Before 1625 – ?
1. Richard1 Simpson was born Bef 1625.
He married an unknown person.
Richard Simpson had the following child:
|+ 2 i. William2 Simpson was born February 4, 1644.|
It is unclear as to when, and in what capacity, the first Simpson arrived in the New World. This adventuresome individual could have been a free colonist or an indentured servant. The work of Kirke Simpson, “A Most Healthful And Pleasant Situation: The Simpson Family In Maryland, 1688 – 1760” provides some insight into the events that lead to our ancestor’s immigration to the Maryland Colony.
“In June 1632, King Charles I granted a large tract of land which he named Maryland to Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore (1605-1675). Calvert’s father, George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore (1580-1632), had been a loyal supporter of King James I serving as secretary of state and member of the privy council until his public declaration of Roman Catholic faith made him unable to continue service in the Stuart court. In gratitude for his service to the crown, King James had made Calvert a knight. After the death of James I, his son, Charles I elevated George Calvert to the Irish peerage as baron of Baltimore in County Longford. Like other members of the embattled English Catholic aristocracy of the seventeenth century, Calvert was developing lands in Ireland while exploring opportunities to establish colonies in North America. Calvert attempted to form a colony in Newfoundland where he had been granted the Province of Avalon in 1623. In 1628, he moved his family to the new colony but abandoned the project after one bitterly cold winter and returned to England seeking a royal grant of lands that would be warmer and more hospitable to settlement.
Although the first Lord Baltimore died before the Maryland grant was completed, he was able to persuade King Charles to approve a charter in which Calvert, as Lord Proprietor, would have virtually unlimited power over ten million acres of land north of the Potomac River on Chesapeake Bay. The grant included all of what is now Maryland and Delaware as well as the southern part of what is now Pennsylvania and that part of Virginia on the Delmarva peninsula. The grant was unbounded to the west. …
By November 1633, Lord Baltimore had appointed his brother Leonard Calvert (1606-1647) to be the resident governor and recruited 130 adventurers and servants to sail to Maryland. The first colonists arrived in March 1634 and established a settlement at St. Mary’s on the southern shore of Chesapeake Bay where they purchased land from the Indians. The first settlers, like the proprietor, were Catholic but their servants were primarily Protestants who traded several years of indentured service for passage to North America. As an inducement to attract settlers, the proprietor offered free land. Called “concessions or “conditions of plantation”, Calvert offered 100 acres of land for each adult settler in 1633 and 2000 acres for each “adventurer” who brought five servants. In later years the incentives were reduced somewhat although 1648 concessions added manoral rights as part of grants of 2000 acres or more.
Despite offering generous incentives, the Calverts were unable to attract the number of settlers necessary to make the colony profitable. The small population also left Maryland vulnerable to invasion by its neighbors. Susquehannock Indians successfully raided the Maryland settlements for a decade beginning in 1642 and settlers from Virginia invaded Maryland in 1644, 1645, and 1646.With enemies on every side, Lord Baltimore entered an alliance with Puritans who were opposed to the established church in Virginia. When Leonard Calvert died in 1647, Lord Baltimore appointed a Protestant from Virginia to be governor of Maryland. …
By 1675, the population of Maryland was approximately three-quarters dissenting Protestants, one-sixth Church of England and one-twelfth Roman Catholic. In spite of their differences, the various denominations lived together in relative peace from 1660 to1690. During this period, the economic structure of the colony began a process of transformation. The feudal system based on land grants and indentured servants was gradually replaced by a plantation system based on slave labor. By 1697, wealthy Maryland planters were buying slaves directly from Africa. The growth of the plantation and slave economy, as it had in the Virginia tidewater, resulted in restricted opportunities for small farmers. Children of small farmers, unable to support themselves in the tobacco economy, struggled to survive or moved to the frontier where land was available and slaves did not dominate the labor force.”