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[259] for the claims of Baltimore, Maryland would equally
Chap VII.}
enjoy the benefits of republican liberty. Great as was the temptation to assert independence, it would not have prevailed, could the peace of the province have been maintained. But who, it might well be asked, was the sovereign of Maryland? Her ‘beauty and extraordinary goodness’ had been to her a fatal dowry; and Maryland was claimed by four separate aspirants. Virginia1 was ever ready to revive its rights to jurisdiction beyond the Potomac, and Clayborne had already excited attention by his persevering opposition;2 Charles II., incensed against Lord Baltimore for his adhesion to the rebels and his toleration of schismatics, had issued a commission to Sir William Davenant;3 Stone was the active deputy of Lord Baltimore; and parliament had already appointed its commissioners.

In the ordinance4 for the reduction of the rebellious

colonies, Maryland had not been included; if Charles II. had been inconsiderately proclaimed by a temporary officer, the offence had been expiated;5 and, as assurances had been given of the fidelity of Stone to the commonwealth, no measures against his authority were designed.6 Yet the commissioners were in-
1651 Sept.
structed to reduce “all the plantations within the Bay of the Chesapeake;7” and it must be allowed, that Clayborne might find in the ambiguous phrase, intend-
ed perhaps, to include only the settlements of Virginia, a sufficient warrant to stretch his authority to Maryland. The commissioners accordingly entered the province; and, after much altercation with Stone, depriving

1 Hazard, i. 620—630. McMahon, 207, 208.

2 Bacon, 1650, c. XVII.

3 Langford, 3, 4.

4 Hazard, i. 636.

5 McMahon, 203.

6 Langford, 6 and 7.

7 Thurloe, i. 198. Hazard, i. 557. Hammond, 20, 21.

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