Abt 1674; Contracted with various Boston merchants to build a vessel on the Sheepscot and bring it back loaded with lumber with which to repay them. (History of Woolwich, Maine: Phipps Genealogy by Martha Patterson Phipps)
1676; On completion of his ship Indian war broke out.
Settlers on the Sheepscot River fled to the islands in Booth Bay after
they heard of the attacks at Hammonds Fort and the Garrison House at Clarke
and Lake. William threw overboard a shipload of lumber in order to
make room for family and friends aboard his ship to remove them from danger
to Boston. The group of British merchants with whom he had contracted
fired him, and took his ship as with the lumber gone he could not repay
them. (History of Bath, Maine: History of Woolwich, Maine)
"The 117-ton ship had been launched and was virtually complete, but its lading of lumber was still on shore. Not having the luxury of time to load, Phips gathered his family and neighbours and departed for Boston in the barely finished ship. The destruction of his house, along with those on neighboring lands, soon followed.."
"The depths of Phips's loss can be measured by the series of lawsuits he faced during the eighteen months following his hurried departure from Maine. Although many New Englanders, particularly ships' captains and aspiring merchants like Phips, were frequently in court fighting civil cases, Phips had rarely been involved in such proceedings. His avoidance of them suggests that he had managed on the whole to meet his obligations and had dealt with people who did likewise. All of this changed with his reversal of fortune in 1676. First, Francis Dodson sucessfully sued for payment of twenty-three pounds that Phips owed him for stoning a cellar. The contract had been signed in March 1676, when Phips was still solvent and had apparently decided to build a house in Boston. Elizabeth Hammond then sued Phips for
three pounds that was owed from the sale of beef on the Kennebec the previous year, and Daniel Turell Jr. sued Phips for the sum of thirteen pounds, nine shillings; the nature of the latter debt was not stated, but it may have been for hardware for the ship Phips had built, because Turell was an anchorsmith. Finally Phips was involved in a suit and countersuit with Thomas Joles over settlement of the contract to build the ship. When Phips lost the case and was ordered to pay eighty-five pounds, he became enraged. 'In a deceitful and felonious way,' alleged his opponents, he seized the award from the hands of Joles's attorney, John Walley, 'and threw it into the fire and burnt it'. In January 1678 the court sentenced Phips to pay the eighty-five pounds to Walley and a five-pound fine to boot. By the time he appeared before the court, Phips had regained his composure, and when he apologized for his behavior the court cut his fine in half." (The New England Knight)
1677; At Boston, he was in command of trading vessel to West Indies where he learned how to dive and heard of sunken treasure from an old native of Haiti. (Witches and Wizards; Savage's Genealogical Dictionary: History of Bath, Maine: Mysteries of the Deep: The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl)
October 4, 1679: John White and wife Mary Phipps White at Boston, transfer land at Jeremysquam Neck to William. John and William Haynes witnesses. (Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire; Pope's, Pioneers) Mary Phipps White and John White deeded "for love and affection" this homesite to her son Sir William.
Early 1680's; Worked a wreck near New Providence
in the Bahamas with a little success. Heard tales of a great treasure
on the shoals north of Hispaniola. (The Senora
de la Concepcion - a 680 ton galleon captained by Captain Hernando
Rodriquez, lost all her masts and rudder and developed such a bad leak
that she eventually drifted and was wrecked on the north side of a reef
in the Bahamas called Abrojos (open your eyes), located north of Hispaniola.
Most of the 600 persons aboard swam to a nearby sand bar where they created
makeshift rafts and boats with the wreckage. 200 of them left on
these to Santo Domingo with only a few reaching safety. Bad
weather prevented a salvage effort for several months and by the time the
weather cleared the sandbar had been washed away and the rescuers could
not locate the wreck site. Today this reef is called the Silver Shoals or
Silver Bank as a result of the more than 2 million pesos in silver - almost
twice as much as the ship's registers stated she carried - that was lost
on this shipwreck.)
He sailed for England to seek an audience with the King. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl; Treasure Hunt! Fabulous Find on Silver Shoals by Joseph P. Blank)
"Other evidence indicates that, inadvertently or by design, Mather may have underestimated the proceeds from Phips's little-known first treasure-seeking voyage. The only solid evidence of the episode comes in a court case of 1682, in which four of Phips's former crew members sued him and the two quartermasters of the Resolution for nonpayment of half of their share in a recent venture that was almost certainly the Bahamian voyage. The Massachusetts Court of Assistants, sitting as a court of admiralty, ordered the four to recieve the half-shares of twenty-seven pounds each. A voyage in which a full share was worth fifty-four pounds would certainly qualify as a profitable enterprise. It was enough to prompt the royal customs official Edward Randolph to mention, in August 1683, Phips's 'late successful
returnes' as a treasure seeker, while a Spanish narrative of 1687 recalled that Phips had 'for some years followed the art of discovering shipwrecked vessels, not without considerable success'. (The New England Knight)
1683; King Charles II of England gave
him the king's ship, a 180 ton 22 gun Navy frigate the Salee Rose (a captured Algerian ship) to search
treasure off the Bahama banks. Getting a crew to agree to go for
a share of the prize (all William could offer in way of payment at this time)
was hard to do, so the crew ended up being a motley bunch. The cook
had a fixed stipend contributed by each member of the crew, and was the
only one exempted from any share in the recovered treasure. The common
sailors were to be given a share each, equalling one of the Captains, and
every boy was promised half a share. The mate and other officers were each
to have something more than a regular share. And the doctor was provided for
in the same way as the sailors. Each of the ship's company was obligated to
contribure twopence monthly for the purpose of supplying his medicind chest.
Orders were given for the crew to behave in a way befitting a Royal ship;
"to fire a gun morning and evening to set and discharge the watch, and to
make all other vessels strike there colors and topsails in honor of their
Royal ship". As commander of the ship, Phips agreed to furnish all
the instruments required for locating the wreck and salvaging its treasure,
but was to be reimursed when the share of the treasure was divided. The
Captain, as well as each of his crew, was obliged to give security in the
amount of a hundred pounds that the contract would be adhered to faithfully.
They set sail September 5, 1683. It was soon discovered that the crew
had not brought enough provisions so they were forced to anchor in the
River Sharon in Ireland while Phips went up to Limerick to buy more supplies.
While he was gone the crew decided to supplement the stores by shooting
some sheep and chickens to take along. Some of the crew was arrested
and thrown in jail for selling hats they had taken with them from home (At
that time in Limerick there was an ordinance forbidding the peddling of
merchandise on the streets.) Before the voyage could be continued
he had to free his men. Finally the Rose was fully provisioned, watered
and recaulked and they sailed on. On the voyage to America, the King's
envoy John Knepp kept a journal of their exploits. He was very upset
about the crew's behavior. Unlike a well disciplined Royal Navy ship
there was much drinking and swearing. Knepp didn't care for the attitude
of Phips. (History of Woolwich, Maine: Savage's Genealogical
Dictionary: Phipps - Wheeler Genealogy by Erma Morrill: The Treasure
of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl, Lounsberry's
Sir William Phipps)
"Phips's success in making the necessary contacts has traditionally been viewed as one of the more remarkable parts of his story. How could a carpenter from a 'despicable plantation' on the fringe of empire gain the backing of high-ranking naval officers and the crown itself? However, now that Phips's family tree is known, an explanation is not so difficult. To wealthy New Englanders, Phips may have been an outsider of humble origins, but in England his family connections were sufficiently respectable to enable even a poor cousin to muster introductions that would smooth his entry into an official culture in which connections of family and locality were crucial to success." (The New England Knight)
1683; "By 19 August, Edward Randolph - travelling to
New England as a royal emissary - was reporting to Southwell on the passage
he was about to take, 'The Rose frigott of 20 gunns an Algereen prize
is fitted out to sea and bound to the Spanish wreck off the Bahama Islands
under the conduct of one Phips...He is to call at Boston to take in his
diving Tubs and other necessaryes'."
"The active role of Narbrough and haddock in lending the Rose is established by a later document recalling that those two had been 'privy to the Designe upon which the said shipp was sent abroad'. Yet two navy commissioners alone - or the entire Navy Board, for that matter - would not have had the power to lend a naval vessel. The first of the four signatures on the Admiralty commissioners' order for fitting out the Rose was that of Daniel Finch, second earl of Nottingham, who was first lord of the Admiralty. This rising Tory politician, who was to have interactions with Phips while secretary of state in the 1690s, did not personally sign all such orders. The likelihood is, however, that Charles II was directly involved in lending the Rose, at the instance of Narbrough - who, as a contemporary later observed, had 'a great and well deserved Interest with the Court' and the ear of both the duke of York and the king."
October 22, 1683; They reached Boston and stayed
for a few weeks, the crew drinking and brawling in the local taverns
while Phips collected more men. Phips was cited for firing at ships
who refused to dip their flags at the King's ship he commanded as was custom
for a man of war. John Knepp attempted to point out that the Rose
was on the King's private business and therefore did not receive that honour.
But in Phips mind a Royal ship was a Royal ship and should be treated accordingly.
When other ships, out of ignorance or obstinence, refused to dip their
flags to the Rose. they had a shot fired across their bows shortly followed
by a boat from the Rose demanding 6 shillings, 8 pence for the cost of the
shot. This problem came to a head when Captain Jenner of the Samuel
? Thomas out of London had been fired on for the 5th time and refused to
pay for the shot. Jenner took Phips to court saying he had seen Phips'
orders in London and they contained no power to operate as a man of war.
Governor Bradstreet upheld Jenner's complaint and sentenced Phips to pay
5 lbs to the county and 5 lbs to Jenner with costs. Meanwhile
the ships crew also were in trouble with the towns people. 2 of the
crew were badly beaten by the constables in a tavern and when Phips turned
up to collect his men it was said that he told the constables to "kiss his
arse", and that he did not "care a turd for the governor". He landed
in court again with his men where they declared that the constables began
the fight. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The
Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl) Thus a short stay meant to last 2 - 3 weeks turned into 15 weeks.
(Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl:
History of Woolwich, Maine)
Even though Phips was thus entrussted with a moderately powerful naval vessel, the limits to the trust were indicated by the placing of two royal agents on board, John Knepp and Charles Salmon...What view Salmon took of Phips's role as commander is unknown but Knepp's verdict was scathing. His portrait of Phips as a lax disciplinarian and a gratuitous aggressor towards other ships, which he sent to England in early 1684, was undoubtedly the major factor prompting a secret royal instruction to the Massachusetts magistrates William Stoughton and Joseph Dudley in late February that they were to seize the Rose 'in case you shall be informed or suspect that the said William Phips or his Seamen may endeavour to defraud Us of Our said ship, or of the Benefit of that Undertaking'.
January 14, 1684; Phips left Boston leaving John Knepp behind. The crew continued to behave badly. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl) Mutinies twice during the voyage attempting to turn the expedition into Piracy - once quelled with his bare fists, the 2nd time the men were left off at Jamaica. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl: Phipps Genealogy by Martha Patterson Phipps)
February 27, 1684; King Charles II having read Knepp's reports of the conduct of Phips and the crew gave orders for the arrest of Phips to his Massachusetts agents (Joseph Dudley and William Stoughten), "if it appears that Phips or his seamen have a design to defraud the King of the ship with the plate and bullion thereon". Phips had already sailed when the agents received the notice. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl)
March 16, 1684; A small amount of treasure found in Bermuda Triangle, but not the big haul for which he searched. Left for Hispaniola to search out further information about the Concepcion and then was forced to return to England to request more backing to continue his search. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl)
March 1686; Phips' obsessive determination finally convinced the Duke of Albemarle and a group of 5 other financiers to back him. They organized a joint stock company, and received a Royal Patent. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl: History of Woolwich, Maine: Mysteries of the Deep)
September 12, 1686; Ship The Bridgewater of 200 tons and 23 guns with the name changed to James and Mary, set out on 2nd attempt to find the treasure ship. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl)
November 26, 1687; Daniel Turell, Sr. (blacksmith)
with wife Mary and Samuel Wakefield (tailor) and wife Elizabeth, deed to
Sir William Phipps, late of Boston (knight) house and land, North End Boston,
near Charlestown Ferry; N.E. street leading from the long street toward the
burial place, S.E. lane or highway leading from sd street down towards Mrs. Cartwithins house, S.W. sd Daniel Turell, N.W. William Sumner. (SD 17:222). S.W. side of Charter St., corner of Salem St. (January 18, 1686 Samuel Wakefield (tailor) with wife Elizabeth mortgages house and land at N. end wherein they now dwell, street that leadeth to North Burying Place N.E., Greene Lane S.E., Daniel Turell, Sr., S.W. and N.W. (SD 13:425). N. corner of Charter and Salem Sts. (Thwing database)
January 20, 1687; On the Ambrosia Bank (also called the Silver Bank) the shallow draft sloop Henry's crew discover a sea feather (a pretty plumelike coral) and on attempting to capture it discovered it grew from the encrusted muzzle of a cannon on the hulk of a ship - the wrecked 1641 Spanish vice admiral - Nuestra Senora de la Limpia y Pura Concepcion wedged between rocks in 7 or 8 fathoms (about 40 feet) of boiling shoal water. It had lain there 46 years. Until midmorning on January 22, 1687 the divers pulled up treasure, but a threatening sky warned them it was time to sail back to Puerto Plata to inform William of the find. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl)
February 22, 1687; Phips and 4 divers went to site. They pulled up treasure from dawn to dusk for 58 days losing 8 Sundays, 9 days to bad weather, and 1 day on March 10 when the divers were ill. 4 divers worked so hard they sometimes came up coughing blood. They had picked clean all that could be eaily reached, leaving the coral encrusted after hold that was wedged between 2 rocks untouched. Concern for hurricanes and pirates forced them to then return to England. (Mysteries of the Deep: History of Woolwich, Maine) "...Phips finally called an end to the operation and returned to England with treasure that would equal $50 million in today's currency" (1999 - Expedition Whydah) In Operation Phips in 1977, treasure seeker Burt Weber and his crew attempted to find the Concepcion and bring up the remaining treasure Phips was unable to bring up. The 1st attempt failed, but after an English researcher uncovered Phips' ship log giving the precise location of the vessel, a 2nd attempt was made in 1978 that proved to be a success. Every working day for 9 months they brought treasure up, including, porcelain predating the Ming dynasty, unmarked silver, three ancient astrolabs once used in navigation and said to be worth $100,000.00 in 1978, chains of gleaming gold, a unique ivory doll, a traveling trunk with a false bottom concealing silver coins neatly stacked 4 - 6 deep, buckets of silver and gold coins, and crates of exquisite ancient pottery. The recovery was estimated to be worth $200 million. In 1978 a t.v. documentary on CBS "The Lost Treasure of the Concepcion", chronicaled the discovery. (Syracuse Herald Journal 1978; Treasure Hunt! Fabulous Find on Silver Shoals by Joseph Blank)
June 6, 1687; Arrived in England with 37 tons
of sunken treasure worth 207,600 pounds sterling in gold, silver, jewels,
and pearls. William was Knighted (Knight of the
Bachelor Order) by King James II on June 28, 1687 and received his 1/16
share 11,043 lbs - about $80,000.00. The Duke of Albemarle presented
Lady Mary with a gold cup worth approximately $400.00. Phips also
received a gold chain and medal worth approximately
$5,000.00. (Mysteries of the Deep: History of Woolwich,
Maine: The Tuttle Family) King James II share was 20,700 lbs.
The Duke of Albemarle and partners received the rest. He was made
High Sherriff of the Massachusetts Bay Colony under Governor Andros.
(Phipps - Wheeler Genealogy by Erma Morrill; Connecticut Colonial
Documents) 1st American Knighted81
"The diarists John Evelyn and Narcissus Luttrell used identical words to describe the proceeds of the voyage, 'a vast treasure'. How vast was it in reality? According to the historian W.R. Scott, who was followed by such eminent authorities as J.H. Clapham and Maynard Keynes, it was sufficient to alter the course of England's financial history. Phips's treasure, Scott argued, encouraged the formation of many more joint-stock companies and thus contributed substantially to the expansion of the market in stocks in the early 1690s and thereby to the foundation of the Bank of England." (The New England Knight)
August 1687; Phips appointed Provost Marshal General, a position created by the King. (History of Woolwich, Maine)
October 21, 1687; Samuel Wakefield sells house and land to Lady Phipps. Sewell 1:193 (SD 17:221). Charter corner Salem. (Thwing database)
November 29, 1687; The William Phipps Mortgage, Robert
Ayars and Stephen Mumford mortgaged "Braces Farme" to Sir William Phipps,
Esq., in Boston: ...Twenty ninth of Novemb...one Thousand Six hundred
Eighty seven...Between Stephen Mumford of James Towne...yeoman and Robert
Ayres of Newport...yeoman of the one Part, and Sr. William Phips Knight
late of Boston...on the Other Part...Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayres for...three
Hundred pounds in currant money of New England...by Sr. William Phips
agent...paid...Have given...their Farme containing about Two Hundred and fourty acres... lyeing...within the Towneship of Newport...knowne by the name of Braces Farme Late in the occupation of Richard Allison now in the actuall possession and Tenure of...Robert Ayres...upland Meadows and Swamps which they...purchased of John Walley of Bristoll Esq...bounded Westerly by the Land now or late of Henry Bull and Irah Bull Sotherly by the Land of Major John Coggeshall Eastwardly by the sea northerly by the Land of John Easton Sen: ...and partly by the Common...With all houses Barnes...Trees...
Wit. Stephen Mumford
Nathan. Byfield Robert Ayars
Samll. Crowley Signum
Anne X Mumford
Boston 30th November 1687; Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayers...before me one of his majesties Councill...acknowledged
Ann Mumford & Esther Ayres...acknowledged before me one of the Councill...the fourth day of May 1688 Walter Newberry
November 30, 1687; John Walley to Stephen Mumford and
"Six and Twentieth day of November One Thousand six hundred Eighty seven Between John Walley of Bristol on the one part: - - And Stephen Mumford of James Towne yeoman and Robert Ayres of Newport yeoman; on the Other part John Walley for six hundred and Twenty pounds in Currant money of New England by Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayres paid Hath sould his farm continaeing about Two hundred and fourty acres of Land in the Towneship of Newport called Braces farme Late in the Occupation of Richard Allison now in
the actuall possession of Robert Ayres being the whole of that farme and Lands upland Meadows and swamps given by William Brenton Esqr: in his Last will unto his sonn William Brenton bounded Westerly by the Land of Henry Bull and Jireh Bull, Southerly by the Land of Major John Coggeshall, Easterly by the sea, Northerly by the Land of John Easton Senr: in part by the Common with all houses Barnes buildings Wood, Trees and Stones upon request of Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayres and at their Cost will perform such Other act for further Confirmation of the above granted so as John Walley be not compelled to travill more than twenty Miles from his home Also Sarah Wife of John Walley doth confirme premises"
Wit. Jse: Addington John Walley Thomas Dudley Sarah Walley
Boston 30th. November 1687 John Walley Esqr: SAcknowledged This . . . . . . . . William Stoughton
November 29, 1687; Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayres
to Sr. William Phips.
"Twenty ninth of Novemb one Thousand Six hundred Eighty seven Between Stephen Mumford of James Towne yeoman and Robert Ayres of Newport yeoman of the one Part, and Sr. William Phips Knight late of Boston on the Other Part Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayres for three Hundred poinds in currant money of New England by Sr. William Phips or his agent paid Have given their Farme containing about Two Hundred and fourty acres lyeing within the Towneship of Newport knowne by the name of Braces Farme Late in the occupation of Richard Allison now in the actuall possession and Tenure of Robert Ayres upland Meadows and Swamps which they purchased of John Walley of Bristoll Esq bounded Westerly by the Land now or late of Henry Bull and Irah Bull Sotherly by the Land of Major John Coggeshall Eastwardly by the sea northerly by the Land of John Easton Sen: and partly by the Common With all houses Barnes Trees" Wit. Stephen Mumford Nathan. Byfield Robert Ayars Samll. Crowley Signum Anne X Mumford Esther Ayars Boston 30th November 1687 Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayers before me one of his majesties Councill acknowledged John Walley Ann Mumford & Esther Ayres acknowledged before me one of the Councill the fourth day of May 1688 Walter Newberry
(Robert Evers to William Edwards.
"Robert Ewer Marcht. & Elizabeth his wife of Philadelpia for mony payd to us from William Edwards of Newport mercht have sold Land in the Township of Newport Eighty foott frount to the Streatt & so by the Land of William Mays sen & William Mays Jun on the East & west & on the North by Land of NathallCoddington who is to make halfe the fence of that Line: Second of July 1692"
Wit. Robert Ewer Nathanll Coddington George Allin. John Tuker
William Edwards to Robert Ayres. "William Edwards In consideration of thirty pounds recived of Robert Ayres of Newport Carpenter doe make over the within mentioned deed with all the Lands" Thirteenth of August 1694 The Marke of William X Edwards deed of sale recorded in the 402 page of this book signed by Robert Euers_Robert Evers to William Edwards.
"Robert Ewer Marcht. & Elizabeth his wife of Philadelpia for mony payd to us from William Edwards of Newport mercht have sold Land in the Township of Newport Eighty foott frount to the Streatt & so by the Land of William Mays sen & William Mays Jun on the East & west & on the North by Land of NathallCoddington who is to make halfe the fence of that Line: Second of July 1692"
Wit. Robert Ewer Nathanll Coddington George Allin. John Tuker
William Edwards to Robert Ayres. "William Edwards In consideration of thirty pounds recived of Robert Ayres of Newport Carpenter doe make over the within mentioned deed with all the Lands" Thirteenth of August 1694 The Marke of William X Edwards deed of sale recorded in the 402 page of this book signed by Robert Euers)
1688; Judge Sewell mentions the purchase by Lady Phips in 1687, of a house and lot on Green Lane from Samuel Walkefield. Subsequently several small lots were purchased, bounded by Green Lane (Charter) and Salem Streets (Phipps Corners), the whole forming a large corner lot in an elevated situation. In the center of this lot his new brick house was built . Green Lane was later renamed Charter Street in his honor. The house still stood in 1817. (Connecticut Colonial Documents)
January 7, 1687/88; Daniel Turell, Sr. with wife Mary, deeds to Sir William Phipps (knight) land near Charlestown Ferry Place; N.E. sd Sir William Phipps, S.E. highway or land sometimes called Green Lane, S.W. Capt. Samuel Sewall, N.W. William Sumner. (SD 17:223). Salem St. (Thwing database)
August 1688; "When Phipps arrived in London in August
1688, he lost little time in establishing contact with the elder Mather.
The two met to discuss New England affairs on the morning of the twenty-first,
a few days after the Good Luck and a Boy had anchored at the Downs.
They met again on the morning of 26 September, the same day on which
Mather had an afternoon meeting with James II."
"A meeting between Mather and Phips on 10 January was the first between them that Mather had recorded since September."
"Mather and Phips were together on the morning of 13 February, the day on which William III and Mary II accepted the crown, and they jointly petitioned for restoration of the old Massachusetts charter. Two seperate texts exist. One (of which there is a copy in the Massachusetts archives but no trace in English official records) invited the monarchs to declare 'by a letter under your Majesties hand and sign manual' that the former governments should be restored in all the New England colonies...The one that was considered by the Privy Council on 18 February, also in the names of Phips and Mather, had the same goals but was differently framed. It argued that the prodeedings by which the New England charters had been annulled were 'illegal and arbitrary', as was the commission that had established the Dominion of New England by which Andros had been empowered 'with four of his Councell to levie monie and make Lawes without the consent of the people by their representatives.' The abolition of the dominion therefore depended not on the royal perogative but on a simple recognition of illegality.
To establish that illegality had indeed taken place was not so simple, of course. Phips and Mather were called to a hearing before the Lords of Trade on 20 February. They went along encouraged by the fact that the order in Council two days earlier, referring the petition to the Lords of Trade, had advised that the king was 'graciously disposed to gratifie the Petitioners.' But their position was soon challenged. The only action taken on New England at the 20 February meeting was to postpone the discussion for two days and then call in Sir Robert Sawyer, who had been attorney general when the first Massachusetts charter had been abrogated in 1684. On 22 February, before an unusually large gathering of the Lords of Trade, along with interested privy councillors and again Phips and Mather, Sawyer defended the
dominion and justified the annulment of the charter on the grounds of repeated abuse of power by the Massachusetts General Court. Politically divided between prominent Whigs such as Lord Mordaunt (the same who had visited the wreck in early 1688) and Tories such as Nottingham, the board drafted a report that fell far short of the blow to the dominion for which Mather and Phips had hoped. Andros should be recalled, it recommended, but he should be replaced by a provisional governor who would be constrained only by a prohibition on the raising of revenue by governor and council alone. Preparations should then be made not for restoration of the old charter but for a new 'Establishment' that would balance the rights and privileges of New Englanders with 'such a Dependence on the Crown of England
as shall bee thought requisit.' "
"Phips role came to an end for the time being when he sailed for Boston in mid-March, carrying copies of proclamations issued by William and Mary and thus confirmation to New England of their acceptance of the crown." (The New England Knight)
August 3, 1688; Nowell: Placed a stone in the column
of Sir William's house (Phips) next to Mr. Nowell's . (Sewell 1:221).
corner Salem and
Charter. (Thwing database) Description of Phips' house and times circa 1776-1826
March 8, 1689/90; Joined Cotton
Mather's North Church at Boston and was admitted a freeman 2 weeks
later. (Connecticut Colonial Documents; Phipps Genealogy by
Martha Phipps Patterson; Phipps - Wheeler Genealogy by Erma Phipps
Morrill) Chaplin John White living in their home. White, a Harvard
graduate, born Roxbury, Massachusetts 1668, died of small pox 1721."One would
suspect any John White found with William Phips to be his half - or step
- brother..." (Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire)
What relation was he to the Maine White family with whom Sir William was connected? Most certainly a relationship existed.
"Benjamin Bullivant, albeit a hostile commentator
by virtue of his pro-dominion views, described in his journal an incident
that took place
within a few days of Phips's baptism. The background was the arrest several weeks earlier of Daniel Turrell and John White, a joiner and the younger half-brother of Phips, for debt at the behest of Joseph Smith. By 30 January 1690, Turrell and White had already escaped once from prison and had then been brought before the Massachusetts council to 'Shew Cause (if any there be) why they should not be remanded to Prison'. Although they successfully requested a two-day deferral, the two were subsequently returned to jail, whence they petitioned in March for a further hearing. The representatives were willing to agree, but the council refused, as Bullivant noted: The Northend men headed by Sir William Phips, Milbourne and Way, apply to the Deputies for the discharge of Turrell and White in Execution for a Just Debt the Deputies vote for theyr discharge the magistrates Opposed, as being in custody under their Commitment. Sir William Phips, etc. not Contented with the opinion of the magistrates go personally to the prison, proffer the keeper 3000 pounds verrily to bear him harmless if he would put them at large, the Keeper refused and gives as hard Language as he receives." (The New England Knight)
"Bullivant's account carries a number of significant implications, especially since his journal found its way into the papers of the Lords of
Trade. It is hardly surprising that Phips intervened on behalf of his younger half-brother, and Turell was also known to him. Daniel Turell (or Turill) was a name shared by a father and son - the son being the one imprisoned in 1690 - who had extensive real-estate transactions in Boston in this period, particularly in the North End. In 1687, when Mary Spencer Phips had heard of her husband's success, the property she bought as the site for their house had been part-owned by the elder Daniel Turell. Presumably, the purchase meant that an amicable settlement had been reached in the dispute of 1677 in which the younger Turell had successfully sued William Phips for 13 pounds/9/_.
The imprisonment of White and Turell had its origins in a venture of 1684 that corresponded closely with the treasure-seeking activities being pursued by Phips at the time. Turell and White had formed a company - with Richard Wharton, Hezekiah Usher, Joseph Smith, Thomas Mitchell, and 'several others' - for a voyage to a wreck off the Bahamas. Wharton's kinsman Goodwin Wharton was an active treasure seeker in England, described by Keith Thomas as 'continuously engaged in a treasure quest for which he enlisted spirts,
fairies and the latest resources of contemporary technology'. Although Richard Wharton was not known to share Goodwin's talent for speaking to angels and disembodied spirits, his many commercial and speculative ventures showed that he was equally zealous for treasure and profit. That Richard Wharton was also an investor in Phip's Caribbean activities and that Turell witnessed the agreement of 11 January between Phips and Robert Bronson are strands of evidence that strongly suggest a relationship between the Phips and White-Turell voyages in 1684. Indeed, on 14 January 1684, Turell sold a one-eight share of the sloop Rosebud to Hezekiah Usher, presumably as part of the undertaking.
Some treasure had been raised by the White-Turell company by March 1684, when Thomas Mitchell received a doughboy worth 120 pounds from an individual named John Hand. By December 1684, Mitchell had returned to Charlestown and a series of legal proceedings had begun over the doughboy and the venture as a whole. Mitchell sued Joseph Smith, who sued Turell and White. The matter
was still in the courts in March 1686 when Turell and White (as defendants in the civil case against Smith) pleaded guilty to charges of making an illegitimate approach to the foreman of the jury. Apparently this faux pas had no serious consequences, and Turell and White obtained a judgement against Smith in vindication of their claim that they were the injured parties. Smith's petition for a writ of scire facias was then dismissed, to all appearances bringing the affair to an end. However, under what Turell later described as 'the Unjust and Arbitrary Government of Sir Edmund Andros,' Smith made another application for the writ, and eventually obtained a judgement in his favor of 200 pounds. After the fall of the dominion, with Turell and White refusing to pay, Smith had them imprisoned for debt. Thus, six years after they had begun a venture that had links with Phips, the two North End residents found themselves in jail for charges that seemed symbolic of the evils of the Andros regime. That a crown led by Phips would descend on the jail is understandable in this context.
The 'Way' referred to by Bullivant was undoubtedly Richard Way, an attorney and merchant who was a neighbour of the Phips and Turell families in the North End. A member of the North Church, Way had well-established links with the Kennebec region and with associates of Phips. He had served at one time as attorney for John Hornibrook, a Kennebec fur trader who was later interpreter for Phips at the English-Wabanki peace conference of August 1693." (The New England Knight)
March 22, 1689/90 - Indian attack at Salmon Falls. Appointed Commander by the court. (Sewall's Diary)
In 1689 the Indians attacked again and were driven off, but returned the following spring, captured Fort Loyall after siege of four days and nights, and began a bloody massacre. After this series of raids there were no white settlers in Maine east of Wells. In 1692 Governor Sir William Phips at last succeeded in burying Falmouth's dead.
March 1690 "Yet when Phips was being considered in March 1690 for command of an expedition against Acadia, the diarists Samuel Sewall and Benjamin Bullivant both noted reports that Mary Spencer Phips was reluctant to give her consent and that Phips would not sail without it." (The New England Knight)
"At last, on the morning of 23 April 1690, Phips's flagship, the 42-gun, 120-man Six Friends, set sail for Natasket in Boston Harbour. There it took on board the militia contingents that had been assembled on Governor's Island and Castle Island, and on 28 April it sailed northeast with four other vessels." (The New England Knight)
April 28, 1690; sailed with a squadron of 8 ships and 700 men, from "Nantascot" for Port Royal, Acadia (Nova Scotia) against the French. (History of Bath, Maine; Vessels of War Built at Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
May 11, 1690; arrived in Port Royal and after
2 or 3 days Port Royal surrendered. William had the rank and title
of Commander and his flag ship carried 40 guns. (History of Bath,
Maine; Phipps - Wheeler Genealogy by Erma Phipps Morrill; Vessels
of War Built at Portsmouth, New Hampshire) French Governor taken
prisoner. (History of Bath, Maine: History of Woolwich, Maine)
Phips weighed anchor from Port-Royal on 21 May, left the basin the following day, experienced delays from calm or contrary winds, and reached Boston Harbor on the afternoon of the thirtieth...and on 6 June the goods (with the exception of the munitions) were ordered to be divided 'between the Country on one part, and the officers, Soldiers, and Seamen of the other part.' To what extent Phips profited personally is unclear, although his purchase on 13 June of a 'Brick Warehouse scituate and being near the Great Dock in Boston' for 457 pounds is suggestive. (The New England Knight)
June 13, 1690; Benjamin Davis (merchant) with w Sarah deeds to Wm. Phipps warehouse and land near the Great Dock, now occupied by Nathaniel Byfield and John Mico, and the wharf leading down from E. side of sd warehouse to the sea and land of Samuel Parris. (SD 15:52) The Dock. (Thwing database) This is the same Samuel Parris who was of Salem, MA and was the minister during the witchcraft trials, where his daughter was one of the afflicted.
9, 1690-91; sailed from Hull, Massachusetts with 33 ships and 3,000
men to conduct an expedition to take Quebec and
Montreal from the French. Not a militarist, he took command of the
land forces that were to proceed by the way of Lake Champlain to unite with
the fleet. The attempt was unsuccessful, expected aid did not appear
and a severe storm destroyed a portion of his fleet. Worst still all
the expenses of the undertaking (approximately 40 thousand pounds according
to Vessels of War Built at Portsmouth, New Hampshire) would have to be born
by the colony. Money was scarce, bills of credit and paper money were
issued, the first instance in our history. (History of Woolwich, Maine:
Savage's Genealogical Dictionary: Phipps - Wheeler Genealogy by Erma
Phipps Morrill: Phipps Quarterly July - September 1983: History of
Bath, Maine: The Devil Discovered by Enders A. Robinson)
"The Church of England minister Samuel Myles gave a graphic account fom Boston on 12 December: ' Some of the vessells are arrived, haveing lost some halfe their men, some more some even all, many are still out there being little hopes of them, some before their Comeing out of Canada not haveing soe much as one man well on board; Great Complaints there are that there was no suitable Care, nor provision for such an Army, men being dead in holes before mist, and some haveing their Eyes and Cheeks Eaten by Ratts before found. Those men who are arrived att Boston and other places, die up and down like rotten sheep.' "
"Although the Canada expedition of 1690 was ill-conceived and had disastrous results, it was no more shameful either in design or execution than comparable attempts by regular British forces in the same period. The paradox for Phips was that, of his two expeditions of 1690, it was the successful one that raised the most serious questions about the quality of his leadership, and it was the disaster that could be more convincingly defended." (The New England Knight)
"Mercy, the daughter
of Clement and Faith Short, of Salmon Falls, had been captured by the Wabanakis
in the raid that destroyed that town on March 18, 1689/90. She was subsequently
redeemed by Sir William Phips in Quebec eight months later, returning
to Boston with his fleet. Her parents and three of her siblings died in
the attack, while she and six or seven other brothers and sisters were carried
off into Canada by their Indian captors...
Mercy Short's probably Boston mistress, Margaret Thacher, was the daughter of Henry Webb and the widow of Jacob Sheafe, wealthy merchants who both died in 1660. Web and Sheafe had business interest in Maine and New Hampshire, and Mistress Thacher retained control of some of their property, most notably land and a mill in Cocheco, not far from Mercy's home in Salmon Falls. (She also had extensive holdings in Boston, including the home in which she lived and acreage abuttig Phips's house.)" This is the same Mercy Short afflicted in the witchcraft crisis of 1692 at Salem. (In the Devil's Snare by Mary Beth Norton)
Wreck of the Phips Fleet - archaelogical site
"1690; "On 22 December a warrant had been issued by the town of Boston to 'attach the Goods and for want thereof the body of Sir William Phips alias William Phips late Commander of the Frigott called the Golden Rose'. At issue in this and another warrant of the same date were the complaints of Robert Bronson, who was demanding the settlement of claims arising from his dealings with Phips in late 1683...Nevertheless, as January 1691 went on, the case was being actively investigated, with depositions taken from the available participants in the treasure-hunting activities of 1684. Bronson won his case on three separate claims in county court 27 January 1691, although the verdicts were later reversed on appeal to the Court of Assistants." (The New England Knight)
1691; Appointed High Sherriff of New England by King. Assistant of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Governor Andros refused to recognise his position and denied him any real authority. William headed for England to make a formal protest to the King. Absent when Andros was ousted and a provisional government was set up for the colony.
January 1691; went to London to seek aid of King William in forming third expedition to Quebec. Met with Increase Mather who was there seeking a new charter for Massachusetts Bay Colony and was taken along with him as he met with members of the committee to further his cause. He was introduced to the Queen by Increase. (The Last American Puritan)
March 4, 1691; After landing in Bristol, Phips arrived
in London. "As well as defending his conduct on the two expeditions of
1690, he ws actively seeking command of a new assault on Canada as well
as trying to obtain the refortification of Pemaquid and a personal share
in the exploitation of natural resources on the coast of northern New England."
"Not surprisingly, he wasted no time in making contact with Increase Mather.
