Considerations Necessary to be Resolved upon in Settling The Governor for New England

Right Trusty and Well-beloved,1 we greet you.


It was the singular care of our Most Honored Lord and father of blessed memory2 to endow me by all just and kingly means the propagating of the Christian faith, the enlarging of his dominions, and the advancement of the public happiness of his people, which was the reason that moved him by his Royal authority, to encourage certain his good subjects in their undertakings, to transport several colonies into those parts of America that were not inhabited by any Christian prince or people, since which time there hath come unto us and our Counsel, so many complaints of the abuses committed by some that have by indirect means gotten themselves interested, in the limits formerly passed to others, from whence hath risen many dangerous consequences and many more like to ensue.


Having thereupon deliberately advised with our Counsel of State of the consequence of such a business, we find it a principal part of our kingly duty to administer timely remedy for reformation, as well in respect of our honor, as for the future happiness that may ensue to these or realms, and the establishing of true religion amongst the savages. to which purpose we have assigned certain of our Counsel whom we have specially authorized for that service, diligently to take care thereof from time to time.


And having given directions for a governor to be sent thither for ordering the public affairs between the several plantations and to settle a Counsel of State deliberately to determine of a uniform way for the administration of justice through the whole country and to provide for the common defence of our good subjects inhabiting there, in such sort as may give us content therein.  According to the tenor of our commission granted and the instructions he shall receive from us, or our said Counsel.


Now for as much as this was a business from the beginning tending to the public good of our realms, we are for that cause graciously pleased to make it free for all or well-affected people throughout our kingdoms to participate thereof, which by these or letters we do manifest and declare unto you, straightly 3 requiring you to publish the same to so many of the better sort and the most active spirits in that county, as you shall think fit to call unto you, who by your examples may be encouraged, to join in sending over with our said governor, such a competent number of people meet for plantation, with all necessary provisions fit for that employment as their zeal to the glory of God, their good affection to our service, and the weal public shall endure them, sending with them someone or more discrete worthy persons to take charge of their employments and to see their duties performed according to your mutual directions.


And that there be (above all) an especial care had to the honesty of their lives and conversation, whom they send, because men so sent are like to propagate and confirm a plantation, whereas the looser sort prove but loss to the adventurer and a dishonor to the Kingdom to whom we shall cause to be assigned such a proportion of lands, as may give content for the present, the same to be enlarged as shall be thought fit, upon a second, or third division, to be appropriated to the several undertakers or adventurers, and their heirs for their best benefit in perpetuity.


Of this our pleasure, we expect to receive a speedy answer with a particular account of the names of such as shall interest themselves herein, and what numbers of people they resolve to send, to be in a readiness according to such time as by our Counsel shall be directed.


Sir Ferdinando Gorges

November 3, 1634


New England / annexed / November 3, 1634


97, 34.I


  • 1. The Considerations were sent to William Laud (1573-1645), Archbishop of Canterbury. See Baxter, Sir Ferdinando Gorges and his Province of Maine, 165.
  • 2. James I, King of England (ruled 1603-1625).See Baxter, Sir Ferdinando Gorges and his Province of Maine, 203-240.
  • 3. Deleted text: charging