The Battle of Severn, The last Battle of the English Civil War!

When one thinks upon Maryland and religion the first thought you might have is that it is a Catholic state. But Maryland had a much more complicated history then that!

Leonard_Calvert_by_Florence_MacKubin

Following the death of Leonard Calvert the first royal governor of Maryland in 1647, Lord Baltimore appointed William Stone to be governor. William Stone was the Protestant Governor of the colony of Maryland. His appointment was carefully made and Stone was forced to signed the Religious Toleration Act, which permitted liberty to all Christian denominations.

William_stone_cropped

William Stone came to America in 1628 with a group of Puritans who settled in the lower Eastern shore which is apart of Virginia. Their settlement thrived, but eventually came into conflict with Virginia’s established Episcopal Church.

Additionally during this time a puritan by the name of William Claiborne sailed for Kent Island in the fifth month of the year 1631 with indentured servants recruited in London and money for trading post he wished to establish. He was able to gain the support of the Virginia Council for his project. Claiborne’s Kent Island settlers established a small plantation on the island and appointed a clergyman.

William Claiborne

After the conflict of the Puritans on the lower Eastern Shore with Virginia’s Established Church the Puritans at the invitation of Governor Stone to settle in the Province of Maryland and start a settlement named “Providence” which was first founded on the north shore of the Severn River in 1649.

Stone reached an agreement with Cecilius Calvert in 1648, the 2nd Lord Baltimore to resettle the group in central Maryland.

A little later the settlers moved to a better-protected harbor on the south shore. The settlement on the south shore was initially named ‘Town of Proctor’s’, then ‘Town at Severn’ and later ‘Anne Adrundel’s Towne’.

Today, the City that is at the location of Providence and the Town at Severn is known as Annapolis and the district of Eastport. Annapolis today is known as the state capitol of Maryland but it was not so in 1649. The colony capitol was at that time located in St. Mary’s City in Southern Maryland.

In 1651 a set of rumors were circulating indicating that Lord Baltimore would lose his charter. Parliament had appointed two Commissioners, one of whom was none other than Puritan William Claiborne, to force Maryland to submit to Parliamentary authority since Thomas Greene, deputy to Stone and a Catholic, declared in the eleventh month, 1649 that Charles II was the “undoubted rightfull heire to all his father’s dominions”. All acts taken by the Maryland Assembly would further require an oath of fidelity to Baltimore as “Lord Proprietor”. In the first month, 1654, the Puritans who had settled at Stone’s invitation in Providence communicated to the commissioners that they objected to the oath of fidelity to Baltimore as a Catholic.

In the seventh month of 1654, Stone resigned as Governor under duress. The Puritan Commissioners became governors of the colony, and the first general assembly under their authority was held in the Tenth month, 1654.

Papist and any other individuals who had borne arms against the Parliament could not be members (effectively limiting the membership to Puritans), and among the 44 Acts passed by this group was a repeal of the Toleration Act, and another that forbade Papist from practicing their antichrist heresy.

In the First month of 1655 A Captain Roger Heaman’s who commanded the merchant ship, ‘The Golden Lyon’ arrived in Maryland. William Stone was no longer Governor of Maryland. Another ship called, ‘The Golden Fortune’ also arrived in the colony with a letter from Oliver Cromwell who was Lord Protector addressed the letter to Captain Stone, Governor of Maryland. Stone used this recognition to challenged the authority of the commissioners, seizing back the records of the colony and mustered as many troops as he could to deal with the Puritans settlers.

William Stone sailed North with a small fleet of Cavalier to attack Providence and the settlers.

Soon after Captain Heaman was informed of a plot to kill all the inhabitants of Providence as well as to burn his ship and hill his crew. The women and children of Providence to ‘The Golden Lyon’ and a war council was convened and William Fuller was appointed as the leader of the Puritan settlers of Providence.

On 24th day of the Third month, 1655, Captain Heamans fired on sloops and boats heading toward his ship, forcing their retreat. Heamans then ordered an armed sloop to bar their escape by blocking Spa Creek, the inlet of the Severn to which Stone’s forces had retreated.

In less than a half-hour, the battle was over. 17 of Stone’s forces were killed, including Thomas Hatton, secretary of the colony, and 32 wounded, including Stone. Only two of Fuller’s force were killed.

William Stone surrendered but only after he was promised mercy. Following hostilities, however, the war council issued death sentences for Stone and nine others. Four of the prisoners were executed, but the remainder were saved when the women of Providence begged that their lives be spared.

Thus ending the last battle of the English Civil War. The primarily Puritan assembly retained powers until the 27th day of the Fourth month, 1658, when proprietorship was restored to Lord Baltimore.

I personally live only 30 minutes from Kent Island and 45 minutes from Annapolis and it is totally devoid of the Reformed Faith. It is a dearth, a complete desert of no living water and no body remembers this Reformed and Puritan history. It is a lamentable shame. May the Reformed Faith flourish once again and the hearts of the people turned to Yahovah, the one and only true God.

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