Lady Anne Arundel
Portrait of Lady Anne Arundel, privately owned. Image courtesy of ecpClio-12-129-2.
Not much is known about the life of Lady Anne Arundel, for whom the Anne Arundel County was named. She was born in 1615, the daughter of a powerful Catholic nobleman, Thomas, Lord Arundel (often spelled Arundell) of Wardour.
Lady Anne was 13 when she married Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. Calvert inherited from his father George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, the title of "Absolute Lord of Maryland and Avalon" along with rights to the new colony.
Cecil Calvert never came to the new colony in Maryland, but he sought to make the colony prosperous and safe for persecuted Catholics. He invested a good deal of his own wealth in the new lands.
He sent his younger brother, Leonard, who would later serve as Maryland's provincial governor, to the new colony in 1634. Leonard sailed with the ships Ark and Dove, to establish a settlement at St. Mary's.
Anne gave birth to nine children, four of whom lived to adulthood. She died in 1649 at the age of 34. One year after Lady Anne's death, the General Assembly in St. Mary's City created Anne Arundel County in honor of the wife of the colony's founder.