April Meeting, 1935

    A STATED Meeting of the Society was held, at the invitation of Mr. Kenneth G. T. Webster, at Gerry’s Landing, Cambridge, on Thursday, April 25, at eight o’clock in the evening, the President, Samuel Eliot Morison, in the chair.

    The records of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.

    The Corresponding Secretary announced the death of Frank Brewer Bemis, a Resident Member, on March 10, 1935, and of the Hon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, an Honorary Member, on March 6, 1935.

    The Corresponding Secretary reported that a letter had been received from Mr. Frank Wilson Cheney Hersey accepting Resident Membership in the Society.

    Mr. Lawrence Counselman Wroth, of Providence, Rhode Island, was elected a Corresponding Member, and Mr. Zoltán Haraszti, of Boston, was elected an Associate Member of the Society.

    The President appointed the following committees in anticipation of the Annual Meeting in November:

    To nominate candidates for the several offices,—Dr. James Lincoln Huntington, Dr. Harold Bowditch, and Perry Miller.

    To examine the Treasurer’s accounts,—Matt Bushnell Jones, Henry Lee Shattuck, and Raymond Walker Stanley.

    Mr. Arthur H. Buffinton read the following paper:

    The Massachusetts Experiment of 1630

    AMONG the widely different opinions held concerning the Puritan settlers of New England, perhaps the only one on which there is general agreement is that they cannot be ignored. They had an abiding influence on American character and institutions, but whether that influence was for good or for evil has been a matter of much controversy. Earlier generations praised them as exiles for conscience sake, as pioneers of liberty and democracy. Of late they have been more often described as hypocritical religionists, as authors of an inhuman moral code which they imposed upon all within their reach, as rebels against authority who tyrannized over others.

    It was this latter viewpoint which predominated five years ago when the tercentenary of the founding of Massachusetts was celebrated. During the preceding decade Mr. Mencken and his disciples had filled the magazines with gibes and taunts and tirades against Puritanism and everything connected with it. Many who felt that Mr. Mencken’s views were too prejudiced were impressed by the criticisms of Mr. James Truslow Adams, whose Founding of New England appeared at the beginning of the decade. Mr. Adams, it will be recalled, was willing to concede some merit to the settlers of Rhode Island and Connecticut, but the settlers of Massachusetts he pictured as men who did not believe in democracy, who ruthlessly disregarded the rights of minorities, and who dealt with the natives in anything but that spirit of trusteeship enjoined upon mandatory powers by the Covenant of the League of Nations. As for the Puritans being exiles for conscience sake, such an explanation could not stand the cynical scrutiny of a generation which sniffed the economic motive on every tainted breeze.

    Those who in 1930 undertook to counter the blasts of Mr. Mencken and to neutralize the acid criticisms of Mr. Adams found themselves confronted with an almost impossible task. The public for which they were writing had already given an adverse verdict. Their utmost efforts, to quote the president of this Society, “left the American public completely cold.”892

    But times have changed since 1930, and the present situation of affairs offers an opportunity to place the settlement of New England in a new light. The year 1935 finds the American people in the midst of a great social and political experiment. Nor is this situation peculiar to the United States, for our contemporary world abounds in experiments, which for number and variety cannot be matched in any other period of the world’s history.

    For such an age the Massachusetts experiment of three centuries ago takes on a new significance, for it was one of the first of its kind in human history. Here, under unusually favorable conditions, the founders of this Commonwealth were able to put their ideas into practice, and to establish a new political and social order which differed in many respects from the characteristic political and social systems of Europe.

    This view of the significance of the settlement of New England was suggested, perhaps for the first time, by Alexis de Tocqueville just a century ago. In his celebrated Democracy in America De Tocqueville described the settlers of New England as “daring innovators.” “Political principles and all human laws and institutions,” he says, “were moulded and altered at their pleasure; the barriers of the society in which they were born were broken down before them; the old principles which had governed the world for ages were no more; a path without a term and a field without a horizon were opened to the exploring and ardent curiosity of man.”893

    To interpret the Massachusetts experiment in terms intelligible to the twentieth century is, however, not an easy task. The questions which concern us are the future of capitalism and democracy. In 1630, capitalism was in its infancy, and democracy, even as a theory of government, commanded the assent of only the most radical. We commonly think of experiments as forward-looking, as an attempt to put new social theories into action. The Massachusetts experiment was, in its origins, backward-looking. The political and social philosophy of the founders was Biblical and medieval. The system which they established in Massachusetts was consciously modelled on the Hebrew commonwealth and upon the Christian church-state of the Middle Ages. We expect Utopia to come from economic measures; they, in common with most of their generation, looked to religion for social regeneration.

    By applying certain tests, however, it becomes possible to establish a basis for comparison between this experiment of the seventeenth century and the experiments of our own time. One such test which may be applied is that of the method employed in making the experiment. Judged by this test our modern experiments fall into two groups: those which have been carried out by revolutionary means, and those which strive to effect the necessary changes by existing constitutional methods.

    The Massachusetts experiment belongs in the class of revolutionary movements, and only as such can it be understood. The fact that this was no ordinary migration of a body of Englishmen to the New World has been recognized by some of the most eminent students of the colonial period. “The settlement of New England,” wrote George Louis Beer, “was not the result of a normal expansion of the state, but was rather of the nature of a schism therein or of a secession therefrom.”894 And in his latest book Professor Andrews has asserted that Massachusetts Bay was “no ordinary offshoot of English colonization. It formed an exception to every known condition governing England’s expansion beyond the seas, for it was called into being for divine not human ends.”895

    Winthrop and his friends who took control of the Massachusetts Bay Company in the summer of 1629 evidently intended to establish in New England a new community which should have as little connection as possible with that which they were leaving. Hence it was that they took the charter with them, that they established an independent church, and that as long as the first charter stood they and their successors consistently sought to interpret it as entailing a minimum of subordination to the government of England. English observers who described them as considering Massachusetts a free commonwealth were not far wrong.

    If further evidence of the revolutionary character of the movement be necessary, it may be found in the characteristic signs of revolutionary psychology. Thus these Puritans had what has sometimes been called the persecution complex. Not long ago, at a meeting of the Massachusetts Historical Society, there was a discussion as to whether the Puritans were really persecuted.896 Whether they were or were not persecuted may be a matter of debate, but it cannot be successfully denied, I think, that they believed that they were persecuted.

    Another sign of the revolutionary temper of the Massachusetts settlers is their sense of being a chosen people and of having a divine mission. This idea is so prevalent in all their writings and is so familiar to us all that quotations are scarcely necessary. It animated leaders like Winthrop; it forms the theme of Captain Edward Johnson’s Wonder-Working Providence of Sions Saviour in New England; it became the accepted version of the beginnings of the colony embodied for later generations of New Englanders in Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana.

    This fact of the revolutionary character of the Massachusetts experiment will for many Americans constitute something of a barrier to a sympathetic understanding of it. Despite the fact that the United States owes its existence as an independent nation to a revolution and that the right of revolution was long regarded by Americans as inalienable, the tradition has grown up among us that Americans are able to effect the necessary political and social changes by non-revolutionary methods.

    Such was the picture of American political and social development presented a century ago by De Tocqueville. In America, he said, the social revolution had been effected “with ease and quietness.” America was “reaping the fruits of a democratic revolution without having had the revolution itself.” America was “the only country in which it has been possible to witness the natural and tranquil growth of society.”897

    Nevertheless, as the history of our own American Revolution shows, it has not always been possible even for Americans to effect desirable changes “with ease and quietness,” nor is it possible, once the revolutionary process has begun, to foresee where it will ultimately lead. Once the revolution has been launched, those who are its leaders will inevitably employ whatever means may seem necessary to insure success. It is this general law of revolutions which goes far to explain the treatment accorded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to political and religious dissenters. Having come to America to carry out a holy experiment, they did not propose to sit idly by and see others endanger its success. Does history record a group of men, whatever their professed creed, who were willing to do otherwise?

    What shocks the modern conscience about Puritan intolerance is that it was directed against religious beliefs. In colonial Massachusetts, however, this was necessarily the case. Religion was the motive force of the experiment; it was religion which gave it both form and sanction. If in our time economic opinions are the object of intolerance, that is the result of the fact that we look to economic measures for a solution of our problems.

    Moreover, we twentieth-century Americans are so accustomed to regard religion as a purely private and personal matter that we often forget that it may have political and social implications. Such it surely had in the seventeenth century. Roger Williams challenged the validity of the charter, which formed the legal basis of the colony, and preached the separation of Church and State. Anne Hutchinson’s claim to inner illumination and the right of individual interpretation of the Scriptures might well have led not only to moral license but to a questioning of any kind of authority. The similar views of the early Quakers did lead them to take an attitude of defiance towards all constituted authorities. The dangerous character of the Antinomian movement was visibly manifest when it led to serious internal dissension at a time when the very existence of the colony was threatened by Laud and Gorges.

    Of the later victims of Massachusetts intolerance the Baptists were associated in the popular mind with the excesses of John of Leyden, and they were also accused of denying the lawfulness of magistrates and of war. As for the Quakers, they were in popular estimation anarchists, an impression which the extraordinary behavior of some of them and their generally defiant attitude towards authority did nothing to remove. Even so liberal a man as Roger Williams could not stomach the Quakers, and the Rhode Island magistrates described their doctrines as tending to the “very absolute cutting downe and overturninge relations and civill government among men.”898 The Baptists and Quakers of this period belonged to what we should call today the lunatic fringe, and their adherents cherished all kinds of subversive political and social ideas.

