by Edward Elias Atwater
THE STUARTS AND THE REGICIDES
THE tidings which came to Boston on the 27th of July, 1660, were riot entirely unexpected. A new parliament had been summoned to meet in April; and the result of the elections had shown that it was to consist chiefly of persons friendly to a government by king, lords, and commons. So much as this must have been already known in New England by earlier ships than that of Mr. Pierce. His arrival was anxiously expected. Mr. Davenport writes to Winthrop just one week before Pierce cast anchor at Boston, "Sir, I humbly thank you for the intelligences I received in your letters, and for the two weekly intelligences which Brother Miles brought me, I think from yourself, and which I return enclosed, by this bearer, with many thanks. I did hope that we might have received our letters by Capt. Pierce before this time. But we have no news lately from the Bay. Brother Rutherford and Brother Alsop are both there, so also is our teacher Mr. Street. The two former, I hope, will return next week. Then, probably, we shall have some, further news. The Lord fit us to receive it as we ought, whatever it may be."
The restoration of the Stuarts was not received in
New England joyfully. The change from a kingdom to a commonwealth twenty years before had injured New England in its material, interests by checking the emigration which was pouring into it population and wealth. But this disadvantage had been outweighed, in the judgment of the Puritan colonists, by the elevation of men in sympathy with themselves to supreme power arid authority in what they called the State of England. They were more earnest to secure "the ends for which, they had come hither" than to obtain a larger price for their corn and cattle, and they were confident that these ends would not be frustrated by any action of the home government so long as Puritans were in power in England. But what effect upon the colonies the restoration of the Stuarts might produce, it was impossible to foresee.
When the time arrived for the next election in New Haven jurisdiction, it was difficult to find suitable persons willing to accept office. John Wakeman and William Gibbard were nominated for the magistracy in the plantation court of New Haven, notwithstanding their protest; Mr. Wakeman, who had had some thought of removing to Hartford, saying, when questioned if he intended to stay at New Haven, that "he was not resolved whether to go or stay, but rather than he would accept of the place, he would remove." In the court of elections for the jurisdiction they were both ejected magistrates, "but neither of them took the path." Mr. Benjamin Fenn of Milford being elected magistrate, took the oath "with this explanation before the oath was administered, that he would take the oath to act in his place, according to the laws of this juris-
diction; but in case any business from without should present, he conceived he should give no offence if he did not attend to it, who desired that it might be so understood." Mr. William Leete was chosen governor, Mr. Matthew Gilbert deputy-governor, and Mr. Robert Treat and Mr. Jasper Crane, magistrates. It does not appear that any of these four hesitated to take the oath proper to their place.
By the terms of his restoration, Charles II. had left to Parliament to determine who should be excepted from an act of general amnesty. The act, when passed, excepted all who had been directly concerned in the death of the former king. But because Whalley and Goffe had left England before they had been marked for punishment, the people of Massachusetts felt no embarrassment in receiving and entertaining them. Major Daniel Gookin, one of their fellow-passengers in the Prudent Mary, offered them the hospitality of his house in Cambridge; and in Cambridge they remained till the following February, often visiting Boston and other towns in the neighborhood. They came, it is said, under the assumed names of Edward Richardson and William Stephenson; but their secret, notwithstanding this disguise, was known to many; so that when intelligence came that they had been excepted in the act of amnesty, some of the magistrates were alarmed, and the more because it was known that they had been seen and recognized by Capt. Thomas Breedon, a royalist who had since sailed for England. The governor therefore convened his council to consider and determine whether the proscribed regicides should be apprehended. The council considered, but came to
no determination. Four days afterward Whalley and Goffe relieved their friends in Massachusetts by departing for New Haven.
Only a fortnight after their arrival at Boston, Mr. Davenport had mentioned them in a letter to the younger Winthrop, and declared his purpose of inviting them to his house after the meeting of the commissioners in September, alleging, as a reason for delay, his desire to keep the guestchamber ready for an expected visit from Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop during the meeting of the commissioners. His interest in them at that time seems to have been that of a person in sympathy with them in politics and religion, who had heard a good report of their quality and godliness, but was unacquainted with their personal history and connections. On a little piece of paper watered to the side of the letter, he adds this postscript: "Sir, I mistook, in my letter, when I said Col. Whalley was one of the gentlemen, &c. It is Commissary-Gen. Whalley, sister Hooke's brother, and his son-in-law who is with him is Col. Goffe; both godly men, and escaped pursuit in England narrowly." He had doubtless received this information from Mr. William Jones and his wife,(*)
(* William Jones, having married as his second wife Hannah, youngest daughter of Theophilus Eaton. July 4, 1659, came in the following year from London to New Haven, where, on the 23d of May, 1662, he took the oath of fidelity with the following qualification: "That whereas the king hath been proclaimed in this colony to be our sovereign, and we his loyal subjects, I do take the said oath with subordination to his majesty, hoping his majesty will confirm the said government for the advancement of Christ's gospel, kingdom, and ends, in this colony, upon the foundations already laid; but in case of the alteration of the government in the fundamentals thereof, then to be free from the said oath." The same day he was admitted a freeman; and five days afterward, at a court of election for the jurisdiction, he was chosen a magistrate.)
who, having crossed the Atlantic in the ship with these distinguished strangers, had come to New Haven to occupy the mansion which Mrs. Jones, the daughter of Gov. Eaton, had inherited from her father. The identification of Whalley as Mrs. Hooke's brother must in time have recalled to memory many things he had learned from his colleague in reference to Goffe, who was the husband of Mrs. Hooke's niece. If he had not already heard that the latter, when a major-general in the army, with his headquarters at Winchester, had resided in the family of Mr. Whitfield, formerly pastor of the church in Guilford, he may have learned it from the same persons who had assisted him to identify the brother-in- law of his former colleague.
The greater ease of escaping from New Haven into New Netherlands, may have influenced Whalley and Goffe to go thither rather than remain in Hartford, where they tarried awhile, and were hospitably entertained by Gov. Winthrop. But the presence at New Haven of persons intimately acquainted with the friends in England on whom they were dependent for remittances of money, may also have had some weight in their minds in determining where to hide themselves.
A journey of nine days from Cambridge brought them by way of Hartford and Guilford to New Haven, March 7, 1661, where they appeared openly as Mr. Davenport's guests. But intelligence having reached Boston, while they were on their journey, that a royal proclamation for their arrest had been issued in January, on information supplied by Capt. Breedon, it soon followed them to New Haven, and rendered it unsafe for them to be seen in public. Accordingly, on the
27th of March, they went to Milford, as if on a journey to New Netherlands; but in the night they returned to Mr. Davenport's, where they remained in concealment till the 30th of April.
Further reports of their residence at Cambridge having reached England, another royal order for their arrest was issued in March, and reached Boston on the 28th of April. It was blunderingly addressed, "To our trusty and well-beloved, the present Governor or other magistrate or magistrates of our plantation of New England." The governor of Massachusetts, having delayed till sufficient time had elapsed for the news to be forwarded to New Haven, gave two young men, recently come from England, Thomas Kellond, merchant, and Thomas Kirk, shipmaster, a commission to prosecute the search in Massachusetts, with letters of commendation from himself to the governors of Plymouth, Connecticut, New Haven, and New Netherlands. On Tuesday, May 7, about six p.m., Kellond and Kirk, with John Chapin as guide, left Boston. On Friday they had an interview with Gov. Winthrop at Hartford. They say in their report, "The honorable governor carried himself very nobly to us, and was very diligent to supply us with all manner of conveniences for the prosecution of them, and promised all diligent search should be made after them in that jurisdiction, which was afterward performed." Learning from Winthrop that the "colonels," as Whalley and Goffe were called, had gone from Hartford toward New Haven, the pursuivants rode on Saturday to Guilford, where resided Deputy-Gov. Leete, chief magistrate of New Haven colony since the death of Gov. Newman.
