that, may be fairly accepted as the ratio of increased
value for the first half of the seventeenth century.
, At this time of day, to hope to add anything
absolutely new, to the sum of what is already known
about the Pilgrim Fathers, is like hoping to find the
Philosopher's* Stone. The New England Scholars and
Historical Societies, during the last hundred years, have
so cleanly swept this field of history, that not even a
single ear of wheat is to be hoped for. We ourselves had
no such hope at alL Therefore the more do we rejoice
in our good luck in finding the Statement of the Claims
in respect of the robbery of the Fortune by the French
in February 1622, which will be found at pages 606-608.
It is extraordinary to what a large extent we are
dealing, in this volume, with what is practically a Lost
literature. AU the English books printed in Holland
The^ Preface, 9
and Flanders before 1641 are rare : but those printed
there for the Separatists, in order to be sold or
distributed in England, are amongst the rarest of them alL
One simple fact will be a sufficient illustration of this :
The British Museum does not possess, at this moment
of writing, a single copy of the original editions of the
seven books written by the Rev. John Smyth, the
Se-Baptist; and which were printed for him between
1603 and 1613. Of how many other English Authors
can it now be said, That, in their original editions, they
are totally unrepresented in the great London Library ?
Therefore we would here strenuously appeal to all
the great Collectors and Libraries of the Unitedv States,
especially to those in New England, that instant search
should be made through their Collections, for all the
English Separatist Works known. For this purpose,
the bibliographical information contained in this volume
and in Doctor H. Martyn Dexter's Congregatiorudiam
tfec, will be found helpful. And, further, that the finds
should be reported to, and recorded by, some central
body, like the American Library Association. This is
not a sectional Literature It is that which surrounds
the udtimate origin of the United States : and therefore
the effort may be regarded as a national one.
Especially should a ceaseless hunt be made after all
copies of Editions that can, with any probability, be
assigned to the Pilgrim Press at Leyden.
Most of all, that the following two utterly lost books
be sought for, without wearying.
Giles Thorpe. The Hunting of the Fox. Part I.
? Printed hy Thorpe himself at Amsterdam, about 1610.
This is the lost scandalous chronicle of the Ancient
exiled English Church in that city.
lo " The Preface.
The death-bed Becantation of the Bev. Francis Johnson.
Printed at Amsterdam in [December] 1617.
The Title even of this book is not known ; much less
And now we have to ask for the kind co-operation
of our Readers. We desire to give a perfectly exact,
though a modernized, text Many of the words and
idioms in it, have, naturally enough, in the nearly three
hundred years that have since passed away, become
obsolete, or have quite changed their meanings. In all
such cases we have put the real meaning after them,
admire \w(mdeT a^.] lawful \moTMy right. It
betake \entrust,'\ does not usually mean
civil [civilized,^ legal,]
civil [sectdar.] painful [^instaking.]
condescend [agree to.] a passionate letter [a
estates [properties.] suffering, or heart-brohen
indifferently [impartially,] letter ; as in the sense
of Passion Week. It
does not mean a letter
written in a rage.]
In like manner, Indian Place Names are followed
by their present English names: as, Massachusetts
[Boston Bay], Namaschet [MiddZeborough], Nauset
[Eastluim], Patuxet [Plymowth], Wess^gusset
Again, some part of the text is confessedly very
roughly written ; sometimes, in what almost might be
regarded as broken English.
As for this poor Belatumy 1 pray you accept it, as being writ by
the several Actors themselves, after their plain and rude manner :
therefore doubt nothing of the truth thereof. If it be defective
in anything, it is their ignorance ; that are better acquainted with
planting than writing. If it satisfy those that are well affected
to the business ; it is all I care for. See page 397.
The Preface. 1 1
Usually the imperfection of the style is by omitting
words which were present to the mind of the Writer ;
but which he did not put down in writing. These lost,
but necessary, words have been supplied between square
In these three ways, our Readers will have the
advantage of a rigidly exact text, unavoidably
containing many obsolete words and idioms; but
which yet will be instantly understandable.
In many cases, the Foot Notes are of equal importance
and authority with the texi In such cases, they are
merely the printer's device to bring matter relating to
the same topic into the closest possible juxtaposition.
