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John Lewger (1602-1665)

John Lewger was not one of the first colonists to come to Maryland in 1634 on the Ark or the Dove, but that did not stop him from soon becoming one of the most important men in the colony.

Lewger was born in England in 1602 and when he was fourteen years old he went to school at Trinity College at Oxford. There he met Cecil Calvert and the two became friends. Lewger became a priest in the Church of England, but later decided he needed a job that would pay more money. He had a wife and a small son to support, so he moved to London to find work.

There, he ran into his old friend Cecil Calvert, who had become the proprietor of the new colony Maryland. Calvert offered Lewger a job as Secretary in his new colony, so in November 1637, John Lewger, his wife Ann, and their nine-year-old son John arrived in Maryland on the ship Unity.

Lewger was very good at his job, and he helped to make sure that everything in the colony ran as smoothly as possible. He was so good that he was also appointed to Marylandís Council, which advised the Governor, and was later made Attorney General. In his job, Lewger had to act as a judge, keep records, write down the laws passed by the Assembly, and collect all money owed to the proprietor. In 1648, Lewger returned to England, but during his time in the colony, he proved very loyal to the Calvert family and helped the colony get off to a good start.

  • Maloney, Eric John, Papists and Puritans in Early Maryland: Religion in the Forging of Provincial Society, 1632-1665. PhD. Dissertation, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1996.

  • Papenfuse, Edward C., et al. A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789, 2 vols. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979.

  • Hawley, Jerome and John Lewger. A Relation of Maryland (1635) reprinted in Clayton Coleman Hall, Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684. (NY: Charles Scribnerís Sons, 1910), 63-112.
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