the Old World of Great Britain in the 1600's,
struggles were well underway between Protestants and Catholics and it
to Maryland which was founded by a Catholic hoping to establish an
in the colonies. George Calvert promised King James a proprietary
colony dedicated to religious freedom. For a time, it was successful
even as there was near civil war in England over religion.
In 1649, the
Assembly had granted legal equality to all who profess Jesus Christ to
be the Son of God. The "Act Concerning Religion" was a
between the Catholic proprietor, Lord Baltimore, and the
assembly. This lasted only five years. A rebellion overthrew
the Lord Proprietor's governor and the Toleration Act was restored
only after intervention by King Charles in 1658. Charles I was beheaded
just a year later.
Like England, the
in the colonies was one of intolerance. Elsewhere, women were tried
and hanged for "witchcraft." Maryland is proud to be a province where
was more religious tolerance at the time than most anywhere in the
it was not remain that way.
Official Church of England
In 1689, Protestant
petitioned the Crown to take over the province and they got their way.
King William declared Maryland a Royal Colony and insisted the official
Church of England--the Anglican Episcopalians--get much more
The bad part of that is that tolerance ended and Catholics were largely
persecuted for a hundred years until the American Revolution ended
Christ Church at
in St. Mary's County is one of Maryland's finest landmarks still
still with a congregation of worshippers! W. N. Hurley, Jr., author of
"Maddox-A Southern Maryland Family" has researched Christ Church and the
Maddox connection there.
The first structure
on the site in 1642 and the King and Queen Parish established in 1692.
The present building was erected in 1736 with the addition of the tower
This window (at
Christ Church commemorates the earliest Maddox's. The dates don't
match birth records we show today but the Window illustrates that the
family was a supporter of the church. Hurley notes the surrounding
churchyard is the final resting place of a number of Maddox family
members. There are many with unmarked stones and others which cannot
be read. He says Samuel Maddox, who was a member here for
years, may well be buried here, even though there is no physical
The stained glass window demonstrates what Christ Church meant to the
Landmark church has much more history--shocking history--as did
churches. When then British came to battle the Americans once again
during the War of 1812, they sacked the church and committed outrages on
the those buried there.