A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at the house of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, No. 28 Newbury Street, Boston, on Thursday, January 28, 1926, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the President, Samuel Eliot Morison, Ph.D., in the chair.

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

    Mr. George P. Anderson spoke on William Molineux (1717–1774), a militant Boston Patriot, giving a biographical account of him and pointing out his connection with the political activities of the time.551

    Mr. Chester N. Greenough then read:


    Every reader of Cotton Mather’s diary knows how deep and constant was his concern for the fate of the precious manuscript of the Magnalia. From the summer of 1700 when he sent it to England until the autumn of 1702 when he first saw the great folio in actual print, its welfare was a matter of anxiety which prayers and vigils controlled, perhaps, but could not banish. Forgetting how momentous was, for him, the outcome of an undertaking which both in bulk and in significance overtopped all the other publications of his busy life, the modern reader is probably disposed to wish that he had more sparingly recorded his concern for the manuscript.

    However that may be, we are certainly not too fully informed about the vicissitudes of the book after it reached London. Hence the importance of a letter — apparently unpublished — which the Reverend John Quick wrote to Cotton Mather from London on March 19, 1702.552

    Before turning to the letter it will perhaps be worth while to recapitulate the story as we get it from Cotton Mather himself.

    Even before the book was wholly written, Mather had announced the scheme of it in his Johannes in Eremo (1695).553 Some two years later, when the work was approaching completion, the Diary554 records his pleasure at receiving a book which not only quotes from his writings and, though written by a conformist, much magnifies the names and lives of nonconformists, but also advertises the Magnalia. The book is, A Compleat History of the Most Remarkable Providences, … Which have Hapned in this Present Age.… London: John Dunton.… MDCXCVII., a folio written by William Turner (1653–1701). At the end are advertised “Books now in the Press, and designed for it. Printed for John Dunton.” Among these is the Magnalia, which is announced as follows: “The Church-History of New England, is now almost finished, including the Lives of the most eminent Divines of that Country from the first planting of it, down to this present Year, 1696. ’Tis written by Mr. Cotton Mather, Pastor of a Church in Boston, from whom I shall receive the Manuscript Copy as soon as compleated;555 and being a large Work, ’twill be Printed in Folio, by way of Subscription.”

    Thus, even before the manuscript of the Magnalia was sent to London, it had been advertised not less than twice, and at least one London publisher — if not a very trustworthy one — awaited it.

    From 1700 on the entries become more frequent; hence it will be convenient to omit those which merely record Mather’s anxiety and to abstract the others, chronologically, with the reference to the Diary in each case.

    June 8, 1700:

    Mather sends the Magnalia, with “Directions about the publishing of it,” to England (i. 353).

    December 12, 1700:

    Receives “Letters from England, full of Encouragement, concerning the hopeful Circumstances” of the Magnalia (i. 375).

    May 10, 1701:

    Speaks of “my Church-History, now in London” (i. 399).

    June 13, 1701:

    Although his “Church History, is a bulky thing, of about 250 sheets,” which “will cost about 600 lb” to publish, although “The Booksellers in London are cold about it” and “The Proposals for Subscriptions, are of an uncertain and a tedious Event,” nevertheless “behold, what my Friend Mr. Bromfield, writes me from London, March 28, 1701: ‘There is one Mr. Robert Hackshaw, a very serious and Godly man, who proposes to print the Ecclesiastical History of N. E. … AT HIS OWN CHARGE. … He declared He did it not with any Expectation of Gain to himself, but for the Glory of God’”556 (i. 400).

    September 27, 1701:

    The publication of the Magnalia is “unhappily clog’d by some Dispositions of the Gentleman, to whom I first sent it” (i. 404).

    February 10, 1702:

    The Magnalia “runs great Hazards of Miscarrying” (i. 411).

    May 1, 1702:

    Receives important news: “My Church-History has been in extreme Hazard of Miscarrying. The Delay, given by the nice Hummours [sic] of my Friend557 in whose Hands it was left, unto the kind Offers and Motions of the Gentleman, that would have published it a Year ago,558 exposed it unto the Hazard of never being published at all. God continued the Opportunities and Inclinations of that Gentleman to go on with the Undertaking. When they began to fail, God stirr’d up a very eminent Bookseller,559 to come in, with obliging Tenders of his Assistance. Letters to Advise me of this, were dated as long ago as the twentieth of last November, … At last, on this Day, after so long a Delay, comes in the Ship that had these Letters; which also tell me, that they hoped the Work would be finished, by the Month of March, which is now past” (i. 427).

    Anyone who has tried to launch a book into an indifferent world, even in these days of cables and quick mails, will hardly fail to realize some of Cotton Mather’s distress at the delayed appearance of the work which, we must always remember, was not only one of the beloved children of its author’s busy brain but also — as he verily believed — an important piece of the Lord’s business.

    Meanwhile what was going on in London? It has already appeared that as early as March, 1701, Robert Hackshaw had made an offer, that someone — perhaps Bromfield — had endangered the enterprise by asking for terms too unfavorable to the booksellers, and that somehow Thomas Parkhurst had at last taken over the work. But the relation of Parkhurst, Hackshaw, and Bromfield to each other and to the business in hand is far from clear.

