Henry Martyn Dexter.

The England and Holland of the Pilgrims online

. (page 55 of 65)
Online LibraryHenry Martyn DexterThe England and Holland of the Pilgrims → online text (page 55 of 65)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

' Sumner, Mass. Hist. Soc. Colls, iii. ser. ix : "jT, T2. Dexter, Cuiig. in Lit. 3SS.

* Repriuted in ^fass. Ilist. Si)c. Colls iv. ser. i : 1G5-194.


his justification of the ministry of that church by " A Second
Manvdvction, for Mr. Robinson. Or a confirmation of the for-
mer in an answer to his manumission." It is a detailed reply to
Robinson with little novelty of topic or treatment. Among other
publications of the year appeahng specially to the Pilgrims was
the controversial correspondence between Henry and John Ains-
worth, written in 1G09 and already referred to.^

A peculiarly exciting disturbance, in connection with the per-
secution of the Remonstrants in the National Church, occurred
in Amsterdam, where Simon Goulart, the younger, who for
fourteen years had been a pastor of the French Walloons, and
now was about forty, was suspended by his Consistorj' for de-
fending Remonstrant innovations in doctrine.

At King James's request the negotiations attempted in 1613
between the Dutch and English East India Companies Avere
resimied early in 1615 at The Hague, but were closed prema-
turely by the Dutch demand for a joint warfare upon Spain
because of her aggressive course in the East Indies. Such action
was impossible for the British king just then, for a marriage
between the heir-apparent and the Spanish Infanta was under

The most important theological works of the year in England
•were "William Bradshaw's " Treatise of Justification " and
George Carleton's " Directions to know the True Church," the
latter being aimed specifically at the Romanists. A notable illus-
tration of the spirit in which ecclesiastical offences stiU were
liable to be treated in England occurred this year. Edmond
Peacham, a Somersetshire rector, was charged with railing at
his bishop and with treasonable writings. He was actually, al-
though ineffectually, tortured, and of this barbarity persons no
less eminent than Lord Bacon and Archbishop Abbot were wit-
nesses, if not instigators.


The next year, 1616, was somewhat more eventful, owing to
the current theological differences. But the internal history of

^ See p. 513.


the Pil^ira body was much like that of the preceding years.
Roger Wilson, who had officiated as a witness at so many be-
trothals, was the first to need similar service this year. He was
betrothed to Elizabeth Williams on Nov. 11, accompanied by
her brother, Thomas Williams, afterwards a Mayflower pas-
senger, and by Elizabeth Spalding. They were married on Mar.
26. Whether or not Henry Wilson was a relative of Roger is
not known, but he was the first to follow Roger into matrimony,
being betrothed on May 13 to Elizabeth Nicholas, in the pre-
sence of John Carver, William Jepson, Mrs. Bradford and Sarah
(Mrs. William) Minter. He was from Yarmouth and was a
pump-maker. She also was from Yarmouth, and their wedding
was on May 28. Zechariah Barrow, who had lost his first wife,
Ellen, and was a wool-carder, was betrothed to Joan Barrow
on June 16, with John Crackstone, Moses Fletcher — both of
whom came over in the iNIayfiower — and Mrs. Pontus for wit-
nesses. They were married on July 2. John Spooner, a ribbon-
weaver living on the Bogertsteeg (Bogert Lane), who had buried
his first wife in the spring, and Ann Peck, the ward of William
Brewster, from Lowud, were betrothed on Nov. 9, accompanied by
Samuel Lee and Elizabeth Spalding, and were married on Dec. 24.

The dead of the year numbered seven. Robert Cusliman,
then living on the Xonnensteeg, buried a child in St. Peter's on
Mar. 11. Mrs. John Spooner (Susanna Bennett) was interred
in the same place on Mar. 28. John Allerton, living in the
Pieterskcrlchof, hnvieyi a child there on May 21. Another Mary
Butler, the one who had witnessed the banns of William and
Wybi-a Pontus, also was buried there on July 16. Poor Cush-
man was called upon to part with two more of his stricken family
in October. His wife, Sarah, was buried in St. Peter's on the
11th and another child on the 24th. Since March he had re-
moved from the Nonnenstceg to the Boisstraat. William White
also buried another child in St. Pancras on Dec. 21.

On June 3 Thomas Smith and Joseph Lambertson guar-
anteed Joseph Crips for citizenship, and on Dec. 16 John
Keble and William Minter performed the same service for
William Jepson. On Apr. 11 Bernard Ross ^ made a de])osi-

1 Proc. Bk. ad litea, A, s. d.


tion in regard to his lawsuit with Joseph Lewis. He was
oblio-ed to go to Amsterdam aud England and was afraid that
Lewis might take advantage of his absence to try to get the
case decided against him.

Outside of the Pilgrim congregation an event in which they
must have felt some interest was the death of Robert Durie,
minister of the Reformed Scotch Church, who was buried in St.
Peter's on Sept. 16, aged sixty-one. At this date his more
famous son, John Durie, was about twenty.

In the imiversity circle this year witnessed some specially
vigorous attacks upon Episcopius, the most important being in-
stfgated by Ilonmiius. A formal investigation of the charge of
Socinianism was held before the Curators of the university and
the Burgomasters, but the result satisfied neither party.

Probably it was not far from this time that Robinson dis-
puted publicly with Episcopius, especially in one formal debate.
It is much to be regretted that so little is kno^Ti about an
event so significant in itself and so full of interest to the Pil-
grims. The invitation to represent the conservative party was a
tribute at once to Robinson's conceded ability as a reasoner and
a public speaker, and to his growing prominence in the intel-
lectual and theological feUowship of the city. It was a notable
mark of respect and confidence which must have gratified him
and aU his company, apart from the fact that it necessarily
added to their good repute as a body. Nor can the advantage
of such an invitation have remained merely local. Throughout
Holland interest in the current discussions was so great that
such a debate was followed widely and with keen attention, and
Robinson must have become known much more generally and
favorably than before by his mere selection to encounter so dis-
tinguished a champion as Episcopius. But his characteristic
m(xlesty, shared by his friends, prevented any, excepting the
most scanty, record of tlie affair from being handed down.

In marked contrast to what was customary, he had taken
pains to hear both sides, frequenting the lectures not only of
Polyander, with whom he agreed, but also of Episcopius ; " by
which means," says Bradford,^ —

1 Hist. 20, 21.


he was so well grounded in y* controversie, and saw y^ force of all
their arguments, and knew y'^ shifts of y° adversarie, and being him
selfe very able, none was fitter to buckle with them then him selfe, as
appered by sundrie disputs ; so as he begane to be terrible to y* Armiu-

Apparently several minor discussions took place, in which Rob-
inson participated to the great satisfaction of the conservatives,
and, spurred on by these, Episcopius " put forth his best
stringth, and set forth sundry Theses, which by publick dispute
he would defend against all men." It was this challenge, espe-
cially, which Robinson was persuaded to take up. He w-as re-
luctant to serve. " He was loath, being a stranger." But it was
urged by Polyander and the " chiefe preachers of y^ citie " that
" such was y® abilitie and nimbliies of y* adversarie, that y®
truth would siiffer if he did not help them." So he yielded.

However radically Episcopius may have differed from Rob-
inson, he probably had no occasion to comjilain of unfairness or
discourtesy on Robinson's part, which must have been an un-
usual experience. Bradford says further of Robinson : —

The Lord did so help him to defend y° truth & f oyle this adversarie,
as he put him to an apparent nonplus, in this great & publike au-
dience. And y^ like he did a 2. or 3. time, upon such like occasions.
The which as it caused many to praise God y' the truth had so famous
victory, so it procured him much honour & respecte from those lerned
men & others which loved y"^ trueth.

Doubtless Episcopius was as conscientious as Robinson, and
allowance must be made for the natural predisposition of Brad-
ford and "Winslow, the only reporters of the affair, in favor of
their pastor. Yet probably there is no reason to doubt their
statements that Robinson generally was regarded as having had
the best of the argument. Indeed Bradford adds that, " were it
not for giveing offence to y« state of England, they would have
preferd him otherwise if he would, and [if he would have]
alowd them [they would have showii him] some publike fa-

From Amsterdam came the news of the death, on May 20, of
Richard Clyfton, aged about sixty-three, the original pastor or
teacher of the Scrooby church. To the Pilgrims, especially to


those from ScrooLy and vicinity, who had been identified with
the formation of the church and its earliest struggles and perils,
this news must liave caused genuine sorrow. He was the first
of their original leaders to be taken away, and, although during
the seven years since they had left Amsterdam, most of them
probably had seen him seldom, they cannot have failed to con-
tinue to regard him with respect and affection. He remained
with that portion of the Ancient Church which adhered to
Francis Johnson, and he took some part in the controversies
which have been described.^ But he does not appear to have
been bitter in spirit. How far he sympathized with Jolmsou's
extreme views is uncertain. Although ready to make sacrifices
for his convictions, his natural disposition evidently was peace-
able. Apparently he aged prematurely, and he may have pre-
ferred to acquiesce to a large degree in what he could not help
rather than to contest it, but there is no evidence that he did not
maintain cordial relations with the Pilgrims as long as he lived.

During the year Henry Ainsworth carried through the press
the first instalment of his valuable exegotical work, "Annotations
upon the first Book of Moses, called Genesis." There was is-
sued also, imder the care of Dr. Ames, a learned treatise, Z)e
JPoUteia Ecclcsiaf<tlca Christie et Ilirrarchira opj^osita, Libri
Tres, wi'itten by Robert Parker, who died before its publica-
tion. A copy of it is named in the inventory of Brewster's
library, which also includes another book printed this year,
" The Revelation of S. John illustrated . . . By Thomas Bright-
man. Imprinted at Leiden, by John Claesson van Dorpe, at
the Signe of the golden Sunne. Anno 1616."

In March a new English ambassador succeeded AVinwood at
The Hague, Sir Dudley Carleton. His correspondence for the
next dozen years contains much of great interest in relation to
current Dutch history. A sentence in his letter of instructions ^
emphasizes the hierarchical claims of King James : —

^ Arber condemns Clyfton (Story Pilg. Faths. 116) as countenancing Studley's
faults in the Advertisement, and declares that Clvfton retracted his own condem-
nation of Lawne's Prophane Schisme. Ills authority is Pag-et {Arrow. 4). But hia
quotation does not make it certain tliat Pag-et refers to Clyfton. and he accepfa
Lawne's accusations aq-ainst the Ancient Church as trustworthy too readily.

» Letters from and to Sir D. Carleton. ed. ITSO, 6, 82.


In Holland there lately have been violent and sharp contestations
among the towns in [the] cause of religion, which we fear are rather
for the time allayed than quenched and extinguished. If therefore
they should be unhappily revived during your time, you shall not for-
get, that you are the minister of that master, whom God hath made
the sole protector of his religion.

Carleton's despatches this year refer often to the religious
dissensions ; and the last one, on Dec. 29, calls attention to the
schism then at its height in Leyden, " where they have divided
their churches betwixt the orthodox and Arniinian factions, the
one refusing to communicate with the other."

In this year Henry Jacob returned to England and organ-
ized in Southwark a church on Congregational principles which
generally is accounted the mother church of the modern English
Independents, or Congregationalists. At the same time he pub-
lished, but anonymously, a declaration of principles, " A Con-
fession and Protestation of the Faith of certain Christians in
England. . . . Also an Humble Petition to the King' s ^Majesty
for toleration therein." In the Established Church the most
conspicuous publication was Dr. Richard Mocket's Doctrina et
Politia Ecclesiae Anglicanae, which was charged with hetero-
doxy and burned. The general literature of the year included
a collection of the " Works " of King James, edited by Bishop
James ^Montagu, of Winchester ; and, of much more impor-
tance to the Leyden Pilgrims, as matters turned out, Captain
John Smith's " Description of New England," with a map of
the coast as alleged to have been surveyed by him in 1G14.

The year also was marked in England by the downfall of the
reigning favorite, the Earl of Somerset, and the rise of a more
dangerous successor, George Villiers, whose influence fostered
the Si)anish match. But an equally memorable fact in the view
of posterity is the death of Shakespeare on Apr. 23 at Stratford-



Coming events of serious importance began to cast their shadows
before during 1617. Gradually it was becoming e\-ident to the
Pilgrims that Holland did not, and could not, afford the sort of
refuge and opportunity which they desired. Reluctant though
they were to emigrate again, and uncertain though they were
where to go, they seem to have decided this year that their
very existence as a church, and even as a body of English people,
depended upon some such a step. Meanwhile their life went on
much as hitherto.

There is no record of the death of the first Mrs. John Jennmgs
(Elizabeth Pettinger), butslie must have died before this year, as
her husband was betrothed again on ]Mar. 3, this time to Rose, a
daughter of ^Villiam Lisle. The friends present were John Car-
ver and Rosamond (Mrs. AVilliam) Jepson. They were married
on Mar. 23. At this time Jennings was a merchant. Samuel
Fuller, who had lost his second wife (Agnes Carpenter) the
year before, also was betrothed again on May 12 to Bridget Lee,
accompanied by Josephine and Samuel Lee, her mother and
brother, and they were married on ^lay 27. Two others of the
company, Cuthbert Cutlibertson, a hat-maker, and Elizabeth
Kendall, also were betrothed, in presence of P]iizal)eth and Ed-
ward Kendall, her mother and brother, on Mav 12, and were
married on May 27. As Cuthbertson had been living with Lee,
there must have been some intimacy between these two cou2)les,
and probably there was a double wedding.

Henry Collet, whose first wife had been Anna Harris, and
Alice (Thomas), the widow of John Howarth, were betrothed
on May 19 and wedded on June 3. the witnesses of the betrothal
being John Crackstone, Thomas Harris — Collet's brotlier-in-
law — and Isabel (Mrs. Roger) Chandler; and on June 5, Robert


Cushman married a second wife, ]\Iary Singleton ; their be-
trothal, when John Keble and Mrs. Carver had attended them,
also having been on May 19. John Eeynolds, from London, a
printer employed by Brewer and Brewster, and Prudence Grin-
don, also from London, were betrothed on July 28, in presence
of Mary (Mrs. William) Brewster and her son Jonathan and
Mary (Mrs. Isaac) Allerton, and were married on Aug. 18.
Stephen Butterfield, from Norwich, a say-weaver, and Rose
Singer, from Yarmouth, were betrothed on Oct. 13, Abraham
Gray and Sarah (Mrs. William) Minter accompanpng them,
and were married on Oct. 30 ; and Henry Jepson, from Worksop,
Notts., a brother of William and a say-weaver, and Jane Powell,
from Maldon, Essex, were betrothed on Dec. 8, with Henry Wood
and Jane Lee for witnesses ; and their wedding took place on
Dec. 23, or very soon afterwards, that being the date of the
third and last publication of their banns.

On Apr. 12 Thomas Blossom, who lived in the PietersherhJiof,
buried a child in St. Peter's, and on Nov. 11 another child of
John Carver, then living on the Middlegracht, appears to have
been buried in St. Pancras, although in this instance again there
is doubt about the name. Thomas Tinker, a wood-sawyer, was
admitted as a citizen on Jan. 6, being vouched for by Abraham
Gray and John Keble ; and Jonathan Brewster, described as a
ribbon-weaver, on Jime 30, on the guaranty of two Dutchmen,
Isaac de Syde and Sebastianson van Hout.

Not much light falls upon the business transactions of the Pil-
grims this year, but on Jime 12 we find William Bradford ^ bor-
rowing 100 gilders from Jan van Grieeken, a goldsmith, at six
and a quarter per cent interest, on his house in the Acliterrp'acht
as security; and on June 17 Thomas Brewer buying from Jo-
hann de Lalaing the Groenehuis (Green House), on the Pictcrs-
kerlchqf and next but one to John Robinson's. He paid GOO
gilders down and agi-eed to pay 131 and a quarter gilders an-

Just when Brewer and Brewster started as printers is not re-
corded. But it must have been as early as this year, or even
1616, for at least four volumes can be traced to their press at
^ Prot. Schult, en Rent. N. 3G5, verso.


this time, two in Latin and two in English. The Latin imprint
gives their place of business, " in Vlco Chorcdi,' i. e., in the
Koorsteeg (Choir Alley). The books are Dr. Ames's Ad lie-
sponsum JSic. Grevinchovii Rescrijytio contraeta, a IGmo ;
Thomas Cartwright's Commentarii Succincti & Dilucidi in
Proverhia /Salomonis, etc., a 4to ; " A Full and plaine Decla-
ration of Ecclesiastical Disci})line," probably by AV. Travers ;
and " An Abridgment of that Book which the Ministers of
Lincoln Diocess delivered to his Majestie upon the lii'st of De-
cember 1604."

Turning to their general affairs, their uneasiness in the in-
evitable conditions of Dutch life now becomes apparent. Brad-
ford paints the shadows in the picture and Winslow confirms
him. Cleaidy the Pilgrims were disappointed by tlieir Dutch ex-
periment in several inijiortant respects. Their original hope of
receiving considerable accessions from England had not been
reahzed. Bradford says that " few in comparison woidd come to
them, and fewer that would bide it out and continew ^vith them,"
such newcomers finding themselves unable, or unwilling, to

endure y* great labor and hard fare, with other inconveniences which
they [the Pilgrims] underwent & were contented Avith . . . yea, some
preferred & chose y" prisons in England, rather then this libertie in
Holland, with these afflictions.

When it is recalled what the English prisons were, a strong
and saddening light is thrown upon the condition of the Pilgrims
in Leydon. That some had attained to a modest measure of
prosperity must be true. But such testimony — written calmly
by one who knew all the facts thoroughly — makes it clear that
others had failed to lift themselves out of comparative poverty
and hardship.

