Combs &c. Research The Maryland Protestant Revolution of 1689
Declaration of Arms

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On 25 Jul 1689, the Protestant Convention declared arms: Possibly the same read by Nicholas LOWE at the Talbot County Courthouse... (Ref: SAYER)


The Declaration
Of the reason and motive for the prest
appearing in arms of His MajtYs Protestant
Subjects in the Province of Maryland.

Although the nature and state of Affairs relating to the government of this Province is so well and notoriously known to all persons any way concerned in the same, as to the people Inhabitants here, who are more imediately interested, as might excuse any declaracon or apologie for this presnt inevi table appearance; Yet forasmuch as (by the plotte contrivances insinuacons remonstrances and subscriptions carryed on, suggested, extorted and obtained, by the Lord Balte more, his Deputys Representatives and officers here) the injustice and tyranny under which we groan, is palliated and most if not all the particulars of our grievances shrowded from the eyes of observacon and the hand of redress, Wee thought fitt for general satisfaccon, and particularly to undeceive those that may have a sinister account of our proceedings to publish this Declaracon of the reasons and motives inducing us thereunto. His Lordships right and title to the Government is by virtue of a Charter to his father Cecilius from King Charles the first of blessed memory how his present Lordship has managed the power and authority given and granted in the same wee could mourn and lament onely in silence, would our duty to God, our allegiance to his Vicegerent, and the care & welfare of ourselves and posterity permit us.

In the first place in the said Charter is a reservation of the fayth and allegiance due to the Crown of England (the Province and Inhabitants being imediately subject thereunto) but how little that is manifested is too obvious, to all unbyasted persons that ever had anything to do here the very name and owning of that Sovereign power is some times crime enough to incurr the frownes of our superiors and to render our persons obnoxious and suspected to be ill-affected to the government The ill usage of and affronts to the Kings Officers belonging to the customes here, were a sufficient argument of this. Wee need but instance the busines of Mr BADCOCK and Mr ROUSBY, of whom the former was terribly detained by his Lordshipp from going home to make his just complaints in England upon which he was soon taken sick, and t'was more then probably conjectur'd that the conceit of his confinement was the chief cause of his death which soon after happened. The latter was barbarously murthered upon the execucon of his office by one that was an Irish papist and our Cheif Governor.
Allegiance here by those persons under whom wee suffer is little talked of, other then what they would have done and sworn to, to his Lordship the Lord Proprietary, for it was very lately owned by the President himselfe, openly enough in the Upper House of Assembly, that fidelity to his Lordshipp was allegiance and that the denying of the One was the same thing with the refusall or denyall of the other. In that very Oath of Fidelity, that was then imposed under the penalty of banishment there is not so much as the least word or intimation of any duty, fayth or allegiance to be reserved to our Sovereign Lord the King of England.

How the jus regale is improved here, and made the prorogative of his Lordshipp, is so sensibly felt by us all in that absolute authority exercised over us, and by the greatest part of the Inhabitants in the service of their persons, forfeiture and loss of their goods, chatteles, freeholdes and inheritances. In the next place Churches and Chappels, which by the said Charter should be built and consecrated according to the Ecclesiastical lawes of the Kingdom of England, to our greate regrett and discouragement of our religion, are erected and converted to the use of popish Idolatary and superstition, Jesuits and seminarie preists are the only incumbents; (for which there is a supply provided by sending our popish youth to be educated at St Orners) as also the Chief Advisers and Councellors in affaires of Government, and the richest and most fertile land sett apart for their use and maintenance, while other lands that are piously intended, and given for the maintenance of the Protestant Ministry, become escheats, and are taken as forfeit, the ministers themselves discouraged, and noe care taken for their subsistance.

The power to enact Laws is another branch of his Lordshipp's authority, but how well that has been executed and circumstances is too notorious. His present Lordshipp, upon the death of his father, in order thereunto, sent out writts for four (as was over the usage) for each County to serve as Representatives of the people, but when elected there were two of each respective four pickt out and sumoned to that convencon, whereby many Laws were made, and the greatest leavy yet known layd upon the Inhabitants. The next Session the house was filled up, with the remaining two that was left out of the former in which there were many and the best of our Laws enacted to the great benefit and satisfacon of the people but his Lordship soon after dissolved and declared the [103] best of these Laws, such as he thought fit, null and voyd by Proclamacon: Notwithstanding they were assented to in his Papers. Lordshipps name, by the Governor in his absence, and he himselfe some time personally acted and governed by the same, soe that the question in our Courts of Judicature, in any point that relates to many of our Laws, is not so much the relacon it has to the said Laws, but whether the Laws themselves be agreable to the pleasure and approbacon of his Lordshipp. Whereby our liberty and property is become uncertain and under the arbitary disposition of the Judge and Commissioners of our Courts of Justice.

