Anderson, James Stuart Murray: Page from his manuscript

Anderson, James Stuart Murray: Page from his manuscript
Anderson, James Stuart Murray: Page from his manuscript
Anderson, James Stuart Murray: Page from his manuscript
Anderson, James Stuart Murray: Page from his manuscript

Anderson, James Stuart Murray: Page from his manuscript


Anderson, James Stuart Murray (1800–1869)

Page from his manuscript The History of the Church of England, in the Colonies and Foreign Dependencies

Author, historian and Church of England clergyman, chaplain in ordinary to Queen Victoria beginning in 1837, the start of her reign. AMsS (“Rev. Jas. S.M. Anderson – M.A.”). 2 pages (recto and verso). Tall 4to. London, 1845. A manuscript page from James Stuart Murray Anderson’s The History of the Church of England, in the Colonies and Foreign Dependencies.

History of the Church in the Colonies by the Rev. Jas. S.M. Anderson – M.A. Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen. London 1845

The Nephew of Sir Geo. Somers returned to England in 1611 after his uncle’s death, and gave such a description of the productions and beauty of the Bermudas as did not at first meet with credit-: but, at length 120 members of the Virginia Company were induced to plant a settlement there. The authority granted to them under their charter, then existing – did not extend to a further distance from the American Coast than 100 miles. They procured, therefore, fresh Letters which granted Patent, dated 12th March 1611-12 – which granted to the Treasurer, and Virginia Company – all Island &c.[?] within 300 leagues of the Coast already assigned to them. 

As soon as these Letters Patent were obtained the Virginia Company sold the Bermudas to those 120 members of their Body – and a distinct Society was forthwith constituted, under the name of the Somers Islands Company, with Sir Thomas Smith as their Treasurer.

In the summer of 1612 Mr. Richd. Moore as Governor of the Island reached his destination with a party of 60 men, a Clergyman, named Keath, accompanied the party under Moore’s command – In less than a month after their arrival the following articles were drawn up and subscribed by Moore and his party – They are entitled “The Articles which master R. Moore, Governor Deputies of the Somers Islands, propounded to the Company that were with him, to the subscribed unto, which both he and they subscribed the 2d August, in his house, anno 1612. Which, about the same time he sent into England, to the worshipful Company of the Adventurors [sic]”. – page 370.

Articles The Subscribing bind themselves to the performance of the several articles following – and that in the presence of the most glorious God who brought them thither.

Article 1st We do faithfully promise and by these present solemnly bind ourselves ever more to worship that afore said only true and everlasting God, who hath made the Heavens and the Earth, the Sea, and all that there is, and that according to those rules that are prescribed in his most holy word, and ever to Continue in that faith into the which we were baptized in the Church of England, and to stand in defense of the same against all Atheists, Papists, Anabaptists, Brownists, and all other Heretics and Sectaries whatsoever, dissenting from the said word and faith.

Art. 2d. They bind themselves to keep the Sabath [sic] Day holy and apply themselves to all the exercises of Religion.

Art 3d, Seeing the true worship of God and holy life cannot be severed – they bind themselves to abstain from all evil courses – and live together so as to avail all things that stand not with the good estate of a Christian Church and well governed Commonwealth.

Art 4 – Tho’ remote yet being indeed the natural subject of King James 1st – they bind themselves ever more to continue his loyal subjects and never to revolt from him, but ever acknowledge his supreme government. Art 5 – Being sent here by divers [sic] adverturors [sic] of the City of London – they pledge themselves diligently and faithfully to regard their Interests – to be obedient to all Governors placed over them and to yield all reverence to ministers of the Gospel.

Art: 6 – Bind them manfully to fight as true Englishmen for the defence of the Commonwealth they live in and the Gospel they profess – “and that whiles we have breath ever will not yield to any that shall invade us upon any conditions whatsoever.

Keath soon begins to create disturbance, but was obliged to come down upon his knees before the Governor and ask forgiveness.

James Stuart Murray Anderson was the author of the three-volume work The History of the Church of England, in the Colonies and Foreign Dependencies, printed in London by Francis and John Rivington and Robert Folthorp between 1845 and 1848. Our manuscript is from volume 1, chapter VII (approximately corresponding to pages 299-303).

Sir George Somers (1554–1610) was an English naval hero and an admiral of the Virginia Company, a private venture charged with establishing English settlements on the coast of North America. In 1609, during a hurricane, Somers steered his ship, the Sea Venture, into a reef which turned out to be part of Bermuda. In so doing, he saved the 150 passengers aboard, who established the Bermuda Colony while they constructed new ships from the wreckage of the Sea Venture. After continuing on to the Virginia Colony in Jamestown, Somers and his nephew, Matthew, returned to Bermuda to gather food. Somers died there on 9 November, 1610. Matthew Somers returned to England to claim his inheritance, during which time he gave his account of Bermuda and the Sea Venture described in this manuscript. Subsequently, King James I (1566–1625), altered the Virginia Company’s royal charter to include Bermuda, thereafter called the Somers Isles in honor of the deceased Somers. Richard Moore, a carpenter who emphasized building fortifications, was appointed governor and arrived in 1612 with additional settlers aboard the Plough.

‘With Rev. George Keith, an Anglican priest who traveled on the Plough, Moore oversaw the building of a church in St. George’s and ensured that the settlers followed their pledge to live as faithful Christians. Once Bermuda was peopled with English Protestants, ministers in London proclaimed, “Now then let the Christian world rejoice to see, that God is worshipped in the Deuills Illands, and that English men liue safelie and sweetly there where neuer any liued before them”’, (Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America, Henry Holt and Co., 2008).

The articles to which settlers swore according to our manuscript included guarding against Church of England dissenters such as followers of Congregationalist Robert Browne, Catholics (papists) and Anabaptists. Fears of non-Anglican influences were justified. ‘From the beginning, Bermuda attracted large numbers of Puritans, who brought to the island their distinctive, dissenting Christian faith. In 1614, Rev. Lewis Hughes, an outspoken preacher with strongly Puritan leanings, joined Rev. Keith on Bermuda. Whereas Keith had adhered to Anglican practices, Hughes made no secret of his dissent. He even crafted his own substitute for the Book of Common Prayer and, “by the helpe of God,” designed an independent system of church governance… Hughes was quite popular among the laity, but that did not translate into official approval. He twice went to jail, and he repeatedly quarreled – during church services – with Governor Moore’s successor, Daniel Tucker. But even with Hughes’s escapades and Bermuda’s growing reputation as a Puritan haven, settlers in these early years lived in a generally pious, peaceful Christian community, in sharp contrast to their countrymen on the mainland of America’, (ibid.). 

The Virginia Company administered Bermuda until the Crown took it over in 1614. The following year it was entrusted to Somers Isles Company, also referred to in this manuscript, and which administered the island for more than half a century. Sir Thomas Smith (1588–1624), the first Governor of the East India Company, became the first Governor of the Somers Isles Company and died in office. It is in his memory that Smith Parish is named. Although it was not profitable for Virginia Company investors, the Bermuda colony thrived, unlike the mainland settlements of the company. 

Folded with several paperclip marks. Some wear in the top portion of the page. Otherwise in very good condition.

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