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August 24th (search for this): chapter 1
possession of the fortified towns. But would the Cavaliers consent to surrender all military power to plebeian statesmen? Would the nobility endure that men should exercise dominion over the king, whose predecessors their ancestors had hardly been permitted to serve? To Charles, who had had neither firmness to maintain his just authority, nor sincerity to effect a safe reconciliation, no alternative remained, but resistance or the surrender of all power; and, unfurling the royal stand- Aug. 24. ard, he began a civil war. The contest was between a permanent parliament and an arbitrary king. The people had no mode of intervention except by serving in the armies; they could not come forward as mediators or as masters. The parliament was become a body, of which the duration depended on its own will; unchecked by a supreme executive, or by an independent coordinate branch of legislation; and, therefore, of necessity, a multitudinous despot, unbalanced and irresponsible; levying t
October 14th (search for this): chapter 1
ndemn what Hugh Peters had done. Crown, in Chalmers, 264. His arraignment, his trial, and his execution, were scenes of wanton injustice. He was allowed no counsel; and, indeed, his death had been resolved upon beforehand, though even false witnesses did not substantiate the specific charges urged against him. His last thoughts reverted to Massachusetts. Go home to New England, and trust God there; it was his final counsel to his daughter. At the gallows, he was compelled to wait 1660 Oct. 14. while the body of his friend Cooke, who had just been hanged, was cut down and quartered before his eyes. How like you this? cried the executioner, rubbing his bloody hands. I thank God, replied the martyr, I am not terrified at it; you may do your worst. To his friends he said, Weep not for me; my heart is full of comfort; and he smiled as he made himself ready to leave the world. Even death could not save him from his enemies; the bias of party corrupts the judgment, and cruelty jus
October 18th (search for this): chapter 1
Plead our case, 1658 Nov. 5. they had said to him in previous instructions, which Gorton and others had draughted, Ms. extracts from the records. The instructions are printed in Mass. Hist. Coll. XVII. 85—87. The document is of the highest interest; no learning or skill in rhetoric could have mended it. in such sort as we may not be compelled to exercise any civil power over men's consciences; we do judge it no less than a point of absolute cruelty. And now that the hereditary 1660 Oct. 18 monarch was restored and duly acknowledged, they had faith that the gracious hand of Providence would preserve them in their just rights and privileges. Commission to John Clarke, in Mass. Hist. Coll. XVII. 90, 91. It Chap. XI.} is much in our hearts, they urged in their petition to Charles II., to hold forth a lively experiment, that a most flourishing civil state may stand, and best be maintained, with a full liberty of religious concernments. The benevolent monarch listened to the
April 20th (search for this): chapter 1
curiosity; perhaps he amused him with accounts of Indian warfare, and descriptions of the marvels of a virgin world. A favorable recollection of Charles I., who had been a friend to his father's father, and who gave to his family an hereditary claim on the Stuarts, was effectually revived. His personal merits, sympathy for his family, his exertions, the petition of the colony, and, as I believe, the real good will of Clarendon,—for we must not reject all faith in generous feeling,— 1662. April 20. easily prevailed to obtain for Connecticut an ample patent. The courtiers of King Charles, who themselves had an eye to possessions in America, suggested no limitations; and perhaps it was believed, that Connecticut would serve to balance the power of Massachusetts. The charter, disregarding the hesitancy of New Haven, the rights of the colony of New Belgium, and the claims of Spain on the Pacific, connected New Haven with Hartford in one colony, of which the limits were extended from
ween the desire of destroying English liberty, and a timid respect for its forms, disregarded the wishes of his more prudent friends, and, under the influence of capricious passion, suddenly dissolved a parliament more favorable to his interests May 5. than any which he could again hope from the excitement of the times. The friends of the popular party were elated at the dissolution. This parliament could have remedied the confusion, said the royalist Hyde, afterwards earl of Clarendon, to S little more than 1664. Mar. organize the government anew, and repeal all laws inconsistent with the charter—a repeal which precludes the possibility of the disfranchising of Roman Catholics. In May, the regular session was held, and religious May 5. freedom was established in the very words of the charter. Records. If Roman Catholics were disfranchised (which they were not) in March, 1663—4, that disfranchisement endured only two months. Compare Eddy, in Walsh's Appeal, 429, &c.; and Bul
he field of battle With much hypocrisy, his camp was the scene of much real piety; and long afterwards, when his army was disbanded, its members, who, for the most part, were farmers and the sons of farmers, resumed their places among the industrious classes of society; while the soldiers of the royalists were often found in the ranks of vagabonds and beggars. It was the troops of Cromwell that first, in the open field, broke the ranks of the royal squadrons; and the decisive victory 1644. July 2. of Marston Moor was won by the iron energy and valor of the godly saints whom he had enlisted. The final overthrow of the prospects of Charles in 1647. the field, marks the crisis of the struggle for the ascendant between the Presbyterians and Independents. Chap XI.} The former party had its organ in the parliament, the latter in the army, in which the Presbyterian commander had been surprised into a resignation by the self-denying ordinance, and the intrigues of Cromwell. As the dur
ts. The benevolent monarch listened to their petition; it is more remarkable that Clarendon exerted 1662 himself R. I. Records. for the men who used to describe themselves as having fled from bishops as from wolves; the experiment of religious freedom in a nook of a remote continent, could not appear dangerous; it might at once build up another rival to Massachusetts, and solve a curious problem in the history of man. The charter, therefore, which was delayed only by controversies 1663 July 8. about bounds, was at length perfected, and, with new principles, imbodied all that had been granted to Connecticut. Hazard, II. 612, &c.; anti also Knowles, App. G. The supreme power was committed—the rule continues to-day—to a governor, deputy-governor, ten assistants, now called senators, and deputies from the towns. It marks a singular moderation, that the scruples of the inhabitants were so respected, that no oath of allegiance Hazard, II. 617. was required of them; the laws were
July 27th (search for this): chapter 1
on hurdles to Tyburn, and regularly hanged at the three corners of the gallows. In the evening, the same bodies were cut down and beheaded, amidst the exulting merriment of the Cavaliers. Such is revenge! Of the judges of King Charles I., three escaped to America. Edward Whalley, who had first won laurels in the field of Naseby, had ever enjoyed the confidence of Cromwell, and remained to the last an enemy to the Stuarts and a friend to the interests of the Independ- Chap XI.} 1660 July 27. ents,—and William Goffe, a firm friend to the family of Cromwell, Burton's Diary, i. 361. a good soldier, and an ardent partisan, but ignorant of the true principles of freedom,—arrived in Boston, where Endicot, the governor, received them with courtesy. For nearly a year, they resided unmolested within the limits of Massachusetts, holding meetings in every house, where they preached and prayed, and gained universal applause. When warrants arrived from England for their apprehension,
stianity established political equality, —You are the unworthiest men upon the earth, if you do lose the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free in life and glory. The leading printed authorities for early Rhode Island history, are Callender's Century Sermon, Backus's History of the Baptists, and Knowles's Roger Williams. The Mass. Hist. Coll. contain many useful documents, too various to be specially cited. Our Rhode Island Historical Society has published five valuable volumes. Hopkins's History of Providence is not accurate; it is in the Mass. Hist. Coll. Compare, also, Walsh's Appeal, 431, &c. Let me not forget to add the reprints from the Records, and the Commentaries of Henry Bull, of Newport. Besides printed works, I have large Ms. materials, which I collected in part from the public offices in Rhode Island. I am especially indebted to William R. Staples, who, with singular liberality, intrusted to me the Ms. Collections which he has been gathering for years. Suc
illo Hectore, adds Stuyvesant, who was very fond of a Latin quotation. There was, however, no change in the political principles of New England, which never was regicide. Albany Records, XVIII. 123. and the rising republic on the Connecticut appeared in London by its representative, the younger Winthrop, who went, as it were, between the mangled limbs of his father-in-law, to ensure the welfare of his fellow-exiles in the west. They had purchased their lands of the assigns of the earl of Warwick, and from Uncas they had bought the 1661 Mar. 14. territory of the Mohegans; and the news of the restoration awakened a desire for a patent. But the little colony proceeded warily; they draughted among themselves the instrument which they desired the king to ratify; and they could plead for their possessions their rights by purchase, by conquest from the Pequods, and by their own labor, which had redeemed the wilderness. A letter was also addressed from Connecticut 1661 to the aged Lord
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