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of it were gathered. Dr. Cotton Mather, whose Magnalia, a folio volume, printed in 1702, contains much valuable information concerning New England, and its early settlers, is content with saying, after Morton, in his New England's Memorial, 1669, that the founders of New Plymouth came from “the North of England.” Hubbard, another early writer on the affairs' of New England, uses the same expression. Prince, however, in 1736, is a little more particular. He tells us, on the authority of William Bradford, a principal member of the church, who has left several historical writings, that the persons who first settled themselves at New Plymouth, were “religious people, who lived near the joining borders of Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire.” This, though it left the mind at liberty to range over a considerable tract of country, was a great advance on the vague statements of Morton, Mather, and Hubbard. Prince, however, though he marks the passage as if it were an actual quotation from Bradford's manuscript, has not given us the very words as they have since appeared in Dr. Young's publication of Brad
5 See vol. v. of the Second Series of Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, p. 42.
ford's Remains, where the passage to which Prince referred stands thus :—“These people,” that is the persons who were Puritan Separatists,“ became two distinct bodies or churches, in regard of distance of place, and did congregate severally, for they were of several towns and villages, some in Nottinghamshire, some in Lincolnshire, and some in Yorkshire, where they bordered nearest together.” One of these two churches was at Gainsborough, a well-known place, the other, which is that about which we are now concerned, was elsewhere.
Bradford’s writings are exceedingly valuable, Site determinede-Bred though we have for ever reason to regret cal writings." that he shuts up so many things in general expressions, avoiding in the most tantalizing manner, nearly all specialty or particularity in the information which he gives us. Yet it is to a passage in another of his writings that we are indebted for the information which enables me now to dispel all uncertainty on this point, and to fix the locality of this church or community to a particular place. “They ordinarily met,” says he, in his Life of William Brewster, “at his house on the Lord's Day, which was a manor of the bishop's, and with great love he entertained them when they came, making provision for them to his great charge, and continued so to do whilst they could stay in England." This, when it is combined with the preceding note of place, “near the joining borders of Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire," guides us at once to the village of SCROOBY, in the Hundred of Basset-Lawe, a part of North · Nottinghamshire, well known in parliamentary history;
6 Much used by Prince in his Chronological History of New England, Boston, 1736, but little known till the publication of Dr. Alexander Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers of the Colony of New Plymouth, from 1602 to 1625, now first collected from original records and contemporaneous printed documents and illustrated with notes, Boston, Svo, 1844. The portions which are used in this treatise are, 1, Governor Bradford's History of Plymouth Colony, p. 1-97. His Dialogue or the Sum of a Conference between some young men born in New England and sundry ancient men that came out of Holland and Old England, p. 414459; and his Memoir of Elder William Brewster, p. 461-471. To these I shall have frequent occasion to refer, and I have availed myself in some places of the very valuable notes with
which Dr. Young has enriched this publication. Prince appears to have been acquainted with writings of Bradford which are not known now to exist. See his preface, p. 6, and Mather's account of Bradford has every appearance of having been founded on writings of Bradford himself not now existing.
7 Young, p. 465.
that being the only place comprising an episcopal manor that was near the borders of the three counties.
The word “manor," it may be here observed, is Scrooby not used in its more ordinary sense, to
denote a district throughout which certain feudal privileges are enjoyed, but a mansion house. This is sufficiently manifest even from the way in which Bradford speaks of it; but we may add that the houses of the great nobility in those parts of the kingdom were often called manors, as still Worksop Manor, Winfield Manor, Sheffield Manor, Brierley Manor, and several others. Scrooby Manor was near to the borders both of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, though itself in the county of Nottingham. It was also an ancient possession and occasional residence of the Archbishop of York.
No reasonable doubt can therefore ever arise that
Further the seat and centre of that religious comproofs.
munity which afterwards planted itself on the shores of New England was at this Nottinghamshire village of SCROOBY, a place little known to fame, but acquiring from this accident a certain amount of historical interest. The claims of this village, though hitherto unnoticed, do not rest entirely or
what I have now said; for to make their establishment quite complete, recourse was had to the Rolls which contain the Assessments of the Subsidies granted by Parliament, and there was found that in the thirteenth year of Elizabeth, 1571, there was a William Brewster assessed in the township of Scrooby-cum-Ranskil on goods of the annual value of Three Pounds ; 8 and in other accounts, that in 1608, William Brewster, and two other persons, all described as “ of Scrooby, Brownists or Separatists,” were certified into the Exchequer for fines imposed upon them by the Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes, for nonappearance to a citation. Further evidence of Brewster's residence at Scrooby will appear as we proceed.
Scrooby will be found in the maps about a mile and a half south of Bawtry, a market and post town situated on the boundary line between Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. It was itself in the time when
8 Two other persons were assessed with him, viz. William Dawson, and Thomas Wentworth who then resided at the manor and who describes himself in his will “ of Scrooby Manor, Esquire.” He was a younger brother of William Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse, Esquire, Great Grandfather of Thomas Earl of Strafford.