Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE

REVOLUTION

IN

NE W.ENGLAND

JUSTIFIED.

THE doctrine of passive obedience and nun-resistance, which a sort of men did of late, when they thought the World would never change, cry up as divine truth, is by means of the happy revolution in these nations, exploded, and the assertors of it become ridiculous.

No man does really approve of the revolution in England, but must justify that in New-England also; for the latter was effected in compliance with the former, neither was there any design among the people in New-England to reassume their ancient charter-government, until his present majesty's intended descent into England, to rescue the nation from slavery as well as popery, was known to them (for indeed to have attempted it before that would have been madness.) They considered that the men then usurping government in New-England were king James's creatures, who had invaded both the liberty and property of English protestants after such a manner as perhaps

the the like was never known in any part of the world where the English nation has any government; and the commission which they had obtained from tho late king James was more illegal and arbitrary, than that granted to Dudley and Empson by king Henry 7th. Or than it may be was ever before given to any by king James himself, or by any one that ever swayed the English scepter, which was a grievance intolerable; and yet they desired not to make themselves judges in a case which so nearly concerned them, but instead of harsher treatment of those who had tyrannized over them, thtey only secured them that they might not betray that country into the hands of the late king, or of king Lewis, which they had reason enough to believe (considering their characters and dispositions)(hey were inclined to do. They designed not to revenge themselves on their enemies, which they could as easily have done as a thousand men are able to kill one, and therefore when they secured their persons, they declared (as in their declaration printed at Boston in New-England is to be seen) that they would leave it to the king and parliament of England, to inflict what punishment they should think meet for such criminals. Their seizing and securing the governor, was no more than was done in England, at Hull, Dover, Plymouth, fyc. that such a man as Mr. John Palmer should exclaim against it, is not to be wondered at, seeing he was one of the governor's tools, being of hiscouncil, made a judge by him, and too much concerned in some illegal and arbitrary proceedings; but his confidence is wonderful, that he should publish in print that neither himself nor sir Edmund Androsse, nor others of them who had been secured by the people in New-England, had any crimes laid to their charge, whereas the foresaid declaration emitted the very day they were secured, doth plainly set forth their crimes. And in the preface of his book be hath these words; viz.

'We appeared at the council-board where the worst of our 'enemies, even the very men who had so unjustly imprisoned and detained us, had nothing to say or object against us.'

By these enemies he speaks of, we suppose he means those who were lately sent as agents from Boston in New-England; he hath therefore necessitated us to inform the world, that the following objections (though not by his enemies, yetj by those agents presented at the council-board.

'Matters

* Matters objected against Sir Edmund Androsse, Mr. 'Joseph Dudley, Mr. Palmer, Mr. Randolph, Mr. West, Mr. Graham, Mr. Farewell, Mr. Sherlock 'and others, as occasions of their imprisonment in New< England.

1.

IT is objected against Sir Edmund Androsse, that he being governor of the Massachusetts colony, after notice 'of his present Majesty's intention to land in England, issued 'out a proclamation, requiring all persons to oppose any de'scent of such as might be authorized by him, endeavouring to 'stifle the news of his landing, and caused him that brought 'this king's declaration thither to be imprisoned, as bringing a 'seditious and treasonable paper.

'2. That in the time of his government, he without form or 'colour of legal authority made laws destructive of the liberty 'of the people, imposed and levied taxes, threatened and im'prisoned them that would not be assisting to the illegal levies, 'denied that they had any property in their lands without 'patents from him, and during the time of actual war with the 'Indians, he did supply them with amunition, and several In'dians declared, that they were incouraged by him to make 'war upon the English, and he discountenanced making de'fence against the Indians.

• 3. As to all the other persons imprisoned, they were ac'complices and confederates with Sir Edmund Androsse, and 'particularly Mr. Dudley, Mr. Randolph, and Mr. Palmer 'were of his council, and joined with him in his arbitrary laws 'and impositions, and in threatening and in punishing them who

• would not comply. Mr. West was his secretary, and guilty

• of great extortion, and gave out words which shewed himself 'no friend to the English. Mr. Graham was his attorney at 'one time, and Mr. Farewell at another, both concerned in il'legal proceedings destructive of the property of the subject. 'Mr. Farewell prosecuted them who refused to comply with 'the illegal levies, and Mr. Graham brought several writs of 'intrusion against men for their own land, and Mr. Sherlock, 'another person imprisoned, though not named in the order, 'acted there for some years as an high sheriff, though he was 'a stranger in the country, and had no estate there, during his 'sherievalty he impannelled juries of strangers, who had no 'freehold in that country, and extorted unreasonable fees.'

