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where within the jurisdiction if there were no encroachments on plantations already granted. Of the first two so-called inland plantations, Dedham was a large tract with ample room for many groups of settlers. Its civil affairs had been administered for a year when on July 18, 1637, John Allin, later pastor of the Church, and twelve others, were admitted as townsmen. Then steps were taken to form a Church. At the next meeting of the town on August 11, this record appears:
It is ordered yt yf m? Peter Prudden wth 15. more of his Company shall please to come vnto vs, they shall haue enterteynemt & Lotts accordingly to be layd out for them. brenging c'tifficate from ye magistrats as is Requiered."
From some extracts given below it appears that Peter Prudden's company was a part of a larger company led by John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton; and that all had entered into the consideration of Dedham's invitation. On June 26, 1637:
There arrived two ships from London, the Hector, and the [blank). In these came Mr. Davenport and another minister, and Mr. Eaton and Mr. [Edward] Hopkins, two merchants of London, men of fair estate and of great esteem for religion, and wisdom in outward affairs.
In the Hector came also the Lord Ley, son and heir of the Earl of Marlborough, being about nineteen years of age, who came only to see the country.
The town of Newbury had invited the company to its plantation:
In June, two ships arrived with passengers. With them came Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Eaton, and Mr. Davenport, and many others of good note. Great pains were taken to induce them to settle in Massachusetts. *The Court offered them any place they would pitch upon.' 'The town of Newbury offered to give up their settlement to them, but they chose to remove to Connecticut, where they built New Haven.3
Only twenty days after the Dedham record, on August 31,
Mr. Eaton, and some others of Mr. Davenport's company, went to view Quinepiack with intent to begin a plantation there. They had many offers here and at Plimouth, and they had viewed many places, but none could content. ...
1 Dedham Records, iii. 33.
• Savage's Winthrop, i. 227–229.
The synod, called the assembly, began at Newtown. There were all the teaching elders through the country, and some new come out of England, not yet called to any place there, as Mr. Davenport, etc.
Later in the fall the Dedham plantation gave up hope of a favorable acceptance of their invitation to Peter Prudden and his company, as appears by the record of the town on November 28:.
Wheras m' Prudden wth 13. more of his Company at our last meeting had liberty given to come & haue Lotts in our Towne yf they soe pleased: But not haueing since vnd stood anything of their acceptance: we nowe hould ourselves noe longer to stand engaged vnto them therin.
Meantime several interesting events had taken place. When the company had landed at Boston in June, the Pequot War had been successfully ended, and the region near the mouth of the Connecticut River made habitable for plantations. Massachusetts felt a keen interest, by right, in the coming settlements along the river, since the General Court had issued a “Declaration” on November 17, 1637, stating that the lands and places in the “Pecoits Country, & Quoñapiack," that they possessed “are by iust title of conquest fallen to vs, & of freinds & assotiats;” and had suggested that a meeting be held at Newetowne as soon as the season would permit “to cunsult & determine of the disposeing & planting the said lands." 3
On March 12, 1637-8, John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton wrote an interesting letter to the Governor and General Court of Massachusetts explaining the reasons for the company's decision to settle outside of the patent. While their desire to stay in the Bay Colony “was real and strong,” they had spent “almost nine months' patient waiting in expectation of some opportunity to be offered,” which had been a “great charge and hindrance many ways.” They speak particularly of "a place for an inland plantation, beyond Watertown,” which had been propounded to them “and pressed with much importunity by some, whose words have a power of law with us.” They say that “a boat cannot pass from the bay thither, nearer than eight or ten miles distance," and thus they would be as long
1 Savage's Winthrop, i. 237. 3 Massachusetts Colony Records, i. 216.
• Dedham Records, iii. 35.
a way from their dwelling-houses “as Boston or Charlestown is from that place.” This inland plantation was Dedham, whose breadth on the north was from the present Readville section of Boston to the farthest limits of Natick on the west, and whose length from north to south extended from the Roxbury bounds to the Providence plantation. If John Allin and the group who became Dedham townsmen in July, 1637, were fellow-passengers with the company that arrived in the two ships on June 26, as seems most probable, it might throw some light on the expression in the letter that they had been “pressed with much importunity." The season of the year hastened them to a final conclusion. They had “sent letters to Connectacutt for a speedy transacting the purchase of the parts about Quillypieck from the natives.”1
On the 30th of March, 1637-8, “Mr. Davenport and Mr. Prudden, and a brother of Mr. Eaton, (being ministers also,) went by water to Quinepiack; and with them many families removed from this jurisdiction to plant in those parts." 3
Every effort had been made in the Bay Colony by those in authority to accommodate the company here; but though, as Winthrop says, their leaving was “a great weakening to these parts,” yet more were expected soon from England to fill their places. To remain here, “Charlestown offered them largely, Newbury their whole town, the court any place which was free.” Their removal to Quinnipiack was, in the mind of Governor Winthrop, evidently with a view to scatter the settlements as much as possible; for there was “danger of a general governour, who was feared to be sent this summer,” and by their new settlement those parts would be possessed "which lay open for an enemy," and their presence there would strengthen “our friends at Connecticut.” 4 • Chief among the New Haven settlers were John Davenport, their first minister, who later was minister of the First Church in Boston; Theophilus Eaton, their first governor; Edward Hopkins, whose bequest perpetuated his memory in the Hopkins Grammar School there; Peter Prudden, who soon, with his associates, pushed several miles westward into the wilderness, settled Milford, and became the first minister of its church; and Ezekiel Cheever, the famous
1 Savage's Winthrop, i. 484.
2 Rev. Samuel Eaton.
schoolmaster, who early established a free public school there, and who spent his closing years in Boston. The company had men of wealth, mechanics, artisans, and others whose services, though lost to the Bay Colony, played an important part in the founding of the State of Connecticut.
APRIL MEETING, 1914
STATED MEETING of the Society was held at the
house of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, No. 28 Newbury Street, Boston, on Thursday, 23 April, 1914, at three o'clock in the afternoon, the President, HENRY LEFAVOUR, LL.D., in the chair.
The Records of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.
The PRESIDENT announced the death, yesterday, of Dr. CHARLES PICKERING PUTNAM, a Resident Member.
The Hon. CHARLES JOHN MCINTIRE of Cambridge was elected a Resident Member.
The PRESIDENT appointed the following Committees in anticipation of the Annual Meeting:
To nominate candidates for the several offices, — Messrs. JOHN TROWBRIDGE, GEORGE WIGGLESWORTH, and FRED NORRIS ROBINSON.
To examine the Treasurer's Accounts. - Messrs. LINCOLN NEWTON KINNICUTT and WALTER CABOT BAYLIES.
The Rev. Dr. JAMES H. ROPES offered for publication the Accounts of the First Church of Christ, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1638–1716. Whereupon it was
Voted, That the thanks of the Society be given to the Deacons of the First Church (Congregational) of Cambridge for their courtesy in permitting these records to be printed.
Mr. FREDERICK J. TURNER read the following paper: