Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff.

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

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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 28 of 77)
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gnunnied, na- j. j x x

tines woiine to " willing, coinanding, & requireing, and by these presents for vs, our heires

y° knowledge _.. , ^^- o t

of God, &c. " <& successors, ordeyning & appointing that all orders, lawes, statutes, & ordi-
AiUawestobe " nances, institutions & directions, as shall be so made by the Gouerno'' or

publisht in

writing Tnder " Dep' Gouerno'^ of the sajd company, & such of the Asistants & freemen as
ggj^jg " aforesajd, & published in writing, vnder their comon seale, shall be carefully

" & duely observed, kept, perfonnd, & put in execution, according to the

" true intent & meaning of the same.

The charter or " And these our letters patents, or the duplicate or exempliffication

alufficiont ''' " thereof, shallbe to all & euery such officer, superio'' & inferio'', from time to

warrant to any a time, for the putting of the same orders & lawes, statutes & ordinances, in-
to execute y
lawes so made, " sti'uctions & directions, in due execution against vs, our heires & successo'^s,

maj-nieires & " ^ s^fficjent Warrant & dischardge.

successors, &u. a j^i^j ^e doe further, for vs, our heires & successo'"s, give & grant to the

otlier officers " ^^i^ Gofliio"' & Company, & their successo'^s, by these presents, that all &

respectiuely a g^^gj-y g^ch cheife coilianders, captaines, goueriio''s, & other officers & minis-
enabled to rule
y« people, cor- " ters as, by the sajd orders, Liwes, statutes, ordinances, instructions, or direc-

rect, pardon,


going on y» ^ ^

seas thither, " inhabitants & plantation, or in the way by sea thither or from thence, ac-
°'"° ■ " cording to the nature & limitts of their offices & places respectively, shall,


ynce, &c, ao- " from time to time, hereafter foreuer, w'Mn the precincts & parts of New
cor mg oy» ,j England hereby mentioned to be granted & confirmed, or in the way by sea
ing repugnant « thither Or from thence, haue full & absolute power & authority to correct,

to the lawes of d i n i i i •

Engl*. " punish, pardon, governe, & rule all such the subjects of us, our heires &

Y'y patent " successo'^s, as shall, from time to time, adventure themselues in any voiage
shallbe firme, . . .; J o

good, effectu- " thither or from thence, or that shall, at any time heereafter, inhabit w"'in

ble to all in- " ^^ precincts & parts of New England aforesajd, according to the lawes,
tents & cnn- ff orders, ordinances, instructions, & directions aforesajd, not being repugnant

structions of

law, & con- " to the lawes & statutes of this our realme of England as aforesajd.
cst^favor^bcn-' "And wee doe further, for us, our heires & snccesso''s, ordejne & grant

nefit,& behoofs it ^g t]jg g^id Goucriio'' & Company, & their successors, by these presents, that

of y" Gou. &

Company, &c. " these our letters patents shallbe firme, good, effectuall, & availeable in all

tions of the sajd Gouerno' & Company for the time being, shall be, from
time to time, *heereafter imployed, either in the gouernment of the sajd


*'' tilings, & to all intents & constructions of lawe, according to our true mean-
" ing, herein before declared ; and shallbe construed, reputed, & adjudged in
" all cases most favorably, on the behalfe & for the benefitt & behooffe of the
" sajd Gouerno' & Company, & their successors, although expresse mention
" of the true yearely value or certeinty of the premisses, or of any of them,
" or of any other guifts or grants by vs, or any of our progenitors or prede-
" cessors, to the aforesajd Gouerno'^ or Company, before this time made in
" these presents, is not made ; or any statute, acts, ordinance, provission, proc-
" lamation or restreint to the contrary thereof, heretofore had, made, pub-
" lished, ordeyned, or provided, or any other matter, cause or thing whatso-
" euer to the contrary thereof, in any wise, notw'^'standing."

Wee shall now proceed to mention some of those mandates, impositions. As to their
& declai'ations that haue binn made & passed by the aboue named gentlemen impositions
since their ariivall heere, wherein the gouernment & inhabitants of this colony ■"'"■ "''^ °^ ^


doe remajne vnsattisfied w''' their proceedings ; & these may admitt of a double

1. Such as doe tend more irnediately to violate & infringe his majestjes Such as tend
authoritje here established, according to his royall charter. ^aj«j» authori-

2. Sundry acts & declarations of theirs that haue been greatly jnjurious, ty heere, &c.

y tend to

if not to the vtter ruinating of sundry particcular persons & familjes. ruinating of

