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party opposed to Andros had already entertained the
project of sending Mather to England to plead their cause
at Court, and it is not unlikely that Eandolph's attack
was meant to frustrate this. In fact it only hastened
the eviL Mather was smuggled on shipboard, and in
May reached London.

He bore with him an address to the King from the
churches of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grati-
The coio- tude the Declaration of Indulsrence.^ Cut off

TiLsts accept 1 4 • ^ .

the Deciar- as the American Xonconformists were from the

ation of . r t ■ i ^ i - r-'ii

Indulgence, main Currents oi pohtical thought m England,
it was not strange that they should have fallen into the
net which had been spread for the most part in vain in
the sight of their English brethren. When some of the
churches appointed formal days of thanksgiving Andros
interfered.^ That the royal Declaration was distasteful
to the Governor would be sure to confirm the settlers
in their approval of it. There were not wanting
some, notably Danforth, who distrusted the boon.* Yet

^ A seditious letter was circulated professing to be written by Mather to
a friend in HoUani The letter is published among the Mather Papers
(Ma^. Hm. Coll., 4tli series, vol. viii. p. 104). Other papers bearing on the
case will be found in the same Tolume. The letter seems to me to have
in it nothing characteristic of Matber either in tone or expression, but to be
rather a common and clumsy imitation of the ordinary Puritan style.

Two addresses seem to bare been drafted, differing only in language
and not in substance. There is nothing to show which was presented. They
are both in tie Mather Papers (pp. 697, 698).

= Parentator, p. 103.

^ Danfortb to Mather, November 8, 1697, in Mather Papers (p. 507).

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1688 INCREASE MATHER IN ENGLAND. 333

it is woi'thy of remark that Danfortli took exception
to the Declaration, not as an unconstitutional inter-
ference with the rights of the colonists to regulate such
matters for themselves, but on the practical and sectarian
ground that it would favour the growth of Popery.

To one like Mather, trained in the hereditary tradi-
tions of New England Nonconformity, it must have been
Mather at almost impossible to understand the altered
^'""■'- attitude of English Dissent, its alliance with
Bishops who were avowedly hostile in principle against
a King who was showing himself friendly in act. There
were special influences at work in Mather's case which
made it peculiarly difficult for him to enter into that
view. His knowledge of English affairs was mainly
derived from his brother, a Nonconformist minister.
Enough of their correspondence remains to show that
Nathaniel Mather was among those Dissenters whose
hatred to Prelacy had thoroughly blinded them to th e
insidious pohcy of the King.^

Backed as Mather was by the favour of this party,
he had no difficulty in getting an audience at court.
The line he took, and placed as he was he could hardly
take any other, was to protest against Andros and
Eandolph as aggressive Churchmen who were frustrating
the tolerant purpose of their master. When he was
first admitted to an audience of the King, Mather was
content to discredit Andros by telling of his conduct in
the matter of tlie Declaration. Encouraged by his
reception, Mather presented a memorial in which he
called attention to such hardships as the encroachment
on common lands and the compulsory use of the Bible
in swearing. After this Mather petitioned for a charter

> See a letter of August 2, 1687, in the Mather Papers (p. 67). Compare
with this the letter which immediately precedes it from Nathaniel Mather
to Richard Lobb, the Nonconformist minister, who was at this time a tool
of the King among the Dissenters.

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334 THE REVOLUTION IN NEW ENGLAND. 1688

for Harvard College, lest a foundation due to the liber-
ality of Nonconformists should be transferred to the
use of Churchmen.'^ Mather's efforts were not confined
to his own colony. He also presented a memorial from
Plymouth, asking in very general language for free-
dom of worship. The memorialists reminded the King
that eight years before an application for a charter had
been not unfavourably heard, and they now begged
that the boon might be granted.^

Mather seems at this time to have been on good
terms with Perm. The positions of the two men were
not unlike. Each had interests of his own, not of a
personal or selfish nature, but apart from those of the
general body of Nonconformists. Each had enough of
the wisdom of the serpent to ingratiate himself with
men widely different in every way from himself. Cotton
Mather, with a characteristic mixture of filial pride,
vanity, and lack of perception, tells how his father won
the good graces of Sunderland, Melfort, and Jefireys,
and even received overtures from the Jesuit Petre.^

Mather however was not ^-ithout more creditable
and, as events proved, more useful aUies, Conspicuous
Ashuist be- amoug them was Ashurst. A wealthy London
England. Noncouformist, he had publicly avowed his
principles by standing as a friend beside Baxter before
the judgment-seat of Jeffreys.* This alliance with Ashurst
was of no small value to Massachusetts. It probably
saved the New England Puritans from being associated
with that section of the Nonconformist party which
was wilHng to barter its legal rights for the precarious
benefit of an unconstitutional toleration. Nor was that



' Mather Papers, p. 69£i.

^ Parentator, p. 109-14: An address, probably this, is g^ven m the
Andron Tracts (vol. iii. p. 183, n.).
' Farentator, p. 115.
* Calamy's Xf/e of .B«j.-i«-, p. 368.

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1688 INCREASE MATHER IN ENGLAND. 335

all. In the coming struggle it was of the greatest im-
portance that New England should not be deprived
by commercial jealousy of those who were on pohtical
and rehgious grounds her natural aDies. The support
of such an one as Ashurst must have done much to
remedy that danger, to make the London merchants
forget that the men of Boston might be resolute and
somewhat unscrupulous rivals in trade, to make them
remember that they were fellow-suflferers in the cause
of freedom.

That the supporters of the colony in England were
fully alive to this is shown by a pamphlet put forth at
Attempts this time, if not by Mather himself, at least by
thrEngHsh oi^s who was acting in concert with him,i The
merchants, "writer enumerates and answers the various
charges which had been brought forward to prejudice
the colonists in the eyes of English traders. They had
been accused of uuderseUing the English merchants in
the colonial and foreign markets, and of imposing im-
port duties on Enghsh goods, It was urged that titles
to land had been acquired under the new government,
and that mining schemes which would be supported by
the Crown would be frustrated by a colonial Assembly.

The assailants of the colony had, with no in-
considerable craft, interwoven these appeals to per-
sonal interest with arguments more likely to prevail
upon patriotic and law-abiding Englishmen. Under
the charter government there could be no effective

> The pamphlet in question is in the Andros Tracts (vol. ii. pp. 111-24).
It is entitled, New England vindicated from the unjust aspersions cast on the
former Government there by some late Considerations. The only ground for
attributing it to Mather is the fact that according to his own statement he
wrote three such Tindications, that unless this be one there is a difficulty in
making up the number from extant pamphlets, and that the tone of thoucrht
and the language are like his. The Considerations to which it is^an
answer do not appear to he extant. But a rejoinder was published which
appears to repeat all the charges embodied in the original document. This
is in the same volume (pp. 135-8).

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oob THE REVOLUTION IN NEW ENGLAND. 1688

resistance to French encroachment. The officers of the
Crown had been hindered in their attempts to suppress
piracy.

Some of these charges were easily and effectively
answered. Since the usurpation of Andros there had
been no outlay of capital in reclaiming or settling lands.
The only persons who would suffer would be those who
would have to disgorge what they had illegally acquired.
If men invested capital in mines, it would be as secure
under the charter as under any other form of govern-
ment. The writer points out that the trade of New
England was far too small to be any serious rival to the
mother country, that much of the shipping there was
the property of English merchants, and that the onlv
tax laid on English goods was a small harbour duty on
powder.

But it is noteworthy that the advocate of Xew
England hurries in a summary fashion over two points
of great importance. The charge of abetting pirates
is met, not by denial, but by the plea that it had been
done through ignorance. The alleged danger of a
French attack is answered by the vague and inconclu-
sive statement that the danger would be increased by
the loss of the charter, since the colonists in despair
would fall an easy prey to an invader.

It was aU the more important for ilather to win in-
fluential support among those who might influence the
MatherfaUs futurc policy of England, since it was soon
at Court, evident that he had nothing to look for from
the court. As it was with the mother country, so was
it with the colony. To conciliate Nonconformists with
fair words, while straining every nerve to estabhsh
Popery, was a task which would have taxed the powers
of the most unscrupulous diplomatist of the sixteenth
century. It was indeed a hopeless attempt for a King

in whom obstinacy and servility, uuscrupulousness and
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1688 MATHER FAILS AT COURT. 337

credulity, were so strangely blended. Among the
charges against James, it was believed that he had
written to the Pope, promising to enforce the religion
of Rome in all the American colonies. True or false, the
story just fitted in with the suspicions about Andros
which were current. Moreover, when the storm of Oc-
tober the nineteenth freed the King, as he thought, from
the danger of a Dutch invasion, Mather, like his Enghsh
brethren; found that there was no more talk of extend-
ing toleration or restoring privileges. Accordingly he
turned his back on the court. In the words of his
son, ' He said in his own mind, I will see thy face no
more.'^

But we may be sure that he was neither idle nor un-
observant. Nothing would be of greater interest, were
Connexion i* but possiblc, than to trace the connexion
Bo8ton°'and bctwecn public Opinion in England and public
in England, opinion at Bostou during the winter of 1688.
That there was no common understanding is unlikely ;
that the leaders of the popular party in Boston were
not following the train of events in England and steering
their course by it seems impossible. The ease with
which the Eevolution in New England was effected, the
readiness with which the popular forces marshalled
themselves, make it certain that the citizens must have
been in some degree familiarized with such a project.
But neither the schemes, if schemes there were, nor the
hopes and fears of the New Englanders are revealed to us
in any of the letters which have since seen the light of day.

In one respect the task before the New Englanders
was an easier one than that before the revolutionists in the
mother country. The colonists might mature measures
against Andros without placing themselves in serious
jeopardy. They were not like the leaders in England,
who had burnt their boats, and for whom failure almost

' Parentatoi; p. 116.
III. z

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338 THE REVOLUTION IN NEW ENGLAND. 1688

certainly meant the scaffold. But if the stake for which
they played was a smaller one, the game was in many
ways more difficult. No man, whether in England or
in America, could have reckoned with certainty on the
fatuity of James, on the wholesale perfidy of those about
him, on that sustained good-fortune without which all
the foresight and self-restraint of William might have
been fruitless. But in England the conspirators at least
knew what was the result of each move in the game
before they were called on to make the next. At
Boston men might be building up schemes which would
at any moment be frustrated by the news that
William had fallen before a stray bullet, or that James
by some prudent concession had won back even at the
last moment a share of that loyalty which had been so
vainly lavished on his unrighteous house.

As a set-off the same difficulties or even greater
beset Andros. Whichever side prevailed, it was no
Difficult wise unlikely that he would find himself dis-
Andros! " claimed by the victor. The siiccess of William
might expose Andros to the vengeance of a justly enraged
faction. On the other hand, if James succeeded, two
dangers lay before his deputy. If the King were but par-
tially successful, if he prevailed, not by crushing popular
liberties, but by making terms with them, Andros
might find himself abandoned, given up as a victim to
propitiate the Nonconformists whom he had oppressed.
On the other hand, the triumph of James, as the cham-
pion of Popery and the ally of France, was scarcely less
to be feared. Despite Puritan calumnies it is clear that
Andros was a thorough Anglican, and there is every
reason to think that his failure against the Indians was
due to- incapacity and to the difficulties of the situation,
and to no lack of zeal or courage. He might at any
moment find that in defending New England against an

inroad of French Papists he had been doing service in
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1689 WILLIAM'S DECLARATION REACHES BOSTON. 339

nowise acceptable to his master. It is far from unlikely
that the seemingly inexplicable ease with which Andros
allowed himself to be overthrown was, in part at least,
due to his own wish to escape from a position which
might become at any moment intolerable.

Though we have no precise account of what pre-
ceded the Eevolution, it is at least clear that the dread
William's of an Indian attack, the distrust of Andros,
reaches'''"" ^^^ vaguc rumours of events in England
Boston.i }^a^^ worked men into an impatient and rest-
less frame of mind. On the fourth of April, 1689, a
young man named John Winslow landed at Boston. He
had come from Nevis. There he had heard news of
WilHam's landing and of his successful entry into the
kingdom. He also brought with him copies of the
Prince's declaration. Andros, it would seem, got wind
of this, probably through the master of the ship, before
any of the documents were distributed.'"^ He at once
apprehended Winslow. He was charged before two
sulDservient magistrates with bringing over treasonable

' We have five distinct accounts of the proceedings at Boston. 1. An
Account of the Late Revolution in Nexo England, written by Mr. Nathaniel
Byfield to his friends. This ivas printed at the time in London. It has
been reprinted by Force (vol. iv.), and sgain in the Andros Tracts (vol. i.).
2. An Account of the Late Revolutions in New England, by A. B. Published
at Boston in 1689, and republished in the Andros Tracts (vol, ii.). t>. The
Report by Andros himself to the English government {Andros Tracts,
vol. iii.). 4. Three letters published in the Hinckley Papers (pp. 190-6), all
written from Boston to Thomas Hinckley, Governor of Plymouth. One is
from William Bradford and Nathaniel Thomas, dated April 20, 1689.
Another of the same date is from Danforth. The third, dated April 22, is
from Samuel Prince. This contains a very full account of the proceedings.
The greater part of this is quoted by Hutchinson (vol. i. pp. 374-7). 5. A
statement by John Biggs, a servant of Andros, presented to the Committee
for Plantations, July 22, 1689. This is among the Colonial Papers. It is
printed in full by Mr. Palfrey in a note (vol. iii. p. 585). These are the
main authorities for the actual outbreak. There is also valuable information
in the polemical pamphlets put forth by both parties after the Revolution,
and collected in the Andros Tracts.

'^ I infer this from A. B.'s account. He says, ' the Prince's Declaration,
of which at last we had stolen a sight ' (p. 7).

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340 THE REVOLUTION IN NEW ENGLAND. 1689

libels. Bail was refused, and he was sent to prison to
await his trial.

Despite the precautions of Andros copies of the
declaration got about, supplemented, as it would seem, by-
vague reports of what was doing in England.^ Even
now if Andros had dealt frankly with the people, if he
had told them all that he knew, they would in all like-
lihood have sat still, content to await the course of
events in England. But as a consequence of Andros's
attempted concealment the air was fiUed with vague
rumours of mischief. A royal frigate, the Eose, sent
out to act against pirates, was lying in Boston harbour.
It was believed that she was intended to carry off
Andros and his troops, and that the town was to be
left unguarded, to be attacked by Indians on land and
by the French fleet from the sea.^

To make matters worse, some of the troops whom
Andros had left in garrison on the north-east frontier
had abandoned their stations and were in the neighbour-
hood of Boston, ready, it was thought, for an attack upon
the commander who as they believed had betrayed them.
Accordingly, the members of what one may call the
moderate wing of the patriotic party resolved to be ready
for an outbreak. They could not restrain the public
feehng against Andros, but they might direct and utiUze
the expression of it. Some concerted scheme of action
was settled, and a constitutional declaration was pre-
pared, to be made public if occasion offered.^

' A. B., p. 7. ^ lb. p. 6.

^ The editor of the Andros Tracts (vol. iii. p. 145) quotes a passage from
the Life of Cotton Mather, by his son Samuel, describing what was done at
this time. We may take him as a trustworthy witness for so much of the
atfair as came within his father's knowledge. But I do not think we can
safely regard his account as an exhaustive one. In the event of failure the
leaders of the popular party in Boston might be very glad to have it believed
that they had been merely waiting to interfere if necessary, and to turn a
tumult into a constitutional revolution. If, as well may be, there was more
in their schemes, Cotton Mather was the last man to be trusted with secrets
on which life might be staked.

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1689 RISING AGAINST ANDROS. 341

But though we may believe that the leaders of the
popular party were concerting some measures, there is
nothing to show how far they went. If there was a
complete scheme of attack arranged, it is wonderful
that the preparations should have left no more definite
traces. It is scarcely less wonderful that a spontaneous
outbreak should have been so well organized, so effec-
tive, and so forbearing. In either case we see the
wholesome effect of that systematic training in public
life which New England offered to her citizens.

It is not unlikely that some rumour of the complete
triumph of the Eevolutionary party had reached
New England. Within a fortnight of Winslow's arrest
either the leaders of the popular party saw that the time
had come to strike a blow, orthe popular feeling against
Andros and his creatures could no longer be restrained.
The Governor himself had some vague suspicion of
danger. There was, he wrote, ' a general buzzing among
the people, great with expectation of their old charter.' ^
Yet his arrangements were assuredly not such as' to
suggest that he was making ready against an attack.
He himself was in the fort by the water's edge at the
eastern end of the town. To the north of the fort, within
easy range, was a small battery on a sconce. The main
body of Andros's troops were in the castle on an island
in the mouth of the harbour, two miles from the town,
where they could give no help in a sudden emergency.
The frigate was moored in the harbour, and her captain,
George, was in the town.

