not honorable._

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 130]

            There were two aspects to the gentry's beliefs about labor. As has been seen, one aspect tended to glorify the gentry and their living idle off the wealth of others. The other aspect of the gentry's beliefs was that labor and laboring people were of low regard. They traced their authority for such thinking back to the Roman classics and the early Christian writers such as Pope Gregory the Great, who had taught that God made producers lowly.[557] God did this in order to punish them for being sinners. Gregory in The Pastoral Care, wrote that tenants were predetermined to evil. It was because of their propensity to sin that they had to pay rent:

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 131]

Sin (culpa) subordinates some to others in accordance with the variable order of merits; this diversity, which arises from vice is established by divine judgment. Man is not intended to live in equality.[558]

In another work Gregory remarked, "Nature begets all men equal, but by reason of their varying merits, a mysterious dispensation sets some beneath others. This diversity in condition, which is due to sin, is rightly ordained by the judgment of God."[559] Gregory was from a Roman landlord family. Even as pope he resided on his family's property and owned slaves.[560]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 132]

            It might seem that Gregory did not have a negative attitude toward laboring people. What he meant was not that laboring people were sinners and landlords were sinless, but that both were sinners. Laboring people were not being punished because of the particular sins they had committed. Sin, which had destroyed the natural order, made laws and hierarchy necessary. Wealth and power were given by God only to provide charity and justice. Another argument in defense of Gregory is that poverty was considered a holy condition and the poor were thought to be better positioned for salvation than the rich.[561]

            There are several problems with these arguments, assuming that either Gregory or those who quoted him held these positions. First, whether landlords were regarded as sinners or not, Gregory and those who followed him had a negative view of labor, which was attributed to sin and its punishment. He also had a negative view of laborers, who he calls sinners. Gregory and his class lived off the labor of others. One is not surprised that he would claim God had designed it that way. A second problem concerns the idea that wealth and power were thought to have been given by God only to provide charity and justice. As will be seen in a later chapter, landlord charity and justice was a testimony to their low regard for working people. As for the argument that poverty was considered holy, that was not the emphasis that Gregory and those who quoted him put on it when discussing working people. Sin was Gregory's explanation for poverty.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 133]

            Besides Gregory, the seventeenth-century Catholic gentry such as John Abbott, Robert Wintour, and their Protestant counterparts like the Laudian Henry Hammond found in the other esteemed writers, such as Augustine, Aquinas, Isidore of Seville (560-636 AD), Pope Gregory VII (1020-1085, Hildebrand), and John of Salisbury (d. 1180), that the origin of productive labor was in the Fall, in sin, in the devil, in evil, and in biblical characters like Cain, who was ignoble to his brother and Noah's son Shem, who was a "churl" to his father.[562] The existing order was both punishment for sin and a way to occupy laboring people and keep them from further sin.[563] In Latin America and Africa among the theologies which the gentry and their clergy taught at the time was that Indians and Africans were enserfed and enslaved because of their sinfulness.[564] Augustine in City of God Against the Pagans wrote, "The prime cause of servitude is sin, which brings people under the dominion of others, which does not happen save by the judgment of God, with whom there is no unrighteousness, and who knows how to award fit punishments to every variety of offense."[565] A Catholic pamphlet commented about the Adam and Eve origins of labor and laboring people:

The world was as yet in her cradle, and man was no more than borne, when God making a place of justice of terrestrial paradise, pronounced against him the sentence of labor and pain, and afterwards wrote, you shall eat your bread with the sweat of your brow.[566]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 134]

            Just as collecting the rent, contemplation, and living "idly and without manual labor" were Godly and "spiritual" in the pamphlets of the gentry, so productivity and manual labor were contemptible. The more productive a person's trade, the lower was the person's spiritual worth. At the bottom in Aquinas's widely taught hierarchy were the most productive, the agricultural laborers (laborantium in agris), whom he called vile people (vilis populus).[567] Above them were merchants. Neither of these were honorable people (populus honorabilis). A pamphleteer in following the logic of the early writers divided creation into three types of existence: vegetable, animal, and intellectual. The existence of producers was vegetable and animal.[568] It was common for merchants and professionals whose children attended Jesuit institutions to complain about the contempt for labor which was taught their children.[569]

            The royalist contempt for labor and laboring people during the Civil War was demonstrated by their use of the term "roundhead" for their opponents. Roundhead referred to shorn, bullet-headed apprentices. Apprentices were thought to be of low worth by the gentry. For some Catholic gentry, including their clergy, the slander of working people was habitual. Illustrative were the theological writings of Robert Persons, S.J. (1546-1610). He was something of a Jesuit archetype. One of his methods of teaching was ridicule. Persons called John Mush (1551-1613) "Dr. Dodipol Mush" because Mush was not university educated but the son of a "poor, rude serving man."[570] Thomas Law comments on the regularity with which such language against laboring people appears in Person's writings:

The scorn and ridicule with which Persons seemed to regard low birth and poverty, and his habit of taunting his opponents on that score, are notable features in his method of controversy.[571]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 135]

Another illustration of the habitual contempt for laboring people was in the works of the landlord Robert Wintour. His designation of working people as "scum," has already been noted. He also referred to them negatively as "beer-swilled butter-fly [flighty] blue coat cousins, germain but once removed from a black jack."[572]

            A feature of servant behavior in Maryland as noted earlier, was resistance to the landlords, including the 1645-1646 leveling. As would be expected, the Catholic gentry had a tradition of teaching against such agrarian reform. Frequently found in their works and quoted in their writings were classical texts that reinforced the status quo, such as Aristotle's Economics, Xenephon's Economist, and Plutarch's Conjugal Precepts.[573] These writers advised landlords to govern their tenants justly, which meant "strictly and firmly." Tenants were to be kept at a subsistence level. Otherwise, it was believed, they would not work.[574] Surplus wealth belonged to the landlord. Masters were to look after their servants in sickness and old age, but they were not to be indulgent or allow themselves to be "robbed" or imposed upon.[575]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 136]

            The classical authorities that were celebrated by the gentry condemned agrarian reform and slave abolition measures. During the period of the Roman Republic between 510 and 27 B.C.E, the plebeians, that is the tenantry and small farmers, had been subjected to state laws which gave landlords nearly unlimited rights. The landlord monopoly was said to be part of the natural law.[576] The people, as they themselves complained were "nominally lords of the earth, while not possessing one lump of earth."[577] For hundreds of years they fought for and sometimes achieved agrarian reforms (lex agraria), such as those enacted under Spurius Cassius in 486 B.C.E. and during the tribuneship of Tiberius Gracchus in 133 B.C.E.[578] These aimed to redistribute land to the producers. Machiavelli, a landlord, had called the lex agraria the first cause of the destruction of the Roman Republic.[579] Pseudo-Dionysius who was said by the seventeenth-century gentry to have been a personal friend of Jesus and representative of his teaching on the subject, rebuked as contrary to the divine order Demophilus' advocacy of agrarian reform. Pseudo-Dionysius wrote in "Letter Eight":

It is not for Demophilus to correct these things. If theology exhorts us to pursue just things justly, and if the pursuit of justice is to will the distribution of what is fitting to each, it must be pursued justly by all, not contrary to the merit or rank of each; for justice is distributed even to angels according to merit, but not by us.[580]

As for abolition of the slave system, church father Tertullian (d. 230) in Apologeticus had equated with demons the Catholic slaves who sought to overthrow the system in his period.[581]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 137]

            It was not the writings and traditions of Rome's agrarian reformers and abolitionists that one learned about in gentry schools. One does not find on reading lists the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:42-47; 5:32), which taught communal ownership, but rather Aristotle, Livy, and Cicero, who fought reform and at best believed in personal betterment.[582] One of the lessons in Livy's Ab urbe condita, and Cicero's three consular orations, De Lege agraria contra Rullum seems to have been that the laboring people could be fooled into acting against their own interest if there was sufficient rhetoric involved, as when Cicero, speaking against agrarian reform, told them to live like the gentry on the public purse rather than disgrace themselves with productive labor.[583] The Roman and canon law, as well as Gregory the Great were used by the gentry as authorities for the view that landlord property rights were based in natural law and thus part of God's law and not susceptible to agrarian reform measures.[584]

