◆   Anno Domini 1624   ◆

The time of new election of their officers, for this year being come; and the number of their people Increased; and their troubles and occasions therewith.1 The Governour desired them to change the persons, as well as renew the Election; and also to add more Assistants to the Governour for help & counsel, and the better carrying on of affairs. Showing that it was necessary it should be so; If it was any honour, or benefit, it was fit others should be made partakers of it? If it was a burthen? (as doubtless it was) it was but equal others should help to bear it; and ^that^2 this was the end3 of Annual Elections. The Issue was, that as before there was but one Assistant, they now chose 5, giving the Governour a double voice; and aftwards they Increased them to 7, which Course hath continued to this day.4

They having with some trouble & charge new-masted, and rigged their pinnace; in the beginning of March they sent her well victualed to the eastward on fishing; she arrrived safely at ^a place near^5 Damariscove, and was there well harbored, in a place where ships used to ride, there being also some ships already arrived out of England. But shortly after there [109] Arose such a violent, & extraordinary storm, as the seas broke over such places in the harbor as was never seen before.6 And drive her against great rocks, which beat such a hole in her bilge, as a horse, and cart, might have gone in, and after drive her into deep water where she lay sunk; the master was drowned, the rest of the men—^all save one^7—saved their lives, with much ado; all her provision, salt, and what else was in her was lost, and here I must leave ^her^ to lie till afterward.

Some of those that still remained here on their particular; began privately to nourish a faction, and being privy to a strong faction, that was among the adventurers in England, on whom sundry of them did depend. By their private whispering, they drew some of the weaker sort ^of the company^ to their side, and so filled them with discontent; as nothing would satisfy them, except they might be suffered to be in their particular also; and made great offers, so they might be freed from the general. The Governour consulting with the ablest of the general body what was best to be done herein; it was resolved to permit them so to do upon equal conditions. The conditions were the same in effect with the former before related.8 Only some more added, as that they should be bound here to remain till the general partnership was ended. And also that they should pay into the store, the one half of all such goods, and commodities as they should any ways raise above their food, in Consideration of what charge had been laid out on ^for^9 them, with some such-like things. This liberty granted, soon stopped this gap, for there was but a few that undertook this course, when it came to [it]; and they were as soon weary of it. For the other had persuaded them, & (Mr. Weston together) that there would never come more supply to the general body; but the particulars had such friends as would carry all, and do for them I know not what.

Shortly after Mr. Winslow came over, and brought a pretty good supply, and the ship came on fishing (a thing fatal to this plantation).10 He brought 3 heifers & a bull, the first beginning of any cattle of that kind in the land, with some clothing, & other necessaries, as will further appear; but withal the report of a strong faction amongst the adventurers against them, and especially against the coming of the rest from Leiden, and with what difficulty this supply was procured, and ^how^ by their strong, & long opposition business was so retarded; as not only they were now fallen too late for the fishing season; but the best men were taken up, of the fishermen in the west country, and he was forced to take such a master, & company for that Employment, as he could procure upon the present. Some letters from thence shall better declare these things. Being as followeth. [110]

Most worthy, & loving friends, your kind & loving letters I have received and render you many thanks, &c. It hath pleased God to stir up the hearts of our adventurers, to raise a new stock, for the setting forth of this ship called the Charity, with men & necessaries, both for the plantation, and the fishing; though accomplished with very great difficulty. In regard we have some amongst us; which undoubtedly aim more at their own private ends, and the thwarting, & opposing of some here; and other worthy Instrumentsx of God’s glory elsewhere;x He means Mr. Robinson. than at the general good, and furtherance of this Noble, & laudable action. Yet again we have many other, and I hope the greatest part very honest Christian men; which I am persuaded their ends and Intents are wholly for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, In the propagation of his gospel; and hope of gaining those poor savages to the knowledge of God. But as we have a proverb, one scabbed sheep may mar a whole flock; so these malcontented persons, & turbulent spirits, do what in them lieth, to withdraw men’s hearts, from you, and your friends, yea even from the general business; and yet under ^show and^11 pretence of godliness, and furtherance of the plantation. Whereas some the quite contrary doth plainly appear; as some of the honester-hearted men (though of late of their faction) did make manifest, at our late meeting. But what should I trouble you, or myself, with these restless opposers of all goodness; and I doubt will be continual disturbers of our friendly meetings, & love. On Thursday the 8[th] of January we had a meeting about the articles, between you, & us; where they would reject that, which we in our late letters pressed you to grant (an addition to the time of our Joint stock). And their reason which they would make known to us; was it troubled their conscience to exact longer time of you, than was agreed upon at the first. But that night they were so followed,12 and crossed of their perverse courses, as they were even wearied; and offered to sell their adventures; and some were willing to buy. But I doubting they would raise more scandal and false reports; and so diverse ways do us more hurt, by going off in such a fury; than they could, or can by continuing adventurers amongst us, Would not suffer them. But on the 12[th] of January we had another meeting (but in the Interim diverse of us had talked with most of them privately, and had great Combats, & reasoning, pro, & con[)]. But at night when we met to read the general ^letter^ x But this lasted not long; they had now provided; Lyford & others to send over.we had the lovingest, and friendliest, meeting that ever Ix knew, and our greatest enemies, offered to lend us £50. So I sent for a pottle of wine (I would you could* do the like) which we drank friendly together. Thus God can turn the hearts of men, when it pleaseth him, &c. Thus loving friends I heartily salute you all in the Lord, hoping ever to rest,

