◆   Anno Domini 1635   ◆

Mr. Winslow was very welcome to them in England, and the more, in regard of the large return he brought with him, which came all safe to their hands, and was well sold. And he was borne in hand (at least he so apprehended), that all accounts should be cleared before his return, and all former differences thereabout well settled. And so he writ over to them here, that he hoped to clear the account[s],1 and bring them over with him; and that the account of the White Angel would be taken off, and all things fairly ended. But it came to pass [205] That being occasioned to answer some complaints made against the country at Council board; more chiefly concerning their Neighbours in the Bay than themselves here,2 the which he did to good effect. And further prosecuting such things as might tend to the good of the whole, as well themselves, as others; about ^the^ wrongs, and Encroachments that the French, & other strangers both had, and were like further to do unto them, if not prevented. He preferred this petition following to their Honours that were deputed commissioners for the plantations.

To the right honorable the Lords Commissioners for the plantations in America.

The humble petition of Edward Winslow on the behalf of the plantations In New England.

Humbly sheweth unto your Lordships that whereas your petitioners, have planted themselves in New England under his Majesty’s most gracious protection. Now so it is right Honourable that the French, & Dutch, do Endeavor to divide the land between them. For which purpose the French have on the east side entered and siezed upon one of our houses, and carried away the goods; slew 2 of the men in another place, and took the rest prisoners with their goods.3 And the Dutch on the west have also made entry, upon Connecticut River, with^in^4 the limits of his Majesty’s letters patent; where they have raised a fort, and threaten to expel your petitioners thence, who are also planted upon the same river; maintaining possession for his Majesty to their great charge, & hazard both of lives, & goods.

In tender consideration hereof your petitioners humbly pray that your Lordships will either procure their peace with those foreign states; or else to give special warrant unto your petitioners and the English Colonies, to right, and defend themselves against all foreign Enemies. And your petitioners shall pray, &c.

Adam Willaerts, Een idee van Plymouth Plantation [An Idea of Plimoth Plantation], c. 1638

(Courtesy Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, The Netherlands)

This petition found good acceptation with most of them, and Mr. Winslow was heard sundry times by them, and appointed further to attend for an answer from their Lordships, especially having upon conference with them, laid down a way, how this might be done without any either charge, or trouble to the state; only by furnishing some of the chief of the country here with authority, who would undertake it at their own charge, and in such a way as should be without any public disturbance. But this crossed both Sir Ferdinando Gorges’, & Captain Mason’s design, and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s by them; for5 Sir Ferdinando Gorges (by the Archbishop’s favor) was to have been sent over General Governour Into the country, and to have had means from the state for that end; and was now upon dispatch and conclude of the business.6 And the Archbishop’s purpose, & Intent was; by his means, & some he should ^send^ with him (to be furnished with Episcopal power), [206]7 to disturb the peace of the churches here, and to overthrow their proceedings, and further growth, which was the thing he aimed at. But it so fell out (by God’s providence) that though he in the end crossed this petition from taking any further effect in this kind; yet by this as a chief means, the plot, and whole business of his, & Sir Ferdinando’s fell to the ground, and came to nothing. When Mr. Winslow should have had his suit granted (as indeed upon the point it was) and should have been Confirmed, the Archbishop put a stop upon it; and Mr. Winslow thinking to get it freed, went to the Board again, but the Bishop, Sir Ferdinando and Captain Mason (had as it seems), procured Morton (of whom mention is made before, & his base carriage), to Complain; to whose complaints Mr. Winslow made answer, to the good satisfaction of the Board, who checked Morton, and rebuked him sharply, & also blamed Sir Ferdinando Gorges, & Mason for countenancing him. But the Bishop had ^a^ further end ^& use^ of his presence, for he now began to question Mr. Winslow of many things, as ^of^ teaching in the church publicly, of which Morton accused him, and gave evidence that he had seen, and heard him do it; to which Mr. Winslow answered that some time (wanting a minister) he did exercise his gift to help the Edification of his Brethren, when they wanted better means, which was not often.8 Then about Marriage, the which he also confessed, that having been called to place of Magistracy, he had sometimes married some. And9 further told their lordships that marriage was a civil thing, & he found nowhere in the Word of God, that it was tied to ministry; again they were necessitated so to do having for a long time together at first no minister, besides10 it was no new thing, for he had been so married himself in Holland, by the magistrates in their Staat-house.11 But in the end (to be short) for these things the Bishop, by ve[he]ment Importunity, got the Board (at last) to Consent to his committment; so12 he was committed to the Fleet, and lay there 17 weeks, or thereabout, before he could get to be released. And this was the end of this petition, and this business;13 only the others’ design was also frustrated hereby, with other things concurring; which was no small blessing to the people here.

But the charge fell heavy on them here, not only in Mr. Winslow’s expences (which could not be small), but by the hinderance of their business both there, and here, by his personal Employment. For though this was as much, or more, for others than, for them here;14 and by them chiefly he ^was^ put on this business (for the plantation knew nothing of it, till they heard of his Imprisonment), yet the whole charge lay on them. Now for their own business, whatsoever Mr. Sherley’s mind was before (or Mr. Winslow[‘s] apprehension of the same), he now declared himself plainly, that he would neither take off the White Angel from the account, nor [207] give any further account, till he had received more into his hands; only a pretty good supply of goods were sent over; but of the most, no note of their prices, or so orderly an Invoice as formerly, which Mr. Winslow said he could not help, because of his restraint.15 Only now Mr. Sherley & Mr. Beauchamp & Mr. Andrews sent over a letter of Attorney, under their hands & seals, to recover what they could of Mr. Allerton for the Angel’s account, but sent them neither, the bonds, nor covenants, or such other evidence, or accounts as they had about these matters. I shall here Insert a few passages out of Mr. Sherley’s letters about these things.

Your letter of the 22 July 1634 by your trusty, and our loving friend Mr. Winslow I have received; and your large parcel of beaver, and otter skins (blessed be our God). Both he, and it came safely to us; and we have sold it In two parcels; the skin at 14s the pound, & some at 16, the coat at 20s the pound. The accounts I have not sent you them this year, I will refer you to Mr. Winslow, to tell you the reason of It; yet be assured that none of you shall suffer, by the not having of them, If God spare me life. And whereas you say the 6 years are expired ^that^ the people put the trade in^to^ your, & our hands for; for the discharge of that great debt which Mr. Allerton needlessly, & unadvisedly ran you, & us into; yet it was promised It should continue till our disbursements, & Engagements were satisfied. You conceive it is done; we feel, & know otherwise, &c. I doubt not but we shall lovingly agree, notwithstanding all that hath been written, on both sides, about the White Angel. We have now sent you a letter of Attorney, thereby giving you power in our names (and to shadow it the more we say for our uses) to obtain what may be, of Mr. Allerton towards the satisfying of that great charge of the White Angel; And sure he hath bound himself (though at present I cannot find it) but he hath often affirmed (with great protestations) that neither you, nor we should lose a penny by him, ^and^ I hope you shall find enough to discharge it; so as we shall have no more contesting about it. Yet notwithstanding, his unnatural, & unkind dealing ^with^ you; in the midest of Justice, remember mercy,16 and do not all you may do, &c. Set us out of debt, and then let us reckon & reason together, &c. Mr. Winslow hath undergone an unkind Imprisonment, but I am persuaded it will turn much to all your good; I leave him to relate particulars, &c.

London Sept. 7, 1635.

