"OF PLIMOTH PLANTATION."






                                           FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT.





                                           MANUSCRIPT TO MASSACHUSETTS.





                                              PRINTED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE


                                                                    BY ORDER OF THE GENERAL COURT.


                                                     Electronic Version Prepared by

                                                            Dr. Ted Hildebrandt

                                              Gordon College, Wenham, MA  01984

                                                                March 1, 2002




                           WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS,

                                                       18 POST OFFICE SQUARE.







    To many people the return of the Bradford Manu-

script is a fresh discovery of colonial history.  By very

many it has been called, incorrectly, the log of the

"Mayflower."  Indeed, that is the title by which it is

described in the decree of the Consistorial Court of

London.  The fact is, however, that Governor Brad-

ford undertook its preparation long after the arrival

of the Pilgrims, and it cannot be properly considered

as in any sense a log or daily journal of the voyage

of the" Mayflower ." It is, in point of fact, a history

of the Plymouth Colony, chiefly in the form of annals,

extending from the inception of the colony down to

the year 1647.  The matter has been in print since

1856, put forth through the public spirit of the Mas-

sachusetts Historical Society, which secured a tran-

script of the document from London, and printed it

in the society's proceedings of the above-named year.

As thus presented, it had copious notes, prepared with

great care by the late Charles Deane; but these are

not given in the present volume, wherein only such

comments as seem indispensable to a proper under-

standing of the story have been made, leaving what-

iv                PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


ever elaboration may seem desirable to some future

private enterprise.

     It is a matter of regret that no picture of Governor

Bradford exists.  Only Edward Winslow of the May-

flower Company left an authenticated portrait of him-

self, and that, painted in England, is reproduced in

this volume.  In those early days Plymouth would

have been a poor field for portrait painters.  The

people were struggling for their daily bread rather

than for to-morrow's fame through the transmission

of their features to posterity.

    The volume of the original manuscript, as it was

presented to the Governor of the Commonwealth and

is now deposited in the State Library, is a folio

measuring eleven and one-half inches in length, seven

and seven-eighths inches in width and one and one-half

inches in thickness.  It is bound in parchment, once

white, but now grimy and much the worse for wear,

being somewhat cracked and considerably scaled.  Much

scribbling, evidently by the Bradford family, is to be seen

upon its surface, and out of the confusion may

be read the name of Mercy Bradford, a daughter of the

governor.  On the inside of the front cover is

pasted a sheet of manilla paper, on which is written

the following: --

" Consistory Court of the Diocese of London

     In the matter of the application of The Honorable

Thomas Francis Bayard, Ambassador Extraordinary

and Plenipotentiary


INTRODUCTION.                                   v


in London of the United States of America, for the delivery to

him, on behalf of the President and Citizens of the said States,

of the original manuscript book entitled and known as The Log

of the Mayflower.

    Produced in Court this 25th day of March, 1897, and marked

with the letter A.


                                                              HARRY W. LEE


1 Deans Court

Doctors Commons"

    Then come two manilla leaves, on both sides of

which is written the decree of the Consistorial Court.

These leaves and the manilla sheet pasted on the in-

side of the front cover were evidently inserted after

the decree was passed.

    Next comes a leaf (apparently the original first leaf

of the book), and on it are verses, signed "A. M."

on the death of Mrs. Bradford.  The next is evidently

one of the leaves of the original book.  At the top

of the page is written the following: --



     This book was rit by govener William bradford and given

to his son mager William Bradford and by him to his son mager

John Bradford.   rit by me Samuel brad ford mach 20, 1705

     At the bottom of the same page the name John

Bradford appears in different handwriting, evidently

written with the book turned wrong side up.

vi                          PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


The next is a leaf bearing the following, in the

handwriting of Thomas Prince: --

TUESDAY, June 4--1728

    Calling at Major John Bradford's at Kingston near Plimouth,

son of Major Wm. Bradford formerly Dep Gov'r of Plimouth

Colony, who was eldest son of Wm. Bradford Esq their 2nd

Gov'r, & author of this History; ye sd Major John Bradford

gave me several manuscript octavoes wh he assured me were

written with his said Grandfather Gov'r Bradford's own hand.

He also gave me a little Pencil Book wrote with a Blew lead

Pencil by his sd Father ye Dep Gov'r.  And He also told me

yt He had lent & only lent his sd Grandfather Gov'r Brad-

ford's History of Plimouth Colony wrote by his own Hand also,

to judg Sewall; and desired me to get it of Him or find it out,

& take out of it what I thought proper for my New-England

Chronology: wh I accordingly obtained, and This is ye sd His-

tory: wh I found wrote in ye same Handwriting as ye Octavo

manuscripts above sd.


    N. B. I also mentioned to him my Desire of lodging this History

in ye New England Library of Prints & manuscripts, wh I had been

then collecting for 23 years, to wh He signified his willingness -only

yt He might have ye Perusal of it while He lived.


Following this, on the same page, is Thomas Prince's

printed book-mark, as follows: --

This Book belongs to

The New-England-Library,

Begun to be collected by Thomas Prince, upon

his entring Harvard-College, July 6

1703; and was given by


INTRODUCTION.                                   vii


On the lower part of a blank space which follows

the word "by" is written: --


      It now belongs to the Bishop of London's Library at Fulham.

There are evidences that this leaf did not belong to

the original book, but was inserted by Mr. Prince.

     At the top of the first page of the next leaf, which

was evidently one of the original leaves of the book,

is written in Samuel Bradford's hand, "march 20

Samuel Bradford;" and just below there appears, in

Thomas Prince's handwriting, the following: --


   But major Bradford tells me & assures me that He only lent

this Book of his Grandfather's to Mr. Sewall & that it being of

his Grandfather's own hand writing He had so high a value of

it that he would never Part with ye Property, but would lend

it to me & desired me to get it, which I did, & write down this

that sd Major Bradford and his Heirs may be known to be the

right owners.


     Below this, also in Thomas Prince's handwriting,

appears this line: --


"Page 243 missing when ye Book came into my Hands at 1st."


Just above the inscription by Prince there is a line

or two of writing, marked over in ink so carefully as

to be wholly undecipherable.  On the reverse page of 

this leaf and on the first page of the next are written

Hebrew words, with definitions. These are all in Gov-

viii                       PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


ernor Bradford's handwriting.  On the next page ap-

pears the following:-- 

Though I am growne aged, yet I have had a long-

ing desire, to see with my own eyes, something of

that most ancient language, and holy tongue,

in which the Law, and oracles of God were

write; and in which God, and angels, spake to

the holy patriarks, of old time; and what

names were given to things, from the

creation.  And though I canot attaine

to much herein, yet I am refreshed,

to have seen some glimpse here-

of; (as Moses saw the Land

of canan afarr of) my aime

and desire is, to see how

the words, and phrases

lye in the holy texte;

and to dicerne some-

what of the same

for my owne



     Then begins the history proper, the first page of

which is produced in facsimile in this volume, slightly

reduced.  The ruled margins end with page thirteen.

From that page to the end of the book the writing

varies considerably, sometimes being quite coarse and

in other places very fine, some pages containing nearly

a thousand words each.  As a rule, the writing is

upon one side of the sheet only, but in entering notes

and subsequent thoughts the reverse is sometimes used.

The last page number is 270, as appears from the

facsimile reproduction in this volume of that page.

Page 270 is followed by two blank leaves; then on

INTRODUCTION.                                   ix


the second page of the next leaf appears the list of

names of those who came over in the "Mayflower,"

covering four pages and one column on the fifth page.

The arrangement of this matter is shown by the fac-

simile reproduction in this volume of the first page

of these names.  Last of all there is a leaf of heavy

double paper, like the one in the front of the book

containing the verses on the death of Mrs. Bradford,

and on this last leaf is written an index to a few por-

tions of the history.

     For copy, there was used the edition printed in

1856 by the Massachusetts Historical Society.  The

proof was carefully compared, word for word, with

the photographic facsimile issued in 1896 in both

London and Boston.  The value of this comparison is

evident in that a total of sixteen lines of the original,

omitted in the original first copy, is supplied in this

edition.  As the work of the Historical Society could

not be compared, easily, with the original manu-

script in London, these omissions, with sundry minor

errors in word and numeral, are not unreasonable. 

The curious will be pleased to learn that the sup-

plied lines are from the following pages of the man-

uscript, viz.: page 122, eight lines; page 129, two

lines; the obverse of page 201, found on the last

page of Appendix A, two lines; page 219, two



x                           PLYMOUTH PLANTATION.


lines; pages 239 and 258, one line each.  The pages

of the manuscript are indicated in these printed pages

by numerals in parentheses.

      There are several errors in the paging of the origi-

nal manuscript.  Pages 105 and 106 are marked 145

and 146, and pages 219 and 220 are marked 119 and

120, respectively.  Page 243 is missing.

     Such as it is, the book is put forth that the public

may know what manner of men the Pilgrims were,

through what perils and vicissitudes they passed, and

how much we of to-day owe to their devotion and

































MONDAY, MAY 24, 1897.


The following message from His Excellency the Gov-

ernor came up from the House, to wit: --


 BOSTON, May 22, 1897.

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives.

I have the honor to call to your attention the fact that

Wednesday, May 26, at 11 A.M., has been fixed as the date of

the formal presentation to the Governor of the Commonwealth

of the Bradford Manuscript History, recently ordered by decree

of the Consistory Court of .the Diocese of London to be returned

to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by the hands of the

Honorable Thomas F. Bayard, lately Ambassador at the Court

of St. James; and to suggest for the favorable consideration

of your honorable bodies that the exercises of presentation be

held in the House of Representatives on the day and hour above

given, in the presence of a joint convention of the two bodies

and of invited guests and the public.



     Thereupon, on motion of Mr. Roe, --

       Ordered, That, in accordance with the suggestion of

His Excellency the Governor, a joint convention of

the two branches be held in the chamber of the House



xiv                        PLYMOUTH PLANTATION.


of Representatives, on Wednesday, May the twenty-

sixth, at eleven o'clock A.M., for the purpose of wit-

nessing the exercises of the formal presentation, to

the Governor of the Commonwealth, of the Bradford

Manuscript History, recently ordered by decree of

the Consistory Court of the Diocese of London to be

returned to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by

the hands of the Honorable Thomas F. Bayard, lately

Ambassador at the Court of St. James; and further

      Ordered, That the clerks of the two branches give

notice to His Excellency the Governor of the adop-

tion of this order.

      Sent down for concurrence.  (It was concurred with

same date.)













WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 1891.



Joint Convention.


    At eleven o'clock A.M., pursuant to assignment, the

two branches met in




in the chamber of the House of Representatives. 

     On motion of Mr. Roe, --

     Ordered, That a committee, to consist of three mem-

bers of the Senate and eight members of the House

of Representatives, be appointed, to wait upon His

Excellency the Governor and inform him that the two

branches are now in convention for the purpose of

witnessing the exercises of the formal presentation, to

the Governor of the Commonwealth, of the Bradford

Manuscript History.

    Messrs. Roe, Woodward and Gallivan, of the Senate,

and Messrs. Pierce of Milton, Bailey of Plymouth,

Brown of Gloucester, Fairbank of Warren, Bailey of

Newbury, Sanderson of Lynn, Whittlesey of Pittsfield

xvi              PLYMOUTH PLANTATION.


and Bartlett of Boston, of the House, were appointed

the committee:

    Mr. Roe, from the committee, afterwards reported

that they had attended to the duty assigned them, and

that His Excellency the Governor had been pleased

to say that he received the message and should be

pleased to wait upon the Convention forthwith for the

purpose named.

    His Excellency the Governor, accompanied by His

Honor the Lieutenant-Governor and the Honorable

Council, and by the Honorable Thomas F. Bayard,

lately Ambassador of the United States at the Court

of St. James's, the Honorable George F. Hoar, Sena-

tor from Massachusetts in the Congress of the United

States, and other invited guests, entered the chamber.

    The decree of the Consistorial and Episcopal Court

of London, authorizing the return of the manuscript

and its delivery to the Governor, was read.

    The President then presented the Honorable George

F. Hoar, who gave an account of the manuscript and

of the many efforts that had been made to secure its


    The Honorable Thomas F. Bayard was then intro-

duced by the President, and he formally presented

the manuscript to His Excellency the Governor, who

accepted it in behalf of the Commonwealth.

     On motion of Mr. Bradford, the following order

was adopted: --





     Whereas, In the presence of the Senate and of the

House of Representatives in joint convention assembled,

and in accordance with a decree of the Consistorial and

Episcopal Court of London, the manuscript of Brad-

ford's "History of the Plimouth Plantation" has this

day been delivered to His Excellency the Governor

of the Commonwealth by the Honorable Thomas F.

Bayard, lately Ambassador of the United States at the

Court of St. James's; and

     Whereas, His Excellency the Governor has accepted

the said manuscript in behalf of the Commonwealth;

therefore, be it

     Ordered, That the Senate and the House of Repre-

sentatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts place

on record their high appreciation of the generous and

gracious courtesy that prompted this act of inter-

national good-will, and express their grateful thanks

to all concerned therein, and especially to the Lord

Bishop of London, for the return to the Common-

wealth of this precious relic; and be it further

     Ordered, That His Excellency the Governor be re-

quested to transmit an engrossed and duly authenti-

cated copy of this order with its preamble to the

Lord Bishop of London. 

     His Excellency, accompanied by the other dignita-

ries, then withdrew, the Convention was dissolved,

and the Senate returned to its chamber.

     Subsequently a resolve was passed (approved June

xviii                      PLYMOUTH PLANTATION.


10, 1897) providing for the publication of the history

from the original manuscript, together with a report

of the proceedings of the joint convention, such report

to be prepared by a committee consisting of one mem-

ber of the Senate and two members of the House of

Representatives, and to include, so far as practicable,

portraits of His Excellency Governor Roger Wolcott,

William Bradford, the Honorable George F. Hoar, the

Honorable Thomas F. Bayard, the Archbishop of Can-

terbury and the Lord Bishop of London; facsimiles

of pages from the manuscript history, and a picture

of the book itself; copies of the decree of the Con-

sistorial and Episcopal Court of London, the receipt

of the Honorable Thomas F. Bayard for the manu-

script, and the receipt sent by His Excellency the

Governor to the Consistorial and Episcopal Court; an

account of the legislative action taken with reference

to the presentation and reception of the manuscript;

the addresses of the Honorable George F. Hoar, the

Honorable Thomas F. Bayard and His Excellency

Governor Roger Wolcott; and such other papers and

illustrations as the committee might deem advisable; the

whole to be printed under the direction of the Secre-

tary of the Commonwealth, and the book distributed by

him according to directions contained in the resolve.

     Senator Alfred S. Roe of Worcester and Represent-

atives Francis C. Lowell of Boston and Walter L.

Bouve of Hingham were appointed as the committee.




























        MANDELL by Divine Permission

                           LORD BISHOP OF LONDON --To

                           The Honorable THOMAS FRANCIS BAY-

                           ARD Ambassador Extraordinary and

                           Plenipotentiary to Her Most Gracious

Majesty Queen Victoria at the Court of Saint James's

in London and To The Governor and Commonwealth

of Massachusetts in the United States of America

Greeting -- WHEREAS a Petition has been filed in

the Registry of Our Consistorial and Episcopal Court

of London by you the said Honorable Thomas Francis

Bayard as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipoten-

tiary to Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria

at the Court of Saint James's in London on behalf

of the President and Citizens of the United States of

America wherein you have alleged that there is in

Our Custody as Lord Bishop of London a certain

Manuscript Book known as and entitled "The Log

of the Mayflower" containing an account as narrated

by Captain William Bradford who was one of the

Company of Englishmen who left England in April

1620 in the ship known as "The Mayflower" of

the circumstances leading to the prior Settlement of



xxii             PLYMOUTH PLANTATION.


that Company at Leyden in Holland their return to

England and subsequent departure for New England

their landing at Cape Cod in December 1620 their

Settlement at New Plymouth and their later history

for several years they being the Company whose Set-

tlement in America is regarded as the first real Colo-

nisation of the New England States and wherein you

have also alleged that the said Manuscript Book had

been for many years past and was then deposited in

the Library attached to Our Episcopal Palace at Ful-

ham in the County of Middlesex and is of the great-

est interest importance and value to the Citizens of

the United States of America inasmuch as it is one

of the earliest records of their national History and

contains much valuable information in regard to the

original Settlers in the States their family history and

antecedents and that therefore you earnestly desired

to acquire possession of the same for and on behalf

of the President and Citizens of the said United States

of America AND WHEREIN you have also alleged

that you are informed that We as Lord Bishop of

London had fully recognised the value and interest

of the said Manuscript Book to the Citizens of the

United States of America and the claims which they

have to its possession and that We were desirous of

transferring it to the said President and Citizens

AND WHEREIN you have also alleged that you are

advised and believe that the Custody of documents in

                   CONSISTORIAL DECREE.          xxiii


the nature of public or ecclesiastical records belong-

ing to the See of London is vested in the Consis-

torial Court of the said See and that any disposal

thereof must be authorised by an Order issued by the

Judge of that Honorable Court And that you there-

fore humbly prayed that the said Honorable Court

would deliver to you the said Manuscript Book on

your undertaking to use every means in your power

for the safe transmission of the said Book to the

United States of America and its secure deposit and

custody in the Pilgrim Hall at New Plymouth or in

such other place as may be selected by the President

and Senate of the said United States and upon such

conditions as to security and access by and on behalf

of the English Nation as that Honorable Court might

determine AND WHEREAS the said Petition was set

down for hearing on one of the Court days in Hilary

Term to Wit Thursday the Twenty fifth day of March

One thousand eight hundred and ninety seven in Our

Consistorial Court in the Cathedral Church of Saint

Paul in London before The Right Worshipful Thomas

Hutchinson Tristram Doctor of Laws and one of Her

Majesty's Counsel learned in the Law Our Vicar Gen-

eral and Official Principal the Judge of the said Court

and you at the sitting of the said Court appeared by

Counsel in support of the Prayer of the said Petition

and during the hearing thereof the said Manuscript

Book was produced in the said Court by Our legal

xxiv            PLYMOUTH PLANTATION.


