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AFTER Lechford's "Plaine Dealing," &c. had bee nstruck off by the printer for the present volume, from the printed copy in the Ebeling Collection at Harvard College, it occurred to one of the Committee of publication, that a collation of the printed copy with a MS. in our archives might prove neither useless nor unacceptable. The only excuse he has to offer for inserting the results here, instead of in their more appropriate place, as notes, is his absence from the city when the printing was executed.

Mr. Savage and others have pronounced this MS. the original; but, without expressing a doubt on this point, if it be the original, it is only a skeleton of the book eventually published, in which, though nearly the same language occurs in very many passages, yet the differences, as will be shown, are also very great, amounting to near one half of the whole; nor is there in the MS. any clue of any kind by which to lead the author or the reader of the MS. to imagine that any thing is to be added, except in a solitary instance (see p. 86), and there no means are furnished by which to learn precisely what is to be inserted, nor where it could be found. It is obvious, therefore, that this MS. could not have been the identical original which Lechford eventually enlarged, nor that from which the printer copied. It was probably a duplicate original, made and deposited for security, lest the fruit of his labor should be lost, by fire or other accident.

The MS. was at some former period bound up with others, and was probably at that time perfect. It now consists but of 29 pages in small 4to. It is obviously ancient, whether we examine the appearance of the paper, of which the water-marks cannot be distinctly ascertained, or the color of the ink, or the character of the hand-writing; which last is remarkably fine of its kind. The short hand, of which there are short passages on pages 9, 16, 23, 24, and 27 (corresponding with pages 72, 79, 93, 94, and 97 of this volume) differs from any one that the writer has been able to find; and he regrets to add, that application to two members of our Society, who are accustomed to

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short hand of many periods, has ended, like his own exertions,
in an inability to furnish a translation of them; and the only
consolation he has is, that a reference to passages of Scripture
that appear in the English notes now printed, leads to the be-
lief that their substance is contained in those notes. That the
MS. was written prior to the printed copy seems certain, as
well from these last considerations, as from the additions and
verbal differences that distinguish the two copies :-That it
was written after Lechford returned to England, is ascertained
by its containing the passage on p. 73, alluding to his having
left New England the August preceding: And that it was
written before January, 1642, seems equally certain from the
preface To the Reader" of the London printed copy, being
dated at 66
Clements Inne, January 17, 1641.”

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Lechford, as appears from the first page of his preface "To the Reader," had "suffered imprisonment and a kind of banishment out of" England on account of nonconformity; though he appears to have been, in the main, attached to the established church in July, 1640. See p. 119. Under date of 28 July, of that year, he writes (p. 119), "I am kept from the sacrament, and all place of preferment in the Commonwealth, and forced to get my living by writing petty things, which scarce finds me bread." That he was kept from the sacrament may have been true; and doubtless it was so; but it was by means of general laws, passed long before Lechford came over, for the security of the partners that came here. The laws referred to are, 1st, The Act of May, 1631, (Col. Laws, p. 117,) by which no man was to be admitted a freeman who was not a member of some one of the churches in the Colony; and 2d, the Law of Dec. 1636, (Col. Laws, p. 42,) by which no one but a freeman was eligible to office. Lechford, when he came here, was unwilling to join the Congregational church, and there was then no other in the colony; and hence he was excluded from all preferment in the Commonwealth.*

The wisdom of thus indirectly uniting church and state, it is not the intention of the writer to discuss. And after the array of great names that have spoken severely against what they deem intolerance, it may seem presuming to express even a doubt. But it seems quite possible that, in the establishment of

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* Though in 1637 (Col. Laws, p. 191) it was thought necessary to take a further step to prevent the habitation of strangers in the colony by a law, like those that had long existed in Boston and Plymouth, which required a license from the magistrates; this law had no bearing, directly, on Lechford, for he was permitted to remain here, and of course must have been licensed under it. It was this law, passed in 1637, which produced the very able arguments of Governor Winthrop and Sir H. Vane (Hutch. Papers, 67 & post), in which, inter alia, Governor Winthrop, in opposition to Sir Henry Vane, insists, in favor of our rights under the charter, that "that which the king is pleased to bestow upon us, and we have accepted, is truly our owne."

a new colony, constituted as was that of Massachusetts, of copartners, pressed by dangers here, and in England; under a charter deemed by many a mere private one, with the objects and liabilities and powers of the old charter of Massachusetts, it might be very wise, and entirely just, and even absolutely necessary, to enact such laws; which, in point of fact, could only affect the few corporators themselves, who enacted them, and those persons that came subsequently to their enactment, principally without any other rights or claims than those that belong to any strangers coming within the jurisdiction of any private corporation. Such laws are necessarily temporary under the circumstances of a colony like that of Massachusetts. As the colony grew in strength and in numbers, the necessity for them grew less, and they were abrogated in course. It will be perceived, however, that the existence of the civil government, as constituted, was involved in many of the religious questions. A case of this sort will be hereafter mentioned.

