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fare.” The death of the Protector is not so much as referred to in the public records.” Massachusetts had been early put upon her guard against relying on the change of government that had taken place in England for her own security from usur
pation. In the third year after the execution of the King, the General Court” were startled by infor- isol. Oct. 24.
mation from Winslow, “that it was the Parliament's pleasure that we should take a new patent from them, and keep our courts and issue our warrants in their names.” The Court took a year to deliberate on the manner of their answer, or to await some favorable turn of events to determine its form. The time which they chose for making it was when the Dutch war had just begun. The coincidence is striking, even if the reader should hesitate to ascribe to the Court an intention of hinting to Parliament, that, if pushed too far, they would not be at a loss in what quarter to look for the protection of a powerful alliance. In their reply, they represented their right, by charter, “to live under the gov- ico. ernment of a Governor and Magistrates of their “* own choosing, and under laws of their own making.” They recounted their exertions and sacrifices, and bespoke generous treatment in consideration of the purposes with which these had been made. And they claimed the more favor, because their affection to the Parliament, shown by “sending over useful men, who had been of good use, and done good, acceptable services to the army,” and by other friendly acts, had exposed them to “the hatred and threats of other English colonies,” as well as to “the loss of divers ships and goods, taken by the King's party.” At the same time, in a letter to Cromwell, chiefly relating to his offer of lands in Ireland, they “humbly petitioned his Excellence to show what favor God should be pleased to direct him unto, on their behalf, to the most honorable Parliament.”” The “other English colonies,” with which Massachusetts, by her attachment to the new government, had been brought into unfriendly relations, were “Barbadoes, Virginia, Bermudas, and Antego.” Their persistent loyalty had been punished by an ordinance of Parliament forbidding Englishmen to trade with them; a measure which the General Court of Massachusetts secissi, onded by a similar prohibition addressed to mas** ters of vessels belonging to their jurisdiction. The rule was to remain in force “until the compliance of the aforesaid places with the Commonwealth of England, or the further order of this Court; ” and the penalty of disobedience was to be a confiscation of ship and cargo.” In respect to Virginia, it may be presumed that this step was not the less willingly taken, on account of a grudge of some years' standing. At an early period of the civil war, that Colony had banished Non-conformist ministers who had gone thither from Massachusetts; and the offence had been repeated five years afterward." It was about the same time—when England had as much business on her hands as could easily be managed, and when, if she should become rigorous to her consor distant children, they were sure of being welcomed ". to the protection of a great Protestant power, now preparing to contest with her the empire of the seas — that the Massachusetts people ventured on what was liable to be interpreted as a pretension of independent sovereignty. They undertook to coin money. The brisk trade with the West Indies introduced a quantity of Spanish silver; and along with it there was “much counterfeit coin brought into the country, and much loss accruing in that respect.”* The General Court established a mint, and appointed John Hull, a goldsmith, to be iga. mint-master. He was to receive “bullion, plate, ** or Spanish coin,” and convert it “into twelve-penny, sixpenny, and three-penny pieces, which should be for form flat, and square on the sides, and stamped on the one side with N. E. and on the other side with xii", vi", and iii", according to the value of each piece, together with a privy mark, which should be appointed every three months by the Governor, and known only to him and the sworn officers of the mint.” Each piece contained three quarters as much silver as the English coins of the same denomination; and this money and sterling money were declared to be the only legal tender, after three months from the date of the Act.” By a later vote in the same year, “for the prevention of washing or clipping,” it was ordered “that henceforth all pieces of money coined as aforesaid should have a double ring on either side, with this inscription, MAssACHUSETTS, and a tree in the centre, on the one side; and NEw ENGLAND, and the year of our Lord, on the other side.” The coinage was continued for more than thirty years, and different dies were in use from time to time; but all the money of the denominations now specified preserved the date of the year when the mint was estabThe course of many of the principal founders had now been run. William Bradford was in his sixty
* Letter of the General Court of Massachusetts to Cromwell, August
in the Diary of John Hull, of Boston,
24, 1654 (Hutchinson, I. 452.) After
We received the sad news of the death
1650. Oct. 8.
* Mass. Rec., IV. (i.) 110. – Both letters are printed by Hutchinson (History, I. 448–452). He has obscured the subject by erroneously referring them to the year 1651.
* Mass. Rec., III. 224; comp. 240. — At this Court also the long-banished cross of St. George was restored to the flag. (See Vol. I. 430,431.) It had become invested with new associations. “Forasmuch as this Court conceives the old English colors now used by the
Parliament of England to be a necessary badge of distinction between the English and other nations in all places of the world, till the State of England shall alter the same, which we much desire, we being of the same nation, hath therefore ordered, that the Captain of the Castle shall presently advance the aforesaid colors of England upon the Castle upon all necessary occasions.” (Mass. Rec., III. 224.)
* Winthrop, II. 96, 384.
* John Hull, Diary, in Archaeol. Amer., III. 145.
* Mass. Rec., IV. (i.) 84.—It seems that no pieces “square on the sides” were ever coined. Within a few days after the passing of the order, a com
mittee appointed to oversee its execution “determined and declared that the officers for the minting of money should coin all the money that they minted in a round form.” (Mass. Archives, C. 40; comp. Archaeol. Amer., III. 288.) There are specimens of this money —
a thin disk of silver, inscribed according to the order — in public and private collections in this country; though they are far from common. The fol
Folkes (Table of English Silver and Gold Coins, 98) and Ruding (Annals of the Coinage, &c., II. 304–307) both give an account and a representation of these pieces. Ruding (Ibid., III. 368) quotes Thoresby as saying that in New England they were called North-Easters.
* Mass. Rec., IV. (i.) 104. — Hutchinson's statement (History, I. 165), that “a very large sum was coined,” seems not to accord with what we now know of the financial administration of the College as late as 1659. (See above, p. 399, note.) But, on the other hand,
lowing cut represents them. Sixpenny
there was so large an exportation of
eighth year when he died.
spirit, his good judgment, his courage, activity, impar
- Death of For thirty-seven .
on the Journal of the Court, has no
ber when accounts were commonly kept
and to a later coinage of pieces of
reader will observe a slight deviation from the order of the Court. Masathusets is the uniform spelling on the face of the coins.