George Calvert Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1579 - 1631 *** Full Name: George Calvert *** Occupation: English Politician and Colonizer *** Date of Birth: George Calvert was born in 1579 *** Place of Birth: George Calvert was born in Kiplin, Richmondshire, England *** Family background: His father was Leonard Calvert and his mother was Alicia Crossland, his father being a country gentleman and his mother from a wealthy family, after his mother died when he was eight years old his father married his first wife’s cousin, Grace *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in the Catholic faith as did much of the inhabitants of the region but his father was forced to promise conformity and to attend the Church of England services as was law *** Education: George Calvert would have received an education befitting his station until he attended Trinity College, Cambridge studying foreign languages ***
George Calvert Fact 1: George Calvert was born 1579 and during the 16th century period in history when Portugal and Spain were exploring the oceans of the world and colonizing new lands.
George Calvert Fact 2: After leaving college he attended Lincoln’s Inn for the next three years.
George Calvert Fact 3: In 1604 he married a protestant woman, Anne Mynne and together they had thirteen children although it is likely not all survived infancy. Anne died in August of 1603.
George Calvert Fact 4: Their first son would be named after Sir Robert Cecil and was called Celsius. Calvert had met Cecil during a trip in Europe between 1601 and 1603. During this period he would become recognized for his specialty in foreign affairs.
George Calvert Fact 5: As an associate of Cecil’s, as Cecil rose within the Royal Court in the employ of King James VI, so did Calvert.
George Calvert Fact 6: By 1606 Calvert was made “clerk of the Crown” and “Assizes in Connaught” in County Clare, Ireland by the King and in the 1609 he was appointed as “clerk of the Signet office” which meant he was required to prepare any documents requiring the Royal signature.
George Calvert Fact 7: As a result of the support he received from Cecil, he would eventually be trusted so much by the King that his opinions were sought and he also would be called upon to undertake missions to the continent on behalf of the King himself.
George Calvert Fact 8: He gained a strong reputation as someone highly discreet.
George Calvert Fact 9: In 1612 Sir Robert Cecil died and Calvert was one of four executors to his will.
George Calvert Fact 10: During 1613 Calvert would be commissioned by the King to investigate Ireland’s Roman Catholic grievances. The conclusion of his report, which took four months to compile and complete concluded that the religious conformity in Ireland needed strictly enforcing.
George Calvert Fact 11: By 1619 Calvert had risen yet again to become one of two principal secretaries of state to the King and he was also knighted becoming Sir George Calvert.
George Calvert Fact 12: His position would again be secured by financial security being the recipient of one thousand pounds pension as well as a subsidy on raw silk imports that would later be converted to yet another one thousand pounds.
George Calvert Fact 13: In 1621 the King was endeavoring to win over Parliament by suggesting a match between Charles, Prince of Wales and a Spanish wife, but this was highly unpopular as those members feared an increased influenced for the Catholic faith especially as relaxation on the penal laws against the Catholics under Calvert’s influence.
George Calvert Fact 14: Calvert was also under personal strain, his wife Alicia died leaving him to raise his ten children, the oldest of which was only sixteen.
George Calvert Fact 15: In gratitude for his service Calvert was given a country estate in Ireland, Manor of Baltimore. He would also become independently wealthy enough to buy his Kiplin Hall estate, in his home parish.
George Calvert Fact 16: After the disastrous outcome of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Buckingham visit to Spain in order to secure details for a marriage ended in war, a marriage with the French court was sought instead.George Calvert Fact 17: At this point Calvert’s usefulness declined apart from trying to smooth the very ruffled feathers of the Spanish Ambassador. With the writing on wall and his favor in the current Royal circles began to increasingly decline, pleading illness to absent himself he began to make arrangements to sell his position at court and fully resigned his position as secretariat in February of 1625.
George Calvert Fact 18: Having managed to extricate himself without scandal or disgrace and with his loyalty to the King still firmly acknowledged, he was still a member of the Privy Council and awarded the appointment of Baron Baltimore in County Longford, Leinster in central Ireland. He did however, immediately convert to Roman Catholicism publicly, but he had actually always been Catholic, just never actually out rightly questioned about his conformity, so never had to admit openly that he had always been a Catholic.
George Calvert Fact 19: When King James I died and Charles became King he removed him from the Privy Council only, he was allowed to maintained his barony.
George Calvert Fact 20: In late 1629 he travelled back to England. Early the following year he arranged passage for his wife to return to him but her ship foundered and his wife was lost. Also that year, the plague touched his household but he survived and for which he gave God thanks “Blessed be God for it who hath preserved me now from shipwreck, hunger, scurvy and pestilence …”.
George Calvert Fact 21: Having secured land in the New Found Land, he did eventually travel to see what he had bought. After returning to England briefly in order to fetch his wife and children they removed back to Avalon to settle but after a couple of years, found the winter weather conditions too harsh to bear with much sickness and starvation. Eventually he sent his children home to England and with his wife travelled to Virginia, where because of his religious views was not welcomed.
George Calvert Fact 22: George Calvert died on April 15th 1632 in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London, England
Influence & Legacy of George Calvert: George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, was the founder of the colony of Maryland in America.