Servants on HORSE-BACK: OR, A Free-People bestrided in their per­sons, and Liberties, by worthlesse men: BEING A Representation of the dejected state of the Inhabitants of Summer Islands.

CONTAINING Short Illustrations upon a Petition pre­sented to the High Court of Parliament for REDRESSE.

Published by Will. Golding Master of Arts, and Teacher to the Congregation in that Island

2 Chron. 16. 10. Then Asa was wroth with the Seer, and put him in a prison-house, for he was in a rage with him, because of this thing: and Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.

‘Quam quisque pessimè fecit, tam maximè tutus est, Salust.

Printed in the Yeare, 1648.

THE EPISTLE To the Honourable Committee of Lords and Commons, Intrusted to examine the Petition presented unto the Parliament, in the be­halfe of the Inhabitants of the Summer Islands, by Captaine Sayle, and William Golding.
June Anno 1646.

Honourable Sirs,

IT pleased the high Court of Parliament to accept a Petition, in be­halfe of the Summer Islands, and to recommit it unto your selves, for examination, your care and readinesse in attending that trust, was very eminent, onely you met with obstructions, partly from the Company who are concerned in the Petition, partly from the sad breach between City and Armies emergent in that nick of time, and since, by the necessitated absence of Captaine Sayle, and my selfe, whose atten­dance was requisite. In pursuance thereof, Honourable Sirs, I beseech you resume the Complaints which are before you, That your Petitioners may not languish under an usurped power; nor the power and honour of Parliament be trampled on, by the vilest of our English Nation. Sirs, to set this wheele on motion, I have presumed to pub­lish the copy of the Petition, and papers affixed, as presented unto the High Court of Parliament. As also some few Acts and Lawes, made by governours Councell and Assembly with us; with some Animadversions upon them for your better information, leaving it to the wisdome and justice of Parliament to judge thereof. Sirs, I have ta­ken this course, not with desire to asperse the Honourable Company, the Nobility and Gentry of that Court, from whom we have alwayes found helpe, when their leasure would permit their presence at the Court; but to discover the practice of the trading-party, who hold the people in bondage, and study to vex those, who plead for liberty. Besides, Sirs, Those of the Company concerned in the Petition, will be ready to give out, that your Petitioners durst not owne their act, and therefore withdrew, and de­clined the prosecution thereof; whereas the world shall know, that was not the reason; But the attendance upon places, care of our families, a good providence opening a way for our returne; with our great expence, under long delayes, were the true causes of it. Sirs, Mr. Steele, who is of Councell hath the copy of papers at large, if you desire further satisfaction then what is Printed. The wise God make you as Angels to judge righteously, and as Gods to relieve the oppressed.

Sirs,
I am you humble Servant, William Golding.

ΠΡΟΛΕΓΟΜΕΝΑ OR, The Preface to the READER.

MY purpose is not to compile a History, nor to enter upon a distinct Narration of all trans-actions with us: (I sup­pose that will be performed by a better hand) but onely to give a briefe assay of things, that the Honourable Court of Parliament, with others, may clearly perceive, wee have not complained without a cause. I shall briefly pre­mise a few things to cleare a way to the ensuing Trea­tise, viz. The Reader is desired to take notice,

1. That the Island called Summer Islands (alias Bermuda) is governed by a Company of Merchant Adventurers of London, who hold their power by Patent from King James, who keep Courts, make Lawes, and reverse them at pleasure, chose Deputy governours, Magistrates, and Commanders over the In­habitants there, all which, depend for direction in their respective places, upon the Company of London.

2. That though there be many noble Lords, and worthy Gentlemen of that Company, yet are they strangers (for the most part) how things are carried in the Bermuda Court; for their more weighty imployments, take them off from so low and inconsiderable affaires. The Court is upheld by a Deputy, and a few assi­stants; many of whom being of the trading party, wait upon the quarterly Courts, to consult what may tend to their advantage, and the government of the Island in subordination to that end.

3. That the pretence of the present difference in the Islands, is about a congre­gation gathered there into Gospel-fellowship; the beginning whereof, and by what authority gathered; the manner of its proceeding, with the oppositions it met with in its infancy; is faithfully reported by Mr. White, Pastor of that Congregation, in his answer to a scandalous paper, sent from the Island, and Printed under the Patronage of Mr. Prynn; all which I shall passe over to prevent tediousnesse.

4. That through the indulgence of the High Court of Parliament, and Ho­nourable Committee for the American plantations, the Congregation in Sum­mer Islands is indempnified in matters of Gods worship by their orders.

These things premised, I shall give a briefe account of the proceed of things, occasioned since the Company of London chose Captaine Turner to be Gover­nour of these Islands.

Servants on Horse-back.

IT pleased the Company (or part of them) Anno 1645. to change their Governour in Summer Islands (how regularly they procee­ded I say not) and chose Captaine Thomas Turner, pretending that he being an honest and dis-ingaged person, and now cloa­thed with authority, might the better heale the distempers of the Island, who arriving at the Island, soon discovered his purpose and designe, and within six or seven months acted so excentrically, that many of the Inhabitants finding themselves agrieved, did earnestly intreat Cap. Sayle, and William Golding to addresse themselves for England, to seek shelter for them­selves, and others, against the blacke storme which was fallen upon them; who, casting themselves, and families upon the Lord, undertooke thatDura qui­dem Pro­vincia. Province, and by the good hand of God upon them, comming to London, they besought the Company to heare their complaints, and put them into a way of security and peace: The complaints were read and committed to examination, but no report made after five months atten­dance: At length it pleased the Lords, and many Gentry to be present at Court, resol­ving to heare, and issue matters: But the trading assistants (with their friends) perceiving this businesse would be now called upon, left the Court, in whose absence (though thirty or forty still remained) yet according to their orders, requiring seven Assistants at least, with the Governour or his Deputy, there was not that number to make a Court, which lost us that opportunity, and clearly taught us what to trust too; upon which, Captaine Sayle and William Golding besought the Parliament. The Copy of whose Petition was as followeth:

To the Honourable, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses assembled in Parliament;

The Petition of Wil. Sayle, and Wil. Golding. Humbly sheweth,

WHereas your Petitioners (with the Inhabitants of Summer Islands) the free-borne natives of this Kingdom, groaning under severall pressures, inconsistent with their native priviledges, having duly sought redresse from the Company of that plantation, and waited these six months for a favourable issue; but, without successe, are enforced to spread their sad condition before your honours, viz.

1. That your Petitioners at the pleasure of the Company (or part of them) have beene, and may againe be, restrained of the liberty of their persons.

2. Your Petitioners are denyed the free disposall of their proper goods.

3. Your Petitioners are burthened with an Impost upon their Tobaccoes (which is this yeare raised a third part) amounting usually to as much (or more) then the princi­pall yeeldeth. The company little regarding the ends therein pretended, nor are the Inhabitants satisfied in the disposall thereof.

4. Your Petitioners complaine under excessive fraught set upon their Tobacco, and Rates upon the Merchant goods sent them.

5. That the Deputy-governour, Captaine Tho. Turner, lately sent over, refused to [Page 2] Jtake the Oath (usuall at the enstalment of other Governours) yet summons an As­embly, who (by their Speaker) calls themselves a Parliament, gives them an Oath of secrecy▪ Together with them makes new Laws, and inforce them, sleight the power of Parliament, imprison, (men at pleasure;) turned out Magistrates of known integrity to this state, without, and against the known Order of this supreame Court, forbid appeals, silence Ministers, approved by the Honourable Company, and whose labours were desired by the Inhabitants, conceale good Orders, for the incourage­ment of honest men, and strengthens the hands of lewd persons, with many other vexatious wayes. Your Petitioners deepely resenting these grievances, humbly pray.

1 That your Petitioners may be free to transplant themselves, and substance, when providence goes before them, and bee protected in their due liberties, whiles they re­maine in these Islands.

2 That liberty of free trade be granted to the Inhabitants, according to their de­sires, and the subscriptions of many worthy members of that Company, as appears by the papers affixed, by which also your wisdomes may difcerne, whence most of these sorrowes flow.

3 That Offenders against the Parliament, and just liberties of the Inhabitants, may be put into a way of tryall.

4 That the Deputy Governour may be questioned, and (if your wisdomes see just cause) suspended, and his new elected Councell, raised by his sole power, by your wisdomes reduced, Your Petitioners (entrusted by many of the Inhabitants as to the premises) having run the hazzard of their lives, to escape the violence of a meer Ar­bitrary power, and wasted themselves, families and estates, in the pursuance there­of, having a ship ready to returne them to their relations.

And fearing to fall under the power of those who have already envaded whatever is deare unto them (except their lives, which are next in danger) are humbly bold to fly to your honours for just and speedy reliefe, your Petitioners refreshed with by past favours, (which they humbly acknowledge, and crave continuance of,) shall con­tinue praying &c.

A Coppy of the Papers affixed to the Petition when presented to Parliament, the first being the Answer of the Assembly in Summer Ilands, to the Inhabitants, suing for free trade (viz,)

HAving received divers Petitions from severall of the Inhabitants of these Islands, thereby craving a free trade for Tobacco, and to have priviledge to transport the same at their own pleasures, not weighing nor regarding the priviledge and royalty of the Honourable Company, after long dispute, and serious debate, and well weigh­ing how far forth we can in justice answer your expectations in this particular; and moreover well regarding his Majesties Letters Patent, granted to the Honourable Company, we for your better satisfaction, have thought good to affixe that branch or clause, whereby we are absolutly prohibited, and debarred of this priviledge; and as we are all nearly concerned in the premises as you are, so we do hereby declare, and in­genuously promise, that if it were in our power to grant, or lawfull for us to do, &c. we should be no ways wanting, and dilatory to advance our own priviledge, and pro­fits, and whereas it doth appeare to us, that we all groane under the excessive rates held, and set upon the goods sent hither from the Honourable Company, and that [Page 3] our Tobacco, and goods, passeth at low rates, we shall in that behalfe use our best skill and indeavour, by enforming the Honourable Company, as well on your, as our own behalfe: to have such things reformed, as are neither for their honour, nor for our profits: not doubting of reliefe therein, when we shall, with all candor and integrity, hold forth our just grievances unto them, this wee hope will clear us from having any selfe end, or want of will and affection, in the discharge of the trust re­posed in us by our Countrey: But we are bound by oath, and duty, to maintaine that power from whence we derive our owne, yet alwayes regarding our owne, so farre forth as civility, and justice will warrant it.

Ordered to be read in the severall Churches of these Islands.

Signed,
John Vaugham Clerke of the Assembly.

A Branch of the grants extracted out of the Letters Patents,

ANd to the intent that the said Company, their Successors and Assignes, shall and may enjoy the full and sole benifit and profit of this our grant, according to the true intent and meaning of the same, our will and pleasure is, and by these presents for our Heirs, Successors, of our more especiall grace, certaine knowledge, and meere mo­tion, and of our supream and absolute authority (which we forbid to be argued, dis­puted, or brought in question) we do straightly charge and command, all and every per­son, and persons, whatsoever, of what degree or condition soever, he or they or any of them be, that none of them, other then the said Company, successors, assigns, deputies, ser­vants, factors, or the assigns of some of them, do at any time hereafter attempt, presume or go about any manner of way, directly or indirectly, to transport any monies, goods or merchandise, out of any our Kingdomes into the limits or bounds of the said Summer Islands, or import out of the said Islands, or any part thereof into any forreigne parts, or into any of our Kingdomes upon paine of forfeiture of all such monies, goods and merchandise, which shall be so imported, or exported contrary to the true meaning of these presents, and of the Ships and Vessells wherein the same shall be so transported, or imported to the use of the said Company, their Successors and Assignes; and upon such further paine and penalty, and imprisonment, as by the Lawes and Statutes of this our Realme of England, or by our Prerogative Royall, may any way be inflicted or adjudged for their contempt in that behalfe.

The Copy of another paper, affixed to the Petition, was as followeth:

Upon certaine weighty confiderations presented to us,Subscribed with eight­teen hands. We of the Company whose names are subscribed, finde our selves obliged in point of pitty and justice to declare our free consent, that the Inhabitants of Summer-Islands be at liberty to dispose of their Tobacco, and other goods, to whom, and how they please for their best advantage; alwayes reserving the Rents of the Company or any members thereof, to the use of the proper landlord.

Illustrations or Animadversions upon the heads of the Petition. 1. The Inhabitants have beene denyed the liberty of their persons.Illust. In a letter from the Company to Captaine Sayle, then Sheriffe 1638. or thereabout, under the hands of eleven of the Company, there is this streight command, We charge you from his Majestie upon like paines viz. (his head) neither to depart your selfe, nor to permit or suffer any other to be shipped, &c.

The occasion of this Order from the Company; 1. The Inhabitans of the Summer-Islands, had sent forth a Colony to inhabit St. Lucea (one of the Caribee Islands) and many moe straitned for want of land and liberties, intended to have transplanted thi­ther, [Page 4] and had been at charge to make provision aforehand, by sending a small Pi­nace, and servants thither; but upon this streight command were restrained, and the Colony sent forth, for want of timely supply and ayd, were cut off by the adja­cent Indians; and many by this meanes damnified in their estates and lives. The trading party of that Company foresaw that they would soone want Tenants and ser­vants, if a way were opened to the inhabitants of Summer-Islands of more freedome and inlarged subsistence. Also in the government of Captaine Woodhouse a new oath was devised, every one was to bring forth his Tobacco, and to sweare there was all that they had made, and because Mr. Painter, Magistrate, refused to take that oath, and M. Stirk Minister, drawing up a modest Petition to the Governour for the non-imposing of it to the prejudice of the Subjects liberties, both were banished the Island; & though the Company of London, did not allow the sentence of banishment, yet they did make no manner of reparation unto M. Painter & M. Stirke upon those who had so censured them. Wil. Righton is at this present under the sentence of banishment by Captaine Turner the now Deputy governour, because he refused to have his children baptized by Mr. Vyner, though the said Righton, belongs not to any of those tribes to whom M. Vyner was sent to take charge of, An. 1647. by the now governour a councell of War was cal­led, and one Feadle was judged (without any other tryall) to be tyed to the Gallowes, for words (as it is said) he should speake concerning the Governour tending to mu­teny; Mr. Painter Magistrate, first wronged, and after railed upon, by one Edwards of the Company in an open letter sent to Summer-Islands, Mr. Painter for returning this an­swer; Mr. Edwards the Oyle-man hath done me much wrong, the Lord reward him according to his deeds; was judged by the Company to suffer corporall paines, an ex­emplary punishment. In the government of Captaine Tucker, a silly boy, whose name was Deane, for stealing a piece of cheese, was condemned to dye, and executed.

2. The Inhabitants may not dispose their proper goods.Illust. Instance in Tobacco (the onely staple commodity and means of support to the Inhabitants) which the Compa­ny straightly forbids to be disposed of, otherwise then to their Magazeen ship, witnesse their knowne practice, and [frequent orders in their letters to their Governours and Officers; one of their letters hath it thus, The Governour & Sheriffe, are to be required (as formerly) not to permit any trade at all, either with natives or strangers, nor any Ship or Vessell to come and remaine there longer then the space of—dayes,Mr. Steele hath the o­riginall letters un­der the hands of severall of the Compa­ny. and that onely to take in water and provision to supply them in case of necessity and not other­wise. Also in another Letter of the Company, they expresly forbid the Island to trade upon any tearmes with New England, who at that time wanted cattell, which we could spare, and they had such commodities as we wanted; but neither they, nor we might enjoy the liberty of mutuall commerce, surely this savours of want of bowells towards them, and envy to the good of our poore Colony. Witnesse the Company approving under ten of their hands, their Sheriffes act in ceasing the Tobacco traded for by a Dutchman, 1636. for such power the Company gives to the Mr. of the Magazeen ship, requiring the Governour and Sheriffe to be assistant to them; likewise Captaine Ro­bert Dennis by Commission from the Company, An. 1643. ceased some three or foure thousand of Tobacco, traded for by a Merchant of Barnstable ship, with the Inhabitants for shoos, stockings, lockram (commodities which the Inhabitants wanted to cover their nakednesse, and the Magazeen ship brought not that yeare, whose loading (except that which she left by the way at Barbadus, was chiefly salt and Madera wine) and though offer was made by the Merchant to pay penny per pound which the Company claims as their due, yet unlesse three halfpence for fraught was added, Dennis would not suffer [Page 5] him to carry away the Tobacco but possest himselfe of it as forfeited to the Company,See answ. of Comp. to Mr. Copl. Mr. Steel. this practice had almost put the Island into a muteny, who hereby enraged, threatned Captain Dennis ship; but by the wisdome and vigilancy of Cap Sayl our Governour, the people were appeased; yea the desire of trade from M. Copeland Minister, in a letter to the Company, hath muteny in it, so the Court judged in their answer to his witnesse; Captaine Turners words at his first comming, who protested in the hearing of many, that if any Inhabitant should refuse to send their Tobacco, home in the Magazeen ship, he would seize on the Tobacco, and imprison their persons; at this present yeare 1647. he commanded his counsell to take notice what Tobacco every man had, and returne the names of such as should refuse to send it home in the Magazeen ship. Instance in other goods, Anno 1636. or thereabout. At a full and honourable Court, liberty was granted unto the Inhabitants to build a Pinace or two, to trade with the Planta­tions for such commodities as they had (excepting Tobacco) the yeare following (when some of the Inhabitants to their great cost and hazzard had prepared a vessell for that purpose) the Company or part of them, sent expresse command, 1 That no person should be transplanted, as above, 2. no live cattle, 3. no provision (but upon limited conditi­ons, incompatible with merchandizing, should be sent away. 'Tis as though they had said, you shall build a vessell (if you will) to looke upon, and undoe your selves, but shall have no encouragement to employ her. That it was thus ordered by the Bermuda Court, their orders in Mr. Steels hand can witnesse.

The deniall of this freedome of a Pinace once granted, and before revoked, built, was probably the occasion of the losse of Lucea, the lives of many there, and hopes of that plantation, and therein, that addition of honour and revenue to the English Na­tion: for the Colony sent forth thither from Summer-Islands, engaged their undertakers to supply them with men, and other necessaries, which was that chiefe cause of building that Pinace, which (before finished) might not be imployed to helpe the Island, or them at Lucea. After this, some of the Inhabitants, craving the concurrence of some of the Company of London, bought a ship, and furnished her with a Cargoe of goods, sit for the plantation of Summer-Islands, which when the Company understood, they made a strict order, forbidding the ship (now ready to set sayle) to come at that plan­tation, till first their Magazeen ship had been there; the Traders feared she would ga­ther up the Dollards which the Spaniards left there the yeare before, and marre their Market, the hindring this Ships comming to Bermuda, was a great prejudice to that Country, and the undoing of many owners there; for missing that opportunity the ship was lost to them both in hopes and principall. Instance in Oringes and Lemons, with which the Country abounds, and most perish for want of use; even these may not be disposed of, untill the London Ship (which usually comes out of season) be first ser­ved, nor may the Inhabitants dispose of their owne Cedar, but by order from the Com­pany; nor any of the Inhabitants have wine, or strong-waters sent them but by order of their Court.

