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MAKEMIE'S TRIAL IN NEW YORK.
On account of the lateness of the hour, when the process was served, the prisoners were permitted, on their parole, to lodge that night at the house of two neighbours friendly to them; on the next day, Wednesday, they were carried round by Jamaica, seven or eight miles out of the way to New York, as if to make a show of them; and being detained there that night, they were on Thursday, about noon, taken to fort Anne, and, about three or four o'clock in the afternoon, brought before Lord Cornbury, in the Council chamber.
Lord Cornbury's statement ought first to be perused. It was obtained from the office in Albany by the Rev. R. Webster. It is as follows
" To the Right Honorable Lords Commissioners for Trade and Commerce. On the 17th of January, 1705, 6 (6, 7) a man of this town, one Jackson, came to acquaint me that two ministers were come to town and desired to know when they might speak with me. I ordered my man to tell Jackson they should be welcome to come and dine with me. They came and I found one is named Francis Makenzie a Presbyterian preacher settled in Virginia; the other is John Hampton a young Presbyterian minister lately come to settle in Maryland. They pretended they were going to Boston and did not say one syllable about preaching here. They applied themselves to the Dutch minister and to the Elders of the French church for leave to preach in their churches; they were willing if they could get my consent. On the Monday following I was informed that M. had preached at the house of Jackson a shoemaker in this town, and that Hampton had preached on Long Island, and that Makenzie was gone there with intent to preach in all the towns, having spread a Report that they had a commission from the Queen to preach all along this continent. I was informed the same day that they had preached in several places in New Jersey, and had ordained some young men, after their manner, who had preached among the Dissenters there without it. When asked, they said they had no occasion to ask leave of any Governor, they had the Queen's authority for what they did. These reports with the information I had of their behaviour on Long Island induced me to send an order to the Sheriff of Queens county to bring them to this place. He did so on the 23d of January in the Evening. The Attorney General was with me. I asked M. how he came to preach in this Government without acquainting me with it. He told me he had qualified himself according to law in Virginia, and having done so would preach in any part of the Queen's dominions. He told me he understood the law as well as any man, and was satisfied he had not offended against any law; that the penal laws did not extend to, and were not in force in America. I told him the Queen was graciously pleased to grant liberty of conscience to all her subjects, except Papists; that he might be a papist for all I knew, and that therefore it was necessary he should have satisfied the Government what he was before he ventured to preach. He told me he would qualify himself in any manner and would settle in this province. I told him whenever any of the people in either of the provinces under my Government had desired leave to call a minister of their own persua-. sion, they had never been denied; but that I should be very cautious how I allowed a man so prone to bid defiiance to government, as I found he was. He said he had done nothing he could not answer. So I ordered the High Sheriff of the city to take them into custody and I directed the Attorney General to proceed against them. He preferred an indictment against M. for preaching in the city without qualifying himself as the Act of Toleration directs. The Grand Jury found the Bill, but the petit jury acquitted him; so he is gone towards New Eng. land uttering many severe threats against me. As I hope I have done nothing in this matter but what I was obliged in duty to do, especially as I think it very plain by the Act of Toleration, that it was not intended to tolerate or allow strolling preachers, so I entreat your Lordships protection against this malicious man, who is well known in Virginia and Maryland to be a disturber of the peace and quiet of all the places he comes into. He is a Jack' of all trades. He is a preacher, a doctor of physic, a merchant, an attorney, a counsellor at Law, and, which is worst of all, a disturber of Governments. I should have sent your Lordships, this account sooner but that I was willing to see the issue of the trial. “I am my Lords “ Your Lordships most ob. Hum. Servt.
“ CORNBURY. “ New York Oct. 14th, 1706," (7.)
“ The brief narrative and genuine history of the several steps of sufferings by the confinement of Francis Makemie and John Hampton"-goes on to say, that when the ministers appeared before Lord Cornbury in the council chamber–His . Lordship inquired “How dare you to take it upon you to preach in my government without my license?
Makemie replied—“We have liberty from an act of parliament made in the first year of the reign of King William and Queen Mary, which gave us liberty, with which law we have complied.
C. None shall preach in my government without my license.
M. “If the law for liberty had directed us to any particu
lar persons in authority for license, we would readily have observed the same; but we cannot find any directions in the act of parliament, therefore we would not take notice thereof.
C. - That law does not extend to the American plantations, but only to England.
M. "My Lord I humbly conceive that it is not a limited nor local act; and am well assured it extends to other plantations of the Queen's dominions, which is evident from certificates from courts of record of Virginia and Maryland, certifying we have complied with the law." These certificates were produced and read by Lord Cornbury, who was pleased to say they did not extend to New York.
C. “ I know it is local and limited, for I was at the making thereof.
M. “Your Excellency might be at the making thereof, but we are assured there is no such limiting clause therein as is in local acts, and desire that the law may be produced to determine the point.
C. (Turning to the attorney, Mr. Bekely) “Is it not so, Mr. Attorney?
Attorney-"Yes, it is local, my Lord.” And producing an argument he went on to say—“that all the penal laws were local and limited, and did not extend to the plantations; and the Act of Toleration being made to take off the edge of the penal laws, therefore the Act of Toleration does not extend to any plantations.
M. “I desire the law may be produced; for I am morally persuaded there is no limitation or restriction in the law to England, Wales and Berwick on Tweed; for it extends to sundry plantations of the Queen's dominions, as Barbadoes, Virginia, and Maryland, which is evident from certificates produced, which we could not have obtained if the act of parliament had not extended to the plantations. I presume New York is a part of her Majesty's dominions also; and sundry ministers on the east end of Long Island have complied with the law, and qualified themselves at court by complying with the directions of said law, and have no license from your Lordship.
C. “Yes, New York is of her Majesty's dominions; but the Act of Toleration does not extend to the plantations by its own intrinsic virtue, or any intention of the legislators, but only by her Majesty's instructions signified unto me, and that is from her prerogative and clemency, and the courts which have qualified these men are in error, and I will check them for it.
M. “If the law extends to the plantations any manner of way, whether by the Queen's prerogative clemency or otherwise, our certificates were demonstration that we had complied therewith.
C. “These certificates were only for Virginia and Maryland; they did not extend to New York.
M. “We presume, my Lord, our certificates do extend as far as the law extends; for we are directed by the act of parliament to qualify ourselves in the places where we live, which we have done; and the same law directs us to take certificates of our qualification, which we have also done; and these certificates are not to certify to such as behold us taking our qualifications, being performed in the face of the country at a public court; but our certificates must be to satisfy others abroad in the world, who saw it not, or heard any thing of it, otherwise it were needless. And that law which obliges us to take a certificate must allow said certificate to have a credit and a reputation in her Majesty's dominions; otherwise it is to no purpose.
C. “That act of parliament was made against strolling preachers, and you are such and shall not preach in my government.
M. “There is not one word my Lord, mentioned in any part of the law against travelling or strolling preachers, as your Excellency is pleased to call them; and we are to judge that to be the true end of the law which is specified in the thereof, which is— for the satisfying scrupulous consciences, and uniting the subjects of England in interest and affection. And it is well known to all, my Lord, that Quakers, who have liberty by this law, have few or no fixed teachers, but are chiefly taught by such as travel, and it is known to all, that such are sent forth by the yearly meeting at London, and travel and teach over the plantations, and are not molested.
C. “I have troubled some of them, and will trouble them
M. “We hear, my Lord, one of them was prosecuted at Jamaica, but it was not for travelling and teaching, but for particulars in teaching for which he suffered.
C. “You shall not spread your pernicious doctrines here.
M. “As to our doctrines, my Lord, we have our Confession of Faith, which is known to the Christian world, and I challenge all the clergy of York to show us any false or pernicious doctrines therein; yea, with those exceptions specified in the law, we are able to make it appear that they are, in all doctrinal articles of faith, agreeable to the established doctrines of the Church of England.
C. “There is one thing wanting in your certificates, and that is signing the articles of the Church of England.
M. "That is the clerk's omission, my Lord, for which we are no way accountable, by not being full and more particular; but if we had not complied with the whole law, in all parts
thereof, we should not have had certificates pursuant to said act of parliament. And your Lordship may be assured that we have done nothing in complying with said law but what we are still ready to perform, if your Lordship require it, and that ten times over. And as to the articles of religion, I have a copy in my pocket, and am ready at all times to sign, with those exceptions specified by law.
C. “You preached in a private house not certified according to act of parliament.
" There were endeavours used for my preaching in a more public place, and (though without my knowledge) your Lordship’s permission was demanded for my preaching in the Dutch church, and being denied, we were under a necessity of assembling for public worship in a private house, which we did in as public a manner as possible with open doors; and we are directed to certify the same to the next Quarter Sessions, which cannot be done until the Quarter Sessions come in course, for the law binds no man to impossibilities; and if we do not certify to the next Quarter Sessions we shall be culpable, but not till then. For it is evident, my Lord, that this act of parliament was made and passed the Royal assent May 24th, and it being some time before the Quarter Sessions came in course, and all
ministers in England continued to preach without one day's cessation or forbearance; and we hope the practice of England should be a precedent for America.
C. “None shall “preach in my government without my license, as the Queen has signified to me by her royal instructions.
M. “Whatever direction the Queen's instructions may be to your Lordship, they can be no rule or law to us, nor any particular person who never saw, and perhaps never shall see them. For promulgation is the life of the law.
C. “ You must give bond and security for your good behaviour, and also bond and security to preach no more in my government.
M. “ As to our behaviour, though we have no way broke it, endeavouring always so to live, as to keep a conscience void of offence towards God and man,' yet if your Lordship requires it, we would give security for our behaviour; but to give bond and security to preach no more in your Excellency's government, if invited and desired by any people, we neither can nor dare do.
C. “Then you must go to goal.
M. • We are neither ashamed nor afraid of what we have done; and we have complied, and are ready still to comply, with the act of parliament, which we hope will protect us at last. And it will be unaccountable in England, to hear that