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Works, i, 215. pride of that common enemy, the

' The successful colonization of Spaniards, from whose cruelty the

Virginia commenced in 1607, at Lord keep us both, and our native

Jamestown. See Stith's History countries." See Mass. Hist. Coll.

of Virginia, p. 46 ; Bancroft, i. 125 ; iii. 51, 52.



CHAP, lish bodies. Again, if they should there live and do

well, the jealous Spaniard would never suffer them

1617. long, but would displaiit and overthrow them, as he
15 65. did the French in Florida,' who were settled further
21. from his richest countries; and the sooner, because
they should have none to protect them, and their own
strength would be too small to resist so potent an ene-
my and so near a neighbour.

On the other hand, for Virginia it was objected, that
if they lived amongst the English which were there
planted, or so near them as to be under their govern-
ment, they should be in as great danger to be troubled
and persecuted for their cause of religion'^ as if they
lived in England, and it might be worse ; and if they
lived too far off, they should neither have succour or
defence from them.
^ And at length the conclusion was, to live in a dis-

\ tinct body by themselves, under the general govern-

ment of Virginia ; ^ and by their friends to sue to His

' See the account of the massacre
of the Huguenots in Florida by the
Spaniards, in Bancroft, i. 67 — 70.

* Virginia had been colonized by
persons belonging to the Church of
England, and attached to its cere-
monies and institutions. In the
orders and instructions for the
government of the colony, issued
by King James under his sign
manual and the privy seal of Eng-
land, it was specially enjoined that
" the word and service of God
should be preached and used accord-
ing to the rites and doctrines of the
Church of England." See Stith's
Virginia, p. 37, and Chalmers's An-
nals, p. 15.

' The Virginia Company was
established in 1606. On the 10th
of April of that year. King James,
by letters patent, divided a strip of

land, of 100 miles wide, along the
Atlantic coast of North America,
extending from the 34th to the 45th
degree of north latitude — a terri-
tory which then went under the
common name of Virginia — be-
tween two Companies, who were
to colonize it. The First or South-
ern Colony was granted to certain
knights, gentlemen, merchants, and
adventurers of London, who were
to colonize between the 34th and
the 41st degrees. The Second, or
Northern colony, was granted to
persons of like description in Bris-
tol, Exeter, and Plymouth, who
were to plant between the 3Sth and
the 45lh degrees. Each Company
was to be under the government of
a council of thirteen, and neither of
them was to plant a colony withia
a hundred miles of a previous settle-


Majesty that he would be pleased to grant them free chap,
liberty, and freedom of religion. And that this may be ~^v-^
obtained they were put in good hope by some great 1617.
persons of good rank and quality that were made their

Whereupon two- were chosen and sent into England,
at the charge of the rest, to solicit this matter ; who
found the Virginia Company very desirous to have them
go thither,^ and willing to grant them a patent, with
as ample privileges as they had or could grant to any,
and to give them the best furtherance they could ; and
some of the chief of the Company doubted not to ob-
tain their suit of the king for liberty in religion, and to
have it confirmed under the king's broad seal, according .d
to their desires. But it proved a harder piece of work ii
than they took it for. For although many means were
used to bring it about, yet it could not be effected ; for

ment made by the other. The Carver will be found in Belknap, iL

Second or Plymouth Company 179, 267. '

made the unsuccessful attempt in ^ Sir Ferdinando Gorges, one of
1607 to establish a colony near the the leaders of the Second or Ply-
mouth of the Kennebec. The First mouth Company, says "Before the
or London Company was the one unhappy controversy happened be-
to which the agents of the Pilgrims tween those of Virginia and myself,
applied, and which seems at this they were forced, through the great
time to have appropriated to itself charge they had been at, to hearken
exclusively the title of the Virginia to any propositions that might give
Company. Douglass, i. 370, 395, ease and furtherance to so hopeful
Moulton, History of New York, a business. To that purpose, it
p. 356, and Graharae, i. 1S8, err in was referred to their considerations
saying that they obtained a grant how necessary it was that means
of land or a promise of a patent, might be used to draw into those
from the Plymouth Company. See enterprises some of those families
the Charter in Stith, App. p. 1, and that had retired themselves into
in Hazard's State Papers, i. 50. Holland for scruple of conscience,

* Among others, no doubt. Sir giving them such freedom and
Edwin Sandys, Sir Robert Naun- liberty as might stand with their
ton, and Sir John Wolstenholme, likings. This advice being heark-
as will hereafter be seen. ened unto, there were that under-

* Robert Cushman and John took the putting it in practice.
Carver, as appears by the letter of and accordingly brought it to effect
Sir Edwin Sandys on page 63. The so far forth," &;c. See Gorges,
little that is known of Cushman and in Mass. Hist. Coll. xxvi. 73.