Mather recorded in his diary that the two of them passed the afternoon
and evening together. They spent the following morning in discussions at
the house of Sir Henry Ashurst, and they dined together at Ashurst's at
midday on the Friday after Mather had met that morning with Queen Mary's
secretary, Abel Tessin d'Alonne. The interview with d'Alonne appears
to have been no idle courtesy
call, for on the Saturday afternoon - after Phips and Mather had spent the morning at Whitehall - d'Alonne introduced Phips 'to Kiss the Queen's hand.' " (The New England Knight)
"During that time, the separate matters of Phips's
conduct at Quebec and Port Royal were brought to a head before, respectively,
the Lords of Trade and the cabinet council. The final three weeks of March
were spent by Phips - guided at every step by Mather and Ashurst - in a sustained
effort to gain the necessary support. Mather accompanied Phips to
Whitehall on at least two mornings, and on two afternoons he 'drew up passages
for Sir William' and 'wrote de Canada etc.' On the morning of 11 March,
Mather and Phips visited Henry Sydney at his house, and they returned there
with Ashurst on the twenty-fifth. On the twenty-first, the two visited the
earl of Monmouth.
The morning of the twenty-sixth they spent with Carmarthen. Phips met privately with Mather and Ashurst on frequent occasions. Meanwhile, Mather maintained infrequent contact with Cooke and Oakes and regularly visited Whitehall. On the thirtieth he met with Blathwayt in the morning and spent the afternoon in conversation with Phips. By the end of the month, Phips's role had apparently come to an end for the time being. After he and Mather had spent the morning of 31 March at Ashurst's, working together on the pamphlet that was shortly to appear under the title Reasons for the Confirmation of the Charter Belonging to the Massachusetts Colony in
New-England, no further meetings involving Phips were noted in Mather's diary until 11 April. They dined together six days later, after which Phips disappears from the diary until May." (The New England Knight)
Secure by April 1691 in his re-election to the council
with a respectable 805 votes, and sure of the active support of both
Mathers, Phips had a comfortable basis from which to respond to any questions
regarding Canada that might be forthcoming from the Lords of Trade."
(The New England Knight)
April 21 and 27, 1691; Met with Lords of Trade to discuss Canada expeditions. (The New England Knight)
1691; "On 25 May he had visited Whitehall with Mather,
but they had then had no further recorded meetings until they dined together
with Ashurst on 10 July and again on the twenty-third. Phips and
Mather spent the afternoon of the thirty-first in conversation with the
other agents and the Scottish projector William Paterson. Six days later,
Phips, Mather, and Ashurst dined with Blathwayt and spent the afternoon
in discussion with him." There was another afternoon meeting with Mather
on August 7 before Mather departed to take the waters at Barnet. Phips visited
with him at Totteridge on August 11, Mather returning with him to London."
"Mather and Phips spent the morning of the thirteenth with Ashurst, following which Mather and Ashurst successively visited Nottingham and d'Alonne." (The New England Knight)
"On 30 June he presented an explicit proposal, both to the Lords of Trade and in a petition to the king. The petition focused on the need to protect English control of 'Nova Scotia', with its mast trees, naval stores, and expected resources of copper and other minerals. It also sought a commission for Phips to command a new expedition to Canada." (The New England Knight)
August 10, 1691; "Based on an interpretation of various letters and diaries it seems on August 10th William Phips and Massachusetts's London born agent Henry Ashurst made an agreement with Henry Finch, the Earl of Nottingham, conceding to support more stringent royal controls over the colony as proposed by the Lords of Trade and approved by the Privy Council and the King, contrary to the wishes of Increase Mather and the other Massachusetts agents. On August 20th Phips and the Massachusetts agents were summoned to attend a meeting of the Lords of Trade where Nottingham reported that concerning the proposal for the Massachusetts charter, "Sir William Phips had been with him to lett him know that the New England agents did acquiesce therein." This led to the acceptance of the plan and brought Phips into favor with the Lords of Trade. From that point Phips was designated as a principal participant and speaker for several proposals brought forwarded on behalf of Massachusetts." (The New England Knight)
"..by the second half of August, Phips had attained prominent status before the Lords of Trade, for he was summoned by name to attend the meeting of the twentieth, along with the agents. From that point on, he was an active participant in the remaining discussions over the charter. By this time, too, he had re-emerged as a projector. Between late June and early September 1691 he advocated three schemes to the Lords of Trade that promised him personal benefits as well as having a purported public significance. The first and most predictable was that he should lead a new attack on Canada." (The New England Knight)
October 7, 1691; New Charter receives great seal of England. (The Last American Puritan) The new charter gave the right to vote to any man with land yielding an income of at least 2 pounds sterling a year, or a personal estate of 40 pounds sterling or more. Membership in the Puritan Church no longer was a requirement. Religious freedom also allowed. The Puritan supremacy was put to an end. (The Devil Discovered by Enders A. Robinson)
"Sir William Phips arrived with Commission from Their
Majesties to be Governour, pursuant to the New-Charter; which he
now brought with him; the Ancient Charter having been vacated by King Charles,
and King James (by which they had a power not only to make their own
Laws; but also to chuse their own Governour and Officers;) and the Countrey
for some years was put under an absolute Commission- Goverment, till the Revolution, at which time tho more than two
thirds of the People were for reassuming their ancient Government, (to
which they had encouragement by His then Royal Highness's Proclamation)
yet some that might have been better imployed (in another Station) made
it their business (by printing, as well as speaking) to their utmost to divert
them from such a settlement; and so far prevailed, that for about seven
Weeks after the Revolution here was not so much as a face of any Government;
but some few Men upon their own Nomination would be called a Committee of
Safety; but at length the Assembly prevailed with those that had been of the
Government, to promise that they would reassume; and accordingly a Proclamation
was drawn, but before publishing it, it was underwritten, that they would
not have it understood that they did reassume Charter-Government; so that
between Government and no Government, this Countrey remained till Sir William
arrived; Agents being in this time impowered
in England, which no doubt did not all of them act according to the Minds
or Interests of those that impowered them, which is manifest by their not
acting jointly in what was done; so that this place is perhaps a single Instance
(even in the best of Reigns) of a Charter not restored after so happy a Revolution.
This settlement by Sir William Phips his being come Governour put an end
to all disputes of these things, and being
arrived, and having read his Commission, the first thing he exerted his Power
in, was said to be his giving Orders that Irons should be put on those in
Prison; for tho for some time after these were Committed, the Accusers ceased
to cry out of them; yet now the cry against them was renewed, which occasioned
such Order; and tho there was partiality in the executing of it
(some having taken them off almost as soon as put on)
yet the cry of these Accusers against such ceased after this Order.
(From Original Narratives of Early American History: Narratives of
the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706, "More Wonders of the Invisible World,"
by Robert Calef, 1700)
Stood for old free trade policy in business matters, thwarting the customs officials at every turn and conniving at piracy. (Savage's Genealogical Dictionary: Phipps - Wheeler Genealogy by Erma Phipps Morrill: Phipps Quarterly July - September 1983: History of Woolwich, Maine)
From; In the Days of the Salem Witchcraft Trials
November 9, 1691; George Cabell (tallow-chandler) with wife Mary mortg. house and land to Sir Wm. Phipps; Hudson or Wings Lane N., Jeremiah Fitch S., pasture of Thomas Brattle S.W., Sarah and Wm. Hall N.E. (SD 15:132) Elm St. (Thwing database)
1692; On returning to Boston from England, and finding the jails of Essex and Suffolk Counties crowded with witches and wizards and the province "miserably harassed with a most horrible witchcraft or possession of devils" he yielded to the views of his leading men (mainly William Stoughten) of his council and appointed a court of Oyer and Terminer to call juries to try "witches", leaving the responsibilities of the witch hunt to them so that he could reclaim his honor by concentrating on the task King William had set for him in Maine - the rebuilding of the forts and the French - Indian War. (Witchcraft at Salem Village by Upham; The Devil Discovered - Robinson)
1692; Fort at Saco, Maine built and had stone
fort, Fort William Henry built at Pemaquid to
protect his native state. Land had been coerced from the Abenaki's
by their old friend Sir William. (The Last American Puritan) More about Maine Forts.
Christened Fort William Henry, the new fort mounted fourteen to eighteen cannon, making it considerably stronger than its predecessor. A company of sixty men was detailed to permanently garrison the post. In order to divert the enemies' attention away from the construction of Fort William Henry, Massachusetts Major Benjamin Church led a military expedition up the Penobscot and Kennebec Rivers. At Penobscot, he encountered a large body of Indians, but failed to engage them in battle. While the main body eluded him, Church managed to take five prisoners and destroyed a quantity of corn and furs before returning to Pemaquid. After depositing his prisoners, Church proceeded up the Kennebec to the Abenaki fort at Teconnet. Forewarned of Church's approach, the Indians set fire to their fort and
retreated into the woods. When the expedition arrived, they found only a couple of corn cribs that managed to avoid being consumed by the fire. Church set fire to the corn cribs and withdrew back down the Kennebec. While this expedition failed to accomplish anything of real value, it served to demonstrate that the English were unafraid to conduct offensive operations into the Abenaki heartland.
The Indians soon discovered Fort William Henry despite the precautions taken to conceal its construction. With their French allies, they made plans for its immediate reduction. The ships of war, Poli and Envieux, were to beseige the fort from the sea, while Villebon and a large body of Indians attacked from land. As the Abenaki positioned themselves for an attack, the French ships entered the harbor opposite the fort. However, upon seeing the fort and the English warship at anchor nearby, they promptly withdrew without firing a shot. For the Abenaki, this withdrawal was clear proof of French cowardice. The tribes dispersed for their fall hunting, disgusted with the refusal to attack. (Oyster River Raid - King William's War)
January 2, 1691/92; John Foster deeds to Sir Wm. Phips land. [SD 15:149]. end on deed of Samuel Adams to Timothy Thornton. (Thwing database)
January 19, 1691/92 - A letter from the Royal Mint Commissioners Ben Overton, Thomas Neale and James Hoar to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury concerning a proposal put forward by William Phips and the Massachusetts delegation for the minting of silver coinage in Massachusetts. The letter was written in reply to an inquiry sent to them on January 12, 1692 by Lord Treasurer Henry Guy: "touching the Proposalls, and Reasons offered to their Majesties by Sir William Phipps, etc., for obtaining their Majesties Royall favour to be granted to the Genrall Court in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England to Privelige them with Liberty of Coyning for the Benefitt of their Majesties Subjects in that Territory." In their reply the Royal Mint Commissioners stated: "wee Conceive it very probable, That most of the Monies which have been coined in New England from the year 1652 (when they had the priveledge of Coining,) may still remain there. Soe that it is scarce credible (as they suggest) that shoppkeepers and those that are buyers should labour under such difficulties for want of Small Monies for Change, Since the coyned monies of New England are the shilling, Sixpence, three Pence, and two Pence, Besides Small Spanish Coins." They also expressed the opinion that if the colony needed smaller denomination coins, "They may be Supplyed with Pence, Halfe Pence, and farthings of Tinn, from England, to their Majesties Advantage." Further they refuted the colonists claim that other "English Plantations" had been granted the privilege of coinage explaining the application to mint coins by the Governor of Jamaica was not granted and that the East India Company coinage was restricted to circulation in India. They then concluded that if the Province of Massachusetts Bay was granted the privilege of coining money it should be required to conform to the British weight and fineness for silver coins. This is the last surviving record concerning the reestablishment of the Massachusetts mint [The document is dated 1691 as the English new year did not start until March]
February 25, 1691/92; Hannah Bigg, widow of John Bigg
(merchant) deeds to John Snelling house and land. late in possession
of Bullis Smith. St. leading to the house of Sir Wm. Phipps towards Chsn.
ferry N.E. John Orris S. Col. Samuel Shrimpton S.E. Ann Davenport formerly
Snelling, N.E. (SD 15:166) Salem St. between Prince and Charter Sts. (Thwing database)
March 29, 1692; At Dartmouth, England, "Rev. Increase Mather, his son Samuel, Governor Phips with the Charter, and his clerk Benjamin Jackson boarded the frigate Nonsuch, Captain Richard Short, commanding, and all set sail for New England." Short gave his cabin to Phips. "During the voyage Short would pursue some distant craft to capture as prizes only to lose the wind. The following day they seized the French owned 'Katherine', full of sugar, cotton, and cocoa, and learned the other two vessels had not been merchantmen at all, but French men-of-war, There would furthermore, be some question whether Phips or Short was entitled to this prize. Phips as Admiral clearly outranked Captain Short; yet Short, a Royal Navy man, had trouble accepting the self-made Phips as his superior. He also thought Phips could have shown more gratitude for the courtesies of room and board. Short would have preferred that Phips's clerk Jackson not always have his head together with the ship's malcontent purser, Mathew Cary. On the other hand, according to Cary and others, Short was often drunk and abusive, ashore and at sea, and therefore careless as well as cruel, even to his officers." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
May 14, 1692; "Late in the afternoon while this spiritual battle raged, a small convoy sailed into Boston Harbor. The fleet was headed by the frigate Nonsuch bearing Governor Sir William Phips and Rev. Increase Mather with the charter that made Massachusetts a legal political entity once again. The magistrates received them in the candlelit Town House at the head of King Street where Phips promised that, as God had sent him to New England, he would uphold the old laws and liberties as before. (Or so some interpreted it. The Charter allowed only those laws that did not conflict with English law.) Phips began to read his official commission when he noticed the sun was setting, and postponed the remainder rather than infringe on the Sabbath. The eight Boston militia companies omitted the celebratory volleys, but escorted Phips and Mather to their North End homes and to their waiting families." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
May 16, 1692; "Eight Boston and two Charlestown militia companies escorted Phips and the assistants to the Council Chamber of the Boston Town House for a reading of the Charter and of the commissions. Thus, Phips was proclaimed governor of Massachusetts, vice admiral, and commander-in-chief of all New England militias. William Stoughton was named lieutenant governor, and Isaac Addington was appointed secretary of the province. The new officeholders were sworn in, but the only other business of the day was their decision that all other civil and military officers would continue until further notice." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
May 17, 1692; "...most of the council met with
Governor Phips in Boston at one o'clock. They confirmed the Fast Order
for May 26, ordered the establishment of a committee to supply the Eastward
militia, and optimistically dismissed the brigantine William and Mary from
guarding the coast, now that the frigate Nonsuch was available."
(The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
May 20, 1692; "...Phips and Stoughton called an emergency four o'clock council meeting. Three French privateers had captured a local coasting vessel and two fishing shallops, so the Council ordered the William and Mary refitted and back on active duty to assist the Nonsuch. Unfortunately, Captain Short had ignored Phips's order to keep his men on board ready for action. Once granted shore leave, many sailors simply did not return, so the Nonsuch was too undermanned to sail. Therefore, without asking Phips, Short sent press gangs to scour Boston for local volunteers, willing and unwilling." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
May 23, 1692; "Acting on the Governor's orders, Boston prisonkeeper Arnold spent 2-5-0 pounds on shackles - enough for ten prisoners. The government however, was so hard pressed for money that Samuel Sewall loaned them 200 pounds in bills of credit, which the government accepted, though it would have preferred hard money." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
May 24, 1692; At a meeting scheduled for two o'clock that afternoon in Boston's Town House, "When the councilors did gather and Samuel Sewall took his delayed oath, they considered the appointments of sheriffs, justices, and other civil officers. It was now the perogative of the royal governor to fill these posts with the council's consent, but on this occasion Phips let the council nominate officers. He also announced that the General Court would convene in Boston on June 8. Everyone seemed to overlook that only the General Court was supposed to institute the judiciary. (Because of this technicality, the special court has often been called illegal. However, if the government had observed all the legalities, the same men would have been in charge anyway.) (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
May 27, 1692; "The governor and council at last
restablished the law courts when Phips approved all the nominations presented
to him....As an increasingly hot summer began, throngs of prisoners crowded
the jails. Rather than name a Superior Court, which could sit only at
certain intervals, Phips instituted a Court of Oyer and Terminer (to hear
and determine). This judicial body would proceed against all manner
of crimes in Suffolk, Essex, and Middlesex counties, and would apply "the
law and custom of England" rather than the Massachusetts laws of the
old charter. Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton of Dorchester
became chief justice over Justices Nathaniel Saltonstall of Haverhill,
Wait-Still Winthrop, Peter Sergeant, John Richards, and Samuel Sewall of
Boston; and Bartholomew Gedney, John Hathorne, and Jonathan Corwin of Salem.
Any five or more could hear a case as long as their number included Stoughton,
Gedney, or Richards." (The Salem Witchcraft Trials - Marilynne K.
"Several days later,
Sir William Phips dictated letters to London reporting on his reception in
Boston and his first two weeks as governor of the colony. Surely overemphasizing
considerably, although for obvioius reasons, he remarked that 'the harts
of the People here are very much Transported with joy & their mouths
Filled with expressions of Thankfullnesse to their Majesties' for the new
charter government. Phips described the public reading of his commission
and the charter, the convening of the council, the swearing-in ceremonies,
and his call for elections to the assembly. He did not mention his establishment
of a Court of Oyer and Terminer, or the reason for it. Instead he wrote
to the Earl of Nottingham, the secretary of state, 'the small t[ime] since
my arrivall admitts of noething more that is Matter [to] a acquanit your
Lordship with.' To William Blathwayt, the secretary for the plantations,
he said essentially the same thing; 'I have but little to say at present
for the short time Since my Landing could not produce much.' Phips might
possibly have seen the setting up of a special court to deal with unresolved
criminal cases as so routine as to require no comment on his part. Yet that
those thirty-eight 'Offenders now in Costody' were charged with witchcraft
was certainly unusual. Most likely, Phips' concilors advised him to say nothing
official about the evolving crisis for the time being, and to wait instead
until more of the outcome could be known." (In the Devil's Snare by Mary
June 5, 1692; "The congregation of Boston's North Church, which today included Governor Phips, heard Cotton Mather deliver a sermon, "Good Men Described" (especially good magistrates)." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
June 6, 1692; "Under crown orders, the man-of-war Conception, recently captured from the French, arrived in Boston from Virginia under Governor Phips's command, to guard the coast from the French." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
June 10, 1692; "At the General Court in Boston, Phips ordered a committee of nine (Secretary Isaac Addington, plus the Oyer and Terminer judges) to consider a revision of local laws. (Nathaniel Saltonstall had resigned by then, replaced by John Foster, a Boston merchant)." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
June 13, 1692; "News of Wells arrived in Boston while
the General Court was debating back taxes. Phips informed his council
that the Piscataqua region's militia had already sent their neighbors
help. The governor then ordered Major Samuel Appleton to detach
part of his Essex regiment to relieve the depleted Piscataqua garrison.
Phips also placed an embargo on all ships and vessels in Massachusetts harbors.
As long as the French were about, no one was to sail anywhere until further
notice." (Wells, ME was attacked by French and Indians June 11th)
(The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
"Probably at its meeting of June 13, the Massachusetts council decided to ask 'several ministers' for their opinions 'upon the present witchcraft in Salem village.' Why the council requested that advise was not recorded, but that it did so suggests that questions had already been raised about the nature of the proceedings. The council meeting was attended by Governor Phips and four of the judges --- Stoughton, Winthrop, Sewall, and Sergeant..." (In the Devil's Snare by Mary Beth Norton)
June 14, 1692; "The General Court finally passed its first law under the new charter: all arrears in public assessments intended for defense against Indians and French (due since October 1689) were to be collected by November 1, 1692." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
June 25, 1692; Ordered the arrest of William Milbourne.