Furthermore the Companies censure of Mr. Painter to pay 40 li. Ster. unto Mr. Ed­wards oyleman (besides corporall and exemplary punishment) for writing to Mr. Ed­wards as before; yea the Court have ordered that planters in the Island might be pre­vented of buying shares, desiring rather to keep them racked Tennants, and perpetuall servants, and yet the Inhabitants who are free of the Company have no more privi­ledge in the Island, then the most wretched Tennant. Thus the trading party serve themselves of all the profits, which that poore Island, with the industry of the Plan­tours produceth. The orders of the Company in the hand of Master Steele can [Page 6] witnesse, I have not wronged them in the premises.

3. To the third Complaint, Impost upon Tobacco, formerly three halfpence, since one penny per pound, this yeares 1647. three halfpence. First, this Impost was never granted by the consent of the Inhabitants, that I can gather. Secondly, protested a­gainst by divers of the Company. Thirdly, and why may it not be lawfull (if the trading party will vote it) to take 2d. per pound impost, yea the whole bulke of To­bacco; yea our beds, lands, servants, children; truly, they and their now Governour are agreed to take all, as you shall heare afterwards. The ends pretended, not regarded.

First, the Commanders in the Island, not supplyed with that number of servants, which the booke of Orders, and the Companies Law allow.

Secondly, but two Ministers, who have salleries paid them, to wit, 40 li. per annum, when yet there are nine publicke Churches (besides the chappell) to be sup­plyed.

Thirdly, the congregation, with the Pastor and Teacher, are compelled to pay Im­post out of their Tobacco towards the maintenance of the universall Ministers sent by the Company, when yet they attend not their Ministery, nor were they sent to the most of them, nor hath the Pastor or Teacher the least allowance from the Company: truly the singing men and Porters under Artaxerxes in the time of the Babylonian captivity found better usage; for it was decreed concerning them, that it should not be lawfull to impose tol, tribute, or custome upon them Ezra 7. 24.

Fourthly, no considerable quantity of Ammunition and Armes, to secure so consider­rable a Garrison. And all the use the Ammunition serveth to (for present) is to keep in awe the Independents; for when Captaine Sayle was in the Harbour, with a small ship, with some twenty men Captaine Turner kept a guard, pretending feares, but when a Spanish ship was wrackt, and a hundred of Souldiers, & Sea-men came a shoar; and most of the Inhabitants of ability gone aboard,But dis­mist the guard be­fore the pretence of fear was removed. no appearance of a guard. Captaine Turner had another game in chase, the nine Hogs-heads of corne paid him by the Country for the former guard, is a trifle to what he rakes now from the Spaniards, with­out regard of justice or civility.

5. Debts not paid by the Company, no satisfying account given the Country. The Company had in stocke about Anno 1637. eleven hundred pound Sterlin, were in debt Anno 1647. eighteen hundred pound have had yearlly for impost upon the Tobacco, three hundred, foure hundred, it may be five hundred pound Sterlin; wee know of little in comparison laid out for the good of the Countrey, or honour of the Company, and yet a new taxe is levyed with pretence to pay debts: The Company will never be out of debt, whiles they know to pay themselves out of the Tobacco of the Country. Captaine Butler when his time of government was expired, comming to London, sued the Company, and recovered damage, the which was levyed upon the shares, even theirs who had done no wrong. In Anno 1635. or thereabouts; the Tra­ders of the Company bought the Plantors Tobacco, and agreed for a price; but the price of Tobacco falling, they turned it upon the Plantors, to their exceeding damage.

Fourthly, excessive fraught, to wit, three halfpence per pound; first, the Tobacco for the seven or eight yeares have seldome yeelded more to the Plantors in the Island, Secondly, other Plantations, viz. Virginia, Christophers, &c. who trade with what ships they will, pay not above penny per pound, and yet the distance between them and England is greater. Excessive rates set on Merchants goods. This the paper affixed to the Petition witnesseth, as the sense of the Inhabitants, yea of the Assembly, the [Page 7] choice friends of the trading party: nor will men wonder, who consider the state of the Inhabitants who must trade with no ships but the Company, and must have their goods, or goe naked, and at their prices, and the Company ship their Tobacco, or it must perish, and at their price too, not allowing in goods for Tobacco above two pence per pound, which at first penny amounts not to above one penny per pound; yet I must not wrong the trading Company, for Anno 1647. they sent little or no goods to supply the Countrey, their Cargo and Purser stayed at Barbadus, where is better trading, and sent the ship to make a fraught out of the Countries Tobacco.

The truth is, had not providence put the inhabitants into a way of weaving Cotten, which they buy for Porke, Beefe, and Fish, of one ship or other (upon hard tearmes) trading between them and Barbadoes, the Inhabitants had long since turned Adamites out of necessity. I have heard some passionately professe that if the Company would take care to feed and cloath them and theirs, they should bore their eares, and they would be their servants for ever: and now let the world judge what Masters they serve. I could adde much more, and tell the world, of particular wrongs, offered by some members of that Company, to the poore Plantors here, but I spare them, as not the miscarriage of the body, with whom I have to deale, and not with the body neither, but with the feet and toes of it.

I proceed now to reflect on the government in the Island,Qu. 47. A crooked barke fel­low brought a private letter, and had 5 l. allowed. 1. Branch of the fifth gen. head. as it lyes in order in the Petition, confining my selfe to the time since Captaine Turner was sent over by the trading party, who being one of them, acts their principles, and from beginning told us of private instructions, under which (its like) we have suffered much, though not un­der that plea, but by an assumed power, and a high hand. I shall branch the fifth head into particulars:

First, Captaine Turner refused to take his oath at his enstalment, which other Go­vernors never did, this will be witnessed by men of fidelity; if he hath since taken it be­fore his counsell in a clandestine manner, it is unknowne to us, and I suppose (if done at all) it was neare two yeares after he tooke his place. I meane not the oath of Su­premacy, Allegeance, or Covenant, but that proper to the Deputy-governour of Sum­mer-Islands. His excuse was, he tooke it in England, but that was denyed by the De­puty and Secretary of that Company in open Court.

Secondly,Bran. 2. calls an assembly, pretending the Company so ordered it; but that also was denyed, and the lawes of the Company say, the second yeare it may be lawfull for the Governour to call an Assembly, he within twenty dayes. 'Tis probable this plot was laid at Barbadus, where Captaine Turner meeting with Captaine Parker (who not long before stole away from Barmuda thither, and since (comming well from his com­panions) in his way homeward, dyed of an impostume, blood issuing out of his mouth, eares, and nostrills.) The grand ingenier of trouble to the Congregation in Summer-Islands, put Captaine Turner upon this designe, and named the men fittest to act there­in, who for the most part were made choice of. This Assembly thus met, call them­selves a grave Assembly. Truly there were many grave and grey headed drunkards of thatConcilium or rather Conciliabu­lum. Convention, who proved the grave of piety, justice, and civility. But this is too low a style for them, therefore (by their Speaker) they are called a Parliament, and by the Governour summoned downe under the name of Burgesses, that under this pretence, without respect to the Parliament of England or Company under whom they stand, they might exercise an independent power over the Congregation.

Thirdly, being met, an oath of Secrecie is imposed, viz.

You shall sweare by all meanes to conceale the secrets of the house,Bran. 3. and not impart [Page 8] or discover, either by word or writing, or by any other meanes to any one not being of this present Assembly, the passages or carriage of any affaires or businesse that shall be treated of, and disputed during the whole time of the sitting, and continuance of the said Assembly, &c.

I shall not tell you how their grave wisdomes, spent seven or eight dayes in little else then finding out who it was should say a Cole merchant was come our Governour, as though this had been a greater disparagement, Then to feed Hogs and Ducks, cleanse ponds, and such like drudgery. I proceed to higher trans-actions.

Fourthly,Bran. 4. they make new Lawes viz. of purpose to snare the Congregation. Dongson of the Assembly at Assizes, when one of the Congregation pleaded he had transgressed no Law of England, answered, you have transgressed our Lawes, other­wise we could have had no advantage against you.

An Act for casting out Independent Magistrates and Commanders.

WHereas by common experience we finde,Act. that where people will not readily and chearfully obey the Lawes, Orders, Rules, Government, under which they live, undoubtedly there must follow upon that state and people, inevitable misery and con­fusion: And the rather when the Magistrates, and those who fill the seats of justice shall apparently withstand the same. Now whereas we the Inhabitants of the Summer-Islands have at this present many Magistrates and publicke Officers placed over us, members of the Independent Church, and will not yeeld obedience to the established fundamentall Lawes of the King, nor yet submit to the Ordinance of the high Court of Parliament,Nota. nor direction of the honourable Company.

We the Generall Assembly,Audactur calumniare &. aliquid adherebit. for prevention of so great disturbance which we have cause to feare may suddenly fall upon us, by the power of those Magistrates, Indepen­dent Covenanters desire it should be enacted; And by the power and authority of the Generall Assembly, be it enacted, That no manner of person, or persons, who hath or have entred into Covenant,To this day our adversa­ries canot prove any of these things a­gainst us. and is admitted a member of the Independent Church, being at this present, a publick Officer or Magistrate, and being hereof lawfully con­victed, by proof, or his, or their owne confession, shall ipso facto be discharged from his or their office or offices of command, and others chosen to their places by this Assembly,

Joh. Vaughan, Secretary.