            In place of agrarian reform, Catholic gentry theology, like that of at least some of their Protestant counterparts, offered laboring people the doctrine of obedience, not resistance, to the established order. One must suffer one's "cross and passion" in life with humility, self-denial, and meekness.[585] The chief offense was pride, as manifested by ambition for the wealth and life style of the landlord. God's will for the tenantry, said Robert Persons, S.J. was the "old simplicity, both in apparel, diet, innocency of life, and plainness of dealing and conversation."[586] Persons wanted to restore the system of feudal servitude and destroy the tenants and artisans who had bettered their economic circumstances. Thomas Clancy remarks on Persons' landlord prejudices:

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 138]

As for the commons, their economic welfare was to be made the responsibility of their feudal lords. In England there was great inequality among the members of the third estate. . . It was said some gave themselves the airs of gentlemen. This social mobility was to be stopped.[587]

            It might be thought that the typical seventeenth-century gentry had a higher regard for the productive process than indicated here. But by many accounts, it was the eighteenth century that was the age of the improving gentry and that saw a significant expansion in scientific and capitalist farming.[588] The eighteenth-century industrial revolution and the explosion in urban population supplied both the iron farm implements that helped increase crop productivity and the city populations that resulted in a demand for increased productivity.[589] Christopher Clay remarks about the lack of landlord-improvers in the seventeenth century:

It was not unusual for copyholders and life estate holders to have almost no contact with their landlord save on rent days. . . Owners of great estates spreading across several counties rarely paid much attention to the details of management. . . The age of the "improving" type of steward, bent on rationalizing estate administration and imposing greater uniformity in the interests of efficiency, was barely under way by the middle of the eighteenth century.[590]

As recorded in the their commonplace books, the seventeenth-century Catholic landlords following the classical Roman example were often more interested in improving the breed of their horses for showing, racing, or war, their dog packs for hunting, and their houses for ostentation than with maximizing cash crops.[591] One sees in commonplace books a listing of the gold and silver cups won by their horses, the names, dates, and places of each race and the name of each horse and who the other contestants were.[592] Some of the gentry's clergy engaged in similar pursuits. John Medcalf was called a "noteworthy priest" by one of his contemporaries in part because of his experience in breeding and training horses.[593] Because Catholic families such as the Cattericks, Frankes, and Lascelles put their time into these pursuits rather than into productive agriculture, they ran up debts, were forced to sell out, and disappeared from the gentry.[594]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 139]

            There is other evidence besides the testimony in their literature and diaries in support of the ideal type gentry as being at best indifferent to the productive process. For example the legal system of the period reflected the gentry's belief about labor. According to the common law definition, the gentry were those who lived "idle and without labor."[595] The common law was part of the system by which the gentry monopolized property and maintained their life style.

            In addition to the law, another type of evidence as to the gentry's beliefs about labor comes from the complaints of the the contemporary laboring people. One Catholic professional remarked, "The demeaning of work has filled our England with more vices and sacrificed more souls to sinful life, than perhaps anyone other uncivil opinion whatsoever. They [gentry] hold it better to rob by land or sea than to labor."[596] The same writer contended that the "paragon gentry" in comparing themselves with laboring people, much overrated themselves:

Aristotle held that only the Greeks were free and all the barbarians, that is, non-Greeks, were bad. Some among us seem Aristotelians in this point, who as he gloriously over-valued his countrymen, so these overvalue the paragon-gentry, and repute none more worthy of honor but themselves.[597]

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 140]

The Catholic Thomas Hawkins in taking exception to the religious practices promoted by the gentry, indicated they generally had a contempt for labor. He compared their thinking to that of the fourth-century Messalians:

One may wear a scapular, say everyday some beads or some famous prayer without restoring things ill got. These are the devotions that people love. From thence come the exterior devotion to the blessed sacrament. Since the work of hands has ceased, they have extremely praised mental prayer. Tis in what constituted the heresy of the Messalians, condemned in the fourth century. And what Catholics reproached them for the most was their contempt of labor.[598]

The Catholic dramatist Philip Massinger in mocking the gentry, remarked about those who believed that because they had "some drops of the king's blood running in their veins derived some ten degrees off," they were entitled to be a separate, non-laboring race, that squandered the nation's wealth.[599]

            The Maryland Catholics' beliefs about labor, as manifested in their work-lives, legislation, court cases, pamphlets, and leveling of landlords, were based in the labor theory of value: those who produce wealth should be its beneficiaries. St. Paul (2Th. 3:10) put it negatively: those who do not work, which in seventeenth-century terms were the gentry, should not eat. Thomas Aquinas denied the labor theory of value by claiming, "What belongs to the slave is the masters."[600] Catholic laboring people believed the reverse: the master possessed what labor had produced and what belonged to labor. The thinking of the Catholics was not derivative but often in opposition to the ideal type gentry. In this there was an antinomian character to their beliefs.

[CHAPTER TWO, 1996 ed., p. 141]

            To sum up, this chapter has looked at the Maryland Catholics' beliefs about labor that grew out of and supported their careers. In England and Maryland manual labor was the characteristic aspect of the the ideal type Catholic's life. Among the Catholics in Maryland, including even the few landlords, it has been argued that manual labor was well regarded both as a means to an end and as a way of life. This was reflected in the assembly and judicial records, in their migration to and their remaining in Maryland, in their everyday work-lives, and by their failure to recreate gentry beliefs about labor.

Map 2: Civil War Period Catholic England, Wales and Ireland


Map 3: Maryland-connected Europe, Africa and America in the 1640s (not to scale).

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 143]



Chapter 3

The Political Beliefs of Maryland Catholics

            This chapter takes up the political beliefs of the Maryland Catholics. It argues that their political thinking grew out of and served their needs. Their beliefs were often independent of both Parliament and the crown. This should not be surprising, having seen the similar position of the Catholic laboring people in England. Nevertheless, it has sometimes been stated, based on assumptions about the English Catholic gentry or about the Maryland proprietor, Cecil Calvert, and his governor, who were Royalists, and also based on those who made such claims at the time, that the Maryland Catholics were Royalists. For example, the authoritative Maryland Historical Magazine in 1984, on the 350th anniversary of English settlement at St. Mary's maintained that Maryland Catholics were Royalists:

The polarization between Royalists and Roundheads, between those Anglicans and Catholics who supported the king and those Presbyterians and Independents who supported Parliament, spilled over into the American colonies.[601]

            In looking at how Maryland Catholic political beliefs grew out of and served their needs, four areas will be the focus: first, their thinking about self-government, the judiciary, and taxation, and their degree of independence from the proprietor in these areas; second, their independence from the crown; third, the charge made by contemporaries that the Catholics were royalist; and fourth, the contrast in political beliefs between Maryland Catholics and the English Catholic gentry.

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 144]

            It is useful to look first at the Catholics' beliefs about self-government, the judiciary, and taxation and their independence from the proprietor because he was a Royalist in the first Civil War (1642-1646), and he sought to maintain the crown's policies in Maryland. By acting independently of the crown's representative in Maryland and by at times repudiating the charter given by the crown, the Catholics in effect acted independently of the crown. It is also useful to look at Catholic independence from the proprietor in order to point up the inaccuracy of assuming either that the Catholics must have been Royalists merely because the proprietor was, or that they did not have political beliefs at all and the Civil War did not extend to Maryland.[602] Of course, because the Catholics were independent does not mean they were neutral or that they wished to abolish either the crown or proprietor.

            In looking at the Maryland Catholics' beliefs about self-government, the judiciary, and taxation, the source of information will largely be the Maryland assembly. A comment, therefore, needs to be made about Catholic influence in the assembly. It can be seen in Table 3-1 on the next page, that Catholics were a majority of those with known religion who served in the assembly in the 1630s and 1640s.

            Catholic influence was also present in the assembly committees where they held leadership positions, in the governor's council, and in other provincial offices, such as sheriff, juror, militia officer, and justice of the peace.[603] For example, in the 1638 assembly five people were elected to the legislative drafting committee, three of whom were Catholics.[604]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 145]

            The Catholics' influence in the assembly does not mean their political beliefs were significantly different from the Protestants. John Krugler remarks that the Protestants did not exert "any profound influence on the colony as Protestants."[605] The Catholics were an absolute majority in the 1639 assembly. The legislation it enacted does not seem to have notably differed from the legislation of the prior or later years. There was no "Catholic" block voting. Because the Catholics may not have been unique in the thinking which they manifested through assembly legislation does not mean the legislation did not represent their beliefs.

Table 3-1:
Religion of Maryland Assembly Members




Rel Unk


1st Feb. 26, 1635




(no records)

2nd 1638 (all freemen)




62 + 24 or more proxy

3rd 1639 (elected & writs)





4th 1640 & 1641 (elected & writs)





5th Mar.1642 (all freemen)




61 + 29 or more proxy

6th July-Aug.1642 (elected & writs)




20 + 73 or more proxy

7th Sept.1642





8th 1644 & Feb.1645




(no records)

9th 1646 & 1647





10th 1648










[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 146]

            The first area that will be examined deals with beliefs about self-government, including the right to establish an assembly and initiate legislation. It will be recalled that in northern England, where Catholics lived in relatively large numbers, local government was what David Allen calls "democratic" in the sense of wide participation. Representative assemblies in parishes and manors such as Sowerby Thirsk in Yorkshire were run by and for the Catholic tenants who, as indicated by their legislation, believed their authority to be superior to that of their Catholic landlord.[609]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 146]

            The Maryland assembly asserted similar rights to self-government, despite the proprietor's wishes, starting in its first recorded session, which was in 1638.[610] The proprietor had sent over a twelve law code which the assembly refused to rubber-stamp. Of the thirteen documented Catholics in the assembly, only two voted for the code: the proprietor's governor and secretary.[611] These two served under the patronage of the proprietor, not as elected officials.

            The Catholic representatives and their Protestant counterparts in 1638, in spite of the crown's charter, which gave them no right to initiate legislation, became a law unto themselves. They enacted a forty-two law code. The proprietor refused to accept it, but it became the de facto law.[612] Likewise, in most of the assemblies during the 1640s, the proprietor attempted to impose legislation or a new code, which the assembly generally voted down or ignored. In the third assembly of March 1639, the Catholics, who had an absolute majority, rejected several laws for which only the proprietor's governor and secretary voted.[613]

            In the first session of the fourth assembly in October 1640, the assembly, including its Catholics, voted down ten bills proposed by the proprietor. Usually only the governor and secretary voted for the bills.[614] Among the rejected bills were those that would have provided for the "Proprietor's Prerogatives."[615] In the second session of the fourth assembly on August 12, 1641, the assembly even refused, except for the governor and secretary, the "confirmation of his lordship's patent."[616]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 147]

            A statement of the Catholics' belief about themselves being a law unto themselves was contained in a letter which the 11th assembly sent to the proprietor in April 1649. It perhaps was inspired by and was written at about the same time that they heard that Parliament had executed Charles I: "We request your lordship hereafter to send us no more such bodies of laws which serve little other end than to fill our heads with suspicious jealousies and dislikes."[617] They also informed him that they rejected his use of the terms "absolute lord and proprietary," and "royal jurisdiction."[618]

            The Catholics' belief in the right of ordinary people to govern themselves by initiating their own legal codes included various collateral rights that had counterparts in Parliament and in the county and parish governments in England. One collateral right involved the calling of assemblies. The proprietor, like the crown, claimed the sole right to call assemblies.[619] The crown in the 1630s had ruled without Parliament simply by not calling a parliament. One of the reforms which the Long Parliament enacted on May 10, 1641 was the Triennial Act.[620] It required a parliament to meet at least every three years. The Maryland assembly in 1639 anticipated Parliament by enacting a provision that its code would lapse after three years.[621] The fifth assembly in March 1642 repeated the language of the parliamentary Triennial Act in declaring, "the house of assembly may not be adjourned or prorogued but by and with the consent of the house."[622]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 148]

            Another right collateral to initiating legislation involved restricting the interference of the proprietor's governor, secretary, and councilors in the assembly deliberations. The sixth assembly of July 1642 proposed, and the ninth assembly of 1646 and twelfth assembly of 1650 enacted, legislation that required a separate house for elected representatives.[623] This kept the governor and others who were not elected from having a vote in the lower house. The twelfth assembly added an oath of secrecy, which insulated the assembly deliberations from the proprietor.[624]

            In examining their legislative activity, it is evident there was a measure of independence from the proprietor and from the crown's charter. It is not surprising that the Catholics, 75 percent of those for whom there is enough evidence to make a determination, were literate, favored and possessed the works of Edward Coke, William Lambarde, Thomas Smith, John Selden, and others who defended legislative assemblies.[625] In their first recorded act, which was in 1638, the assembly repeated the philosophy that was common to each of these writers:

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 149]

The inhabitants of the province shall have and enjoy all such rights, liberties, immunities, privileges, and free customs, within this province, as any natural born subject of England has by force and virtue of the common law or statute law of England.[626]

            In addition to acting independently from the proprietor concerning self-government, a second area of the Catholics' political beliefs that will be taken up deals with the judiciary. The proprietor's charter from the crown granted him an exclusive right to establish courts.[627] Courts established by the executive were called prerogative courts and were one of the institutions abolished in England during the Civil War reforms.[628]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 150]

            A prerogative court was apparently one of the provisions in the code of laws which the proprietor sent over for the assembly to approve in 1638. The governor and secretary from time to time throughout the period exercised or attempted to exercise a prerogative judicial power.[629] As mentioned earlier, the assembly voted down the proprietor's 1638 code and in its substitute code included a judiciary act establishing an independent provincial court, which was renewed in the third assembly of 1639 and in later assemblies.[630] The judiciary acts gave the provincial court jurisdiction in testamentary and other civil matters, as well as in criminal, ecclesiastical, maritime, and equity cases. It also provided for the incorporation of English common law and usages, including the jury system. The assembly maintained ultimate control over the judiciary by itself acting as a trial court in important cases.[631] It also maintained at least some control over the judges and sheriff because it controlled their fees.[632] The provincial court was similar to but had more jurisdiction than the quarter sessions county courts in England.

            Illustrative of the continuing independence of the assembly concerning the judiciary was the fourth assembly in October 1640. This assembly which included six Catholics, voted down a bill proposed by the proprietor for appeals of court cases.[633] But it did enact several judicial measures of its own.[634] The assembly was independent of the proprietor concerning the judiciary, and, as Stephen Crow mentions, this was done "the better to protect the colonists' interests from the proprietor."[635]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 151]

            For the most part, however, because the courts were independent does not mean that the judicial interests of the assembly and those of the proprietor were antagonistic. For example, the 1638 assembly named the proprietor's secretary as judge of probate and his governor as judge of other civil cases.[636] However, the assembly's control of the judiciary was a factor in the determination of some cases against the proprietor. In January 1645 the Catholic Giles Brent, who was then the judge, granted a judgment against the proprietor and the governor in a case involving the large sum of 100,000 pounds of tobacco or £200. The governor called this "a crime against the dignity and dominion of the right honorable the lord proprietor of this province."[637] It would appear there was no less independence from the proprietor in beliefs about the judiciary than has been seen concerning the rights of the assembly.

            The third and last area besides the self-government and the judiciary that will be examined deals with Catholic independent thinking concerning taxation. In England this was a long-standing area of contention. In the 1620s, Parliament had been adamant in refusing to enact revenue measures desired by the crown. As a result, the crown ruled without Parliament in the 1630s and levied what were widely considered to be illegal taxes.[638] Those in the court party, however, including the proprietor's father, enjoyed crown patronage. They supported the crown's economic independence.

            But among laboring Catholics there was a dislike of crown taxation independent of Parliament. For example, Catholic planters involved in the Chesapeake tobacco trade were adversely affected by a 2d crown tax on each pound of tobacco imported into England.[639] The tax raised the price in England and cut sales. The tax was large when it is considered that the planters were receiving a market price of as little as 3d per pound. After Parliament took charge of revenue collection in the 1640s and made a combination property and poll tax the main source of revenue, the port duty was reduced to 1d.[640]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 152]

            It was probably in part because he realized the crown's tax schemes were unpopular in Maryland that the proprietor did not attempt to extend the "Catholic Collection of 1639" to Maryland. The collection was a crown revenue effort to raise funds without Parliament's consent for the Northern War against the Scots. The proprietor was one of 149 Catholic gentry who  served on the national committee which took up a collection within the Catholic community. He was co-chair for the collection committee in his county of Wiltshire.[641] His failure to extend the collection to Maryland contrasted with that of his friend, Thomas Wentworth. Wentworth, as deputy lieutenant in Ireland at the time, collected a subsidy of £180,000 from the Irish for the 1639 war.[642] Just a year previously the Maryland assembly had voted the proprietor a gift of money in return for the work he was doing in developing the colony.[643] Generally the proprietor never had any reluctance to make requests.[644]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 153]

            Despite the proprietor's efforts, however, the assembly always kept for itself the decision as to when and what taxes would be collected. In Maryland, as in England, the greatest tax expenditure was for the defense budget. The assembly kept defense expenditures low by repeatedly rejecting with nearly unanimous votes the proprietor's requests in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh assemblies that it mount a military campaign against the Susquehannock Indians who resided to the north of the province.[645] The proprietor claimed and apparently wished to enforce an exclusive right to the lucrative pelt monopoly.[646] He did not want the Susquehannock to deal with the Virginians, Dutch, and Swedes. The assembly replied to the proprietor that "military decisions are not to be left to the discretion of the governor and council."[647] When the proprietor claimed the charter gave him the power to wage war, the assembly responded by asking "to have the patent to peruse."[648]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 154]

            Another example of the assembly's financial independence from the proprietor also concerned military expenses. Several years after having been overthrown in February 1645, which will be discussed shortly, the proprietor's governor hired a band of Virginia soldiers to retake the province. The proprietor wanted the assembly to pay for the cost of the Virginia soldiers. The tenth assembly of 1648, however, decided to confiscate the personal estate of the proprietor to pay the cost.[649] There were twelve documented Catholics voting for the confiscation, along with nine Protestants and nine of unknown religion.[650] When even the proprietor's newly appointed governor, the Catholic, Thomas Greene, went along with the confiscation, he was fired.[651] The assembly refused to give the proprietor any part of the Dutch custom to pay for the recapture.[652]

            Parliament in the Grand Remonstrance of 1641 did not object to giving tax revenue to the crown but only to the crown's levying of taxes without its consent. Likewise, the assembly did not object to the proprietor collecting tax revenues. He had made a considerable investment of £10,000 or more in Maryland which benefited the planters and they appreciated it.[653] The assembly only objected to the proprietor collecting taxes which it had not approved.

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 155]

            Starting in 1638 the assembly annually granted the proprietor a poll tax or part of the Dutch custom tax, which seems to have been the largest source of tax revenue in the province.[654] The assembly also established a list of fees to compensate the proprietor's officials.[655] The poll and assessment (property) taxes may have had more potential as revenue devices, but they were less frequently levied than the Dutch custom tax. The poll tax was unpopular with laboring people because it fell more heavily on them, relatively speaking, than on the gentry.[656] Wat Tyler, a tiler of Essex, had led a peasant revolt in 1381 against the poll tax, which led to its abolition for 200 years.[657] In England during 1639 and 1640 there was a general refusal to pay the poll tax, which undermined the crown's warmaking in the north.[658]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 156]

            As noted earlier, in 1642 Parliament replaced the poll tax with an assessment or property tax, which fell only on landlords. To a certain extent Maryland followed the 1642 parliamentary taxation system. Each head of household, not each poll, that is, each freeman or freewoman, was accessed by an assembly committee. This made taxes easier to collect and put a heavier burden on landlords.[659] Edgar Johnson calls Maryland's revenue scheme a poll tax but that in effect it became a property tax, because it was placed on the number of servants in a landlord's household and because it was made proportional to the amount of land a person owned.[660]

            Unlike Maryland and New England, which used the property tax, Virginia relied on the poll tax. This was because of the strength of landlords there. Of this, Edgar Johnson remarks, "The poor classes protested against a poll tax. . . As a consequence, a long struggle arose between the small and large landowners, which led to violence in Bacon's rebellion."[661]

            In their self-government, judiciary, and tax measures, the Maryland Catholics acted independently of the proprietor and his charter, not unlike the way their counterparts in England were acting toward the crown. The point in discussing the Catholics' independence from the proprietor has been to raise doubts about attributing Royalism to the Maryland Catholics based on the proprietor's Royalism. The Catholics did not necessarily have the same political beliefs as the proprietor.

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 157]

            Considering their independence from the proprietor, it should not be surprising that on the two occasions during the war when they had an opportunity to directly manifest loyalty to the crown, they chose independence. The second part of this chapter will look at these two events. The first instance in which the Catholics acted independently and directly in opposition against the crown's war efforts began on January 18, 1644 during the height of the Civil War. The proprietor's governor and secretary attempted to cut off Maryland's trade with the parliamentary forces in London. The crown had been complaining that "Our rebellious subjects of the city of London drive a great trade" in the Chesapeake, "receiving daily great advantage from thence which they impiously spend in vast contributions towards the maintenance of an unnatural war against us."[662] In July 1643, the Royalists had secured the port of Bristol. By November 1643 the proprietor had taken up residence there.[663] He directed his governor in Maryland to trade only with ships from Bristol. Parliamentary-aligned London ships were to be seized and brought back to Bristol as prizes. The proprietor was to get a percentage from each prize. The king had given freedom of trade to merchants in Bristol in violation of the monopolies held by the Merchant Adventurers and other London companies.[664]

            In January 1644 the governor arrested the representative of the London merchants in Maryland, the ship captain Richard Ingle. Ingle had been in Maryland carrying on his trading activities. Within a day of the arrest four individuals led in freeing Ingle in defiance of the governor and crown. Three of the liberators were Catholic. According to the proprietor's secretary, they were on the side which was in "high treason to his majesty."[665]

            The independence of the Maryland Catholics from the proprietor and crown's war against Parliament was further demonstrated soon after the liberation. The governor, along with the royalist Protestant William Hardidge, brought charges in the provincial court of treason, jail break, piracy, mutiny, trespass, contempt, and misdemeanors against Ingle, who was still trading in Maryland.[666] Seven successive juries convened by the governor refused to return an indictment.[667] Had the Catholics been interested, they would have had no trouble in bringing back an indictment against and shutting off the London trade. The Catholic independence from the crown resulted from their unwillingness to disrupt their established trade relations with London.[668]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 158]

            Parliament acknowledged the loyalty of the Maryland Catholics later that year by the favorable treatment which it gave Thomas Cornwallis, Maryland's largest Catholic planter. The Committee for Sequestration at Camden House in London in May 1644, had initially sequestered Cornwallis' tobacco and corn, which had been shipped to England. This tobacco and corn also included that of many of the smaller planters who had consigned their goods to Cornwallis. The reason given for the sequestration was that Cornwallis was a Catholic. But he produced testimony that satisfied the committee as to his loyalty and his goods were released.[669] Then he testified before the House of Lords, "I have shown my affection to the Parliament by finding means within eight hours space to free Richard Ingle and to restore him to his ship and goods again."[670] He asked Parliament to abolish the proprietor's charter. Stephen Crow describes Cornwallis' complaints to Parliament concerning the proprietor as, "arbitrary governing, Catholicism, which ardent Catholic that he was, must have given Cornwallis pause, and the proprietor's loyalty to the monarch."[671]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 159]

            The Catholics' support for the London merchants in January 1644 indicates the Catholics were not Royalists, but exercised independence in their political beliefs. The second and equally clear opportunity for Catholics to act independently of the crown and its war against Parliament occurred in the Fall of 1644 and Winter of 1645. The proprietor, after consulting with the crown and royal Parliament at Oxford in January 1644, obtained a commission from Charles I to construct custom houses and fortifications in the Chesapeake, to establish an armed force, and along with the royalist Virginia governor, William Berkeley, to seize all ships, goods, and debts belonging to any Londoner or from any person from a place in rebellion. The estates of those who joined with Parliament were to be seized and plundered. One-half of all seized property was to go to the king and the proprietor was to receive part of the customs revenue.[672]

            As soon as the proprietor's governor revealed the existence of the royal commission in the Fall of 1644, the assembly denounced it. A deposition by Thomas Copley, S.J., described the assembly's action and the active role of several Catholics:

Mr. Calvert had a commission from the king. . . The first assembly after Calvert's arrival declared they would have free trade with Londoners and others under the protection of Parliament and that they would not receive any commission to the contrary and thus Copley or Giles Brent or one of them did write a letter to Ingle from Calvert telling him of the good affection of the inhabitants of Maryland to the Parliament and their desire of free trade with Ingle or other Londoners. Thomas Cornwallis also wrote a letter to Ingle as aforesaid which letters are in the possession of Richard Ingle or John Durford.[673]

            Considering the independence of the province against the crown and proprietor, a suggestion made by Matthew Andrews is of interest. Andrews speculates that the aim of the proprietor's royal commission was mainly to obtain the royalist Virginia governor's help to mount an attack on Maryland, in order to reduce it to the control of the proprietor and those inclined to Royalism. Andrews writes about the visit of the proprietor's governor to Virginia in late 1644 in connection with the commission:

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 160]

Governor Leonard Calvert had gone to Virginia in order either to come to some eclaircissement or to apply to the government of Virginia, which was still opposed to the Parliamentarians, for its interference on behalf of his province.[674]

            The rejection by the assembly of the proprietor's royal commission to fortify the Chesapeake in the Fall of 1645 was followed by and connected to the bloodless overthrow of the proprietor on February 13, 1645. The proprietor's governor spent almost two years in exile in Virginia. The overthrow was led by Richard Ingle, the London ship captain, who named the proprietor's royal commission as one of the reasons for the overthrow.[675] Only three known Catholics came to the proprietor's defense at the time of the overthrow. This seems to have been in part because most Catholics were indifferent to the crown's commission.[676] Lois Green Carr comments that the reason the Catholics were indifferent was that they "did not feel an identity of interest with Lord Baltimore's enterprise."[677] The proprietor wanted to enforce the royal commission, which would have hurt Maryland's trade, in the midst of an eight year economic depression.

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 161]

            It should not be surprising that Ingle during the overthrow had the help of what Stephen Crow calls the "disgruntled Catholics."[678] Of the eleven Maryland supporters of the overthrow known by name, four were Catholic, one was Protestant, and six were of unknown religion.[679] That not only the four documented Catholics but probably the entire Catholic population tended to support or be indifferent about the overthrow was indicated by the proprietor's governor in December 1646. At that point he was trying to restore his position, and he granted a general pardon to the entire population, including the Catholics, "for their former rebellion."[680]

            The traditional assumption that Maryland Catholics tended toward the royalist side has been based on three factors: first, on the belief that the Catholics in England were Royalists; second, on the belief that Catholics were deferential to the Royalism of the proprietor; and third, on the claims made by prominent individuals at the time that the Maryland Catholics were Royalists. The first two factors have been addressed, but the statements made by those at the time need to be discussed. This will now be done in the third part of the chapter.

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 162]

            The main contemporary to claim the Maryland Catholics were Royalists was Richard Ingle. He used the charge as a defense in the three lawsuits that were brought against him after the 1645 overthrow. Ingle and his ship crew of eight to twelve men had expanded the overthrow of the proprietor into the leveling of six landlords and two owner-operators, in addition to the proprietor's governor and secretary. By leveling is meant the confiscation of the tobacco they had ready to ship together with their household goods and farm animals, and the deporting to London of two of the five Catholic clergy who had fled to Virginia.[681] Henry Thompson summarizes Ingle's "Catholic Royalism" defense:

Ingle averred that Maryland was a stronghold of papists and those who supported the king in opposition to the Parliament. He also said that Brent, Cornwallis, and Lewger were the prime movers. . . Ingle alleged as his reason for this and his other exploits in Maryland, that the greatest number of persons and families in Maryland were "papists and of the popish and Romish religion," and that nearly all of them assisted Leonard Calvert in putting his commission in force in Maryland; that they had so carried things that before his arrival none but papists and those of the Romish religion were suffered to hold office or any command; that it was generally believed in the colony that if he had not come there, the papists would have disarmed all the Protestants, and that all the property that was taken or destroyed by him or his men belonged to papists and those of the Romish religion.[682]

            Several points need to be made in addressing Ingle's statement. First, he was partially correct. There were Catholics who took the royalist side, at least at certain points. For example, Thomas Copley, S.J., Maryland's largest landlord, helped the proprietor's governor to escape to Virginia during the overthrow, or rather, he too escaped to Virginia, where he was apparently taken prisoner. Like the governor and many of the English Catholic clergy, he seems to have identified with the crown and perhaps sought refuge in Virginia because he felt the Maryland Catholics could not be trusted to defend him.[683]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 163]

            Another Catholic royalist, at least during the period when he was acting governor in 1643 and 1644, was Giles Brent. He was the one that had attempted to stop the trade with London by arresting Ingle in January 1644. He asked Ingle and his crew to take an oath to the king and offered them a drink, toasting "Here is a health to the king sans Parliament."[684] It appears that at the time of the overthrow, neither Copley nor Brent any longer supported the crown's commission against the London merchants and they both had notified Ingle of this. In fact, far from being involved in royalist plotting with the proprietor, Brent at the time of the overthrow was fighting an arrest warrant that had been issued by the governor several weeks earlier. As judge of the provincial court, Brent had issued a large judgment against the proprietor that resulted in the governor's warrant.[685] Copley and Brent seem to have been targeted not so much for supporting the royal commission but for their prior activity.[686]

            A second point that needs to be made about Ingle's claim is that while it was partly true, it was mostly false. Of the four landlords whom he and his crew helped level, besides Copley and Brent, only two were Catholics: Thomas Cornwallis and Thomas Gerard.[687] The other two were: Francis Brooke, a Protestant and Maryland's third largest tax payer, and Nicholas Harvey, of unknown religion.[688] Further, neither Cornwallis nor Gerard were Royalists. Cornwallis had been recognized only six months earlier by Parliament itself for resisting the crown's interference with Maryland's trade. As already noted, he had petitioned Parliament to revoke the proprietor's charter because the proprietor was a Royalist.

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 164]

            What all those who were leveled had in common was not their religion or politics, but perhaps that they traded with the Dutch. There were instances in the early 1640s when English ships had to return empty to England because there was no cargo for them.[689] This was resented by the London merchants and especially George Goring (1583-1663), who owned the custom farm on tobacco. He wanted all Maryland tobacco to be landed in London and pass through his hands.[690] The London merchants had been in opposition to the Dutch in the Chesapeake since the colony was established. The Seven United Provinces of the Free Netherlands was the leading maritime power in the first half of the seventeenth century and had handled shipping to the English settlements in the Chesapeake from the 1610s to the 1640s.[691] The original reason for the granting of the charter was to prevent further Dutch encroachment between Virginia and New England.[692] The London merchants were behind prohibitions on "trucking for merchandise whatsoever with any ship other than his majesty's subjects," which were issued by the crown and by Parliament with regularity, as in 1635, 1642, 1650, and 1651.[693] Parliament on July 22, 1643 made an ordinance establishing a duty or "excise" of 2s on each pound of tobacco brought into England but suspended it as long as the particular colony traded only with English ships.[694] The London merchants were responsible for the Navigation Acts of 1650 and 1651 and the war waged against the Dutch from 1652 to 1654.[695] London customs farmers such as Abraham Dawes and John Wolsterholme and merchants such as Maurice Thompson sought parliamentary permission to attack Dutch shipping in 1644.[696]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 165]

            At the same time Parliament was prohibiting the Dutch trade, the Maryland assembly was sanctioning it. The Catholic Edward Packer and the Protestant Henry Fleet on July 17, 1644 were given a commission by the assembly to trade with the Dutch.[697] On arriving in Maryland on Dec. 29, 1644, Ingle heard of Dutch ships doing trade in Maryland and "in a rage" immediately set sail for Virginia.[698] A contemporary described it:

I had heard that Ingle arrived in Maryland on Dec. 29, 1644, and hearing of a Dutch ship there trading in the port, then did in a rage and fury without license of the governor thereupon presently sail back to Virginia, but why I do not know. I was told about this by one of the passengers then on board Ingle's ship.

During the overthrow, Ingle captured a Dutch ship anchored at St. Mary's and took it back to England as a prize.[699]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 166]

            The leveling against Cornwallis was mainly economic, not political or religious in motivation. In addition to Ingle's crew, which had been promised plunder if it would help in the overthrow, those who did the leveling were Cornwallis's sixteen indentured servants, including four Africans, and his debtors.[700] Thomas Harrison, a cooper, was one of Cornwallis's servants with five years to run on his indenture. He took his indenture from Cornwallis's house and destroyed it.[701] One account stated that "account books, bills, notes, and papers were always destroyed, whether they belonged to Giles Brent, Cornwallis, Thomas Copley, the Speagle, or others."[702] Such leveling was common in England against the royalist and parliamentary gentry. For example, in Wiltshire, the proprietor's home county, the tenants and clothing workers joined with armed deserters from the royal army starting in 1643 to plunder manors and steal cattle from both royalist and parliamentary gentry.[703] Derek Hirst finds that assaults on Catholic houses in the summer and autumn of 1642 were often a pretext for forays against the manorial records.[704]

            Thomas Gerard was the fourth Catholic who was leveled. Economics rather than Royalism or Catholicism seems to have been the reason. Gerard's tenants, at least one of whom was a Catholic, took the occasion to stop paying rent on their 21 year leases.[705] That religion does not seem to have been a controlling factor in the levelings is also seen both from the several Protestants who were leveled and from the Catholic landlords, such as Thomas Greene, who were not touched.[706]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 167]

            Some writers maintain that Ingle was nothing but a brigand.[707] But from the view of the planters, both Catholic and Protestant, who were faced with a proprietor that had been plotting to stop the London trade for several years, Ingle's part in the overthrow was probably welcome or at least seen as something which they would not oppose. The Civil War was at its height, and trade with London was a strategic concern for Parliament and a necessity in depression-era Maryland. In that context, Ingle cannot be reduced to a brigand.

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 168]

            In this light the Catholics' failure to support the proprietor against Ingle can be seen to have been more than merely their having been taken by surprise, as is sometimes argued.[708] First, the governor and those who joined him were not so surprised that they did not try to appease Ingle prior to his attack. After that failed, they had enough time to escape to Virginia. Second, while the settlement was scattered, that did not mean there was not an existing alarm and military defense system that had proven itself against hostile Indians and Virginians.[709] Third, if it were conceded the Catholics were taken by surprise, then their failure to undertake a movement to restore the proprietor or promote the crown's commission during the two year overthrow period would seem to indicate an indifference toward both crown and proprietor among the thirty known Catholic members and leaders of Maryland's seven militia districts.[710] Instead of restoration attempts, the Catholics continued to plant their crops. Lois Green Carr shows that the province was not laid waste.[711] There was no grain shortage. In part because of the Dutch trade, they enjoyed a relative boom in tobacco prices and tobacco production beginning in 1645.[712] The assembly met as usual in February, March, and December 1646 with a majority of the delegates with known religion being Catholics.[713] When the proprietor's governor was finally restored in December 1646, it was not with the aid of Catholics but with the protection of an army hired in Virginia and led by a Presbyterian Richard Bennett. The army had an agreement with the proprietor that they would plunder the Catholics and Protestants if there was resistance.[714]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 169]

            Besides Ingle, the other contemporary who has confused later writers by claiming the Catholics were Royalists was Richard Bennett, the same individual who had helped restore the proprietor in 1646.[715] He made his charges to justify the second overthrow of the proprietor between 1652 and 1656.[716] Like Ingle's claim, an analysis of Bennett's statement only offers more evidence that the Catholics had independent political beliefs. In this instance, however, they were being independent of Virginia and the London merchants who wanted to monopolize the Maryland tobacco market. This was the period of the Anglo-Dutch War. The Dutch had among its allies the Scots, Irish, New England, southern Maryland, Northampton County, Virginia, and Charles II.[717] The Maryland Catholics, like the English levelers, would not have been against using the crown against the parliamentary gentry and English merchants. But from 1652 to 1656, when the second overthrow took place, the crown had sunk too low to be of use. The interest of the Maryland planters was in retaining the Dutch trade, not in restoring the crown, despite the charges of Richard Bennett. This can be seen by outlining the second overthrow.

            With the first Civil War having ended in the 1646 defeat of the crown and with the Maryland charter under attack both by some Maryland Catholics and Virginia and London merchants, the proprietor made peace with Parliament. In 1648 he appointed a new governor, William Stone (1603-1660) and secretary, Thomas Hatton (d. 1655), both of whom were Protestants, merchant-planters, and Virginia legislators with working ties to the London merchants and Parliament.[718] The proprietor probably did not want the monarchy and the house of lords abolished, but once they were gone in 1649, Maryland was the first colony to assent to the new order. Parliament had to commission an armed force in 1651 to overthrow the royal governors in Virginia, Bermuda, Antigua, Barbados, St. Christopher, Nevis, and Montserrat. These governors, having been appointed by Charles I, sided with the claims of Charles II.[719] The proprietor pointed out to Parliament in 1652 the enthusiasm he had shown for the new order in comparison with Virginia and the West Indies:

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 170]

If the lord Baltimore should, by this commonwealth, be prejudiced in his patent and right to that province, it would be a great discouragement to others in foreign plantations, upon any exigency, to adhere to this commonwealth, because it is notoriously known that by his express directions his officers and the people there did adhere to the interest of this commonwealth, when all other English plantations, except New England, declared against the Parliament.[720]

            At about the time he was converting to the parliamentary side in the late 1640s, some 300 Presbyterian families migrated at the invitation of the proprietor and new governor from the Nansemond River area of Virginia to what is now Annapolis. The Presbyterians had been dissatisfied in Virginia because the royalist governor there had forced their clergy to exit the province and otherwise raised a "persecution" against them. The new community in Northern Maryland formed itself into a county, Anne Arundell in 1650. It soon objected to paying land fees and quit rents to the proprietor and to taking loyalty oaths to him.[721] That he was a Catholic and the holder of a crown monopoly was salt on the wound. In 1652 their leader, Richard Bennett, who by then was governor of Virginia, having overthrown the royalist governor there several months earlier, headed the bloodless overthrow of the proprietor.[722] Stone and Hatton were retained as governor and secretary, but they ruled as a sub-district of Virginia, not as agents for the proprietor.

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 171]

            As with the 1645 overthrow, the Maryland Catholics seem to have been indifferent to the 1652 overthrow. Catholics, including Thomas Gerard, were part of the 13th assembly of June 24-28, 1652, which confirmed the new order.[723] But later Bennett attempted to enforce a ban desired by the London merchant's on trade with the Dutch.[724] In the 1650s Maryland shipped as much tobacco to Holland as it did to England. Despite the Anglo-Dutch War being waged between 1652 and 1654, the St. Mary's planters, Catholic and Protestant, continued to trade with the Dutch. Their lack of loyalty to Parliament, that is, to London merchants, resulted in Bennett excluding Catholics and Anglicans from the Maryland assembly in 1654.[725] With the proprietor's encouragement and promises of free land, the southern Maryland Catholics and Protestants waged an armed struggle against Annapolis in 1655 in an attempt to overthrow Virginia's domination there.[726] An armed struggle was also waged against Bennett and the prohibition on Dutch trade by Maryland's neighbor, Northampton County on Virginia's eastern shore. Northampton stopped sending delegates and paying taxes to the Virginia House of Burgesses. The Dutch trade, not royalism or Catholicism, was the issue there.[727] It was probably the main issue in the Maryland confrontation as well.[728]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 172]

            The Catholics' independence from Bennett and the London merchants does not mean they were Royalists. Massachusetts, for example, allowed no interference with the Dutch trade in its harbors, but this was not because it supported the crown.[729] The Massachusetts legislature as early as November 4, 1646, declared it owed to Parliament the same allegiance as the free Hanse Towns rended to the Empire, that is, no allegiance. The Massachusetts legislature made death the penalty for any who asserted the supremacy of the English Parliament.[730]

            Parliament itself recognized that the Maryland Catholics' independence from the Virginia and London merchants was not royalist in motivation. Parliament refused to confirm the 1652 overthrow and re-confirmed the proprietor's charter in 1656.[731] Stephen Crow discusses Cromwell's dissatisfaction with Virginia's interference with Maryland's independence:

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 173]

What brought this all to a halt was Cromwell's apparent dissatisfaction with the Virginians' meddling with Maryland. Cromwell had no reason to trust Virginians, even if one of the colony's agents was Parliament's commissioner.[732]

From the outset of the Anglo-Dutch War, Cromwell and the independent gentry and laboring people in England had been opposed to the war as well as to the aggression against the Irish. As Charles Korr puts it, the war was a "contradiction" to their interests and came about from the scheming of the London merchant faction in Parliament.[733]

            It has been seen that Catholic political beliefs grew out of and served their needs concerning self-government, the judiciary, and trade policy. They did not generally let themselves be subordinated by the crown, the Parliament, the proprietor, the Virginians, or the London merchants. In discussing the Catholics' beliefs about labor and laboring people in the last chapter, it was found useful to contrast their thinking with that of the typical Catholic gentry. This helps to show what the Catholics did not find of use and what was distinctive in their beliefs. The fourth and final part of the chapter will make a similar contrast concerning political belief. The typical Catholic gentry had a belief system to justify their loyalty to the crown. The argument here, as it was concerning the value of labor, is that to reach an alternative to the gentry's belief required equally strong beliefs. The contrasts point up the uniqueness and the antinomian character of Maryland Catholic thinking. Their political beliefs were not generally derivative from or respectful of the gentry thinking.

