Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff.

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

. (page 27 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 27 of 77)
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majesty came by any complaint wee know not ; I made none ; but that com-
plaint was made sixe months before I went hence.' M' Kellond also sajd that
the complaint was made to his majesty before he came into England. Also
the sajd Thomas Deane sajd, that ' I am ordered & charged by a great minister
of state, that the matter should not be heard but by the kings cofaissioners,'
and sayd it was the not doing of justice, & not injustice, was the complaint.

By the Court. r*iri o ■,

■' [*518.J

EDWAED EAWSON, Secre?. Here follower

ye Courts im-

*The narrative being thus breifly given, it remajnes that wee consider & P^p"^™®" "
improove the same, so farr as wee may, for clearing the Massachusets colony, to free y=m-

selves from y«

where they haue not fully concurred with the proposalls & mandates of his aspersions of
majestjes comissioners from these aspersions, of disouning & disobeying his ^Jg"^™"^ •^■
majestjes authority, so often reflected vpon by all his maj'J'^ sajd comissioners. m^J"' authori-
For that end it is necessary to examine, — ^, „ prticuir

1. What are those particculars wherein the coinissioners haue declared ^'® T comis-

sio's declare

their dissatisfaction w"i the returnes made by vs to their proposalls. dissatisfaction.

2. Whither, in aU those particculars, wee are truely chargeable w"" a non ^,'q^J^^^^°^^_

Concurrance. ly chardged w"

, nonconourre.

3. Where wee haue not concurred in part or m whole, whither therein -^rhither de-
wee are deservedly charged by them w"" disobedience to his majestjes au- servediy

•' ° •' charged w"

thority. disobedieno.

The particculars wherein they haue expressed their dissattisfaction may ^^jj^jf^p!'*''''
be referred vnto two principal! heads : — peares.


16 65. 1- Our actings referring to his majestjes letter, dated June 28, 1662

' wherein fower particculars are conteyned : —

May session.

In our acting i- The Oath of allegeance.

referving to Ms -j^ rpj^^ putting forth writts in his majesties name.

maj'y" let. Jun. jt a j j

28, 62, in w" iii. That such as desire it may haue liberty to vse the Booke of Coinon

are y« oath of

allegianc, Jrrajer.

kingrname """ That no persons of honest Hues be debarred any libertjes, civil or

use of Comon eclesiasticall.


admission to Our answer to their proposall, on instructions 7, 8, in the result whereof

Courts ans' t ^^^^^ require our submission to them as to a Court of Appeales ; whither, in
yir requiring all these particculars, wee are justly chargeable w'^ not concurring w"" their

submission to

yir Com-t of proposalls.

Appeales. rp .i •

,.',., . „ io this wee answer, —

Whither in all '

y" justly 1. Touching his majestjes letter of June twenty eight, 1662, concerning the

chardffd. w***

nonconcur- oath of allegiance to his majesty, it was taken by the most of those that came
^^^''' from England when they came thence, & before the late troubles in England

Courts ans' ° _ . . .

touching y» was administered here, & is now breifely prefixed before the oathes appointed
28 62 oath of ^J ^^^ Generall Court for the seuerall officers of the country, as also before
allegiance, &o, j-j^g gathes of freemen & fidelity ; & the Gouerno'', Dep' Gouerno'', magistrates,

hath been _ . ' ' f > o '

taken hereto- & deputjes of the Generall Court, w"" their secretary, tooke the sajd oath of

fore, & now is -, .... -_. , r^rn-v. i,^/>k

byyGou, allegeance to his maj'y, May the 26'°, lobo.

Dep', Asist., o_ ^\\ administrations of iustice are in his majesties name. It was so in

Deputs., &o. •* •' •'

All processe y" first constitution of y" gouernment, & is so practised by vs at this day,
ft^now is^in"^ thereby declaring that wee derive our authority from his majestjes grant in
his maj"? name, ^ig royall charter.
Referring to 3. In refferenc to eclesiasticall concernments, (vnder w"*" maybe com-

ecclesiasticall .^ r i r^ t-»- i • ni ft'

concernm". prised the vse of the Comon Prajer,) the printed lawes of this colony doe de-
Vide Ecles. clare the great freedome that hath beene given from the begininar of this

Law, p. 24, ° ° o o

sect. 1. plantation to all persons of what rancke or quality soeuer, and that it maybe

