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was worth 20li., and would so have passed in any paymente, fell now to .5li. and would yeeld no more; and a goate that wente at •3li. or 50s. would now yeeld but .8. or. 10s. at most.1 All men feard a fall of catle, but it was thought it would be by degrees; and not be from the highest pitch at once to the lowest, as it did, which was greatly to the damage of many, and the undoing of some. An other reason was, they many of them grew aged,
1 Andrews wished to have for his claim cattle of a certain age and price. On this Winslow wrote: "But the price at that time was under their worth by a yeares growth: for yearlings and the advantage were ordinarily sold for 15li. Againe Mr. Andrews is well acquainted with payments in England and how easie a thing it is to turne any valuable commodity into money, but it is otherwise heer, and especially at this the most hard and dead time of all other these many yeares: I speak, as it is with us: but if you conceive the Gentlemen valued them too high I am contented to let them goe as I offered to your selfe at 18/i. per head the fiue. If you say it is too high, truly I marvell at it, being this weeke Mr. Hatherly made payment to Mr. Freeman and Mr. Atwood in cows (and in a busines Mr. Andrews, if I be not much mistaken, is interested) at 18li. 15s. per head. Nay since these valued some passed in account between Mr. Paddy and some of your parts at 20li. per head; and therefore I pray you take it into further consideraĉon, and remember you may fall into an extreame. Truly Sir it is my desire to discharge it that makes me importune you, neither doe I conceiue how you can justly suffer in it: and to avoide suffering I see is not possible: for I finde innocency (by lamentable experience) will little helpe amongst men, yea wherein I haue been most carefull, therein most abused, and therefore in discharging a good conscience we must leaue all events to God." 4 Mass. Hist. Collections, vi. 166. Winter could sell four ewe goats at 50s. a head, and two at £3 apiece, high prices for his region. "Provision is very plentyfull now in the Bay, and very Cheape. Money growes scarce their with them; yf passengers Com not over with money, the prize of Cattell will fall spedily. I would willingly sell a score of Cattell, young and old, yf I Could gett a good Cheapman. I do purpose to go into the Bay shortly, yf I Can bringe yt to pas, to se If I Can put away any of our Cattell." To Trelawny, June 27, 1640. About three months later he wrote: "I do beleaue Cattell will be Cheape in this Country very shortly. I would willingly sell yearlings heare now for ten pound prize per head, which ar better then them which I sold for £13 and £15 per head the last yeare. Heare ar all sellers of Cattell now that haue them, but noe buyers." Trelawny Papers, 204, 218, 243.
The severe check to emigration to New England, which followed the breaking out of the troubles preceding the Great Rebellion, and the consequent return to England of many of those who had previously emigrated, greatly influenced commercial values both in Massachusetts Bay and in New Plymouth.
(and indeed a rare thing it was that so many partners should all live together so many years as these did,) and saw many changes were like to befall; so as they were loath to leave these intanglements upon their children and posteritie, who might be driven to remove places, as they had done; yea, them selves might doe it yet before they deyed. But this bussines must yet rest; the next year gave it more ripnes, though it rendred them less able to pay, for the reasons afforesaid.1
The exportation of sheep from New Plymouth had been prohibited under heavy penalties since July, 1633. When in June, 1641, one Nehemiah Smyth was about to leave the colony taking his sheep with him, the Court interfered, and directed him to bring them to Plymouth, and there dispose of them for money or commodities, at the rate of forty shillings for each ewe, and twenty shillings for each lamb. Whatever stock remained unsold he could take with him. Plymouth Col. Rec., 1. 13; II. 17.
1 Massachusetts Bay at this time proposed to send agents to England to obtain aid in men and money, and the Salem church was asked to allow Hugh Peter to go as one of the agents. The reply written by John Endecott discouraged the mission, and among other arguments urged, that “It is to be feared that vnlesse the money we exp[ect they] would sollicit for, be freelie giuen vs, it will rather impouerish vs, and so bringe dishonour to God by such ingagements not duely satisfyed then doe vs good, though it should come vppo[n] easie termes. Plimmoth plantacion may giue vs some light herein." 4 Mass. Hist. Collections, vi. 139.
avri worthy of you Hugh presa.
R. SHERLEY being weary of this controversie, and desirous of an end, (as well as them selves,) write to Mr. John Atwode 2 and Mr. William Collier, 2. of the inhabitants of this place, and of his speatiall aquaintance, and desired them to be a means to bring this bussines to an end, by advising and counselling the partners hear, by some way to bring it to a composition, by mutuall agreemente. And he write to them selves allso to that end, as by his letter may apear; so much therof as concernse the same I shall hear relate.
SIR: My love remembered, etc. I have writte so much concerning the ending of accounts betweexte us, as I profess I know not what more to write, etc. If you desire an end, as you seeme to doe, ther is (as I conceive) but 2 waise; that is, to parfecte all accounts, from the first to the last, etc. Now if we find this difficulte, and tedious, haveing not been so stricte and carefull as we should and ought to have done, as for my owne parte I doe confess I have been somewhat to remisse, and doe verily thinke so are you, etc. I fear you can never make a perfecte accounte of all your pety viages, out, and home too and againe, etc. So then the second way must be, by biding, or compounding; and this way, first or last, we must fall upon, etc. If we must warr at law for it, doe not you expecte from me, nether
1 The Assistants chosen this year were Thomas Prence, William Collier, Myles Standish, Edward Winslow, John Brown, Timothy Hatherley and Edmund Freeman. Plymouth Col. Rec., 11. 8.
2 John Atwood was in Plymouth as early as 1636, coming from London. He served as an Assistant in 1638, and as treasurer of the Plantation from 1641 to his death in 1644. He mentions no children in his will dated October 20, 1643, but left a fair estate to his wife Ann. She died June 1, 1654. Winsor, History of Duxbury, 180.
This was but to pretend advantage, for it could not be done, neither did it need. - BRADFORD.
will I from you, but to cleave the heare, and then I dare say the lawyers will be most gainers, etc. Thus let us set to the worke, one way or other, and end, that I may not allways suffer in my name and estate. And you are not free; nay, the gospell suffers by your delaying, and causeth the professors of it to be hardly spoken of, that you, being many, and now able, should combine and joyne togeather to oppress and burden me, etc. Fear not to make a faire and reasonable offer; beleeve me, I will never take any advantage to plead it against you, or to wrong you; or else let Mr. Winslow come over, and let him have shuch full power and authority as we may ende by compounding; or else, the accounts so well and fully made up, as we may end by reconing. Now, blesed be God, the times be much changed here, I hope to see many of you returne to your native countrie againe, and have shuch freedome and libertie as the word of God prescribes. Our bishops were never so near a downfall as now; God hath miraculously confounded them, and turned all their popish and Machavillian plots and projects on their owne heads, etc.1 Thus you see what is fitt to be done concerning our perticulere greevances. I pray you take it seriously into consideration; let each give way a litle that we may meete, etc. Be you and all yours kindly saluted, etc. So I ever rest, Your loving friend, JAMES SHERLEY.2
Clapham, May 18, 1641.
Being thus by this leter, and allso by Mr. Atwodes and Mr. Colliers mediation urged to bring things to an end, (and the continuall clamors from the rest,) and by none more urged then by
1 The references in the text are to the measures then pending in the "Long Parliament," relating to the exclusion of the Bishops from the House of Lords, and the impeachment of Strafford and Laud. See vol. 1. pp. 14-17.
2 James Sherley "was the son of Robert Sherley, gentleman, of London, and Mary, daughter of Richard Holman of Godstone, Surrey, and grandson of Robert Sherley, Cheshire. James married Mary, daughter of William Mott of Colchester, Essex, and granddaughter of Robert Mott, whose will is given in Waters' Gleanings, 1135." N. E. Hist. Gen. Reg., LXIV. 85; Visitation of London, 1633-1635 (Harleian Society), 235, 236.
their own desires, they tooke this course (because many scandals had been raised upon them). They apoynted these 2. men before mentioned to meet on a certaine day, and called some other freinds on both sides, and Mr. Free-man, brother in law to Mr. Beachamp;1 and having drawne up a collection of all the remains of the stock, in what soever it was, as housing, boats, bark, and all implements belonging to the same, as they were used in the time of the trade, were they better or worce, with the remaines of all commodities, as beads, knives, hatchetts, cloth, or any thing els, as well the refuse as the more vendible, with all debts, as well those that were desperate as others more hopefull; and having spent diverce days to bring this to pass, having the helpe of all bookes and papers, which either any of them selves had, or Josias Winslow, who was their accountante; and they found the · sume in all to arise (as the things were valued) to aboute 1400li. And they all of them tooke a voluntary but a sol
lem oath, in the presence one of an other, and of all their frends, the persons abovesaid that were now presente, that this was all that any of them knew of, or could remember; and Josias Winslow did the like for his parte. But the truth is they wrongd them selves much in the valuation, for they reconed some catle as they were taken of Mr. Allerton, as for instance a cowe in the hands of one cost 25li. and so she was valued in this accounte; but when she
1 John Beachampe was son of Thomas Beachampe of Cosgrave, Nottinghamshire, and Mary, daughter of Edward Clarke of Rode, in the same county. He married Alice, daughter of Edmond Freeman of Pulbury, co. Sussex. Visitation of London, 1633-1635 (Harleian Society). A letter from him to William Paddy, his son-in-law, dated July 20, 1649, will be found in Freeman Genealogy, 23 n. In it he speaks of "brother [William] Coddington," the governor of Rhode Island.