    To make it somewhat clearer we shall now present Quick’s letter, after having given a brief account of his life.

    John Quick (1636–1706) was a Devonshire man, born at Plymouth; an Oxford graduate, with Puritan inclinations, fostered at Exeter, which under the severe but able leadership of Conant was then a large, strong college. He graduated B.A. in 1657. Quick held several livings in Devonshire, did not conform at the Restoration, and consequently was arrested and imprisoned more than once. Settling in London, he became the head of a congregation in Bartholomew Close, Smithfield. There he died in 1706, known as a serious scholar and preacher.

    Besides the usual minor publications of a Puritan minister of the period, Quick wrote two much larger works. His Synodicon in Gallia Reformata, in two folio volumes, was published at London in 1692 by T. Parkhurst and J. Robinson.560 As this work amply shows, Quick was profoundly interested in the welfare of the Protestant churches in France, and laborious in gathering the documents to illustrate their history. His other large work never got into print. This was another great collection, but this time of biographies rather than documents: his Icones Sacrae is said to contain the biographies of seventy divines, French and English.561 Calamy acknowledges his debt to it, and — as Quick’s letter to Cotton Mather will presently show — a sketch of John Flavell had been made from it by a process of abridgment so violent as greatly to distress the author. Otherwise the work seems to have remained unused. It is now — three folio volumes — in Dr. Williams’s Library, London.562

    Finally, let it be noted that in forwarding the publication of Cotton Mather’s book, John Quick was not only doing a service for a fellow Puritan whose father had preached in Quick’s own pulpit563 at Bartholomew Close, but was returning in kind a favor which he had but two years earlier received from the younger Mather. For in 1700, Cotton Mather records564 that to one of his own works which was then being published he did “adjoin a savoury little Discourse, of Mr. Quick, a Reverend Presbyterian in London, about A Claim to the Sacrament, as well to confute our pretended Presbyterians, as to promote practical Godliness.”

    And now at last we come to the letter:

    Reverend Sr

    Octobr the 10. at Euening in ye yeare of our Lord 1701— I received this order (the Originall of Wch I communicated as I haue also of ye following Receipts to your worthy Brother mr Sam.565 the last week) from mr Hackshaws man “mr John Quick, Reverend Sr, Herewith I send you mr Cotton mather his Letter to your self, & doe desire that according to his Order you will be pleased to deliver ye Copy of his Treatise called magnalia christi Americana to this Bearer, wo will giue you my Receipt for it, & thereby you will obliege, Sr, your friend & seruant R. Hackshaw.566

    Haueing perused this script, I told mr Hackshaws servt, “Friend, I dont know you, I shall not deliver ye mscr. to any but into your master’s own hands, & I desire He would come in person & receiue it.

    The next day about 5. in ye afternoon mr Hackshaw came to my hou[se] & demanding your mnscr. History of me, I tendred him this Acquittance to be signed by him for my discharge.

    “London, Octobr 11, 1701. I doe acknowledg to haue received of mr John Quick minr of ye Gospell by order of ye R. mr Cotton mather Pastor of ye Nor[th] Church in Boston of New England ye manuscript Copy of his magnalia christi Americana in seven Books, The wch manuscript I promise to pu[t] into ye presse very speedily, & that mr Quick shall haue ye correcting of ye sheets, as they are wrought off from ye presse, that so it may not be prejudiced through ye negligence of ye Printer, witness my hand ye day & yeare above: written.

    mr Hackshaw haueing read it scrupled ye signing it, excepting again[st] theise clauses “The wch manuscr. I promise to put into ye presse ver[y] speedily, & yt me Quick shall haue ye correcting of ye sheets as they are wrought off from ye press &c. I demanded ye reason of his Refuseall. To wch He replyed in theise words, “Sr, I will not ingage [my] self one way or other about ye printing of it, onely I will be accountable to mr Cotton mather for ye manuscr. But, Sr, said I, showing him y[our] Letter to me, yt mr mather desires it may be printed with all conve[nient] expedition, & yt I should oversee ye correction of ye presse. He answer[ed:]

    “Sr, I haue read it, but I shall engage for nothing, nor will I be concernde at all about it’s impression, but another shall. Sr, said I, pr[ay] wo is it? mr Hackshaw replys, I haue treated with mr Parkhurst, who will buy ye paper of me, & print it, provided I will take off an hundred books, wch I intend to send to N. E. & ye Caribbee Islands, there to be disposed of. And Parkhurst will present mr Mather with some books as he thinks fitting, I suppose about Ten.567

