Josias Fendall

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The veteran rebel Josiah Fendall of Charles County, elected to the Assembly but barred from his seat for his rebellious activities in 1660, now took up the libertarian torch.  In particular, Fendall led a movement against high taxes and quitrents imposed by the proprietor.  Fendall also championed freedom of speech—a rarity in that era.  Philip Calvert denounced Fendall for "telling the people they were fools to pay taxes" and for allegedly saying that "now nothing was treason . . . a man might say anything."
Murray N. Rothbard
It is true that Fendall tried to keep in favor with the party of resistance, and that he initially connected with Gerrard, whose party was destined to triumph in 1689; but it was really the question of taxation that caused the so-called Fendall's Rebellion.
Frances Edgar Sparks

Lieutenant-General Josias Fendall, Esq. (c. 16281687), was the 4th Proprietary Governor of Maryland.  He was born in England, and came to the Province of Maryland.  He was the progenitor of the Fendall family in America.

Quotes about Fendall[edit]

  • The question of his drunkenness was never finally determined, however, as Gerrard was soon faced with a far more serious charge and that was of being implicated in a rebellion fomented by Josias Fendall.  Fendall, it seems, had tried to change the government of Maryland "into the form of a Commonwealth," of which he aspired to be head, to "the great prejudice of his Lordship's right."
  • The other case of hanging a woman as a witch occurred on a vessel also bound for Maryland of which John Greene was the master, and Edward Prescott, a merchant, the owner.  …  Josias Fendall, who was governor of Maryland at this time, at once ordered Prescott arrested.
  • The real causes of the disturbances that now arose are scarcely explained by Maryland historians.  Governor Fendall is charged with being the chief cause of rebellion.  It is true that Fendall tried to keep in favor with the party of resistance, and that he initially connected with Gerrard, whose party was destined to triumph in 1689; but it was really the question of taxation that caused the so-called Fendall's Rebellion.  It is sometimes said it was a Puritan movement, and so it was in one sense; but Gerrard, who seemed to be the real leader, was a Catholic who had been and was then a member of the Council.  In 1647 an act was passed by the Assembly granting the Proprietor a duty of ten shillings on every hogshead of tobacco exported from the province.  This act, by admission of the Proprietor, was the cause of complaints.
  • The upper house being dissolved, Governor Fendall gave up the remaining powers of government given to him by Lord Baltimore's commission into the hands of the provincial delegates, and, in order to abolish his lordship's dominion over the province, he accepted from them a commission as governor.  …  Among other acts which they passed, was one commanding all persons to own no authority save that which came from the king of England or the "grand assembly" of the province of Maryland.  These men sheltered their rebellion against Lord Baltimore under the name of the king about to ascend the throne in England, expecting thereby to overthrow all proprietary government in the province.  From the time of the beginning of the Puritan revolution in England to the time of the end of Fendall's rebellion in Maryland, ten years went by in which Lord Baltimore was almost entirely deprived of his government.  …  On the 24th of June, in the same year, Lord Baltimore appointed his brother, Philip Calvert, governor of Maryland.  He was sworn in at the provincial court, held at Patuxent, on the 11th of December following; and Fendall's rebellion was at an end.  Fendall and certain members of his council surrendered themselves to the new governor, were indicted by a grand jury, tried, and found guilty.  They were sentenced to banishment from the province, and confiscation of their estates, real and personal.  …  It will be seen that the great seal generally called Fendall's seal sealed his own pardon.
    • A Marylander, "1659–1684," ch. 9 of Dulany's History of Maryland: From 1632 to 1881 (Baltimore, MD: Wm. J. C. Dulany and Company, 1881), pp. 68–70.
  • Appointed by the Parlimentary Commissioners in England, Puritan governors twice convened unicameral legislatures in Maryland, first in 1654, and again in 1657Catholic Lord Baltimore regained control of the colony in 1658 with the aid of several loyal Protestants, including Josias Fendall.  To show his appreciation, Baltimore appointed Fendall governor of Maryland.  In 1660 though, Fendall turned traitor, conspiring with the Lower House to abolish the Upper House and establish a commonwealth system of government (Archives of Maryland I: 388-391).  "Fendall's Rebellion", however, was short-lived, as Proprietary forces quickly regained control of the government.  Once restored, the Upper House kept the same composition for the next century.  The only major change was the removal of the governor's position from the Upper House in 1675.

External links[edit]

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