◆   Anno Domini 1630   ◆

Ashley being well supplied had quickly gathered a good parcel of beaver, and like a crafty pate he sent it all home,1 and would not pay for the goods he had had of the plantation here, but let them stand still on the score, and took up still more; now though they well enough knew his aim, yet they let him go on, and writ of it into England; but partly [by] the beaver they2 received, & sold (of which they were sensible) and partly by Mr. Allerton’s Extolling of him; they cast more how to supply ^him^ than the plantation, and something to upbraid them with it. They3 were forced to buy him a bark also, and to furnish her with a master, & men, to transport his corn, & provisions (of which he put off much, for the Indians of those parts have no corn growing); and at harvest after corn is ready the weather grows foul, and the seas dangerous, so as he could do little good with his shallop for that purpose.

They looked earnestly for a timely supply this Spring,4 by the fishing ship which they expected (and had been at charge to keep a stage for her), but none came, nor any supply heard of for them; at length they heard some supply was sent to Ashley by a fishing ship. At which they something marveled, and the more that they had no letters either from Mr. Allerton or Mr. Sherley; so they went on in their business as well as they could; at last they heard of Mr. Peirce his arrival in the Bay of the Massachusetts (who brought passengers, & goods thither);5 they presently sent, a shallop, conceiving, they should have something by him. But he told them he had none; And a ship was set out on fishing, but after 11 weeks’ beating at sea, she met with such foul weather as she was forced back again for England, and the season being over, gave off the voyage;6 neither did he hear of much goods in her for the plantation, or that she did belong to them, for he had heard something from Mr. Allerton tending that way. But Mr. Allerton had bought another ship, and was to come in her, and was to fish for bass to the eastward, and to bring Goods, &c. These things did much trouble them, and half astonish them; Mr. Winslow having been to the Eastward, brought news of the like things, with some more particulars, and that It was like Mr. Allerton would be late before he came. At length they having an opportunity, resolved to send Mr. Winslow (with what beaver they had ready Into England) to see how the squares7 went, being very Jealous of these things, & Mr. Allerton’s courses; and writ such letters, and gave him such Instructions, as they thought meet, and if he found things not well to discharge Mr. Allerton for being any longer agent for them, or to deal any more in the business, and to see how the accounts stood, &c.8

About the middle of summer arrives Mr. Hatherley in the Bay of the Massachusetts (being one of the partners), and came over in the same ship, that was set out on fishing (called the Friendship);9 they presently sent to him; making no question, but now they had goods come, and should know how, all things stood. But they found [175] the former news true, how this ship had been so long at sea, and spent, and spoiled her provisions, and overthrown the voyage. And he being sent over by the rest of the partners, to see how things went here, Being at Bristol with Mr. Allerton In the ship bought10 (called the White Angel), ready to set sail; overnight, came a messenger ^from Barnstaple^11 to Mr. Allerton, and told him of the return of the ship, and what had befallen. And he not knowing what to do, having a great charge under hand, the ship lying at high rates, and now ready to set sail; got him to go and discharge the ship,12 and take order for the goods. To be short they found Mr. Hatherley something reserved, and troubled in himself (Mr. Allerton not being there), not knowing how to dispose of the goods till he came, but he heard he was arrived with the other ship to the eastward,13 and expected his coming. But he told them there was not much for them in this ship, only 2 packs of Barnstaple rugs, and 2 hogsheads of metheglin,14 drawn ^out^ in wooden flackets15 (but when these flackets, came to be received, there was left but 6 gallons of the 2 hogsheads, It being drunk up under the name leakage,16 and so lost). But the ship was filled with goods for sundry gentlemen, & others that were come to plant in the Massachusetts, for which they payed freight by the tun. And this was all the satisfaction they could have at present, so they brought this small parcel of goods & returned with this news, and a letter as obscure; which made them much to marvel thereat. The letter was as followeth.

Gentlemen, partners, and loving friends, &c.

