Alexander Young.

Chronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 online

. (page 7 of 44)
Online LibraryAlexander YoungChronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 → online text (page 7 of 44)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

and in their consistories.

5. We do administer baptism only to such infants
as whereof the one parent, at the least, is of some
church, which some of their churches do not observe ;
although in it our practice accords with their public
Confession and the judgment of the most learned
amongst them. ,

Other differences, worthy mentioning, we know


John Robinson,
William Brewster.


CHAP. P(i)^i of another Letter from him that delivered these.

-. g H Q London., Feb. 14, 1617. i

^^^' Your letter to Sir John Wolstenholme 1 delivered,
almost as soon as I had it, to his own hands, and
stayed with him the opening and reading thereof.
There were two papers enclosed. He read them to
himself, as also the letter ; and in the reading he spake
to me and said, " Who shall make them ? " viz. the
ministers. I answered his w^orship that the power of
making was in the Church,^ to be ordained by, the im-
position of hands by the fittest instruments they have.
It must either be in the Church, or from the Pope ;
and the Pope is Antichrist. " Ho ! " said Sir John,
" what the Pope holds good, (as in the Trinity,) that
we do well to assent to. But," said he, " we will not
enter into dispute now ; " and as for your letters, he
would not show them at any hand, lest he should spoil
all. He expected you should have been of the Arch-
bishop's mind for the calling of ministers ; but it seems
you differed. I could have washed to have known the
contents of your two enclosed, at which he stuck so
much, especially the larger. I asked his worship, what
good news he had for me to write to-morrow. He

' That is, 161S, new style. imposition of hands may be per-
* That is, the congregation, each formed by some of the brethren,
separate body of believers. This orderly chosen by the church there-
was Brownism ; and it is Indepen- unto. For if the people may elect
dency, or Congregationalism. The officers, which is the greater, and
Cambridge Platform says, chaps, wherein the substance of the office
8 and 9, " Calling unto office is by doth consist, they may much more
the church. — Officers are to be (occasion and need so requiring)
called by such churches whereunto impose hands in ordination, which
they are to minister. — The choice is less, and but the accomplish-
of church officers belongeth not to ment of the other." It was prac-
the civil magistrates, as such, or tised upon at the first ordination in
diocesan bishops, or patrons. — In America, at Salem, in 1629. See
churches where there are no elders, Morton's Memorial, p. 146.


told me, " Very ^ good news ; for both the King's chap.
Majesty and the bishops have consented." He said ^^v^^
he would ffo to Mr. Chancellor, Sir Fulke Greville,^ 1618.


as this day, and next week I should know more. I u.
met with Sir Edwin Sandys on Wednesday night. He
wished me to be at the Virginia Court^ the next Wed-
nesday, where I purpose to be. Thus loth to be
troublesome at present, I hope to have something
next week of certainty concerning you. I commit you
to the Lord.


S. B.

These things being long in agitation, and messen-
gers passing to and again about them, after all their
hopes they were long delayed by many obstacles that
fell in the way. For at the return of these messen-
gers into England, they found things far otherwise
than they expected. For the Virginia Council was
now so disturbed with factions and quarrels amongst

' The word very is restored from Faller's Worthies, ii. 415; Birch's

Prince, p. 145. Queen Elizabeth, i. 178; Naun-

^ Sir Fulke Greville was ap- ton's Fragmenta Regalia, p. 112.

pointed chancellor of the exche- (ed. 1824.)

quer, and sworn of the Privy Coun- ^ By the third charter of Virginia
oil Oct. 1, 1614. On the 9th of it was provided that "the Company
Jan. 1621, he was raised to the shall and may once every week, or
peerage by the title of Lord Brooke, oftener, at their pleasure, hold and
of Beauchamp's Court. Rewrote keep a court and assembly for des-
a Life of Sir Philip Sidney, and patching all casual matters of less
" The First Five Years of King consequence and weight concern-
James," which is contained in the ing the plantation ; and for all af-
Hftrleian Miscellany, v. 349 (Svo. fairs of government trade, and dis-
ed.) On his tomb-stone in War- posal of lands, there shall be held
wick Church, he had inscribed this every year four great and general
brief but noble epitaph : " Fulke courts," at which all officers were
Greville, servant to Queen Eliza- to be chosen, and all laws and or-
beth, counsellor to King James, dinances enacted. See Stith, App,
and friend to Sir Philip Sidney." 26, and Hazard, i. 76.
See Wood's Athense Oxon. i. 521 ;


CHAP, themselves, as no business could well go forward ; the
^'^^-' which may the better appear in one of the messengers'
1619. letters, as followeth.

