, and the issue of arms was only averted by the retreat of the Federal
government, by concession and by compromise.
The king of England
at the beginning of the seventeenth century claimed the proprietorship of the North American
continent, which claim was disputed by the Spaniard in the South
and the French
in the North
was hemmed and bounded by New Spain, New France, and the ambition and the courage and enterprise of England
were roused to the conquest of the new world.
The spirit that had shattered the Grand Armada
and won for commerce the freedom of the seas, was directed to new countries and new States to be founded in North America
, where the institutions, the habits, the sentiment and the society of their ancestors were to be transplanted, cultivated and developed, as they had been a thousand years before from the forests of Germany
to the shores of Britain.
The leading nobility and gentry, sailors, soldiers, and merchants of England
were aroused to this great enterprise.
They formed the Virginia
company and received a grant from the king of that part of North America
unoccupied by French or Spaniards.
The enterprise of settlement, transportation and support of colonies proved too much for the company, and its grant was taken away with its charter, and the crown resumed its rights.
Then grants were made to individual proprietors.
Noblemen and gentlemen about the court secured these great favors, which they hoped would be the foundation of fortune to their posterity, just as the grants of the Norman conqueror had founded great houses and families which had controlled England
for six centuries. Among them was Sir George Calvert
, a Yorkshire knight of moderate fortune, but of an old family, whose ancestors had filled important offices in the Low Countries
under the kings of Spain
, and high positions at the court of France.
He, in association with Sir Francis Arundel
of Wardvin (whose daughter, Lady Anne Arundel
, his son Coecilius married,