January 25, 1623.

Yours to my power,

James Sherley [109v]

Another letter.

Beloved ^Sir^, &c. We have ^now^ sent you, we hope men & means, to settle these 3 things, viz. fishing, salt-making, and boat-making; if you can bring them to pass to some perfection, your wants may be supplied. I pray you bend yourself what you can to settle these businesses; let the ship be fraught away13 as soon as you can; and sent to Bilboa.14 You must send some discrete man for factor.15 Whom once more, you must also authorise, to confirm the conditions; if Mr. Winslow could be spared, I could wish he came again.

This ship carpenter is thought to be the fittest man for you in the land and will no doubt do you much good, let him have an absolute ^command^ over his servants, & such as you put to him. Let him build you 2 ketches, a lighter, and some 6 or 7 shallops,16 as soon as you can. The Salt-man is a skilfull, & Industrious man, put some to him, that may quickly apprehend the mystery of it.17 The preacher we have sent, is (we hope) an honest plain man, though none of the most eminent, and rare; about choosing him into office, use your own liberty, & discretion; he knows he is no officer amongst you, though perhaps custom, & universality may make him forget himself. Mr. Winslow, & myself, gave way to his going, to give content, to some here; and we see no hurt in it, but only his great charge of children.18

We have took a patent for Cape Anne, &c. I am sorry there is no more discretion used by some, in their letters hither. Some say you are starved in body, &This was John Oldham, & his like. soul, others that you eat pigs, & dogs that die alone; others that the things here spoken of the goodness of the country, are gross, and palpable lies; that there is scarce a fowl, to be seen, or a fish to be taken, and many such like. I would such discontented men were here again; for it is a misery when the whole state of a plantation, shall be thus exposed, to the passionate humors of some discontented men. And for myself I shall hinder, for hereafter some that would go, and have not better composed their affections; meanspace it is all our crosses, and we must bear them.

I am sorry we have not sent you more, and other things; but in truth we have run into so much charge, to victual the ship, provide salt, & other fishing Implements, &c., as we could not provide other comfortable things, as butter, sugar, &c. I hope the return of this ship, and the James, will put us in cash again. The Lord make you full of courage, in this troublesome business, which now must be stuck unto, till God give us rest from our labours. Farewell in all hearty affection,

January 24, 1623.

Your assured friend,

R[obert] C[ushman]

With the former letter writ by Mr. Sherley ^there^19 were sent sundry objections Concerning which he thus writeth. “These are the chief objections which they [112] That are now returned make against you, and the country; I pray you consider them, and answer them by the first conveniency.” These objections were made by some of those that came over on their particular and were returned home, as is before mentioned,20 and were of the same suit with those that this other letter mentions.

I shall here set them down, with the answers ^then^ made unto them, and sent over at the return of this ship. Which did so confound the objectors; As some confessed their fault, and others denied what they had said, and eat their words, & some others of them, have since come over again, and here lived to convince themselves sufficiently; both in their own, & other men’s Judgments.

Having thus dispatched these things, that I may handle things together, I shall here Insert 2 other letters, from Mr. Robinson their pastor, the one to the Governour, the other to Mr. Brewster their Elder; which will give much light to the former things; and express the tender love, & care of a true ^pastor^ over them.

His letter to the Governour.My loving & much beloved friend, whom God hath hitherto preserved, preserve and keep you still to his glory, and the good of many; that his blessing may make your godly, and wise endeavours answerable to the valuation which they there have, & set upon the same. Of your love to, and care for us here, we never doubted; so are we glad to take knowledge of it, in that fulness we do; our love & care to, and for you, is mutual; though our hopes of coming [114] unto you be small, and weaker than ever. But of this at large in Mr. Brewster’s letter, with whom you, and he with you mutually, I know communicate your letters; as I desire you may do these, &c.

