The Plundering Time: Maryland and the English Civil War, 1645-1646

Overview

According to most historians, in 1645-46, Richard Ingle and his ship Reformation terrorized the tiny settlements on the Chesapeake Bay, bringing the violence and mayhem of the English Civil War to the New World. But did he? In this thoroughly researched tale of deception, greed, and political intrigue, St. Mary’s City archaeologist Timothy Riordan unearths new evidence—from muddy "Pope’s Fort" in St, Mary’s to the Admiralty Court records in London—to show that revolution was brewing in Maryland with or without ...

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Overview

According to most historians, in 1645-46, Richard Ingle and his ship Reformation terrorized the tiny settlements on the Chesapeake Bay, bringing the violence and mayhem of the English Civil War to the New World. But did he? In this thoroughly researched tale of deception, greed, and political intrigue, St. Mary’s City archaeologist Timothy Riordan unearths new evidence—from muddy "Pope’s Fort" in St, Mary’s to the Admiralty Court records in London—to show that revolution was brewing in Maryland with or without the colorful, sometimes roguish Ingle and his crew.

The Maryland Historical Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780938420897
  • Publisher: The Maryland Historical Society
  • Publication date: 2/15/2006
  • Series: Maryland Historical Society Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 874,558
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface IX
Introduction: "They came in arms ... and ransacked every place" 3
Chapter 1 "Our present estate every day bettering itt selfe" 17
Chapter 2 "They slew the men ... we had there and carried away our goods" 33
Chapter 3 "Security of contiens was ... expected from this government" 52
Chapter 4 "The tymes now doe seeme perillous" 86
Chapter 5 "Whereas I am determined to goe for England" 98
Chapter 6 "Which bills ... I have thought fit not to accept" 116
Chapter 7 "The highest fine that ... can or ought to be assessed" 130
Chapter 8 "Our Rebellious subjects ... drive a great trade ... in Virginia" 150
Chapter 9 "If Ingle or any other ... should come ... hee would hang them" 166
Chapter 10 "A most pitifull ruines, spoiled and defaced..." 181
Chapter 11 "Burn them Papists Divells" 199
Chapter 12 "These had protection in a certain fortified citadel..." 219
Chapter 13 "To hold yourself upright and hang from the gibbet at Tyburn" 239
Chapter 14 "The Soldiers were to expect no pillage..." 258
Chapter 15 "Catholicks of this nation ... have deemed it necessary..." 276
Chapter 16 "The said Mrs. Brent protesteth against all proceedings..." 290
Chapter 17 "I will not ... trouble ... any person ... in respect of his religion" 314
Appendix Inventory of Cross House 331
References 335
Bibliography 368
Index 374
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  • Posted September 19, 2010

    A fascinating history of Ingle's Rebellion in Maryland

    The violent Plundering Time of 1645 to 1646, or Ingle's Rebellion, nearly destroyed Maryland barely more than 10 years after the colony's founding in 1634. Today, archaeologist Timothy Riordan of Historic St. Mary's City in Maryland has argued in his study that the Protestant rebels of the Plundering Time briefly overthrew the colony's government because they resented the colony's dominance by its few and wealthy Catholics. So, other explanations proposed previously for the nearly two-year rebellion, Riordan argues, are inadequate. These include a simple desire for vengeance by Richard Ingle for an earlier attempted arrest by the then acting governor Giles Brent, and a simple wish by Maryland settlers to plunder wealthier colonists' riches. Nor, Riordan also argues, were the events of the Plundering Time solely an extension of the Civil War in 1640's England.


    To explain the Plundering Time in Maryland and tell its story probably better than any writer has told it before, Riordan relies on both his reading of related English court documents that had never been studied before he tackled them himself and evidence from previous archaeological excavations at Historic St. Mary's of a fort built to help the rebels remake Maryland into a Protestant province. Together with a re-reading of other contemporary documents that historians had already previously used to study the rebellion, the author of "The Plundering Time" uses the court transcripts and the archaeological evidence related to Pope's Fort to answer a range of questions that he asks throughout the book. And as he answers them he develops a new understanding of the Plundering Time period, of the various actors' motives, and of the period's consequences for later Maryland history.


    As he explains his reinterpretation of it, Riordan tells a story of the rebellion spanning from before the merchant Richard Ingle ignited it to its aftermath. He discusses the English Civil War and its relation to Ingle and to the rebellion in Maryland. And he describes the character of each of several key actors and relates their experiences and their actions and decisions in Maryland's early years. Such actors include the Calvert brothers Cecil and Leonard, Lord Baltimore and founding governor of Maryland, respectively. They include both several Maryland government officials and Margaret Brent, an eventually powerful woman who would insist, futilely, that she be given the power of not just one but of two votes in one of Maryland's Assemblies. And they include, of course, Richard Ingle. The role in the Plundering Time events of Maryland's Virginian enemy, William Claiborne, is also discussed.


    Although those who've had no previous experience reading the history of seventeenth century Maryland would probably enjoy the book less than veteran readers of colonial American history would, and although reading it may not be as exciting as reading a historical novel such as "The Sot-Weed Factor" by John Barth, the scholarly and meticulously researched "Plundering Time" does tell a fascinating and engrossing story about one of the major events in colonial America.

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