    I do not wish to be understood as defending intolerance. Once we recognize, however, that the founders of Massachusetts were carrying on a revolutionary experiment, I think we can understand better why they treated dissenters as they did. Toleration of dissent in Church and State is a mark either of indifference or of security, and the Massachusetts leaders were not indifferent; neither did they feel secure. The expulsion of Roger Williams and the Antinomians came at a time when the colony was being attacked by its enemies in England. The banishment of the Baptists was decreed when the Civil War in England, troubles with the Indians and the French, and serious disputes within the colony itself created a special sense of insecurity. As for the Quakers, from the Puritan viewpoint they were without the pale and would probably not have been voluntarily tolerated under any circumstances.

    When one turns from the form of the Massachusetts experiment to consider its substance, a description of it in terms intelligible to the twentieth century is more difficult. Every politico-social experiment involves a consideration of the related problems of the kind of social order which it is desired to establish, and of the kind of government which will best conduce to that end. With our modern experimenters the social and economic system is the primary objective, and governmental institutions are regarded more as means than as ends in themselves.

    The attitude of the seventeenth century towards these two related problems was very different. In a pre-industrial age the idea of any drastic reordering of society was beyond the imagination of all but the most visionary. The social structure was regarded as relatively static, and the chief object of contemporary statesmen was to use existing social arrangements to strengthen the state rather than to create a new social order.

    Such was the case in France where Richelieu and his successors brought all classes under the control of the monarchy, and in Prussia where the Hohenzollerns built a new state by similar processes. Even in England where the revolutions of the seventeenth century have sometimes been described as marking the triumph of the middle class over the nobility, the social changes produced by the Puritan revolution were less marked than those produced by the spoliation of the Church in the preceding century. The object of the prevailing mercantile system was to strengthen the state, not to redistribute wealth or to modify the existing social structure. The social revolution in Europe which De Tocqueville in 1835 described as being in its earlier stages was the result of the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, not of the seventeenth-century experiments in state-building.

    The Massachusetts Puritans were not in advance of their generation in their attitude towards social arrangements. That they came to America partly because it promised them a freer opportunity to make a comfortable living, they frankly admitted; but they did not come here to build an ideal society. They were not Utopians or visionaries. They accepted without question the idea of private property and of a society in which there were distinctions of class and wealth. Their social philosophy was thus markedly different from that of some of our modern experimenters. It may perhaps best be defined as a kind of seventeenth-century Christian socialism. As in so many other respects, their theories stemmed back through Calvin to the medieval Schoolmen. Their ideal was the medieval Christian one of a society composed of mutually interdependent individuals, each occupying the place to which God had assigned him, each having duties as well as rights, and the whole functioning in accordance with the will of God. To them, society was not a mechanism which could be altered by changing the structure, but a living organism, the life-giving principle of which was religion.

    Theory is one thing, however, and practice another. As regards Puritan practice there is very little difference of opinion among those who have made a study of the question. “The spirit of the Puritan colonies,” writes Professor Clive Day, “was on the whole rather socialistic than capitalistic.”899 The testimony of Professor Tawney regarding Calvinism in general is similar. “The social ethics of the heroic age of Calvinism,” he says, “savored more of a collectivist dictatorship than of individualism.”900 The individual was encouraged to labor, to be thrifty, to accumulate wealth, but such wealth as he might gain he held as the steward of God’s bounty, and the interests of the community were to take precedence over those of the individual. As John Winthrop put it: “The care of the publique must oversway all private respects.”901

    The results, however, were not what the founders planned. The influence of the frontier and the coming of commercial prosperity made Massachusetts an individualistic and capitalistic community rather than a Christian socialist commonwealth. Among the founders themselves were not a few who were unable to restrain their acquisitive instincts, and the increasing prosperity of the colony attracted to its shores a growing number who came for no other reason than the hope of gain. The forebodings of Captain Edward Johnson were justified in the event, and “the men of trade in hope of gain” did “mar the work of Christ intended.”902

    Even more potent in producing a new type of society in Massachusetts were the system of landholding and the law of inheritance. The vast importance of these factors in determining the structure of society was pointed out more than a century ago by Daniel Webster when he asserted, in his celebrated Plymouth oration, that the character of the political institutions of New England “was determined by the fundamental laws respecting property…. The consequence … has been, a great subdivision of the soil, and a great equality of condition; the true basis, most certainly, of a popular government.”903

    I can find no evidence that in discarding feudal forms of land tenure and in adopting a rule of inheritance which made for the equal distribution of property the settlers of Massachusetts were conscious of the far-reaching effects which these arrangements would have upon the society of their commonwealth. So far as the evidence goes, their action was based on preference and on a feeling that such arrangements were just and equitable. The results, however, are written large in the subsequent history of New England and of the United States.904

    In his presidential address to the American Historical Association in December, 1934, Dr. Dodd described the plantation system which developed in Virginia after the Restoration as “the first social order in the United States.”905 By what warrant he used the word “first” in this connection I am unable to discover. Long before 1660 New England had developed its distinctive form of society, which in its commercial aspects, its wide distribution of property, and its absence of those feudal rules of inheritance so characteristic of Europe was far more typically American, and more typical, it may be added, of modern society in general, than was the plantation system of the pre-Revolutionary South.

    In common with their contemporaries, the founders of Massachusetts were more concerned about their political system than about social arrangements. Their object, as Winthrop said, was to establish “a due forme of Government both ciuill and ecclesiasticall.”906 Many of our modern experiments, whatever the kind of society they may aim to establish, have found it necessary to set up a highly authoritative government, a dictatorship either of a class or of a political party. This is done, not merely as a matter of necessity, but also in accordance with the political theories governing these experiments. Democracy is repudiated in theory as well as in practice; the ideal form of state is the totalitarian state.

    At first sight there seems to be a considerable resemblance between the government of Massachusetts and some of our contemporary dictatorships. The founders of Massachusetts also rejected democracy, and the government which they established might perhaps be described as a dictatorship of the church-members, in whom alone resided political authority.

    But when one examines Puritan political theory, one finds that it has little in common with the antidemocratic political theories on which modern dictatorships are based. These latter are more akin to the theory of Divine Right which was being preached in England by the Stuart kings and their High Church supporters, and which was the basis of the continental absolutisms of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Under these governments the individual ceased to have political rights, and even a great international organization like the Church of Rome, with its age-old tradition of resistance to secular authority, was unable to escape the all-absorbing power of the state.

    With such political ideas the settlers of Massachusetts had no sympathy. It was to escape a government which was attempting to put these ideas into practice that they left England. Their political philosophy was that of the Middle Ages, as reinterpreted by Calvin and his disciples. Concerning the character of medieval and Calvinistic political ideas, there can be no doubt. Both asserted the principle of a fundamental higher law which in the last analysis was identical with the Law of God. Both taught that the community itself was the ultimate source of political authority, and that government was contractual in character. To these ideas Calvinism added that of the right of resistance. Kings and magistrates were to be obeyed only in the Lord; they were responsible both to God and to men.907

    Here surely was no basis for an absolute government or a totalitarian state, and the Massachusetts experiment shows a recognition of this fact. It is true that the government of Massachusetts was based, not on a compact, as was that of Plymouth, but on a royal charter. That charter, however, did not establish an absolute government, for the final authority rested with the freemen. In his elaborate defence of the government of Massachusetts, Winthrop described an arbitrary government as one “where a people have men sett ouer them, without their choyce, or allowance: who haue power to governe them, & Judge their Causes without a Rule.” The government of Massachusetts, Winthrop argued, was not arbitrary because the people had liberty to choose their governors and to “require the Rule by which they shalbe governed & Judged.”908

    No doubt the ideal form of government for Massachusetts in the eyes of Winthrop and his more conservative fellow-leaders was one in which the supreme authority was the Law of God as interpreted by magistrates and clergy. They believed in an aristocracy, a government of the best. This they regarded as necessary for the success of their experiment. But the majority of the settlers and not a few among the leaders refused to accept this ideal, and the principle of self-government was continually enlarged. The freemen insisted upon their right to choose the magistrates, and refused several times to elect Winthrop as governor. The deputies made good their right to an equal voice in the government with the magistrates, and even refused the latter that discretion in the enforcement of the law for which Winthrop argued. Furthermore, they insisted on having a written code of law to which they assented so that all might know precisely what the law was. This code, or Body of Liberties, was both a legal code and a bill of rights. The preamble of it reads as follows: “We hould it therefore our dutie and safetie… to collect and expresse all such freedomes as for present we foresee may concerne us, and our posteritie after us, And to ratify them with our sollemne consent.”909

    The Massachusetts system had other democratic features which made the development of an arbitrary government impossible. Not only was society democratically organized—a fact which was recognized by granting non-freemen a share in the local town governments—but the Massachusetts churches were formed by compact and had a democratic organization.

    One sees indeed that here was no arbitrary government, but that “mixture of aristocracy and democracy” which was the Calvinist ideal. “The leaders of Massachusetts,” says Professor Osgood, “for the sake of their religion, established and defended an aristocratic system of government in church and state, but the substratum of their thought was democratic.”910 It was doubtless this democratic substratum of their political theory, as well as the democratizing influence of their frontier environment and of the social system which they established, which made it impossible for these leaders to resist the growth of a more democratic system of government. Rejecting arbitrary government in theory, they could not insist upon it in practice, even though to some of them it appeared that their concessions to democracy were endangering the success of their experiment.

    Finally, we may test the Massachusetts experiment by its attitude towards other states and other forms of society. Modern experiments have shown a marked tendency to extend their particular system either by propaganda or by force, or by a combination of both. The leaders and defenders of these experiments have argued that their particular system is of universal validity and that, if generally adopted, it would produce something approaching the millennium.