Your loving friend,

James Sherley

This year they sustained another great loss from the French; Monsieur d’Aunay17 coming into the harbor, of Penobscot;18 and having before got some of the chief that belonged to the house aboard his vessel, by subtlety pretending his vessel was leak ^coming upon them in their shallop^, he got them to pilot him in; and after getting the rest into his power, he took possession of the house in the name of the King of France; And partly by threatening, & otherwise, made Mr. Willett19 (their agent there) to approve of the sale of the goods there, unto him; of which he set the price himself [208] In effect, and made an Inventory thereof (yet leaving out sundry things) but made no payment for them; but told them In convenient time he would do it if they came for it. For the house & fortification, &c., he would not allow, nor account anything, saying that they which build on another ^man’s^ ground do forfeit the same. So thus turning them out of all (with a great deal of compliment), and many fine words, he let them have their shallop and some victuals to bring them home. Coming home and relating all the passages; they here, were much troubled at it (having had this house robbed by the French once before, and lost ^then^ above £500, as is before remembered),20 and now to lose house, & all; did much move them. So as they resolved to consult with their friends in the Bay, and if they approved of it (there being now many ships there), they Intended to hire a ship of force and seek to beat out the French, and recover it again. Their course was well approved on (if themselves could bear the charge), so they hired a fair ship of above 300 tun well fitted with ordnance, and agreed with the master (one Girling)21 to this effect, that he and his company should deliver them the house (after they had driven out, or surprised the French), and give them peaceable possession thereof, and of all such trading commodities, as should there be found (and give the French fair quarter, & usage if they would yield); In consideration whereof he was to have 700 pounds of beaver to be delivered him there, when he had done the thing; but if he did not accomplish it, he was to lose his labour, and have nothing. With him they also sent their own bark, and about 20 men, with Captain Standish, to aid him (if need were) and to order things if the house was regained; and then to pay him the beaver which they kept aboard their own bark. So they with their bark piloted him thither, and brought him safe Into the harbor. But he was so rash, & heady, as he would take no advice; nor would suffer Captain Standish to have time to summon them (who had commission, & order so to do), neither would do it himself; the which (it was like), if it had been done, & they come to a fair parlay (seeing their force, they would have yielded); neither would he have patience, to bring his ship where she might do execution; but began to shoot at distance like a mad man, and did them no hurt at all; the which when those of the plantation saw, they were much grieved, and went to him, & told him he would do no good if he did not lay his ship better to pass (for she ^might^ lie within pistol shot of the house). At last when he saw his own folly he was persuaded, and laid her well, and bestowed a few shot to good purpose; but now when he was in a way to do some good, his powder was gone (for though he had22 piece[s] of ordnance), it did now [209] appear he had but a barrel of powder, and a piece. So he could do no good but was fain to draw off again; by which means the enterprise was made frustrate. And ^the^ French Encouraged, for all the while that he shot so unadvisedly they lay close under a work of earth, & let him consume himself. He advised with the Captain, how he might be supplied with powder, ^for he had not to carry him home,^23 so he told him he would go to the next plantation, and do his Endeavour to procure him some, and so did; but understanding by Intelligence, that he Intended to seize on the bark, & surprise the beaver; he sent him the powder, and brought the bark, & beaver home; but Girling never assaulted the place more (seeing himself disappointed) but went his ^way^. And this was the end of this business.24

Upon the Ill success of this business, the Governour and Assistants ^here^ by their letters certified their friends in the Bay. How by this ship they had been abused & disappointed, and that the French partly had, and were now likely to fortify themselves more strongly; and likely to become Ill neighbours to the English. Upon this they thus writ to them25 as followeth.

Worthy sirs, upon the reading of your letters, & consideration of the weightiness of the cause therein mentioned; the Court hath jointly expressed their willingness to assist you, with men, & munition; for the accomplishing of your desires upon the French. But because here are none of yours, that have authority to conclude of anything herein; nothing can be done by us for the present. We desire therefore that you would with all convenient speed, send some man of trust, furnished with Instructions from yourselves; to make such agreement with us about this business, as may be useful for you, and equal for us. So in haste we commit you to God, and remain,

Newtown, October 9, 1635.

Your assured loving friends,

John Haynes, Governour

Richard Bellingham, Deputy

John Winthrop

Thomas Dudley

John Humfry

William Coddington

William Pynchon

Atherton Hough

Increase Nowell

Richard Dummer

Simon Bradstreet26

Upon the receipt of the above mentioned, they presently deputed 2 of theirs to treat with them, giving them full power to conclude, according to the Instructions they gave them. Being to this purpose, that if they would afford such assistance, as together with their own, was like to effect the thing, and also bear a considerable part of the charge, they would go on; If not [210] (they having lost so much already) should not be able, but must desist, and wait further opportunity, as God should give, to help themselves. But this came to nothing, for when it came to the Issue, they ^would^27 be at no charge; but sent them this letter, and referred them more at large to their own messengers.