The said Assembly being some time after dissolved by proclamacon another was elected and mett consisting only of two members for each County, directly opposite to an Act of Assembly for four (in which severall laws with his Lordships personal assent were enacted, among the which one for the Encouragement of Trade and erecting of Towns, but the Execucon of that Act was soon after by Proclamacon from his Lordshipp out of England suspended the last year, and all officers Military and Civil severely prohibited executing and inflicting the penaltys of the same. Notwithstanding which suspension being in effect a dissolution and abrogateing of the whole Act, the income of three pence per hoggshead to the government (by the said Act payable for every hogshead of tobacco exported is carefully exacted & collected. How fatall and of what pernicious consequence that unlimited and arbitary pretended authority may be to the Inhabitants, is too apparent, but by considering that by the same reason all the use of the laws whereby our liberties and properties subsiste are subject to the same arbitary disposition, and if timely remedy be not had must stand or fall according to his Lord shipps good will and pleasure.

Nor is this nullyfyeing and suspending power the only grievance that doth perplex and burthen us in relacon to Laws, but these laws that are of a certain and unquestioned accep tacon are executed and countenanced, as they are more or less agreable to the good liking of our Govr in particular, one very good lawe provides that orphan children should be disposed of to persons of the same religion with that of their dead parents. In direct opposition to which several children of protestants have been committed to the tutlage of papists, and brought up in the Romish Superstition. Wee could instance in a young woman that has been lately forced by order of Council from her husband committed to the custody of a papist, and brought up in his religion.

T'is endless to enumerate the particulars of this nature, while on the contrary those laws that enhance the grandeur [104] and income of his said Lordshipp are severely imposed and executed especially one that is against all sense, equity, reason and law punishes all speeches, practices and attempts relating to his Lordship and Government that shall be thought mutinous and seditious by the Judge of the provincial Court, with either whipping, branding, boreing through the Tongue, fines, imprisonments, banishment or death, all or either of the said punishments at the discretion of the said Judges, who have given a very recent and remarkable proof of their authority in each particular punishment aforesaid, upon several the good people of this Province, while the rest are in the same danger to have their words and acons lyable to the construction & punishment of the said Judges, and their lives and fortunes to the mercy of their arbitary fancies, opinions and sentences.

To these Grievances are added Excessive Officers Fees, and that too under Execucon directly against the Law made & provided to redress the same, wherein there is no probability of a legall remedy, the Officers themselves that are partys and culpable being Judges. The like Fee being imposed upon and extorted from Masters and Owners of Vessels trading into this Province, without any Law to justifie the same, and directly against the plaine words of the said Charter that say there shall be no imposition or assessment without the consent of the Freemen in the Assembly to the great obstruccon of trade and prejudice of the Inhabitants.

The like excessive Fees imposed upon and extorted from the owners of Vessels that are built here or do really belong to the Inhabitants contrary to an Act of Assembly made and provided for the same, wherein moderate and reasonable Fees are ascertained for the promoting and incouragement of Shipping and navigation amongst ourselves.

The frequent pressing of men, horses, boats, provisions and other necessarys in time of peace and often to gratifie private designs and occations, to the great burthen and regrett of the Inhabitants contrary to Law and several Acts of Assembly in that case made and provided.

The seirvice and apprehending of Protestants in their houses with armed force consisting of Papsts and that in time of peace, thence hurrying them away to Prisons without Warrant or cause of comittment these kept and confined with popish guards a long time without tryall.

Not only private but publick outrages, & murthers committed and done by papists upon Protestants without redress, but rather conived at and tolerated by the cheif in authority, and indeed it were in vain to desire or expect any help or other measures from them being papists and guided by the [105] Councills and instigacon of the Jesuits, either in these or any other grievances or oppresions, and yet these are the men that are our Cheif Judges at the Comon Law in Chancery of the Probat of Wills and the Affairs of Administration in the Upper House of Assembly, and Cheif military Officers and Commanders of our forces, being still the same individuall persons, in all these particular qualifications & places.

These and many more even infinit pressures and Calamitys, wee have hitherto layne with patience under and submitted to, hoping that the same hand of providence that hath sustained us under them would at length in due time release us. And now at length for as much as it hath pleased Almighty God, by meanes of the great prudence and conduct of the best of Princes our most gracious King William to putt a check to that great inudation of Slavery and Popery, that had like to overwhelm their Majestys Protestant Subjects in all their Territorys and Dominions (of which none have suffered more or are in greater danger than ourselves) Wee hoped and expected in our particular Stations and qualifications, a proportionable shew in soe great a blessing.