    I wondred I confesse yt I heard no news this morning (Octobr 11.) of m[y] Booksellers, wo had promised to be with me, & to strike up a bargain wi[th] me for ye Coppy, & I had certainly sent you either a fair Bill of some scores of Guineas, or at least an Hundred Books well-bound for your Copy. But what you shall now haue for all your pains & Labour I know not. I cant blame Parkhurst for saueing his coppy-money, nor mr Robert Hacksh[aw] for selling off a warehouse of Paper, yt had long layen on his hands. nor would I haue you to blame me if there be any failures in your Book when printed; for thô I endeavourd to doe you all ye right & service I could & that your History might be published with all advantage to your self & reputation, yet you see how I am excluded from all intermeddling with it. I am full of fears for your Labour, least there should be any Interpolations or detruncations from it. I haue bin dealt with all very unfairly by Parkhurst, for me [?] to gratify his extreame importunity, I let him haue my manscr. Icon of mr fflavells Life to be prefixt to ye late Impression of all his works in 2. voll. in folio,568 He took it, & got it abridged, but so horribly mained & wounded, that ye poor man in ye Almanack569 has not more arrows shaking in all ye members of his body, than that Icon of mine has wounds & maimes. And yet it must passe in ye world as if it were my own Composure; when as Sr, it’s no more mine, than if you should chop off my hands, arms, & leggs, & [binding?] pieces of wood to those parts, you should say, this is whole Mr Quick. when I expostulated with him for this durty useage, & demanded of him wo did it, He answered me as the Cyclops did Neptune, it was one mr Outis,570 he did not know whom. Sr, one thing more I will adde, for I am concernde for you. Tis well you line 3000. miles off London, or else Burre rediviue571 would cry to you as he did to Sr Walter Rawleigh, “I am undone by ye printing of your history, & you cannot doe Jesse than take off 500. books or more to help reimburse me of my dammages. And yet ye man got an estate by Sr Walter’s History, thô ye world was really damnified by ye losse of ye two remaining Vollumes, wch Sr Walter in a passion, because he would haue no more undone by Him, cast into ye fire. But let me returne from my Digression. I urgde mr Hackshaw againe twice or thrice, yt I might have ye oversight of ye sheets as they came from ye Presse, & prefix a short Dedicatory Epistle of an half sheet to ye King. Unto wch he answered, “I haue left all to Parkhurst, wo will take a fourtnights time to peruse it, & then He will tell me, whether He will print it or no. However I will be accountable to mr Mather for his Copy. whereupon in complyance with your order, wch he gave me, I resigned to him your Entire manuscr. together with ye Additionall prints572 you sent me to be inserted in their proper place, takeing from Him this Receipt, ye Originall I keep by me for my own Indemnity. “London, Octobr 11. 1701. I doe acknowledg to haue received of mr John Quick minr of ye Gospell by order of ye R. mr Cotton Mather Pastor of ye N. Ch. at Boston in New Engl the mnscr. Copy of his magnalia christi Americana in 7. Books, for ye wch mnscr. I will be responsible unto mr Mather aforesaid, witnesse my hand ye day & year aboue-written, R. Hackshaw.”

    you should haue received this account sooner, would my health haue permitted me. N.B. Governour Dudley573 desired that he might read over (wch He did in my Library) his ffather’s Life, & altered one or two words, wch as I remember were theise, “not a servant but uncle or Guardian to ye Earle of Lincolne. He approved of your performance. I had proposed theise Articles to my Booksellers, wo should haue purchased your Mnscr. of me. 1. 100. Guineas or so many Books well-bound. 2. Six of ye larger Paper574 richly bound for your Patrons. 3. To be put into ye Presse immediately. 4. Every sheet to be brought to me hot from ye Presse to be revised & corrected.575 5. The Paper & character to be ye same with my printed Proposalls.576 6. not one to be sold off till all your Books were first delivered to me. 7. The best chart of New Engl. The best Topographicall Delineation of Boston, & your effigies’ in mezzotinto to be præfixed to ye whole work. But all theise fair designes, hopes, & endeauors of mine for you are now vanished into smoak. Most of all am I grieued for ye Paper & character, wch compareing with ye specimens herewith sent you will certainly affect & afflict you, for they doe me very much. And how to remedy any other miscarriages about ye Impression I am utterly at a losse. The delays in publishing my Icons was no detriment, but in truth a furtherance to your work. For I wûd haue procured you all my subscribers. But I dônt owe ye Booksellers that suit & service. It hath pleased ye Lord to continue his heavy hand upon now full 20. Monthes, & this Week hath bin a racking torture to me. Dear Sr, haue me recommended to your R. Father, & to all our Brethren with you. The R. R. mr How,577 mr Hammond, mr Alsop, mr Griffyth, mr Bragge, & my poor self can not be long on this side ye Graue, we are hastening homeward apa[ce]. O! Lift up a petition for me, That I may finish my course with joy, & obtaine ye end of my ffaith, ye salvation of my soul. I am waiting for yt blessed hope, ye glorious appearance of ye great God, & our Saviour ye Lord Jesus Christ. Come Lord Jesu! even so come quickly! I thank you for your pious & usefull meditations, wch have much refreshed me. Had my ffast sermons about 3. years agoe upon ye 5. of Jer. 12. Upon ye 64. Esay. 1. & upon 25. Jer. 29, & 11. Psal. 3. bin compared with those excellent ones of your Honoured ffather on Ezek. 9. 3. together with his Epistle to ye Reader, you would ha[ve] said, I had borrowed all my notions from Him, thô I never saw them, till your Brother presented them to me this munday.578 But ye same holy spirit suggested to us both ye same thoughts, ye very self same holy matter. O! yt they wo haue ears would heare what ye spirit saith unto ye churches! Forgiue me the tedium of this epistle. I shall never trouble you at this rate any more. Grace be with your spirit! So prayeth, Dear Sr,