Briefly thus, we have this year, set forth a fishing ship; and a trading ship, which latter we have bought; and so have disbursed a great deal of money, as may, and will appear by the accounts. And because this ship (called the White Angel) is to act 2 parts (as I may say), fishing for bass, and trading; and that while Mr. Allerton was Employed about the trading, the fishing might suffer, by carelessness, or neglect of the sailors. We have entreated your and our loving ^friend^ Mr. Hatherley, to go over with him, knowing he will be a Comfort to Mr. Allerton, a joy to you, to see a careful, and loving friend, and a great stay to the business; and so great content to us, that if it should please God the one should fail (as God forbid) yet the other would keep both reckonings, and things upright. For we are now out great sums of money, as they will acquaint you withal, &c. When we were out, but 4 or 5 hundred pounds apiece, we looked not much after it, but left it to you, & your agent (who without flattery, deserveth Infinite thanks, & commendations, both of you, & us, for his pains, &c.); but now we are out double, nay treble apiece some of us, &c. Which make us both write, and send over, our friend (Mr. Hatherley) whom we pray you to entertain kindly (of which we doubt not of); the main end of sending him, is to see the state, and account, of all the business; of all which, we pray you Inform him fully, though the ship, & business wait for it, and him. For we should take it ^very^ unkindly, that we should Entreat him, to take such a Journey, and that when it pleaseth God he returns, he could not give us content, & satisfaction, in this particular, through default of any of you, [176] but we hope you will so order business, as neither he, nor we shall have cause to complain, but to do, as we have ever done; think well of you all, &c. I will not promise, but shall still Endeavour, & hope to effect the full desire, and grant of your patent, & that ere it be long; I would not have you take anything unkindly. I have not writ out of Jealousy, of any unjust dealing. Be you all kindly saluted In the Lord, so I rest,

March 25, 1630.17

Yours in what I may,

James Sherley

It needs not be thought strange, that these things should amaze and trouble them; first that this fishing ship18 should be set out, and freight with other men’s goods, & scarce any of theirs; seeing their main end was (as is before remembered) to bring them, a full supply, and their special order not to set out any except this was done. And now a ship to come on their account, clean contrary to their both end, & order, was a mystery they could not understand; and so much the worse, seeing she had such ill success, as to lose both her voyage, & provisions. The 2[nd] ^thing^, that another ship19 should be bought and sent out on new designs, a thing not so much as once thought on by any here, much less not a word Intimated or spoken ^of,^ by any here ^either by word, or letter^, neither could they Imagine why this should be. Bass fishing was never looked at by them, but as soon as ever they heard on it, they looked at it as a vain thing, that would certainly turn to loss. And for Mr. Allerton to follow any trade for them, It was never in their thoughts. And 3ly, that their friends should complain of disbursements, and yet run into such great things, and charge of shipping, & new projects, of their own heads, not only without, but against all order, & advice; was to them very strange; and 4ly, that all these matters of so great charge, & Employments, should be thus wrapped up in a brief and obscure letter, they knew not what to make of it. But amids all their doubts they must have patience till Mr. Allerton, & Mr. Hatherley should come. In the meantime Mr. Winslow was gone for England;20 and others of them were forced to follow their Employments with the best means they had, till they could hear of better.

At length Mr. Hatherley, & Mr. Allerton came unto them (After they had delivered their goods),21 and finding ^them^ strucken with some sadness about these things, Mr. Allerton told them that the ship White Angel did not belong to them, nor their account, neither need they have anything to do with her, except they would. And Mr. Hatherley Confirmed the same, and said that they would have had him to have had a part, but he refused; but he made question whether they would ^not^ turn her upon the general account, If there came loss (as he now saw was like), seeing Mr. Allerton laid down this course, and put them on this project. But for the fishing ship, he told them they need not be so much troubled for he had her accounts here, and showed them that her first setting out, came not much to exceed £600, as they might see by the account, which he showed them; and for this later voyage,22 it would arise to profit, by the freight of the goods, and the sale of some cattle which he shipped and had already sold, & was to be paid for partly ^here^ & partly by bills into England, so as they should not have this put on their account at all, except they [178]23 would. And for the former,24 he had sold so much goods out of her in England, and Employed the money in this 2[nd] voyage; as it together with such goods, & Implements, as Mr. Allerton must need about his fishing would rise to a good part of the money, for he must have the salt, and nets, also spikes, nails, &c. All which would rise to near £400. So with the bearing ^of their parts^ of the rest of the losses (which would not be much above £200[)], they would clear them of this whole account. Of which motion they were glad; not being willing to have any accounts lie upon them, but about their trade, which made them willing to hearken thereunto; and demand of Mr. Hatherley, how he could make this good if they should agree thereunto; he told them he was sent over as their agent, and had this order from them that whatsoever he, and Mr. Allerton did together, they would stand to it, but they would not allow of what Mr. Allerton did alone, Except they liked it, but If he did it alone they would not gainsay it. Upon which they sold to him, & Mr. Allerton all the rest of the goods, and gave them present possession of them; and a writing was made, and confirmed under both Mr. Hatherley’s, and Mr. Allerton’s hands, to the effect aforesaid. And Mr. Allerton being best acquainted with the people, sold away presently, all such goods as he had no need of for the fishing, as 9 shallop sails, made of good new canvas, and the rodes25 for them being all new, with sundry such useful goods, for ready beaver, by Mr. Hatherley’s allowance. And thus they thought they had well provided for themselves. Yet they Rebuked Mr. Allerton very much for running into these courses, fearing the Success of them.

