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Force's Collection of Historical Tracts.

Vol. IV.—No. 10.



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Written by Mr. Nathanael Byfield, to his Friends, fyc.


HERE being an opportunity of sending for London, by a Vessel that loaded at Long-Island, and for want of a Wind put in here; and not knowing that there will be the like from this Country suddenly, I am willing to give you some brief Account of the most remarkable things that have happened here within this Fortnight last past; concluding that till about that time, you will have received per Carter, a full Account of the management of Affairs here. Upon the Eighteenth Instant, about Eight of the Clock in the Morning, in Boston, it was reported at the South end of the Town, That at the North end they were all in Arms; and the like Report was at the North end, respecting the South end: Whereupon Captain John George was immediately seized, and about nine of the clock the Drums beat thorough the Town; and an Ensign was set up upon the Beacon. Then Mr. Bradstreet, Mr. Dantforth, Major Richards, Dr. Cooke, and Mr. Addington fyc. were brought to the Council-house by a Company of Soldiers under the Command of Captain Hill. The mean while the People in Arms, did take up and put in to Goal, .Justice Bullivant, Justice Foxcroft,

Mr. Mr. Randolf, Sheriff Sherlock, Captain Ravenscroft, Captain White, Farcwel, Broadbent, Crajf'ord, Larkin, Smith, and many more, as also Mcrcey the then Goal-keeper, and put Scates the Bricklayer in his place. About Noon, in the Gallery at the Council-house, was read the Declaration here inclosed. Then a Message was sent to the Fort to Sir Edmund Andros, By Mr. Oliver and Mr. Eyres, signed by the Gentlemen then in the Council-Chamber, (which is here also inclosed); to inform him how unsafe he was like to be if he did not deliver up himself, and Fort and Government forthwith, which he was loath to do. By this time, being about two of the Clock (the Lecture being put by) the Town was generally in Arms, and so many of the Countrey came in, that there was Twenty Companies in Boston, besides a great many that appeared at Charles Town that could not get over ( some say Fifteen Hundred ). There then came information to the Soldiers, That a Boat was come from the Frigat that made towards the Fort, which made them haste thither, and come to the Sconce soon after the Boat got thither; and 'tis said that Governor Andros, and about half a score Gentlemen, were coming down out of the Fort; but the Boat being seized, wherein were small Arms, Hand-Granadoes, and a quantity of Match, the Governour and the rest we\it in again; whereupon Mr. John Nelson, who was at the head of the Soldiers, did demand the Fort and the Governor, who was loath to submit to them; but at length did come down, and was with the Gentlemen that were with him, conveyed to the Council-house, where Mr. Bradstrect and the rest of the Gentlemen waited to receive him ; to whom Mr. Stoughton first spake, telling him , He might thank himself for the present disaster that had befallen him, fyc. He was then confined for that night to Mr. John Usher's house under strong Guards, and the next day conveyed to the Fort, (where he yet remains, and with him Lieutenant Collonel Ledget) which is under the Command of Mr. John Nelson; and at the Castle, which is under the Command of Mr. John Fairweather, is Mr. West, Mr. Graham, Mr. Palmer, and Captaine Tryfroye. At that time Mr. Dudley was out upon the Circuit, and was holding a Court at Southold on Long-Island. And on the 2\st. Instant he arrived at Newport, where he heard the News. The next day Letters came to him, advising him not to come home; he thereupon went over privately to Major Smith's at Naraganzett, and advice is this day come hither, that yesterday about a dozen young men, most of their own heads, went thither to demand him; and are


gone with him down to Boston. We have also advice, that on Fryday last towards evening, Sir Edmond Andross did attempt to make an escape in Womans Apparel, and pass'd two Guards, and was stopped at the third, being discovered by his Shoes, not having changed them. We are here ready to blame you sometimes, that we have not to this day received advice concerning the great Changes in England, and in particular how it is like to fair with us here; who do hope and believe that all these things will work for our Good; and that you will not be wanting to promote the Good of a Country that stands in such need as New-England does at this day. The first day of May, according to former Usage, is the Election-day at Road Island; and many do say they intend their choice there then. I have not farther to trouble you with at present, but recommending you, and all our affairs with you, to the Direction and Blessing of our most Gracious God: I remain


Your Most Humble Servant at Command,


Bristol, April 29. 1689.

Through the Goodness of God, there hath been no Blood shed. Nath. Clark is in Plymouth Gaol, and John Smith in Gaol here, all waiting for News from England.

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Gentlemen, Merchants, and Inhabitants of BOSTON, and the Country Adjacent. April 18. 1689.

$. I. ^ Jft / E have seen more than a decad of Years rolled away, since the English World had the Discovery of an horrid Popish Plot; wherein the bloody Devotoes of Rome had in their Design and Prospect no less than the extinction of the Protestant Religion: which mighty work they called the utter subduing oj a Pestilent Heresy; wherein (they said) there never were such hopes of Success since the Death of Queen Mary, as now in our days. And we were of all men the most insensible, if we should apprehend a Countrey so remarkable for the true Profession and pure Exercise of the Protestant Religion as New-England is, wholly unconcerned in the Infamous Plot. To crush and break a Countrey so entirely and signally made up of Reformed Churches, and at length to involve it in the miseries of an utter Extirpation , must needs carry even a Supererogation of merit with it among such as were intoxicated with a Bigotry inspired into them by the great Scarlet Whore.

<§,. II. To get us within the reach of the desolation desired for us, it was no improper thing that we should first have our Charter Vacated, and the hedge which kept us from the wild Beasts of the field , effectually broken down. The accomplishment of this was hastened by the unwearied sollicitations, and slanderous accusations of a man, for his Malice and Falshood, well known unto us all. Our Charter was with a most injurious pretence (and scarce that) of Law, condemned before it was possible for us to appear at Westminster in the legal defence

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