All y« are or- the more plainly & fully vnderstood, wee shall express it in the words of the

thodox in judg- , ri* i nA ^-i-i-ni*

msnotscanda- prmted lawes 01 this colony, page 24, sect 1, title Ecclesiasticall, viz. : All
lous m hfe, ^-^q people of God w"^in this jurisdiction, who are not in a church wav, & be

may enter into "^ -^ ■' •"

a church es- orthodox in judgment, & not scandalous in life, shall haue full liberty to
gather themselues together in a church estate, provided they doe it in a Chris-
tian way, w* the observation of the rules of Christ appointed in his holy word.
And it being app'hended a meete expedient warranted by the word of God for
the maintenance of the libertjes of the churches, & of comon peace & loue
[*519.1 amongst vs, that all proceedings in this kind be donne *openly, w"^ the appro-
bation of the civil government, & of neighboring congfeations, the Court di-

2. Seel 6. No iniunction shall be putt vpon any church, church ofScer, °J^^^^-

** r sr J ? ■^ as to exc


rected to the observation thereof, the which practise hauing beene now attended 16 65.
among vs neere forty yeares, we haue had larg experience of of the good "<

effect thereof, greatly encouraging & strengthening the hands of such as haue goj^b d
been willing to attend this service of the Lord, & hath beene farr from imped- openly, w" y«

approbation of

mg any therein. Also the authority here haue not imposed vpon church or y ciuiii goQ-
people any one particcular forme or order, for the restrejning or Ijmiting them ,. °^'^ _"
in the excercise of their devotions towards God, as may ffully appeare in the g^'ions ; prao

tise nigh 40

aboue recited laues, the words whereof are these, sec? 3 : — yeares & of

1. Euery church hath free liberty to excercise all the ordinances of God ^°° _^ ^^ '

No iniposicon

according to the rules of the Scripture. by authority.

I excercise

or member, in point of doctrine, worship, or discipline, whither for substance of y' dtvotions

,.,,... f , T ■, r^ -^ ^ of any to Gods.

or circumstance, besides the institutions oi the Lord. Sect 7. j.g churchs

3. Euery church hath freedome to celebrate dajes of fasting & prajer, & 'i^erty.
of thanksgiving, according to the word of God. ^5

4. In refference to civil priviledges appertayning to this body politicque. Power to cele-

D " 1 T ■ Tt 1 . • brate fasts &

& particcularly concerning liberty to elect & be elected to all civill offices, thanksgiving.
these things are propounded to be considered. Liberty to elect

& be elected

Touching these priuiledges that are attended w* reall proffit & benefit, touching ciuil
as the grant of lands, & divissions thereof, to tounes or particular persons, ./' •'^^ ""''"
liberty of free trade, improuement of any abillitjes whatsoeuer by sea or land. Such as are ac-
sequall benefit in the distribution of justice, &6, wee hope there is none that proffit & hene-
can justly tax the gouernment of this colony w**" any limitation, restriccon, or ^*' *°' <^f™oii
imposition vpon or towards one person more then another, or of any respect & hope none
had to their opinnions & practises in ecclesiasticall matters. ^^> '"• ° ' o

£^ r contrary.

2. That the lawe that restreines liberty of electing, or to be elected, into Liberty of eleo-
the cheife civil offices & places of trust, to members of our churches, is re- church mem-
pealed. Touching the lawe directing an orderly proceeding to be observed by ^"'^ repealed,
such as desire admission to the freedome of this body politick, seeming to be

more in favour of church members in full comunion that haue lesser estates
then some others w* are not in church cornunion, wee might say, —

That the qualliffications therein propounded as directing the way of those Quaiiiffications

,.. I'l * -t 1 1 ' in as to admission

that desire admission are not exclusiue ; but more particularly to this wee shall not exciusiue.
answer, —

1. That wee & ours might enjoy a greater liberty in the worship of God The hazardous
then was at that time allowed to vs, (when wee left our deare native country, g^.^^ adventu-
voluntarily submitting ourselues & familjes to the providence of God, in so '^°'^^-
hazardous & awfuU an vndertaking,) was the professed & reall end of the first
adventurers, as his majesty is pleased graciously to expresse, & subjection to

May session.


16 6 5. ecclesiasticall discipline is necessary for the well being of any Christian soci-
ety, the Lord accounting it among the choisest of all priuiledges that he be-
stowes vpon his people, & therefore may not be accounted a burden imposed
by man, & is no other then what is required of his majestjes subjects in Eng-
land ; & as for the manner of the excercise of ecclesiasticall discipline, al-
though the godly orthodoxe are variously minded therein, yet this is no barr
to any in the enjoyment of any civil priuiledge heere.
Smale retribu- 2. Such as are elected to places of greatest trust & oiEce among vs, the

in greatest " burdens that they are constantly labouring vnder in the management thereof,
places of trust ^ '(^q. smalnes of the retribution to them made, doe beare such a disproporcon,

renders them

not objects of & doe fall SO farr short of the advantages that others among vs haue, w'='' are

' ' freed from such burdens, that they are not rendered the objects of envy for any

personall benefit they haue thereby.