Leete received them in the presence of several other persons. Looking over their papers, "he began to read them audibly; whereupon we told him (says their report) it was convenient to be more private in such concernments as that was." Retiring with them to another room, and thus giving opportunity for the rest of the company to disperse, Leete assured them that he had not seen the colonels for nine weeks; that is, since the time when they passed through Guilford on the way from Hartford to New Haven. The pursuivants replied that they had information that the persons they were in pursuit of had been in New Haven since then, and desired him to furnish them with horses for their further journey. The horses were "prepared with some delays." Coming out frorn the governor's house, they were told on their way to the inn by one Dennis Scranton (Crampton?) that the colonels were secreted at Mr. Davenport's, "and that, without all question, Deputy Leete knew as much." Other persons reported that they had very lately been seen between the houses of Mr. Davenport and Mr. Jones.
Confirmed by these tidings in the belief that they were upon the track of the fugitives, the pursuivants returned to Leete, and demanded military aid and "a power to search and apprehend." But he "said he could do nothing until he had spoken with one Mr. Gilbert and the rest of his magistrates." He offered, however, to give them a letter to Mr. Gilbert. By the time the governor had made ready his letter, the sun was too far on its way toward the western horizon to justify any expectation that they could conclude a conference with magistrate Gilbert before the going
down of the sun should put an end to all secular transactions. They seem to have come to the conclusion, that, in the circumstances, it was better to stay in Guilford than to go on to New Haven, and, by their presence there on the sabbath, notify the friends of the regicides that search would be made for them on the morrow. But their presence in Guilford was already known in New Haven, for some one who heard the governor read their commission had occasion soon after to send an Indian runner on an errand to New Haven.
At daybreak on Monday they left Guilford for New Haven, bearing the letter of Gov. Leete, advising Mr. Gilbert to call the town court together, and, by their advice and concurrence, to cause a search to be made. But, early as they started, a messenger had been sent before them to warn Gilbert that they were coming. "To our certain knowledge (they say) one John Meigs was sent a horseback before us, and by his speedy and unexpected going so early before day, was to give them an information; and the rather because by the delays which were used it was break of day before we got to horse; so he got there before, us." Leete arrived, the pursuivants say in their report, "within two hours or thereabouts after us, and came to us to the court-chamber, where we again acquainted him with the information we had received, and that we had cause to believe they were concealed in New Haven, and thereupon we required his assistance and aid for their apprehension; to which he answered, that he did not believe they were. Whereupon we desired him to empower us, or order others for it; to which he gave us this answer, that he could not, nor would not, make us magistrates."
Magistrate Crane, of Branford, had arrived in company with Leete. Gilbert, who was not at home when the pursuivants inquired for him, having at last made his appearance, and Mr. Fenn having been summoned from Milford, perhaps by Mr. Gilbert in person, the magistrates and the deputies for New Haven held a consultation which lasted five or six hours. The issue of it, as communicated to Kellond and Kirk, was that "they would not nor could not do any thing until they had called a general court of the freemen." The pursuivants protested against the delay, and threatened the magistrates and the colony with the resentment of his Majesty. The reply was "we honor his Majesty, but we have tender consciences." The magistrates then held a second consultation of two or three hours; after which, being further pressed "to their duty and loyalty to his Majesty, and whether they would own his Majesty or no, it was answered, they would first know whether his Majesty would own them."
New Haven was a government formed by the people without any charter or commission of any kind from England; and its magistrates feared that by acting under a mandate directed to the Governor of New England they might be acknowledging a governor-general, and thus betray the trust committed to them under oath by the freemen of the colony. They would do nothing, therefore, without a general court.
Evening coming on before the magistrates made their last reply to the pursuivants, it was too late to send forth on that day a warrant for convening the court. On Tuesday it was sent to the several plantations, and the court was held on Friday. The pursui-
vants, however, could not wait so long for a meeting which promised so little. Offering "great rewards to English and Indians who should give information that they might be taken," they departed on Tuesday for New Amsterdam, not without hope of finding, and, with the help of the Dutch governor, apprehending the fugitives. From New Amsterdam they returned by sea to Boston, where, on the 3Oth of May, they made oath to the truth of the written report which they delivered to Gov. Endicott. On the Saturday when Kellond and Kirk were in Guilford, Whalley and Goffe, leaving the house of Mr. Jones, in which they had been secreted since the 3Oth of April, went to the mill(*) two miles north of the town, where they remained till Monday. We can easily conjecture that they did not make themselves visible at the mill till the last customer had departed, and that they went away on Monday morning before the earliest grist was brought. Beyond the mill all was an un-
(* Dr. Bacon places the mill to which the regicides went for concealment till the sabbath was past, at Westville; but I do not find on the records evidence that there was at that time any ether mill than that on Mill River. This mill having become rotten, and new mill-stones being required for it, an unsuccessful attempt had been made not long before to bring the water from the Beaver Pond in a trench, so that an overshot mill might be set up in the town. On the first day of December, 1662, there was a general court, at which nothing was said about the mill, and on the third day of the same month a special meeting was held and "the occasion of coming together" was "the sad providence of God that was fallen out in the burning of the mill." Doubtless it was burned after the meeting, two days before. It was regarded as a calamity, not only because of the loss of property, but because of the inconvenience of going to Milford for meal. The mill was soon after rebuilt in the same place. The mill-house, which was consumed by fire in 1662, was doubtless the same which in 1661 sheltered the regicides.)
broken wilderness; so that if the pursuivants had come to New Haven on Saturday, furnished with a search-warrant, the fugitives might, at any moment, by retiring a few miles into the forest, have become secure. Probably this was their design after Mr. Jones had learned from the Indian runner what was going on in Guilford; but as their enemies did not leave Guilford till Monday, they deemed it safe to sleep under a roof.
No more appropriate time could be suggested for the allusion which Mr. Davenport is believed to have made to the regicides in the pulpit, than the sabbath intervening between the two nights they spent at the mill. In a series of sermons substantially reproduced afterward in a book entitled "The Saint's Anchor-Hold," he inculcated among other duties that of sympathizing with and helping those who, for Christ's sake, are in trouble.
"Brethren, it is a weighty matter to read letters and receive intelligence in them concerning the state of the churches. You need to lift up your hearts to God, when you are about to read your letters from our native country, to give you wisdon and hearts duly affected, that you may receive such intelligences as you ought; for God looks upon every man, in such cased, with a jealous eye, observing with what workings of bowels they read or speak of the eoncernments of his chureh," .... "The Christian Hebrews are exhorted to call to rememberance the former days in which, after they were illuminated, they endured a great fight of affictions partly whilst they were made a gazing stock both by reproaches anf affictions, and partly whilst they became companions of them that were so used. Let us do likewise and own the reproached and persecuted people and cause of Christ in suffering times.
