Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff.

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

. (page 29 of 77)
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an assurance of continuance of their most desired enjoyments, & this not

w^out weighty reasons, that did affect the most pondering & considerate among

them, which will further appeare by these other arguments, of necessity thus

to act as wee haue donne ; for wee could not but be awakened by the sence But awakened

of present eminent danger from the salvage natives bordering: vpon this & ^^ ^° ^^^^ °^

ax- p'sent eminent

other his majestjes colonjes that haue beene principally awed by the Massachu- danger from
sets, finding that awe turned into contempt by their vnwonted, proud, &yeiraweofy«
insolent words & deeds against seuerall, not only particcular persons, but ^^^^'^'''^'i^^t'
colonjes, insomuch that some of his majestjes subjects haue w*drawne firom &2.
their houses for feare, & since some others affronted by them at their oune g°^i^^ ^'
doores, in so much that quarrells betweene them & the English haue arisen, breaking out.
to the effusion of some blood & the endangering, if not the losse, of some
Hues lately at Block Island ; & travajlours haue beene taunted thus, ' Whence W"' seemed to
are you ? Of the Massachusets ? ' Then Massachusets men are all but as ^y „. ^o^jg 4.
a strawe, bloune away w*out breath, taking vp a strawe ; so that this bridle ="=*^'^s^ °^ ^^^


taken of, what else could be expected but troubled from them, especially wittineiy or
seeing there were intimations that it was occasioned from some words & act- q^^ knowes
ings of the comissioners, where, whittingly or vnwittingly, God knowes. *"■
Moreouer, some actings of the comissioners had an appearance in the eye of Y' ap'hentions
the country as if it had beene one speciall part of their designe to gether all country as if it
the combustible matter of discontented spirits among vs into one, to make a '"^'^^ y° ^^'

signe to make

flame in the country contrary to the tender care & expresse charge of his a flame, &o.
majesty, comanding not to disturbe the peace, as appeared by the cofnissioners
letter to some in Ipswich & in other places, by their mooving to haue first all,
& then all concemd in the patent gathered together at the election, which
being answered as vnusuall & hazardous, the reply was such as is before
declared by their high favo's to discontented persons, & great countenance By y<ir favora
given to the Road Islanders, whose first rise & continuance hath beene such ^^ persons &'
to the other colonjes as is not unknoune to any discreet observer in these <=ountenc to

Road Island-
parts ; and on the other hand, calling (in their publick declarations) the Vnited era.

VOL. IV. PAKT n. 30




May session.
Declaring y^
Vnited Colo-
nys an vsurped
authority, &E.

some of his
maj'y subjects
out of their
freeholds, &c.


others, as Por-
ter, to expect
like favor, to
ye utter oG-
throw of jus-

Not sufFefg
men to speak
for themselues.

"Whilst y« goG-
m' stood ar-
raigned at their
barr, all things
had beene at
their dispose.

Courts care &
conscienc to
render to God
ye things y' are
his, & to Cae-
sar, &c.

Appearing in
y«ir orders
about oath of

Colonjes that vsurped authoritje contrary to the light of reason, that allowes
all whose journeys end is the same, & whose way Ijes together, to combine
for their mutuall help in all things coinon & just, w*out the least suspition of
taking vpon them any vsurped authority, whither it be by land or sea, which,
therefore made it seeme to be their speciall designe to disvnite the colonjes, &
so to bring vs vnto ruine. Not to tyre the reader w'^'all that might be sajd „
their acts of authority put forth, threatning the destruction of our constitu-
tion, as in comanding some of his majestjes subjects out of their freeholds at
so short a warning as was given, which could haue no redresse, though the
lands were conccLuered by a just warr against the Pecquots, & subdued by their
great cost & industry, rendering thereby euery mans freehold suspect through
the country ; *in protecting by their warrant that horrid vnaturall malefactor,
incouraging thereby the like w"" confidence to expect the like favour w* the
same facility, to the vtter ouerthrow of all justice & morrality ; in suinoning
some of this jurisdiction to answer before them in another colony, (viz*, at
Warwicke,) w*out giving notice to the authority heere, or instancing the
cause to be answered vnto, contrary to all processe of justice; in opprobrious
snibbing of such as pleaded before them for their rights, out of which they
were w*''out any right or good reason dispossest, so as not to suffer them to
speake for themselues. Now, had this only reached particular persons,
though hard to be borne, yett it had beene more tollerable ; but they proceed-
ed to the sumoning of the Gouernor & Company (viz*, the whole Generall
Court) to answer at their barr, & that to an vncertaine heape of vnknoune
accusaetions by particcular persons, referring to particcular rights, & those
persons, not their sequalls, to be produced, & issued when & as they pleaded,
so that whilst the whole gouernment stood arraigned before them as delin-
quents, all things had beene at a losse, & the dispose of the whole fallen
vnder their good pleasure. Now, all this being considered, wee judged it a
matter of necessity in such a mode, at such a juncture, so as to assert his
majestys authority among us, they endangered vnder the pretence of his
authority to the ruine of his colony.

And lastly, considering the conscience of our oune integritje, that as in.
the sight of God, being carefuU to render vnto God the things that are Gods,
& to Caesar the things that are Caesars ; yea, to all men that which in justice
belongs to them.

In all the proppositions which were made vnto vs by.his majestjes comis-
sion''s, wee haue yeilded as farr as wee could, w"'out prejudice to religion &
his majestjes gouernment in these parts, as maybe cleerely scene in our orders


about the oaths of allegiance, the enlargement of the body of freemen, & the 16 65.
issuing forth wai-rants in his majestjes name, &6. '''

,, May session.

All which things being well considered, wee are bold, as m the presence ^^^^^ ^^ ^
of Him fi-om whom no secret canbe concealed, before whom all hearts are freemen.
manifest, that loues trueth in the inward paits, & will haue no fellowship w*'' ^^^t, name.
iniq[uity, though in the greatest step of outward dignity, to cast ourselues at Whenc -w*
the feete of his majestje for the continuance of his royall favo' towards vs, & implore his
excerting of it in such a way as may establish our all vnto vs in this our time "'^^^'' t™' "

=" J J establisti our

of trjall, for the obteyning whereof wee are lying lowe in ourselues before the all *» vs.
King of kings, in solemne humilUation w"" the order for w""" wee here conclude.

Att a Generall Court for the Massachusets jurisdiction in New England, held

at Boston, 3'i May, 1665.

This Court hauing taken into their serious consideration the distressed. For y« end,

amongst oth-

bleeding condition of the Protestant Christian interest in the world, the darknes ers, a day of
of this bower of temptation, & referring to ourselues those manifold publick ^i^"^''^'*'™',
rebukes the Lord hath given vs in our concernments at home & abroad, con- appointed, &o.
tending w'^ us diuers yeares, & now againe by the catter pillar & the palmer
worme, denying vs the priuiledg & mercy of being a people so desired as in
former dajes, & threatning vs, by diuers judgments impending, severely to
punish vs euen w"' the remoovall of the candlestick out of its place, except wee
repent, & so make vs a reproach by avenging the C[uarrell of his couenant ;
his jealousy being provoked there vnto by the abounding of iniquitie among
us, the great indisposition & vnsubduednes of our spirits to take vpon our-
selues & submitt vnto the yoake of Christ, wantones vnder the peace & liber-
tjes wee pertake of; & considering likewise how great a measure of oux pros-
perity hath its dependance, vnder God, vpon the benigne aspect of our soueraigne
lord the king towards vs & the rest of his good subjects in these ends of the
earth, aswell as in other parts of his dominions ; not vnmindfuU also of the
alarum firom Heaven given vs in the awfull appearance *of the cometts, both [*528.]
this & the last yeare, warning vs to be watchful! & quickened vnto the dis-
charge of the seuerall dutjes jncumbent on vs respectively ; as also in regard
of the late declared warr betwixt England & Holland, — doe therefore see
great reason to stirr vp all the inhabitants of this colony to be instant in season
& out of season w"' the Lord, by prajer for his mercy towards his poore ser-
vants, to pray alwajes w*'' all prajers & supplications in the spirit, & watching
therevnto w*all perseverance ; & in particular doe comend to the churches &
inhabitants the 22* day of June next, to be kept as a solemne day of fasting
& prayer throughout this jurisdiction, wherein all may vnfeignedly humble


May session.

166 5. themselues in the sight of God, lifting vp holy hands w^'out wrath & doubting,
""^'^ ' & may turne from the evill of their doings in the way of a reall & thorough
reformation, that so the Lords anger may be turned away from us, & wee may
obteine reconcilliation w"" him, & the continuance of his gracious presence w"»
us & ourfe, that his worke may appeare to his servants & his glory to their
children, together w* the favo'' of the kings majesty towards us, whence wee
maybe encouraged in this wildernes still to offer vp the sacrifices of sweete
savo'^ unto the God of heaven, & pray for the life of the king, that vnder him
wee may Hue a q^uiet & peaceable life in all godlines & honesty.

By the Court.


Y« y« northerly Certaine reasons tending to manifest that the patent right of the north-

charterbeiongs ^^^-^7 ^^^^^ °^ ^'^ charter doeth belong to the Massachusets colony in New

to r Massa- England.

chus". ° _ _

Y'riuerisy 1- The riuer is the same name & thing, viz*: Meremack, aljas Monomack

th"^ «r™^ &- I^i'^sr, from Salisbury to Winnipeseckik, as appeares by testimony of Indians,

the giuers of y= name, who, though they haue particcular distinct names for

euery part of the riuer as it passeth through sundry plantations, yet oune this

generall name, Meremake, ouer all the lake ; also the free depth, breadth, &

passage of the streame passing vninterrupted, cleares it to be the same riuer,

at least a part of it, for wee must distinguish betweene one riuer running into

another, & branches or armes of of the same riuer.

By T observa- 2. A streight Ijne eastward from Winnipesekik to Casco Bay is the north

nets &0 y^^ °^ *^^ Massachusets patent, as appeares not only by the observation of

marriners prooving its lattitude, which observations must be acknowledged,

being affected by artists, vnlesse they be disprooved, but from the words of

the charter.

For all lands, &3, lying w*''in three miles to the north of any & euery
part of Merremake River, & so through out, keeping its longitude & lattitude,
length & breadth, from the Atlantick Ocean to the back sea, belongs to the
Massachusets. Such a Ijne aboue sajd doeth only comp>hend the breadth &
retejne the latitude of the patents Ijne from Winnipeseket to the sea. Now,
if it did wind crooked w"' the riuer, ^ would loose both breadth & lattitude at
the sea, compared w"* what it hath at the riuers head.

If the patents line must runne exactly west from Winnipeseket Lake to
the backe sea, then it must runne exact east from the sajd lake to the Atlantick
Ocean ; otherwise, two northward Ijnes, the one streight, the other crooked,
bounds that side, which is altogether incongruous to the patent. Now, that


the Ijne from the lake to the back sea must be west, the charter expressly 1665.
affirmes. ^ y — '

3. The •words ' all lands, hseredittaments, •whatsoeuer, & throughout the y ^^^^"'°-

° All lands, &c,

land from sea to sea, in lattitude & breadth,' &d, in which is all the breadth <^f""i ™piy no
throughout the majne land there, &(3, being so full, & the word 'all,' theire lands in y ijne
repeated in that clause of the charter, can imply no lesse then to com^hend *l''*''*'i''e,&o.
all the lands in the Ijne, & lattitude, & breadth aforesajd, euen in euery
seuerall longitud from sea to sea.

In the next clause, ' all lands & grounds, &6, lying w"^in the sajd bounds 'All lands,' &d,
& Ijmitts, & euery part,' &i3, confirme that one streight Ijne must be contin- stravhtVn™*
ued from the sajd riuer head to both the seas named, or some parts w'Mn the ™"^* ^^ <"'"■

tinued, &c.

sajd Ijmitts willbe left out.

*5. And these words, ' also all islands lying in Amerrica, in the sajd [*529.]
coasts, seas, or parts of the sajd tracts of land,' &(3, & a litle after, ' extends & ah islands ly-

, nip ^"S w*Mn the

is abutted as is aforesajd, & euery part & parcell thereof, and all the sajd lattitude of the
islands,' &5, and againe the same is repeated to the associates, S"^ Richard '"^u'^fi^''^^
Saltonstall, &S, page the T"" ; all which affirme that all islands lying w^in ™=''^ ^'"<="^ *"

belong to Mas-

the lattitude of the Ijne, three miles north of Merremacke Eiuers most chusetts, &c.

northern part, must belong to the Massachusetts, the Ijne continuing east from

thenc into the sea ; for otherwise the patents north side is bounded by three

Ijnes, one streight from the riuers heade to the backe sea, the other winding

by Merremake Eiuer, the third Ijne east from Slerremakes Riuer mouth into

the sea, to take in islands. Now, this thtee fold turning contradicts those

patent words, ' w*in all the breadth aforesajd, north & south, throughout the

land from sea to sea, in lattitude & breadth,' &S, & those, 'w"'in all the

breadth aforesajd, throughout all the majne land,' &6, compared w"* the words

spoken of islands, &S, 'extends & is abutted as aforesajd, & all the sajd

islands ; ' for what must the extent & abutting be but vpon the lattitude &

breadth betweene the north & south Ijnes that Ijmitts the lands at the riuers

head, or north part of it, which lattitude must be prooued by astronomicall

observations, depending on former observations on the land, for lattitude at

sea is prooved from heaven.

6. Yet if the Ijne seemed dubious, the words ' any & euery part of the Where y« line

, , is dubious, to

sajd riuer, &d, must be construed, reputed, & adjudged in all causes, & con- be most favor-
sequently in this most favorably, & in the behalfe, & for the benefit & be- ^"J' ™»=trued,
hoofFe, of the sajd patentees & their successors. Now, this is for vs most
beneficiall & behoffefuU to keepe the north Ijne in one lattitude from Win-
nepeseket to both seas, keeping all its breadth, vnlesse wee goe further by the
other branch of Merremacke, which goes to the "White Hills, & thence to the


16 65. sea, as some affirme wee may. If wee err, its by not going farr enough to the

'' north by twenty miles.

May session.

The gracious acts of King Charles the First shew us his readines to
promote New England ; so the mistakes & misinformations of those persons
or mapps which came to his majesty, whence yet he granted no after charter
to cutt of any part of our grant, as the vsuall reservations of all charters, & the
speciall reservation towards the end of S' Ferdinando Gorges charter, evin-
ceth, the first grant must stand. Our patent hath beene peopled w"* greater
speed & industry then most patents ; & the sequity of a due reward, propor-
tionable to his disbursments, wee neuer deny* any adventurer, though the
foundation of his proceeding were too weake to beare him out in lawe.

It is no plea to say wee neglected to challendge or measure our bounds at
the first, for wee knew them not, nor could know them then, it requiring more
cost, & incurring more danger among the then numerous & salvage heathen,
then our smale beginning (or any other first planters of a remote wildernes)
could ouercome. Wee proceeded, therefore, as wee were able. Neither did
his majesty intend that either himself or wee should know our vtmost borders
westward, which wee must yearly more discover as wee are able to encounter
with the dangers, diificulties, & charges of an inland discovery ; which taske
his majesty having cast to vs, wee must appoint wittnesses as to matter of fact,
(if two or three more witnesses vejw the bounds, what harme ?) wherein wee
chose artists, & them seuerall persons in seuerall places at the lake, & at the
sea in Casco Bay, to protect deceipt that might be suspected if the same persons
had observed in both places ; & these persons are not j'et invalidated by dis-
proofie or better plea.

Those actions of the Massachusets gentlemen vrged against them were acted
by private men, & so no Generall Court lawe or proceeding from of our then
vndiscouered limitts, which takes not away a right granted vnder the great seale
of England, as for the time of Yorkeshire peoples desertion, concurring w''^
[*53()._ abillity to prooue wee *could protect them, & are then receiving them vpou
patent right, (not petition right, or article right,) as the reccords of Yorkshire,
in taking in of Kittery, testifies ; and for our articles, they are acts of favo"^ to
the people, which if they carpe at, it shewes they were shewed more grace then
they had grace to make vse of. Its desired the reccords, in the hands of all
recorders for or in Yorkshire, were secured to proove truth & prevent abuse.
' Whereas his majesty hath been enformed that S"" Ferdinando Gorges
hath spent twenty thousand pounds.' It is true that the inhabitants there-
abouts say some hundred of pounds might by M' Thomas Gorges & M' Vines
be spent ; but, setting aside their personall expences, there was but litle shew


May session.

of five liundi-ed pounds spent for any publick behoofFe, yet, possibly, through 1665.

vnexperienced or ill management, a thousand pounds might be disbursed in

all in a house & some land, broake vp at Yorke, euen to the encouraging the

people in the sajd province to disoune his gouernment, &(3 ; & a party of the Ljne 12, 13, 14

inhabitants petitioning the Gouerno^'s of the Massachusetts Bay, &6.

The conexlon of these sentences seeme to imply that the Massachusetts
Gouerno''s were not the first interrupters of S' Ferdinando Gorges gouern-
ment, which was interrupted by Baron Rigby, as pleading it was the Province
of Lygonia, & so continued diuers yeares vnder him, till after his death &
other occurrences ; that gouernment was also shattered before the Massachu-
sets clajme was prooued or presented ; so that S'' Ferdinando Gorges might
rather complaine of Baron Rigby then the Gouerno's of the Massachusets.

In pursuance of that petition, those who had the gouernment of the sajd Ljne 14, 15.
Bay did take vpon them the gouernment of the said province. Note that the
Massachusets neuer gouernd all that province, nor any part of it so ac-
counted, saue only what lay w"'in their line ; neither was that in pursuance
of a petition, but of their title, as their actings in receiving Kittery (the
first toune on the north side of Pascataqua Eiuer) will shew by their rec-
cords ; & so in the other tounes the like was transacted : a petition was con-
current, not causative therein.

' Agents, &d, for the sajd Bay, &6, did declare that those who they
represented did not clajme any interest in^ or title to, the sajd province,

but/ &a.

How these representatiues of the Bay are misrepresented, see the late act
of the councill at Boston : ' expended aboue twenty thousand pounds ; ' scarce Line 28.
a thousand pounds ; see his mistake aboue : ' and haue continued under their
gouernment euer since : ' this is to be vnderstood only since Rigbys gouern-
ment expired.

S"^ Thomas Gorge, M' Robert Gorge, &8, were gon a long time before
the Massachusets entrance on Yorkshire.

' And the petitionees cornissioners, since our restawration, haue endeav-
ored,' &5. The proceeding of those cornissioners was interrupted because
all lawe & custome, vnder legall gouernments, allowes to the quiet possesso"^
of any lands, by virtue of any law title, to reteine his possession, vnlesse by
law he be disposest ; but those cornissioners sought to wrest Yorkshire out of
the quiet possessors gouernment, without processe of lawe, w^out sufficjent
legall warrant, either from his majesty or from Ferdinando Gorges, Esquire,
whom they pretended to represent, but produced no sufficjent proofFe either
of his comissionating them, or being yet aliue, or that he was S'' Ferdi-


nando Gorges helre, or that he had any right or title to the Province of


' Otherwise, that, without delay, yow shew vs reason to the contrary.'
To this the inhabitants of Yorkshire may reply, that it is not yet cleered

that Yorkshire belongs to the Province of Majne. Adhuc sub judice hie est.

They are bound on their part by oath & articles, & seuerall acts of their oune,
[*531.J (as particcularly by their trustees at "Wells, in their first treaty *w"^ M"^ Gorges

coinissioners, about May, 1662,) to acquiesse in subjection to their present

Gouerno^'s till the contrary be issued, & they expressly coiiianded, by the su-

preame power of England, to any other jurisdiction.

3. His maj'y hauing sent to the Massachusetts Bay, their wisdome, safety,

& strength is, to sit still till the matter be answered by their Generall Court, &

so, by a finall resolution, it be determined & rattified whom they must submitt to.

Att a Generall Court, held at Boston, 19* of October, 1652.

Capt Symon Willard & Cap? Edward Johnson, a coinittee appointed by

the last Generall Court to procure artists to joyne w"" them to finde out the

most northerly part of Merremack Eiuer, respecting the Ijne of our patent,

hauing procured Serjant John Sherman, of Water Toune, & Jonathan Ince,

student at Harvard CoUedge, as artists to goe along w**" them, made their

returne of what they had donne & found, viz': John Sherman & Jonathan

Ince, on their oathes, say, that at Aqueedahton, the name of the head of Mer-

remake, where it issues out of the lake called Winnepuscakit, vpon the first

Comissioners of August, One thousand sixe hundred fifty two, wee observed, & by observa-

our northerly ^^°^ found that the lattitude of the place was forty three degrees forty minutes

''°^- & twelue seconds, besides those minutes which are to be allowed for the thi-ee

Jii« Sherman & miles more north, which runns into the lake. In witnes whereof they haue

TiT* ,• subscribed their names this nineteenth of October, one thousand six hundred

oath to yir re- '

turne. fifty & t^g.


Jur coram me, JN° ENDECOTT, Gou'.

This is a true copie, taken out of the Courts booke of reccords. As

Att a Generall Court, held at Boston, y« 18"' of October, 1654.
M' Jonas Clarke & M' Samuell Andrews, both well skild in the mathe-

May session.


mattiks, liauing had the comand of ships vpon seuerall vojages, being appointed
to take an observation at the northerly bounds of our patent vpon the sea
cost, made this returne as foUoweth : —

Our observation, taken the IS"" of October, 1653. The place of our last
observation the altitude of the sunne was, according to observation & our best
judgment, thirty fower degrees thirty fower minutes; the declination of y
sunne, according to calculation in England, eleven degrees thirty nine minutes ;

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 29 of 77)