« AnteriorContinuar »
appears from the fact that he had a fishing establishment “at Agawam, by Merrimack," where, Aug. 8, 1631, some hostile Indians rifle the wigwam where Mr. Cradock's men kept to catch sturgeons, taking away their nets, biskets, &c.” In the records of the General Court, held at Boston, Nov. 7, 1632, we have the following record: “Mr. Mathew Cradock is fined £4 for his men being absent from training divers times.” This was remitted, probably on account of the impossibility in a fisherman of being on shore at any given period.
At a General Court held at Boston, March 4, 1633, the following grant was made: “The Wear at Mistick is granted to John Winthrop, Esq., present Governor, and to Mr. Mathew Cradock, of London, to enjoy to them and their heirs for ever.”
March 3, 1635 : In General Court. — “Ordered that there shall be £55 paid to Mr. Cradock."
March 26, 1638: “ There is a grant of a thousand acres of land granted to Mr. Mathew Cradock, where it may be had without prejudice to any plantation or former grants, in the judgment of the Court. Also there is granted to Mr. Cradock five hundred acres of land more for such servants as he shall appoint it unto, twenty miles from any plantation, without prejudice to any plantation.”
June 2, 1641 : “Mr. Thomas Mayhew and Mr. Joseph Cooke appointed to set out the five hundred acres of Mr. Oldham's for Mr. Cradock near Mount Feake."
On the same day, “ Voted that Mr. Cradock's rates should be forborne till the next ship come, and then it is referred to Mr. Stoughton and Mr. Hawthorne to consider and give order in it."
The reader may now be referred to what is said concerning Mr. Cradock's agency in building the first bridge over Mistick River; and, putting those facts with these here stated, we come at the conclusion that Medford should cherish with gratitude the memory of one who opened here a new and extensive trade, who sent over many men as laborers in shipbuilding and fishing, who conjured all to treat the Indians with tenderness and generosity, and who, in the letter of April 17, 1629, speaks of the settlement of families here in these terms:
“Our earnest desire is, that you take special care in settling these families, that the chief in the family (at least some of them) be
grounded in religion, whereby morning and evening family duties may be duly performed, and a watchful eye held over all in each family, by one or more in each family to be appointed thereto, that so disorders may be prevented, and ill weeds nipt before they take too great a head.”
In the same letter we find the following:
“ Above all, we pray you be careful there be none in our precincts permitted to do any injury in the least kind) to the heathen people; and, if any offend in that way, let them receive due correction. If any of the savages pretend right of inheritance to all or any part of the lands granted in our patent, we pray you endeavor to purchase their title, that we may avoid the least scruple of intrusion."
We know of only one relative of Mr. Cradock who came to this country, and his name was George Cradock, mentioned by Douglas and Hutchinson as an inhabitant of Boston.
We cannot better close the notice of Medford's founder and friend than by giving a copy of his Will, which has never till now been printed :
“ Last Will and Testament of Mathew Cradock. “I, Mathew Cradock, of London, merchant, being in perfect memory and bodily health, - thanks be given to God therefor, — do hereby make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following ; that is to say, —
“I bequeath my soul into the hands of the Almighty God, trusting, by the merits of the death and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ only, to obtain remission of all my sins. My body, when it shall please God to separate it from my soul, I recommend to the earth, in assured confidence of a glorious resurrection at the great and dreadful day of judgment. “As to my outward estate, wherewith God of his goodness hath
have ever accounted myself but a steward thereof; therefore humbly entreat the Almighty to enable me so to demean myself in disposing thereof as that I may, through his mercy in the merits of Christ, be always prepared to give a comfortable account of my stewardship.
“I do hereby order, in the first place, that all sure debts as are, any manner of way, justly due and owing to any person whatsoever, be truly and fully satisfied and paid : the accounts of the widow of Stephen Benister, late of London, cloth-worker, deceased, that the same be answered and committed) to the use of my executors; and for dealing with one Henry Colthirst, if Mr. Pennoyde, who is best acquainted with the business, see it to be due, which is challenged,
I order it to be answered with consideration for the time, all just debts paid. The remainder of my estate I give and bequeath as followeth:
“ To the poor of the parish of St. Peter's, the poor in Broad Street, where I served my apprenticeship, forty pounds sterling; to the poor of St. Swithin’s, where I dwelled, one hundred pounds, to be employed as a stock for their use, and the benefit thereof to be distributed yearly at the discretion of the greater number in the vestry. This to be taken out of the third part of my estate, which, by the custom of the city of London, is at my own disposing.
“One third part of my whole clear estate, my debts being paid and satisfied, I give and bequeath to my precious, dear, and loving wife, Rebeccah Cradock; one other third part of my estate, according to the ancient custom of the city of London, I do give to my daughter, Damaris, and to such other child or children as it shall please God to give me by my wife, Rebeccah. Moreover, I do give and bequeath to my said dear and loving wife all my household stuff and plate at my house in London, where I dwell, and at a house I hold at Rumford, in Essex, as also the lease of my dwelling-house in London. Only, out of my plate and household stuff aforesaid, I give to my said daughter, Damaris, to the value of fifty pounds, in such particulars as my said wife shall order and appoint the same. Moreover, I do give to my loving wife aforesaid, to be by her enjoyed during her natural life, the one-half of all the estate I now have or shall have in New England, in America, at the time of my decease; and, after the decease of my wife as aforesaid, I do give and bequeath the moiety of my movables and immovables hereby intended to be enjoyed by my wife during her natural life, unto my brother, Samuel Cradock, and his heirs male. And, for the other moiety of my: estate in New England aforesaid, I hereby give and bequeath the same to my daughter Damaris, and the issue of her body, to be lawfully begotten ; and, for want of such issue, to my said brother Samuel, and his heirs male aforesaid. And my will is, that when my wife shall marry, that in such case her then intended husband, before their marriage, shall become bound to my said brother and bis heirs in five thousand pounds of lawful money of England not to sell away or alienate any part of the moiety of my lands hereby intended and bequeathed to my wife, and subsequently to him, during her natural life, and that he shall have at the time of her decease in personal estate therefor my brother and his heirs to enjoy after the decease of my said wife at least for the full value of five hundred pounds sterling in movable goods. And whosoever shall marry my daughter Damaris, I do hereby will and order, that, before marriage, he likewise shall enter into like bond, with the like covenants and conditions ; in case my said daughter depart this life without issue, or either of the parties before mentioned, both or either of them, hereby enjoined io seal the said several bond, which shall refuse or neglect to do the same, or to deliver the
said bond or bonds to my brother or his heirs then being, in legal and lawful manner, I do hereby declare, that, immediately from and after such marriage respectively, the moiety of the estate hereby intended to the party so marrying, and not giving the bond as aforesaid, shall be, and I do hereby bequeath the same to my said brother Samuel and his heirs, any thing before mentioned to the contrary notwithstanding.
“ Moreover, I do give to my brother, Samuel Cradock, and my sister, his wife, five hundred pounds; and to every one of the children of my said brother I do give one hundred pounds. Moreover, to his son Samuel, now student in Emanuel, in Cambridge, I do give for his maintenance for three years forty pounds per annum; and to his son Mathew, for his better preferment, whereby to place him with an able merchant, two hundred pounds. And I do give twenty pounds yearly to my said brother Samuel towards the maintenance of my brother and sister Sawyer; and to my sister, after the decease of her husband, I do give two hundred pounds. Item: To Dorothy Sawyer, daughter to my said sister Sawyer, I give, for her better preferment, in case she will be advised by my wife in her marriage, two hundred pounds; and to the rest of my sister Sawyer's children I do give to every of them fifty pounds. To my maid-servants five pounds every of them. Item: To my partners that ventured with me and were my servants and party-venturers in the East-land trade, namely, to Thomas Hodlow and Edward Lewis, six hundred pounds apiece, if they accept of it for their part, and declare themselves willing thereunto within three months after the publishing of this my Will, or else to have their several equal one-eighth part of the clear profits of the trade aforesaid, from the time that I promised the same, till the amount for the same shall be perfected, which is to be done by their help and endeavors. Item: I do desire and entreat Mr. William Corbine to assist my wife aforesaid, whom I make sole executor of this my last Will and Testament, to get in my estate, and to see my debts paid and my Will performed.
“Given as my act, last Will, and Testament, this 9th day of November, 1640.
“ MATHEW CRADOCK.
“Witness hereto: Edward Lewis, William Alney, Richard Howell. “Entered and recorded the 12th of February, 1662, by
This will of Mr. Cradock sounds somewhat peculiar in our ears; and we presume it is not a fair specimen of that legal precision in words so necessary then in such a document. To give six hundred pounds to each of his partners in a land speculation was a new way of settling an outstand
ing account. We cannot too much admire the wise and Christian provision he makes for his wife. When a husband, by his Will, dooms the mother of his children to comparative poverty, he is guilty of a most brutal baseness. A crime kindred to this is that of a father who, by his Will, plunges his unmarried daughters into a situation of dependence and want, for which he has not prepared them, and in which they must suffer through life. We do not learn from Mr. Cradock's Will how extensive his territorial property in Medford was, or what was the amount of his whole investment here. After his death, a part of his farm in Medford was sold to Mr. Ed. Collins, who pays to Mrs. Cradock £120, to Samuel Cradock and Sons £100, and to Damaris Cradock and her husband £230. The condition attached to his bequest to his niece, Miss Dorothy Sawyer, is proof that he had a wise-judging wife, and that said wife had a provident husband.
There is no record of Mr. Cradock's last illness or death known to us. It is presumed he died in 1644 ; because, in our county registry, deeds are found in that year from his agent, and in the next year from the agents of his executors.
When the Europeans took possession of North America, by the right of discovery, their entry of lands, countries, and continents was deemed by them as legal ownership for their sovereign. The discoveries of John and Sebastian Cabot, Bartholomew Gosnold, and others, were understood to give to James I., of England, the coasts and country of New England. The king accordingly claimed, in the eighteenth year of his reign, the entire continent between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In that same year, he granted to "the Council of Plymouth, in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, ordering, and governing of New England,