    Your most affectionate thô unworthy fellow servt

    John Quick

    London, March. 19.


    postscript, what & if ye minrs of N. E. did address her majesty Qu. Anne, congratulateing her happy succession to ye throne? Engrosse it in parchmin, subscribe it with as many hands as you can, of Pastors of churches, & send it over here to be presented by some wo you can intrust. I am confident it will be kindly taken, & turne to good Account for you. What you doe, doe quickly. Let your Address be short but cordial’ & melting.

    This letter certainly does something toward filling the gaps in the story of the Magnalia. It makes quite clear the relation of Hackshaw and Parkhurst; it shows how persistent, though vain, was Quick’s endeavor to secure the opportunity to examine the proofsheets before publication; and it opens a tantalizing prospect of mezzotint portraits, patrons, and various other worldly considerations which the “Chief of Sinners” in his far-away Boston study must have found it hard to renounce.

    Why was this devout, unwieldy book called the Magnalia? We know that Cotton Mather had a fondness for beginning his titles with a word or phrase from the Hebrew, Greek, or Latin.579 And it is a matter of record that the word “magnalia” occurs several times in Latin,580 notably in the Vulgate version of Acts ii. 11, where the Greek τὰ μεγαλεῖα τοῦ Θεοῦ becomes “magnalia Dei,” which in the King James Version is “the wonderful works of God.” It can, therefore, be asserted with confidence that to every Puritan of anything like Cotton Mather’s learning “magnalia” was familiar, had a Biblical connotation, and would probably have been rendered into English about as it is rendered by King James’s translators.

    Of less importance are the cases — the Oxford Dictionary gives three — where seventeenth century writers use “magnalia” in English prose.581

    At least four times before Cotton Mather used it, the word “magnalia” had formed a part of the title of an English book, and one of these titles is so similar to our New England Magnalia as to suggest a source. These four titles are:

    1. 1. Magnalia Dei. A Relation Of some of the many Remarkable Passages in Cheshire Before the Siege of Namptwich, during the Continuance of it: And at the happy raising of it by the victorious Gentlemen Sir Tho. Fairfax and Sir William Brereton. Together With the Deliverance and Victory by the Garrison at Nottingham: certified in a Letter to a worthy Member of the House of Commons. Published by Authority and entred according to order. Psal. 31. 23, 24.… London: Printed for Robert Bostock dwelling at the Signe of the Kings head in Pauls Church-yard. 1644. 4º. [2 leaves and] pp. 1–22.582
    2. 2. Magnalia Dei ab Aquilone; Set Forth, In A Sermon Preached Before The Right Honourable the Lords and Commons, at St Margarets Westminster, upon Thursday Iuly 18, 1644. being the day of publike Thanksgiving for the great Victory obtained against Prince Rupert and the Earle of Newcastles Forces neere Yorke. By Richard Vines, Minister of Gods Word at Weddington in the County of Warwick, and a Member of the Assembly of Divines. Published by Order of both Houses. London, Printed by G. M. for Abel Roper at the signe of the Sunne over against St Dunstans Church in Fleet-street. 1644. 4º. [2 leaves and] pp. 1–21 [and 1 leaf].583
    3. 3. Magnalia Naturae: Or, The Philosophers-Stone, lately exposed to publick Sight and Sale. Being a true and exact Account of the Manner how Wenceslaus Seilerus, the late famous Projection-Maker, at the Emperor’s Court at Vienna, came by, and made away with a very great Quantity of Powder of Projection … for some Years past. Published at the Request, and for the Satisfaction of several Curious, especially of Mr. Boyle, &c. By John Joachim Becker, … London, … 1680. 4º. 38 pages. (This curious pamphlet is reprinted in the Harleian Miscellany.)584
    4. 4. The fourth example seems much more significant. It bears the title: Magnalia Dei Anglicana. Or, Englands Parliamentary-Chronicle. Containing a full and faithfull Series, and Exact Narration of all the most memorable Parliamentary-Mercies, and mighty (if not miraculous) Deliverances, great and glorious Victories, and admirable Successes, of the Counsels and Armies of this present Parliament, both by Sea and by Land, over the whole Kingdom of England, in the most just defence and Vindication of her Religion, Laws, and Liberties, from the yeer, 1640. to this present yeer, 1646.… Collected cheifly for the high Honour of our Wonder-working God; And for the unexpressible Comfort of all Cordiall English Parliamentarians. By the most unworthy Admirer of Them, John Vicars.… Imprinted at London, for J. Rothwell, at the Sun & Fountain, in Pauls Church-yard, and Tho. Underhill, at the Bible in Woodstreet. 1646.585

    Part I of Vicars has a very long separate title-page which may be shortened to: Jehovah-Jireh. God in the Mount.… 1644. (Pages 1–434 and Index.) Although the pagination is continuous and (in the Harvard copy at least) Part II has no separate title-page,586 Part I may be said to end with page 87: “But here, good Reader, I have thought fit to shut up the sluce and flood-gates of this most fluent River; to put a period to the first part of this our famous and most memorable Parliamentarie Chronicle,” etc.