    I have no doubt that the founders of Massachusetts also were convinced that their particular system was the best possible, and that they desired to see it extended. In its earlier days the colony did show a marked tendency to extend its influence and authority beyond its charter limits. But the very nature of their system and fundamental principles precluded any indefinite expansion. Unlike the medieval church-state or the Hebrew commonwealth, which were its models, the Massachusetts system was not inclusive. Church-membership, which was the passport to political power, depended upon the manifestation of outward signs of a probable election, and election was a matter determined not by men but by God. The number of the elect could not be increased either by skilful propaganda or by forcible conversion. Whether the Almighty would see fit to bring to the light the benighted people of Rhode Island and New York was something which He only could decide.\

    In one further respect Puritan principles formed a barrier to the indefinite extension of the power of Massachusetts, and that was the Puritan attitude towards war. This is a subject which I have already considered in a paper read before this Society.911 It will suffice to point out here that the Puritans distinguished between lawful and unlawful wars, and that among the latter they included wars of aggression and wars of policy. War, like all other human institutions, must conform to the Law of God. This is a far cry from the theory and practice of seventeenth-century absolutisms, and from that glorification of force which is characteristic of some of our modern dictatorships. The Puritan commonwealth of Massachusetts does not belong in the category of those governments which acknowledge no limitations on their right to impose their will upon other states.

    Few experiments work out as originally planned, and to this general rule the Massachusetts experiment was no exception. The ideal of a Christian socialist church-state could not be realized when the medieval world from which it was drawn had already passed away. Judged bythe ideals which those who conducted it professed, therefore, the experiment was a failure.

    But to pronounce it a failure would be to miss much of its significance. Half unwittingly, the founders of Massachusetts made a notable contribution to the development of free government and of a democratic society. With its active commercial life, its freedom of economic opportunity, its wide distribution of property, and its government in which political power also was widely distributed, Massachusetts became a kind of prophecy of what the future United States, indeed the modern free state, was to be.

    The foundations of a democratic society had been laid at the very beginning of the colony. The change from the aristocratic system of the founders to a more democratic form of government began long before the loss of the first charter, and, as I have suggested, was not contrary to the fundamental principles of the Puritan political creed. Even the clergy, as a recent writer has shown, did not consider the government provided for by the second charter to be a violent break with the colony’s past.912

    Under the second charter the political development of Massachusetts continued along lines already marked out, and in the later controversy with England Massachusetts played a leading part. It was John Adams who said, long after the Revolution, that if Fourth of July orators wished to understand the principles and feelings which produced the Revolution they should study Dr. Mayhew’s sermon on passive obedience and non-resistance.913

    By 1775, the political philosophy of the Puritans, liberalized and extended by eighteenth-century thinkers, pervaded liberal circles throughout Europe and America. In one respect, however, New England remained unique and continued to bear witness to the influence of its founders: its insistence that all things should be tested by what Henry Adams called “a priori moral principles.” It was this which distinguished the political thought of the first two Massachusetts presidents from that of their contemporaries. Others might regard forms of government and social arrangements as matters of expediency to be determined by economic or class interests, but the genuine New Englander continued to insist that government and society had a moral aspect and should take forms which were in accordance with the moral law. A recent writer has said of the first Adams that his political philosophy was “based on a conception of justice, and not merely of expediency and of property rights,” and of the younger Adams that he “erected the dictum of the ethical absolute as final law.”914

    How to establish a government or a society in which justice and the moral law, not tradition or expediency, shall be the determining factors is a problem which has defied solution. The Puritan’s ideal of a Christian socialist state remains an unrealized Utopia. It is glory enough for the founders of Massachusetts that they established here a body politic in the structure of which there was “little that was either feudal, ecclesiastical, or monarchical.”915 It is glory enough that they brought into being a type of democratic society which came to be recognized as the norm towards which, as De Tocqueville predicted, all modern societies have, until recently, tended to develop.

    Mr. Samuel Eliot Morison read a paper entitled:

    The Reverend Seaborn Cotton’s Commonplace Book

    THE New England Historic Genealogical Society possesses a manuscript commonplace book that belonged to the Reverend Seaborn Cotton (1633–1686) of Hampton, New Hampshire, to his son and successor, the Reverend John Cotton (1658–1710), and to the latter’s son-in-law and successor, the Reverend Nathaniel Gookin (1687–1734). The book measures 2¾ by 4¾ inches and is bound in calf, probably the original binding in which it was imported from England. Inside the front cover is written, in Seaborn’s hand, “29 of April,” and below, “Cherry June 15. & possibly pye,” a note more likely to have been made at the Hampton parsonage than at Harvard College commons. The back cover had disappeared before the book was given to its present owner in 1882 by Dr. John S. H. Fogg, of an old Hampton family. Dr. Fogg communicated some of the genealogical data to the New England Historical and Genealogical Register in 1879 and 1880;916 Joseph Dow’s History of Hampton refers to it as a “book of records”; but our associate Dr. C. K. Shipton was the first to notice the literary flores in the volume.917

    Seaborn Cotton, the eldest son of the Reverend John Cotton of both Bostons, owes his name (which appears in the old Harvard Triennials as Mangeria Cottonus) to his birth at sea on the Griffin, August 12, 1633. He entered Harvard at the age of fifteen and graduated second in the Class of 1651, of which Michael Wigglesworth became head after the withdrawal of Samuel Malbone. The College Steward’s accounts918 show that Seaborn gave up his corner study in the lower east chamber just before his bachelor’s Commencement, and engaged the west study in the corner of the long chamber, which had just been vacated by Jonathan Mitchell, the senior fellow. Apparently he remained in residence about two years, since, upon taking his master’s degree in 1654, he was charged 18sd discontinuance for “3 quarters and 9 weekes of a forth.” After preaching in various places, he was settled in 1657 or 1658 as minister of Hampton. At this farming and fishing town, then in the Massachusetts Bay jurisdiction, but allotted to the Province of New Hampshire in 1677, Seaborn Cotton remained until his death on April 19, 1686.919

    The chronology and handwritings in the commonplace book which he kept offer considerable difficulty. Seaborn Cotton’s own hand, here designated as A, is easily identified by his signature in several places. I have called his earlier, middle-aged, and old-aged handwritings A, A′, and A″. They overlap one another to some extent; but, in general, A is the hand of his undergraduate and bachelor days; A′ is the hand of the Parson of Hampton until about 1670; and A″ is the hand of his old age. It seems that Seaborn began the book in college, using pages both in front and in back for copying his favorite songs, ballads, and prose extracts, often leaving blank pages between these extracts.920 Later, as minister, he used the book, the larger part of which was still blank, for church and family records, and even a horse deal.

    The handwriting of certain flores suggests that they were written long after Seaborn left college, but it is easier to imagine that most of them were chosen by an undergraduate rather than by a settled minister in a Puritan community. The fact that no printed version of the ballads that he copied can be found before 1660 need not alter the attribution of the copies to his undergraduate days since these ballads may well have been sung for years before they were printed, and doubtless older editions of the broad-sheets than those which have survived once existed. But it is difficult to explain why the ballad “The Young-Man’s Answer” should have been broken off on page [54], just before a page containing church records of 1698, and have been concluded on the opening page of the book. One is tempted to infer that the church records of 1698 were already entered when the ballad was copied. Yet the ballad is unmistakably in the youngest hand of Seaborn Cotton, and the church records are certainly in the hand of his son John. Moreover, the conclusion of the ballad, on page [1], is in the same hand and in ink of the same color as the beginning of it, on page [54]. I cannot explain why Seaborn should have returned to a blank leaf at the beginning of the book to finish his ballad when a blank leaf lay before him. But who can explain all the vagaries of scribes?

    The chief puzzle in the hook is the identity of B, as I have designated the strange handwriting that first appears in a ballad on page [145], and which, in an older variant, B′, covers many of the following pages with poetry and astrological data. The only clue is the signature “D.C.” to the Melpomene ballad. These are the initials of Seaborn’s wife Dorothy, whom he married in 1654. They may, of course, stand for the author of the song rather than the copyist. Mrs. Dorothy (Bradstreet) Cotton was the daughter of Anne Bradstreet the poet, and hence likely to share the literary interests of her mother and her husband. The fact that Seaborn Cotton’s record of his horse trade, dated August 6, 1669, in spite of its length, begins on the second half of page [169], suggests that the song “Happy you leaves” on the first half of that page, in handwriting B, was placed there before that date. Mrs. Cotton died in 1672.

    Seaborn Cotton bequeathed the book to his son John, whose handwriting I have designated as C. The Reverend John filled up the blank spaces between ballads, and covered some of the pages following his father’s vital records with family and church records. After John Cotton’s death in 1710, the genealogical data were continued by his son-in-law, the Reverend Nathaniel Gookin (H.C. 1703).

    Apart from the vital and church records, only part of which are reprinted here, the book is largely an anthology of prose and poetry of a decidedly secular, not to say pagan, character. Several ballads, such as “The Last Lamentation of the Languishing Squire,” “Two Faithful Lovers,” and “The Love-Sick Maid; Or, Cordelia’s Lamentation for the Absence of her Gerhard,” are included; and Cotton’s variations from the printed versions suggest that he heard them sung and wrote down the words from memory. Michael Wigglesworth, a classmate of Seaborn, who became a tutor of the college shortly after graduation, complains of one of his pupils “playing musick” instead of studying Hebrew.921 In view of Dr. Percy Scholes’s recent revelations of the musical propensities of Puritans, it seems not far-fetched to suppose that Cotton and his classmates sang ballads in their chambers in the College Yard while one of them strummed on a guitar or other instrument.

