MARCH MEETING, 1904.
A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at No. 25 Beacon Street, Boston, on Thursday, 24 March, 1904, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the President, George Lyman Kittredge, LL.D., in the chair.
The Records of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.
The Corresponding Secretary reported that letters had been received from Mr. Adams Sherman Hill of Boston, and Mr. Thornton Marshall Ware of Fitchburg, accepting Resident Membership, and from Mr. Herbert Putnam of Washington, D. C., accepting Corresponding Membership.
Mr. Henry W. Cunningham stated that while recently looking through the Suffolk Court Files, he had stumbled on some doggerel verses apparently derogatory of Benjamin Faneuil, who was born in 1701, and died in 1785.1 The verses, which are undated, are as follows:
Curse be on all those that walk upon toes
that wont defend their friends from fear of their foes2
Blest be all those who with good ammunition
Does preserve us our Charter & all our Provision
Curse rest on old Fan—l & all his french tribe
that favours him in his Actions by reason of a bribe
And may we good fellows prove all so loyall & true
that we may have his head wheat & all theirs Yt. acts so
And he that to his french actions will give any ear
He headless shall be as quickly youl hear
Yr neck or nothing alias
Capt. Logwood & Ivory1
The Rev. Dr. Edward H. Hall read the following paper on—
THE ORIGIN OF CONGREGATIONALISM.
The natural result of the separation of the Puritan clergy from the English church, as before of Protestantism from Romanism, was the speedy appearance of many parties under many different names. Nothing is more interesting in those early hours, than to follow these vague gropings of the Separatists after their new ecclesiastical position and after the title they were henceforth to bear in the Christian world. The mother-church, in each case, regarded these sectarian divisions as of itself a sufficient brand upon the whole spirit of disunion; while to other eyes, as to those of Milton, they were “but the throes and pangs that go before the birth of reformation.”2 Without entering upon this question, it has a certain interest for us, amid the swift succession of party slogans, to note as nearly as possible the first appearance of that special name which Puritanism has borne so conspicuously in New England. So far as I have seen, those most concerned in the matter have shown singularly little interest in fixing the psychological moment when the epithet Congregationalism was found necessary to characterize the new movement. Historians of the faith have evidently thought this too trivial a matter to trouble themselves with. They have allowed their Church to issue unannounced from out of Puritanism, Independency, Brownism and the rest, without claiming for it even the dignity of a legitimate birth. This is no recondite theme, but perhaps you will agree with me that it is worthy a moment’s thought.
The first stage of dissent in England was naturally Presbyterianism. From bishop to priest was a simple step, allowing an easy appeal to the primitive apostolic church, where bishop and presbyter were synonymous terms, and the Bishop (with a large B) was the result of a slow process of evolution. The first presbyterian church seems to have been organized in 1572, and down to the Westminster Assembly and beyond, Presbyterians were in great ascendancy in the Puritan ranks.1 The earliest formal separation from the mother-church recorded by history was under the lead of Robert Browne, about 1582. Browne, who was a graduate of Cambridge, and domestic chaplain of the Duke of Norfolk, attempted to gather a congregation after the pattern of primitive Christianity; declaring each community an independent body, and denying that the English hierarchy was a true church or its ministers rightly ordained. He was driven to Holland about 1586, returning himself finally to the English fold, while his followers continued the movement for some years both in Holland and in England. Robinson and his flock were known at first under the name of Brownists.2 Meantime the Brownist church was not without its separatists. The keen eye of a modern historian detects five distinct phases of the original movement, under the successive names of Brownism, Barrowsism, Johnsonism, Ainsworthism, Robinsonism.3 In England, at the same time, the movement seemed altogether uncertain what to call itself. They were content to be simply dissenters, not knowing for how long or how short a period their separation might last. Their adversaries, indeed, were quite ready to supply them with any number of appropriate titles: “Because we are afraid of joining with the church in all her rites and ceremonies,” write the two ministers imprisoned in Newgate in 1572, “we are branded with the odious names of Donatists, Anabaptists, Ærians, Arians, Hinckfeldians, Puritans, &c.”4 When Milton returns from Italy, in 1641, he finds the name of Puritan disappearing in this cloud of opprobrious appellatives. “Forsooth if the prelates be put down, a deluge of innumerable sects will follow; we shall be all Brownists, Familists, Anabaptists. For the word Puritan seems to be quashed, and all that hitherto were counted such, are now Brownists.”1 It is not quite clear when the name Independent came into vogue. Punchard finds the first mention of it in this entirely incidental form, in a tract of 1611: “Where the congregation giveth its free consent in its own government, there certainly it is an entire and independent body politic.”2 By the time of the Westminster Assembly (1643–1649) Independent seems to have established itself as the familiar name, accepted by nearly all non-Presbyterian separatists or non-conformists.3
In 1620 the Holland refugees made their further move to our own shores, followed soon by the colonists of Massachusetts Bay. Neither in England, as we have seen, nor in Holland had they up to this time originated any common title for their non-conformism, although sufficiently restive under the various sobriquets bestowed by their opponents. Among their many pressing solicitudes, as they enter a new continent, that of a name for their religious enterprise does not seem to have much concerned them. If they are already Congregationalists they do not appear to know it. As they organize their several churches, destined to the distinguished honor in far-off times of being the First-Churches of the older cities or villages of New England, we look in vain for any distinctive denominational title. In Plymouth, in Salem, in Charlestown, in Boston, in Dorchester, in Cambridge, so far as we can judge from the scanty records or primitive covenants remaining, they are content to call themselves simply “the church of Christ,” “these godly people” (Dorchester), or, as Bradford says of his Plymouth congregation, “as the Lord’s free people, they joined themselves . . . into a church estate, in the fellowship of the Gospel.”4
Finding nothing in the churches to reward our search for an ecclesiastical name, let us turn next to the synods. Such gatherings, unfortunately, were soon found necessary, and New England had from an early date its Councils of Nicsea, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon. The first came together in Newtowne, in 1637, under the excitement of the Antinomian controversy. The second was called also at Newtowne, or Cambridge, in 1643, to consider dangerous encroachments in the quiet town of Newbury. All the elders of the country assembled, to the number of about fifty, holding their sessions in the academic building, and contenting themselves with the inexpensive diet of the Commons. Winthrop says:
They sat in the college, and had their diet there after the manner of scholars’ commons, but somewhat better, yet so ordered as it came not to above sixpence the meal for a person. Mr. Cotton and Mr. Hooker were chosen moderators. The principal occasion was because some of the elders went about to set up some things according to the presbytery, as of Newbury, etc. The assembly concluded against some parts of the presbyterial way, and the Newbury ministers took time to consider the arguments.1
In neither of these synods do the assembled elders find reason to assume any more distinctive title than the church of Christ. In 1646 a third synod was gathered, again at Cambridge, which prolonged its sessions, quite like its great prototype at Trent, year after year, till 1648, when it gave to the New England colonists their first Platform of Church Discipline. This was a noteworthy epoch in our religious history, and although there was much discussion at first as to the authority of the civil magistrates to call a synod, and as to the degree of authority which any body of clergy had to impose its faith upon the others, and much pains was taken to prove that churches may be strictly equal, and yet possess the right to “church communion one with another” (Chap. XV. 1), the Cambridge Platform has held its ground to this day as the first authoritative statement of New England Puritanism.