This Act was forthwith put in execution, before any crime was objected or proved against them whom it did concerne.

Die Jovis 16. July 1646.

WHereas at theAt the former sit­ting, they rose and ad­journed not, and yet they sit againe as though cloathed with full power. last sitting of this present Generall Assembly, it was amongst o­ther things, enacted, That all manner of Ministers, and other persons, inhabiting, and residing within these Islands should conforme themselves in all things touching [Page 9] the publicke worship of God in obedience to the Directory of the Parliament of England: And whereas Mr. Nath. White, Mr. Pa [...]rick Copland, and Mr. Wil. Golding, and divers other persons adhering to them, have most presumptuously in contempt of au­thority taken upon them to congregate themselves together in a publicke place of meeting, and there set up a new forme of Discipline according to their owne wills, not acquainting the Governour and Councell here; although by their petition to the Ho­nourable Houses of Parliament, they promise obedience to the Civill Magistrate, They had allowance from the Company, and by an order of Parliament which practice of theirs is against the Lawes and government of this place, hereby drawing unto them many of the Inhabitants from their Parish Churches, upon such dayes and times, as our faithfull Ministers, now sent unto us by the honourable Com­pany are exercising the Ministery in preaching Gods word unto the people, and have likewise received into their Church-covenant divers and sundry persons contrary to all Lawes and rules of government, which doings of theirs, if not timely prevented, must and will be destructive to the long established peace of these Islands.

Wherefore this Grave and Generall Assembly do order, and by the authority and power of the same be it ordered, that the said M. White, Mr. Copland, and Mr. Golding, and other members of their congregation; nor all, nor any of them, doe from henceforth presume to practice, or set up any other discipline or order in Church-government, o­ther then what is commanded by Parliament and Directory set forth unto us. And we doe further order by the Authority aforesaid, that no manner of person or persons inhabiting within these Islands shall or doe hereafter presume, to enter into Covenant with them to be of their congregation, nor bring in their children to be baptized, or any marriage solemnized by them, they being not in our judgements, capable to per­forme the ministeriall function or administer either Sacraments. HavingThey laid downe only what they had from the Bishops. laid downe their Ministery, and declared themselves to be but Lay-men, but these duties shall be performed by our Ministers, already conformable to the Ordinance aforesaid. And likewise be it further ordered that no person or persons inhabiting within these Islands, shall absent themselves from their owne Parish-Churches, unlesse to such Churches where our Ministers shall be then teaching upon such paine and punishment as shall be thought fit upon high contemners of Authority,They proclaime to the world that they governe ar­bitrarily. as to the Governour and Councell for the time being, shall be thought expedient.

John Vaughan Secretary.
Ordered to be published throughout these Islands.

This Act was sent forth with a Proclamation to put life into it; which was as followeth:

By the Governour and Councel, July 18. An. 1646.

WHereas it pleased Almighty God to designe me for this place, and the honourable Company reposed the trust and government of these Islands into my hands: I have hitherto endeavoured with all mildnesse and meeknesse of spirit, to gaine a right understanding in and to the manners and orders of the people in these Islands, and have (through Gods providence) discerned divers ill-affected people, which are re­fractory to the Lawes, and long established Government of Church and State here established, and observed by my Worthy Predecessors, in consideration whereof, wee the Governours and Councell, for the prevention of the evill that may ensue, do by this my Proclamation declare unto all his Majesties loving Subjects inhabiting with­in [Page 10] in these Islands, that we doe expect the like conformity unto all his Majesties Lawes and Statutes, and to the Acts and Orders made and established to be observed in these Islands, as our predecessours might have, had, or should have; assuring all those that shall persist in their wilfull disobedience to the power and authority derived from the honourable Company by vertue of the letter patents granted by his Majesty King James of blessed memory unto them,Summum jus, summa injuria. and from them unto us; to proceed against bona verba. such, to the full measure of their demerits, being too sensible how my lenity and milde behaviour towards some, hath been sleighted, and experimentally too to much a­bused; But for such as will endeavour to live in the feare of God, and in obedience to the Lawes, I shall both by my state and person endeavour to maintaine them in their rights and just priviledges; and whereas (with griefe of heart I speake it) there is a party in these Islands, that have withdrawn themselves, not onely from the rules of civil Government, which are prescribed and warranted unto us to walke by, but also have of their owne inventions set up, and imposed a discipline, and bound them in covenant to observe the same without myThe congregati­on was gathered before Cap. Turners governour­ship at least two years. privity or consent, which rule and order, or rather indeed disorder (as I may justly tearme it) being not warrantable by the Parliament, and Synod in England, but otherwise commanded by that Authority and Directory set forth to us. Wherefore I have been enforced, with the advice and consent of my Councell and Assembly, to make and set forth an order, thereby to declare the danger of such un­naturall division, tending to the subversion of the knowne Lawes, and orders of Church and State. And I doe hereby in his Majesties name, will and require, all the Inhabi­tants of these Islands, to yeeld due obedience to the same, as they and every of them may avoyd the penalty due to contemners of Authority, and as they tender the peace and quietnesse of this Colony. And moreover, I charge, and require all Counsellours, Ju­stices, Church-officers, Constables, Head-boroughs, and all, and every his Majesties Subjects to yeeld obedience to the order annexed, and to all the Laws and Acts made, and set forth in and by this present Assembly, and all such as shall beCap. Turner Kings it bravely in his expressi­on. dissoyall to authority, or disobedient herein, I charge and require the Officers aforesaid respective­ly in their severall tribes, to be vigilant and carefull to take notice of all such as shall in the least degree oppose this my Command; and them, and every of them, of what con­dition or quality soever they be, to bring them before me to be proceeded against as contemners of the Laws, and utter enemies to the peace and safety of this Colony.

I doe further require, that this Proclamation be published in all the Churches and publicke meetings, together with the order above mentioned. Given under my hand at my house, at S. Georges the day and yeare aforesaid.

Tho. Turner.

The intelligent Reader will easily discerne the contradictions between the Order and Pro­clamations, the Order requires obedience to the Directory of Parliament; the Proclama­tion, conformity to the Lawes, Acts, and Orders established [...]o be observed by his Worthy predecessours; now in his predecessours time the Directory was not in being, but the Episco­pall way. They made a Law forbidding rests upon the Sabbath day.

A Proclamation May 19. An. 1647.

By the Governour,

WHereas an Order of Assembly bearing date, Die Jovis, 16. of July 1646. with a Proclamation thereunto annexed, and ordered to be published in all the Churches [Page 11] of the Islands, thereby requiring conformity to that order, and to all other orders here established to be observed asThis mock Par­liament assumes le­gislative power. a Law: And for as much as since the publishing hereof, I have manifestly found divers ill-affected people (contemners of our government) have not onely sleighted our authority, but have andWo to them who make lyes their re­fuge. do contemn the power and au­thority of the honourable Company and Parliament, and have drawne themselves from the discipline, and orders established to be observed in our Church-government, and ever since continued in disobedience and contempt of our Lawes, and Government, endeavouring the subversion of the same to the continuall disturbance of our peace The wicked are like the troubled sea. and quietnesse in these Islands. In tender consideration whereof, and out of zeale to Gods glory, and the hallowing of his Sabbath, which of late hath been too much pollu­ted, and blasphemed, by reason of our unnatural division: I do therefore in his Majesties name, and by vertue of the power given to me by the honourable Company and Par­liament, streightly will and require all the Justices, Constables, and all other officers, with all, and every his Majesties subjects to take speciall notice of the aforesaid Order, and Proclamation. And that every Justice in his respective tribe, doe immediately ap­prehend all manner of person, and persons, that have gone contrary to that Order or Proclamation, or hereafter shall do contrary to the same. And the persons so offen­ding to binde over with two sufficient sureties to answer their contempt at the next Generall Assizes, and such as shall not give sureties, that they be forthwith committed to prison, to be proceeded against accordingAnd the gover­nour, and his counsell must be the judges. to their demerits. And of this I shall require a continuall and strict account, as you, and every of you will answer the con­trary at your perill.

Tho. Turner.
Ordered to be published the next Sabbath day.

An Act for the suppressing of all such persons, that under the name of Independents have separated themselves from the Discipline which is held forth unto us in these Islands.

WHereas through the providence of Almighty God, This poore Plantation from the foundation hitherto, hath enjoyed, and hath been partaker of many gracious blessings, whereby every poore Plantor might, and that (through the goodnesse of the same God) may sit and enjoyTheir owne lan­guage. under their owne vines, while divers other Countries throughNota. Apostacy and Rebellion, doe welter in their owne blood. And as the Lord, who is just in all his wayes, and righteous in all his judge­ments, doth threaten us likewise, intimating thereby, that by reason of our sinnes wee have deserved the same measure of punishment to fall upon us. (The Lord of his mercy prevent it.)

And whereas likewise the Lord hath ordained wholesome Lawes and Orders for the punishment of viceInde­pendency. and for the maintenance of true Religion and vertue. In ten­der consideration thereof, and in regard of the trust reposed in us, and confirmed upon us by the fundamentall Lawes, and laudable customes of the Kingdome of England, we have taken notice of sundry persons men and women that have withdrawne them­selves in theirO yee sons of men how long will you seek after leasing. Ps. 4. allegiance from his Majesty in their obedience from the honourable Parliament and Company, and from the Lawes and Ordinances thence derived, and here established to be observed in Church and State.