Concerning the killing of those poor Indians; of which we heard at first by report, and since by more certain relation. Oh how happy a thing had it been, if you had converted some, before you had killed any; besides where blood is once begun to be shed, it is seldom stanched off a long time after. You will say they deserved it, I grant it; but upon what provocations, and invitements, by those heathenishx Christians? Besides you being no magistrates over them, were tox Mr. Weston’s men. consider, not what you ^they^ deserved, but what you were by necessity constrained to Inflict.26 Necessity of this, especially of killing ^so^ of many (and many more it seems they would, if they could) I see not. Methinks, one or two principals should have been full enough; according to that approved rule, the punishment to a few, and the fear to many. Upon this occasion, let me be bold to exhort you, seriously to consider of the disposition of your captain, whom I love; and am persuaded, the Lord in great mercy, and for much good, hath sent you him, if you use him aright. He is a man humble, and meek amongst you,27 and towards all in ordinary course. But now if this be merely from an humane spirit, there is cause to fear that by occasion, especially of provocation; there may be wanting that tenderness of the life of man (made after God’s Image) which is meet. It is also a thing more glorious, in men’s eyes, than pleasing in God’s, or convenient for Christians, to be a terrour to poor barbarous people; and indeed I am afraid lest by these occasions, others should be drawn to affect a kind of ruffling course in the world. I doubt not but you will take in good part these things which I write, and as there is cause make use of them. It were to us more comfortable, and convenient, that we communicated our mutual helps in presence; but seeing that cannot be done, we shall always long after you, and love you, and wait God’s appointed time. The adventurers it seems have neither money, nor any great mind of us, for the most part; they deny it, to be any part of the Covenants betwixt us, that they should transport us, neither do I look for any ^further^ help from them, till means come from you. We here are strangers in effect to the whole course; and so both we, and you (save as your own wisdoms, and worths, have intressed28 you further) of principals29 intended in this business, are scarce accessories, &c. My wife with me, re-salutes you, & yours. Unto him who is the same to his in all places, and near to them, which are far, from one another, I commend you and all with you, resting,

Leiden, December 19, 1623.

Yours truly loving,

John Robinson

His to Mr. Brewster.Loving and dear friend, and brother; that which I most desired of God in regard of you, namely the continuance of your life, and health, and the safe coming of these sent unto you; that I most gladly hear of, and praise God for the same. And I hope Mrs. Brewster’s weak, and decayed state of Body, will have some repairing, by the coming of her daughters,30 and the provisions in this and former ships, I hear is made for you. Which makes us with more patience bear our languishing state, and the deferring of our desired transportation. Which I call desired, rather than hoped for; whatsoever you are borne in hand by any others. For first there is no hope at all, that I know, or can conceive of, of any new stock to be raised for that end; so that all must depend [115] upon returns from you, in which are ^so^ many uncertainties; as that nothing with any certainty can thence be concluded. Besides, howsoever for the present, the adventurers allege nothing but want of money, which is an Invincible dif[fi]culty; yet if that be taken away by you, others without doubt will be found. For the better clearing of this, we must dispose the adventurers into 3 parts; and of them some 5 or 6 (as I conceive) are absolutely bent for us, above any others; other 5 or 6 are our bitter ^professed^ adversaries; the rest being the body, I Conceive to be honestly minded, & lovingly also towards us, yet such as have others (namely the forward preachers) nearer unto them, than us; and whose course so far as there is any difference, they would rather advance than ours.31 Now what a hank32 these men have over the professors you know. And I persuade myself, that for me, they of all others, are unwilling I should be transported, especially such of them, as have an eye that way themselves; as thinking if I come there, their market will be marred, in many regards. And for these adversaries; if they have but half the wit, to their malice, they will stop my course; when they see it Intended, for which this delaying, serveth them very opportunely. And as one restie Jade33 can hinder, by hanging back, more than two, or 3 ^can^34 (or will at least, if they be not very free) draw forward, so will it be in this case. A notable experiment of this, they gave in your messenger’s presence; constraining the company to promise, that none of the money now gathered, should be expended, or Employed to the help of any of us towards you.35

Now touching the question propounded by you. I judge it not lawful for you, being a ruling Elder, as Rom. 12:7, 8 & ^1^ Tim. 5:17,36 opposed to the Elders, that teach, & exhort, and labor in the word and doctrine, to which the sacraments are annexed; to administer them, nor convenient, if it were lawful. Whether any learned man will come unto you, or not, I know not; If any do, you must Consilium capere in arena.37

Be you most heartily saluted, & your wife with you, both from me, & mine. Your God, & ours, and the God of all his, bring us together if it be his will, & keep us in the meanwhile, and all ways to his glory; and make us serviceable to his majesty, and faithful to the End. Amen.

