William Bradford Institute
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Early Settlement of America

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Bradford's Letterbook - 12


[BRADFORD: THIS next year being Anno. 1626, we sent Mr. Allerton into England, partly to make some supply for us, and to see if he could make any reasonable composition with the adventurers and because we well knew that nothing can be done without money, we gave him an order to procure some, binding ourselves to make payment thereof, as followeth:]

Know all men by these presents, that whereas we William Bradford, Governour of
Plymouth in New England, and William Brewster, Capt. Miles Standish, Isaac
Allerton, Samuel Fuller, Edward Winslow, John Jeney, John Howland, and John
Allden; being all inhabitants of Plymouth, aforesaid, are for ourselves, and
divers others, our associates, &c. And whereas the said Isaac Allerton (by God's
providence) for the necessary occasions of the colony above said, is bound for
Eng land; and whereas divers of us above named, have acquainted divers of our
worthy and approved friends (by our letters) with our raw and weak estate, and
want of ability of ourselves to manage so great an action, as the Upholding of
the plarltation aforesaid. If therefore God shall move the heart or hearts of
any of our friends, in compassion of our wants and present straits, to lend us
above named, the sum of one hundred pounds sterling, for the space of two years,
upon any such terms as shall be agreed upon, between him or them and the said
Isaac Allerton, our partner and agent, and deliver the same into his hands for
our use; that we, the said William Bradford, William Brewster, &c. together with
the said Isaac Allerton, do bind ourselves, our heirs, &c. jointly and
severally, for the faithful performance of such obligations, conditions, or
covenants, as shall be agreed on, &c. In witness whereof, we have put to our
hands and seals, this 2 d of July, Anno 1626, &c.

[BRADFORD: Upon this order, he got two hundred pounds, but it was at thirty in
the hundred interest,' by which appears in what straits we were; and yet this
was upon better terms than the goods which were sent us the year before, being
at forty-five per cent. so that it was God's marvellous providence, that we were
ever able to wade through things, as will better appear if God give me life and
opportunity to handle them more particularly, in another treatise more at large,
as I desire and purpose (if God permit) with many other things, in a better
order. Besides the obtaining of this money, he with much ado made a composition
and agreement with the body of the adventurers, Mr. Allden (something now
softened by my letter before mentioned) who was one of our powerfulest opposers,
did not only yield "hereunto, but was a furtherer of the same. I will shew the
heads of it, as it was drawn in a deed as followeth:]

To all Christian people, to whom this present writing indented shall come,
greeting,

Whereas, at a meeting the 26th of October last past, divers and sundry persons,
whose names to the one part of these presents are subscribed in a schedule
hereunto annexed, adventurers to New Plymouth, in New England in America, were
contented and agreed (in consideration of the sum of one thousand and eight
hundred pounds sterling, to be paid unto the said adventurers in manner and form
following) to sell and make sale of all and every the stocks, shares, lands,
merchandize and chattles whatsoever, to the said adventurers and other their
fellow adventurers to New Plymouth aforesaid accruing or belonging, to the
geneality of the said adventurers aforesaid, as well by reasons of any sum or
sums of money, or merchandize at any time heretofore adventured by them, or
otherwise howsoever; for the better expression and setting forth of which said
agreement, the parties to these presents subscribing, do for themselves
severally, and as much as in them is, grant, bargain, alien, sell and transfer,
all and every. the said shares, goods, lands, merchandize and chattles to them
belonging as aforesaid, unto Isaac Allerton, one of the planters resident at New
Plymouth aforesaid, assigned and sent over as agent for the rest of the planters
residing there, and unto such other pl: nters at New Plymouth aforesaid, as the
said Isaac Allerton, his heirs or assignees, at his, or their arrival shall by
writing or otherwise think fit to join, or partake in the premises, their and
every of their heirs and assigns in as large and ample and beneficial manner and
form, to all intents and purposes, as the said several subscribing adventurers
here could or may do, or perform; all which stocks, shares, lands, &c. to the
said adventurers, in severally alloted, apportioned or belonging; the said
adventurers do warrant, and defend unto the said Isaac Allerton his heirs and
assigns, against them, their heirs and assigns, by these presents: And
therefore, the said Isaac Allerton for him, his heirs and assigns, cloth
coyenant, promise, and grant to and with the said adventurers, whose names are
hereunto subscribed, their heirs, &c. well and truly to pay, or cause to be paid
unto the said adventurers or five of them, which were at the meeting aforesaid,
nominated and deputed, viz. John Pocock, John Beauchamp, Robert Kean, .Edward
Bass, and James Shirley, their heirs, &c. to, and for the use of the generality
of them, the sum of eighteen hundred pounds, of lawful money of England, at the
place appointed for the receipts of money, on the west side of the Royal
Exchange in London, by two hundred pounds yearly and every year, on the feast
day of St. Michael, which shall be in the year 1628: And the aid Isaac Allerton,
for him, his heirs, &c. cloth covenant and grant to, and with the said
adventure-s, their heirs, &c. to do his, and their good endeavours, to p cure,
obtain, and get of, and from all the planters, at N Plymouth aforesaid, or so
many of them as he or they by persuasion and entreaty can or may, security by
several obligations, or writing obligatory, to make payment of the said sum of
eighteen hundred pounds, in form aforesaid, according to the true meaning of
these presents. In testimony whereof, to this part of these presents, remaining
with the said Isaac Allerton, the said subscribing adventurers have set to their
names, &c. And to the other part of these presents remaining with the said
adventurers, the said Isaac Allerton hath subscribed his name, the 15th of
November, Anno 1626, and in the second year of the reign of our sovereign Lord,
King Charles, by the grace of God, King of England, &c: Subscribed thus as
followeth:

John White, Samuel Sharp, Thomas Hudson
John Pocock Robert Holland, Thomas Andrews,
Robert Kean, James Shirley, Thomas Ward,
Edward Bass, Thomas Mott, Fria. Newbald
William Hibson, Thomas Fletcher Thomas Heath,
William Penington, Timothy Hatherly Joseph Tilden,
William Quarles, Thomas Brewer William Penrin,
Daniel Poynton John Thorned Elizah Knight,
Richard Andrews, Myles Knowles Thomas Contentry,
Newman Rookes, William Collier, Robert Allden,
Daniel Poynton, John Thorned Laurence Anthony,
Richard Wright. Peter Gudburn John Knight,
John Ling, Emnu. Alltham, Matthew Thornhill,
Thomas Goffe, John Beauchamp, Thomas Millsop,
In all forty-two.

[BRADFORD: This year, Anno 1627, Mr. Allerton was sent again as for other
things, so especially to ratify and confirm this bargain; and for that end we
gave him full authority under our hands, and seal, and became bound in several
bonds for the payment of the money yearly: So the thing was fully concluded, and
the bargain fairly engrossed in parchment, under their hands and seals, as
legally and formally done, as by the learnedest lawyers could be devised, as by
the deed itself will better appear; which I will not here insert, being long,
but the substance may be seen in the former, to which it hath reference: only I
will mention this particular clause, how we were bound thereby to forfeit thirty
shillings a week' for every week that we failed of due payment, at any thhe
-several days. Thus all now is become our own, as we say in the proverb, when
our debts are paid. And doubtless this was a great mercy of God unto us, and a
great means of our peace and better subsistence, and wholly dashed all the plots
and devise of our enemies, both there and here, who daily expected our ruin,
dispersion and utter subversion by the same; but their hopes were thus far
prevented, though with great care and labour, we were left to struggle with the
payment of the money.]

 

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