Rev. Stephen Bachiler

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By the Hon. Charles E. Batchelder,

of Portsmouth, N.H.

[New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Jan., Apr., Jul., Oct., 1892]

The word "bachelor" has long been a sore puzzle to etymologists, says Lower, in his work on English Surnames. * [Lower's Patronymica Brittanica, 20.] That the name "Bachelor," however spelled, is the same as the word "bachelor," meaning an unmarried man or a college graduate, is unquestioned, but many derivations have been given by different authors to account for the meaning of the word, some most fanciful and even grotesque, others with more probability of correctness. Knights bachelors were the most ancient, though the lowest order, of knighthood in England.

It is said in a note to Chitty's Blackstone that the most probable derivation of "bachelor" is from bas and chevalier, an inferior knight.

The derivation of the word is given in Webster's Dictionary as from the old French "bachiler," meaning "a young man." A common derivation given is from "baccalaureus," having reference to the chaplet of laurel berries with which the new bachelor of arts was crowned. The earliest mention of the name indicates that it was given originally to mark the condition of its possessor as an unmarried man or as a young man, when there was an elder person of the same Christian name living in the neighborhood. The English registers of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, where we first meet the name, use the French prefix "le." Thus we find Jordanus le Bacheler, *[Calendarium Genealogicum, 1297.] Gilbert le Bacholer, *[Rotuli Clausarum in Turri Londonensi.] that is, Jordan the bachelor, Gilbert the bachelor. We may be reasonably sure that the names Jordan and Gilbert were then so common in a particular neighborhood that it was necessary to indicate by some addition to the Jordan or Gilbert that there was an elder or married person of the same name in the immediate neighborhood. If "Bachelor" meant simply an unmarried man it was not proper or fitting at the death of Jordan le Bacheler in 1297, for he left surviving him a wife, Alice, and a son, John. It is, therefore, probable that the word "Bachelor" was used at that time much like junior, meaning simply "the younger," and though at first given to an unmarried man was not dropped upon marriage, as it was a convenient and not inappropriate designation of the younger, whether single or married. At a later period the "le," being superfluous, was dropped, and in 1433 we find John Bacheler returned in the commissioners' list of the gentry of Norfolk, England, though John ye Baschealer died at Kelsale in Suffolk, Feb. 1, 1552. *[Registers of the Parish of Kelsale, Suffolk.]

We do not know where the family originated. There is the usual family tradition, which bears on its face the marks of improbability, that three brothers by the name of Bachiler served under William the Conqueror and were rewarded after the battle of Hastings in 1066 by a grant of land in Wiltshire. For sign manual they were given a shield upon which were three boar's heads, united by three links, a spear above them couchant. There was no crest, indicating that they were private soldiers.

Before 1600 we find the family name in the counties of Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Wilts, Hampshire, Bucks, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk, all in the south-eastern part of England. Very few are found north of London. The earliest mention of the name is found in Surrey, and very probably Surrey or Sussex was the earliest home of the Bachilers.

It is impossible, at present to trace the relationship, if any existed, between the early Bachiler families in England, or to decide whether the first emigrants of that name to America were kindred. The Ipswich and Salem emigrants were brothers. The names associated in some of the early English families indicate that Alexander Bacheler, the emigrant. of Portsmouth, was a relative of the Salem and Ipswich Bachilers, as Mark Bacheller of Brading, in the Isle of Wight, died about 1614, leaving a brother Alexander Bacheller, two sons. John Bacheller the elder and John Bacheller the younger, and three daughters. *[Will of Mark Bacheller, Probate Registry, Winchester, Hants.] Mark was a family name among the Salem Bachilers, but neither that name nor Alexander has been found elsewhere in the English families. Such evidence is of course slight, but is worth noting in the absence of more convincing facts. It is probable that other relationship existed between some of the Bachiler emigrants, but further and more careful search must be made in England before this interesting question of relationship can be settled.

There were seven immigrants of the Bachiler name:

1. Alexander of Portsmouth, N. H.
2. Rev. Stephen of Lynn, Mass., and Hampton, N.H.
3. Henry of Ipswich, Mass.
4. Joseph of Salem, Mass. (now Wenham).
5. John of Salem, Mass.
6. William of Charlestown, Mass.
7. John of Watertown, Dedham and Reading, Mass.

There are living descendants of the Bachiler name from four of these immigrants, namely, Rev. Stephen, Joseph and John of Salem, and John of Reading.

It is not proposed in this article to give a sketch of the lives of any of these first settlers, except that of Rev. Stephen Bachiler, and in his case about all that can be done is to rearrange the old material, add some new facts, recently discovered, and correct the numerous and gross errors in regard to his immediate descendants.