Leiden, December 20, 1623.

Your very loving brother,

John Robinson

These things premised, I shall now prosecute the proceedings, and affairs here; and before I come to other things, I must speak a word of their planting this year; they having found the benefit of their last year’s harvest, and setting corn for their particular, having thereby with a great deal of patience, overcome hunger, & famine. Which makes me remember a saying of Seneca’s, Epistle 123, That a great part of liberty, is a well-governed belly; and to be patient in all wants.38 They began now highly to prize corn, as more precious then silver; And those that ^had^ some to spare, began to trade one with another, for small things, by the quart, pottle,39 & peck, &c. (for money they had none) and if any had, corn was preferred before it. That they might therefore increase their tillage, to better advantage; they made suit [116] To the Governour to have some portion of land given them for continuance, and not by yearly lot; for by that means, that which the more Industrious had brought into good Culture (by much pains), one year; came to leave it the next, and often another might Enjoy it; so as the dressing of their lands were the more slighted over, & to less profit. Which being well considered, their request was granted. And to every person was given only one acre of land, to them, & theirs, as near the town as might be; and they had no more till the 7 years were expired. The reason was, that they might be kept ^close^ together, both for more safety and defence, and the better Improvement of the general Employments. Which condition of theirs, did make me often think, of what I had read in Pliny, of the Romans’ first beginnings in Romulus’ time, HowPliny, lib. 18, chap. 2. every man contented himself with 2 Acres of land, and had no more assigned them. And chap. 3, It was thought a great reward, to receive at the hands of the people of Rome, a pint of Corn.40 And long after; the greatest present given to a Captain, that had got a victory over their enemies; was as much ground as they Could till in one day. And he was not counted a good, but a dangerous man; that would not content himself ^with^ 7 Acres of land. As also how they did pound their corn in mortars; as these people were forced to do, many years before they could get a mill.41

The ship which brought this supply, was speedily discharged, and with her ^master &^ Company sent to Cape Anne (of which place they had got a patent, as Before is shewed) on fishing, and because the season was so far spent some of the planters were sent to help to build their stage, to their own hinderance. But partly by the lateness of the year; and more especially by the baseness of the master, ^one Baker,^42 they made a poor voyage of it; he proved a very drunken beast, and did nothing (in a manner) but drink, & gustle,43 and Consume away the time & his victuals, and most of his company followed his example; and though Mr. William Peirce was to oversee the business, & to be master of the ship home; yet he could do no good amongst them; so as the loss was great; and would have been more to us ^them^, but that we ^they^ kept one a-trading there, which [in]44 those times got some store of skins, which was some help unto them.45

The ship-Carpenter that was sent them, was an honest, and very Industrious man, and followed his labour very diligently, and made all that were Employed with him do the like; he quickly built them 2 very good & strong shallops (which after did them great service) and a great, and strong lighter; and had hewn timber for 2 Catches, but that was lost, for he fell into a fever, in the hot season of the year, and though he had the best means the place could afford, yet he died; of whom they had a very [117] great loss, and were very sorry for his death. But he which ^whom^46 they sent to make salt, was an Ignorant, foolish, self-willed fellow;47 he bore them in hand, he Could do great matters, in making saltworks; so he was sent to seek out fit ground for his purpose, and after some search, he told the Governour that he had found a sufficient place, with a good bottom, to hold water, and otherwise very convenient, which he doubted not, but in a short time, to bring to good perfection; and to yield them great profit, but he must have 8 or ten men, to be constantly Employed. He was wished to be sure that the ground was good, and other things answerable, and that he could bring it to perfection; otherwise he would bring upon them a great charge by Employing himself and so many men. But he was after some trial, so confident, as he caused them to send carpenters to rear a great frame for a large house, to receive the salt, & such other uses. But In the end all proved vain; then he laid fault of the ground in which he was deceived; but if he might have the lighter to carry clay, he was sure then he could do it. Now though the Governour & some other foresaw that this would come to little, yet they had so many malignant spirits amongst them; that would have laid it upon them, in their letters of complaint to the adventurers; as to be their fault that would not suffer him to go on, to bring his work to perfection; for48 as he by his bold confidence, & large promises, deceived them in England that sent him; so had he wound himself into these men’s ^high^ esteem here. So as they were fain to let him go on till all men saw his vanity. For he could not do anything but boil salt in pans, & yet would make them, that were Joined with him believe, there was so great a mystery in it, as was not easy ^to^ be attained, and made them do many unnecessary things to blind their Eyes, till they discerned his subtilty. The next year he was sent to Cape Anne, and the pans were set up there, where the fishing was; but before summer was out he burnt the house, and the fire was so ve^he^ment,49 as it spoiled the pans, at least some of them, and this was the End of that chargeable business.

