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mr Thomas Scrugs
On June 6, 1639, the General Court took the following action, showing Mr. Peter's connection with the desire for this early location of the College at Marblehead:
It was ordered, that a letter should bee sent to M. Humfrey to send in the 1001 which is in his hand to further the colledge.
M: Endecot, M: Downing, & M: Hauthorne are to dispose of the house wch M. Peters bought as they can, & returne the money for the colledge.
Following Mr. Peter's early labors in behalf of the College was the arrival of Mrs. Ames in Salem bringing with her Dr. Ames's valuable library, said to have been “the first furniture of this (the College] Library,” 3 to whom the General Court gave soon afterward, in 1637, a gratuity of £40.
Then Nathaniel Eaton, a pupil of Dr. Ames at Franeker, came early the same summer to be the first head of the College. In the summer of 1638 John Phillips arrived here, with his wife Elizabeth, a sister of Dr. Ames, probably at the house of Mrs. Ames at Salem, soon for a brief time to assist in the Cambridge Church and in the first year's work of the College.
Most of the graduates of English universities who came to our wilderness in the early days of the Colony were from the University of Cambridge. The earliest graduate, in seniority, after William Brewster, of Plymouth, to come to our shores was John Phillips, who was matriculated at Emmanuel as pensioner, Easter Term, 1594, graduated at St. Catharine's College, 1596-7,4 received his A.M. from Clare College in 1600, and his S.T.B. from Clare in 1608. He became rector of Wrentham, in Suffolk, England, in 1609, and was married there on January 6, 1611-2, to Elizabeth, sister of Dr. William Ames. It was there, too, on October 22, 1622, that our John Allin was married to Margaret Morse, and on October 24, 1623, that
1 Essex Institute Historical Collections, iv. 93, ix. 16.
his eldest son John Allin was baptized, both probably by Mr. Phillips; the Allin family at that time being residents of Denton, a village in Norfolk a few miles from Wrentham. It is thought that Dr. Ames had encouraged his brother-in-law to adopt the Congregational way. To whom should John Allin turn but to his old friend Phillips, the Wrentham rector, to be the pastor at Dedham, whose alma mater was also his own, though twenty years earlier?
In 1638 Phillips was deprived of his living, and ejected from his church and its ministry; and in the summer of that year we find him on this side of the water at first declining two calls of the Dedham Church, and about to take up the call of the Cambridge Church to assist Shepard and to enter into the work of the College, for both of which he was apparently much wanted.
Thomas Shepard, who came to Newtown with a company of about sixty persons in 1635, on February 1, 1636, became the pastor of the Cambridge Church, organized on that day, only a short time before Hooker and his company departed, whose places they soon filled. The General Court, in the fall of 1637, was sitting at Newtown in Shepard's Church when the order was passed for the College to be begun there. In his valuable paper on Hints of Contemporary Life in the Writings of Thomas Shepard, our associate Mr. Davis says that it was Shepard's strong influence, according to Cotton Mather, which secured the selection of that place as the site of a proposed college, and that “with the Court holding its sessions in his church, surrounded by his own people, and with himself in earnest in the work, he was able to accomplish his purpose.” Shepard looked upon the College as “an opportunity of doing good to many by doing good to students.” On November 20, of that year, 1637, he was appointed by the General Court on a committee, with ten others and Roger Harlakenden, who had come from England with him in 1635, and who in the old country had extended favor and protection to him. Shepard's company at once entered into public affairs, and Harlakenden had been chosen first selectman. The call to the Cambridge church and to the foundation of the College was substantially one from Shepard himself to John Phillips, now over fifty years of age, while Shepard was about thirty-three, both of Cambridge University.
1 Cf. Publications of this Society, xii. 273–277. xii. 136–163.
As entered on the Dedham records Phillips had been “caled divers waies," — to Salem and to Rowley. Salem, on December 31, 1638, three months after Phillips had declined the call to Dedham,
Agreed and voted that there should be a Village graunted to Mr Phillips & his company vppon such conditions as the 7 men appointed for the towne affairs should agree on.
A little later, on March 13, 1638–9, the General Court entered on its records that
M" Ezechi: Rogers, M. John Phillips, & their company had granted them 8 miles every way into the countrey, where it may not trench vpon other plantations already setled.?
This plantation on September 4, 1639, was called Rowley. Felt says that the earlier vote, on December 31, 1638, was the origin of Salem Village, and that Phillips was "received" there then as a townsman.
The following entries are taken from an old church book kept at Cambridge by one of the deacons, and tell of his coming to that place:
(January 4, 1638/39?) pd to my brother Cane for going to Salem with a message to m? Phillips (when he was about to come to us) 5.0.0
(After July 9, 1639?) paid the h[o]yman that brought Mr. Philips to us his goods bringing from Salem when he Removed to us 3 [erased)
We [ ] this (the last charge) and took it out of that received for officer's maintenance
payd my brother cane for helping Mr. Philips at his first coming to set up his goods & howsold, 5s
0.5.0 payd my brother cane for carying a leter to Salem (concerninge clearinge about Mr. Philips) to Mr. Hawthorne
0.5.0 payd my brother cane for his helpe in Mr Philips removing to Mr. Pellams house for 1 day and Y2
0.3.0 pd for a help of another to mend Mr Pelams house for Mr Philips 4
1 Essex Institute Historical Collections, ix. 77. 2 Massachusetts Colony Records, i. 253, 271.
* This entry is crossed out in the original MS volume now in possession of the Shepard Memorial Church, Cambridge.
• There is another entry which gives the date of the purchase of the volume containing these records as in the early part of December, 1638.
Paige 1 says Phillips removed to Cambridge in 1639, and remained about a year. He lived for a time in a house of Mr. Herbert Pelham, who married the widow of Roger Harlakenden; and while occupying this house built a house for himself on the northerly side of Kirkland Street, afterward the homestead of Deputy-Governor Thomas Danforth, and then of the Foxcrofts. The following entries from the Cambridge Records relate to this house:
Att a meeting of the Inhabitants of this Towne in May 1650:
It was voted and consented vnto by the Towne that the house wch m Philips built annent Charlestowne lane, with the land adjoyneing & wood lott should be Sould to Thomas Danforth for fifty pounds to be payd by him to m? Philips or his assignes, in Current Country pay, vpon Demand at the said house. The said Tho: Danforth to Enjoy the said house & land to him his heyres & assignes for eu? 3
10–12–1655, Whereas this Towne about 5: years now past bargained with Thomas Danforth for that house wherein he now liveth, Vpon condiccõn that he should pay to the Assignes of m? Philips of Wrent. the Erector of the said house: the Sume of fifty pounds in Currant Country pay vpon demand in Camb. And whereas the said money have hitherto neyther been payd nor demanded, but the said Thomas Danforth doth demand a deed of Sale to be made him by the Townsemen, pleading yt Mr Dunster hath recd forty pounds in part there of 4
How Mr. Dunster came into the matter can only be surmised. He resigned the presidency of the College in 1654, and it may be that he represented some interest of the College in the property.
With a clear understanding, as appears by the Dedham Church records, Phillips, by the beginning of October, 1638, had accepted the call to the “publicke service of the Church & foundation of ye Colledge” at Cambridge. It is to be assumed that the call was urgent and that Shepard needed him in both of these important positions; and it hardly seems likely that he so far delayed accepting it that he did not remove from Salem to Cambridge until the early part of 1639, as Paige would have us believe. It is probable that on his arrival in the summer of 1638 he and his wife took up their abode with Mrs. Ames at Salem; and that it was not convenient to remove their belongings to Cambridge until 1639, although he might have
1 History of Cambridge, pp. 255, 256. : Cambridge Town Records, p. 105. Paige's Cambridge, p. 627.
• Cambridge Town Records, p. 109.
been temporarily accommodated, from the beginning of his service in the fall of 1638, perhaps in a house of Mr. Pelham's, in Cambridge. Moreover, it is not unlikely that in 1639 Mrs. Ames was ready to remove her goods, with her children, to Cambridge; for William, her son, who entered College in 1641, would need to spend some time in the "faire Grammar School” in preparation.
Just when Phillips gave up his position in Cambridge is uncertain, but toward the beginning of 1640, there was a further effort on the part of Salem to have him return to that plantation, as the following vote shows:
21-11-1639. Granted to Mr. Phillips to be an Inhabitant & to haue 80 acres of land.
Provided yt these 6 last grants from this m'ke * is wth the condicion that they continew in the Plantation to vse the same.
Then follows, in the course of events, an expression again of the warm interest of the Dedham plantation in Mr. Phillips by extending a third call in the following minute entered early in 1640:
Mention was made before of yo ernest desyre of yo church to enjoy yo helpe of m* Phillips woh thay expressed by yr invitations wth yo consent of y® whole Towne before yel joyned & after by a renued call of ye church. but ye lords time not being come he was drawne rather to attend ye call of other places till ye 10 month of ye yeare 1640. but ye lord ordering things so by a speciall pvidence yt he no wher settled but was freed from all ingagemts, ye lord allso disapointing our indeavours to supply other wher. when we came to take notice of his liberty from all other places we found ye harts of all ye church desyrous to renew the former invitation woh was so suted wth many speciall pvidences of 'god in respect of himselfe & us yt he saw ye lords hand clerely in it, & so cherfully accepted ye same, & after his coming to us & some more acquaintance wth ye church he was ppounded: 'wth his wife allso 24th of ye 3m 1640. & admitted wth much rejoics of ye church both he & his wife 31 of ye 3dm 1640.2
On a leaf at the end of John Allin's volume of records are several entries of intended departures to England, and of dismissions from the Church, from 1641 to 1645. Among these is the following entry:
1 Essex Institute Historical Collections, ix. 98. 2 Dedham Records, ii. 23.