            In justifying their low regard for labor, one of the beliefs that guided the nobility was based on ideas about race and nature. The same type of lineage belief was used to justify loyalty to the crown. The king was pictured as being part of a divine race. He was addressed as "your sacred majesty."[734] His blood was believed to cure the sick.[735] His court was viewed as a "type" of the court around God's heavenly throne.[736] The Catholic Walter Montagu suggested that contemplation of the English court was a good way to learn about heaven:

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 174]

From the riches of court men may make optic glasses through which they do the easier take the high celestial glories; and surely the sight of our minds is much helped by such material interests, in the speculation of spiritualities.[737]

Those who held that monarchy derived from purely historical causes or otherwise criticized it were denounced as blasphemous.[738] As God's representative on earth, obedient support for him during the war was a religious duty. A Catholic gentleman remarked at the time, "My duty to God cannot be complied with, without an exact performance of my duty to my sovereign. This doctrine was instilled into my youth by catechism and confirmed to my riper years by sermons and conferences."[739] Another of the Catholic gentry, Thomas Brudenell, wrote about 1640:

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 175]

Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, for who resists power resists God, and ex consequentia who rebels against kings doth so against God and purchases damnation.[740]

            Both Walter Montagu and the Catholic William Davenant wrote dramatic works based in neo-Platonic philosophy to teach the sacred nature of monarchy. According to Kevin Sharpe, Montagu's the Shepherd's Paradise (1632) set the pattern for courtly drama in the 1630s.[741] It taught that "In the body politic, the constitution of Platonic love was that of the absolute rule of the king, as the soul of the commonwealth, over creatures inhabiting a world of sense and illusion."[742] Queen Henrietta Maria and other members of the court performed the Shepherd's Paradise on January 10, 1633. The production took eight hours. It had royalist lines such as "the true nature of monarchy lies in the marriage of will and law in the polity and in the person of the king. To separate these is to abuse the nature of man and monarchy."[743] It was treason to divide the king's will from the law, that is, the king's will, not Parliament, made the law.

            In their ideas about lineage the nobility believed they were all part of a single family with the king. Earls when in the presence of the king kept their coronets on their heads "as cousins to the king."[744] They did not appreciate mixing their blood in non-noble marriages, and the off-spring of such unions they sometimes called mongrels.[745] Catholic nobility like Thomas Brudenell stated his reason for being a Royalist, "Let's keep the Crown glorious and entire, the more one's safety and renown."[746] Such traditional racial beliefs among Catholic gentry help account for why 200 of the 500 royal officers killed during the war were Catholic.[747] The Catholic nobility supported the war because they had been doing such, or thought they had been doing such, since the Norman invasion.

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 176]

            Part of the political thinking of the gentry was that one had to have noble blood in order to govern. As Davenant in his poem "Gondibert" (1651) commented, "the most necessary men are those who become principal by prerogative of blood."[748] For Catholic Royalists like George Calvert, the proprietor's father, the necessity of having noble blood in order to rule meant Parliament had no legitimacy in legislating on state and church affairs: "Antiquity shows that by inheritance the realm succeeds in one line and family. Dominion is centered in the same race and blood. Kings and kingdoms were before Parliaments. The Parliament was never called for the purpose to meddle with complaints against the king, or church or state matters."[749] At another point Calvert baited Parliament for being a friend of democracy:

They bark against kings and councils, and spit upon the crown like friends of democracies, of confusion and irregularity. They seek to suppress episcopal jurisdiction, and cashiere so many places of baronies in the upper house, and yet these men pretend to be friends and patrons of Parliaments and order. . . Where a prince is sovereign, no subject can be partaker of his sovereignty, which is a quality not communicable, for it resideth in a body politique, and if it be divided (without the prince's consent), it looses the sovereignty.[750]

            The proprietor shared his father's belief that ruler and ruled should be determined by birth. Just as Calvert senior baited Parliament for being a friend of democracy, Calvert junior baited the Maryland assembly in 1649 as atheistic and enslaving for asserting the rights of the laboring people:

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 177]

By woeful experience it has been found in divers nations that no one thing has so certainly betrayed the people into true slavery indeed, as the deceitful suggestions of subtle machiavellians pretending religion, and an extraordinary care of the people's liberty. Such religion possesses them with fears and jealousies of slavery, thereby to alienate their affections from the present government. The common way to atheism is by a pretended reformation in matters of religion, so the direct road to bondage is usually found in specious pretenses of preservation of liberty.[751]

The proprietor's dislike of representative institutions included, as Thomas Hughes, S.J. puts it, a "contempt" for the planters.[752] Like the crown which during the 1630s displaced the rule of Parliament and the proprietor's friend, Thomas Wentworth, who allowed no right of legislative initiative to the Irish Parliament, Calvert wanted to limit the Maryland assembly.[753]

            Gentry catechisms had a bias for monarchism. This form of government, according to Thomas Aquinas, "best assured stability of power, wealth, honor and fame" for landlords.[754] Those saints who were the objects of gentry devotion included no less than twenty canonized kings.[755] It might be contended that the gentry were for monarchy because they knew of no other choice. This ignores, first, that since the Conquest there had been a continuous and often successful English Catholic tradition of resistance to the "Norman yoke," especially in the north and west of England.[756] Second, the history of the anti-monarchical communes in Spain, Germany, and Italy, of the republics in Italy and Holland, not to mention the ancient Greek and Roman examples, were also available for consideration.[757] Humanists like Thomas More and Erasmus popularized the idea that republicanism was preferable to monarchy.[758] The Catholic architect Inigo Jones during the 1630s helped renew the late republican Roman tradition in architecture, not in politics.[759]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 178]

            The corollary to the nobility's belief that lineage and nature made them natural rulers was that laboring people by birth were meant to be obedient. One sees this doctrine repeated in a wide selection of gentry-written Catholic pamphlets, including the gentry-subsidized Douay translation of the bible. This bible was the exclusive English language version for the seventeenth-century Catholics who chose not to use the Protestant translations. It emphasized the political virtue of obedience to the crown in its marginal notes. This was despite the pope's wishes that Protestant kings be overthrown. For example, the note for 1 Kings 8 taught:

In case kings or other princes commit excesses and oppress their subjects, yet are they not by and by to be deposed by the people nor commonwealth, but must be tolerated with patience, peace and meekness.[760]

The marginal note for Macabees 4:1 stated, "In the case of tyranny, the best remedy is by authority of superior power, not by the people, who are more prone to faction than justice."[761]

            Among the Catholic writers who developed the theme that obedience was the way to curb pride and rebellion were Walter Montagu in Miscellanea Spiritualia, or Devout Essays and Tobie Matthew in his translation of Practice of Perfection and Christian Virtue.[762] John Abbot in Jesus Praefigured, which he dedicated to Charles I, called rebellion a crime.[763] William Davenant believed the people were weak in mind, creatures of the senses and in "Gondibert" (1651) called for Charles II to put them down because they were "in a condition of beasts whose appetite is liberty and their liberty a license of lust."[764] God's people in the gentry's view had four marks:

The first is a profound humility. The second a great love of virginity. The third, a great obedience to superiors, recommended by St. Paul to the Romans: Let every soul be subject to superior powers. The fourth a sweetness and an admirable patience in persecutions.[765]

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 179]

Neo-Platonic love, which the court often held up as the greatest virtue was equated with peace and obedience.[766] Davenant equated obedience to the crown with liberty.[767]

            The Maryland Catholics' political beliefs, as manifested in their legislative, judicial, and trade policies, were not derivative but often in opposition to those of the ideal type gentry. They found nothing especially sacred about the crown or the gentry. Political virtue for the Catholics was not in obedience but in making government serve their needs.

