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present, when the commotions in England left every colony in America almost unheeded, and Virginia and New England were pursuing a course of nearly independent legislation, the power of the proprietary was almost as feeble as that of the king. The other colo- Chap VII.} nies took advantage of the period to secure and advance their liberties: in Maryland, the effect was rather to encourage the insubordination of the restless; and Clayborne was able to excite an insurrection. 1644 Early in 1645, the rebels were triumphant; unpre- 1645 pared for an attack, the governor was compelled to fly, and more than a year elapsed before the assistance 1646 Dec. of the well-disposed could enable him to resume his power and restore tranquillity. The insurgents distinguished the period of their dominion by disorder and misrule, and most of the records were then lost or embezzled. Bacon's Preface. Chalmers, 217, 218. Burk, II. 112. McMacon, 202. Peace was confirmed by the wise clemency 16
with a succession of untoward events. The patent 1643 April 7 for Lygonia had been purchased by Rigby, a republican member of the Long Parliament, and a dispute ensued between the deputies of the respective proprietaries. In vain did Cleaves, the agent of Rigby, 1641 solicit the assistance of Massachusetts; the colony warily refused to take part in the strife. It marks the confidence of all men in the justice of the Puritans, that both aspirants now appealed to the Bay magis- Chap. X.} 1645. June 3. trates, and solicited them to act as umpires. The cause was learnedly argued in Boston, and the decree of the court was oracular. Neither party was allowed to have a clear right; and both were enjoined to live in peace. But how could Vines and Cleaves assert their authority? On the death of Gorges, the people repeatedly wrote to his heirs. No answer was received; and such commissioners as had authority from 1647-8 Europe gradually withdrew. There was no relief for the colonist