    Young Seaborn was especially attracted by Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia, a work not supposed to be favored by Puritans. He copied a part of the dedication to the Countess of Pembroke, sundry epigrams, the beautiful song “What Tongue Can Her Perfections Tell,” the ironical “Verses upon Brave Mopsa,” and charming descriptions such as that of the “Queene of Love, young Philoclea,” before whom “apples fell downe from the trees to doe homage to the apples of her breast.”

    The most entertaining set of extracts come from George Herbert’s compilation of 1640, Witts Recreations Selected from the Finest Fancies of Moderne Muses.922 Seaborn Cotton culled from this collection nineteen epigrams, witty epitaphs, anagrams, and riddles, several of them so free in language as to be unprintable even here; yet he copied none of the bawdier pieces. Both in his hand and in the mysterious handwriting B, there are a number of verses and prose passages as yet unidentified.

    Although a few leaves have been removed from the book, it is clear that the Reverend Seaborn Cotton never grew ashamed of his youthful taste in literature; for instead of destroying this record of student days, or removing the profane pages, he kept the book intact, and curiously interspersed his church records among pagan flores. For instance, after two pages of verses to “my Dearest Deare” we have legal notes, records of disciplinary cases at Hampton (with names of the culprits disguised in Greek letters), theological notes, and records of church meetings, followed by more poetry. The amusing recipe “for to make a handsome woman” is followed by the minister’s record of Goodman Roby’s pungent antipaedobaptist remarks: “He said that I might as well have cast ye water upon a beasts face standing by as upon these children.” And from the church records of 1696–1699, kept by Cotton’s son John, we leap into the Arcadia, with which the back of the book (p. [117]) also begins. More appropriately, we find a ballad beginning

    If thou wast fairer, yn thou art,

    which lyeth not in ye power of art,

    facing the record of Seaborn Cotton’s marriage to the young lady of whom her mother, Anne Bradstreet, wrote:

    A prettier bird was no where seen

    Along the beach among the treen.

    Records of the first seven offspring of that marriage follow, and then two unidentified ballads beginning “Walkeing in a pleasant feilde,” and “Melpomene assist mee now,” in handwriting B, the owner of which shows his or her interest in the effect of lunar and planetary dispositions on the birth of children. Altogether an interesting combination of piety and humanism, beauty and bawdry, university learning and frontier horse-sense; a fair reflection of the average college graduate’s life, thoughts, and occupations in the Puritan century.

    The pages of the manuscript book have been numbered in pencil. Pages [1–116] are at the present front end of the book, following the one remaining calf cover; page [117] is the first at the back of the book, reversed. An enlarged negative photostat has been made of all except pages [89–116] and [178–193]. This has been desposited in the Harvard University Archives and may be used for making positives for those who wish to examine the handwriting.

    Our former president, George Lyman Kittredge, my colleague, Professor Hyder E. Rollins, and my secretary, Miss Florence Berlin are responsible for most of the identifications. All unidentified flores are here printed in full, so far as they are decipherable; identified ones, only in part. Of the church and vital records, only samples are printed, and those mostly of the ministry of Seaborn Cotton.

    A table of contents of the book follows:

    Hand-writing Page of MS. Page of this Volume

    Ballad, “The Young-Man’s Answer,” Continuation




    Song, “My Dearest Deare”




    Law Notes




    Case of Goodman Palmer, Hampton Church




    Notes from Theological Writers



    not printed

    Brother Wiggin’s Admission, 1661




    Church Meetings of 1662: the Goose Children




    Richard Swain’s Excommunication, 1668

    A′ or A″



    Attending Quaker Meetings Forbidden

    A′ or A″



    Old Swain’s Charges



    not printed

    Verse, “They That Are to Mirth Inclined”




    Verse, “Sorrow a Fury Is”




    “For to Make a Handsom Woman”




    Church Meeting, 1663, on Goodman Roby




    Mrs. Deering Denied Admission, 1668

    A′ or A″



    Old Swain, Vote on Church Children, List of Communicants

    A′ or A″


    not printed

    Goodman Roby’s Charges, January 1, 1663/64



    not printed

    Admonition to the Congregation, February 14, 1663/64



    not printed

    Church Meeting, 1667/68, on Admission of Adult Church Children



    not printed

    List of Admissions, through 1669



    not printed

    Admissions, 1675–1677



    not printed

    Permission to Have Colcord Children Baptized



    not printed

    Marriage Records, 1685, Signed by Seaborn Cotton



    not printed

    John Clifford’s Relations



    not printed

    Names of Hampton Church Members



    not printed

    John Cotton’s Church Records, 1696–1699



    not printed

    Extracts from Dedication to Sidney’s Arcadia




    Verses upon Brave Mopsa (Arcadia)




    Ballad, “The Love-Sick Maid”




    Ballad, “The Young-Man’s Answer”




    John Cotton’s Record of Hampton Church Admissions and Baptisms, 1698–1704



    not printed

    Prose Extracts from Sidney’s Arcadia




    Song, “Since So Mine Eyes” (Arcadia)




    Prose Extracts from Arcadia




    Song, “What Tongue Can Her Perfections Tell” (Arcadia)




    Prose Extracts from Arcadia




    Latin Letter to His Father




    Hampton Records of Baptism and Marriages, Kept by His Son John Cotton, Continued from Page [74]



    not printed

    Prose Extract from Arcadia (?)




    Letter from A Young Lady, 1650




    Song, “The Last Lamentation of the Languishing Squire”




    Facetiae from Witts Recreations




    Ballad, “The Two Faithful Lovers”




    Ballad, “Disdain Returned”




    Record of Seaborn Cotton’s First Marriage, and of Births and Deaths in the Family

    A, A′, A″



    Ballad, “Walkeing in a Pleasant Feilde”




    Ballad, “Melpomene Assist Me Now”




    Nature and Disposition of the Moon in the Birth of Children



    not printed

    Dispositions of the Planets



    not printed

    Song, “Happy You Leaves When As Those Lily Hands”




    Horse Trade, August 6, 1669




    Seaborn Cotton’s Family Records, Amplified

    A′, A″



    Death Records




    John Cotton’s Family Records, 1687–1710



    not printed

    Family Records after 1710

    various hands


    not printed

    [1] [The Young-Man’s Answer; or, his Dying Breath, Lamenting for his fair Cordelia’s Death]924

    Had not ye powr [for] to resist ye same

    And shee who by Her last acknowledgement confest

    thou hadst no craft,

    Yet from thy Bow, thou madst her know

    wt powr lay in thy shaft,

    and yn thou sendst another arrow, wch me of

    my Hopes bereft

    Much like a foe to wound me so

    for whome no cure is left.

    Wherfore Physitians did you give my Mrs ore;

    had you no more

    Experience but wt you in Bookes Have read,

    Or why you learnd Drs did you cease to try

    your wits925 when I

    Might have revivd Hir, had shee not bin dead.926

    But since I come to late to view her,

    If it bee not in vain927

    After Hir death I would spend my breath

    to fetch Her back againe.

    Unto yt fayre Elyziū yther will I goe

    whereas I know

    shee is among those sacred ones preferd.

    when I shall be admitted for to come so nigh

    pardon lie cry

    for My long absence wherin I haue errd

    And since I was by her esteemd so mch on ye earth

    wn shee was Here,

    Hence for Hir sake no rest lie take

    till I’Have fo[u]nd Hir there.   [2]

    No more doe I desire yn but for to Heare

    My passing bell,

    That virgins may lament ye day

    of gera’s928 last far[w]ell.

    Finis   [3]

    My dearest deare could I with suting skills929

    paint to th’life my anguisht heart I’de borrow

    Apelles pencill; & braue Homers skill,

    & make thy heart glad long before ye morrow

    but who cant goe must come agen & who cant write

    must blot, who’ere will truly paint my woe

    must write & Limne, be able to Indite

    with virgills skill, though I be nothing so,

    yet takes yre lives as bleeding from an heart

    y’s full of throbs & dolefull mournefull tones

    yt now is part opprest with filling smart,

    & now sends forth yre last & dying grones.930

    Thou art ye person whome I dearly love

    yet thy strange strangenesse doth my heart oppress

    To thee I yet did ever constant prove,

    Thy stealing love thou dost nere fill with ill,

    Those frowning wrinkles lodg upon thy Brow.

    Thy wound was Loathing to my kinde embrace

    Those fayre & sweets wch bitter sweets are now

    Thou [ ] my love dost chase.

    But yt Its wrought by yn allmighty God

    in my ne’re changing but most cofistant Heart,

    yt all yse things I doe apease his rod

    To Husbands love my heart shall nere depart.

    yet must I say unlesse thou change yy cheere

    must thereby some desert coast goe spy

    where I may write, [ ] it my hand [ ] dear

    & yr [ ] me unpittyd weepe, & dy.

    yet for I goe as deaths wer [ ] to day,

    Ile make my will dispose of all I haue.…

    The last four lines of this page are illegible, and so are the twenty-eight lines that continue the same poem through page [4]. On page [5] are notes apparently copied from some law book. They are in the handwriting (A″) of Seaborn Cotton’s old age.

