Wednesday, December 28, 2016


New England was at odds with the Mother Country long before the American Revolution. Besides the conflict between the Puritans and the Church of England, there was also the Crown's desire to make Massachusetts a royal province which would change the form of government. Instead of a governor chosen  by election, he would be appointed by the king. Fear that this would happen worsened when Charles II became king after the restoration of the monarchy.

In 1664 the residents of Cambridge, Ma. voiced their concerns in a document, the Cambridge Memorial. It was brought to the General Court by four men, one of whom was my 9x great grandfather Deacon Gregory Stone.

From Joseph Gardner Bartlett's Gregory Stone Genealogy: Ancestry and Descendants of Dea. Gregory Stone of Cambridge, Mass., 1320-1917:

But the most noteworthy committee on which Dea. Gregory1 Stone served was in 1664, when he and three other Cambridge men presented to the General Court a memorial signed by them and about one hundred and forty other residents of Cambridge, protesting against the then proposed government of New England by a Royal Commission, as an arbitrary government of a Council or Parliament in which they were not represented, and contrary to the intent of the original patent of the Colony. This was the first muttering of the spirit which over a century later was heard in full tones in the Declaration of Independence of 1776. The Colony Records thus describe this occurrence:

"19 Oct. 1664. The Court being'mett together & informed that severall persons, inhabitants of Cambridge, were at the doore, & desiring liberty to make knowne theire errand, were callled in, & Mr. Edward Jackson, Mr. Richard Jackson, Mr. Edw: Oakes, & Deacon Stone, coming before the Court, presented a peticon from the inhabitants of Cambridge, which was subscribed by very many hands," etc., viz:

"To the honoured Generall Court of Massachusetts Colonie. The humble representation of the inhabitants of the towne of Cambridg.

For as much as we have heard that theire have beene representations made unto his Majesty conserning divisions among us and dissatisfactions about the present government of this colonie; we whose names are under written, the inhabitants and householders of the towne above mentioned, doe hearby testify our unanimous satisfaction in and adhearing to the present government so long and orderly estableshed, and our earnest desire of the continuance theirof and of all the liberties and privileges pertaining theirunto which are contained in the charter granted by King James and King Charles the First of famous memory, under the encouredgment and security of which charter we or our fathers ventered over the ocean into this wildernesse through great hazards, charges, and difficulties; and we humbly desire our honored General Court would addresse themselves by humble petition to his Maiesty for his royall favour in the continuance of the present estableshment and of all the previleges theirof, and that we may not be subjected to the arbitrary power of any who are not chosen by this people according to their patent. Cambridg the 17th of the 8:1664.
Charles Chauncy
Edward Oakes
Samll Andrewe
Jonathan Mitchell
Elijah Corlett
Richard Champny
Edmund Frost
Gregory Stone"
[The names of one
hundred and thirty
more signers follow.]

(Massachusetts Colony Records, vol. 4, part 1, p. 136; and "History of Cambridge," pp. 74-75.)

Gregory Stone Genealogy: Ancestry and Descendants of Dea. Gregory Stone of Cambridge, Mass., 1320-1917  Stone family association, Boston, Ma  1918

And the governor of Massachusetts in 1664?

My 10x great grandfather John Endicott!

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