Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff.

Records of the governor and company of the Massachusetts bay in New England : Printed by order of the legislature online

. (page 21 of 77)
Online LibraryNathaniel Bradstreet ShurtleffRecords of the governor and company of the Massachusetts bay in New England : Printed by order of the legislature → online text (page 21 of 77)
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ennemy) are impowred to heare, receive, examine, & determine all complaints
& appeales in all causes & matters, aswell militaiy as criminall & civil, & to
proceed in all things for selling this country according to their good & sound
discretion, &6, whereby, insteede of being gouerned by rulers of our oune
chusing, (w"'' is the fundamental! priuiledge of our patent,) & by lawes of
our oune, wee are like to be subjected to the arbitrary power of strangers,
proceeding, not by any established lawe, but by their oune discretions. And
whereas our patent giues a suihcient royall warrant & discharge to all officers
& persons for executing & observing the lawes here made & published, as is
therein directed, wee shall now not be discharged & at rest , from further
molestation when wee haue so executed and observed our lawes, but be Ijable
to complaints & appeales, & to the determination of new judges, whereby our
[*484.1 gouernment & *administratioiis will be made voyd & of none effect. And
though wee haue had got but a litle tast of the words or actings of these gent"
that are come ouer hither in the capacity of coinissioners, yett wee haue had
enough to confirme vs in our feares that their improuement of this power, in pur-
suance of their comission, should the same proceed, will end in the subvertion of
our all, wee should be glad to hope that your majestjes instructions, w* they
haue not yet beene pleased to impart vnto vs, may put such limitations to their
busines here as will take of much of our feare ; but according to the present
appearance of things, wee thus speake in this case : dread soneraigne, our
refuge, vnder God, is your royall selfe* whom wee humbly addresse ourselves
vnto, & are the rather emboldened therein because your majestjes last gracious
letter doeth encourage vs to suggest what, vpon the experience wee haue had,
& observation wee haue made, ivee judg necessary or convenient for the good
& benefit of this your plantation, & because wee are well perswaded, that, had
your majesty a full & right information of the state of things heere, yow would
find apparent reason to put a stop to those proceedings, w"'^ are certainly
disservient to your majestjes interest, & to the prosperity & welfare of this

If these things goe on according to their present appearance, your sub-
jects heere will either be forced to seeke new dwelhngs or sincke & faint


May session.

vnder burdens that will be to tbem intoUerable ; the vigour of all mens en- 166 5.
deavours in their seuerall callings & occupations (either for merchandize
abroad or further subduing this wildernesse at home) will be enfeebled, as
wee perceive it alreadj' beginns to be, the good worke of converting the natiues
obstructed, the inhabitants driuen to wee know not what extremitjes, & this
hopefull plantation in the issue ruined.

But whateuer become of us, wee are sure the adversaiy cannot counter-
vajle the kings damage. It is indeed a greiffe to our hearts to see your
majesty put vpon this extraordinary charge & cost about a business the prod-
ucts whereof can neuer reimburse the one halfe of what will be expended
vpon it. Imposed rulers & officers will haue occasion to spend more then
cann be raysed heere, so as nothing will returne to your majestjes exchecq^uer ;
but insteed thereof, the wonted benneflt by customes of goods exported & im-
ported into England from hence willbe diminished by the discouragement &
diminution of mens endeavo''^ in their seuerall occupations ; or if the ajme
should be to gratify some particcular gentlemen by liuings & revenues here,
that will also faile ; where nothing is to be had, the king himself will loose
his right ; & so will the case be found to be here ; for such is the pouerty &
meaness of the people of this country, (by reason of the length & coldnes of
the winters, the difficulty of subduing a wilderness, defect of a staple coinodityj
the want of money, &d,) that if with hard labour men get a subsistance for their
familjes, it is as much as the generallity is able to doe, paying but very smale
rates towards the publick charge ; & yet if all that the country hath ordinarily
raised by the yeare for all the charges of the whole gouernment were put to-
gether. & then doubled or trebled, it would not be counted for one of these
gentlemen a considerable accomodation. It is true that the estates men haue,
in conjuction w"^ hard labour & vigorous endeavo"^^ in their seuerall places,
doe bring in a comfortable subsistance for such a meane people. Wee dare
not diminish our thankfulness to God that he provides *for us in a wildernesse [*485.]
as he doeth ; yet neither will the former stand if the latter be discouraged,
nor will both euer answer the ends of those that seeke or neede great things.
"We perceive there haue been great expectations of of what is to be had here,
raised by some mens informations ; but those informations will prouue fallacious,
& disappointing them that haue reljed vpon them. And if the taking of this
course should driue this people out of the country, (for to a coalition therein
they will neuer come,) it will be hard to finde another people that will stay
long or stand vnder any considerable burden in it, seeing it is not a country
where men can subsist w*''out hard labour & great frugaUty.