    Contra Testimonia Ru[ ] et Ma:

    It is a rule in nature yt a testimony hath Its principall force from ye testator or witnesse, & yrfore nature layeth down yse 3 things as necessary to any witnesse to make his testimony believed, i. He must be prudent, yt is He must haue skill to try his rule, every deduct[ion] from his rule to practise; yt is, He must not be simple, & silly to tattle & prattle &c freely [?] wt not. He must have discretion & be quiet, to [ ] & deliver a truth: again 2dly. He must be vertuous for if He have not vertue ioyned with his prudence, yt is, if He make not conscience of witnessing ye truth wn He is [ ] not to name such a witnesse so as He must be able to [ ] truth, so must He have conscience to vtter It. lastly. He must be benevolent.…

    These notes continue through the middle of page [8] and are followed by what is evidently the record of a church meeting, written at the same time and in the same hand (A″).

    Θϵἴστ υοτε

    those yt have cleare light, & doe clearly Judge, that yr is full sufficient evidence for ye convictions & condemnations of U P in wt γοοδμαν Παλμερ931 & ἱζ ὡιφε hath said let ym lift up yr hands, et vice versa.

    9 affirmative. ye maior part Negative.

    Θε 2δ υοτε

    those yt doe Judge M S a clear & sufficient [ ] evidence for conviction & condemnation in a religious society let ym lift up yr hands et vice versa: [9]

    ἴν θὲ χάσε ὄφ γοοδι Πάλμερ

    There follows one page, almost undecipherable, of speculation about scriptural authority for admonition by the minister. Beginning on page [10] and continuing through the middle of page [15] there are notes on Cotton’s reading on various theological subjects: “Mr Manton on James. 5. 12. pag. 563”932; “Elton on ye Corts pag. 76”933; “Barker on ye 10 capt pag. 164”934; Ursinus on ye 3d Capt pag. 168.”935; “Ursinus in Catechesi. pag. 699”936; “Perkins in his case of Conscience. 2 book. 13. chap. 2 section”937; “Calvin in 3tiū Præcept [ ]. pag. 312”938; “Idem in 9 præc, pag. 393”; “[ ] on ye 7th Capt pag. 416”; “Perkins in his ii vol. pag. 42”; “Ames. 2 lib. Theo: Capt 21. 5. 7. 8”939; “My father upon ye 3d Capt 5 sermon”940; “[ ] on ye 2d capt pag. 348.”

    Beginning at the middle of page [15] the church records are resumed. They are written in a different ink and in the younger hand (A′) of Seaborn Cotton.

    Those yt doe apprehend yt my Brother Wiggin standing propounded to ye Ch for full com̄union now solemnly owning ye covenant of [ ] made by his parents for him in infancy professing subjection to all ye ordinances of [ ] desiring ye church care & eye of him for his Intire course & being willing to provide [?] as yr Ch shall see meet, desiring baptism for his ⊗ shall signify [ ] by lifting up yr hands

    This vote affirmatively by ye Ch,

    Aprill 6.61. [16]

    At a church meeting, August 11. 1662.

    Whither women who professe theyre inability to speake in publique may bee admitted to com̄union with ye church by the reading of what they com̄unicate in writing. This is owned as ye Jdgment of ye church.

    Whither The church consent That Mrs Goose may have hir Children Baptized upon ye anniv. of Hir covenant with ye church, & that then shee & hir Children be recom̄ended & dismissed to ye watchfullnesse of ye church wr they live.

    Whether ye church consent That theyre pastor shall have ye Liberty of his conscience in The Baptizing of Mr Gooses children The Maior Part voted for this Last.

    This Richard Swaine for His obstinate refusing to heare the Church, & being fundamentally hereticall, & scandalous as in the charges mentioned was excom̄nicated May 31. 1668.941

    It was also agreed to by the Church that whatever Church members of ours should attend ye meetings of Quakers & ioyne with ym therein, ye It was scandalous & offensive to the whole body.942

    Beginning on page [17] are Cotton’s memoranda, in handwriting A″, with regard to “Old Swaines Charges.” They are continued through page [19] and are mostly illegible. One gathers that old Swain absented himself from public ordinances, attended “ye abominable worship” of certain “seducers,” and showed himself “contemptuos of ye Church.”

    With page [20] Cotton returns to miscellaneous literary matters.943

    they that are to mirth inclined

    yet hath woe within the mind

    they that are to sorrow givn

    yet Sorrow will not bring t’ heavn

    Sorrow a fury is944

    and greife is to unkind

    it beat’s back all our ioys

    and creepes it selfe into the mind

    Loue is a cruel paine

    nay more a torment fell

    they who haue felt it say

    tis next the paines of hell   [21]

    for to make a handsom woman

    shee must first haue a light browne haire a full high fore head with a straite brow not bending out with narrow black eye brows with a round full hazell eye a white nose straite not rising up nor flat pure vermilion cheeks [six words erased] with a little mouth and Corral lips the under lip a little fuller than the uper, a pretty long white neck straite back her shoulders of a middle breadth slender waste middle sised hipps a small leg and foot her hands and finger long and small her body must not be very tall but rather inclining to be tall then short

    On page [22] church records are resumed.945

    At a church meeting Decem: 16. 1663.

    goodman Roby is charged with these speeches & actions, viz: Novem: 5. coming into ye meetinghouse He publiquely said, That I would baptize all ye heathen in ye country if there were water enough, attested by Th: Marston & Henery New.

    further ye said Roby said ye same night going homewards about Anthony Taylours house, speaking with goodman Warren, about ye baptizing of ye children ye day. He said that I might as well have cast ye water upon a beasts face standing by as upon these children, witn: Mrs Dudley [name illegible] Will: More.

    againe Decem: 9. 63. being a fast this goodman Roby after ye beginning of ye sermon in ye forenoone turnd his backe upon me & went out of ye meetinghouse & came no more yt day to joyne with ye church in ye worship wch himself agreed to, as many of ye Church can testify.

    whither ye Church themselves meet to allow perfect [?] communion in ye seales with the members of other churches yt live not in ye towne but come transiently. The Ch must expresse yr consent to It affirmatively.

    August 30. 1668. Mrs Deering was denyed to be admitted to this church, because shee lived at Pascataque & Dover Church was nearer & wee could not practice ye Covenant to her so remote as they said.946

    The records continue on page [23] with another vote on old Swain’s offences, a vote on church children, and a list of those admitted to full communion “since my coming.”947 On pages [24–25] are “Goodman Roby’s [ ] Charges,” dated January 1, 1663/64.948 On pages [25–26] there is an entry, dated February 14, 1663/64, starting as follows: “I shall not use many words unto you, but I should [ ] yu a reasonable creature, should I not take notice of ye late contempt yt has been offered unto me at least by som.” This is apparently an admonition of the parson, addressed to the whole congregation.949 On page [27] is entered the vote, “At a Church-meeting at Brother Fullers House, Janu: 13. 1667,” on admission of “adult church children.”950 On page [28] and continuing to the middle of page [30] is the record of those who “publiquely owne & renew the church-covenant,” 1667–1669.951 Further miscellaneous records, including the vote of the church meeting to allow Mrs. Colcord to have her grandchildren baptized, and a list of admissions in 1675–1677, run from the middle of page [30] through page [32]. On page [33] are the records of three marriages in 1685, each signed “Seaborne Cotton.”952 The next three pages are blank. Pages [37–39] are given over to an account, almost illegible, of “John Clifford’s953 Relation” on applying for church membership. “The Names of the members in full Com̄union with the Church at Hampton” appear on pages [40–41], and “The Names of the Female members in full com̄union surviving Sept 18. 1671,” on pages [42–43]. Beginning on page [44] and continuing through page [50] are found the church records of the Reverend John Cotton (H.C. 1678).

    With page [51] we return to literary excerpts in the youthful handwriting (A) of Seaborn Cotton. The following are from Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia, the first excerpt being the beginning and end of Sidney’s dedication to the Countess of Pembroke. Cotton is not an accurate quoter, hence it is impossible to ascertain which of the many editions available in his day he used; his spelling and capitalization are nearer, however, to the 1633 edition than to the earlier ones. My footnote references are (1) to the books, chapters, and sections of the Arcadia, and (2) to the Cambridge, 1922, edition of Sidney’s works.954 I have omitted parts of several passages on account of their length.

    Most deare & most worthy to be most deare.955 here you have this most idle work of mine, which I feare (like ye spiders web) will be thought fitter to be swept away, then worne to any other purpose. In very truth I could find in my heart to cast it out in some desert of forgetfulness which I am loth to owne. but you desired me to doe it & your desire to my heart is an absolute com̄dt. yet I hope you will continue to love ye writer, who doth exceedingly love you & most most [sic] heartily prayes you may long live to be a principal ornament to our family.

    O blessed be thou love ye sweetest fayrenesse & fairest sweetness.

    Let us thinke with consideration, & consider with acknowledging, & acknowledge with admiration, & admire with love, & love with Joy in ye midst of all woes.956

    Some verses upon brave Mopsa

    what length of verse can serve brave Mopsa’s good to show?

    when vertues strange & beauties such as no man them may know:   [52]

    thus shrewdly burdned then, how can my muse escape

    the gods must helpe, & precious things must serve to show her shape.

    like great god Saturne faire, & like faire Venus chaste,

    as smooth as Pan, as Juno mild, like goddesse Iris fac’d,

    with Cupid shee fore sees, & goes god Vulcans pace,

    & for a taste of all these gifts shee steales God Momus grace,

    Her forhead Jacinth like, her cheekes of Opall Hue,

    Her twincling eyes bedect with Pearles, her lips as Saphir blew

    Her haire like Crapal stone, her mouth O heavenly wide,

    Her skin like burnisht gold, her hands like silver ure untried,

    as for her parts unknowne which Hidden sur are best:

    Happy be they which wel believe & never seeke ye Rest.957   [53]

    [The Love-Sick Maid; Or, Cordelia’s Lamentation for the absence of her Gerhard]958

    Begon thou fiery fatall feavor now begon,

    Let Love alone,

    with his ætheriall flames possesse my breast,

    The heat of thy consuming fires no aide requires

    But swift desires,

    transport my passions to a throne of rest:

    When I who in ye pride of youth could never finde

    such Joyes to move

    By sicknesse tam’d am so inflamd

    I know no Joyes, but love.