CHAP, there were divers of s;ood worth labored with the king

V . . P

^^-^ to obtain it, amongst whom was one ' of his chief

1618. Secretaries; and some other wrought with the Arch-
bishop- to give way thereunto. But it proved all in vain.
Yet thus far they prevailed in sounding His Majesty's
pind, that he would connive at them, and not molest
them, provided they carried themselves peaceably. But
to allow or tolerate them by his public authority under
his seal, they found it would not be granted.^ And
this was all that the chief of the Virginia Company,
or any other of their best friends, could do in the case.
Yet they persuaded them to go on, for they presumed
they should not be troubled.'^ And with this answer
the messengers returned, and signified what diligence
had been used, and to what issue things were come.

But this made a damp in the business, and caused
some distraction. For many were afraid that if they-
should unsettle themselves, put off their estates, and
go upon these hopes, it might prove dangerous, and but

' Winslow, in his Brief Narra- He had been promoted to it from
tive, says that the agents "got Sir the bisliopric of London, April 9,
Edwin Sandys, a religious gentle- 1611, and on the 24th of June was
man then living, to stir in it, who swornamember of the Privy Coun-
procured Sir Robert Naunton, then cil. See an account of him, not a
principal Secretary of State to King very favorable one, in Clarendon's
James to move his Majesty." Sir History of the Rebellion, book i.
Robert Naunton was sworn the under the year 1633, in which he
king's secretary Jan, 8, 1618. He died. He was too mild and tolerant
was the author of " Fragmenta for Clarendon. See also Wood's
Regalia; Observations on the late Athente Oxon. i. 583, and Neal's
Queen Elizabeth, her Times and Puritans, i. 564.
Favorites," " the fruit," as Fuller ^ The word granted I have re-
says, " of his younger years." stored from Prince, p. 148.
Belknap, Am. Biog. ii. 170, and * At the very time this nego-
Baylies, Memoir of Plymouth tiation was pending. King James
Colony, i. 16, err in calling him issued a declaration, (May 24,
Norton. See Fuller's Worthies 1618) in which he required the
of England, ii. 336 (4to ed.) ; bishop of Lancashire to constrain
Birch's Memoirs of Queen Eliza- all the Puritans within his diocess
beth, i. 369. to conform, or to leave the country.

" The See of Canterbury was at Prince, p. 147.
this lime filled by Dr. George Abbot.


a sandy foundation. Yea, it was thought they might chap.
better have presumed liereupon, without making any suit — ^
at all, than, having made it, to be thus rejected. But 16 is.
some of the chiefest thought otherwise, and that they
might well proceed hereupon, and that the King's Ma-
jesty was willing enough to suffer them without moles- ^
tation, though for other reasons he would not confirm
it by any public act ; and furthermore, if there was no
security in this promise intimated, there would be no
greater certainty in a further confirmation of the same.
For if afterward there should be a j)urpose or desire to i
wrong them, though they had a seal as broad as the
house-floor, it would not serve the turn, for there would
be means enough found to recall or reverse it. And
seeing, therefore, the course is probable, they must rest
herein on God's providence, as they had done in other

Upon this resolution other messengers ^ were de-
spatched to end with the Virginia Company as well as ^|l^-
they could, and to procure a patent with as good and
ample conditions as they might by any good means
attain ; as also to treat and conclude with such mer-
chants and other friends as had manifested their for-
wardness to provoke to and adventure in this voyage.
For which end they had instructions given them upon
what conditions they should proceed with them ; or
else to conclude nothing without further advice. And
here it will be requisite to insert a letter or two that
may give light to these proceedings.

' By Mr. Cushman's letter from page 151. Judge Davis follows

London of May 8, 1619, inserted on Prince in this error, in his valua-

'a following page, it appears that ble edition of Morton's Memorial,

these messengers were Mr. Cush- p. 22. They were not despatched,

man himself and Mr. Brewster; it will be seen, till more than a year

not Mr. Bradford, as Prince says, after the first agents were sent.



