A few weeks before this attempt to stay emigration,
the lords of the council had written to Winthrop
, recalling to mind the former proceedings by a quo warranto, and demanding the return of the patent.
In case of refusal, it was added, the king would assume into his own hands the entire management of the plantation.1
But ‘David in exile could more safely expostulate with Saul
for the vast space between them.’
The colonists, without desponding, demanded a trial before condemnation.
They urged that the recall of the
patent would be a manifest breach of faith, pregnant with evils to themselves and their neighbors; that it would strengthen the plantations of the French
and the Dutch
; that it would discourage all future attempts at colonial enterprise; and, finally, ‘if the patent be taken from us,’—such was their cautious but energetic remonstrance,—‘the common people will conceive that his majesty hath cast them off, and that hereby they are freed from their allegiance and subjection, and therefore will be ready to confederate themselves under a new government, for their necessary safety and subsistence, which will be of dangerous example unto other plantations, and perilous to ourselves, of incurring his majesty's displeasure.’2
They therefore beg of the royal clemency the favor of neglect.
But before their supplication could find its way to the throne, the monarch was himself already involved in disasters.
Anticipating success in his tyranny in England
, he had resolved to practise no forbearance; with headlong indiscretion, he insisted on introducing