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THE REGICIDES IN NEW ENGLAND.
NEW ENGLAND AFTER THE RESTORATION.
The restoration of Charles II could hardly be considered an auspicious event by the people of New England. On the
it afforded them the strongest reason to excontrary, 1660
pect an abridgment of their commercial advantages, and an attack upon their religious and political privileges. They were accordingly in no haste to recognise the royal authority. In July, 1660, Whaley and Goffe, two of the late king's judges, arrived in Boston, and announced the restoration of Charles II, but represented the mother country as being in a very unsettled state. They were freely permitted to travel through New England, and received many attentions from the inhabitants.
When, at length, it was known that the king's authority was firmly established in England, and that complaints against the colony of Massachusetts had been presented to the privy council and both houses of parliament, by Quakers, royalists, and others adverse to its interests, the people became convinced of the necessity of decisive action. A general court was convened, and an address was voted to the king, vindicating the colony from the charges of its enemies, professing the most dutiful attachment to the sovereign, and soliciting protection for their civil and ecclesiastical institutions. A similar address was made to parliament, and the agent of the colony was instructed to exert himself to obtain a continuance of the commercial immunities which had been granted by the Long Parliament.
Before he had time to obey these instructions, a duty of five per cent. on exports and imports had already been imposed; and before the session closed, the famous navigation act was reenacted. The king returned a gracious answer to the colonial address, accompanied by an order for the apprehension of Goffe and Whaley.
This small measure of royal favour was joyfully received, and a day of thanksgiving was appointed, to acknowledge the favour of Heaven in disposing the king to clemency. A
What is said of the Restoration ? By parliament? What happened in July, 1660 ? By the king ? What was at length done by the ge- By the colonists?
THE KING'S LETTER.
99 formal requisition for the regicide judges was sent to New Haven, whither they had gone ; but matters were so arranged that they escaped from their pursuers, and lived in New England to the end of their days.
Apprehensions of danger to their civil and religious rights were still felt by the colonists, notwithstanding the bland professions of the king. Rumours of a meditated attack on their commercial privileges, and of the coming of a governor. general for all North America, were seriously believed. This led to the famous Declaration of Rights on the part of Massachusetts, in which the powers and duties of the colony were very clearly and ably detined. Having thus declared the terms on which his authority should be recognised, the general court caused the king to be solemnly proclaimed as their undoubted prince and sovereign lord.
Agents were then sent over to England to protect the interests of the colony, who were favourably received, and soon returned to Boston, bringing a letter from the king confirming the colonial charter, and granting an amnesty to all political offenders who were not already attainted for high treason; but requiring that the oath of allegiance should be administered ; that justice should be distributed in the king's name; that the church of England should be tolerated; and that the qualification of church membership for civil officers should be dispensed with.
Of all these requisitions, the only one which was complied with was that which directed the judicial proceedings to be conducted in the king's name. The others were putlished, but reserved for deliberation. The agents, Bradstreet and Norton, who had returned with the letter, were so severely reproached for not being able to procure better terms of acceptance with the king, that one of them, Norton, actually died of a broken heart. His unhappy fate seemed to convince the colonists of their injustice, and his death was universally and sincerely mourned.
Rhode Island was not backward in acknowledging the restored king. He was early proclaimed in the colony, and an agent, being despatched to England, suon succeeded in obtaining a charter which granted the most ample privileges.
What is said of the regicides ?
How were they disposed of ?
NEW CHARTERS GRANTED.
It gave to the patentees the title of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence. The form of government, prescribed by it, was the usual one of a governor, assistants, and representatives elected by the freemen. It was received with the greatest satisfaction, as it confirmed to the colonists the democratical constitution to which they had always been accustomed.
Connecticut deputed John Winthrop, son of the celebrated governor of Massachusetts, as their agent at court, who had no difficulty in obtaining a charter in almost every respect the same with that which had been granted to Rhode Island. It differed from it, however, in requiring the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to be administered to the inhabitants. By the new charter New Haven was united with Connecticut; an arrangement which was for some time opposed by the people of the former colony, although they finally concurred in it. Winthrop, on his return, was cordially wel. comed; and was annually chosen governor of the colony during the remainder of his life.
The privileges confirmed by these charters were subsequently of immense importance to the cause of liberty.
