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conceive I sought by delays to put off the business. To this it was answered by Sir Edward Cooke, that I had gained great favor of the House to receive the particulars in writing, by which I was able to plead my own cause (though as yet I had it not). But I acknowledged the greatness of their favors, and attended their further commands, according to the time assigned.
My appearance the third time, together with my Counsel at Law.
HAVING received the House's exceptions against the Patent, I drew up my full answers to every particular, and entertained for my counsel Mr. Finch of Gray's Inn (since that the Lord Finch), and Mr. Caltrup, afterwards Attorney General of the Court of Wards. To these I delivered my instructions, assigning them to proceed accordingly. But, as in great causes before great states, where the Court seems to be a party, counsel oftentimes is shy of wading farther than with their safety they may return. However, both did so well, the one for the matter of justice, the other for the matter of law, as in common judgment the objections were fully answered; and they seeming to be at a stand, the House demanded of me what I had more to say myself. I being sensible wherein my counsel came short of my intentions, besought the House to take into their grave considerations, that the most part of the fishermen spoken of had, in obedience to his Majesty's royal grant, conformed themselves thereunto, and I hoped that they were but particular persons that opposed themselves against it. But admit all of them had joined together, yet had that belonged rather to the Council for those affairs to have complained of them for the many injuries and outrages done by them. That the Council, of their own charge and cost, had first discovered that goodly coast, and found that hopeful means to settle a flourishing Plantation for the good of this kingdom in general, as well great lords as knights, esquires, gentlemen, merchants, fishermen, tradesmen, husbandmen, laborers, and the like, and that both to honor and profit. That the enlargement of the King's dominions, with the advancement of
religion in those desert parts, are matters of highest conse quence, and far exceeding a simple and disorderly course of fishing, which would soon be given over, for that so goodly a coast could not be long left unpeopled by the French, Spanish, or Dutch; so that if the Plantation be destroyed, the fishing is lost, and then the profit and honor of our nation must perish (in all opinion) both to present and future ages, which these men principally aimed at. That the mischief already sustained by those disorderly persons, are inhumane and intolerable; for, first, in their manners and behavior they are worse than the very savages, impudently and openly lying with their women, teaching their men to drink drunk, to swear and blaspheme the name of God, and in their drunken humor to fall together by the ears, thereby giving them occasion to seek revenge. Besides, they cozen and abuse the savages in trading and trafficking, selling them salt covered with butter instead of so much butter, and the like cozenages and deceits, both to bring the planters and all our nation into contempt and disgrace, thereby to give the easier passage to those people that dealt more righteously with them; that they sell unto the savages muskets, fowlingpieces, powder, shot, swords, arrow-heads, and other arms, wherewith the savages slew many of those fishermen, and are grown so able and so apt, as they become most dangerous to the planters. And I concluded,
That in this particular I had been drawn, out of my zeal to my country's happiness, to engage my estate so deeply as I had done; and having but two sons I adventured the life of one of them (who is there at this present) for the better advancement thereof, (with others of his kinsmen of his own name, with many other private friends), which so nearly concerned me, that if I did express more passion than ordinary in the delivery thereof, I hoped the House would be pleased to pardon me; affirming, that if I should do less, I might appear willing to suffer them to perish by my negligence, connivance, improvidence or ungratefulness, to the dishonor of my nation, and burden of my own conscience. But these things being considered, I presume the honorable assembly will do what in all respects shall be both just and lawful, and that in confidence thereof, I will cease to be further troublesome.
What followed upon my Answer to the House's Exceptions.
BEING persuaded in my own understanding, as well as in the judgment of those that accompanied me, I had sufficiently satisfied the most part of the House, the rather for that they forbade the lawyers to speak any more, after I began to deliver what I had to say for myself,-with this hope I departed, attending the success, but understanding (from those that were favorers and parties with me) that my opposites held their resolutions to make it a public grievance, and for such to present it to his Majesty.