To his Loving Friends.

May I had thought long since to have writ unto you ; but
could not effect that which I aimed at, neither can yet
set things as I wished. Yet, notwithstanding, I doubt
not but Mr. Brewster hath written to Mr. Robinson ;
butl think myself bound also to do something, lest I
be thought to neglect you.

The main hindrance of our proceedings in the Vir-
ginia business is the dissensions and factions, as they
term it, amongst the Council and Company of Virginia,
which are such as that ever since we came up no busi-
ness could by them be despatched. The occasion of
this trouble amongst them is, that a while since Sir
Thomas Smith, ^ repining at his many offices and
troubles, wished the Company of Virginia to ease him
of his office in being treasurer and governor of the

April Virginia Company. Whereupon the Company took
occasion to dismiss him, and chose Sir Edwin Sandys ^

' Sir Thomas Smith was the one of the assignees of Sir Walter

first treasurer and governor of the Raleigh's patent, and thus became

Virginia Company, and continued interested in the colony of Virginia.

in office till superseded by Sir Ed- See Belknap, ii. 9— 19 ; Stith, pp.

win Sandys. He had the chief 42, 15S.

management of their atfairs, and - Sir Edwin Sandys was elected

presided in all the meetings of the April 28, 1619. Stith says that

Council and Company. He was a " he was a person of excellent un-

London merchant, of great wealth derstanding and judgment, of great

and influence, governor of the East industry, vigor and resolution, and

India and Muscovy Companies, indefatigable in his application to

and of the Company associated for the business of the company and

the discovery of the north-west colony." His election was brought

passage. In 1604he was sent am- about by the Earl of Warwick's

bassador from King James to the (Lord Rich) hostility to Sir Tho-

Emperor of Russia. He was also mas Smith. Sandys was very ob-


treasurer and governor of the Company, he having chap.
sixty voices, Sir John Wolstenhohiie sixteen voices, ^^v^^
and alderman Johnson ^ twenty-four. But Sir Tiiomas 1 6 1 9.
Smith, when he saw some part of his honor lost, was 8.
very angry, and raised a faction to cavil and contend
about the election, and sought to tax Sir Edwin with
many things that might both disgrace him and also put
him by his office of governor. In which contentions
they yet stick, and are not fit nor ready to intermeddle
in any business; and what issue things will come to, I
know not, nor are we yet certain. It is most like Sir
Edwin will carry it away ; and if he do, things will go
well in Virginia ; if otherwise, they will go ill enough
always. We hope in two or three Court days things
will settle. Mean space I think to go down into Kent,
and come up again about fourteen days or three wrecks
hence ; except either by these aforesaid contentions,^
or by the ill tidings from Virginia, we be wholly dis-
couraged ; of which tidings as followeth.

Capt. Argall ' is come home this week. He, upon

noxious to King James on account Stith had in his possession copies

of his political principles. The of the records of the Company, from

king said "he knew him to be a April 28, 1619 to June 7, 1624.

man of exorbitant ainbition." Ac- vSee also a declaration made by the

cordingly, when the year for which Council of Virginia, in 1623, enti-

he was cliosen, had expired, James tied " The Company's Chief Root of

objected to his reelection, and in a the Differences and Discontents,"

furious passion exclaimed, "Choose in the Appendix to Burk's His-

the devil, if you will, but not Sir tory of Virginia, i. 316; and "A

Edwin Sandys." To get out of Short Collection of the most re-

the difficulty, the Company chose markable passages from the origi-

the Earl of Southampton treasurer, nal to the dissolution of the Vir-

yi and Sandys deputy. See Stith, ginia Company. London, 1651."

159, 178, 181 ; Burk, i. 322 ; Short (4to. pp. 20.)
Collection, pp. 6, 8, 19. ^ Sir Samuel Argall was a kins-

* Alderman Johnson was at this man of Sir Thomas Smith, and a

time the deputy-treasurer of the favorite of the Earl of Warwick,

'Company. See Stith, p. 150. who procured his election as deputy

^ For an account of the conten- governor of the Virginia Colony in

tions in the Virginia Company, see the beginning of 1617. He arrived

Stith's Virginia, pp. v. 158, ISO. in Virginia in May ; but his admin-


CHAP, notice of the intent of the Counci], came away before

V. . .

— ^— Sir George Yeardley ^ came there, and so there is no

1619. small dissension. But his tidinirs is ill, although his

May .