[Page 12] It is therefore by this present Assembly enacted, and by power and authority thereof, be it enacted, That all and every person and persons which shall not immediately after the publishing hereof conforme themselves and be obedient to our Laws, That by ver­tue hereof from henceforth they be reputed and esteemedSee how their esta [...]es and lives are in dan­ger. as malignants, and utter enemies to the peace and quiet government of these Islands.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That each Counsellour in his or their severall Trybes, with the assistance of the Constables, and as many other as shall be needfull, doe demand and take sufficient sureties for the good behaviour from every person and persons, that shall refuse conformity, the principall in 5 l. Ster. and the sureties in 50 s. a peece. And such as shall refuse to give such you security, that the Counsellour aforesaid do seize their estates, as opposers and contemners of our Lawes and Government.

And be it also enacted, that from henceforth no publicke meetings or Conven­ticles be frequented, either at the Mill-house, or any other place in these Islands, upon paine of 20 s. for every one so offending, to be levied for publicke uses, and such as shall not be able to pay, to be sent down to worke at the Colony, untill the said 20 s. be satisfied, provided that family duties be not prohibited or neglected: And for their disobedience to our former Orders; We also enact, and by the same power be it enact­ed, That every person and persons that hath so offended shall be forthwith seized, ac­cording to an Ordinance of Parliament, dated Westminster Aug. 23. 1645. Con­tradiction. provi­ded alwayes that it is the sense and meaning of this present Assembly, That all manner of person and persons, that shall yeeld obedience to civill authority, and live hence­forth in all godlinesse and honesty, shall have protection, immunity, and freedome from all trouble and molestation, by or from any ceremony, or imposition in matters of Gods worship, according to the Order of the right Honourable Committee of Lords and Commons ordained for the Plantations.

And we doe further order by Authority aforesaid, that this present Act be forth­with published, observed, and duely put in execution upon the penalty before specified on the delinquents part, and under the paine and penalty of 5 l. Ster. to be imposed on every officer that shall be remisse or slack therein, and to be cashered from his or their places; provided neverthelesse that it is our intent and meaning that this Act be in force untill the honourable Company by due order of their Court, shall alter or make void the same; any Law, Order heretofore made to the contrary thereof, or to any part or parcell thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

Joh. Vaughan, Secret.
Charles Whittenhall, Speak.

I desire wise men would weigh what that passage import (Apostacy, and Rebellion) whether Apostacy relates not to the Episcopall way, and Rebellion, to the just defence of Parliament against an open Enemy?This looke like tyranny. Also the act provides that in some case, the whole estate be ceised, and yet after a forfeiture of 20 s. is added, or vassallage adjudged in case not able to pay.

An Act for enforcing such as either causlessely neglect the Sacrament of the Lords Supper [...] wilfully refuse to have their children baptized.

WHereas there are now amongst us too many men and women, who savour of Ana­baptizme, and doe either neglect, or out of wilfulnesse refuse to have their children baptized: It is therefore enacted by the present Assembly, and by the power there of be it enacted, That from henceforth every person or persons upon the next Sabbath or Sermon-day within the Tribe, wherein any childe is, or shall hereafter be borne, shall bring their children to be baptized, if conveniency permit; but if conveniency will not permit, then such children shall be brought the next Ser­mon-day following, upon pain of 5 l Ster. to be levied upon every offender for general uses, provided that this reach not to the baptizing of Bastards or Negroes children. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that every person and per­sons, doe receive the Sacrament of the Lords Supper in his, or their now Tribe wherein they dwell, at such times, as by our Ministers they shal beNota. prepared for the same, and such as shall negligently refuse to come to be examined, and to receive at the hands of our Ministers, M. William Vyner, or M. Tho. Hooper, who are for the time being, or such other Ministers as shall be conformable to the Directory, such person or persons being found capable, shall be lyable to oneFides suadenda est non impe­ra ida. months impri­sonment, without bayle or mainprise; and if he or they will not then conforme, 40 s. shall be levyed for every such default for publicke uses.

John Vaughan, Secret.

An Act for the establishing the Right worshipfull our Governour to have the command of the Castle in his owne hands, and all the land, and commodities and profits thereunto belonging.

TAking into consideration the weaknesse of our Castle and Forts, which are the keyes and Bulwarks of these Islands, against a forreigne and domesticke Enemy, the sad experience of our present condition being sufficient motives to rouse up, and to shake off dull security, to use all lawfull meanes for the preservation of this poor Plantation in peace and quiet government. It is therefore enacted by this present Generall Assembly, and by the power and authority of the same be it enacted, that our present Governour doe continue the command of the Kings Castle in his owne power, with all the land, servants, and other priviledges, and commodities to the same belonging, and to place there such Officers under him, as he shall finde both faithfull, and able to discharge the trust, and to dispose of severall Forts, to his discretion, being of right belonging to him as he is by Commission Captaine Generall of all these Islands, provided alwayes that this Act be in force untill we receive answer of the last Generall letters, or untill the honourable Company doe alter or make void the same, any Order or Commission heretofore had, or which Though from the power of Parliament▪ hereafter may intrench the honourable Resolution to the said letters in any wise notwithstanding.

John Vaughan Secret.
Charles Whittenall Speaker.

Thus I have given the world an account of some of the Lawes enacted by this Grave Assembly, leaving the godly-wise to judge of them; We now proceed.

[Page 14] They enforce these Lawes,Bran. 6. viz. by their sole power. Instance, 1. The Magi­strates, under the odium of Independents (though standing by power of Parliament and Company) are ipso facto discharged of their place, and others chosen by the Governour and his councell. Instance Andrew Bromlow, Samuel Wise, William Reighton, had their cattle distrained upon the breach of that Act, requiring the bap­tizing Infants, supra. M Jenor, and one Phillip Clemons wife, were sent downe as pri­soners to the Governour, for not frequenting their Parish Church. The whole Congregation, and their friends, keeping a Fast at their usuall place of meeting, up­on a day appointed by the Governour (but the Governour not approving that place) by warrant commanded them to Towne, who going together in their boats, he would not suffer them to land, but sent his Martiall to chuse out some ten of them, whom he detained prisoners eight dayes, and when he dismist them, he con­fined them, and the rest of the Congregation to their owne Plantations, withall binding them over to answer it at the Assizes, onely reserving to them the liberty of fishing, and hearing the word.

Imprisons men at pleasure.Bran. 7. Instance Lieutenant John Davis, who was by the censure of the house committed close prisoner, and cast forth of the Assembly, for saying that what the Assembly did, was of no force till confirmed by the Com­pany. They pretended this was a breach of the oath of Secresy, when yet they be the expresse words of the Companies Printed Lawes, which all the Inhabitants are bound to take notice of. This Davis was not for their turne, though no Inde­pendent, therefore they sought this occasion against him. Instance the imprison­ment of M. Wilkinson, M. Reyner, M. More one whole month, protesting against the Assemblies meeting a second time, and others of their proceedings at first sitting; and because the world shall see what was done by those Magistrates, had no muteny in it: I shall give you a copy of their protest, and the Assemblies censure there­upon, viz.

Right VVorshipfull Governour,

WHereas your warrants are issued forth to command all such persons who are under the name of Burgesses, to tender their attendance at Georges Towne, pretending their meeting to be for the ordering things tending to the safety of this Island, we of your Councell whose names are subscribed, do crave leave of your Worship, to deliver our judgements of the same.

1. We conceive, that this which you call an Assembly, to be no other but an Innovation, having neither Precept nor Order, from the honourable Company, nor president in this Island for it.

2. That in the former meetings of these persons now conveened, was handled, maintained, and (as they would have it) acted, things absolutely contradictory to Order of Parliament, and the honourable Company.

3. Rumor being spread by some of these parties, that at this meeting, they will quite put downe the preaching of the word, by those faithfull Ministers of Christ, M. White, M. Copland, and M. Golding, though by Parliament and honourable Company allowed.

4. Certaine of those persons now conveened, insinuating into your Worships, that the whole Countrey (with urgency) solicited this meeting, which we finde not to be according to truth, with much more which we sorbeare to relate till a hea­ring before the High Court of Parliament, and Honourable Company in England [Page 15] be made, to which we appeale, and in the meane time declare we may not, we dare not (for the glory of God) the safety of this Island, and our just obedience to the trust by higher powers reposed in us) comply with this your meeting, nor the putting into execution any thing that there shall be, or heretofore hath beene by them agitated, till heard and confirmed by the honourable Company in England, who have not been de­fective to expresse their minds in that point to that purpose. And as by necessity en­forced, doe crave your Worships protection for our peaceable being in this place, till we, or such of us as by the mercy of God shall receive opportunity for transporting our selves unto the Honourable Court of Parliament and Company, for redresse of such grievances raised and fomented by those persons now conveened; and humbly pray we may in behalfe of the Parliament and Company, have liberty to take such attestations, as may be needfull for the maintenance of the premises.

Subscribed,
  • Wil. Sayle.
  • Wil. Reyner.
  • Wil. Wilkinson:
  • Joseph More.

The Assemblies censure upon this paper, July 13. 1646.