Other Foot Notes are simply explcmatory.
All Foot Notes supplied by the present Editor, are
followed by his initials â€” ^E. A.
Our grateful thanks are here tendered, for valuable
guidance and help from Professor Justin Winsor,
Librarian of Harvard University, Massachusetts. This
gentleman, so well known as a veritable Rabbin of
Bibliography, is also the greatest living authority upon
the colonial history of New England.
In conclusion. This story belongs to the Universal
Church of Chbist. May it be especially helpful in
uniting all true Protestant hearts, in the Old World as
in the New, in the love, service, and worship of the
ever-blessed Trinity !
73 Shkphbbd's Bush boad,
15 January 1897.
TO OUR READERS IN BOTH HEMISPHERES.
^HE Story of the Pilgrim Fathers divides itself into
two parts : an ecclesiastical conflict in England
and Holland; and a colonizing effort in New
England. It is as hard to make the American
understand the theological niceties of the first part ; as it is to
make the Englishman understand the geographical localities
of the second.
If we would wish to do but bare and simple justice to
the Pilgrim Fathers ; we must strip ourselves of a great many
ideas and opinions which, in our time, are the unquestioned
and universal axioms of every day life and thought.
There is not one of us but lives under conditions in which
Law is always, and under all circumstances, the supreme
authority. We can hardly realize a condition of society in
which Law itself was struggling for existence ; in which
everybody and everything was governed by the King's Will,
and was subordinate and contributory to (O amazing words !)
the royal' satis/action.
Yet it was under conditions such as these, that the Pilgrim
movement originated, and fought its way onward. Let us
endeavour, then, to go back in our thoughts to their Age and
to their circumstances.
Doctor H. Mabtyn Dextbb has done this for us, as regards
the material things of life :
Ordinary average life, three centuries ago, was so different from
life now, as to make it well-nigh impossible, even for the most
diligent antiquary, adequately to comprehend, and describe, that
To our Readers in both hemispheres, 13-
When the Fratres Angli in Bel^ erulantes began to ohange the
date of their letters to Frakcis Junius from the Sixteenth to the
Seventeenth Century, even the scholars of the great Universities
were still uncertain whether Copernicus had fairly out-reasoned
Ptolbmt in his theory of the solar system.
It was Fourteen years, before John Napibr of Merchiston, by
the invention of logarithms, as Laflacb said, by reducing to a
few days the labour of months, doubled the life of all whose
occasions lead them to abstruse mathematical calculations.
It is thought to have been Two and twenty years after that
date, before England saw her first weekly newspaper.
It was Five and twenty, before hackney coaches began to be
kept for hire in London.
It was Eight and twenty, before William Harybt published
his discovery of the circulation of the blood.
It was Forty, before GASCOiaNS by his cross of fine wire in the
focus of the telescope, raised it from a vaguely instructive curiosity
to the dignity of an eye, accurate as well as far-seeing, to note
It was Eight and forty, before the Barometer became available
to measure heights, and foretell storms.
It was Six and fifty, before Hutghbns, applying the oscillating
pendulum to the rude clock with vibrating balance, which had
been in use for three or four hundred years, first gave to the world
a measurer of time, '' more accurate than the sun itself."
It was Four and sixty, before Thomas Willis described the
nerve centre ; and showed that the brain is a congeries of organs,
and the seat of moral and intellectual action.
It was Six and sixty, before Newton, sitting in his garden, was
started upon that train of thought which, years after, led him
on to the development of the Law of Universal Gravitation :
*' indisputably and incomparably the greatest scientific discovery
It was Two and seventy, before the same modest and
marvellous intellect which had unravelled the problem of the
celestial motions, discovered the key to the rainbow in the fact
that light consists of rays of different colours and diverse
It was Three and seventy, before the first Almafuxck of the
present character was published in England.
14 To our Readers in both hemispheres.
It was Five and seventy, before Bc>mbr, the Dane, discovered
and measured the progressive motion of light.
It was One hundred and nine, before a daily paper was started
It was One hundred and fourteen, before Doctor John
WooDWORD laid the foundation of the science of G^logy, by
demonstrating that the surface of the earth has an orderly
It was One hundred and twenty, before Bombr devised the
mercurial Thermometer ; and introduced it to the Gentleman and
the Farmer as well as the Scientist.