There haue also binn high representations of great diuissions & discon-


tents among vs^ & of a necessity of sending coinissioners to reliue the aggreived,
&d, whereas it plainly appeares that the body of this people are vnanimously
satisfied in the present gouernment, & abhorrent from change ; & that what is
now offered will, insteed of relejving, rajse vp such greivances as are intoller-
able. "Wee suppose there is no gouernment vnder Heaven wherein some
discontented persons may not be found ; & if it be a sufficjent reason against a
gouernment, that there are some such who will be innocent, yet, through the
favo'^ of God, there are but few among vs that are malecontent, & fewer that
haue cause to be so.

S' : The all knowing God he knowes our greatest ambition is to liue a
poore & qaiiet life in a corner of the world, without offence to God or man. Wee
came not into this wilderness to seeke great things to ourselues, & if any come
after vs to seeke them heere, they willbe disappointed. Wee keepe ourselues
w'^'in our Ijne, & medle not w* matters abroad. A just dependance vpon &
subjection to your majestje according to our charter, it is farr from our hearts
to disacknowledge. Wee so highly price your favorable aspect, though at
this great distance, as wee would gladly doe anything that is w*in our power
to purchase the continuance of it. Wee were willing to testify our affection
to your majestjcs service, by answering the proposall of your hono'^ble coinis-
sioners, of which wee doubt not but they haue already given your majesty an
account. Wee are carefully studious of all due subjection to yo"" majesty, & that
not only for wrath, but for conscience sake ; & should divine Prouidence euer
offer any oppertunity wherein wee might in any righteous way, according to our
poore & meane capacity, testify our dutifuU affection to your majesty, wee
hope wee should most gladly embrace it ; but it is a great vnhappines to be
reduced to so hard a case as to haue no other testimony of our subjection &
loyalty offered vs, but this, viz', to destroy our oune being, w* nature teach-
eth vs to preserue, or to yeild vp our libertjes, which are farr dearer to vs
then our Hues, & which, had wee had any feare of being depriued of, wee
had neuer wandered from our fathers houses into these ends of the earth, nor
lajd out our labo's & estates therein, besides engageing in a most hazardous &
difficult warr w"" the most warlike of the natiues, to our great charge & the
losse of some of the liues of our deare freinds ; neither can the deepest in-
vention of man find out a more certeine way of confidence then to obtejne a
rojall donation from so great a prince, vnder his great scale, which is the
greatest security that may be had in humajne affaires.

Royall S' : It is in your power to say of your poore people in New

England, they shall not dye. If wee haue found favour in the sight of our

[*486.J king, *let our life be giuen us at our petition, (or rather that w"*" is dearer


then, life, that wee haue ventured our Hues, & -willingly passed through many
deaths to obteyne,) & our all. At our request let our gouernment Hue, our
patent Hue, our magistrates Hue; our lawes & libertjes Hue, our religious en-
joyments Hue ; so shall wee all haue yet further cause to say from our hearts,
' Let the king Hue foreuer ; ' and the blessing of them that were ready to perrish
shall come vpon your majesty, having deliuered the poore that cryed, & such
as had none to help them. It was an honor to one of your royall auncestors
that he was caUed the poore mans king. It was Jobs excellency, when he
sate as king among his people, that he was a ffather to the poore. They are
a poore people, destitute of outward succour, wealth, & power who now cry
vnto their lord the king. May your majesty please to regard their cause, &
maintejne their right ; it will stand among the markes of lasting honor to after
generations ; and wee & ours shall haue lasting cause to rejoyce that wee haue
binn numbered among

Your majestjes most humble servants & suppliants,

JOHN ENDECOT, Goiirno^ in the name
& by order of y* Generall Court of y" Massachusets.
Boston, in New England, 20"' of October, 1664.

returne to

The Dutch being reduced as aboue is expressed, S' Robert Carr, Kn', Their meeting

■i(yth ye (jrou. &

George Cartwright, & Samuell Mauericke, Es^s, returned againe to Boston, ji^gisu. De-
& on the 15* of February, 1664, had a meeting w"' the Gouerno'^ & seuerall ciareyirpur-