The 3rd eminent person (which the letters before mention) was the minister, which they sent over. By name Mr. John Lyford, of whom, & whose doings I must be more large, though I shall abridge things as much as I can.50 When this man first came ashore, he saluted them with that reverence, & humility, as is seldom to be seen, and Indeed made them ashamed ^he so^ bowed, and cringed unto them, and would have kissed their hands, if they would have [118] suffered him; yea he wept & shed many tears, blessing GodOf which were many witnesses. that had brought him to see their faces; and admiring the things they had done in their wants, & as if he had been made all of love, and the humblest person in the world. And all the while (if we may Judge by his after-carriages) he was but like him mentioned in Psa. 10:10, That “croucheth, & boweth, that heaps of poor, may fall by his might.” Or like to that dissembling Ishmael, who when he had slain Gedeliah, went out ^weeping^ and met them that were coming to offer Sacrifice ^Incense^ In the house of the Lord; saying “Come Jer. 41:6.to Gedeliah,” when he meant to slay them. They gave him the best entertainment they could (in all simplicity), and a larger allowance of food out of the store, than any other had, and as the Governour had used, in all weighty affairs to consult with their Elder Mr. Brewster (together with his assistants), so51 now he called Mr. Lyford also to Counsel with them in their weightiest businesses. After some short time he desired to Join himself a member to the church here, and was accordingly received. He made a large confession of his faith; and an acknowledgement of his former disorderly walking, and ^his^ being Entangled with many corruptions, which had been a burthen to his conscience; and blessed God for this opportunity, of freedom & liberty, to Enjoy the ordinances of God in purity among his people, with many more such-like expressions. I must here speak a word also of Mr. John Oldham (who was a copartner with him, in his after-courses); he had been a chief stickler in the former faction among the particulars, and an Intelligencer to those in England.52 But now since the coming of this ship and ^he^53 saw the supply that came; he took occasion, to open his mind to some of the chief amongst them here, and confessed he had done them wrong both by word, & deed, & writing into England; but he now saw the eminent hand of God to be with them, and his blessing upon them, which made his heart smite him, neither should those in England ever use him as an Instrument any longer against them in anything; he also desired former things might be forgotten and that they would look upon him, as one that desired to close with them in all things, with such-like expressions. Now whether this was in hypocrisy, or out of some sudden pang of conviction (which I rather think) God only knows; upon it they shew all readiness to Embrace his love, and carry towards him in all friendliness, and called him to counsel with them in all chief affairs, as the other, without any distrust at all.

Thus all things seemed to go very comfortably, and smoothly on amongst them, at which they did much rejoice; but this lasted not [119] long; for both Oldham, & he grew very perverse, and shewed a spirit of great malignancy, drawing as many into faction as they could; were they never so vile, or profane, they did nourish & back them in all their doings; so they would but cleave to them, and speak against the church here; so as there was nothing but private meetings and whisperings amongst them, they feeding themselves, & others; with what they should bring to pass in England by the faction of their friends there, which brought others as well as themselves into a fool’s paradise. Yet they could not carry so closely but much of both their doings & sayings were discovered; yet outwardly they still set a fair face of things.

At length when the ship was ready to go, it was observed Lyford was long in writing & sent many letters; and could not forbear to communicate to his Intimates, such things, as made them laugh in their sleeves, and thought he had done their errand sufficiently; The Governour and some other of his friends knowing how things stood in England, and what hurt these things might do: Took a shallop and went out with the ship, a league or 2 to sea;54 and called for all Lyford’s, & Oldham’s letters. Mr. William Peirce being master of the ship (and knew well their evil dealing both in England, & here), afforded him all the assistance he could. He found above 20 of Lyford’s letters; many of them large, and full of slanders, & false accusations, tending not only to their prejudice, but to their ruin, & utter subversion; most of the letters they let pass, only took copies of them; but some of the most material they sent true copies of them; and kept the originals lest he should deny them; and that they ^might^55 produce his own hand against him. Amongst his letters they found the Copies of two letters, which ^he^ sent Enclosed in a letter of his, to Mr. John Pemberton56 a minister, and a great opposite of theirs. These 2 letters of which he took the copies, were one of them writ by a gentleman ^in England^ to Mr. Brewster here, the other by Mr. Winslow to Mr. Robinson, In Holland, at his coming away, as the ship lay at Gravesend. They lying sealed in the great Cabin (whilst Mr. Winslow was busy about the affairs of the ship), this sly merchant takes, & opens them, takes these copies, & seals them up again; And not only sends the copies of them thus to his friend, and their adversary; but adds thereto in the margent57 many scurrilous, and flouting annotations.