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With becoming deference, also, to the distinguished individuals before alluded to, the writer would suggest, that the constitution of the Church of England, prior to the Commonwealth, was such as to threaten the Colonists with transportation to England on charges of non-conformity, contumacy, &c.; and that this may have been, not simply an apology, but a conclusive reason in favor of passing such laws.

It should also be borne in mind, that by the royal ordinances of 1637 and 1638, those who designed coming to New England were subject to an examination both moral and religious, before they were suffered to leave the kingdom; so that none, but approved royalists and members of the Church of England, were allowed to come over.

With regard to the time of Lechford's arrival here and his departure for England, there have been some mistakes, and I perceive that Dr. Allen, in the late edition of his Biographica! Dictionary, has fallen into them. Dr. Allen says, "he lived in Boston from 1638 to 1640." Now Lechford tells us, p. 63, that he had been absent from England "almost foure yeeres last past." On page 73 he speaks of having left New England in August last; which must have been August, 1641, because, 1st, the date of his preface is January 17, 1641 (1642 N. S.); and 2dly, because he dates a letter (p. 109) " Boston, July 5, 1641," and his " 40 quæres " (p. 118), "Clements Inne, Nov. 16, 1641." He arrived here, therefore, probably in the fall or winter of 1637, and remained here till August, 1641.

After a pretty thorough search amongst the papers in the State Archives, I have been unable to find any thing regarding Lechford, except the two following passages, the first of which has already been referred to by Hutchinson, I. 398, and the second by Mr. Savage, 2 Winthrop's Hist. 36; but as neither

has been published at large, they are here furnished from the Records. No allusion has ever been inade to the cause of the second of these decrees, but it seems to have been considered as referring to the first. The language, however, leads me to a different conclusion; but to what it does refer, I know not.

"A Quarter Court held at Boston the 3d day of the 7th month, A. D. 1639.

"Present-The Gov. [Winthrop], The Dep. Gov. [Dudley], Mr. Endecott, Mr. Humfrey, Mr. Bellingham, Mr. Saltonstall, Mr. Winthrop, jun., Mr. Bradstreete, Mr. Stoughton, Incr. Nowell.

"Mr. Thomas Lechford for going to the Jewry, and pleading with them out of Court is debarred from pleading any man's cause hereafter unlesse his owne, and admonished not to prsume to meddle beyond what hee shal bee called by the Courte." 1 Records, 258.

"A Quarter Court held at Boston the first day of the 10th mo. 1640.


Mr. Gov. (Dudley), Mr. Dep. (Bellingham), Mr. Winthrop, sen., Mr. Humfrey, Mr. Saltonstall, Mr. Winthrop, jun., Mr. Stoughton, and Increase Nowell.

"Mr. Thomas Lechford acknowledging hee had overshot himself, and is sorry for it, promising to attend his calling, and not to meddle with controversies, was dismissed." 1 Records, 294.

I will now give the instances in which that portion of the MS. now existing, differs from the printed copy. In doing this I shall endeavour to confine myself to those of some importance; but must solicit the favor of the reader, lest some of them should be considered trivial, though, in the opinion of the writer, having a bearing on points that cannot, with propriety, be alluded to in this article, already too long. Some of them may prove amusing at least.

The MS. begins with its own page 7, which is page 8 of the Ebeling copy, and page 68 of the copy contained in this volume, at the words "the Elders formerly mentioned. Then the Elder requireth," &c. It ends with its own page 36, being page 106, line 3, of this volume, with the word "perfected." The following references will be made to the pages of the copy contained in this volume.

Page 69, line 15, for "admonition" the MS. says

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29, for "ignorant "

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from," insert "and."

"admission." "ignorance."

at the foot of the page, opposite the paragraph,
insert marginal reference,
"Their priv-


Page 72, line 18, after "that" insert "if."

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"28, after "Captaine "insert "Israel Stoughton." last, for "Pastors " read "Pastor."

The marginal references opposite "ordinarily,"

&c. at the foot of the page, are not in the MS. unless in the short-hand, which I do not believe.

19, "and of late," to "rule" at the end of the paragraph, four lines not in the MS.

75, The marginal references and note, "These you see," "It ought not," and "Universities" are not in the MS.

76. The marginal reference to "1 Cor." is not in the MS. and in the next marginal reference for "Sunday" the MS. has "Lord's day."

77. The marginal note "Once I stood" is not in the MS. 78, line 33, dele comma before, and insert it after, the word "sometimes."

79, note "b" in the margin ends in the MS. at "purim," unless the rest be in short-hand, which I suspect, in part.

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and erase


"after" publique " in its 4th line insert" 10 or 12," eleven or twelve" 5 lines below:-in its 13th line for "creed" read "creeds"; and in its 20th line after parish" insert "churches." The words at the close of this note from 'men " to "expounding" have been cut from the MS. in binding it.

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In last line, for "begin" read "beginning."
Page 80, line 5, erase good."

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6, erase But."

"12, after "15" insert " verse the."

"20, for "I humbly" read " some."

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25, after "but their "insert" poverty and." "last line but one of the text, erase

"the most of." "last line, erase from "and to Master."

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In the note, which in MS. occupies the margin of a blank page (18th), are several alterations, not much affecting the

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