This Month In County History

Anne Arundel County gets its name

April 22, 2005

Three hundred fifty-five years ago, Anne Arundel County was legally created when the first General Assembly met for most of April 1650 in St. Mary's. The Proprietary Assembly established "a Shire or County by the name of Annarundell, And by that name hereafter to be called." The county was named after the late Lady Anne Arundell (1615-1649), the wife of the second Lord Baltimore, who founded the colony of Maryland.

This act effectively erased the original name given to the area. The Puritans, who inhabited the land that is present-day Annapolis, called it Providence. Those who swore allegiance to the Catholic Lord Baltimore and his hand-chosen governor, William Stone, weren't having any of that. But the name change alone did not wrest power away from the Puritans, followers of Oliver Cromwell. After its formal establishment, Anne Arundel County quickly became a battlefield between Puritan settlers and the Proprietary's men from St. Mary's.

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