            To sum up, the first part of this chapter looked at Catholic beliefs concerning the rights of the assembly, the judiciary, and taxation. The ideal type Catholics followed a policy that was independent of the proprietor. This makes suspect the attribution of Royalism to Maryland Catholics based on the proprietor's Royalism. The second part of the chapter discussed several situations in which the Catholics had an opportunity to take a stand directly on the crown's war efforts. In both cases, they chose to act independently of Charles I's wishes. In January 1644 and again in late 1644 and in the early 1645 overthrow, they chose not to stop trade with the London merchants. As pointed out in the third part of the chapter, later accounts have sometimes been confused by the charges of Royalism made against the Catholics by prominent contemporaries like Richard Ingle and Richard Bennett. It was argued that such charges cannot be accepted at face value and the episodes in which Ingle and Bennett were involved actually provide further evidence of Catholic political independence. The fourth part of the chapter contrasted the beliefs of the ideal type Maryland Catholics with those of the English Catholic gentry. The gentry's beliefs were not found to be useful by the Maryland Catholics.

[CHAPTER THREE, 1996 ed., p. 180]

            Derek Hirst notes in his study of Parliament that large sections of the ordinary English people were making political decisions not just because they had been pressured by superiors, bribed, or made drunk. The gentry and the town corporations were not the sole force in politics "even before the polarization and propaganda campaign of 1641-1642 took place."[768] The working people had their own interests and principles, and were not totally ignorant of their own capacity for action. What was true in England seems also to have been the case in Maryland. The Catholics upheld their interests and principles, in spite of the proprietor and even of the crown.


Map 4: St. Mary's in the 1640s[769]


[CHAPTER FOUR, 1996 ed., p. 181]


Chapter 4

Beliefs about the Role of the Clergy

            This chapter is about the ecclesiology or beliefs of the Maryland Catholics concerning the role of the clergy. What is found is an initial conflict between the Catholics' beliefs and those of the clergy. The Catholic migrants believed the role of the clergy was to serve as pastors in their parish communities in the manner that they had experienced in Lancashire and Yorkshire. The clergy however, were inclined toward the Indian missions and the "manorhouse" type of ministry that dominated in southern and eastern England, not toward congregational parishes for laboring people.

            Examining the beliefs of Catholics about the role of the clergy gives an insight into the nature of their religion that is sometimes difficult to detect. Timothy Tackett remarks on the problem which historians have in such studies. His comments concerning eighteenth-century France apply equally to Maryland:

The great majority of historians, whether clerical, anticlerical, or something in between, have tended to concur with the Lefebvre position. Though the countrypeople are usually deemed fully capable of independent political judgment and action where their economic interests are at stake, they have been curiously transformed into non-entities or automatons in the religious crisis of 1791, reacting reflexively to the pressure of events and the decisions of their clergy. To be sure, the vast majority of the laity could never have understood the fine theological subtleties debated by ecclesiastics in the battle of the oath. But the people had their own logic in such matters, their own theology of sorts.[770]

[CHAPTER FOUR, 1996 ed., p. 182]

            The conflict in Maryland between the "theology" of the Catholics, to use Tackett's term, and that of the clergy was often resolved in favor of the Catholics, in part because they controlled the Maryland assembly and used its legislation to implement their beliefs. The order of presentation in the chapter will first be a description of the parishes which were developed. Second will be outlined the obstacles which the Roman establishment and the clergy's beliefs about their role initially posed for the parishes. Third will be considered the legislation which they enacted to regulate the role of the clergy. Finally, there will be mention of six measures that benefited congregational development.

            The first part of this chapter describes the three parishes or congregations that were developed in Maryland by 1640. Within these parishes ministered the clergy, of which 12 were present in Maryland from periods of six months to fifteen years during the Civil War era. There were about 400 European parishioners, as mentioned earlier. If parish registers of births, marriages, and burials were kept, they have not been preserved. However, from references in other records, it is known that the clergy officiated at baptisms, marriages, and burials.[771] They also celebrated mass on Sundays and gave catechetical lectures.[772] On holy days they gave sermons.[773] They helped in the festivities which included parades or processions and fireworks. Among the first activities when the Catholics landed in Maryland on March 25, 1634 was a procession. The clergy made a cross "and taking it on our shoulders, we carried it to the place appointed for it. The Governor and commissioners putting their hands first unto it, then the rest of our chief adventurers."[774] The traditional eight feast-day agrarian cycle seems to have been followed in Maryland. A feast day came about every six weeks: Christmas, the first Sunday in Lent, Easter, Whitsun, Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29), the Assumption (August 15), Michaelmas (September 29), and All Saints (November 1). These symbolic rituals relating to the harvest year, if England is any example, glorified productivity, fertility, and husbandry.

[CHAPTER FOUR, 1996 ed., p. 183]

            Probably some of the other Catholic customs described earlier were also brought over: Whitsun ales (the seventh Sunday after Easter), may-poles, Morris dancing, pageants, village pipers, plays and drama, dancing around a bonfire and singing, as on the feast of St. John, ringing bells, shooting off guns, lighting candles, raising cheers, drinking and banqueting, and patron saints such as St. Anne, who brought fertility and protected pregnant mothers, especially in childbirth.[775] An example of such festivities was the feast of Ignatius Loyola on July 31. Loyola was the founder of the Jesuit order which ministered in Maryland. The following describes the nocturnal part of the festival at St. Mary's in 1646:

"Mindful" runs the record, "of the solemn custom, the anniversary of the holy father being ended, they wanted the night also consecrated to the honor of the same by continued discharge of artillery." Accordingly they kept up the cannonade throughout the whole night.[776]

[CHAPTER FOUR, 1996 ed., p. 184]

            Most Catholics thought well of the clergy, as they customarily left substantial bequests to them in their wills.[777] They also gave the clergy various privileges which the clergy requested, such as exempting them from having to attend the assembly or serve on juries.[778] Even a considerable number of Protestants found the Catholic communities and the clergy attractive enough that they joined them. One of the clergy remarked in a report to England, "For among the Protestants nearly all who came from England in 1638 and many others have converted to the faith."[779] After looking at their work, Michael Graham, S.J., concludes in his study, "The Roman Catholic clergy shouldered the difficulties of missionary life with such love and deep devotion that their witness can still, centuries later, amaze and challenge us."[780]

            The church Catholics in England wanted the clergy to be supported by voluntary contributions. This was a reform which laboring Catholics had been seeking since the time of the Lollards. The English levelers voiced the same desire in the 1650s. It was not generally because they were anticlerical. Rather, voluntary support gave them more of a voice in obtaining clergy who had a sympathy for their needs and preventing absentee pastors and other abuses. In Maryland the Catholics refused to establish their clergy by enacting tithe or glebe legislation, although this was debated.[781] Instead the clergy were supported in part by the voluntary taxes and services of the Catholic families, including direct labor, such as helping to build their cemeteries and chapels.[782] The Catholics probably established a regular if informal set of fees for burials, marriages, and baptisms, as was the case in other Catholic nations.[783] Some of the Maryland clergy's expenses were covered by income from their plantation and alms from Catholics in England. In one letter during the 1650s, the clergy reported that the ship carrying their annual donations from Europe was lost and they were experiencing hardship.[784] As mentioned earlier, in the Civil War era the clergy probably lost money on their plantation, so that they had to depend for part of their income on the Catholics.

[CHAPTER FOUR, 1996 ed., p. 185]

            The relatively large capital, amounting to perhaps £1,000, which the clergy used to initially establish their plantation and bring over indentured servants came from several Catholic magnates in England. William Petre gave the Jesuits £8,000 in land in 1632. From the tenants on this land they earned £500 per year, part of which probably ended up in Maryland.