[*520.] *To the trueth of this, wee conceive, the consciences of all that know the

G't estates ex- constitution of our gouernment, and manner of proceeding among vs, (as well

hausted by i i •

men in oheife as the greatest estates that haue beene exhausted by such as haue serued his
P aces. mai'y & the people in cheife places, & the low estate & condition w"*" many

Peoples condi- ■" ^ ^ . ...

cons so low as of them hatie been reduced vnto,) doe & will abundantly testify ; neither will
meet recom- ^"^^ present low estate of the people heere admitt of such a maiutenanc to be
peuo. exacted from them for the hono"^ & support of the goQnment as would be

requisite in case they were more able.
"W'!" consid- Now, the premises considered, wee ap^hend it will fully appeare that

e ,y assa ^^ Massachusets colonv, in refference to the first head of particulars, are not

chusetts semes •' ' r ^

to be freed justly to be charged by his majestjes comissioners w**" any blameable noncon-

froni just

blame as to currance with their proposalls, the two first particculars contejned therein
nonconcur- ^javins; beene observed in our first constitution: & although, during the late

rence to y» first o . ' o ' o

head, &c. troubles that happened in England, the practise thereof was for a time omitted,

yet the reassuming of the former practise was readily submitted to, and is now

Y« Courts ends againe actually obserued by vs j as also referring to libertjes ciuill & eclesias-

in appointing ^-^^j, ^ ^^ ffiquall distribution thereof to the people here. This being the

y*^ constitution -^ ■*■■*■ ^

of ciuii & ecie. suine & scope of the two last particculars conteyned vnder this first head, wee

order was not /> i • • .n n •

to advance any ap;phend that, from the premisses, it will appeare plainly that the proceedmgs
pnvat mterest, ^ ^^^^ ^£ ^_^^ Court, in appointing the constitution of civil & ecclesiasticall

but sincerly to j j: r o

advance piety, order, haue not beene such as haue tended to the advancement of any private

religion, & . .....

honesty, y interest, thereby oppressing his majestjes good subjects here, & denying them
estTend'or'^' those priviledges that doe appertejne of right vnto them, as they haue been
plantaCon, &c. falsly accused to his majesty ; but, on the contrary, that they doe sincerely
endeavo' the promoting of piety, religion, & honesty, the professed true in-
terest & knoune ends of this plantation ; and all this donne in such a way as
is warranted by his majestjes royall charter.


"Wee shall now proceed to the second hranch, wherein his majestjes comis-
sioners haue declared their dissatisfaction, viz', our answer to their proposall
made vpon the 7 & 8 instruction, in the result whereof they doe require this
Court & colony to acknowledge their submission to them as to a Court of Our non con-

^ n . rr* 1* jri !■• 1^1 currance in a

appeales ; & in reiierence to this comand oi such a submission, wee doe freely submission to
oune a nonconcurrance on our part in such wise & on the grounds mentioned ^^^ comission"

^ as a Court of

in the foregoing narrative. That which therefore now remajnes, according appeale wee
to the method before propounded, is to collect breifely the reasons of our non y t h
concurrance therein, thereby hoping it will appeare that wee are not deserv- deservedly

charged \v**»

edly chargeable with disobedience to his majestjes authority because thereof, disobedienc to
For the issue of this controuersy betwene the Gouerno'' & Company of this ,/' "1^'' J!f'
his majestjes colonje & the aboue named gentlemen, wee know no other or The best way

1 1 r 1 T • • 1 ri !• •• ni p*° decide y"

better rule for the decission thereot then his majestjes royall charter, first controGsy is y
granted to vs by his royall ffather, vnder the greate seale of England, the ° ^^^^^^ * '^'^
which charter his majesty hath been pleased, in his letters sent to this colony confirming the
from time to tjme, graciously to confirme, as may appeare m his letter dated
June 28, 1663. The words are these, viz' : —

" Wee axe therefore willing that all our good subjects of that plantation Expressions of

his maj'y^ let-

" doe know that wee doe receive them w''^ our best encouragement, & that wee ters of June 28,
" will preserve & doe hereby confirme the patent & charter heeretofore granted :°° : ^^ '