Hereupon I thought it became me to use my best means his Majesty.might have sight of their exceptions and my answers, which accordingly was performed. So that at the time the House presented the public grievances of the kingdom, that of the Patent of New-England was the first. Wherein was declared, that having heard me and my learned counsel several days, but that I could not defend the same; which the King observing was a little moved, finding the matter was made greater than the cause required. This their public declaration of the House's dislike of the cause shook off all my adventurers for plantation, and made many of the patentees to quit their interest, so that in all likelihood I must fall under the weight of so heavy a burden. But the justness of my cause being truly apprehended by the King, from which I understood he was not to be drawn to overthrow the Corporation he so much approved of in his own judgment, and I was wished not to omit the prosecution thereof, as cause required. But I thought better to forbear for the present, in honor and respect of what had passed in so public a manner between the King and his House of Commons; who, shortly after, upon several reasons, rising from particular persons, who (as it seemed) were more liberal in their language than became them, trenching farther upon the King's prerogative power, he thought to be tolerated, as doubting of the consequence thereof. Whereupon the Parliament was dismissed, divers of those free speakers committed to the Tower, others to other prisons; so that now I was called upon to attend those affairs on
several accidents that happened. As first, for that the French ambassador made challenge to those territories granted us by the King our sovereign, in the behalf of the King of France, his master, as belonging to his subjects, that by his authority were possessed thereof, as a part of Nova France. To which I was commanded by the King to give answer to the ambassador his claim, which was sent me from the Lord Treasurer, under the title of Le Memorial de Monsieur Seigneur le Conte de Tillieres, Ambassadeur pour le Roy de France. Whereunto I made so full a reply (as it seems) there was no more heard of that their claim.
But as Captain Dormer, who (as I said) was coasting that country, met with some Hollanders that were settled in a place we call Hudson's river, in trade with the natives; who, in the right of our Patent, forbad them the place, as being by his Majesty appointed to us. Their answer was,
they understood no such thing, nor found any of our nation there, so that they hoped they had not offended. However, this their communication removed them not, but upon our complaining of their intrusion to his Majesty, order was given to his ambassadors to deal with the States, to know by what warrant any of their subjects took upon them to settle within those limits by him granted to his subjects, who were royally seized of a part thereof. To which was answered, that they knew of no such thing. If there were any, it was without their authority, and that they only had enacted the Company for the affairs of the West Indies. This answer being returned, made us to prosecute our business, and to resolve of the removing of those interlopers, to force them to submit to the government of those to whom that place belonged. Thus you may see how many burthens I travailed under of all sides, and yet not come near my journey's end.
Of the descent of Mr. Perce, Mr. Day, others their associates, within our limits, being bound for Virginia.
BEFORE the unhappy controversy happened between those of Virginia and myself (as you have heard), they were forced
through the great charge they had been at, to hearken to any propositions that might give ease and furtherance to so hopeful a business. To that purpose, it was referred to their considerations how necessary it was that means might be used to draw into those enterprises some of those families that had retired themselves into Holland for scruple of conscience, giving them such freedom and liberty as might stand with their likings. This advice being hearkened unto, there were that undertook the putting it in practice, and accordingly brought it to effect so far forth, as that the three ships (such as their weak fortunes were able to providę), whereof two proved unserviceable and so were left behind, the third with great difficulty recovered the coast of NewEngland [December, 1620], where they landed their people, many of them weak and feeble through the length of the navigation, the leakiness of the ship, and want. of many other necessaries such undertakings required. But they were not many days ashore before they had gotten both health and strength, through the comfort of the air, the store of fish and fowl, with plenty of wholesome roots and herbs the country afforded; besides the civil respect the natives used towards them, tending much to their happiness in so great extremity they were in. After they had well considered the state of their affairs, and found that the authority they had from the Company of Virginia could not warrant their abode in that place, which they found so prosperous and pleasing to them, they hastened away their ship, with order to their Solicitor to deal with me, to be a means they might have a grant* from the Council of New-England's affairs to settle in the place; which was accordingly performed to their particular satisfaction and good content of them all; which place was after called New Plymouth, where they have continued ever since very peaceable, and in all plenty of all necessaries that nature needeth, if that could satisfy our vain affections. Where I will leave them for the present.
[* A grant was made in 1623 to John Pierce, in trust for the Colony. This was their first Patent. In 1629 they had another made to William Bradford and his associates; a copy of which may be seen in Hazard's Historical Collections, Vol. I. page 298. Publishing Committee.]