Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BARTER. 161 guage, and converted many souls among them, it was found that the great hindrance of the progress of that work, was the poverty and barbarousness of the people, 'which, made many to live dis- persed like wild beasts in. wildernesses, so that, having neither towns, nor food, nor entertainment fit for English bodies, fewofthem could be got together to be spoken to, nor could the English go far gr stay long among them. Wherefore to build them houses, and draw them together, and maintain the preachers that went among them, and pay schoolmasters to teach their children, and keep their children at school, etc., Cromwe 1 caused a collection to be made in England in every parish ; and people did contribute very largely. And with the money, beside some left in stock, was bought seven or eight hundred pounds per annum of lands ; and a corporation was chosen to dispose of the rents for the further- ing of the works among the Indians. This land, was almost all bought for the worth of it of one Colonel Beddingfield, a Papist, an officer in the king's army. When the king came in, Bedding- field seizeth on the lands again, and keepeth them, and refuseth either to surrender them or to repay the money ; because all that was done in Cromwell's time being now judged void, as done with- out law, that corporation was now null, and so could have no right to money or lands ; andhe pretended that he sold it under the worth, in expectation of the recovery of it upon the king's return. The president of the corporation was the Lord Steele, ajudge, a worthy man ; the treasurer was Mr. Henry Ashurst, and the members were such sober, godly men as were best. affected to New England's work. Mr. Ashurst, being the most exemplary person for eminent sobriety, self-denial, piety, and charity, that London could boast of, as far as public observation, and fame., and his most intimate friends' reports could testify, did make this and all other publicgood which he could do his business. He called the old corporation to- gether, and desired me to meet them, where we all agreed that such as had incurred the king's displeasure by being members of any courts ofjustice in Cromweil's days, should quietly recede, and we should try if we could get the corporation restored, and the rest continued, and more fit men added, that the land might be recover- ed. Andbecause, in our other business, I had ready access to the lord chancellor, they desired me to solicit him about it. So Mr. Ashurstand I did follow the business. The lord chancellor, at the very first, was ready to further us, approving of the work, as that which could not be for any factionor evil end, but honorable to the king and land. He told me that Beddingfield could have no right to that which he had sold, and that the right was in the king, who would readily grant it to thegood use intended ; and that we should have his best assistance to recover it. And indeed I found VOL. I. 21