◆   Anno Domini 1631   ◆

Ashley, being thus by the hand of God taken away; and Mr. Allerton discharged of his Employment for them.1 Their business began again to run in one Channel, and themselves better able to guide the same; Penobscot being wholly now at their disposing, and though Mr. William Peirce, had a part there as is before noted, yet now as things stood, he was glad to have his money repaid him, and stand out. Mr. Winslow whom they had sent over, sent them over some supply as soon as he could; and afterwards when he came (which was something long2 by reason of business) he brought a large supply, of suitable goods with him, by which their trading was well carried on. But by no means either he, or the letters they writ, could take off Mr. Sherley, & the rest from putting both the Friendship, and White Angel on the general account; which caused continual contention between them, as will more appear.

I shall Insert a letter of Mr. Winslow’s about these things. Being as followeth.


It fell out by God’s providence, that I received, and brought your ^letters^ Per Mr. Allerton from Bristol, to London; and do much fear what will be the event of things. Mr. Allerton Intended to prepare the ship again, to set forth upon fishing. Mr. Sherley, Mr. Beauchamp, & Mr. Andrews, they renounce all particulars; protesting but for us they would never have adventured one penny into those parts; Mr. Hatherley stands Inclinable to either. And whereas you write that he, and Mr. Allerton, have taken the White Angel upon them, for their partners here, they profess they never gave any such order, nor will make it good. If themselves will clear the account, & do it, all shall be well; What the event of these things will be I know not. The Lord so direct, and assist us, as he may not be dishonoured by our divisions. I hear (Per a friend) that I was much blamed for speaking what I heard in the spring of the year, concerning the buying, & This was about the selling the ship in Spain.setting ^forth^3 of that ship; sure If I should not have told you, what I heard so peremptorily reported (which report I offered now to prove at Bristol) I should have been unworthy my Employment. And concerning the commission so long since given to Mr. Allerton; the truth Is, the thing we feared is come upon us; for Mr. Sherley, & the rest have it, and will not deliver it, that being the ground of our agent’s credit to procure such great sums. But I look ^for^4 bitter words, hard thoughts, and sour looks, from sundry, as well for writing this, as reporting the former. I would I had a more thankful Employment; but I hope a good conscience shall make it comfortable, &c.

Thus far he. Dated November 16, 1631.

The commission abovesaid was given by them under their hand and seal when Mr. Allerton was first Employed by them; and redemanded of him in the ^year^ ‘29, when they began to suspect his course; he told them it was amongst his papers, but he would seek it out & give it them before he went; but he being ready to go it was demanded again, he said he could not find it, but it was amongst his papers, which he must take with him, [183] And he would send it by the boat from the Eastward,5 but there it could not be had neither; but he would seek it up at sea. But whether Mr. Sherley had it before, or after, it is not certain, but having it he would not let it go, but keeps it to this day. Wherefore even amongst friends men had need be careful whom they trust, and not let things of this nature lie long unrecalled.

Some parts of Mr. Sherley’s letters about those things,

in which the truth is best manifested.

Sir, yours I have received, by our loving friends, Mr. Allerton, & Mr. Hatherley, who blessed be God after, a long, & dangerous passage with the ship Angel, are safely come to Bristol. Mr. Hatherley is come up, but Mr. Allerton I have not yet seen; we thank you, and are very glad you have dissuaded him from his Spanish voyage, and that he did not go on in those designs he Intended; for we did all utterly dislike of that course, as also of the fishing that the Friendship should have performed, for we wished him to sell the salt, and were unwilling to have him undertake so much business, partly for the Ill success we formerly had in those affairs; and partly being loath to disburse so much money. But he persuaded us, this must be the ^one^ way, that must repay us; for the plantation would be long in doing of it; nay, to my remembrance, he doubted you could not be able with the trade there, to maintain your charge, & pay us. And for this very cause he brought us, on that business with Edward Ashley, for he was a stranger to us, &c.

