clear space clear space clear space white space
 r c h i v e s   o f   M a r y l a n d   O n l i n e
  Maryland State Archives | Index | Help | Search search for:
clear space
white space

Volume 662, Page 1   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  
clear space clear space clear space white space



LET us BEGIN by asking two pertinent questions: What were
offices of profit ? And why should we examine those in Maryland ?

The term itself, once commonly used, meant any office which,
for what it paid, was worth a gentleman's acceptance. Such a
place might, and probably would, confer influence and position;
but if these were its chief attractions, it was not a place of profit
but merely one of honor.

To those interested in all the colonies this treatise may be of
value in so far as, mutatis mutandis, what happened in one would
happen in the others. However, in Maryland there were odd
complications, because the province was proprietary for a while,
then royal, and then again proprietary.

Anyone interested in this particular colony must indeed know
something of these offices else he can have no real acquaintance
with the time and place. For we may turn to almost any aspect
of her early history and encounter problems arising from the
patronage. More of this in a moment.

Meanwhile let us note that, distinct from the places of profit,
there were, in Maryland as elsewhere, many posts supported
merely by a per diem allowance for time in public service. These
were the military offices and a number of civil places: seats in the
Lower House of Assembly, on the Council of State, and in the
county and provincial courts. 1 Military rank was prized for the
dashing titles it conferred, but the civil offices were little sought
and were at times actually difficult to fill. 2

Thus Governor Sharpe found that candidates for the Lower
House were too often " the lowest Persons at least men of small

1 On the history and character of these offices see N. D. Mereness, Maryland as
a Proprietary Province
(New York, 1901), 194-338.

2 In May, 1715, the Upper House proposed to include in a militia act a clause
fining anyone who should refuse a military commission. The delegates, however,
thought this unnecessary, "few persons being to be found or instanced that
refused the same at any Times heretofore.... " {Archives of Maryland [Baltimore:
Maryland Historical Society, 1883- ], hereafter cited as Archives, XXX, 176,


clear space
clear space
white space

Please view image to verify text. To report an error, please contact us.

Volume 662, Page 1   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.

Tell Us What You Think About the Maryland State Archives Website!

[ Archives' Home Page  ||  All About Maryland  ||  Maryland Manual On-Line  ||  Reference & Research
||  Search the Archives   ||  Education & Outreach  ||  Archives of Maryland Online ]

Governor     General Assembly    Judiciary     Maryland.Gov

An Archives of Maryland electronic publication.
For information contact

©Copyright  October 31, 2014
Maryland State Archives