J ' ' o pose to repaier

of the magistrates at the Gouerno'^s house, where they acquainted the Gou- to PHmouth.
emo' & magistrates, that they were resolued on the morrow to repaier to ^^^"J'^j,"^'^^^'"
PHmouth to deliuer his majestjes letter & comunicate his majesties grace & assemhiing all

inhabitants to

favovir to them ; & further signified their desire that order might be taken for y, election, &c.
the assembling of all the inhabitants at the day of our election, that so they Their desires

^ ^ y* some rai^ht

mio-ht vnderstand his majestjes grace & favour to them, & that at theire shew them y
returnes some might be appointed to goe along w'" them, to shew them the ^°^^^^' p^'^^^_
bounds of our patent; to the latter of which proposalls the magistrates mani- outh, &c.
fested a ready compHance ; but for the former, i. e., the assembHng of the ^^°^'°" '^"^^^_
people at the day of election, to that it was answered, that aU were at their ^™™^f/^'."-
liberty to come if they would — there was no prohibition; nor could they see nottoieauc

, T ■, . J. "i. i 1 wiucs,chil<lrea

into the reason of such a motion, at least could not encourage to it, not only ^-_ ^^ ^^^^ ^^
for the busines of the season, but leaving a considerable part of the people, ynatiues.&e.

1 • "Uj. 1 I, 1 1 On w"!' v^ name

wiues, children, & aged persons, to the rage of the natiues, that might lay hold ^n,^^{„, ;,
of such an opportunity; to w* Colonel Cartwright repljed, that the motion ^^^'J^^^j^^^y^
was so reasonable, that he that would not attend it was a trajtor; & before r.r.&t.d.



their departure sent their letters to the country to some non freemen. A

coppie whereof here ffoUows : —

Coniissioners b"^ I
letter to invite
sever" gent,
inhabit*" to
election, &c.

Wee desire you to- acquaint all your neighbours, that though wee are now
going to Plimouth, & so to Road Island, yet wee intend, God willing, to be
backe here at Boston before the Court of Election, at which, if they please to
be, they shall be both eare & eye wittnesses of the favo''s & kindnesses w'=''
his majesty really intends them, & hath coiiianded vs to assui'e all his subjects
hereof, w'='' if they will doe, will be the best way to prevent all slandering
of his majesty, & all misa^hentions in his good subjects, & all prejudice
from vs.

Your ffreinds,




A copie of y^ letter was deliuered into the'Court the 5"* of May, 1665,
& attested by them in these words : —

This is a true copie of a letter sent to seuerall gentlemen.


*The comissioners, hauing dispatched their occasions at Plimouth, passed



sumons or war- on to Warwicke & to Petacomsquoke, from whence they issued forth sundry
Prentice Aiiios Warrants & declarations, true copies whereof are as foUoweth : —

Kichison, &c.

These are in his majestjes name, & by virtue of his comission vnder his
great scale of England, to require yow to be at Anthony Lowes, of Warwicke,
by nine of the clocke in the morning on Munday, the third of April next, to
answer before vs, his majestjes comissioners, to such charge as is layd against
you by Joseph Torrey, of Newport, in Road Island, & others. Giuen vnder
our hands the 21* of March, 1664, at Petacomsquoke.


To Thomas Prentice, of Cambridge, & of like tennor to Amos Richison,


of Boston, & to Roger Plajsted, of Kittery, about one hundred & twenty miles 166 5.
distant from that place. "~ "i '

May session.

Also, a declaration by them directed to the piirchasers of Nanaganset Comissioners
country, w""^ was as foUoweth : Hauing received from some of the principall y, Indians of
sachems of the Nanaganset Indians a submission & surrender of themselues, '^^™s\ sub-

jecting yin-

their subjects, & their lands to the protection, gouernment, & dispose of our selves to y
dread soueraigne, the King of Great Brittaine, France, & Ireland, as well by
their personall acknowledgment, & laying doune their amies as at his majestjes
ffeete, & sending his majesty some presents, as also by giving us a deede, dated
Aprill the lO"", 164:4, wherein they & all the other cheife sachems of that
country did then submitt, subject, & giue ouer themselues to his late majesty,
of blessed memory, & by presenting to vs seuerall petitions & declarations,
conteyning many injurjes w* they sajd they haue received from many of his
majestjes subjects, against whom they desire justice from us, wee, his majes-
tjes comissioners, haue receiued them into his majestjes protection, & doe, in Their reception

.... , .„ iii'T p into his niaj'ys

his majestjes name, order, appoint, & comand, that the sajd country irom p„tection '&
hence forward be called the Kings Province, & that no person of what colony 'i^™'"? ti^^

place y» Kings

whatsoeuer presume to excercise any jurisdiction w*in this the Kings Province, Prouince.
but such as receive authority from or vnder our hands & seales, vntill his ™ ' , '"'^ '^

•^ » others to exccr-

majestjes pleasure be further knoune. And wee also declare, that this the cise authority

there, &c.

