than Laud's tyranny, and that the views of the Archbishop were not so much directed to the security of Church and Crown against disaffected men, as to the gratification of his own malignant humor in persecuting them.*

Already, as early as the year 1633, an order had been made in council forbidding the departure of a number of ships then ready to sail for New England with passengers and provisions, " because of the resorting thither of divers persons known to be ill affected not only with civil but ecclesiastical government at home ; whereby such confusion and distraction is already grown there, in New England, especially in point of religion, as beside the ruin of the said plantation cannot but highly tend to the scandal both of Church and State here." This grew out of the slanders perpetrated against the colony by men who had been punished in it, or banished from it, for their crimes and immoralities, such as the notorious Morton, the servant Ratcliffe, and Sir Christopher Gardiner. Their gross falsehood was proven, and the order, though headed by Archbishop Laud himself, was not executed, but even the king declared that the slanderers should be severely punished.f

The slanderers and petitioners against the colony were instigated by Sir F. Gorges and Captain Mason, who wished for a general government over New England ; and in their petition they charged both colonies with intended rebellion, that they meant to be wholly separate from the Church and laws of England, and that their ministers and people did continually rail against the State, the Church, and the bishops. Messrs. Cradock, Salstonstall, and Humphrey, who were then in England, answered the accusations on the part of the company so triumphantly that nothing could be done against them. I

* Hallam's Constitutional History of England, p. 270. + See a copy of the order in Hubbard, p. 152. † Baylies' Memoir of Plymouth Colony, p. 207, vol. i.

this year,

Nevertheless, it was remarkable that that order in council should have failed; for Laud came into his archbishopric

l and was carrying everything before him ; and this was the year of his infamous cruelties against Prynne, Bastwick, and Burton. Moreover he was already stretching the arm of his power beyond seas, and the Puritanic refuge from his wrath and zeal in America he hated with a raging bitterness. This was the year in which Cotton fled to New England, the Earl of Dorset having sent him word that if he had been guilty of drunkenness, uncleanness, or any such lesser fault, he could have got his pardon, but the sin of Puritanism and Nonconformity was unpardonable, and therefore he must fly for his safety.*

The commission by the King to Archbishop Laud in 1635, was a high commission of despotic power over the whole colony. It was in fact the establishment of an irresponsible ecclesiastical and civil despotism, with authority in reference to the canons and customs of the church, and appointment and maintenance of the clergy, to inflict punishment upon all offenders or violators of the constitution and ordinances, either by imprisonment or other restraint, or by loss of life or member, according as the quality of the offence shall require; with power to remove governors and presidents, and appoint others, and punish delinquents; power to ordain temporal judges and civil magistrates, and also, judges, magistrates, and officers for and concerning courts ecclesiastical ; and power to constitute and ordain tribunals and courts of justice both ecclesiastical and civil.

This despotic commission had been brewing for a long time, the Archbishop and King Charles having received many complaints of the divers sects and schisms alleged to be among the colonists, and of the spirit of liberty and independence thus growing up, so that it was said they would at that rate, ere long, take the royal jurisdiction itselt

* Neal's Hist. Puritans, vol. ii. p. 279.

into their own hands, as they had already done the ecclesiastical government. Laud and the King were resolved to put a stop to all this, and to bring the colony under the supreme dominion of the Established Church. Had there been a branch of the Establishment set up in New England, beyond question this effort would have been made much earlier, and might have been successful. As it was, and in spite of an earnest and free remonstrance on the part of Massachusetts, things proceeded so far, that a writ of quo warranto was brought by Sir John Banks, the King's Attorney General, against the Governor, deputy Governor, and assistants of the Corporation of the Massachusetts ; the charter was disclaimed, and judgment was given for the King, that the liberties and franchises of the said Corporation of the Massachusetts should be seized into the king's hands.* Orders in council followed, and a letter was sent revoking the patent ; but there the mischief stopped, and it would seem from Governor Bradford's account, mainly through Mr. Winslow's instrumentality in the execution of his agency for the colonies. It was more remarkable now than before that Laud's plans should have been thwarted, for he was in the very plenitude of almost unrestricted power, and at the height of his malignant persecuting fury. It was the protecting Providence of God.