8. person be welcome. He saith Mr. Blackwell's ship
came not there until March ; but going towards winter
they had still northwest winds, which carried them to
the southward beyond their course ; and the master of
the ship and some six of the mariners dying, it seemed
they could not find the Bay, till after long seeking
and beating about. Mr. Blackwell is dead, and Mr.
Maggner, the captain. Yea, there are dead, he saith,
a hundred and thirty persons, one and other, in the
ship. It is said there was in all a hundred and
eighty persons in the ship, so as they were packed
together like herrings. They had amongst them a
flux, and also want of fresh water ; so as it is here
rather wondered that so many are alive, than that so
many are dead. The merchants here say it was Mr.
Blackwell's fault to pack so many in the ship ; yea, and
there was great murmuring and repining amongst them,
and upbraiding of Mr. Blackwell for his dealing and dis-
posing of them, when they saw how he had disposed
of them, and how he insulted over them. Yea, the
streets at Gravesend rang of their extreme cjuarrelling,
crying out one of another, " Thou hast brought me to
this. I may thank thee for this." Heavy news it is,

istration was so tyrannical and in 1619, and was empowered to in-
oppressiv^e, that he was displaced vestigate the charges against Argall
the next year, and sailed for Ens- on the spot. But the earl of War-
land in April, 1619. See his Life wick having sent over a small bark
in Belknap, ii. 51 — 63; Stith, to inform him of what was prepar-
pp, 145, 149 ; Burk, i. 317 — 322; ing against him, and to bring him
Smith's General History of Vir- away, Yeardley did not arrive in
ginia, ii. 33, (Svo. ed. Richmond, Virginia till ten or twelve days
1819.) after Argall's escape. See Bel-
' Sir George Yeardley was knap, ii. 61 — 72 ; Stith, p. 157 ;
chosengovernorof the colony early Burk, p. 322; Smith, ii. 37.


and I would be glad to hear how far it will discourage, chap.
I see none here discouraged much, but rather desire to — v^^
learn to beware by other men's harms, and to amend 1619.

. May

that wherein they have failed ; as we desire to serve s.
one another in love, so take heed of being enthralled
by other imperious persons, especially if they be dis-
cerned to have an eye to themselves. It doth often
trouble me to think that in this business we are to
learn, and none to teach. But better so than to depend
upon such teachers as Mr. Blackwell was. Such a
stratagem he made for Mr. Johnson and his people at
Emden ; much was their subversion. But though he
then cleanlily yet unhonestly plucked his neck out of
the collar, yet at last his foot is caught.

Here are no letters come. The ship Captain Argall
came in is yet in the west parts. All that we hear is
but his report. It seemeth he came away secretly.
The ship that Mr. Blackwell went in will be here
shortly. It is as Mr. Robinson once said ; he thought
we should hear no good of them.

Mr. Brewster is not well at this time. Whether he
will go back to you or go into the north, I yet know
not. For myself, I hope to see an end of this business
ere I come, though I am sorry to be thus from you. If
things had gone roundly forward, I should have been
with you within this fourteen days. I pray God direct
us, and give us that spirit which is fitting for such a

Thus having summarily pointed at things which Mr.
Brewster, I think, hath more largely writ of to Mr.
Robinson, I leave you to the Lord's protection.

Yours, in all readiness, &c.

Robert Cushman.

London, May the 8th, 1619.


CHAP. A word or two, by way of digression, touching this
-^v^ - Mr. Blackwell. He was an elder of the church of
1619. Amsterdam, a man well known of most of them. He
declined from the truth with Mr. Johnson and the rest,
and went with him when they departed asunder in that
woful manner which brought so great dishonor to God,
scandal to the truth, and outward ruin to themselves,
in this world. But I hope, notwithstanding, through
the mercies of the Lord, their souls are now at rest
with God, in the heavens, and that they are arrived in
the haven of happiness, though some of their bodies
were thus buried in the terrible seas, and others sunk
under the burden of bitter afflictions. He, with some
others, had prepared for to go to Virginia ; and he with
sundry godly citizens being at a private meeting (I take
it, at a Fast,) in London, being discovered, many of
them were apprehended, whereof Mr. Blackwell was
one. But he so glossed with the bishops, and either
dissembled or flatly denied the truth which formerly he
had maintained ; and not only so, but unworthily be-
trayed and accused another godly man who had escaped,
that so he might slip his own neck out of the collar,
and to obtam his own freedom brought others into
bonds. Whereupon he so won the bishops' favor, (but
lost the Lord's,) as he was not only dismissed, but in
open court the Archbishop gave him great applause
and his solemn blessing to proceed in his voyage. But
if such events follow the bishops' blessing, happy are
they that miss the same. It is much better to keep a
good conscience and have the Lord's blessing, whether
in life or death. But see how that man, apprehended
by Mr. Blackwell's means, writes to a friend of his.


