Battle of the Severn Marker
This historical marker shares the history of one of the final battles of the English Civil War as Protestant colonists in North America defeated those who supported the Catholic leaders of the colony of Maryland. The Battle of Severn occurred in this area of what is now Annapolis on March 25th of 1655.
Backstory and Context
In 1632 Cecilius Calvert 2nd Lord Baltimore, a Roman Catholic, was given Maryland. Many were unhappy with the way that he ruled this land as he had the power to make grants of land and was also head of the church. Lord Baltimore's brother Leonard was the governor. Former head of the Kent Island Colony, William Claiborne captured St. Mary's City, the capital, and then continued throughout Maryland stealing and sending jesuit priests back to England in 1644. Leonard returned in 1646 to take back Maryland and then died the following year. Cecilius appointed William Stone the new governor in 1648. Governor Stone allowed many Puritans to move to Maryland, settling along the Severn River in an area that is now known as Annapolis. They called it providence. It became required that all Maryland landowners took an oath of loyalty to Lord Baltimore. This went against Parliamentary rule. In 1652 Parliamentary officials and a couple hundred soldiers arrived to bring both Virginia and Maryland under their rule. In 1654, Stone resigned as governor but nearly 5 months later a ship arrived with a letter stating that he was still the governor causing him to challenge the Parliament. He organized the St. Mary's militia of between 200 and 300 men and headed towards Providence on March 20th. The Puritans under their leader Captain Fuller prepared for the militia and called on Captain Roger Heamans to help. On the 25th the militia formed up in the mouth of Spa Creek awaiting an attack. Undetected Fuller took nearly 200 men to flank the Royalists. St. Mary's Militia was able to maneuver and protect themselves. The battle was postponed until the following morning. A 30 minute battle commenced in the morning and then it was over. St. Mary's Militia took a great lost compared to the Puritans and many including Stone were sentenced to death due to treason. Following the battle Calverts returned to power.
The Battle of the Severn is not a widely known about battle due to its shortness. Though, it was not a long battle it ended a longer war and was important to colonial history and later the American Revolution. This marker is the only physical marker regarding this battle and its location.
Battle of the Severn. waymarking. April 05, 2013. Accessed May 08, 2019. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMGRZX_Battle_of_the_Severn_Annapolis_MD.
Robby, F. Battle of the Severn. The Historical Marker Database. April 12, 2012. Accessed April 15, 2019. https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=53178.
Siggurdsson. Battle of the Severn: Final Skirmish of English Civil War – In America!. The American Legions Burn Pit. April 25, 2010. Accessed April 15, 2019. http://www.burnpit.us/2010/03/battle-severn-final-skirmish-english-civil-war-%E2%80%93-america.