But our greatest grief and consternation, upon the first news of the great overture and happy change in England, wee found ourselves surrounded with strong and violent endeavours from our Governors here (being the Lord Baltemores Deputys and Representatives) to defeat us of the same. Wee still find all the meanes used by these very persons and their Agents, Jesuits, Priests, and lay papists that are of malice can suggest to devise the obedience and loyalty of the inhabitants from their most sacred Majestys to that height of impudence that solemn masses and prayers are used (as we have very good informacon) in their Chappells and Oratorys for the prosperous success of the popish forces in Ireland, and the French designs against England, whereby they would involve us, in the same crime of disloyalty with themselves and render us obnoxious to the insupportable displeasure of their Majesties.

Wee every where have not only publick protestations against their Majesties rights and possessions of the Crown of England, but their most illustrious persons vilefied and aspected with the worst and most trayterous expressions of obloquie and detraction.

Wee are every day threatened with the loss of our lives, libertys and Estates of which wee have great reason to think ourselves in eminent danger by the practises and machinacons that are on foot to betray us to the French, Northern and other Indians of which some have been dealt withall, and others invited to assist in our distruccon, well remembering the incursion and invade of the said Northern Indians in the year 1681, who were conducted into the heart of this Province by French Jesuits, and lay sore upon us while the Representatives of the Country, then in the Assembly were severely prest upon by our superiours to yield them an unlimited and tyrannicall power in the Affairs of the Militia As so great a piece of villany cannot be the result but of the worst of principles, soe wee should with the greatest difficulty believe it to be true if undeniable evidence and circumstances did not convince Us. Together with the promises we have with all due thinking and deliberacon considered the endeavours that are making to disunite us among ourselves, to make and inflame differences in our neighbour Collony of Virginia, from whose friendshipp, vicinity great loyalty and samenes of Religion wee may expect assistance in our greatest necessity. Wee have considered that
all the other branches of their Majesty's Dominions in this part of the world (as well as wee could be informed) have done their duty in proclaiming and asserting their undoubted right in these & all other their Majesties Territoryes & Countys.
But above all with due and mature deliberacon wee have reflected upon that vast gratitude and duty incumbent like wise upon us, to our Sovereign Lord and Lady the King and Queene's most Excellent Majesty's in which as it would not be safe for us, soe it will not suffer us to be silent in soe great and general a Jubilee, withall considering and looking upon ourselves, discharged, dissolved and free from all manner of duty, obligacon or fidelity to the Deputy Govr or Chief Magistrate here as such they having departed from their Allegiance (upon which alone our said duty and fidelity to them depends) and by their Complices and Agents aforesaid endeavoured the destruccon of our religion, lives, libertys, and propertys all which they are bound to protect.

These are the reasons, motives and considerraccons which wee doe declare have induced us to take up Arms to preserve, vindicate and assert the sovereign Dominion and right of King William and Queen Mary to this Province; to defend the Protestt Religion among us, and to protect and chelter the Inhabitants from all manner of violence, oppression and destruccon, that is plotted and designed against them, the which wee doe solemnly declare and protest wee have noe designes or intentions whatsoever.

For the more effectual Accomplishment of which, wee will take due care that a full and free Assethbly be called and conven'd with all possible expedicon by whom we may likewise have our condicon circumstances, and our most dutyfull addresses represented and tendered to their Majesties, from [107] whose great wisdom, justice and special care of the protestant religion wee may reasonably and comfortably hope to be delivered from our present calamity and for the future be secured under a just and legall Administracon from being ever more subjected to the yoke of arbitrary government of tyranny and popery.

In the --- of ---- wee will take care, and doe promise that no person now in armes with us, or that shall come to assist us shall committ any outrage or doe any violence to any person whatsoever that shall be found peaceable and quiet and not oppose us in our said just and necessary designes, and that there shall be a just and due satisfaccon made for provisions and other necessarys had and received from the Inhabitants and the souldiers punctually and duely payed in such wayes and methodes as have been formerly accustomed or by Law ought to bee.

And wee doe lastly invite and require all manner of persons whatsoever residing or Inhabiting in this Province, as they tender their Allegiance, the Protestant Religion, their Lives, fortunes and Families, to ayd and assist us in this our undertaking.
Given under our hands, Maryland the 25th day of July in the first year of their Majesties Reign Anno Dom: 1689.

Declaration of the Inhabitants
of Maryland.
Read. 22. Novr 90.


