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[86] The God of heaven and earth preserve and keep you from all foreign and inland enemies, and bless and prosper this plantation to the enlargement of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, to whose merciful protection I commend you and all your associates there, known or unknown. And so, till my next, which shall be (God willing) by our ships, who I make account will be ready to set sail from hence about the 20th of this next month of March, I end, and rest,

Your assured loving friend and cousin,

Mathew Cradock. From my house in Swithin's Lane, near London Stone, this 16th February, 1628, stilo Anglicae.

The confidence felt by the “Court” in Mr. Cradock's judgment was evinced by putting him first on that Committee which was to divide and apportion the lands in New England, thus deciding how and where the first settlements should take place. He did all he could to get the fleet in readiness to sail. On the morning of the 29th March, 1630, when the vessels were lying at Cowes, he made a visit to his friends, and consulted with them on the expediency of sailing on Easter Monday. Hubbard says: “They were advised so to do by Mr. Cradock (who was that morning on board the ‘Arbella’ ), the late Governor, and owner of the two last ships.” Gov. Winthrop says: “Mr. Cradock was aboard the ‘Arbella.’ We came to council. Mr. Cradock presently went back, our captain giving him three shots out of the steerage for a farewell.” This gentleman, wise, good, zealous, honored, and rich, may be regarded, before any other individual, as the founder of Medford. There is no record of settlements earlier than those connected with him.

He was singularly cautious in selecting his workmen; and such an extensive establishment for fishing as he designed, supposes many collateral branches of trade. In 1631, his agent, Mr. Davison, had become so settled as to build a ship on the bank of the Mystick. The place probably was where Mr. Calvin Turner built his first ship, or at Rock Hill. Providing his fishermen with vessels as fast as possible must have made Medford a place of brisk trade and commercial consequence. These first movements of Mr. Cradock here were in keeping with his expansive mind and great wealth. We have proof of his wide enterprise in the following record: “Feb. 1, 1634: Mr. Cradock's house at Marblehead was burnt down about midnight before, there being in it Mr. Allerton and many fishermen, whom he employed that season. ”

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