(The New England Knight)
"Governor Phips and council received two petitions composed by Boston's Baptist minister, William Milbourne, one signed by himself and 'several others', (now unknown). Like the earlier 'Return of Several Ministers,' the petitions objected to the use of spectral evidence in the trials, for fear it mostly served to condemn the innocent.
The council took offense at this unsolicited opinion and at its 'very high reflections upon the administration of public justice'. Governor Phips signed a warrant for Rev. Milbourne to answer for the 'scandalous and seditious paper'. The Suffolk sheriff brought him before the council straightaway, and Milbourne admitted he had indeed written both papers and signed the one. The council ordered him to appear before the Superior Court at its next sitting (after one was established). In the interim he had to post a 200 pound bond plus two sureties to guarantee his court appearance, or wait in jail. (In Andros's day, Milbourne and Phips had petitioned for justice together, and Milbourne's brother Jacob was executed in New York for defying the royal governor. (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
June 27, 1692; "The General Court established a naval office to oversee and to tax shipping and granted the governor power to march local militia in aid of neighboring provinces. The crown had already made Phips the military head of New England, yet each province expected a say in what its men would do, and preferred to recognize his military title only in the field. Phips was also under royal orders to build a fort at Pemaquid, a task all the more urgent after the Wells attack. The legislature also passed an act to incorporate Harvard College and to recognize its governing boards into one corporation of president, treasurer, and eight fellows." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
June 28, 1692; "...the General Court reestablished a schedule of regular, quarterly, lower court sittings - the General Sessions of the Peace - for the several counties. The court specified that, as before, all jurors were to be chosen from freeholders according to the property qualifications specified in the new charter. Church membership was not a requirement." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
June 27-July 2, 1692; Meeting with General Court. (The New England Knight)
June 30, 1692; "Francis Hooke and Charles Frost (Kittery)
to Sir William Phips, June 30, 1692.
We would not have been so bould as to have troubled your excelency with those rude lines, but that we are constrayned to it by the late and continuall out crys of that small handfull of people yett remayning in this poore country; whos constant fears at such as they are in continuall expectation of being destroyed and cannot beleeve any things less consideringe our circumcumstances exept your excellency out of pure care & pity will be pleased to take some speedy measures to strengthen our hands agaynst the comon enemy which we expect dayly to be upon us agayne & discovery of which we have almost every day, soe as that we dare not adventure from our houses about our familly concerns, but with the hazard of our lives,...[We] doe tak it for granted that the Indions are not far from us; besids all we are informed that the french & Indions are sertaynly gathering into a head for to com this way on us & how soon we cannot say; all these things have put such fears on our people in each towne that they are redy to take winge." (In the Devil's Snare by Mary Beth Norton)
Increase Mather, Cooke, Oakes and Phips dined together at Phips's mansion. (The New England Knight)
"Tonight Captain Richard Short, ostensibly looking for sailors from the Nonsuch, led a shore patrol through Boston. Yet somehow ended up in the chambers of legislators who had protested Short's press-gangs. At about eleven o'clock, 'ancient' John Tompson, representative for Middleborough, was roused from bed in the Green Dragon and herded downstairs in his nightshirt to face a furious Captain Short. 'Old rogue!' the captain shouted to Tompson's protests. 'Assembly dog!' Short's wounded handed was well enough to land several blows on the landlord of the Dragon and on Tompson. The patrol dragged the old man into the unlighted streets, then left him to pick his way back barefoor under the dark of the moon. By midnight, Short's patrol broke through the latched door of Peter Woodbury's rented chamber and caned the Beverly representative four blows before he could even get out of bed. They left him for a time, then surged back, struck him with eight more blows to the head, buffeted him downstairs, then dragged him through the dark streets, and left him sick, sore, and bloody. (Short's warrant officers would later testify to his 'abusing their Majesties subjects on shore,' but the paper is torn and only a fragment survives referring to an incident of 'beating and confining the Minister.' " (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
July 4, 1692; Today, Phips and his councilors spent the afternoon in the Boston Town House Council Chamber authorizing payment for the Eastward soldiers, for the Castle Island garrison, and for the seamen in vessels impressed for the trip to Maine. (The Salem Witchcraft Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
July 5, 1692; "The General Court ended its session in Boston and parted until October. (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
July 6, 1692; Harvard College Commencement. Governor Phips attended. "After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a commencement dinner, traditionally paid for by the graduates, in the College Hall." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
July 7, 1692; "Phips commissioned Anthony Checkley as the king's attorney general for the Court of Oyer and Terminer, replacing Thomas Newton, who had left to become secretary of New Hampshire. Checkley, a merchant and military man, had been attorney general in 1689." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
July 8, 1692; Council meeting where he announced his intention of going to Pemaquid to begin work on a new fort. There were further meetings on July 18, 21, 25, related to military matters. (The New England Knight)
July 15, 1692; "In Boston the government received a
letter from the Lords of the Privy Council requiring ousted Governor
Andros's back pay. Governor Phips, facing more immediate problems, ordered
his war council to impress four sloops to help transport soldiers Eastward
if the soldiers could be impressed. Phips, as head of the combined militias,
had ordered a muster of Boston's companies to recruit for the ships patrolling
the coast (and for his own privateers while they were at it). But today's
turnout was woefully thin. So many men were already Eastward or in the
ships that even Captain Short's relentless press-gangs had problems. it
was rumored in New York that press-masters were being knocked down in Boston
streets at high noon." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
to William Blathwayt, 16 July 1692. "Addington promised that Phips would
provide in his letter a full 'Account of the present State of Affaires here,'
which suggests that he thought Phips was going to inform colonial officials
about the witchcraft crisis at that time, but Phips did not do so." (In
the Devil's Snare, Mary Beth Norton)
July 21, 1692; "Governor Phips called a meeting of the council in his own North End home to authorize payment for enough food and clothing to last 800 militiamen two months; payment for the carters, porters and laborers hauling it all to the warships; and payment to the owners of the brigantine William and Mary." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
July 25, 1692; "In Massachusetts, the governor
and council appointed a committee to oversee the recruits pay and billeting
expenses. Phips also commissioned Benjamin Church who had made a name
as an Indian fighter in King Phillip's War, as Major of Militia, his second
in command." (The Salem Witch Trials
- Marilynne K. Roach)
Letter from Phips to Winthrop. (In the Devil's Snare, Mary Beth Norton)
Escape of Philip
and Mary English of Salem when accused of witchcraft. "Among the unlikely
details in the oral history is the claim that William Phips conspired in
the Englishes escape, giving them letters of introduction to Governor Fletcher.
But Fletcher did not arrive from England to take up his post as governor
until late in August, long after the couple fled from Salem, and Fletcher
and Phips had an acrimonious relationship which is evident from their surviving
correspondence." (In the Devil's Snare, Mary Beth Norton)
July 26, 1692; "Governor Phips ordered the Boston regiment's
officers to arrest the men who had failed to appear as ordered on July
15, to fine each twenty shillings, and to haul any who refused to pay aboard
the Nonsuch. Those who volunteered to privateer in one of his own
vessels, however could share the plunder. The fine was supposed to be only
five shillings, and some merchants who refused to pay were offended to
be threatened as if they were only common sailors. (When these vessels
did arrive Eastward, they captured a French flyboat bound for Canada, laden
wit 12,000 pounds worth of wine, brandy, textiles, and ready-made clothing.)
(The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
July 27, 1692;
Letter from Phips to Stoughton and letter from Phips to Checkley. (In the
Devil's Snare, Mary Beth Norton)
"The record of
the interrogation of Dr. Roger Toothaker of Billerica and Beverly has not
survived, but a dpostition drawn up two days later revealed why he must
have become a suspect. Toothaker, the only male medical practitioner to
be accused of witchcraft in seventeenth-century New England, had practiced
countermagic. A year earlier, Roger had boasted that 'his Daughter had kild
a witch' through a method he had taught her---filling an 'Earthen pot' with
an afflicted person's urine and placing it 'stopt...very Close' in 'a hott
oven' overnight. At about the same time, Toothaker had also diagnosed 'strangly
sick' children, one from Salem and one from Beverly, as being 'under an Evill
hand.' The second of those afflicted youngsters, an unnamed child of Philip
White of Beverly, was the niece or nephew of Sir William Phips." (In the
Devil's Snare by Mary Beth Norton)
August 1, 1692; Began prepartation to depart to Pemaquid.
"In mid-August Phips and Church sailed with 450 men from Boston to Pemaquid..."
They reached Pemaquid on August 11. "On arrival, two companies of troops
under the direction of Captains John Wind and Thomas Bancroft promptly
began construction of the new fort. The work was completed subsequently
under the supervision of Captain John March, the first commander of the
fort, and it was named Fort William Henry in honour of the king. Although
these officers oversaw the work, the fort bore Phips's clear imprint. He
selected the site, choosing the high ground south of the abandoned Pemaquid
village. This was the same site where in 1677 Governor Andros had constructed
Fort Charles, the palisaded wooden structure that had been destroyed in the
1689 raid." In September he left Pemaquid to restock supplies, returning
there for a short time.
Fort William Henry measured more than one hundred feet on each side with walls ranging from ten to twenty-two feet high. Constructed of more than two thousand cartloads of field stones, it was an imposing structure. "There is every likelihood that Phips himself was responsible for the design of the Pemaquid fort. With evident pride, he informed the earl of Nottingham in September 1693, 'I have Caused a Large Stone Fort to bee built att Pemaquid...and have kept an army in readynesse wherewith I have attaqued the Indians when ever they appeared upon our Frontiers and often drove them from their Quarters, The Fort is Sufficient to resist all the Indians in america.' " (The New England Knight)
"Two days later,
on Friday, August 5, the judges took up what everyone recognized was the
crucial case in the witchcraft crisis. A 'vast concourse of people, ' including
Increase Mather, Deodat Lawson, John Hale, and perhaps Governor William
Phips himself, traveled to Salem to attend the trial of the man who (as Cotton
Mather put it) 'had the promise of being a King in Satan's Kingdom, now going
to be Erected.' (Rev. George Burroughs) (In the Devil's Snare by Mary Beth
"Around the beginning of August, Governor Phips and his forces sailed Eastward to build Fort William Henry at Pemaquid. Critics objected that the fort would protect only one harbor and would be useless either as a refuge for locals or as a posting station for troops. But, long before summer's attacks, King William had ordered its construction to show France that England would not abandon the area. Phips' fleet paused at the ruins of Casco Fort to salvage the cannon and to bury the weathered bones of its inhabitants. Later, when sailing past his boyhood home near the Kennebec, Phips took the occasion (as was his habit) to address his crew: 'Young men, it was upon that hill that I kept sheep a few years ago, and since you see that Almighty God has brought me to something, do you learn to fear God, and be honest, and mind your business, and follow no bad courses, and you don't know what you may come to!' Mindful of earthly business, Phips brought fur trapping equipment to make spare time profitable as well." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
August 11, 1692; "Phips ordered Major Benjamin
Church to lead his men to the Penobscot and Kennebec Rivers and to retaliate
for recent raids by destroying the locals' corn and other provisions.
He could kill at his discretion but he was to bring all captives - men,
women and children - safely to Phips, and generally to keep a rein on his
Phips meanwhile, saw to the building of Fort William Henry. It was to be a stone square over 700 feet around, with walls six feet thick at the level of the twenty-eight gun ports. The south wall would face the sea and a twenty-nine-foot high round tower would rise to the west." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
"The jailed petitioners
also asked the ministers to endorse their 'Humble Petition' to Governor
William Phips. In that seperate document, which no longer survives, they
evidently asked to be tried in Boston, or alternately 'to have these Magistrates
changed, and others in their rooms.' Knowing that Sir William had initially
reprieved Rebecca Nurse (although he subsequently rescinded that action),
they perhaps thought he would react positively to their complaints of
mistreatment and their request for a change of venue or at least for different
judges. But Governor Phips failed either to alter the composition of the
court or to move the trials.
The extent of the governor's support for the trials has not been fully appreciated, because historians, misled by Phips's subsequent attempts to distance himself from the proceedings have erroneously believed that he spent most of the summer of 1692 in Maine. Yet surviving council minutes prove that Phips regularly met throughout June and July with the judges of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Not every judge attended every council meeting, but Stoughton, Sewall, Winthrop, Richards, and Sergeant usually participated, and occasionally Gedney, Corwin, and Hathorne showed up as well. Therefore, Sir William must have been well informed about the progress of the witchcraft trials. For instance, at the July 4 council meeting (attended by Phips, Stoughton, Sewall, Winthrop, and Sergeant) the governor undoubtedly received a full report on the just-concluded second session of the court, and at the July 25 or 26 council meeting the same men, plus Richards, certainly discussed the prisoners' July 23 petition. The futility of that plea for help becomes evident when one realizes that the men passing judgement on it were the judges and their council colleagues.
To conclude that the governor and his councilors did not discuss the trials at such sessions would be to believe in a highly improbable, if not wholly impossible, absence of communication on a subject of pressing importance to everyone. That Phips, initially sympathetic to the request for a reprieve for Rebecca Nurse, wilted under pressure from the 'Salem gentlemen,' and that he took no action in response to the Proctor petition, suggests his heavy reliance on his advisory council and his support of the Court of Oyer and Terminer's conduct of the witchcraft prosecutions. The governor futher demonstrated his complicity in the trials by perpetuating the same official silence about the crisis he had initiated in May. On July 21, Sir William Phips wrote to London without mentioning the trials or the unprecedented group execution of five woomen for witchcraft just two days before." (In the Devil's Snare by Mary Beth Norton)
September 2, 1692; "...Edward Randolph, surveyor
general of customs and New England's longtime nemesis, cornered Governor
Phips in his own coach house. Years before, when Randolph arrived to dissolve
the Bay's original Charter, he had sailed on Phips's borrowed treasure-seeking
ship. (Its near piratical crew had harrassed him the whole way.)
Some years later, after Phips had acquired his treasure, his knighthood,
and the office of Provost Marshall General of the Dominion, the two had
argued on a Boston street when Randolph prevented Phips from assuming that
office. Now Randolph was assigned to check customs violations from the Carolinas
northward. He had already heard from the royally appointed Collector
of Customs Jahleel Brenton about how the local Naval Office prevented Brenton
from fulfilling his duty.
Phips insisted the local commerce was no concernof the commissioners of trade. (Massachusetts law ignored British regulations to exempt certain goods and coastal traders from taxation.) The encounter ended with ill feelings all around. It was true that Phips sat as an admiralty judge on cases involving his own prize ships, that his officers did not enforce all the customary taxes, and that he paid the seamen pressed to his service with shares from the captured prizes. (It was also true that Brenton, as Randolph had already heard, overcharged on the fees, then kept the difference, plus some of the Crown's share as well.)" (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
September 5, 1692; "When the governor and council met in Boston's Town House, it was nothing but expenses: 8 pounds to Mary Matson for nursing two wounded men from the Conception since June; 15 pounds to James Maxwell, the legislature's doorkeeper and messenger; 8-17-0 pounds to Boston's selectmen for the new warning beacon on Beacon Hill." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
September 7, 1692; "Edward Randolph again accosted Governor Phips at his home in Boston's North End to complain about uncollected import-export taxes. Phips obliged him to wait at the door, but he was not easy to be rid of. Randolph thrust a copy of his instructions at Phips with a sharp warning and the latter's temper flared. Had Randolph not been a guest under his roof, the governor growled, he would receive a drubbing for such impudence." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
September 12, 1692; "Meeting in the Boston Town House, the governor and council authorized payment of 40-16-6 pounds to Boston prisonkeeper John Arnold, and a loan of seven barrels of gunpowder for six months to Lieutenant Governor Usher of New Hampshire." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
September 16, 1692; "Unaware of the latest French
invasion plans, Governor Phips informed his council that he would sail
for Pemaquid this very day to settle a garrison there. He left orders for
Captain Richard Short to follow in the Nonsuch, but apparently missed the
eight o'clock tide, for he remained in town overnight." (The Salem Witch
Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
"He informed his councilors he was leaving that day 'to give orders for the disposal of the Forces, and Setling of the Garrisons' at Pemaquid." (In the Devil's Snare - Mary Beth Norton)
September 17, 1692; "...sailed Eastward in the
sloop William and Mary. He brought money for supplies and four
whale boats for hunting beaver in the shallow creeks around Pemaquid.
(Edward Randolph suspected the province would be charged with the expense
of this sideline if it proved unprofitable)" Captain Richard Short "...detoured
to Piscataqua on his slow progress Eastward. He reached Pemaquid four or
five days after Phips, to the governor's disgust, for the delay foiled hope
of a surprise attack on some of the off-shore islands.
Phips's second in command, Benjamin Church, was also upset. In Admiral Phips's absence, he was forced to buy his men bread from the man-of-war Conception. When Phips did arrive, he brought only enough money to pay for the bread, but none for Church's own back pay or for recent out of pocket expenses." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
September 28, 1692; "Randolph blamed the huge war debt on Phips, as if the 'silly' Quebec expedition were Sir William's idea alone. He criticized the governor for not sending the two men-of-war now guarding Boston and Pemaquid to intercept the French supply fleet that had just reprovisioned Quebec with enough food and soldiers for two or three years. (Phips had sent two smaller vessels which burned several houses along the Canadian coast, and then captured a French prize full of brandy and other goods at the mouth of the St. Lawrence." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
September 29, 1692; Arrived back in Boston from Pemaquid.
"The construction and protection of Fort William Henry increasingly preoccupied
Phips. It was the centrepiece of this effort, both for imperial reasons
and for his own political and commercial benefit, to make good on the northeastern
territorial claims that had been advanced in the progress of construction
that he returned in October 1692 to take personal charge for a period
of time. Between August 1692 and July 1694, he made seven known trips
to Pemaquid, and he may well have made more. The first three involved construction
of the fort. His other visits were in order to make and keep the peace
with the Wabanaki and pursue commercial ventures." (The New England Knight)
"...returned to Boston from Pemaquid at the dark of the moon, vexed over Captain Richard Short's delays; irritated by Randolph's continual adversarial presence; and aghast to find his wife named a witch. Lady Phips had signed, entirely without authority, a warrant to release a certain woman from prison. Perhaps the names William and Mary (Phips) were 'accidentally' taken to mean the British monarchs. In any case, the prisoner was gone and nothing could be done but to discharge the jailer." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
"...Phips at some point contrived a plan to capture the Baron de St. Castine...Nelson's two French army deserters Arnaud deVignon and Francois Albert, were willing to attempt the kidnapping. For guides, Phips recruited two recently captured Acadian prisoners-of-war; Jean de. St. Aubin and his son-in-law Jaques Petipas. The two had enjoyed trading contacts with the English in the past, and their families were hostages now. Cotton Mather, present when Phips instructed these two deserters, wondered if they could be trusted to carry out a plan against their fellow French. Nevertheless, the French deserters set off with the Acadian guides and a few other men." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
"Phips's preoccupation with a renewed assault on Canada
had been evident long before his departure for Massachusetts as governor,
in his repeated proposals to the Lords of Trade in June and September
1691. However, his instructions made no reference to the matter. In October
1692 he returned to his habitual theme. To both Nottingham and Blathwayt
he urged the royal outfitting of an expedition under his command, promising
that it would have widespread support in New England. To, Blathwayt,
he also stressed the personal advantage of the plan:
The Conquest [of Canada]... will not onley be worth Millions to the Englishe Nation But from thence may arise unto your Selfe a Considerable yearly income And my Endeavours and forwardnesse to Serve you herein shall be according to the greatnesse of the Kindnesses received from you I would desire his Majesties particular instructions in that affaire for the people throughout this Goverment doe declare that if his Majestie orders mee to Command in that Expedition there shall be noe need of pressing men."
"Although no attack materialized during the summer of 1692, Frontenac for one was not reassured, citing in September an intelligence report that 'Phips still intends to turn his efforts to come and visit us again next year, which obliges me to take all the precautions I can to give him a good reception.' In fact, not quite three weeks earlier, Phips's intentions had been signalled in a raid on French shipping traffic to Canada.
The voyage of the Swan and Elizabeth and Sarah gave an early indication of the complexities of the attitude towards Canada taken by Phips as governor and of its implications for the effectiveness of his rule. Superficially, the raid was a great success. Phips boasted to London that the two vessels sent to the lower St. Lawrence had 'landed men in severall places, and burnt many of the howses, and have taken a french flyboate, in the mouth of the River, laden with Wine, brandy, and other french goods.' The French supply vessel St. Jacob had indeed been captured near Anticosti Island on 18 August 1692, and it had been declared a lawful prize by Phips, sitting as vice-admiral, in early October. The fuller reality, however, was that the expedition had begun with controversy and ended in recrimination, and had lasting results in creating animosities that damaged Phips in an imperial context over the ensuing months and years.
The controversy began soon after Phips issued a warrant for the impressment of boats, guns, and men on 21 June. Apparently, he delegated the impressment of men to Captain Richard Short, whose violent late-night efforts to find seamen - whether to impress them or to locate missing members of his own crew - led two members of the General Court to swear out complaints that they had been turned out of their beds and assaulted. Some months later, Nathaniel Byfield headed a group of Phips's political opponents who wrote to Blathwayt comtemptuously dismissing what they interpreted as Phips's efforts to put the blame for the impressments soley on Short. They also made charges relating to the commercial organization of the voyage, which they portrayed as 'a private designe' to use the power of impressment for Phips's own benefit, with none of the proceeds from the St. Jacob even being reserved for the royal tenth. Phips's version, naturally was different."
"As for Phips's personal interest in the voyage, the shipowners' testimony indicated that he had a three-eighth share of the Swan. The net proceeds were estimated with some variations but approached 9000 pounds." (The New England Knight)
"Cotton Mather denounced as 'a putrid slander' Calef's
charge that Phips halted the trials because his wife had been accused but,
significantly, he did not deny that Lady Mary had been named in the first
place. Whiting claimed that Cotton Mather's mother was accused as well. The
legal records are so incomplete that it is impossible to determine which defendant
might have been freed by Lady Phips." (In the Devil's Snare - Mary
"October 1692; "A letter to Blathwyt, says, 'I have
caused the inhabitants of Port-Royal to renew their oath of alegiance
to their Majesties, and because a French man of warr was Expected there,
I have ordered their Majesties Ship Conception thither, to secure them.'
(The New England Knight)
"In early to mid-October,
then, Sir William Phips faced a major dilemma. Hitherto a supporter of
the trials, he now found himself trapped in a heated debate involving
a leader of the Second Church on one side and the chief pastor of the
Third on the other, with the minister of Old North (Increase Mather) wedged
somewhere uncomfortably in the middle; and between the judges of his special
court, on the one hand, and their former colleague Nathaniel Saltonstall
and other distiguished present and past leaders of the colony (Simon Bradstreet,
Thomas Danforth, Robert Pike), on the other, along with the articulate
critic Thomas Brattle.
It was in exactly this context that the governor wrote the first letter to England in which he acknowledged the existence of the witchcraft crisis. On October 12, he addressed four seperate missives to colonial officials. Two described his activities at Pemaquid and advocated 'the Conquest of Canada'; a third complained that too many men among Massachusetts' leaders still clung to 'that Idoll the old Charter'; and the fourth simultaneously informed London officials of the crisis and distanced himself from it. Phips briefly described the complaints of the afflicted, explained that he had established the Court of Oyer and Terminer with his lieutenant governor as the chief judge, revealed that more than twenty people (including some confessors) had been convicted of witchcraft, and parroted the standard line that the judges 'began their proceedings with the accusations of the afflicted and then went upon other humane evidences to strengthen that.'
Next, to be blunt, he lied. 'I was almost the whole time of the proceedings abroad in the service of Their Majesties in the Eastern part of the Country,' Phips falsely claimed (as shown herein, he had in fact been in Boston during most of the court sessions), 'As soon as I came from fighting against their Majesties Enemyes and understood what danger some of their innocent subjects might be exposed to...I did before any application was made unto me about it put a stop to the proceedings of the Court.' Elsewhere in the letter, Phips more precisely described his directives, which had not in fact halted all legal activity in the witchcraft trials. He had ordered that no new arrests should be made, except in cases of 'unavoydable necessity'; and he had decided to 'shelter from any Proceedings against them' anyone about whom the 'least supspition' of innocence could by entertained. He concluded by indicating that he would await the monarchs' further orders before taking further steps.
The governor's interim solution probably satisfied no one and clearly did little to stifle the debate then rolling the colony's political and religous dice. Supporters of the trials must have decried the partial halt to the proceedings while opponents would have been upset that arrests and prosecutions would continue the many months it would take to receive definitive answers from London.
Yet even before at last writing to London, Phips had taken additional steps to resolve his dilemma by looking elsewhere in America for advice. On October 5, he dispatched a series of questions about witchcraft to the clergymen of New York, but their reply, dated October 11, would not have arrived until after he sent his letters of October 12. The eight inquiries addressed topics ranging from the general --- Are there witches? What constitutes witchcraft? --- to the specific; Can a specter represent an innocent person? Does the sighting of an apparition supply proof sufficient for conviction? Can the evidence of an apparently blameless life offset a spectral accusation? Could people tortured by the devil remain in relatively good health? In response four Dutch and French ministers from New York concurred that witches existed, that witchcraft required 'an alliance with the Devil,' and that Satan could 'assume the shape of a good man, and present this shape before the eyes of the afflicted, as the source of the afflictions which they suffer.' God could 'thrust a sinful, though faithful and pious man into such calamitous experience in order to try his piety and virtue,' and therfore emplying spectral evidence to convict anyone would be 'the greatest imprudence.' The devil might in fact be attacking the afflicted and the supposed afflicter at the same time, trying to bring the latter 'into bad repute and danger of his life.' Thus far the New Yorkers aligned themselves largely with the trials' critics. But then they gave some credence to the other side, declaring that an apparently good life could indeed conceal 'devilish practices,' and that the afflicted could have tormented for months with 'no wasting of the body and no weakening of their spirits.' Satan could even have made his victims stronger they contended....
Even though Governor Phips was not a particularly skillful politician, he must have realized that the best way to quiet the political and theological firestorm raging during the third week of October would be to dissolve the court permanently rather than merely suspend some of its proceedings, as he had done by October 12. In addition, now that prominent Bostonians were challenging the court, he and his wife were no longer vulnerable to possible accusations. Yet political and personal reasons could not by themselves provide adequate justifications for halting the trials before the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Which arguments carried the most weight with him is not wholly clear. In his reports to England, Phips stressed his growing realization that apparitions could appear in the form of innocents, despite Stoughton's insistence to the contrary. Perhaps he also concluded that spectral evidence had played a greater role in leading to convictions than the judges, or Cotton Mather, had previously admitted." (In the Devil's Snare, Mary Beth Norton)
"Thus he dispatched 'my most importunate request' for the trial records
of perhaps as many as a dozen 'principal witches' so that he could include
summaries in the book. Please, he implored the court clerk, also send a
letter in which you, 'intimate over again, what you have sometimes told me,
of the awe which is upon the hearts of your juries, with [respect] unto the
validity of the spectral evidences,' and include 'your observations about
the confessors and [torn] the credibility of what they assert.' Mather underscored
the importance of the request by pointing out that Governor Phips himself
had directed him to ask Sewall for this information. 'There are some of his
circumstances with reference to this affayr, which I need not mention, that
call for the Expediting of your Kindness,' the clergyman added cryptically.
Two days later, he followed up the letter by discussing the publication
project in person with Stoughton, Hathorne, Stephen Sewall, and the Reverend
John Higginson at the home of the court clerk's brother, Judge Sewall.
To what 'circumstances' involving the governor was Cotton Mather discreetly referring in his letter? Sir William Phips biographers point out that both the governor and his wife, Mary Spencer Phips, met some of the criteria that identified witches in 1692. Phips had consulted a fortune-teller, and had taken the resulting predictions very seriously; he was a successful treasure hunter, thus possibly implying access to occult knowledge; he and his wife both had extensive links to Maine and even to George Burroughs. One of their household servants (captured by Phips at Port Royal in 1690) was the daughter of Castine and the granddaughter of Madockawando. Moreover, Lady Mary Phips was related through her sister to a woman accused of witchcraft in the late 1650s, in an incident suffieciently well known that John Hale included it in the book on witchcraft he wrote in 1697. Two critics of the trials claimed as much as a decade later, and a pamphlet published in England in 1694 disclosed the possible precipitating factor. While Sir William was away (that is, either during the month after the first week of August, or between September 16 and 29), his wife apparently signed an order for the release of one of the accused female witches, which the jailer then obeyed. The pampheteer wrote that he mistrusted the tale until he saw the 'Discharge under the Keepers hand attested a true Copy.' For this act, an anonymous writer revealed, the jailer lost his job,' as he himself told me.'
Sir William Phips could therefore have felt compelled to support the prosecutions to the greatest extent possible in order to protect himself and his wife from possible accusations. That, indeed, is the argument advanced by Phips biographers. In the absence of definitive evidence, it is impossible to determine the governor's motivations with any certainty. But surviving documents make two things clear. First, contrary to many scholar's assumptions, Phips was well informed about the trials and firmly supported them while they lasted. He also strongly encouraged Cotton Mather to defend them in print. But second, once public opinion turned sharply against the trials --- a shift that had occured by the second week in October --- Phips quickly and successfully sought to disentangle himself from the proceedings." (In the Devil's Snare by Mary Beth Norton)
October 12, 1692; Freethought day.
October 1692; "By mid-Ocotober 1692, Phips was informing Blathwayt that he had complained about Brenton to the customs commissioners, accusing him of 'neglect of his duty and injustice to their Majesties, and abuse of their Subjects.' Brenton in turn petitioned the Privy Council against abuses of trade in New England, and this prompted an inconclusive hearing in December 1692." (The New England Knight)
October 14, 1692; "Phips signed the bill of rights and liberties into law, authorized payment to the head gunner of the Salem Fort, and assured Jahleel Brenton of cooperation in customs regulations." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
October 18, 1692; "While the Massachusetts General Court discussed debt laws, another petition from twenty-six Andover men, including Rev. Francis Dane, and Rev. Thomas Barnard (but not the fugitive Dudley Bradstreet) arrived....Phips informed the legislature that he would be absent for two or three days in the remote parts of the province. (Canadian forces were even then massing in Penobscot Bay.)" (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
October 22, 1692; "...now that Governor Phips
was back, the General Court passed an act determining how insolvent estates
were to be distributed in ways fair to both debtors and widows...the
court required that all leases, deeds, wills and contracts be in writing
and witnessed, along with any later changes or cancellations. The General
Court also passed an act for the proper keeping of the Lord's Day...attendnace
at 'orthodox' services was not required, but nothing ('works of necessity
and charity only excepted') was to interrupt the day.
Phips and his councilors also instituted a Court of Oyer and Terminer for York County, Maine, to deal with all manner of crime. They appointed former Massachusetts King's Attorney Thomas Newton as one of its judges." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
October 24, 1692; "... the governor and council met in Boston to discuss health regulations for slaughterhouses..." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
October 25, 1692; "The General Court was debating
fire and health codes when it received word of three French warships
off the coast. At once Governor Phips embargoed all unauthorized vessels.
He ordered 120 more men Eastward and sent written orders to Captains Short
and Fairfax - whose ships still guarded the unfinished fort at Pemaquid
- to stay there and to fight if necessary.
The enemy ships presumably included two men-of-war, but French plans had changed sing John Nelson overheard them. It was nearly winter, and the Sieur D'Iberville lacked a pilot familiar with local waters. He sailed close enough to see the three English men-of-war and the mast fleet off Fort William Henry (but not close enough to see that the fort was unfinished), and then retired to Mt. Desert Island." The attempt failed and the two spies were overpowered by their guides as Mather suspected, and taken to the French where they were killed. (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
October 26, 1692; "...while the legislature wrestled with the problems of uncollected taxes, with the province's growing debt, and with the Governor Benjamin Fletcher's assumption that New York owned Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The General Court received bills requesting a fast and a convocation of ministers, so that by prayer and discussion 'Satan's delusions' might be avoided, and the right to proceed with the witchcraft cases might be found. Authorizing either request would be an admission that the courts had mishandled the cases. But the bill passed 33 to 29...this seemed to mean that the Court of Oyer and Terminer was now dismissed. (But Phips still had not made his decision clear.)" (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
William Green (Yeoman) with wife Elizabeth, as Ex.
of last Will of her former husband, John Brookings (mariner) deeds to Sir
Wm. Phipps house and land called "The Salutation" being part of estate of
sd Brookings St. leading to Charlestown Ferry Place E., John Scarlet, deceased,
and Wm. Shute N., Robert Edwards W., Mary Lumsdell, deceased, now John
Windsor, Edward Creek, and Kemble, dec. S. Also land with houses before
sd house to the seaward between land of Wm. Burroughs N. and Henry Kemble
S. (SD 15:211) Salutation Alley
(Thwing database) "The Salutation Inn stood on the north-west corner of Hanover and Salutation streets. It was built by John Brooking in 1692, and sold to Sir William Phips. John Scollay kept it in 1697, who was succeeded by Samuel Green in 1731. It became famous, later, when William Campbell kept it in 1773, when it was a rallying place for the patriots who gave rise to the word "Caucus". The resolutions for the destruction of the tea in Boston harbor were drawn up there. It was also called the "Two Palaverers", from the representation upon the sign of two old gentlemen in wigs, cocked hats, and knee breeches, saluting each other with much ceremony." (The Taverns of Boston in Ye Olden Time - David M. Balfour from the Bay State Monthly, Vol. 2, Issue 2 November 1884)
October 28, 1692; "...the General Court debated inheritance
laws, appointed Anthony Checkley Attorney General, and discussed the
establishment of regular courts. The day ended with a treat: a reception
and refreshments in honor of the newly returned agents, Elisha Cooke
and Thomas Oakes....Stoughton confronted Phips and the council to ask
whether or not the Court of Oyer and Terminer would sit as scheduled on
Tuesday. As before, he received no straight answer, only an uncomfortable
silence that most took to mean the court would not sit.
No one had attacked Pemaquid, but the French ships had not yet left the region. Nevertheless, the Nonsuch and Conception also returned to Boston against Phips's orders, if not today, then soon after.
Furious at the disobedience, Phips met the two warships in the pilot boat. Captain Richard Short explained how he had waited until he was down to five days' worth of provisions before leaving. Phips thought this reason nothing more than a thin pretense, and reminded Short that he should have sent the purser for supplies. (Short's disgruntled officers would say that the captain was too often drunk to keep track of his stores.) In addition, Short had just lost the Nonsuch's bow anchor and most of its chain. He thought, however, that they all faced a greater danger of foundering when Phips insisted on telling the pilot how to do his business. Phips ordered the men-of-war back to Pemaquid directly. Convinced it was impossible to winter a ship safely in Maine's icebound waters, Short managed to dissuade the governor, and have the Nonsuch laid up for repair instead." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
October 29, 1692; "In Boston the Massachusetts General
Court passed a list of thirteen capital offenses (which would eventually
be disallowed by the privy council due to what they considered vague definitions)...'If
any man of woman be a witch,' the legislature decided, 'that is, hath
or consulteth with a familiar spirit, they shall be put to death.'..."