    Part III has another very long separate title-page: Gods Arke Overtopping the Worlds Waves, Or The Third Part of the Parliamentary Chronicle.… 1646. The paging runs to 304; then follows an index, or “Table.”

    Part IV is called: The Burning-Bush not Consumed. Or, The Fourth and Last Part Of The Parliamentarie-Chronicle.… 1646. This has 476 pages of text, followed by a table.

    To say nothing about the similarity of their titles for subdivisions, the likeness is as close as it could be between John Vicars’ Magnalia Dei Anglicana of 1646 and Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana of fifty years later. There is apparently no evidence587 to show that Cotton Mather ever owned a copy of Vicars. But he may well have had one, or at least have heard of its title. And to make just that slight change in Vicars’ title would have been exactly in Cotton Mather’s manner.588

    Let us conclude, as John Quick did, with a postscript about Queen Anne. It is surely interesting to find this London Puritan urging upon a Boston minister the importance of a certain diplomatic gesture. Did Cotton Mather respond to the suggestion?

    The date of Quick’s letter, it will be remembered, was March 19. King William had died on March 8. On April 23 occurred the coronation of Queen Anne. Well might Quick urge speed, for before his letter could reach Boston, addresses to the Queen began to pour in from her loyal subjects the two great universities, from the various dioceses, boroughs, and the like.589

    On June 16, 1702, in spite of his wife’s extreme illness, Cotton Mather was able to note in his diary: “Several Addresses of some Consequence, especially one to the Queen, did I draw up, about this Time.”590

    In the London Gazette, No. 3829 (July 20–23, 1702), we find these items:

    Boston in New-England, June 8.

    On the 28th of May last we received Advice of the Death of His late Majesty, and of Her present Majesty’s happy Succession to the Throne: The Council and the General Assembly were then sitting, and the Members of the Council immediately took the Oath of Allegiance to her Majesty. The next day the Council, attended by the Representatives in the General Assembly, the Ministers, Justices of the Peace, Gentlemen, Merchants, and other Inhabitants, Proclaimed Her Majesty, the Troop of Guards and the Regiment of Militia being in Arms, who, when the Proclamation was ended, fired three Volleys, which was followed with Huzza’s, and loud Acclamations of God save Queen Anne, and the Cannon of the Castle and Forts, and of Her Majesty’s Ship the Gosport, and the Merchant Ships then in our Port, was discharged. In the Evening the Company was entertained at the Town-House, and other Places, and all other Demonstrations of Joy were given suitable to the Occasion. The 31st, the Representatives took the Oath of Allegiance. The 4th Instant, the Members of the Council and other Gentlemen of the Town went into Mourning for the Death of His late Majesty. The Bells were tolled from 8 till 10 in the morning, and from 2 till 4 in the afternoon; Funeral Sermons were preached in all the Churches, and the Guns of the Castle and Forts, and of the Ships in our Port, were all discharged.

    Windsor, July 19. The following Address was presented to Her Majesty by Constantine Phipps Esq; introduced by the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Nottingham, Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State.

    To Her most Excellent Majesty Anne, by the Grace of God, of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, &c.

    The humble Address of the Council and Representatives of Your Majesty’s Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, in General Court assembled.

    Most Gracious Sovereign.

    The Surprizing Intelligence of the Awful Stroke of Divine Providence, in the Death of our late Sovereign Lord King William III. of ever Glorious Memory, filled us with no little Consternation, and very sensibly affects us with a deep Sorrow for so unspeakable a Loss; which we humbly crave leave to Condole with Your Majesty and our Nation; and at the same time most heartily to Congratulate Your Majesty’s happy Accession to the Throne, whereby our Grief is alleviated, in that Your Majesty’s known Zeal for, and firm Adherence to, the Protestant Religion, gives us Assurance of enjoying Prosperity under Your Majesty’s auspicious Reign, which God grant may be long and prosperous.

    Humbly beseeching Your Majesty, That the benign Influences of Your Royal Goodness and Protection may be extended to Your Majesty’s good Subjects in this Province, at so great distance from the Royal Seat.

    That Almighty God would afford Your Majesty the Assistance of all Divine Grace, is and shall be the hearty and fervent Prayer of Your Majesty’s most Dutiful, Loyal, and Obedient Subjects.

    Boston, June 6. 1702.

    Then follows an address from Barbadoes. “Which Addresses Her Majesty received very graciously.”