For the fishing ship we are sorry it proves so heavy, and will be willing to bear our parts. What Mr. Hatherley, & Mr. Allerton have done, no doubt but themselves will make good; we gave them no order to make any composition, to separate you, and us, in this or any other. And I think you have no cause to forsake us, for we put you upon no new thing, but what your agent persuaded us to, & you by your letters desired. If he exceed your order, I hope you will not blame us, much less cast us off, when our monies be laid out, &c. But I fear neither you, nor we have been well dealt withal, for sure as you write, half £4000, nay a quarter in fishing commodities, and ^in^ seasonable time would have furnished you better than you were. And yet for all this, and much more I might write; I dare not ^but^ think, him honest, and that his desire, and Intent was good, but the wisest may fail. Well now that It hath pleased God to give us hope of meeting, doubt not but we will all Endeavor to perfect these accounts Just, & right as s^o^on6 as possibly we can; And I suppose you sent over Mr. Winslow, and we Mr. Hatherley, to certify each ^other^ how the state of things stood; we have received ^some^ content upon Mr. Hatherley’s return, and I hope you will This commission is abused; he never had any for such end, as they well knew; neither had they any to pay this money, nor would have paid a penny, if they had not pleased for some other respect.receive good content upon Mr. Winslow[’s] return. Now I should come to answer more particularly your letter, but herein I shall be very brief. The coming of the White Angel on your account, could not be more strange to you, than the buying of her was to us; for you gave him commission that what he did you would stand to; we gave him none, and yet for his credit, and your sakes paid what bills he charged on us, &c. For that I writ, she was to act two parts, fishing, & trade; believe me, I never so much as thoug^ht^ of any particular trade, nor will side with any that doth, If I conceive it may wrong you; for I ever was against it; using these words, “they will eat up ^& destroy^7 the general.”8

Other things I omit as tedious, and not very pertinen^t^. This was dated, November 19, 1631. [182v]

In another letter bearing date the 24[th] of this month, being an answer to the general letter, he hath these words. [184]

For the White Angel,10 against which you write so earnestly, and say we thrust her upon you, contrary to the Intent of the buyer; herein we say you forget yourselves, and do us wrong. We will not take upon us to divine, what the thoughts, or Intents of the buyer was; but what he spake we heard, and that we will affirm, and make good against any that oppose it. Which is, that unless she were bought and such a course taken, Ashley could not be supplied; and again, If he were not supplied, we could not be satisfied, what we were out for you. And further, you were not able to do it; and he gave some reasons, which we spare to relate, unless by your unreasonable refusal, you will force us, and so hasten that fire, which is a kindling too fast already, &c.

Out of another of his, bearing date Jan. 2, 1631.11

We purpose to keep the Friendship, and the White Angel for the last year[‘s] voyages, on the general account; hoping together they will rather produce profit, than loss; and breed less confusion in our account, and less disturbance in our affections. As for the White Angel, though we laid out the money, and took bills of sale in our own names, yet none of us had so much as a thought (I daresay) of dividing from you In anything, this year, because we would not have the world (I may say Bristol) take notice of any breach betwixt Mr. Allerton, and you, and he, and us; and so disgrace him in his proceedings, or In his Intended voyage. We have now let him the ship at £30 per month by charterparty,12 and bound him in a bond of a £1000 to perform covenants, and bring her to London (If God please). And what he brings in her, for you shall be marked with your mark, and bills of laden taken, & sent in Mr. Winslow’s letter, who is this day riding to Bristol about it. So In this voyage, we deal, & are with him as strangers; He hath brought in 3 books of accounts, one for the company, another for Ashley’s business, and the third for the White Angel, and Friendship. The books, or copies we purpose to send you, for you may discover the errours In them better than we. We can make it appear how much money he hath had of us; and you can charge him with all the beaver he hath had of you. The total sum, as he hath put it is £7103-17-1. Of this he hath expended, and given to Mr. Vines,13 & others about £543 odd money, and then by your books you will find, whether you had such, & so much goods, as he chargeth you withal; and this is all that I can say at present concerning these accounts; he thought to dispatch them in a few hours, but he, and Stratton, & Fogg14 were above a month about them; but he could not stay till we had examined them, for losing his fishing voyage, which I fear he hath already done, &c.

We bless God who put both you, & and us In mind to send each to other, for verily had he run on, In that desperate, & chargeable course one year more, we had not been able, to support him, nay both he, and we must have lain in the ditch, and sunk under the burthen, &c. Thus farr of these letters Had there been an orderly course taken, and your business better managed, assuredly (by the blessing of God) you had been the ablest plantation, that as we think, or know, hath been undertaken by Englishmen, &c.

Thus far of these letters, of Mr. Sherley’s. [185]

A few observations, from the former letters; and then I shall set down the simple truth of the things (thus in controversy between them) at least as far as by any good evidence it could be made to appear. And so labour to be brief, in so tedious and Intricate a business; which hung In expostulation, between them many years before the same was ended. That though there will be often occasion, to touch these things about other passages, yet I shall not need to be large therein; doing it here once for all.

