Cecil Calvert succeeded to the title of Lord Baltimore upon the death of his father, George, and was the one to whom the Charter of Maryland was actually granted by King Charles I in 1632. Like his father, he never travelled to Maryland. He was an active promoter of religious tolerance and is credited with settling the colony of Maryland. It was he who fitted out the Ark and the Dove, attracting adventurers to come to the new colony and enlisting his brother Leonard as governor.
This portrait, which is signed by Gerard Soest, court painter to King Charles II, shows Cecil Calvert holding in his right hand the map of Maryland which he published in 1635 to promote his colonization plans. The boy, his namesake grandson, Cecil, the son of Charles Calvert, Third Lord Baltimore, was born in Maryland and was the heir apparent to the title. He travelled to England with his family in 1669-70 when this portrait was painted but he died in 1681, having never gained the title.
An enslaved African-American attendant is included to show the Calvert’s wealth; thirteen African slaves were among the initial settlers who arrived in 1634 aboard the Ark and the Dove. Though his identity is unknown, his clothing indicates his high rank as a household servant..