The English government had always questioned the right of the Dutch to their settlements in what are now called the Middle States ; the history and extent of which we shall notice in another place. Charles II now resolved to dispossess them, and accordingly granted the territory to his brother, the Duke of York, who sent Colonel Nichols, with four ships and three hundred soldiers, for ine purpose of taking possession. In the same ships cane four commissioners,
empowered to hear and determine complaints and appeals in causes, as well military as civil, within New England, and to proceed for settling the peace and security of the country. Their real object was to find pretexts for recall. ing the liberal charters of the colunies. (1664.)
The people and government of Massachusetts were awake to their danger, and exhibited an admirable mixture of firm ness and address in a crisis so alarming. On the arrival of the commissioners in Boston, their credentials were said before the council, with a letter from the king, requiring
For what pretended objects were Of John Winthrop ?
commissioners sent with hing? For what purpose was Colonel Ni. What was their real object?
chols sent from England to Ame- What is said of Massacnusetts ? rica ?
Of the commissioner?
COLONIAL CHARTERS ENDANGERED.
101 prompt assistance in the expedition against New Netherlands. The general court was convened, and, after declaring their loyalty and their attachment to the charter, voted a subsidy of two hundred men. Meantime Colonel Nichols proceeded to Manhattan, and reduced the colony before the Massachusetts troops could arrive, so that their services were never required.
The commissioners now called the attention of the general court to the king's letter, received two years before, but not much regarded. Their recommendation was complied with so far, that a law was passed extending the elective franchise to persons who were not church members. The assembly next transmitted a letter to the king, expressive of their apprehension of danger to their rights, from the extraordinary powers of the commissioners, and concluding with these remarkable words : •Let our government live; our patent live ; our magistrates live; our religious enjoyments live ; so shall we all yet have farther cause to say from our hearts, let the king live for ever.'
The commissioners, meantime, had proceeded to the other colonies. In Plymouth and in Rhode Island they met with : no opposition. In Connecticut they were rather civilly re-, ceived, and found no reason for complaint. In New Hampshire and Maine they decided in favour of the claims of Gorges and Mason, and erected a royal government in those provinces. They then returned to Boston, and renewed their disputes with the general court, which were continued with great animosity until the commissioners were recalled, and Massachusetts was ordered to send agents to England to answer complaints against their proceedings. This order was evaded.
Massachusetts, soon afterwards, resumed her authority over New Hampshire and Maine.
After the departure of the commissioners, New England enjoyed a season of prosperous tranquillity. The king was too much engrossed by the calamities and discontents of his subjects at home to disturb the colonies.
This state of repose was interrupted by the famous war of King Philip. This prince was the second son of Massa
The general court ?
What was done by the commissioners Colonel Nichols ?
in the other colonies ? Of the king's letter?
What passed on their return to Bos. What law was passed ?
ton ? What was expressed in the letter to After their departure for England ? the king?
What war ensued ?
soit, but he was far from inheriting the pacific and friendly disposition of his father. He was engaged for five years in maturing an extensive conspiracy, which had for its object the utter extermination of the English colonies. In 1675, he commenced hostilities, and, by means of alliance with other tribes, he was able to bring three thousand warriors into the field. Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut united in opposing him. The war raged with great fury, and with various success, until August, 1676, when Philip, after a series of disasters, in which his family and chief counsellors were all destroyed, himself fell a victim to the treachery of one of his own tribe. The tribes bordering on Maine and New Hampshire, who had risen at the same time, abandoned the war on receiving the news of Philip's death.
While this war was raging, the King of England was endeavouring to wrest from Massachusetts the controul of New Hampshire and Maine. He had been for some time treating for the purchase of these provinces from the heirs of Mason and Gorges, intending to bestow them on his son, the Duke of Monmouth; but while he delayed to complete the negotiation, Massachusetts purchased Maine for 1,200 pounds, and refused to give it up. New Hampshire having become a distinct colony, the legislature expressed a lively regret at being obliged, by the will of the sovereign, to relinquish their connection with Massachusetts.
The laws restricting commerce were made the subject of dispute between the colony of Massachusetts and the crown. Randolph, an active enemy of the colonial government, was sent over to act as collector at Boston. He was almost always unsuccessful in his suits for the recovery of duties, and finally returned to England. The controversy lasted until Massr chusetts was compelled to relinquish her charter. (1684.) Charles II died before completing his system for the complete subjugation of New England.
His successor, James II, appointed a president and council as a temporary government for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and the Narragansetts. These commissioners proceeded with great moderation, and were superseded by the appointment of Sir Edward Andros, as captain-general and
What was Philip's force ?
the purchase of Maine.
What sta.e lost its rharter?