To show properly the first coming of our ancestors to this region, it will be necessary to trace their last movements in England.
This can be done most briefly and satisfactorily by giving extracts from the truthful and interesting letter of Governor Dudley, dated March 28, 1631, to the Countess of Lincoln.
The extracts are as follows:--
To the Right Honorable, my very good Lady, the Lady Bridget, Countess of Lincoln.
Madam,--Touching the plantation, which we here have begun, it fell out thus: About the year 1627, some friends, being together in Lincolnshire, fell into discourse about New England and the planting of the gospel there; and, after some deliberation, we imparted our reasons by letters and messages to some in London and the West Country, where it was likewise deliberately thought upon, and at length, with often negotiation, so ripened, that, in the year 1628, we procured a patent from his Majesty for our planting between the Massachusetts Bay and Charles River on the south, and the river of Merrimack on the north, and three miles on either side of those rivers and bays; as also for the government of those who did or should inhabit within that compass.
And the same year we sent Mr. John Endicott, and some with him, to begin a plantation; and to strengthen such as we should find there, which we sent thither from Dorchester, and some places adjoining; from whom, the same year, receiving hopeful news, the next year, 1629, we sent divers ships over, with about three hundred people, and some cows, goats, and horses, many of which arrived safely.
These, by their too large commendations of the country and the commodities thereof; invited us so strongly to go on, that Mr. Winthrop, of Suffolk (who was well known in his own country, and well approved here for his piety.
liberality, wisdom, and gravity), coming in to us, we came to such resolution, that in April, 1630, we set sail from Old England with four good ships.
And, in May following, eight more followed; two having gone before in February and March, and two more following in June and August, besides another set out by a private merchant.
These seventeen ships arrived all safe in New England for the increase of the plantation here this year, 1630; but made a long, a troublesome, and costly voyage, being all wind-bound long in England, and hindered with contrary winds after they set sail, and so scattered with mists and tempests, that few of them arrived together.
Our four ships, which set out in April, arrived here in June and July, where we found the Colony in a sad and unexpected condition; above eighty of them
John Wilson and son. 22 School Street. Boston. 1855.
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