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the King's service in your station. For if I neither see nor hear of a Lieut-Governour in a Week, I would fain know (when so many things are to be consider'd now the Spring comes on) what you are payd for. ... w" you come to the King's Levee (wch you should doe if ever yu expect any thing) you can make y reports, & take my Orders as you goe up. I have very good Neibours now & want no Company."
Although the coveted post could not be gained, Cutts was still zealous for his friend, and had him returned a member of Parliament from Newton in 1701. As a member of Parliament, Dudley used all his abilities to advance his own interests. He was, as was his habit, regular in his attendance upon the sittings, obsequious to his superiors, and of engaging manners to his equals. On political questions he consistently supported the court party even at the expense of disobliging a friend ;? but in the discussions of colonial affairs he displayed his greatest ability. His local knowledge and wide experience were sought by those in power, and the opinions and views which he urged were so in harmony with those of the English administrators that his present position and future advancement seemed secure.3
Indeed, his position was more secure than that as governor of the uneasy and discontented province of Massachusetts.
1 In Adlard's The Sutton-Dudleys of England and the Dudleys of Massachusetts, p. 81, is printed a letter from Robert Worsley which shows how loyally they carried out their agreement with Lord Cutts. Writing to Dudley, Worsley says: “To show you how ready I am to serve you, when it lye in my power, meeting with my cosen James at Winchester, this day, he assured me of his resolution not to stand, and I proposed you, he readily assented to it. ... We are much sollicited for another, but since one our old members lys down nothing shall make ue quit your interest, though we shall not compass it without you hasten.”
? Hutchinson, History of Massachusells, ii. 114. • Palfrey, History of New England, iv. 202.
He had a place in English society; he was a friend and correspondent of Sir Richard Steele. He made the acquaintance of John Chamberlayne, gentleman-in-waiting to Prince George, member of the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, and an author of considerable popularity. At this time, Chamberlayne seems to have been acting as Dudley's social sponsor, as he later acted as his unofficial representative in London. Dudley entertained companies by his curious and "fanciful discourses," and wrote papers “about the circulation of the Several Juicies in Fruit Trees and the solution of that nice question how women in the State of Innocency could have been Freed of the Pains of childbirth,”? which Chamberlayne thought that the Royal Society would surely wish to print. And he seems to have enjoyed society less exalted; for in 1702 one of his friends wrote to him, “I need not tell you, S', that M" Harnage M" Milbank & the whole gang of halfpenny viol-players, do most kindly remember you, for your Ex©y was always to them a fidus Achates & never fail'd to make a fourth man in their greatest need and distress." 3
Perhaps to counteract some of these influences, he contributed a paper to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts entitled “An Account of the State of Religion in the English Plantations in North America,”4 and joined the society himself. He also utilized the interest of
1 Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, 2d Series, iii. 201.
· Chamberlayne to Dr. Sloane, Mss. British Museum, Sloane Collection, 439, ff. 47.
• Chamberlayne to Dudley, August 10, 1702, Massachusetts Historical So ciety, Collections, 6th Series, iii. 529.
* Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Journal (Ms.), i. 14; printed in Hawkins, Historical Notices of the Missions of the Church of England in the North American Colonies, 23.
6 Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Journal (Ms.), i. 37.
