North of the Potomac
, at the centre of America
were the proprietary governments of Maryland
and of Pennsylvania
, with Delaware
There the king had no officers but in the customs and the admiralty courts; his name was hardly known in the acts of government, and could not set bounds to popular influence.
During the last war, Maryland
enjoyed unbroken quiet, furnishing no levies of men for the army, and very small contributions of money.
Its legislature hardly looked beyond its own internal affairs; and its rapid increase in numbers proved its prosperity.
The youthful Frederic
, Lord Baltimore, sixth of that title, dissolute and riotous, fond of wine to madness, and of women to folly, as a prince zealous for prerogative, though negligent of business, was the sole landlord of the province.
To him seemed to belong the right of initiating all laws, though the popular branch of the legislature had assumed that power, leaving only to the proprietary a triple veto, by his council, by his deputy, and by himself.
He established courts and appointed all their officers; punished convicted offenders, or pardoned them; appointed at pleasure councillors, all officers of the colony, and all the considerable county officers; and possessed exclusively the unappropriated domain.
Reserving choice lands for his own manors, he had the whole people for his tenants on quitrents, which, in 1754, exceeded twenty-five thousand dollars a year, and were rapidly increasing.
On every new grant from the wild domain he received caution money; his were all escheats, wardships, and fruits of the feudal tenures.
Fines of alienation, though abolished in England
, were paid for his benefit on every transfer,