But what do the churches that assume such authority call themselves? Are they still unconscious of any common title, or still content to stand before the world without a distinctive name? No. The members of the Cambridge Synod seem to have felt at last that something definite was needed; and in Chap. II. 5, 6 of the Platform we read:
The state of the members of the militant visible church, walking in order, was either before the law . . . economical, that is in families; or under the law, national; or since the coming of Christ, only congregational (the term independent, we approve not): therefore neither national, provincial, nor classical. A congregational church is by the institution of Christ a part of the militant visible church, consisting of a company of saints by calling, united into one body by an holy covenant, for the publique worship of God, and the mutual edification of one another in the fellowship of the Lord Jesus.1
From this hour then, the New England colonists are Congregationalists; for so far as I can see, this is the first official announcement of that ecclesiastical name. But from what source, we may further ask, did the name come, and what determined its apparently unpremeditated selection for the Cambridge Platform? Here again there are interesting indications, not unfamiliar, but worth citing as we pass. It is to be said in general that in various writings of this period, especially of Shepard, Cotton, and other members of that group, the term “congregational way” had been coming into vogue, as expressing better than any other the church discipline in which the congregation plays the chief role. The question had apparently been under discussion among these fathers, both in England and in America. Something more definite appeared in a book published in England in 1648, but written two or three years earlier, from the hand of John Cotton, entitled “The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared &c.” It was in answer to a bitter assault upon Independents, Brownists, Anabaptists, etc., and Cotton declares at the outset that he has no defence to make for Browne, or for Barrow. He then goes on to say:
The way of the Churches in New-England is neither justly called a Sect, nor fitly called Independency. . . . Nor is Independency a fit name of the way of our Churches. For in some respects it is too strait, and in others too large; it is too strait, in that it confineth us within our selves. . . . Again, . . . Independency stretcheth it self too largely. . . . For it is compatible to a Nationall Church, as well as to a Congregationall. . . . Even . . . the Sea of Rome is Independent. . . . Wherefore if there must needs be some note of difference to decypher our estate, . . . I know none fitter . . . then to denominate theirs Classicall [classis seem to have been the term in vogue for presbytery], and ours Congregationall.1
The close resemblance between this and the phraseology and animus of the Platform is certainly suggestive. Not that this is a solitary instance of the use of the term before the Platform. Shepard’s Treatise on Liturgies, published apparently in 1615, has the name “congregational church” repeatedly. Hooker, in his Survey of the Summe of Church Discipline (London, 1648), introduces the name in his Preface, though not using it afterwards, and showing none of Cotton’s aversion to the term Independency,—indeed, writing an entire chapter in its defence. Winthrop, on the other hand, never uses the word (and rarely the word Independency, so far as I have noticed2), nor Bradford, nor Winslow. Robinson seems never to have heard of Congregationalisms, though showing quite as much antipathy as Cotton to the name Brownists, and exhorting his followers, in his familiar farewell advice, by “all means to avoid and shake off the name of Brownist, being a mere nickname and brand to make religion odious.”3
Considering these facts, and knowing Cotton’s influence among the New England churches, and his active participation in the wording of the Cambridge Platform, it would seem no hazardous conclusion that in this tract we have the term which we have sought, in its actual incipiency.
I am far from claiming this as a momentous era in the world’s religious history. The difference between Congregationalism and Independence is, to our thought, almost infinitesimal. Doctrinally they recognize absolutely the same creed, in so far as any creeds are recognized to-day in primitive form. In point of discipline, the real distinction is simply the keener instinct of fellowship, born apparently of the American wilderness, which leads the Congregational churches to seek each other’s counsels, and unite together in local associations. Both Pilgrim and Puritan felt the longing for mutual sympathy; neither Puritan nor Pilgrim wished to emphasize aggressively their independence of the mother church.
No more would I put this forward as a historical discovery. Writers enough (Palfrey and others), have recognized Cotton’s agency in the Cambridge Platform. Hutchinson says of Cotton, in 1750, or thereabouts, “His praise was in all the churches, as the principal projector of the plan of government of the New England churches, which from that time took the name of Congregational.”1 I am only trying to save from forgetfulness whatever significance may lie even in so insignificant an ecclesiastical change as this from Independent to Congregationalist. However it may appear to our later ears, or to the world at large, to the Colonist of those days there were evidently stern meanings hidden under this innocent term. Let me quote from a pamphlet written by the Rev. Ebenezer Chaplin, of Millbury, Massachusetts, and published in Boston in 1794:
If churches are supposed to have a right to do everything they have power to do, enquiry is wholly at an end, what is their right and power, because on this supposition they cannot do anything wrong . . . and this seems to be the real sentiment of some. These however call themselves Congregationalists, and sometimes will say they are Independents, as if both were the same thing. But the idea that I have conceived of these two denominations by examining the writings of the founders of Congregationalism, is that they are as different one from another, as the system of religion and polity by Moses was from the confusion of Babel. Those of Babel scattered into parties, and every person or party did as they pleased, independent of each other. . . . The system of polity by Moses was a well-connected scheme. This is my idea of Congregationalism; it is a common scheme, and if well adhered to, would produce great beauty and order.2
The new name meant something, then, to our fathers, and had much to do with the harmony of their church life. At any rate, when the hour came for announcing to the world their ecclesiastical position, this is the title which they chose, and as such it is to be duly honored. To trace back Congregationalism, as its historians are fond of doing, through several bulky volumes, to the earliest English dissenters, seems to me quite as if Palfrey were to begin his History of New England, or Bancroft his History of the United States, with the times of the Gracchi, or of Rienzi the Tribune. If Congregationalism is important enough to the world to have its genealogy determined at all, if it is to be granted any pedigree, or any escutcheon, it would seem to have been born, not in England or Holland, but in the neighboring city of Cambridge; and its father, if it had any one founder, was not John Robinson, still less Robert Browne, but John Cotton, of the First Church in Boston.