"The Court of Oyer and Terminer was still officially scheduled to resume the following Tuesday to try the awaiting witchcraft cases. Worried that its demise would cause further problems, James Russel who, as an assistant, had observed the April 10 examinations of Sarah Cloyse and Elizabeth Proctor, asked outright whether the court would stand or fall. It must fall, Governor Phips replied, speaking plainly at last." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 1692; "Sometime in the month of November 1692
or thereabouts Capt. Short spared sixteen men belonging to Nonsush Friggatt
unto Capt. Benjamin Emes for manning of his ship on a voyage to Saltatudos,
two of them did not return (being said to be kil'd) but the rest did,
and that when Capt. Emes paid the said men their Wages, hs stopt Twenty
shillings per month of each man, as he said for Capt. Short from the time
they were shipt with Capt. Emes, until Capt. Short was suspended, and
that said Capt. Short spared two men unto Mr. Lynde Master of another
Vessell, and one to John Halsey another Master." "Halsey was probably connected by marriage
to the governor, demonstrating another link in the Phips family web." (The
New England Knight)
"Significant elements of the winter voyage of the St. Jacob remain unclear, including the nature of Phips's interest. Whether he had a direct stake in the voyage, whether he was being paid for encouraging or manoeuvring Short into supplying seamen, or whether he was simply doing so as a way of dispensing favours to merchants whose political support he sought is not established by the evidence. Nor is the purpose of the voyage. Although the normal goal of a voyage to Tortuga Salada was to take on a cargo of salt, the St. Jacob was absent from Boston for almost five months before returning in late April 1693 with salt and braziletta wood, which was promptly unloaded with the permission of Benjamin Jackson. Since the route to Tortuga Salada passed close to the Ambrosia Bank, and bearing in mind Cotton Mather's observation that Phips had learned at some time before his death in 1695 about the location of another wreck, which he hoped eventually to salvage, it is tempting to speculate on a return to the vicinity of the wreck of the Concepcion. On this there is no direct evidence. It is noteworthy that a contemporary later recorded that Phips had offered to contribute 1,000 pounds to the fortification of New Providence Island in exchange for a grant of Hog Island just offshore from the town of Nassau, but unfortunately he did not state when Phips made this offer." (The New England Knight)
"Benjamin Jackson, attempting to portray Short as the aggressor, reported that he had heard that Short had told associates the previous evening 'that he would goe and huff the Governor next morning.' " (The New England Knight)
November 1, 1692; "In Boston, the legislature considered matters of probate, weights and measures, and punishments for various non-capital offenses...Thomas Barrett of Chelmsford petitioned Governor Phips for the release of his daughter Martha Sparks..." (charged with witchcraft). (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 2, 1692; "News of Little Compton's secession interrupted the General Court's debate on payment of schoolmasters and ministers...Little Compton's Quakerrs and Baptists did not consider a Congregational ministers pay a proper municipal expense. Three of them petitioned the Rhode Island assembly to resurvey the eastern bound to include their town. The assembly agreed, and notified Phips, who was anything but pleased. He sent Majors Hutchinson and Walley to forbid the conflicting survey, and sent the sheriff of Suffolk to arrest the ring leaders." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 3, 1692; "The legislature decided which magistrates could perform marriages and reconfirmed Andro's ruling that ministers could do so as well (they had not been allowed to in the earlier days of Puritan rule)." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 4, 1692; "...the legislature passed laws concerning the town's obligation to hire ministers and schoolmasters. Under pain of a 10 pound fine, every town of fifty or mor households was to support its own schoolmaster. Towns of one hundred or more were to employ a grammar school master as well..."(The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 5, 1692; "The General Court debated weights and measures, while the governor and council conceded that all certificates from arriving vessels be delivered to Surveyor Jahleel Brenton, who would then return them to the local naval office." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 7, 1692; "...Phips meeting with his council, lifted the two week embargo that had kept ships in port safe from the marauding French fleet." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 8, 1692; "After regulating casks of beef, pork and tar, the General Court decided to keep all earlier decisions about the militia in force, and to affirm all former judgements passed during the interim government." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 9, 1692; "..the legislature extended the governor's powers to send troops into other provinces for another six months." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 10, 1692; "Ignoring Jahleel Brenton, the General Court renewed the present excise taxes. The legislature also set licensing requirements for taverns." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 16, 1692; "The Massachusetts General Court redefined the rights and duties of town governments, preserving a yearly March town meeting, and continued to debate the court system." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)\
"Around mid-month, Rebecca Fox of Cambridge petitioned Governor Phips and Lieutenant Governor Stoughton on behalf of her daughter, Rebecca Jacobs." Imprisoned for witchcraft about 6 months. (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 18, 1692; "The governor and council dealt with 237-3-5 pounds still owed to the Salem and Marblehead gentlemen who had outfitted a ketch to guard the coast during the old government. The governor and council instructed the Salem constable to pay this debt from whatever taxes he had so far collected, but not in bills of credit." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 19, 1692; "...gave Samuel Sewall the honor
of driving a treenail into the brigantine that he was building.
And Sewall, after driving the peg, invited Phips and others home for a
glass of brandy.
Besides his public duties as governor, admiral, and commander in chief, Phips continued with his private ventures like the brigantine. It was common practice for Royal Navy captains to hire out their men to merchant vessels and privateers at twenty shillings a head, to be paid the captain from the sailor's wages. Phips, as admiral, had pressed some of Short's men to serve on his own ships for shares, thus paying the sailors but not Captain Short. Phips reputation among the men was so high that some deserted their posts to work for him.
Phips still wanted the Nonsuch and Conception back on guard at Pemaquid. Captains Short and Fairfax, convinced that it was impossible to winter there safely, thought the order due to pique. But they did persuade Phips to let the men-of-war lay up in Boston until spring by promising to man a sloop for winter supply runs to Pemaquid." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
November 26, 1692; "...Governor Phips signed a sharp letter ordering Little Compton rebels to desist." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
December 6, 1692; "Reports from Little Compton so angered the council that it recommended Sheriff Gookin be granted a military commission to subdue the rebels by arms if necessary. However, Captain Anthony Gullimore of Scituate volunteered to mediate in hopes of a peaceful settlement. The council accepted the offer, but sent eighty men to march with him." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
December 7, 1692; "The General Court decided on a salary of five shillings per day for members during sessions (instead of the original three shillings to match the fine for non-attendance)." Ballots were cast for choosing judges of the newly reorganized courts. (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
December 8, 1692; "The General Court argued over poll taxes and issued a proclamation offering indemnity to any Little Compton rebels who submitted to the justice of the peace at Bristol." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
December 9, 1692; Governor Phips and his council worried over unpaid wages owed to officers and men who had served Eastward under Andros years earlier. (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
December 12, 1692; "Still fearing French infiltration, the General Court required that the governor and council license all French (except for establishe Hugenot families) if they wished to settle on the coast or frontier, to open a shop, or to practice a trade." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
December 13, 1692; "It was indeed cold enough that the government ordered the Boston prisonkeeper to spend 16 pounds on bedding, blankets, and clothes for the poorer prisoners in his jail." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
December 14, 1692; "The Lower House passed their 'act against conjuration, witchcraft, and dealing with evil and wicked spirits,' to which the governor and council consented...Today the General Court also passed an act for the 'prevention of illegal imprisonment' by preserving the right of habeus corpus." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
December 16, 1692; "The General Court published its
acts concerning taxes, resident French inhabitants, habeus corpus, and
the penalties for different degrees of witchcraft. Then, before recessing
until February, and because of the crowded jails and numerous petitions,
the court passed a supplementary act for a special sitting of the Superior
Court at Salem on January 3. Dissolution of the Court of Oyer and
Terminer had not removed existing and new witchcraft charges. And Governor
Phips, after all of his prior hesitations, consented. But now he insisted
that the judges not accept spectral evidence.
The council met in Phips's home and decided on a 100 per annum salary for Stoughton as chief justice, and a 50 pound salary for the other supreme court justices." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
December 20, 1692; "Meeting in the Boston Town House, Governor Phips and his council appointed Jonathan Ellatson as clerk of the new Superior Court, and ordered a committee, headed by William Stoughton, to examine Andros's and Usher's past-due accounts. Phips ordered the proposed Public Fast on behalf of all the recent troubles to be held December 29. But there was no mention of the requested convocation of ministers." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
December 22, 1692; "After the Boston lecture, Governor Phips formally appointed William Stoughton as chief justice of the Supreme Court, with John Richards, Wait-Still Winthrop, Samuel Sewall, and Thomas Danforth as justices, and Jonathan Ellatson as clerk." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
Early 1693; Phips was awarded compensation in lieu of salary for his governership. A sum of 500 pounds for his service for the previous year was awarded. "Twice more in the remaining years of Phips's governership, the assembly provided him only with special allocations of 500 pounds, referring both in June and October 1694 to his 'great service' in the office but making no gesture in the direction of settled renumeration." (The New England Knight)
January 3, 1693; "Frictions continued in Boston, meanwhile, between Admiral (also Governor) Phips and Captain Richard Short. The latter had leased men to a merchant ship (in which Phips held shares) for a brief voyage. While these men were still absent, Phips ordered Short to provide more men to sail the Mary to Pemaquid, and to reserve thirty-six others for imminent province business. Short claimed that he had no sailors to spare, though he had promised such runs in return for Phips's permission to winter Short's vessel in Boston. The captain muttered his discontent all evening, and was overheard to say that 'he would go and huff the governor next morning.' " (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
January 4, 1693; "In fact it was Phips who confronted
Short at nine o'clock on Scarlet's Wharf with direct orders that the
captain still refused. Short had enough men to rent for a fee, Phips
reminded him. When he denied this charge, Phips called him a liar and
told him that he wouldn't have so many desertions if he weren't so abusive.
For all his boasts the night before, Short would later say that he had
been ill several days, and troubled in his right hand again. Phips was
the larger of the two men but both, being military gentlemen, wore swords
and carried walking sticks. Short shook his stick for emphasis as he recounted
grievances dating back to their Atlantic crossing the previous spring.
When he waved it dangerously close to Phips's nose, the governor parried
with a warning stroke that clipped the captain's hat and shoulder. Short
hit back, wielding his cane left-handed. He struck head and body blows,
but could not draw his sword before Phips compelled him to retreat step
by step and tip backward over a cannon. Phips put Gunner Thomas Dobbins
in charge of the Nonsuch and confined Short - his head still bleeding -
in prison without bail or visitors. It was the common 'nasty' jail at that,
despite Short's rank and station, in an 'open cold room in the worst of weather,'
he complained, 'among witches, villains, negroes, and murderers."
(The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
Involved in incident with Captain Richard Short of the English Navy, William became angry and struck Short with his cane, stripped him of his command, and ordered him to jail for 9 months. (Hawthorne's, Tales and Sketches: The Last American Puritan) Shortly after this incident Phips was involved with a second altercation on the Town Dock. This time with the Royal customs official Jahleel Brenton, a wealthy man of Rhode Island. Political support began to disappear. (The Last American Puritan)
January 16, 1693; "...Captain Thomas Clarke arrived from New York to deliver a demand from Governor Benjamin Fletcher to turn over Martha's Vineyard, and to extradite Abraham Gouverneur. Gouverneur had been condemned with Jacob Leisler and Jacob Milbourne in the revolt against Andros, but reprieved by the Queen's proclamation of clemency, (His wife Mary was both Leisler's daughter and Milbourne's widow.) Nevertheless, he soon had to flee to Boston with little more than the shirt on his back. Phips sympathized and in the course of their conversation either he or Gouverneur opined that Fletcher was interested only in money, for Leisler's side had done no more wrong than King William. Gouverneur repeated this remark in a letter to his parents. Fletcher intercepted it and concluded that Phips was inciting New York's malcontents. Once in Boston, Clarke met with Lieutenant Governor John Usher of New Hampshire and with Joseph Dudley, who, as former chief justice of New York, had helped condemn Leisler and Gouveneur. Neither Usher nor Dudley was friendly with Phips, but they arranged an interview with him for the following morning." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
January 17, 1693; "Phips received Captain Clarke
at nine o'clock in the presence of John Usher, Rev. Joshua Moody, and
Phips's clerk, Benjamin Jackson. King William had recently transferred
command of Connecticut's militia from Phips to the governor of New York
for geographic reasons, but neglected to tell Phips. The extradition demand
and the troop takeover seemed all one with Fletcher's claim to Martha's
Vineyard (which he called 'Martin's' Vineyard). The island had been
absorbed by New York a decade earlier, but was again a part of Massachusetts
under the new charter. Nevertheless, in the instructions read by Clarke,
Fletcher informed Phips that he would assume its government in the spring.
And if the fugitive Gouverneur had misquoted Phips, Fletcher wrote, then of course Phips would wish to apprehend him. But if Phips had said such things, then 'you have forgot your duty to the King and your manners to gentlemen.' Phips said that he would consider Fletcher's requests. But the messenger's repeated demands sounded like flaming insolence, and Clarke had to remind him the words were Fletcher's. In that case, said Phips, the threats against Martha's Vineyard seemed like a direct challenge. If Fletcher came to the Vineyard, Phips would defend it." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
January 19, 1693; "After Governor Phips and the council heard the Queen's ten-month-old letter (which had arrived by way of East Jersey) requiring that the province establish a proper post office, Phips had Captain Thomas Clarke brought in. The governor ordered him to repeat Fletcher's message to those present, but Clarke refused, claiming his instructions were private. Phips lost his temper, threatened the messenger with jail, and called him an 'impudent, saucy, pitiful jackanapes.' As an example of Clarke's disrespect, Phips flourished a political paper that called the Massachusetts governor a cowardly fool who deserved hanging. Unhesitatingly, Clarke named the piece's real author, but stuck to his refusal. Phips was only provoked further when William Stoughton, acting the contained, educated gentleman, took the messenger's part. Clarke found himself waiting in the hall outside the council chamber in the marshall's custody for half an hour while Phips and Stoughton continued their disagreement before releasing him." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
January 21, 1693; "Captain Fairfax and other friends of imprisoned Captain Short tried to get bail set for him, while Phips growled that Short was lucky not to be in irons. His supporters nearly obtained a writ of habeus corpus from a 'judge' (under the circumstances Stoughton would have been a likely choice). But Phips transferred Short abruptly from the common jail to the more comfortable prisonkeeper's house and then removed him to the Castle in Boston Harbor." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
January 26, 1693; "The King and his privy council considered Governor Phips's letter of October 12 requesting royal advice on the witchcraft cases. They approved Phips's 'stopping the proceedings against the witches in New England.' They ordered that 'in all future proceedings against persons accused of witchcraft or of possession by the devil (thus lumping accused and afflicted together), all circumspection be used so far as may be without impediment to the ordinary course of justice.' The King and council directed the Earl of Nottingham to compose the reply for one of the monarchs to sign." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
January 27, 1693; "Furious at Governor Fletcher's angry demands, Governor Phips fired an answer back to New York. He refused to extradite a pardoned man. 'Your absurd abusive letter demonstrates that if I have forgotten my manners to gentlemen,' wrote the self-man, 'I have forgotten what you never had.' Fletcher would do better to attack their common enemy of Canada, he added, than to invade Martha's Vineyard." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
January 30, 1693; "The governor and council worried over the committee's report on Lieutenant Governor John Usher's accounts, and proposed a Thanksgiving for February 23 to observe various 'public mercies' at home and in England." "...Phips pondered in Boston the matter of the upcoming executions, unable to ignore the attorney general's report on accepted evidence." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
January 31, 1693; "Little had gone right lately for
Phips, who was thoroughly tired of being opposed and patronized. After
brooding on the situation, the governor decided to reassert himself by
reprieving the condemned - at least until he heard from London as
he had originally planned. Phips countermanded Stoughton's execution warrant
(without telling the chief justice) and sent the reprieve to Salem."
(The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
February 1, 1693; "If the weather were as dry
and windy as predicted, the estuary was choppy while the crowds crossed
on the ferry from Boston to Charlestown. Court no sooner began when news
arrived of Governor Phips's reprieves. Chief Justice William Stoughton was
as furious as he was astonished.
'We were in a way to have cleared the land of these!' he exclaimed. 'Who it is obstructs the cause of Justice I know not, but thereby the Kingdom of Satan is advanced. The Lord have mercy on this country.' Then he stormed from the court and refused to have any more to do with the session. (Whatever he said to Phips was not recorded, but the latter would refer to Stoughton as 'enraged and filled with passionate anger.')" (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
February 2, 1693; "Court may have recessed for
a day, so the justices could serve as councilors in Boston, for at a meeting
of the council, Governor Phips approved the order for a Public Fast later
in the month. It would offer thanks for (among other things) the recent
'restraint of enemies, with the check given to the formidable assaults of
witchcrafts.'" (The Salem Witch Trials
- Marilynne K. Roach)
February 8, 1693;
"Governor Phips opened the General Court's new sitting at two o'clock,
and the legislature again faced the pressing need for money to pay the
soldiers." (The Salem Witch Trials
- Marilynne K. Roach)
February 15, 1693; "...wrote at length to the
Earl of Nottingham about his troubles with Captain Short from the trip
over to the January fight. Phips likely included in the package other letters
from Gunner Thomas Dobbins and from the Nonesuch's purser Matthew Cary,
who described Short's cruelties." (The
Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
February 16, 1693; "The governor and council,
faced with the 'extraordinary charges' left by the Court of Oyer and Terminer,
authorized 40 pound partial payment to Salem tavernkeeper Mrs. Mary Gedney
for providing refreshments to jurors and witnesses. The court also revised
its letter to the queen, since the ship carrying it was still in port.
After thanking the monarchs for the two frigates with the customary effusions,
the General Court emphasized the war's great losses and costs, which would
not improve as long as the French were active. The court hoped, that the
province's inhabitants would not have to pay for Fort William Henry and its
garrison, as the place was too remote to be useful. (This hope proved vain,
however.)" (The Salem Witch Trials -
Marilynne K. Roach)
February 18, 1693; "And the council met with
the governor to consider a list of expenses submitted by the Wells garrison.
They ordered partial payment, and reiterated the five shillings per diem
wage to representatives while on duty." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
February 20, 1693; "...the council met with the
governor to finish the correspondence for London." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
February 21, 1693; Letter addressed to English crown states his position in relation to the witchcraft trials. "As long as the ship Walter and Thomas was available to carry mail, Governor Phips wrote some thoughts of his own to the Earl of Nottingham. The governor was emboldened, perhaps, by Stoughton's absence from the council meeting while the latter recovered from a fall." "About six o'clock in the evening, a meteor blazed over Boston west to southeast and shot off seven or eight fire balls during the two minutes that it was visible." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
February 24, 1693; "The governor and council
faced a 2,400 pound debt (plus 7 percent annual interest) borrowed from four
of the councilors to pay other debts in England and to feed the soldiers
Eastward. They definitely needed the soldiers, for news arrived from New
York of a French and Indian force attacking their Mohawk allies." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
February 27, 1693; "Governor Phips relaxed the
ban on visitors to Captain Short at the Castle. Accordingly, the
cook from the Nonsuch conferred with his former officer on how to get Short's
supporters to England with him to confirm his version of the events." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 1, 1693; "Captain Richard Short (and the
government mail) was officially entrusted to Jeremiah Tay, commander of
the merchant ship Walter and Thomas. Governor Phips ordered that Short be
taken directly to the Earl of Nottingham, and warned Tay not to take aboard
any men from the Nonsuch. Phips also sent Matthew Cary, the Nonsuch's purser,
to arrest several deserters then heading north to New Hampshire with horses
and money provided by one of the ship owners (Nathaniel Byfield, one of
Phips's political foes) and discharge papers dated January 3, the day before
Short's arrest. Phips, however, was certain that Short had written them
well after his suspension." (The Salem
Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 2, 1693; "And Philip English presented
(or sent) a petition to Governor Phips demanding back all his goods "illegally"
seized the August before by Sheriff George Corwin." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 3, 1693; "The Upper House labored over tax
assessments, and swore in members of the lower court for Suffolk County: John
Foster, Peter Sergeant, and Isaac Addington." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 4, 1693; "The Upper House met at nine o'clock
to suggest paying the governor 500 pounds for his work on behalf of the Province,
since the charter neglected to mention a salary for that office. Then, in
its role as governor's council, the members selected a committee to peruse
the war committee's accounts." (The
Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 6, 1693; "Eastward. After three days
of trying to evade the Nonsuch's sloop, the Walter and Thomas paused at Gloucester,
while Captain Short sent a messenger overland to retrieve his men from New
Hampshire. (They would refuse, however, to leave the safety of Usher's jurisdiction.)