CHAP. A Copy of a Letter from Sir Edwiri Sandys,^ directed to
— ^^ Mr. John Robinson and Mr. William Breivster.^


Nov. After mj hearty salutations, — The agents of your
congregation, Robert Cushman and John Carver,^ have
been in communication with divers select gentlemen
of His Majesty's Council for Virginia ; and by the
writing of seven articles, subscribed "* with your names,
have given them that good degree of satisfaction which
hath carried them on with a resolution to set forward
your desire in the best sort that may be for your own
and the public good ; divers particulars whereof we
leave to their faithful report, having carried themselves
here with that good discretion as is both to their own
and their credit from whom ^ they came. And whereas,
being to treat for a multitude of people, they have
requested further time to confer with them that are to
be interested in this action about the several particulars
which in the prosecution thereof will fall out consider-
able, it hath been very willingly assented unto ; and
so they do now return unto you.'' If therefore it may

' This name is spelt Sands in length which agree almost word

the MS., which Stith says is " cer- for word with Bradford's History.

tainly wrong." See the Appendix Compare Hubbard, pp. 44 — 50.
to his History, p. 10, Note. ^ These were the agents that

- This letter is contained in Hub- were first sent. See page 55.
bard's History of New England, in ^ The word subscribed is inserted

Mass. Hist. Coll. xv. 46, but very from Prince, p. 142, and Hubbard,

incorrectly transcribed. Prince says, p. 46.

inhisAnnals, pp. xxi. 232,thatHub- '" I substitute wliom for whence,

bard " had never seen Gov. Brad- on the authority of Prince, p. 142.
ford's History." But this I think a ^ From the expression "they do

mistake, since Hubbard relates the now return unto you," it is evident

whole history of this negotiation that the agents must have returned


with the Virginia Company, which to Leyden soon after this letter was
is nqt contained in Morton's Memo- written, of which they were un-
rial, and which he could have got doubtedly the bearers, that is be-
only from Bradford's original MS. tween Nov. 12, the date of the let-
or from Morton's copy of it in the ter, and Dec. 15, the date of Rob-
records of the Plymouth Church, inson and Brewster's answer to it.
He gives passages of considerable Of course Prince, p. 148, and Davis


please God so to direct your desires as that on jour chap.
parts there fall out no just impediments, 1 trust by the ^^v^-
same direction it shall likewise appear that on our parts ^^^^•
all forwardness to set you forward shall be found in the 12.
best sort which with reason may be expected. And
so I betake you with this design, (which I hope verily
is the work of God,) to the gracious protection and
blessing of the Highest.

Your very loving friend,

Edwin Sandys.^
London, Novemher 12, 1617.

Their Answer was asfolloweth.

Right Worshipful,

Our humble duties remembered, in our own, our Dec
messengers' and our church's name, with all thankful
acknowledgment of your singular love, expressing it-
self, as otherwise, so more especially in your great care
and earnest endeavour of our good in this weighty
business about Virginia, which the less able we are to

on Morton, p. 22, cannot be correct was in 1614 committed by James

in stating that they returned in to the Tower for his free speech.

May, 1618. It appears from Rob- Anthony Wood says lie was "a per-

inson and Brewster's letter that son of great judgment and of a

Carver was sent a second time to commanding pen, a solid states-

the Council of Virginia, in Dec. man, ingenio et gravitate morum

1617, attended by " a gentleman of insignis." He was the author of
the company." These agents may " Europce Speculum ; or a View or
have returned to Leyden in May, Survey of the state of Religion in

1618. Cushman and Brewster the western part of the V/orld,"
were afterwards sent in Feb. 1619, and of a metrical version of the
and returned late in the same year. Book of Job, the Psalms of David,

' Sir Edwin Sandys was one of and other poetical parts of Holy

the principal members of the Vir- Writ. He died in 1629. See

ginia Company. He was the son Wood's Athense Oxonienses, i. 541 ;

of Archbishop Sandys, and a favo- Walton's Lives, pp. 174, 178, ISO,

'rite pupil of the judicious Hooker. (Major's ed.) ; Hume's England, vi.

