Showing posts with label 17th century. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 17th century. Show all posts

Saturday, December 28, 2013

17th century Quaker Persecutions New Bedford, MA

From History of Bristol County, Massachusetts Part One

Among the orders of the court concerning the Quakers was the following:
"If any person or persons called Quakers, or other such like vagabonds, shall come into any town in this government, the marshal or constable shall apprehend him or them, and upon examining, so appearing, he shall whip them, or cause them to be whipped, with rods so it exceeds not fifteen stripes, and to give him or them a pass to depart the government, and if they be found without the pass and not acting thereunto they shall be punished again as formerly; and in case the constable shall be unwilling to whip them, and cannot find any one to do it, they shall bring them to Plymouth to the under-marshal, and he shall inflict it."
Another regulation says, "Whereas, by order of court, all free men of this corporation, as Quakers, or such as encourage them, or such as speak contemptuously of the laws thereof, or such as are judged by court grossly scandalous, as liars, drunkards, swearers, shall lose their freedom in this corporation."

1651. Ralph Allen, Sr., and wife, George Allen and wife, and William Allen are presented with others for uot attending public worship according to law. Arthur Howland, for not attending public worship. This Arthur seems to have been a troublesome fellow to the strict Puritans of the colony. Ralph Allen and Richard Kirby are fined five pounds, or to be whipped, for vile sketches against ordinances. Richard Kirby info

1655. Sarah Kirby sentenced to be whipped for divers suspicious speeches.(sister Jane Landers also in court with her but no record of punishment)

1656, Sunday. Persons for meeting at the house of William Allen are summoned to answer for the misdemeanor.

1656. Sarah Kirby whipped for disturbing public worship.

1657. Arthur Howland, for permitting a Quaker meeting in his house, and for inviting such as were under government, children and others, to come to said meeting, was sentenced by the court to find securities for his good behavior; in case he should refuse he is fined four pounds. He refused to give bonds, and was fined. "The said Arthur Howland, for resisting the constable of Marshfield in the execution of his office, and abusing him in words by threatening speeches, is fined five pounds." And again, Arthur Howland, for presenting a writing in court, which said writing, on the reading thereof, appeared to be of dangerous consequences, he owning it to be his own, and for making known the said writing to others, was sentenced by court to find securities for his good behavior. We have now another Howland upon the stage.

1657. "Henry Howland, for entertaining a meeting in his house, contrary to order of Court, is fined ten shillings." And still another, Louth Howland, "for speaking opprobriously of the ministers of God's word, is sentenced to set in the stocks for the space of an hour or during pleasure of Court, which was performed and so released paying the fee."

1657. Ralph Allen, Jr., and William Allen being summoned, appeared to answer for a tumultuous carriage at a meeting of the Quakers at Sandwich ; their being admonished in that respect were cleared, notwithstanding irreverently carrying themselves before the court, coming in before thein with their hats on, were fined twenty shillings apiece.

Here is the case of the whipping and fining before spoken of,—

1658. H. Norton and John Rouse were sentenced to be whipped for coming into the jurisdiction contrary to call. The sentence was executed. "The same day performed," is the language of the record, and the under-marshal requiring his fees they refused to pay them, and they were again returned to prison until they would pay.

1658. William Allen is fined forty shillings for entertaining Quaker meeting. About this time there was a part added—demanded, as says the record— because, among other things, "of the letting loose as a scourge upon us those gangrene-like doctrines and persons called Quakers." 

1659. We now find upon the records the following: "The Court taking notice of sundry scandalous falsehoods in a letter of Isaac Robinson's tending greatly to the prejudice of this government and incouragement of those commonly called Quakers, and thereby liable according to law to disenfranchisement, yet we at present forbear the sentence until further inquiry."

1660. Daniel Butler for rescuing a strange Quaker was sentenced to be whipped. Joseph Allen fined ten shillings for attending a Quaker meeting. Here wehave some wholesale operations,—twenty-five persons were fmed ten shillings eaeh for attending Quaker meeting, and among them were Joseph, Benjamin, William, and Matthew Allen, Richard Kirby and Richard Kirby (2d), and Daniel and Obadiah Butler. For more family info  Howland-Kirby papers

1661. The obstinate Howlands are again introduced. Henry Rowland for entertaining a Quaker meeting in his house is twice fined four pounds. Loeth Howland breaks the Sabbath and is fined ten shillings.

1662. Another Howland Sabbath-breaker. Samuel Howland, having no meal in the house, went to the mill and took home his grist. Fined ten shillings, or the whip.

1664. Arthur Howland is again in difficulty. But it is not for new heresy of opinion that he is brought before the magnates of the land. The following is the record: "Arthur Howland, for inveighling Mistress Elizabeth Prince and making motion of marriage to her, and prosecuting the same contrary to her parents' liking and without their consent and directly contrary to their mind and will, was sentenced to pay a fine of five pounds, and to find securities for his good behavior, and in special that he desist from the use of any means to obtain or retain her affections as aforesaid." He paid his fine, a pretty heavy one for those days, and gave the bonds required by the sentence of the court. "Arthur Howland acknowledges to owe unto our sovereign lord the king the sum of fifty dollars; John Duncan, the sum of twenty-five dollars; Timothy Williams, the sum of twenty-five dollars. The condition that whereas the said Arthur Howland hath disorderly and unrighteously endeavored to obtain the affections of Mistress Elizabeth Prince, against the mind and will of her parents. If, therefore, the said Arthur Howland shall for the future refrain and desist from the use of any means to obtain or retain her affections as aforesaid, and appear at the court of His Majesty, to ho hnlden at Plymouth the first Tuesday in July next, and in the mean time be of good behavior towards our sovereign lord the king and all his liege people, and not depart the said court without license, that then, etc."
The next year we find him again before the court, and again coming under a solemn agreement no further to offend in the premises.

Some Future Family Quaker Pictures 

Picture Jim Gresela Contact

Abraham H. Howland served as the first mayor of New Bedford, Massachusetts. A leading Quaker businessman of the time, he was elected shortly after the incorporation of New Bedford in 1847. A man of esteem and wealth, he lived in the prominent neighborhood of County Street in New Bedford.

             Picture Above of Henrietta Howland Green aka the “Witch of Wall Street” 

             Picture Above Howland Triple Portrait George Howland & Sons

Sunday, December 15, 2013

John Wheelwright - Sidney Sussex, Cambridge - helped found Exeter, NH and Wells, Maine

A Great Share from John Tepper Martin writer, publisher, economic consultant and teacher about how govt economic policies and global business trends interact at the U.S. and local level. He is also Principal of CityEconomist and Publisher of Boissevain Books LLC. Melissa Berry included some links and pictures.

I have been hard at work looking for and seeking to aggregate the contributions of Oxford and Cambridge alumni to the pre-Revolutionary (colonial) era in the United States.
So far I have much information on Oxonians from the states between Florida and New York, and little on the Cambridge contingent. But the Cambridge alums, thin on the ground, mostly settled in the New England area, which helps fill in the lack of data on the contributions of Oxonians on the New England colonies..

John Harvard, of course, gave his library to help start the college after which he is named. My general observation is that the Cambridge colonists tended to be more disputatious, and had a difficult time of it. They say that Cambridge tended to grow martyrs and Oxford did them in. Certainly Rev. John Wheelwright was an outspoken person of the kind (Socrates, Jesus, the Apostles) whose lives are ended by the people in charge. I say that in admiration.

(Oxford men, and before the American Revolution they were of course all men, tend to live and die -- whether or not they visit their properties in North America -- comfortably. The Oxonians who played a part in the formation of the United States tended to be concentrated in the eight colonies between New York and Florida, and in many cases they started by owning the whole colony or a big piece of it.)

John Wheelwright (c.1592–1679) was an alumnus of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He helped found Exeter, NH and Wells, Maine, thereby covering two more colonies/states. He was also a figure of note in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Genealogy on Wheelwright & family

As a controversial Puritan clergyman, Wheelwright helped establish religious liberty in all the colonies by bravely asserting his dissent from conventional doctrines of the day. He was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony over the issue of faith vs. good works, during the era that includes the "Antinomian Controversy".   See Diary of Anne Hutchinson
The minority view, espoused by John Wheelwright and his brother-in-law's wife Anne Hutchinson, following Reverend John Cotton, was that one can be saved only by grace (not solely by one's own effort but through the grace of God). They believed that the "covenant of grace" means that common rules of morality are not binding. In simplest terms -- someone with faith will not go to hell for something he/she does or fails to do. Faith prevails over good works. The contrary view is that deeds matter, that faith is not enough and that one must earn one's place in heaven by good works.

On April 3, 1638, Rev. John Wheelwright signed a deed with the Squamscott tribesmen, effectively creating the Town of Exeter, New Hampshire.From Exeter Historical Society 

Wheelwright's bravery helped make the colonies a place where dissent was permitted.

Born in Lincolnshire, England, to a well-off family, Wheelwright earned the B.A. (and after some years, the M.A.) degree at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge where he excelled in sports. Oliver Cromwell was a college contemporary, something that proved useful for a few years many years later when Wheelwright returned to England for a visit.

After being ordained in 1619, Wheelwright became vicar of the parish in Bilsby, Lincolnshire until 1629, when he was removed for the sin of “simony” (after Simon Magus, who was accused of this during the time of the Apostles), i.e., selling sacred things such as church positions.

So in 1636, the same year another Cambridge man was helping to start up Harvard College, Wheelwright left New England for friendlier faces in Boston, where his brother-in-law's wife, Anne Hutchinson, was getting noticed. He joined Hutchinson as a follower of Rev. John Cotton and his "covenant of grace" theology, by which one is saved by grace alone. Under attack by other Puritans, they charged that the colony's clergy and government officials were guilty of espousing a "covenant of works", i.e., a belief that people can be saved by good works alone, without faith.

From Marker #32 Revolutionary Capital 

Since Hutchinson and Wheelwright were in a minority, it will be no surprise that they were banished from the Massachusetts Bay colony by the religious and civil authorities they attacked. Anne Hutchinson went to Rhode Island, where she founded the town of Portsmouth, where I went to school in 1955-1958. Wheelwright and some followers voyaged north with their possessions during the winter of 1637–1638. In April 1638 they established the town of Exeter in what was then the Province of New Hampshire. However, Massachusetts authorities kept hounding him, and activated a claim on the lands where his group had established their community. Wheelwright had to move on to Wells, Maine.

Wheelwright's order of banishment was eventually retracted. He moved his community to Hampton, then part of Massachusetts and later part of New Hampshire. In 1654 his followers helped him get the complete vindication from the Massachusetts Court.

Headstone Maine Memory 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Quakers in Newbury MA

By Melissa Berry @ Newburyport News

---- — “The tale is one of an evil time,
When souls were fettered and thought was crime.
And heresy’s whisper above its breath
Meant shameful scourging, and bonds and death.”
— John Greenleaf Whittier

As we enjoy this season of good food and drink, as well as the liberty to choose which local house of the Lord we fancy, we can be thankful that Puritan tyrants no longer patrol our pastures as they did in our ancestors’ day.  

In Newbury, the early settlers ran into conflict with Puritan authority over ecclesiastical differences. Quakers especially were in the hot bed, and anyone that harbored the “cursed sect” would feel the fiery fury of local officials. These aggressively “bloodthirsty” and “extremely fanatical” men were not open to compromise. When dealing with dissenters, in the words of John Proctor, Puritan “justice would freeze beer.”

When the Quakers came to the Colonies, they brought with them a spiritual democracy that threatened the Puritan aristocratic system. Their simplistic faith had an absence of clergy, creed and sacrament; moreover, they gave women equality. The head honchos like Endicott and Hawthorne labeled them “dangerous intruders invading our borders” and “wandering vagabonds.” Despite the tenacious efforts of the magistrates who wanted to eliminate the “vile heretics,” which included branding, whipping and cropping, the Quakers just kept coming, and the good folk of Newbury were more than willing to board and support them.

Phelps Farm

In the summer months of 1658, the farm of Robert Adams played host to two Quaker missionaries, William Brend and William Leddra. The Phelps family of Salem held a secret Quaker meeting, and Adams escorted the guest speakers to the gathering. See Hannah (Baskel) Phelps Phelps Hill - A Quaker Woman and Her Offspring Unfortunately, word got out and the constables came to break up the assembly and haul in all the “quaking heretics.”

When the law boys arrived, chaos broke out, and perhaps the distraction of finding their wives in the midst of this devil’s den allowed Adams to sneak his guests out and bring them back to Newbury. However, it would not be long before the authorities would track them down. Captain Gerrish and the minister paid a call on their buddy Adams, and despite their best efforts to resolve things amicably, Brend and Leddra were turned over to Salem Court. Adams paid the fines, but his friends faced a different fate.
Picture of Quaker Trial from Laura George

The tragic events that followed were nothing short of extreme cruelty. Confined to the Boston jail, Brend and Leddra were starved and repeatedly beaten with a three-pitched rope until they were on the brink of death. The disapproving sentiment of the public reached Endicott. Knowing he had to intervene, Endicott sent in a surgeon. Russell L. Jackson asserts that the aged Brend, with help from an “unseen Healer,” rose from his sick cot as he still had more light to spread and preach about in New England.

In August 1659, Thomas Macy (see Powow Preacher Spats with Puritans) was prosecuted and fined 30 shillings for hosting four Quakers. Two of his guests, William Robinson and Marmaduke Stephenson, would later be executed upon the gallows on Dec. 27, 1659. (Visit The Thomas Macy Home-Colby House

Fed up with the Puritan government, Macy “shook the dust from off his feet” and departed to Nantucket, where the iron hand of these despots did not reach. Thomas left “because he could not in justice to the dictates of his own conscience longer submit to the tyranny of the clergy and those in authority” (Macy Papers). His journey was a spiritual sign of deliverance as he, his family, Isaac Coleman and Edward Starbuck survived a fierce storm that raged like the Furies on their open boat.

Others like Coffin, Swain, Pike and Folger joined Macy on Nantucket. Allen Coffin noted that, while it was not an Elysium, the island was indeed blessed with “plenty’s golden smile” and “a refuge of the free.” Thanks to these brave, forward-thinking men, Nantucket became the first settlement to enjoy complete separation of Church and State.

On March 16, 1663, John Emery was presented to the court at Ipswich and charged with entertaining Quakers. The whole ordeal caused quite a buzz, and Rev. Parker showed up with a posse, demanding some answers. Sarah Emery asserts: “At this period one can scarcely depict the commotion such an incident must have caused in the secluded and quiet settlement of Quascacunquen, on the banks of the winding Parker, or appreciate the courage evinced by John Emery and his wife in thus rising above popular prejudice, and fanatical bigotry, and intolerance.” For this offence, the court fined Emery four pounds, plus costs and fees.

While we are grateful to live with religious freedom, we must also be grateful that our ancestors’ spirit, courage and light was not extinguished despite the tyrannical terror of dark Puritanical forces.
Happy Thanksgiving! Thank You to the Port Library Archives and Cheryl Follansbee.