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[431] The firm remonstrances of Edward Godfrey, then
Chap. X.} 1652-3
governor of the province, a loyal friend to the English monarchy and the English church, were disregarded; and one town after another, yielding in part to menaces and armed force, gave in its adhesion. Great care was observed to guard the rights of property; every man was confirmed in his possessions; the religious liberty of the Episcopalians was left unharmed; the privileges of citizenship were extended to all inhabitants; and the whole eastern country gradually, yet reluctantly, submitted to the necessity of the change. When the claims of the proprietaries in England were urged before Cromwell, many inhabitants of the towns of York, Kittery, Wells, Saco, and
Cape Porpoise, yet not a majority, remonstrated on the ground of former experience. To sever them from Massachusetts would be to them ‘the subverting of all civil order.’1

Thus did Massachusetts, following the most favorable interpretation of its charter, extend its frontier to the islands in Casco Bay. It was equally successful in maintaining its independence of the Long Parliament; though the circumstances of the contest were fatal to the immediate assertion of the liberty of conscience.

With the increase of English freedom, the dangers

which had menaced Massachusetts appeared to pass away; its government began to adventure on a more lenient policy; the sentence of exile against Wheelwright was rescinded; a proposition was made to extend the franchises of the company to those who were not church members, provided ‘a civil agreement ’

1 Documents in Maine Hist Coll. 296. 299. Ms. Letter of Geo. Folsom.

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