Archives of Maryland
Historical List
Secretaries, 1637-1776

Source: Edward C. Papenfuse, et al., Archives of Maryland, Historical List,
new series, Vol. 1. Annapolis, MD: Maryland State Archives, 1990.

The Secretary in Maryland functioned primarily as clerk for the Governor and Council. He recorded their
proceedings, which included land grants and official appointments, and maintained essential papers. The secretary
also collected proprietary revenue and issued marriage licenses. After 1644 he had custody of the lesser seal of
the province. The secretary held several other titles in the seventeenth century, including surveyor general,
attorney general, commissary general, naval officer, and rent roll keeper. Colonial growth resulted in these becoming
separate offices by 1689. After royal government was established in Maryland in 1692, the secretary, like other royal
officers, had no proprietary duties, but over the objections of the lord proprietor's agent and receiver general,
took possession of the patent records and assumed the Land Office duties of the former proprietary secretary.
Beginning in 1706 the secretariat was divided between a principal secretary in England and a deputy secretary in
Maryland. The deputy did the work and received the fees generated by the office, paying a fixed sum to the principal
secretary as a sinecure.
 
 

Secretaries, 1637-1776

Principal Secretaries, in Maryland
1637-1648  John Lewger St. Mary's City
1648-1654  Thomas Hatton St. Mary's County
1654-1656  William Durand Anne Arundel County
1656-1660  Philip Calvert St. Mary's City
1660-1661  Col. Henry Coursey Kent County
1661-1665  Col. Henry Sewall St. Mary's County
1665  Charles Calvert St. Mary's City
1666-1667  Richard Boughton Charles County
1667-1669  Charles Calvert St. Mary's City
1669-1670  Col. William Calvert St. Mary's City
1670-1673  William Talbot St. Mary's City & Cartown, County Kildare, Ireland
1673  Charles Calvert St. Mary's City
1673/74-1682  Col. William Calvert St. Mary's City
1682/83-1684  Maj. Nicholas Sewall St. Mary's County
1682/83-1684  John Darnall Anne Arundel County
1684-1685  Maj. Nicholas Sewall St. Mary's County
1685-1689  Maj. Nicholas Sewall St. Mary's County
1685-1689  Col. William Digges St. Mary's County
1692-1693  Sir Thomas Lawrence Chelsea, Middlesex, England
1694-1698  Sir Thomas Lawrence Chelsea, Middlesex, England
1698/99-1701  Thomas Lawrence, Jr.  Annapolis
1701  Col. William Bladen Annapolis
1701-1705/06  Sir Thomas Lawrence Chelsea, Middlesex, England 
 
Principal Secretaries, in England
1705/06-1714  Sir Thomas Lawrence Chelsea, Middlesex
1714-1715  Thomas Beake London
1715-1729/30  Thomas Beake London
1715-1729  Charles Lowe Denby, Derbyshire
1729/30-1732/33  Thomas Beake London
1729/30-1732/33  Cecilius Calvert London
1732/33-1740/41  William Janssen London
1740/41-1751  John Browning Epsom, Surrey
1751-1765  Cecilius Calvert London
1765-1776  Hugh Hamersley London & Oxford
 
Deputy Secretaries, in Maryland
1671-1673  Robert Ridgely St. Mary's City
1694-1696  Col. Thomas Brooke, II Prince George's County
1705/06-1731/32  Col. Philemon Lloyd, II Talbot County
1733-1753  Edmund Jennings Annapolis
1754-1755  Col. George Plater, II St. Mary's County
1755  Dr. George Steuart Annapolis
1756-1760  Col. Benjamin Tasker. Annapolis
1760-1761  John Ridout Annapolis
1761-1776  Daniel Dulany, Jr. Annapolis


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