America and West Indies
May 1681, 2-14

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Institute of Historical Research

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J. W. Fortescue (editor)

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1898

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37-49

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'America and West Indies: May 1681, 2-14', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 11: 1681-1685 (1898), pp. 37-49. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=69846 Date accessed: 24 July 2014.


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May 1681

[May 2.]94. Blank commission signed by Lord Shaftesbury, Sir Peter Colleton, and John Archdall, for the appointment of a deputy who should have been appointed by Sir William Berkeley, deputies being much wanted, and it being uncertain to whom Sir William's rights belong.
A second commission of the same kind, given to Governor Wilkinson. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XX., p. 171.]
May 2.95. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Governor Wilkinson. We have given you our deputations without inserting a name, in order that, if the persons already appointed by us should not behave as they should, in healing all breaches that have been in the Colony, you may fill that Proprietor's deputation (of whose nomination the party so behaving was) with the name of some fitting person. If our nominees behave well, we think it best that they should not be turned out. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XX., p. 172.]
May 3.
Council Chamber.
96. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have been long considering the affairs of New England, and have discussed them with Mr. Randolph, who has run great hazards there in the discharge of his duty, and is now returning thither with enlarged powers. But as his former merit has been great, and he cannot well proceed without a larger allowance than he has hitherto received, we recommend that his salary be raised from 100l. to 200l. annually. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., p. 126.]
May 7.
Portsmouth,
New Hampshire.
97. The President and Council of New Hampshire to William Blathwayt. Our President, John Cutt, being deceased, I write on behalf of our new President, Richard Walderne, and the Council to acknowledge yours of 14th October 1680. The Government being yet in its infancy, the new laws requiring some time for preparation, and communication with England being infrequent, we may seem not to have been forward in our duty. But we hope to make amends by the fulness of the account we have transmitted. Signed, R. Chamberlain. ½ p. Endorsed. "Recd. 20 Sept. 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 132.]
May 7.
Portsmouth.
98. The President and Council of New Hampshire to Lords of Trade and Plantations. At the end of December we received yours of 1st October 1680 by Mr. Mason, and another by Mr. Chamberlain. The latter required us to furnish you a quarterly account of all public transactions. But we have no such frequent opportunities, especially in winter, of sending into England. This conveyance by Captain Peck is the first from this province since the receipt of your orders, and indeed since the receipt of the King's commission. We send the accounts required of us now, and shall not fail to avail ourselves of all future opportunities. First, as to civil matters, we refer you to the Acts and orders which we have passed, which are herewith enclosed. Next as to ecclesiastics; these remain unchanged. Each town has an orthodox minister to the satisfaction of the people. As to our military discipline, we refer you again to our Acts for appointing officers and exercising soliders. There are forts at the Great Island in Portsmouth and at the Little Harbour's mouth, well enough situated, but too weak at present to be sufficient defence. The guns, eleven in all, are too small, none bigger than a sacker, or more than 2,100 lbs. weight, and the people are too poor to make defence suitable to the occasion that may happen to the fort. The guns were bought and the forts erected by Royal command, at the sole expense of the people of Dover and Portsmouth about the year 1665, at the beginning of the first Dutch war. There are five more guns in the upper part of Portsmouth, purchased by private persons for their security and defence against the Indians in the late war. We beg the King to send us suitable guns, with ammunition. The income of the powder and customs for maintenance of the forts will be found in the Acts. As to trade, we send a return of tonnage. Our chief export is lumber of all kinds, which at present is of little value in the other colonies to which it is sent. We see no other way of improving our trade than for the King to make our river Piscataqua a free port. Importation by strangers is of little value; ships commonly sell their cargoes in other colonies. and if they come here generally come empty to load with lumber; if by chance they are laden with fish they bring it from other parts, none being made [cured] here. As to improvement of our land by tillage, our soil is generally so barren, and the winters so long and severe, that we cannot grow food enough for ourselves. In the late war with the Indians several of the youth were killed, and many men, by destruction of houses and estates, so improverished that they can do little towards improving their estates, and groan under the malt tax levied for the purpose, whereof great part is to this day unpaid. Signed, Richard Walderne, President, Elias Stileman, Deputy President, Richard Martyn, William Vaughan, Thomas Daniel, John Gillman, Christopher Hussey, Job Clements, R. Chamberlain, Secretary. 2 pp. Endorsed. "Recd. 20 Sept. 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 133, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 10–13.] Annexed,
98. I. The General Laws and Liberties of the Province of New Hampshire, made by the General Assembly in Portsmouth, 16th March 1679 [1680], and approved by the President and Council. Preamble and preliminary enactment, That justice and right be equally and impartially administered unto all, not sold, denied, or carelessly deferred unto any. Marginal note in the hand of Attorney-General Sawyer, No need of it, therefore disallowed.
