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however, Colonel Kirke was appointed governor, a choice which Randolph vehemently opposed. He wrote to Sir Robert Southwell and to the Bishop of St. Asaph urging the unfitness of a military man, and of Kirke in particular, and advising that a native of the country be appointed. Randolph at last succeeded in bringing the English authorities to his point of view, and led them to adopt a plan which he had in mind since 1681, when he had sent to Jenkins proposals for the settlement of New England, his plan being to proceed against the Company by a writ of quo warranto, and then to have the king issue a commission for a temporary government, accompanied by a declaration of free pardon, security of property, and freedom of religion.1 Other work was found for Kirke to do; and Randolph, now that the point was gained, was jubilant and took all the glory to himself. To Sir Robert Southwell he wrote, "I have gaind ye point & am earning over with me a Commission for a Temporary Go"": I hope it will succeed & the rather because they have been putt in a terrible fright with the apprehentions of being committed to ye Guardianship of Cott Kerk."2 The temporary government gave Randolph what he hoped would prove to be a lucrative post, and made Joseph Dudley president of the Council and chief executive not only of Massachusetts, but of a large part of New England as well.
1 Goodrick, Edward Randolph, 89.
* August 29, 1685, Toppan, Edward Randolph, iv. 40.
THE TEMPORARY POLICY OF THE RESTORATION
Joseph Dudley, President of The Massachusetts
May to December, 1686
The revocation of the Massachusetts charter was but the first step in the accomplishment of the Stuart policy towards New England. It was not an act of tyranny prompted by spite and malice, but a part of a well-defined scheme to minimize the particularistic tendencies of the colonies and to in'.crease their dependence on England. To direct intercolonial affairs, to enforce the laws of England and carry out her commercial policy, to establish the national church while recognizing the peculiarities of colonial dissent, — in short, to treat the colonies as if they were an integral part of the British realm, these were the aims of the Stuart policy. Men of broad experience and communities of wide interests might see little that was hurtful in such designs; but the average man whose outlook was confined to New England regarded them as acts of tyranny. Here and there, it is true, men of larger experience, whose views extended beyond New England,— men like Dudley and Stoughton, — might welcome the change; but in general the people, under the lead of men like Nowell and Danforth, could see only the loss of the ideals of the former generation. And the present generation differed from the founders of Massachusetts. When the charter was threatened, in 1635, preparations were made for resistance; the ports were fortified, and men were willing to stake their all in the struggle. In 1685 there was no thought of open resistance; sullen acquiescence and apathy were the most that was displayed.
The revocation of the charter was, moreover, the easiest part of the policy of the Stuarts; it had been accomplished in England by legal process, and it had not been contested by the colonists. The remainder of the policy must be carried out in New England by officials appointed by the crown. Randolph's successful work was done. He had succeeded in overthrowing the charter and clearing the ground for the wider designs of the king. That he had done this for selfish reasons, by means of exaggeration and misrepresentations, does not detract from the effectiveness of his work; nor should the fact be forgotten that, largely because of his representations, the government was not intrusted to an Englishman like Kirke, but to a native of Massachusetts who thoroughly understood her history and peculiarities.
It was fortunate for New England that Dudley had made his choice of parties and had seen no disgrace in trying to serve both the king and Massachusetts. Had he inherited his father's stern and unbending nature, he might have become one of the leaders of the "faction," and under his direction a more determined resistance might have provoked England to take even stronger measures. As it was, both England and Massachusetts profited by his abilities. He so utilized the support of Randolph, and the interest of Sir Robert Southwell, Sir Leoline Jenkins, and perhaps of other English officials, that he, rather than an Englishman, was chosen to carry out the policy of royal control, thus saving Massachusetts from the usual type of colonial governor. He was ambitious for position and power for himself and anxious for the prosperity of the colony; and in the brief period of his first administration he disappointed the greedy self-seekers like Randolph, and gave Massachusetts a just government.
On October 23, 1684, the judgment against the Massachusetts charter was formally entered in Chancery.1 At once the Lords of Trade began to prepare plans for the control of New England and to make preliminary drafts of the commissions and instructions for Colonel Kirke.2 Before these could be perfected, however, Charles II died, and in the confusion which followed the accession of his brother James II and the disorders of Monmouth's rebellion, the affairs of the colonies were held in abeyance. Hence it was not until September that Randolph could accomplish his purpose and gain a commission for Joseph Dudley.3 Still further delays kept him in England till January, 1686, when he finally sailed for Boston, arriving there May 14.
Unofficial information of the dissolution of the Company had reached Boston early in 1685;4 but, aside from the framing of futile appeals to the king, nothing was done. Although the government had no legal standing, it was continued until the exemplification of the judgment against the charter should be formally delivered. The regular elections to the General Court took place; but such was the apathy and so small the attendance, that it was necessary to urge some of the towns not to neglect to send deputies "at their perrill," and to call the "ruend elders" of the several towns to a special conference."6 At the next election, May 12, 1686, Dudley was
1 Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 4th Series, ii. 246.
* Toppan, Edward Randolph, iii. 332.
• Board of Trade, Colonial Entry Book, New England (Ms.), 61, pp. 252-238. 4 Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 5th Series, viii. 300.
■ Massachusetts Colony Records, v. 492.
again dropped from the Court of Assistants, and Stoughton refused to serve.
Two days later Randolph landed in Boston, bringing with him the exemplification of the judgment against the charter, and the commission for the new government. He at once went to Roxbury to consult with Dudley concerning his procedure. The judgment and the commission were shown to a few of the Council, through whom the news spread; so that on the following Sunday, Mr. Willard prayed "not for the Governour or Government, as formerly; but spake so as implied it to be changed or changing. It seems Mr. Phillips at the Old Church prayed for the Governour and Deputy Governour."1 Together Randolph and Dudley drew up the summons to the members of the Council and made ready to assume the government.2 The members of the General Court, though long prepared, made no resistance, but contented themselves with trying to persuade Dudley not to accept the commission,3 and so to keep the government in their own hands. Failing in this, they broke up, "with hopes that either some unhappie accident in affairs of state at home, or by dissension raised by their artifices among the members in this new government, they might pervaile so far as to dissolve this new constitution and then reassume the government, which to accomplish they are solissitouse." *
Dudley himself had some doubts as to his reception. Early on the day set for his inauguration he sought the counsel of
1 Sewall's Diary, May 16,1686, Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 5th Series, v. 138.
* The summons to John Winthrop is printed ibid., 6th Series, iii. 474.
'Sewall's Diary, May 18: "Mr. Phillips had very close Discourse with the President, to persuade him not to accept: 'twas in Mr. Willard's Study Monday afternoon just at night. Mr. Stoughton and Mather there too."
4 Randolph to the Archbishop of Canterbury, July 7 (?), 1686, Toppan, Edward Randolph, iv. 88.