Now about these ships, & their setting forth, the truth (as far as could be learned) is this. The motion about setting forth the fishing ship20 (called the Friendship) came first from the plantation, and the reasons of it (as is before remembered) but wholly left to themselves21 to do, or not to do as they saw cause. But when it fell into consideration, and the design was held to be profitable, and hopeful; It was propounded by some of them; why might not they do it of themselves; seeing they must disburse all the money, and what need they have any reference to the plantation in that? They might take the profit themselves, towards other losses, & need not let the plantation share therein; and if their ends were otherwise answered for their supplies to come to them In time, it would be well enough. So they hired her, & set her out, and freighted her as full as she could carry with passengers’ goods that belonged to the Massachusetts, which rise to a good sum of money; Intending to send the plantation’s supply In the other ship. The effect of this Mr. Hatherley not only declared afterward upon occasion; but affirmed upon oath, taken before the Governour & Deputy Governour of the Massachusetts, ^Mr.^ Winthrop, & Mr. Dudley. That this ship Friendship was not set out, nor Intended for the Joint partnership of the plantation; but for the particular account of Mr. James Sherley, Mr. Beauchamp, Mr. Andrews, Mr. Allerton, & himself. This deposition was taken at Boston the 29[th] of August 1639, as is to be seen under their hands. Besides some other concurrent testimonies, declared at several times to sundry of them.

About the White Angel, though she was first bought, or at least the price beaten by Mr. Allerton (at Bristol), yet that had been nothing If Mr. Sherley had ^not^ liked it, and disbursed the money. And that she was not Intended for the plantation appears by sundry evidences, as first the bills of sale, or charterparties were taken In their own names, without any mention, or reference to the plantation at all, viz. Mr. Sherley, Mr. Beauchamp, Mr. Andrews, Mr. Dennison,22 and Mr. Allerton. For Mr. Hatherley fell off and would not Join with them In this. That she was not bought for their account, Mr. Hatherley took his oath before the parties aforesaid, the day and year above written.

Mr. Allerton took his oath, to like effect concerning this ship the White Angel before the Governour & deputy, the 7[th] of September 1639. And likewise deposed the same time, that Mr. Hatherley, and himself, did in the behalf of themselves, and the said Mr. Sherley, Mr. Andrews, & Mr. Beauchamp, agree and undertake to discharge, and save harmless, all the rest, of the partners & purchasers, of and from the said losses ^of Friendship^23 for £200, which was to be discounted thereupon. As by their depositions (which are in writing) may appear more at large, and some other depositions, & other testimonies by Mr. Winslow, &c. But I suppose these may be sufficient to evince the truth in these things, against all pretences to the contrary. And yet the burthen lay still upon the plantation; or to speak more truly, and rightly, upon those few that were Engaged for all, for they were fain to wade through these things without, any help from any. [185v]

Concerning Mr. Allerton’s27 accounts they were so large, and Intricate, as they Could not well understand them, much less examine, & correct them without a great deal of time, & help, and his own presence, which was now hard to get amongst them; and it was 2 or 3 years before they could bring them to any good pass, but never make them perfect. I know not how it came to pass or what mystery was in it, for he took upon him to make up all accounts till this time, though Mr. Sherley was their agent to buy, & sell their goods, ^and did^ more than he therein; yet he passed in accounts, in a manner for all disbursements, both concerning goods bought, which he never saw, but were done when he was here in the country, or at Sea, and all the expences of the Leiden people, done by others in his absence, the charges about the patent, &c. In ^all^ which ^he^ I made them debtor to him above £300 and demanded payment of it. But when things came to scanning he was found above £2000 debtor to them (this wherein Mr. Hatherley, & he being Jointly Engaged (which he only had), being Included), besides I know not how much, that could never be cleared; and Interest monies which ate them up, but ^which^28 he never accounted. Also they were fain to allow such large bills of charges as were Intolerable; the charges of the patent came to above £500 and yet nothing done in it, but what was done at first without any confirmation; £30 given at a clap, and £50 spent in a Journey. No marvel therefore If Mr. Sherley said in his letter, if their business had been better managed they might have been the richest plantation of any English at that time. Yea he screwed up his poor old father-in-law’s29 account to above £200 and brought ^it^ on the general account, and to befriend him made most of it to arise out of those goods taken up by him at Bristol, at £50 per cent because he knew, they would never let it lie on the old man; when alas he poor man, never dreamt of any such thing, nor that what he had could arise near that value, but thought that many of them had been freely bestowed on him, & his children, by Mr. Allerton; neither In truth did they come near that value in worth, but that sum was blown up by Interest, & high prices, which the company did for the most part bear (he deserving far more), being most sorry, that he should have a name to have much, when he had in effect little.