    And he yt trifled many a long houre away

    my Love to try,

    He in short space, hath gaind ye grace

    to have more powr yn I.

    Depart thou scorching fury quickly now depart

    thinke not my heart

    to thy dull flames shall be a sacrifice

    A mayd dred Cupid on yy altar now is

    layd by thee Betraid

    A rich oblation to restore thine Eyes.

    Nor feare I if within thy treasures all at once

    thy shafts doe move

    shee yt receives ten thousands sheaves

    Can do no more but love.959

    This should be belowe yt which is above it.960

    But yet my first acknowldgmt shall testify

    thou hadst not craft

    to bend thy bow against that foe

    yt aimd to catch ye shaft.

    No more ye learnd physitians, tire your brains no more

    pray give me o’re

    you may as well goe practise on the dead

    although you learned doctors, all ye world doth know,

    in learning flow,

    Mine is a cure in physicke nevr read961

    For if my Gerrard deignes to veiw me wth ye

    sunshine of his lookes,

    I shall not doubt to live without

    Physitians & yr bookes.   [54]

    Tis he yt wth his balmy kisses can restore

    my latest breath

    what blisse is this, to gaine a kisse

    can raise a maid frō death.

    To you divines962 yt preach another world I bow,

    & will allow,

    your sacred præcepts if youle grant me this

    that He whome I esteeme of next to Diety [sic]

    may goe with me,

    without whose presence yr can be no blisse:

    Goe preach your præcepts of ætenity

    to those ye aged bee,

    Never perswade, a love-sick mayd

    thers any heaven but he

    But stay mythinkes an ycy slumber doth possesse

    my wearied braine

    Pray bid him dy if you see I

    do neer wake againe:


    His Answer963

    Come on thou fatall messenger fro her yts gone

    lest I alone,

    within yt quenchlesse flāe for evr fry

    yt fire of Love being kindled wrin none can take

    rest, but to wake

    which makes me wish no longer live but dy.964

    yt wth my fayre Cordelia I may goe

    & take asleep

    wth lids wide spred upon my bed

    I m forct a watch to keep965

    Dispatch thou scorching fury quickly now dispatch

    by death I watch

    to be released from yis tormenting flame

    ye dart sent frō dread cupid sticks fast in my heart

    I wanting art966

    Pages [55–74] are given over to church records for the period 1698–1704, entered in handwriting C. Beginning with page [75] extracts from Sidney’s Arcadia are resumed.

    it is yee I love which nothing shall breake, no com̄andt dissolve, no foulnesse defile, nor no death finish.967

    thou are ye pearles of all ye maides of Mantinoea who as shee went to ye temple to be married, her eyes themselves seemed a temple wherein love & beauty were married, her lips though they were kept close with modest silence, yet with a pretty kind of naturall swelling they seemed to invite ye guests yt looked on them: her cheekes blushing, & withal when shee was spoken to a little smiling, were like roses when their leaves are with a litle breath stirred.968

    Pamela did apparalle her apparall & with ye preciousnesse of her body made it most sumptuous. But when ye ornament of ye earth, ye modell of heaven, ye triumph of nature, ye life & beauty, ye queene of love young Philoclea appeard in her nimphlike apparall, then I say indeed me thought ye lilies grew pale for enuie, ye roses blushed for to see sweeter roses in her cheekes, & ye apples fell downe from ye trees to doe homage to ye apples of her breast. [76] & yn clouds gave place.…969[77]

    shee was ye loadstone of my life ye blessing of my eyes, ye sweetness of my heart even sweetening ye death.…

    A Song

    since so mine eyes are subiect to yr sight

    yt in your sight yy fixed have my braine,

    since so my heart is filled with yt light,

    yt onely light doth all my life retaine.…970

    lady most worthy of all duty in whome all virtue shines.971

    I therfore desire her that shee would unarme her noble heart of yt steely resistance agst ye sweet blows of love,.…972 [78]

    Imcomparable lady your com̄pt doth not only give me the will but ye power to obey you: such influence hath your excellence …. [79]

    A song

    What tongue can her pefections tell,

    In whose each part all pens may dwell

    Her Haire fine threds of finest Gold,

    In curled knots mans thoughts to hold

    But yt her forehead says in mee

    A whiter Beauty you may see;

    whiter indeede, more white yn snow,

    which on cold winters face doth grow,

    that doth present those even browes,

    whose equal line there angles bowes, .…973

    Cotton copies almost the whole of this poem, which extends through the middle of page [84] of his manuscript. He then returns to prose extracts from the Arcadia, only a portion of which I have attempted to identify.

    this showes ye power of your beauty which forced me to doe this.

    If ther be any beauty in me, it is in mine eyes wch your blessed presence hath Imparted to you…974

    Most beloved lady ye Incomparable excellency of your selfe, doe allmost make me tremble to offer unto you ye desires of my soule. doe you onely now voucsafe to beare [85] ye matter of a mind most perplexed …

    O Deare, I hope your beauty will not be without pitty unto me …

    I hope you will not deny ye shining of your eyes upon me.

    I do rather wish that I had never been begotten, rather than by my meanes ye sky of your virtue should be overclouded with sorrow. [86] …

    O sweet Philoclea thy heavenly face is my astronomy, thy sweet vertue, my sweet Philosophy, let me profit therin, & farewell all other Cogitations …975

    The following Latin letter, written in Seaborn Cotton’s earliest hand, signed with his initials and addressed to his father, is certainly not original with him, since the mistakes in Latin are of the sort that creep into a text recopied several times. It is a complimentary letter from a college student to his father and benefactor, perhaps intended to put the fond parent in the proper state of mind to heed a subsequent request for pecunia. Over some of the words are numbers indicating that he intended to change their order in copying out the letter. We have followed his directions in that respect.

    [87] P. R. H. et Ch.976

    Quum ab Ingratitudine non secus abhorream quam Achilles ille Homericus a Mendacio, et mecum Perpenderem quam esset Immenso quod tuæ debeam Benignitati ut Meritum omne, omne quoque officium exsuperet meum, credidi te Accepturū si tibi Literariâ strenulâ, aut flosculo quopiam e Musarum Hortulis decerpto animū Memorem et Gratum utcunque testarer. Oh utinam tua in Me Perpetuò collata (multò plùs meritò) Beneficia unquam solvendo esse queam. Grates persolvere Dignas, Hoc opus, His Labor est.

    Pro tuo Mei amore summo, et in me Jam sæpè collocatâ Benignitate, et gratias quas habeo maximas animo perquam Libentissimo rependo, et Omnia Mea deinceps in Posterū officia voluntate paratissimâ offero et addico. Non latent tuæ solicitudines anxiæ, nec Anx[i]etates quotidianæ Mei Boni gratiâ tibi emergentes, patent Molestiæ, patent angores tui, patent denique omnes Curæ tuæ, mei Com̄odi Gratiâ. Novi quantū Olei operaci [sic]977 sumpsisti ut doctus evadam, Novi (et melius mihi esset si melius possem) quot consilia quot suasoria verba mihi dixisti, quoties me Monitū voluisti ut Probus existam. quoties suasisti quoties Incitasti neu tibi dedecori et aliis scandalo fierem. Deus novit, quam tua tunc Concilia posthabui, et non secundū ea vitam degi: nunc vero Me meæ Negligentiæ pendet978 nunc Me parvi earū æstimationis tædet poenitet e[ ] sed, ah Me videre est Me potius propter omnia tua beneficia tibi Pandoram979 esse potius quam illas gratias referentem vel saltem [88] juxta eorum merita merent gerentem.

    Ipero [sic]980 tamen Me Hinc inde Melius Conciliis tuis auscutare, monitis tuis obedire pro virili conatū fore. Et quanta in Me posita est vis Me filium patris Jussa prestare gaudentem pæbiturum esse, et memet non patris suasiones vili ӕstimantem esse exhibiturum. quid tibi, quid inquam pollicear? nam meipsum quantæ [?] sim dedimus et exiguum est Me illi dedendum, qui nisi fuisset Ipse non essem. Tibi denique quod possum et quod [?] non possim debeo, et ut solvam quæ debeo, Te Humillime obtestor ut in propiisimis ad thronum gratiæ accessibus Deum obnixe petas, ut cor novum mihi det, et lapidem in Carneum Mutat, ut quid in postero vitæ Meæ cursu, magis ad illius Honorem et gratiæ suæ [?] gloriam vitam degam, quam in initio ætatis meæ adhuc vixerim [?] et ut Deus ille Misericors Omnipotens, peccata Mea sanguine Christi abluat, ut quum vivos et Mortuos Judicat Ego inter Oves apud Dextrāsuam integer et Immaculatus appaream.

    Hæc supliciter petens acquiesco.

    O. F.981

    S C.

