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the time Dudley arrived in London, Cutts was appointed governor of the Isle of Wight, and he was induced to make Dudley his deputy. In addition to these political and military friends who were influential in Parliament and useful about the court, Dudley conformed to the Church of England and was ready to utilize his churchmanship with the bishops in the Privy Council who took an interest in colonial affairs.
His object was to replace Sir William Phips and thus to justify himself in the eyes of his countrymen. He was not at all backward in proclaiming his purpose, and told Sir Henry Ashurst, one of the agents for Massachusetts, "that W. S[toughton] Esq., and most of the people are for him to be G[overnor]."1 Through his friends in Massachusetts he was kept informed of the increasing dissatisfaction with the governor.2 Because of this discontent, Sir William Phips was
1Letter of Elisha Hutchinson, February i, 1693, Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, 1835-1855, pp. 296-297.
'Board of Trade, Papers, New England (Ms.), 7, No. 31. This is an abstract of a letter from Nathaniel Byfield to Joseph Dudley, given by Dudley to the Board of Trade. After referring to Phips's action in negativing some of the councillors, the letter continues: "Now if the making of Such a Law (wch we hope you have care to have negatived) and refusing to give persons their oaths . . . thereby forming an Assembly to his own mind are not things that will be borne testemony against Farewell all that is good and I will find Some other place to Live in. . . . In the meantime you may easily guess without any imputation of witchcraft if it be right, who dus [does] and will disserve you all he can Lett his pretences be what they will it is suggested by (you may easily know who) to our good honest Councillors and Countrymen; that you Lost yourself very much by Saying before the Lords in a public hearing that Sr W had not done any good thing since he was Governor and that you were taken up severely . . . and that you had nothing to say in answer. That you are Conformed and taken y* Sacriment according to the Church of England or could not have y' place under my Lord Cutts, &c." After expressing a desire to see Dudley the letter concludes, "But truely it is not adviseable that you Come till you are well equipt & then ye Sooner y" Better, I Looke upon y* hazzards of this Country to be greater now then ever & without a Generall Gouer, if y* warrs hold we shall be all Ruined. . . ."
recalled to England to defend himself. When he reached London, Dudley succeeded in having him arrested in an action for £20,000;1 and before Phips could defend himself against both his political and his private enemies, he died, on February 18, 1695.
Dudley believed that he would be appointed the successor of Phips, and to this end used all the influence at his command. His patrons Blathwayt and Lord Cutts worked zealously for him, the latter winning over the Earl of Portland.2 The Duke of Leeds and Lord Sidney were also pledged to his support, and common report had it that " Capt. Dudley stands fairest to succeed sir W. Phipps." 3
The agents for Massachusetts, however, adopted a shrewd method to thwart Dudley's ambition. The son of Leisler was in England endeavoring to get the attainder against his father reversed in order that he might inherit his estate. Up to this time he seems to have had little success; but now Sir Henry Ashurst laid the matter before the king, and the other Massachusetts agent, Constantine Phipps, drew up the necessary bill for the reversal of the attainder.4 It passed the House of Lords with little alteration, but in the Commons it encountered difficulties. A special committee was appointed, hearings were held, and on April 24 Dudley testified as to his share in the trial. This was what his opponents desired; and it had an unfortunate effect upon Dudley, for it drew attention to his part in proceedings which were popularly condemned. Still, his interest was strong enough to postpone the
1 Ashurst to Mather, May 5, 1695, Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, ii. 82 note. 'Ibid.
'Luttrell, Brief Historical Relation of State Affairs, iii. 447. 4 Phipps to Increase Mather, May 5, 1695, Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, ii. 82-83 note.