These

These particulars were not only presented at the council' board, but there read before the right honorable the lords of the committee of foreign plantations on April 17, 1690. when Sir Edmund Androsse, Mr. Palmer, and the rest concerned were present, and owned that they had received copies thereof from Mr. Blaithwaite. It is true that the paper then read was not signed by the agents aforesaid, for which reason (as we understand, nor could it rationally be otherwise expected) the matter was dismissed without an hearing; nevertheless the gentlemen who appeared as council for the New-England agents, declared, that they were ready to prove every article of the objections; which shall now be done.

1. That Sir Edmund Androsse, with others whom the people in New-England seized, and secured did, after notice of his present majesty's intended descent into England to deliver the nation from popery and arbitrary power, to their utmost oppose that glorious design, is manifest by the proclamation printed and published in New-England, Jan. 10, 1688, signed by Sir Edmund Androsse and his deputy secretary John West, in which King James's proclamation of October 16, 1688, is recited and referred unto. Sir Edmund's proclamation begins thus; ' Whereas his majesty has been graciously pleased by his 'royal letter bearing date the 16th of October last past, to sig'nify that he hath undoubted advice that a great and sudden 'invasion from Holland, with an armed force of foreigners and 'strangers will be speedily made in an hostile manner upon his 'majesty's kingdom of England, and that although some false 'pretences relating to liberty, property, and religion,' fyc. And

'then he concludes thus 'All which it is his majesty's

'pleasure should be made known in the most public manner to 'his loving subjects within this his territory and dominion of 'New-England, that they may be the better prepared to resist 'any attempts that may be made by his majesty's enemies in 'these parts, T do therefore hereby charge and command all 'officers civil and military, and all other his majesty's loving 'subjects within this his territory and dominion aforesaid, to be 'vigilant and careful in their respective places and stations, and 'that upon the approach of any fleet or foreign force, they be 'in readiness, and use their utmost endeavours to hinder any 'landing or invasion that may be intended to be made within 'the same.'

2. And that they used all imaginable endeavours to stifle the news of the prince's landing in England, appeats not only from

the

the testimony of the people there, and from the letters of those now in government at Boston, but from the deposition of Mr. John Winslow, who affirms that being in Nevis in February 1688, a ship arrived there from England with the prince of Orange's declaration, and intelligence of the happy change of affairs in England, which he knew would be welcome news in New-England, and therefore was at the charge to procure a written copy of that princely declaration with which he arrived at Boston about a fortnight before the revolution there. He concealed the declaration, from Sir Edmund, because he believed if it came into his possession, he would keep the people in ignorance concerning it; but intimation being given that Mr. Winslow had brought with him the declaration, he was therefore committed to prison (though ho offered two thousand pounds bail) for bringing into the country a treasonable paper. For the satisfaction of such as are willing to be informed in this matter, Mr. Winslow's testimony as it was given upon oath before a magistrate in New-England shall be here inserted. It is as follows, viz.

'JOHN WINSLOW, aged twenty-four years, 'or thereabouts, testifieth and saith, that he being in Nevis, 'some time in February last past, there came in a ship from 'some part of England with the prince of Orange's declara'tions, and brought news also of his happy proceedings in En'gland with his entrance there, which was very welcome news 'to me, and I knew it would be so to the rest of the people in 'New-England; and I being bound thither, and very willing to 'carry such good news with me, gave four shillings six pence 'for the said declarations, on purpose to let the people in New'England understand what a speedy deliverance they might 'expect from arbitrary power. We arrived at Boston harbour 'the fourth day of April following, and as soon as I came home 'to my house, Sir Edmund Androssc understanding I brought 'the prince's declarations with me, sent the sheriff to me; so I 'went along with him to the governor's house, and as soon as I 'came in, he asked me why I did not come and tell him the 'news. I told him I thought it not my duty, neither was it 'customary for any passenger to go to the governor when the 'master of the ship had been with him before, and told him the 'news; he asked me where the declarations 1 brought with me 1 were, I told him I could not- tell, being afraid to let him have 'them, because he would not let the people know any news. 'He told me I was a saucy fellow, and bid the sheriff carry mo

away

« PreviousContinue »