◆   Anno Domini 1632   ◆

Mr. Allerton returning for England,1 little regarded his bond of a £1000 to perform covenants; for whereas he was bound by the same, to bring the ship to [190] London,2 and to pay £30 per month for her hire; he did neither of both, for he carried her to Bristol again, from whence he Intended to set her out again, and so did the 3[rd] time Into these parts (as after will appear), and though she had been 103 months upon the former voyage at £30 Per month, yet he never paid penny for hire. It should seem he knew well enough how to deal with Mr. Sherley; And Mr. Sherley though he would needs tie her, & her account upon the general, yet he would dispose of her as himself pleased, for though Mr. Winslow had in their names protested against the receiving her on that account; or if ever they should hope to prevail in such a thing, yet never to suffer Mr. Allerton to have any more to do In her; yet he the last year4 let her wholly unto him, and Enjoined them to send all their supply in her to their prejudice as is before noted; and now though ^he^ broke his bonds, kept no covenant, paid no hire; nor was ever like to keep covenants, yet now he goes and sells him all, both ship, & all her accounts, from first to last (and in effect he might as well have given him the same); and not only this, but he doth as good as provide a sanctuary for him, for he gives ^him^ one year’s time to prepare, his account, and then to give up the same to them here; and then another year for him to make payment of what should be due upon that account. And In the meantime writes earnestly to them not to Interrupt or hinder him from his business, or stay him about clearing accounts, &c. So as he In the meantime gathers up all monies due for freight, and any other debts belonging either to her, or the Friendship’s accounts, as his own particular; and after sells ship, & ordnance, fish, & what he had raised in Spain according to the first design, in effect; and who had, or what became of the money he best knows. In the meantime their hands were bound, and could do nothing but look on, till he had made all away into other men’s hands (save a few cattle, & a little land, ^& some small matter^ he had here at Plimoth), and so in the end removed (as he had already his person) so all his from hence. This will better appear by Mr. Sherley’s letter:


These few lines are further to give you to understand; that seeing you, & we, that never differed yet, but about the White Angel, which somewhat troubleth us, as I perceive it doth you. And now Mr. Allerton being here, we have had some conference with him about her; and find him very willing to give you, & us ^all^ content, that possibly he can; though he burthen himself. He is content to take the White Angel wholly on himself, notwithstanding he met with pirates near the coast of Ireland, which took away his best sails, & other provisions from her; so as verily if we should now sell her, she would yield but a small price, besides her ordnance. And to set her forth again with fresh money we would not, she being now at Bristol. Wherefore we thought it best, both for you, & us, Mr. Allerton being willing to take her; to accept of his bond of, two thousand pounds, to give [191] you a true, & perfect account and take the whole charge, of the White Angel,5 wholly to himself from the first to the last. The account he is to make, and perfect within 12 months from the date of this letter; and then to pay you at 6 and 6 months after, whatsoever shall be due unto you, and us, upon the foot of that account. And verily, notwithstanding all the disasters he hath had, I am persuaded he hath enough, to pay all men here, and there. Only they must have patience till he can gather in what is due to him there; I do not write this slightly but upon some ground of what I have seen (and perhaps you know not of) under the hands, & seals of some, &c. I rest,

December 6, 1632.

Your assured friend,

James Sherley

But here’s not a word of the breach of former bonds & covenants, or payment of the ship’s hire; this is passed by, as if no such thing had been; besides what bonds, or obligements soever they had of him; there never came any to the hands or sight of the partners here. And for this that Mr. Sherley seems to Intimate (as a secret) of his ability under the hands & seals of some, it was but a trick,6 having gathered up an account of what was owing from such, base fellows as he had made traders for him, and other debts; and then got Mr. Mayhew,7 & some others to affirm under their hand & seal, that they had seen such accounts that were due to him.

Mr. Hatherley came over again this year, but upon his own occasions; and began to make preparation to plant, & dwell in the country.8 He with his former dealings had wound in, what money he had in the partnership, into his own hands, and so gave off all partnership (except in name) as was found in the Issue of things; neither did he meddle, or take any ^care^ about the same. Only he was troubled about his Engagment about the Friendship, as will after appear; and now partly about that account, in some reckonings between Mr. Allerton and him, and some debts that Mr. Allerton otherwise owed him upon dealing between them in particular; he drew up an account of above £200 and would fain have Engaged the partners here with ^it^ because Mr. Allerton had been their hands agent. But they told him, they had been fooled long enough with such things, and shewed him that ^it^ no way belonged to them; but ^told him^ he must look to make good his Engagement for the Friendship, which caused some trouble between Mr. Allerton and him.