This ship went out towards evening,58 and in the night the Governour returned. They were somewhat blank at it; but after some weeks, when they heard nothing, they then were as brisk as ever, thinking nothing had been known, but all was gone current,59 and that the Governour went but to dispatch his own letters. The reason why the Governour ^& rest^ concealed ^these^ things the longer, was to let things ripen, that they [120] might the better discover their Intents, and see ^who were^ their adherents. And the rather because amongst the rest they found a letter, of one of their confederates; In which was written that Mr. Oldham, & Mr. Lyford Intended a reformation, in church, and Commonwealth; and as soon as the ship was gone, they Intended to Join together, and have the sacraments, &c.

For Oldham few of his letters were found (for he was so bad a scribe, as his hand was scarce legible) yet he was as deep in the mischief as the other. And thinking they were now strong enough, they began to pick quarrels at everything; Oldham being called to watch (according to order) refused to come, resist fell out with the captain, called him rascal, and beggarly rascal, and resisted him, drew his knife at him; though he offered him no wrong, nor gave him no Ill terms, but with all fairness required him to do his duty. The governour hearing the tumult, sent to quiet it, but he ramped60 more like a furious beast than a man; and called them all traitours, and rebels, and other such foul language as I am ashamed to remember; but after he was clapped up a while, he came to himself, and with some slight punishment, was let go upon his behaviour for further censure.61

But to cut things short, at length it grew to this issue, that Lyford with his complices; without ever speaking one word, either to the Governour, Church, or elder, withdrew themselves, & set up a public meeting apart, on the Lord’s Day; with sundry such Insolent carriages, too long here to relate, beginning now publicly to act, what privately they had been long plotting.62

It was now thought high time (to prevent further mischief) to call them to account; so the Governour called a court, and summoned the whole Company to appear. And then charged Lyford, & Oldham with such things as they were guilty of; but they were stiff, & stood resolutely upon the denial of most things, and required proof. They first alleged what was writ to them out of England, compared with their doings, & practices here; that it was evident they Joined in plotting against them, and disturbing their peace, both in respect of their Civil, & church state, which was most Injurious; for both they, and all the world knew, they came hither, to Enjoy the liberty of their conscience, and the free use of God’s ordinances; and for that end had ventured their lives, and passed through so much hardship hitherto; and they, and their friends had borne the charge of these beginnings which was not small. And that Lyford for his part was sent over on this charge, and that both he and his great family was maintained on the same, and also was ^Joined^ to the church, & a member of them; and for him to plot against them, & seek their ruin, was most unjust, & perfidious. And for [121(1)]63 Oldam, or any other, that came over at their own charge, and were on their particular; seeing they were received in courtesy, by the plantation; when they came only to seek shelter, & protection under their wings, not being able to stand alone; That they (according to the fable) like the Hedgehog, whom the Coney in a stormy day (in pity) received into her burrow, would not be content to take part with her; But in the end with her sharp pricks forced the poor Coney to forsake her own burrow. So these ^men^ with the like Injustice, Endeavored to do the same to those that entertained them.

Lyford denied, that he had anything to do with them in England, or knew of their courses; and ^made^ other things as strange, that he was Charged with. Then his letters were produced, & some of them read, at which he was struck mute; but Oldham began to rage furiously, because they had intercepted, and opened his letters, threatening them in very high language, and in a most audacious, and mutinous manner, stood up & called upon the people; saying, “My masters where is your hearts? now shew your courage, you have oft complained to me so, & so; now is the time, if you will do anything I will stand by you,” &c. Thinking that everyone (knowing his humor) that had soothed, and flattered him, or otherwise in their discontent uttered anything unto him; would now side with him in open rebellion. But he was deceived, for not a man opened his mouth, but all were silent, being strucken with the Injustice of the thing. Then the Governour turned his speech to Mr. Lyford and asked him if he thought, they had done evil to open his letters, but he was silent, & would not say a word, well knowing what they might reply. Then the Governour shewed the people he did it as a magistrate, and was bound to it by his place, to prevent the mischief, & ruin, that this conspiracy, and plots of theirs, would bring on this poor Colony. But he, besides his evil dealing here, had dealt treacherously with his friends that trusted him, & stole their letters, & opened them, and sent Copies of them, with disgraceful annotations, to his friends in England.64 And then the Governour produced them, and his other letters, under his own hand (which he could not deny) and caused them to be read before all the people; at which all his friends were blank, and had not a word to say.