UPon dispute of a scandalous paper brought in as a charge against the power and proceedings of this Assembly under the hands of Captaine Sayle, Mr. Reaner She­riffe, Mr. Wilkinson, and Mr. Moore, the said Mr. Reyner standing to justifie the same, to the derogation of the power of Parliament of England, the power and priviledge of the Honourable Company, and the subversion of the government of this place, uponNot halfe an houre. mature debate had of the premises, it was voted and ordered by the whole Assembly, that M. Reyner should be committed to the Marshalsey during the pleasure of this Assem­bly and be suspended from bearing office in this Island, with reference to the Honou­rable Company, Mr. Wilkinson, and Mr. Moore, being severally examined did likewise, in contempt of the Court, and power thereof justifie the same paper, and contrary to their oaths refuse their assistance, and voluntarily deserted their places, thereupon were both censured by the generall vote, ut supra.

John Vaughan Secret.

Let wise men judge what weake Logicians these Grave Assembly be, who take in more into the conclusion, then the premises will beare. We proceed,

Imprisoned one Watkins, upon suspicion of crime, whereof he had been formerly acquitted at an open Assizes, nor could the Grave Assembly fasten any new matter upon him, but after some dayes imprisonment dismist him. Instance the imprisoning of Mr. White, themselves cannot say for what; one whiles they pretend words spoken by him, in deregation to the Company, which (if spoken) would not beare an action at Common law, to which Mr. White appealed, under this pretence he was prisoner fif­teen weeks. After some respite M. White was againe imprisoned six weeks, the pre­tence I know not, after (their malice being restlesse) there is a speciall warrant (with­out any name) issued forth. It runs thus, You shall apprehend and send downe to prison, the first, and so the second that preach at the Mill (so they in scorne call the place where the Congregation meeteth) who yet refuse to allow them so much as the Chap­pell to exercise in) by vertue of this namelesse warrant, Mr. White upon a Lords day was apprehended by the Head-burrow of Pagets Tribe (who a few weeks before was tyed to the Gallowes for pretended words of muteny.) Who, assisted with some twenty [Page 16] Apprentices of Pagets Tribe, sent Mr. White to prison, where he remained for severall weekes, since that the Governour and Councell have fancied concealment of treason against him, for words as they pretend spoken in his hearing some foure yeare since; and upon this colour they keep him prisoner, notwithstanding Captaine Turner offered to give Mr. White hisWho now is the best subjects liberty, if he would be bound to wave the care of the Con­gregation; and now the Governour speakes like himselfe, and professe the quarrell to be against the Gospell; at the nextCoun­cell-tables are the law of the Is­land, where quicquid libet, licet. Pet. Councell table, they order Mr. White should bee sent home prisoner, whom I leave to make relation of the insufferable wrongs done him, and the shields of the earth to right him against such high oppression. Instance, The imprisoning of Robert Nalton seven weeks, because he would not be dispossessed by the Governours warrant, of that house and land, on which he lived, but appealed to the Assizes, for a legall triall; during the time of whose imprisonment: another was pos­sest of the land, and house, and all the goods therein; nor might the said Nalton bee released out of prison, till he would submit to the Governours order under his hand, or be bound to his good behaviour, the later he was forced unto. If I mistake not, this proceeding was not onely Arbitrary, but hath Tyranny in it. Instance, the close and streight imprisoning of Mr. Kestaven; and fining him 50 l. for presenting, and Mr. Reyner jun. in like manner for writing a Petition, for the satisfaction of the world about this proceed. I shall give a copy of the Petition, with the Governours answer, as followeth:

To the Right Worshipfull Captaine Thomas Turner Governour, and Captaine Generall of these Islands, with the worshipfull his Councell. The humble Petition of certaine Inhabitants of the Summer-Islands.

THat whereas the Honourable Court of Parliament at Westminster in England, Submis­sively shew­eth. have by their high power and authority granted licence unto M. Nath. White, and to all that shall adjoyne themselves unto him, to exercise the liberty of conscience in mat­ters of Gods worship, with all immunities and priviledges thereunto, desiring the ho­nourable Committee in power for the government of the Plantations in America (whereof the state of England takes the Summer-Islands for a parcell) to see their ho­nourable grant executed, who under their command, with their hands and seales have given and transmitted unto your Worship to observe and performe, as also the honour­able Company for this Plantation, granting under their hands and seales the foresaid Ministers, sundry liberties and priviledges in the aforesaid matters of worship, with your own Acts in that your late Assembly, therein allowing that liberty so granted, as a­foresaid; but of late threatned (by what means we know not) with molestation and trou­ble, we your Petitioners protesting to yeeld and render all due honor to your authority, & respect to your persons, endeavouring by all means to avoid all occasion of actuall of­fence, humbly pray these aforesaid liberties may by you be allowed, and against our ad­versaries maintained; so shall you be instruments of Gods great glory, reap the prayers of the Saints, and we your Petitioners be obliged at the Throne of grace for you. Subscribed with about a hundred hands.

The issue was, the Assembly is called, and an Answer returned unto the Petition as followeth.

FOr as much as you challenge the High and Honourable Court of Parliament in the Kingdome of England, to have granted licence unto Mr. White, Mr. Copland, and [Page 17] Mr. Golding, whom you call Ministers (the which themselves have denyed) and there­by free power to exercise the liberty of their consciences in matters of Gods worship. In answer hereunto, we say, That the Honourable Parliament, have given them no such liberty, but upon the Petition of divers Inhabitants in Summer-Islands, with such o­thers as shall adjoyne themselves to them, that they without molestation have, and en­joy the liberty of their consciences, But not to exercise, we finde no such word mentio­ned, and the Honourable Committee hath given them protection and freedome, from any Ceremony or Imposition in matters of Gods worship: all which we never denied, butA su­perlative power, this our Parlia­ment con­firms what the Parlia­men of England doth. confirmed by an Act of our Assembly; neither doe I believe, that any amongst them hath cause to complaine of any such imposition, since my comming, unlesse it be the Innovation which they wilfully run into, In answer to the request of you who are the Petitioners, most or all of you beingNot to be drun­kards, filthy persons, swearers, knowne to us, or most of us, we speake unto you as in the presence of the Almighty God, we have not the least thought to in­trench upon your liberties, or priviledges, or confine your consciences, so that you practice things lawfull, if the contrary, the law will reduce you; we shall expect refor­mation in you by your obedience to Authority, and we desire to live in love, and amity with you, and so by Gods blessing we doubt not of your compliance, and your con­formity.

Signed John Vaughan. Secret.

The Imprisoning of Mr. Copland, an aged and reverend preacher many weeks for ex­excising on a fast day at the Mill (as they call it) the day was by Proclamation allowed by the Governour, but the place liked him not. Also a second time he was imprisoned, the Governour pretending Mr. Copland should say, That the devill in the Governour and his Councell had cast some of the Church into prison, and before Mr. Copland could be released, he must be bound to his good behaviour, who asking the Governour what would breake his behaviour, he replyed, if you preach againe; to which Mr. Cop­land answered, Sir I knew not till now, that preaching was a breach of the good beha­viour. Instance, the imprisoning of John Bristow ten dayes, and fining him three hun­dred pound of Tobacco, because he would not deliver the keyes of his hired house, unto the Governours new Marshall, without the consent of the Landlord, or the Governours expresse command; and for that the said Bristow (the Marshal) took M. White committed to his charge, till the Governour should secure him. This Bristow was no wise peccant in his office by the Governours owne profession, he is no Independent, but an honest man, and not for the Governours turne. Instance the imprisoning of Mr. Moore, for saying he was Councellour (as he thought) of Pagets Tribe, and therefore refused to pay his levy, and before his censure or imprisonment. The London ship arrived, and Mr. Moore was chosen Counsellour (as he had information it should be) by the Com­pany, yet is he committed to common Gaole, and denyed the place ofNequid usquam ho­nesti oculis occurrat. Bran. 8. Counsellour notwithstanding the Companies order. Capt. Turner knowes no authority above him­selfe, but is come in Conquerour over the Summer Islands.

Sleighted the power of Parliament, which appeares, First, by denying the liberty granted M. White, and others, by that supreame Court. Secondly, by the words spoken in the Assembly (the Governour present) by Th. Wood a member thereof, when that fore­said grant was publickly read, it is said he, but a peece of parchment, and a little wax. Thirdly, by that secret charge of Apostacy and Rebellion on Parliament and Nation. See the act for suppressing Independents, supra. Fourthly, by the anticipation of any power to possesse the Kings Castle, except from the Company. See act for the establish­ing Captaine Turner to have the command of the Castle in his owne hand, supra. [Page 18] Fifthly, their sleighting the Ordinance and power granted to the Committee for the American plantations, When pleaded by the Magistrates against the Act for casting them out.

The Governour and Assembly turned out of place,Bran. 9. Magistrates of knowne inte­grity; which is first against the Ordinance of Parliament to the Committee of Plantations then pleaded to by the Magistrates, but none regarded the power and authority thereof. Secondly, It is also against the Companies Declaration, which was likewise urged but without successe, in which course the Governour and Coun­cell still persist, for Anno 1647. Mr. Moore chosen Counsellour by the Company was rejected; likewise Captaine Turner making an overture in the vacancy of a Counsellour in Smiths Tribe, that the Tribe should have liberty of naming two men, and he with his Councell would agree to choose one of them; but when it came to acting, the Governour set by the men in nomination, and chose one Thomas Burrows formerly censured at an Assizes, as unworthy to beare the place of Con­stable for misdemeanours there proved against him.

Of known integrity to the Parliament. This Island (Captaine Sayle being Gover­nour assisted with the Councel, since cast out by Captain Turner) owned the Parlia­ment, when the most of the Plantation stood either newter, or in open defiance to it; the report whereof occasioned one Ferns a Kings Man of warre to make prize of goods belonging to Captaine Sayle and other friends to the Parliament, to their damage at least five hundred pound.

The Governour forbids appeales.Bran. 10. The Magistrates aforementioned after some dayes imprisonment, sent their appeale to the Parliament and Company unto the Governour; but were kept in prison, at least three weeks after; Mr. White hath beene denyed his appeale to the Assizes held in this Island, to Honourable Com­mittee, and High Court of Parliament. So in Robert Naltons cause, whose appeale to Assizes would not be granted, the Governour at Councell table is above all.

The Governour with his Assembly forbids Ministers to preach, witnesse the or­der of Assembly,Bran. 11. which is as followeth:

Die Mercuriae 29. Aprilis 1646.

WHereas we finde by daily experience what great distractions doth arise,Tyrannis boni quem mali sus­pectiores sunt semper­quae aliena virtus, for­midolosa est. Salust. by the intrusions of M. White, M. Copland, and M. Golding, into our Churches, who will not conforme themselves to the Directory of Parliament, to the great disturbance of the present Ministers, and other well disposed people; We the Generall Assem­bly tendring the peace and well-governing of the Church of God, and for the prevention of further mischiefe, doe order, and prohibit the said M. White, M. Cop­land, and Mr. Golding to preach in any of our Churches or Chappels, unlesse they submit to the Directory of Parliament as aforesaid; not prohibiting them to exercise their gifts, according to the extent and limitation given unto them by the High Court of Parliament, untill we receive further order and direction from them. Ordered that this be sent under the Clerkes hand, to the said Mr. White, Mr. Copland and Mr. Golding.

John Vaughan Secret.

This Order hath no truth in it, unlesse, in that passage, to the great disturbance of the present Ministers; to wit, Mr. Vyner, M. Hooper, both of them professing they [Page 19] will administer no Sacrament (which yet was the condition they made with the Company) to the people of those Tribes, where M▪ White, or M. Golding, should be suffered to preach publickly, the onely engine to keepe up the spirits of the people in opposition to M. White, and M. Golding. These Ministers whom the Assembly silence, are allowed by the Company, sent over by them at first with ap­probation.

Secondly, even since the difference about the Congregationall way, the Company wrote thus unto M. Copland and M. Golding, for the satisfaction of the people, wee have sent over two Ministers, who (we doubt not) will be ready according to the Directory to give them due satisfaction in point of administring Sacraments and Mar­riage. Wee will not take upon us to prescribe you any thing. Our desire is, that you and they, as fellow labourers may joyne hand in hand, for the good of the people. We are farre from pressing you against your consciences, we know well, that conscience is a tender thing, and must be tenderly dealt withall. Your owne discretion (we doubt not) will sufficiently instruct you to be peaceable, not to vent your selves one against another in the Pulpit, but to minde your maine worke which (as we conceive is) to preach Christ to the people, &c. Subscribed with nine of the Companies hands.

Now our adversaries cannot charge us with disobedience, unto the wise, and Re­ligious counsell given by the Company in this their letter: though (to our faces) and in the hearing of others, we and the Congregation have beene in Pulpits char­ged with Schisme, Heresie, Errors, to be as Chora [...], Dathan, and Abiram, the disease of the land, and the Magistrate (as Physitians) stirred up to cut us off, and resem­bled to Sampsons foxes with firebrands at their tayles, and (to bring us yet further in­to contempt) the people have been publickly taught, that God is not present at the Mill (though Christ saith, two shall be grinding at the Mill, the one taken, and the other left) with such like stuffe, which we forbeare to publish; whose labour were desired by the people. The most considerable of Sandios Tribe petitioned the Governour to enjoy M. Whites Ministery, and many of Smiths tribe, M. Goldings; but the Governour would not hearken to the desires of either, and yet (if we may beleeve him, and I have heard him speake it forty times) he doth all for the glory of God, and the good of the Country.

Conceals good orders.Bran. 12. An. 1647. The Company required that the Congregation should injoy their liberty and the Chappell to exercise in, this the Governour con­ceals from the Congregation, and makes the people believe, there is no such liberty granted to the Congregation, stengthens the hands of lewd persons. Those private Instructions which the Governour tearmed (as it is said) a boxe of poyson, were doubtlessely communicated to his Assembly, else they durst not have proceeded with so high a hand against the Congregation. Also the letter that went in Cap­taine Sayles ship, carried by a crooked fellow, supra An. 47.

With many other vexatious wayes.Bran. 13. 1. Instance, The Governour sweares men, to their owne damage.Vexatious wayes.

Secondly, by warrant caused eighteeen men of Sandyes tribe to appeare at Georges (twenty miles distance,) before the Assembly met a second time, because under their hands they signified, they desired not that the Assembly should so meet. Also many of Pagets Tribe were molested upon the same pretence, by warrant com­manded Tho. Bostwick, and one Oker, to answer their contempt for being active in getting hands to a Petition to the Assembly, desiring them to mediate with the Com­pany [Page 20] for free trade. Likewise the Governour sent forth a warrant to apprehend Mr. John Somersale as fellon upon supposition, he would refuse to obey the warrant of the Assembly met a second time, against which Assembly, he the said Somersale one of them, had openly protested and withdrawn from them Octo. 7 An. 647. Will. Golding was served with a warrant to attend the Governour sitting with his Councell and Assembly eight miles distance, & when the said Wil. Golding appeared, the Governour with the rest, said nothing to him; at which time Will. Golding heard Captaine Wood, and other say, they would maintaine Their Lawes with their lives.

Thirdly, Governour and Councell have changed the levy, payable by the Country for generall uses, it was formerly assessed by the head. Now by the Acre, to wit, one pound of Tobacco per Acre; the levy this yeare amounted unto eleven thousand of Tobacco, or thereabouts, usually (in other Governours times) not above five thousand; all the generall worke in view, is the covering of the Sessions house, which is made a Dove-coat, and set with looking-glasses for the Pigeons to dresse themselves by, no forts, no publick houses repayred, though there is need enough.

The Governour gives the Country no account, but in grosse how this levy grow, onely the Counsellours told us, Item three hundred pound of Tobacco for Cedar planks sent by the Governour as a present to Mr. Prim (who aspersed the Congregation.) And one Major Williams, Item seven hundred pound of Tobacco in arrears since the former yeare, five hundred pound of Tobacco for servants to over-see Mr. Whitnalls, and Mr. Halls businesse, when they were employed Ambas­sadours to England from the Governour unto the Company; also more for their charges levyed upon the Country thirty six pound Sterlin, since which time, sixty pound Sterlin, out of the Spanish wreck hath been disbursed upon that account. The occasion of sending these men for England was this, Captaine Sayle and Wil. Golding having appealed from the Governour and Assembly, and resolving to goe for England to exhibit their Complaints against them; the Governour with some of his Councell judged meet to send Mr. Hall, and Mr. Whitnall to maintaine the Acts made by the Assembly, and accuse the Congregation, but prevailing in neither, they returned.

Now the Country must beare their charges, yea the Congregation (against whom they were imployed) before convicted of any offence done, must contribute to the vaine expences of these men. Also the Congregation are forced to pay for Communion wine for the use of the Tribe, though neither they, nor theirs, have any benefit by it. Also to the Readers of the respective Tribes, though some (or most of them) be knowne drunkards.

Many of the inhabitants unsatisfied with this account, refused payment; and the Counsellours by the Governours warrant (signed before any levyes were demanded) distrained on their Tobacco, and tooke their owne demands.

Fourthly, The Governour at a mustering dis-armed those of the Congregation, and their friends, and all at the same time, passionately beat one Chapline with his keyne, for asking (after his armes were taken from him) whither hee must stay in the body, or go forth. Also one Hill upon a sleight pretence. Likewise, hee commanded a file of Musqueteers to seize Mr. Painters Armes, which were then de­livered; and why may not the Governour send a file of Musqueteers to cease my bed money, or servants?

Fifthly, at an Assizes Wil. Golding (then in England) was sued by Mr. Christopher [Page 21] Pits for five hundred pound of Tobacco, which the said Pits recovered, and upon execution forceably tooke from the wife of Will. Golding in his absence: but how comes Will. Golding to be liable to this debt? Thus, Captaine Chadocke undertooke for some such debt, for Mr. Worth, whom he tooke with him to Trinidado, but stood nor engaged to pay that debt to M. Pits, Captain Chadock makes M. Rich. Waylet (who married Captaine Chadocks daughter) a letter of atturney, Captaine Chadock dyed, and his two sonnes inherit and divide his estate▪ M. Waylet Actio per­sonalis, mo­ritur cum persona. dyes. Now M. Golding marrying with M. Waylets widow is sued for his debt, and the Governour informes the Iury, that it is just that Captaine Chadocks daughter should pay it, and the Iury found it so. At the same Assizes, M. Painter is warned to make his appearance, but must not know wherefore, who giving his attendance, an action of defamation was laid against him by M. Vyner, for saying M. Vyner drunke Aqua Vitae, as fast as Mrs. Foord could still it, or such like words, M. Painter desires respite untill the next As­sizes, but would not be granted. M. Painter denies the words

The Governour is his accuser, the sole witnesse and Advocate to the Iury to heigh­ten the action, and likewise the Iudge, and lury findes the action five hundred pound Sterlin for the Plaintiffe.

