Baron Baltimore

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"Lord Calvert" redirects here. For Lord Calvert whiskey, see Calvert Distillery.
Not to be confused with Lord Baltimore.
Barony of Baltimore
Arms of the Barons Baltimore
Creation date 1625
Created by James I of England
Peerage Peerage of Ireland
First holder George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore
Present holder Extinct
Remainder to the male heirs of the body lawfully begotten

Baron Baltimore, of Baltimore Manor in County Longford, was a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1624 for George Calvert and became extinct on the death of the sixth Baron in 1771. The title was held by several members of the Calvert family who were proprietors of the palatinates Avalon in Newfoundland and Maryland (later the U.S. state of Maryland). In the context of United States history, the name Lord Baltimore usually refers to Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore after whom the city of Baltimore, Maryland, is named. His younger brother Leonard Calvert was the first Governor of Maryland.

As members of the Irish peerage, the Lords Baltimore were able to sit in the British House of Commons. Irish peerages were often used as a way of creating peerages which did not grant a seat in the British House of Lords and so allowed the grantee to sit in the House of Commons in London. As a consequence, many Irish peers had little or no connection to Ireland.

Barons Baltimore (1625)[edit]

Other notable Calverts[edit]

Though the barony is extinct, the Barons Baltimore left a number of descendants, including:

  • Leonard Calvert (1606–1647), the first Governor of the Province of Maryland. He was the second son of George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore.
  • Phillip Calvert (born c. early 17th century), proprietary Governor of the colony of Maryland during a brief period in 1660 or 1661. He was appointed by the royally chartered proprietor of Maryland, Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore, as a caretaker to replace Josias Fendall.
  • Captain Charles Calvert (1680–1734), Governor of Maryland in 1720, at a time when the Calvert family had recently regained control of their proprietary colony. He was appointed Governor by his cousin Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore.
  • Benedict Leonard Calvert (1700–1732), the proprietary governor of the Maryland colony from 1727 through 1731, appointed by his brother, Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore.
  • Benedict Swingate Calvert (c. 1730–1788), the illegitimate son of Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, the third Proprietor Governor of Maryland. Loyalist and Judge of the Land Office prior to the American Revolution.
  • Eleanor Calvert (1758–1811), daughter-in-law of Martha Dandridge Washington and the stepdaughter-in-law of George Washington.
  • Henry Harford (1758–1834), 5th and last Proprietor of Maryland. He was the illegitimate son of Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore.
  • Charles Benedict Calvert (1808–1864), a U.S. Congressman from the sixth district of Maryland, serving one term from 1861–1863.


Official flag of the State of Maryland

There are several locations in Maryland named after the Barons Baltimore, including Baltimore County, Baltimore City. Calvert County, Cecil County, Charles County, Frederick County, Leonardtown, St. Leonard and Calvert Cliffs. Wife of Cecilius Calvert, Anne Arundell's name survives in that of Anne Arundel County, Maryland. His name survives in that of Cecil County, Maryland, Cecil Avenue and Calvert Street in Baltimore City, Calvert Street in Brooklyn (a South Baltimore neighborhood) and Calvert street in Washington, DC. Harford County is named for Henry Harford, the illegitimate son of Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore, who while not able to inherit the peerage, did inherit the Lord Proprietorship, only to lose it during the Revolution. There is also a Charles Street in Baltimore. The main downtown street in Cumberland, Maryland, is named Baltimore Street. There are several highways surrounding the city of Baltimore which use its name such as the "Baltimore-Washington Parkway" (Interstate 295/Md. Route 295), Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard (Md. Route 648), and the Baltimore-Harrisburg Expressway (Interstate 83). On the Avalon Peninsula in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, there is a settlement named Calvert, and in nearby Ferryland there is a Baltimore School. There are also several other towns and villages across North America with the name of "Baltimore", "New Baltimore" or "Old Baltimore".

A life-sized bronze statue on a granite pedestal of Cecilius Calvert (1605–1675) is located on the steps of the western end at St. Paul Street of the Baltimore City Circuit Court House, the third one on the site, constructed 1899–1900 (now renamed the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Court House since the early 1980s for a noted local and national civil rights leader, known as "The 101st Senator" in Baltimore, Maryland, sponsored by the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Maryland, dedicated November 21, 1908.

Before the American Revolution, a common flag used by military units of the colonial militia of the Province of Maryland was known as the "Calvert Arms Flag" which had as a canton in the upper left corner, the first "Union Jack" (used for the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707's Acts of Union unifying England and Scotland until the Act of Union 1800 with Ireland) with the crosses of Saint George (a '+' shaped red on white field) of England and Saint Andrew (an 'X'-shaped white on blue field) of Scotland over the black and gold (yellow) chevrons of the Calvert family. Today, this historical colonial flag is often displayed throughout the state. The flag of the State of Maryland still bears the arms of its former Baltimore owners in quarters of the Calvert and Crossland families, one of the most distinctive of the American state flags and seals, developed around 1880 and adopted officially by the General Assembly of Maryland in 1904.

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