Kings Province doeth extend to Paucatuck Riuer westward. And whereas y, Umits of y
Majo' Atherton & others of his majestje^ colony of the Massachusets pretend province.

/. 1 • 1 ID • 1 1 Major Ather-

a mortgage of a great part of the sajd country, wee order & appoint, that when to^g_ ^.g^ ^o^t-
euer either of the said sachems, knoune by the name of Pessicus or Ninicraft, 8^-'^ "^ 5"

** •' place declared

or any authorized by them, doe pay vnto any persons laying clajme to the by them to be
sajd mortgage the sume of seuen hundred thirty fine fathom of peage, the
sajd mortgage shall be voyd, & whateuer is therevpon pretended to by

And whereas, also, there is also two purchases pretended to of two great The other pnr-

-««-. *i /-^-"TTi D 1 ri' chase of Major

tracts of land by the same Majo"^ Atherton, Capt Hudson, & others ot his Atbertons &
majestjes colony of the Massachusetts, bought of Cathanaquaud, in the Narra- p^''j"^"/"^^^^
ganset country, in the yeare 16-59, in which deed there is no mention of any deciaied voyd
consideration, & that it appeares the sajd pretending purchasers knew that the ^^^
sajd country was submitfed to his majesty, as well by witnesses as by the sajd
submission, being eighteene yeares agoe printed, —

Wee, his majestjes comissioners, hauing heard the whole business, doe
declare the sajd purchases to be voyd, & order & cornand, that the sajd pur-
chasers shall quit & goe of the sajd pretended purchased lands, & shall not


May session.

16 6 5. keepe any catle after the feast of S' INIichael next, if \v"'in that time either of
the sachems aboue named, or any authorized by them, doe pay vnto any one of
the sajd purchasers the suiue of three hundred fathorae of peage, which is the
only sume acknowledged to be received by the sajd Cathanaquaud. Given
vnder our hands & scales, at Petaquamscoke, the 20"" of March, 1664.

For the purchasers. EGBERT CAER, & a scale,


At "Warwick, also, they published a declaration, a copie whereof heere
foUoweth : —

Coiuissioners Wee, by the power given vs by his majestjes comission, having heard the

declaration ab* ,. „ /■i* •■ i- i t* •iini

Squamacuck complauit 01 some oi his majestjes subjects, purchasers ot certeme lands called
lands, &c. Misquamacuk, lying on the easterne side of Pawcatuck River, & hauing like-
wise heard all the pretences of those by whom they haue suffered great op-
pressions, & considering the ground from whence these differences & injurjes
haue proceeded, & endeavoring to prevent the like for the future, doe declare,
that no colony hath any just right to dispose of any lands conquered from the
natiues, vnles both the cause of the concquest be just & the land lye w'^'in the
r*488 ] bounds which *the king by his charter hath given it, nor yet to excercise any
They prohibit authority beyond those bounds, which wee require all his majestjes subjects
cisc authority ^° ^^^^ notice of for the future, least they incurr his majestjes displeasure, &
'" *'' ivniRs g^^ffer a deserved punishment. "Wee declare likewise, that all those guifts &

Proiiinc vnder

pcenalty of his grants of any laud lying on the easterne end of Paucatucke Riuer & a north
^,r Ijne draune to the Massachusets from the midst of the ford nere to Thomas

Declaring all Shaws house, in the Kings Prouince, made by his majestjes colony of the

grants of lands

there by the Massachusets to any person whatsoeuer, or by the usurped authority called
chus°" or vTurpt *^^® Vnited Colonjes, to be voyd. And wee hereby comend all such as therein
anthnrity of ^j.g concerned to remooue themselues & their goods from the said lands bc-

Vnited Colo- _ ° ■'

njes, so called, fore the twenty ninth day of September next, in the meane time neither
„ . . . \^ hindering the Pecquet Indians from plantiner there this sumer, nor those of

& mjoynig the o j. jr o j

present pos- the Kings Province, who are the purchasers, from improoving the same, as


moue, &s. tl^ey will answer the contrary. Given vnder our hands & scales, at Warwick,

Aprill the 4% 1665.

