30.07.

After whom was the city of Baltimore named? (1729)

After whom was the city of Baltimore named? (1729)

On July 30, the American city of Baltimore was officially founded. Interestingly, it was named after the Catholic Lord Baltimore, the owner of the Maryland colony there (Baltimore is still in the US state of Maryland today).

Lord Baltimore was born Cecilius Calvert, and he inherited the title of Lord Baltimore from his father. By the way, that title is named after the Baltimore estate and castle in County Longford, Ireland.

Cecilius Calvert, i.e. Lord Baltimore, wanted to establish a colony in North America intended for the immigration of Catholics. And indeed, Lord Baltimore received permission from the British King Charles I, who was quite sympathetic to the Catholics, to establish a colony. It is named Maryland (either after the Blessed Virgin Mary whom Catholics particularly venerate, or after the king’s wife Henrietta Mary of France).

Lord Baltimore was the first owner of the Maryland colony. Today, it may seem strange that a private person could own something that is now read by an entire US state, but that used to be not uncommon. For example, Pennsylvania was owned by Quaker William Penn, after whom it was named.

In terms of Catholicism, it is interesting that Baltimore was also the first city in the United States to become the seat of a Catholic diocese. It was later elevated to an archdiocese and metropolis, and today the Archbishop of Baltimore is first among the bishops and archbishops of the United States in the order of precedence.

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