|St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Hebron, 1773.|
The Chesapeake coasts of Maryland like those of Virginia were home to many settlements of Englishmen as early as the mid 1600s. While the rest of Maryland began as a Roman Catholic colony run by Maryland's proprietors, the Roman Lord Baltimores, the Chesapeake was settled by the Anglicans like most settlers of the Virginia colony. Naturally the more secure these communities became, their inhabitants, accustomed to the Church of England soon demanded the bringing of Anglican priests to their towns from their proprietors. In 1689, just after the Glorious Revolution in England, Maryland's Anglican Englishmen, disgruntled with the colonial government's refusal to sustain Anglican Priests, and who now outnumbered the English Catholics, overthrew the Proprietary Government and demanded that the English Monarchy, William and Mary, make Maryland a royal colony and establish the Church of England (Anglican). By 1692, the Anglican Church was made the established church in Maryland and the people were ordered to divide Maryland into 30 parishes each with Church buildings, elected vestries and Anglican Priests sustained by colonial taxes levied by the colonial legislature.
In the decades following the acts of 1692, each parish fostered the growth of the Church of England in Maryland. As the Chesapeake regions of Maryland were mainly Anglican, the towns that remain their today are still home to the Churches founded by their early settlers. The revolution left the Church of England in America, by then established in most colonies, in a state of confusion until it organised itself into the Episcopal Church of the United States of America, after receiving Apostolic Succession from the Scottish non-juring bishops.
The result of Maryland's Anglican Church establishment in the once profitable Chesapeake region is that many of the Church buildings of the area have early foundation and retain the 17th-18th century qualities of Anglican Church building. Besides owning silver chalices and plate given by Queen Anne in 1710 or by other distinguished parishoners, they also retain original English baroque style pulpits box-pews and altar, and reredoses with the Decalogue, Our Father and Apostles' Creed. I think that they can somewhat resemble small Christopher Wren chapels if he ever built such a thing.
Old Trinity, Church Creek MD
It is thought that Old Trinity was built as early as1675, making it one of the original Anglican parishes before the Establishment in 1692. It is possibly the oldest Episcopal Church still in use and one of the oldest churches still in use of the 13 colonies. Old Trinity, like many other churches was built close to the water so that parishioners coming from all over would be able to get to church by water rather that by the thin paths and wild roads. These churches came to be known as 'water-churches.' The bottom picture is taken through a blurry window in the rounded apse and so unfortunately does not show the 'Wren like' architecture, but it does show the gallery in the back with the Stuart coat of arms, box-pews and the large pulpit.
St. Luke's Church, Wye Mills MD.
Christ Church, St. Michael's MD.
St. Mary Anne's Episcopal Church, 1743, North East, MD.
All Hallows' Snow Hill, MD.
The Eastern Shore of Maryland has many more churches like these so I cannot, unfortunatly, include evry single one here. But some other churches of interest include: St. Paul's Hebron, St. Peter's Salisbury, St. Andrew's Princess Anne, Christ Church Cambridge, Christ Church Easton, Emmanuel Chestertown, St. Luke's Church Hill, Christ Church Worton and even several others.
Much thanks to my lovely Grandmother who visited these churches with me with equal interest!
Also much thanks to the respective websites of these churches: