to be active, and when the increasing divisions among
Protestants were spreading a general alarm, his mind sought relief from controversy in the bosom of the Roman
Catholic church; and, preferring the avowal of his opinions to the emoluments of office, he resigned
his place, and openly professed his conversion.
King James was never bitter against the Catholics, who respected his pretensions as a monarch; Calvert
retained his place in the privy council, and was advanced to the dignity of an Irish peerage.
He had, from early life, shared in the general enthusiasm of England
in favor of American plantations; he had been a member of the great company for Virginia
; and, while secretary of state, he had obtained a special patent for the southern promontory of Newfoundland
How zealous he was in selecting suitable emigrants; how earnest to promote habits of domestic order and economical industry; how lavishly he expended his estate in advancing the interests of his settlement on the rugged shores of Avalon,1
—is related by those who have written of his life.
He desired, as a founder of a colony, not present profit, but a reasonable expectation; and, perceiving the evils of a common stock, he cherished enterprise by leaving each one to enjoy the results of his own industry.
But numerous difficulties prevented success in Newfoundland
: parliament had ever asserted the freedom of the fisheries,2
which his grants tended to impair; the soil and the climate proved less favorable than had been described in the glowing and deceptive pictures of his early agents; and the incessant danger of attacks from the French