Partly due to Captain Short, Governor Phips was absent from the council meeting, which was still embroiled in the question of tax assessments.
Phips was in Boston, however, where he interviewed Essex sheriff George Corwin, who delivered the inventory of goods confiscated from Philip English. Although (as English himself would say) much of it had been 'used to subsist the numerous company of prisoners,' Corwin promised to return everything." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 7, 1693; "Governor Phips and the Upper House considered
tax assessments, and ordered a vessel outfitted to guard Martha's Vineyard.
He was no doubt pleased that the legislature agreed to grant him 500 pounds
to cover his expenses and service since his arrival." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 9, 1693; "The Upper House, still busy with the
tax committee, voted down a bill to divide Essex County." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 10, 1693; "Piscataqua. Phips's men, meantime,
arrested Captain Short's messenger on his return to Gloucester, but the Walter
and Thomas escaped to sea and tacked toward Piscataqua. Informed of this
development, Phips sent purser Cary to follow in his sloop and remind Tay
not to allow the deserters to board. (But Usher's men would arrest Cary as
soon as he landed.)" (The Salem Witch
Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 13, 1693; "...Governor Phips, at Mercy's
(Lewis) request (and perhaps as a distraction to his troubles with
Captain Short) visited the girl with Cotton Mather. She confided to them that
she knew where the specters had recently lost the second of their three volumes:
'in the cockloft of a garret belonging to the house of a person of quality.'
Neither Phips nor Mather thought that the book had a tangible reality, and both knew that devils were liars. But after a few days, 'upon mature consideration' (or because they could not stand the suspense), they found an excuse to send 'a discreet servant' after the 'book'. The man no sooner climbed into the attic than a great black cat rushed over him and away, scaring him out of the attic for good. That household, furthermore, did not own a black cat or know anything about one." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 14, 1693; "The governor and council met
during the afternoon to authorize military aid to Connecticut and to urge
the representatives to finish the tax assessment lists. Phips also wrote
(for a second time) to Lieutenant Governor John Usher of New Hampshire asking
for the Nonsuch deserters back, and criticizing Usher's lax sense of duty
in taking them from the officer whom Phips had sent to retrieve them."
(The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 20, 1693; "Phips at last received news from the
King that a British war fleet would arrive at Boston in late May or early
June en route to attacking Canada. Today he acknowledged the order and promised
to have reinforcements and supplies ready for this long-awaited expedition."
(The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K.
March 23, 1693; "The governor and council discussed
the establishment of a post office, as the queen had ordered, and assigned
29 pounds to Benjamin Harris for printing the province's new laws." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 28, 1693; "Piscataqua. Governor Phips, meanwhile, was in Piscataqua to retrieve Captain Short and the government mail. He sailed into the river about six in the evening under his Vice Admiral flag -- just in time to see the Walter and Thomas flee back upstream. He found the vessel anchored in the harbor at Great Island but occupied by only a few sailors who claimed that they could not take his orders." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
March 29, 1693; "Great Island, New Hampshire. After
a night ashore, Governor Phips found Captain Tay but not Short or the deserters.
He took back his warrant entrusting Short to Tay, and ripped his seal and
signature off to void it. Then, when Tay seemed likely to use the torn document
as an example of unjust proceedings, Phips wrested that from him and demanded
Short and his trunks. Tay claimed that the governor had no authority in New
Hampshire--a view that Phips as 'Admiral of New England' did not share. By
noon, Phips had a blacksmith remove the hardware from the door of the Walter
and Thomas's great cabin, extracted Short's trunks and sent them to Boston
on the Nonsuch's sloop. Short, the trunks, and the mail were still intended
for England on another ship. However, Phips could not find Short or the
deserters, and could not get a local warrant for their arrest. Instead, the
gates of the fort were shut in his face and a file of musketeers sent to
keep him out. " (The Salem Witch Trials
- Marilynne K. Roach)
April 1693; "The evidence suggests that Phips now sought alternative ways of combining private and public affairs. In April 1693 he announced to the Admiralty the building of a 'yacht' of eighteen guns and asked 'that this Vessell may bee in their Majesties pay, as a sixth rate, onely Six months in the year, which will bee in the Summer time, and that I may imploy her in the winter otherwise.' The results of this initiative are unclear; Phips's request was put to the consideration of the Admiralty commissioners in June, and the yacht (having been sold for 1,800 pounds) duly appeared in the inventory of his estate some years later, but there is no evidence of it being used for public purposes." (The New England Knight)
April 26, 1693; "Governor Phips wrote to Sheriff George
Corwin a second time, sharply repeating his order to return all of Philip
English's possessions. (As much of English's confiscated wealth had gone
to feed the prisoners in 1692, the matter would drag through the courts for
years. ) " (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne
May 1693 freed 150 "witches". (168 according to Witches and Wizards) 200 more had been accused but escaped imprisonment. The 8 who had been repreived were pardoned by Phips and paid 30 shillings to the Kings attorney. "For spell and charm have power no more, The specters ceased to roam, and scattered households knelt again around the hearths of home. The smith filed off the chains he forged, the jail - bolts backward fell; and youth and hoary age came forth like souls escaped from hell." John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 - 1892) (The Devil Discovered by Enders A. Robinson) See links page for links to 'witch' web sites.
May 29, 1693; "Although Brenton's allegation
of the manipulation of witnesses and unfair questioning cannot entirely be
set aside, the balance
of the evidence against his version of the events on 29 May 1693 was clear and conspicuous. For Phips to launch a physical attack against Brenton would have been a remarkable anomaly in a person who rarely resorted to violence, and then only when there was a well-defined immediate goal. No such purpose suggests itself in the case of Brenton, and a number of witnesses quoted Phips - with minor variations - as saying repeatedly in the course of the exchange that 'he did not, nor would he ever hinder him [Brenton] in the Execution of his Office, but assist him all he could, but yet would not suffer such illegal actions.' " (The New England Knight)
1693; English fleet arrived in Boston bringing
an army intending to overtake Canada. A malignant disease more
fatal than small pox broke out among the soldiers and sailors destroying
the greater part of them. The infection spread to Boston and created
havoc. Sir William Phips and Commander Sir Frances Wheeler of the
British forces were forced to give up all thoughts of attacking Canada.
(Grandfather's Chair by Nathaniel Hawthorne)
June 12, 1693; "By 12 June 1693, the ships were beginning to straggle into Boston harbour...Ten days later, Sewall noted that Wheeler and his commanders were 'Treated' at Cambridge by Phips and Increase Mather." (The New England Knight)
June 23, 1693; "Governor Phips and President Increase
Mather hosted Sir Francis Wheeler and his frigate captains at a 'treat' at
Harvard. The sailors and soldiers of the fleet, unlike the officers, were
still under orders to remain on board." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
June 28, 1693; Francis Whitmore (farmer) deeds to William Phipps land, at North End, near Charlestown Ferry; St. leading to Charlestown Ferry N.W., Samuel Sewall S.W., William Phipps N.W. and S.E. (SD 16:242). Commercial St. near the Ferry. (Thwing database)
July 7, 1693; Phips announced to the Council that the
Wabanaki wanted to discuss peace. A cease fire was signed two weeks later
and was reported to the Council on July 25. (The New England Knight)
"The legislature considered a petition addressed to Governor Phips and the General Court by the dissatisfied brethren of Salem Village and their supporters. Due to some 'very uncomfortable differences...chiefly relating to our present minister...whereby the name of God, the good of the church, and the peace of their majesties' good subjects is not a little disadvantaged,' and because they despaired of obtaining satisfaction locally, the petitioners asked that the General Court, 'out of compassion unto this distressed plantation,' appoint a committee 'of prudent and impartial persons' to advise them, so 'that peace and truth (which are now so much wanting) may prevail among us.' Fifty men's names followed, all written in the same hand as the rest of the document...
The legislature named a committee of four laymen and three ministers (Reverends Samuel Willard, Samuel Phillips, and Samuel Torrey) to investigate and to advise on the matter." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
July 13, 1693; "The council received a dispatch
advising them of a French incursion at Sandwich on Cape Cod. Despite the
fleet, a French privateer from Martinique had landed 130 men. Fortunately,
the local militia captured them all, and the Nonsuch took the ship after a
day's chase. Later Jean Reux, who had escaped Boston prison the previous summer,
cruised the coast as a privateer prior to his recapture in New York." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
July 14, 1693; "Governor Phips, meanwhile, was
preoccupied with Admiral Francis Wheeler and the Royal Customs Collectors.
Jahleel Brenton chafed at having to sue tax evaders as if he were a private
party, but everyone else (including the rapacious Randolph) thought he overcharged
the people and underpaid the king. The problem boiled over in July,
when Brenton confiscated a cargo belonging to a friend of Phips. The ensuing
discussion outside the locked warehouse ended when Phips cuffed Brenton about
the wharf, while a delighted crowd shouted encouragement." (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
July 17, 1693; "Notwithstanding the yellow fever,
Admiral Wheeler still expected Governor Phips to accompany him against Placentia,
Newfoundland, with a thousand men and a dozen ships. Phips, whose earlier
Quebec expedition had been blighted by smallpox and late starts, claimed
that he could not march the militia out of the province without the consent
of the legislature, which had just dismissed. He wasn't able to prepare for
such an expedition because the orders had come too late.
Wheeler didn't believe him for a minute, but with only 1,400 men remaining from his original 4,500, he could not attempt to attack Canada alone.
Although Phips had written to the lords of the treasury the previous March about joining the British expedition, he may have only just received the actual orders. The monarchs' long-delayed letter concerning the witch trials arrived today. Phips took its vague caution as royal approval for what he had already done: repreiving the condemned. He could not legally expunge the sentences (only the Crown could do that) so he let the reprieves stand indefinitely. 'Next to divine Providence,' Phips wrote to England, 'it is the stop to these proceedings which has averted the ruin of this province.'" (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
August 1, 1693; During the summer of 1693, a
group of 10-13 chiefs, led by Madockawando, began to discuss the possibility
of peace. The failures at Wells and Pemaquid exposed the ineffectiveness
of the French military alliance. The cost of the war and lack of
French support crippled the Abenaki economy. Participating in continual
war-parties interrupted traditional patterns of food gathering and fur production.
Late in July, Madockawando and others approached the commander at Fort William Henry. They expressed "their desires to be at peace with the English." and to reopen their trade with the English, Boston being their nearest and best market. The chiefs hoped that with improved relations they would be able to recover kinsmen captured by the English since the outbreak of King William's War. The two parties entered into council and by August 11th, reached an agreement. As proof of their fidelity, the sagamores gave four of their number into Governor Phips' custody to be held as hostages. (The New England Knight)
August 2, 1693; "Captain Richard Short, who had joined
Admiral Wheeler's fleet at New York, had sent word to Governor Phips that
he wanted his trunks back. But Short refused to put the request in writing
(to prove his identity), as Phips demanded, much less venture ashore. So
the trunks remained in storage. When Sir Francis's diminished fleet limped
home today, Captain Short sailed with them, leaving his luggage behind in
With a heat wave worsening, the fleet-fever still raging among his own people, and Indian raids continuing on New England's frontier, Phips was now confronted by a messenger from the governor of New York demanding troops to help defend Albany.
'This put him into a ferment,' the messenger wrote back to Governor Fletcher, while he waited for Phips to cool. 'I found his reason drowned in passion and the storm increasing.'
'Sir,' a councilor explained later, 'you must pardon him his dog days. He cannot help it.' Although some of the better sort tolerate Phips for the sake of peace, the messenger wrote to Governor Fletcher, the rest ridicule him. His only friends are from the 'mob,' where 'noise and strut pass for wit and prowess.'" (The Salem Witch Trials - Marilynne K. Roach)
August 10, 1693; He is in Pemaquid negotiating peace
agreements with the Wabanaki and a treaty was signed. (The New England
Abenakis signed a treaty with the English which was kept out of respect to Sir William until after his death.
September 1693; Phips's letter to the earl of Nottingham
says "his successful military tactics and the building of Fort William
Phips, had so discouraged the Wabanaki,'that in despair...they have laid downe their arms, and their Sagamores or Princes have desired an everlasting peace, and Cast themselves upon their Majesties Grace'."
A letter to Blahwayt says " 'This peace', he suggested, ' hath put into our hands an oppertunity of doeing something that may be of considerable advantage to both of us if you are pleased to accept it..It is concerning the Beaver and Peltry Trade with those Indians which I know will bee worth two thousand pounds per annum if not much more all Charges Deducted.' Suggesting that they each make an initial investment of 500 pounds, Phips requested Blathwyt to 'procure for mee their Majesties Letters Pattents for that Trade.' "
"Just over three weeks later, Phips again wrote to Blathwayt, this time enclosing a petition for presentation to the crown at Blathwayt's
discretion, Whether this petition was ever presented is not known, but it certainly offered a clear statement of Phips's commercial ambitions. Requesting a monopoly of the fur trade 'from Saco Eastward to the utmost Bounds of [Massachusetts], Phips cited his 'personal acquaintaince with the Chiefe Sagamores of those Indians, ' his loss of personal property in the region because of the Wabanaki-English hostilities, and his 'very considerable Charge for the Management of the Cannada and Port Royal Expeditions.' " 9The New England Knight)
Edward Randolph, Royal Surveyor of Customs, struggled to enforce the Navigation Acts and complained in one of his reports to England that Governor Phips of Massachusetts had threatened to drub him as a public nuisance because by doing his duty, Randolph was interfering with private trade. He also reported Governor Caleb Carr of Rhode Island, an illiterate who had turned R.I. into a free port for pirates.
December 18, 1693; composed new will leaving all to Mary Phips, his wife, and then Spencer
Bennett Phips should she die without a will. John Phips his adopted
son/nephew was left 100 lbs should Mary see fit. She named as executrix
and a letter of administration was granted June 13, 1695. (Phipps - Wheeler
Genealogy by Erma Phipps Morrill: Morse's, History of Sherborn:
Suffolk Co. Probate Records: Maine and New Hampshire Genealogical Dictionary)
The first known case of adoption in colonial Massachusettes occurred in 1693, when
Governor Sir William Phips mentioned his adopted son in his will. The adopted son was
Phip's nephew who legally changed his name in 1716.
There appears to be no truth to the 'legend' that Sir William adopted his brother John's son, John Phips, Jr., although a few well known biographies perpetuate the story. There is NO documented proof of it.
December 1693; Phips took a dangerous winter voyage to Pemaquid to meet with the Wabanaki representatives and reported to the earl of Nottingham that the peace was holding. (The New England Knight)
1694; As had been the similar fate of past Governors of the colony, he was recalled as Governor. The charges were "indecent or boisterous behavior", (Savage's Genealogical Dictionary) and "Charges of misgovernment." (Phipps Quarterly July - September 1983) He set sail the night of November 17, 1694. Upon reaching London he was arrested by Joseph Dudley, who desired to supplant him as Governor, and William Breton, the customs collector with whom he had quarrelled. Bail was set at 20,000 lbs. and was paid by Sir Henry Ashurst (the agent to Massachusetts in London). (Connecticut Colonial Documents: The Devil Discovered by Enders A. Robinson) William's cousin Constantine Phips, a Barrister, also tried to help him.
January 1694; In a letter to the earl of Nottingham, Phips informed him that small pox had hit Quebec and this might be a time for another assault. (The New England Knight)
May 1694; At Pemaquid Phips purchased "a large tract
of land from Madockawando, the leading sachem of the Penobscot Wabanaki.
It consisted principally of the St. George River Valley, a tract of thousands
of acres, and the deed was witnessed on 5 May by Egeremet and by Madockawando's
cousin, Wenemoet. The following day, in a virtually identical deed, Silvanus
Davis brought a nearby tract from both Madockawando and Egeremet.
The two deeds together represent an anomaly in the overall pattern of seventeenth-century
land transactions between the Wabanaki and the English in that the overwhelming
majority of the transactions occurred from the late 1640s to the outbreak
of King Philip's War. Only a very small number of deeds were recorded
in the 1680s and 1690s, a time of increasing conflict between the two groups.
The Phips and Davis transactions clearly formed part of a meeting that
reaffirmed the treaty of 1693. The Wabanaki leaders had been entertained
by Phips on board the Conception Prize, anchored in the harbor at Pemaquid,
in circumstances that were recorded by the French officer Villieu after
a conversation with a Wabanaki eyewitness. As Villieu reported it:
The Governor had invited the chiefs into his cabin with his officers and his interpreter, and two hours later the two Indians had come out, and going to the side of the vessel, had thrown their hatchets into the sea, in order, they said, to make it impossible for them or their descendants to recover them again. Afterwards, the Governor gave them his hand in token of friendship, and they drank one another's health, and went into the saloon where they had supper..."
"There was a complication though, in the fact that the land had another claimant to ownership aside from the Wabanaki. A patent of 1630 was still held by the Leverett family, one of the most influential in Massachusetts. Many years later, Phips's adopted son Spencer reached an agreement with the Leverett heirs to exchange the Madockawando deed for a 10 per cent share of the original patent." (The New England Knight)
June 1694; "Phips's relations with New York, meanwhile, took a more constructive turn after he wrote to Fletcher in late June 1694 to propose that they collaborate in their efforts to preserve the English-Houdenasaunee friendship." (The New England Knight)
July 4, 1694; "On 4 July 1694, Sir William Phips received
official notice of his recall to England to face the charges of his critics
in a hearing before the Privy Council. As well as the grievances of Richard
Short, there were two other areas of complaint. One concerned abuses
of admiralty jurisdiction, especially in connection with Phips's condemnation
of the prize vessels Catherine and St. Jacob in 1692. The other, which
proved to be crucial in the process leading to Phips's recall, consisted
of accusations by the customs collector Jahleel Brenton regarding Phips's
personal conduct and his alleged violations of the Navigation Acts."
"The letter about the St. Jacob alleged that Phips had made appointments of admiralty court officers that were beyond his powers. Certainly, his clerk of admiralty was his personal secretary Benjamin Jackson; and the two assistants at the vice-admiralty court that deliberated on the Catharine were political friends of both Phips and Increase Mather: John Richards and John Foster."
"Another repeated allegation of Phips's critics was that he had received cash generated by piracy. This suggestion did not reach the Lords of Trade in specific terms until September 1694, and even then it was contained only in an anonymous set of 'Sir William Phips Accounts', but there had long been general allegations regarding Massachusetts connections with piracy which were often linked with the name of Samuel Shrimpton. Earlier in 1694, Joseph Dudley had passed on to the Lords of Trade a letter from Nathaniel Byfield that went to the brink of accusation in noting the presence in Boston of a crew headed by a Captain Tew, 'who have brott in vast quantitys of Gold and Silver which they have gott in all Likelyehood very wickedly'. Since Phips was absent at Pemaquid, Stoughton issued a warrant against them, only to see
his action reversed when Phips returned...." "Phips did take depositions from members of the crew of Tew's sloop Amity, who supplied narratives of a privateering commission from Bermuda and a cruise off the African coast that yielded a treasure-carrying prize which might - or might not - have been French. Phips's actions are not clear from the surviving evidence, but the 'Accounts' attributed to him included both 500 pounds in 'Arabian Gold' received from pirates in 1692-3 and 1,000 pounds in 'Arabian Gold in the year 1694 received of pirates he giving them liberty to come to Boston from Roade Island.' For good measure, they also listed an amount of 900 pounds in connection with the Trempeuse, a French privateer taken by the Nonsuch in July 1693, and 1,000 pounds in the general category of 'setting as judge in Admiralty withoutt Commission and putting money into his pockett.' "
"Side-stepping the instruction to embark immediately, he promised only to depart when the evidence was collected, and he further excused himself by saying that he had to go to Pemaquid." (The New England Knight)
"Increase Mather waited barely twenty-four hours before writing to Blathwayt in what was inevitably a futile effort to enlist the secretary's support for Phips's continuation in office. 'I am sure', wrote Mather, 'that hee is Zelous in promoting their Majesties Interest, and that hee is beloved by the generality of people throughout the province: And that hee has a great Veneration for your selfe in particular; and you will find him ready to comply with your Directions on all occasions.' " William Stoughton's opinion was expressed thus; 'His fidelity to their Majesties, and good intentions in the main, cannot by any one bee questioned. It hath been his misfortune to doe too many things upon his own single opinion, or with adherence to the advises of others, more than to those of their Majesties Councill, often much dissatisfyed thereby. His personall prejudices also and compliances with prejudiced persons, have run upon putting too great disrespects, upon some worthy men, that might have been otherwise serviceable." (The New England Knight)
"While the minuet of references, investigations, and recommendations proceeded, the more robust dance of lobbying and jostling for position was beginning to take its more private course. Phips had taken the precaution of sending Benjamin Jackson to London as his personal agent, and Sir Henry Ashurst continued to act as agent of the colony. Ashurst was joined now and for some years to come by Constantine Phips. A London attorney of growing reputation and a prominent Tory, Constantine was Sir William Phips's second cousin and had apparently been appointed colonial agent at the governor's behest." (The New England Knight)
"Stoughton presented the royal order to the concil on 5 July, and 17 July was set as the first day for evidence to be heard. Brenton appeared in
person to submit affidavits in support of his complaints, and Phips also was there. Both were given the power to summon any witnesses they wished to have heard. There was a break in the hearings when Phips went to Pemaquid following the raid on Oyster River, but they were resumed on 14 August and continued, approximately at weekly intervals, until 17 September. There was then a month-long-hiatus. The next session was held on 17 October, attended by Byfield as 'attourney to Mr. Brenton,' and there was another three days later, at the process was 'shut up'. Benjamin Jackson apparently caused some consternation on 15 November when he announced his intention to submit additional statements. Sewall described a hasty council meeting at Phips's house, a delay in order to allow Byfield to comment, and a decision after
'much debate at the Townhouse' to allow Jackson to proceed."
"On the admiralty questions, Phips's defences had always been thin, and they remained so. Depositions established clearly that he had profited from the capture of the St. Jacob, that the waiver of the royal share had been promised by him in advance, that men and munitions had been impressed, and that there had been irregularities in the admiralty court." (The New England Knight)
Elizabeth Howe was b. 7/11/1675 in the eastern part of Marlborough, on the Boston Post Rd., between the village and "Wayside Inn" (immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), which was built by her cousin, David Howe. The story of her capture by the Indians can be found in Historical Reminiscences of Marlborough. On July 18, 1692, as a young girl visiting her sister, the wife of Peter Joslin of Lancaster, MA, the Joslin home was attacked by Indians. Upon his return from the field, Peter found his wife, three children and the widow Whitcomb "barbarously butchered by their hatchets, and weltering in their gore". A contemporary chronicler wrote of Peter; "Thus was he stript naked and called to bitter weeping and lamentation." Elizabeth was taken captive into Canada. A few years later she was redeemed by the Government. After her redemption, Elizabeth returned by way of the Saco River and was brought to Boston, where she told Royal Governor Phips "that if she had been a beaver skin she would have been redeemed much earlier"!
September 18, 1694; "Phips's opinion of what had taken place is nowhere recorded, though in a letter of 18 September to Secretary of State Sir John Trenchard he did refer to 'the Depositions referring to matters between me and my Calumnious Adversaries' and to 'the Accusations of my Enemies, whose notorious malice is already become the Discourse and Wonder of the Countrey where I have had the Honour to be usefull unto their Majesties Interests.' " (The New England Knight)
November 1, 1694; On 1 November his client Thomas Dobbins
was arrested on a suit bought by Captain Jeremiah Tay for unlawful confinement
and ill-treatment during Tay's week-long captivity aboard the Nonsuch
in March 1693. When Dobbins was committed to prison he refused to supply
bail, but as Samuel Sewall recorded, 'Sir William Phips rescued him, and
told the Sheriff He would send him, the Sheriff, to prison, if he touch'd
him, which occasioned very warm discourse between Him and the Lieutenant-Governor.'
More was to come the following week when Dobbins was summoned to court, again refused to give bail, and 'Between Sheriff and Keeper is [was] carried to Goal, which makes great Wrath.' This time there was no rescue. The hearing was inconclusive, but Phips's name was prominent in the proceedings, since Dobbins defended himself by citing the governor's warrant for Tay to be detained.
Phips made his feelings plain two days later by boycotting a farewell dinner given in his honor by Stoughton and the council. Both of the Mathers and John Foster also stayed away." (The New England Knight)
November 17, 1694; "Phips was accompanied to the wharf by Stoughton and all the council members who were in town, as well as by a group which Sewall described as including 'Mr. Cotton Mather, Captains of Frigatts, Justices and many other Gentlemen.' " (The New England Knight)
Mary Phips to Stephen Mumford & Robert Ayares.
"Dame Mary phips wife and Attorney of Sr. William phips have received of the Morgagers Stephen mumford And Robert Ayares One hundred And fifty pounds Currant mony of New England to the use of my husband which with former payments dos Compleatt the sume of three hundred pounds doe release unto Stephen Mumford & Robert Ayres the farme & Lands Thirtyeth day of November 1694" Wit. Mary Phips John White The Lady Mary Phips Tho: Hutchinson Acknowledged John Forster Above hath Reference to A deed of Mortgage in this book in the 357:358-359 & 360 pages
Decemer 7, 1694; "On 7 December 1694 a vessel arrived at Cowes carrying news that Sir William Phips was preparing to sail from Boston. Phips reached London on 1 January 1695, whereupon he was immediately arrested in connection with a 20,000 pound legal action brought against him by Joseph Dudley and another individual. Although details of the affair have not survived, Sir Henry Ashurst attributed it to Dudley's efforts to be named as Phips's successor..." Ashurst bailed Phips out. (The New England Knight)
"Matters now appeared to improve for Phips. he quickly petitioned the crown for an early hearing at which he could answer 'the Imputation of such great Crimes as are falsely Laid to his...Charge.' The petition was referred from the Privy Council to the Lords of Trade, who in late January had formally received the evidence collected in Boston and now agreed, on 13 February, to set a date 'as soon as Mr. Brent [sic] and Captain Short the Complainants are ready.' " (The New England Knight)
Februuary 12, 1695; "Phips certainly paid close attention to the proceedings of the Lords of Trade. Fitz-John Winthrop, who was in London as agent for Connecticut, wrote of attending with him 'the Councill Chamber at White Hall' on 12 February. By then Phips had a heavy cold. According to Winthrop, it was 'the usual distemper to strangers, which hung about him very much, but kept him not within.' Returning to his lodgings on the evening of the twelfth, Phips took a turn for the worse. Although he was bled, this failed to produce any lasting relief from what was probably a severe attack of influenza, and his fever increased on the sixteenth. On the next day, a Sunday afternoon, Winthrop went to see him and 'found him extreme ill, scarce able to breath; and soe continued all night, and about nine of the clock in the morning departed very easely.' "
February 18, 1694-95; After being "seized with a fever"
and cutting short his case before it could be heard properly at Whitehall,
he died in London awaiting an audience. His wife erected a monument at the east end of St. Mary Woolnoth Church
in Bristol, England, near the northeast angle. Buried: February 21,
1694/95, under the organ vault of St. Mary of Woolnoth Church, Bristol,
England73 "petition to
decree a licence or faculty to authorize the removal of the human remains from the Vaults underneath the Church of St. Mary Woolnoth and St. Mary Woolchurch". Point 2 of the petition read: "Dr Sedgivick Sanndan, medical Officer of the Health for the City of London reported that the effluvia of the remains in former times buried in the vaults underneath the floor of the Church ... permeated into the Church itself ... and were injurious to the health of the congregation ... ". On sanitary grounds the Church had to be closed for public worship until the remains from the crypt were removed under proper care. The Petition was granted on the 1st December, and within that month, Sir William
Phips's remains were moved to Manor Park Cemetery. "Beneath this spot are deposited all that is mortal of those who for centuries past have been buried in the vaults of the church of St Mary Woolnoth and St Mary Woolchurch Haw in the city of London. In as much as the way of men till death are widely different, in death all distinctions vanish; it would therefore be invidious to record the names of those who lie buried here, either rich or poor, illustrious or ignoble, for He accepteth not the persons of princes nor regardeth the rich more than the poor, for they all are the work of His hand. The remains were removed pursuant to an order in Council dated 25th August 1892, and by virtue of a faculty issued by the Consistory Court of London dated 1st December 1892 under the supervision of the Rector and the Church-wardens of the above parishes, with all care and reverence in the month of December 1892."
May 5, 1695; "Samuel Sewall recorded in his diary that the news of Phips's death reached Boston on 5 May, 'at which people are generally sad.' Guns were fired in mourning the next day, and on the eighth Sewall visited Mary Spencer Phips. '[She] takes on heavily for the death of Sir William,' Sewall noted." (The New England Knight)
"Fragmentary evidence, including the diarist Samuel
Sewall's description of Mary Spencer Phips's grief at the death of her
husband in 1695, suggests that a genuine affection bound the two, and this
impression is confirmed by the absence of any suggestion of sexual impropriety
during Phips's lengthy absences from home, despite the keen attention of
his critics to any personal flaws they could identify."
"It is impossible to get a close sense of Mary's personality because she left such a slender historical record, but she was clearly a strong and intelligent woman who was a partner to her husband in every sense of the word. She often assumed the role of what Laurel Ulrich has called the 'deputy husband', managing the family affairs during William's long absences. As both the daughter and the widow of a merchant, she made the most of this role and pushed its limits. Of ten transactions recorded for William Phips in the Suffolk County registry of deeds, fully half took place when he was not even in New England. Mary is mentioned specifically in only one of these, when 'Lady Mary Phips, attorney of Sir William Phips,' purchased land in 1687 adjacent to their brick mansion, but in the other four cases she must also have been acting independently of any bidding from her husband. Most of her contemporaries merely co-signed deeds with their husbands or administered their estates, but Mary negotiated the purchase of the family mansion on her own. When William was in England during the charter negotiations of 1691-2, she executed several mortgages that earned a healthy 6% return, as well as purchasing a mortgage from the merchant John Foster. Close associates and family friends such as Foster and John Phillips (the father-in-law of Cotton Mather whom Mather described as Sir William Phips's "Fidus Achates, and very dear Friend, Kinsman, and Neighbour') usually witnessed these instruments, thus supporting Mary's right to this activity.
That Mary Spencer Phips's opinion carried weight with her husband on other crucial occasions is indicated by the evidence surrounding at least two episodes: in 1683, when she reportedly persuaded him to consider shanghaiing the hostile royal agent John Knepp from Boston to the Caribbean, and in 1690, when Sir William hesitated to assume command of the Port-Royal expedition because he thought she might disapprove. After his death, her business activities became more visible. She bought shares of ships, made loans, and even sued when payments were missed. She also remarried well - after a long enough delay that again showed her independent character - choosing Peter Sargeant, a kinsman of Sir William's powerful erstwhile ally Sir Henry Ashurst. Given Mary's family background and William's limited literacy, she emerges from the surviving evidence not merely as her husband's close political and financial advisor, but as the financial mind of the family and an intriguing historical persona in her own right." (The New England Knight)
Sir Wm. Phipps' legatee, Mary, claimed the tract--"Cherysequamy Neck (sp)"--"as by deed from John White and Mary, his wife, formerly the wife of James Phipps of Kennebeck deceased; dated Oct. 4, 1679." [Me. H. and G. Reg. VIII, 202.]
Entered as a codicil Dame Mary legally records:
"Dame Mary Phipps personally appearing before me make oath that this within written reciting ... that this last Will and Testament of her late husband Sir William Phipps decd. so far as she knowed or believed and that she will truly purporting the same by paying first his debts which first did only at his decease and that her legacy be retained in this said will so far as the same goods and chattels and his ditto will hereto signed and this ... her and that she will make a true and perfect inventory of all the said goods and chattels and see ditto as also a just amount when lawfully required. Boston September 10th 1696 - Coram J Wm Stoughton (this difficult to decipher)
"Mary died on 20 January 1706. Her will included a number of small bequests and annuities to family and friends. Sir William Phips's long-lived mother received an annuity of ten pounds, while Andrew Belcher, John Foster, and Increase Mather, all of whom were associates of Sir William as well as of Mary, collected bequests of ten pounds each. The bulk of the estate passed to Spencer Phips." (The New England Knight.)
May 10, 1703; General Court hears a plea from Sachims to return Indian boy who had been taken to England by Phips.
The Legislature named the town of Phippsburg, Maine located on the Kennebec River for Sir William Phips despite the fact that he was born a few miles away at Woolwich, Maine and never lived at the site of Phippsburg.
Many biographers claim Phippsburg as the birthplace of Sir William Phips. This is incorrect.
1968; Jacques Cousteau tried unsuccessfully to locate the Concepcion shipwreck. For years before and after, others tried to locate and recover more treasure at this site but failed. Most believed all the treasure had been salvaged. (Shipwreck's of the Western Hemisphere 1492 - 1825)
1979; "Lost Treasure of the Concepcion" appears on network T.V. - a documentary about Burt Weber's salvage of Sir William's treasure ship. Others involved included Jim Nace, Bob Goffe, Hube Long, Harry Wyman, Don Summers and Stan Waterman. The Seaquest. In 45 - 55 feet n the Silver Shoals 85 miles off the coast of the Dominican Republic. From the sunken galleon was taken: 10,000's silver coins, crates of ming porcelains, silver knives, forks and candelabra, gold jewelry. brass navigation equipment.
In 1993, Captain Tracy Bowden acquired the rights to the Concepcion wreck site. He and his crew made several
voyages to the Silver Bank aboard the vessel "Dolphin", and he
succeeded in delicately navigating the Dolphin within
the coral reef maze of theConcepci?n wreck site, a feat no priorsalvors
had attempted because of theobvious dangers involved. This allowed
the Dolphin to anchor very close to the shipwreck site and to use stronger excavation equipment to uncover the deeper, undetected treasure.
To date, the Bowden exploration has recovered coins, dining ware and utensils, all of silver; gold and diamond jewelry; 15th century Ming porcelain, ceramic wares, religious articles and various other unique artifacts of the era. (Concepcion web site)
"A flattering sketch of the mathematical and inventive
ability of Sir William Phips - our governor during the time of the witchcraft
delusion; with a copy of the epitaph from his monument in St. Mary Woolnoth's
Church in London, are given in "The Peerage of Ireland,"by John Lodge,
vol. vii. p. 84, of the edition of 1789, edited by Mervyn Archdall, as
a prelude to the history of the ancestry of Lord Mulgrave; which is followed
by the statement that Sir William Phips was the father of Sir Constatine Phipps, Lord Chancellor of Ireland
from 1710 - 1714, who was grandfather of the first Baron Mulgrave....
"Sir Edgerton Brydges copied the statement from Archdall and incorporated it in his celebrated edition of Collins's Peerage (1812), but having noticed later the Life of Sir William Phips by Cotton Mather, corrects the statement in an appendix, so far as Sir Constatine was concerned, by suggesting that Spencer Phips, the adopted son of Sir William, was the true ancestor of Lord Mulgrave. Debrett in his annual Peerage, carried the original story for years, but finally left it out entirely. Burke substituted "cousin" for "father", still keeping Sir William Phips for the "figurehead" of the family by saying he was cousin of Sir Constantine. Savage (1861) Vol. iii, p. 422, calls attention to the "preposterous fable" and quotes "Smile's Self-Help", p. 169 as a present example of its continuance. The Heraldic Journal (1865), Vol. i pp. 154-5, contains a full and interesting account of this "popular error". The latest promulgation of the old story which has come to my sight is in an elegant volume purchased by the Boston Athenaeum during 1881, "Picturesque Views of Seats of Nobleman, &c., " by Rev. F. O. Morris, no date, but evidently a very recent publication, Vol. ii. pp.11 to 12, with a view of Mulgrave Castle, the seat of the Marquis of Normanby.
This magnificent place was inherited by Constantine Phipps (a grandson of Sir Constantine previously mentioned) from his maternal grandmother, whose paternity was a question of historic doubt....
This Constantine Phipps was created Baron Mulgrave of the peerage of Ireland in 1768, but the titles have accumulated upon his descending line until the present head of the family is Marquis of Normanby, Earl of Mulgrave, Viscount Normanby and Baron Mulgrave of Mulgrave, Co. York, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom; Baron Mulgrave of New Ross, Co. Wexford, in the Peeerage of Ireland." The armorial bearings are quarterings of those of James II! and of Sir William Phips.
Mr. Waters has found a father for Constantine Phipps, and we hope the whole question of relationship to Sir William (if any existed) will be fully settled soon. Dr. Marshall in "The Genealogist," Vol. vi, gave new material as to the marriages and children of the first Constantine...." Genealogical Gleanings in England, Henry F. Waters, A.M.)
Sir William in Ripley's Believe
it or Not and National Geographic
The Whole History
of Grandfather's Chair
Nathaniel Hawthorne 1840 Boston, E.P. Peabody
More on Sir
William by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Cotton Mather
Sir William and the Oak
Mural of Sir William at Portsmouth,
Sir William and the Diving
The First Printed Currency
and how it relates to Sir William Phips
further reading related to Sir William Phips
Back to Phipps Family Pages
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