NATHANIEL WEARE'S MISSION TO ENGLAND
The agent, selected and sent on this important mission, was Nathaniel Weare, Esq., a leading citizen of Hampton. The confidence thus reposed in him indicates that he had the reputation of being a man of ability, prudence and integrity; and the result showed that their confidence had not been misplaced.
Fear of being detained by the govenor, constrained Mr. Weare to hasten to Boston, without waiting to obtain such evidence as would be needed to substantiate the charges to be brought against Govenor Cranfield. He was accompanied to Boston by Maj. William Vaughan, of Portsmouth, and to him was intrusted the important service of procuring depositions to be forwarded to England; but, on his return from Boston, he was immediately arrested by the governer's order, and committed to prison, where he was confined nine months, much to the detriment, not only of his own private interests, but to those of an oppressed people, as this prevented him from obtaining the evidence necessary for the agent. Other individuals, indeed, undertook the work that had been assigned to Mr. Vaughan, but they were denied access to the public records, and when they applied to the governor to summon and swear witnesses for them, their request was not granted. Hence it was necessary to go out of the province to have the depositions properly authenticated.
When, therefore, Mr. Weare arrived in England, he was not prepared to bring his complaints to the king, at once; but after waiting a considerable time for depositions from home, and waiting in vain, he ventured to prefer some general charges against Governor Cranfield. By this means, a way was opened for procuring, in a few months, the needful evidence, for, the complaint having been referred to the Board of Trade, they transmitted a copy to the accused, that he might prepare a defense; and at the same time ordered him to allow the complainants access to the records, and to afford them every facility for obtaining and authenticating evidence. However humiliating this order might be, it was from such a source, that he dared not disobey. As he was charged with not following the instructions of his commission, concerning Mason's claims, but allowing those claims to be tried in courts not properly constituted, he immediately, upon the receipt of this communication from the Board of Trade, suspended the suits that had been brought, till a decision, as to the legality of the courts, should be made by the proper authorities.
The agent in England, having received from home, the evidence needed, presented his charges in a new and more specific form. A hearing was at length had before the Lords of Trade [March 10, 1685], who reported to the king "that Cranfield had not pursued his instructions with regard to Mason's controversy; but instead thereof, had caused courts to be held and titles to be decided, with exorbitant costs; and that he had exceeded his power in regulating the value of coins." The agent had brought other charges against the governor, but in relation to them, the Lords of Trade expressed no opinion. The report, as made, was accepted by the king in council.