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[249] are no longer extant; but we know, that the neces-
Chap VII.}
sity of vindicating the jurisdiction of the province against the claims of Clayborne was deemed a subject worthy of the general deliberation and of a decisive act.1 For he had been roused, by confidence in his power, to resolve on maintaining his possessions by force of arms. The earliest annals of Maryland are defaced by the accounts of a bloody skirmish on one of the rivers near the Isle of Kent. Several lives were lost in the affray; but Clayborne's men were defeated. Lord Baltimore afterwards accused them of ‘piracy and murder,’ and, in 1638, Leonard Calvert, taking forcible possession of Kent Island, executed one or two persons on the charge, though at the time Clayborne was in England, prosecuting his claims before the king.2

When a colonial assembly was next convened, it

1638. Jan.
passed an act of attainder against Clayborne; as if he had not only derided the powers of the proprietary, but had scattered jealousies among the Indians, and infused a spirit of disobedience into the inhabitants of Kent Island. Now that he was away, his estates were seized, and were declared forfeited to the laws, which he had contemned as invalid.3 In England, Clayborne attempted to gain a hearing for his wrongs; and, partly by strong representations, still more by the influence of Sir William Alexander, succeeded, for a season, in procuring the favorable disposition of Charles. But when the whole affair came to be referred to the commissioners for the plantations, it was found, that, on
1639 April.
received principles, the right of the king to confer the soil and the jurisdiction of Maryland could not be

1 Chalmers, 210 and 232. Bacon, in his Laws at Large, makes no mention of this assembly.

2 Bozman, 280—282. Burk, II. 40, 41. Chalmers, 209, 210, 232. McMahon, 12. S. F. Streeter's Ms. notes.

3 Chalmers, 210.

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