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St. Mary's City in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Change in Government

 
 
A Change in Government Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 30, 2019
1. A Change in Government Marker
Inscription.  As an aftershock of the "Glorious Revolution" in England, a bloodless rebellion occurred in 1689 against Lord Baltimore in Maryland. It temporarily ended rule by the Calvert family. The Protestant King William and Queen Mary took over the colony and appointed Sir Lionel Copley as the first royal governor. He officially took control of Maryland on May 10, 1692 in the very space you are now standing.

Copley read his royal appointment to the Assembly in this room and then briefly spoke about his plans for the colony. Later, he met with his new council here. All the council members were prominent Protestants who had sided with the rebels in the uprising. This was one of the earliest successful revolutions of government in America.

Lord Baltimore Overthrown

Charles Calvert was governor of Maryland, and after 1676, the third Lord Baltimore. He moved back to England in 1684 and left others in charge of the colony. A series of missteps and simmering Protestant animosity led to revolution and his loss of the colony.

At the high point of the revolution, over 700 troops marched on St. Mary's City
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and surrounded Charles Calvert's supporters in the State House. Being outnumbered more than seven to one and with no hope of reinforcement, Calvert's forces surrendered without further violence, thus ending the reign of the Catholic Lords Baltimore.

[Caption:]
This tin-glazed earthenware plate depicts King William and Queen Mary. It was discovered at the Drummond site near Jamestown in Virginia.

Sir Lionel Copley

A native of Yorkshire, England, Copley was a military officer who sided with William and Mary in the Glorious Revolution. As a reward, he was made the first royal governor of Maryland. His brief tenure as governor was filled with disputes and partisanship. Copley died 18 months after his arrival in Maryland and is buried in a lead coffin in Trinity Church cemetery. Copley's most notable act was establishing the Church of England as Maryland's official religion.

[Caption:]
This monument and its plaques are located over the burial crypt of Sir Lionel and Anne Copley.

"An Act for the Service of Almighty God, and the Establishment of the Protestant Religion within this Province"
Assembly Proceedings 1692

One consequence of the 1689 revolution was the establishment of the Church of England as Maryland's official religion.
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The rights of Catholics and Quakers were gradually reduced by the new government. As a Catholic, Garrett Van Sweringen was deeply affected by this political change. But as a skilled survivor, he rolled with the punches and continued to "serve the countrey" for Protestant governors in the same way he had for the Catholic Lord Baltimore.
 
Erected by Historic St. Mary's City.
 
Location. 38° 11.114′ N, 76° 26.043′ W. Marker is in St. Mary's City, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker can be reached from Old State House Road west of Point Lookout Road (Maryland Route 5), on the left when traveling north. The marker is inside the open-air Council Chamber on the Van Sweringen site. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 47414 Old State House Road, Saint Marys City MD 20686, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Council Roome (here, next to this marker); The Illusion of Brick (here, next to this marker); A Private Lodging House (here, next to this marker); The Kitchen (here, next to this marker); The Servants (here, next to this marker); The Arrival of Governor Copley (a few steps from this marker); A Busy Kitchen (a few steps from this marker); The Cooling House (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Mary's City.
 
Categories. Churches & ReligionGovernment & PoliticsWars, Non-US
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on September 3, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on September 3, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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