It was One hundred and thirty-three, before Ditfat made
possible the science of electricity as it now exbts.
It was One hundred and forty, before there was a Circulating
Library in London.
It was One hundred and fifty-eight, before Cbonstbdt, of
Sweden, published the elementary principles of the science of
It was One hundred and sixty, before there was a street light
It was One himdred and seventy-one, before Biohard
Arkwrioht was weaving cotton cloth at Gromford in Derbyshire,
by means of spindles and looms driven by water.
It was One hundred and seventy-nine, before the steam-engine,
in the form now commonly used for manufacture and traffic, was
It was One hundred and eighty-four, before Henry Cavxndish
published, in the Philosophical Trofuaotions^ the proof that Water
is a compound of Oxygen and Hydrogen gases.
It was One hundred and ninety-one, before Luioi Galvani
announced the discoveries establishing that branch of science which
bears his name.
It was Two hundred and thirteen, before London Bridge was
lighted with gas.
It was Two himdred and nineteen, before the first ship, whose
sails were aided by steam, crossed the Atlantic.
It was Two hundred and twenty-nine, before Stbphsnson's
"Bocket" led the panting and interminable succession of the
locomotives of the nineteenth century.
It was Two hundred and thirty -nine, before Louis Dagttsrrb
To our Readers in both hemispheres. 1 5
announced the possibility of almost instantaneously securing and
rendering permanent the facsimile portrait of a face or of a scene.
It was Two hundred and forty, .before the invention of
prepayment by stamp, and the era of cheap postage.
It was Two hundred and forty-four, before the Telegraph was
first practically used in the transmission of messages between
distant points : Two hundred and fifty-eight, before the first
telegram made its way from the Old World to the New under the
Atlantic : Two hundred and seventy-seven, before the still more
marvellous Telephone began to offer itself to reimite the separated,
even by the hearing of the ear: and Two hundred and seventy-eight,
before the Phonograph, most wonderful of all, offered itself to store
up for reproduction â€” on the turning of a crank â€” whatsoever of
talk, or song, may have been admitted to its mysterious confidence.
(hngregoUionoLlum Scy pp. 683-686, Ed. 1880, 8.
Observations like these of Doctor Dexter make us
feel the great distance of time which separates us from the
Pilgrim Fathers; whose lives we are about to study so
closely : and they will also help us to avoid the folly of harshly
judging the opinions of the beginning of the Seventeenth
Century, from the standpoint of the ideas of the end of the
Nineteenth ; though, of course, Right and Wrong are eternal.
Then our thoughts must go back to an Age when the
general drift of public affairs all over Europe was towards
^^nny and oppression: a state of things which it is now
very hard for us to realize.
Spain, under Philip III., had already become a consolidated
and illimitable autocracy. France was on its way to that
absolute royal despotism that enabled Louis XIY., later
on, to say, " I am the State.'* Ferdinand II., Emperor of
Qennany, was carrying on the Thirty Years* War in order
that he might suppress Protestantism in Qennany, and the
liberty with which it was associated. It is but the simple
fact that, at the time the Mayflower was crossing the
Atlantic, th^re were only two powerful free States in
Europe, Great Britain and Holland. In nearly all the
other countries, the Gkrvemments were doing nothing else
1 6 To our Readers in both hemispheres.
but oeaaelessly striving, and with a marked suooess, to
enslave the peoples committed to their oare.