Moreover, old age was stealing upon many. The danger also
grew greater daily of absorption into the Dutch nation and of
losing their English characteristics, to which they clung with
intensest loyalty. The strain of their life was ruining not merely
the happiness but even the bodily vigor of their children, and
ine\'itable moral temptations had proved too much already for
some. Nor could they bring themselves to abandon the mission-


ary purpose whicli they had cherished from the first, that they
might demonstrate somewhere the value to mankind of a pure
and democratic church. In Bradford's words : —

A great hope & inward zeall they had of laying some good founda-
tion, or at least to make some way therunto, for y° propagating & ad-
vancing y* gospell of y° kingdom of Christ . . . ; yea, though they
should be but even as stepping-stones unto others for y' performing of
60 great a work.

But it was useless to expect to accomplish this purpose in Hol-
land, especially just then. Winslow's testimony ^ also should be
quoted : —

Considering amongst many other inconveniencies, how hard the
Country was where we lived, how many spent their estate in it, and
were forced to return for England; how grievous to live from under
the protection of the State of England; how like wee were to lose our
Language, and our name of English ; how little good wee did, or were
like to do to the Dutch in reforming the Sabbath : how unable there to
give such education to our cluldren, as wee ourselves had received.

Furthermore, they remembered that the truce with Spain
would expire soon, and they had heard too much of the terrors
of the earlier struggle to wish to risk their renewal. Bradford
adds, although his words apply to the next two or three years
better than to this : —

There was nothing but beating of drumes, and preparing for warr,
the events wherof are allway uncertaine. Y^ Spaniard might prove as
cruel as the salvages of America, and y*^ famine and pestelence as sore
hear as there, & their libertie less to looke out for remedie.

Reluctantly, therefore, but more and more clearly, they
reached the conclusion that they must leave Holland. Long
and earnest discussions ensued and they seem to have decided
to go to some part of America. But Bradford leaves it doubtful
how far they were agreed. He says, " it was fully concluded by
y* major parte to put this designe in execution ; " but whether the
minority were large or small, and whether it strongly opposed
this conclusion or only felt unable personally to help fulfil it, is
left uncertain ; and whether he means the design of emigrating
at all, or that of seeking a home in America, is not plain.
1 Hyp. Unm. 88-89.


Then the question arose, where in America to go. Apparently
the choice lay hetween Guiana ^ and some part of the North
American territory gi'anted in 1606 to the Virginia Company,
and it was decided to attempt an independent settlement under
the Virginia government. But, as the Jamestown colony was
controlled by Churchmen, an effort was made to secure from
King James a pledge of religious freedom.

/ For tliis purpose Robert Cushman and Deacon John Carver
were sent to London in the smnmer ^ or autumn of this year, to
negotiate with the Virginia Company. They submitted to the
Council a somewhat remarkable paper,'^ subscribed in behalf of
the Leyden church by Robinson, its pastor, and Brewster, its
elder. This document presents, in seven propositions, or arti-
cles, the position of the Pilgrims as to tlie English government
and, especially, to the Established Church. It specifically assents
to the Articles of the Church of England and acknowledges
the king's authority and that of the bishops and other ecclesias-
tical officers. It follows here in fidl : —

Seven" Artikes which y'^ church of Leyden sent to y^ Counsell of
England to bee considered of in respeckt of their judgments occationed
about theer going to Virginia, Anno 1618.

1. To y^ confession of fayth published in y^ name of y'^ Church of
England & to every artlkell theerof wee do w"* y*^ reformed churches
wheer wee live & also els where assent wholy.

2. As wee do acknolidg y" docktryne of fayth theer tawght so do
wee y^ fruites and etfeckts of y'^ same docktryne to y*^ begetting of
saving fayth in thousands in y^ land (conformistes & reformistes) as
y^ ar called w"' whom also as w"^ our bretheren wee do desver to keepe
sperituall couimmiion in peace and will pracktis in our parts all law-
full thinges.

3. The Kings Majesty we acknolidg for Supreame Governor in his
Dominion in aU causes and over all parsons [persons], and y' none
raaye decklyne or apeale from his authority or judgment in any
cause whatsoever, but y' in all thinges obedience is dewe unto him

' Their attention may have been drawn thither by Raleig-h's fascinating' narrative,
published in irjOrt. and perhaps also by Robert Flarconrt, who was there in KJU'J
and published his account in 1013-14. Bradford, Hist- 27, n.

^ Not until after June 5, as Cushman was married on that day in Leyden.

' A copy, preserved in *:lie State Paper Office, London, was published for the first

Online LibraryHenry Martyn DexterThe England and Holland of the Pilgrims → online text (page 55 of 65)