"Withhold not countenance, entertainment, and protection, from such, if they come to us from other countries, as from France,
or England, or any other place. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them, and them who suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. The Lord required this of Moab, saying, 'Make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday;' - that is, provide safe and comfortable shelter and refreshment for my people in the heat of persecution and opposition raised against them:- 'hide the outcasts, bewray not him that wandereth: let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler.' Is it objected, But so I may expose myself to be spoiled or troubled? He therefore, to remove this objection, addeth, 'For the danger is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth; the treaders down are consumed out of the land.' While we are attending to our duty in owning and harboring Christ's witnesses, God will be providing for their and our safety, by destroying those that would destroy his people."(*)
On Monday, May 13, Whalley and Goffe were conducted by Mr. Jones and two other friends some three miles into the wilderness beyond the mill, where, a booth having been constructed, the colonels spent two nights. Having found a hatchet at the moment when one was needed for constructing, the booth, they called the place Hatchet Harbor. On Wednesday, Kellond and Kirk being now far on their way to New Amsterdam, it was safe for Whalley and Goffe to come nearer to the habitations of men, and they were on that day conducted to West Rock, or Providence Hill, as they named it, by Richard Sperry, one of the three friends
(* But as a copy of the book was presented by Davenport to Sir Thomas Temple In August, 1661, it would seem that'the discourse from which the above is extracted must have been preached at an earlier date. The time intervening between May and August would hardly suffice for sending the manuscript to England, and receiving in return the printed copies.)
who had guided them to Hatchet Harbor. Here were several huge fragments of trap rock, placed so as, with the aid of hemlock boughs, to shield the space amidst them from the wind, and some of them projecting overhead so as to afford shelter from rain. This cluster of rocks, which has ever since been called the Judges' Cave, was the refuge of these hunted regicides from May 15 to June _. They were supplied with food from day to day by the faithful Sperry, whose house at the foot of the hill, though much nearer than any other, was nearly a mile distant. It is not unreasonable to conjecture that they went down in the evening to Sperry's house to sleep, and returned early in the morning to the cave, though tradition allows only that they sometimes came to the house in stormy weather. Probably not more than three or four persons knew that they were in Sperry's neighborhood; perhaps of the few who knew that he supplied their wants and guarded the approach to their privacy, none but himself had ever seen the Judges' Cave.
On Friday, two days after Whalley and Goffe had removed from Hatchet Harbor to West Rock, -
"At a meeting of the General Court for the jurisdiction, May 17, 1661, the deputy-governor declared to the Court the cause of the meeting; viz., that he had received a copy of a letter from his Majesty, with another letter from the governor of the Massachusetts, for the apprehending of Col. Whalley and Col. Goffe; which letters he showed to the Court, and acquainted them that forthwith upon the receipt of them he granted his letter to the magistrate of New Haven, by advice and concurrence of the deputies there to make present and diligent search throughout their town for the said persons accordingly; which letter the messengers carried, but found not the magistrate at home and that he him-
self followed after the messengers, and came into New Haven soon after them, the 13th of May, 1661, bringing with him Mr. Crane, magistrate at Branford; who, when they were come, sent presently for the magistrates of New Haven and Milford, and the deputies of New Haven Court. The magistrates thus sent for not being yet come, they advised with the deputies about the matter, and, after a short debate with the deputies, were writing a warrant for search for the aforesaid colonels; but the magistrates before spoken of being come, upon further consideration (the matter being weighty) it was resolved to call the General Court for the effectual carrying on of the work. The deputy-governor further informed the Court that himself and the magistrates told the messengers that they were far from hindering the search, and they were sorry that it so fell out, and were resolved to pursue the matter as that an answer should be prepared against their return from the Dutch.
"The Court being met, when they heard the matter declared, and had heard his Majesty's letter and the letter from the governor of the Massachusetts, they all declared they did not know that they were in the colony, or had been for divers weeks past, and both magistrates and deputies wished a search had been sooner made; and did now order that the magistrates take care and send forth warrant that a speedy, diligent search be made throughout the jurisdiction, in pursuance of his Majesty's command, according to the letters received, and that from the several plantations a return be made, that it may be recorded.(*)
(* The following is a copy of one of the warrants, and of the return made by the searchers:-
(In the marshal's absence, I do appoint and empower you, Thomas Sanford, Nicholas Camp, and James Tapping to the above named powers, according to the tenor of the warrant; and to make a return thereof under your hands to me by the first.
(robert treat. We, the said persons, appointed to serve and search by virtue of this our warrant, do hereby declare and testify that to our best light we have the 20th of May, 1661, made diligent search according to the tenor of this warrant, as witness our hands.
(thomas sanford, nicholas camp, james tapping' Searcher.
"And whereas there have been rumors of their late being here at New Haven, it hath been inquired into and several persons examined, but could find no truth in those reports, and for any thing yet doth appear, they are but unjust suspicions and groundless reports against the place, to raise ill surmises and reproaches."
Learning that Mr. Davenport was suspected of concealing them, Whalley and Goffe left West Rock on the nth of June, and showed themselves publicly, that he might be relieved from suspicion. It is not known at the present day where they spent the time between the 11th and the 22d of the month. Mr. Davenport, in a letter to Sir Thomas Temple, says that they came on the 22d of June "from another colony where they were, arid had been some time, to New Haven."(*)
(* It has been said that "Mr. Davenport's statement looks like a prevarication." Doubtless it was, as every thing which the New Haven people said about the two regicides was, a prevarication, but there is no reason to doubt that the statement was literally true. Mr. Davenport was a subtile causuist, but was not reckless of the truth. The tradition that they were concealed in the Allerton house, I cannot account for quite so satisfactorily. Stiles relates that their friend, Mrs. Eyers, hearing that the pursuers were coming, sent the colonels out of the house with directions to return immediately. They returning, she concealed them in a closet, and promptly replied, when the pursuers asked for the colonels, that they had been there, but had recently gone away. Mrs. Eyers, granddaughter of the Isaac Allerton who came in the Mayflower, was born Sept. 27, 1653, and therefore was in June, 1661, less than eight years of age. If, therefore, Whalley and Goffe were concealed in the house where she lived, they were concealed by the contrivance of her step-grandmother, the widow Allerton, rather than of the person who afterward became the owner of the Allerton mansion, and the wife of Simon Eyers. The tradition may have been handed down by her, but she could not have been the principal actor. Perhaps the colonels were entertained in this house from Saturday, June 22, to Monday, June 24, and went from Mrs. Allerton's toward Neck Bridge after they learned that the magistrates had issued a warrant for their arrest. This would account for another tradition; viz., that Marshal Kimberley attempted to arrest them between the town and Neck Bridge, but found them so skilled in the art of self-defence that he was obliged to go back for assistance. For further information in regard to Mrs. Eyers and the Allertons, see Dr. Bacon's letter to Hon. John Davis, in Mass. Hist. Coll. XXVII. 243.)
Perhaps they made a visit to Connecticut, and allowed themselves to be seen there in order to divert attention from New Haven. On Saturday, June 22, they came to New Haven, and remained till Monday, causing Mr. Gilbert, who, since the election on the 20th of May, had been deputy-governor, to be informed that they were ready to surrender, if necessary, and choosing to do so rather than bring ruin upon their friends. But on Sunday some persons came to them advising not to surrender; and so on Monday they disappeared while the magistrates were consulting together, and taking measures for their arrest. "Thereupon a diligent search was renewed, and many were sent forth on foot and horseback to recover them into their hands." From a letter of Edward Rawson, secretary of the colony of Massachusetts to Gov. Leete, it may be inferred that these pursuers went to Branford. But it the regicides were seen going in that direction, as il they would return to Connecticut, it was only to mislead, for the same night they were lodged in their former retreat at West Rock. "They continued there
(says Hutchinson, who had access to a diary of Goffe, not now extant), sometimes venturing to a house near the cave, until the 19th of August, when the search for them being pretty well over, they ventured to the house of one Tomkins, near Milford, where they remained two years without so much as going into the orchard. After that they took a little more liberty, and made themselves known to several persons in whom they could confide; and each of them frequently prayed, and also exercised, as they term it, or preached at private meetings in their chamber."
The regicides lying concealed at West Rock, Gov. Leete received on the 30th of July a letter written by order of the council of Massachusetts informing that they had heard from the agent of their colony in London that many complaints were made against New England in general, and that though the address to his
Majesty which Massachusetts had made, came seasonably and had a gracious answer, yet the commissioners for the Plantations had taken notice that the other colonies had neglected thus to recognize the king. The secretary adds, -
"Further I am required to signify to you as from them that the non- attendance with diligence to execute the king's majesty's warrant for the apprehending of Colonels Whalley and Goffe will much hazard the present state of these colonies, and your own particularly, if not some of your persons, which is not a little afflictive to them; and that in their understanding there remains no way to expiate the offence and preserve yourselves from the danger and hazard but by apprehending the said persons, who, as we are informed, are yet remaining in the colony, and not above a fortnight since were seen there, all which will be against you. Sir, your own welfare, the welfare of your neighbors, bespeak your unwearied pains to free yourself and neighbors. I shall not add, having so lately, by a few lines from our governor and myself looking much this way, communicated our sense and thoughts of your and our troubles, and have as yet received no return, but commend you to God and his rich grace for your guidance and direction in a matter of such moment, as his Majesty may receive full and just satisfaction, the mouths of all opposers stopped, and the profession of the truth that is in you and us may not in the least suffer by your actings is the prayer of
Sir, your loving friend, Edward Rawson, Secretary. In the name and by order of the Council."
The above was written on the 4th of July, 1661, but remained in the hand of the writer till the 15th of the same month, when he added, -
"Sir, since what I wrote, news and certain intelligence is come hither of the two colonels being at New Haven from Saturday to Monday, and publicly known; and, however, it is given out that
they came to surrender themselves, and pretended by Mr. Gilbert that he looked when they would have come in and delivered up themselves, never setting a guard about the house nor endeavoring to secure them, but, when it was too late, to send to Totoket, &c. Sir, how this will be taken is not difficult to imagine. To be sure, not well; nay, will not all men condemn you as wanting to yourselves, and that you have something to rely on, that you hope, at least, will answer your ends? I am not willing to meddle with your hopes, but if it be a duty to obey such lawful warrants, as I believe it is, the neglect thereof will prove uncomfortable. Pardon me, sir; it is my desire you may regain your peace (and if you please to give me notice when you will send the two colonels); though Mr. Woodgreen is bound hence within a month, yet if you shall give me assurance of their coming, I shall not only endeavor, but do hereby engage, to cause his stay a fortnight, nay, three weeks, rather than they should not be sent."
At a general court held at New Haven for the jurisdiction, Aug. 1, 1661:- "the governor informed the Court of the occasion of calling,them together at this time, and among the rest the main thing insisted on was to consider what application to make to the king in the case we now stood, being like to be rendered worse to the king than the other colonies, they seeing it an incumbent duty so to do. The governor informed also the Court that he had received a letter from the Council in the Bay, which was read, wherein was intimated of sundry complaints in England made against New England, and that the committee in England took notice of the neglect of the other colonies in their non-application to the king.
"Now the Court, taking the matter into serious consideration, after much debate and advice concluded that this writing should be sent to the Council in the Bay, the copy whereof is as followeth:" -
"honored gentlemen, - Yours dated the 4th of July 1661, with a postscript of the 15th, we received July 30, which was communicated to our general court Aug. I, who considered what you please to relate of those complaints made against New England, and of what spirit they are represented to be of, upon occasion, of that false report against Capt. Leveret, whom we believe to have more wisdom and honesty than so to report, and we are assured that New England is not of that spirit. And as for the other colonies' neglect in non-application with yourselves to his Majesty last year, it hath not been forborne upon any such account, as we for our parts profess, and believe for our neighbors, but only in such new and unaccustomed matters we were in the dark to hit it in way of agreement as to a form satisfactory that might be acceptable; but since that of your colony hath come to our view, it is much to our content, and we solemnly profess from our hearts to own and say the same to his Majesty, and do engage to him full subjection and allegiance with yourselves accordingly, with profession of the same ends in coming with like permission and combining with yourselves and the other neighbor colonies, as by the preface of our articles may appear; upon which grounds we both supplicate and hope to find a like protection, privilege, immunities, and favors, from his royal Majesty. And as for that you note of our not so diligent attendance to his Majesty's warrant, we have given you an account of before, that it was not done out of any mind to slight or disown his Majesty's authority in the least, nor out of favor to the colonels; nor did it hinder the effect of their apprehending, they being gone before the warrant came into our colony, as is since fully proved; but only there was a gainsaying of the gentlemen's earnestness, who retarded their own business to wait upon purs without commission; and also out of scruple of conscience and fear of unfaithfulness to our people (who committed all our authority to us under oath) by owning a general governor, unto whom the warrant was directed, as such implicitly, and that upon misinformation to his Majesty given, though other magistrates were mentioned, yet (as some thought) it was in or under him, which oversight (if so it shall be apprehended) we hope, upon our humble acknowledgment, his Majesty will pardon, as also that other and greater bewailed remissness in one, in not securing them till we came and
knew their place, out of over-much belief of their pretended reality to resign up themselves, according to their promise, to save the country harmless, which failing is so much the more lamented, by how much more we had used all diligence to press for such a delivery upon some of those that had showed them former kindness, as had been done other where, when as none of the magistrates could otherwise do any thing in it, they being altogether ignorant where they were or how to come at them, nor truly do they now, nor can we believe that they are hid anywhere in this colony, since that departure or defeatment. But however the consequence prove, we must wholly rely on the mercy of God and the king, with promise to do our endeavor to regain them if opportunity serve. Wherefore in this our great distress we earnestly desire your aid to present us to his Majesty in our cordial owning and complying with your address, as if it had been done and said by our very selves, who had begun to draw up something that way, but were disheartened through sense of feebleness, and incapacity to procure a meet agent to present it in our disadvantaged state, by these providences occurring; hoping you will favor us in this latter and better pleasing manner of doing, which we shall take thankfully from you, and be willing to join in the proportionate share of charge for a common agent to solicit New England affairs in England, which we think necessary to procure the benefit of all acts of indemnity, grace, or favor, on all our behalfs, as well as in other respects to prevent the mischiefs of such as malign and seek to misinform against us, of which sort there be many to complot nowadays with great sedulity. If you shall desert us in this affliction to present us as before, by the transcript of this our letter or otherwise, together with the petition and acknowledgment herewithal sent, we shall yet look up to our God, that deliverance may arise another way."
This letter manifests a fear of evil results to the colony and to the magistrates from their neglect to apprehend the regicides. It was doubtless drawn up by Gov. Leete, who by this time was so much in fear for himself and for the colony that the fugitives would
not have been safe if he had known where to put his hand on them. The freemen allowed this letter to be sent as the sense of the colony; and perhaps a majority sympathized with Leete in the feeling that the safety of the colony required their extradition if found, and agreed with him in the belief that they were not at that time within its territory; but a few were more courageous, and, quietly allowing the letter to be sent as the official declaration of the colony, kept to themselves their knowledge that Whalley and Goffe were still within the jurisdiction. Of this number were Gilbert and Davenport, though even they were probably not aware that the fugitives were so near that they could see the turret of the building in which the court was held, and hear the rattle of the drum which convened it.
