A Stated Meeting of the Society was held in the Hall of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Wednesday, 19 January, 1898, at three o’clock in the afternoon, President Wheelwright in the chair.

    The Minutes of the Meeting in December were read and approved.

    The following letter, received since the last Stated Meeting, was communicated by the Corresponding Secretary:—

    New York, December 17, 1897.

    John Noble, Esq., Corresponding Secretary.

    Dear Sir,—I have your communication of the 15th inst. informing me of my election as an Honorary Member of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts.

    I fully appreciate the honor thus conferred upon me, and, regarding it as a high distinction, I gratefully accept it.

    Very truly yours,

    James C. Carter.

    The Council having proposed to the Society certain amendments to the By-Laws to authorize the election of a limited number of Corresponding Members, and due notice thereof having been given in the notification of this Meeting, the following action was taken, unanimously, on motion of Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis:—

    Voted, That the Amendments to the By-Laws proposed by the Council at this meeting are hereby adopted, so that Articles 1 and 2 of Chapter II. and Article 4 of Chapter XL will read as follows:—


    Members and Dues.

    Art. 1.—The number of Resident Members of the Society never shall exceed One Hundred. They shall be elected from among the citizens of Massachusetts, and shall cease to be members whenever they cease to be residents thereof. The number of Corresponding Members never shall exceed Fifty; and the number of Honorary Members never shall exceed Twenty. They shall be elected from among non-residents of Massachusetts, and shall cease to be members if at any time they become both citizens and permanent residents thereof.

    No person shall be eligible to membership who cannot prove, by documentary evidence satisfactory to the Council, his lineal descent from an ancestor who was a resident of the Colonies of Plymouth or the Massachusetts Bay.

    Resident Members only shall be eligible to office or be entitled to vote or to take part in the business of the Society.

    Art. 2.—A book shall be kept by the Recording Secretary, in which any member may enter the name of any person whom he may regard as suitable to be nominated as a Resident, Corresponding, or Honorary Member,—it being understood that each member is bound in honor not to make known abroad the name of any person proposed or nominated; but no nomination shall be made except by a report of the Council at a Stated Meeting of the Society. No nomination shall be acted upon at the same meeting to which it is reported; nor shall more than one candidate for Honorary Membership be reported at any meeting.


    The Council.

    Art. 4.—It shall report, at its discretion, nominations for Resident, Corresponding, and Honorary Members, and act upon all resignations and forfeitures of membership.

    Mr. Frederick Lewis Gay made the following communication:—

    The full-length portrait of Sir William Pepperrell, which has been in the possession of the Essex Institute since 1821, is well known through many reproductions, notably the engravings of Buttre and of Kilburn, the latter appearing in the Memorial History of Boston. The artist’s name does not appear on the canvas, and is said to be unknown. Winsor twice makes this statement, relying on the authority of the late Dr. Henry Wheatland. I have brought for the Society’s inspection an engraving which seems to answer conclusively any question as to the painter of the portrait. It is engraved in mezzotint on copper by Peter Pelham, of Boston; but it is not noticed in J. Chaloner Smith’s description of Pelham’s works, and I have not found it mentioned elsewhere. A comparison will show that it is undoubtedly engraved from the Essex Institute portrait. The inscription1 reads as follows:—

    “Sir William Pepperrell Bar, Colonel of one of his Majesty’s Regiments of Foot, who was Lieutenant General and Commander in Chief of the American Forces Employ’d in the Expedition againſt the Island of Cape Breton which was happily Reduced to the Obedience of his Britanick Majesty June the 17, 1745. J. Smibert Pinx: P: Pelham fecit et ex: 1747.”

    Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis read the following paper:—


    At a former meeting of this Society, I submitted an account of an experiment made in 1740, in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, by a Company having no capital, organized for the purpose of furnishing a paper currency, the credit of which was based upon mortgages given to the Company by borrowers of its notes.2 At that time I alluded briefly to the fact that the theory upon which the Land Bank of 1740 was projected had been previously discussed, and that an attempt had been made to organize in this Province a similar company in 1714, the proposed Bank of that date being in turn founded upon a project originally submitted to the Council of the Massachusetts Bay in 1686 and for a time favorably considered by that body. Elsewhere, I have given in greater detail the circumstances attendant upon these attempts to establish Land Banks in 1686 and 1714.3 My purpose in referring at this time to the earlier projects is to recall to your minds their similarity to the actual experiment made in 1740. In the account of the transactions of a Connecticut Company, organized in 1732, which forms the subject of this communication, certain resemblances to the Massachusetts Land Bank will be easily detected, the origin of which may perhaps be attributed to the discussions of 1714 and 1686. In each case the intention, apparently, was to form a Company which should furnish bills somewhat similar in character to the bills of public credit then in circulation. The currency of these bills was to be attained by lending them to borrowers who would agree to receive them in trade and commerce, and who were to furnish adequate security for their loans, the general idea being that real estate was best for that purpose. The borrowers were to constitute the Company, which was to have no Capital Stock paid in, and their voice in the management of its affairs was to be proportionate to their borrowings.

    The Connecticut Company did not originally pose as an organization of this description. It was chartered in 1732 by the Connecticut Assembly, under the title of The New London Society United for Trade and Commerce. It is evident from the language of the Charter that the intention of the Assembly was to permit the formation of a joint-stock company, in which the members should participate in proportion to the amount of their investments. The alleged purposes of the Society are sufficiently indicated in its title. If upon an analysis of the affairs of this Company we shall find in its actual organization enough points of identity with the schemes of the proposed Banks in this Province to indicate a community of origin, we shall add to the proof already at hand another instance of the far-reaching influence of the London pamphlet4 which furnished the methods for the projects of 1686 and 1714 and for the experiment of 1740. In order that we may reach a conclusion upon this point, a review of the facts connected with the career of this Society, so far as they can be gathered from the Colonial Records of Connecticut and the publications of the Connecticut Historical Society, will now be presented.

    In May, 1732, Thomas Seymour, John Curtiss, John Bissell, and fifty-eight others, said to have been representative men of good standing from various parts of the Colony, presented a petition to the Assembly. The petitioners represented that “for the promoting and carrying on trade and commerce to Great Britain and his Majesty’s islands and plantations in America, and to other of his Majesty’s dominions; and for the encouraging the Fishery etc. . . . as well for the common good as their own private interests,” they had agreed to unite themselves together to be a Society and have one common stock. For want of authority to act as societies do, by vote, they labored under great disadvantage. They prayed to be put in a politic capacity as a Society.5

    The Assembly favored the petitioners, and at the same session resolved and granted that the memorialists should be declared and constituted to be for the future one Society in fact and name, by the name of The New London Society United for Trade and Commerce. They and their successors were empowered to admit others; to sue and be sued by their name aforesaid, as other societies were by the law of Connecticut; to elect officers annually; and to prescribe rules for their meetings; their votes at such meetings to be computed as follows: one vote for thirty pounds and upwards to a hundred to be reckoned to him that should put the same into the stock; two votes for the first hundred pounds to him that should put in the same, and then one vote more for every hundred pounds reckoned as aforesaid, till it should amount to a thousand; which orders and rules were to be binding upon the particular members of said Society, and no man should have liberty to take out his stock without leave of the Society, though he might sell it. Then came provisions for organization.

    The generally accepted account of the career of this Company is that which is to be found in Miss Caulkins’s History of New London. It is there stated that it was formed in 1730, “being legalized and patronized by the Colonial government,” and that it went into immediate operation.

    “Loans upon mortgage were obtained from the public treasury, and the capital employed in trade. It had about eighty members scattered over the whole Colony. . . . To facilitate its operations, the New London Society emitted bills of credit or Society notes, to run for twelve years from the day of date, October 25th, 1732, to October 25th, 1744. These bills were hailed by the business part of the community with delight. They went into immediate circulation. But the government was alarmed; wise men declared the whole fabric to be made of paper; and having no solid support it must soon be destroyed. The Governor and Council issued an order denouncing the new money, and an extra session of the Assembly was convened to consider the bold position of the Society. This was in February, 1733. The Legislature dissolved the Association and the mortgages were assumed by the governor and company; and the bills allowed to run until they could be called in and the affairs of the Society settled. . . . According to their own statement a great part of their stock had been consumed by losses at sea and disappointments at home. . . . At a meeting held June 5th, 1735, they unanimously dissolved themselves.”6

    This account of the doings of the Society is made up in part from sources not indicated by the author and in part rests obviously upon the legislation of the Colony. It happens that the published Records of the Colony of Connecticut contain so complete a rehearsal of the various transactions of the Society after its incorporation that, when taken in connection with the material to be derived from the publications of the Connecticut Historical Society, they furnish an opportunity to trace its history. It is evident from information to be obtained from the sources mentioned above, that the Society was organized under the Charter granted at the May session in 1732, and, with disregard to the purposes set forth therein, immediately proceeded to enter upon the work actually proposed for itself, namely, to furnish a medium of trade to the Colony of Connecticut through the notes or bills of the Society. The so-called stockholders turned out to be, not contributors of funds, but borrowers of notes. In short, the Company was the prototype of the Massachusetts Land Bank of 1740, all of which is fully brought out in the investigations made by the Assembly, to which reference will now be made.

    The first step taken by the Society of which we obtain any trace was a vote passed in August, 1732, for printing thirty thousand pounds in bills of credit of the Society. For the purpose of carrying this vote into effect the Committee having the matter in charge notified one Timothy Green, the public printer of the Colony of Connecticut, who was then in Boston, what had been done and requested him to procure paper for the bills and to employ an engraver to cut the plates for the Society. This service he performed and forwarded the sheets in parcels.7 A facsimile of one of the bills is given in the Connecticut Colonial Records. The face of it, so far as it is of importance in this connection, reads as follows:—

    “Three Shillings. This Indented bill of Three Shillings Due to the possessor thereof from the NEW LONDON Society United for Trade and Commerce in Connecticut in NEW-ENGLAND, shall be in Value Equal to Silver at Sixteen Shillings pr. Ounce, or to Bills of Publick Credit of this or the Neighboring Governments, and shall be Accordingly accepted by the Treasurer of said Society, and in all Payments in said Society from time to time.

    New-London, Aug. 1732

    by Order of Said Society


    The form, it will be observed, was constructed upon that of the Old Tenor Bill. It anticipated the New Tenor Bill in stating a value in silver at which it should pass, but there is in it nothing about the twelve years which the bills, according to Miss Caulkins, were to run. The date also differs from the date given by her.

    The process of emission began at once, and it was not long before knowledge of what was being done under the guise of fostering trade and commerce came to the ears of Governor Talcott. On the ninth of February, 1732–33, he issued a precept to the Sheriff of Hartford County, in which he recited that he had been informed that the New London Society for Trade and Commerce had struck and signed bills, on the credit of the Society, to the sum of many thousand pounds, and had sold such their bills to his Majesty’s subjects, as a medium of trade, current and equal in value to current money, or bills of public credit of Connecticut or the neighboring governments, and had received for the said bills provisions and other commodities of the country in great quantities. This he alleged to be contrary to the peace of the Crown, and to be a great wrong to the purchasers of the bills, and a great abuse of the powers given to the Society by the Assembly. The Sheriff was therefore instructed to summon the said Society to appear before the General Assembly at Hartford on the fifteenth of February, to show by what authority they had emitted and sold their bills, and to show cause why the Assembly should not order them to refund and pay back to the possessors of their bills the sums for which they had been sold, and further order that they should thereafter cease to strike or emit any bills on their credit, or to be a Society.9

    At the same time, a precept addressed to the Sheriff of New London County was issued, in which he was directed to summon Daniel Coit, the Secretary of the Society, to appear before the Assembly at the same time and place, and to bring with him the records and doings of the Society.10

    At the Special Session of the Legislature summoned for the consideration of these matters the Society put in an appearance. They were apparently disposed at first to dispute the jurisdiction of the General Assembly, but this plea they waived and based their defence upon the ground that the bills which they had issued were not of the nature and tenor of bills of the Colony, but were of the character of bills of exchange, which they had a natural right and authority to emit.

    The Assembly, having duly considered the plea of the Society, submitted to vote a series of questions the determination of which would settle the action necessary to be taken under the circumstances. The answers to these questions may be formulated as follows:—

    First. It was not lawful for any society of Connecticut, nor for any person or persons, not having authority for that purpose from the government, to emit, on private credit, bills of credit of the tenor of the bills of credit of the Colony.

    Second. The bills emitted by the New London Society were of the tenor and nature of the bills of credit of the Colony and were not bills of exchange.

    Third. The Society ought in justice to redeem their bills in the hands of possessors.

    Fourth. It was expedient for the Assembly to pass a Bill prohibiting the emitting or uttering bills of credit, on any fund or credit within the Colony of Connecticut, which were intended for a general currency in lieu of money.11

    Having determined these points, the Assembly proceeded to enforce the fourth proposition, by passing a Bill of the character therein suggested. They stated in the preamble that they had observed that great disorder and confusion had arisen in the Government by reason of the New London Society United for Trade and Commerce having presumed to strike and emit a certain number of bills of credit on their own Society, whereby many honest people were in danger of being defrauded. The peace of the Government was thereby subverted and the credit of the Colony might sink. Those who should violate the Act then passed were made subject to the penalties imposed upon forgers and counterfeiters of bills, and also to a forfeiture of double the sums mentioned in the bills which should be emitted.

    The precept issued by the Governor not only required the Society to show cause why it should not cease to issue notes or bills, but also why it should not cease to be a Society. Up to this point, the Assembly had not taken into consideration the question whether or not the Act under which the Society was organized had been violated. The Clerk of the Society had, however, been summoned to produce the Records, and the Assembly, having first caused the Act under which the Society was organized and the records of the doings of the Society to be read, proceeded to the consideration of this question. The result of this examination is stated in the following words:—

    “it was observed that a Stock was necessary to be made, by the proportion of which Stock put in by the members thereof, all their votes were to be computed, and that nothing but Mortgages were put in by the members thereof to make this Stock; On which the following question was put, Whether by the said Mortgages any Stock were made, according to the true intent and meaning of the grant? Resolved in the negative.”

    “Nothing but Mortgages were put in by the members thereof to make this Stock.” In these words we have the description of an organization upon the same basis as that effected eight years afterward by the Massachusetts Land Bank,—a Society which emitted bills and loaned them upon mortgage security to borrowers, who became thereby entitled to a voice in the proceedings of the Company proportionate to the extent of the loan. On the above showing the Assembly determined that the New London Society had by its mismanagement forfeited the privileges granted to them, and at once proceeded to repeal the Act containing the grant.12

    Miss Caulkins states that the bills of the Society were hailed by the business part of the community with delight, and she is corroborated in this statement by a correspondent of Governor Talcott, who speaks of “the swift currency of the New London Society bills through so many hands.”13

    The question arose, How could these bills be withdrawn with the least disturbance to the community? The Records do not state the amount supposed at that time to be in circulation, but Timothy Green, the man who procured the paper and the plates in Boston, said in his letter to Governor Talcott, “How much of the 30,000 £ are emitted is best known to the Committee, Clerk, and Treasurer of said Society; what is printed, I conclude, is about fifteen thousand pounds.”14

    The Assembly concluded at the Special Session that under the circumstances it was expedient to emit £30,000 in public bills of credit, a part of which was to be let out for the benefit of the Government, and the remainder to be tendered to such persons as the Assembly should appoint and should give security, for the drawing in of the bills lately emitted by the New London Society.15 The determination of the exact amount to be set aside for the relief of possessors of these bills and the manner in which the public bills should be applied for the purpose of drawing in the Society bills was not then definitely concluded, though it may perhaps be considered that the limitation to such persons as should give security was meant to apply to those who, as borrowers of the bills of the Society, had assumed certain responsibilities in connection therewith, and sufficiently indicates the intention of the Assembly at the time.

    At the May Session in 1733, Thomas Seymour and others presented a petition praying that the New London Society United for Trade and Commerce might be revived. They also asked for a loan of £30,000 from the Colony. For the purpose of determining the attitude of the Assembly towards this petition, two questions were submitted, the First of which was, Whether it was within the authority of the Government of Connecticut to make a Company or Society of Merchants? In response to this it was resolved that, although a Corporation16 might make a fraternity for the management of trades, arts, or mysteries, endowed with authority to regulate the management thereof, yet (inasmuch as all Companies of Merchants were made at home by Letters Patent from the King, and the Assembly knew not of one single instance of any government in the plantations doing such a thing) it was, at least, very doubtful whether they had authority to make such a Society, and hazardous therefore for the Government to presume upon it. The Second question that was submitted was, Whether it would be for the peace and health of the Government to create such a Society; and the answer given by the Assembly to that was, that a Society of Merchants whose undertakings were vastly beyond their own compass, and who must depend upon the Government for their supplies, must rely on their influence upon the Government to obtain them. Such a Society was not for the peace and health of the Government.17

    Having thus finally disposed of the question whether the Society should be revived and permitted to adjust its own affairs, the Assembly proceeded to deal with the question of protecting the rights of possessors of the Society bills. With this intention an Act was passed appointing a Court of Chancery to hear and determine, according to equity, all controversies about said bills and the doings of said Society and the several officers and members thereof. The preamble opens with a statement that sundry persons have of late mortgaged their lands to Mr. John Curtiss, Treasurer of the late New London Society for Trade and Commerce, and to his successor, or to Daniel Coit, with a design to form themselves into a Society for Trade and Commerce under the privilege granted to John Bissell, Thomas Seymour, and others, under the name of the New London Society for Trade and Commerce. Having thus distinctly stated the character of the organization of the Society, the preamble cautiously asserts that these mortgagors then assumed to be a Society for Trade and Commerce, and as such emitted and put in circulation many thousand pounds’ worth of their bills. It then alleges that the deception of the mortgages was discovered; that the credit and currency of the bills was lost; and that the possessors of the bills were utterly defrauded. To prevent such mischiefs for the future, a Special Session of the Legislature was held, at which it was declared that the Society had no right to emit bills of credit, and it was, therefore, by Act of Assembly, dissolved.