Having upon the consideration of your letter, with the message you sent, had some serious consultations, about the great Importance, of your business with the French; we gave our answer ^to^ those whom you deputed to confer with us, about the voyage to Penobscot; we shewed our willingness to help, but withal we declared our present condition, & in what state we were, for our ability to help; which we for our parts shall be willing to Improve, to procure you sufficient supply of men, & munition. But for matter of monies we have no authority at all to promise, and if we should, we should rather disappoint you, than Encourage you by that help, which we are not able to perform. We likewise thought it fit to take the help of other Eastern plantations; but those things we leave to your own wisdoms. And for other ^things^28 we refer you to your own committees, who are able to relate all the passages more at large. We salute you, & wish you all good success in the Lord.

Boston, October 16, 1635.

Your faithful, & loving friend,

Richard Bellingham, Deputy

In the name of the rest of the Committees

This thing did not only thus break ^off^, but some of their merchants shortly After sent to trade with them, and furnished them both with provisions, & powder & shot;29 and so have continued to do till this day,30 as they have seen opportunity for their profit. So as in truth the English themselves, have been the chiefest supporters of these French; for besides these, the plantation at Pemaquid (which lies near unto them)31 doth not only supply them with what they want, but gives them continual Intelligence of all things that passes among the English (especially some of them), so as it is no marvel though they still grow, & Encroach more, & more upon the English; and fill the Indians, with guns, & munition. To the great danger of the English who lie open, & unfortified, living upon husbandry; and the other closed up in their forts, well fortified, and live upon trade, In good security. If these things be not looked to, and remedy provided in time; it may easily be conjectured what they may come to; but I leave them.

This year, the 14[th] or 15[th] of August (being Saturday) was such a mighty storm of wind, & rain, as none living in these parts, either English, or Indians ever saw. Being like (for the time it continued) to those Hurricanes, and Typhoons32 that writers make mention of in the Indies; It began in the morning, a little before day, and grew not by degrees, but came with violence in the beginning, to the great amazement of many. It blew down [211] sundry houses, & uncovered others; diverse vessels were lost at Sea, and many more in extreme danger; It caused the sea to swell (to the southward of this place), above 20 foot right up & down; and made many of the Indians to climb into trees for their safety; it took off the ^boarded^33 roof of a house which belonged to this plantation at Manomet, and floated it to another place, the posts still standing in the ground. And if it had continued long without the shifting of the wind, it is like it would have drouned34 some part of the country. It blew down many hundered thousands of trees, turning up the stronger by the roots, and breaking the higher pine trees off, in the middle; and the tall young oaks, & walnut trees of good bigness were wound like a withe,35 very strange, & fearful to behold. It began in the southeast, and parted toward the south & east, and veered sundry ways, but the greatest force of it here was from the former quarters; It continued not (in the extremity) aboue 5 or 6 hours, but the violence began to abate. The signs, & marks of it will remain this 100 years In these parts where it was sorest. The moon suffered a great eclipse the 2[nd] night after it.

Some of their neighbours in the Bay hearing of the fame of Connecticut River had a hankering mind after it (as was before noted), and now understanding, that the Indians were swept away with the late great mortality, the fear of whom was an obstacle unto them before, which being now taken away, they began now to prosecute it with great eagerness. The greatest differences fell between those of Dorchester plantation, and them here; for they set their mind on that place which they36 had not only purchased of the Indians, but where they had built, Intending, only (if they could not remove them) that they should have but a small moiety left to the house, as to a single family. Whose doings and proceedings were conceived to be very Injurious; to attempt not only to Intrude themselves into the rights, & possessions of others, but In effect to thrust them out of all. Many were the letters, & passages that went between them hereabout, which would be too long here to relate.37

I shall here first Insert a few lines that was writ by their own agent from thence.