The Rev. Henry A. Parker made the following communication on—
THE REVEREND JOSSE GLOVER AND THE BOOK OF SPORTS.
Although the Rev. Josse Glover never reached New England, having died at sea on the way, the interest which attaches to him for his introduction of printing into this country may excuse me for calling attention once more to a document which throws some light on the Rev. Mr. Glover, about whom little is known. His Christian name has been the subject of much controversy and has been variously given as Jesse, Joseph, Josse, Jose, Jos., Joss, and Joas.1 The subject was treated exhaustively and convincingly as long ago as 1875 by the late J. Hammond Trumbull.2 Mr. Trumbull remarked:
The strongest evidence I have found for Jesse is in the printed Calendar of British State Papers (Dom. series, 1634–35) in the abstracts of a petition addressed to Archbishop Laud by Edward Darcey, patron of the living of Sutton, for the appointment of a successor to “Jesse Glover, clerk,” and of Laud’s answer to this petition, in which this name is repeated (p. 355, doc. 45).
Suspecting an error, Mr. Trumbull applied to William Douglas Hamilton, the then editor of this series of the Calendars, and learned that “the name is clearly written . . . Josse Glover.” As, however, the document has never been printed in full, and as anything relating to Mr. Glover is of interest, I venture to offer to the Society a copy of the original. It consists of three parts, each in a different handwriting, and is as follows:
To the most reverend Father in God ye: Lord Arch=
=BPP: of Canterbury his Grace primate & Metropolitan of all England
The humble peticon of Edward Darcey Esqr: Patron of the Parsonage of Sutton in the county of Surrey.
Humbly sheweth to your grace, That ye. petr: vnderstandinge that Iosse Glover Clerke the now incumbent of the said Parsonage refused to publish the booke intitled The Kinges Mates: Declaracon to his Subcts concerninge lawfull sportes to bee vsed, did in his desire to have due obedience given to the royall comaunde of his sacred Matie: cause the same booke to bee published in the said Church by a neighbor: Minister And whereas the said Mr Glover for his contempt in that behalfe and for other inconformities is and standes suspended by lawfull authoritie ab officio et beneficio by reason whereof the said Cure is left without a Pastor.
The petr: humbly praies, That yor: grace will give him leave to nominate an able and conformable minister to supply the said Cure vntill the said Glover shall either through his conformity bee restored, or otherwise bee deprived of the said Parsonage
And ye: petr: (as in duty bound)
shall daiely pray etc1
If this Peticonrs: meaning be to haue another of his Nominacõn onely to supplye ye Cure, during Josse Glouers Suspension, it belongs to ye Lde Bp of Winston or his Chancellor to make ye Substitucõn, to whom I leaue it. But if his meaning be, yt Mr Glouer hath any purpose to cye Benefice, he must resigne it into ye handes of ye Diocesan, and then Mr Darcye as Patron may present. But for my self it noe waye concernes me to meddle wth it.
Mr Darcies peticon abt
If this Rector of Sutton is the emigrant, as seems certain, this document gives us some additional knowledge as to his troubles in England; and we find that, as in so many other cases, the Book of Sports was a stumbling block to him.
This Book of Sports, so often unfavorably mentioned by our emigrant clergy, being sometimes greatly misrepresented and commonly misunderstood, some account of it may interest the Society. Book, in the modern sense, it was not, though the original printed copy in the final extended form as issued by King Charles, contrived somehow to sprawl over nineteen pages. In this form it takes only some ten or twelve minutes to read slowly aloud, as one would read a Thanksgiving Proclamation. It is reproduced in Rushworth,3 Wilkins,4 and in two recent collections of documents; but those who have not happened to look for it are apt to imagine that it was a treatise on athletics. Indeed Mr. L. O. Pike, an English lawyer, says of King James: “He also wrote a treatise in favour of permitting sports and pastimes on Sundays,”5—a very queer phrase for one who has read it, to apply to the Declaration. Gardiner in his History of England gives a good account of this matter, though the requirements of proportion do not allow him to go much into detail. The account in Heylyn’s Cyprianus Anglicus6 is longer and also good.
This is the famous Book of Sports in its last form, as issued by King Charles I.:
lawfull Sports to
Imprinted at London by
Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings
most Excellent Maiestie: And by
the Assignes of Iohn Bill.
M. DC. XXXIII.1
¶ By the King.
OVr Deare Father of blessed Memory, in his returne from Scotland comming through Lancashire, found that his Subiects were debarred from Lawful Recreations vpon Sundayes after Euening Prayers ended, and vpon Holy dayes: And Hee prudently considered, that if these times were taken from them, the meaner sort who labour hard all the weeke, should have no Recreations at all to refresh their spirits. And after His returne, Hee farther saw that His Loyall Subiects in all other parts of His Kingdome did suffer in the same kinde, though perhaps not in the same degree: And did therefore in His Princely wisdome, publish a Declaration to all his louing Subiects concerning lawfull Sports to be used at such times, which was printed and published by His royall Commandement in the yeere 1618. In the Tenor which hereafter followeth.1
By the King.
Whereas vpon Our returne the last yere out of Scotland, We did publish our Pleasure touching the recreations of Our people in those parts vnder Our hand: For some causes Us thereunto moouing, Wee have thought good to command these Our Directions then giuen in Lancashire with a few words thereunto added, and most appliable to these parts of Our Realmes, to bee published to all Our Subiects.
Whereas Wee did iustly in Our Progresse through Lancashire, rebuke some Puritanes and Precise people, and tooke order that the like vnlawfull carriage should not bee vsed by any of them hereafter, in the prohibiting and vnlawfull punishing of Our good people for using their lawfull Recreations, and honest exercises vpon Sundayes and other Holy dayes, after the afternoone Sermon or Seruice: Wee now finde that two sorts of people wherewith that Countrey is much infected, (Wee meane Papists and Puritanes) haue maliciously traduced and calumniated those Our iust and honourable proceedings. And therefore lest Our reputation might vpon the one side (though innocently) haue some aspersion layd vpon it, and that vpon the other part Our good people in that Countrey be misled by the mistaking and misinterpretation of Our meaning: We haue therefore thought good hereby to cleare and make Our pleasure to be manifested2 to all Our good People in those parts.