    At the same session, the Assembly also resolved that the Society ought, in equity, to refund and pay back to the possessors of such bills so much in current money or bills of public credit as by said Society bills is mentioned or expressed. At the time when the Assembly originally announced this conclusion, they neglected to fix any penalty for failure to comply with it, and they did not provide any effectual means for enabling possessors of bills to recover from mortgagors. As a result of this, the mortgagors still neglected to pay to possessors the sums due them as aforesaid, or any part of the same. In order to cure this evil it was enacted that the mortgagors were liable to possessors of bills, but, inasmuch as they had in their possession certain property of which no account had been rendered, they were to be permitted to hold one meeting, which, however, was not to last over three days, and were authorized to proceed to settle their accounts as best they could. They had authority given them to appoint a Committee who should call upon the former officers for their accounts; who could sell the property of the mortgagors, pay off possessors of bills, and sue debtors before the Special Court. This Court had authority given it to adjust and settle differences between the various parties interested in these proceedings. In order to give the mortgagors time to convert their property, the right of action on the part of the possessors of bills was postponed until six months after the rising of the Assembly. Special provision was made for discovering what mortgagors were in arrear, and it was made a condition precedent that the possessor of bills should, before bringing his action, lodge his bills in court.18

    It has been already stated that at the Special Session it was determined that it was expedient to aid the mortgagors in their efforts to withdraw the Society bills by lending public bills to those who could give security therefor. The time had now come to give effect to this expression of opinion. £15,000 were lodged in the hands of a Committee to be lent to mortgagors who should first give to the Committee Society bills to the amount of the proposed loan, and who could then have the public bills at the rate of six per cent interest, on furnishing landed security equal to twice the amount of the loan.19 It is evident that the security thus demanded was regarded as applying to the principal alone. Separate bonds were given for the interest, and later bonds were given by John Bissell, John Curtiss, Thomas Seymour, Daniel Coit, and six others to the Colony for large sums, in behalf of sundry others who were mortgagors to answer for the payment of interest. Afterwards, questions arose about the substitution of the bonds of individual mortgagors in place of this joint bond.20 There was trouble also about obtaining proper releases for satisfied mortgages given to the Governor and Company of the Colony, and resort was had to special legislation on the subject.21 It does not appear from the Records that the Committee having charge of the settlement of the affairs of the Company were much bothered by recalcitrant mortgagors. Perhaps the files of the Special Court might disclose some cases of this sort, but it seems probable that the public bills furnished by the Colony for purposes of exchange, taken in connection with the funds derived from the sale of the property of the Society, furnished ample means for the redemption of such bills as were presented to the Committee. How it was possible for a Society without capital to have acquired any property of consequence in so brief a career can only be conjectured; but if the same course was pursued in Connecticut that was afterwards adopted in Massachusetts, this property must have represented ventures in trade accomplished through unsecured notes issued to the Society.22 There were controversies both with reference to the property which remained in the hands of the Committee and to the adjustment of the losses in trade. In October, 1735, the Committee petitioned the Assembly to cause certain proceedings to be postponed, as they were about to settle the affairs speedily and divide the estate.23 The question of the responsibility for losses proved more perplexing than had been anticipated, if the Committee were really of opinion that they could speedily divide the estate; and they were obliged, the next year, to ask for the appointment of a Commission to determine these controversies. In response to their request a Commission was appointed with full power.

    It is evident that in 1742 there was a default in the payment to the Colony of the interest on some of the mortgages, for Curtiss then petitioned for leave to set over to the Colony real estate, in order to satisfy certain executions for “use-money” due to the public treasury of the Colony from the New London Society. This reference to the Society as debtor of the Colony can be but the careless use of language. Curtiss had been the Treasurer of the Society when it was in existence. After its dissolution he had been active in winding up its affairs; and he was one of those who, in behalf of other mortgagors, had given bonds to secure the payment of interest on the loans. These executions for “use-money” were probably based upon some of these bonds. Through the surrender of certain property in New London and by giving a bond for what remained due, Curtiss, with the approval of the Assembly, was released from the obligations that he had assumed.24 Individuals, however, continued to occupy the time of the Assembly with their petitions as late as 1749.25

    The exact amount of the circulation of the bills of the New London Society does not appear. It will be seen from what follows that it required less than £15,000 in the public bills of Connecticut, in their denominational values, to meet the calls made upon the Committee of the Assembly for purposes of exchange. In all probability the amount of the circulation was not far from £10,000. It would seem as if the Committee having in charge the letting out of the £15,000 to the mortgagors of the late New London Society for Trade and Commerce in order to aid in calling in the bills of that Society, must have reached the conclusion, in October, 1733, that the period of their active work was over, for they then reported that they had received £9,507 11s. 8d. in bills of the Society, which bills were then ordered to be burned.26

    This was followed, in 1734, by a petition of some of the members of the late Society, praying for a loan of so much of the £15,000 as was not required for the purpose of exchanging the Society bills. The Assembly was disposed to grant this request, but before doing so they required the representatives of the Society to take steps to bring before possessors of bills throughout the entire Colony knowledge that an opportunity was offered them to exchange such bills for the public bills of credit of the Colony. To carry this into operation, it was resolved that the Memorialists should make a proclamation in the several towns in the Colony to the effect that any person having bills of the Society in his possession might, upon bringing them to the Committee, have bills of the Colony in exchange therefor. This proclamation was to be made by affixing a notice containing this information upon the sign posts in such towns. If the Committee should certify that this had been done and that six weeks had been allowed for the bringing in of the bills, then so much of the £15,000 as remained in their possession could be loaned to the mortgagors.27

    The lending of the unexpended portion of this redemption fund to representatives of the Company after these final efforts had been put forth to protect possessors of bills, is a distinct recognition of the compliance of the mortgagors with the law, and it may fairly be assumed that the circulation of the Society bills must practically have ceased when this was permitted. Although, as we have seen, there were matters connected with the Company which occupied the time of the Assembly as late as 1749, this is, to all intents and purposes, the disappearance of the Company as such from the scene.

    We have been enabled through direct statements in the Records to ascertain the approximate date and the method of the organization of the Society and have had before us the form of the bill which was issued. Two points alone remain in Miss Caulkins’s account which are of enough importance to demand independent examination, and these are the statements that the bills were dated in October and were to run for twelve years from the day of date. The date in the facsimile given in the Records corresponds with the time when Green said that he executed the order for the Company and had the bills engraved. It is reasonable to suppose that the entire issue bore the same engraved date and was similar in character. This conjecture is reinforced by the conclusion of the Assembly that the bills were of the tenor of the public bills of credit, a statement which could hardly have been made if they were twelve-year notes. Such variations as there are between Miss Caulkins’s account and that disclosed by the Records may all be charged to lack of familiarity on her part with business terms and legal forms. This being the case, the mortgages given to the New London Society will naturally suggest themselves as perhaps possessing power to explain the statement that the Society notes were twelve-year notes. These mortgages, it will be remembered, were said by the Assembly to have been made to John Curtiss, Treasurer, to his successor or to Daniel Coit. Two of them at least are to be found in Hartford, and through the kind offices of Professor Franklin B. Dexter, of New Haven, I am able to give their material features. The consideration in each mortgage was denned as “current money.” The date of each was 24 October, 1732, and both ran to John Curtiss, Treasurer of the New London Society United for Trade and Commerce. The proviso in each read that the deed was to become null and void upon payment being made “either in silver at sixteen shillings pr ounce or in true bills of publick credit of this or the neighboring Governments, or the like sum in bills of the New London Society United for Trade and Commerce upon the credit of said Society, and that on or before the thirtieth day of October which will be in the year of our Lord Christ, one thousand seven hundred and forty four.” A person who had never seen one of the Society bills, if endeavoring to work out a description of them based solely upon these mortgages, might, if the rough notes taken from the deeds were confused, be led to describe the bills in terms somewhat similar to those used by Miss Caulkins. Perhaps the New London Registry would furnish examples from winch an even closer description might be drawn.

    It is more than probable that the materials exist in Connecticut for a more complete history of this interesting experiment. The Company probably had some sort of existence before its organization under the Charter, and traces of the evils that it left in its track may be discovered later than 1749. The authorities for the foregoing account are practically confined to the Colonial Records and the Talcott Papers in the publications of the Connecticut Historical Society. No person can rise from a perusal of these documents without feeling respect for the Colonial Government of Connecticut. The wisdom with which they treated the New London Society, whether we have regard to its peremptory closure or to the aid extended to the members in the performance of the duty imposed upon them to withdraw the circulation, is in marked contrast with the proceedings in Massachusetts under the arbitrary and unjust Act of Parliament.

    If the true character of this Society has ever been set forth I have failed to see it. Dr. Douglass refers to it as follows:—

    Connecticut emitted Bills only for the present necessary Charges of Government upon Funds of Taxes, until A. 1733, having granted a Charter for Trade and Commerce to a Society in New London, this Society manufactured some Bills of their own, but their Currency being soon at a Stand; the Government were obliged in Justice to the Possessors, to emit 50,000l, upon Loan to enable those concerned in the Society to pay off their Society Bills in Colony Bills; their Charter was vacated, and a wholesome Law enacted, That for any single Person, or Society of Persons to emit and pass Bills for Commerce or in imitation of Colony Bills, Penalty should be as in Case of Forgery, or of counterfeiting Colony Bills.”28

    Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull, in his First Essays at Banking, and the First Paper Money in New England, overlapped this period in his notes but did not cover it in the text of his paper. He refers to the Society briefly in a note.29

    A careful study of the public bills of credit of the Colony of Connecticut was made by Dr. Henry Bronson and communicated to the New Haven Colony Historical Society.30 The author treated of the Colonial currency exclusively, and although his subject brought him in touch with the transactions of the New London Society, he made no effort to analyze its affairs in detail. Brief as his contact was with this part of his subject, it enabled him to detect some of the errors in the account given by Miss Caulkins.

    If it shall prove that I am mistaken in thinking that the points of resemblance between the New London Society and the Massachusetts Land Bank have not before been described, this account will lose the feature of novelty, but it may perhaps still have some value as an independent presentation of the subject.

    The following letter from our associate Mr. Abner C. Goodell, Jr., was read by Mr. Davis, to whom it is addressed:—

    Salem, 18 January, 1898.

    My dear Sir,—Being forced, most unwillingly, to be absent from the meeting of The Colonial Society to-morrow, I am once more compelled to beg of you the favor to represent me by reading the accompanying paper (or the translation of a part of it, rather), which I am sure you will agree with me is worthy to be printed in our Publications. It is an exact copy of the record of a Commission granted by King George the First in 1726–27 to Edmund Gibson, Lord Bishop of London, authorizing him to exercise certain episcopal functions in America either in person, or by a commissary or commissaries to be appointed by him.

    This document,31 which had long eluded the researches of Mr. Sainsbury, I had the gratification, recently, as I have already informed you, to receive from Miss Walford, who found it under the direction of Miss Connolly, my former chief clerk on the Province Laws. It does not strictly belong to the group of Commissions, etc., relating to the civil administration of the Province which I have contributed to our Society, but since it is equally valuable as bearing upon the attempts made by the Home Government, during the Provincial period, to establish the Episcopal system in Massachusetts, I ask you to offer it for the consideration of the Committee of Publication. It is especially enjoined upon the notice of Governor Belcher in the forty-seventh article of his Instructions. I have not been able to find it in print anywhere, but should it prove to exist in any publication I should, of course, withdraw it. A most interesting account of the exercise of the Bishop’s authority under this Commission, in the appointment of Roger Price as the first Commissary, he being then Hector of King’s Chapel, may be seen in the first volume of the Annals of the Chapel, pp. 171, 172, 383, and 404,—a work in which our Society has a special interest, since it was completed under the editorship of our associate, Mr. Edes, in a second volume of nearly seven hundred pages,—a monument of comprehensive and painstaking research.

    There is, perhaps, no better illustration of the readiness of the Home Government to usurp authority over the Colonies than the practice which obtained in England and was sanctioned by Episcopalians here upon the unfounded assumption that, by virtue of his office, the Bishop of London had ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Colonies as in partibus infidelium. In 1725 the legality of this practice was questioned by Bishop Gibson, who declined to follow it without further and explicit direction from the Privy Council, and upon his petition it was determined by that body that the practice was unauthorized, and that the jurisdiction claimed could only be conferred by letters patent. Accordingly, the Commission before us (which is a Patent under the privy seal) was issued. It appears not to have been renewed after the death of Gibson, which happened in 1748. It is supposable that there were valid objections to the legality of a Patent authorizing Episcopal interference in the ecclesiastical affairs of this Province; probably an insuperable obstacle was deduced from that clause of the Province Charter which guarantees liberty of conscience. But of this I may have something to say at some future meeting of our Society. I may however add, in passing, that discretion as to the act or degree of interference could not have been confided to a more careful and judicious prelate than he who then held the See of London. Besides being a profound theologian, and thoroughly versed in ecclesiastical history and the canon law, he had a judicial mind not easily moved by partisan appeals of ill-advised zealots. To-day he is probably best remembered as the accomplished editor of Camden’s Britannia.

    The Patent is written in abbreviated Latin,32 and with the copy I submit a translation of so much of it as is sufficient to give a clear idea of its purport.

    The original copy transmitted, which Belcher was ordered to have registered in the public records of the Province, was undoubtedly consumed in the great fire of 1747, of which devastation Mr. Noble informs me lie has found a memorandum of some interesting particulars in a paper or record in his office.33

    Although the Weekly News Letter of 4–11 May, 1727, contained the announcement that this Commission would soon pass the seals, it would seem that the delegation of authority to Commissary Price was not sent by the Bishop until 13 July, 1730. Belcher’s Instructions, to which I have referred, were prepared a little less than four months before this date.

    Sincerely yours,

    A. C. Goodell, Jr.

    Andrew McFarland Davis, Esq.


    The King etc., to the reverend father in Christ, Edmund, by the grace of God, Bishop of London, greeting: Whereas the colonies, plantations, and all our other possessions in America have not yet been divided or formed into dioceses, nor annexed to any diocese within our Kingdom of Great Britain, by reason of which the jurisdiction in ecclesiastical causes arising in those [places] or in any one of them, pertains to us, alone, as the supreme head on earth, of the Church; and Whereas it has seemed necessary to us that henceforth the spiritual and ecclesiastical jurisdiction in those regions in the inferior causes set forth in these presents be by our Royal authority instituted and exercised in accordance with the laws and canons of the English Church lawfully accepted and sanctioned in England by which the sincere worship of God and the pure profession of the Christian religion may be better promoted, Know Then that we, fully confiding in your sincere piety and learning, and in the uprightness of your character, and in your prudent circumspection and industry in the administration of affairs, by our special grace and of our certain knowledge and mere motion have given and granted, and by these presents do give and grant, to you, the aforesaid Bishop of London, full power and authority to exercise, in person or through your chosen commissary, or commissaries substituted and nominated by you, spiritual and ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the respective colonies, plantations and all our other possessions in America, according to the laws and canons of the English Church as lawfully accepted and sanctioned in England in the special causes and inferior matters mentioned and specified in these presents; and as a declaration of our Royal will as to what are the special causes and matters in which we desire that the aforesaid jurisdiction be exercised by virtue of this our commission, we have further given and granted, and by these presents do give and grant, unto you, the aforesaid Bishop of London, full power and authority, by yourself (in person) or through your chosen commissary, or commissaries substituted and nominated by you, of visiting all the Churches in the colonies, plantations and all our other aforesaid possessions in America in which divine service shall have been celebrated according to the rites and liturgy of the English Church, and of summoning all rectors, curates, ministers, and incumbents, (or persons called by any other name whatsoever) of the aforesaid churches, and all presbyters and deacons ordained in the holy orders of the English Church, or any one or more of them before you, or [your] commissary or commissaries aforesaid, and, by witnesses sworn in due form of law by you or the commissary or commissaries aforesaid, and in other lawful ways and modes by which this can be done better and more efficaciously according to law, to inquire concerning the behavior of these, and concerning the behavior of parish clerks and to investigate concerning their experience, care and diligence in all duties pertaining to the position of parish clerk, according to the laws and canons of the English Church; and also of administering any lawful oaths whatsoever usual in ecclesiastical courts, and of correcting and punishing the aforesaid Rectors, Curates, Ministers, Incumbents, Presbyters and Deacons ordained in the holy orders of the English Church (and parish clerks according to their fault) whether by removal, deprivation, suspension, excommunication or any other sort of ecclesiastical censure whatsoever, or of due correction according to the ecclesiastical canons and laws aforesaid. And further we have given and granted, and by these presents do give and grant, to you, the aforesaid Bishop of London, full power and authority, through yourself or your commissary, or your chosen commissaries, of inquiring concerning the condition and repair of parish churches, and houses, from any rector, minister, incumbent, or person called by any other name, relating or pertaining thereto, in the colonies, plantations and all our other aforesaid possessions in America, and concerning the provision by all these whomsoever for the decent and regular celebration of divine service and the administering of the Eucharist in the churches aforesaid according to the required and necessary requirement of the law; and of compelling and coercing these persons, etc.

    Mr. John Noble presented, for publication, a literal copy of a fragment, in Secretary Rawson’s handwriting, of the original Journal of the Massachusetts House of Deputies, for the May Session, and a part of the October Session, of 1649. The discovery of this document34 was announced by Mr. Noble to the Society at its Stated Meeting in February, 1896.35 The text of the paper is as follows:—


    [The manuscript, with the exception of a few entries noted as they occur, is in the handwriting of Edward Rawson. It is comprised in five separate papers, which, arranged according to the contents, have the following order: three sheets (four pages each); and two leaves (two pages each). For convenience of reference the document is here paged, in broad-faced figures, 1 to 16 in brackets. Brackets alone indicate a doubtful rendering. Brackets with stars indicate what is cancelled in the original. Where the original is wholly illegible the space is left blank between brackets. Upright parallels indicate interlineation. A caret indicates an apparent omission in the original.]

    [1]   [Top of the leaf torn off.]

    [See Massachusetts Colony Records, iii. 146; ii. 246.36]




    ] Esqr:


    ] ham Esqr:

    R[ich Saltonstall Esqr:


    Wm Pinchon

    Secretary: genṭ̣ Assistants


    Jo: Winthrop


    Increase Nowell

    absente aftr Conference

    Simon Bradstreet


    Tho. flynt

    Capt Hawthorn—6

    Wm Hibbines

    Mr Bartholmew × 6

    Sam: Symonds

    Capt Keayne 6

    Robt. Bridges

    Left Walkr 6

    Edward Gibbons Esqr major gennrll:


    if all these, pay:

    Rich Russell gent. Treasurer:


    not ye Clarke

    Tho. Dudley Esq


    not to pay his

    Simon Bradstreet gent.

    all Remitted

    Jo: Endicott Esq Gour nr



    Rich. Bellinghm̄ Esq:


    3 May 1649:

    ye seurll Retournes || for Deptṣ|| was Read & Accepted yeir

    names are

    major Danill Dennison

    Salem: Capt

    W Hawthorne.