^ J ^ o 16d4, receiving

" vnto them by our royall ffather, of blessed memory, and that they shall vs into his fa-
" freely enjoy all the priuiledges & libertjes granted vnto in & by the same, & Resolution to

" that wee will be ready to renew the same charter to them vnder our great confirme the


" seale of England." And in the letter dated Aprill 23, 1664, there are these
expressions : * " That all our good subjects there may know, as wee haue [ O"'!-]
" formerly assured vow by our gracious letters, how farr wee are from the * "°* ™ y'

•I J J ^ ^ least to in-

" least intentions or thoughts of violating or in the least degree infringing the fringe the
" charter heeretofore granted by our royall ffather, or restreyning the liberty ^^^^egt^ejne

" of conscience thereby allowed, which as wee doe acknowledge to be granted liberty of con-
" by our id royall father, of blessed memory, w"" great wisdome, & vpon full g^j renew the

" deliberation, so wee haue great reason to believe & be assured that the sup- j^^'^J^fs""

" port & maintenance thereof is at present as necessary as euer, & therefore, sions as shallbe

. . « o desired, &c.

" that as wee haue formerly expressed to you, wee are willing to confirme & j^^ ^^ instruc-
" renew the said charter, & to enlarge the same w* such or further concessions tions comand-

J ' ° mg his comis-

" as vpon the experience yow haue had & the observation you haue made, you sioners to de-

^ r r ^ T '53 clare his

" judge necessary or convenient for the good & benefit of that our plantation, pnncely grace
Also, his majesty, in his instructions given to the aboue said gentlemen for '^eo''™'he°e''^
directing & limitting them in the execution of their comission in this &s.
colony, expressly comandeth them at the same time, when they shew their


16 6 5. comission to the Gouerno'' & Company heere, to declare his princely grace
" '' "" & speciall favour to his good subjects of this colony, the words whereof are

May session.

the^e : —
& y' he hath 2. " That wee are so farr from any thought of abridging or restreyning

thought to " them from any priuiledges or libertjes granted by our royall ffather, of
abndg y™ of ^ blessed memory, to them in his charter, that wee are very ready to enlarge

any priui- -^ ^ j j ^

ledges, &5. " those concessions, or to make any other alterations which, vpon experience
" of so many yeares of that cljmate & country, they find necessary for the
" good & prosperity of that colony.

Y' y» end of " That the principall end of yo' journey is to remooue all jealousies &

their journey is . _ .,, i-i • -i .. />iito i/v-

to remoov ieal- misvnderstandings which might arise m vs oi the loyalty & good atiections
ousjes & beget a gf q^j, good subjects in those parts towards vs, or in them of our good

a right wilder- "^ ^

standing, &c. " opinion & Confidence in them, & consequently of our protection ouer them,

" both which are & will be enough endeavo''ed in both places by insinuations

" & representations of those whose business it is to foment jealousjes, & to im-

" prooue misvnderstandings in order to widen those breaches which, by Gods

" blessing, are well made vp," &(3.

Nottointerupt " Nor shall yow interupt the proceedings in justice, by taking vpon you

in justice &5. " '^'^ hearing & determining any particcular right betwixt party & party, but

" shall leaue all matters of that nature to the vsuall proceedings in the

" seuerall judicatorjes of the country, except those proceedings be expresly

" contrary to the rules prescribed by the charter, or the matters in difference

" doe arise from some expression or clause contejned in some grant vnder our

" great seale of England ; in all which yow are to proceed according to

"justice after a due examination of all matters & circumstances."

But assure By all which wee haue plentifull assurance given vs from his majesty

themy'y'ir ^^^ y^^ ^-^ ^^^ suffer his royall charter & his authority thereby, comitted to

charter m the ■' j j >

least shall not the Gouemo"^ & Company of this colony for the gouernment of his subjects

be -violated, So. . . . . . .,

heere, according to the constitution appointed & directed vnto m the sajd
This being charter, to be in the least violated or infringed. This being thus premised, it
^'i'"iandat' s ^'^^^ remajnes that wee breifely collect the mandates, impositions, & proceed-
impositions, & ^^gg of the abouesajd gentlemen towards the gouernment & people of this

proceedings, it

may appeare, colony, part whereof is declard in the foregoing narrative, as also the conces-

' sioiis, tenders, & intimations of our Generall Court in refference therevnto, &

That they haue compare both w* his majestjes royall charter to his good subjects heere; the

acted & pro-
ceeded to excer- only rule given by his majesty for both to observe in their last negotiation,

ciseyni power ^^y^ being donne (wee app>hend) it will plainly appeare that the aboue sajd
maj'j deciara- gentlemen haue acted & proceeded to excercise their power contrary to his

tions & pious . • /• i • n i • i •

intentions, &c. maj'? expressed declarations of his royall grace to his good subjects heere, &

Mny session.


his pious jntentions in coiSissionatIng them to vissit this part of his dominions, 1 G 6 5.
& that our denjall of subjection to their mandates hath beene in obedience
vnto, & not denjall of, his niaj'^'^ authority.