It is true that at our first entry to this Crowne, and Kingdome, Wee were informed, and that too truely, that Our County of Lancashire abounded more in Popish Recusants then any County of England, and thus hath still continued since to Our great regreet, with little amendmẽt, saw that now of late, in Our last riding through Our said County Wee find both by the report of the Iudges, and of the Bishop of that diocesse, that there is some amendment now daily beginning, which is no small contentment to Vs.
The report of this growing amendment amongst them, made Vs the more sorry, when with Our owne Eares We heard the generall complaint of Our people, that they were barred from all lawfule Recreation, & exercise vpon the Sundayes afternoone, after the ending of all Diuine Seruiee, which cannot but produce two euils: The one, the hindering of the conuersion of many, whom their Priests will take occasion hereby to vexe, persuading them that no honest mirth or recreation is lawfull or tolerable in Our Religion, which cannot but breed a great discontentment in Our peoples hearts, especially of such as are peraduenture vpon the point of turning; The other inconuenience is, that this prohibition barreth the common and meaner sort of people from vsing such exercises as may make their bodies more able for Warre, when Wee or Our Successours shall haue occasion to vse them. And in place thereof sets vp filthy tiplings and drunkennesse, & breeds a number of idle and discontented speeches in their Alehouses. For when shall the common people haue leaue to exercise, if not vpon the Sundayes & holydaies, seeing they must apply their labour, & win their lining in all working daies?
Our expresse pleasure therefore is, that the Lawes of Our Kingdome, & Canons of Our Church be aswell obserued in that Countie, as in all other places of this Our Kingdome. And on the other part, that no lawfull Recreation shall bee barred to Our good People, which shall not tend to the breach of Our aforesaid Lawes, and Canons of Our Church: which to expresse more particularly, Our pleasure is, That the Bishop, and all other inferiour Churchmen, and Churchwardens, shall for their parts bee carefull and diligent, both to instruct the ignorant, and conuince and reforme them that are misled in Religion, presenting them that will not conforme themselues, but obstinately stand out to Our Iudges and Justices: Whom We likewise command to put the Law in due execution against them.
Our pleasure likewise is, That the Bishop of that Diocesse take the like straight order with all the Puritanes and Precisians within the same, either constraining them to conforme themselues, or to leaue the County1 according to the Lawes of Our Kingdome, and Canons of Our Church, and so to strike equally on both hands, against the contemners of Our Authority, and aduersaries of Our Church. And as for Our good peoples lawfull Recreation, Our pleasure likewise is, That after the end of Diuine Seruiee, Our good people be not disturbed, letted, or discouraged from any lawful recreation, Such as dauncing, either men or women, Archery for men, leaping, vaulting, or any other such harmelesse Recreation, nor from hauing of May-Games, Whitson Ales, and Morris-dances, and the setting vp of May-poles & other sports therewith used, so as the same be had in due & conuenient time, without impediment or neglect of Diuine Seruiee: And that women shall haue leaue to carry rushes to the Church for the decoring of it, according to their old custome. But withall We doe here account still as prohibited all vnlawfull games to bee vsed vpon Sundayes onely, as Beare and Bullbaitings, Interludes, and at all times in the meaner sort of people by Law prohibited, Bowling.
And likewise We barre from this benefite and liberty, all such knowne recusants, either men or women, as will abstaine from comming to Church or diuine Sendee, being therefore vnworthy of any lawfull recreation after the said Seruiee, that will not first come to the Church, and serue God: Prohibiting in like sort the said Recreations to any that, though conforme in Religion, are not present in the Church at the Seruiee of God, before their going to the said Recreations. Our pleasure likewise is, That they to whom it belongeth in Office, shall present and sharpely punish all such as in abuse of this Our liberty, will vse these exercises before the ends of all Diuine Seruices for that day. And We likewise straightly command, that euery person shall resort to his owne Parish Church to heare Diuine Seruiee, and each Parish by it selfe to vse the said Recreation after Diuine Seruiee. Prohibiting likewise any Offensiue weapons to bee carried or vsed in the said times of Recreations. And Our pleasure is, That this Our Declaration shall bee published by order from the Bishop of the Diocesse, through all the Parish Churches, and that both Our Iudges of Our Circuit, and Our Iustiees of Our Peace be informed thereof.
Giuen at Our Mannour of Greenwich the foure and twentieth day of May, in the sixteenth yeere of Our Raigne of England, France and Ireland, and of Scotland the one and fiftieth.
NOw out of a like pious Care for the seruice of God, and for suppressing of any humors that oppose trueth, and for the Ease, Comfort, & Recreation of Our well deseruing People, Wee doe ratifie and publish this Our blessed Fathers Declaration: The rather because of late in some Counties of Our Kingdome, Wee finde that vnder pretence of taking away abuses, there hath been a generall forbidding, not onely of ordinary meetings, but of the Feasts of the Dedication of the Churches, commonly called Wakes. Now Our expresse will and pleasure is, that these Feasts with others shall bee obserued, and that Our Iustiees of the peace in their seuerall Diuisions shall looke to it, both that all disorders there may be preuented or punished, and that all neighbourhood and freedome, with manlike and lawfull Exercises bee vsed. And Wee farther Command Our Iustiees of Assize in their seuerall Circuits, to see that no man doe trouble or molest any of Our loyall and duetifull people, in or for their lawfull Recreations, hailing first done their duetie to God, and continuing in obedience to Vs and Our Lawes. And of this Wee command all Our Iudges, Iustiees of the Peace, as well within Liberties as without, Maiors, Bayliffes, Constables, and other Officers, to take notice of, and to see obserued, as they tender Our displeasure. And Wee farther will, that publication of this Our Command bee made by order from the Bishops through all the Parish Churches of their seuerall Diocesse respectiuely.
Giuen at Our Palace of Westminster the eighteenth day of October, in the ninth yeere of Our Reigne.