It would be too long & tedious, here to Insert his letters (which would almost fill a volume) though I have them by me; I shall only note a few of the chief things collected out of them, with the answers to them, as they were then given; And but a few, of those many, only for Instance, by which the rest may be Judged of. [121(2)]

Many other things (in his letters) he accused them of, with many aggravations; as that he saw exceeding great waste of tools, & vessels; & this when it came to be examined, all the Instance he could give was, that he had seen an old hogshead or two fallen to pieces, and a Broken hoe or two, left carelessly in the fields by some.70 Though he also knew that a godly honest man was appointed to look to these things; but these things, & such like, was writ of by him, to cast disgrace, & prejudice upon them; as thinking what came from a [123] minister would pass for current. Then he tells them that Winslow should say, that there was not above 7 of the adventurers, that sought the good of the Colony. That Mr. Oldham, & himself, had had much to do with them, And that the faction here, might match the Jesuits for polity. With many the like grievous complaints, & accusations.

Thus I have briefly touched some ^chief^ things in his letters; and shall now return to their proceeding with him. After the reading of his letters before the whole company; he was demanded what he could say to these things. [124] But all the answer he made, was that Billington, and some others, had Informed him, of many things, and made sundry complaints, which they now denied.74 He was again asked if that was a sufficient ground for him, thus to accuse, & traduce ^them^75 by his letters; and never say word to them, Considering the many bonds between them. And so they went on from point to point. And wished him, or any of ^his^ friends, & confederates, not to spare them in anything; If he ^or they^ had any proof, or witness of any corrupt, or evil dealing of theirs; his ^or their^ evidence must needs be there present, for there was the whole company, and sundry strangers. He said he had been abused by others, in their Informations (as he now well saw) and so had abused them. And this was all the answer they could have, for none would take his part in anything, but Billington, & any whom he named denied the things, and protested he wronged them; and would have drawn them to such, & such things, which they could not consent to, though they were sometimes drawn to his meetings. Then they dealt with him about his dissembling with them about the church, and that he professed to concur with them in all things, and what a large confession he made, at his admittance, and that he held not himself a minister, till he had a new calling, &c. And yet now he contested against them, and drew a company against them apart, & sequestered himself; and would go minister the sacraments (by his Episcopal calling) without ever speaking a word; unto them, either as magistrates, or Brethren.76

In conclusion he was fully convicted; and burst out into tears, and confessed, he “feared he was a reprobate, his sins were so great, that he doubted God would not pardon them, he was unsavoury Salt,”77 &c. “And that he had so wronged them, as he could never make them amends, confessing all he had writ against them was false, & naught, both for matter, & manner.” And all this he did, with as much fulness, as words, & tears could express.

After their trial, & conviction, the court censured them to be expelled the place; Oldham presently, though his wife & family, had liberty to stay all winter, or longer, till he could ^make^ provision to remove them comfortably. Lyford had liberty to stay 6 months; It was Indeed, with some eye to his release, If he carried himself well in the meantime, and that his repentance proved sound. Lyford acknowledged his censure was far less than he deserved.

Afterwards he confessed his sin publicly in the church with tears more largely than before. I shall here put it down as I find it recorded by some, who took ^it^ from his own words, as himself uttered them. Acknowledging [125] “That78 he had done very evil, and slanderously abused them; and thinking most of the people would take part with him, he thought to carry all by violence, and strong hand against them. And that God might Justly lay Innocent blood to his charge, for he knew not what hurt might have come of these his writings, and blessed God they were stayed. And that he spared not to take knowledge from any, of any evil that was spoken; but shut his eyes, & ears against all the good; and if God should make him a vagabond in the earth, as was Cain, It was but Just, for he had sinned in envy, & malice against his brethren as he did. And he confessed 3 things to be the ground, & causes of these his doings, pride, vainglory, and self-love.” Amplifying these heads with many other ^sad^ expressions, in the particulars of them.

So as they began again to conceive good thoughts of him, upon this his repentance, and admitted him to teach amongst them as before; and Samuel Fuller (a deacon amongst them) and some other tender-hearted men amongst them; were so taken with his signs of sorrow, & repentance; as they professed they would ^fall^ upon their knees to have his Censure released.

But that which made them all stand amazed in the end, and may do all others that shall come to hear the same (for a rarer precedent can scarce be shown), was, that after a month, or 2, notwithstand all his former confessions, convictions, and public acknowledgements, both in the face of the church, and whole company; with so many tears & sad censures of himself, before God & men, He should go again to Justify what he had done.