Mr. William Peirce did the like, Mr. Allerton being wound into his debt also upon particular dealings; as if they had been bound to make good all men’s debts, but they easily shook off these things. But Mr. Allerton hereby ran into much trouble & vexation, as well as he had troubled others, for Mr. Dennison9 sued him for the money he had disbursed for the 6[th] part, of the White Angel, & recovered the same with damages.10

Though the partners were thus plunged into great debts Engagements, & oppressed with unjust debts, yet the Lord prospered their trading, that they made yearly large returns, and had soon wound themselves out of all; If yet they had otherwise been well dealt withal. As will more appear hereafter. [192]

Also the people of the plantation began to grow in their outward estates, by rea[son]11 of the flowing of many people into the country especially into the Bay of the Massachusetts; by which means corn, & cattle rose to a great price, by which many were much Enriched, and commodities grew plentiful; and yet in other regards this benefit, turned to their hurt; and this accession of strength, to their weakness. For now as their stocks Increased, and the Increase vendible;12 there was no longer any holding them together, but now they must of necessity ^go^ to their great lots, they could not otherwise keep their cattle, and having oxen grown, they must have land for plowing, & tillage. And no man now thought he could live, except he had cattle and a great deal of ground to keep, them; all striving to Increase their stocks. By13 which means they were scattered all over the bay quickly, and the town in which they lived compactly till now was left very thin, and in a short time almost desolate. And if this had been all, it had been less, ^though too much^; but the church must also be divided, and those that had lived so long together in Christian, & comfortable fellowship; must now part, and suffer many divisions; first those that lived on their lots on the other side of the bay (called Duxbury), they could not long bring their wives, & children to the public worship, & church meetings here, but with such burthen; as growing to some competent number, they sued to be dismissed and become a body of themselves; and ^so^ they were ^dismissed^14 (about this time) though very unwillingly. But to touch this sad matter, and handle things together that fell out afterward; to prevent any further scattering from this place, and weakening of the same. It was thought best, to give out some good farms, to special persons, that would promise to live at Plimoth, and likely to be helpful to the church or commonwealth, and so tie the lands to Plimoth as farms for the same; and there they might keep their cattle, & tillage by some servants and retain their dwellings here. And so some special lands were granted at a place general called Green’s Harbor,15 where no allotments had been in the former division, a place ^very^ well meadowed, and fit to keep ^& rear^ cattle good store. But alas this remedy proved worse than the disease; for within a few years16 those that had thus got footing there; rent themselves away, partly by force, and ^partly^ wearing the rest with Importunity, and pleas of necessity, so as they must either suffer them, to go, or live in continual opposition, and contention. And others still, as they conceived themselves straitened, or to want accommodation, broke away under one pretence or other, thinking their own conceived necessity, and the example of others, a warrant sufficient for them. And17 this I fear will be the ruin of New England, at least of the churches of God there; & will provoke the Lord’s displeasure, against them. [193]

This year Mr. William Pierce came into the country, & brought goods and passengers In a ship Called the Lyon; which belonged chiefly to Mr. Sherley, and the rest of the London partners (but these here had nothing to do with her). In this ship (besides beaver which they had sent home before), they sent upward of 800 pounds in her,18 and ∫ome otter skins. And also the copies of Mr. Allerton’s accounts, desiring that they would also peruse ^& examine^ them; and rectify such things as they should find amiss In them; and ^the^ rather because they were better acquainted with the goods bought there, and the disbursements made, than they could be here, yea a great part were done by themselves, though Mr. Allerton brought in the account, and sundry things seemed to them obscure and had need of clearing; also they sent a book of exceptions against his accounts In such things as they could manifest, and doubted not but they might add more thereunto. And also shewed them how much Mr. Allerton was debtor to the account; and desired seeing they had now put the ship White Angel, and all, wholly Into his power, and tied their hands here, that they could not call him to account for anything, till the time was Expired which they had given him; and by that time other men would get their debts of him (as some had done already by suing him), and he would make all away here quickly out of their reach. And therefore prayed ^them^ to look to things, and get payment of him there, as it was all the reason they should, seeing they kept all the bonds, & covenants they made with him in their own hands; and here they could do nothing by the course they had taken, nor had anything to show if they should go about it. But it pleased God this ship being first to go to Virginia before she went home, was cast away on that coast, not far from Virginia, and their beaver was all lost (which was the first loss they sustained in that kind). But Mr. Peirce, & the men saved their lives, and also their letters; ^the accounts were now sent from hence again to them^; and got into Virginia and so safely home. And thus much of the passages of this year. [192v]