350 Timothy Cutler et al to Bishop of London

    [Boston in New England July 20 1727]


    A Fresh Instance of unjust treatment is now before our eyes and at our Hearts respecting Harvard College in this neighbourhood. A Seminary of all the Learning and Religious Principles of this Country. The Regulation of which hath as your Lordship has hitherto observed a good or bad effect on our Church. The Overseers of the College Confirm or annull All acts, Orders, Laws, and Elections relating unto it. The persons appointed by Law to be Overseers are the Governour and Deputy for the time being and all the Magistrates of this jurisdiction of the Massachusetts, together with the Teaching Elders of the Six adjoining Towns, that is Cambridge, Waterton, Charlestown, Boston, Roxbury, and Dorchester, and the President of the College for the time being, and accordingly each of the Episcopal Ministers of this town have been notified to appear and sit among the Overseers and the Reverend Mr. Harris hath set and voted among them; but now when they observe with envy the Growth of the Church, they neglect the citation of these Ministers, and Mr. Myles and Dr. Cutler having made complaint to them of this neglect they have voted them to be persons who never had a Right to sit at the Board of the Overseers. The said Mr. Myles and Dr. Cutler intend to present a Petition to the General Court for a redress of this Grievance but we have but very slender prospect of the good Consequences and therefore the next step we presume these gentlemen will take will be to apply to the authority at home. We take the boldness to give your Lordship an early intimation of this affair which we think as important as anything we have ever laid before you and earnestly beg your Lordship will favour it with your utmost interest whenever it shall be ripe for consideration.

    We would also observe that Yale College and This, as they are both managed, are in direct opposition to our Church, and strike an insupportable Damp on the minds of all our young students who would be like to favour so excellent a cause.

    (signed) Timothy Cutler

    Samuel Myles

    James Honyman

    James McSparran

    George Pigot

    Samuel Johnson

    Corporation Papers. This is a nineteenth-century copy, taken from the Fulham Archives. The Bishop of London at this time was Edmund Gibson. Cutler and Myles have been identified earlier; see No. 339. James Honyman was a Church of England missionary at Newport, Rhode Island. George Pigot and Samuel Johnson (1696–1772) were both at one time at Stratford, Connecticut, with Pigot later going to Marblehead, and Johnson becoming President of King’s College. James MacSparran (1693–1757) served at St. Paul’s Church, Narragansett, Rhode Island, and surrounding towns. A document, prepared at the same date by the same persons and sent to the Secretary abroad, is printed in William S. Perry, ed., Historical Collections Relating to the American Colonial Church, vol. III, Massachusetts (1873), pp. 224–227.