the Reverend Godfrey Dellius, a Dutch clergyman formerly stationed at Albany, of whom Bellomont wrote, “If a great lyar, incendiary, and proud person make up the character of piety, then M' Dellius may pass for a saint.” 1
Yet Dudley regarded his life in England in the nature of an exile. He had, as he informed every New England man who visited him, "a passion for laying his bones there, which equalled that of the ancient Athenians”;2 but, though he keenly felt his absence from his wife and home, he was so ambitious that he could not bring himself to return a discredited and disappointed man. In 1697, two years after his unfortunate experience in the Leisler affair, but before Bellomont was actually appointed and while his friend Stoughton was acting as governor, he wrote to his wife, “I have used all propper means to return home in the service of my country this year, but it is otherwise disposed by the providence of God, and to that we must submit; and the more patiently we do it, the more acceptable it is."3 His eldest son, Paul, joined him in London; and his father, though straitened in means, gave him every possible advantage. Neither in England nor in Massachusetts, however, did his affairs prosper, and he wrote to his son, December 23, 1700: “I see no way for my owne return and think it absolutely necessary that you return this year. I shall loose what I have there and my respect and hopes and family, for want of a head; nor shall I be able to support myself and you here much longer, but shall fall into contempt, and that will be what I cannot bear and live. ... If my arrears fayle me, I must sell my land
1 Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 6th Series, iii. 520-521. . ? Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, ii. 114.
* See four letters from Dudley to his wife, Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 6th Series, iii. 513-517.
under my feet to pay my debts, and that will please those in New England that do not love my name.”
In spite of discouragements, Dudley did not relax his efforts. Indeed, if the report of Sir Henry Ashurst can be believed, it required all his time to check Dudley's ambition. "As for my self,” he wrote, “the keeping you from [a] patent to ruine you & from D. being yor gouerner, I haue spent many dayes."2 Though Ashurst remained his enemy, Dudley succeeded in winning to his support the other agent for Massachusetts, Constantine Phipps; and he found a still stronger ally in Cotton Mather. How he regained the interest of the Mathers is not altogether clear, but the explanation probably lies in a petty quarrel in the Massachusetts General Court. Increase Mather wished to be sent to England as agent for the colony, but was thwarted in this ambition by Elisha Cooke, the common enemy of both Dudley and the Mathers. The diary of Cotton Mather shows that he spent many days in anxious prayer for his father's ambition, but without result, until, he writes, “my mind suddenly felt a strange and strong operation upon it which caused me to break forth into expressions of this importance The Lord will do The Lord will do it. My Father shall be carried unto England and so shall there have a short but great opportunity to glorify my Lord Before Christ in a most wonderful way it shall be brought about.”'An alliance between Dudley and the Mathers would certainly be a wonderful thing, but upon a clear understanding it would be beneficial to both parties. Though it cannot be proved that this thought was the “strong opera
1 See four letters from Dudley to his wife, Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 6th Series, iii. 520.
2 Ashurst to Wait Winthrop, May 8, 1698, ibid. v. 40. ..
• From a manuscript diary of Cotton Mather, in possession of the American Antiquarian Society.
tion” from Heaven, yet an agreement was made between them. Dudley pledged himself to the interest of the Mathers - a pledge that he found it impossible to fulfil — and was able to cite in England their sanction for his ambition.
After the death of Lord Bellomont all these trains of influence were set in motion. Cutts supported Dudley loyally and sang his praises to Marlborough; Godfrey Dellius tried to influence the bishops; the Bishop of St. Asaph believed that Dudley was the man to advance the cause of the church and of missions; Blathwayt remained his friend and urged his appointment. His long experience, his success in England as governor of the Isle of Wight, his abilities as an administrator, and his skill as an Indian agent were among the points urged in his favor. Nor were colonial influences neglected. The colonists resident in London asked that he might be sent to Massachusetts, the English colonial merchants petitioned for his appointment, the dissenting ministers wrote to their brethren in New England praising him, and a letter from Cotton Mather was read with telling effect. Only Sir Henry Ashurst remained hostile, and amid such, a chorus of praise, his voice was not heeded.
Dudley was commissioned by William III, but before he could leave England the king died. His present good fortune, however, did not desert him; for Queen Anne renewed his commission, and showed him the unusual favor of remitting some of the ordinary fees. The commission is dated April 1, 1702;3 on the 12th, Dudley took his oaths before the Privy Council,' and on April 13 sailed for Boston.
1 Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, ii. 115. 2 Ibid. 116. • Patent Roll No. 3421, 1 Anne, No. 26. * Register of the Privy Council (Ms.), Anne, i. 82.