Maryland Toleration Act, 1649

  • Lord Baltimore addressed the assembly about religious matters in Maryland.
    • Anyone denying that God & Jesus are really the ones in control & pushing those ideas around will be punished by death & have his lands confiscated.
    • Those who speak out against the Virgin Mary, the Apostles, etc. will be fined £5 or the equivalent for the first offense.
      • If the offender doesn’t have the money, he’ll be publicly whipped. Further offense will be £10 fine & public whipping & imprisonment – possible banishment from Maryland.
    • Anyone caught using derogatory epithets towards different religions in a reproachful manner will be fined 10s to be paid to the offended party.
      • If you don’t have 10s, you’d be whipped & imprisoned until you’ve asked the offended party to pardon you publicly to the satisfaction of the Magistrate or town officers.
    • Anyone caught profaning the Sabbath by swearing, drinking excessively or behaving uncivilly or disorderly will be fined 2s 6d on the first offense & 5s on the second offense, & 10s on the third offense & offenses thereafter.
      • If you don’t have the money, you will be imprisoned by the Judge or Magistrate & publicly whipped.
    • These fines & punishments are to preserve peace, quiet & mutual love in the province.
      • Disturbing the belief &/or practice of any Christian of any denomination will not be tolerated. Anyone unable or refusing to pay the offended part will suffer monetary & physical punishment.
      • The goal of these measures is to preserve the ability of provincial settlers to practice their beliefs unmolested.

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