third reading of the bill; but two days later, in a small House, the bill was passed by a vote of forty-nine to thirty-six, and the attainder was reversed.1 "Since then," wrote Constantine Phipps to Increase Mather, "he is not so much talked of to be governor."2 It was, indeed, the ending of any immediate hopes of his return to New England. Phipps and Ashurst, from their point of view, had done New England a great service and well might hope that" the door is nailed against him."3 Though Dudley did not succeed Phips, the Privy Council took under consideration one of the policies which Dudley and Andros had tried to put into practice and which had done much to render them unpopular.4 This was the question of the union of all the northern provinces under a single governor. The Lords' Committee reported that all the colonies save Massachusetts made objection to this plan, — New Hampshire because it would increase her taxes without giving additional safety, Connecticut because it was contrary to her charter, New York because of her rivalry with Boston, as well as because she was weak and exposed and believed that she should be aided rather than called upon to give assistance to the New England colonies. Massachusetts, the largest and most important of the colonies, alone favored the plan. The Privy Council voted that, inasmuch as the charters prevented anything more than a military union in time of war, the same person should be made governor of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York, and captain-general of the militia of the other colonies. This was a slight abatement from the claims of the crown as seen in the commission given
1 New York Historical Society, Collections, Publication Fund Series, 1868, p. 348.
* Phipps to Mather, as above.
* Ashurst to Mather, as above.
* Register of the Privy Council (Ms.), William III, iv. 386.
to Andros, which always remained the ideal to Dudley and was the basis on which the next governor of Massachusetts was commissioned. Dudley, however, was disappointed to find that he was passed over and that Lord Bellomont was commissioned governor, April 2, 1698.
Though Dudley failed to obtain the desired post, he held a position in England by no means to be despised. Shortly after his arrival he was made by Lord Cutts deputy-governor of the Isle of Wight, a position which he held for nine and a half years.1 His duties were of a political nature connected with the management of the municipal affairs of the island. By an agreement between its important men and Lord Cutts, Sir Robert Worsley and his friends engaged "to assist any persons recommended by the Governor to be chosen Members for the corporation of Newport."2 Nevertheless, Cutts was obliged to take strong measures with that borough, — to disfranchise several of the burgesses and to imprison a clergyman. To dominate the town more completely he had himself elected mayor and made Dudley his deputy. Cutts also obtained for Dudley a commission, probably through some irregular means; and thereafter Dudley was known as Colonel Dudley.3
This post, with its salary, small as it was, of six shillings a
1 For extracts of letters from Cutts to Dudley, see Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, 2d Series, ii. 177 et seq.
* Agreement between Lord Cutts, governor of the Isle of Wight, and Sir Robert Worsley, Bart., and other principal gentlemen of the island, "respecting the Rights Privileges &c of the several corporations" (Albin, History of the Isle of Wight, 278).
* Cutts to Dudley, January 4, 1695: "For, as to the King's Comission, you know how you came by it; and you know what promise you made (upon your word and honour) when I gave it you." Also May ir, 1605: "I would not have the Dragoons doe any Guards; and I would not have you order any of them to attend you, for reasons."
day, Dudley was doubtless glad to obtain; but he had more far-reaching plans. He hoped to use the influence of Cutts in obtaining the position he most desired. Cutts recognized this ambition, and there was probably some reciprocal agreement that Dudley should further his patron's plans on the island, while Cutts should advance Dudley's cause with the king. On April 2, 1695, when Dudley's affairs were at a crisis, Cutts wrote to him concerning some service that he wished Dudley to perform: "It is the best peice of service you can doe the King, me, & your self. . . . P. S. I have made some steps in your affaire, & wish you were here for five or six days." Unfortunately, Dudley did come up to London and appeared before the committee of Parliament in the Leisler hearing, greatly to his own disadvantage.
After the failure of his plans, Dudley needed more assurances, and these Cutts was ever ready to give. In a letter written August 12, 1697, he says, "Serve but the King, & me, effectually in this present storm, and I'l be instrumentall to put you in such circumstances as you shall have reason to be more than easy in." But hope of Dudley's appointment seemed to vanish, and when Cutts's influence at court appeared to be on the decline, his letters took a sharper tone. On April 1, 1698, he wrote: "Sir, — I won't complain of your unkind behavior to me, that is not the matter now in dispute; tho' in a week (all things consider'd) some men would have shown some concern for One's health and affaires; but I don't insist upon it, your Personal Civilitys are most certainly your own, & dispose on 'em how you please; provided you trouble me no more if Fortune should chance to smile on me, than you doe now. She seems at least to do otherwise. But this (as I sayd before) is not the matter now in dispute. That which I have just reason to complain of is your reall neglect of