God saue the King.1
This then in its completed form is the famous Book of Sports, more properly called “the King’s Declaration of Sports,” so often and so bitterly referred to by our New England forefathers. Samuel R. Gardiner says of it, as originally issued by James, that—
with the exception of a clause by which the benefit of the liberty accorded was refused to all who absented themselves from the service—a clause by which it was intended to strike a blow at recusancy, but which in reality bribed men to worship God by the alluring prospect of a dance in the afternoon—little objection would be taken to the general scope of the declaration which James founded upon Morton’s recommendations.2
Mr. Gardiner does not of course intend to express approval of certain passages requiring the enforcement of the laws concerning conformity. But even so his approval, though marking the change that has come over the English speaking people in the matter of Sunday observance at the close of the nineteenth century, would not meet with universal acceptance—teste the Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Declaration of Sports., ten days after it was signed by the King, was sent out to the Bishops by the Primate, with a letter as follows:
“Salutem in Christo.” My very good lord. It hath pleased his majesty to command the reprinting of a declaration published in his royal father’s time of blessed memory, and intituled, “The king’s majesty’s declaration to his subjects concerning lawful sports to be used, etc.” wherein, as your lordship shall find at the latter end thereof, every bishop is enjoined to see that the books be distributed to the several parishes within his diocese, and there published to the people, to the end they may know his majesty’s princely care over them; and to the effectual performance of this I make no doubt, your lordship will use all diligeuce. And I am commanded to give you notice thereof, because his majesty expects no less from you; and your officers are to send for the books accordingly. So with my love remembered, I leave you to the grace of God and rest
Your lordships very loving friend and brother,
Lambeth October 28.
M. dc xxxiii.
It does not appear that Laud was especially responsible for the reissue of the Declaration or particularly energetic in enforcing it,—rather the reverse,—but the writer in Chambers’s Encyclopaedia is doubtless correct in saying that the Puritans believed the Declaration was drawn up by him. This obviously was not the case; and there is no reason to suppose that he had anything to do with the matter until the time of this reissue in 1633. He was not with James on his return from Scotland in 1617 and James’s adviser, so far as appears, was Morton, Bishop of Chester.2 The fact is that the Puritans knew Laud to be their ablest opponent and the head and front of the opposition, so that popularly whatever was done against them was ascribed to him. . Serjeant Wilde in his opening speech at Laud’s trial for high treason laid great stress on the Book of Sports, thus:
A Bead-Roll of Particulars might be recited, wherein this Reconcilement [of England and Rome] was to be wrought in Points of Free-Will, Merits, Justification, Universal Grace, Purgatory; and, in effect, all the rest.
To draw on these, there must be an introducing of Popish Ceremonies in all the Particulars contained in the Mass-Books, and Pontificals themselves: And to make way for these, the Book of Sports must be published, and pressed beyond the King’s Intention or Declaration, which was but a civil Command: but he subjoins Ecclesiastical Penalties, even the sharpest, Suspension, Deprivation, and the like; these executed on divers good and godly Men with a high Hand. Thus a Liberty proclaimed not to Captives but to profane Caitiffs; this Day set apart by God ab œtemo, exposed and prostituted to all Looseness and Irreligion, and that by a law; This Lamb taken out of his Bosom.
Jehosophat sends Priests and Levites into all the Cities and Tribes to instruct them: This Prelate sends Declarations and Injunctions to corrupt them, and to extinguish the Lamp and Light of Religion. In the former Acts he destroys the Protestants; in this Religion itself. In the one, he leaves Superstition; in the other, nothing but Atheism and Profaueness: . . . as did the Apostate Julian.1
This speech of Serjeant Wilde reminds one of the more celebrated speech of Serjeant Buzfuz.
Though for various reasons the Book of Sports was peculiarly obnoxious to the Puritans, I do not think it was intended either in its original issue, or when issued again by Charles, as a trap to catch the Puritan clergy as Arthur Wilson, the contemporary chronicler, says it was. Wilson was of the household of that peculiar and not estimable sort of Puritan, the Earl of Warwick, and is neither a careful nor a scrupulous sort of person; but I imagine that this account which he gives represents the popular idea of the time of the Commonwealth:
Some of the Bishops, pretending Recreations, and liberty to servants and the common people . . . procured the King to put out a Book to permit dancing about May-poles, Church-ales, and such debauched Exercises upon the Sabbath-day . . . This Book being only a trap to catch some conscientious men, that they could not otherwise with all their cunning insnare: For they would preach the Gospel in a Fools-coat (as some of them exprest) rather than be silenced for a Surplis. And their Conjuring of them with the Cross in Baptism, and the Circle of the Ring in Marriage, could not make a well-composed Reason, and a sound Conscience then start at it: But when so frightful an Apparition as the dancing Book appeared, some of the Ministers, left all for fear, others by force, they were so terrified with it. . . . This new incroachment upon the Sabbath gave both King and people more liberty to profane the day with authority.1
The history of the book is as we see to a large extent contained in the book itself and appears to be correctly given. The main point of course concerns the way of keeping the first day of the week, though this was by no means the only point in dispute.
As a matter of indisputable fact, the English Sunday is in the later centuries a purely English invention2 which was first advocated in England at some time not very long before the Spanish Armada.3 Taken up by many of the Calvinists, it spread to Scotland and at one time obtained a slight foothold on the Continent. The English speaking Puritans generally adopted it, and in the time of the Commonwealth it came to be a national tradition, accepted by almost all English speaking people, Irish Roman Catholics being the only considerable exception. It is not the Jewish Sabbath transferred to the first day of the week—for the strictest Jews did not forbid music, feasting and dancing. The Jew forbade work, the Puritan also forbade work more or less strictly—not quite on the same lines with the Jew. But it was the Puritan who forbade play. To write, as Wilson does, of the action of James in forbidding the entire suppression of sports on Sunday as “a new incroachment upon the Sabbath” is entirely absurd. The King was simply in some degree resisting a new encroachment upon the immemorial liberties of the people. The question of what relation, if any, the Christian weekly festival bore to the Jewish was debated among theologians, but the Christian festival was not called the Sabbath, nor kept anywhere after the Puritan model by any, until towards the end of Elizabeth’s reign.