At eight o'clock on the morning of the eighteenth
news was brought to Andros that a large force of
The people couutrymeu was assembled at Charlestown

rise against -. n* i i

Andros. Under arms, oimultaneously, as it would seem,
another force, somewhat smaller, appeared at Boston

' A letter to Brockholts, -wlto waa in command at Pemaquid, quoted by
Hutchinson (vol. i. p. 872),

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342 THE REVOLUTION IN NEW ENGLAND. 1039

neck, threatening the town from the south. The project
of the insurgents, as far as we can judge from events,
was to rise simultaneously at the north and south ends
of Boston, seize their enemies, and get possession of the
town, while their supporters remained without under
arms, ready to act according to signal.

The course of events during the day is vividly
described by one who was clearly no party to any pre-
meditated scheme.^ The occupants of the north end of
the town were first apprised of the outbreak by the
sight of lads rushing through the streets with clubs, as
it would seem in imitation of the London apprentices.
Xews soon came that the other end of the town was up ;
that George, Eandolph, Bullivaut, the Attorney-General,
one of the most hated among the supporters of govern-
ment, and others of that party, were arreste"d, and that
the rest of the followers of Andros had taken refuge
with him in the fort.

The Xew Englander's strong instincts of discipline
and subordination at once asserted themselves. The
leaders of the popular party came together at the town
hall. Among tliem was one whose reappearance
seemed to the crowd to symbohze the revival of the old
free Puritan commonwealth. ' TTheu the old Governor
came among them there was a great shout by the
soldiers.' ^ Bradstreet might have little of the real
spirit of Winthrop or Dudley, but he was the living em-
bodiment of the memories which surrounded them. In
the very throes of revolution the popular hero was the
man whose one claim was his peculiar connexion with
the past life of the colony, who above all embodied the
sober, unenthusiastic, uninventive side of Puritanism.
In real truth it was Andros and his followers who were

' Prince.

' Prince, p. 194. I would observe that throughout this letter ' soldieis '
plainly means ' the insurgents.'

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1680 DECLARATION OF BIGHTS. 343

the revolutionists, the subverters of estabhshed order.
The so-called rebels were but maintaining ideas and in-
stitutions which had interwoven themselves with the life
of the community.

The next proceeding showed the same temper. A
dull and verbose declaration, divided like a Puritan
Deciara- scrmou iuto twelve heads, was read to the crowd
Eights. from a balcony.-' It set forth all the charges
against Andros, it then referred somewhat vaguely to
the success of the Prince of Orange, and it ended with
the announcement that the government of the colony
had been taken out of the hands of dangerous men lest
it should be handed over to a foreign power, and that
it would be held till the arrival of orders from the
English Parliament. The elaboration and the some-
what pedantic arrangement of this document go far
to prove that the rebellion was no unpremeditated
outbreak. Its literary and pohtical merits are of the
slightest. Yet it is no paradox to say that no appeal to
popular passion and no vindication of liberty, however
eloquent, would have been half as honourable to those
concerned. Those who well knew the temper of the
people believed, and believed rightly, that at such a
crisis they would hear with patience and accept with
satisfaction a diffuse and prosaic statement of grievances,
which neither threatened revenge nor promised anything
beyond the removal of administrative corruption. That
simple fact is far more eloquent than all the self glori-
fying rhetoric of Puritan chroniclers.

Meanwhile the royal colours had been run up over
the fort, while a flag hoisted by the popular party on
Attack on Beacou HiU told those outside the town that
the fort. ^j-^gjj. services might yet be needed. The Eose
opened her ports and made ready to fire on the town.
Her captain however sent a message to her, represent-

' This is the document referred to above, appended to Byfield's account.

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344 THE REVOLUTION IN NEW ENGLAND. 1689

ing that he was a prisoner, and that his life would be in



Online LibraryJohn Andrew DoyleThe English in America; the Puritan colonies → online text (page 28 of 44)