The difference of opinion on this subject which now obtained among the leading men seems to have occasioned some sharpness of feeling. Mr. Hooke, Whalley's brother-in-law, and formerly teacher of the church at New Haven, writes from England about ten weeks after this general court, to Mr. Davenport, "I understand by your letter what you have lately met with from Mr. Leete, &c.," and proceeds to explain that a certain letter from a friend in England to Mr. Street was not designed to caution New Haven people against befriending the regicides, but only against doing it openly. "The man was in the country when he wrote it, who sent it up to the city to be sent by what hand he knew not, nor yet knoweth who carried it; and such were the times that he durst not express matters as he would, but he foresaw what fell out among you, and was
willing you should be secured as well as his other friends, and therefore he wrote that they might not be found among you, but provided for by you in some secret places. ... I hope yet all will be well; though now I hear (as I am writing) of another order to be sent over, yet still I believe God will suffer no man to touch you. I am almost amazed sometimes To see what cross capers some of you do make. I should break my shins should I do the like." Gov. Leete had apparently understood the cautionary letter to Mr. Street as advising an entire withholding of entertainment from the regicides, and had changed his position by a cross caper, such as Mr. Hooke thought himself incapable of executing.
Another intimation that Mr. Leete had become more penitent than others approved, is contained in a letter to Mr. Gilbert from Robert Newman, formerly ruling elder in the church at New Haven, but now resident in England. He writes, "I am sorry to see that you should be so much surprised with fears of what men can or may do unto you. The fear of an evil is oft-times more than the evil feared. I hear of no danger, nor do I think any will attend you for that matter. Had not W. L. written such a pitiful letter over, the business, I think, would have died. What it may do to him I know not: they have greater matters than that to exercise their thoughts." On the same day another friend in England wrote to Gilbert, "We are very apt to be more afraid than we ought to be, or need to be."
The letter drawn up by Gov. Leete, and sanctioned by the General Court on the ist of August, was sent to Boston by special messengers, who were to "see
what would be done in the case." Twenty days later another court was held, occasioned by information that Massachusetts had, on the 7th of August, formally proclaimed the king. Anxious not to come short in demonstrations of loyalty, "it was voted and concluded as an act of the General Court," that the king should be proclaimed.
"And for the time of doing it, it was concluded to be done the next morning at nine of the clock, and the military company was desired to come to the solemnizing of it. And the form of the proclamation is as followeth:- "Although we have not received any form of proclamation by order from his Majesty or Council of State, for the proclaiming his Majesty in this colony, yet the Court taking encouragement from what hath been in the rest of the United Colonies, hath thought fit to declare publicly and proclaim that we do acknowledge his Royal Highness, Charles the Second, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, to be our Sovereign Lord and King, and that we do acknowledge ourselves the inhabitants of this colony to be his Majesty's loyal and faithful subjects." god save the king.
These public demonstrations of loyalty were prompted in large measure by fear of evil consequences to the colony, on account of its neglect to apprehend the regicides. They were supplemented with every possible attempt to secure the aid of those whose position enabled them to make intercession with the king. Before the official communication of Secretary Rawson had been received at New Haven, a letter from Davenport to deputy- Gov. Bellingham was on its way to Boston, enclosing what he calls an apology. In August, fearing that his apology had miscarried, he wrote to Sir Thomas Temple, enclosing a copy of the apology,
and very humbly beseeching his good offices in averting from the colony of New Haven the displeasure of the king. In September Gov. Leete went to Boston, probably on his way to or from the meeting of the commissioners of the United Colonies at Plymouth, to consult with friends there how he might escape the punishment of his neglect. The result of the conference was a letter from John Norton, teacher of the church at Boston, to Richard Baxter, one of the king's chaplains. It is to be inferred from Norton's letter that there had been a change in Leete's spirit since he received Kellond and Kirk in his house at Guilford and read their instructions aloud in the presence of his neighbors. Norton says:-
"He, being conscious of indiscretion and some neglect (not to say how it came about) in relation to the expediting the executing of the warrant, according to his duty, sent from his Majesty for the apprehending of the two colonels, is not without fear of some displeasure that may follow thereupon, and indeed hath almost ever since been a man depressed in his spirit for the neglect wherewith he chargeth himself therein. His endeavors also since have been accordingly, and that in full degree; as, besides his own testimony, his neighbors attest they see not what he could have done more."
At their meeting in September, the commissioners of the United Colonies issued an order forbidding the entertainment of Whalley and Goffe, and requiring all persons who knew where they were to make known their hiding- place. This order, with the other proceedings, was signed by William Leete and Benjamin Fenn, commissioners for New Haven, the last named an inhabitant of Milford, where Whalley and Goffe
were then concealed. There is no evidence that Fenn was in the secret, and no good reason can be alleged why he should have been embarrassed with useless information.
Whalley and Goffe remained in Milford from Aug. 19, 1661, till July, 1664, when, hearing that four royal commissioners had arrived in Boston, charged to inquire after persons attainted of high treason, they thought it necessary to leave the place where they had so long resided. At first they retired to their cave on West Rock. But after they had remained there eight or ten days, some Indians, in their hunting, discovered the cave with the bed in it. This being reported, they were obliged to find another temporary retreat, the location of which is unknown. Probably they were unwillingly tarrying in New Haven till arrangements could be made for their removal to a less suspected and less frequented place. Starting on the I3th of October, and travelling only by night, they directed their steps toward Hadley, Mass., a plantation in the remotest north-western frontier of the New England settlements, recently established by emigrants from Hartford and Wethersfield. Here they were, by prearrangement, received and concealed by Mr. John Russell, the minister of the town. With him they both continued to reside till the death of Whalley, about ten years afterward. But with their removal to Hadley their connection with the history of the New Haven colony ceases.
CONNECTICUT PROCURES A CHARTER WHICH COVERS THE TERRITORY OF NEW HAVEN
KING JAMES THE FIRST incorporated by letters-patent the "Council established at Plymouth in the county of Devon for the planting, ruling, and governing of New England in America," and granted unto them and their successors and assigns all that part of America lying between the fortieth and forty-eighth degree of north latitude, and extending from sea to sea. This "Council for New England," having sold patents to New Plymouth and Massachusetts, granted to its president, Robert, Earl of Warwick, a territory supposed to be bounded on the east and north by New Plymouth and Massachusetts, and the grant was confirmed' by King Charles the First. On the igth of March the said Robert, Earl of Warwick, conveyed his title to the right honorable William, viscount Say and Seal, the right honorable Robert, Lord Brook, the right honorable Lord Rich, and the honorable Charles Fiennes, Esq., Sjr Nathanael Rich, Knt, Sir Richard Saltonstall, Knt., Richard Knightly, Esq., John Pym, Esq., John Hampden, John Humphrey, Esq., and Herbert Pelham, Esq., their heirs and assigns, and their associates, forever. He describes the territory as
"all that part of New England in America, which lies and extends itself from a river there called Narragan-set River, the space of forty leagues upon a straight line near the sea-shore toward the south-west, west and by south, or west, as the coast lieth towards Virginia, accounting three English miles to the league; and also all and singular the lands and hereditaments whatsoever, lying and being within the lands aforesaid, north and south in latitude and breadth, and in length and longitude, of and within all the breadth aforesaid, throughout the main lands there, from the Western Ocean to the South Sea."
The first planters of Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield settled themselves in the territory thus conveyed by the Earl of Warwick, without asking leave of the patentees. Some years afterward, a fort having been meanwhile built at Saybrook by the patentees, the colonial government purchased of Mr. Fenwick, the representative of the patentees, the fort and the lands upon the river. In the articles of agreement Mr. Fenwick also promises that "all the lands from Narraganset River to the fort of Saybrook, mentioned in a patent granted by the Earl of Warwick to certain nobles and gentlemen, shall fall under the jurisdiction of Connecticut if it come into his power," but makes no mention of, or allusion to, the territory occupied by the New Haven colony.
So far as appears, no claim was made by Connecticut to the territory of New Haven till 1660. In that year the town of New Haven, wishing to "set out the bounds with lasting marks," between them and Connecticut, appointed Mr. Yale, William Andrews, John Cooper,
John Brocket, and Nathaniel Merriman, a committee to do it with the help of Montowese, the late proprietor. Connecticut took offence at the proceedings of this committee, and sent to New Haven the following letter:-
"Honored Gentlemen, - This Court having received information, not only by what appears in one of your laws respecting the purchase of land from the Indians, wherein there is a seeming challenge of very large interests of lands, and likewise by what intelligence we have had of your stretching your bounds up toward us, by marking trees on this side Pilgrims' Harbor, (*) which things, as ye intrench upon our interest, so they are not satisfying or contentful, nor do we apprehend it a course furthering or strengthening that friendly correspondency that we desire and ought to be perpetuated betwixt neighbors and confederates; especially in that we conceive you cannot be ignorant of our real and true right to those parts of the country where you are seated, both by conquest, purchase, and possession; and though hitherto, we have been silent and altogether forborne to make any absolute challenge to our own, as before, yet now we see a necessity at least to revive the memorial of our right and interest, and therefore do desire that there may be a cessation of further proceedings in this nature, until upon mature consideration there may be a determinate settlement and mutual concurrence twixt yourselves and this colony in reference to the dividing bounds twixt the two colonies. It is further desired and requested by us that if there be any thing extant on record with you that may further the deciding this matter, it may be produced, and that there may be a time and place appointed, when some deputed for that end, furnished with full power, may meet, that so a loving issue may be effected to prevent further troubles. And in case there be no record of grant or allowance from this
(* Pilgrims' Harbor, it appears, was so called before this letter was written. It was probably a hut where travellers between Hartford and New Haven found shelter. If the regicides ever made use of it, it was after this letter was written. It was not, as President Stiles suggests, called Pilgrims' Harbor because the regicides lodged in it.)
colony, respecting the surrender not only of lands possessed by you and improved, but also such lands as it seems to us that you, under some pretended or assumed right, have induced by your bounds within your liberties, that you would be pleased to consider on some speedy course, whereby a compliance and condescendency to what is necessary and convenient for your future comfort may be obtained from us, the true proprietors of these parts of country. We desire your return to our General Court in reference to our propositions, with what convenient speed may be, that so what is desired by us in point of mutual and neighborly correspondence, according to the rules of justice and righteousness, may be still maintained and continued."
Action was taken on this letter at a general court held at New Haven for the jurisdiction, May 29, 1661. It was "ordered that a committee be chosen by this Court for the treating with and issuing of any seeming difference betwixt Connecticut Colony and this, in reference to the dividing bounds betwixt them, and of some seeming right to this jurisdiction, which they pretend in a letter sent to this General Court."
This order was passed thirteen days after the General Court of Connecticut had desired and authorized Gov. Winthrop to act as the agent of the colony in presenting their address to the king, and in procuring a patent. Though the extant copy of the letter in which Connecticut for the first time lays claim to the territory of New Haven bears no date, it was written about the time when they were considering the expediency of applying for the charter which they soon after obtained. They hati no copy of the conveyance from the Earl of Warwick; and if they had possessed a copy, or even the original, Mr. Fenwick had conveyed to them only what his agreement specified. It is evident that about
this time they conceived the design of procuring a royal charter which should secure to them the whole territory conveyed to Lord Say and,Seal and others, by the Earl of Warwick, even if it should include the territory of New Haven. They justified themselves in doing so on the ground, that, having paid a large sum to Mr. Fenwick, they ought to have received for it all the territory covered by the patent which he and his associates possessed. They felt and represented to the aged Lord Say and Seal that Mr. Fenwick had dealt hardly with them, and that they ought to receive whatever was reserved by him as the representative of the patentees. While they were all agreed that it was right for Connecticut to acquire, if possible, a legal title as extensive as the patent from the Earl of Warwick, the New Haven people having paid nothing to the patentees, they, were not of one mind as to the disposition to be made of New Haven; some holding that New Haven should be at liberty to join with them or not, while others maintained that the welfare of all parties justified the compulsion of. New Haven into union with Connecticut. Gov. Winthrop was himself of the first-mentioned party; for when Davenport, hearing what was going on at Hartford, wrote to his friend, warning him "not to have his hand in so unrighteous an act as so far to extend the line of their patent, that the colony of New Haven should be involved within it," Winthrop replied,(*) "that the magistrates had agreed and
(* The extract is from Davenport's report of Winthrop's letters in "New Haven's Case Stated." Winthrop wrote twice "from two several places:" first from Middletown, and again from New Amsterdam "at his going away." This looks as if he did not pass through New Haven in going from Hartford to his place of embarkation. A passage in a shallop down the river was more convenient for one who was on the way to Europe than a horseback-ride through the country. From a letter of Willet to Winthrop printed in Mass. Hist Coll., xli., p. 396, it appears that Winthrop went to England by way of Holland.)
expressed in the presence of some ministers, that, if their line should reach us (which they knew not, the copy being in England), yet New Haven Colony should be at full liberty to join with them or not."
Embarking at New Amsterdam some time in August, Winthrop went to England, both to transact business of his own and to execute the commission with which he was intrusted by Connecticut. He was most favorably received by Lord Say and Seal, to whom he carried a letter from the General Court of Connecticut. His lordship writes to him, Dec. 14, 1661:-
"For my very loving friend, Mr. John Winthrop, living in Coleman Street, at one Mrs. Whiting's house, near the church.