ROBERT CARR, & a seale,


And here folio weth a copie of their protection, given to John Porter, 16 65.
Jun, &6 : — ' Y

May session.

"Wee require you to be at Boston, May the 8*, to make proofe of these Their proteo-
your complaints, and in his majestjes name, by the power given vs, wee p°rter, Jun.
promise yow his mgjestjes protection vntill your case be heard by vs, and
hereby wee require & comand all officers, both military & civil, & all other
persons, to suffer the petitioner, John Porter, to be w'^out all molestation &
restrajnt, he behaving himself ciuilly, vntill his cause shall be heard by vs.
Given vnder our hands, at "Warwick, April 8"", 1665.


This is a true copie — agrees w"" the originall product in Court. As attests

EDW: EAWSON, Secrefy.

Wee shall now proceede to declare the conferences that passed betweene The coffiission-
the Generall Court & his majestjes comissioners after their returne from Pljm- *" '^ "™^'
outh & the Nalrraganset country.

But before wee enter vpon it, in a word or two wee shall hint the manner To Boston,
of their returne, i. e., each at a seuerall time, in an obscure manner, thereby in an obscure
preventing that respect & honorable reception, not only intended, but actually
prepared for them, which wee mention, not to accuse them, but to excuse
the reflection of disrespect & incivillity by them often cast vpon vs ; whereas,
in ueiy trueth, their whole carriage, especially of some of them, haue a slight-
ing of that honorable respect which, according to our meane condition, wee
haue binn desirous to shew vnto them. Their returne to Boston was some
few dayes before our Court of Election, the third of May, 1665.

The day before the election (the Gouerno"^ being newly deceased) the Dep'Gou.,
Deputy Gouerno'' & some of the magistrates, w*'' seuerall gent" that were sent ™^^|^ ' .t '"^
from the seuerall tounes as their deputies to attend the Court, assembled house, 2 May,

•' 65, &c.

together at the Court house in Boston.

His majestjes comissioners sent a messenger to acquaint the Deputy The coinission-
Gouerno' & magistrates assembled, &d, that they desired to speake w** the ^ ^^-^^ ^,t ,^
Court. The magis*' & gentlemen thus met returned, by two of the magis'% ^^■
to them that they were no Court, not being orderly constituted by law or the
custome of the country, only in observance of an order past by the council
Aprill, 1665, so many of them were met to prepare the worke of the follow-


One by one.


1665. ing day, the orderly proceeding of the election being of great concernment to

" '* ' the publick, & his majestjes charter expressly limitting of them to a day ; yet

„ ' this not satisfying, the gentlemen thus met consented to attend the motion of

1 he court & JO' o

coniissioners the comissioners. This being signified to the coinissioners,

meete togeth- , _

er. They imediately repaired to the Courthouse, & deliuered nue seuerall

They deliuer 5 -v^ritings, the words whereof are as foUoweth : —

papers to y"

r*489.1 *Part of the kings instructions to vs.

1st of his ma- ^^ j.^g ^j^j^g ^^ produce your coinission to them, yow shall let them

jl' mstrucons. .; j: j ■> j

1. To acquaint know the kindnesse wee haue for them, & the extreame desire wee are
IS ^'^ J^^ ^ possessed w* to advance that plantation, which hath given so good an ex-
kindness to ample of Sobriety & industry to all other plantations.

2 & not in- . That wec are so farr from any thought of abridging or restreyning them
tending in y« fi-om any pi'iviledges or libertjes granted by our royall ffather, of blessed

least to abridg

them, but res- memory, to them in his charter, that wee are very ready to inlarge those con-
firm their liber- cessions, or to make any other alterations which (vpon their experience of
tjes, &c. go many yeares of that cljmate & country) they finde necessary for the good

& prosperity of that colony.

3. End of y« That the principall end of your journey is to remoue all jealousies &
conussion's misunderstandings w'='' might arise in vs of the loyalty & affections of our

journey to re- a a j j

mouejeaiou- good subjects in those parts toM'ards vs, or in them of our good opinnion &
confidence In them, & consequently of our protection ouer them, both which

Online LibraryNathaniel Bradstreet ShurtleffRecords of the governor and company of the Massachusetts bay in New England : Printed by order of the legislature → online text (page 21 of 77)