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English Civil War led to battle on Severn

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Reflecting religious and political tensions back in England, a Puritans vs. Catholics bloody clash played out in the Battle of the Severn of March 25, 1655.

Present-day Annapolis was then a Puritan settlement called Providence. The settlers had come from Virginia, where they faced religious persecution, They were on the ourside circle of Oliver Cromwell's fearsome Roundheads force, which had recently beheaded the English king, Charles I. The Puritan Cromwell reigned over England as lord protector in the 1650s.

The governor of the Maryland colony, William Stone, sworn to the Catholic Lord Baltimore, sailed from St. Mary's City with a small militia toward Spa Creek. Their goal was to make the Puritans of Provodence swear their allegiance to Lord Baltimore. But it didn't work out that way. The Puritans prevalied that day -- it was a Sunday -- by surprising the surprise attackers fdrom behind. About 40 of Stone's militia were killed.

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