This had been much aided by the Counter-Reformation
carried on by the Papal Curia, from the time of the Council
of Trent onwards ; by which the Roman Catholic Church had
adapted itself to the new conditions of European Ufa Of
that Counter-Reformation, with its two special developments
of the Spanish Inquisition and of the Order of the Jesuits, the
Reader will find an able description in A BelcUion of the State
of Religion dtc, London, 1605, 4. It was written by Sir
Edwix Sandys; whom we shall meet with later on in this
Indeed, so absolutely identified was the Roman Catholic
Church of that Age, in the minds of most Englishmen,
with all forms of political tyranny, that^ later on, in the
Massachusetts Colony, men were punished for saying, That it
was a Christian Church : a proposition that no sane man now-
a-days would for a moment deny. Let us then never forget
that, at the back of all the Puritanism and Separatism of that
Age, there ever lay the intensest hate of Roman Catholicism
and of the tyranny with which it was then so thoroughly
Such being the general state of European Affairs : in
England, Absolutism â€” that is, That the King was above The
Law-â€” came in with the Stuabts. The seventeenth century
passed away in one long fight between Englishmen and that
dynasty, over the then perfectly new doctrines of
(1) The inherent Divine Right of Kings by blood or
(2) The absolute unconditioned Passive Obedience of
(3) The unlawfulness of Resistance or Self-Defence in
cases of oppression or violence, whether national or
If we have not stated these monstrous opinions sufficiently
To our Readers in both hemispheres. 1 7
dearly: let us do so in the words of Doctor Humphbht
QowEB, Uie Yice-Chanâ‚¬ellor of the University of Cambridge^
in 1681 :
We still believe and maintain that our Kings derive not their
Titles from the people ; but from GOD. That to him indy they
are accountable. That it belongs not to subjects, either to create
or censure ; but to honour and obey, their Sovereign : who comes
to be 80 by a fundamental hereditary Right of Succession ; which
no Beligion, no Law, no Fault or Forfeiture, can alter or diminish.
Ghables I., after having brought infinite evil upon his
people, died a martyr for such principles as these. Among
his last words upon the scaffold before the Banqueting Hall
of Whitehall Palace^ immediately before he was beheaded,
were these :
For the people. And truly I desire their liberty and freedom
as much as anybody whomsoever. But I must tell you, That their
liberty and their freedom consists in having, of Government, those
laws by which their life and their goods may be most their own.
It is not for having share in Government, Sir. That is nothing
pertaining to them. A Subject and a Sovereign are clean different
things ; and therefore until they do that, I mean, that you do put
the people in that liberty, as I say ; certainly they will never
enjoy themselves. King Charlb8 his Speech dtc^ p. 6, London, [23
Feb.] 1649, 4. British Museum Press-mark, Â£. 545 (5).
The answer to that dying assertion is, That the English
pe(^le had had a share in the national sovereignty long before
the Stuabts, then only Norman Barons living near Oswestry
in Shropshire, went to Scotland to seek their fortunes.
These pernicious political dogmas received their death-blow
at the happy and glorious Revolution of 1688. Then was
formulated what is known as the Whig doctrine of the
Covenuit betwe^i the King and the People; the King
in his Coronation Oath, and the Subjects in their Oath of
All^;ianoa This meant that the Law was to be above the
King; and that he held the throne by exactly the same
authority as the subject held his house.
King William III. and Queen Mabt accepted the English
The Pilgrim Fathers. D
1 8 To our Readers in both hemispheres.
Crown on these conditions on 23rd February 1689. England
had, however, to fight France for nearly a quarter of a
century before this Whig doctrine could be regarded as an
assured political fact. From the accession of Gbobob I. in
1714, however, it has never been questioned.
Now when we consider that this arduous vindication of
the supremacy of Law amongst the English people, occurred
many years after the Pilgrim Exodus from Leyden ; we can
the better realize the wild times in which they lived.
Then our thoughts must go back to a time when the
Liberty of the Press simply did not exist in the British
Printing was then only possible in London, Edinburgh,
and Dublin ; and at the University Presses at Oxford and
Cambridge : but it was chiefly carried on in London.
Even there, if a man were so rash as to buy type and a
hand printing press ; he would be immediately sent to prison
for that oflence. For no one in London was allowed to print
anything unless he were a Freeman of the Company of
Stationers : and even of those Freemen, only a certain few
might print books ; though all of them were allowed to sell
or bind them.
There was a tradition amongst the London trade that,
besides the King's Printers and other Patentees, there ought
to be Twenty-two Printing Houses, and no more, in the
Metropolis. But, for years together, there were not even so
many as that. On 9th May 1616, there were nineteen of
such Printing Houses in London; possessing thirty-three
hand printing presses.