    Concord: Capt Simō Willard.


    Hen. Bartholmew.

    Dedham. Antho: ffisher.


    major Sedjuke.

    Silisbury. Left Robt Pike.


    mr Willowby.

    Hampton: Wm Eastowe.


    mr glouer.

    Rouley. Humph: Reynor


    Tho. Jones.

    Sudbury. Edmond goodenow


    Capt. Keayne



    James Penn

    Braintry Capt Wm Ting


    Capt Prichard.

    Samuell Basse


    Wm Parkes:

    Glocester Obadiah Bruen.



    Rich. Broune

    Woobourne: Left Johnson.


    Ephraim Child

    Wennam. Wm ffiske.


    Tho Laiton

    Haverill: Robt Cleoments.


    Capt Gooking mr Jackson.

    Redding Rich. Walker


    major Denison.

    Springfeild: John Johnson Srveyor:


    Robt. Paine




    Edw Rawson.



    [ ]


    Left. Wm Torrey.


    Nico. Jacob:





    Jo. Beale:





    major Daniell: Denison. was chosen Sp[ea]ker for this session:

    James Penn: & Wm Parkes was chosen Husbands [howse of Deputies for this] session [according to order] [iii. 147.]

    [2]   [Top of the leaf torn off.]

    Entered & Receaved a Petition, of John Gy[dney of Salem] in Reference to a Composic̃on for his impost of wyne [*mr Auditor genrll*] James Penn & Wm Parks are appointed a Com̄ittee & have power to Compound wth him or any other Vintner & to turne yr impost to an annuall Rent for ffower yeares as they shall Agree & thinke meete. Provided such come in at or before the ye37 end of this courte [iii. 147.]

    Rec to be Allowed. 2s.6d ×

    ||Capt Keayne||

    Sent vp.

    Edney Bayly Petic̃on: wyddow: for explanac̃on of the Courts Answer to hir former˄ was accepted of & graunted she should have: ye Courts [*minde*] Resoluc̃on & explanac̃on wthout a[*ny*] ffee|| [acc]ording to hir desire|| [iii. 148; ii. 266.]

    Rec by both ×

    Mr Emanuell Douninge peticon for ye Abating of his ffine of 50s for his Absence ye last Courte was accepted of to be Answered wthout fee. And [*was Answered*] his fine was Remitted acording to his desire [iii. 148.]


    Itt was voted that mr Speaker in the name of the howse of Deputs should Rendr mr Cobbett the thankes of the howse ffor his worthy [*thankes*] paynes in his [*labor*] sermon wch at ye desire of this howse he preached on ye day: of Elecc̃on & that ||it|| is their desire he would printe it (here or elswhere) [iii. 148.]

    Voted ×

    Itt is ordered: that ye Agreement made wth Wm Phillips: Hugh gullison: Robt Long: Wm Hudson: & Robt Turner for ye chainge of yeir Impost to an annuall Rent shall be entered amongst the Records of the Courte. ye Acts of the Comittee beinge Approved of & they dischardged. wth 3 Additions: enquier: [iii. 148; ii. 277.]

    Sent vp.

    Itt is ordered yt ye bond of major Robt Sedjuke Richard Russell frauncis Norton & David Yale: for the payment of the Annuall Rent wch they Agreed wth the last gennerall Courte to pay as therein more Amply Appeares should be Recorded amongst the Records of this Courte. ye acts of the Comittee therein is Approved of & they dischardged: [iii. 150; ii. 276.]

    Sent vp

    A writing from Springfeild wth Reference to ye Impost challendged from Conecticutt of vs: &c: wch is com̄itted to ye considerac̃on of Capt Hawthorn Capt Ting Capt Keayne & some magists. w is to be done thereabouts respecting the Artickles of Confederation: [iii 154. 151; ii. 268–271.]

    Sent vp.

    Capt Keayne Capt Ting & Capt Hawthorne are Appointed a Com̄ittee to Joyne wth some of our honnored majestts [*to make Retourne*] to consider about some magazine of Corne &c: [iii. 153.]

    Sent vp.

    yt no buisnes but necessary buisnesses to be accepted of to be treated on ys session yt so ye Court may be Adjourned

    [Sent vp.]

    [3]   [Top of the leaf torn off.]

    [   ] touch the

    [   here]by ordered

    [   ] bodyes of

    [   h]ealth [as p]hisitians chi

    [   ex]ercise or put forth any

    [   rul]es of arte nor exercise any force vio

    [lence or cr]ueltye vpon or towards ye bodyes of any whether younge [or old] (no not in the most difficult and desperate cases) wthout the advice and consent of such as are skilfull in the same art if such may be had; or at least of the wysest and gravest then prsent, and consent of the patient or patients if they be mentis compotes much lesse contrary to [*the*] ||such|| advice and consent vpon paine of Death or such other punishments as the nature of the facte may Deserve: wch lawe is not Intended to discourage any from a lawfull vse of their skill but rather to encourage and direct them in the right vse [*of*] the [*i*]r ||of|| [*skill*] and to Inhibite and Re-strayne the prsumptuous arrogance of [   ] as thorough prfidence of [their] oune skill or any other si[nister] Respects, dare be bould to Attempt to exercise any violen[ce] vpon or towards the bodyes of young or old to the p’jud[ice] or hazard of the life or limes of men women or children [iii. 153; ii. 278.]

    Contradicent. [*Robt *]

    Edw. Rawson.

    Eph Child:

    Robt Keayne

    Simō Willard

    Robt Cleom̄ts.

    James Pen:

    Rich. Browne:

    Att ye Request of mr mavericke a hearing graunted him on: 9th day of of38 may: [iii. 153.]

    Voted & sent vp.

    4: May 1649.

    A petition from Newbery Recd. about Plum Hand: [iii. 153; ii. 283.]

    Enterd & Rec’d by E R 10s

    Marblehead peticon: by Wm. Walton. Moses Mavricke &c. for a Touneshipp voted & sent vp. ye power & priviledg of a Touneshipp graunted by both [iii. 153; ii. 266.]

    Entd mr Barth olmew vndertakes for ye payt of it 10s to E R.

    on ye Peticō: of Richard Walderne for acceptance of his excuse for his Absence. ˄ [iii. 153.]

    voted [yt] peage should still Remayne passable frō man to man acording to the lawe in force: [iii. 153.]

    In Answer to ye petic͠on of Edney Bayly & Ezekiell Northirne hir hir1 prsent husband: Itt is ordered yt ye 46li. given to ye child or children of Edney Bayly by wm. halstead remaine in ye hands of Ezekiell Northirne, husband to ye said Edney, till Joseph Bayly sonne of Rich Bayly, disceased. shall Attayne the age of twenty and one yeeres and then so much thereof to be paid to ye said Joseph Bayly [*sonne*] as ye will of ye sd Doner Willm Halstead doth Appoint & yt ye said [Jose]phs porc̃on out of his fathrs estate shall be 41li wch is two third p̃ts of the sd [estate] wch some of 41li shall also remaine in ye hands of ye sd Ezekiell Northirne till ye sd [Joseph] shall attayne ye age of 14 yeeres. Provided the sd Ezek. North, give sufficent security to ye next [court] to be holden at Ipswich for ye well educating of ye sd Joseph till he att: to 21 [ys &] for [ye pa] || lyinge of ye sd legacy & porc̃on as formrly is exprst|| [iii. 148; ii. 266.]

    order about mares: not passing voted

    by both:

    Petic̃on of Hull men: for encouraginge mr mathewes to preach: voted, ye magistṣ Answr desired first. ||Ansrd: 3d day next at one of ye clocke all ᵱtyes sumoned acordingly ther about|| [iii. 153,158; ii. 276.]

    Entrḍ & Recd. by James Penn 2s 6d

    Sent vp.

    Rich, walderns39 petic̃on for his excuse for his Absence Recd. & voted wthout fee ||his|| excuse accepted of: [iii. 153.]

    A petic̃on of Jonathan wade for ye disbursmts of sixty pounds by Tho wade of Northampton for his vse in||to|| ye stocke of the Country for the furtherance of the plantacon for wch he desires land in Plum [Iland de]nyed by both [iii. 154; II. 273.]

    A pe[tic̃on of wm] Tilley for Abatement of 4li fine Refered to ye Consideracc̃on of the magistṣ first [by w?] de[   ] & offe[rihg ᵱte] refered to ye magists. [iii. 154; ii. 273.]

    Ent & Recd. Hugh [Gullison?] engages for it 10s Sent vp.

    [4 Blank]

    [5]   [   ] petition of ye Inhabitants of Sudbury

    [   ] of their bounds westwards, their Request

    [   ] iles westward to their line so as it preiudice [not]

    [   ] Broune in his 200 acrs. graunted to him. [iii. 159; ii. 273.]

    [   ] petic̃on of Nathaniell Boulter & Richard Swayne

    [   ] ment of his fine for non Appearance This Request

    [   ] Respect ˄ [iii. 159; ii. 273.]

    [   ] Ansr to a Petic̃on of Solomon francho. 6s ᵱ week Allowed him for 10 weeks so as befor yt time he gett his passage &c. [iii. 159; ii. 273.]

    [   vp]

    10.40 may. 1649.

    Salisbury new Towne petition entered, [iii. 160.]

    Entered & satisfyed for 10s by Tho Macy.

    A new lawe about || womens || Dowrie [iii. 154, 169; ii. 281.]

    a nother lawe. for prvention of vnnecessary expence of time & chardge for want of dew Attendance on ye Courts of Justice at ye beginninge thereof.

    Voted & sent vp.

    Voted & sent vp.

    another lawe: about magistṣ giving Counsell: [iii. 168; ii. 279]

    Voted & sent up.

    In Ansr to: a petition of Jonathan Wade for disbursmt of 50li into the Comon Stocke: 400 acrṣ of land graunted him where he [cann] find it so as it be not || judged || priudiciall by this Courte to any Towne or plantacc̃n already made or to be made [iii. 160; ii. 273.]

    by both.

    A petic̃on of Thomas moulton for Abatement of his fine of 5li. [iii. 160; ii. 274.]

    Entrd & engd. to be paid for wthin a month 10s in corne or butter by Wm Eastow.

    on ye magistṣ Retourne yt mr mathewes be not ᵱmitted to preach either publickely or privately vntill: he hath given satisfacc̃on to ye Elders yt heard the errors chardged & ᵱved against him. or to the greater number of them. & yt he Retourne not to Hull, acording to the Judget of our bretheren

    ye deput. cannot Assent to ye magists herein: [iii. 153, 158, 159; ii. 276.]


    In Ansr to ye petic̃on ||of|| Elizabeth Cole wyddowe. vide [Ansr] [iii. 155; ii. 272.]

    Voted & sent vp.

    In Answr to a Case ᵱpounded for ye exposic̃on of a doubtfull clause in one of the printed orders for Absenting on ye lords Day

    ye Quæst. whether where ye lawe saith that after dew means of conviction vsed. he shall forfeite for eury offence [5s] be to be vnderstood legall conviction or otherwise voted yt it’s to be vnderstood legall conviction, [iii. 160.]

    Voted [*by both*] & Sent vp.

    In Ansr to ye petic̃on of ye Town of Newbery for

    [   ] millitary [offi]cers: The petitioners

    not hav[ing observed order in the] Elecc̃on of


    their officers the [   ] of th[eir] choyce

    but the said petition [   ] elecc̃on

    acording to an order of [

    ] shall [choose to ye] County [   ] [iii. 160; ii. 274.]


    41In Answer to the pet. of mr Raw [   ]

    [Voted] & sent vp.

    ordered that theire accounts be acc[   ] [iii. 161; ii. 272.]

    [Blank space in the original.]

    1forasmuch as severall Inconveniencyes may accrew to the Commõ.wealth by the Liᵬtie of the presse this court doth order that ˄

    Licensers of ye press:

    In Ansr to ye petic̃on of John Johnson srveior grl for Recompence for his time expended in his office for 4 yeeres past voted he shall have 5li [iii. 160; ii. 271.]

    12 May 1649.

    Att ye Request of ye Toune of Braintree Capt. Ting Sam Basse & Stephen Kingsly are Appointed to end smale cawses there this yeare. [iii. 161; ii. 271.]

    Agreed by both.

    1Whereas many ᵱsons escape the punishmt that should be inflicted vppon them according to law Its therefore ordred by this Court & the Authoritie thereof that henceforth all Constables &c. ˄ [iii. 157, 170; ii. 281.]

    ord about Constables

    Voted wth ye Deputs yt in case ye youngest child of our late honnored Gournr dye before he Attayne the age of 21 yeeres ye 200li given [shou]ld be divided into 3 p̃ts one to fall to ye widdowe ye other to Deane & Samuell winthrop: his ||next|| youngest sonnes who neur had any porc̃on nor is like to have. [iii. 161; ii. 274.]42

    12 may 49.

    1In Answer to the pet. of Elizabeth fayerfeild for Libtie to depart wth her husband [it] was ord that the [   ] should be graunted ᵱvided that he should be vnder [   ] former sensure if ever he [return]es a[gaine] [iii 161; ii. 273.]


    1[   ] the Pet. of Joshua fisher of Dedham

    [   ] the Paymt of fifty shillings ᵱ butt

    [   ] of wine according to an order &c [

    [   ] the Pet. should repayre to or co[mittee]

    [   ] that end to make his Composition, [iii. 159; ii 273.]

    1 In Answer to the Pet. of Charles Saunders for men to be appoynted to apprise the tacklinge & other goods in & of his ship that was blowne vpp It was ordr[ed] that mathew Chaffey & Arthur Gill both of [boston] shal[l] be the men appoynted for the servise afforesd [iii. 161; ii 274.]

    In Ansr: to ye petition of Tho. moulton. for Abatemt of his fine Kefered to ye next qrter Court: for an Answer, [iii. 160; ii. 274.]

    Estow. engd for 10s &c. Voted & Sent vp Agreed.

    43a bill about strayes prsented was voted neg[ative]ly

    In Ansr to the petic̃on of mr Tilly he is only [to pay] wth yt 10s: for entry of y petition 40s: [iii. 154; ii. 273.]

    by both.

    In Ansr to ye petic̃on of Rich. Bellingham Esqr & Rich Dumer about mr Nelsons will Referd to mr Saltonstall and mr Simonds [iii. 164; ii. 272.]

    by both.

    1 In Answer to the Petitionors of the Inhabitants of [*Salisbury*] ye Newtowne of Salsbury for ffreedõ. from the may[nten]ance of the ministery in the old towne &c. It wa[sord]red that the Petitionors should be ffreed from Rates to the mayntenance at the old towne, vnles the old towne shall con[tri]bute ᵱportionable to their estates to ye mayntenance of a preacher [to them] when & whiles they haue one. [iii. 160.]

    10s engaged for

    In [Ansr] to the letter of John Smith gennll Assist of ye

    [col]ony & T[owne of Warwicke

    there] being

    no accusac̃on agt ye Inhabitant[s of warwicke


    hence nothing to] chardge vpon them at prsent

    [& wn any

    ] shall Refer it to

    the Comiss[ionrs

    ] [iii. 162; ii. 275.]



    [   ] m[ay   ] 1649

    The Deputs cannot Assent yt [   ]


    James O[liuer] for ye Salut[ing   ]

    the Courte should take furth[er   ]

    Capt Hawthorne [mr] major Den [   ]

    mr Simonds and Henry Short [   ]


    In Ansr. to ye petic̃on of Solomon [   ]

    mr willouby Capt Gookin and mr Pay [   ]

    honnored magists thereabouts, [iii. 159; ii. 273.]

    That Plum Hand is graunted to Ipswich Rouley and newbery. Ipswich to have [*Right to*] two [*third*] p̃ts of ye Iland. Newbery the [*like Right to other*] ||to have|| two [*third*] p̃ts and Rouley like [*Right*] to || have || one p̃te of the Iland. [iii. 153; ii. 283.]

    Voted: & sent vp.

    In Answer to a Request of John Peters Pegall44 being publisht aboard the shipp they Came in might be marryed not-wthstanding the law of publicac̃on: wch ye Deputs Ref err to the magists consent hereto, [ii. 275.]

    Voted. & sent vp.

    The comittees Retourne about mr gerish his petition Aᵱved &c. [iii. 165; ii. 275.]

    Voted. & sent vp.

    A bill about Appeales: Itt is ordered by this Courte yt all Appeales lawfully obtayned are to be accompted in ye nature of a writt of error and therevpon all further Proceedings to Judgmt and execution shall be suspended and the p̃tie Appealing shall breifely in writing vnder his or his Attorneyes hand give [in] to some one of the Judges from whom he did Appeale the grounds and Reasons of his Appeale sixe dayes before the beginning of that Courte to wch he did Appeale. [iii. 167; ii. 279.]

    Voted & sent vp.

    The deputs. have voted yt 200li shall be paid out of the best of ye pay of ye Country levy to ye Surveyor gennll for the purchasing of gunnpouder for the Countryes store but in case that should fall shorte yt warrants Issew out from this Courte to Rayse 200li for that end & the Srveyor gennll & James Penn are Intreated to treate wth some of ye merchants for the pouring of so much pouder as amounteth to 200li. [iii. 169; ii 282.]

    Voted & sent vp.

    [Itt is] Ordered by this Courte and ye Authority thereof yt ye Selectmen [of eury Toune] wthin this Jurisdiccon shall before ye 24th of June wch [shall be] in ye yeere 1650 ᵱvide for eury 50 souldiers in each Toune [a bar]rell of good pouder 150li of musket bulletts ¼ C of match and [cert]ify vnder their hands before that time to the Surveyor gennll yt they are so ᵱvided vnder the penalty of 5li for the want of [eury] brll of pouder 150li of bulletts [¼ C of] match as before And ye said selectmen are heereby A[uthoriz]ed by this Courte to Assesse ye Inhab[itants for] mak[ing this] ᵱvicon wch shall Remayne [as a Toune   ovr and besides   ] other ᵱvicons:

    [iii. 169; ii. 282.]

    [   mr mat]hewes Admonic̃on [   ]

    [9]   [Top of the leaf torn off.]

    [   asso]ciats for the [iii. 162; ii. 276.]