    On page [91] the Hampton Church records under John Cotton are resumed, a continuation from page [74]. On pages [89–102] are baptisms, 1704–1707, with an occasional admission to full communion and record of choice of deacons. On pages [103–111] are marriage records, 1701–1709/10, each signed “Jno Cotton.” Pages [110–113] are blank. On page [115] are a few baptisms of 1707–1708, with a reference in John Cotton’s hand to “liber alter viz. Chh. Records.” Several blank leaves follow; the next page, which I have numbered [116], is at the back of the book, reversed. Pages [117–118], in Seaborn Cotton’s handwriting (A), are so mutilated that no text can be established. They are followed by three pages of prose. On the lower half of page [119] begins a new paragraph, probably an excerpt from Sidney’s Arcadia:

    I beseech you take my words in yt go[od] part my affection deserves, all I de[sire] is yt as all my thoughts are dedicat[ed] & devoted to ye honour service & love of ye heavenly vertues of your soule, and all my wishes but to be acceptable unto you & yours may so farre ensure them, as to set all other freindship & affections behind mine,.…

    The next excerpt, on page [120], is obviously a letter written by a young lady in Arcadian style. I expected to find it in Sidney, but searched in vain. Possibly some romantic lady of Seaborn’s acquaintance wrote it to him; but more likely he copied it from a book while on a visit to Braintree in 1650.

    Braintree August 10. 1650982

    Most Intirely affectionate & best beloved freind.

    The manifold happy meetings & pleasant Embracings which yourselfe hath dignifyed mee withall heretofore, your amorous savour, your smiling aspect, and lovely countenance, which these Eyes of mine (though vnworthy to behold so rare a beauty) have in beholding often been dazeled withall. the very many vertues I have ever told you endowed withal, and often manifested by the vnvterable courtesies & Innumerable & well deserving kindnesses that I have often participated of. I [torn] ye Consideration of my [121] former enjoyment of these & many other (though most vnworthy & least able ever to make recompense) hath stricken me with so great a wound which none but yourselfe must or can Cure. To be plaine, (for plaine dealing I hold ever best) these often & experienced gratifications of love which your selfe hath often vouchsafed mee, hath exrimulated ye erors of my weake though true affection tha[t] I must plainly confesse (though Contrary to ye Modesty of our sex) that I am so farre Enamored with your person & personali vertue that I am quite sepulted in yt la[ ] which is usually with a trible knot Thus, Confiding that you will Conceale my affection, & shortly answer my good will with renewed life (now gasping for life) I must though very loath breake off and remain at present as one bereft of life not knowing which way fortune [122] [may] turne ye whele. But it may [be], You may obiect, your freinds & mine may not be willing hereafter, to which I answer, so yt I enioy but you I will run through all difficultyes. let come what will, I desire you Sr yt so soone as you have recd this you would commit it to ye mercilesse flames, least some oversight may breed future trouble, or at least blot out ye name. But this in hast I must with a submissive salutation bid adieu. And shall while I am


    Your Humbly devoted & true affectionate freind.983

    The four leaves following page [122] have been cutout. On page [131] Cotton returns to his poetical excerpts.

    [The Last Lamentation of the Languishing Squire; or, Love overcomes all Things]984

    A Song

    As I walk’d forth to veiw ye spring

    which flora had adorned

    In gorgeous rayment every thing

    from winters rage had turned.

    I cast mine eye & did espy

    A boy wch made much clamor

    And drawing nigh I heard him cry

    tis omnia vincit Amor.

    As by himselfe he sat alone

    fast by ye chrystall river985

    then mournfully this doleful tone986

    with sighes he did deliver,

    woe with that face & comly grace987

    of her yt none can shame her

    her beauty faire makes me with feare988

    cry omnia vincit amor.

    you silent streames that swiftly gli[de]

    by part[n]er of ye morning989

    you flagrant [sic] feilds & flora’s bride990

    condeme her for her scorning

    let every tree a witnesse bee

    how Justly I might blāe her

    you chanting birdes note ys my words

    tis omnia vincit amor.991

    had shee been kind as shee was faire

    she might have bin admired,

    In evry part without compare

    which hath my life expired.992   [132]

    At length his breath began to faile

    he could not speake but stam̄ar.

    then sighing sore he said no more

    but omnia vincit amor.

    And when shee saw me neare my death993

    shee ran in haste to save mee

    but quickly I resigne my breath

    so deepe a wound love gave me.

    Yet for her sake this vow Ile make

    my tongue shall ne’re defame her

    but on her herse I’le write this verse

    tis omnia vincit amor.994

    All men can harpe upon this string

    & rusticke clownes doe know yts sound

    that sting[ing] dart that love doth fling

    doth allwayes smite a deadly wound.

    nay evry boy yt goes to schoole

    that hath but learned his gram̄er

    doth scorne to look to find ins booke

    Oh omnia vincit Amor.

    Now may you see close love doth bind

    whome god & man keapes under

    although young cupid was yn blinde

    could not ym breake asunder.

    Nor thundring Jove nor warlike mars

    nor vulcan with his ham̄er

    none can withstand this boyes com̄and

    but Omnia vincit Amor.


    With page [133] we come to the excerpts from the Witts Recreations. As the text of these may be established from the Facetiae reprint of 1874, or from the 1640 edition which Cotton evidently used, I have not reproduced in full some of the broader quotations.

    On Women995

    Women are bookes & men ye readers bee

    In whome oft times yy great Erratas see

    here sometimes nere a blot yr we espy

    (A leafe misplaced at least a line awry;

    if yy are bookes I wish yt my wife were

    An Almanake to change her evry yeare.

    on his Mrs996

    I saw faire flora take ye ayre

    When Phoebus shind & it was fayre

    the heavens to allay ye heat

    sent drops of raine wch gently beat

    the sun retires ashamed to see

    that he was barrd from kissing yee.

    then boreas tooke such high disdaine

    that soone he dryd those drops againe:

    ah cunning plot & most divine

    thus to Mix his breath with thine.


    When first I saw ye th[ou] didst sweady play

    the gentle theife & stole my heart away,

    render me mine againe or leave thy owne

    two are to mch for ye since I have none

    but if thou wilt not I will seware thou are

    a sweet faced-creature with a double heart.

    [The Crab is Restorative]998

    The crab of ye wood

    is sauce very good

    for ye crab of ye foaming sea.

    but ye wood of a crab

    is sauce for a drab

    that will not her husband obey.   [134]

    to his Mrs999

    Sweetest fayre be not too cruel

    blot not beauty with disdaine

    let not those bright eyes adde fewell

    to a burning heart in vaine.

    least men Justly when I dy

    deeme you ye Candle mee ye fly.

    how to choose a wife1000

    Good sir if you’le shew ye best of your skil

    to picke a vertuous creature,

    then picke such a wife as you love a life

    of a comely grace & feature.

    the noblest part let it be her hart

    without deceiet or cunning.

    with a nimble wit & all things fit

    with a tongue yts never running.

    ye hayre of her head it must not be red

    but faire & browne as a berry

    her forhead high with a christall eye

    her lips as red as a cherry.

    on his Mrs1001

    My love & I for kisses playd

    she would keepe stakes I was content

    & when I wonne shee would be payd

    this made me aske her wt she meant,

    Sayth shee since you are in this wrangling vayne

    take you your kisses & give me mine againe.   [135]

    of women1002

    Commit thy ship vnto ye winde

    but not yy faith to womankind

    there is more safety in a wave

    then in yy faith yt women have

    no womans good, if chance it fall

    some one be good amongst them all.

    some strange Intent ye destinies had

    to make a good thing of a bad.

    A riddle1003





    may B


    Truth nevr lies

    too A foole y y:

    if haue part.

    then to you surely are in heart.

    On women1004

    Womans ye centre & ye lines are men

    the Circles love, how Doe yy differ then?

    Circles draw many lines unto ye Centre

    but love giues leave to onely one to enter.

    On womans love1005

    A womans love is like a Syrian flwre,

    yt buds & spreads & withers in an houre

    On Cupid1006

    Cupid no wonder was not cloathd of old

    for love though naked seldome e’re is cold.   [136]

    A witty Passage1007

    An old man sitting at a Christmas feast

    By Eating Brawne occationed a Jest…

    of letting1008

    In bed a young man with his old wife lay

    O wife quoth he I have let a thing today …   [137]

    To his Mrs1009

    your lips fayre lady ift be not too much

    I beg to kisse your hand I crave to touch …

    To his Mrs1010

    take oh take those lips away

    that so sweetly were forswome

    & those eyes like breake of day

    lights yt doe mislead ye morne

    but my kisses bring againe

    Seales of love though sealed in vaine.

    hide oh hide those hilles of snow

    which yy frozen bosome beares

    on whose tops ye pinkes yt growes

    Are of those yt Aprill weares:

    but first set my poore heart free

    bound in those icy chaines by thee.

    to young men1011

    young men fly when beauty darts

    amorous glances at your hearts

    the fixt marke gives your shooter ayme

    & ladyes lookes have powr to mayme,

    now twixt yr lips now in yr eyes

    wrapt in a kisse or smile love lyes

    then fly betimes for only they

    conquer love yt run away.   [138]

    In Amorem1012

    Love if a god thou art, then ever more thou must

    be mercifull & Just;

    If Just thou be O wherfore doth thy dart

    Wound mine alone & not my Mistresse heart

    Who have thee truly served,

    Whyle shee that for thy powr cares not a fly

    laughes yee to scorne & liues at liberty.

    Then if a god thou wilt accounted bee,

    Heale me like her or else wound her like me.   [139]


    what[s] freindship? tis a treasure,

    tis a pleasure:

    bred twixt two worthy spirits,

    by there merits:

    tis two minds in one meeting,

    never fleeting:

    Two wills in one Consenting,

    each Contenting:

    One brest in two divided yet not parted;

    a double body, & yet single hearted;

    two bodies making one through selfe election

    two minds, yet having both but one affection.

