Bloomsbury Square was named after a square in London where the Lords Baltimore, proprietors (owners) of Maryland, lived and where prospective settlers went in 1633 to get information concerning the proposed new colony of Maryland. Bloomsbury Square was part of the master plan for Annapolis devised by Sir Francis Nicholson (Governor, 1694-1699) when he moved the capital from St. Mary's City to Annapolis in 1695. Bloomsbury Square is bounded by Calvert Street, Northwest Street, Church Circle, College Avenue, and St. John's Street. It was first owned by Charles Carroll, Esq. the settler and William Bladen. Charles Carroll, Esq., the settler, (1660-1720), was a noted Maryland lawyer and landowner. he was the grandfather of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832), who was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the first United States Senators from Maryland. William Bladen (1670-1718), also a lawyer, owned one of the first printing presses in Annapolis, and held numerous offices including the clerkship of both the Lower House of Assembly and the Governor's Council. He was the father of Thomas Bladen (1698-1780), Governor of Maryland.
Bloomsbury Square has had an interesting history. On its northern edge, now College Creek, is the probable site of a shipyard which on January 5, 1747 launched one of the largest ships ever built in colonial times for the Chesapeake tobacco trade, the RUMNEY & LONG. Some of the earliest documented homes of free blacks in Annapolis were located here, as well as the 19th century Annapolis Gas Works, and an interurban rail depot. In recent years the William S. James Senate Office Building, the Income Tax Building, the Louis L. Goldstein Treasury Building, the Thomas Hunter Lowe House of Delegates Building, and other State government structures have been built in the Square. Care has been taken in these newer buildings to preserve the concept of courtyards reminiscent of the original plan for Bloomsbury Square.
The obverse of the great seal of Maryland shows Lord Baltimore as a knight in full armor mounted on a charger.