William Stone (Maryland governor)

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[A]fter Leonard Calvert died in 1648, Lord Baltimore appointed the Protestant William Stone as governor.  He required the governor to take an oath not to violate the free exercise of religion by any Christians, specifically including Roman Catholics.  …  Stone then denounced the Puritans and the commissioners as fomenters of sedition.  The result was the capture of St. Marys by the commissioners in 1654, and their appointment of a Puritan Council and of Capt. William Fuller as governor.  Catholics were now excluded from voting and from the Assembly, and the Toleration Act as well as the rule of the proprietor were canceled.  …  The Puritans made it clear that freedom of worship would now be extended only to Protestants free of either "popery or prelacy."
Murray N. Rothbard

William Stone, 3rd Proprietary Governor of Maryland (c. 1603c. 1660) was an English pioneer and an early settler in Maryland.  He was governor of the colony of Maryland from 1649 to 1655.

Quotes about Stone[edit]

Murray N. Rothbard, "Maryland", ch. 12, Pt. II of Conceived in Liberty vol. 1 (Arlington House, 1975)[edit]

  • The Catholic royalist deputy governor, Thomas Greene, foolishly decided to recognize Charles II in the same year as the legitimate ruler of England.  This proclamation naturally angered Parliament and precipated[sic] severe reaction.  The following year Parliament sent to the Chesapeake colonies commissioners, of whom the angry Claiborne was one, to subdue the recalcitrants.  After settling matters in Virginia, the commissioners proceeded to Maryland, where they removed the governor and ousted the proprietaryGovernor Stone was reinstated, but he, in turn, persisted in trying to reinstate the authority of the proprietor.  He compounded his difficulties by insisting on imposing an oath of allegiance on Lord Baltimore.  The oath offended PuritansStone then denounced the Puritans and the commissioners as fomenters of sedition.  The result was the capture of St. Marys by the commissioners in 1654, and their appointment of a Puritan Council and of Capt. William Fuller as governor.  Catholics were now excluded from voting and from the Assembly, and the Toleration Act as well as the rule of the proprietor were canceled.  A law of 1654 declared that "none who professed and exercised the popish religion could be protected in this province."  The law disfranchised not only Catholics, but also Anglicans.  The Puritans made it clear that freedom of worship would now be extended only to Protestants free of either "popery or prelacy."

    Former governor Stone now raised his insurrectionary army loyal to the proprietary, and in 1655 attacked Providence, the principal Puritan settlement in Maryland.  The erstwhile governor was crushed by a force of Puritan planters, Stone was imprisoned, and several of his followers executed, even though they had been promised their lives before surrender.

    • Page p. 117.

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