160A Increase Mather to Sir William Ashurst

    Boston November 8 1710


    I have yours of 29 April, for which I return humble thanks. You will Hear by others that our House of Commons have followed your Advice in Voting to employ Mr. Dummer1 as their Agent but the Governour dos not incline to it. So that I suppose it will come to nothing.

    I know not whether you received what I wrote to you concerning Mr. Boyles Legacy to the Colledge. I was president of the Colledge when that money was ordered. And indeed my sollicitations with the executors of Mr. Boyles will, in special Sir H. Ashurst,2 occasioned that donation to the Colledge. The unsettled state of that Society made your Commissioners at a Loss what to do. For a Long Time there was no president and Fellows. When I was in England I addressed K. William for his Royal favor to the Society, who expressed to me a great willingness to encourage them. Several Ministers of State assured me that if our General Assembly would by an Act incorporate the Colledge it would be confirmed by the K[ing]. This the Assembly upon my desire, did, but they tooke no notice of the K. in their Act for incorporation. The K. very kindly (tho he [repealed?] that Act) signified to the General Assembly that they should view that Act again only reserve to his Majesty a power of visitation as in all the Colledges in England. After which the Governour and Council (which doubtless you will wonder at) made themselves visitors but left out the K. which his Majesty was not well pleased with. They urged me to remove from Boston to the Colledge to which the Church to which I am related would not consent. Nor was I myself willing except the Colledge had bin on a charter foundation confirmed by the K. I therefore resigned the presidentship. After which for 7 years there was no president nor Fellows (only Tutors to uphold Learning) on a legal foundation. When Mr. D[udley] became Governour he proposed to the Assembly that Mr. Leveret might be established president. The House of Commons voted twice that they could not approve of him. Nevertheless, by a trick when the leading men were gone home, the Governour [prevailed?] with a bare majority to consent. Mr. Leverit (notwithstanding we are of differing principles) professed a great respect for me, for which he has some reason for that he received his Academical Degrees from me, and I brought him in to be a Fellow of the Colledge above 20 years ago. I acquainted him and the Fellows with the order of the Corporation at London dated July 16 1697.3 I advised him to write to yourselfe that so the Commissioners might let the Colledge have the money due to them. I also gave a copy of that order to your Commissioners. They did not well understand the meaning of it, and thought that when money was remitted there should be something particularly [mentioned?] about that due to the Colledge, which not having been done (as indeed there was no need, the first order being sufficient) the Colledge has received nothing. But yours of 13 July giving so positive an order concerning it, for the future money will be [ratified?]. I shall use my best endeavours that as to Arrears, matters may be accomodated. Mr. Sergeant says that Mr. Boyles Legacy is not worth two pence to the Colledge who he says will have no more benefit by it than your Commissioners have by disposing the other moyety of £45 annually. I attest that the design of the Legacy is that 2 scholars shall be educated in that Society who shall with gratitude instruct the Indians in Christianity. And that will be a great benefit to the College when two of the members therein shall be so priviledged, and may (if the Lord please) promote Christianity. I must pray you to inform me if I am mistaken. And may beg your pardon for troubling you with so long a letter. I have directed to Mr. Soden a small book which I pray my Lady Ashurst to accept of as a testimony of the love I have for her, on the account of her Father4 as well as her own deserts. The Lord be with you

    I remain, Sir

    Yours to serve

    I. Mather

    You will understand by my former Letters what the Sentiments of most of the Commisionners here are concerning the Reprinting the Indian Bible.5 If one that understands the Indian Language should be sent to London it would be reprinted there much faster and cheaper than here at Boston.

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

    [Endorsed:] Dr. Increase Mather November 8 1710.

    Increase Mather Papers.