Riffht dear friend and christian brother, Mr. Carver, chap.

. V.

I salute you and yours in the Lord. - ^v^^

Sir, as for my own present condition, I doubt not 1 61 8.
but you well understand it by our brother Masterson,' 4.
who should have tasted of the same cup, had his place
of residence and his person been as well known as
myself. Somewhat I have written to Mr. Cushman
how the matter still continues. I have petitioned twice
to Mr. sheriif, and once to my Lord Cook,^ and have
used such reasons to move them to pity, that if they
were not overruled by some others, I suppose I should
have soon gained my liberty ; — as that I was a man
living by my credit, in debt to divers in our city, living
in more than ordinary charges in a close and tedious
prison ; besides great rents abroad, all my business
lying still, my own servant lying lame in the country,
my wife being also great with child : and yet no
answer until the Lords of His Majesty's Council gave
consent. Kowbeit, Mr. Blackwell, a man as deep in
this action as I, was delivered at a cheaper rate with a
great deal less ado, yea, with an addition of the Arch-
bishop's blessing. I am sorry for Mr. Blackwell's
weakness. 1 wish it may prove no worse ; but yet he
and some others of them were not sorry, but thought
it was for the best that I was nominated ; not because
the Lord sanctifies evil to good, but that the action

* Richard Masterson was one of officious with part of his estate for

Robinson's church, and his name public good, and a man of ability,

issubscribed, with others, to a letter as a second Stephen, to defend the

written from Leyden to Bradford truth by sound argument, grounded

and Brewster, Nov. 30, 1625, nine on the Scriptures of truth." See

months after their pastor's death. Mass. Hist. Coll. iii. ^i.

On his coming over to Plymouth, ^ This was the eminent lawyer,

he was chosen a deacon of the whose name is commonly spelt

church. In the church records he Coke. See an account of him in

is described as " a holy man and Fuller's Worthies, ii. 128, and in

an experienced saint, having been Lardner's Cab. Cyc. vi. 1 — 43.



CHAP, was good, jea, for the best. One reason I well
^^^ remember he used was, because this trouble would

1 6 1 8. increase the Virgmia plantation; that now people
4. began more generally to incline to go ; and if he had

not nominated some such as I, he had not been free,
being it was known that many citizens, besides them-
selves, were there. I expect an answer shortly what
they intend concerning me. I purpose to write to some
other of you, by whom you shall know the certainty.

Thus not having further at present to acquaint you
withal, commending myself to your prayers I cease,
and commit you and us all to the Lord.

Your friend and brother, in bonds,

Sabin Starsmore.^

From my Chamier in Wood-street Counter,^ Sept. 4:th, 1618.

But thus much by the way, which may be of good
use. I have been the larger in these things, that the
rising generation may seriously take notice of the many
difficulties their poor leaders underwent in the first
enterprises towards coming into New England.

1619. But at last, after all these things, and their long
attendance, they had a patent granted them, and con-
firmed under the Company's seal.^ But these divisions

' There was a Mr. Staismore prison-houses pertaining to the
among the associates of Henry sheriffs of London. Stow's Survey
Jacob, who, after having conferred of London, p. 394, (folio.)
with Mr. Robinson, in Leyden, ^ Morton says, in his Memorial,
laid the foundation of an Inde- p. 22, that they "obtained letters
pendent or Congregational Church patent for the northern parts of
in England in the year 1616. See Virginia, of King James, of famous
Neal's Puritans, i. 476. Some fur- memory." He confounds the king
ther account of Jacob will be given with the Virginia Company. Dud-
hereafter in a Note to Bradford's ley makes the same mistake in his
Dialogue. Letter to the Countess of Lincoln,

2 The Compter in Wood Street, in Mass. Hist. Coll. viii. 37. Old-
erected in 1555, was one of the mixon, i. 29, errs in saying that



and distractions had shaken off many of their pretended chap.
friends, and disappointed them of many of their hoped -^^J-^
for and proffered means. By the advice of some friends 1619.
this patent was not taken in the name of any of their
own company,^ but in the name of Mr. John Wincob,^
a religious gentleman, then belonging to the Countess
of Lincoln,^ who intended to go with them. But God
so disposed as he never went, nor they never made use

" Mr. Brewster made an agreement
with the Company for a large tract
of land in the southwest parts of
New England," an error into which
he was led by Cotton Mather, i. 47.
The Virginia Company could grant
no patent for lands north of the 40th
degree. The authors of the Modern
Universal History, xxxix. 272, err
in stating that " their intention
was to have made a settlement
under the sanction of Gosnold's
patent." Gosnold had no patent.
Dunlap, Hist, of N. York, i. 43,
and Hugh Murray, Hist, of Dis-
coveries in North America, i. 245,
err in asserting that the agents of
the Pilgrims negotiated with the
Plymouth Company. See p. 55,

' The word company I restore
from Hubbard, p. 47.

