Indians retire from Pequauquauke to Coos.--To St. Francis.--Settlements extended.--Great Earthquake.--First Constitution of New Hampshire.--A triennial Assembly.--Reforms.--Difficulty between Lt. Gov. Wentworth and the Assembly.--Gov. Burnet.--His death.--Gov. Belcher.--Quarrels with Lt. Gov. Wentworth.--Lt. Gov. Wentworth's death.--His friends unite against Belcher.--First settler at Namaoskeag Falls.--John McNeil--Rev. Mr. McGregore visits the Falls.--First fish given to Minister.--Road to Namaoskeag.--People from Massachusetts at Namaoskeag.--Vote as to them.--Ferry established at Namaoskeag.--Massachusetts people here.--Benjamin Hadley, Benjamin Stevens, Nathaniel Martin, Ephraim Hildreth, Charles Emerson, William Perham, Edward Lingfield, Benjamin Kidder, Benjamin Blodgett, and John Goffe, Jr.--First inhabitants within the present limits of Manchester.--Londonderry people.--John Riddell, Archibald Stark, John Hall, Thomas Hall, Wm. McClintock, Alexander McMurphy, David Dickey.--Biographical sketch of John Goffe, Esquire.--Major Gen. Wm. Goffe.--Of the Court to try Charles I.--Comes to America with Gen. Edward Whalley.--Their wanderings, concealment and death.--John Goffe of Londonderry not a lineal descendant of the regicide.--Moves to Cohas Brook.--Death.--Edward Lingfield.--In Lovewell's Expedition.--Commissioned as Ensign for his conduct at Pequauquauke.--Benjamin Kidder.--In Lovewell's Expedition.--Sick.--Probable death.--Archibald Stark.--Settles at Londonderry.--Removes to Harrytown.--Builds a fort.--His children, and death.--John McNeil.--Daniel McNeil.--Of the Council of Londonderry.--John flees to America.--His strength.--His wife Christian.--"Old McNeil."--He moves to Suncook.--Death.--Daniel his son.--John his son.--Mortally wounded at Bunker Hill. Major Gen. Solomon McNeil.--Brig. Gen. John McNeil.--His services.--Leads his regiment at the battle of Chippewa.--Wounded at the battle of Niagara.--Difference in manners and customs of the people of Derryfield.--Disadvantage to the settlement.--The throat distemper.
After the close of Lovewell's War, the people had rest for a season. The attack upon the Pequauquaukes completely humbled the haughty spirit of the Indians, not only of that tribe, but of all those in the north of New Hampshire and Maine. They had been taught that they were not safe in their homes, that the adventurous whites would seek them there, and be avenged of them. In consequence of this state of feeling, the Indians retired from Pequauquauke to the head-waters of the Connecticut,--and afterwards to St. Francis.
The colonists, thus relieved of their fears of Indian depredation, forthwith began to extend their settlements in every direction and the province of New Hampshire began to assume new importance in population and enterprise. In the last years prior to 1730, her population exclusive of the Irish Londonderry, had increased by one third, and including them amounted to some over ten thousand.In the night of October, 29 and 30, 1727, occurred what had been designated as "the great earthquake." It was violent in the valley of the Merrimack, than in any other part of New England. Its startling effects in this and other towns **** on the Merrimack, have been handed down as among the choice specimens of fireside tradition. The shocks were very violent, jarring houses to their foundations, throwing down chimneys and "scattering the pewter dishes from the dressers." The consternation attending such a scene may be imagined, but not described. Men and women aroused from their slumbers, ran about their houses in the wildest alarm and the immediate end of the world was anticipated. Nor was alarm confined to man alone. "The brute creatures ran roaming about the fields, in the great distress."
This year is remarkable, also, for the enactment or forming of what may be called the first constitution of New Hampshire. His excellency, Samuel Shute, Governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, had been absent in England for some years, so that affairs in Massachusetts had been managed by Lt. Governor Wm. Dummer, and in New Hampshire by Lt. Governor John Wentworth. Governor Wentworth had managed the affairs of the Province much to the satisfaction of the people. There was one source of dissatisfaction. The Assembly called by Gov. Shute in 1722, had been continued in existence during his absence, Gov. Wentworth believing that he had no right to dissolve them and call a new one. The people were greatly dissatisfied and demanded a triennial Assembly. Gov. Wentworth was disposed to favor their demands when opportunity should offer.
Accordingly in 1727, upon the death of George I, the Assembly ceased to exist with him. A new Assembly was forthwith called, and one of its first acts was, to limit its own existence to three years. They provided also that writs of elections were to issue at least fifteen days prior to the election; a representative was to have a freehold of three hundred pounds in value; an elector was to have a freehold of fifty pounds, within the town for which there was an election; but habitancy was not required on the part of the elected, and the selectmen, with the moderator, were constituted the judges of the qualifications of electors, from whose decision an appeal was allowed to the House of Representatives.
This act was approved by the Lieutenant Governor, and receiving the royal approbation, became the law of the Province.
This may be called the first constitution of New Hampshire established by the people. But this was defective, though a move towards a popular government. Its defects were the cause of long and acrimonious controversy betwixt the Lieut. Governor and the people.
It did not determine who should issue the writs for the election, or name the places to which the writs were to be sent, or how many inhabitants should entitle a place to a representative. The Assembly having accomplished so much, set about other reforms. One was the remodelling of the Courts. An appeal was allowed in the civil suits, from the inferior to the Superior Court; if the amount in controversy exceeded one hundred pounds, an appeal was allowed to the Governor and Council; if above three hundred pounds, an appeal was allowed to the King in Council. The objection to the Superior Court, then and for a long time after, was the fact, that the Judges were generally of the Council, and had the decision of cases on appeal, which had been appealed in consequence of their supposed erroneous decision in the inferior Courts. In after time great injustice was practiced by this Court, the large landed proprietors being of the Council, and cases of their own, directly or indirectly, coming by an appeal from the inferior Courts, were not unfrequently decided according to the interests of the members of the Court, rather than according to justice. It was a great nuisance and the people called for its abatement.
But the Council opposed the proposition of the house to repeal the laws establishing this Court, and this opposition soon produced an open rupture. The Lieut. Governor, perhaps thinking he had already approved of reforms sufficient for one Assembly, or perhaps opposing the proposed reform, dissolved the Assembly agreeable to power conferred upon him by their late act.
This procedure produced an excitement among the people, and upon the calling of a new Assembly, the towns, with a few exceptions, re-elected the old members, and of course adhered to their old measures. They chose for their Speaker, Mr. Nathaniel Weare who being obnoxious to the Governor, was negatived by him. The House adjourned from day to day, until the ninth day of the session, when they chose Mr. Andrew Wiggin, who was approved by the Lieutenant Governor. But ill feeling was rife, and but little business was done during the session. However, they united in appointing a committee to wait upon Mr. Burnet, the new Governor, who was expected at Boston. The committee which, in company with Lieut. Governor Wentworth met Governor Burnet at Boston on the 22nd of July, 1728 and complimented him upon his appointment and arrival. This was the only time Governor Burnet came into New England forgetting into a quarrel with the General Court of Massachusetts about his salary, he died after a few months, it is said, of chagrin and disappointment at the opposition he had to encounter on the part of Massachusetts.
Upon his death, Jonathan Belcher and Mr. Shute were applicants for the vacant office. Lieut. Governor Wentworth wrote friendly letters to both of them,--and Belcher having the most Court favor was appointed Governor.
He was a native of Boston, wealthy and overbearing in his deportment. On his first visit to this province, he put up with Wentworth, but hearing of the fact that Wentworth had written a courteous letter to his competitor, Shute, he took the matter to the high dudgeon, and when next in the Province, refused to call upon the Lieut. Governor, and not content with this neglect, he limited his fees to fifty pounds, and displaced many of his friends in office. This was very impolitic in Belcher, for the Lieutenant Governor was very popular in spite of his late difficulties with the Assembly, and Belcher's opposition to Wentworth and his friends, only added to his popularity. And the displacing Atkinson, the son-in-law of Wentworth, on of the most popular and talented men in the Province, raised an opposition that soon told to the disadvantage of Governor Belcher.
It is possible, that this conduct on the part of Governor Belcher, had its effect upon the Lieut. Governor's health; be this as it may, Wentworth fell into a lethargy and died on the 12th day of December, 1730, in the 59th year of age.
The death of Lieut. Governor Wentworth, tended rather to increase the opposition to Belcher, and Mr. David Dunbar succeeding to the office of Lieut. Governor, united with the opposition, and thus it became so formidable as to be a source of disquiet to the Governor and his friends. Soon after the arrival of Dunbar in Portsmouth, a formal complaint was made against Belcher, accusing him of being arbitrary and oppressive in his government, and duly forwarded to the King, with prayer for his removal. There was some ground for the complaint, and the result of the whole matter was, that after a contained strife of ten years, in which many other matters were mixed up with the original quarrel, the friends of Lieut. Governor Wentworth had the satisfaction of seeing Governor Belcher removed from office, New Hampshire erected into a distinct Province, and Benning Wentworth appointed as its Governor.
The emigration from Ireland at this period was so rapid, that the number of Irish in this neighborhood amounted to a thousand, as appears by answers from New Hampshire to the Board of Trade, of date Jan. 22, 1730, in which it is said, "the inhabitants have increased almost four thousand within this few years last past, a thousand of which (at least) are people from Ireland, lately come into and settled within the province."2 These emigrants soon moved upon the land adjacent to Londonderry. In fact, the fear of the Indians had not prevented their extending themselves up the Merrimack as far as Pennacook, and as early as 1724 they had built a fort there, probably with the idea of a permanent settlement upon the rich intervales at that place. This fort is mentioned in the Journal of Col. Tyng, of a scout to the Winnepesaukee made in the spring of 1725, with a company under his command, in pursuit of the Indians. Col Tyng quartered there the 5th and 6th of April of that year, the snow being so thick upon the bushes that they could not travel without injuring their provisions. He called it the "Irish Fort."3 But their intention of settling at Pennacook was doubtless frustrated by the grant of these lands by Massachusetts to a large body of actual settlers from Essex county, who took possession of their lands in the spring of 1726, and had made such regulations among themselves as to prevent the settlement of an Irishman with the limits of Pennacook.4
There were others of these Irish emigrants who had become dissatisfied with their locations in Londonderry, or thought they could better their condition by removal. Of this number were many of the original settlers of the territory now known as Manchester, and prominent among them John McNeil and Archibald Stark. McNeil moved upon the gore than known as Harrytown, and located himself upon the log now known as the Kidder Farm, and is said to have been the first white settler at the Falls or upon that part of Harrytown within the thickly settled parts of the city of Manchester.
McNeil's house stood near McNeil street, and about midway betwixt Elm and Canal streets. The cellar of his house, and the bounds of his garden patch are now plainly visible. McNeil commenced this settlement probably in 1733. He doubtless moved upon this spot on account of its proximity to the Namaoskeag falls, where was most excellent fishing, and it is quite probable, that his removal and settlement was under the patronage of the people of Londonderry, who claimed the gore upon which he settled by virtue of their deed from Wheelwright and for years after continued to assert their claim as against all intruders. The fishing at Amoskeag was of the greatest importance to the people. Tradition has it that the Rev. Mr. McGregore was the first person of the Londonderry settlement to visit the Falls, led thither by curiosity, and prompted by information obtained at Andover as to their grandeur, and the abundance of fish to be found near them at certain seasons of the year. From this fact originated the custom of presenting Mr. McGregore and his successors, the first fruits of the fishing season. The first fish caught by any man of Londonderry salmon, shad, alewife or eel, was reserved as a gift to "the minister."
As early as 1729 a road was laid out and built from N**ian Cochran's house (in Londonderry) "then keeping by or near the old path to Ammosceeg Falls."5 And another road was laid out at the same time intersecting the "Ammosceeg road," for the accommodation of other sections of the town. This undertaking of building a road some ten miles through the wilderness, in the infancy of that colony, shows of how great importance the "fishing at Ammosceeg was considered by the people of Londonderry; and it was natural they should be strenuous in maintaining their claim to the lands adjacent. Accordingly we find their claim to the lands and the subject of the fisheries connected with them, matters acted upon in their town meetings at an early date. As early as 1729, people had moved upon these lands probably for the purpose of holding them for Massachusetts, she claiming to a line three miles east of the Merrimack by her charter. This was a serious matter for the people of Londonderry, and in the warrant for a town meeting bearing date January 8th, 1730-1 there was the following article.
"11thly. To see whether they will allow a Lawyer to be consulted about those persons that are settling at Ammosceeg," And at the meeting this article was thus disposed of.
"11thly. Voted that they are willing to leave the consulting of a lawyer about the settlement that is carried on at Ammosceeg to the selectmen and the committee that is appointed for a defence of the propriety."6
It is not known what action was taken by the selectmen and committee upon the matter; but it is to be inferred as the records are silent upon the subject, that no legal action was taken at that time. The people from Massachusetts continued to occupy the lands in this neighborhood at intervals, and it is probable that some of them had a continuous occupation from this **** under the authority of their government. Under such circumstances it is probable that after "consulting a lawyer," the people of Londonderry concluded to take quiet possession of the land and wait the result of the hearing about to be had in England as to the claims of Massachusetts. That the people of Londonderry continued in control of the business here is shown by the records of the following year,--wherein is found the warrant,--one article of which reads thus:--
"4thly. To see whether they will be at the expense of two canoos to be kept at Ammosceeg for the safety of the people at the fishing."
On the day of the meeting, April 22, 1731, the following action was had on the 4th article.
"4thly. That in order to the safety of our town's people at the fishing at Ammosceeg the selectmen is impowered to allow and pay out of the public charge or rates of the town three pounds in Bills of credit to such person or persons as shall be obliged to make two good sufficient canoos, the selectmen obliging the aforesaid undertakers to serve the Inhabitants of the town the whole time fishing, before any out town's people and shall not exceed one shill pr hundred for all the fish that they shall ferry over the Islands and the owner of the fish and his attendants is to be ferried backwards and forwards at free cost."7
It is probable that some one was found to accept so favorable a proposition, and it may be that John McNeil was employed for that purpose. But whether settling at the Falls of his own accord, or sent there to hold possession of the land, or continued there as ferryman, John McNeil was the man suited to such border service, and Christian, his wife, was a fit companion for such a borderer.
After the settlement of McNeil at Namaoskeag, many others followed from Londonderry, and from Litchfield, Dunstable, and other towns down the river. It is impossible at this day to tell the precise time or the order of settlement of the different families.
The Massachusetts people seem to have settled near the Merrimack and mainly upon or near the Cohas Brook. But several of them settled near the Namaoskeag Falls.
Thus Mr. Benjamin Hadley lived upon the farm since known as the "Barrett farm," lying below Central street, and upon which the depots of the Concord Rail Road are located. Benjamin Stevens settled upon the farm belonging to the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, near which the Gas Works are located. It is probable, that these may have been the men to whom the people of Londonderry referred in their vote of January 8, 1730--1, as "those persons that are settling at Amosceeg."
Nathaniel Martin, owned the farm occupied by Peter Mitchell; Ephraim Hildreth lived upon the farm now owned by Jonas Harvey and sons; Charles Emerson lived where James Emerson now lives, the farm still being in the name; William Perham lived where John Young now lives; and Edward Lingfield, Benjamin Kidder, Benjamin Blodgett and John Goffe, Jr. lived upon the Cohas Brook near its mouth. Goffe lived near where Nathaniel Moore now lives, on the north bank of the Cohas, nearly opposite Goffe's Falls, which receive their name from him. These people, doubtless, moved here under the auspices of Massachusetts prior to 1735. It is certain that Hildreth, Perham and Blodgett were here prior to 1725, as in April of that year these men were in Lovewell's Expedition and were placed down as from Nutfield, subsequently Londonderry. Both Lingfield and Kidder married daughters of John Goffe, Senior, and it is highly probable that they settled upon the Cohas Brook, soon after their father-in-law came to Londonderry with the Scotch Irish settlers. John Goffe, Junior settled at the "Cohas," before or about the same time with his brothers-in-law, Lingfield and Kidder; probably in 1722, at which time he was married, and also was named in the Charter as one of the grantees of Londonderry.
Thus John Goffe, Junior, Edward Lingfield and Benjamin Kidder were the first known inhabitants with the present limits of Manchester. The Goffes, with Kidder and Lingfield their connections, settled at the Cohas Brook by virtue of grants in the charter of Londonderry, but being Massachusetts men, and it turning out that much of their land was without the chartered limits of Londonderry, it is more than probable, that in act and thought, they assimilated with their neighbors from Massachusetts who emigrated hither soon after Lovewell's war.
The emigrants from Londonderry, settled in various parts of the town wherever were found eligible locations. Thus John Ridell settled upon what is called the Ray farm; Alexander McMurphy, Jr., lived next above McNeil's, opposite the Amoskeag Falls bridge, his farm being betwixt McNeill and Ridell's'; Archibal Stark settled upon what is now known as the Stark place, and owned by the Campbells; John Hall settled at "the Centre," upon land now owned by George Porter, Esq.; Thomas Hall, his brother, lived upon the Merrimack, next below McNeil's, upon lands since know as the "Philip Stevens Farm," being that part of the city embraced mainly betwixt Bridge and Merrimack streets, where he had a ferry; the McClintocks, occupied the farm now owned by the heirs of the late Gen. James McQueston; Alexander McMurphy lived upon the farm at the outlet of the Massabesic, now occupied by the Websters; David Dickey lived where David Dickey, 2d, now lives; William Gamble owned the farm now owned by Samuel Gamble and Isaac C. Flanders, Esq.; Robert Anderson lived where the late Daniel Hall lived; Barber Leslie lived on the farm now owned by James McQueston; and William Nutt lived on the River road, on the farm, a part of which is now owned J. G. Eveleth.
Of these people, thus settled upon territory now within the limits of Manchester, most were active enterprizing men, and some were possessed of marked ability, and became identified with most of the public enterprises of their time, in this section of the Merrimack valley. Some of them deserve more than a passing notice.
John Goffe, senior, came to Londonderry from Boston, with the first Scotch Irish emigrants to that town. He was born in Boston in 1679. John Goffe, his father, was a member of Dr. Increase Mather's Church as early as 1676, and is said to have come to this country in 1662 or 63. It has been often suggested that he was related to Gen. William Goffe, the regicide. Major Gen. William Goffe was a man of note in Cromwell's time. A writer in the Fasti Oxonienses, thus speaks of him:--
"He was the son of Stephen Goffe, Rector of Stanmore in Sussex, and younger brother to John Goffe, mentioned among the writers, An. 1661, and to Stephen Goffe, mentioned in the Fasti, An. 1636. While William was a youth, and adv*** to all kinds of learning, he was bound an apprentice to ** Vaughan, a salter in London, brother to Col. Joseph Vaughan, a Parliamentarian, and a zealous Presbyterian; whose time ***ing near, or newly out, he betook himself to be a soldier *** the righteous cause, instead of setting up his trade, went as a Quarter-Master of Foot, and continued in the wars till he forgot what he had fought for. At length, through several military grades, he became a Colonel, a frequent prayer maker preacher, and presser for righteousness and freedom, which ** outward show, was expressed very zealously, and therefore in high esteem in the Parliament army. In 1648, he was one of the Judges of King Charles I., sate in judgment when he was brought before the High Court of Justice, stood up as consenting when sentence passed upon him for his decollation, and afterwards, having, like his General (Cromwell) an *** tincture of that spirit that loved and sought after the favor and praise of man, more than that of God, as by woeful experience in both of them it did afterwards appear, he could not further believe, or persevere upon that account, by degrees fell off from the anti-monarchial principles of the chief part of the army, and was the man, with Colonel William White, who brought Musqueteers, and turned out the Anabaptistical members that were left behind of the Little, or Barebones Parliament, out of the house, An. 1654. Complying thus kindly with the design and interest of the said General, he was by him, when made Protector, constituted Major-General of Hampshire, Sussex and Berks, a place of great profit, and afterwards was of one, if not of two Parliaments; did advance his interest greatly, and was in so great esteem and favor in Oliver's Court, that he was judged the only fit man to have Major-General John Lambert's place and command, as Major-General of the army of foot; and by some to have the Protectorship settled on him in future time. He being thus made so considerable a person, was taken out of the House to be a Lord, and to have a negative voice in the other House, and the rather for this reason the he never in all his life (as he says) fought against any such thing as a single person, or a negative voice, but to pull down Charles and set up Oliver, &c. in which he obtained his end. In 1660, a little before the restoration of King Charles II, he betook himself to his heels to save his neck, without any **** had to his Majesty's proclamation, wandering about, fearing every one that he me should slay him; and was living at Lausan*** in 1664, with Edmond Ludlow, Edward Whalley, and other regicides, when John L'Isle, another of that number was there, by certain generous royalists dispatched. He afterwards lived several years in vagabondship, but when he died, or where his carcass was lodged, is as yet unknown to ***."
This account, though redolent of enmity, is correct in its main ***. Yet it is a mistake that he or Whalley was in Lausan*** in 1664, or at any time after 1660, as in that year they came to New-England. Hutchinson, who had access to Goffe's papers, says:--
"In the ship, Capt. Pierce, which arrived at Boston from London, the 27th of July, 1660, there came passengers, Colonel Whalley and Colonel Goffe, two of the late King's Judges. Colonel Goffe brought testimonials from Mr. John Row and Mr. Seth Wood, two ministers of a church in Westminster. Colonel Whalley had been a member of Mr. Thomas Goodman's church. Goffe kept a journal or diary, from the day he left Westminster, May 4, until the year 1667; which together with several other papers belonging to him, I have in my possession, almost the whole in characters, or short hand, not difficult to decypher. The story of these persons has never yet been published to the world. It has never been known in New-England. Their papers, after their death, were collected, and have remained near an hundred years in a library in Boston. It must give some entertainment to the curious. They left London before the King was proclaimed. It does not appear that they were among the most obnoxious of the Judges: but as it was expected vengeance would be taken of some of them, and a great many had fled, they did not think it safe to remain. They did not attempt to conceal their persons or characters when they arrived at Boston, but immediately went to the Governor, Mr. Endicot, who received them very courteously. They were invited by the principal persons of the town; and among others, they take notice of Colonel Crown's coming to see them. He was a noted Royalist. Although they did not disguise themselves, yet they chose to reside at Cambridge, a village about four miles distant from the town, where they went the first day they arrived. They went publickly to meeting on the Lord's day, and to occasional lectures, fasts, and thanksgivings, and were admitted to the sacrament, and attended private meetings for devotion, visited many of the principal towns, and were frequently at Boston; and *** when insulted there, the person who insulted them was *** to his good behavior. They appeared grave, serious and devout; and the rank they had sustained commanded respect. Whalley had been one of Cromwell's Lieutenant-Generals, and Goffe a Major-General. It is not strange that they should *** with this favorable reception, nor was this reception an attempt of the authority in England. They were known to have been two of the King's Judges' but Charles the second was not proclaimed, when the ship that brought them left London. They had the news of it in the Channel. The report afterwards, by way of Barbadoes, was that all the Judges would be pardoned but seven. The act of indemnity was not brought over till the last of November. When it appeared that they were not excepted, some of the principal persons in the Goverment were alarmed; pit and compassion prevailed *** others. They had assurances from some that belonged to the General Court, that they would stand by them, but were advised by others to think of removing. The 22d, of February, 1661, the Governor summond a Court of assistants to consult about removing them, but the Court did not agree to it.
Finding it unsafe to remain any longer, they left Cambridge the 26th following, and arrived at New-Haven the 7th of March 1661. One Captain Breedan, who had seen them at Boston, gave information thereof upon his arrival in England. A few days after their removal, a hue and cry, as they term it in their diary, was brought by the way of Barbadoes; and thereupon a warrant to secure them issued, the 8th of March, from the Governor and Assistants, which was sent to Springfield, and other towns in the western part of the colony; but they were beyond the reach of it."
The Governor adds in a long marginal note, "They were well treated at New-Haven by the ministers, and some of the magistrates, and for some days seemed to apprehend themselves out of danger. But the news of the King's proclamation being brought to New-Haven, they were obliged to abscond. The 27th of March they removed to New-Milford, and appeared then in the day time, and made themselves known; but at night returned privately to New-Haven, and lay concealed in Mr. Davenport, the minister's house, until the 30th of April. About this time news came to Boston, that ten of the Judges were executed, and the Governor received a royal mandate, dated March 5th, 1660, to cause Whalley and Goffe to be secured. That greatly alarmed the country, and there is no doubt that the court were now in earnest in their endeavors to apprehend them; and to avoid all suspicion, they gave commission and instruction to two young merchants from England, Thomas Kellond and Thomas Kirk, zealous royalists to go through the colonies, as far as Manhados, in search of them. They had friends who informed them what was doing, and they removed from Mr. Davenport's to the house of one Jones, where they lay hid until the 11th of May, and then removed to a mill, and from thence, on the 13th, into the woods, where they met Jones and two of his companions, Sperry and Burril, who first conducted them to a place called Hatchet-Harbor, where they lay two nights, until a cave or hole in the side of a hill was prepared to conceal them. This hill they called Providence Hill: and there they continued from the 15th of May to the 11th of June, sometimes in the cave, and in very tempestuous weather, in a house near to it. During this time the messengers went through New-Haven to the Dutch settlement, from whence they returned to Boston by water. They made diligent search, and had full proof that the regicides had been seen at Mr. Davenport's and offered great rewards to English and Indians who should give information, that they might be taken; but by the fidelity of their three friends they remained undiscovered. Mr. Davenport was threatened with being called to an account, for concealing and comforting traitors, and might well be alarmed. They had engaged to surrender, rather than the country or any particular person should suffer on their account; and upon intimation of Mr. Davenport's danger, they generously resolved to go to New-Haven and deliver themselves to the authorities there. The miseries they had suffered, and were still exposed to, and the little chance they had of finally escaping, in a country where every stranger is immediately known to be such, would not have been sufficient to have induced them. They let the Deputy-Governor, Mr. Leete know where they were; but he took no measures to secure them; and the next day some persons came to them to advise them not to surrender. Having publicly shown themselves at New-Haven, they had cleared Mr. Davenport from the suspicion of still concealing them, and the 24th of June went into the woods again to their cave. They continued there, sometimes venturing to a house near the cave, until the 19th of August--when the search for them being pretty well over they ventured to the house of one Tompkins, near Milford meeting house where they remained two years, without so much as going into the orchard. After that they took a little more liberty, and made themselves known to several persons in whom they could confide, and each of them frequently prayed, and also exercised, as they termed it, or preached at private meetings in their chambers. In 1664, the commissioners from King Charles arrived at Boston. Upon the news of it, they retired to their cave, where they tarried eight or ten days. Soon after, some Indians in their hunting, discovered the cave with the bed; and the report being spread abroad, it was not safe to remain near it. On the 13th of October, 1664, they removed to Hadley, near one hundred miles distant, travelling only by night; where Mr. Russel the minister of the place, had previously agreed to receive them. Here they remained concealed fifteen or sixteen years, very few persons in the colony being privy to it. The last account of Goffe, is from a letter, dated Ebenezer, the name they gave their several places of abode, April 2, 1679. Whalley had been dead sometime before. The tradition at Hadley is, that two persons unknown, were buried in the minister's cellar. The minister was no sufferer by his boarders. They received more or less remittances every year, for many years together, from their wives in England. Those few persons who knew where they were, made them frequent presents. Richard Saltonstall, Esq., who was in the secret, when he left the country, and went to England in 1672, made them a present of fifty pounds at his departure; and they take notice of donations from several other friends. They were in constant terror, though they had reason to hope, after some years, that the enquiry for them was over. They read with pleasure the news of their being killed, with other Judges, in Switzerland. Their diary for six or seven years, contains every little occurrence in the town, church and particular families in the neighborhood. They had indeed, for five years of their lives, been among the principal actors in the great affairs of the nation: Goffe especially, who turned the little Parliament out of the house, and who was attached to Oliver and to Richard to the last; but they were both of low birth and education. They had very constant and exact intelligence of every thing that passed in England, and were unwilling to give up all hope of deliverance. Their greatest expectations were from the fulfilment of the prophecies. They had no doubt, that the execution of the Judges was the slaying of the witnesses.
1N.H. His. Coll. Vol. IV, page 94. Return
2N.H. His. Coll. Vol. I, page 229. Return
3Tyng's Journal, Mass. Archives. Return
4Annals, Concord, page 7. Return
5Londonderry Records, Vol. II. Return
6Londonderry Records, Vol. II. Return
7Londonderry Records, Vol. II. Return