Mr. Allerton, & Mr. Hatherley brought to the town with them, ^After he had sold what he could abroad,^26 a great quantity of other goods besides trading commodities; as linen cloth, bedticks,27 stockings, tape, pins, rugs, &c. And told them they were to have them if they would, If they but they told Mr. Allerton, that they had forbid him before, for bringing any such on their account; It would hinder their trade and return. But he & Mr. Hatherley said If they would not have them, they would sell them, themselves, and take corn for what they could not otherwise sell. They told them they might if they had order for it. The goods of one sort, & other came to upward of £500.

After28 these things Mr. Allerton, went to the ship about his bass fishing; and Mr. Hatherley (according to his order) after he took knowledge how things stood at the plantation (of all which they Informed him fully), he then desired a boat of them to go and visit the trading houses, both Kennebec, and Ashley at Penobscot; for so they In England had Enjoined him. They accordingly furnished him with a boat & men for the voyage, and acquainted him plainly, & thoroughly with all things; by which he had good content, and satisfaction; and saw plainly that Mr. Allerton played his own game, and ran a course not only to the great wrong, & detriment of the plantation (who Employed, & trusted him), but abused them In England also, In possessing ^them^ with prejudice against the plantation; as that they would never be able to repay their monies (in regard of their great charge), but if [179] They would follow his advice, and projects, he,29 & Ashley (being well supplied) would quickly bring in their monies with good advantage. Mr Hatherley disclosed also, a further project about the setting out of this ship, the White Angel; how she being well fitted with good ordnance, and known to have made a great fight at sea (when she belonged to Bristol) and carried away the victory. They had agreed (by Mr. Allerton’s means) that after she had brought a freight of goods here into the country, and freight herself with fish; she should go from hence, to Port of Porte;30 and there be sold, both ship, goods, & ordnance, and had for this end, had speech with a factor of those parts, beforehand, to whom she should have been consigned. But this was prevented at this time (after it was known) partly by the contrary advice given, by their friends here, to Mr. Allerton, & Mr. Hatherley, showing how it might Ensnare their friends In England (being men of estate) If it should come to be known; and for the plantation they did, and would disallow it, and protest against it. And partly by their bad voyage, for they both came too late, to do any good for fishing, and also had such a wicked and drunken company, as neither Mr. Allerton, nor any else could rule; as Mr. Hatherley to his great grief, & shame, saw, & beheld, and all others that came near them.

Ashley likewise was taken In a trap (before Mr. Hatherley returned),31 for trading powder, & shot, with the Indians; and was seized upon by some In authority, who also would have confiscated above, a thousand weight of beaver; but the goods were freed, for the Governour here made it appear, by a bond under Ashley’s hand, wherein he was bound to them, In £500 not to trade any munition with the Indians, or otherwise to abuse himself; It was also manifest against him that he had committed uncleanness with Indian women (things that they feared at his first Employment, which made them take this strict course with him In the beginning). So to be short they got their goods freed, but he was sent home prisoner. And that I may make an end concerning him, after some time of Imprisonment ^in the Fleet^,32 by the means of friends he was set at liberty; and Intended to come over again, but the Lord prevented it; for he had a motion made to him, by some merchants to go Into Russia, because he had such good skill in the beaver trade; the which he accepted of, and in his return home was cast away at sea. This was his end.