Martin Marprelate charges one of “that swinish herd” the English Bishops, I think it was “dumb dunsical John,” alias the Bishop of London, with playing bowls on Sunday, and writes of “solemnizing the Sabbath.” But John Knox visiting John Calvin on a Sunday is said to have found him bowling,—if the story is not true it might have been: and in Geneva at the time of the Commonwealth Evelyn records the pomp and circumstance of the usual Sunday afternoon shooting-matches in which he took part. Such use of language and the objection to the Sunday sport was still very unusual even in England, though in the North there had already been some considerable, I do not find just how much, restriction. And when James returned through Lancashire from Scotland, the Lancashire people, emboldened it is said by the interest he had shown in their sports, even having himself acted as judge on his way North, petitioned for a removal of the restrictions which, apparently entirely without warrant of law, the magistrates had imposed upon them. James is said to have then made two Declarations on the subject, one in a speech at Myerscough Lodge, the other the next day at Houghton Tower,1 where the petition was presented. This was a really tine fortified Castle belonging to an old family claiming Saxon descent. Here the King was entertained for two or three days. It was here on 17 August, being Sunday, during the King’s visit, that, as Nicholas Assheton records in his Journal:
The Bushopp of Chester p̃ched before the King. To dinner. Abt 4 o’clock, ther was a rushbearing2 and pipeing afore them, affore the King in the middle court; then to supp. Then, ab’ ten or eleven o’clock a maske of noblemen, knights, gentlemen, and courtiers, afore the King, in the middle round, in the garden. Some speeches: of the rest, dancing the Huckler, Tom Bedlo, and the Cowp Justice of Peace.3
I give this at some length because of the occasion and as an illustration of what James considered lawful sports on a Sunday afternoon.
On this day a petition was presented to the King principally signed by Lancashire peasants, tradesmen and servants, representing that they were debarred from lawful recreations upon Sunday, after evening prayers, and upon holidays, and praying that the restrictions imposed in 1579 by Henry Earl of Derby, Henry Earl of Huntingdon,4 William, Bishop of Chester, and other high commissioners, might be withdrawn. These restrictions the royal visitor condemned.1
The King’s action in this matter produced results which he neither anticipated nor desired, for in some places the people celebrated their liberty by assembling during service-time and making intentional disturbance, against which abuse the King’s subsequent Proclamation is so largely directed. There was much opposition to the Declaration, among the recalcitrant being the Archbishop of Canterbury. The King did not insist very strenuously on the reading of his Declaration by the clergy and the matter was more or less lost sight of until the reign of his son.
Meantime the feeling in favor of a stricter Sunday had grown, and in the first of Charles I. was passed “An Act for punishing divers abuses committed on the Lord’s day, called Sunday,” which reads:
that the holy keeping of the Lords day, is a principall part of the true Service of God, which in very many places of this Realme hath beene and now is pphaned and neglected by a disorderlie sort of people . . . Be it enacted . . . there shalbe no meetings assemblies or concourse of people out of their owne Parishes on the Lords day . . . for any sports or pastimes whatsoever; nor any Bearbaiting, Bullbaiting, Enterludes, Comon Playes or other unlawful exercises and pastimes used by any pson or psous within their owne Parishes.
This is the first Statute of the sort ever passed in England, and in the Parliament of the third of Charles I. it was followed by—
An Act for the further reformation of sondry abuses comitted on the Lords Day comonlie called Sonday. Forasmuch As the Lords Day comonly called Sunday is much broken and ꝑphaned by Carriers Waggoners Carters Waynemen Butchers and Drovers of Cattel to the great dishonor of God and reproach of Religion, Be it therefore Enacted [that these persons mentioned who shall] Travell uppon the said Day [with carts, waggons, wains, etc.] shall lose and forfeit twentie shillings,2
and a butcher, for killing or selling, six shillings and eightpence. Of these acts and the subsequent proceedings arising from them Heylyn says:
Though it was not his Majesties purpose in those Acts to debar any of his good Subjects from any honest and harmless Recreations, which had not been prohibited by the Laws of the Land; or that it should not be lawful for them, in case of necessity, to buy a piece of Meat for the use of their Families, the Butchers Shop not being set open as upon other days: yet presently some Publick Ministers of Justice began to put another sense upon those Acts, than ever came within the compass of his meaning. For at the Summer Assizes held in Exon. Anno 1627. an order was made by Walter, then Chief Baron, and Denham one of the puisne Barons of the Court of Exchequer, for suppressing all Revels, Church-Ales, Clerk-Ales, which had been used upon that day; requiring the Justices of the Peace within the said County to see the same put in execution; and that every Minister in his Parish-Church should publish the said Order yearly, on the first Sunday in February. The like Order made in the same year also for the Counties of Somerset and Dorset, and probably enough for some of the other Counties of that Western Circuit; none of them in those squeasie and unsettled Times being questioned for it. And then in reference to the Statute of the Third of this King, a Warrant is granted in the month of April 1629. by Richard Dean then Lord Mayor of London, for apprehending all Porters carrying Burthens, or Water-men plying at their Oars, all Tankard-bearers carrying Water to their Masters Houses, all Chandlers and Hucksters which bought any Victuals on that day of the Country-Carriers, all Vintners, Alehouse-keepers, Strongwater-men, and Tobacco-sellers, which suffered any Person to sit drinking on that day (though possibly they might do it only for their honest necessities.) In which as Dean out-went the Statute, so Raynton in the same Office, Anno 1633. over-acted Dean, prohibiting a poor woman from selling Apples on that day in St. Paul’s Church-yard, within which place he could pretend no Jurisdiction, and for that cause was questioned and reproved by Laud then Bishop of London.