Sir, &c. The Massachusett men are coming almost daily, some by water, & some by Land, who are not yet determined where to settle, though some have a great mind to the place we are upon, and which was last bought; many of them look at that, which this river will not afford; except it be at this place which we have, namely to be a great town, and have Commodious dwellings for many together. So as what they will do I cannot yet resolve you; for [in] this place there is none of them say anything to me, but what I hear from their servants (by whom I perceive their minds). I shall do what I can to withstand them. I hope they will hear reason; As that we were here first, and entered with much difficulty, and danger [212] both in regard of the Dutch, & Indians, and bought the land (to your great Charge, already disbursed), and have since held here a chargeable possession, and kept the Dutch from further Encroaching, which would else long before this day have possessed all, and kept out all others, &c. I hope these & such-like arguments will stop them. It was your will we should use their persons, & messengers kindly, & so we have done, and do daily, to your great charge; for the first company had well-nigh starved had it not been for this house, for want of victuals, I being forced to supply 12 men for 9 days together; and those which came last, I entertained the best we could, helping both them (& the other) with canoes, & guides; they got me to go with them to the Dutch, to see if I could procure, some of them to have quiet settling near them; But they did peremptorily withstand them. But this latter company did not once speak thereof, &c.; Also I gave their goods houseroom38 according to their earnest request, and Mr. Pynchon’s39 letter in their behalf (which I thought good to send you, here enclosed). And what trouble & charge, I shall be further at I know not (for they are coming daily), and I expect these back again from below, whither they are gone to view the country. All which trouble & charge we undergo, for their occasion, may give us just cause (in the judgement of all wise, & understanding men) to hold, and keep that we are settled upon.40 Thus with my duty remembered, &c. I rest,

Matianuck,41 July 6, 1635.

Yours to be Commanded,

Jonathan Brewster42

Amongst the many agitations, that passed between them, I shall note a few out of their last letters, & for the present omit the rest (except upon other occasion, I may have fitter opportunity). After their thorough view of the place they began to pitch themselves, upon their land & near their house; which occasioned much expostulation between them. Some of which are such as follow.43

But lest I should be tedious I will forbear other things; and come to the conclusion that was made in the End. To make any forcible resistance was far from their thoughts (they had enough of that about Kennebec) and to live in continual contention, with their friends & Brethren, would be uncomfortable, and too heavy a burthen to bear. Therefore for peace[’s] sake (though they conceived they suffered much in this thing) they thought it better to let them have it, upon as good terms as they could get. And so they fell to treaty. The first thing that (because they had made so many, & long disputes about it) they would have them first to grant ^was, that^ they had right to it, or else they would never treat about ^it^. The which being acknowledged, & yielded unto by them. This was the conclusion they came unto in the end after much ado. That they should retain their house, and have the 16[th] part, of all they had bought of the Indians, and the other, should have all the rest of the land; leaving such a moiety to those [214] of Newtown, as they reserved for them.54 This 16[th] part was to be taken in two places, one towards the house, the other towards Newtown’s proportion. Also they were to pay according to proportion, what had been disbursed to the Indians for the purchase;55 thus was the controversy ended, but the unkindness not so soon forgotten. They of Newtown dealt more fairly desiring only what they could conveniently spare; from a competency reserved for a plantation, for themselves. Which made them the more careful to procure a moiety for them, in this agreement, & distribution.

Amongst the other businesses that Mr. Winslow had to do in England; he had order from the church, to provide, & bring over, some able, & fit man for to be their minister. And accordingly he had procured a godly, and a worthy man, one Mr. Glover,56 but it pleased God when he was prepared for the voyage, he fell sick of a fever and died. Afterwards when he was ready to come away, he became acquainted with Mr. Norton,57 who was willing to come over, but would not Engage himself to this place, otherwise than he should so occasion when he came here; and if he liked better elsewhere, to repay the charge laid out for him (which came to about £70[)] and to be at his liberty. He stayed about a year with them, after he came over, and was well liked of them, & much desired by them; but he was Invited to Ipswich, where were many rich, & able men, and sundry of his acquaintance; so he went to them, & is their minister.58 About half of the charge was repaid, the rest he had for the pains he took amongst them.