« PreviousContinue »
lands as they or any of them are personally possessed of or intressed in, by vertue of any former titles or grante[s] whatsoever.1 And the said William Bradford doth, by the free and full consente, approbation, and agreemente of the said old-planters, or purchasers, together with the liking, approbation, and acceptation of the other parte of the said corporation, surrender into the hands of the whole courte, consisting of the free-men of this corporation of New-Plimoth, all that other [ther] right and title, power, authority, priviledges, immunities, and freedomes granted in the said letters patents by the said right Hon'ble Counsell for New-England; reserveing his and their
whom ever shall be the first drawn shall have the first choice as his lot comes south, and so the second and third, and the rest successively, and these lots to be as soone as may be after it is soe divided, provided that every whose share shall have twenty Acres alowed them either at the heads of their lots or in such other place as shall be thought meet.
"And as touching the meadows it is agreed that all our meadows shall be laid out into ten acres shares as the former, haveing respect to Quantity and Quallity, and that the whole shares shall chuse three lots on the New meadow neck at one end and shall have other three lots apoynted by the halfe shares on the other side Sawomes River, lying also at one end and togeather in lew of that which was formerly allotted equally to halfe shares and whole shares; and the persons that are made choice of to make these devitions above said are Capt. Myles Standish, Mr. Brown, Capt. Willett and Mr. John Winslow, and Mr. Thomas Clark, or any three of them, and we whose names are under written doe bind ourselves to stand to what they shall doe in the premises above said.
the consent of JOHN ADAMS and for his use." Miscellaneous Papers, 1. (1628-1691), f. 21.
1 Judge Davis gives the following location of these reserved grants: "The first tract is on Cape Cod, comprehending Eastham, Orleans, Brewster, and it is believed Harwich and Chatham. The second tract is in the present towne of Dartmouth and New Bedford. The third tract was the most valuable, and was not to be quietly enjoyed without a bloody conflict. The description embraces Swanzey and Rehoboth, in Massachusetts, Barrington and Warren, in Rhode Island, and perhaps Bristol." Note in Morton, New Englands Memoriale, 405.
personall right of free-men, together with the said old planters afforesaid, excepte the said lands before excepted, declaring the freemen of this [present] corporation togeather with all shuch as shal be legally admitted into the same, his associates. And the said William Bradford, for him, his heiers, and assignes, doe hereby further promise and grant to doe and performe whatsoever further thing or things, acte or actes, which in him lyeth, which shall be needfull and expediente for the better confirming and establishing the said premises, as by counsell lerned in the lawes shall be reasonably advised and devised, when he shall be ther unto required. In witness wherof, the said William Bradford hath in publick courte surrendered the said letters – patents actually into the hands and power of the said courte, binding him selfe, his heires, executors, administrators, and assignes to deliver up whatsoever spetialties are in his hands that doe or may concerne the same.1 
In these 2 years they had sundry letters out of England to send one over to end the buissines and accounte with Mr. Sherley; who now proffesed he could not make up his accounts without the help of some from hence, espetially Mr. Winslows. They had serious thoughts of it, and the most parte of the partners hear thought it best to send; but they had formerly written shuch bitter and threatening letters as Mr. Winslow was neither willing to goe, nor that any other of the partners should; for he was perswaded, if any of them wente, they should be arested, and an action of shuch summe layed upon them as they should not procure baele, but must lye in prison, and then they would bring them to what they liste; or other wise they might be brought into trouble by the arch
1 The Court record continues:
"Memorandum: that the said surrender was made by the said William Bradford, in publick Court, to Nathaniell Sowther, especially authorized by the whole Court to receive the same, together with the said letters patents, in the name and for the use of the whole body of freemen.
"It is ordered by the Court, that Mr. William Bradford shall haue the keepeing of the said letters patents, which were afterwards deliuered vnto him by the said Nathaniell Sowther in the publike Court." Plymouth Col. Rec., 1I. II.
bishops means, as the times then stood.' But notwithstanding, they weer much inclined to send, and Captaine Standish was willing to goe, but they resolved, seeing they could not all agree in this thing, and that it was waighty, and the consequence might prove dangerous, to take Mr. Winthrops advise in the thing, and the rather, because Mr. Andrews had by many letters acquaynted him with the differences betweene them, and appoynted him for his assigne to receive his parte of the debte.2 (And though they
1 Winslow wrote to Winthrop, June 27, 1640: “I received a letter from Mr. Sherley this yeare; he writes that insteed of a letter he had thought to haue seen me, but is glad I came not, for if I or any partner had commen Mr. Beauchamp had trowbled him, and had for that end entertayned Soliciter, etc." 4 Mass. Hist. Collections, VI. 167. Winslow added that in the death of the Lord Keeper, Thomas, Lord Coventry, who died January 13, 1639-40, and in the retirement of Sir John Coke, one of the Secretaries of State, "New England in those two is stripped at once of our best friends at the Board: so that now we must live by Faith without any dependance on meanes at all."
2 One of these letters from Andrews, dated July 8, 1639, is in 5 Mass. Hist. Collections, 1. 271. It denotes a certain shrewd business method in Andrews. He complained that the Plymouth partners owed him some five or six hundred pounds principal, besides the interest upon it for many years, which he wished Winthrop to aid him in collecting. He then described a gift of heifers to ministers and poor, of which one-half the increase was to revert to Andrews. Then followed a transaction with a fellow partner: "I have lately sould some comoditie vnto Mr. John Beachamp of London, which amounteth vnto the some of 384 li. o6s. ood., one condition to take satisfaction in New England, either for the whoale, or ellse for so much thearof as Mr. William Bradford, Mr. Edward Winslowe, or some other or others of them shall either paie or secvre to paie vnto your Wor[ship] to content, at or before the 20th daye of June next, which shalbe in the yeare of our Lord 1640, in parte of moneys they owe and are indebted vnto Mr. Jo: Bechamp, one account between him and them, and unto me in parte or in full of the said some of 384. 06. 00, which Mr. Jo: Beachamp oweth me for the foresaid comoditie sould him. And so much of the said some of 384 li. 06. 00 as they shall not have paied or secured to paie vnto me theare for him, before or vppon the 20th daye of June nexte, Mr. Jo: Bechamp hath covenanted to paie me heare vppon the 24th day of June nexte, in full of the said some of 384 li. 06. oo. And if your wor[ship] or asseignes doe rec[eive] the said some of 384 li. 6. o., or what parte therof shalbe rec[eive]d to content, either in heyfores worth the rates, or in any good comoditie, worth the price to sell, or wherewith heyfores may bee had in exchange at indifferent rates, as they are sould, or so much as good men of Plymoth
deneyed to pay him any as a debte, till the controversie was ended, yet they had depossited 110li. in money in his hands for Mr. Andrews, to pay to him in parte as soone as he would come to any agreement with the rest.) But Mr. Winthrop was of Mr. Winslows minde, and disswaded them from sending; so they broak of their resolution from sending, and returned this answer: that the times were dangerous as things stood with them, for they knew how Mr. Winslow had suffered formerley, and for a small matter was clapte up in the Fleete, and it was long before he could gett out, to both his and their great loss and damage; and times were not better, but worse, in that respecte. Yet, that their equall and honest minds might appeare to all men, they made them this tender: to refferr the case to some gentle-men and marchants in the Bay of the Massachusetts, shuch as they should chuse, and were well knowne unto doe secure, soe to satisfie vnto your wor[ship] for me to content, and for so much thearof as shall at any tyme bee rec[eive]d in commoditie, I desire that yonge heyfores, about 2: or 3: yeares ould, or vnder, may bee thear with bought, and that all of them may bee disposed of, and distributed to and amonge the godly poore in the severall townes and villadges in America, one a peece vnto svch as have not any before, and have moste need, to bee kept for mee for halfe the increase, for 4: 5: or 6: yeares, as shalbe conceaved most meett, and after, in all things to bee disposed of, with theire increase at the time of devition, accordinge to thoase before mentioned, which are to bee provided, with what may bee rec[eived] of Mr. Bradford, Mr. Winslowe, and the reste, vppon my owne account, and in parte of the said fyve or sixe hvndred pounds principall money, they doe owe me, besides forberance, boath which said somes, the former and the latter, are due to me from them as so much redy money lent for theire trade and svply, although the latter bee now for comoditie sould Mr. Bechamp; and thearfore they have good reason to give verry good content in the satisfactions they deliver for boath the one as well as the other. I ame ashamed to bee soe troublesome vnto your wor[ship] as I feare this bussines is like to bee; yeat seinge I intend more the good of the poore herein then any to my particuler, I hope your wor[ship] will excuse my bouldnesse herin. But if our frinds at Plymoth cannot satisfie the whoale in one yeare, lett them doe it in 2 years, and if they cannot doe it in 2 years, lett them doe it in 3 years yearly, so that they would perfect accounts with vs, either as parteners, or allowinge our principall disbursements for them, with so much forberance for the same as shall indifferently bee thought meett, that I might knowe how much to expect from them." The deposit of £110 with Governor Winthrop is probably thus accounted for.
them selves, (as they perceived their wer many of their aquaintance and freinds ther, better knowne to them then the partners hear,) and let them be informed in the case by both sides, and have all the evidence that could be prodused, in writing, or other wise; and they would be bound to stand to their determination, and make good their award, though it should cost them all they had in the world. But this did not please them, but they were offended at it, without any great reasone for ought I know, (seeing nether side could give in clear accountes, the partners here could not, by reason they (to their smarte) were failed by the accountante they sent them, and Mr. Sherley preten[d]ed he could not allso,) save as they conceived it a disparagmente to yeeld to their inferiours in respecte of the place and other concurring circomstances. So this came to nothing; and afterward Mr. Sherley write, that if Mr. Winslow would met him in France, the Low-Countries, or Scotland, let the place be knowne, and he  come to him ther. But in regard of the troubles that now begane to arise in our owne nation, and other reasons, this did not come to any effecte. That which made them so desirous to bring things to an end was partly to stope the clamours and aspertions raised and cast upon them hereaboute; though they conceived them selves to sustaine the greatest wrong, and had most cause of complainte; and partly because they feared the fall of catle, in which most parte of their estates lay. And this was not a vaine feare; for they fell indeede before they came to a conclusion, and that so souddenly, as a cowe, that but a month before
1 The course of events here referred to had been as follows: Pressed by financial necessities and the difficulties due to what was known as the "Bishops Wars" in Scotland, concluding with the treaty of Ripon (October, 1640), Charles I summoned what is known as the "Long Parliament," which met at Westminster, November 3, 1640. See Gardiner, History, IX. and x. "What will be the issue of these sore beginnings the Lord onely knoweth, but it concerneth us deeply to be affected with them as a people that must share with them in weale and woe. The Lord in mercy so order and dispose as what is amis may be reformed, and his name may be glorified." Winslow to Winthrop, July 7, 1640. 4 Mass. Hist. Collections, vi. 168.