    [   the [Depṭs?] wth a

    [   ] 1. 164945

    Capt Keayne & Capt Ting Appointed a Com̄ittee to joyne wth some of our honnored magists as a close Comittee to Consider wth ye Surveyor genll what ye store of powder is & what neede of Repaire. making Report to this Courte what is meet to be donn in the Renewinge of ye Countryes store. [iii. 162; ii. 268]

    Com[tee as to] powder


    Sent vp.

    Order of ye qrtr Courte yt major Sedjuke & major Gibbons should each have a barrell of pouder d them by ye Surveyor genll: yt if ye gennll Courte did not allowe thereof they should Repay it to the Srveyor genlḷ voted yt ye gennll Courte Allowes it not & yt y. should Repay it [iii. 163; ii. 270.]

    Voted & sent vp.

    In Ansr to ye petic̃on of misticke side about ˄ name of yeir Toune. &c. [iii. 162; ii. 274.]

    Voted & sent vp.

    A Conference yeeilded to: in mr mathewes buisnes mr Hills gratuity of 10li: [iii. 162; ii. 273.]

    Voted & Sent vp.

    Capt. Ting Capt Keayne & Capt Bridges a Com̄ittee to enquire after ye Renewinge of the Countryes stock of powder. [iii. 162; ii. 268]

    In Ansr to ye ˄

    In Ansr to ye moc̃on of ye millitary officers at Boston for an allowance of 1 barrell and a half of pouder del to them & spent by them at ye funerall of our honnored late gournr. graunted them. [iii. 162; ii. 270.]

    Voted & Sent vp.

    That henceforth it shall not be in ye liberty of any Toune or ᵱson to pay peage to the Country Rate from time to time [iii. 167; ii. 279.]


    Jo Johnson:Cont.

    Ro: Keayne.

    Jā: Penn.

    ffor disbursmts: for ye Repairinge of ye prison Jo. Johnson & James Penn [iii. 168; ii. 280.]

    Voted & Sent vp.

    on a 2d moc̃on ||of mr Carr|| ye power is conferred to ye next Courte at Salisbury to determine wch is best for ye ferry to be in his hands wholy or to both as Reasons &c Appeare for ye Ease of ye Country. [iii. 155, 157; ii. 265, 276.]


    fforasmuch as the lawe of god. Exod 20. 13. allowes no man to touch the life or limme of any ᵱson except in a judicyall way. Bee it hereby ordered to and decreed yt no ᵱson or ᵱsons wtsoeur yt are Imployed about the bodyes of men women [*and*] ||or|| children for prservac̃on of life or health (as Phisitians chirurgians midwives or others shall prsume to exercise or putt forth any act contrary to the knowne to the contrary to the knowne46 Rules of Arte nor exercise any force violence or cruelty, vpon or towards ye bodyes of any whether young or old no not in the most difficult and desperate cases) wthout the advise and consent of such as are skilfull in the same art if such may be had or at least of ye wisest and gravest then prsent and consent of the patient or patients if they be mentis compotes much lesse contrary to such advise and consent vpon such punishment as the nature of the fact may deserve [   ] lawe is not intended [to discour]age any from a lawfull vse of their skill but [rather] to eneo[urag]e and dir[ect them in the right vse thereof and to Inh[ibit and restreine the presumptuous such as] thorough prfidence

    [   ] [iii. 153; ii. 278.]

    the bodyes of young or old to the prjudice or hazard of the life or limme of men women or [children] By both Agreed.

    [10]   [Top of the leaf torn off.]

    Wher[   ]

    [   ]

    [   ]

    [found   ]

    bills si [   ]

    incoura[   [therfore ordered [   ]

    Troopr [to discount yeerely out of his Country R[

    ] Toune where he lives the said five shillings ᵱvided he ᵱdu [   ] vnder the hand of the cheife com̄aunder of the Troope that he is furnished acordinge to order wth horse and armes and the Treasurer shall discount of ye said Counstables Rates wtsoeur he shall pay acordinge to this order: [iii. 168; ii. 280.]

    Agreed by both.

    5 may 1649. The deputs in Remembrance of a former graunt or ᵱmise yt mr mavericke should have a day Assigned him by this courte to be heard in what he shall ᵱpose acording to his former peticons: desire yt wendsday next at one of the clocke in the Afternoone shall be the time Assigned by this Courte for ye purpose Aforesaid [iii. 153, 166.]

    past by both.

    In Ansr to y petic̃on of Tho Gayner Itt is ordered yt Capt Keayne & Capt Ting are appointed a Comittee to examine the Records transcribed acording to what hath binn transacted that they be truly transcribed: paing the officer for it & deliurd to him & yt such goods as were not Inventoryed˄ [iii. 162; ii. 274.]

    [5]s Recd & voted to be accepted of.

    The Courte is Adjourned till 2d day next at one of the clocke.

    14 May 1649:

    The Courte mett at ye Time Appointed: being one of ye clocke.

    The lawe for stopping the West Indye shipps at ye Castle on sufficyent testimony of ye Aflicting hand of god Ceaseinge & those p̃ts being in good health (is repealed), [iii. 168; ii. 280.]

    by both

    Quest about the lords day. voted if ye magists conceave ye lawe to need Amendm that they would [*first*] imp̃te first to them, wherein they shall not be wanting willingly to comply. in what they shall please to ᵱpound as Just and Reasonable to be donne therein. [iii. 160.]

    Voted: 14 May 1649.

    Surveyor genrll Allowed 10li for his paines &c. [iii. 160: ii. 271]

    Voted & Sent vp.

    a millitary watch: ye major gennll to Receave his comission & oath & be ordered to Appointe a watch in boston & charles Toune as is desired [iii. 162; ii. 273.]

    Voted & Sent vp.

    [11] [Top of the leaf torn off.]

    [   ] Itt was voted

    [   ] ld only extend to

    [   ][*6*]||7||.8[orders] in ye

    for Appeale &c.

    [At the re]quest of James Penn yt wher[eas h]is name is incerted in an order [*as a licenser*] to take notice of such horses or mares ˄ should be shipped out of this Country: Edward Bendall is Appointed in his Roome &c. [iii. 168, 169; ii. 280.]

    Voted & Sent vp.

    The Toune of Newbery on ye payinge of five pounds, to the Srveyor gennll ffor ye barrell of pouder wch was dd. to mr Rawson & the Towne beinge Allowed the Rest. for what was dd. to such souldiers as went in ye service about ye Indians Designes at or about that time & what was wasted: [iii. 163; ii. 270.]

    Voted by both. Sent vp:

    Sudbury petic̃on || about yeir meadows|| entered amongst ye Records of ye Deputs [iii. 159; ii. 273.]

    2s 6d engagd for by Edm: goodenõ

    Voted yt Left Johnson mr Jackson, obadiah bruen and mr Payne are Appointed a Comittee to ᵱvse the sealed Coppyes of the lawes & compare them wth the printed booke and to make Retourne of what they shall finde materiall to be [*ob*] tooke notice of &c.

    About Comissionrs. [iii. 163; ii. 267.]

    yt all execuc̃ons of orders being putt vpon vs. ye chardge thereof to be Allowed by ye [whole]


    16 may 1649.

    Itt is ordered yt ye Courte of Assistants shall take [*no*] cognizance of no case or action triable in any County Courte vnlesse it be by way of Appeale. And that no debt or action proper to the Cognizance of any one ˄ magists. or of any three Commissioners for triall of Cases vnder forty shillings shall be entertained by any County Courte of Assistants but only by Appeale from such magists. or Commissionrṣ as aforesaid [iii. 167; ii. 279.]

    by both

    fforasmuch as the printed Lawe concerning Dowryes vpon second veiw and [ex]aminac̃on appeares not so convenient as was formrly conceived in [eury] p̃ticuler thereof Itt is therefore hereby ordered that that clause towards the latter end of that order, that gives a wife a third p̃te of hir hus[bands money?] goods & chattells reall & ᵱsonall after hir husbands Discease shall hencefo[rth be] Repealed & become voyd & the Rest of the said order to be & Re[maine in] full force and virtue And it is heereby ordered & declared that those words in the 14th line of that order. viz (then by an act of [consent of such] wife) be vnderstood in case it be donne by writing vnder [hir hand and] acknowledged before some ˄ magists to be hir voluntary & free act [and so] attested by him wch being certifyed shall be a full barr [   an] for eur clayming any right title or Interest to any such esta[te and] it is further ordered yt [where any] husband dyes Intestate ye County ||Court|| of th[   ]n wh[ere the p̃ty disceased had his] last Residence shall [   ] [iii. 169; ii. 281.]

    By both.

    Assigne to the wyddowe such a p̃te of [   ] ᵱsonall estate as they shall conceave [   ] and equall as also to divide & assigne to the children or other heires their seull [p̃tes] & porcon out of ye said estate. By both.

    [12 Blank]

    [13]   [Torn off.] May [Torn off.]

    [Torn off.] ᵱpounded [by the] major gennll touchinge his office to this Courte. [iii. 156; ii. 267.]

    mr grenlefe John Saunders & Rich Knight Aprizers of ye houses & lands &c. acordinge to mr gerish his petition. [iii. 165; ii. 275.]

    [Voted & sent vp]

    Courte of Assistants an order &c. [iii. 167; ii. 279.]

    By both.

    mjor Robt Sedjuke for his absenting himself from the service of this howse this session: was fined five pounds. [iii. 156.]

    Voted 16 May 1619.

    Capt Ting for his absenting himself from the service of this howse from tenn of ye clocke to wch time only he had leave: ˄

    Voted 16:

    Nicolas Jacob:̃ idem

    mr willouby for his Absence in ye morning 6

    millitary47 watch to continew [iii. 162.]

    17 may 1649.

    To the honnorcd Gennerall Court now Assembled in boston.

    may it please yow.

    whereas I have binn formerly chardged wth conspiracy and Perjury, wch to my vnderstanding hath not binn sufficyently ᵱved ag̃t me, tho the Courte vpon the evidences brought against me sentenced and fined me 150li And having searched the Eecords cannot yett see [*the*] sufficient evidence, to ᵱve the chardges against me wch moved me to petition this honnored Courte, for a Review of my cawse yett I desier the courte not to vnderstand me so, as if I accompted myself altogether, free of error, but have cawse rather to suspect and judge myself and actions then your justice and ᵱceedings and being confident and experimentally assured of yor clemency to others, in the like kind I am bould rather to crave yor mercy in the favorable Remittance of my fines, then to stand either to justify myself or ᵱceedings, wch as they have (contrary to my Intentions) prooved priudiciall and very offencive so it hath binn is and will be my greife and trouble I shall not trouble yow wth arguments Respecting myself and family though the burden lies heavy; in that Respect the only motive lies in your owne breasts, yor wonted charity, wch will Render yow to the world mercifull and Refresh and fully satisfy yor humble petitioner who doth Remaine ˄

    The deputs have consented in full Ansr to this petition yt mr mavericke should [   ] one hundred pounds of his fine abated him wth Reference to the [   ] ent of our honored magists hereto Edw: Rawson cleric

    [   ] magists having seriously considered of the contents of this petition cannot [   ]de that the petitioner hath so farr acknowledged himself guilty of his offence [   ] wch he was fined as doth give them such satisfaccon as might moove [   to] take of any ᵱte of his fine. [and the ma]jists [   ] occaconed [   ently] to survey the Records in [yt]

    Court [iii. 166.]

    [Bottom of the leaf torn off.]


    that ye deputs are not satis [   R]etourn [   ]

    magists & therefore desier our honnored magists[   ] into their [*serious*] considerac̃on:


    In Ansr to the petition of Robt Saltonstall ye first & last section of ye Comittees Retourne is Agreed to & ye midle p̃te is referred to ye next session of ys Courte. [iii. 165; ii. 274.] mr Nowell Capt Keayne & Capt Ting Are a Com̃ittee [*to joyne*] wth ye Treasur & Auditor to take both their accompts betweene this & ye next session of this Courte. making Retourne thereof to this Courte. voted & sent vp. [iii. 155; ii. 271.]

    For asmuch as it is found inconvenient & very burthensome to the magists that many ᵱsons have Recourse to them for I advise & counsell in cases wch are afterwards like to come to their cognizance Itt is therefore ordered that after one months publicac̃on hereof it shall not be lawfull for any ᵱson to ask counsell or advice of any magist in any case wherein afterwards he shall be a plant vnder penalty of being disenabled to ᵱsecu[te] any such acc̃on that he hath so ᵱpounded or taken advice in as aforesaid at the next Courte where the Case shall come to triall beinge pleaded by way of barr either by ye deft. or any on his behalfe in wch Case the said plaint shall pay full costs to ye defts: & yt if any deft ask counsell or Advice as aforesd he shall forfeite tenn shillings for eury offence, [iii. 168; ii. 279.]

    Contra: Dicena Left Johnson EdwardRawson Rich. Browne Jo. Johnson Hugh Prichard. Edm Goodenow Tho. Jones. Sam. Basse. Jo. Glouer.

    mem yt Servey. was out: [on: ye Courts buisnes mr Jackson & Capt Gookin Absent: wch would have carried it ther [beinge] but: 13: carryd: 11: cont. dicens:

    Agreed & sent vp.

    Order about Impowring Constables to execut ye lawe ag̃t Drunkards, [iii. 170; ii. 281.]

    Voted & sent vp.

    A Comittee mr Bellingham mr Nowell mr Hill & Edw Rawson to ᵱvse the gournrs writings [iii. 164; ii. 271.]

    Voted & sent vp.

    Hugh Gullisons servants 20s: Allowed. [iii. 167; ii. 276.]


    [Rest of the page blank.]


    [   ] 1 day.


    [   ]

    Absent at 11 of ye clock

    [   on]es

    mr Glouer.

    [Ja]mes Penn.

    mr Jones.

    [Ca]pt Prichard.

    Capt Keayne.

    wm Parkes.

    Ephr Child.

    mr Broune.

    mr Jackson.

    Ephraim child

    Nico. Jacob.

    mr Laiton.

    Jo Beale.

    mr Jackson.

    Left Johnson.

    Capt Gooking

    lecture clay Absent

    mr Paine.

    mr Speaker

    Anth. fisher.

    major Sedjuke.

    Edmõ. goodenow.

    mr glouer

    Capt Ting

    mr Jones.

    Sam Basse

    Nico. Jacob

    Left Johnson.

    Capt Ting

    Rich walker.

    Sam Basse.

    2s 6d fined

    Capt Keayne

    yt: ye husbands of this howse shall & hereby are Impowred to gather vp ye fines of such ᵱsons as by this howse shall be fined for their Absenting themselves from the service of this howse from time to time during this Courts sitting & also the five pounds wch major Sedjuke was fined last session of this Courte for his Absenting himself from the service of this howse the whole session.


    18 octob. 49

    19 october 1649.


    Absente 2d day 22: octobr 1649

    major Sedjuke

    Speaker [17]

    major Sedjuke

    Capt Keayne

    [*Left*] mr Cleoments

    Capt. Hauthorn.


    mr Glouer.


    Capt. Prichard


    Capt. Keayne.


    mr Bartholmew


    48fforasmuch as or late ||honred|| Gouernor in his Death [   ] towards his wiefe & child now living, that [if   ] good [*the*] to bestow vpon him any thing for his ser[uice   ] it should be to his ||last]| child & remaine in the hands of his w[ife   ] his education to [*hir*]|| sd childs|| vse. And for asmuch as the court hath [   ] prouided for the disposing of that estate in case of the death [   ] the ||sd|| Child. The magistrates conceaue it Just that halfe of the said estate || after the death of the said child, if hee liue not to the yearesof one*|| should be to the vse of the now widow of or late much honrd Gou for euer. & the other halfe to the vse of Mr John Winthrop eldest sonne of or late Gour ||his executors or assigns || & that for this reason, That the said Mr John Winthrop sold his whole estate for the furthering of his fathers voyage for theise p̃tes & most of it expended heere in this seruice.

    John Endecot49


    *& twentie or be otherwais disposed of in marriage50

    agreed J E

    [iii. 161; ii. 274.]

    [The following is entered on the same page reversed:]

    • Capt Hauthorne——
    • Capt Gooking 19——
    • Capt. Prichard 22——
    • Capt. Ting. 23——
    • Surveyor gennlḷ 12
    • Capt. Keayne. 18
    • [*Left Torrey: 17*]51

    The following communication from Mr. Goodell was read, in his absence, by the Eev. Edward G. Porter:—

    I have so often had occasion to express my high appreciation of the value of Mr. Noble’s services in arranging and indexing the numerous Files and Records in his custody that in volunteering a further tribute to the surpassing value of his work, I fear I may be suspected of prejudice to such a degree as to impeach my judgment. I think it, therefore, pardonable if, in justification of my seeming enthusiasm, I declare that for more than forty years I have been more or less dependent upon that mass of historical material, and that during that time I have kept track of the efforts, now happily successful under Mr. Noble’s management, which from time to time have been made to render that collection accessible to students of law and history. Forty years ago the Files of the Superior Court of Judicature, kept in a basement or cellar poorly lighted and not heated, were tied in bundles, which, being public property, had been occasionally opened for examination by any curious antiquary or professional enquirer who chose to avail himself of an undisputed privilege; and they had not been re-tied and replaced with proper care, until they were so disarranged as apparently to render hopeless any attempt to search systematically for even one subject requiring to be traced throughout the period which they covered. Both before and during this period the office of Clerk had been held by gentlemen of culture, and good lawyers,—men who had written upon historical subjects, one of them even deservedly famed as a laborious genealogist; but, apparently, because the labor seemed too hopelessly vast and complicated,—perhaps, in some instances, for want of appreciation of the value of the (seemingly) disproportionately small amount of valuable matter in this promiscuous aggregation of writing and print,—none of the predecessors of the present incumbent of the office seemed desirous, or even willing, to undertake the task with a determination to complete it. Now, however, the work has been practically mastered, not perfunctorily by a mercenary contractor as a distasteful job, but, fortunately, under the auspices of an intelligent and discriminating directing mind. I am sure, Mr. President, that long after our labors are ended, and other generations have taken up the work we shall have left unfinished, this important work will be more and more justly appreciated, and all who have contributed to it will find the record of their service a sure passport to lasting remembrance.