Touching those wherein his majestjes authority may appeare more ime- P'^°°^ ^"^
diately to be concernd, wee shall mention only two at present, reserving As to such
liberty for others when wee shall haue further oppertunity. ^^^°;, g^^^tl^o^i

1. Their warrant for the protection of John Porter, Jun, as may appeare ty is imediatei,

■*■ concernd.

in the narrative, page 25, the merrits of whose case, for which he was censui-ed ^^ ^^^j^ ,^^„t
by the gouernment there, may be scene in the foregoing narrative. porter'™^ '^'^°

2. Their requiring not only particcular persons, but euen the whole y-ir requiring
colony, (Gouernor & Company therein, comprising all the authority consti- toTppeare'be-
tuted here by his maiesties royall charter,) to appeare before them, & submitt fo>e them &

•' J J J ,^ I.J. ^ submit to their

to their determination as to a Court of appeales ; «& that in such cases as referr determination.
to particular rights betweene party & party, all which may appeare in their

, . n w Q . Courts ground

seuerall repljes made to the Courts answer to their proposal! on 7, » mstruc- gf^^^ concur-


tion, page 58, their warrant to Joshua Scottow, page 58.

' r n ' •- '-' . Y» charter

Touching the grounds of the Courts nonconcurrance w"" them herein, impowers to
wee shall breifly mention some of them at present, reserving liberty for the ^"""^.g ^"''
Court more fully to declare themselues, as further occasion shall be offered. Comission's

1. His majestjes charter giveth full and absolute power to the Gouernor ghailnotpro-
& Company of this his colony to correct, punish, or pardon all offences, &6. '^'^'^^ *° execut

*• "^ ■' ' J. ' J. yejj. sentence,

But these gentlemen say they shall not proceed to execute the sentence &c.


166 5. of justice legally passed against a notorious offender, but they will protect

^' '' ' him vntill they haue againe heard & determined the case.

May session. rn o r^

Chai-ter im- ^- ^^^ majestjes charter directeth & appointeth the Gouernor & Company

pow's to forme to forme & administer oathes to their seuerall oiEcers, as they finde meete &

oaths, &c.

But y coniis- necessary for the faithful! discharge of their respectiue places.

sion's require -g^^ ^j^g^g gentlemen doe coinand & require all officers, civill & military,

all officers, nn- ° ~L ' -i '

der oath, to & all Others, to suffer a notorious offender, that is sentenced to imprisonment,

sulfcr an of- t ^. . • i t (->,

fonder to be to DO \v'°out restremt, & y' is sentenced to a seuere punishment to be w'°out
,,'^outrestr'. molestation.
Charter a suffi-
cient warr', &c. „ His majesty saith, that for the putting the lawes here made in execution,

ihcconussion- ]^j^g royall charter shall be to all officers, superio'' or inferio'', a sufficient warrant

crs declare

they will not & discharge.

j|j_ *But these gentlemen doe appoint y'^ Generall Court of this colony, &

. particular persons to appeare before them as a Court of appeales, to answer

acted aboue 20 the Complaints of particcular persons in such cases as referr to particcular

ycers since y® .

judges dead, rights betweene man & man; as also of delinquents that haue been punished
■■ "■ for high offences again' God & his majestys peace, by the gouernment heere,

('barter ini-

poucrs to declaring that they should not refuse complaints in cases that had been past

&'c notrepuK- heere more then twenty yeares since, when the judges in these cases are
"'' *'^- dead.

say in yir ^- ^is majestjcs charter grants vnto the Gouerno'' & Company heere, and

Court of ap- ^.j^g fj-eemen thereof for the time being, power to make wholesome & reasona-

peales they will

proceed to blc lawes, (not repugnant to the lawes of England,) fitting & necessary for
„, ° , ' ' this plantation, for the ruling, directing, & gouerning the people in all matters

The charter ■■ ° o' o o jr i

grants vs all & things.

iinunitjes of -n i i i • i • /-i p i i .n

free borne sub- Jjut these gentlemen say, that in their Court oi appeales they will pro-

jects, not to be pgg^ j.g -j^jirn^t according to their oune discretions.

disseized, &C, J ° °

nor haue judg- His majestjes charter granteth to all his good subjects here all the iinuni-

m^ passe but ,„..,_ p i ■ ti i • fi,. /> i • t • •

byo'peeres& tjes & priuiledgcs 01 his naturali subjects w™in any oi his dominions, whereof
y» law of y« ^j^g principal! one is, that no man shall be diseised of his freehold, nor shall
But y gent" judgment passe vpon any but by the lawful! judgment of his peeres, & by

erect a Court ^^^ j^^g ^^ ^^g ^^^_

of appeales

w'i'out jury, & But these gentlemen doe proceed to constitute a Court of appeales

say y*y will

haue none, &c. w'i'out jury of trjalls, & vpon the CLuestion put to them, doe say they will
Insteed of haue uo jury to passe on the case they shall heare.

shewing their

instrucons w'h Also wee might vrge the manner of their actings, namely : that whereas

Bion"s°rk'ing ^^® majesty appointeth them, at the same time when they shew their coinis-
comands, &c, gjon, that they shew his instruction to them also, yet, contrary to his majestjes
Porter w'hout comand thus given them, they grant a protection to Porter, & inhibit all


officers, superior & inferior, from the discharge of their respective trusts,

before they shew vnto the Court their instructions from his majestje, whereby

the Court mischt know his majesties m'ace & favour towards them, or notice

given to the Court of any complaint made against them ; & when the Court, y least notice

by word & writing, expressed to them their dissatisfaction, apg>hending that pj.'i,

hereby his majestjes charter & authority to them coifiitted was greatly in- Being informd

_r'ii**r'ii' i*oi»i ^*' ^^'^^ looked

fringed, they justified their act herein, & refused to abate the same. at as an in-

But wee shall forbeare further to insist heere, & proceed to the second '^^"S^S &e,

' r they justify

particular, namely, the wrongs & injurjes donne to particcular persons. Those their act & rc-

•,., Ill . .,.,,. fuse to abate,

which, at present wee shall mention may appeare in their declarations, one &c.

dated March the 31=', 1664, the other Aprill the 4'^ 1665. See the narra- Tor 21 par-
ticular, peisons
tive, page 23, 4, 5, in refferenc wherevnto the complaint made by some of wronged, &c.

ours may partly appeare in their petition, exliibbited to the Generall Court the

3* of May, 1665, a copie whereof wee shall here insert, together w"* the

Courts act therevpon.

To the honoured Goilno', Deputy Gouerno'', & the rest of the Magistrates & instanc y pe-
Deputjes of the honoured Generall Court sitting at Boston, the 3'' of Qga]im Amos
May, 1665. Richison,

Charls Cliancy,

The humble petition of Daniel Gookin, Amos Richison, Thomas Pren- P™sid' of y

^ ' ' coUedg, &c.

tice, Deane Winthrop, E,oger Plajsted, Charles Chancy, praesident of the
colledg, in behalfe of that society, & seuerall others.

Humbly sheweth, —

That whereas your petitioners haue had seuerall parcells of land granted who hauing
vnto vs in the Pecc[uot country, neere the Eiuer of Pawcatucke, which were ,j" ^ ?'^" "
layd out & confirmed by this Court, allowed & approoued by the coinissioners Pecot country,

& possest by

of the Vnited Colonjes, w"* the consent of the Indians that remajned & lined their gr' ex-
vpoii it, vpon which grounds some of vs were incouraged to lay out our estates ', '

in the emproouement thereof for seuerall yeares, not doubting the justnes of order of y•
the title, being both concquered & long possessed, all which notw"^standing, quired to de-
it hath pleased his majestjes honorable coinissioners (through some misinfor- fn5^j(,i.iti^^"
mations, as wee conceive) to give forth an order, *vnder three of their hands & 1*^24 1
scales, requiring vs & our tennants to depart of from the sajd lands, & out of our ^ ^^^.^ ^^
houses & possessions there, & to put of all our catle at or before the 29* day 5"i'' eatie, &a.
of September next, w"'out callinar some of vs to answer or speake for our „ , , , . "

■^ ° ^ Humbly desir-

rights, which decree, if it take effect, (& wee know no way to prevent it,) is ing y Courts

11 -J- p f ■■<■ !(• Ill favor to confer

like to be the ruine ot some or our tamiljes ; therefore our humble request ,,,1^ ye coinis-
to the honoured Court is, that yow will conferr w* the hono^'able coinissioners ^loners about

it, & endeavor

about this matter, & vse some meanes for our releife, (for some of us haue y* relief.

May session.


sought it of them w^'out effect hitherto ;) but it may be the Court may cleare
matters to them for their better information, that so, if the "will of God be,
wee may be eased to liue & subsist in a cherefull performance of our duty to
God & men in all wayes of righteousnes. & wee shall pray.

y petition.

Courts ans' to In answer to this petition this Court doth order, that the secretary carry

y'' same vnto his majestjes hono^'ble comissioners, w"^ these following lines : —

Gentlemen : —

Wee hauing pervsed this petition, & finding that the grievance doeth
arise from some act donne by yo^'selues, as the petitioners doe alleadge, wee
could doe no lesse then coinend the matter to yow, in which case, if yow shall
please so farr to take notice of it as to give vs your sence thereof, then wee
hope it will contribute to the satisfaction of the agreived.