For secretly he writ a 2nd letter to the adventurers in England, In which he Justified all his former writings (save in some things which tended to their damage); the which because it is briefer than the former I shall here Insert.

Worthy Sirs, Though the filth of mine own doings, may Justly be cast in my face, and with blushing cause my perpetual silence; yet that the truth may not hereby be Injured, yourselves any longer deluded, nor Injurious dealing carried out still, with bold out-facings; I have adventured once more, to write unto you. First I do freely confess, I dealt very Indiscreetly in some of my particular letters, which I wrote to private friends, for the courses in coming hither, & the like; which I do in no sort seek to Justify, though stirred up thereunto in the beholding, the Indirect courses held by others, both here, & there with you for effecting their designs. But am heartily sorry for it; and do to the glory of God, & mine own shame acknowledge it. Which letters being Intercepted by the Governour I have for the same undergone the censure [126] of banishment. And had it not been for the respect I have unto you, and Some other matters of private regard, I had returned again at this time by the pinnace for England. For here I purpose not to abide, unless I receive better Encouragement from you; than from the church (as they call themselves) here I do receive. I purposed before I came to undergo hardness, therefore I shall, I hope cheerfully bear the conditions of the place though very mean; and they have changed my wages ten times already. I suppose my letters, or at least the copies of them, are come to your hands, for so they here report; which if it be so: I pray you take notice of this, that I have written nothing but what is certainly true; and I could make so appear plainly to any Indifferent men, whatsoever colours be cast to darken the truth, and some there are very audacious this way; besides many other matters which are far out of order here. My mind was not to enlarge myself any further, but in respect of diverse poor souls here, the care of whom in part belongs to you, being here destitute of the means of Salvation.79 For howsoever the church are provided for, to their content, who are the smallest number in the Colony, and do so appropriate the ministry to themselves, holding this principle, that the Lord hath not appointed, any ordinary ministry for the conversion of those that are without; so that some of the poor souls have with tears complained of this to me, ^and I was taxed for preaching to all in general^. Though in truth they have had no ministry here since they came, but such as may be performed by any of you, by their own position, what so ever great pretences they make, but herein they equivocate, as in many other things they do. But I exceed the bounds I set myself, therefore resting thus, until I hear further from you, so it be within the time limited me. I rest, &c.

Dated August 22, Anno 1624.

Remaining yours ever,

John Lyford, Exile

They made a brief answer to some things in this letter, but referred chiefly to their former. The effect was to this purpose; That if God in his providence had not brought these things to their hands (both the former, & latter) they might have been thus abused, traduced, and calumniated; overthrown, & undone; and never have known, by whom, nor for what. They desired but this equal favour, that they ^would^ be pleased to hear their Just defence; as well as his accusations, and weigh them in the balance of Justice, & reason, and then censure as they pleased. They had writ briefly to ^the^ heads of things before, and should be ready to give further [127] answer as any occasion should require, craving leave to add a word or two to this last.

This was the sum of their answer; and here I will let them rest for the present. I have been longer in these things than I desired, and yet not so long as the things might require, for I pass many things in silence, and many more deserve to have been more largely handled. But I will return to other things; and leave the rest to its place.

The pinnace that was left sunk & cast away ^near^ at Damariscove, as is before showed; some of the fishing masters said, it was pity so fine a vessel should be lost; and sent us ^them^ word, that if they would be at the cost, they would both direct them how to weigh her; and let them have their carpenters to mend her.83 They thanked them, & sent men about it, and beaver to defray the charge (without which all had been in vain), so they got coopers to trim, I know not how many tun of cask, and being made tight, and fastened to her at low-water they buoyed her up; and then with many hands haled her on shore, in a convenient place, where she might be wrought upon; and then hired sundry carpenters to work upon her, and other to saw planks, and at last fitted her, & got her home. But she cost a great deal of money, In thus recovering her, and buying rigging, & sails for her, both now, and when before she lost her mast; so as she proved a chargeable vessel to the poor plantation; so they sent her home, and with her Lyford sent his last letter in great secrecy, but the party Entrusted with it, gave it the Governour.

The winter was passed over in their ordinary affairs, without any special matter worth noting; saving that many who before stood something off from the church; now seeing Lyford’s unrighteous dealing, and malignity against the church; now tendered themselves to the church, and were joined to the same. Professing that it was not out of the dislike of anything, that they had stood off so long, but a desire to fit themselves better for such a state, and they saw now the Lord called for their help. [130]

And so these troubles produced a quite contrary effect, in sundry here; than these adversaries hoped for. Which was looked at as a great work of God, to draw on men by unlikely means; and that in reason which might rather have set them further off. And thus I shall end this year.