Chapter 4


The time of new election of officers being come, for this year at Plimouth, the number of their people being increased, and their troubles and occasions therewith; the governor desired them to change the persons, as well as renew the election, and also to add more assistants to the governor for help and counsel, and the better carrying on of public affairs, showing that it was necessary it should so be; for if it were an honour or benefit, it was fit that others should be made partakers of it; if it was a burden (as doubtless it was) it was but equal that others should help to bear it, and that this was the end of yearly elections.1

January 24. Robert Cushman in London, sends word to Mr. Bradford, that the adventurers had sent a carpenter to build ships, a person to make salt, and a preacher. The is John Lyford, whose coming was promoted by members of the company, who opposed the emigration of Robinson. He also remarks, “We have taken a patent for Cape Anne.” Under this patent a colony was established at Cape Anne.” in the spring of the year 1624, which is now expanded into the commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was dated January 1, 1623, O. S. The original was recently discovered, by J. Wingate Thornton, Esq., and will soon be published, edited by him. Under it Roger Conant was appointed governor. The mutations of the companies in England do not affect the historical identity of the colony, nor the chronological order of the incidents in its civil history, which may be considered independently of the authority under which they transpired, and merely with reference to its internal history. In this view the reader will readily trace the series of governors or rules of the people, from Roger Conant, governor at Cape Anne, under the grant of Lord Sheffield, through John Endicott, the first governor under the Massachusetts Charter, and Winthrop, the second governor under this charter, and Sir William Phipps, Knight, the first governor under the third, or Provincial Charter of 1692.

The conclusion was, that whereas there was before but one assistant, they now chose five, giving the governor a double voice;2

and afterwards they increased them to seven, which course hath continued in that colony until this day.3

In the month of March, in this year, Mr. Edward Winslow arrived at Plimouth, in New England, having been employed as an agent for that plantation, on sundry occasions, with the merchant adventurers in England, who brought a considerable supply with him, the ship being bound on a fishing voyage; and with him came Mr. John Lyford, a minister, which was sent over by some of the adventurers.

There came over likewise in this ship, three heifers and a bull, which were the first neat cattle that came into New England.

The aforesaid John Lyford, when he came first on shore, saluted them of the plantation of Plimouth with that reverence and humility, as is seldom to be seen; and indeed made them ashamed, he so bowed and cringed unto them, and would have kissed their hands, if they would have suffered him; yea, he wept and shed many tears, blessing God that had brought him to see their faces; and admiring the things they had done in their want, as if he had been made all of love, and the humblest person in the world; but in the end proved more like those mentioned by the Psalmist, Psal. x. 10, that crouched and bowed, that heaps of the poor may fall by them; or like unto dissembling Ishmael, who when he had slain Gedaliah, went out weeping, Jer. xli. 6; and met those that were coming to offer incense in the house of the Lord, saying, come to Gedaliah, when he meant to slay them. They gave him the best entertainment they could, in all simplicity, and as their governor had used, in all weighty affairs, to consult with their elder, Mr. Brewster, together with his assistants, so now he called Mr. Lyford also on such like occasions. After some short time, he desired to join himself a member to their church, and was accordingly received; he made a large confession of his faith, and an acknowledgment of his former disorderly walking, and his being entangled with many corruptions, which had been a burden to his conscience, and blessed God for this opportunity of freedom and liberty, with many such like expressions. In some short time he fell into acquaintance with Mr. John Oldham, who was a copartner with him in his after courses; not long after, both Oldham and he grew very perverse, and showed a spirit of great malignity, drawing as many

  By PanEris using Melati.

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