design to impose on the people of Massachusetts
ceremonies which they had emigrated to avoid.
The country, it was believed, would in time be very beneficial to England
Revenge did not slumber,2
because it had been once
defeated; and the triumphant success of the Puritans in America
disposed the leaders of the high-church party to listen to the clamors of the malignant.
Proof was produced of marriages celebrated by civil magistrates, and of the system of colonial church discipline—proceedings which were wholly at variance with the laws of England
‘The departure of so many of the best,’ such ‘numbers of faithful and free-born Englishmen and good Christians,’—a more ill-boding sign to the nation than the portentous blaze of comets and the impressions in the air, at which astrologers are dismayed,3
—began to be regarded by the archbishops
as an affair of state; and ships bound with passengers for New England
were detained in the Thames
by an order of the council.
also in 1637 wrote from New England
, that ‘the colonists aimed not at new discipline, but at sovereignty; that it was accounted treason in their general court to speak of appeals to the king;’4
and the greatest apprehensions were raised by a requisition which commanded the letters patent of the company to be produced in England
To this requisition the emigrants returned no reply.
Still more menacing was the appointment of an