Gambar halaman
PDF

answered, the same day, with a mere repetition of the request to be informed of complaints against them. The reply of the Commissioners propounded their lofty inquiry again, in a letter consisting of a single sentence; whereupon they were informed by the Court: “We humbly conceive it is beyond our line to declare our sense of the power, intent, or purpose of your commission. It is enough for us to acquaint you what we conceive is granted to us by his Majesty's royal charter. If you rest not satisfied with our former answer, it is our trouble, but we hope it is not our fault.” The Commissioners, with a rebuke May 23. for “such dilatory answers,” sent notice, that, on the following day, “at nine of the clock of the morning, at the house of Captain Thomas Breedon,” they meant to hear and determine the cause of Mr. Thomas Deane and others, plaintiffs, against the Governor and Company, and Joshua Scottow, merchant, defendants.”” The hearing did not take place. At eight o'clock in the morning of the appointed day, a messenger of the General Court took his stand before the door of Captain Breedon,” and published, with sound of trumpet, a proclamation, whereby the Court explained the intended usurpation of the Commissioners, and then, , “in his Majesty's name, and by the authority to them committed by his royal charter, declared to all the people of this Colony, that, in observance of their duty

May 19

May 22.

May 24.

* Mass. Rec., IV. (ii) 207-210. – exaltation. On the day when the

Deane had been associated with Kirke
and Kellond in the complaint of breach-
es of the Navigation Laws. (Ibid.,
218.)
* The house occupied by Breedon
is said to have been on the east side of
Hanover Street, near the corner of
Cross Street, where the old Hancock
School-House lately stood.
Of course, this was a time of some

Commissioners were thus defied, the
Magistrate Gookin, taking the oath
of allegiance, recorded his declaration
that he was to “be so understood as
not to infringe the liberty and privileges
granted in his Majesty's royal charter"
(Massachusetts Archives, CVI. 132);
and two days after, Danforth accom-
panied his oath with a similar protest.
(Ibid., 133.)

to God and to his Majesty, and to the trust committed unto them by his Majesty's good subjects in this Colony, they could not consent unto, nor give their approbation of the proceedings of the above-said gentlemen; neither could it consist with their allegiance that they owed to his Majesty, to countenance any should in so high a manner go cross unto his Majesty's direct charge, or should be their abettors or consenters thereunto” The proclamation was repeated, with like parade, in two other parts of the town. The Commissioners saw themselves to be helpless. “Gentlemen,” they wrote, “we thought, when we received our Commission and Instructions, that the King and his Council knew what was granted to you in your charter, and what right his Majesty had to give us such commission and commands; and we thought the King, his Chancellor, and his Secretaries, had sufficiently convinced you that this commission did not infringe your charter; but, since you will needs misconstrue all these letters and endeavors, and that you will make use of that authority which he hath given you to oppose that sovereignty which he hath over you, we shall not lose more of our labors upon you, but refer it to his Majesty's wisdom, who is of power enough to make himself to be obeyed in all his dominions.” Two other communications were made on that day. The Court placed in the hands of the Commissioners a map of their territory, as they understood its limits to be defined ; and the Commissioners furnished a list of a number of amendments which they proposed to have made in the existing laws, in order to a better recognition of the King's authority, and compliance with his wishes. The Court summoned Deane and his associates before them for a re-examination of their complaint, and sent a notice to the Commissioners, in order that, if so disposed, they might be present, and, “accord

May 26.

ing to his Majesty's command to them, might understand the grounds of the said complaint.” The Commissioners replied: “We do in his Majesty's name declare to the General Court, that it is contrary to his Majesty's will and pleasure that the cause should be examined by any other Court or persons than ourselves, who are, by his Majesty's commission, the sole judges thereof.” This was their last act before they dispersed from Boston." Nicolls went back to his government of New York, and his colleagues proceeded to the northern towns of MassachuSetts. In the twenty-two years that had passed since the death of Captain John Mason; his family had had no sex many favorable opportunity for reclaiming his Amershire. ican estate. The elder of his two grandsons died in infancy. Soon after the younger came of age, an agent was sent to the Piscataqua to look after the property. An action, brought by him in the Court of Norfolk County for the possession of some lands, raised the question whether they were within the limits of Massachusetts, and gave occasion to that exploration of the northern boundary which has been mentioned in another place.” Having ascertained that the jurisdiction loa was their own, but that Mason had acquired ** some rights in the soil, the General Court ordered “that a quantity of land, with privilege of the river, e - - - - proportionable to Captain John Mason's disbursements,” should be laid out to his heirs.” For the present, nothing more was done. At the restoration of the monarchy, Robert Tufton, his heir, who had taken the name of Mason, hoped for more favor than the Commonwealth could have been expected to show to his loyal family. His petition to the King was referred to the AttorneyGeneral, who reported that “Robert Mason, grandson and heir to Captain John Mason, had a good and legal title to the Province of New Hampshire.” It does not appear that the King had given any special directions on this subject. But it afforded good materials for another quarrel, and the three Commissioners took their measures accordingly. In the four towns by the Piscataqua, where by their violent conduct—especially that of Carr — the people were “so terrified and amazed that they " did not well know what to do,” they obtained a few signatures to a petition to the King, praying him for relief from the government of Massachusetts. The towns of Portsmouth and Dover, in alarm, applied to the General Court, which appointed a committee of three Magistrates, – Danforth, Leverett, and Lusher, — to repair to that region, and act as they might deem circumstances to require. They soon reported, that,

