of the province, except by the vote of their dep-
uties in a general assembly. ‘The strength of the proprietary’ was confidently reposed ‘in the affections of his people.’1
Well might the freemen of Maryland place upon their records a declaration of their gratitude, ‘as a memorial to all posterities,’ and a pledge that succeeding generations would faithfully ‘remember’ the care and industry of Lord Baltimore in advancing ‘the peace and happiness of the colony.’2
But the revolutions in England
could not but affect the destinies of the colonies; and while New England
vigorously advanced their liberties under the salutary neglect, Maryland
was involved in the miseries of a disputed government.
The people were ready to display every virtue of good citizens; but doubts were raised as to the authority to which obedience was due, and the government, which had been a government of benevolence, good order, and toleration, was, by the force of circumstances, soon abandoned to the misrule of bigotry and the anarchy of a disputed sovereignty.
When the throne and the peerage had been subverted in England
, it might be questioned whether the mimic monarchy of Lord Baltimore should be permitted to continue.
When hereditary power had ceased in the mother country, might it properly exist in the colony?
It seemed uncertain, if the proprietary could maintain his position; and the scrupulous Puritans hesitated to take an unqualified oath of fealty, with which they might be unable to comply.3
Englishmen were no longer lieges of a sovereign, but members of a commonwealth; and, but