    Every now and then we receive fresh proof of the appreciative interest which our associate takes in the fruits of his great work. To his keen discernment we are indebted for the transformation of some obscure and neglected fragment into a key to mysteries which have baffled the most searching inquiries. Occasionally, as in the present instance, I find my own conjecture—based upon a perplexing study of the printed records, made doubly difficult by the misleading statements of the Editors of those invaluable volumes—cleared up by some discovery of Mr. Noble or of his faithful assistant, Mr. Upham. In my endeavor to ascertain the name and place which should be assigned to the Third volume of the printed Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, I was forced to the conclusion that it could not be any other than the series of Journals of the House of Deputies for 1644–1657,—“The Acts & Determinacons of the House of Deputyes,” as it is declared to be at the very beginning of the book,—and accordingly I gave this as my opinion in my Address at the Old South in November, 1895, before the Society of Colonial Wars,52 and reaffirmed it at one of the meetings of this Society.53

    Now, the paper in Rawson’s handwriting which Mr. Noble produces from his Files seems to me a conclusive corroboration of my view. It is a record of the May Session, 1649. Rawson was then, and during the next October Session, Clerk of the Deputies. At the opening of the next General Court, May, 1650, he was elected Secretary of the Colony; but he remained at his post as Clerk long enough to record the fact of his election, after which William Torrey, the newly-chosen Clerk of the House, began his official records in continuation of Rawson’s. This was done immediately, without any indication of a break of continuity, or of such interval of time as would be required for the transcription from another record, of the book in which their handwriting successively appears. At the same time, Rawson assumed the function of Secretary of the Colony, in which capacity he served until the Charter was vacated. Though by no means as full and accurate as a model clerk should be, Rawson was a diligent worker, and held many offices of trust to the entire satisfaction of his contemporaries. The original minutes of most clerks reveal many curious and frequently important items which are not found elsewhere. In the pages now brought to light we get a clearer glimpse at the proceedings of the lower House of the Assembly than we can in the extended printed records, and it is to be hoped that we may be so fortunate as to have our associate recover some portions of the earliest records of that House which mark the beginning of our present legislative system. Agreeable as it is to find my own preconceptions corroborated by this discovery, I am not sure but that I should be equally pleased if it had served to correct any of my errors or inadvertencies.

    Mr. Noble then said:—

    This Manuscript has the value and interest which naturally belong to all records of legislation in young colonies. Such legislation is the reflex of existing social, civil, and political conditions. It embodies the spirit of the Colony, and, while shaped by its history, is, to a certain extent, prophetic of its destiny. This interest the Manuscript holds in common with the printed volumes of the Massachusetts Colony Records. The Manuscript, however, goes somewhat further, for it contains not only the laws which were enacted, but also more or less of proposed legislation, suggestive of tendencies and ideas, prevailing or existing, but not yet ready to be carried out or generally adopted. The daily, original, informal memoranda scattered over its pages bring out many points of procedure and practice, of methods and customs, beyond what is afforded by the more formal and finally perfected Record itself.

    Among the suggestive subjects of legislation may be noted the regulation of the practice of medicine and surgery, small matters of municipal and of private and personal concern; regulations of quarantine; the jurisdiction of the Courts of Justice; the settling of systems and forms of legal procedure; the operation of Appeals and of Writs of Error in the court of ultimate resort,—the Court of Assistants; the proceedings in Courts of Probate, and questions of their jurisdiction; the relations between the courts and the suitors in them; the supervision of matters of doctrine and belief; and, what is perhaps especially noteworthy, the proposed legislation as to the freedom of the Press, foreshadowing ideas which failed of becoming embodied in the laws. There is also brought out the relation of the General Court to the community, its recognized functions, and the classes of cases where its interposition or assistance was or could be invoked.

    Wholly aside from these considerations, however, and independent of the interest which belongs to the Manuscript from these various points of view, its chief importance seems to lie in the light which it throws upon a much-discussed question,—What is the Third Volume of the Massachusetts Colony Records as printed under the Resolve of the Legislature, of 2 May, 1853, under the supervision of the late Dr. Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurt-leff? This question, upon which historical students and scholars have differed widely in opinion, has been ably discussed by our associate Mr. Griffin in his Bibliography of the Historical Publications of the New England States,54 and by our associate Mr. Goodell in his paper on The Massachusetts House Journals, 1644–1657,55 as well as by Dr. Shurtleff, in his Preface to the Third Volume, and by Mr. Whitmore in his Bibliographical Sketch of the Laws of the Massachusetts Colony. In fact, this Manuscript, from the internal evidence which it presents, from a comparison of it with the corresponding portion of the Third Volume and with the Records of the General Court in the Second and Fourth (printed) Volumes, and from an examination of the original papers in the Massachusetts Archives which are referred to in it, seems to furnish a final solution of the disputed question.

    The internal evidence appears to be strong, not to say conclusive, that these old sheets, worn and mutilated by the teeth of rats, and the rough usage of two hundred and fifty years, are the original Journal of the House of Deputies, for the session of May, 1649,—the book of original entries made at the time and upon the spot.

    It might naturally be regarded, upon a first or hasty examination, as merely the rough draft of what was afterward shaped and expanded into the regular Journal of the Deputies, but when Rawson’s characteristic method in making records and his obvious habits of work are considered, taking into account, also, the historical situation as it seems to be clearly made out, it is impossible to resist the conclusion that the Manuscript is the veritable Journal itself, in a somewhat fragmentary state, of that Session, and a portion of the original Journals as kept by the Clerks of the Deputies in their official capacity. Beginning with the opening of the Session, recording the names of the Magistrates, Deputies, and Officers of the Colony, and coinciding in most respects with the Record as it appears in Volume III, it is by no means a duplicate of it. The differences are many. It contains some matters not to be found there, and omits others which there appear. It is suggestive as to the way in which the records were made up: bills appear by titles; their substance is given in hints; outlines furnish the material for the subsequent extension of the proceedings; final action appears in marginal entries in different forms; sometimes it does not appear at all. The Manuscript is full of curious memoranda and notes, many of them, doubtless, made for the private convenience and satisfaction of the Clerk; some show his sharp lookout for his legitimate official fees,—noting their payment, satisfactory guaranties, and subsequent discharge; others record the fines imposed on absent members, sometimes with a suggestion of personal solicitude on the part of the Clerk that he shall fare no worse than other delinquents; and there are various little matters not appearing in the printed volume. Names of the Deputies as they voted are sometimes given, and occasionally a curious calculation appears of how easily a different result might have been reached but for certain specified and explained absences. Notes are made to refresh the memory, to fill out details, to supply some want of knowledge at the time, or to avoid the labor of setting out in full the stages of proposed legislation or the consummated result. Occasionally, the action of both branches of the General Court, and the substance of the enactment, is condensed into a single paragraph, and in a few instances a phraseology is used which, while giving neatly and briefly the whole history of a measure, would have been more appropriate in the Record of the Magistrates or of the General Court, than in the Journal of the House.56 It is, in brief, a daily narrative of the proceedings of the Deputies, in a condensed and suggestive form, interspersed with passing comments, and various notes and memoranda, in quite a different shape from that which it finally assumed in the more formal Book of Copies. The closing sheet contains the beginning of the Record of the session of October, 1649. The entire document presents many different points of interest in several directions, and will repay study and consideration. Only here and there, however, in this connection, can some single matters be referred to,—and these without much regard to any logical connection or relation.

    The vote as to amending the law for neglect of worship on the Lord’s Day, under the date of 14 May in the Fragment, page [10], is not found in Volume III. It was probably in consequence of this vote, and of the vote on the same subject entered on page [5], that the printed law as it appeared in 1649,—no doubt the same as the law of 1646,57—was amended by adding the words which are at the end of the printed law of 1660, viz., “And all such offences may be heard & determined from time to time by any one or more Magistrates.” It is remarkable that this amendment does not appear in the Secretary’s record but only in the printed law of 1660.58

    The incomplete entry as to the Liberty of the Press, on page [6], does not appear at all in Volume III. It was not until October, 1652, that a censorship of the Press was established. The order for it was repealed at the next Session and was renewed at the May Session, 1665. In view of the great interest which has attached to the whole subject of the regulation of the Press, both in Colonial and Provincial times, this early-attempted, but unsuccessful, legislation is suggestive and instructive.

    It is certain that the apparent division of the text in the printed Volume III. for May, 1649 into diurnal entries is no evidence that the entries were actually so made. The text in the original is not so divided. Where, in the printed Volume III., there is an interval of space with a date for each day, in the original there is no such interval of space and the date is only in the margin. Both text and marginal date are in Rawson’s hand. Whether the marginal date and the text were written at the same time is not certain. The uniform and close character of the original text indicates that it was all written together as a Record made up after the Session would naturally be written.

    The marginal dates must have been written in by Rawson arbitrarily and without regard to the facts; for there are fifteen consecutive dates from 2 May to 16 May. Two of these dates were 6 May and 13 May, each of which was the Lord’s Day,—a day on which it is not to be supposed that any business was transacted. Neither of these dates (6 May and 13 May) appears in the Fragment; on the contrary, it appears, on page [10] of the Fragment, that the Court adjourned, on what was probably 11 May, or Friday, “till 2d day next at one of the clocke,” and that the Court accordingly “met at the time appointed,” 14 May, which was Monday. There is in the Archives59 an original bill, in the handwriting of Governor Endicott, passed by the Magistrates as attested by Endicott, but not consented to by the Deputies, as to wearing long hair, which has at the top the date “6—3—1649.” This may be an error of date or the paper may have been drawn up on the sixth (possibly after sunset!) to be presented the next day.

    The two marginal entries, “12 May 1649” and “12 May 49” on page [6], under the date “10 May 1649” in the text, may be explained by supposing that the votes were passed by the Deputies on the tenth, but were not concurred in by the Magistrates till the twelfth. It would seem, therefore, from the Fragment that although the Deputies adjourned from Friday the eleventh to the following Monday, the Magistrates held a session on Saturday. The vote on page [11], appointing a Committee to examine the printed Book of Laws, is not in Volume III. There is no evidence of any Report by the Committee nor of any action by the Magistrates in the matter, and it may have been for this reason that it was not entered in the Book of Record. On the other hand, if Volume III. is to be considered as the Journal of which the Fragment is a rough draft, this vote, as well as many other things which are not to be found in Volume III., but are to be found in the Fragment, ought to appear in it.

    The vote as to Major Sedgwick appears in Volume III. under date of “6 May,” which was Sunday; in the Fragment, page [13], it is marked as having been passed 16 May.

    Mavericke’s petition, which in the Fragment, page [13], is dated “17 May 1649,” is, with the votes thereon, entered in Volume III. under the date “16 May.”

    The vote as to Pegall, on page [8], is not in Volume III.

    The entry on page [16] of the Fragment signed “J. E.” [John Endicott] as to Governor Winthrop’s child, brings up a curious matter as to the imperfection of the Records at that time. In the Record of the General Court for October, 1652, is the following order:—

    “There being a question when the countrje gave the youngest child of Jno Winthrop, Esq, two hundred pounds, which is occasioned by the losse of the record, itt being yett in the remembrance of most of the Courte that that graunt was made in the third month, 1649, the imediate Courte after the decease of the said Jno Winthrop, Esq itt is ordered, that the graunt of the Court be incerted in the Court reccords accordingly from that tjme.”60

    In the margin is written “Courts graunt of 200li to Joshua Winthrop in May, 1649.” The same Order appears in Volume III. (p. 293), with several slight changes of spelling and phraseology,—the word “remembrance” being changed to “perfect memory.” The words “losse of the record,” unless there was some strange oversight, or confusion in the records, must mean loss of the original bill, and its non-appearance on the Secretary’s Record, since the record for May, 1649 appears at the end of the Second book of the Secretary’s Records.61 The grant of the £200 is not in that Record, but is in the Deputies’ Record62 under date of 7 May, 1649, as follows:—

    “It was vnanimously agreed, & voted, that two hundred pounds should be given to the infant of our late honnored Goũnor, John Winthrop, Esqr, out of the next country levy.”

    A Committee was appointed to draw up an order to put the grant “in a secure way for the child’s vse.” Two of the magistrates63 were on the Committee, as appears by a marginal note. The Vote, under date of 10 May, for disposing of the grant in case of the death of the child, is in these words:—

    Forasmuch as our late honnored Goũnr, John Winthrop, Esqr. upon his death bed did exp̃sse his tender desires towards his wife and youngest child, that if the country did thinke meete to bestowe any thing on him for his service donne, that it should be to the said child, and remayne in the hands of his wife, for its educac͠on, and the stocke pserved intire for the childs vse, and forasmuch as the Courte hath not ᵱvided for the disposing of the estate in case the child should dye, the Courte conceaving it just, and accordingly orders, yt in case the infant dyes before it attayne the age of twenty & one yeeres, the one third p̃te should acrew to the wyddow of our late honnored Goũnor, and the other two third parts, one third to Mr Deane Winthrop, & the other to Mr Samuell Winthrop, they, as yett, having had no portions out of the Goũns estate, nor like to have.64

    Disposall of ye 200 li guilt in case Joshua Winthrop dye before he come to 21 yeeres.

    It thus appears that the Court did not adopt Governor Endicott’s plan in favor of John Winthrop, Jr., but made an entirely different disposition of the grant.

    In May, 1651, the Court ordered that eight per cent should be paid on the £200 to Mrs. Winthrop “for the time past & till the country shall pay it in.”65 In the Secretary’s record for October, 1650, is the following entry:—

    “Itt is ordered, that the two hundred pounds formerly graunted vnto Joshua Winthrop, the youngest child of John Winthrop, Esquier, lately deceased, shall be recorded in the Courte records, which is donne hereby.”66

    There is no appearance in the original of this having been inserted. It was evidently written by Rawson at the same time as the rest of that record.

    Joshua Winthrop, the youngest of the Governor’s sixteen children, was the only fruit of his fourth marriage, with Martha (Rainsborough) Coytemore, the widow of Captain Thomas Coytemore.67 He was born 12 December, 1648, and was baptized at the First Church on the seventeenth of the same month,—“being about 5 Dayes old.”68

    Deane Winthrop, baptized 23 March, 1622–23, who lived at Pullen Point, now Winthrop, where he died 16 March, 1703–04, at the age of eighty-one years; and Samuel Winthrop, baptized 26 August, 1627, who married a Dutch wife, and died, about 1677, in Antigua, of which he was Deputy-Governor, were two of the children of the Governor’s third wife, Margaret Tyndal, daughter of Sir John Tyndal, and, with the exception of Joshua, were the youngest of his surviving children.69

    The death of Joshua Winthrop on the eleventh of January, 1651–52,70 necessitated a final disposition of the grant. At the session of the General Court begun at Boston on 23 May, 1655, the following action was taken:—

    In answer to the pet̃ of Mr Sanrūll & Mr Deane Winthrop on his brother Samuells behalfe, for one third p̃t of the 200li giuen Joshua Winthrop, the orphan, the Court orders, that he be satisfyed by the Treasurer in such pay as the country affords the 3d p̃t of two hundred pounds due vnto Mr Samuel Winthrop, ᵱvided he haue & shew forth a sufficyent powre, by ire of atturney or otherwise, to receiue & giue discharg for the same.71

    It is probable that the portions of the grant reserved by its terras to the widow and to Deane Winthrop were paid over to them soon after Joshua Winthrop’s death. The delay in satisfying the claim of Samuel Winthrop probably arose from his absence from the country and the slowness of communication in those days.

    There is something very curious and not easily explainable about this entry or memorandum in the handwriting of Governor Endicott, and signed with his initials, which appears on the last page of the Fragment. When, why and under what circumstances it could have been made by him, why it should have taken its peculiar form, and why or how it could have got into the place it occupies, are all questions not easily answered. Is that its legitimate place, or does it owe its position to some economy on the part of Rawson? Furthermore, the result, as attested by the Governor, does not agree with the historical Record. One fact, however, is thereby well brought out,—the filial devotion and generosity of the eldest son of Governor Winthrop.

    The Record in Volume III., in its general character, resembles the Records of the General Court kept by the Secretary and now contained in the printed volumes I., II., IV. and V. That these four volumes were the official Records and not Journals merely cannot be doubted. They have always been regarded as the only official Records of the General Court and were always so cited, being designated as Volumes I., II., III., and IV. No other books have ever been cited as authority, except the Body of Liberties and other printed books of Laws which, of course, were not the “public records” within the meaning of the act of October, 1648. In preparing the printed Laws of 1649 and the supplements thereto, Joseph Hills used these same books, now printed as Volumes I., II. and IV., as his authorities.72 Any suspicion, therefore, that the only Record we have is not the official record and that the books which were the “official record” or the “public record” have been lost or destroyed would seem to be unfounded. If such loss or destruction had taken place there could hardly fail to be some notice of it in the records or history of the time.

    For the manifold reasons indicated this venerable Manuscript seems entitled to a place in our Transactions.

    [When this paper was presented, owing to the lateness of the hour, only certain portions of it were read, and some parts then read are here omitted,—because of their fuller treatment in the following pages. In view of the light thrown by this Manuscript upon the character of the Third Volume of the Massachusetts Colony Records, it seemed to Mr. Noble advisable to submit it to Mr. William P. Upham, who has made this subject a special study, and to our associate Mr. Goodell, who, in some previous communications to this Society, has touched upon the character of that Book, inasmuch as they, together with Mr. Whitmore, may be regarded as of the highest authority upon the questions involved. To this communication, accordingly, is subjoined a Letter of Mr. Upham and his Notes, with their full and forcible presentation of the matter, and a Letter of Mr. Goodell, presenting his views and containing some very interesting suggestions.]

    Mr. Upham’s Letter.

    John Noble, Esq.

    Dear Sir,—Some years ago, while studying, for Mr. Whitmore, the Barlow copy of the earliest Massachusetts Colony Records, now in the Boston Public Library, I had occasion to make notes regarding the original manuscript of Volume III. of the printed Records. The Barlow copy, so called, ends with the same Court (May, 1645) with which the paged part of the original of Volume III. begins. This suggested the thought that the two together, forming a transcript of the General Court Records from the beginning (1629) to the year 1657, might have been, the only duplicate record, and that it was probably used by the House of Deputies as such. At that time I identified the handwriting of the first part of the Barlow copy (to page 221,—28 January, 1641) as that of Thomas Lechford, but was not able, with certainty, to determine the handwriting of the rest of the volume, namely, that of pages 222 to 313. Since then I have made a further examination and am inclined to believe that these last pages, or a part of them, are in the handwriting of Samuel Symonds, who was a Deputy from Ipswich to the General Court, a member of the Ipswich Court from 1638 to 1642, Recorder of Deeds for Ipswich in 1640, a member of the Dover Court in 1641, and who was chosen an Assistant in May, 1643.