"Mr. Winthrop, - I received your letter by Mr. Richards, and I would have been glad to have had an opportunity of being at London myself to have done you and my good friends in New England the best service I could; but my weakness hath been such, and my old disease of the gout falling upon me, I did desire leave not to come up this winter, but I have writ to the Earl of Manchester, lord chamberlain of His Majesty's household, to give you the best assistance he may; and indeed, he is a noble and worthy lord, and one that loves those that are godly. And he and I did join together, that our godly friends of New England might enjoy their just rights and liberties; and this, Col. Crowne, who, I hear, is still in London, can fully inform you. Concerning that of Connecticut, I am not able to remember all the particulars; but I have written to my lord chamberlain, that when you shall attend him (which I think will be best for you to do, and therefore I have enclosed a letter to him in yours), that you may deliver it, and I
have desired him to acquaint you where you may speak with Mr. Jesup, who, when we had the patent, was our clerk, and he, I believe, is able to inform you best about it, and I have desired my lord to wish him so to do. I do think he is now in London. My love remembered unto you, I shall remain,
"Your very loving friend,
Lord Say and Seal, and the other Puritan lords and gentlemen to whom the Earl of Warwick conveyed his title to Connecticut, had secured the territory for the purpose of establishing a Puritan colony, and with the expectation that some of themselves would personally engage in the enterprise. Twenty-five years before, Winthrop himself had been constituted their agent, with instructions "to provide able men to the number of fifty at the least, for making of fortifications and building of houses at the river Connecticut and the harbor adjoining, first for their own present accommodations, and then such houses as may receive men of quality, which latter houses we would have to be builded, within the fort." Not one, however, of the lords and gentlemen named by Warwick in his conveyance, came to Connecticut. Of the "men of quality" - who in 1635 signed the agreement with Winthrop, the only one that came over was George Fenwick; and he was not one of the original patentees, but had become a partner in the company subsequent to the conveyance from the Earl of Warwick in 1631. He seems from the day of his arrival to have full power to dispose of every thing belonging to the company; and in his conveyance of the fort and the lands on the river to the colony of Connecticut he makes no mention of any other con-
veyor than himself. His whole conduct is that of a principal rather than of an agent. He had doubtless acquired from the other partners all their rights. At what date he had become sole proprietor, we cannot determine. Perhaps it was before he came over in 1639; for most of the patentees were then and had been for some time so earnestly and deeply engaged in saving their native land from the encroachments of tyranny, that they must have relinquished the idea of emigration. Notably, two of them, Viscount Say and Seal and John Hampden, had committed themselves to resist the requirement of ship-money; and Hampden was prosecuted rather than Say and Seal, only because his case had a prior standing on the docket. At all events, Fenwick talks and acts, in 1644 and 1645, as if he were sole proprietor. In 1644 he makes the conveyance before mentioned, to the colony of Connecticut in his own name; and in 1645 he makes a free gift to the plantation of Guilford of land, which, in his sale to the colony of Connecticut, he had reserved for his plantation of Saybrook. His letter of gift is so illustrative of his character and of the condition of Guilford as to deserve transcription in full. It is as follows:-
"mr. leete, - I have been moved by Mr. Whitfield to enlarge the bounds of your plantation, which otherwise, he told me, could not comfortably subsist, unto Hammonassett River; to gratify so good a friend, and to supply your wants, I have yielded to his request, which, according to his request, by this bearer I signify to you for your own and the plantation's better satisfaction, hoping it will" be a means fully to settle such who, for want of fit accommodation, begun to be wavering amongst you; and I would commend to your consideration one particular, which, I conceive, might tend to common advantage, and that is, when you are all suited to
your present content, you will bind yourselves more strictly for continuing together; for however in former times (while chapmen and money were plentiful) some have gained by removes, yet in these latter times it doth not only weaken and discourage the plantation deserted, but also wastes and consumes the estates of those that remove. Rolling stones gather no moss in these times, and our conditions now are not to expect great things. Small things, nay, moderate things, should content us. A warm fireside, and a peaceable habitation, with the chief of God's mercies, the gospel of f peace, is, no ordinary mercy, though other things were mean. I intended only one word, but the desire of the common good and settlement hath drawn me a little further.
"For the consideration Mr. Whitfield told me you were willing to give me for my purchase, I leave it wholly to yourselves. I look not to my own profit, but to your comfort. Only one Jhing I must entreat you to take notice of, that when I understood that that land might be useful for your plantation, I did desire to express my love to Mr. Whitfield and his children, and therefore offered him to suit his own occasions, which he, more intending your common advantage than his own particular, hath hitherto neglected; yet my desire now is that you would suit him to his content; and that he would accept of what shall be allotted him as a testimony of my love intended to him, before I give up my interest to your plantation, and that therefore he may hold it free from charge as I have signified to himself. I will not now trouble you further, but with my love to yourself and plantation, rest
"Your loving friend and neighbor,
Lord Say and Seal, though he had long since relinquished the expectation of removing to America, retained the friendly feeling he had ever cherished toward the planters of New England, and was in a position, when Connecticut sought a royal charter, where his influence was very powerful. Although he had opposed the tyranny of Charles the First, he was a royalist in
principle, and disapproved of the extreme measures to which the popular party were carried by the current of events. During the commonwealth he lived in retirement, and was among the first to move, when opportunity offered, for the restoration of the ancient constitution. As a reward for his services, Charles the Second had made him lord privy seal.
The Earl of Manchester, whom Say and Seal mentions in his letter to Winthrop, was also a Puritan. He like-wise, and for similar reasons, was high in office, and high in favor with the king. Forced to resign his commission as commander-in-chief of one of the grand divisions of the parliamentary army, by the intrigues of men who wished to eliminate both royalty and aristocracy from the constitution, he, too, had lived for years in retirement, waiting for an opportunity to assist in restoring the ancient form of government. He was now lord chamberlain, and more active in public affairs than his aged friend, Say and Seal.
Winthrop himself was singularly well qualified for the negotiation in which he had engaged. A university scholar, he had made the tour of the Continent as far as to Constantinople before he emigrated to New England. Gifted by nature, and polished with the best European culture, he was qualified to converse on those subjects which were everywhere discussed in society, and by His experience in America was able to discourse of a country full of marvels to Englishmen, whether they had travelled on the Continent or journeyed only within their native land.
Every thing seemed to favor his undertaking. Though the colony nad no copy of the old patent, one
was found among the papers of Gov. Hopkins, and was by his executor delivered to Winthrop. The lord chamberlain, moved by the lord privy seal, as well as by his own love to "those that are godly," lent to the Puritan colony his influence with' the king. Mather relates that Winthrop had a ring which his grandfather received from King Charles the First, and that the acceptance by his Majesty of this souvenir of his father effectually pledged him to favor the suppliant who offered it.
The new charter was in every respect as Winthrop would desire it to be. The boundaries of the territory it confirmed to Connecticut were the same as in the patent of 1631. "With regard to powers of government, the charter was" (says Bancroft) "still more extraordinary. It conferred on the colonists unqualified power to govern themselves. They were allowed to elect all their own officers, to enact their own laws, to adminisfer justice without appeals to England, to inflict punishments, to confer pardons, and, in a word, to exercise every power, deliberative and active. The king, far from reserving a negative on the acts of the colony, did not even require that the laws should be transmitted for his inspection; and no provision was made for the interference of the English government, in any event whatever. Connecticut was independent except in name."
Clearly the terms of the charter were dictated by Winthrop. Both the boundaries and the powers of government were such as he asked for. He was resolved, when he left Hartford, to ask for all the territory included by the old patent, even if the line should reach so as to include a sister colony.
What, then, was his expectation in regard to the Jurisdiction of New Haven? Plainly it was, if we may trust his own testimony, that New Haven should be at liberty to join with them or not. Though he had no intention of absorbing New Haven by compulsion, he believed that it would be for the advantage of all to be united in one jurisdiction by mutual agreement. There were in the colony of New Haven some who were of the same opinion. Gov. Leete, "both by speech and letter," urged Winthrop to include New Haven within the territory he should ask for Connecticut. Leete may have been more solicitous for comprehension at that time than two or three years later; for Winthrop embarked when New Haven was more apprehensive of the royal displeasure than at any other time. Connecticut, in reply to New Haven's Case Stated, says, "By your then chief in government, our governor was solicited to include New Haven within our patent, both by speech and letter; and friends in England were improved by some of you to persuade to and promote the same, and, according to your desires, attended the best expedient to express sincerity of love, your case and condition at that time duly considered" The obvious interpretation of this language is that Leete desired, in the danger which threatened New Haven, that she might be allowed to take shelter under the rbyal charter which Connecticut hoped to obtain. Two letters from Leete to Winthrop, found among the Winthrop papers enclosed in a slip of paper which was indorsed "Mr. Leete's letter about procuring patent," still more clearly prove that Leete desired the comprehension of New Haven, and that he
desired it in order to secure her safety from danger impending on account of the regicides. The first of the letters is doubtless that which Connecticut refers to in her answer to New Haven's Case Stated.(*) A few words in this letter are italicised for the convenience of the reader. Under date of Aug. 6, 1661, he writes, -
"To the Right Worshipful John Winthrop, Esq.