By order of the Court. EDW: RAWSON, Secret.

To the Honoble Col Richard Niccolls, & the rest of the hon''^" cornis-

The peticon & The peticon aboue mentioned, together w* the Courts act therevpon, was

presented to y pi'esented to the comissioners the same day, 26 of May, 1665 ,- but they were
couuasioners. ^^gj. pjgased to make any returne to the Court therein : also, sundry of the
Partjes also agreived persons made their particcular aplications to them for releife, craving

make y^r apli- .....

cations. an abatement of their injunction imposed on them by their declarations ; ten-

& tender testi- dering testimony to cleare the righteousnes & oeqinty of their clajme against

mony to cleare ,, , ...-,-_ . , «...

their right. ^'^ that might be alleadged against them, as also of their mnocency as to any
matter of fact whereof any of them were sajd to be accused; pleading the
insufferable injurjes to them & their familjes, in being thus turned out of their
freehold, & thereby deprived of the benefit of their great expences & honest
labours thereon, to the ruine of themselves & familjes ; & that w"^out any
Butnoargum' Complaint legally exhibbited ; yet no argument hath hitherto prevayled for the
T^rTeleffe."'^ releife of his majestjes subjects thus bereaved & oppressed, contrary not only
to the agreement of the Vnited Colonjes & custorae of the country, but also
to the Magna Charta of England, as may particularly appeare, statut 9 Hen 3,
29; 5 Edw 3, 9 ; 28 Edw 3, 3 ; 11 Rich 2, 10; 23 Edw 3, 4, being com-
pared, the righteousnes of the clajme made by those that are thus ejected out
of their freehold & lawfull possessions, were it our present taske, wee doubt
not to give full satisfaction to his majesty concerning the same. As for that
part which Ijeth in the Narrowganset country, this colony, as a colony, neuer


May session.

much concerned themselues in it ; the other, lying at Paucatucke, in the 166 5.
Pecquet country, the possession & free hold of the aboue named peticSners, is
a part of that tract of land concquered by the English here in a defensive
warr, made about twenty nine yeares since, against the bloody salvages, inhab-
itants tliereof, called Pecquotts, who were a coinon ennemy to all the English, Pecquots a
threatning wholly to roote them out of the land, & to fish their corne w"' nenmy.
their carcases, killing sundry in seuerall places, both on the land & water, &,
after their cruell manner, tortured them vnto the death, & had proceeded to
the vtter extirpation of the name of an Englishman, had not his majestjes
subjects heere, in their oune just defence & w* vnanimous agreement, ven-
tured their lines in a perrillous warr at their oune charge, accompanjed w"' Subdued at a
sad disadvantages, for the concquering & subduing so potent an ennemy as great^haz^ds.
these Pequotts, who were then a terror to all the Indians round about them.
The good hand of God accompanying the endeavors of his people herein w"*
successe to the subduing of that poeple, it remajned as needful! to to keepe
them in subjection as at first to enterprise the same ; & for that end the
English agreed to plant their country w"" English tonnes, which was after-
wards donne. *And also considering that they were seuerall colonjes vnder [*525.]
one king, & came from their native country for one & the same end, & were Occasion of

•L 3 T 1 -1 1 1 • ■^■,^ Vnited Colo-

nere scattered at a great distance amongst the wild salvages m a vast wilder- ^jes & confccd-

nes, had no walled tonnes or garrisons of souldjers for their defence, they ®'^**'™-

apprehended the least they could doe was to enter into a league of amity &

vnion one w"' another, ingaging, in case of any vnjust & fresh assault made

vpon any part by the natives, jointly to asist each other as the matter should

require, this being ^ end of their then confoederating, as the articles signed by

the Generall Courts of all the colonjes in May, 1643, will plainly demonstrate, w^'hathbeene

to the end that as our distance of place one from another rendered us weake, ° J^°^ ° ^

^ ^ natives, pre-

& layd us open to their rage & violence, so our vnion might be as well to yenting their


them a terro' as to vs strength ; &, through the goodnes of God, wee haue

hitherto had large experience of the great good that by this confoederation

hath redounded, not only to all his majestjes subjects here planted, but euen

to the natives themselues, it having been a raeanes to prevent much trouble & & strength to

blood shed among themselues, so that although since that warr some of them meanes, vnder

haue sundi-y times made their attempts, & put us to a considerable charge & ^°^' *° ^T

■' J. ^ i o serve y^ni from

trouble seuerall wayes, yet no massacre hath beene amonge vs from that day massacres.
to this, blessed be God for it. Courts en-

Now, hauing thus plainly opened sume thing of our cause, wee hope wee „, country
shallbe excused in the course wee haue taken to sane ourselves & this his ^'°^ penshmg

excusable on

majestjes colony from perishing, either by dashing on the rocke of his majes- such a dilema.


tjes just displeasure by neglecting his authority in his comissioners, on the
one hand, or by prostituting our Hues, libertjes, peace, & comfort, on the other
hand, vnto such an arbitrarines as was neuer yet thought fitt for the gouern-
ment of any of his majestjes free & natural! subjects, much lesse for any cor-
poration of them, & is wholly inconsistent w"^ the wise & gracious ends for
w* this people were by royall favo"' permitted & encouraged to runne the
great adventures whereby they haue seated themselues in this houling wil-
dernes w"'out wrong to any, & wholly on theire oune private charges ; es-
The grounds pecially further considering, iErst, the good ground they had to proceed vpon
of t eirpio- j^ what they haue donne, being, besides principles of reason & religion, no
only from prin- lesse then royall warrant, & royall encouragement of his majestjes charter, &

ciples of reason . . , . . . , „

& reiin-ion, but letters to vs, & jnstructions given to those very comissioners, as is before


by y charter, g. The great reason wee haue, so farr, to rely vpon the royall grace &

& his royall ..«,t . .,- . t rr ^

letters. justice of our dread soueraigne, who hath so many wajes constantly profiessed

iiis maj'j so t;]2e largenes of his heart & tendernes of his bowells towards vs as not in any

often declaring

y« largnes of wise to Consent to the abuse of his name & authority, vnder any pretence, to
to vs*^ ' ' °^'^^ through that his authority, which hath beene & is excercised in this

his colony, & vnder which his majesty was pleased of his princely favo"^ to oune

in his first lettei's of grace vnto vs.
stioishts either ^" "^^^ present & absolute necessity vnder which wee laboured either

to vndoe y«m- ^f (Joing as we haue donne, or els by our oune voluntary act, w"" the

sclucs & pos-

"terityinan power of a law to ourselues & all posterity by coinon consent in Generall
otherwise to Court, of doing that whereby in our oune judgments, vpon deepe considera-
doe as they tion, wee should in one instant vtterly haue vndonne ourselues & this his

haue donne.

The Court not majestjes colony, coinitted by God & our souereigne to the watchfuU care &
^v'hout senc of ^^^^^ ^f ^j^-g government ; for, —

their remote- '-^

nes from his 1. Wee Could not but be sensible of the rcmotenes of place wherein this

maj'y & hope- '. .. _. iri- ni i

los condicon to bis majestjes colony is seated irom his royall throane, so that wee neither at
remooue pres- pj-ggg^j could haue oppertuiiity to prostrate ourselues afresh before his majes-
tjes, &5. tjes feete to supplicate his favo"^ for the remooving of such difficultjes as did
?^°° ■' surround our motion, or our sitting still on euery side, nor for the future

otner corpora- ^ . o j ^

tions y' are could euer, in any vrgeut necessity, expect seasonably to enjoy it, it requiring
L '3~"-J almost a whole yeares time to *send to England & conceive such answer as
.,j , , the case may call for ; whereas in other corporations of his majestjes subjects
redresse, &c. dwelling in England, Scotland, or Ireland, there may be a more speedy ad-
vieid-d to an dresse to his majesty, & redresse from his princely clemency, of any exor-
arbitrary Court bitancy which might proceede from any arbitrary decission in any weighty


vrged, &5. Case whatsoeuer, which would to us haue prooved a perpettuall & intoUerable


bui-den, had -wee yellded to an arbitrary Court of appeales, vrged to be set vp 1665.
among us. " '^ "^

2. Neither, secondlv, could wee be insencible of the sincking discourasre- ,, ^T'''

•' •■ o O Nor was the

ments that, like a flood, begann to ouerwhelme the hearts & weaken the hands ^o"'* whout
of his majestjes good & loyall subjects heere, who, being divided in, though sincking dis-
not among, themselues w"" a multitude of distractina; feares & cares about ""^"-s^^^y

° ° sucn actings of

events, (as men are wont to be when their dearest interests are vpon the T coSissioners

s.f^ fill Pit si

wheele of motion, & their cheifest enjoyments are held vpon a hazardous dis- juncture, &e.

pute,) were very much enervated in their endeavors to act as men setled in

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 28 of 77)