    This address, to be sure, is not quite what Quick suggested: it is an address from the Legislature, not from the clergy. But the date is very close to the date when Mather notes that “about this Time” he wrote an address to the Queen. Moreover it does not appear that any other of the American colonies sent addresses. There seems, therefore, rather more than a possibility that it was Quick’s suggestion that prompted Cotton Mather, and Cotton Mather’s pen that wrote the address.

    Mr. Thomas J. Holmes, Librarian of the William Gwinn Mather Library in Cleveland, has communicated to the Society the following sketch of Samuel Mather, of Witney, referred to in Mr. Greenough’s paper:


    All editors who have had occasion to look into the life of Samuel Mather of Witney have agreed that very little is known of it. By a close reading of the scanty materials concerning him, still extant, mainly in the library of Mr. William Gwinn Mather, it seems safe to set down the following meagre outline of his biography.

    He was born in Boston on Friday, August 28, 1674, the sixth of the ten children, and youngest of the three sons, of Increase Mather and his wife, Maria, daughter of the first John Cotton of Boston.591

    Samuel gained the rudiments of his Hebrew and Greek from his brilliant brother Nathanael, five years his senior, who died when nineteen years old. Samuel acquired as much or more in other subjects, including Latin, from his eldest brother, the still more brilliant Cotton Mather, who was eleven years his senior.

    He studied at Harvard and his first degree was conferred upon him by that college in 1690, though he was not present in person to receive it.592

    In April, 1688, he went with his father to England when the latter began his four years political mission there. It is extremely probable that he lodged with his uncle and aunt, Nathanael and Mary Mather, who had no children of their own. Nathanael had come to London from Dublin in 1687, and in 1689 was living in Fenchurch street.593 He succeeded the Rev. John Collins, who died December 3, 1687,594 in the pastorate of that Congregational church world famous in recent times as The London City Temple. Increase Mather visited and conferred with his brother frequently while in London.595

    Samuel spent little time with his extremely busy parent in England except during holiday jaunts in and near London; such as the visits to the Council Chamber and to Chelsea, and the trips to Hounslow, Maidenhead and Cambridge, which Sewall records.596

    In September, 1689, at Deal, in Kent, Samuel took the smallpox while he and his father and friends waited for the ship for Boston. The Mathers were unable to leave. On October 3, however, Samuel being able to travel, his father took him back to London, probably again to stay with his uncle Nathanael, and to continue his studies, doubtless under the direction of his uncle. The duration of Increase Mather’s stay in London being uncertain it is scarcely probable that Samuel entered any English college. That Samuel did not neglect his Latin while in England, is indicated by a mention of a Latin letter he wrote to Samuel Sewall, probably early in 1691, which Sewall answered, also in Latin, on May 11, of that year.597 I wonder whether it may have been Samuel Sewall who transmitted to Samuel Mather his diploma from Harvard, and whether this Latin correspondence began with a covering letter in that language written by Sewall to young Samuel? Increase Mather returned home in 1692. Samuel came with him, “well improved in his education.”598

    Probably Samuel reëntered Harvard in the autumn of 1692 in order to carry forward his studies to fit himself to receive the degree of A.M. That such a degree was conferred upon him at some time is indicated by the A.M. which ornaments his name in the title-pages of two of his works, and in the inscription of a rare and undoubtedly authentic mezzotint portrait of him, still extant. That it was Harvard College which conferred the degree is indicated by the inclusion of his name with the Master’s degree there duly credited, in the list of the class of 1690 given in the Catalogus of 1698.599

    Mr. Albert Matthews inclines to the opinion that Samuel may have received his second degree in 1693. To accomplish an adequate preparation for such a recognition, after only one year of renewed study at Harvard, presupposes Samuel to have pursued his studies with scarcely any interruption during his four years’ stay in England. Be that as it may, Samuel could have put in his three years’ study following his first degree — usually, though not always, required600 — and have received his A.M. degree in 1695 and still have been recorded in Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Catalogus of 1698.

    The Reverend John Higginson of Salem, under the date of March 25, 1697,601 stated that “Samuel Mather … is now a publick Preacher.” The omission of anything to connect him with any church seems to indicate that he had not as yet been made a pastor of a church.

    In 1703 Increase Mather recorded in his manuscript autobiography his wish that Samuel might be chosen to succeed his father at the Second Church, and in 1704 he said, “Since I wrote this, the brethren, (about 100 of them) have invited my Samuel to return to them but he is not inclined; nor would I again urge it.” Samuel had apparently found England to his liking, for at this time he was in London. That he returned thither shortly after attaining his second degree is indicated by Sewall’s record of packets and letters sent to him there in 1698.602 There is no record of his ever visiting New England again.

    Samuel Mather of Witney is named in the will of his aunt Mary Mather (proved in 1705), widow of Nathanael Mather of London.603 He is to receive a fourth part of the residuum of the estate after sundry benefices have been paid; and he is to receive the whole of his uncle’s library after paying one hundred pounds to Mr. Warham Mather, his cousin, for the latter’s one-half share of the books. Samuel is also to receive his uncle’s watch.604

    In later years, Sir Henry Ashurst more than once invited Samuel Mather to call on him.605 Samuel did not accept, perhaps because he felt no inclination to curry favor with the great. He seems to have had no pronounced thirst for fame. Most of his works were published anonymously. Only the last three of the publications wholly from his pen were signed by him. Only the last two bore his A.M. degree. He had a somewhat blunt, forthright manner, tempered, it may be, with humor a trifle hard — traceable in the few references to him in Cotton Mather’s Diary, in Samuel’s letter to Cotton, and in at least one of Samuel’s printed works, A Letter to a Minister.

    In this work among other things he comments on the “especial assault of trouble” that ministers encounter from some church members. One such member “hearing a sermon, preached on Proverbs x. 7, ‘The Memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall ROT’; scoffed at and said the Minister preached a Rotten Sermon; presently, after hurting his Tongue with a little wood he held in his Mouth, it swelled, rotted, and he dyed of it.”606

    Of this work Cotton Mather says: “My Brother has a pretty Fancy, in his Discourse of Temptations; that Ministers, who meet with Abuses from sorry and scoundrel People, have cause to look on themselves as humbled, on the Account of their having the Egyptian Plague of Lice upon them. I am very lowsy, it seems; and I ought therefore to be very humble. Under the Assaults and Insults of contemptible People, I must behave myself, as under the Fulfilment of that Word, my GOD will Humble me.607

    Samuel Mather seems to have valued money moderately and wholesomely, though he said, perhaps mentally contrasting himself or his views, that the family weakness lay in the other direction.608 He was a good enough business manager to have successfully built in 1712 the first Congregational church in Witney, Oxfordshire. He was the first Congregational minister there. The building he erected was plain, but well enough constructed to house its congregation for one hundred and sixteen years. The famous Rev. Roland Hill preached a sermon there in 1827. After the second chapel was built about 1828, the older edifice served lowlier purposes, and it is probably still in use.609

    Samuel did not despise money, even in marriage. He “was united in marriage to a Miss Townsend, who came of the family that lived at Staple Hall for so long a time,”610 says William J. Monk. Sir Henry Ashurst calls the lady “a rich widow.” After visiting Samuel and his wife in 1709 at Waterstock, he writes to Increase Mather, “Yr son hath a handsome good woman, and a considerable fortune.”611 In 1710, Sewall congratulates Increase Mather on “the good Settlement of Mr. Samuel Mather in England.” A year later, Increase Mather’s autobiography testifies to its author’s gratitude for news that his son is greatly respected in “diverse parts of England.”

    The humorous vein in Samuel’s character, I think, is not belied by the lineaments of his rather heavy features preserved in the mezzotint already mentioned. The engraving is from a painting, the original of which is now probably lost.612 The face is oval and of full flesh, apparently that of a man forty-five to fifty years old. The face is turned slightly to the subject’s right, presenting more of his left side. The head is covered with a wig of huge curls, the eyes are large and dark, open, alert, and dauntless, yet they seem to betray latent humor. The nose, long but not sharp, has a slightly flattened ridge down its front — which gives it character — similar to, but straighter than, that shown in the Pelham mezzotint of Cotton Mather. The chin is rounded. The lower lip is full, the upper a cupid’s bow. At the neck are the clerical bands of the period. The figure is attired in a close-fitting coat with huge braided buttons. Over the left, the nearer, shoulder, are folds of loose drapery.

    This print exists in two states. One, in the British Museum, is possibly the earlier. It is the sharper and clearer, and has an inscription which positively identifies it: “SAMUEL MATHER Crescent. Fil. R. Philips pinx. J. Simon fecit.” In the other, owned by William Gwinn Mather, the name reads: “SAMUEL MATHER A.M.,” the rest of the inscription being the same.

    Samuel may have caused the engraving, and the painting from which it was copied, to be made in response to a request; for he wrote from London to his brother Cotton on July 23, 1715: “I have enquired concerning Vertues price for an head. He has five guineas and an half guinea for Engraving such an octavo picture as White Engraved for my Father.”613 It is apparent that Samuel decided to have his picture painted and engraved by someone other than Vertue. It is probable that the J. Simon engraving was made a considerable time after this date. Portraits by Richard Philips were painted from about 1720 to 1740.

    “Crescent. Fil.,” Son of Increase, recognizes the greater fame of the father — divine, author, diplomat — twenty of whose books were in earlier years published in London and prints of whose engraved portrait were familiar to habitués of London bookshops. The British Journal gave its readers a notice of the elder Mather’s death.614 It was to this London public that the mezzotint of his son must appeal. “Crescent. Fil.” can refer to no Samuel Mather but him of Witney. Samuel Mather, M.A., of Dublin, 1626–1671, uncle of Samuel of Witney, used his master’s degree in the English form M.A.615 It is the Latin form, A.M., which was substituted in the inscription of the second state of the Samuel Mather portrait, for the erased “Crescent. Fil.” It was in this Latin form that “Samuel Mather, A.M.,” himself used his name and title in the title-pages of his Vindication of the Holy Bible (1723) and his Charge Deliver’d … at Wantage (1726).