This year also Mr. Sherley sent over an account, which ^was^ in a manner but a cash account what Mr. Allerton had, had of them, and disbursed, for which he referred to his accounts; besides an account of beaver sold which Mr. Winslow & some others had carried over, and a large supply of goods which Mr. Winslow had, sent, & brought over; all which was comprised in that account, and all the disbursements about the Friendship, & White Angel, and what concerned their accounts from first, to last, or anything else he could charge the partners with. So they were made debtor in the foot of that account *£4770-19-2, besides £1000 still due for the purchase yet unpaid, notwithstanding all the beaver, and returns that both Ashley, & they had made, which were not small. [186v]

In these accounts of Mr. Sherley’s32 some things were obscure, and some things twice charged, as a 100 of Barnstaple rugs which came in the Friendship, & cost £75, charged before by Mr. Allerton, and now by him again, with other particulars of like nature doubtful to be twice, or thrice charged; as also a sum of £600, which Mr. Allerton denied and they could never understand for what it was. They sent a note of these, & such-like things afterward to Mr. Sherley^ by Mr. Winslow^,33 but (I know not how it came to pass) could never have them explained.

Into these deep sums, had Mr. Allerton run them in two years, for In the later end of the year 1628 all their debts did not amount to ^much^ above £400, as was then noted. And now come to so many thousands; and whereas In the year 1629 Mr. Sherley & Mr. Hatherley being at Bristol, and writ a large letter from thence, in which they had given an account of the debts, and what sums were then disbursed; Mr. Allerton never left begging, & Entreating of them till they had put it out. So they blotted out 2 lines in that letter In which the sums were contained, and writ upon it so as ^not^ a word could not be perceived; as since by them was confessed, and by the letters may be seen. And thus were they kept hoodwinked, till now they were so deeply Engaged. And whereas Mr. Sherley did so earnestly press that Mr. Allerton might ^be^ sent over to finish the great business about the patent, as may be seen in his letter writ 1629, as is before recorded, and that they should be earnest with his wife to suffer him to go, &c.34 He hath since confessed by a letter under my hands, that It was Mr. Allerton’s own doing and not his, and he made him write his words, & not his own. The patent was but a pretence and not the thing; thus were they abused in their simplicity, and no better than bought, & sold as it may seem.

And to mend the matter, Mr. Allerton doth in a sort wholly now desert them; having brought them Into the briers, he leaves them to get out as they can; but God crossed him mightily, for he having hired the ship of Mr. Sherley at £30 a month he set forth again with a most wicked and drunken crew,35 and for covetousness’ ^sake^ did so overlade her, not only filling her hold, but so stuffed her between decks, as she was walt36 and could not bear sail, and they had like to have been cast away at sea, and were forced to put for Milford Haven,37 and new-stow her, & put some of their ordnance, & more heavy goods in the bottom. Which lost them time, and made them come late Into the country, lose their season, and made a worse voyage than the year before. But being come Into the country he sells trading commodities to any that will buy, to the great prejudice of the plantation here; but that which is worse, what he could not sell, he trusts; and sets up a company of base fellows and makes them traders, to run Into every hole, & into the river of Kennebec, to glean away the trade from the house there; about the patent, & privilege whereof, he had dashed away so much money of theirs here. [189]

And now what In him lay, went about to take away the benefit thereof, and to overthrow them. Yea not only this but he furnishes a company, and Joins with some consorts (being now deprived of Ashley at Penobscot) and sets up a trading house beyond Penobscot,38 to cut off the trade from thence also. But the French perceiving that, that would be greatly to their damage also, they came in their beginning before they were well settled, and displanted them, slew 2 of their men and took all their goods to a good value, the loss being most (If not all Mr. Allerton’s); for though some of them should have been his partners, yet he trusted them for their parts; the rest of the men were sent Into France, and this was the end of that project.39 The rest of those he trusted, being loose and drunken fellows, did for the most part but cozen, & cheat him of all they got Into their hands; that howsoever he did his friends some hurt hereby for the present; yet he gat little good, but went by the loss by God’s Just hand. After in time, when he came to Plimoth, the church Called him to account for these, and other his gross miscarriages; he Confessed his fault, and promised better walking; and that he would wind himself out of these courses so soon as he could, &c.

This year also Mr. Sherley would needs send them over a new accountant. He had made mention of such a thing the year before; but they writ him word, that their charge was great already, and they need not Increase it, as this would; but if they were well dealt with, and had their goods, well sent over, they could keep their accounts here themselves. Yet he now sent one, which they did not refuse, being a younger Brother of Mr. Winslow’s,40 whom they had been at charge to Instruct at London before he came. He come over in the White Angel with Mr. Allerton, and there began his first Employment; for though Mr. Sherley had so far befriended Mr. Allerton, as to cause Mr. Winslow to ship the supply sent to the partners here in his ship, and give ^him^41 £4 Per tun, whereas others carried for 3; and he made them pay their freight ready down, before the ship went out of the harbor, whereas others paid upon certificate of the goods being delivered, and their freight came to upward of 6 score pounds; yet they had much ado to have their goods delivered, for some of them were changed as bread, & peas; they were forced to take worse for better, neither could they ever get all. And if Josias Winslow had not been there It had been worse, for he had the Invoice, and order to send them to the trading houses. [187v]