Secretary and was then inspected and examined by

the aid Judge and evidence was also given before

the Court by which it appeared that the Registry at

Fulham Palace was a Public Registry for Historical

and Ecclesiastical Documents relating to the Diocese

of London and to the Colonial and other possessions

of Great Britain beyond the Seas so long as the same

remained by custom within the said Diocese AND

WHEREAS it appeared on the face of the said Man-

uscript Book that the whole of the body thereof with

the exception of part of the last page thereof was in

the handwriting of the said William Bradford who

was elected Governor of New Plymouth in April

1621 and continued Governor thereof from that date

excepting between the years 1635 and 1637 up to

1650 and that the last five pages of the said Manu-

script which is in the hand writing of the said Wil-

liam Bradford contain what in Law is an authentic

Register between 1620 and 1650 of the fact of the

Marriages of the Founders of the Colony of New

England with the names of their respective wives

and the names of their Children the lawful issue of

such Marriages and of the fact of the Marriages of 

many of their Children and Grandchildren and of the

names of the issue of such marriages and of the

deaths of many of the persons named therein And

after hearing Counsel in support of the said applica-

tion the Judge being of opinion that the said Manu-

CONSISTORIAL DECREE.                    xxv


script Book had been upon the evidence before the

Court presumably deposited at Fulham Palace some-

time between the year 1729 and the year 1785 during

which time the said Colony was by custom within the

Diocese of London for purposes Ecclesiastical and the

Registry of the said Consistorial Court was a legiti-

mate Registry for the Custody of Registers of Mar-

riages Births and Deaths within the said Colony and

that the Registry at Fulham Palace was a Registry

for Historical and other Documents connected with

the Colonies and possessions of Great Britain beyond

the Seas so long as the same remained by custom

within the Diocese of London and that on the Dec-

laration of the Independence of the United States of

America in 1776 the said Colony had ceased to be

within the Diocese of London and the Registry of the

Court had ceased to be a public registry for the said

Colony and having maturely deliberated on the Cases

precedents and practice of the Ecclesiastical Court

bearing on the application before him and having

regard to the Special Circumstances of the Case De-

creed as follows -- (1) That a Photographic facsimile

reproduction of the said Manuscript Book verified by

affidavit as being a true and correct Photographic re-

production of the said Manuscript Book be deposited

in the Registry of Our said Court by or on behalf

of the Petitioner before the delivery to the Petitioner

of the said original Manuscript Book as hereinafter

xxvi            PLYMOUTH PLANTATION.


ordered -- (2) That the said Manuscript Book be

delivered over to the said Honorable Thomas Francis

Bayard by the Lord Bishop of London or in his

Lordship's absence by the Registrar of the said Court

on his giving his undertaking in writing that he will

with all due care and diligence on his arrival from

England in the United States convey and deliver in

person the said Manuscript Book to the Governor

of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United

States of America at his Official Office in the State

House in the City of Boston and that from the time

of the delivery of the said Book to him by the said

Lord Bishop of London or by the said Registrar until

he shall have delivered the same to the Governor of

Massachusetts he will retain the same in his own Per-

sonal custody -- (3) That the said Book be deposited

by the Petitioner with the Governor of Massachusetts

for the purpose of the same being with all convenient

speed finally deposited either in the State Archives of

the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the City of

Boston or in the Library of the Historical Society

of the said Commonwealth in the City of Boston as

the Governor shall determine -- ( 4) That the Gov-

ernors of the said Commonwealth for all time to

come be officially responsible for the safe custody

of the said Manuscript Book whether the same be

deposited in the State Archives at Boston or in the

Historical Library in Boston aforesaid as well as for

CONSISTORIAL DECREE.                    xxvii


the performance of the following conditions subject to

a compliance wherewith the said Manuscript Book is

hereby decreed to be deposited in the Custody of the

aforesaid Governor of the Commonwealth of Massa-

chusetts and his Successors to wit: -- (a) That all

persons have such access to the said Manuscript Book

as to the Governor of the said Commonwealth for the

time being shall appear to be reasonable and with such

safeguard as he shall order -- (b) That all persons

desirous of searching the said Manuscript Book for

the bona fide purpose of establishing or tracing a

Pedigree through persons named in the last five pages

thereof or in any other part thereof shall be per-

mitted to search the same under such safeguards as

the Governor for the time being shall determine on

payment of a fee to be fixed by the Governor --

( c) That any person applying to the Official having

the immediate custody of the said Manuscript Book

for a Certified Copy of any entry contained in proof of

Marriage Birth or Death of persons named therein

or of any other matter of like purport for the pur-

pose of tracing descents shall be furnished with such

certificate on the payment of a sum not exceeding one

Dollar -- (d) That with all convenient speed after

the delivery of the said Manuscript Book to the Gov-

ernor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the Gov-

ernor shall transmit to the Registrar of the Court a

Certificate of the delivery of the same to him by

xxviii           PLYMOUTH PLANTATION.


the Petitioner and that he accepts the Custody of

the same subject to the terms and conditions herein

named AND the Judge lastly decreed that the Peti-

tioner on delivering the said Manuscript Book to the

Governor aforesaid shall at the same time deliver to

him this Our Decree Sealed with the Seal of the

Court WHEREFORE WE the Bishop of London

aforesaid well weighing and considering the premises

DO by virtue of Our Authority Ordinary and Epis-

copal and as far as in Us lies and by Law We may

or can ratify and confirm such Decree of Our Vicar

General and Official Principal of Our Consistorial and

Episcopal Court of London IN TESTIMONY whereof

We have caused the Seal of Our said Vicar General

and Official Principal of the Consistorial and Episco-

pal Court of London which We use in this behalf to

be affixed to these Presents DATED AT LONDON

this Twelfth day of April One thousand eight hun-

dred and ninety seven and in the first year of Our



Exd. H.E.T.                                                Registrar

(L. S.)


























In the Consistory Court of London ;








lately Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

of the United States of America at the Court of

Saint James's London Do hereby undertake, in com-

pliance with the Order of this Honourable Court

dated the twelfth day of April 1897 and made on

my Petition filed in the said Honourable Court, that

I will with all due care and diligence on my arrival

from England in the United States of America safely

convey over the Original Manuscript Book Known

as and entitled" The Log of the Mayflower" which

has been this twenty ninth day of April 1897 deliv-

ered over to me by the Lord Bishop of London, to

the City of Boston in the United States of America

and on my arrival in the said City deliver the same

over in person to the Governor of the Common-

wealth of Massachusetts at his Official Office in the

State House in the said City of Boston AND I fur-

ther hereby undertake from the time of the said


xxxii           PLUMOUTH  PLANTATION.


delivery of the said Book to me by the said Lord

Bishop of London until I shall have delivered the

same to the Governor of Massachusetts, to retain

the same in my own personal custody.


(Signed)     T. F. BAYARD

29 April 1897






















His Excellency ROGER WOLCOTT, Governor of the Commonwealth

of Massachusetts, in the United States of America.


To the Registrar of the Consistorial and Episcopal Court of London.


     Whereas, The said Honorable Court, by its decree

dated the twelfth day of April, 1897, and made on

the petition of the Honorable Thomas Francis Bayard,

lately Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

of the United States of America at the Court of

Saint James in London, did order that a certain

original manuscript book then in the custody of the

Lord Bishop of London, known as and entitled

"The Log of the Mayflower," and more specifically

described in said decree, should be delivered over to

the said Honorable Thomas Francis Bayard by the

Lord Bishop of London, on certain conditions spec-

ified in said decree, to be delivered by the said

Honorable Thomas Francis Bayard in person to the

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,

thereafter to be kept in the custody of the aforesaid

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and

his successors, subject to a compliance with certain

conditions, as set forth in said decree;

     And Whereas, The said Honorable Court by its

decree aforesaid did further order that, with all con-

venient speed after the delivery of the said manuscript

book to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massa-






chusetts, the Governor should transmit to the Regis-

trar of the said Honorable Court a certificate of the

delivery of the same to him by the said Honorable

Thomas Francis Bayard, and his acceptance of the

custody of the same, subject to the terms and con-

ditions named in the decree aforesaid;

     Now, Therefore, In compliance with the decree

aforesaid I do hereby certify that on the twenty-sixth

day of May, 1897, the said Honorable Thomas Francis

Bayard delivered in person to me, at my official

office in the State House in the city of Boston, in

the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United

States of America, a certain manuscript book which

the said Honorable Thomas Francis Bayard then and

there declared to be the original manuscript book

known as and entitled "The Log of the Mayflower,"

which is more specifically described in the decree

aforesaid; and I do further certify that I hereby

accept the custody of the same, subject to the terms

and conditions named in the decree aforesaid.

     In witness whereof, I have hereunto signed my

name and caused the seal of the Commonwealth to

be affixed, at the Capitol in Boston, this twelfth day

of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight

hundred and ninety-seven.



By His Excellency the Governor,



Secretary of the Commonwealth.
























The first American Ambassador to Great Britain, at

the end of his official service, comes to Massachusetts

on an interesting errand.  He comes to deliver to the

lineal successor of Governor Bradford, in the presence

of the representatives and rulers of the body politic

formed by the compact on board the "Mayflower,"

Nov. 11, 1620, the only authentic history of the

founding of their Commonwealth; the only authentic

history of what we have a right to consider the most

important political transaction that has ever taken

place on the face of the earth.

     Mr. Bayard has sought to represent to the mother

country, not so much the diplomacy as the good-will

of the American people.  If in this anybody be

tempted to judge him severely, let us remember

what his great predecessor, John Adams, the first

minister at the same court, representing more than

any other man, embodying more than any other man,

the spirit of Massachusetts, said to George III., on

the first day of June, 1785, after the close of our

long and bitter struggle for independence:  "I shall

esteem myself the happiest of men if I can be instru-


xl                PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


mental in restoring an entire esteem, confidence and

affection, or, in better words, the old good-nature

and the old good-humor between people who, though

separated by an ocean and under different govern-

ments, have the same language a similar religion

and kindred blood."

     And let us remember, too, the answer of the old

monarch, who, with all his faults, must have had

something of a noble and royal nature stirring in his

bosom, when he replied: "Let the circumstances of

language, religion and blood have their natural and

full effect."

     It has long been well known that Governor Brad-

ford wrote and left behind him a history of the

settlement of Plymouth.  It was quoted by early

chroniclers.  There are extracts from it in the rec-

ords at Plymouth.  Thomas Prince used it when he

compiled his annals.  Hubbard depended on it when

he wrote his "History of New England."  Cotton

Mather had read it, or a copy of a portion of it;

when he wrote his "Magnalia."  Governor Hutchin-

son had it when he published the second volume of

his history in 1767.  From that time it disappeared

from the knowledge of everybody on this side of the

water.  All our historians speak of it as lost, and can

only guess what had been its fate.  Some persons sus-

pected that it was destroyed when Governor Hutchin-

son's house was sacked in 1765, others that it was

ADDRESS OF SENATOR HOAR.                  xli


carried off by some officer or soldier when Boston

was evacuated by the British army in 1776.

     In 1844 Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford,

afterward Bishop of Winchester, one of the brightest

of men, published one of the dullest and stupidest of

books.  It is entitled "The History of the Protestant

Episcopal Church in America."  It contained extracts

from manuscripts which he said he had discovered in

the library of the Bishop of London at Fulham.  The

book attracted no attention here until, about twelve

years later, in 1855, John Wingate Thornton, whom

many of us remember as an accomplished antiquary

and a delightful gentleman, happened to pick up a

copy of it while he was lounging in Burnham's book

store.  He read the bishop's quotations, and carried

the book to his office, where he left it for his friend,

Mr. Barry, who was then writing his  "History of

Massachusetts," with passages marked, and with a

note which is not preserved, but which, according

to his memory, suggested that the passages must have

come from Bradford's long-lost history.  That is the

claim for Mr. Thornton.  On the other hand, it is

claimed by Mr. Barry that there was nothing of that

kind expressed in Mr. Thornton's note, but in read-

ing the book when he got it an hour or so later,

the thought struck him for the first time that the

clew had been found to the precious book which

had been lost so long.  He at once repaired to Charles

xlii              PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


Deane, then and ever since, down to his death, as

President Eliot felicitously styled him, "the master of

historical investigators in this "country."  Mr. Deane

saw the importance of the discovery.  He communi-

cated at once with Joseph Hunter, an eminent English

scholar.  Hunter was high authority on all matters

connected with the settlement of New England. He

visited the palace at Fulham, and established beyond

question the identity of the manuscript with Governor

Bradford's history, an original letter of Governor Brad-

ford having been sent over for comparison of hand-


     How the manuscript got to Fulham nobody knows.

Whether it was carried over by Governor Hutchin-

son in 1774; whether it was taken as spoil from the

tower of the Old South Church in 1775; whether,

with other manuscripts, it was sent to Fulham at the

time of the attempts of the Episcopal churches in

America, just before the revolution, to establish an

episcopate here, -- nobody knows.  It would seem

that Hutchinson would have sent it to the colonial

office; that an officer would naturally have sent it to

the war office; and a private would have sent it to

the war office, unless he had carried it off as mere

private booty and plunder, -- in which case it would

have been unlikely that it would have reached a pub-

lic place of custody.  But we find it in the posses-

sion of the church and of the church official having,

ADDRESS OF SENATOR HOAR.                  xliii


until independence was declared, special jurisdiction

over Episcopal interests in Massachusetts and Plym-

outh.  This may seem to point to a transfer for some

ecclesiastical purpose.

     The bishop's chancellor conjectures that it was sent

to Fulham because of the record annexed to it of

the early births, marriages and deaths, such records

being in England always in ecclesiastical custody. 

But this is merely conjecture.

     I know of no incident like this in history, unless

it be the discovery in a chest in the castle of

Edinburgh, where they had been lost for one hun-

dred and eleven years, of the ancient regalia of Scot-

land, -- the crown of Bruce, the sceptre and sword

of state.  The lovers of Walter Scott, who was one

of the commissioners who made the search, remem-

ber his intense emotion, as described by his daughter,

when the lid was removed.  Her feelings were worked

up to such a pitch that she nearly fainted, and drew

back from the circle.

     As she was retiring she was startled by his voice

exclaiming, in a tone of the deepest emotion, "some-

thing between anger and despair," as she expressed

it:  "By God, no!"  One of the commissioners, not

quite entering into the solemnity with which Scott

regarded this business, had, it seems, made a sort

of motion as if he meant to put the crown on the

head of one of the young ladies near him, but the

xliv             PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


voice and the aspect of the poet were more than

sufficient to make this worthy gentleman understand

his error; and, respecting the enthusiasm with which

he had not been taught to sympathize, he laid down

the ancient diadem with an air of painful embar-

rassment.  Scott whispered, "Pray forgive me," and

turning round at the moment observed his daughter

deadly pale and leaning by the door.  He immedi-

ately drew her out of the room, and when she had

somewhat recovered in the fresh air, walked with

her across Mound to Castle Street.  "He never

spoke all the way home," she says, "but every

now and then I felt his arm tremble, and from that

time I fancied he began to treat me more like a

woman than a child.  I thought he liked me better,

too, than he had ever done before."

     There have been several attempts to procure the

return of the manuscript to this country.  Mr. Win-

throp, in 1860, through the venerable John Sinclair,

archdeacon, urged the Bishop of London to give it

up, and proposed that the Prince of Wales, then just

coming to this country, should take it across the

Atlantic and present it to the people of Massachu-

setts.  The Attorney-General, Sir Fitzroy Kelley, ap-

proved the plan, and said it would be an exceptional

act of grace, a most interesting action, and that he

heartily wished the success of the application. But

the bishop refused.  Again, in 1869, John Lothrop

ADDRESS OF SENATOR HOAR.                  xlv

Motley, then minister to England, who had a great

and deserved influence there, repeated the proposi-

tion, at the suggestion of that most accomplished

scholar, Justin Winsor.  But his appeal had the same

fate.  The bishop gave no encouragement, and said,

as had been said nine years before, that the prop-

erty could not be alienated without an act of Par-

liament.  Mr. Winsor planned to repeat the attempt

on his visit to England in 1877.  When he was at

Fulham the bishop was absent, and he was obliged

to come home without seeing him in person.

     In 1881, at the time of the death of President

Garfield, Benjamin Scott, chamberlain of London, pro-

posed again in the newspapers that the restitution

should be made.  But nothing came or it.

     Dec. 21, 1895, I delivered an address at Plymouth,

on the occasion of the two hundred and seventy-fifth

anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims upon the

rock.  In preparing for that duty, I read again, with

renewed enthusiasm and delight, the noble and touch-

ing story, as told by Governor Bradford.  I felt that

his precious history of the Pilgrims ought to be in

no other custody than that of their children.  But

the case seemed hopeless.  I found myself compelled

by a serious physical infirmity to take a vacation,

and to get a rest from public cares and duties, which

was impossible while I stayed at home.  When I

went abroad I determined to visit the locality, on the

xlvi             PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


borders of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, from which

Bradford and Brewster and Robinson, the three lead-

ers of the Pilgrims, came, and where their first church

was formed, and the places in Amsterdam and Leyden

where the emigrants spent thirteen years.  But I

longed especially to see the manuscript of Bradford

at Fulham, which then seemed to me, as it now

seems to me, the most precious manuscript on earth,

unless we could recover one of the four gospels

as it came in the beginning from the pen of the


     The desire to get it back grew and grew dur-

ing the voyage across the Atlantic.  I did not know

how such a proposition would be received in Eng-

land.  A few days after I landed I made a call upon

John Morley.  I asked him whether he thought the

thing could be done.  He inquired carefully into the

story, took down from his shelf the excellent though

brief life of Bradford in Leslie Stephen's "Bio-

graphical Dictionary," and told me he thought the

book ought to come back to us, and that he should

be glad to do anything in his power to help.  It

was my fortune, a week or two after, to sit next

to Mr. Bayard at a dinner given to Mr. Collins by

the American consuls in Great Britain.  I took occa-

sion to tell him the story, and he gave me the

assurance, which he has since so abundantly and

successfully fulfilled, of his powerful aid. I was

ADDRESS OF SENATOR HOAR.                  xlvii


compelled, by the health of one of the party with

whom I was travelling, to go to the continent almost

immediately, and was disappointed in the hope of an

early return to England.  So the matter was delayed

until about a week before I sailed for home, when

I went to Fulham, in the hope at least of seeing

the manuscript.  I had supposed that it was a quasi-

public library, open to general visitors.  But I found

the bishop was absent.  I asked for the librarian,

but there was no such officer, and I was told very

politely that the library was not open to the public,

and was treated in all respects as that of a private

gentleman.  So I gave up any hope of doing any-

thing in person.  But I happened, the Friday before

I sailed for home, to dine with an English friend

who had been exceedingly kind to me.  As he took

leave of me, about eleven o'clock in the evening,

he asked me if there was anything more he could

do for me.  I said, "No, unless you happen to know

the Lord Bishop of London.  I should like to get

a sight at the manuscript of Bradford's history before

I go home."  He said, "I do not know the bishop

myself, but Mr. Grenfell, at whose house you spent

a few days in the early summer, married the bishop's

niece, and will gladly give you an introduction to his

uncle.  He is in Scotland.  But I will write to him

before I go to bed."

     Sunday morning brought me a cordial letter from

xlviii                    PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


Mr. Grenfell, introducing me to the bishop. I wrote

a note to his lordship, saying I should be glad to

have an opportunity to see Bradford's history; that

I was to sail for the United States the next Wednes-

day, but would be pleased to call at Fulham Tuesday,

if that were agreeable to him.

      I got a note in reply, in which he said if I would

call on Tuesday he would be happy to show me "The

Log of the Mayflower," which is the title the English,

without the slightest reason in the world, give the

manuscript.  I kept the appointment, and found the

bishop with the book in his hand.  He received me

with great courtesy, showed me the palace, and said

that that spot had been occupied by a bishop's palace

for more than a thousand years.

      After looking at the volume and reading the records

on the flyleaf, I said: "My lord, I am going to say

something which you may think rather audacious.  I

think this book ought to go back to Massachusetts.

Nobody knows how it got over here.  Some people

think it was carried off by Governor Hutchinson, the

Tory governor; other people think it was carried off

by British soldiers when Boston was evacuated; but

in either case the property would not have changed.

Or, if you treat it as a booty, in which last case,

I suppose, by the law of nations ordinary property

does change, no civilized nation in modern times

ADDRESS OF SENATOR HOAR.                  xlix


applies that principle to the property of libraries and

institutions of learning."

     "Well," said the bishop, "I did not know you

I cared anything about it."

     "Why,"  said I, "if there were in existence in

England a history of King Alfred's reign for thirty

years, written by his own hand, it would not be more

precious in the eyes of Englishmen than this manu-

script is to us."

     "Well," said he, "I think myself it ought to go

back, and if it had depended on me it would have gone

back before this.  But the Americans who have been

here many of them have been commercial people --

did not seem to care much about it except as a curi-

osity.  I suppose I ought not to give it up on my

own authority.  It belongs to me in my official

capacity, and not as private or personal property.

I think I ought to consult the Archbishop of Can-

terbury.  And, indeed," he added, "I think I ought

to speak to the Queen about it.  We should not do

such a thing behind Her Majesty's back,"

     I said: "Very well.  When I go home I will have

a proper application made from some of our literary

societies, and ask you to give it consideration."

     I saw Mr. Bayard again, and told him the story.

He was at the train when I left London for the

steamer at Southampton.  He entered with great in-

1                 PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


terest into the matter, and told me again he would

gladly do anything in his power to forward it.

      When I got home I communicated with Secretary

Olney about it, who took a kindly interest in the

matter, and wrote to Mr. Bayard that the adminis-

tration desired he should do everything in his power

to promote the application.  The matter was then

brought to the attention of the council of the Ameri-

can Antiquarian Society, the Massachusetts Historical

Society, the Pilgrim Society of Plymouth and the

New England Society of New York.  These bodies

appointed committees to unite in the application.

Governor Wolcott was also consulted, who gave his

hearty approbation to the movement, and a letter was

dispatched through Mr. Bayard.

     Meantime Bishop Temple, with whom I had my

conversation, had himself become Archbishop of Can-

terbury, and in that capacity Primate of all England.

His successor, Rev. Dr. Creighton, had been the

delegate of John Harvard's College to the great cele-

bration at Harvard University on the two hundred

and fiftieth anniversary of its foundation, in 1886. 

He had received the degree, of doctor of laws from

the university, had been a guest of President Eliot,

and had received President Eliot as his guest in


     He is an accomplished historical scholar, and very

friendly in sentiment to the people of the United


          ADDRESS OF SENATOR HOAR.                  li


States.  So, by great fortune, the two eminent eccle-

siastical personages who were to have a powerful

influence in the matter were likely to be exceed-

ingly well disposed.  Dr. Benjamin A. Gould, the

famous mathematician, was appointed one of the com-

mittee of the American Antiquarian Society.  He died

suddenly, just after a letter to the Bishop of London

was prepared and about to be sent to him for sign-

-ing.  He took a very zealous interest in the matter.

The letter formally asked for the return of the manu-

script, and was signed by the following-named gentle-

men: George F. Hoar, Stephen Salisbury, Edward

Everett Hale, Samuel A. Green, for the American

Antiquarian Society; Charles Francis Adams, William

Lawrence, Charles W. Eliot, for the Massachusetts

Historical Society; Arthur Lord, William M. Evarts,

William T. Davis, for the Pilgrim Society of Plym-

outh; Charles C. Beaman, Joseph H. Choate, J. Pier-

pont Morgan, for the New England Society of New

York; Roger Wolcott, Governor of Massachusetts.

     The rarest good fortune seems to have attended

every step in this transaction.

     I was fortunate in having formed the friendship of

Mr. Grenfell, which secured to me so cordial a

reception from the Bishop of London.

     It was fortunate that the Bishop of London was

Dr. Temple, an eminent scholar, kindly disposed

toward the people of the United States, and a man

lii                PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


thoroughly capable of understanding and respecting

the deep and holy sentiment which a compliance

with our desire would gratify.

    It was fortunate, too, that Bishop Temple, who

thought he must have the approbation of the arch-

bishop before his action, when the time came had

himself become Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate

of all England.

     It was fortunate that Dr. Creighton had succeeded

to the see of London.  He is, himself, as I have

just said, an eminent historical scholar.  He has

many friends in America.  He was the delegate of

Emmanuel, John Harvard's College, at the great Har-

vard centennial celebration in 1886.  He received the

degree of doctor of laws at Harvard and is a mem-

ber of the Massachusetts Historical Society.  He had,

as I have said, entertained President Eliot as his

guest in England.

     It was fortunate, too, that the application came in

a time of cordial good-will between the two coun-

tries, when the desire of John Adams and the long-

ing of George III. have their ample and complete

fulfilment.  This token of the good-will of England

reached Boston on the eve of the birthday of the

illustrious sovereign, who is not more venerated and

beloved by her own subjects than by the kindred

people across the sea.

     It comes to us at the time of the rejoicing of the








ADDRESS OF SENATOR HOAR.                  liii


English people at the sixtieth anniversary of a reign

more crowded with benefit to humanity than any

other known in the annals of the race.  Upon the

power of England, the sceptre, the trident, the lion,

the army and the fleet, the monster ships of war,

the all-shattering guns, the American people are

strong enough now to look with an entire indiffer-

ence.  We encounter her commerce and her manu-

facture in the spirit of a generous emulation.  The

inheritance from which England has gained these

things is ours also.  We, too, are of the Saxon


In our halls is hung       

Armory of the invincible knights of old.


     Our temple covers a continent, and its porches are

upon both the seas.  Our fathers knew the secret to

lay, in Christian liberty and law, the foundations of

empire.  Our young men are not ashamed, if need

be, to speak with the enemy in the gate.

     But to the illustrious lady, type of gentlest woman-

hood, model of mother and wife and friend, who came

at eighteen to the throne of George IV. and William;

of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; the maiden

presence before which everything unholy shrank; the

sovereign who, during her long reign, "ever knew

the people that she ruled;" the royal nature that

disdained to strike at her kingdom's rival in the

hour of our sorest need; the heart which even in

liv               PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


the bosom of a queen beat with sympathy for the

cause of constitutional liberty; who, herself not un-

acquainted with grief, laid on the coffin of our dead

Garfield the wreath fragrant with a sister's sympa-

thy, -- to her our republican manhood does not dis-

dain to bend.


The eagle, lord of land and sea,

Will stoop to pay her fealty.


     But I am afraid this application might have had

the fate of its predecessors but for our special good

fortune in the fact that Mr. Bayard was our ambas-

sador at the Court of St. James.  He had been, as

I said in the beginning, the ambassador not so much

of the diplomacy as of the good-will of the American

people.  Before his powerful influence every obstacle

gave way.  It was almost impossible for Englishmen

to refuse a request like this, made by him, and

in which his own sympathies were so profoundly

enlisted.  You are entitled, sir, to the gratitude of Massa-

chusetts, to the gratitude of every lover of Massa-

chusetts and of every lover of the country.  You

have succeeded where so many others have failed,

and where so many others would have been likely

to fail.  You may be sure that our debt to you is

fully understood and will not be forgotten.

     The question of the permanent abiding-place of this

ADDRESS OF SENATOR HOAR.                  lv


manuscript will be settled after it has reached the

hands of His Excellency.  Wherever it shall go it

will be an object of reverent care.  I do not think

many Americans will gaze upon it without a little

trembling of the lips and a little gathering of mist

in the eyes, as they think of the story of suffering,

of sorrow, of peril, of exile, of death and of lofty

triumph which that book tells, -- which the hand of

the great leader and founder of America has traced

on those pages.

      There is nothing like it in human annals since the

story of Bethlehem.  These Englishmen and English

women going out from their homes in beautiful Lin-

coln and York, wife separated from husband and

mother from child in that hurried embarkation for

Holland, pursued to the beach by English horsemen;

the thirteen years of exile; the life at Amsterdam

"in alley foul and lane obscure;" the dwelling at

Leyden; the embarkation at Delfthaven; the farewell

of Robinson; the terrible voyage across the Atlantic;

the compact in the harbor; the landing on the rock;

the dreadful first winter; the death roll of more than

half the number; the days of suffering and of famine;

the wakeful night, listening for the yell of wild

beast and the war-whoop of the savage; the build-

ing of the State on those sure foundations which

no wave or tempest has ever shaken; the breaking

of the new light; the dawning of the new day; the

lvi               PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


beginning of the new life; the enjoyment of peace

with liberty, -of all these things this is the origi-

nal record by the hand of our beloved father and

founder.  Massachusetts will preserve it until the

time shall come that her children are unworthy of

it; and that time shall come, -- never.



























     Your Excellency, Gentlemen of the two Houses of

the Legislature of Massachusetts, Ladies and Gentle-

men, Fellow Countrymen: The honorable and most

gratifying duty with which I am charged is about

to receive its final act of execution, for I have the

book here, as it was placed in my hands by the

Lord Bishop of London on April 29, intact then and

now; and I am about to deliver it according to the

provisions of the decree of the Chancellor of Lon-

don, which has been read in your presence, and the

receipt signed by me and registered in his court that

I would obey the provisions of that decree.

     I have kept my trust; I have kept the book as

I received it; I shall deliver it into the hands of

the representative of the people who are entitled

to its custody.

     And now, gentlemen, it would be superfluous for

me to dwell upon the historical features of this

remarkable occasion, for it has been done, as we

all knew it would be done, with ability, learning,

eloquence and impressiveness, by the distinguished

Senator who represents you so well in the Con-

gress of the United States.

lx                PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


     For all that related to myself, and for every

gracious word of recognition and commendation that

fell from his lips in relation to the part that I have

taken in the act of restoration, I am profoundly

grateful.  It is an additional reward, but not the

reward which induced my action.

    To have served your State, to have been instru-

mental in such an act as this, was of itself a high

privilege to me.  The Bradford manuscript was in the

library of Fulham palace, and if, by lawful means, I

could have become possessed of the volume, and have

brought it here and quietly deposited it, I should

have gone to my home with the great satisfaction of

knowing that I had performed an act of justice, an

act of right between two countries.  Therefore the

praise, however grateful, is additional, and I am very

thankful for it.

    It may not be inappropriate or unpleasing to you

should I state in a very simple manner the history

of my relation to the return of this book, for it all

has occurred within the last twelve months.

     I knew of the existence of this manuscript, and

had seen the reproduction in facsimile.  I knew that

attempts had been made, unsuccessfully, to obtain the

original book.

     At that time Senator Hoar made a short visit to

England, and in passing through London I was

informed by him of the great interest that he, in

AMBASSADOR BAYARD'S ADDRESS.                 lxi


common with the people of this State, had in the

restoration of this manuscript to the custody of the


     We discussed the methods by which it might be

accomplished, and after two or three concurrent sug-

gestions he returned to the United States, and pres-

ently I received, under cover from the Secretary of

State, -- a distinguished citizen of your own State,

Mr. Olney, -- a formal note, suggesting rather than

instructing that in an informal manner I should en-

deavor to have carried out the wishes of the various

societies that had addressed themselves to the Bishop

of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury, in

order to obtain the return of this manuscript.

     It necessarily had to be done informally.  The strict

regulations of the office I then occupied forbade my

correspondence with any member of the British gov-

ernment except through the foreign office, unless it

were informal.  An old saying describes the entire

case, that "When there's a will there's a way."  There

certainly was the will to get the book, and there cer-

tainly was also a will and a way to give the book,

and that way was discovered by the legal custodians

of the book itself. 

      At first there were suggestions of difficulty, some

technical questions; and following a very safe rule,

the first thought was, What is the law? and the case

was submitted to the law officers of the Crown.

lxii              PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


Then there arose the necessity of a formal act of


     There could be entertained no question as to the

title to the manuscript in the possession of the British

government.  There was no authority to grant a claim,

founded on adverse title, and the question arose as

to the requisite form of law of a permissive rather

than of a mandatory nature, in order to be authorita-

tive with those who had charge of the document.

     But, as I have said, when there was a will there

was found a way.  By personal correspondence and

interviews with the Bishop of London, I soon discov-

ered that he was as anxious to find the way as I was

that he should find it.  In March last it was finally

agreed that I should employ legal counsel to present

a formal petition in the Episcopal Consistorial Court

of London, and there before the Chancellor to repre-

sent the strong desire of Massachusetts and her people

for the return of the record of her early Governor.

     Accordingly, the petition was prepared, and by my

authority signed as for me by an eminent member

of the bar, and it was also signed by the Bishop of

London, so that there was a complete consensus.  The

decree was ordered, as is published in the London

"Times" on March 25 last, and nothing after that

remained but formalities, in which, as you are well

aware, the English law is not lacking, especially in

the ecclesiastical tribunals.

AMBASSADOR BAYARD'S ADDRESS.                 lxiii

These formalities were carried out during my ab-

sence from London on a short visit to the Conti-

nent, and the decree which you have just heard read

was duly entered on April 12 last, consigning the

document to my personal custody, to be delivered

by me in this city to the high official therein named,

subject to those conditions which you have also heard.

      Accordingly, on the 29th of April last I was sum-

moned to the court, and there, having signed the re-

ceipt, this decree was read in my presence.  Then the

Bishop of London arose, and, taking the book in

his hands, delivered it with a few gracious words

into my custody, and here it is to-day.

      The records of those proceedings will no doubt be

preserved here as accompanying this book, as they

are in the Episcopal Consistorial Court in London,

and they tell the entire story.

      But that is but part.  The thing that I wish to

impress upon you, and upon my fellow countrymen

throughout the United States, is that this is an act

of courtesy and friendship by another government --

the government of what we once called our "mother

country" -- to the entire people of the United States.

     You cannot limit it to the Governor of this Com-

monwealth; nor to the Legislature; nor even to the

citizens of this Commonwealth.  It extends in its

courtesy, its kindness and comity to the entire people

of the United States.  From first to last there was

lxiv             PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


the ready response of courtesy and kindness to the

request for the restoration of this manuscript record.

     I may say to you that there has been nothing that

I have sought more earnestly than to place the affairs

of these two great nations in the atmosphere of

mutual confidence and respect and good-will.  If it

be a sin to long for the honor of one's country,

for the safety and strength of one's country, then

I have been a great sinner, for I have striven to

advance the honor and the safety and the welfare

of my country, and believed it was best accom-

plished by treating all with justice and courtesy, and

doing those things to others which we would ask to

have done to ourselves.

     When the Chancellor pronounced his decree in March

last, he cited certain precedents to justify him in re-

storing this volume to Massachusetts.  One precedent

which powerfully controlled his decision, and which

in the closing portion of his judgment he emphasizes,

was an act of generous liberality upon the part of

the American Library Society in Philadelphia in vol-

untarily returning to the British government some

volumes of original manuscript of the period of James

the First, which by some means not very clearly

explained had found their way among the books of

that institution.

      Those books were received by a distinguished man,

Lord Romilly, Master of the Rolls, who took occasion

AMBASSADOR BAYARD'S ADDRESS.                 lxv

to speak of the liberality and kindness which dictated

the action of the Philadelphia library.  Gentlemen, I

am one of those who believe that a generous and

kindly act is never unwise between individuals or


     The return of this book to you is an echo of the

kindly act of your countrymen in the city of Phila-

delphia in 1866.

     It is that, not, as Mr. Hoar has said, any influence

or special effort of mine; but it is international good

feeling and comity which brought about to you the

pleasure and the joy of having this manuscript re-

turned, and so it will ever be.  A generous act will

beget a generous act; trust and confidence will beget

trust and confidence; and so it will be while the world

shall last, and well will it be for the man or for the

people who shall recognize this truth and act upon it.

     Now, gentlemen, there is another coincidence that

I may venture to point out.  It is history repeating

itself.  More than three hundred years ago the ances-

tors from whom my father drew his name and blood

were French Protestants, who had been compelled to

flee from the religious persecutions of that day, and

for the sake of conscience to find an asylum in Hol-

land.  Fifty years after they had fled and found safety

in Holland, the little congregation of Independents

from the English village of Scrooby, under the pas-

torate of John Robinson, was forced to fly, and with

lxvi             PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


difficulty found its way into the same country of the

Netherlands, seeking an asylum for consciences' sake.

    Time passed on.  The little English colony re-

moved, as this manuscript of William Bradford will

tell you, across the Atlantic, and soon after the

Huguenot family from whom I drew my name found

their first settlement in what was then the New

Netherlands, now New York.  Both came from the

same cause; both came with the same object, the

same purpose, -- "soul freedom," as Roger Williams

well called it.  Both came to found homes where

they could worship God according to their own con-

science and live as free men.  They came to these

shores, and they have found the asylum, and they

have strengthened it, and it is what we see to-day, --

a country of absolute religious and civil freedom, --

of equal rights and toleration.

     And is it not fitting that I, who have in my veins

the blood of the Huguenots, should present to you and

your Governor the log of the English emigrants, who

left their country for the sake of religious freedom?

      They are blended here, -- their names, their inter-

ests.  No man asks and no man has a right to ask

or have ascertained by any method authorized by law

what is the conscientious religious tenet or opinion

of any man, of any citizen, as a prerequisite for

holding an office of trust or power in the United


AMBASSADOR BAYARD'S ADDRESS.                 lxvii

I think it well on this occasion to make, as I am

sure you are making, acknowledgment to that heroic

little country, the Low lands as they call it, the Neth-

erlands, -- the country without one single feature of

military defence except the brave hearts of the men

who live in it and defend it.

     Holland was the anvil upon which religious and

civil liberty was beaten out in Europe at a time

when the clang was scarcely heard anywhere else.

We can never forget our historical debt to that

country and to those people.  Puritan, Independent,

Huguenot, whoever he may be, forced to flee for

conscience's sake, will not forget that in the Nether-

lands there was found in his time of need the

asylum where conscience, property and person might

be secure.

     And now my task is done.  I am deeply grateful

for the part that I have been enabled to take in this

act of just and natural restitution.  In Massachusetts

or out of Massachusetts there is no one more will-

ing than I to assist this work; and here, sir [address-

ing Governor Wolcott], I fulfil my trust in placing in

your hands the manuscript.

     To you, as the honored representative of the people

of this Commonwealth, I commit this book, in pur-

suance of my obligations, gladly undertaken under

the decree of the Episcopal Consistorial Court of




























On receiving the volume, Governor Wolcott, ad-

dressing Mr. Bayard, spoke as follows:  I thank you,

sir, for the diligent and faithful manner in which

you have executed the honorable trust imposed upon

you by the decree of the Consistorial and Episcopal

Court of London, a copy of which you have now

placed in my hands.  It was fitting that one of your

high distinction should be selected to perform so

dignified an office.

     The gracious act of international courtesy which is

now completed will not fail of grateful appreciation

by the people of this Commonwealth and of the

nation.  It is honorable alike to those who hesitated

not to prefer the request and to those whose generous

liberality has prompted compliance with it.  It may

be that the story of the departure of this precious

relic from our shores may never in its every detail

be revealed; but the story of its return will be read

of all men, and will become a part of the history

of the Commonwealth.  There are places and objects

so intimately associated with the world's greatest men

or with mighty deeds that the soul of him who gazes

upon them is lost in a sense of reverent awe, as it

lxxii            PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.


listens to the voice that speaks from the past, in

words like those which came from the burning bush,

"Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place

whereon thou standest is holy ground."

    On the sloping hillside of Plymouth, that bathes

its feet in the waters of the Atlantic, such a voice

is breathed by the brooding genius of the place, and

the ear must be dull that fails to catch the whispered

words.  For here not alone did godly men and women

suffer greatly for a great cause, but their noble pur-

pose was not doomed to defeat, but was carried to

perfect victory.  They stablished what they planned.

Their feeble plantation became the birthplace of re-

ligious liberty, the cradle of a free Commonwealth.

To them a mighty nation owns its debt.  Nay, they

have made the civilized world their debtor.  In the

varied tapestry which pictures our national life, the

richest spots are those where gleam the golden threads

of conscience, courage and faith, set in the web by

that little band.  May God in his mercy grant that

the moral impulse which founded this nation may

never cease to control its destiny; that no act of

any future generation may put in peril the funda-

mental principles on which it is based, -- of equal

rights in a free state, equal privileges in a free

church and equal opportunities in a free school.

     In this precious volume which I bold in my hands

-- the gift of England to the Commonwealth of Mas-



sachusetts -- is told the noble, simple story" of Plimoth

Plantation."  In the midst of suffering and

privation and anxiety the pious hand of William

" Bradford here set down in ample detail the history

of the enterprise from its inception to the year 1647.

From him we may learn "that all great and hon-

ourable actions are accompanied with great difficulties,

and must be both enterprised and overcome with

answerable courages."

    The sadness and pathos which some might read into

the narrative are to me lost in victory.  The triumph

of a noble cause even at a great price is theme for

rejoicing, not for sorrow, and the story here told

is one of triumphant achievement, and not of defeat.

    As the official representative of the Commonwealth,

I receive it, sir, at your hands.  I pledge the faith

of the Commonwealth that for all time it shall be

guarded in accordance with the terms of the decree

under which it is delivered into her possession as one

of her chiefest treasures.  I express the thanks of the

Commonwealth for the priceless gift.  And I venture

the prophecy that for countless years to come and

to untold thousands these mute pages shall eloquently

speak of high resolve, great suffering and heroic en-

durance made possible by an absolute faith in the

over-ruling providence of Almighty God.
























Oct. 16, 1897.



     I would ask you to express to the Convention

of the two branches of the General Court of the

Commonwealth of Massachusetts my grateful thanks

for the copy of their resolution of May 26, which

was presented to me by Mr. Adams.*

     I consider it a great privilege to have been asso-

ciated with an act of courtesy, which was also an

act of justice, in restoring to its proper place a

document which is so important in the records of,

your illustrious Commonwealth.


I am

Yours faithfully,



     H. D. COOLIDGE, Esq.

     Clerk of the Convention.



*The Hon. Charles Francis Adams.




















Of Plimoth Plantation.


    AND first of ye occasion and indusments ther unto;

the which that I may truly unfould, I must begine at

ye very roote & rise of ye same.  The which I shall

endevor to manefest in a plaine stile, with singuler

regard unto ye simple trueth in all things, at least as

near as my slender judgmente can attaine the same.


1. Chapter.


     IT is well knowne unto ye godly and judicious, how

ever since ye first breaking out of ye lighte of ye gospell

in our Honourable Nation of England, (which was ye

first of nations whom ye Lord adorned ther with, affter

yt grosse darknes of popery which had covered & over-

spred ye Christian worled,) what warrs & opposissions

ever since, Satan hath raised, maintained, and continued

against the Saincts, from time to time, in one sorte or

other.   Some times by bloody death and cruell tor-

ments; other whiles imprisonments, banishments, &

other hard usages; as being loath his kingdom should

goe downe, the trueth prevaile, and ye churches of God

reverte to their anciente puritie, and recover their prima-

tive order, libertie, & bewtie.  But when he could not

4                             HISTORY OF            [ CHAP. I.


prevaile by these means, against the maine trueths of

ye gospell, but that they began to take rootting in many

places, being watered with ye blooud of ye martires, and

blessed from heaven with a gracious encrease; He then

begane to take him to his anciente strategemes, used

of old against the first Christians.  That when by ye

bloody & barbarous persecutions of ye Heathen Em-

perours, he could not stoppe & subuerte the course

of ye gospell, but that it speedily overspred with a

wounderfull celeritie the then best known parts of ye

world, He then begane to sow errours, heresies, and

wounderfull dissentions amongst ye professours them

selves, (working upon their pride & ambition, with

other corrupte passions incidente to all mortall men,

yea to ye saints them selves in some measure,) by

which wofull effects followed; as not only bitter con-

tentions, & hartburnings, schismes, with other horrible

confusions, but Satan tooke occasion & advantage therby

to foyst in a number of vile ceremoneys, with many

unproffitable cannons & decrees, which have since been

as snares to many poore & peaceable souls even to this

day.  So as in ye anciente times, the persecutions [2]

by ye heathen & their Emperours, was not greater then

of the Christians one against other; the Arians & other

their complices against ye orthodoxe & true Christians.

As witneseth Socrates in his 2. booke.  His words are

these;*  The violence truly (saith he) was no less than

*Lib. 2.  Chap. 22.

CHAP. I.]            PLYMOUTH PLANTATION.                 5


that of ould practised towards ye Christians when they

were compelled & drawne to sacrifice to idoles; for many

indured sundrie kinds of tormente, often rackings, & dis-

membering of their joynts; confiscating of ther goods

some bereaved of their native soyle; others departed this

life under ye hands of ye tormentor; and some died in

banishmete, & never saw ther cuntrie againe, &c.

     The like methode Satan hath seemed to hold in these

later times, since ye trueth begane to springe & spread

after ye great defection made by Antichrist, yt man of


     For to let pass ye infinite examples in sundrie na-

tions and severall places of ye world, and instance in

our owne, when as yt old serpente could not prevaile

by those firie flames & other his cruell tragedies, which

he * by his instruments put in ure every wher in ye

days of queene Mary & before, he then begane an

other kind of warre, & went more closly to worke;

not only to oppuggen, but even to ruinate & destroy

ye kingdom of Christ, by more secrete & subtile means,

by kindling ye flames of contention and sowing ye

seeds of discorde & bitter enmitie amongst ye proffes-

sors & seeming reformed them selves.  For when he

could not prevaile by ye former means against ye prin-

cipall doctrins of faith, he bente his force against ye

holy discipline & outward regimente of ye kingdom of


   *In the text, parentheses are used frequently, apparently in place of commas. 

For this reason, many are omitted in the reprint.


6                           HISTORY  OF                       [CHAP. I.


Christ, by which those holy doctrines should be con-

served, & true pietie maintained amongest the saints

& people of God.

    Mr. Foxe recordeth how yt besids those worthy

martires & confessors which were burned in queene

Marys days & otherwise tormented,* many (both stu-

dients re others) fled out of ye land, to ye number of

800.  And became severall congregations.  At Wesell,

Frankford, Bassill, Emden, Markpurge, Strausborugh,

& Geneva, &c.  Amongst whom (but especialy those

at Frankford) begane yt bitter warr of contention &

persecutio aboute ye ceremonies, & servise-booke, and

other popish and antichristian stuffe, the plague of

England to this day, which are like ye highplases in

Israell, wch the prophets cried out against, & were

their ruine; [3] which ye better parte sought, accord-

ing to ye puritie of ye gospell, to roote out and

utterly to abandon.  And the other parte (under

veiled pretences) for their ouwn ends & advancments,

sought as stifly to continue, maintaine, & defend.  As

appeareth by ye  discourse therof published in printe,

Ano:  1575; a booke yt deserves better to be knowne

and considred.

     The one side laboured to have ye right worship of

God & discipline of Christ established in ye church,

according to ye simplicitie of ye gospell, without the

mixture of mens inventions, and to have & to be


*Acts & Mon: pag. 1587. editi: 2.

CHAP. I. ] PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                7


ruled by ye laws of Gods word, dispensed in those

offices, & by those officers of Pastors, Teachers, &

Elders, &c. according to ye Scripturs.  The other par-

tie, though under many colours & pretences, endev-

ored to have ye episcopall dignitie (affter ye popish

maner) with their large power & jurisdiction still re-

tained; with all those courts, cannons, & ceremonies,

togeather with all such livings, revenues, & subordi-

nate officers, with other such means as formerly up-

held their antichristian greatnes, and enabled them

with lordly & tyranous power to persecute ye poore

servants of God.  This contention was so great, as

neither ye honour of God, the commone persecution,

nor ye mediation of Mr. Calvin & other worthies of

ye Lord in those places, could prevaile with those

thus episcopally minded, but they proceeded by all

means to disturbe ye peace of this poor persecuted

church, even so farr as to charge (very unjustly, &

ungodlily, yet prelatelike) some of their cheefe op-

posers, with rebellion & hightreason against ye Em-

perour, & other such crimes.

     And this contetion dyed not with queene Mary, nor

was left beyonde ye seas, but at her death these peo-

ple returning into England under gracious queene

Elizabeth, many of them being preferred to bish-

opricks & other promotions, according to their aimes

and desires, that inveterate hatered against ye holy

discipline of Christ in his church hath continued to

8                 HISTORY OF                        [ CHAP. I.


this day.  In somuch that for fear [4] it should pre-

veile, all plotts & devices have been used to keepe it

out, incensing ye queene & state against it as dan-

gerous for ye comon wealth; and that it was most

needfull yt ye fundamentall poynts of Religion should

be preached in those ignorante & superstitious times;

and to wine ye weake & ignorante, they might retaine

diverse harmles ceremoneis; and though it were to be

wished yt diverse things were reformed, yet this was

not a season for it.  And many the like, to stop ye

mouthes of ye more godly, to bring them over to

yeeld to one ceremoney after another, and one cor-

ruption after another; by these wyles begyleing some

& corrupting others till at length they begane to per-

secute all ye zealous professors in ye land (though

they knew little what this discipline mente) both by

word & deed, if they would not submitte to their

ceremonies, & become slaves to them & their popish

trash, which have no ground in ye word of God, but

are relikes of yt man of sine.  And the more ye light

of ye gospell grew, ye more yey urged their subscrip-

tions to these corruptions.  So as (notwithstanding all

their former pretences & fair colures) they whose

eyes God had not justly blinded might easily see

wherto these things tended.  And to cast contempte

the more upon ye sincere servants of God, they oppro-

briously & most injuriously gave unto, & imposed

upon them, that name of Puritans, which [it] is said

CHAP. I.]            PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                9


the Novatians out of prid did assume & take unto

themselves.*  And lamentable it is to see ye effects

which have followed.  Religion hath been disgraced,

the godly greeved, afflicted, persecuted, and many

exiled, sundrie have lost their lives in prisones &

otherways.  On the other hand, sin hath been coun-

tenanced, ignorance, profannes, & atheisme increased,

& the papists encouraged to hope againe for a day.

     This made that holy man Mr. Perkins! crie out in

his exhortation to repentance, upon Zeph. 2.  Religion

(saith he) hath been amongst us this 35. years; but

the more it is published, the more it is contemned &

reproached of many, &c.  Thus not prophanes nor

wickednes, but Religion it selfe is a byword, a moking-

stock, &:, a matter of reproach; so that in England at

this day the man or woman yt begines to profes Religion,

&:, to serve God, must resolve with him selfe to sustaine

[5] mocks & injueries even as though he lived amongst

ye enimies of Religion.  And this comone experience

hath confirmed & made too apparente.


     A late observation, as it were by the way, worthy to be


Full litle did I thinke, yt the downfall of ye Bishops, with

their courts, cannons, & ceremonies, &c. had been so neare,

when I first begane these scribled writings (which was aboute

ye year 1630, and so peeced up at times of leasure after-


  *Ens: lib: 6. Chap. 42.                                                !Page 421.

   !!A note of the author at this place, written subsequent to this portion of

the narrative, on the reverse pages of his History.

10                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. I.


ward), or that I should have lived to have seene or heard

of ye same; but it is ye Lords doing, and ought to be

marvelous in our eyes!  Every plante which mine heavenly

father hath not planted (saith our Saviour) shall be rooted

up.  Mat: 15. 13.*  I have snared the, and thou art taken,

0 Babell (Bishops), and thou wast not aware; thou art

found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against

the Lord.  Jer. 50. 24.  But will they needs strive against ye

truth, against ye servants of God; what, & against the Lord

him selfe?  Doe they provoke the Lord to anger?  Are they

stronger than he?  1. Cor: 10. 22.  No, no, they have mete

with their match.  Behold, I come unto ye, O proud man,

saith the Lord God of hosts; for thy day is come, even the

time that I will visite the.  Jer: 50. 31.  May not the

people of God now say (and these pore people among ye

rest), The Lord hath brought forth our righteousnes; come,

let us declare in Sion the work of the Lord our God.  Jer:

51. 10.  Let all flesh be still before the Lord; for he is

raised up out of his holy place. Zach: 2. 13.

     In this case, these poore people may say (among ye

thousands of Israll),  When the Lord brougt againe the cap-

tivite of Zion, we were like them that dreame.  Psa: 126. 1.

The Lord hath done greate things for us, wherof we rejoyce.

v. 3.  They that sow in teares, shall reap in joye.  They

wente weeping, and carried precious seede, but they shall

returne with joye, and bring their sheaves. v. 5, 6.

     Doe you not now see ye fruits of your labours, 0 all yee

servants of ye Lord that have suffered for his truth, and

have been faithfull witneses of ye same, and yee litle hand-

fall amongst ye rest, ye least amongest ye thoasands of Israll?

You have not only had a seede time, but many of you have

seene ye joyefull harvest; shoald you not then rejoyse, yea,

   *All these and subsequent passages are quoted from the Geneva version

of the Bible.

CHAP. I.]            PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                11


and againe rejoyce, and say Hallelu-iah, salvation, and glorie,

and honour, and power, be to ye Lord our God; for true

and righteous are his judgments. Rev. 19. 1, 2.

     But thou wilte aske what is ye mater?  What is done?

Why, art thou a stranger in Israll, that thou shouldest not

know what is done?  Are not those Jebusites overcome that

have vexed the people of Israll so long, even holding Jeru-

salem till Davids days, and been as thorns in their sids, so

many ages; and now begane to scorne that any David

should meadle with them; they begane to fortifie their tower,

as that of the old Babelonians; but those proud Anakimes

are throwne downe, and their glory laid in ye dust.  The

tiranous bishops are ejected, their courts dissolved, their can-

nons forceless, their servise casheired, their ceremonies useles

and despised; their plots for popery prevented, and all their

superstitions discarded & returned to Roome from whence

they came, and ye monuments of idolatrie rooted out of ye land.

And the proud and profane suporters, and cruel I defenders of

these (as bloody papists & wicked athists, and their malignante

consorts) marvelously over throwne.  And are not these greate

things? Who can deney it?

     But who hath done it?  Who, even he that siteth on ye white

horse, who is caled faithfull, & true, and judgeth and fighteth

righteously, Rev: 19. 11.  whose garments are dipte in blood,

and his name was caled the word of God, v. 13. for he shall

rule them with a rode of iron; for it is he that treadeth the

winepress of the feircenes and wrath of God almighty.  And

he hath upon his garmente, and upon his thigh, a name writen,

The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. v. 15, 16.


Anno Dom:  1646.

     But that I may come more near my intendmente;

when as by the travell & diligence of some godly &

zealous preachers, & Gods blessing on their labours, as

12                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. I.


in other places of ye land, so in ye North parts, many

became inlightened by ye word of God, and had their

ignorance & sins discovered unto them, and begane by

his grace to reforme their lives, and make conscience

of their wayes, the worke of God was no sooner mani-

fest in them, but presently they were both scoffed and

scorned by ye prophane multitude, and ye ministers

urged with ye yoak of subscription, or els must be

silenced; and ye poore people were so vexed with

apparators, & pursuants, & ye comissarie courts, as

truly their affliction was not smale; which, notwith-

standing, they bore sundrie years with much patience,

till they were occasioned (by ye continuance & encrease

of these troubls, and other means which ye Lord raised

up in those days) to see further into things by the

light of ye word of God.  How not only these base

and beggerly ceremonies were unlawfull, but also that

ye lordly & tiranous power of ye prelats ought not to

be submitted unto; which thus, contrary to the free-

dome of the gospell, would load & burden mens con-

sciences, and by their compulsive power make a prophane

mixture of persons & things in ye worship of God.  And

that their offices & calings, courts & cannons, &c. were

unlawfull and antichrist!an; being such as have no war-

rante in ye word of God; but the same yt were used in

poperie, & still retained.  Of which a famous author

thus writeth in his Dutch comtaries.  At ye coming of


*Em: meter: lib: 25. col. 119.

1602-1606?]      PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                13


king James into England; The new king (saith he) found

their established ye reformed religion, according to ye re-

formed religion of king Edward ye 6.  Retaining, or

keeping still ye spirituall state of ye Bishops, &c. after

ye ould maner, much varying re differing from ye reformed

churches in Scotland, France, & ye Neatherlands, Embden,

Geneva, &c. whose reformation is cut, or shapen much

nerer ye first Christian churches, as it was used in ye

Apostles times.*

     [6] SO many therfore of these proffessors as saw ye

evill of these things, in thes parts, and whose harts ye

Lord had touched wth heavenJy zeale for his trueth, they

shooke of this yoake of antichristian bondage, and as

ye Lords free people, joyned them selves (by a covenant

of the Lord) into a church estate, in ye felowship of ye

gospell, to walke in all his wayes, made known, or to

be made known unto them, according to their best en-

deavours, whatsoever it should cost them, the Lord assist-

ing them.  And that it cost them something this ensewing

historie will declare.

      These people became 2.  distincte bodys or churches,

& in regarde of distance of place did congregate sev-

erally; for they were of sundrie townes & vilages, some

in Notingamshire, some of Lincollinshire, and some of

Yorkshire, wher they border- nearest togeather.  In one


     *The reformed churches shapen much neerer ye primitive patterne then

England, for they cashered ye Bishops with al their courts, cannons, and cere-

moneis, at the first; and left them amongst ye popish tr, .to Ch wch they per-

tained. (The last word in the note is uncertain in the MS.)

14                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. I.


of these churches (besids others of note) was Mr. John

Smith, a man of able gifts,  a good preacher, who

afterwards was chosen their pastor.  But these after-

wards falling into some errours in ye Low Countries,

ther (for ye most part) buried them selves, & their


     But in this other church (wch must be ye subjecte of

our discourse) besids other worthy men, was Mr. Richard

Clifton, a grave & revered preacher, who by his paines

and dilligens had done much good, and under God had

ben a means of ye conversion of many.  And also that

famous and worthy man Mr. John Robinson, who after-

wards was their pastor for many years, till ye Lord

tooke him away by death.  Also Mr. William Brewster a

reverent man, who afterwards was chosen an elder

of ye church and lived with them till old age.

     But after these things they could not long continue

in any peaceable condition, but were hunted & perse-

cuted on every side, so as their former afflictions were

but as flea-bitings in comparison of these which now

came upon them.  For some were taken & clapt up in

prison, others had their houses besett & watcht night

and day, & hardly escaped their hands; and ye most

were faine to flie & leave their howses & habitations,

and the means of their livelehood.  Yet these & many

other sharper things which affterward befell them,

were no other then they looked for, and therfore were ye

better prepared to bear them by ye assistance of Gods



1608.]            PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                    15


grace & spirite.  Yet seeing, them selves thus molested,

[7] and that ther was no hope of their continuance ther,

by a joynte consente they resolved to goe into ye Low-

Countries, wher they heard was freedome of Relioion

for all men; as also how sundrie from London, & other

parts of ye land, had been exiled and persecuted for

ye same cause, & were gone thither, and lived at Am-

sterdam, & in other places of ye land.  So affter they

had continued togeither aboute a year, and kept their

meetings every Saboth in one place or other, exercising

the worship of God amongst them selves, notwithstand-

ing, all ye dilligence & malice of their adverssaries, they

seeing they could no longer continue in yt condition,

they resolved to get over into Hollad as they could;

which was in ye year 1607.  & 1608.; of which more at

large in ye next chap.


2. Chap.

Of their departure into Holland and their trouble ther

       aboute, with some of ye many difficulties they found

        and mete withall.

Ano. 1608.

     BEING thus constrained to leave their native soyle

and countries their lands & livings, and all their

freinds & famillier acquaintance, it was much, and

thought marvelous by many.  But to goe into a coun-

trie they knew not (but by hearsay), wher they must

learne a new language, and get their livings they


16                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. II.


knew not how, it being a dear place, & subjecte to

ye misseries of warr, it was by many thought an ad-

venture almost desperate, a case intolerable, & a mis-

serie worse then death.  Espetially seeing they were

not aquainted with trads nor traffique, (by which yt

countrie doth subsiste,) but had only been used to a

plaine countrie life, & ye inocente trade of husbandrey.

But these things did not dismay them (though they

did some times trouble them) for their desires were

sett on ye ways of God, & to injoye his ordinances;

but they rested on his providence, & knew whom they

had beleeved.  Yet [8] this was not all, for though

they could not stay, yet were ye not suffered to goe,

but ye ports & havens were shut against them, so as

they were faine to seeke secrete means of conveance,

& to bribe & fee ye mariners, & give exterordinarie

rates for their passages.  And yet were they often

times betrayed (many of them), and both they &

their goods intercepted & surprised, and therby put

to great trouble & charge, of which I will give an in-

stance or tow, & omitte the rest.

     Ther was a large companie of them purposed to get

passage at Boston in Lincoln-shire, and for that end

had hired a shipe wholy to them selves, & made

agreement with the maister to be ready at a certaine

day, and take them and their goods in, at a con-

veniente place, wher they accordingly would all at-

tende in readines.  So after long waiting, & large

1608.]           PLYMOUTH PLANTATION.                   1 7


expences, though he kepte not day with them, yet he

came at length & tooke them in, in ye night.  But

when he had them & their goods abord, he betrayed

them, haveing before hand complotted with ye serchers

& other officers so to doe; who tooke them, and put

them into open boats, & ther rifled & ransaked them,

searching them to their shirts for money, yea even ye

women furder then became modestie; and then caried

them back into ye towne, & made them a spectackle

& wonder to ye multitude, which came flocking on all

sids to behould them.  Being thus first, by the chatch-

poule officers, rifled, & stripte of their money, books,

and much other goods, they were presented to ye

magestrates, and messengers sente to informe ye lords

of ye Counsell of them; and so they were comited to

ward.  Indeed ye magestrats used them courteously,

and shewed them what favour they could; but could

not deliver them, till order came from ye Counsell-

table.  But ye issue was that after a months impris-

onmente, ye greatest parte were dismiste, & sent to

ye places from whence they came; but 7. of ye prin-

cipall were still kept in prison, and bound over to

ye Assises.

   The nexte spring after, ther was another attempte

made by some of these & others, to get over at an

other place.  And it so fell out, that they light of a

Dutchman at Hull, having a ship of his owne belong-

ing to Zealand; they made agreemente with him, and

18                        HISTORY OF                                  [CHAP. II.


acquainted [9] him with their condition, hoping to

find more faithfullnes in him, then in ye former of

their owne nation.  He bad them not fear, for he

would doe well enough.  He was by appointment to

take them in betweene Grimsbe & Hull, wher was a

large comone a good way distante from any towne. 

Now aganst the prefixed time, the women & children,

with ye goods, were sent to ye place in a small barke,

which they had hired for yt end; and ye men were to

meete them by land.  But it so fell out, that they

were ther a day before ye shipe came, & ye sea being

rough, and ye women very sicke, prevailed with ye

seamen to put into a creeke hardby, wher they lay on

ground at lowwater.  The nexte morning ye shipe

came, but they were fast, & could not stir till aboute

noone.  In ye mean time, ye shipe maister, perceive-

ing how ye matter was, sente his boate to be getting

ye men abord whom he saw ready, walking aboute ye

shore.  But after ye first boat full was gott abord, &

she was ready to goe for more, the mr espied a greate

company, both horse & foote, with bills, & gunes, &

other weapons; for ye countrie was raised to take

them.  Ye Dutch-man seeing yt, swore his countries

oath, "sacremente," and having ye wind faire, waiged

his Ancor, hoysed sayles, & away.  But ye poore men

which were gott abord, were in great distress for

their wives and children, which they saw thus to be

taken, and were left destitute of their helps; and

1608.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                19


them selves also, not having a cloath to shifte them

with, more then they had on their baks, & some

scarce a peney aboute them, all they had being abord

ye barke.  It drew tears from their eyes, and any thing

they had they would have given to have been

a shore againe; but all in vaine, ther was no remedy,

they must thus sadly part.  And afterward endured

a fearfull storme at sea, being 14. days or more be-

fore yey arived at their porte, in 7. wherof they

neither saw son, moone, nor stars, & were driven

near ye coast of Norway; the mariners them selves

often despairing of life; and once with shriks & cries

gave over all, as if ye ship had been foundred in ye

sea, & they sinking without recoverie.  But when

mans hope & helpe wholy failed, ye Lords power &

mercie appeared in ther recoverie; for ye ship rose

againe, & gave ye mariners courage againe to manage

her.  And if modestie woud suffer me, I might de-

clare with what fervente [10] prayres they cried unto

ye Lord in this great distres, (espetialy some of

them,) even without any great distraction, when ye

water rane into their mouthes & ears; & the mariners

cried out, We sinke, we sinke; they cried (if not

with mirakelous, yet with a great hight or degree of

devine faith), Yet Lord thou canst save, yet Lord

thou canst save; with shuch other expressions as I

will forbeare.  Upon which ye ship did not only re-

cover, but shortly after ye violence of ye storme be-

20                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. II.


gane to abate, and ye Lord filed their afllicted minds

with shuch comforts as everyone canot understand,

and in ye end brought them to their desired Haven,

wher ye people came flockeing admiring their deliver-

ance, the storme having been so longe & sore, in

which much hurt had been don, as ye masters freinds

related unto him in their congrattulations.

     But to returne to ye others wher we left.  The rest

of ye men yt were in greatest danger, made shift to

escape away before ye troope could surprise them;

those only staying yt best might, to be assistante unto

ye women.  But pitifull it was to see ye heavie case

of these poore women in this distress; what weeping

& crying on every side, some for their husbands, that

were caried away in ye ship as is before related;

others not knowing what should become of them, &

their litle ones; others againe melted in teares, see-

ing their poore litle ones hanging aboute them, crying

for feare, and quaking with could.  Being thus apre-

hended, they were hurried from one place to another,

and from one justice to another, till in ye ende they

knew not what to doe with them; for to imprison so

many women & innocent children for no other cause

(many of them) but that they must goe with their hus-

bands, semed to be unreasonable and all would crie

out of them; and to send them home againe was as

difficult, for they aledged, as ye trueth was, they had

no homes to goe to, for they had either sould, or other-

1608.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                21


wise disposed of their houses & livings. To be shorte,

after they had been thus turmolyed a good while, and

]conveyed from one constable to another, they were glad

to be ridd of them in ye end upon any termes; for all

were wearied & tired with them.  Though in ye mean

time they (poore soules) indured miserie enough; and

thus in ye end necessitie forste a way for them.

    But yt I be not tedious in these things, I will omitte

ye rest, though I might relate many other notable pas-

sages and troubles which they endured & underwente

in these their wanderings & travells both at land & sea;

but I hast to [11] other things.  Yet I may not omitte

ye fruite that came hearby, for by these so publick

troubls, in so many eminente places, their cause became

famouss, & occasioned many to looke into ye same; and

their godly cariage & Christian behaviour was such as

left a deep impression in the minds of many.  And

though some few shrunk at these first conflicts & sharp

beginings, (as it was no marvell,) yet many more came

on with fresh courage, & greatly animated others.  And

in ye end, notwithstanding all these stormes of oppossi-

tion, they all gatt over at length, some at one time &

some at an other, and some in one place & some in an

other, and mette togeather againe according to their

desires, with no small rejoycing. .

22                        HISTORY OF              [CHAP. III.


The 3. Chap.

Of their setling in Holand, & their maner of living, &

entertainmente ther.

    BEING now come into ye Low Countries, they saw

many goodly & fortified cities, strongly walled and

garded with troopes of armed men.  Also they heard

a strange & uncouth language, and beheld ye differente

maners & customes of ye people, with their strange

fashons and attires; all so farre differing from yt of

their plaine countrie villages (wherin they were bred,

& had so longe lived) as it seemed they were come into

a new world.  But these were not ye things they much

looked on, or long tooke up their thoughts; for they

had other work in hand, & an other kind of warr

to wage & maintaine.  For though they saw faire &

bewtifull cities, flowing with abundance of all sorts of

welth & riches, yet it was not longe before they saw

the grime & grisly face of povertie coming upon them

like an armed man, with whom they must bukle &

incounter, and from whom they could not flye; but

they were armed with faith & patience against him, and

all his encounters; and though they were sometimes

foyled, yet by Gods assistance they prevailed and got

ye victorie.

      Now when Mr. Robinson, Mr. Brewster, & other prin-

cipall members were come over, (for they were of ye


1609.]          PLYMOUTH PLANTATION.                    23


last, & stayed to help ye weakest over before them,)

such things were [12] thought on as were necessarie

for their setting and best ordering of ye church affairs.

And when they had lived at Amsterdam aboute a year,

Mr. Robinson, their pastor, and some others of best

discerning, seeing how Mr. John Smith and his com-

panie was allready fallen in to contention with ye church

yt was ther before them, & no means they could use

would doe any good to cure ye same, and also that

ye flames of contention were like to breake out in yt

anciente church it selfe (as affterwards lamentably

came to pass); which things they prudently foresee-

ing, thought it was best to remove, before they were

any way engaged with ye same; though they well knew

it would be much to ye prejudice of their outward

estats, both at presente & in licklyhood in ye future;

as indeed it proved to be.


Their remoovall to Leyden.

    For these &, some other reasons they removed to Ley-

den, a fair & bewtifull citie, and of a sweete situation,

but made more famous by ye universitie wherwith it is

adorned, in which of late had been so many learned

men.  But wanting that traffike by sea which Amster-

dam injoyes, it was not so beneficiall for their outward

means of living & estats.  But being now hear pitchet

they fell to such trads & employments as they best

could; valewing peace & their spirituall comforte above

24                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. III.


any other riches whatsoever.  And at lenght they came

to raise a competente & comforteable living, but with

hard and continuall labor.

     Being thus setled (after many difficulties) they con-

tinued many years in a comfortable condition, injoying

much sweete & delightefull societie & spirituall com-

forte togeather in ye wayes of God, under ye able minis-

trie, and prudente governmente of Mr. John Robinson,

& Mr. William Brewster, who was an assistante unto

him in ye place of an Elder, unto which he was now

called & chosen by the church.  So as they grew in

knowledge & other gifts & graces of ye spirite of God,

& lived togeather in peace, & love, and holines; and

many came unto them from diverse parts of England,

so as they grew a great congregation.  And if at any

time any differences arose, or offences broak [13] out

(as it cannot be, but some time ther will, even amongst

ye best of men) they were ever so mete with, and nipt

in ye head betims, or otherwise so well composed, as

still love, peace, and communion was continued; or els

ye church purged of those that were incurable & incor-

rigible, when, after much patience used, no other means

would serve, which seldom came to pass.  Yea such

was ye mutuall love, & reciprocall respecte that this

worthy man had to his flocke, and his flocke to him,

that it might be said of them as it once was of yt

famouse Emperour Marcus Aurelious,* and ye people of


* Goulden booke, &c.

1609-1620.]       PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.               25


Rome, that it was hard to judge wheather he delighted

more in haveing shuch a people, or they in haveing

such a pastor.  His love was greate towards them, and

his care was all ways bente for their best good, both

for soule and body; for besids his singuler abilities in

devine things (wherin he excelled), he was also very

able to give directions in civill affaires, and to foresee

dangers & inconveniences; by wch means he was very

helpfull to their outward estats, & so was every way

as a commone father unto them.  And none did more

offend him then those that were close and cleaving to

them selves, and retired from ye commoe good; as also

such as would be stiffe & riged in matters of outward

order, and invey against ye evills of others, and yet be

remisse in them selves, and not so carefull to express

a vertuous conversation.  They in like maner had ever

a reverente regard unto him, & had him in precious

estimation, as his worth & wisdom did deserve; and

though they esteemed him highly whilst he lived &

laboured amongst them, yet much more after his death,

when they came to feele ye wante of his help, and saw

(by woefull experience) what a treasure they had lost,

to ye greefe of their harts, and wounding of their sowls;

yea such a loss as they saw could not be repaired; for

it was as hard for them to find such another leader

and feeder in all respects, as for ye Taborits to find

another Ziska.  And though they did not call them-

selves orphans, as the other did, after his death, yet

26                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. III.


they had cause as much to lamente, in another regard,

their present condition, and. after usage.  But to re-

turne; I know not but it may be spoken to ye honour

of God, & without prejudice [14] to any, that such

was ye true pietie, ye humble zeale, & fervent love, of

this people (whilst they thus lived together) towards

God and his waies, and ye single hartednes & sinceir

affection one towards another, that they came as near

ye primative patterne of ye first churches, as any other

church of these later times have done, according to

their ranke & qualitie.

      But seeing it is not my purpose to treat of ye sev-

erall passages that befell this people whilst they thus

lived in ye Low Countries, (which might worthily re-

quire a large treatise of it selfe,) but to make way to

shew ye begining of this plantation, which is that I

aime at; yet because some of their adversaries did,

upon ye rumore of their removall, cast out slanders

against them, as if that state had been wearie of them,

& had rather driven them out (as ye heathen histo-

rians did faine of Moyses & ye Isralits when they

went out of Egipte), then yt it was their owne free

choyse & motion, I will therfore mention a perticuler

or too to shew ye contrary, and ye good acceptation

they had in ye place wher they lived.  And first

though many of them weer poore, yet ther was none

so poore, but if they were known to be of yt con-

gregation, the Dutch (either bakers or others) would

1609-1620]        PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                27


trust them in any reasonable matter when yey wanted

money.  Because they had found by experience how

carfull they were to keep their word, and saw them so

painfull & dilligente in their callings; yea, they would

strive to gett their custome, and to imploy them above

others, in their worke, for their honestie & diligence.

    Againe; ye magistrats of ye citie, aboute ye time of

their coming away, or a litle before, in ye publick

place of justice, gave this comendable testemoney of

them, in ye reproofe of the Wallons, who were of ye

French church in yt citie.  These English, said they,

have lived amongst us now this 12. years, and yet we

never had any sute or accusation came against any of

them; but your strifs & quarels are continuall, &c.

In these times allso were ye great troubls raised by

ye Arminians, who, as they greatly mollested ye whole

state, so this citie in particuler, in which was ye

cheefe universitie; so as ther were dayly & hote dis-

puts in ye schooles ther aboute; and as ye studients &

other lerned were devided in their oppinions hearin,

so were ye 2.  proffessors or devinitie readers them

selves; the one daly teaching for it, ye other against

it.  Which grew to that pass, that few of the discipls

of ye one would hear ye other teach.  But Mr. Rob-

inson, though he taught thrise a weeke him selfe, &

write sundrie books, besids his manyfould pains other-

wise, yet he went constantly [15] to hear ther read-

ings, and heard ye one as well as ye other; by which

28                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. III.


means he was so well grounded in ye controversie,

and saw ye force of all their arguments, and knew ye

shifts of ye adversarie, and being him selfe very able,

none was fitter to buckle with them then him selfe, as

appered by sundrie disputs; so as he begane to be

terrible to ye Arminians; which made Episcopius (ye

Arminian professor) to put forth his best stringth, and

set forth sundrie Theses, which by publick dispute he

would defend against all men.  Now Poliander ye

other proffessor, and ye cheefe preachers of ye citie,

desired Mr. Robinson to dispute against him; but he

was loath, being a stranger; yet the other did impor-

tune him, and tould him yt such was ye abilitie and

nimblnes of ye adversarie, that ye truth would suffer

if he did not help them.  So as he condescended, &

prepared him selfe against the time; and when ye day

came, the Lord did so help him to defend ye truth &

foyle this adversarie, as he put him to an apparent

nonplus, in this great & publike audience. And ye

like he did a 2. or 3. time, upon such like occasions.

The which as it caused many to praise God yt the

trueth had so famous victory, so it procured him

much honour & respecte from those lerned men &

others which loved ye trueth.  Yea, so farr were they

from being weary of him & his people, or desiring

their absence, as it was said by some, of no mean

note, that were it not for giveing offence to ye state

of England, they would have preferd him otherwise if

1620.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                29


he would, and alowd them some publike favour. Yea

when ther was speech of their remoovall into these

parts, sundrie of note & eminencie of yt nation would

have had them come under them, and for yt end made

them large offers.  Now though I might aledg many

other perticulers & examples of ye like kinde, to shew

ye untruth & unlicklyhode of this slander, yet these

shall suffice, seeing it was beleeved of few, being only

raised by ye malice of some, who laboured their


The 4. Chap.

Showing ye reasons & causes of their remoovall.

    AFTER they had lived in this citie about some 11.

or 12. years, (which is ye more observable being ye

whole time of yt famose truce between that state &

ye Spaniards,) and sundrie of them were taken away

by death, & many others begane to be well striken in

years, the grave mistris Experience haveing taught

them many things, [16] those prudent governours with

sundrie of ye sagest members begane both deeply to

apprehend their present dangers, & wisely to foresee

ye future, & thinke of timly remedy.  In ye agitation

of their thoughts, and much discours of things hear

aboute, at length they began to incline to this conclu-

sion, of remoovall to some other place.  Not out of

any newfanglednes, or other such like giddie humor,

by which men are oftentimes transported to their

great hurt & danger, but for sundrie weightie & solid

30                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. IV.


reasons; some of ye cheefe of which I will hear breefly

touch.  And first, they saw & found by experience the

hardnes of ye place & countrie to be such, as few in

comparison would come to them, and fewer that would

bide it out, and continew with them.  For many yt

came to them, and many more yt desired to be with

them, could not endure yt great labor and hard fare,

with other inconveniences which they underwent &

were contented with.  But though they loved their

persons, approved their cause, and honoured their suf-

ferings, yet they left them as it weer weeping, as

Orpah did her mother in law Naomie, or as those

Romans did Cato in Utica, who desired to be excused

& borne with, though they could not all be Catoes.

For many, though they desired to injoye ye ordinances

of God in their puritie, and ye libertie of the gospell

with them, yet, alass, they admitted of bondage, with

danger of conscience, rather then to indure these hard-

ships; yea, some preferred & chose ye prisons in Eng-

land, rather then this libertie in Holland, with these

afflictions.  But it was thought that if a better and

easier place of living could be had, it would draw many,

& take away these discouragments.  Yea, their pastor

would often say, that many of those wo both wrate &

preached now against them, if they were in a place

wher they might have libertie and live comfortably,

they would then practise as they did.

    21y.  They saw that though ye people generally bore


1620.]        PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                31


all these difficulties very cherfully, & with a resolute

courage, being in ye best & strength of their years, yet

old age began to steale on many of them, (and their

great & continuall labours, with other crosses and sor-

rows, hastened it before ye time,) so as it was not only

probably thought, but apparently seen, that within a

few years more they would be in danger to scatter, by

necessities pressing them, or sinke under their burdens,

or both.  And therfore according to ye devine proverb,

yt a wise man seeth ye plague when it cometh, & hideth

him selfe, Pro. 22. 3., so they like skillfull & beaten

souldiers were fearfull either to be intrapped or sur-

rounded by their enimies, so as they should neither be

able to fight nor flie; and therfor thought it better to

dislodge betimes to some place of better advantage &

less danger, if any such could be found. [16] Thirdly;

as necessitie was a taskmaster over them, so they were

forced to be such, not only to their servants, but in a

sorte, to their dearest chilldren; the which as it did not

a title wound ye tender harts of many a loving father &

mother, so it produced likwise sundrie sad & sorowful

effects.  For many of their children, that were of best

dispositions and gracious inclinations, haveing lernde

to bear ye yoake in their youth, and willing to bear

parte of their parents burden, were, often times, so

oppressed with their hevie labours, that though their

minds were free and willing, yet their bodies bowed

under ye weight of ye same, and became decreped in

32                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. IV.


their early youth; the vigor of nature being consumed

in ye very budd as it were.  But that which was more

lamentable, and of all sorowes most heavie to be borne,

was that many of their children, by these occasions,

and ye great licentiousnes of youth in yt countrie, and

ye manifold temptations of the place, were drawne away

by evill examples into extravagante & dangerous courses,

getting ye raines off their neks, & departing from their

parents.  Some became souldiers, others tooke upon

them farr viages by sea, and other some worse courses,

tending to dissolutnes & the danger of their soules, to

ye great greefe of their parents and dishonour of God.

So that they saw their posteritie would be in danger

to degenerate & be corrupted. 

     Lastly, (and which was not least,) a great hope &

inward zeall they had of laying some good foundation,

or at least to make some way therunto, for ye propagat-

ing & advancing ye gospell of ye kingdom of Christ in

those remote parts of ye world; yea, though they should

be but even as stepping-stones unto others for ye per-

forming of so great a work. 

     These, & some other like reasons, moved them to

undertake this resolution of their removall; the which

they afterward prosecuted with so great difficulties, as

by the sequell will appeare.

     The place they had thoughts on was some of those

vast & unpeopled countries of America, which are frut-

full & fitt for habitation, being devoyd of all civill

1620.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                33


inhabitants, wher ther are only salvage & brutish men,

which range up and downe, litle otherwise then ye wild

beasts of the same.  This proposition being made pub-

like and coming to ye scaning of all, it raised many

variable opinions amongst men, and caused many fears

& doubts amongst them selves.  Some, from their

reasons & hops conceived, laboured to stirr up & in-

courage the rest to undertake & prosecute ye same;

others, againe, out of their fears, objected against it,

& sought to diverte from it, aledging many things, and

those neither unreasonable nor unprobable; as that it,

was a great designe, and subjecte to many unconceivable

perills & dangers; as, besids the casulties of ye seas

(which none can be freed from) the length of ye vioage

was such, as ye weake bodys of women and other

persons worne out with age & traville (as many

of them were) could never be able to endure.  And yet

if they should, the miseries of ye land which they

should be [17] exposed unto, would be to hard to be

borne; and lickly, some or all of them togeither, to

consume & utterly to ruinate them.  For ther they

should be liable to famine, and nakednes, & ye wante,

in a maner, of all things.  The chang of aire, diate, &

drinking of water, would, infecte their bodies with sore

sickneses, and greevous diseases.  And also those which

should escape or overcome these difficulties, should yett

be in continuall danger of ye salvage people, who are

cruell, barbarous, & most trecherous, being most furious

34                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. IV.


in their rage, and merciles wher they overcome; not

being contente only to kill, & take away life, but delight

to tormente men in ye most bloodie maner that may be ;

fleaing some alive with ye shells of fishes, cutting of ye

members & joynts of others by peesmeale, and broiling

on ye coles, eate ye collops of their flesh in their sight

whilst they live; with other cruelties horrible to be

related.  And surely it could not be thought but ye

very hearing of these things could not but move ye

very bowels of men to grate within them, and make ye

weake to quake & tremble.  It was furder objected,

that it would require greater sumes of money to furnish

such a voiage, and to fitt them with necessaries, then

their consumed estats would amounte too; and yett

they must as well looke to be seconded with supplies,

as presently to be trasported.  Also many presidents

of ill success, & lamentable misseries befalne others in

the like designes, were easie to be found, and not for-

gotten to be aledged; besids their owne experience,

in their former troubles & hardships in their removall

into Holand, and how hard a thing it was for them to

live in that strange place, though it was a neighbour

countrie, & a civill and rich comone wealth.

     It was answered, that all great & honourable actions

are accompanied with great difficulties, and must be

both enterprised and overcome with answerable cour-

ages.  It was granted ye dangers were great, but not

desperate; the difficulties were many, but not invincible.

1620.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                35


For though their were many of them likly, yet they

were not cartaine; it might be sundrie of ye things

feared might never befale; others by providente care

& ye use of good means, might in a great measure

be prevented; and all of them, through ye help of God,

by fortitude and patience, might either be borne, or

overcome.  True it was, that such atempts were not

to be made and undertaken without good ground &

reason; not rashly or lightly as many have done for

curiositie or hope of gaine, &c.  But their condition

was not ordinarie; their ends were good & honourable;

their calling lawfull, & urgente; and therfore they might

expecte ye blessing of God in their proceding.  Yea,

though they should loose their lives in this action, yet

might they have comforte in the same, and their en-

deavors would be honourable.  They lived hear but

as men in exile, & in a poore condition; and as great

miseries might possibly befale them in this place, for

ye 12. years of truce were now out, & ther was nothing

but beating of drumes, and preparing for warr, the

events wherof are all way uncertaine.   Ye Spaniard

might prove as cruell as [18] the salvages of America,

and ye famine and pestelence as sore hear as ther, &

their libertie less to looke out for remedie.  After

many other perticuler things answered & aledged on

both sids, it was fully concluded by ye major parte,

to put this designe in execution, and to prosecute it

by the best means they could.

36                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. V.


The 5. Chap.

Shewing what means they used for preparation to this

waightie vioag.

      AND first after thir humble praiers unto God for his

direction & assistance, & a generall conferrence held

hear aboute, they consulted what perticuler place to

pitch upon, & prepare for.  Some (& none of ye

meanest) had thoughts & were ernest for Guiana, or

some of those fertill places in those hott climats;

others were for some parts of Virginia, wher ye

English had all ready made enterance, & begining.

Those for Guiana aledged yt the cuntrie was rich,

fruitfull, & blessed with a perpetuall spring, and a

florishing greenes; where vigorous nature brought

forth all things in abundance & plentie without any

great labour or art of man.  So as it must needs

make ye inhabitants rich, seing less provisions of cloth-

ing and other things would serve, then in more coulder

& less frutfull countries must be had.  As also yt the

Spaniards (having much more then they could possess)

had not yet planted there, nor any where very near

ye same.  But to this it was answered, that out of

question ye countrie was both frutfull and pleasante,

and might yeeld riches & maintenance to ye possessors,

more easily then ye other; yet, other things con-

sidered, it would not be so fitt for them.  And first,

1617.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.      37


yt such hott countries are subject to greevuos diseases,

and many noysome impediments, which other more

temperate places are freer from, and would not so

well agree with our English bodys.  Againe, if they

should ther live, & doe well, the jealous Spaniard

would never suffer them long, but would displante

or overthrow them, as he did ye French in Florida,

who were seated furder from his richest countries;

and the sooner because they should have none to

protect them, & their owne strength would be too

smale to resiste so potent an enemie, & so neare a


      On ye other hand, for Virginia it was objected, that

if they lived among ye English wch wear ther planted,

or so near them as to be under their goverment, they

should be in as great danger to be troubled and per-

secuted for the cause of religion, as if they lived in

England, and it might be worse.  And if they lived

too farr of, they should neither have succour, nor de-

fence from them.

     But at length ye conclusion was, to live as a dis-

tincte body by them selves, under ye generall Gover-

ment of Virginia; and by their freinds to sue to his

majestie that he would be pleased to grant them free-

dome of Religion; and yt this might be obtained, they

wear putt in good hope by some great persons, of

good ranke & qualitie, that were made their freinds.

Whereupon 2. were chosen [19] & sent in to England

38                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. V.


(at ye charge of ye rest) to sollicite this matter, who

found the Virginia Company very desirous to have

them goe thither, and willing to grante them a patent,

with as ample priviliges as they had, or could grant

to any, and to give them the best furderance they

could.  And some of ye cheefe of yt company douted

not to obtaine their suite of ye king for liberty in Re-

ligion, and to have it confirmed under ye kings broad

seale, according to their desires.  But it prooved a

harder peece of worke then they tooke it for; for

though many means were used to bring it aboute, yet

it could not be effected; for ther were diverse of

good worth laboured with the king to obtaine it,

(amongst whom was one of his cheefe secretaries,*)

and some other wrought with ye archbishop to give

way therunto; but it proved all in vaine.  Yet thus

farr they prevailed, in sounding his majesties mind,

that he would connive at them, & not molest them,

provided they carried them selves peacably.  But to

allow or tolerate them by his publick authoritie, under

his seale, they found it would not be.  And this was

all the cheefe of ye Virginia companie or any other of

their best freinds could doe in ye case.  Yet they per-

swaded them to goe on, for they presumed they

should not be troubled.  And with this answer ye mes-

sengers returned, and signified what diligence had bene

used, and to what issue things were come.


* Sr Robert Nanton.

1617.]        PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                39


    But this made a dampe in ye busines, and caused

some distraction, for many were afraid that if they

should unsetle them selves, & put of their estates,

and goe upon these hopes, it might prove dangerous,

and but a sandie foundation.  Yea, it was thought

they might better have presumed hear upon without

makeing any suite at all, then, haveing made it, to be

thus rejected.  But some of ye cheefest thought other

wise, and yt they might well proceede hereupon, &

that ye kings majestie was willing enough to suffer

them without molestation, though for other reasons he

would not confirme it by any publick acte.  And fur-

dermore, if ther was no securitie in this promise inti-

mated, ther would be no great certainty in a furder

confirmation of ye same; for if after wards ther should

be a purpose or desire to wrong them, though they

had a seale as broad as ye house flore, it would not

serve ye turne; for ther would be means enew found

to recall or reverse it.  Seeing therfore the course

was probable, they must rest herein on Gods provi-

dence, as they had done in other things.

     Upon this resolution, other messengers were dis-

patched, to end with ye Virginia Company as well as

they could.  And to procure [20] a patent with as

good and ample conditions as they might by any good

means obtaine.  As also to treate and conclude with

such merchants and other freinds as had manifested

their forwardnes to provoke too and adventure in this

40                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. V.


vioage. For which end they had instructions given

them upon what conditions they should proceed with

them, or els to conclude nothing without further ad-

vice.  And here it will be requisite to inserte a letter

or too that may give light to these proceedings.


A coppie of leter from Sr: Edwin Sands, directed to Mr. John

Robinson &; Mr. William Brewster.

     After my hartie salutations. The agents of your congre-

gation, Robert Cushman & John Carver, have been in

comunication with diverse selecte gentlemen of his Majesties

Counsell for Virginia; and by ye writing of 7.  Articles sub-

scribed with your names, have given them yt good degree of

satisfaction, which hath caried them on with a resolution to

sett forward your desire in ye best sorte yt may be, for your

owne & the publick good. Divers perticulers wherof we leave

to their faith full reporte; having carried them selves heere with

that good discretion, as is both to their owne and their credite

from whence they came. And wheras being to treate for a

multitude of people, they have requested further time to con-

ferr with them that are to be interessed in this action, aboute

ye severall particularities which in ye prosecution therof will

fall out considerable, it hath been very willingly assented too.

And so they doe now returne unto you.  If therfore it may

please God so to directe your desires as that on your parts

ther fall out no just impediments, I trust by ye same direction

it shall likewise appear, that on our parte, all forwardnes to

set yon forward shall be found in ye best sorte which with

reason may be expected.  And so I betake you with this

designe (wch I hope verily is ye worke of God), to the gracious

protection and blessing of ye Highest.

London, Novbr: 12.                 Your very loving freind

Ano: 1617.                     EDWIN SANDYS.

1617.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                41


Their answer was as foloweth.


Righte Worpl:

     Our humble duties remembred, in our owne our messengers,

and our churches name, with all thankfull acknowledgmente

of your singuler love, expressing [21] itselfe, as otherwise, so

more spetially in your great care and earnest endeavor of our

good in this weightie bussines aboute Virginia, which ye less

able we are to requite, we shall thinke our selves the more

bound to comend in our prayers unto God for recompence;

whom, as for ye presente you rightly behould in our indeavors,

so shall we not be wanting on our parts (the same God assist-

ing us) to returne all answerable fruite, and respecte unto ye

labour of your love bestowed upon us.  We have with ye best

speed and consideration withall that we could, sett downe our

requests in writing, subscribed, as you willed, wth the hands of

ye greatest parte of our congregation, and have sente ye same

unto ye Counsell by our agente, & a deacon of our church,

John Carver, unto whom we have also requested a gentleman

of our company to adyone him selfe; to the care & discretion

of which two, we doe referr ye prosecuting of ye bussines.

Now we perswade our selves Right Worpp: that we need not

provoke your godly & loving minde to any further or more,

tender care of us, since you have pleased so farr to interest us

in your selfe, that, under God, above all persons and things

in the world, we relye upon you, expecting the care of your

love, counsell of your wisdome, & the help & countenance of

your authority.  Notwithstanding, for your encouragmente in

ye worke, so farr as probabilities may leade, we will not for-

beare to mention these instances of indusmente.

     1.  We veryly beleeve & trust ye Lord is with us, unto whom

& whose service we have given our selves in many trialls; and

that he will graciously prosper our indeavours according to ye

simplicitie of our harts therin.

42                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. V.


     21y.  We are well weaned from ye delicate milke of our mother

countrie, and enured to ye difficulties of a strange and hard

land, which yet in a great parte we have by patience overcome.

     31y.  The people are for the body of them, industrious, &

frugall, we thinke we may safly say, as any company of people

in the world.

     41y.  We are knite togeather as a body in a most stricte &

sacred bond and covenante of the Lord, of the violation*

wherof we make great conscience, and by vertue wherof we

doe hould our selves straitly tied to all care of each others

good, and of ye whole by every one and so mutually.

     5.  Lastly, it is not with us as with other men, whom small

things can discourage, or small discontentments cause to wish

them selves at home againe.  We knowe our entertainmente in

England, and in Holand; we shall much prejudice both our

arts & means by removall; who, if we should be driven to

returne, we should not hope to recover our present helps and

comforts, neither indeed looke ever, for our selves, to attaine

unto ye like in any other place during our lives, wch are now

drawing towards their periods.

     [22] These motives we have been bould to tender unto you,


*NOTE. -- 0 sacred bond, whilst inviollably preserved! how sweete and

precious were the fruits that flowed from ye same, but when this fidelity de-

cayed, then their ruine approached.  0 that these anciente members had not

dyed, or been dissipated, (if it had been the will of God) or els that this holy

care and constante faithfullnes had still lived, and remained with those that

survived, and were in times afterwards added unto them. But (alass) that sub-

till serpente hath slylie wound in himselfe under faire pretences of necessitie

and ye like, to untwiste these sacred bonds and tyes, and as it were insensibly

by degrees to dissolve, or in a great measure to weaken, ye same.  I have been

happy, in my first times, to see, and with much comforte to injoye, the blessed

fruits of this sweete communion, but it is now a parte of my miserie in old age,

to find and feele ye decay and wante therof (in a great measure), and with

greefe and sorrow of hart to lamente & bewaile ye same.  And for others warn-

ing and admonnition, and my owne humiliation, doe I hear note ye same.

[The above reflections of the author were penned at a later period, on the

reverse pages of his History, at this place.]



1617.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                43


which you in your wisdome may also imparte to any other our

worpp: freinds of ye Counsell with you; of all whose godly dis-

possition and loving towards our despised persons, we are most

glad, & shall not faile by all good means to continue & in-

crease ye same.  We will not be further troublesome, but doe,

with ye renewed remembrance of our humble duties to your

Worpp: and (so farr as in modestie we may be bould) to any

other of our wellwillers of the Counsell with you, we take our

leaves, comiting your persons and counsels to ye guidance and

direction of the Almighty.

Yours much bounden in all duty,

Leyden, Desem: 15.                            JOHN ROBINSON,

Ano: 1617.                                          WILLIAM BREWSTER.


For further light in these proceedings see some other letters

& notes as followeth.


The coppy of a letter sent to Sr. John Worssenham.

     Right Worpll:  with due acknowledgmente of our thankfullnse

for your singular care & pains in the bussines of Virginia, for

our, &, we hope, the comone good, we doe remember our

humble dutys unto you, and have sent inclosed, as is required,

a further explanation of our judgments in the 3. points specified

by some of his majesties Honbl Privie Counsell; and though it

be greevious unto us that such unjust insinuations are made

against us, yet we are most glad of ye occasion of making our

just purgation unto so honourable personages.  The declara-

tions we have sent inclosed, the one more breefe & generall,

which we thinke ye fitter to be presented; the other something

more large, and in which we express some smale accidentall

differances, which if it seeme good unto you and other of our

worpl freinds, you may send in stead of ye former.  Our prayers

unto God is, yt your Worpp may see the frute of your worthy

44                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. v.


endeaours, which on our parts we shall not faile to furder by

all good means in us. And so praing yt you would please with

ye convenientest speed yt may be, to give us knowledge of ye

success of ye bussines with his majesties Privie Counsell, and

accordingly what your further pleasure is, either for our direc-

tion or furtherance in ye same, so we rest

Your Worpp in all duty,

    Leyden, J an: 27.                           JOHN ROBINSON,

    Ano: 1617. old stile.                     WILLIAM BREWSTER.


The first breefe note was this.

     Touching ye Ecclesiasticall ministrie, namly of pastores for

teaching, elders for ruling, & deacons for distributing ye

churches contribution, as allso for ye too Sacrements, bap-

tisme, and ye Lords supper, we doe wholy and in all points

agree [23] with ye French reformed churches, according to

their publick confession of faith.

     The oath of Supremacie we shall willingly take if it be

required of us, and that conveniente satisfaction be not given

by our taking ye oath of Alleagence.




Ye 2. was this.

     Touching ye Ecclesiasticall ministrie, &c. as in ye former,

we agree in all things with the French reformed churches,

according to their publick confession of faith; though some

small differences be to be found in our practises, not at all

in ye substance of the things, but only in some accidentall


1.  As first, their ministers doe pray with their heads cov-

ered; ours uncovered.

2.  We chose none for Governing Elders but such as are

able to teach; which abilitie they doe not require.

1617.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                45

    3.  Their elders & deacons are anuall, or at most for 2. or

3. years; ours perpetuall.

    4.  Our elders doe administer their office in admonitions &

excommunications for publick scandals, publickly & before

ye congregation; theirs more privately, & in their consistories.

    5.  We doe administer baptisme only to such infants as

wherof ye one parente, at ye least, is of some church, which

some of ther churches doe not observe; though in it our prac-

tice accords with their publick confession and ye judgmente of

ye most larned amongst them.

     Other differences, worthy mentioning, we know none in these

points.  Then aboute ye oath, as in ye former.

Subscribed,                    JOHN R.

W. B.


Part of another letter from him that delivered these.

London. Feb: 14.


Your letter to Sr. John Worstenholme I delivered allmost

as soone as I had it, to his owne hands, and staid with him

ye opening & reading.  Ther were 2. papers inclosed, he read

them to him selfe, as also ye letter, and in ye reading he spake

to me & said, Who shall make them?  viz. ye ministers;  I

answered his Worpp that ye power of making was in ye church,

to be ordained by ye imposition of hands, by ye fittest instru-

ments they had.  It must either be in ye church or from ye

pope, & ye pope is Antichrist.  Ho! said Sr. John, what ye

pope houlds good, (as in ye Trinitie,) that we doe well to

assente too; but, said he, we will not enter into dispute now.

And as for your letters he would not show them at any hand,

least he should spoyle all.  He expected you should have been

of ye archbp minde for ye calling of ministers, but it seems you

differed.  I could have wished to have known ye contents of

your tow inclosed, at wch he stuck so much, espetially ye larger.

46                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. V.


I asked his Worp what good news he had for me to write to

morrow.  He tould me very good news, for both the kings

majestie and ye bishops have consented.  He said he would

goe to Mr. Chancelor, Sr. Fulk Grivell, as this day, & nexte

weeke I should know more.  I mett Sr. Edw: Sands on Wedens-

day night; he wished me to be at the Virginia Courte ye nexte

Wedensday, wher I purpose to be.  Thus loath to be troubl-

some at present, I hope to have somewhate nexte week of

certentie concerning you.  I comitte you to ye Lord. Yours,

                                                                                      S. B.


[24] These things being long in agitation, & mes-

sengers passing too and againe aboute them, after all

their hopes they were long delayed by many rubs that

fell in ye way; for at ye returne of these messengers

into England they found things farr otherwise then

they expected.  For ye Virginia Counsell was now so

disturbed with factions and quarrels amongst them

selves, as no bussines could well goe forward.  The

which may the better appear in one of ye messengers

letters as followeth.


          To his loving freinds, &c.

     I had thought long since to have write unto you, but could

not effecte yt which I aimed at, neither can yet sett things as

I wished; yet, notwithstanding, I doubt not but Mr. B. hath

writen to Mr. Robinson.  But I thinke my selfe bound also

to doe something, least I be thought to neglecte you.  The

maine hinderance of our proseedings in ye Virginia bussines,

is ye dissentions and factions, as they terme it, amongs ye

Counsell & Company of Virginia; which are such, as that

1619.]        PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                          47


ever since we came up no busines could by them be dis-

patched.  The occasion of this trouble amongst them is, for

that a while since Sr. Thomas Smith, repining at his many

offices & troubls, wished ye Company of Virginia to ease him

of his office in being Treasurer & Goverr. of ye Virginia Com-

pany.  Wereupon ye Company tooke occasion to dismisse him,

and chose Sr. Edwin Sands Treasurer & Goverr of ye Company.

He having 60. voyces, Sr. John Worstenholme 16. voices, and

Alderman Johnsone 24.  But Sr. Thomas Smith, when he saw

some parte of his honour lost, was very angrie, & raised a

faction to cavill & contend aboute ye election, and sought to

taxe Sr. Edwin with many things that might both disgrace him,

and allso put him by his office of Governour.  In which con-

tentions they yet stick, and are not fit nor readie to intermedle

in any bussines; and what issue things will come to we are

not yet certaine.  It is most like Sr. Edwin will carrie it away,

and if he doe, things will goe well in Virginia; if otherwise,

they will goe ill enough allways.  We hope in some 2. or 3.

Court days things will setle.  Mean space I thinke to goe

downe into Kente, & come up againe aboute 14. days, or 3.

weeks hence; except either by these afforesaid contentions,

or by ye ille tidings from Virginia, we be wholy discouraged,

of which tidings I am now to speake.

     Captaine Argoll is come home this weeke (he upon notice

of ye intente of ye Counsell, came away before Sr. Georg

Yeardley came ther, and so ther is no small dissention).  But

his tidings are ill, though his person be wellcome.  He saith

Mr. Blackwells shipe came not ther till March, but going

towards winter, they had still norwest winds, which carried

them to the southward beyond their course.  And ye mr of

ye ship & some 6. of ye mariners dieing, it seemed they could

not find ye bay, till after long seeking & beating aboute.  Mr.

Blackwell is dead, & Mr. Maggner, ye Captain; yea, ther are

dead, he saith, 130. persons, one & other in yt ship; it is said

48                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. V.


ther was in all an 180. persons in ye ship, so as they were

packed togeather like herings.  They had amongst them ye

fluxe, and allso wante of fresh water; so as it is hear rather

wondred at yt so many are alive, then that so many are dead.

The marchants hear say it was Mr. Blackwells faulte to pack

so many in ye ship; yea, & ther were great mutterings & repin-

ings amongst them, and upbraiding of Mr. Blackwell, for his

dealing and dispossing of them, when they saw how he had

dispossed of them, & how he insulted over them.  Yea, ye

streets at Gravsend runge of their extreame quarrelings, cry-

ing out one of another, Thou hast brought me to this, and, I

may thanke the for this.  Heavie newes it is, and I would be

glad to heare how farr it will discourage.  I see none hear dis-

couraged much, [25] but rather desire to larne to beware by

other mens harmes, and to amend that wherin they have failed.

As we desire to serve one another in love, so take heed of

being inthraled by any imperious persone, espetially if they be

discerned to have an eye to them selves.  It doth often trouble

me to thinke that in this bussines we are all to learne and none

to teach; but better so, then to depend upon such teachers as

Mr. Blackwell was.  Such a strategeme he once made for Mr.

Johnson & his people at Emden, wch was their subversion.  But

though he ther clenlily (yet unhonstly) plucked his neck out

of ye collar, yet at last his foote is caught.  Hear are no

letters come, ye ship captain Argole came in is yet in ye west

parts; all yt  we hear is but his report; it seemeth he came

away secretly.  The ship yt Mr. Blackwell went in will be hear

shortly.  It is as Mr. Robinson once said; he thought we should

hear no good of them.

      Mr. B. is not well at this time; whether he will come back

to you or goe into ye north, I yet know not.  For my selfe,

I hope to see an end of this bussines ere I come, though I am

sorie to be thus from you; if things had gone roundly forward,

I should have been with you within these 14. days.  I pray

1619]         PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                49


God directe us, and give us that spirite which is fitting for

such a bussines.  Thus having sumarily pointed at things wch

Mr. Brewster (I thinke) hath more largly write of to Mr. Robin-

son, I leave you to the Lords protection.

Yours in all readines, &c.                 London, May 8.

ROBART CUSHMAN.               Ano: 1619.


     A word or tow by way of digression touching this

Mr. Blackwell; he was an elder of ye church at Am-

sterdam, a man well known of most of them. He

declined from ye trueth wth Mr. Johnson & ye rest,

and went with him when yey parted assunder in yt

wofull maner, wch brought so great dishonour to God,

scandall to ye trueth, & outward ruine to them selves

in this world.  But I hope, notwithstanding, through

ye mercies of ye Lord, their souls are now at rest with

him in ye heavens, and yt they are arrived in ye Haven

of hapines; though some of their bodies were thus

buried in ye terrable seas, and others sunke under ye

burthen of bitter affiictions.  He with some others had

prepared for to goe to Virginia.  And he, with sundrie

godly citizens, being at a private meeing (I take it a

fast) in London, being discovered, many of them were

apprehended, wherof Mr. Blackwell was one; but he

so glosed wth ye bps,* and either dissembled or flatly

denyed ye trueth which formerly he had maintained;

and not only so, but very unworthily betrayed and

accused another godly man who had escaped, that so

                             * Bishops.


50                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. V.


he might slip his own neck out of ye collar, & to

obtaine his owne freedome brought others into bonds.

Wherupon he so wone ye bps favour (but lost ye Lord's)

as he was not only dismiste, but in open courte ye arch-

bishop gave him great applause and his sollemne bless-

ing to proseed in his vioage.  But if such events follow

ye bps blessing, happie are they yt misse ye same; it

is much better to keepe a good conscience and have

ye Lords blessing, whether in life or death.

     But see how ye man thus apprehended by Mr. Black-

wells means, writs to a freind of his.


      Right dear freind & christian brother, Mr. Carver, I salute

you & yours in ye Lord, &c.  As for my owne presente con-

dition, I doubt not but yon well understand it ere this by our

brother Maistersone, who should have tasted of ye same cupp,

had his place of residence & his person been as well knowne

as my selfe.  Some what I have written to Mr. Cushman how

ye matter still continues.  I have petitioned twise to Mr. Sherives,

and once to my Lord Cooke, and have used such reasons to

move them to pittie, that if they were not overruled by some

others, I suppose I should soone gaine my libertie; as that I

was a yonge man living by my [26] credite, indebted to diverse

in our citie, living at more then ordinarie charges in a close &

tedious prison; besids great rents abroad, all my bnssines lying

still, my only servante lying lame in ye countrie, my wife being

also great with child.  And yet no answer till ye lords of his

majesties Connsell gave consente.  Howbeit, Mr. Blackwell,

a man as deepe in this action as I, was delivered at a cheaper

rate, with a great deale less adoe; yea, with an addition of

ye Archp:  blessing.  I am sorie for Mr. Blackwels weaknes, I

wish it may prove no worse.  But yet he & some others of

1618.]         PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                          51


them, before their going, were not sorie, but thought it was for

ye best that I was nominated, not because ye Lord sanctifies evill

to good, but that ye action was good, yea for ye best.  One

reason I well remember he used was, because this trouble

would encrease ye Virginia plantation, in that now people be-

gane to be more generally inclined to goe; and if he had not

nomminated some such as I, he had not bene free, being it was

knowne that diverse citizens besids them selves were ther.

I expecte an answer shortly what they intende conscerning

me; I purpose to write to some others of you, by whom you

shall know the certaintie.  Thus not haveing further at present

to acquaint you withall, comending myselfe to your prair's, I

cease, & comitte you and us all to ye Lord.

From my chamber in Wodstreete Compter.

Your freind, & brother in bonds,


Septr: 4. Ano: 1618.


    But thus much by ye way, which may be of instruc-

tion & good use.

    But at last, after all these things, and their long

attendance, they had a patent granted them, and con-

firmed under ye Companies seale; but these devissions

and distractions had shaken of many of ther pretended

freinds, and disappointed them of much of their hoped

for & proffered means.  By the advise of some freinds

this pattente was not taken in ye name of any of their

owne, but in ye name of Mr. John Wincob (a religious

gentleman then belonging to ye Countess of Lincoline),

who intended to goe with them. But God so disposed

as he never went, nor they ever made use of this patente,

52                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. VI.


which had cost them so much labour and charge, as by

ye sequell will appeare.  This patente being sente over

for them to veiw & consider, as also the passages aboute

ye propossitions between them & such marchants &

freinds as should either goe or adventure with them,

and espetially with those* on whom yey did cheefly de-

pend for shipping and means, whose proffers had been

large, they were requested to fitt and prepare them

selves with all speed.  A right emblime, it may be,

of ye uncertine things of this world; yt when men have

toyld them selves for them, they vanish into smoke.



The 6. Chap.


Conscerning ye agreements and artickles between them,

and such marchants & other's as adventured moneys;

with other things falling out aboute making their


    UPON ye receite of these things by one of their mes-

sengers, they had a sollemne meeting and a day of

humilliation to seeke ye Lord for his direction; and

their pastor tooke this texte, 1 Sam. 23. 3, 4.  And

David's men said unto him, see, we be aft'aid hear in

Judah, how much more if we come -to Keilah against

ye host of the Phillistines?  Then David asked counsell

of ye Lord againe, &c. From which texte he taught

many things very aptly, and befitting ther present

*Mr. Tho: Weston, &c.

1620.]         PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.               53


occasion and condition, strengthing them against their

fears and perplexities, and incouraging them in their

resolutions. [27]  After which they concluded both

what number and what persons should prepare them

selves to goe with ye first; for all yt were willing to

have gone could, not gett ready for their other affairs

in so shorte a time; neither if all could have been

ready, had ther been means to have trasported them

alltogeather.  Those that staied being ye greater num-

ber required ye pastor to stay with them; and indeede

for other reasons he could not then well goe, and so

it was ye more easilie yeelded unto.  The other then

desired ye elder, Mr. Brewster, to goe with them, which

was also condescended unto.  It was also agreed on

by mutuall consente and covenante, that those that

went should be an absolute church of them selves,

as well as those yt staid; seing in such a dangrous

vioage, and a removall to such a distance, it might

come to pass they should (for ye body of them) never

meete againe in this world; yet with this proviso, that

as any of ye rest came over to them, or of ye other

returned upon occasion, they should be reputed as mem-

bers without any further dismission or testimoniall.

It was allso promised to those yt wente first, by ye

body of ye rest, that if ye Lord gave them life, & meas,

& opportunitie, they would come to them as soone as

they could.

    Aboute this time, whilst they were perplexed with

54                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. VI.


ye proseedings of ye Virginia Company, & ye ill news

from thence aboute Mr. Blackwell & his company, and

making inquirey about ye hiring & buying of shiping

for their vioage, some Dutchmen made them faire offers

aboute goeing with them.  Also one Mr. Thomas Weston,

a mrchant of London, came to Leyden aboute ye same

time, (who was well aquainted with some of them, and

a furtherer of them in their former proseedings,) have-

ing much conferance wth Mr. Robinson & other of ye.

cheefe of them, perswaded them to goe on (as it seems)

& not to medle with ye Dutch, or too much to depend

on ye Virginia Company; for if that failed, if they came

to resolution, he and such marchants as were his freinds

(togeather with their owne means) would sett them

forth; and they should make ready, and neither feare

wante of shipping nor money; for what they wanted

should be provided.  And, not so much for him selfe

as for ye satisfing of such frends as he should procure

to adventure in this bussines, they were to draw such

articls of agreemente, and make such propossitions, as

might ye better induce his freinds to venture.  Upon

which (after ye formere conclusion) articles were drawne

& agreed unto, and were showne unto him, and approved

by him; and afterwards by their messenger (Mr. John

Carver) sent into England, who, togeather with Robart

Cushman, were to receive ye moneys & make provissione

both for shiping & other things for ye vioage; with this

charge, not to exseede their coffiission, but to proseed

1620.]        PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                55


according to ye former articles.  Also some were chossen

to doe ye like for such things as were to be prepared

there; so those that weare to goe, prepared them selves

with all speed, and sould of their estats and (such as

were able) put in their moneys into ye commone stock,

which was disposed by those appointed, for ye making

of generall provissions.  Aboute this time also they

had heard, both by Mr. Weston and others, yt sundrie

Honbl:  Lords had obtained a large grante from ye king,

for ye more northerly parts of that countrie, derived

out of ye Virginia patente, and wholy secluded from

their Govermente, and to be called by another name,

viz. New-England.  Unto which Mr. Weston, and ye

cheefe of them, begane to incline it was [28] best for

them to goe, as for other reasons, so cheefly for ye hope

of present profite to be made by ye fishing that was

found in yt countrie.

    But as in all bussineses ye acting parte is most diffi-

culte, espetially wher ye worke of many agents must

concurr, so it was found in this; for some of those

yt should have gone in England, fell of & would not

goe; other marchants & freinds yt had offered to ad-

venture their moneys withdrew, and pretended many

excuses.  Some disliking they wente not to Guiana;

others againe would adventure nothing excepte they

wente to Virginia.  Some againe (and those that were

most relied on) fell in utter dislike with Virginia, and

would doe nothing if they wente thither.  In ye midds

56                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. VI.


of these distractions, they of Leyden, who had put of

their estats, and laid out their moneys, were brought

into a greate streight, fearing what issue these things

would come too; but at length ye generalitie was swaid

to this latter opinion.

     But now another difficultie arose, for Mr. Weston

and some other that were for this course, either for

their better advantage or rather for ye drawing on of

others, as they pretended, would have some of those

conditions altered yt were first agreed on at Leyden. 

To which ye 2. agents sent from Leyden (or at least

one of them who is most charged with it) did con-

sente; seeing els yt all was like to be dashte, &

ye opportunitie lost, and yt they which had put of

their estats and paid in their moneys were in hazard

to be undon.  They presumed to conclude with ye

marchants on those termes, in some things contrary

to their order & comission, and without giving them

notice of ye same; yea, it was conceled least it should

make any furder delay; which was ye cause afterward

of much trouble & contention.

      It will be meete I here inserte these conditions,

which are as foloweth.


     Ano: 1620. July 1.

     1.  The adventurers & planters doe agree, that every person

that goeth being aged 16. years & upward, be rated at 10li.,

and ten pounds to be accounted a single share.

1620.]        PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                57


    2.  That he that goeth in person, and furnisheth him selfe

out with 10li. either in money or other provissions, be accounted

as haveing 20li. in stock, and in ye devission shall receive a

double share.

     3.  The persons transported & ye adventurers shall continue

their joynt stock & partnership togeather, ye space of 7. years,

(excepte some unexpected impedimente doe cause ye whole

company to agree otherwise,) during which time, all profits &

benifits that are gott by trade, traffick, trucking, working, fish-

ing, or any other means of any person or persons, remaine still

in ye comone stock untill ye division.

     4.  That at their coming ther, they chose out such a number

of fitt persons, as may furnish their ships and boats for fishing

upon ye sea; imploying the rest in their severall faculties upon

ye land; as building houses, tilling, and planting ye ground,

& makeing shuch comodities as shall be most use full for ye


      5.  That at ye end of ye 7. years, ye capitall & profits, viz.

the houses, lands, goods and chatles, be equally devided be-

twixte ye adventurers, and planters; wch done, every man

shall be free from other of them of any debt or detrimente

concerning this adventure.

[29]  6.  Whosoever cometh to ye colonie herafter, or putteth

any into ye stock, shall at the ende of ye 7. years be alowed

proportionably to ye time of his so doing.

     7.  He that shall carie his wife & children, or servants, shall

be alowed for everie person now aged 16. years & upward, a

single share in ye devision, or if he provid them necessaries,

a duble share, or if they be between 10. year old and 16., then

2. of them to be reconed for a person, both in trasportation

and devision.

      8.  That such children as now goe, & are under ye age of

ten years, have noe other shar in ye devi~ion, but 50. acers of

unmanured land.

58                         HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. VI.


     9.  That such persons as die before ye 7. years be expired,

their executors to have their parte or shaff at ye devision, pro-

portionably to ye time of their life in ye collonie.

     10.  That all such persons as are of this collonie, are to have

their meate, drink, apparell, and all provissions out of ye comon

stock & goods of ye said collonie.


     The cheefe & principall differences betwene these &

the former conditions, stood in those 2. points; that

ye houses, & lands improved, espetialy gardens & home

lotts should remaine undevided wholy to ye planters

at ye 7. years end.  2ly, yt they should have had 2.

days in a weeke for their owne private imploymente,

for ye more comforte of them selves and their families,

espetialy such as had families.  But because letters are

by some wise men counted ye best parte of histories,

I shall shew their greevances hereaboute by their owne

letters, in which ye passages of things will be more

truly discerned.


A letter of Mr. Robinsons to John Carver.

June 14. 1620. N. Stile.

My dear freind & brother, whom with yours I alwaise re-

member in my best affection, and whose wellfare I shall never

cease to comend to God by my best & most earnest praires.

You doe throwly understand by our generall letters ye estate

of things hear, which indeed is very pitifull; espetialy by wante

of shiping, and not seeing means lickly, much less certaine, of

having it provided; though withal! ther be great want of money

& means to doe needfull things.  Mr. Pickering, you know

before this, will not defray a peny hear; though Robart Gush-

1620.]                  PLYMOUTH  PLANTATION.                59


man presumed of I know not how many 1001i. from him, &

I know not whom.  Yet it seems strange yt we should be put

to him to receive both his & his partners adventer, and yet

Mr. Weston write unto him, yt in regard of it, he hath drawne

upon him a 1001i. more.  But ther is in this some misterie,

as indeed it seems ther is in ye whole course.  Besids, wheras

diverse are to pay in some parts of their moneys yet behinde,

they refuse to doe it, till they see shiping provided, or a course

taken for it.  Neither doe I thinke is ther a man hear would pay

any thing, if he had againe his money in his purse.  You

know right well we depended on Mr. Weston alone, and upon

such means as he would procure for this commone bussines;

and when we had in hand another course with ye Dutchmen,

broke it of at his motion, and upon ye conditions by him shortly

after propounded.  He did this in his love I know, but things

appeare not answerable from him hitherto.  That he should have

first have put in his moneys, is thought by many to have

been but fitt, but yt I can well excuse, he being a marchante

and haveing use of it to his benefite; wheras others, if it had

been in their hands, would have consumed it.  [30] But yt he

should not but have had either shipping ready before this time,

or at least certaine means, and course, and ye same knowne to

us for it, or have taken other order otherwise, cannot in my

conscience be excused.  I have heard yt when he hath been

moved in the bussines, he hath put it of from him selfe, and

referred it to ye others;* and would come to Georg Morton,

& enquire news of him aboute things, as if he had scarce been

some accessarie unto it.  Wether he hath failed of some helps

from others which he expected, and so be not well able to goe

through with things, or whether he hath feared least you should

be ready too Boone & so encrease ye charge of shiping above

yt is meete, or whether he have thought by withhoulding to put

 *  Yowthers in the manuscript, an illegibly written word, doubtless intended

for "ye others."

60                        HISTORY OF                        [CHAP. VI.


us upon straits, thinking yt therby Mr. Brewer and Mr. Picker-

ing would be drawne by importunitie to doe more, or what

other misterie is in it, we know not; but sure 1ve are yt things

are not answerable to such an occasion.  Mr. Weston maks

himselfe mery with our endeavors about buying a ship, but

we have done nothing in this but with good reason, as I am

perswaded, nor yet that I know in any thing els, save in those

tow; ye one, that we imployed Robart Cushman, who is known

(though a good man, & of spetiall abilities in his kind, yet)

most unfitt to deale for other men, by reason of his singularitie,

and too great indifferancie for any conditions, and for (to speak

truly) that* we have had nothing from him but termes & pre-

sumptions.  The other, y