* Mass. Rec., IV. (ii) 210 – 215. — with them the next day after their

Carr and Maverick, reporting to Ben-
nett the interruption to their intended
judicial proceedings, say the trumpet
was blown “by eight of the clock in the
morning, under Colonel Cartwright's
chamber-window, he being then lame
of the gout at Captain Breedon's, where
we intended to have sat.” (Letter
of November 20, in the State-Paper
Office.) — Davenport wrote from New
Haven to Leverett, June 24th, in a
strain of triumph for the present result
of these transactions. (Hutch. Coll.,
392.) Leverett had acquainted him

conclusion. Davenport uses the oppor-
tunity to bewail the evil omen of the
decision of the recent Synod respecting
baptism, and the political catastrophe
in New Haven.
A person attentive to chronological
coincidences may observe, not without
interest, that the month of the first ex-
citement in Boston against the Stamp
Act was the Centennial Anniversary
of this defeat of the royal Commis-
sioners.
* See Vol. I. pp. 404, 523, 592.
* See above, pp. 385, 386.

The royal

Commission

ers in New

Hampshire. 1665.

uly

Oct. 10.

* Mass. Rec., IV. (i.) 156.

* See Belknap, History of New Hampshire (Farmer's edition), p. 59; comp. 436.

* Carr and his companions wrote home that the terrifying action was on the other side; —“those who have declared themselves loyal are very much threatened, and in great fear.” At the same time they expressed their views as to the course fit to be taken with Massachusetts; —“if writing will serve the turn (as they suppose it will), they

can keep the business in agitation until the King, and all his Secretaries there, and all his good subjects here, be weary of it...... Both the readiest and surest way is for his Majesty to take away their charter, which they have several ways forfeited, which King Charles was about to do a little before the Scottish war in 1636 or 1637. . . . . . But this, without a visible force, will not be ef. fected.” (Letter of Carr, Cartwright, and Maverick, of July 26, 1665, O'Callaghan, Documents, &c., III. 102.)

by the action of town-meetings at Portsmouth and Dover, and by certificates from Exeter and Hampton, they were assured that the great body of the people in those places had had no hand in the movement, and deprecated any change. From Kittery, on the opposite bank of the Piscataqua, Carr wrote to the committee, “desiring and requiring they would forbear troubling or molesting” the petitioners. His note received no attention. “One Abraham Corbet, of Portsmouth, a nourisher of much vice and wickedness by giving irregular entertainment of loose persons in his house, had been very active in drawing up and promoting the subscription.” The committee sent him a summons to appear before the General loss Court, which subsequently condemned him to ** pay a fine of twenty pounds, to be incapable of “bearing any office,” and to “give one hundred pounds' bond, with sufficient security, for his peaceable demeanor for the future.” Captain Breedon became one of his sureties, as he probably had been one of his prompters. From the Piscataqua towns, the three Commissioners proceeded further to the east. After the death of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, his eldest son, John, had seen no encouragement, in the state of the times, to attempt the recovery of his supposed rights.” During the protectorate of Richard Cromwell, the son of John Gorges, by name Ferdinando, put together some of his grandfather's papers, and published them in the book, called the “Brief Narrative,” which has been often quoted in these pages. After the King's restoration, there were symptoms of disaffection to Massachusetts in the eastern settlements. For three years they

1659.

* Mass. Rec., (ii.) 265 – 273. meet or do anything commanded them

* Ibid., 304. — According to a state- by the Commissioners, at their utmost ment of the Commissioners (Hutch. perils.” But if there is anything of this Coll., 419), “two marshals were sent in the Records, I have overlooked it. from the Governor and Council with a "See above, p. 383. warrant to forbid the towns either to

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »