158A Increase Mather to Sir William Ashurst

    Boston December 5 1709


    I return thanks for yours of July 1.

    Concerning the Indian Affairs Mr. Sewall1 will give you full Information. There is another matter which I suppose he will not write of, but that you may see that the good people in N.E. have a high respect and [deference?] to you, I was willing to give you an account of it.

    Our General Assembly have agreed upon an Address to the Queen, in which they Lay before her Majesty the deplorable state of this Country, and pray that if proposals for a peace with France should go forward, Nova Scotia and Canada might be restored to the Crown of England to which it dos of right belong. The Representatives of the province passed a Vote in which they pray Sir W. Ashurst to [condescend?] to their desire in presenting that Address. But the Governour2 utterly refused the [entreating?] of such a person while pretending that He would himselfe take care of it. Now the Representatives are much afraid that He will trick them, and that the Address which is of so great consequence to the Country will not be presented. By this you may see what need we have that our friends in London should improve their [interest?] for us, that a change may be obtained. I have no personal quarrel with the Governour. He treats me with all Respect, calling me his Spiritual Father. It is my concern for the public weal of the province which makes me desire (if the Lord shall so please) that the country were in other hands.

    Please to present my service to my Lady Ashurst. The blessing of Heaven be upon you and all yours. I remain, Sir

    Yours to serve

    I. Mather

    [Addressed:] To the honorable Sir William Ashurst in London.

    [Endorsed:] Doctor Mathers Letter Dated 7 (not 5) December 1709, Answered.

    Increase Mather Papers. This and the four other letters from Mather to Ashurst were acquired by the Harvard University Archives in 1973. The Ashurst family had many connections with the Colonies, in particular with the New England Company. Sir William was treasurer of the Company from 1681 to 1696 and governor of the Company from 1696 to 1719/20; he was Lord Mayor of London in 1693. His brother, Sir Henry, became a member of the Company in 1681; their father, Henry, was treasurer from 1659 to 1680. Two earlier letters from Increase Mather to Sir William (1697 and 1698) are printed in: Some Correspondence between the Governors and Treasurers of the New England Company in London and the Commissioners of the United Colonies in America, 1657–1712 (London, 1897). A letter from Sir William to Increase, dated January 31, 1711/12, is also printed there. Three letters from Sir Henry Ashurst to Increase Mather are printed in Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, Sixth Series, v (1892). This is part of the Winthrop Papers, including correspondence of Wait Winthrop; the three letters in question date from 1709 and 1710.