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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1757-1758
Volume 55, Preface 42   View pdf image (33K)
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xlii Introduction.

child to it " (p. 80). One may suspect that the Catholic school mistress kept
a better school than her Protestant rival. Samuel Webb deposed that Patrick
Cavannagh, a Roman Catholic servant, whose term of service with Webb had
expired some two years before, had afterwards taught school in York County,
Pennsylvania, and that during the past winter he had settled at the head of
Deer Creek in Maryland where he now had a school with about twenty scholars
(p. 80). On May 2, Charles Carroll, the Barrister, from the Committee on
Grievances brought before the Lower House an address to be sent to the Gov-
ernor, stating that Roman Catholics were conducting schools in Baltimore
County, and it was believed in other counties, and requested him to apply at
once " the Statutes of our Mother Country in Force in this Province " in order
to put a stop to this evil " so productive of great Mischief to the good People
of this Province" (pp. 83, 84, 86-87). It is worth noting that Dr. Charles
Carroll, the father of Barrister Carrol, was a convert from Catholicism to
the Church of England, and that there is a Catholic breviary in the Maryland
Historical Society which belonged to the Barrister's sister, Mrs. Nicholas
Maccubbin.

At the September-December, 1757, session the Catholic question came up in
the Lower House in the debate on the Supply bill. When the double tax which
it was proposed to levy on Papists was under discussion the house decided by a
vote of 38 to 13 that the oath to be required of Catholics should be the more
lenient oath of abjuration and the test as prescribed in the Maryland act " for
the Better Security and Safety of his Lordship's Government and the Protes-
tant Interest ", and not the more stringent and offensive oath of supremacy re-
quired in England under the statute of I William and Mary (pp. 271-272).
This oath contained a declaration that no foreign prince or potentate should be
recognized as having any authority within the realm, and expressed abhorrence
of " that damnable doctrine " that princes excommunicated by the Pope of
Rome might be deposed or murdered by their subjects.

At the short February-March 1758 meeting or convention of the Assembly
the Catholic question had no opportunity to come up, but it did reappear at the
March-May session which immediately followed, in the discussion of the
Supply bill. This bill, prepared in the Lower House, added various new taxes
and in the case of Papists provided that all taxes were to be doubled. The
Upper House and the Governor, who had reluctantly acquiesced in a double
tax in the Supply Bill of 1756, now strenuously objected to this provision in
the new bill, not only as a matter of principle, but because the greatly increased
taxes which everyone would be required to pay under the proposed act would,
if doubled, prove an overwhelming injustice to Catholics. The Lower House
while showing a disposition to yield on the question of the double tax, seems
to have insisted upon the retention of the more stringent English oath, on
the grounds of public policy and the protection of the Protestant interest
(pp. 570-571). The Upper House in several messages which it exchanged
with the Lower House, took exception to this vindictive attitude towards the
Catholics. It pointed out that they had been induced to settle in the province
and had been offered an asylum here, that the Act of 1640 had granted


 

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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1757-1758
Volume 55, Preface 42   View pdf image (33K)
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