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A Declaration of The Lord Baltemore's Plantation in Mary-land
Volume 550, Page 9   View pdf image (33K)
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world exploration and expansion of English trade and
empire. At Calvert's birth Sir Francis Drake had just
circumnavigated the globe. As Calvert advanced
through government service, the East India Company
was experiencing years of extraordinary profits from its
trading voyages to the Orient, and the Virginia Com-
pany was painfully establishing its colony at Jamestown
in Virginia. The English government was promoting
English settlement in Ireland and several groups were
planning colonies in Newfoundland in hopes of con-
trolling the lucrative fisheries. Other groups were pro-
posing various settlements in New England. Calvert,
based in London, where the headquarters of all the ma-
jor companies were located, was exposed to all the pro-
motion. His work with Sir Robert Cecil and as secretary
of state brought him into close contact with the prob-
lems and prospects of colonization. He must have been
keenly attuned to the opportunities that exploration and
settlement offered both for individual profit and for
England's destiny, and his career in office provided him
with the means to participate.2

   As George Calvert's income and influence peaked
with his appointment as secretary of state, he became
active in the organization of colonization projects in
Ireland, New England, and especially Newfoundland.
In 1620 he purchased part of an earlier Newfoundland
grant and in 1621 he established a small settlement at
Ferryland on the Avalon peninsula. He hoped to profit
from the fishermen, who needed provisions, salt, and a
place to clean and repair their boats. His agents re-
turned glowing reports of the climate and the produc-
tivity of the soil, and Calvert concluded that the venture
had a profitable future. In 1623 he obtained a charter
for the colony from King James I.3

                      [ix]


 

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A Declaration of The Lord Baltemore's Plantation in Mary-land
Volume 550, Page 9   View pdf image (33K)
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