72 Richard Bellingham to Richard Saltonstall et al

    [April 22 1672]

    Richard Bellingham Esq., Governour of the Massachusets Colonie in New England with the advice of the rest of the overseers of Harvard Colledge in New-England. To our trusty and welbeloved freinds Richard Saltenstoll Esq., Nicholas Gregson Merchant Taylor and citizen of London, the Reverend John Knowles1 minister of Gods word, Robert Newman vintener and Citizen of London, Anthony Wilson Gentleman.

    Whereas it hath pleased God to stirr up the hearts of sundry pious Gentlemen and other benefactors in England by deed of gift or by their last wills and Testaments to give and bequeath Legacies, annuities and gifts for the endowing of Harvard Colledge in Cambridge in New England for the education of youth in good literature and for as much as we understand that there are others like minded to leave the Testimonie of their love for the promoting of that worke amongst us and that we may not be wanting in any good means for the having those good aimes and ends of our friends brought to effect, which may happen if we should not have some meet persons to take care thereof upon the place. We have therefore in confidence of your readines, ability and faithfulnes nominated constituted and appointed you and every of you jointly and severally, or so many of you as can conveniently convene together to be our Trustees, hereby giving and granting to you, and every of you our full power and Authority as Trustees for the Overseers of Harvard Colledge in New England aforesaid to ask, demand, receive for the use of the said Colledge all such gifts legacies annuities already given or bequeathed thereunto or that shall or may be given by any person or persons hereafter in England Authorizing and impowering of you or any of you to give discharges in full or in part as you shall receive such gifts legacies or annuities. Also desiring and impowering of you hereby on our behalf by all good and lawfull means to promote that worke for the enlargeing and making addition to the revenue of the said Colledge and to do all acts therein as we ourselves might do were we personally present and you to make and impower such instrument or instruments one or more under you as you shall see cause and necessary for the effecting the same. And then againe to revoke or remove as you please and whatsoever you our Trustees or any of you shall lawfully do herein we will and do by these presents allow and stand by ratifying and confirming the same as if done by ourselves. You following the instructions herewith committed to you and such others as from time to time you shall receive from the Governours and rest of the Overseers of the said Colledge. And you to give an account from time to time to us of what may occurre therein. And that you by these may have Credit with all persons that are or may be concerned therein and in Testimonie of the truth of these being the Act of the Governor and rest of the Overseers for Harvard Colledge in Cambridge in New England unto you the Governor hath set to his hand and affixed the seale of the Colonie.

    Done in Boston in New England the two and twentieth day of Aprill one thousand six hundred seventy two.

    Richard Bellingham Governour

    Corporation Papers. For a reference to this “letters patent” see Morison, Seventeenth Century, ii. 392, n. 3. Morison states: “It does not appear that the gentlemen so addressed accepted this trust or that any moneys were collected under it.” Bellingham served as Governor three times, the latest from 1665 to 1672; he died that year. Richard Saltonstall had collected gifts in England in 1659; he died in 1694; brief biography in Morison, Founding, p. 399.