    The first state of the J. Simon mezzotint may have appeared about 1724, when Samuel was fifty years old, as he appears in this print. This would place it in the period of his greatest fame and make it contemporaneous with his publication of his Memoirs of Increase Mather, which came out after all his own major works had been printed. The engraving was not designed for use as a frontispiece, and it is worth noting that no copy was inserted in any of the surviving copies of his books.616 The second state may represent a new issue of prints made when the lustre of Increase Mather’s name had become dimmed by time and “Crescent. Fil.” had lost its special significance. Perhaps it was made when Samuel’s death called attention to him. Then his fame must rest solely on his achievements, and his own A.M. had become a better title than “Crescent. Fil.” The second state, then, may well have been printed in 1733.

    Another engraving of the subject, though not done in Samuel’s lifetime, is apparently taken from a painting which had some right to be considered authentic. This print is inscribed: “Samuel Mather. from an original Painting in the Possession of Mr. Townsend, Holborn. Bocquet, Sc. Published by Button & Son, Paternoster Row.” It was engraved for, and published in, Palmer’s edition of Calamy’s Non-Conformist’s Memorial in 1802.617

    That the original painting from which this engraving was made was owned about 1800 by a Mr. Townsend, of London, suggests that it may have once been in the possession of kinsmen of Samuel Mather’s wife, in Witney, and this in turn supports a belief in its authenticity. Possibly it was an heirloom once owned by Samuel Mather himself.

    Mr. Charles Knowles Bolton, in his Portraits of the Founders, gives it as his opinion that this engraving was taken from a painting which he reproduces, and which is now owned by the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester.618 The early records of the society which connect the painting with Samuel Mather of Dublin are believed by Mr. Bolton to be in error.619 However, the Bocquet engraving in the 1802 Calamy, though copying many details of the original, is not quite faithful, in that the engraving shows a much younger face than does the painting. In view of this engraving and of other newly reviewed facts, Mr. Bolton abandons the theory he had previously accepted from Dr. John Appleton,620 that the painting in question was that of Nathanael Mather (1630–1697) of London, painted in 1682 and sent to Increase Mather in Boston.

    A photo-engraving taken from a drawing of this painting of Samuel Mather, at Worcester, reproducing with the portrait the lettering seen in the background of the original, “Vivere est Cogitare” (which the Calamy engraving omits), is inserted in Horace E. Mather’s Lineage of Richard Mather opposite the entry of Samuel Mather of Witney. There it is inscribed simply, “Rev. S. Mather.” This is evidence that the genealogist, too, though he refrained from stating it explicitly, was of the opinion recently expressed by Mr. Bolton.621

    Samuel and his wife had seven daughters, all but one of whom married. There were no sons, according to H. E. Mather’s Lineage of Richard Mather. Samuel died in March, 1733. The Rev. Reece Answorth, Rector of St. Mary’s Parish Church, Witney, on behalf of Mr. William Gwinn Mather, examined the records of the church in 1921, and after a nearly hopeless search found the entry of Samuel Mather’s burial. It reads: “1733, March 14. Mr. Samuel Mather.” The prefix “Mr.,” states the letter of Mr. Answorth, “indicates a person of some importance; all other entries omit it.” That he delivered the Charge at the ordination of a minister — R. Milner at Wantage, Berkshire — “indicates too,” Mr. Answorth says, “that Samuel Mather was held in high esteem.”

    It is as a Congregational minister taking part very ably and earnestly in the Arminian, Socinian, and other controversies of his day that Samuel Mather can best be studied — in his printed works.

    He published eleven books, two of which are in Latin. Two others are abridgments of works by Cotton Mather. He condensed Cotton Mather’s Magnalia but did not succeed in publishing it.622 His first printed work was a preface in which he tells of his indebtedness to his deceased brother Nathanael. The titles of his books are as follows:

    To the Reader, in Cotton Mather, Early Piety, Memoir of Nathanael Mather,

    London, 1689

    Observations on the Holy Scriptures … (anon.),

    London, 1707

    Discourse Concerning the Immortality of the Soul … (anon.),

    London, 1712

    De Ordinatione Dissertatio Historica … (anon.),

    Londini, 1713

    De Baptismate … Dissertatio. (anon.),

    Londini, 1715

    Compendious History of the Rise and Progress of the Reformation (anon.); (From Cotton Mather, Eleutheria),

    London, 1715

    A Letter to a Minister Giving Advice How to Act under Temptations (anon.),

    London, 17(19?)

    A Discourse Concerning the Necessity of Believing the … Trinity (anon.),

    London, 1719

    A Discourse Concerning the Godhead of the Holy Ghost … By Samuel Mather, Author of a Discourse Concerning the Necessity of believing the Trinity,

    London, 1719

    A Vindication of the Holy Bible. By Samuel Mather, A.M.,

    London, 1723

    Memoirs of the Life of Increase Mather (anon.); (From Cotton Mather’s Parentator),623

    London, 1724 and 1725

    Charge Deliver’d at the Ordination of … R. Milner at Wantage, Berks, April 7. 1725. By Samuel Mather A.M.,

    London, 1726