Mr. Hatherley fully understanding the state of all things, had good satisfaction; and could well Inform ^them^ how all things stood between Mr. Allerton and the plantation. Yea he found that Mr. Allerton had got within him,33 and [180] got all the goods into his own hands; for which Mr. Hatherley34 stood Jointly Engaged to them here, about the ship Friendship, as also most of the freight money, besides some of his own particular estate; about which more will appear hereafter. So he returned Into England,35 and they sent a good quantity of beaver with him to the rest of the partners; so both he, and it was very welcome unto them.

Mr. Allerton followed his affairs, & returned with his White Angel, being no more Employed by the plantation, but these businesses, were not ended till many years after; nor well understood of a long time, but folded up in obscurity, & kept in the clouds; to the great loss, & vexation of the plantation; who in the end were (for peace[’s] sake), forced to bear the unjust burthen of them, to their almost undoing. As will appear, If God give life to finish this history.

They sent their letters also by Mr. Hatherley to the partners there, to show them how Mr. Hatherley, & Mr. Allerton had discharged them, of the Friendship’s account; and that they both affirmed, that the White Angel did not at all belong to them; and therefore desired that their account might not be charged therewith. Also they writ to Mr. Winslow their agent, that ^he^36 In like manner should (in their names) protest against it, If any such thing should be Intended, for they would never yield to the same. As also to signify to them, that they renounced Mr. Allerton wholly, for being their agent or to have anything to do in any of their business. [179v]

Having by a providence a letter, or two ^that^ came to my hands, concerning the proceedings of their Reverend37 friends in the Bay of the Massachusetts, who were lately come over; I thought it not amiss here to Insert them (so far as ^is^ pertinent, and may be useful for after-times), before I conclude this year.

Sir, being at Salem the 25 of July, being the sabbath; after the Evening exercise, Mr. Johnson38 received a letter from the Governour Mr. John Winthrop, manifesting the hand of God to be upon them; and against them at Charlestown, In visiting them with sickness; and taking diverse from amongst them, not sparing the righteous, but partaking with the wicked in these bodily Judgements. It was therefore, by his desire, taken into the Godly ^consideration^ of the best here; what was the best to be done to pacify the Lord’s wrath, &c. Where it was concluded, that the Lord was to be sought in righteousness; and to that end, the 6[th] day (being Friday) of this present week,39 is set apart, that they may humble themselves, before God; and seek him In his ordinances; And that then also such godly persons that are amongst them, and known each to other, may publicly at the end of their exercise, make known their godly desire, and practise the same, viz. solemnly to enter into [181] Covenant with the Lord to walk in his ways. And since they are so disposed of in their outward estates, as to live in three distinct places;40 each having men of ability amongst them, there to observe the day, and become 3 distinct bodies. Not then Intending rashly to proceed to the choice of officers, or the admitting of any other to their society than a few, to wit such as are well known unto them; promising after to receive in such by confession of faith, as shall appear to be fitly qualified for that estate. They do earnestly entreat, that the church of Plimoth would set apart the same day, for the same ends, beseeching the Lord, as to withdraw his hand of correction from them; so also to establish, and direct them In his ways. And though the time be short, we pray you be provoked to this godly work, seeing the causes are so urgent; wherein God will be honoured, and they, & we undoubtedly have sweet comfort. Be you all kindly saluted, &c.,

Salem, July 26, 1630.

Your Brethren in Christ, &c.41

Sir, &c. The sad news here is, that many are sick, and many are dead, the Lord in mercy look upon them. Some are here enter^ed^ Into church covenant, the first were 4, namely the Governour Mr. John Winthrop, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Dudley, and Mr. Wilson;42 since that, 5 more are Joined unto them, and others, it is like, will add themselves to them daily; the Lord Increase them, both in number, and In holiness for his mercy’s sake. Here is a gentleman, one Mr. Cottington (a Boston man)43 who told me, that Mr. Cotton’s charge at Hampton was;44 that they should take advice of them at Plimoth, and should do nothing to offend them. Here are diverse honest Christians, that are desirous to see us, some out of love which they bear to us, and the good persuasion they have of us; others to see whether we be so Ill, as they have heard of us. We have a name of holiness, and love to God, and his saints; the Lord make us more and more answerable, and that it may be more than a name, or else it will do us no good; be you lovingly saluted, and all the rest of our friends. The Lord Jesus bless us, and the whole Israel of God,45 Amen.

Charlestown, Aug. 2, 1630.

Your loving Brother, &c.46

Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced, by his hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand; so the light here kindled hath shone to many,47 yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious ^name^ of Jehovah have all the praise. [182]