^ Nothing is known of John
Wincob. Baylies, in his Memoir
of Plymouth, i. 17, errs in calling
his Christian name Jacob. It was
probably to avoid notoriety and
escape suspicion, that the patent
was taken out in the name of an
obscure individual, rather than in
the name of the Earl of Lincoln,
whose grandfather, Henry, had been
one of the Council of the Virginia
Company, established by its second
charter in 1609. I suppose that in
consequence of the Leyden people
being out of the realm, the patent
would not be granted in any of their
inames. See Stith, App. p. 16 ;
CoUins's Peerage, ii. 162.

^ The Countess of Lincoln here
mentioned was Elizabeth, the

daughter of Sir Henry Knevet, and
the dowager of Thomas, the third
earl of that noble house, who died
Jan. 15, 1619. Arthur Collins calls
her "a lady of great piety and vir-
tue," and Cotton Mather speaks
of the family as " religious," and
" the best family of any nobleman
then in England." She was the
mother of eighteen children, and
wrote a book, printed at Oxford in
1621, entitled, "The Countess of
Lincoln's Nursery," on the duty of
mothers nursing their own children.
This family had a more intimate
connexion with the New England
settlements, and must have felt a
deeper interest in their success, than
any other noble house in England.
Two of the first magistrates, or
assistants, of the Massaciiusetts
Colony had lived many years in
the family as stewards, a capacity
which Wincob also may have sus-
tained. Frances, a daughter of the
Countess, married John, son and
heir to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, who
took so active a part in the attempts
to colonize New England. Two
other daughters, Susan and Arbella,
married two other of the principal
colonists of Massachusetts, John
Humfrey and Isaac Johnson, and
came over with their husbands to
America. The lady Arbella died
at the end of August, 1630, about
six weeks after her arrival. " She
came from a paradise of plenty and
pleasure, in the family of a noble
earldom, into a wilderness of wants,
and took New England in her way
to heaven." Like the Spanish lady




CHAP, of this patent, which had cost them so much labor and

-^v-^ charge ; as by the sequel will appear.^

This patent being sent over for them to view and
consider,^ as also the passages about the propositions
between them and such merchants and friends as
should either go or adventure with them, and espe-
cially with them on whom they did chiefly depend for
shipping and means, whose proffers had been large,
they were requested to fit and prepare themselves with
all speed.

A right emblem it may be of the uncertain things of
this world, that when men have toiled themselves,
they vanish into smoke.

mentioned by Peter Martyr, " per-
ceiving her husband now furnish-
ing himself to depart to the un-
known coasts of the new world,
and those large tracts of land and
sea, she spake these words unto
him : Whithersoever your fatal des-
tiny shall drive you, either by the
furious waves of the great ocean,
or by the manifold and horrible
dangers of the land, I will surely
bear you company. There can no
peril chance to me so terrible, nor
any kind of death so cruel, that
shall not be much easier for me to
abide, than to live so far separate
from you." Her husband survived
her only a month :

" He tried
To live without lier, lilted it not, and died."

The " right honorable and ap-
proved virtuous lady, Bridget, Coun-
tess of Lincoln," to whom Dudley
addressed his letter of March 12,
1031, was the wife of Theophilus,
the son of the Countess mentioned
in the test, and the daughter of
Viscount Saye and Sele. See
CoUins's Peerage, ii. 163 ; Burke's
Peerage, Clinton and N ewcastle ;
Walpole's Royal and Noble Au-
thors, ii. 272 ; Savage's Winthrop,

i. 34 ; Hutchinson's Mass. i. 15,
17 ; Mather's Magnalia, i. 71, 126;
Mass. Hist. Coll. viii. 36, 40;
Eden's translation of Peter Mar-
tyr's Decades, p. 84, (ed. 1577.)

' The whole of this paragraph is
contained, almost word for word,

Online LibraryAlexander YoungChronicles of the Pilgrim fathers of the colony of Plymouth, from 1602-1625 → online text (page 7 of 44)