St. Thomas' Church (Upper Marlboro, Maryland)
St. Thomas' Church
St. Thomas' Church - Front View, December 2008
|Location||14300 St. Thomas Church Rd., near Upper Marlboro, Maryland|
|Area||18.8 acres (7.6 ha)|
|Built by||Page, Daniel|
|Architectural style||Georgian, Gothic Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||00001504|
|Added to NRHP||December 13, 2000|
St. Thomas' Church is a historic brick church in a picturesque rural setting, located at Croom, Prince George's County, Maryland. The original church was constructed between 1742 and 1745, and is one of the earliest Episcopal churches in Southern Maryland.
The church was completed on December 25, 1745, and was unofficially known as "Page's Chapel," as the landowner, Daniel Page, had been contracted to erect the structure. During the mid-19th century, St. Thomas' became its own parish and undertook Gothic Revival renovations and expansion under the direction of New York City architect, John W. Priest, an associate of Andrew Jackson Downing. In 1888, the frontal bell tower was erected in memory of Bishop Thomas John Claggett, first Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church consecrated in the United States. Recent restoration work, in 1954, was based on the specifications of the original 1740s building contract, but retained Priest's Gothic Revival additions. The church is surrounded on all sides by a cemetery, which contains the graves of many prominent citizens and old county families. A fence and cast iron gate posts with Gothic designs was installed in 1907.
One of the original founders and benefactors of St Thomas's church was Benedict Swingate Calvert (1730-1788) who was a Maryland Loyalist during the American Revolution. He was the son of Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, the third Proprietor Governor of Maryland, (1699–1751), and may have been the grandson of King George I of England. His mother's identity is not known and, as he was illegitimate, he was not able to inherit his father's title or estates, which passed instead to his half brother Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore (1731–1771). He spent most of his life as a politician and planter in Maryland, though Frederick, by contrast, never visited the colony. Calvert became wealthy through proprietarial patronage and became an important colonial official, but he would lose his offices and his political power, though not his land and wealth, during the American Revolution. He is buried beneath the chancel of the church along with his wife Elizabeth Calvert (1731 – 1788) and daughter Eleanor Calvert (1757/1758 – September 28, 1811).:22
St. Thomas' Church - Claggett Memorial, December 2008
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Susan G. Pearl (July 2000). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: St. Thomas' Church" (PDF). Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved 2015-08-01.
- Letters of George Washington Retrieved July 31, 2010
- Emma K. Young (October 2009). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish Historic District" (PDF). Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved 2015-08-01.
- St. Thomas' Church, Prince George's County, Inventory No.: PG:86A-7, including photo in 2000, at Maryland Historical Trust website
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. MD-631, "St. Thomas' Church, 14300 St. Thomas' Church Road at Croom Road, Croom, Prince George's County, MD", 9 photos, 4 data pages, 1 photo caption page, supplemental material
- St. Thomas Parish, Diocese of Washington