But none so lustily laid about him in this kind, as Richardson,1 the Chief Justice of his Majesties Bench, who in the Lent-Assizes for the County of Somerset Anno. 1631. published the like order to that which had been made by Walter for the County of Devon; not only requiring that the Justices of the Peace in the said County should see the same to be duly put in execution: but also (as the other had done before) that publication should be made thereof in the Parish-Churches by all such Ministers as did Officiate in the same; with which encroachment on the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, in imposing upon men in Holy Orders the publishing of Warrants and Commands from the Secular Judges, Land being then Bishop of London, and finding his Majesties Affairs in a quieter condition than they had been formerly, was not meanly offended, as he had good reason so to be, and made complaint of it to the King, who thereupon commanded Richardson to revoke the said Order at the next Assizes. But Richardson was so far from obeying his Majesties Command in that particular, that on the contrary he not only confirmed his former Order, but made it more peremptory than before: Upon complaint whereof by Sir Robert Philips,1 and other chief Gentlemen of that County, his Majesty seemed to be very much moved, and gave Command to the Bishop of London to require an Account from the Bishop of Bath and Wells then being, how the said Feast-days, Church-Ales, Wakes, or Revels, were for the most part celebrated and observed in his Diocess.2
Laud accordingly wrote to Bishop Piers 4 October, 1633:
There has been of late some noise in Somersetshire about the Feasts of the Dedications of Churches, commonly called the Wakes, and it seems the Justices of Assize formerly made an order to prohibit them, and caused it to be published in some or most of the churches there by the ministers, without the Lord Bishop’s consent. The pretence for this has been that some disorders are committed at those times, by which argument any thing that is abused may be taken away. There has been some heat in the country about this by the carriage of Lord Chief Justice Richardson, with which his Majesty is not well pleased. He conceives that disorders may be prevented by the Justices of the Peace, and yet leave the feasts to be kept for the neighbourly meetings and recreations of the people. His Majesty is further informed; that the Humorists increase much in those parts, and unite themselves by banding against these feasts which he noway likes. He has commanded the Archbishop to require Bishop Piers to send for some of the gravest of his clergy, and such as stand best affected to the Church and Government, and by them to inform himself how these feasts have been ordered for this last year, and to send up an account to be shown to his Majesty.1
Under date of 5 November, Bishop Piers replies:
On receipt of his letter . . . he sent forth letters to some of the better sort of the clergy, out of every division, part, and corner of Somersetshire to come to him, and he finds by the answers of 72 beneficed ministers in whose parishes Feasts of Dedication of their churches are kept:—I. That those feasts have been kept so long as they have lived in their several parishes without disorders. II. That on the feast days the service of the church has been more solemnly performed, and the church better frequented, than upon any other Sunday in the year. III. That they have not known of any disorders in the neighbouring towns where the like feasts are kept. IV. That the people very much desire their continuance. Lastly. All those ministers are of opinion that it is fit they should be continued, for a memorial of the dedication of their churches, for the civilizing of people, for their lawful recreations, for composing differences by meeting of friends, for increase of love and amity as being feasts of charity, for relief of the poor, the richer sort keeping then open house, and for many other reasons. Believes if he had sent for 100 more of the clergy, he should have received the same answers. . . . throughout Somersetshire there are not only Feasts of Dedication, but Church-ales, Clerk-ales, and Bid-ales. The Feasts of Dedication are called Feast-days or Revel-days, and are not known among the ignorant people as Feasts of Dedication, although all scholars acknowledge them to be so, and one minister who has been a great traveller, has inserted in his answer that in some reformed churches, namely in Switzerland, these feasts are observed. When the constables told their neighbours that the judges would put down these feasts, they answered that it was very hard if they could not entertain their friends once a year, to praise God for his blessings, and pray for the King under whose happy government they enjoy peace and quietness. The chiefest of the dislike of the feasts among the preciser sort, is because they are kept upon Sundays, which they never call but Sabbath days, upon which they would have no manner of recreation, neither roast nor sod. Some of the ministers confess that if the people should not have their lawful recreations upon Sundays after evening prayer they would go either to tippling houses and there talk of matters of church and state, or else into conventicles. Church-ales have been most left off or put down, but by church-ales heretofore many poor parishes have cast their bells, repaired their towers, beautified their churches, and raised stocks for the poor, and not by the sins of the people (as some humorists have said), but by the benevolence of the people at their sports and pastimes. Clerk-ales, for the better maintenance of parish clerks, have been used until of late, and since they have been put down, some ministers are afraid they shall have no parish clerks. A bid-ale is when an honest man decayed in his estate is set up again by the benevolence of friends at a feast, but this is laid aside in almost every place.1
The King did not however wait until this answer was received, but, as we have seen, even before it was written had already provided for the reissue of his father’s Declaration. This action of the King may have been hastened by a Petition to the King, the exact date of which I do not see stated, from twenty-five of the Justices of the Peace for the County of Somerset, headed by John Poulett, first Baron Poulett. They say:
Heretofore there have been several good orders made by Justices of Assize and Justices of Peace for co. Somerset for suppressing church-ales, clerk-ales, bid-ales and revels, by reason of disorders inseperably accompanying the same, whereby they have been for a long time forborne. By occasion of a declaration published last assizes by the Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench for restoring wakes and revels and repealing all orders made against them, and by reason of a rumor thereof spread in the country since the last Assizes, not only all the disorders and prophauation of the Lord’s day, riotous tippling, contempt of authorities, quarrels, murders, &c, have increased this summer, but even the other disorderly assemblies of church-ales, bid-ales, and clerk-ales condemned by the laws have again been set up. Pray the King to grant some more particular declaration that his command may not be thought to extend further than to the upholding of civil feasting between neighbour and neighbour in their houses, and the orderly use of manly exercises, and that they may have his favour to suppress all the before mentioned unlawful assemblies.1
The radical contradictions between this statement and others may be better understood by recalling the conflicting statements of the “temperance” advocates and their opponents in our own time. The statement, however, that the different sorts of ales mentioned were unlawful is simply false, if by unlawful these Justices of the Peace meant against any Statute. The keeping of them was indeed contrary to their own orders,2 which in this case appear to have been in this particular, as in the suppression of the parish festivals and the commanding the clergy to promulgate them under penalty, altogether ultra vires. And there is among the State Papers of this date the—
draft of a royal declaration made or suggested respecting the King’s care to maintain all courts of justice within their true bounds. It refers to the pains he has already taken to that end, and states his purpose to settle a certain order respecting prohibitions in accordance with the ancient laws of the realm.3
There seems to have been ample reason for issuing such a Declaration. The King and the Archbishop both lost their lives, but the Puritan Sabbath triumphed and the hated Book of Sports went first to the hangman thus:
An Order of the Commons assembled in Parliament for the burning of the Book for tolerating Sports upon the Lord’s day—Die Veneris 5, Maii 1643.
It is Ordered by the Lords and Commons in Parliament: that the Booke concerning the injoying and tolerating of Sports upon the Lords day, be forthwith burned by the hand of the Common Hangman in Cheapeside and other usuall places; and to this purpose, the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex respectively are hereby required to be assistant to the effectual execution of this order and see the said Bookes burnt accordingly, and all persons who have any of the said Books in their hands are hereby required forthwith to deliver them to one of the Sheriffs of London, to be burnt according to this order.
The Sheriffs of London and Middlesex have assigned Wednesday next the tenth of this instant May, at twelve of the clock, for . . . all persons to bring them in by that time.1
Mr. Henry H. Edes communicated an unpublished letter dated 15 May, 1747, written by the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Colman of the Brattle Square Church, Boston, to the Rev. Francis Foxcroft of the First Church, concerning an invitation to be present at the ordination of the Rev. Jonathan Mayhew of the West Church which, as is well known, was accomplished with difficulty and only after a second ordaining Council had been called. The letter2 follows:
Boston. May 15. 1747
Rev & dear Sir
Deacon Berry3 & Mr. Gray4 have just now bro’t me a Letter from ye West Chh. to ask our Presence in Council on Wednesday next for ye Ordination of their Pastor Elect. They tell me that of all ye Chh’s in ye Town they have sent only to yours & ours. Mr. Cooper5 is gone away, & whether Dr Chauncey6 is returned I know not.
I freely told ye Brethren ye great Uneasiness & Displieency it must be to me to be asked without ye Presence of ye Revd Dr Sewal,1 Prince,2 Webb3 &c ~. I shal be glad to know your Mind & Counsel on this Occasion. I had my Cloke on just now & had got out of doors to have come up to your House. If you come out this afternoon, you wil oblige me by calling on me. If you can’t come out & ye Sun shines, I’ll wait on you. Our Peace & Edification at home, is I fear threatned whether we send, or not. How it may be wth. You I know not. But I pray God to give us Peace, with Truth & Holiness, always, by all Means.
Your affec. Brother & Servt
Rev. Mr. Foxcroft.
On behalf of Dr. Horace Howard Furness, a Corresponding Member, Mr. Edes presented a copy of a reprint of the New-England Weekly Journal of 8 April, 1728.
Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis exhibited a photograph of a Provincial Ten Shilling Bill, and spoke as follows:
This photograph of a ten shilling bill of public credit of the Province of Massachusetts, the original of which was printed from the plate prepared in 1713, brings before us a new specimen of the Provincial currency for which we are indebted to the courtesy of Dr. Samuel A. Green, the owner of the bill. The dates inscribed upon the margin of the plate, 1714 and 1716, indicate that the plate was used for emissions in those years, and the necessary inference is that this bill was emitted in 1716. The inscription at the top of the bill “An Angel” compels those who are not familiar with numismatics to turn back to the days when Rose Nobles, Florences, Ryals, Angels, Groats, and Sterlings, were current in England, and grope among the terms of an unfamiliar currency, would they seek for some knowledge of the reason why this bill was denominated an Angel. Perhaps the answer furnished by such an examination will not even then be entirely satisfactory.
The Angel is ordinarily defined in our encyclopedic dictionaries as a gold coin, first introduced in 1465, in the days of Edward IV., and having then a value of six shillings and eight pence. The last coinage of this piece was in the reign of Charles I., the date generally assigned being 1634, and the value of the coin then being ten shillings.
Leake, in his Nummi Britannici Historia,1 gives an earlier date for the appearance of this coin in England. Referring to what he terms the “Indenture the First of his Reign,”—meaning not merely the first indenture but the indenture in the first year of the reign of Henry VI., that is, 1422,—Leake says: “And instead of Nobles and Half-Nobles were coin’d by the same Indenture, Angels, or Half-Angels, Sixty seven one half to the Pound, going for six Shillings and eight Pence, or a proportionable Number of Angelets, going for three Shillings and four Pence.” Under Edward IV. the Angel continued to be coined and was still rated at six shillings and eight pence. Under Henry VIII. the indentures of 1509, 1532, and 1534, rated the Angel at seven shillings and six pence, while that of 1543 put them at eight shillings. In the year 1553, in the days of Edward VI., the nominal value of the coin was raised to ten shillings. They were coined under Mary, Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I. Various dates are assigned to the last coinage of the Angel in the days of Charles. The only indenture of that reign mentioned by Leake is that of 1627.
I have intimated that the examination of the history of the coinage might fail to furnish a satisfactory explanation for the adoption of this title for a ten shilling bill in Massachusetts in 1714. It was nearly one hundred years since one of these coins had been issued from the mint, and the name must have been a mere memory in the minds of learned men with antiquarian tastes. A glance at the photograph of the bill will show that no provision was made by the engraver for the insertion of the title. To find a place for it he had to erase a portion of the border which was intended to enclose without a break the legend of the bill. Evidently the gratification of this whim—if whim on the part of an antiquary the insertion of this title was—was indulged at the expense of the feelings of the engraver. Just before this plate was engraved it was found that the ten shilling bill had been extensively counterfeited, and all bills of that denomination were called in. Strange views then prevailed as to what constituted security against counterfeiters. At first blush it would not seem that the insertion of the words “An Angel” could be of value in this direction, but it will not do positively to assume that this was not so in 1714.
The “Angel” seems to have been considered by Judge Sewall the right thing for a tip. Turning to his Diary we find eleven references under the word “Angel” in the Index. December twenty-third, 1713, he says: “Midweek I went to Cambridge in a Calash, visited Mr. Brattle, who has been very sick. Gave him an Angel to buy him and Madam Brattle a pair of Gloves. I din’d there in his study.”1 December first, 1714, he records that he sent “Drs. Mather each of them an Angel.”2 November sixteenth, 1715, he repeated his gift to the Doctors, and was able to enter in the Diary that “they Accept very Courteously.”3 At a later date, October twenty-eighth, 1719, he refers to this as an established custom: “I sent to each of the Doctors [Mather] an Angel as I us’d to do.”4 On one occasion he describes his gift as an “Angel Bill of Credit.”5
In 1713 Samuel Sewall was on the Committee to sign bills of public credit.6 On the tenth of November this Committee was instructed to prepare “two new Plates, & four Bills to be engraven on each of them, of such Sums, as they with the Treasurer shall think to be most convenient.”7 These plates, one of which contained the ten shilling bill, were spoken of in June, 1714, as “already prepared,”8 and although the Angel presented to Mr. and Mrs. Brattle, 13 December, 1713, is not specifically described in the Diary as a bill of public credit, doubtless it was a freshly printed bill, one of the earliest emissions from the newly prepared plate. It is certain that the ten shilling bill of the 1702 plates did not contain the words “An Angel.”9 We have no specimen of the ten shilling Old Colony bill, but the probability is that there were no special means employed to distinguish the several denominations of that emission other than the numerals and the language used in the face of the bill.
It is plain that the title of the bill greatly pleased Judge Sewall, and if the presence of the. words “An Angel” on the plate could by any chance be traced to his intervention, one could easily imagine the satisfaction with which he signed the “Angels,” which in the engraved series were to be found on “the pound plate,” in red or black, according to the rule laid down in his Mnemonic hexameter, the meaning of which was so long a puzzle to those who sought to interpret it.1