The Master Printers could not have as many hand printing
presses as they would like. Everything was regulated and
fettered. Each one, on his filling the previous vacancy,
started with one ; and, as he rose in the StcUioners* Compomy,
he might increase that number to two of such presses, and no
more. Of the above nineteen Master Printers, the five junior
To our Readers in both hemispheres. 19
ODes had only one press each ; the fourteen senior ones had
The London compositors then usually set up the books in
type in their own houses ; and took the " formes of type " to
tiie residence of the Master Printer to be machined. The
custody of the hand printing press there was r^arded then
as dangerous a thing as the custody of dynuniie would be
now. It was most carefully locked up every nighty in order
to prevent secret printing.
Regularly, every week, Searchers, appointed by the
Stationers' Company, went through the house of each
Master Printer, in order to see what books were at press,
and whether they had been properly licensed.
By this organization, and under these conditions, were
produced the books of the Gk)lden Age of English literature.
The Reader will readily see how impossible it would be for
anything that the Eling or the Bishops might choose to
regard as obnoxious, to be printed in London. As a matter
of fact, such books were printed on the Continent, as we shall
see later on, in the case of William Brewstbr \ and smuggled
The Stuabts had an instinctive jealousy of the power
of a free Press ; and, so far as in them lay, kept it under a
strict supervision. Every Work, before it could be set up in
type, had to be licensed by two persons :
(a.) By a Chaplain of the Archbishop of Cantbbbubt, or
of the Bishop of London, for the time being : which two
Prelates were more especially charged with the Censorship
of the Press, up to the meeting of the Long Parliament in
1640. And this, not by force of any statute of the realm,
as by a survival of that illimitable authority which formerly
pertained to the Roman Catholic Bishops of England as
<* guardians of faith and morals."
(b.) By one of the two Wardens of the Company of
Stationers of London.
20 To our Readers in both hemispheres.
On being licensed, the Work was usually entered in the
Registers at Stationers' Hall, London ; the entries of which,
beginning about 1553, continue, with one or two breaks,
down to the present day. Of tlie entries in these Registers
between 1553 and 1640; we have privately printed a
Trcmwrvpt^ in five quarto volumes, omtaining about 3,200
Such then being the genesis of an English book in the
days of the Pilgrim Fathers, one can see what a one-sided
struggle they had to carry on. The Bishops could freely
allow anything to be printed that made for their Order : but
nobody in his senses could expect them to allow for the press
anything that challenged the divine right of the Hierarchy ;
or that attacked the iniquities and illegalities of the Bishops'
Courts, as they existed up to the time that the Long
Parliament swept them all away.
So the Rev. Richabd Baxter tells that the Puritan and
Separatist treatises were, in his early days, veiy hard to be
met with \ and were secretly read and passed from hand to
hand: and, being prohibited, they were the more eagerly
The chiefly colonial story that we have to tell in this
volume, represents but a part of the life of the English
nation during this period. For their ceaseless and strenuous
home struggles against the Stuart Kings; we would refer
the Reader to John Forster's Sir John Elliot^ 1592â€”1632.
A Biography, 2 Vols., 1872, 8 ; and also to Doctor Samuel
R. Gardiner's splendid History of England^ 1603 â€” 1642. 10
Vols., 1884, 8.
Some day the Pilgrim Story will become the subject
of a Poet's Song ; of which, perhaps, this volume may be a
Ground Work. It contains every possible dramatic element :
nobleness and baseness, bravery and cowardice, purity and
To our Readers in both hemispheres. 2 1
impurity of life, manhood and hypocrisy, gentleness and
wrongheadedness. We very much fear, however, that
(though Dramatic Poesy is the highest form of human
expression) if that Song shapes itself into a Drama; the
Pilgrim Fathers will turn in their graves.
So we conclude here by quoting that wondrous passage
penned by Milton in 1641, in which he defines the office of a
Christian Poet: a passage that has oftentimes been present
to U8 during the preparation of this volume, because it so
aptly expresses the faith and aims of the Pilgrim Fathers.
These abilities, wheresoever they be found, are the inspired gift
of GOD ; rarely bestowed, but yet to some (though most abuse) in
every nation : and are of power, beside the office of a Pulpit, to
inbreed and cherish in a great people the seeds of virtue and
public civility ; to allay the perturbations of the mind, and set the
affections in right tune ; to celebrate, in glorious and lofty Hymns
the throne and equipage of CrOD's almightiness ; and what He