We will begin the description of Winslow's collision with the Archbishop by an extract from Gov. Winthrop's Journal in October of 1635, where we find it recorded that Mr. Winslow, the late Governor of Plymouth, being this year in England, petitioned the council there for a commission to withstand the intrusion of the French and Dutch, which was likely to take effect. Governor Winthrop justly says here that the petition was undertaken by isl advice, for that such precedents might endanger their

* Hutchinson's Hist. Mass. Appendix, p. 440.
+ Hubbard's Gen. Hist. N. Eng. ch. xxxvi. p. 272.

liberties, as they should be permitted to do nothing thenceforward but by commission out of England. “However, the Archbishop being incensed against Mr. Winslow, as against all these plantations, informed the rest that he was a separatist and so forth, and that he did marry and so forth, and therefore got him committed; but after some few months he petitioned the board and was discharged."* And a marvel it was that he escaped so easily, as we shall see on following out this account more fully from the detail given by Governor Bradford.

Governor Bradford says that on this agency for the colonies Mr. Winslow encountered the slanders of their old enemies, Morton, Gardiner, and others, whose ends were the subversion and overthrow of the churches, and a new and general government. Sir F. Gorges, by Archbishop Laud's favor, was to have been sent over Governor-General into the country, and to have had means from the State for that end, and was now upon dispatch and conclusion of the business. And the Archbishop's intent was by his means, and some he should send with him, who were to be furnished with episcopal power, to disturb the peace of the churches, to overthrow their proceedings, and prevent their further growth. Mr. Winslow's petition came to nothing, as to its immediate point, by the influence of the Archbishop; but nevertheless, by God's providence, the whole plot and business of the Archbishop and Gorges fell to the ground by what transpired through Winslow's evidence and petition.t

The suit of Winslow had, it seems, been granted, after several examinations before the lords commissioners for the plantations in America, the main point being a warrant of right to the English Colonies to defend themselves

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* Gov. Winthrop's Journal under 1635, p. 89.

† Morton's New England Memorial, 170. Hutchinson, Hist. Massachu. setts, vol. ii. 409.

against all foreign enemies; and it was just about to be confirmed, when Archbishop Laud put a stop to it. Mr. Winslow then again resorted to the board of Commissioners, but meanwhile the Archbishop, with Gorges and Mason, had got Morton to renew his complaints and slanders. These were so thoroughly answered by Mr. Winslow, that the board checked Morton and rebuked him sharply, besides blaming Gorges and Mason for countenancing him. But now the Archbishop had another card to play, to which he was well accustomed; he entered on an inquisi

; torial examination of Mr. Winslow himself as to his conduct as a magistrate and Church-member in the Colony. In the first place he was accused of the crime of teaching in the church publicly, and Morton gave evidence that he had seen and heard him do it; and to this Mr. Winslow answered that sometimes, in the absence and default of a minister, he did exercise his own gift to help the edification of his brethren when they wanted better means, which was not often. This exercising of gifts by men not in the Established Church Ministry was one of the Archbishop's mortal enmities; he would rather have a raging pestilence in the church ; and now, after laboring with such thirsty diligence to exterminate every such practice and liberty in England, the sight of a freeman before him, not in prison, who plainly avowed that at home he was in the habit of exercising his gifts, if they were needed, was as detestable as that of Mordecai to Haman.

In the next place the Archbishop questioned him about the acts of his magistracy, especially his taking authority to perform the ceremony of marriage. As to this Mr. Winslow also confessed that having been called to the place of magistracy, he had sometimes married some; and further told their lordships that marriage was a civil thing, and that he found nowhere in the Word of God that it was tied to a minister ; again, they were necessitated so to do, having for a long time together at first no minister ; besides,

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