"... COOD and his party having thus made themselves masters of the State House and the Records at St Maryes, borrowed some great guns of one Capt BURNHAM Mar of a ship belonging to London, and came to attack Matapany House, the which when he came before he sent a trumpeter and demanded a surrender..."


Articles of Surrender

Wee have sent you our sumons and have received an Answer which desires a parly and personal Treaty between us & some of you, for Answer wee doe again demand as in the sumons sent.

2ndly That noe papist in this Province being in any Office Military or Civil as by their Majesties Proclamacon and the Laws of England.

3rdly And we doe promise and grant you the Gentmn and Soldiers now in arms in the garrison, may returne to their respective homes or Dwellings in order to which we doe [108] assure you and them safe conduct protection and security for you and their persons and Attendance.

4thly And that we will protect you and them in the free and full enjoyment of yours & theirs just rights and privi ledges equall with the rest of their Majesties Subjects according to the Laws of England and this Province.

5thly These are our absolute Resolutions, Concessions and Demands to which we desire your imediate complyance being utterly resolved against any personal treaty about the promises.
Given under our hand this first day of Augt 1689.
Ninian BELL
Humphrey WARREN.

"...we desired a parley and personal Treaty in the hearing of the People, which COOD would never consent to, wee knew if we could but obtain that in the hearing of the People, we should be able to disabuse them, and clear ourselves of what they were made believe against us, but this wee could never get at their hands, but to the contrary they used all possible means to keep the people ignorant of what we proposed or offered, and made use of such artifices as the following to exasperate them. They caused a man to come riding Post with a Letter wherein was contained that our neighbour Indians had cut up their Corn and were gone from their Towns, and that there was an Englishman found with his belly ript open, which in truth was noe such thing as they themselves owned after Mattapany House was surrendered. Wee being in this condition and no hope left of quieting or repelling the People thus enraged, to prevent effusion of blood, capitulated and surrendered..."



Wee doe accept of your Articles now sent and accordingly are ready to surrender the Garrisons. Dated the 1st August 1689.

Nicholas SEWELL
Edward PYE
Clement HILL.
Deputy Governers
then present.

Address Of the representatives of their Majestyes Protestant Subjects, in the Province of Mary-Land assembled. To the Kings most Excellent Majesty Whereas we are with all humility fully assured that the benefit of your Majestyes glorious undertakeings and blessed success, for the Protestant religion, and civil rights and liber- tyes of your Subjects, was graciously intended to be extensive, as well to this remote part, as to all others of your Majestyes [232] Territories and Countries; and being thereby influenced to express our utmost zeal and endeavours for your Majestyes service, the Protestant Religion, here of late notoriously opposed, & your Majestyes soveraigne right and dominion, to this your Majestyes Province of Maryland, invaded and undermined, by our late Popish Governors their Agents and Complices. Wee your Majestyes most dutyful & loyal Subjects of this Province, being assembled, as the representative Body of the same, doe humbly pray your Majestyes gracious consideration, of the great grievances & oppressions wee have long laien under, lately represented to your Majesty, and directed to your Majestyes principal Secretaryes of State, in a certain declaration from the Cofflanders, Officers & Gentlemen lately in Armes for your Majestyes service and the defence of the Protestant religion. And that your Majesty would be graciously pleased in such wayes and methods as to your princely wisdom shall seeme meet, to appoint such a deliverance to your suffering people, whereby for the future our religion, rights and Lyberties may be secured, under a Protestant Government by your Majestyes gracious direction especially to be appointed. We will wayte with all becomeing duty and loyalty your Majestyes pleasure herein; And will in the mean time, to the hazard of our lives and fortunes persevere, and continue to vindicate and defend your Majestyes right and soveraigne dominion over this Province, the Protestant religion, and the civil rights & liberties of your Majestyes Subjects here, against all manner of attempts and opposjtion whatsoever. Hereby unanimously declareing, that, as we have a full sense of the blessing of Heaven upon your Majestyes generous under- takeings, soe will endeavour to express our due gratitude for the same, as becomes professors of the best of religions, and Subjects to the best of Princes.

Maryland printed by order of the Assembly at the Citty of
St Maryes August 25th 1689.
This is a true Copy of the Originall
Attested p
John Llewellin. Clk. of Ass:
Maryland 26th August 1689.
Address of the Representatives to the King
Recd from my Lord Shrewsbury 7th Feb: 89.
Copy recd: 31. December.


End Notes
[pending completion]

Edited and proofed by Combs Researchers from Archives of Maryland:
Declaration for appearing in arms, 25 Jul 1789, Vol. 8:101-7
Vol. VIII, Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1687/8-1692, William Hand Browne, Editor, Maryland Historical Society, 1890, pp. 143-144