Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)


Benedict Leonard Calvert, 4th Lord Baltimore (1679-1715).

BORN: in 1679 in Maryland; oldest surviving son. NATIVE: second generation. RESIDED: in St. Mary's County; England after 1684.

FAMILY BACKGROUND. FATHER: Charles Calvert, 3rd Lord Baltimore (1637-1714/15). MOTHER: Jane Lowe Sewall (?-1700). BROTHERS: Cecilius Calvert (1667-1681); Charles Calvert (1680-1733). HALF BROTHER: Nicholas Sewall (ca. 1655-1737). SISTERS: Clare Calvert (1670-by 1694); Anne Calvert (1673-1713). HALF SISTERS: Jane Sewall; Elizabeth Sewall; Anne Sewall; and Mary Sewall.

MARRIED in 1698/99 Charlotte Lee (?-1721), daughter of Edward Henry Lee (1663-1716), earl of Lichfield, and wife Charlotte Fitzroy. Divorced in 1705, Charlotte subsequently married in 1719 Christopher Crewe.

CHILDREN. SONS: Charles Calvert, 5th Lord Baltimore (1699-1751); Benedict Leonard Calvert (1700-1732); Edward Henry Calvert (1701-1730), who married Margaret Lee; and Cecilius Calvert (1702-1765), principal secretary of Maryland, who served jointly with Thomas Beake from January 1729/30 to February 1732/33, and alone from 1751 until death. DAUGHTERS: Charlotte Calvert (1702-1744), who married Thomas Brerewood; Jane Calvert (1703-?), who married in 1720 John Hyde, of Kingston Isle, Berkshire, England; Barbara Calvert (1704-?); and Anne Calvert.

PRIVATE CAREER. EDUCATION: literate, probably had extensive schooling. RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Catholic, converted to Anglicanism in 1713. SOCIAL STATUS AND ACTIVITIES: close associate of Francis North, Lord Guilford, who as a member of the Board of Trade and a prominent Tory, aided in obtaining the restoration of the proprietary government and became guardian of Charles Calvert, 5th Lord Baltimore, in 1715. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: his mother-in-law, Charlotte Fitzroy, was the natural daughter of King Charles II. OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: lord proprietor of Maryland, 1714/15-1715.

PUBLIC CAREER. OUT OF COLONY SERVICE: M.P., (Tory), Harwich, Essex, England, 1714-1715. STANDS ON PUBLIC/PRIVATE ISSUES: his conversion to Protestantism was an important condition lkeading to the restoration of the colony to Calvert family as a proprietary colony.

WEALTH DURING LIFETIME. PERSONAL PROPERTY: given 600 a year by his father at the time of marriage, he was nevertheless often in financial straits. He was dependent on Queen Anne for support after his divorce, because his fathering of illegitimate children by his housekeeper and his religious conversion caused a break with his father. Ca]vert received an annual pension of 300 and an estimated 1,500 in arrears of customs duties from Maryland, 1713/14-1714/15. His father claimed to have paid a considerable amount of his son's debts and was paying for the education of his grandchildren.

WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED: on April 16, 1715, at Epsom, Surrey, England; size of estate unknown.

Source: Edward C. Papenfuse, et al., A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789. Vol. I, A-H. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979.


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