    Finis ad hoc Tempus.

    [The Two Faithful Lovers]1014

    Farewell my hearts delight, Lady adieu.

    I must goe take my flight, when it ensues.

    My countrymen I doe see they cannot yet agree

    till things will better bee England adeiu.

    O be not so unkind, Love heart, & Joy.

    for to leave mee behind, breeds my anoy.

    have a patient heart, Ile helpe to beare ye smart,

    Ere yee & I depart my turtle dove.1015

    Ile leave yee gold good store, yee to maintaine

    what canst thou wish for more, doe not complaine.

    servants shall waite on yee, Ile leave yee Jewells 3

    yt thou maist thinke on mee when I am gone.1016

    if thou wilt goe to sea love heart, & Joy

    I will attend on you and be your Boy,

    for here lie not abide wt ere me betide,

    Heavens yn be my guide & leade ye way.   [140]

    [Disdain Returned]1017

    If thou wast fairer, yn thou art,

    which lyeth not in ye power of art,

    or Hadst thou in thine eyes more darts,

    yn ever Cupid shot at Hearts,

    But if yy were, not shot at mee,

    I would not Have one thought of ye,

    I would rather Marry a disease,

    then court the thing I cannot please

    shee that would cherish my desire,

    Must meete my flame wth æqual fire,

    Wt pleasure is yr in a kisse,

    To him yt doubts ye Hearts not His,

    I love yee not b’cause thou art fayre

    Softer yn downe, sweeter yn Ayre,

    Nor for those graces which doe ly

    In every corner of thine Eye.

    If thou wouldst know wt it may bee

    Its I love yee, Cause thou Lovest Mee.

    The Anser followeth

    One leaf following page [140] has been cut out. Page [143] is all in Seaborn Cotton’s handwriting, and obviously written at four separate times: (1) the marriage record; (2) the first four births; (3) from “this childe dyed” through the entry for the second Sarah; and (4) seventh child.1018

    I was married by My Father The 14 of June, 1654.

    My 1st childe still borne novem. 21 at nine of ye clocke at night, in ye year 1655.

    ye 2d Dorothy nov: 11 at 5 of ye clocke in ye morning 1656.

    ye 3d John. May ye 8th between 3 & 4 in ye morning. 1658.

    ye 4th Sarah feb. 22 about 1 in ye afternoone. 1659: this childe dyed Aprill 1 about 2 in ye morning. 1660.

    ye 5th was borne on thursday august [ ] 1661 at halfe an houre past twelve at noone. Her name is Anne.

    ye 6th was borne on thursday July 3. 63 betweene 5 & 6 of the clocke in the morning. Her name is Sarah.

    ye 71th was borne on ye lords day, being august 13. 1665 about 3 of ye clocke in ye morning, baptized ye same day & named Elizabeth.

    Death records, beginning with that of John Cotton, December 23, 1652, are entered on page [144]. They also are in Seaborn Cotton’s hand, and written at a different time from any of the preceding. They are repeated on page [173], and from that page are printed below. On page [145] begins another group of poetical excerpts. The following ballads are in handwriting B.

    Walkeing in a pleasant feilde

    Where trees goodly fruite did yield

    round aboute I Cast my eye

    for to see what I Coulde spye

    Many trees I saw there grow

    which did make a pleasant show

    but amongst this pleasant wood

    there a stately Cedar stood

    young it was but yet well grown

    the statelyest tree that I haue known

    when uppon it I did loock

    mee thought my very hart was struck

    as I was gazeing on this tree

    admireing that which I did see

    Suddenly I saw a Creature

    going towards this stately Cedar

    it pulled the boughes from of the body

    but yet this gallant tree stood steady

    it pulled & tore it very sore

    but yet this tree stood as before

    and stand it will in spighte of all

    though som do hope to make it fall

    DC   [147]1019

    Melpomene assist mee now

    with doleful mourneful tones

    Some of your sacred skill impart

    to utter forth my grones

    O had I now but eloquence

    my greifes for to relate

    sure I could moue the ruthless stones

    to pitty my harde fate

    My soule with trouble is overwhelmed

    my harte with greife nighe broake

    my wounde it is incurable

    So heauy is my yoake

    Coulde I put life into my pen

    to understand my woe

    instead of inke then drops of blood

    full soone from thence woulde flow

    Although thus deadly be my greife

    and burdensome my smart

    yet close I will it keepe within

    the secret of my hart

    theres none aliue shall euer know

    what doth my soule oppress

    vnless that I were sure that they

    Coulde ease my sad distress   [149]1020

    The next entry in the commonplace book deals with “the nature & disposition of the moone in the birth of children.” These forecasts for each day of the moon cover pages [149–161]. They are in what appears to be a much older handwriting (B′) of the person who copied the preceding ballads. There follow, in the same handwriting, on pages [162–168] notes on “The dispositions of the planets,” of which the following extract is typical:

    Saturne, iupiter, Mars, Sol, Venus, Mercury, Luna,

    Saturne is the Cause of death, dearth & peace, Jupiter is the Cause of Long peace rest & vertuous liuing …

    The following poem at the top of page [169] is in the same hand (B′). It has the appearance of having been copied earlier than the astrological data, but later than the ballads on pages [145–147].

    happy you Leaues when as those

    Lilly hands,   which hold my Life

    in there dead doing might

    shall handle you and hold in Loues

    softe bands,   Like trembling

    captiues at there victors sight

    and happy Liues on which with

    Bravry Light   those Lampes

    With delight somtime to look

    and read the sorrows of my

    dying sprighte,   written with

    teares in harts Close bleeding


    The following record of a horse trade is in Seaborn Cotton’s hand (A′).

    A Bargaine made between John Garland & my selfe August 6. 1669. That He should send mee forthwith the Horse I borrowed of him to Plymouth1021 which Horse I am to have for mine owne paying the said Garland seven pounds in manner following viz: 2000 foot of boards between the next spring & midsummer at price currant, & the remainder of ye pay, to be set off in his next rate, & what that falls short of the whole summe [170] to be payd in corne or staves at the price that I receive them, this agreement was made the day aboue mentioned, between John Garland, & Seaborne Cotton, my wife & Mr Colcord being present, further the vse that I have had of the Horse was to be freely for nothing as the same attest, and further It was agreed that if the said Garland should become indebted to Mr Groth for any Care, I paying Mr Groth what was due should have It allowed mee out of the summe of the seven pounds: this was ye full bargaine.

    On page [171] we return to family records.

    I was Marryed by My Father Mr Simon Bradstreet to His Eldest Daughter Dorothy: June 14. 1654.

    The record of childbirths printed on page 348, above, from page [143] of the manuscript is here repeated in handwriting A′. There follow, in a different ink and in Seaborn Cotton’s oldest hand, these addenda.1022

    The Eighth was borne on friday night about 1 of ye clocke in ye morning The 2d of November & was baptized the 4th 1666 and was named Mercy. [172]

    The 9th my wife miscarryed with on monday night, the night following the 30th of december 1667. It was a boy. The Lord helpe vs to make good vse of his providence.

    The 10th was borne vpon Monday morning being the 5th of Aprill 1669 between sixe, & seven in ye morning, & was baptized the 11th of ye same moneth, and named Abiah; & dyed May the 11th 1669 about noone: The Will of the Lord bee done.1023

    The 11th was borne upon thursday night, about midnight being Aprill 21. 1670. was baptized the 24 of ye same instant, named Maryah.

    My Deare wife dyed & went to heaven feb 26 1671. & was buried feb 28 1671. & was with childe so her 12th childe yet never delivered. [173]

    My Deare Father Mr John Cotton having lived 67 yeares & 20 dayes, dyed on thursday morning about eleven of ye clocke decemb. 23. 1652 & was buried the following tuesday being decemb: 28. 1652. cuius vestigia semper adoro.

    My Sister Sarah having lived betweē 14 & 15 yeares, dyed, Jan. 20.1649 & was buried ye next day:

    My Brother Rowland fell sicke Jan. 18 & dyed about 8 dayes after my sister 1649. was aged 6 yeares.

    My Sister Elizabeth dyed in childebed august: 31. 1656. was aged about 18 yeares: shee dyed at one in ye morning being Lords day as also my Sister Sarah dyed ye Lords day in ye afternoone.

    My deare Mother Mrs Sarah Mather, Formerly Mrs Cotton, having lived about 75 yeares dyed in the Lord May 27.1676 & was buried May 28 being the Lords Day. Let mee never Forgett her dying words.1024 [174]

    I was marryed to my second wife, Mrs Prudence Crosbey The daughter of Mr Jonathan Wade of Ipswich the 9th of July 1673 by Maior Denison

    My 1st childe by Her, ye 13th in all, was born on Satturday night, about 7 of ye clocke, It being ye 29th of August, & was baptized august 30. 1674 & was named Rowland. The Lord give us Rest.

    My 2d childe by her & 14th in all, was borne october 6 about 5 of ye clocke in ye morning 1676 & baptized octob. 8 1676 & was named Wade, in honour of his Grandfather Wade & to put him in mind of wading through all trialls to heaven He dyed & was buried octob. 11. 76. [175]

    My Hond Father mr Seaborne Cotton having lived 53 years dyed April 20 1686 about break of ye day …1025

    I was married to Mrs Anna Lake by Majr Richards Aug. 17 1686 at evening. Jno: Cotton

    The rest of this book contains John Cotton’s family records, 1687–1710, in his and later hands (pages [177–180]); an account of his death (page [181]); and later family records made by one of his sons or grandsons (pages [182–193]).