"honored sir, i waited with expectation to have seen you at Guilford, or met you at New Haven, to have presented you with something I had prepared, petition-wise, for the king; that, if you had pleased, we might have had your furtherance about it; but not meeting you, I went toward New London, thinking to find you there; but when I came at Saybrook I heard of your being gone near a week before, and so I was wholly disappointed: since which time I have sent it to the Council at Boston, as also a letter of our General Court, signifying our accord to own their address, and to acknowledge ourselves in like relation and with like affection to his Majesty.(**) All which I suppose we should have done by you, could fce have seen you and yours,(***) and had your consent; for we are desirous ever to maintain the stamp of the United Colonies; but seeing we were disappointed, we were necessitated to apply ourselves to, the Bay, and are now thither sending this enclosed letter and petition; yet, lest any miscarrying or interrupt tion there should fall out as from them, and for fuller testimony of us and our loyalty to his Majesty, I have sent, . . (nonnulla desunt) . . . and hope it shall not meet with a check from his
(* Since writing the above I have noticed that Leete in a letter to Winthrop, which may be found on p. 484, alludes to a letter of similar import with that here given, which he wrote when Winthrop was in England. According to Leete, the purport of the letter to England was "to make your patent a covert, but no control to our jurisdiction, until we accorded with mutual satisfaction to become one.")
(** This letter may be found on p. 438)
(*** Fitz John and Waitstill, sons of Winthrop, accompanied their father to Europe.)
Majesty. If it should, it would grieve me, but if it find favor, and herein his Majesty's clemency shall further shine as toward such despised ones, it will bring forth (I believe) great cheering and cordialness, with growth of loyalty; which I shall seek to further as I shall be in capacity. Good sir, mind us, and with first opportunities please to deal upon our account. I have written to the Bay, that some apt personage may be procured to be the common agent for New England, to wait upon all turns when any thing pro or con should be on hand about New England affairs, which I am informed they think needful also. I wish that you and we could procure one patent to reach beyond Delaware, where we have expended a thousand pounds to procure Indian title, view, and begin to possess. If war should arise between Holland and England, it might suit the king's interest; a little assistance might so reduce all to England. But our chief aim is to purchase our own peace, which I desire we all pursue, as I hope you will, and for which we pray, as for your health, success, and welfare. With chiefest respects to yourself, Mr. Fitz, and Mr. Wait, wishing your safe and speedy return to your good family, and us that long for it, resting
"Yours cordially to love and honor you,
The other letter, enclosed with this by Winthrop for preservation, was written after Winthrop's return from Europe. It bears date June 25, 1663, and is as follows: "For the honored John Winthrop, Esquire, Governor of Connecticut Colony, these dd. "Much honored and dear sir, - By this first opportunity, with or indeed somewhat before my meet capacity to write, by rea-
son of extraordinary pain in the one side of my face and teeth, I have adventured to perform that duty to congratulate your so safe return, which hath so long been sought, waited, and hoped for, as the medium to bring a comfortable issue to our perturbing exercises, always giving out my confident apprehensions of your acting in the Patent business so as to promote peace and love to mutual satisfaction, without any intendment to infringe our liberty or privileges in the least thereby, when you came to manifest your ingenuous sense of things; and therefore all my laboring with our neighbors of Connecticut hath been for a respite of all things till your return, and that no preparations might be given in that interim, to hinder a loving accord and compliance between us, "which truly I am and ever have been a friend to encourage, according as I have said, or at any time written to yourself or Mr. Stone. But I fear some physicians of our time may be too highly conceited of curing diseases by violent fomentations, which I ever judged not to be your method, but rather by gradual ripening and softening supplements, which I am yet more confirmed to believe since I see your letter unto Major Mason, a copy whereof Major Thompson and Mr. Scott sent enclosed (as they say) in one from them, all which letters have been opened and tossed up and down about the Country in reports, before they came to my view, which is even now done, and so if any inconvenience be thereby occasioned, I hope you will not impute it unto me. But truly I hear of great irritations of spirits amongst our people, by reports of opposite speeches or writings, that are said to come from yourself; but I hope all will come to a fair reconcilement in due time, and which I still wait and long for. Thus hoping you will pardon the want of more ample expressions or other attendance upon you in time of my long continuing illness, with all humble and best respects presented to yourself, good. Mrs. Winthrop, Mr. Fitz John, Mr. Wait, and all yours, I take leave, resting
"Your assured loving friend to serve,
These overtures by Mr. Leete toward an union with Connecticut were very obnoxious to those who, regard-
ing the limitation of suffrage to church-members as of paramount importance, were less alarmed than Mr. Leete for the safety of themselves and of the colony. Mr. Davenport writes to Winthrop, June 22, 1663: "As for what Mr. Leete wrote to yourself, it was his private doing, without the consent or knowledge of any of us in this colony; it was not done by him according to his public trust as governor, but contrary to it." Probably this movement of Leete for union with Connecticut was what the letters of Hooke to Davenport and of Newman to Gilbert, cited in the preceding chapter, refer to. It does not appear that any public attack was made upon him; but the little apologetic speech with which he opened the court of election in the spring of 1662 indicates that those who thought that his proposal to Winthrop to include New Haven was not done by him according to his public trust as governor, but contrary to it, had in a private way made it warm for him. "The governor declared that through the goodness of God they had been carried through another year, though with much infirmity and weakness, and himself more than ordinary, yet not so but through reflection God had brought him to the sight of it, but yet was free to be responsible for any public transaction, and should be ready to give answer to any brother or brethren coming to him in an orderly way, desiring to find pardon and acceptance with God, and acknowledging their patience and love in passing by any thing that hath been done amiss. None objecting, they proceeded to vote."
The charter bore the date, April 23, 1662. It was first made public in this country at the meeting of the
commissioners for the United Colonies at Boston in September. A letter from the General Court of Connecticut to the commissioners, dated Aug. 30, makes no reference to the charter, but proposes a special meeting of the commissioners "in case any matters needful to be considered should, at the return of our worthy governor and the agents for the Massachusetts, be presented." A letter sent by the commissioners during their session, to the governor of Rhode Island says, "We have read and perused a charter of incorporation under the broad seal of England, sent over the last ship, granted to some gentlemen of Connecticut." For some time1 after the charter had come into his possession, Winthrop expected to return home that summer, and be himself the bearer of the document; but, changing his plans, and deciding to spend a second winter abroad, he had sent it by another hand. The arrival of the charter, therefore, preceded the return of the envoy by whom it was procured. It was read at the meeting of the commissioners, who "took notice of his majesty's favor as being very acceptable to them, and advised that wherein others may be concerned, the said gentlemen with such others do attend such ways as may conduce to righteousness, peace, and amity, and that the favor showed to the said colony, or any other, may be jointly improved for the benefit of all concerned in the said charter. In the margin of that copy of the records of the commissioners printed in Hazard's State Papers is the following note: "We cannot as yet say that the procurement of this patent will be acceptable to us or our colony. -William Leete, Benjamin Fenn."
At the General Assembly or Court of Election held at Hartford, Oct. 9, 1662, -
"the patent or charter was this day publicly read in audience of the freemen, and declared to belong to them and their successors; and the freemen made choice of Mr. Wyllys, Capt. John Talcott, and Lieut. John Allyn, to take the charter into their custody in behalf of the freemen, Who are to have an oath administered to them by the General Assembly for the due discharge of the trust committed to them."