CAPITAL LAWS.
The penalty of death is fixed for those (1) who having had a knowledge of the true God worship any other God. Marginal note, "Set aside." (2.) Who blaspheme the Trinity. Marginal note, "Set aside." (3) Who are guilty of treason. Marginal note, "Provided for and set aside." (4) Who conspire rebellion and subversion of the government. Marginal note, "Provided for." (5) Who are guilty of murder, (6) who slay a man in sudden anger, or (7) through guile; (8) who calling themselves Christians consult a familiar spirit; (9) who are guilty of bestiality; "and the beast shall be slain and buried, not eaten;" (10) who are guilty of sodomy, or (11) of bearing false witness against a man's life, or (12) of stealing mankind; (13) who being over sixteen years of age smite or curse their father or mother, unless it can be proved that the fault lay with the parents through neglect or provocation; (14) who commit rape; (15) who are guilty of arson. The marginal notes are all in the handwriting of Attorney General Sawyer. The above is printed in full, without marginal notes, in Belknap's History of New Hampshire, Farmer's edition, I., 453.
CRIMINAL LAWS.
(1.) All prisoners to be tried at the next Court. (2.) Those guilty of adultery, male and female, to receive two whippings, not exceeding forty lashes each, and to wear the two letters A D sewed on their upper garments; if seen without the letters to be publicly whipped. (3.) Fornication to be punished by injunction of marriage, fine, or whipping; the same if committed after contract and before marriage to be punished with fifty shillings fine or whipping in default. Fines to be paid in money for "the more discountenancing this prevailing sin." (4.) Burglars to be branded B on the right hand for a first offence, on the left hand for a second offence, and to be whipped; to be put to death or otherwise grievously punished on the third offence. If the offence be committed on the Lord's Day the brand to be on the forehead. (5.) Stealers of ships shall be severely punished, but punishment not be extend to life or limb. (6.) Theft of animals or goods to be punished by threefold restoration to the party wronged, and by fine or whipping, as the Court or three of the Council shall determine. Appeals from the Council permitted. (7.) Any member of Council may try petty thefts to the value of forty shillings, and order whipping to ten stripes. Appeal allowed. (8.) Swearing punishable by ten shillings fine, or one to three hours in the stocks. For more oaths than one at one time the fine to be twenty shillings. Cursing may be punished also with whipping. 9. Working on the Lord's Day ten shillings fine or whipping. (10.) Speaking contemptuously of the Scriptures, ten shillings or the stocks for first offence, forty shillings or whipping for repeating it. (11.) Members of Council empowered to enforce execution of civil judgments. (12.) Breaches of peace punishable by fine or imprisonment. (13.) Forgery punishable with fine, or in default public whipping and the brand F on the forehead. (14.) Embezzlement of or falsification of public records by notaries or other keepers punishable by disfranchisement, branding on the face, or fine. (15.) Attempts to corrupt public officers, punishable by fine, imprisonment, or whipping. (16 to 19.) Relate to punishments for libel, destroying fences, moving land-marks, &c. (20, 21.) Prohibition of gaming, ten shillings fine for each player, and twenty for the keeper of the house. (22.) Against drunkenness; for the fourth offence five pounds fine or public whipping. (23.) Against firing the woods; ten shillings or the stocks. Any member of the Council may hear criminal cases, when the fine does not exceed forty shillings, and the punishment ten lashes or the stocks. Here the numbers cease, and the remaining enactments succeed each other as follows:— (1.) Orders for prison keepers, (2.) for marshals, (3.) for the validity of former judgments of Courts before the change of government, (4.) for the confirmation of all existing property in land. This is the enactment directed against Robert Mason in defiance of the King's order; it is but six lines in length. (5.) Differences as to titles of land to be tried by jury of freemen. (6.) All contracts to be paid in the species bargained for. (7–10.) Regulations for the grazing of horses on unfenced lands, and for branding them with the initial letters of the four towns, Portsmouth, Hampton, Dover, and Exeter. (11–12.) Orders for the administration of justice. The General Assembly to meet at Portsmouth on the first Tuesday in March for legislation, and the President and Council to hear appeals. Three other Courts to be held by the President and Council or any six of the Council. (13.) The estates of constables to be liable to distraint for arrears of rates in their districts. (14.) Every man of good life, twenty-four years of age, and having twenty pounds of rateable estate, to be a freeman, with a vote for the election of all officers. (15, 16.) Any member of Council may solemnise marriages, after three publications or fourteen days' public announcement in writing of the intention of the parties. (17.) System of assessments for raising money for the public charge. (18.) Reward for every wolf killed in the province, forty shillings to an English-man, ten to an Indian. (19, 20.) Confirmation of existing laws. (21, 22.) Powers to constables and marshals to enforce payment of rates and fines. (23.) The marshal's fees; and (24.) powers to invoke assistance. (24–27.) Rules for collection of rates and fines. (28–30.) Certain details as to administration of justice. (31, 32.) The freemen of every town may choose their own officers and make their own regulations. (33.) Rule against careless discharge of ballast from ships. (34–43.) Concerning the civil and criminal procedure. (44.) No innkeeper to allow servants or children to sit and drink. (45.) Strangers falling sick or lame to be relieved by the town where they lie. (46.) Visitors from one town requiring relief in another to receive it from the town to which they belong. (47.) The President shall have a casting vote in the Assembly, Quarter Court, or Council, (48.) No stranger brought by the master of any vessel to be admitted to any town without the sanction of the President, or three of the Council, or of the select men. (49.) The constables in each town are to warn the freemen on the 1st February to choose their Deputies for the Assembly, which is to meet on the 1st March. Hampton, Portsmouth, and Dover to return three Deputies, Exeter two Deputies. Any Deputy absenting himself to be fined twenty shillings for every day's absence, unless the Assembly judge him to have valid excuse. (50.) Fee to be paid for appeals from the Quarter Courts. (51.) Act repealing the former order for three Courts in the year, and substituting two, on the first Tuesday in June and the first Tuesday in December, at Dover, Hampton, and Portsmouth in succession. (52.) An Act for the rate, "not inserted among the foresaid laws." (53.) 3rd May 1681. Orders for a rate for defraying the public charge of the Province. Here at page 19 the general laws and liberties end
Acts and Orders of the President and Council of New Hampshire.
Portsmouth, 1st January 1679–80. The President and Council received the King's Commission from Edward Randolph.
14th January. The Commission was read to the Council.
21st January. The Commissioners nominated therein took the oaths.
22nd January. Commission read at Portsmouth to the inhabitants of Portsmouth, and received with great acclamation. The President chose Richard Walderne for his Deputy, to the great satisfaction of the Council. Elias Stileman, Samuel Dalton, and Job Clements added to the Council. Proclamation issued confirming all former officers in their places.
4th February. Warrant issued to the select men of the four towns to draw up a list of the inhabitants for assessment. Two criminal cases tried.
16th February. Order to quicken the constables in the collection of the rate. Act for calling a General Assembly. The Council, being left by the King's Commission to determine what persons shall choose the Deputies for the Assembly, order the persons hereinafter named in the several towns to meet at nine in the morning on the 1st March next, and having taken the oath of allegiance to choose three persons from among themselves by the major vote given in writing. No man shall vote, except such as are mentioned in the list; no man shall put in but one vote for one man, and the voters must not "cut quite through the names they write in their papers." Here follows the list of voters. For Portsmouth, seventy-one; for Hampton, fifty-seven; for Exeter, twenty (including one member of Council); for Dover, sixty-one. Order appointing the 26th February as a day of humiliation. Richard Martyn chosen Treasurer of the Province, John Roberts, of Dover, Head Marshal of the Province, and Henry Dow, Marshal under him. A complaint of trespass heard.
16th March. Meeting of the General Assembly at Portsmouth.
Council
Richard Walderne.Christopher Hussey.
Richard Martyn.John Gillman.
William Vaughan.Elias Stileman.
Thomas Daniel.Job Clements.
Deputies
Robert Elliot - -Portsmouth.
Philip Lewis - -Portsmouth.
John Pickering - -Portsmouth.
Anthony Stanion -Hampton.
Thomas Marston -Hampton.
Edward Gove - -Hampton.
Peter Coffin - -Dover.
Anthony Nutter - -Dover.
Richard Walderne, juniorDover.
Bartholomew Tipping -Exeter.
Ralph Hall - -Exeter.
Sundry laws and ordinances made. Criminal business.
17th March. Edward Randolph reported that he had seized a ship in the river for the King. The master complained that Randolph did him injury in seizing the vessel. Randolph desired a trial by jury, which was granted.
18th March. Further proceedings as to the seizure of the ship. The master petitioned for a special Court to decide the issue between Randolph and himself. Sundry administration and civil business.
23rd March. The case tried before the President and Council and a jury. Mark Hunkyn, plaintiff, against Edward Randolph, defendant, for illegal seizure of his ship. Verdict for plaintiff with 5l. 6s. 8d. damages. Edward Randolph was summoned before Council, for that, being asked during the case where the Earl of Danby was, he answered that he was hanged for all he knew, which the Council takes as a great reflection upon such a great Minister of State. Randolph said that he was sorry, and the Council being satisfied dismissed him.
24th March. Captain Walter Barefoot examined concerning a paper he had set up on Great Island about customs to be entered to him, which he owned.
25th March. Barefoot indicted for posting the above notice. Fined ten pounds. Ordered that the commission and instructions that he received from Edward Randolph be returned to him. Letter from the Council and Assembly to the Governor and Council of Massachusetts; thanking them for their care of New Hampshire while it lay under their Government, and saying that the separation from them was through no wish of their own, for they would have heartily rejoiced if the King had continued the old arrangement, and begging for the settlement of a regular correspondence for the future. Appointment of officers of militia. Richard Walderne chosen Major-General of all the forces horse and foot. Officers for Portsmouth: Captain Thomas Daniel, Lieutenant Walter Neale, Ensign John Hunkyn. For Hampton: Captain Christopher Hussey, Lieutenant John Samburn, Ensign—. For Dover: Major Richard Walderne, Lieutenant Peter Coffin, Ensign John Davis. For Exeter: Captain John Gillman, Lieutenant Ralph Hall, Ensign William More. For the Fort: Captain Elias Stileman, Lieutenant Nathan Fryer, Lieutenant Nathan Drake. Ordered that for the present there shall be but one troop of horse, of sixty troopers besides the following officers: Captain John Gerish, Lieutenant Anthony Nutter, Cornet Sam. Sherborn.
1st April. Order of the President and Council for enforcement of Acts of Trade and Navigation. Richard Martyn appointed officer for this purpose. The General Assembly adjourned to the first Monday in June.
7th June. Ordered that those that keep ferries shall convey Members of Assembly and Council, and jurymen on public service, free, and militia men going to musters at a reduced rate. Sundry administrative, civil, and criminal business.
10th June, 12th October, and 2nd November. Sundry business.
22nd December. The King's letter for the admission of Robert Mason to the Council read; and on taking the oaths he was admitted. Mr. Chamberlain also admitted to be Secretary.
1st March and 8th March 1681. Proceedings of a Court of Appeal at Portsmouth. These occupy three pages. Letter to the Governor and Council of Massachusetts on a matter of shipping, urging a return to the practice which obtained "when we were all under one law and government, which best pleaseth us." Letter from the Council to Robert Mason, dated 12th March 1680–81. We have received three letters from you whichwe do not intend to answer in writing, choosing rather to discourse their contents with you at the next meeting of Council. But as to yours of 4th February wherein you say that you are informed that some persons have encouraged the inhabitants not to treat with you, we desire and account it your duty, if you know of such persons, to produce them to receive the demerit of their offence. Signed by the whole Council. Adjourned to first Tuesday in April.
April. Richard Walderne took his place as President in the room of John Cutt deceased. Robert Mason being requested to stay and assist in the Council's transactions desired to be excused. Elias Stileman chosen by Richard Walderne to be Deputy President. Sundry legal business.
20th April. Sundry causes tried. Robert Mason, being desired to remain with the Council to hear certain petitions about his concerns, refused, saying he should hear of them in England.
23rd April. Proclamation, warning all agents of Robert Mason to desist from carrying out his illegal orders issued under his assumed title of Lord Proprietor.
3rd May. Treasurer's fee fixed at a shilling in the pound of all money received in the public use of the province. Secretary's fee to be one shilling for every petition presented.
4th May. Letter from the Council to Robert Mason. The Council having seen and read sundry of your declarations set up in public places in which you charge them as great offenders under the King's commission, desire you to meet them on Friday next about noon and make all your charges out, or they will conclude yourself to be a pryer and fomenter of them and a slanderer of the innocent. As to your saying that you will carry all matters and lay them before the King, as if the Council had not power to deal with you or others, either in capitals or criminals, we judge it a mistake and pray you will believe it otherwise. Signed, Richard Chamberlain.
5th March. Letter from Robert Mason to the Council. In reply to your letter of 4th instant, I stand to the justification of all my public declarations and letters to the Council, and have good proof thereof which I shall lay before the King. You by your declaration of 23rd April seem to think yourselves concerned, for you say you will disprove my statements before the King though as yet you do not know whom I shall accuse, nor of what crimes. However, your declaration pleases me very well. I cannot but admire that though I have named no persons you should unanimously think yourselves referred to; and that you should seek to be judges in your own cause. It is you, not I, that have made yourselves the parties concerned. The King has declared me your lawful proprietor and he shall judge between us. He and no other shall hear the charges that I intend to prefer. Here the proceedings of the Assembly end, having filled eighteen pages.
Account of the income of the fortifications on the Great Island in Customs of wines, rum, sugar, and molasses, from 1st January 1680 to May 1681. Creditor, 61l. 3s. 1d. Debitor, 56l. 12s. 4d. One item in the latter account is 12l. 10s. for two and a half barrels of powder spent at the funeral of John Cutt. Stock of powder remaining in the fort, 117 lbs., viz., received from various ships 162 lbs., spent in salutes, 45 lbs. "Errors excepted." 6th May 1681, per Elias Stileman, Collector. ½ p.
A catalogue of the tonnage and entry of ships and vessels. Fifty-one vessels in all, the first entered 14th April 1680, the last 12th April 1681. The whole return dated 12th April 1681, by Richard Martyn. Note.—" That many of the above-said ships came into the river, being driven in by contrary winds and made but little stay." 2½ pp.
The Treasurer's Account. Debitor, 131l. 13s. 4d. The largest item is 106l. 11s. 6d. for expenses of the Council and General Assembly, the smallest 3s. 4d. for five quires of large paper for law books. 2l. 10s. paid to an Indian for five wolf's heads. Creditor. Portsmouth rate, 29l. 17s. 3d., Dover rate, 20l., Hampton rate, 23l. 17s. 3d., Exeter rate, 11l. 9s. 4d. Total, 85l. 4s. Dated, Portsmouth, 2nd May 1681. Richard Martyn, Treasurer. The whole document is signed by the Council, as the covering letter. 7th May 1681. Sealed. 54 pages closely written. Endorsed. "Recd. 20 Sept. 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 133 I.]
May 8.99. Testimony of William Forbes, of Newichewanock. That about two years since, being one day in the town of Kittery, Major Walderne took out of his pocket a paper which he read in derision of the Government of England, and said there was no more a king in England than the man to whom he spoke. Attested by Robert Mason and Nicholas Shapleigh. Scrap. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 134.].
May 10.
Council
Chamber.
100. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft Commission and Instructions for Sir Thomas Lynch considered. The preamble altered to reserve Lord Carlisle's rights and mention Sir Henry Morgan's recall.
Petition of William Miles read, complaining that several debts are due to him from planters in Newfoundland. Agreed to recommend that [the Captain of] one of the men-of-war of this year's convoy be ordered to call the parties complained of before him, and do his best for such people as petitioner by his good offices, being empowered by a letter of attorney to recover just debts [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 261, 262.]
May 10.101. The President and Council of New Hampshire to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In continuation of our letter of 7th May (ante, No. 98) we have given an abbreviate of matters concerning Mr. Mason in a letter to the King. We hope that the dispute between Mr. Mason and the people here may not be finally determined against them till their side be heard, for they have no doubt of their ability to prove their ownership, and trust that the King will account the interest of a whole province greater than that of a single subject. Signed as No. 98. 1 p. Endorsed. "Recd. 20 Sept. 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 135, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 13, 14.]
May 12.102. Warrant by the Governor and Council of Jamaica offering a free pardon to all men serving under foreign commissions who return to their allegiance [from privateering] by 1st September following. Copy. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 136.]
May 12.
Edinburgh.
103. Sir John Werden to Sir E Andros. I have received yours of 29th April and 3rd May. The Duke is surprised at Mr. Griffith's offering to sue you, but it seems that this is connected with one of the charges against you. Mr. Woolley's delay is more disingenuous; the Duke will probably require him to give in his statements in writing to Mr. Porter. I have already written to you about the grants of New Jersey, and the bounds of Mr. Penn's patent. All settlements made in those parts ought to hold good, but I presume that the Lords of Trade and Plantations have taken to uphold existing rights. As to the islands in the Delaware they would seem to be excluded from Mr. Penn's patent, but the grants must decide the matter. Printed in New York Documents, Vol. III., pp. 286–287. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXX., pp. 34, 35.]
May 13.
Virginia.
104. Colonel Nicholas Spencer to Sir Leoline Jenkins. God be thanked we are very peaceable and quiet. The Indians have troubled us little of late, which we ascribe to our garrisons at the heads of the rivers, who keep them in constant awe, and free the inhabitants from the dread of constant incursions. Our most formidable enemy, poverty, is falling violently on us through the low value, or rather no value, of tobacco. It is now so under foot that we have no hopes of its advancing enough to give us means of subsistence unless the King gives his assent to a cessation of planting for one year, so as to bring tobacco once more into esteem. At present we have no means of carrying on our existing undertakings, nor can we say what manufactures we can possibly manage. The general poverty checks the erection of iron or potash works, of which we have the natural means to produce great quantities. As to other commodities produceable here, such as pipe-staves, timber works of all kinds, and corn, we have a possibility of doing enough with them to supply other parts, but our position is so remote that the cost of freight and transport devours the whole produce. Flax is our most hopeful commodity, though as yet, through our unskilfulness therein, it gives us little advantage. Time and need, it is to be hoped, will so improve our knowledge as to arrive at the perfection of skill, not only to supply ourselves, but to export sufficient to improve our condition. Signed. 1½ pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 137.]
May 14.
Portsmouth.
105. The Secretary of New Hampshire to William Blathwayt. Your instructions to me were to do my duty to the public without reference to my friend Mr. Mason's concerns, and to write to you frequently. I hope that what I am about to write may not be disagreeable. Four several times at the meeting of the Assembly the Council pressed and threatened me if I refused the oath of secrecy. I told them that I intended to be guided alike by my duty to the Council here and to the ancient laws of England. As a compromise I suggested that the matter might stand over till I received instructions from England, but after that I was set on by the whole posse comitatus of the Council, both ordinary and extraordinary, including Mr. Moody, their archbishop. I positively declared that I neither could nor would derogate from the King's commission. I said just now that Mr. Moody was virtually of the Council, and I believe Mr. Mason will inform you of his superintending in all matters public and private, but I confess that I told him he was none of the Council. The occasion was upon his inculcation of my oath of secrecy, and his interpretation of the terms of my commission. He resented it so much that I fear I have done my business as a church member. The laws were made and published just as we came, except those for Courts and the rate which were lately done. When the Assembly was set to amendment and revision thereof I made my remarks such as they were. First, I took exception to the whole system in general as being collected mostly from the Massachusetts law book. Surely it would not please His Majesty that we should cast off obedience to the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, and yet yoke ourselves inseparably under its laws. Then I objected to the laws as unnecessary, the King having sent them out a great volume ready to their hands. I also objected to other and repugnant laws—as to the punishment of manslaughter by death, to the disallowance of marriage by divines and giving the power to Council, to the arbitrary sentence in case of fornication, of fine, marriage, corporal punishment, or all or any of them; to making larceny, robbery, and burglary not felony, nor punishable with death except at the third offence. The law of false witnesses differs from the English; that of confirmation is, I conceive, ipso facto repugnant. But every objection, except some verbal and literal errata, were overruled. Mr. Mason desired to enter a protest against this law of confirmation of town grants. I spoke on the subject and gave my opinion on it, both in its relation to the Commission and to English law. The opposition of many to Mr. Mason, owing to the example of their chief, is much to be deplored. Time, and a little more of his industrious spirit will, I hope, end matters well. I shall never be found wanting to defend his right where I have a fair opportunity. There is a verbal amendment required in the Commission. I mention it because his opponents lay hold of and wrest every word. Holograph. Signed Rich. Chamberlain. 2 pp. Endorsed. "Recd. 24 July 1681. Read 10 Nov. 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 138, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 5–9.]