    It was ordered by the General Court in October, 1643,—

    “that Mr Symonds should have the Court booke for a fortnight or thereabouts, to perfect his coppey thereof for their sheire & Cort.”73

    We may conjecture that at that time the Lechford copy, which, as Mr. Whitmore shows,74 was probably made in 1640 for Endicott, then one of the Assistants, was used by him, being a magistrate of the Salem Court, both for that and for Ipswich Court, and that afterwards Symonds continued the copy for the same use. This would explain in a simple manner the meaning of the words, in the order of 1643, “to perfect his coppey thereof for their sheire & Cort.” When, in 1648, the Laws began to be printed this copy was no longer needed by the Courts of Essex County, and thereafter may have been used by the House of Deputies as forming, with their own Book of Copies, a continuous record from the beginning.

    The handwriting of the latter part of the Barlow copy, at least a portion of it, resembles very strongly that of Samuel Symonds. There is a general likeness, and many peculiar marks of penmanship are common to both. It may be worth remarking, by the way, that the watermark of that part which contains a copy of the record from 1632 to 1641, is the same as that of a petition of Robert Turner at the October session, 1645.75 The watermark for the rest of the book resembles that of the first part of Volume II. of the Records (1642).

    The recent discovery, among the Suffolk Court Files, of a few sheets containing transactions of the House of Deputies in 1649, confirms my belief that Volume III. was the Book of Copies of the House of Deputies. If I am right, the manuscript in the Suffolk Court Files may be properly called a Fragment of the Journal of the Deputies; meaning by Fragment, not necessarily a part of a bound book, but a broken part of some larger manuscript.

    I have now, at your request, revised and enlarged my Notes, in connection with your communication to The Colonial Society of the Fragment above mentioned, endeavoring to bring together all that can be ascertained as to the true character of the different manuscripts. In doing this I have been much indebted to you for valuable assistance and suggestions.

    Very truly yours,

    Wm. P. Upham.


    A question has arisen whether Volume III. of the printed Massachusetts Colony Records is a Journal of the House of Deputies, or a Book of Copies, for the use of that House, made up from journals or from original files and from the official Record of the Secretary.

    By the Order of October, 1648,76 the Auditor was to provide—

    “four large paper books, in folio, bound up with velum & pasteboard, two whereof to be delivered to the secretary, & two to the clarke of the House of Deputies, one to be a iournall to each of them, the other for the faire entry of all lawes, acts & orders, &c., that shall passe the magistrates & deputies, that of the secretaries to be the public record of the country, that of the clarkes to be a booke onely of copies.”

    The Secretary and Clerk were to—

    “briefly enter into their iournals, respectively, the titles of all bills, orders, lawes, petitions, &c., wch shalbe presented & read amongst them, what are referd to com̄ittees, & what are voted negatively or affirmatively, & so for any addition or alteration.”77

    At the latter end of the sessions the Secretary and Clerk were to be present at a meeting of the whole Court, or of a Committee, and “by their journals” were to—

    “call for such bills &c. as hath passed either house;” [those that had passed both houses were to be delivered to the Secretary who was to] “record the same within one month after every sessions, which being done, the clarke of the deputies shall have liberty, for one month after to transcribe the same into his booke.”78

    The Order also provided that all laws, orders, etc.—

    “in the ould bookes, that are of force, & not ordered to be printed, be transcribed in some alphabeticall or methodical way, by direction of some com̄ittee that this Courte shall please to appoint, & delivered to the secretary to record in the first place, in the said booke of records, & then the acts of the other sessions in order accordingly, & a coppy of all to be transcribed by the clarke of the deputies as aforesaid.”79

    The following Notes upon Volume III., in relation to the above Order, are arranged, for convenience, under four heads:—

    1. I. The character of the Record itself, in whole or in part, as entered in the book, and as compared with the original papers now extant from which such a record may be supposed to have been made.
    2. II. Citations in copies made from the Records at the time, and subsequent references to such Records.
    3. III. The handwriting, watermarks, etc.
    4. IV. Orders passed as to keeping such Records, and how far such orders were actually carried out or neglected.


    An examination of the contents of this book (Volume III.) shows that it covers the period from 1644 to 1657, and that, as appears from the title on the first page and from the general character of the whole, it was intended for the use of the House of Deputies, although containing, besides the transactions of that body, a record of the joint action of both Houses in the form of votes and orders, letters, commissions, etc. Whether this book was the Journal of the Deputies or its Book of Copies is the question. The character of its contents has led me to believe it to be the latter rather than the former.

    Though at times arranged, apparently, by successive days, the entries in Volume III. are not such as we should expect to find in a record of daily transactions; nor are they such as are required for a Journal by the Order of 1648, above mentioned, namely, brief entries by title of bills, petitions, motions, etc., with minutes of subsequent action. They are, for the most part, votes as finally passed either by both Houses or by the House of Deputies.

    The marginal dates in the original are often manifestly incorrect, and are generally misleading if taken to mark the date of actual sessions or the true order of the transactions. The Editor of the printed Records notices this in one instance.80 It would have been better if, in all the volumes, the Editor had refrained from adding marginal and interlined dates not in the originals. This is especially the case where the Editor has divided the text, inserting the dates as headings. Such divisions do not exist in the original, the dates which appear in the printed page being found in the original in the margin only. In studying these printed Records one must never forget that a marginal date against one entry is no evidence that entries which follow were of the same date. Original papers now on file often show that orders were actually passed at dates very different from those indicated in the printed Records.

    Everything tends to show that this Record in Volume III. was made up from the original bills, decrees upon petitions, motions, etc., then on file, and from the Secretary’s official record; possibly, also, from some form of daily memoranda or “day books.”

    Edward Rawson, the Clerk and afterwards the Secretary, was in the habit of keeping what he called “day books.” In the margin of his Court of Assistants’ Record for 6 June, 1674, is entered “vide day booke.” There is no evidence, however, that these were anything more than sheets, arranged at times, perhaps, in folds, but, sometimes at least, only loose papers. There still remain, among the State Archives and Suffolk Court Files, a number of such loose papers containing entries of transactions of the Magistrates and Deputies as well as of the Court of Assistants and of the Council. These papers do not seem to have been parts of a bound volume. The Fragment from the Suffolk Court Files consists of five separate papers. The first three papers (three sheets) have all the same watermark, which watermark is found also in original bills of 1649 and 1651;81 the fourth paper (one leaf) has a different watermark; the fifth (one leaf) has no watermark.

    In regard to the difficulty of supposing that no regular Journal of either House was kept, it must be remembered that Rawson, who was the person chiefly depended upon for clerical work, found great difficulty in keeping up his most important official records. These records, with slight exceptions, besides a very great number of venires, commissions, public letters, etc., he seems to have been obliged to write with his own hand, because of the meagreness of his compensation. He was Clerk of the Deputies from 1645 to 1649, Secretary of the General Court, of the Council, and of the Court of Assistants from 1650 to 1686, and Recorder for the County of Suffolk from 1651 to 1670. As Recorder he performed the duties of a Clerk of the County Court as well as those of a Register of Deeds and Register of Probate. He had also other minor employments.

    At the end of the October session of 1645, he was allowed twenty marks “for the service he hath done in keeping and transcribing the Records of the House of Deputies for the time past.” In November, 1646, on account of the great expenses of the Court, the “difficulty to raise small matters,” and “the poverty of the country,” the twenty marks were made to answer for two years instead of one, the Clerk having, however, the hope of fees for copies as “some recompence.”82

    Among the instances showing this Record (Volume III.) to have been made up after, or at the close of, the sessions, are the following:—

    The heading of the first page is as follows:—

    “Ellection: 29 3/m o 44

    “Att a Generall Courte of Elections held att Boston, in the 4th and 5th Months, 1644.

    “The Acts & Determinac͞ons of the Howse of Deputyes.”

    This and the rest of the Record for that year are in the handwriting of Captain Robert Bridges, one of the Deputies from Lynn. It is certain from the appearance of this heading that it was written with the context and not inserted afterwards, thus proving that this portion of the Record, though having marginal dates for successive days, was actually written after the close of the session. The error of calling the months the fourth and fifth instead of the third and fourth (May and June) is remarkable. The writing is unmistakably that of Bridges, though it much resembles Rawson’s. Captain Bridges was a good penman, and was frequently employed in such work. His appointment as Clerk, if ever made, does not appear of record, but votes by the Deputies for that year were attested by him. At the session of the Deputies in October, 1646, he was “chosen Secretary for the first day of sitting.” At the next session, in November, he was chosen Speaker.

    Again, on the first page of the Record for 1645,—which, with the rest of that record, was written by Edward Rawson, the first Clerk whose appointment appears of record,—the heading is—

    “Att a Generall Courte of Elec͠con ye 14th 3 mo 1645 begunne & held & continewed at Boston ye 3d 4th & 5th Moths.”

    The record which immediately follows, to page 7, has no marginal notes for successive days, though it evidently covered a session from 14 May to 15 June, as appears by a record on page 7, where twenty pounds is granted to Sudbury towards finishing a bridge “provided it be donne wtbin a twelvemonth from this time, 15 June, 1645.”

    In many cases original papers on file show that the Record gives only the final result of action either by the Deputies alone or by both Houses, covering often a considerable lapse of time and affected by various intermediate changes, amendments, etc., not given in the Record. In some cases original votes of the Deputies, either consented to by the Magistrates or certified as sent up to them for their concurrence, do not appear in this Record.83

    On page 222 of the original of Volume III. is the following entry, under date of 8 May, 1649:—

    “Whereas Left Torrey was, the last session of the Generall Courte, imployed as clarke to the Howse of Deputs, to frame their bills and transcribe the orders of Courte that past the last yere fairely into their booke of records, wch he hath donne, the Courte judgeth it meete to allowe him flower pounds out of the next country levy, wch comes from the toune of Weimouth, as a recompence for his paines.”84

    On page 228 of Volume II. (original paging) is the same order:—

    “The Corte, finding that Leift Tory was implied as clarke the last session of the Generall Corte, to frame to the House of Deputies their bils, & transcribe fairely the ordrs of that yeare in their booke, (wch he hath done) should have meete & iust recompence for his paines, agreed that he should be alowed out of the treasury 4£ as satisfaction for his paines, out of the next country levy, from the towne of Waymouth.”85

    From page 135 (original paging of Volume III.) to page 162 is the Record for the sessions of 1648 in May and October. This is wholly in the handwriting of William Torrey (“Leift. Torrey”), and is, no doubt, the transcript made by him in accordance with the employment referred to. The Order, as it appears in Volume III., describes the book as the “booke of records” of the Deputies. It is therefore, we may presume, the same “booke of records” referred to in the order appointing Rawson as Clerk, in 1645:—

    “Edward Rawson is chosen & appointed clarke to the Howse of Deputs for one whole yeare, to enter all votes past in both howses, & those also yt passe only by them, into their booke of records.”86

    That portion of the volume which extends from page 164 to page 208 contains the Record for 1656 and for May, 1657, and is in the handwriting of William Torrey. It is evidently made up from the same original as the Record of the General Court in the printed Volume IV., since it agrees with it substantially, so far as it goes, though the order of arrangement is different. There is nothing to distinguish it as a record for the Deputies, except the record of the choice of William Torrey as “Clarke for the yeare ensueinge,”—6 May, 1657.87

    The Record from page 209 to 252 is for 1649, and is in the handwriting of Edward Rawson. The rest of the Volume (except page 253) is in the hand of William Torrey, who was chosen Clerk 23 May, 1650. It contains similar records for the Deputies, made up, probably, from “day books” or other memoranda, with transcripts from the records or original papers of the whole Court.

    The following comparison of the Fragment communicated by Mr. Noble with the corresponding part of Volume III. shows that the former resembles a Journal much more than the latter.

    Pages 1 and 2.—The List of Deputies has the heading—

    “3d may 1649:

    “ye seurall Eetournes || for Depts || was Kead & Accepted, yeir names are”, etc.

    In the printed Record, Volume III., the heading is—

    “Deputyes chosen by the Tounes to serve the country at this genñll Conrte.”

    In Volume III. the Record has the following not found in the Fragment:—

    “On the 3d May, 1649, entered & passed: 1649.”

    In the margin of the first entry, as to Gedney’s petition, is written “sent up,” which is not in Volume III. Also “mr Auditor genrall” was cancelled and “Capt. Keayne” substituted. In Volume III. only the substituted name appears.

    The third and fourth entries and others throughout the Fragment show, in a similar way, that it contains the original votes and memoranda, and that the record in Volume III. was written afterwards, leaving out what had ceased to be important.

    Generally, the Fragment answers the requirements of the Order of October, 1648, as to the Journals. Thus, in the Fragment, under date of 3 May, the petition of Edney Bayly is simply entered by title, and the action upon it briefly noted. The order by both Houses appears under date of 4 May. In Volume III. the full order of the Court is given under date of 3 May.

    So in the fifth entry, as to the agreement with Phillips, etc., the order that it “shall be entered amongst the Records of the Courte” is only briefly stated with the memorandum “with 3 Additions: enquier:” In Volume III. the agreement is recorded and the three additions are given in full.

    The ninth entry, as to new business “this session,” does not appear in Volume III.; for the reason, we may suppose, that, the Record being made up after the close of the session, this entry was no longer important.

    Page 3.—The same difference is shown in the entries as to the “petition of Hull men.” In Volume III., under date of 9 May, the words are—

    “the 15th. day of this instant was appointed for a public hearing of the case, wch was attended in the meeting howse.”

    This is followed by a full statement of the subsequent votes.

    Pages 9 and 10.—On these pages are entries, probably, for 11 May, 1649, as they correspond generally with those for that date in Volume HI. The date “5 May 1649” against the entry as to “mr maverick” is perhaps the date of the “former graunt or promise” therein mentioned. That it is not the date of the entry itself appears by the vote for adjournment “till 2d day next,” which was Monday, the fourteenth of May.

    Some of the entries on these pages are more fully recorded in Volume III. The petition of “misticke side,” for instance, is only mentioned in the Fragment, while the vote making it “a distinct town by the name of Maulden” is recorded in Volume III..


    The Record printed as the Third Volume in the series of General Court Records should not have been so treated, but should have been made a supplementary volume. Making the book Volume III. of the series introduces confusion, citations from the printed Records disagreeing with the ancient citations from the originals. For example: a copy of a record of 12 May, 1675, as to a petition of Henry Adams, is certified by J. Willard, Secretary, as of record “Lib 4, p. 36”; another of 12 May, 1675, as to Haverhill bounds, is certified by Isaac Addington, Secif as from “Lib. 4, p. 39”; also a record of 15 May, 1667, is certified by Addington as from “Lib. 3, p. 585.”88

    Contemporary references89 to the original of the printed Volume III. describe it as the “book of records” or “booke of coppies” of the House of Deputies.

    In his Bibliographical Sketch of the Laws of the Massachusetts Colony (p. 78, note), Mr. Whitmore gives in full the Order of October, 1648 (which required two books to be kept by the Secretary and two by the Clerk, and also provided for the transcription of the old laws, orders, etc.), and mentions in that connection “the references,90 May 19, 1658, to various books of records, when the laws about Constables were collected and codified.” He then states that—

    “none of these various records and compilations of laws are now extant at our State House. The continuous record to 1686 exists and one volume (1644–1657) of the Journal of the Deputies.”

    He refers again (p. 114) to the Summary of the laws as to Constables, made in 1658, which cites “Lib. 1,” “Lib. 2,” “Lib. 3,” and “Lib. 4,” and adds—

    “This may be a mere coincidence, or it may confirm our theory that before 1660 there were these four books of printed laws: especially as Liber 1 runs to p. 55. I have not been able to thoroughly investigate the references, some of which are very puzzling.”

    The supposition that the four books referred to in the Summary as to Constables, mentioned by Mr. Whitmore, were books of record, and that they or some of them may have been Books of Copies now lost, may have led to considering Volume III. as only a Journal. It is certain, however, from a careful study of those references, that the four books were not books of record, but were, as Mr. Whitmore intimates that they may have been, the four printed books, the Code of 1649 and the three Supplements which Mr. Whitmore has shown, with such admirable skill, were in existence in 1658, though no copy can now be found.

    An examination of the Summary as to Constables,91 besides explaining the origin of these citations, brings to light a number of new items as to the form of these earliest printed books of Laws. It may be well, therefore, to take this occasion to present the matter in detail.

    The first of these printed books, “Lib. 1,” was the Code of 1649, of about 56 pages; the second was the Supplement for certain omissions and for 1649 and 1650, of about 17 pages; the third was the Supplement for 1651 to 1653 of about 20 pages; and the fourth was the Supplement for 1654 to 1657, of about 26 pages.92

    The highest page number cited in the Summary for Lib. 1 is 55; for Lib. 2 is 10; for Lib. 3 is 13; and for Lib. 4 is 26. These figures agree with Mr. Whitmore’s estimate as to the size of each book.

    The first five sections of the Summary and the eighth section, which contain general legislation as to Constables passed in October, 1641, and May, 1646,93 cite Lib. 1, p. 13 and p. 14. Turning to Mr. Whitmore’s Table,94 showing the alphabetical titles that “were certainly in the printed Code of 1649,” we find “College” for p. 12 and “Conveyances fraudulent” for p. 14. We may conclude that there was also in that Code a title “Constables” for p. 13, and part of p. 14. This is confirmed by some cancelled words on the original order as to “Youth’s Miscarriage,”95 passed in October, 1651.96 That order authorizes constables “to act herein as is provided in reference to the Law of Innkeepers,” and these words are followed in the original bill by the cancelled words “3 mo 1649 Title Const,” the meaning of which, no doubt, was that there was a title “Constables” in the Code of 1649. Section 5 of the Summary directs constables to search for “persons overtaken wth drincke,” etc., in inns, etc., and is derived from the law of May, 1646, above referred to. It cites “Lib. 1, p. 13.” Section 5 also cites, from Liber 1, page “31, tit. Drunkeness,” probably referring to a sub-title, “Drunkeness,” under the title “Innkeepers.”97

    Of the twenty-six sections of the Summary, nineteen cite “Lib. 1,” and all these nineteen contain legislation prior to 1649.

    Section 6, which cites “Lib. 4, p. 16,” was in the order of May, 1646;98 but there were later acts99 as to commitment of offenders, and all may have been brought together in “Lib. 4.”

    Section 7, which cites “1 Lib. p. 19,” is taken from the law of May, 1646. Here the “19” may be a clerical error for “13.” Section 8, which is from the same law, cites “Lib. 1, p. 13.”