In Parliament, he was " a member 39, 97, Pickering's ed.) ; Hallam's

of great authority," according to England, i. 391—393.
Hume, and taking the popular side



CHAP, requite, we shall think ourselves the more bound to
— v-^ commend in our prayers unto God for recompense ;
1617, whom as for the present jou rightly behold in our

Dec. ,, .

15. endeavours, so shall we not be wanting on our parts,
(the same God assisting us) to return all answer-
able fruit and respect unto the labor of your love
bestowed upon us. We have, with the best speed
. and consideration withal that we could, set down our
requests in writing, subscribed, as you willed, with the
hands of ^ the greatest part of our congregation, and
have sent the same unto the Council" by our agent, a
deacon of our church, John Carver, unto whom we have
also requested a gentleman of our company to adjoin
himself; to the care and discretion of which two we
do refer the prosecuting of the business. Now we
persuade ourselves, right worshipful, that we need not
to provoke your godly and loving mind to any further
or more tender care of us, since you have pleased so
far to interest us in yourself, that, under God, above
all persons and things in the world we rely upon you,
expecting the care of your love, the counsel of your
wisdom, and the help and countenance of your author-
ity. Notwithstanding, for your encouragement in the
work so far as probabilities may lead, we will not for-
bear to mention these instances of inducement.

1. We verily believe and trust the Lord is with us,
unto whom and whose service we have given ourselves
in many trials, and that he will graciously prosper our
endeavours according to the simplicity of our hearts

2. We are well weaned from the delicate milk of

' The words the hands of I restore * The Council of the Virginia
from Prince, p. 142. Company.


our mother country, and inured to the difficulties of a chap.
strange and hard land, which yet, in great part, we v^v^
have by patience overcome. 1617.

. Dsc.

3. The people are, for the body of them, industrious 15.
and frugal, we think we may safely say, as any com-
pany of people in the world.

4. We are knit together as a body in a more strict
and sacred bond and covenant of the Lord, of the vio-
lation whereof we make great ^ conscience ; and by
virtue whereof we do hold ourselves straitly tied to all
care of each other's good, and of the whole by every,
and so mutual.

5. And lastly, it is not with us as with other men,
whom small things can discourage, or small discon-
tentments cause to wish themselves at home again.
We know our entertainment in England and Holland.
We shall much prejudice both our arts and means by
removal ; where, if we should be driven to return, we
should not hope to recover our present helps and com-
forts, neither indeed look ever to attain the like in any
other place during our lives, which are now drawing
towards their periods.

These motives we have been bold to tender unto
you, which you in your wisdom may also impart to any
other our worshipful friends of the Council with you,
of all whose godly dispositions and loving towards our
despised persons we are most glad, and shall not fail
by all good means to continue and increase the same.
We shall not be further troublesome, but do, with the
renewed remembrance of our humble duties to your
worship, and (so far as in modesty we may be bold)
to any other of our well-willers of the Council with

' The word ^rea< is restored from Prince, p. 143.


CHAP, jou, we take our leaves, committing your persons and

— -^ counsels to the guidance and protection of the Al-

1617. midity.
Dec. ^ "^
15,' Yours, much bounden in all duty,

John Robinson,

William Brewster.

Leyden, the I5th of Becemher^ 1617.

I found annexed unto the foregoing letters these
following lines, written by Mr. Bradford with special
reference unto the fourth particular on the other side

O sacred bond ! Whilst inviolably preserved,
how sweet and precious were the fruits that flowed
from the same. But when this fidelity decayed,
then their ruin approached. Oh that these ancient
members had not died or been dissipated, (if it had
been the will of God,) or else that this holy care and
constant faithfulness had still lived and remained with
those that survived, that were in times afterwards added
mito them. But, alas ! that subtile serpent hath slily
wound in himself, under fair pretences of necessity and
the like, to untwist these sacred bonds and ties, and as
it were insensibly, by degrees, to dissolve or in a great
measure to weaken the same. I have been happy, in
my first times, to see and with much comfort to enjoy
the blessed fruits of this sweet communion. But it is
now a part of my misery in old age to find and feel
the decay and want thereof, in a great measure, and
with grief and sorrow of heart to lament and bewail
the same ; and for others' warning and admonition,
and my own humiliation, do I here note the same.

' On page 61.