But before wee mention these particulars, whei'ein are coutcjned the Courts doniaii
grounds of our non concurrance w"" their mandates, it willbe necessary that shX'^*-!^ i*!
wee breifely recite so much of his majestjes charter to this *(o this colony as r*.522.1
referrs to the matter now in hand, that so as his gracious intention in coinis- was in obedieno
sionateing the sajd gentlemen to vissit this colony is manifested in those trary to, his""
letters aboue written, so also the rule of their & our proceedings one w"" ™"J" '*"''^°""
another may appeare from his royall charter, the words whereof are as follow- Seueraii pas-
eth : " Further, our will & pleasure is, and wee doe hereby for vs, our heires ^^-^^ chL" er"'
" & successors, ordejne, declare, & grant to the sajd Gouerno' & Company, & ™ "■"" appearea

y' all his sub-

" their successo''s, that all & euery the siibjects of us, our heires & successo''s, jects going to
" which shall goe to & inhabit w^'in the sajd land & premisses heereby men- ^^, ^^■^^. '
" tioned to be granted, & euery of their children which shall happen to be s°ing <"■ there,

shall enjoy like

" borne there, or on the sea in going thither or returning fi;om thence, shall liberty & iiuu-
" haue & enjoy all liberty & jmunity of free & naturall subjects w*''in any g. naturaii sub-
" of the dominions of vs, our heires & successors, to all intents, constructions, ■i^'^*^' *°'
" & purposes whatsoeuer, as if they, & euery of them, were borne w*in the
" realme of England," &S.

" And wee doe, of our further grace, certeine knowledge, & neere Power to y
" motion, give & grant to the sajd Gouernor & Company, & their successors, Asist. &'freo-'
" that it shall & maybe lawfuU to & for the Gouerno', or Deputy GoQ, or ™™ *" mn^kc

•' ' r J ! lawes, &c, not

" such of the Asistants & freemen of the sajd company for the time being, contrary to y

lawes of Kng-

" from time to tjme, to make, ordeyne, & establish all manner of wholesome land, for set-
" & reasonable orders, lawes, statutes, & ordinances, directions, & instructions, '"f °™^^ °

' ' > ' ' > gofln' & magis-

" not contrary to the lawes of this our realme of England, as well for the t^^cy fitt & ne-
cessary, &c.
" setling of the formes & ceremonjes of gouernment & magistracy, fitt &

" necessary for the sajd plantation & inhabitants, & for the naming & stiling Naming & stii-

" all sorts of officers, both superio"^ & inferlo', which they shall finde neede- oncers

" full for that gouernment & plantation, & the distinguishing & setting forth Administring

" of the seueraii dutjes, powers, & Ijmitts of eueiy such office & place, & the warrantable by

" formes of such oathes, warrantable by the lawes & statutes of this our y° ^"™^ "^

•' Bngl^.

" realme of England, as shallbe respectively administered vnto them for 'the

" execution of the sajd seueraii offices & places, as also for the disposing &

" ordering of the election of such the sajd officers as shall be annuall, & of

" such other as shaUbe to succeed in case of death & removall, & adminls- niuilts^'fines

" tering the sajd oathes to the new elected officers, & for impossitions of law- imprison-

, , ments, & cor-

" full fines, mulcts, imprisonments, or other lawfuU corrections, according to rections, &c.



I 5. " the course of other corporations in this our realme of England, & for the
" dii-ecting, ruling, & disposing of all other matters & things whereby our
Aco'jidinn- to " ^^J*^ people, inhabitants there, maybe so religiously, peaceably, & ciuilly
other corpora- a gouerned as their good life & orderly conversation may winne & incite the

hm^ in Eng- u j ./

hind, :nid y' y» " natives of the country to the knowledge & obedience of the only true God

people may be on- r t • i n -i r^t • > r * -^ u- n-

peaceably & " ^ oaviour 01 mankma ; & the Christian faith, w"", m our royall intention,
religiously n ^ ^^^ adventure's free profession, is the principall end of this plantation,

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 27 of 77)