Seventhly, at an Assizes held An. 1647. M. White obtained a warrant to sum­mon down some persons, against whom he had just acceptions, entred his Actions, and prepared his witnesses, but when he moved the Court, his actions might be cal­led upon; it was denyed, notwithstanding the Assizes before he tooke the oath of Supremacy, which the Governour urged upon him, supposing his refusall would have rendred him uncapable of the liberty of a Subject, the Governour ashamed to urge the oath a second time, is not ashamed to give Mr. White a flat deniall of trying actions.

Eightly, whiles Will. Golding was in England, the Governour complying with lewd fellows, sought to take away the life of his deare wife, pretending words of muteny against her, and told her aforehand, he would hang her; but nothing being proved, he lost his longing, and dismist her accusers without a checke.

Ninthly, a Spanish Ship endangered amongst the Rocks, Feb. 14. 1647 the Gover­nour (before the ship was wrackt, or the Company of the Ship forsaken her) with his owne hands, and by his appointment, did so pillage and ransacke (even beyond modesty) the distressed men that came a shoare, that he hath made the Island stinke in the nostrills of the Spaniards, and exposed the Inhabitants, and other of the English Plantations to their wrath, when they shall fall into their hands; and herein he is incouraged by the trading party (who not contenting themselves with invading the liberties of the Inhabitants, expose their lives to the fury of a forreigner) for the Company in their instructions sent over with Captaine Turner give liberty to pillage all Spaniards who shall fall upon the coasts. As also in a generall letter to Captaine Chadock, An. 1640 they give these instructions: and that when any Spa­niards doe hereafter fall into distresse on those Islands, and shall send, or seeme to capitulare before their arrivall on land, that you and the Councell there, doe require them to cast themselves on, or stand to your courtesie, or otherwise, that you keep them off, and doe not suffer them to land. Signed with fourteen hands: Captain Turner laying hold upon this advantage, so minded the enriching of himselfe thereby, that he neglected the safety of the Island; for how easie had it been for the justly provoked (though disarmed party) if the feare of God had not restrained them, to have joyned with the Spaniards, and have wrought their will upon him, and his [Page 22] faction without resistance. I onely hint this, to let the world see, that Indepen­dents (as they call them) dare not take those advantages, which carnall prudence prompt others too; but quietly commit themselves unto theScutum tibi potius, quam gladium sume. Liu. Righteous Judge of all the world for compensation for wrongs done them, in the day of recompence for Zions controversie.

Thus much touching the complaints contained in the Petition. Animadversions upon the requests therein, fall next under consideration.

First, we crave liberty to transplant our selves; first, because it hath been, and may againe be denyed,Requests. while the Company continue an unlimited power over us, in what we have and are.

Secondly, The Island will not beare the increase of men and beasts.

Thirdly, The Land is worne out, not enjoying a Sabbath these thirty yeares.

Fourthly, We have served the Trading Company long enough and for nought, and are unwilling to leave our children bondslaves.

Fifthly, We cannot beare the yoke of tyranny, nor the insolency of worthlesse and illiterate men, to be our lawlesse judges; especially in the matters of God the things whereof they savour not.

Sixtly, We are deserted of the Company who in justice should relieve us; and at best in our redresses to them, the remedy hath proved worse then the disease, who (if at any time they have saved the children of the needy, yet, have not broken in peeces their oppressors, Psal. 72. 4. the failing in either is a defect in justice.

Seventhly, Suppose our Rockes were Amber-greece and our mountaines the finest gold, yet would the trading party invent waves, by raising rents, by new impositions, by limiting us to their ship and goods; by demurages or the like, to keepe us still in rags (almost) to nakednesse.

Secondly, Liberty of free trade of propriety of goods.

First, it is our birth-right, and that ancient bounds left us by our fathers to in­herit, let them whom it doth concerne consult the word of truth▪ Deut. 27. 17. Cursed be he that removeth his neighbours landmarke, and let all the people say, Amen.

Secondly, we earne it with the hazard of our lives, and a kinde of banishment.

Thirdly, It is the priviledge of all other English Plantations, who have either meanes, or hopes of support, besides Tobacco, which we want.

Fourthly, in case the London ship should miscarry, where should the Inhabitants seeke supply, or hope for it.

Fifthly, If Tobacco beare a low price, the Company will send a ship but little goods. Instance An. 1647. hardly one hundred pound Cargo from the Company to accommodate foure thousand people, and Captaine Turner, the mouth of the tra­ding party, protested he cared not if the Tobacco yeelded but [...] and duties▪ it should be sent home, if the trading Company may be maintained; it matters not what becomes of the poor Planters.

Sixtly,The life of man Homo quasi [...] simul Scal. why should the Inhabitants be debarred of the benefit of society and commerce, which is the Islands cause, whilst ships that passe by have no en­couragement to anchor in our Harbour.

Seventhly, Many worthy members of the Company would grant this liberty, who being free thereof, are interest in all due profits as any other.

Third head. That offenders be put into a way of Triall; First, because the [Page 23] faction of the Governour is so prevalent, that we can have no hopes of right here, having this experience, that such as have been named by the Tribe for Jury men (if they comply not with the Governours liking) have been discharged, or put upon the Jury of life and death, though no use of such a Jury at that time.

Secondly, because many crimes are capitall, requiring witnesses to depose viva voce: now we have not liberty, or power to examine witnesses, and take attesta­tions which they desired from the Governour, could not be obtained, or not ex­ercised, when seemingly granted.

Thirdly, most of the Magistrates are parties in the charge, and how can we with prudence engage them in these causes.

Fourthly, we cannot confide in all, who have power to take attestations, it is knowne to us, Attestations have been mended [...]ed; and how should we in this confusion be secure.

Fourth head: That the Deputy-governour may be questioned: First, in erro­rem, that his examples be not a president or emboldning to the succeeding Gover­nour, because justice upon offenders, is not speedily executed, [...] heart of the sons of men, are set to doe evill.

Secondly, That the peace of the Country may be preserved.

Thirdly, how else shall the oppressed be righted, or secured for the future? Job hath a saying, That the hypocrite reign not lest the people be ensnared, Job 34. 30. That the new elected Counsellours and Commanders may be reduced. First, The Company who plead this priviledge, have nor done it; they restored indeed two Counsellours but the Governour allows but one of hem? Secondly, else usur­pation in authority will be justified. Thirdly, else it is all one, as though the Governour was paramount; for if he be left to himselfe, to place and displace Magistrates and Commanders, (they being his creatures) must in all comply with him or lose their honour. Fourthly, else those Magistrates and Officers who have beene faithfull to the State and Company, and have suffered so much infamy cannot be repaired in their reputation. (Fifthly, they and others will bee discouraged for the future to serve the publicke, if thus left under the feet of vile men. Sixtly, else the Island will soone be corrupted; most of that new creation, being men of foule mouthes and lives, giving bad examples, not daring to punish sin in others, themselves being in the same or greater condemnation.

Truly there is nothing owned for sin with us, but going to the Mill, walking so­berly, humbly, and non-compliance with workers of iniquity. These are the ill-affected persons, the Malignants, the disobedient to Authority, refractory, &c. In the language of the Governour and Assembly, in their Acts and Proclamations.Ob virtutes certissimum exi [...]ium Sac. Hist.

Conclusion. The result is, to leave the world to judge whether these things ga­thered up, and put together, will not amount in the Governours Councell and Assembly in Summer-Islands, to a premunire exercise of Arbitrary power, injustice, impiety, oppression in a high degree, (that I say not) tyranny in some of them who have thus acted? and whether it is not a righteous thing that those who have usurped power should be made uncapable of the exercise of power for the future? As for the Trading party in the Company, who have drawne downe (at least collaterally) dishonour (that I say not) guilt upon that Honourable Society, I shall leave them to the wisdome and justice of a full Court of their owne; or rather at the bar of the supreame Judicature of our Nation, before whom the Complaints lye; waiting with patience their Honours Resolution.

[Page 24] Now if any man shall object. I am [...], and besides my calling.

I answer, First, I am forty that there was occasion given me.

Secondly, Ministers are men, their lives, families, estates, and liberties, are civill things, and whilst invaded, cannot but complaine.

Thirdly, the Company and Assembly have quited me of a third part of that labour in the exercise of my Calling, whilst a Preacher to the Country. I can now spare time to study men especially those who study my undoing in whatso­ever is deare unto me.

Fourthly, It is not improper to the Ministers of the Gospell to beare witnesse against all unrighteousnesse of men, and when their mourhes are stopt, to speake in Print, the words of truth and sobernesse.

Fifthly, who knowes but the discovery of these things may lead some concerned in them unto repentance, which is all the harme I wish these lines produce.

Lastly, I am engaged, and should seem to mocke the Honourable Parliament and Committee, should I not pursue the complaints exhibited to them; nor would the condition of that Congregation, the state of my family, my personall infir­mities and expence, far above my estate, (not having the least allowance from the Congregation or Company) nor yet the unsetled state of the Nation, as then it stood; suffer me to stay and plead to the Petition, all which considered I am in­forced to make this Remonstrance professing (in the presence of God) I have en­deavoured it with all fidelity, not making lies my refuge; if any mistakes be, it is through mis-information and in lesser things. The substance of the Remonstrance, specially in matters concerning the Governour, his Councell and Assembly, will he attested (if need be) by faithfull witnesses. The Lord settle truth, justice and peace, throughout the earth, and honour our Nation to be the Coryphaus and first leader in it. Amen.

FINIS.

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