Thus much by way of digression. For further light chap.
in these proceedings forenamed, see some other letters -^v^^
and notes, as followeth. 1618.

The Copy of a Letter sent to Sir John Wolstenholme}

Right Worshipful,

With due acknowledgment of our thankfulness for jan.
your singular care and pains in the business of Vir- ^^*
ginia, for our and (we hope) the common good, we do
remember our humble duties unto you, and have sent,
as is desired, a further explanation of our Judgments
in the three points specified by some of His Majesty's
honorable Privy Council. And although it be grievous
unto us that such unjust insinuations are made against
us, yet we are most glad of the occasion of making
our just purgation unto the so honorable personages.
The Declarations we have sent enclosed ; the one
more brief and general, which we think the fitter to
be presented ; the other something more large, and in
which we express some small accidental differences,
which, if it seem good unto you and other of your
worship's friends, you may send instead of the former.
Our prayer unto God is, that your worship may see
the fruit of your worthy endeavours, which on our
part we shall not fail to further by all good means.

' It is Worsingham in the MS. ; E.avvson, Secretary to the New

but this is an error. Prince, p. 144, England Plantations, by Sir John

and Hubbard, p. 47, write it Wors- Wolstenholme, son of the indi-

tenholme. Sir John Wolstenholme vidual in question, dated London,

was a wealthy merchant and a Feb. 1, 1663, in which he says,

fanner of the customs, one of the "I am a great well-wisher and

principal members of the Virginia good friend to your plantation, and

Company, and one of the Council so was my father before me, who

established by the second charter, died 24 years since." See Stith's

He died in 1639. In Hutchinson's Virginia, pp. 163, 167, 186, and

Collection of Papers, p. 383, there App. p. 16.
is a letter written to Mr. Edward


CHAP. And SO praying that you would, with all conveniency
— v-^ that may be, give us knowledge of the success of the
1618. business with His Majesty's Privy Council, and accord-
27. ingly what your further pleasure is, either for our di-
rection or furtherance in the same, so we rest
Your worship's, in all duty,

John Robinson,
William Brewster.
Leyden, January 27, 1617, old style}

The first brief Note ims this.

Touching the ecclesiastical ministry, namely, of
pastors for teaching, elders for ruling, and deacons for
distributing the church's contribution, as also for the
two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's supper, we
do wholly and in all points agree with the French
Reformed Churches, according to their public Confes-
sion of Faith ; though some small differences.

The oath of Supremacy we shall willingly take, if it
be required of us, if that convenient satisfaction be not
given by our taking the oath of Allegiance.^

John Robinson,
William Brewster.

^ That is, Jan. 1618, new style. Allegiance was drawn up and ap-

By the old style the year began pointed to be taken by all the king's

March 25. subjects. This was an oath of

* In 1531, in the reign of Henry " submission and obedience to the
VIII. the king was declared " the king as a temporal sovereign, inde-
supreme head of the Church of pendent of any other power upon
England," and all his majesty's earth." By the third charter of the
subjects were required on oath to Virginia Company, their Treasu-
acknowiedge his supremacy. In rer, or any two of the Council,
1558, at the accession of Elizabeth, were empowered to administer the
the Act of Supremacy, which had oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance
been repealed under Queen Mary, to all persons going to their Colo-
was restored, and all persons in ny. See Burnet's History of the
office, civil or ecclesiastical, were Reformation, ii. 387 (folio) ; Neal's
required to take the oath. In 1605, Puritans, i. 8, 11, 84, 117, 440;
in the reigu of James, the oath of Stith's App. p. 28 ; Hazard, i. 78.


The second was this. chap.


Touching the ecclesiastical ministry, [as in the """"^^


former, &c.] we aOTee, in all things, with the French Jan.
Reformed Churches, according to their public Confes-
sion of Faith ; though some small differences be to be
found in our practices, not at all in the substance of
the things, but only in some accidental circumstances ;

1. Their ministers do pray with their heads covered ;
we uncovered.

2. We choose none for governing elders but such as
are able to teach ; which ability they do not require.

3. Their elders and deacons are annual, or at the
most for two or three years ; ours perpetual.

4. Our elders do administer their office in admoni-
tions and excommunications, for public scandals, pub-
licly and before the congregation ; theirs more privately

Online LibraryAlexander YoungChronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 → online text (page 6 of 44)