    Section 9 cites “Lib. 1, p. 26” for a law as to “common coasters,” idle persons, etc., passed in 1633. This would come under a title “Idleness” on page 26 of the 1649 Code and between “Highways” and “Impost.”100

    The second part of this Section 9, which relates to the order of October, 1651,101 as to harboring young people, cites, in the original Record, “Lib. 4, p. 5.”102 This citation may indicate that the law was first printed or was repeated in the third Supplement.

    Section 10 cites “Lib. 1, p. 27” for a law as to “custome masters of wines,” etc., passed in May, 1648.103 This was, no doubt, under the title “Impost” on page 27 of the Code of 1649.

    Section 11, for the law as to levying of rates, etc., passed in November, 1647,104 cites “Lib. 1, page 46,” thus indicating a title “Rates” for the Code of 1649, coming between “Punishment, p. 45” and “Records, p. 47.” For the order as to fines, etc. (May, 1654),105 it cites “Lib. 3, p. 2, 3,”—probably an error for “Lib. 4, p. 2, 3.” The edition of 1660 (p. 76) has similar provisions and cites in the margin “A[nno] 54, p. 2.”

    Section 12, as to gathering town rates, October, 1657,106 cites “Lib. 4, p. 26.” The edition of 1660 has the same provision, under “Constables,” and cites “A[nno] 57, p. 26.”

    Section 13, for an order passed November, 1655, as to clearing accounts by the first of May,107 cites “Lib. 3, p. 13,”—probably an error for “Lib. 4, p. 13.”

    Section 14 is the law of 1637 and 1639 as to lost goods and strays. It cites “Lib. 1, p. 48.” This adds another title to Mr. Whitmore’s Table for 1649, namely “Strays, p. 48,” or, as Rawson writes it, “Strajes,” coming between “Schools,” p. 47, and “Strangers,” p. 49.108

    Section 15 contains the constable’s duties relating to the watch, from the laws of March, 1636–7, May, 1640, and May, 1646; and cites “Lib. 1, p. 51.” In Mr. Whitmore’s Table is “Watching” for p. 52. It probably occupied also a part of page 51. The citation “Lib. 1, p. 16,” probably refers to some provision under “Courts” or “Coroners.” Another citation—“Lib. 4, pag. 12, 25,”—is for laws passed in May and October, 1652, and May, 1657.109

    Section 16, for orders, passed in October, 1652, May, 1656, and May, 1657,110 as to commitment of offenders, cites “Lib. 4, p. 16.” (See above under “Section 6.”)

    Section 17, from the law of November, 1647, as to weights and measures,111 cites “Lib. 1, p. 51,” adding a title “weights & measures” to the Code.

    Section 18, as to serving attachments, has the interesting citation “Lib. 1, p. 55, tit. Prsesidtṣ” This would indicate that at the end of the Code of 1649 there was a collection of matters of form or custom not found in any express law. In an order of October, 1649,112 for printing the Laws enacted since the publication of the first book, there is added “as also therewith to prepare those lawes referred to in the end of the printed lawes, with a suitable table to be printed.” The edition of 1660 (pp. 83–8) has a table of “Presidents and formes of things frequently used.”

    Section 19, for a law of October, 1649,113 amended in October, 1652,114 cites “Lib. 2, p. 10.” The 1660 edition has the same citation under “Elections.”

    Section 20, from an order of October, 1654,115 cites “Lib. 3, p. 9,”—probably an error for “Lib. 4, p. 9.” Section 21, on the other hand, cites for an order of August, 1653,116 “Lib. 4, p. 20.” This should have been “Lib. 3, p. 20.” The 1660 edition cites, under “Marshal,” “A[nno] 53, p. 20.” This confusion of “Lib. 3” and “Lib. 4” was, perhaps, natural, as the third Supplement was the fourth book of laws.

    Section 22 directs the constables to act as coroners and is the 57th article of the Body of Liberties. It cites “Lib. 1, p. 16,” suggesting a title of “Coroners” between “Cornfields” and “Divorce.”

    Section 23, as to warning persons living apart from their husbands or wives, from the law of 1647,117 cites “Lib. 1, p. 37.” It probably came under “Marriage” in the Code.

    Section 24, the law of May, 1653,118 as to refusal to serve as constable, cites “Lib. 4, p. 18,”—probably an error again for “Lib. 3, p. 18.” (See above under “Section 20.”) The 1660 edition, under “Township,” has it “A[nno] 53, p. 18.”

    Section 25, as to pursuit of runaway servants, etc.,—law of September, 1635,119—cites “Lib. 1, p. 38.” This was, no doubt, under “Masters,” etc., p. 38 in the Code.

    The last Section, 26, as to informing against “new-comers,” etc., from the laws of May, 1637, and September, 1638,120 cites “Lib. 1, page 39,” adding another title, “New-comers,” for page 39 of the Code.


    An examination of the Watermarks shows that Volume III., so called, was made up of several parts. The binding into one book, however, must have taken place at a very early time. The first seven leaves, containing the record by Bridges, were not paged at all, but the rest of the volume is paged successively and in an ancient hand,—probably Rawson’s.

    The following Table, presenting in one view the handwriting, watermarks, and dates, may, perhaps, help to show the make-up of the book, and to suggest the order of time when the different parts were written. The three different watermarks are designated by A, B, and C. The first seven leaves contain seven written pages, which are marked 1a to 7a in the printed volume:—

    Page. Handwriting. Watermark Date.

    1a to 7a



    May, 1644

    1 to 104



    May, 1645 to November, 1646

    105 to 107


    November, 1646 to May, 1647

    107 to 110


    111 to 113


    114 and 115



    Rawson and Torrey

    117 and 118

    “ “ “


    119 and 120


    October, 1647

    121 to 124



    125 to 130


    October, 1647

    131 to 134



    135 to 145


    May, 1648

    146 to 148



    149 to 162


    October, 1648




    164 to 208


    May and October, 1656 and May, 1657

    209 to 238a


    May, 1649

    238b to 244


    October, 1649

    245 to 253


    October, 1649 & May, 1650

    254 to 476


    May, 1650 to October, 1655

    It will be noticed that four blank pages occur in the record for October, 1647, and four more at the end. These may have been left to give room for certain important records omitted at the time by the Clerk as appears by the Secretary’s record for that session.

    From the facts indicated by the above Table we may conjecture that this first volume of Records for the Deputies began with a small book of about twenty-six sheets, in which Rawson entered the record for 1645 and 1646; that he then enlarged the book by adding folds at the end and also one fold at the beginning. In this fold Bridges entered the record for May, 1644. Some pages of this fold were left blank. Perhaps it was intended for the record of October and November, 1644, which is not in Volume III.

    Torrey assisted Rawson in keeping the record for 1647, and, by special employment of the Court, as already stated, kept the whole of the record for 1648. When Rawson began again with the record for May, 1649, he left forty-five pages blank, in which Torrey, long after, entered the record for 1656 and 1657. This explains the grant to Torrey of Slate Island in November, 1659,121—“he having now perfected the Deputies booke of coppies of records.”122


    Although orders were passed at various times as to the manner of keeping the Records, such orders were not always carried into effect. In general, it may be said that the Record was kept during most, if not all, of the Colonial period after the manner indicated in the order of 17 June, 1629, appointing a Committee—

    “for reducing of all former orders into a methode,” etc., “ . . . wch are then by the Secretary to bee entered into a faire booke to bee kept for that purpose, according to the vsage & custome of other Companyes.”

    That is, the orders, votes, etc., were written originally on bills, petitions, reports, motions, etc., as presented, and were placed on file; and these files were subsequently arranged or “reduced to a method” and the record made up from them.

    For part of the time some sort of “day-book” may have been kept for entering briefly the subject of votes, petitions, etc., but probably only in the form of loose sheets or folds as indicated by a few such sheets still preserved among the Files, as already mentioned.

    The Order of October, 1648, seems to have been an effort to introduce a more thorough method of keeping the Records by providing for a Journal of each House as well as a Book of Records. It is evident, however, that the provisions of that order were never carried into full effect, the reason being, perhaps, that the expense which would have been incurred by undertaking to keep up a double set of books for each House rendered the plan impracticable, and that the printing of the Laws, which began at that time, made it less important.

    Rawson seems to have endeavored to comply with the order in a measure. He left a large part of the Book of Records for the Deputies blank, perhaps to make room for the old, imprinted, laws and orders required to be entered before the record for 1649. This blank was filled by Torrey with the record for 1648, and afterwards with the record for 1656 and part of 1657. The provision for a transcription from the “old bookes” was, so far as there is any evidence, wholly neglected. The other provision as to the bills, etc., remaining with the Governor or with the Speaker was found inconvenient, and was practically repealed by an order of 23 May, 1650.123

    There is no evidence that the “four large paper books in folio,” mentioned in the Order of October, 1648, were all provided. The Third Volume of the Secretary’s Record (Volume IV. of the printed Records) is a very large folio, and corresponds with the requirements of the Order. It covers the time from 1650 to 1674, and was wholly written by Rawson. The watermark is the same throughout.

    The description of Volume III. given above indicates clearly that the Clerk of the Deputies, for want of a new “large paper book,” used for his Book of Copies the smaller old book which had previously been used for a similar purpose.

    From all these considerations we may conclude that this Volume III., so called, was a “booke of records” for the use of the Deputies, containing transcripts, not only of their transactions, but of the joint action of both Houses, for the years 1644 to 1657; we may also reasonably infer that no regular Journal, in book form, was kept by either House, and that the keeping of a Book of Copies by the Deputies was discontinued after 1657.

    Mr. Goodell’s Letter.

    John Noble, Esq.

    My dear Sir,—In compliance with your request I had prepared a review, in consecutive detail, of the several points dwelt upon by Mr. Upham in his Notes on Volume III. of the printed copy of the Massachusetts Colony Records. In that paper I had combined the substance of what I had previously said upon the same subject at meetings of The Colonial Society, and elsewhere, and what I had written to Mr. Edes to be communicated to you, together with some reënforcement of my argument in support of a theory at variance with Mr. Upham’s conclusion; but upon mature reflection, I have reduced what I have further to offer to a briefer compass, from a conviction that the re-statement of undisputed facts would not only needlessly encroach upon the space which the Committee of Publication has to apportion among all contributors to our Publications, but would rather darken than illumine whatever may have already appeared obscure or debatable.

    The question in dispute is not whether Volume III. of the printed Colony Records is a Journal of the House of Deputies such as is described in the Order of the General Court passed in October, 1648. On the contrary, I think that connecting the journals proposed in 1648 with the journals which, presumably, the Deputies must have kept from 1644,—the date of the separation of the Freemen and Deputies from the Assistants, in imitation of the two Houses of Parliament,—tends to confound two entirely distinct matters, in such manner as, in considering the nature of the “book of copies,” to bewilder the mind by taking it back four years before any such book existed, or, so far as we know, was thought of. With our minds freed from this confusion, we shall find, I think, less difficulty in recognizing in Volume III. the character it professes to hold; that is, simply, a record of “The Acts & Determinations of the Howse of deputyes,”—in other words, the House Journal.

    I do not deem it important to inquire whether this Volume III. is the original draft or a compilation of original minutes, since in either case it would not affect the character of the book as being, essentially, a journal, all journals being more or less compilations from previous minutes; and the fact that the Secretary’s records and the Clerk’s entries were evidently compiled from a common source is as strong an argument, certainly, that both were journals, as that either was another kind of record. Nor should we expect to find a rigid compliance with the directions of the Order of October, 1648, in regard to the Clerk’s entries in his journals, since those directions were clearly permissive and not restrictive. Still less important is it to dwell on the irregularities and anachronisms which abound in the book in question. These faults, which are common to all journals, do not strengthen the argument that Volume III. is not a Journal, but rather sustain the theory that it could not be a book of copies of laws and orders which the Order of 1648 implies was its exclusive purpose and in which, therefore, we should expect to find nothing else. The fact that the first printed Journals of the House of Commons were not composed in regular order, and strictly conformably to the course of legislative proceedings, and that, evidently, they do not embrace all that was said and done in the House, has never been alleged against their legitimacy.

    The least convincing argument against the theory that Volume III. is a book of Journals of the House is that it recites certain proceedings of the upper branch of the Legislature. A sufficient answer to this is, that these recitals of the doings of the coordinate branch always have been, and still are, a necessary feature of the legislative journals of either branch; since this is the only way in which concurrent action of the two branches can be intelligibly put upon record.

    Having thus eliminated some principal sources of confusion and false inference, we come to the question, Is it a “book of copies of records” kept by the Clerk of the House? Mr. Upham’s surmise that the system prescribed by the Order of October, 1648, was never practically adopted to the full extent, seems to me plausible. In deference to his judgment, founded upon his conscientious and more careful study of the subject, and borne out, in some degree, by the virtual repeal of an important part of the Order of 1648, two years later,124 I am willing to believe it probable that the “four large paper books, in folio,” mentioned in the Order—two for the journals of the respective branches, and one each for the Secretary and the Clerk of the House, “for the faire entry of all lawes, acts & orders, &c, that shall passe the magistrates & deputies,” (the former “to be the public record of the country,” and the latter “to be a booke onely of copies”)—were never procured as the Order required; but if this be the fact it certainly ought not to change our judgment as to the practice which prevailed before 1648, nor, even if the scheme of 1648 was wholly abandoned, does it follow that books—not journals for recording the doings of the House, but, exclusively, for the entry of copies of “orders that have passed the approbation of both magistrates and deputies”—were not kept by the Clerk of the House in addition to his journals.

    The collecting of the Laws and recording them in a “faire booke to be kept for that purpose,” independently of the General Court Records, seems to have been an established practice as early, at least, as the order of 17 June, 1629, to which Mr. Upham refers. It may yet be possible to ascertain how many collections of this sort were made and promulgated in manuscript before the first revision in 1641 was published under the name of The Body of Liberties. It was from such a collection, probably, that the twenty-two of “Captain Endicott’s lawes” were copied and exhibited “to the Lords.”

    We may confidently assume, I think, that the practice continued after the manner thus early adopted, until the separation of the two branches of the Legislature in 1644, when the new exigency required a modification of the former method. Accordingly, we find that the ordinance establishing separate sittings of the two branches of the Legislature provided that, “when any orders have passed the approbation of both magistrates and deputies then such orders to be ingrossed and, in the last day of the Court to be read deliberately, and full assent to bee given.” By “ingrossed” orders, I infer, is meant orders fairly transcribed into books kept for the purpose or on sheets to be bound up into such books, and such, we may conclude, were the laws, orders, etc., “in the ould bookes” that, as Mr. Upham shows, were, in October, 1648, for the first time, ordered to be transcribed “in some alphabeticall or methodical way,” by direction of a Committee and delivered to the Secretary to record, and then to be transcribed by the “Clarke of the Deputies.”

    This inauguration of the alphabetical arrangement of the laws affords another clew to the nature of the Secretary’s record of the laws, and of the “book of copies” which the Clerk of the House was directed to transcribe therefrom, since it tallies exactly with the method pursued in all the printed editions which began that same year. It is not a rash supposition that these printed laws followed the manuscript Records in the order of the titles as well as in the tenor of the ordinances. It may even be the fact—notwithstanding Mr. Upham’s elaborate confirmation of Mr. Whitmore’s ingenious hypothesis that the books cited by numbers in the margin of the printed Colony laws were the first printed edition and its supplements—that these printed copies were from manuscript originals of substantially the same page-numbers. In forming a theory as to how and when these manuscript books disappeared, we are justified in admitting the possibility of their having been used by the printer as copy; for, not until the introduction of the present system during the period of the “Usurpation,” do we find in the Archives copies of the laws and orders systematically arranged and regularly preserved; and we know that, as a rule, during the Provincial period, the original House Journals were sent to the printers, and were never returned; but I confess it seems to me more probable that these manuscript records of the laws continued in unbroken series during the Colonial and Provincial periods until they perished in one of the great fires which wrought such havoc with the public records in Provincial times. As a general rule it is safe to assume that a custom is as old as the conditions which induced it. Throughout the Provincial period there can be no doubt that, besides the Bills which passed into the Secretary’s files upon their enactment, and the parchment engrossments of these Bills, which were enrolled, the Secretary customarily kept a regular series of records of the perfected Acts. When, may it be asked, if not early in the history of the Colony did this custom begin? If there is any reason for believing it to be of more recent origin, it cannot be that it was more necessary at the later period, when the Acts of the Legislature were promptly published throughout the Province by the sound of drum and trumpet, and regularly printed and disseminated at the end of every session. To continue the parallel, it may be added that the earlier volumes of records of the Acts of the Province were consumed by fire when the old Town and Court House was burned; and may it not be reasonably surmised that, among the other books which perished in the conflagration, the records of the Colony Ordinances were included?

    However improbable, it is not impossible that the custom of keeping a duplicate manuscript series of the Ordinances was abandoned not long after the laws began to be printed. That such a change might have quietly taken place is not an unparalleled event. We have a similar instance in the abandonment of the custom of making up from the Journals of the two branches of the Legislature, and from the documents on file, the so-called Records of the General Court, which senseless practice was continued for a half-century or more after the adoption of the Constitution of the Commonwealth. This superfluous labor, which was quietly stopped by the Secretary without authority from the Legislature, had been kept up in blind deference to the idea that there must be such a series of Records distinct from the Journals of the House and of the Senate. It was an error based upon a false tradition by which, throughout the Provincial period, the Legislative Journals of the Governor and Council were regarded as properly the Records of the whole Court, and so designated. The mistake is traceable to the condition of affairs prior to the Order of October, 1648, when the General Court sat together in one chamber, and also to the provision in that Order making the Secretary’s Record of the laws and orders the authoritative copy.

    I fail to find in any of Mr. Upham’s citations from the Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay, or elsewhere, anything which conclusively substantiates his theory that the original of the printed Volume III. is the “book of copies of records.” It is, at least, as probable, it seems to me, that the book of records which Lieutenant Torrey completed was such a book as was contemplated in the Order of October, 1648, as that it was the record filled in on the blank pages to which Mr. Upham refers.

    A conclusive objection, it seems to me, to the theory that Volume III. is a book of copies of the laws, etc., is its utter failure to answer to the description of the record of engrossed orders,—that is, completed acts of legislation formally and deliberately read on the last day of the session under the Order of 1644—or to the copy of the record of laws, acts, and orders for the recording of which, by the Order of October, 1648, the Secretary was allowed a whole month after the end of the session, and for the transcription of which the Clerk was thereafter allowed another month. How is it possible that in the ample time granted him the Secretary could fail to separate the laws and orders concurrently passed by both branches, from the vast variety of trivial or incidental proceedings with which the pages of Volume III. are crowded? That a book exclusively set apart for the record of ordinances carefully culled from the files and securely kept together until the close of the session, and then read before the whole assembly, and not recorded until after they had received the final assent of the legislature, could suddenly degenerate into a jumble of legislative details, appointments, and reports of committees, elections of officers, motions, petitions, amendments, and all sorts of interlocutory proceedings, seems incredible even with the most liberal allowance for the prevalent crudeness of legislative methods and practices, and the immethodical habits of clerks. It does not seem possible that the Legislature would have tolerated a disregard of the undoubted intention of its clearly expressed mandate, and submit to such illegal waste of time and labor and such confusion of important with unimportant things. Above all, how can it be believed that every entry in Volume III. was, at the close of the session, solemnly propounded for the assenting voice of the whole General Court!

    Very truly yours,

    A. C. Goodell, Jr.

    Mr. Henry H. Edes read the following paper on—


    While searching recently among my papers for another document, I came upon a small sheet 8⅛ × 5¾ inches in size, which proved to be an original Proclamation of Thanksgiving, issued on the seventh of December, 1681, by the Deputy-President of the Province of Maine. The text of this State Paper, which I have brought here for your inspection, is as follows:—

    Provence of Mayne in New England ye 7th of Decembr 1681

    You, & all of us being sensible; of ye goodness of ye Lord in Remembering Mercy, to wards his People in ye Wilderness in the midst of Judgment, wen we have had Experience of, since in ye time of ye late Drought, he did gratiously inclaine his Ear, to ye Prayrs of his People, in sending downe seasonable Showers of Blessings from Heaven, so as yt the Harvist this yeare, hath not wholly failed, as once was Cause to feare itt might have done being alssoe sensible of ye devine favour as yett Continued to us in Respect of our Liberties, both Sivill, & Sacred, & ye Publick Peace, & Health, wch God hath ye Last yeare: blessed ye Land with, & yt Thankfullniss for such invaluable: Mercies is ye way still to enjoy them.


    By Advice of ye Honered President of this Provence

    I doe appoint ye 21st of this instant Mouuth Decembr to be observed, as a clay of publick Thanksgiveiug, throughout this Provence, & doe hereby prohibitt all servill Lahore one ye sd day, Exhorting all both Ministers, & People, sollemly to Prays ye Lord, for these greatt things, wch he hath heather to done for us.

    John Davis Depty preſnt.125

    Failing to find any recognition of this paper in Dr. Love’s Fast and Thanksgiving Days of New England, or any reference in print to this official act of the Provincial Executive, I submitted a copy of the Proclamation to the Hon. Joseph Williamson, one of the highest living authorities on matters pertaining to the history of Maine. In due time I received from Mr. Williamson the following statement:—

    “An examination of all the historical works bearing upon Maine history during the administration of President Danforth, and his Deputy, John Davis of York, satisfies me that the interesting Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1681 has never appeared in print. Although every subject of public interest, following the usage and example of Massachusetts, came under the cognizance of these magistrates, and the court over which they presided,126 I do not find any allusion to this official paper.127 . . . I regret that so little concerning Deputy-President Davis, who issued it, can be found.”128 Mr. Williamson added that “the Gorges Charter is broad enough to authorize such a Proclamation . . . and to enforce its observance.”

    In 1622, Sir Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason obtained from the Plymouth Company a grant of all the territory between the Merrimac and Kennebec rivers.129 The following year they planted a Colony which occupied both sides of the Piscataqua; and in 1630 the town of York—at first called Agamenticus, and later Gorgeana—was founded.130 In 1639, after the surrender of the Plymouth Charter to Charles I., Gorges secured a confirmation of his grant, with more ample powers of government than had ever before been conferred upon a subject. The name which the State now bears first appeared in this Charter,131 which required its adoption.

    The government of Gorges, which was but little less than an absolute sovereignty, continued till 22 November, 1652, when Massachusetts assumed jurisdiction over the Province. On 6 May, 1677, Gorges’s heirs, for £1250, sold all their rights to the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay, who thus became Lord Proprietor of Maine.132 The question at once arose—How shall the Province be governed? The answer was obvious: It must not be governed as a constituent part of Massachusetts, but according to the provisions of the Gorges Charter.

    “It was determined, therefore, by the General Court, in February, 1679–80, to assume the royal charter granted to Sir Ferdinando Gorges; and in conformity with its provisions, to frame a civil administration over the Province. For this purpose, the general oversight and direction of its affairs were, by a legislative ordinance, committed to the Governor and Board of Colony Assistants. The government they established, was this—to have a Provincial President, chosen by them from year to year, and two legislative branches;—the upper one was to be a Standing Council of eight members, and the other to be a popular delegation, consisting of deputies chosen by towns as in Massachusetts. The Council, who were to be appointed by the Board of Assistants, and continue in office during their pleasure, were to be the judges of a Supreme Court, and magistrates through the Province. The legislative body was to meet at least once in every year. . . . The provincial charter itself was generally acknowledged to be excellent;—containing more privileges, and less restrictions, than any other of similar character, which had received the royal signature.”133

    Under the new régime, the freeholders of the Province met at York, on the seventeenth of March, 1679–80,134 when proclamation was made of the action of the Governor and Assistants of the Massachusetts Bay,—among other things, of the appointment of Thomas Danforth as President.135 Warrants were issued for the choice of deputies to the General Assembly which convened at York on the thirtieth of March.136 Major Bryan Pendleton was the first Deputy-President, and as such, and in the same year, he signed a petition to the King “for aid in rebuilding the towns wasted and desolate” in consequence of the late Indian War. Pendleton was also senior member of the Standing Council first appointed,137 and held both offices at the time of his death in 1681.138

    John Davis of York, also a member of the first Standing Council, and a member of that Board until his death, succeeded Pendleton in the Deputy-Presidency; and Williamson says that they appear to have been the only incumbents of this office,139 which, by reason of Danforth’s residence in Cambridge, became one of much importance. Davis held it, probably, until his death, in 1691, and certainly until the twenty-fifth of February, 1690–91, except during the time when Dudley and Andros ruled New England. Captain Francis Hooke also held the office of Deputy-President for a short time, as I shall presently show, but how soon after 25 February, 1690–91 his term began does not appear.140

    The printed accounts of John Davis are extremely brief, but I have collected from various sources the following facts concerning him. His ancestry, and the dates of his own and his children’s birth, of his marriage, and of his death, do not appear. Probably the Town and Church Records, which perished when the town was destroyed by the Indians on the twenty-fifth of January, 1691–92,141 would have supplied, in part, these deficiencies. Fortunately, a Deposition142 is preserved in which Davis states his age. It is dated 30 May, 1683. In it he gives testimony concerning William Hilton, father and son, and the former’s residence in York, and describes himself as “Major John Dauess, aged 70 years, or yrabouts.” This fixes the date of his birth as in the neighborhood of 1613.

    Savage locates John Davis at York as early as 1650, but, apparently, knows nothing of his antecedents. I have recently found a document which may throw some light upon this question. In 1679, John Davis and Samuel Sayward, both of York, executed an instrument143 under their appointment, 5 April, 1675, by John Knowlton of Ipswich, to sell his house in York. In Felt’s History of Ipswich (pp. 11, 12) the names of John Davis and John Knowlton appear, in 1639, in the List of First Settlers. John Knowlton’s will,144 made 29 November, 1653, proved 28 March, 1654, mentions, among others, his brother William and son John. The name of the son John, who gave the Power of Attorney,3 appears in the List of men impressed for the Narragansett expedition, 30 November, 1675.145 He was admitted a Freeman 13 October, 1680, at which time he was living in Wenham;146 and the Ipswich Town Records give the date of his death as 8 October, 1684.147

    The discovery of this instrument led me to make a personal examination of the manuscript Records of the Town of Ipswich, which show that John Davis and John Knowlton (Senior) were Commoners in Ipswich on “the last day of the last month; 1641” (p. 99); that John Davis kept the cow herd on the North side of the river, in 1642 and 1643 (pp. 100, 101, 107, 108); and that in December, 1648, he and John Knowlton were among the subscribers to the annual stipend to be given to Major Daniel Denison “while he continued to be our Leader” (pp. 149, 150). About the same time (8 February, 1647–48) “John Davis of Jubaque148 within the bounds of Ipswich,” shoemaker, for £4.15.00, sold to Daniel Rindge of Ipswich, fisherman, a six-acre lot at Heartbreak Hill in Ipswich, bounded: westerly by land of William Knowlton,—the uncle of John Knowlton (Junior); easterly by land of Humphrey Griffin and the widow Woode; northerly by land of Simon Thompson; and the lower or South end by the “highwaye leading from labor in vain bridge to the toune of Ipswich.”149 Under date of 30 December, 1642, I found in the Town Records the following mandate:—

    “It is ordered that Mr. Firman and Tho: Scott, the late Constables, shall forthwith pay to Jo: Davis iiijs for goeing with the Deputy Governr150 to Cape Ann – 0 – 4 – 0” (p. 105).

    The last reference that I found is in the following entry:—

    “26th of the 10th m̊ 51.

    John Davis is granted to have halfe an acre of ground adjoyning to his own Land, in consideration of the highway leading to Chebacco laid out through his Land” (p. 169).

    Neither John Davis nor his family—if he had any during his residence in Ipswich—appears in the vital records of the Town by so much as a single entry.

    In less than twelve months after the permanent disappearance of John Davis’s name from the Ipswich Town Records we find a man of the same name taking the oath of a Freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Agamenticus,151—on the twenty-second of November, 1652. At the same time the oath was taken by another John Davis,152 and by Nicholas Davis,153 formerly of Charlestown, who was afterward, and for many years, closely and constantly associated with that John Davis who became the Deputy-President of the Province of Maine.

    From what is shown by the records and documents which have here been cited, it does not seem unreasonable to infer, that the John Davis who disappears from the Ipswich Records in or about 1651, is identical with that John Davis of York who signed the Thanksgiving Proclamation which is before us.

    Deputy-President John Davis is described by Williamson as “a man of very considerable abilities, natural and acquired”; and he was held in high esteem by his contemporaries, early (1652) enjoying the prefix of respect. In 1652, he actively advocated the union of Maine and Massachusetts. He was long identified with military affairs and had been in command of the militia during the Indian wars, in which he “had distinguished himself as a brave and discreet soldier.”154 He married Mary Puddington, the widow of George Puddington155 of York. She was “licensed to sell wine” in 1649. How soon after that date she married Davis does not appear, but on the fifteenth of March, 1661–62, she joined with him in two deeds,156 describing herself as his wife and formerly the wife of Puddington, who was at York as early as 1640. Davis had two daughters,—Mary,157 who married Peter Weare, Treasurer of the County of York,158 and Sarah, the wife of John Penwill, of York, mariner, but I can learn of no other children.

    On Saturday, the twentieth of November, 1652, Mr. Nicholas Davis and Mr. John Davis were required by the Massachusetts Commissioners to summon the inhabitants of Gorgeana (York) to meet them at the house of the first-named citizen on the following Monday morning, between seven and eight o’clock, and submit themselves to the government of the Colony of the Bay.159 The two Davises, and another John Davis, as already mentioned, submitted with the other inhabitants; and on the same day that John Davis who was destined to become Deputy-President of the Province of Maine, was licensed to keep an ordinary at York160 and was also appointed Sergeant.161 In 1653 he was one of the Commissioners to settle the bounds between York and Kittery.162 He subsequently signed the Petition of the inhabitants of York, Wells, Saco, and Cape Porpoise to Cromwell, 12 August, 1656, praying to be continued under the government of Massachusetts;163 and later, at the Restoration, he joined in a Petition to Charles II. praying for a government of their own.164 From 1658 till 1660 he was Marshal of the County of York.165 He had held the office, pro tempore, in 1657, during the absence in England of Henry Norton,166 who had been chosen to it 22 November, 1652.167 On the assumption of the government of the Province by the King’s Commissioners, Sir Robert Carr addressed a warrant to Captain John Davis, 2 July, 1665, to summon his company to appear in arms, in the Training-field, on the following Tuesday morning, “there to attend further order.”168

    On the fifteenth of April, 1668, Edward Rishworth and Francis Champernown issued a warrant to apprehend Peter Weare and Francis Raynes and to secure their papers. On the twenty-fourth of April, Weare wrote a letter to Captain William Waldron, soliciting his aid in securing his liberty. In it he alleges ill-treatment at the hands of the Marshal and Captain John Davis who enforced the process and took away a letter, addressed to Thomas Danforth and signed by many inhabitants of York, praying to be taken under the government of Massachusetts. Weare gives an account of what occurred at Davis’s house, where, he says, Davis was guilty of “vsing very vnseuel Words & prbbrowes Langwig Calling him Base knaue & cripell Cur & wth a viulent punch wth his fist threu him viallently vpon ye ground littell short of ye fiare.”169 It is interesting to note, that after this altercation the two men probably became reconciled, because, as we have seen, Weare subsequently married Davis’s daughter Mary. In the will of Nicholas Davis of York, before mentioned, made 27 April, 1667, and recorded 17 August, 1670, he appoints “my Loueing frejnds Capt John Davess & Mr. Peter Weare” to be the overseers of his estate.170 A similar expression of confidence in John Davis is found in the will of Francis Champernown who, in 1686, included him among his “loving friends” who are named overseers under that instrument.171

    In 1662, 1665, 1675, 1676, 1679, and, doubtless, in other years, John Davis was one of the Selectmen of York;172 and in his judicial capacity, as a Magistrate, he constantly held court at various places within the Province,173 in 1680 holding a Special Court of Admiralty,174 and in May, 1684, sitting at Wells as Chief Justice.175

    In 1683 Davis had attained to the military rank of Major, and is so styled in a deed which he gave to James Freathy of York on the eighth of December of the following year.176 On the eighth of September, 1685, with Francis Hooke, also a member of the Standing Council of Maine, and Deputy-Governor Barefoot and three of the New Hampshire Council, he signed the Articles of Peace agreed upon between the inhabitants of those Provinces and the Indians inhabiting them.177

    The date of John Davis’s death has not been ascertained. He attended, officially, as Deputy-President, a Court of Pleas held at York 25 February, 1690–91.178 At a Court of Sessions, held 2 June, 1691,179 and at a Court of Pleas, held at York, 1 July, 1691, “the Deputy-President” was in official attendance, although his name is not recorded, as was usually the case. At the Court held on the last-mentioned date, it was ordered that a Court of Sessions of the Peace should be held at York on the first Tuesday of October, and a Court of Pleas at the same place on the following day.180 At the Court of Sessions held at York 6 October, 1691, there were present, Captain Francis Hooke, “Deputy President,”181 Major Charles Frost, and Mr. Samuel Wheelwright; and Administration was granted to Mary Daves upon the estate of her husband, Major John Daves,182 late of York. At the same time she made oath to an Inventory of the estate amounting to £344.19.0, and gave Bond in £689.18.0.183

    The latest reference to John Davis that I have found is in the record of a “Memorandum” made 1 April, 1691, by Jane Withers, widow of Thomas Withers, which was witnessed by Davis and another, and sworn to ten years later (13 June, 1701) at Kittery.184 It thus appears that John Davis died between the first of April and the sixth of October, 1691.

    The career of John Davis presents an interesting study in character. The York Court Records and the York Deeds are the principal sources of information concerning him that remain,—the Town and Church Records having perished. In middle life his animal spirits appear to have been under slight control, and we read in the Court Records the evidence of baleful intemperance, not only in appetite, but in deportment and speech;185 of his presentment (1653) “for selling beer by wine quart” (i. 248); of his “affronting the Court [in June, 1654] by giving unseemly speeches with his hatt on” (i. 268)186; of his discharge from the office of Marshal in 1660 (i. 349); of his “rideing one Lord’s day from Wells to York” (July, 1661) with Major Nicholas Shapleigh and others (i. 361); and of his presentment, with two others, “for neglect of yr dutys to which they were bound by oath for not voateing for Gover: Deputy Gover: Magestrates & officers for carrying on authority amongst us” (i. 404).

    After 1670, however, the Records tell a very different story. Davis appears to have gained control of his temper and his appetites, and from that time until his death he rose constantly in the public esteem, of which he had always had a large share, notwithstanding his infirmities. As early as 1658, he appeared in Court, at York, as attorney for Edward Hutchinson, of Boston, in an action of debt (i. 303); in 1670 he was of a Committee, with Edward Rishworth and others, to locate the “meeting-house at the lower part of the river Pischatqr” (ii. 412, 413); at various times, between 1674 and 1679, he was a Commissioner to canvass the vote for public officers; in 1680 he was of a Commission which was ordered speedily to “repayre to ye Eastward & settle the concerns thereof according to yr best understanding of the premises” (iv. 218, 219); and on the twelfth of April, 1682, he was ordered by the Council to go, with three others, to Casco and settle matters respecting Fort Loyal187 (iv. 259).

    These special services are noted to show the confidence reposed in Davis by his associates in authority. More interesting and suggestive are the references to him in connection with the inconspicuous and every-day matters which got into these ancient records. Serving upon all kinds of Juries,—not infrequently as Foreman,—he was also constantly employed as a Commissioner to lay out roads, to settle the boundaries of towns and of private estates, and to set off dower; as a referee in disputed matters, and as an appraiser of estates. He was often bondsman for administrators and executors, and an overseer of wills; and the records preserve ample evidence of his helpfulness to others having the care or administration of property. They also reveal his constant service to Town and County upon committees of every kind, dealing not only with great and important matters, but also with the most humble affairs of life.

    As we take our leave of this faithful public servant, in the full tide of official honor and of the public confidence, we see that for more than twenty years, and until his death, he was a prominent figure in the Province, rendering valuable service in the field, as a Magistrate, and, in private life, as a public spirited citizen. Occupying the foremost place in business, in public affairs, and in the administration of justice, we find Courts, Councils, and Commissioners frequently convened at his house. Danforth was seldom present at any sitting of the Magistrates, but Davis was almost invariably in attendance, and was, in fact, the head of the Administration, as well as the most distinguished citizen of York.

    The Hon. Jeremiah Smith of Cambridge, and Messrs. Augustus Lowell of Brookline, John Eliot Thayer of Lancaster, and Denison Rogers Slade of Newton were elected Resident Members.