The treatment accorded to those early citizens of the Massachusetts Bay, who fell under "suspicion," at the hands of their more orthodox brethren, has been so long frankly acknowledged and the causes so thoroughly explained, that it can no longer be considered derogatory to the Massachusetts Commonwealth to speak plainly concerning the treatment of Williams, Wheelwright and other disturbers of the Puritan State. To do otherwise would be affectation. There was intolerance on the part of the Bay Colony and also on the side of "the suspected." The latter should have withdrawn voluntarily from the settlement previously occupied by the church-state party, and the former had not then learned that the sure way to perpetuate heterodoxy is to persecute and punish its adherents. Naturally the Massachusetts historians have chronicled the virtues of the clergymen who upheld the Massachusetts plan, and the opponents of that plan, being neglected, were speedily forgotten. It is said of Samuel Skelton of Salem, Mass., "Little has come down to us concerning him, owing, it is said, to the fact that 'he differed about clerical associations and other subjects, from most of the principal persons in Massachusetts.'" *[Sprague's American Pulpit, Vol. I. 8.]

We know that Stephen Bachiler contended, with a vigor and earnestness unusual for a man of his years, against the Puritan doctrine of a religious commonwealth, against that union of church and state to which they clung as to the ark of their safety, *[Story's Com. Settlement of Salem, Mass., 34.] and which has since been universally conceded to be a lamentable error.

He lived to see the beginning of the downfall of that "experiment fraught with evil," as the halfway covenant, allowing baptized persons, not church members, upon assenting to the church covenant, to have all the rights of members, except communion, was approved by the Synod called in Massachusetts in 1657. *[1 Sprague's Am. Pulpit, Int. xx. and xxi.]

We know further that he most zealously maintained the rights of the New Hampshire settlements in their contest with Massachusetts, which ended in 1641 in the control of the weaker province by the stronger. Whatever material advantages were secured by New Hampshire, through this union of the colonies, and they were by no means inconsiderable, were valued little by those ardent friends of New Hampshire, who resisted the aggressions of the Bay colony.

The great wrong done New Hampshire by the attempt to pervert the Massachusetts charter so as to include all territory south of an east and west line through the head of the Merrimack, could never be condoned by any advantages arising from the union. Stephen Bachiler staked his fortunes on the continued independence of the New Hampshire settlements, and lost. If the cause he championed had prevailed, he would to-day be remembered with gratitude as one of the stoutest champions of New Hampshire, and his life would undoubtedly have been materially different.

He had settled Hampton under the authorization of Massachusetts, yet his subsequent acts show that he never supposed either of the Massachusetts claims to Hampton well founded. He knew it was not within their patent, nor vacant land first occupied by Massachusetts. *[See reply of Mass. to the remonstrance of Exeter at the settlement of Hampton. Wint. N. E., vol. i.* 290,303,304.] Why then did he procure a grant from the General Court of Massachusetts and act under their directions? It was because he had already felt their displeasure and thought the grant might be in some way a protection to himself and his company in making the settlement. But it is not worth while to discuss these matters at length, as they excited great bitterness once, though now, happily, long settled and entire good feeling prevails between the two states.

Stephen Bachiler, for so he always wrote his name, was born somewhere in England in the year 1561. At the age of twenty he entered St. John's College, Oxford. He was matriculated November 17, 1581, and admitted as Bachelor of Arts February 3, 1585-6. The leading profession for college graduates in that day was that of a clergyman, and he determined to study for the ministry, being then a member of the established church. Apparently the time between his graduation in February, 1585-6, and July, 17, 1587, was spent in preparation for his life work, for on the day last named, the death of Edward Parrett, vicar of Sherwell in Hants, making a vacancy in that living, he was presented with the place by William West, Lord Lawarr (or de la Warr as it was written later), and became vicar of the Church of Holy Cross and St. Peter. *[Bishop's Registry, Winchester, Eng. Register of Thomas Cooper, 10.] On the 26th of January, 1587-8, the new incumbent compounded for the payment of the first fruits of the vicarage.

The village of Wherwell stretches along the westerly bank of that "troutful stream" the Test, in Hampshire, three and one half miles from Andover. Very great historical interest attaches to this retired town and its ancient monastery. Wherwell Abbey has been the home or the abiding place of three and perhaps four English queens, who were renowned for their extraordinary beauty. The parish of Wherwell hardly had any existence apart from the Abbey down to the year 1543, for until that time the Superior of the Monastery was Lady of the Manor, and owned the whole village and a large part of the neighborhood. The same church served for the parish and the monastery, with presumably a chapel for parochial services as at Romsey. It had also a chapel with a special entrance which was appropriated to the "Priory" as a pew. The earliest mention of Wherwell, or Whorewell, as it was then called, is found in the will of King Edred, A.D. 946, 955. He gave the town to the new Monastery, subsequently called Hyde Abbey. In the year 986 Ælfrida founded Wherwell Abbey for Benedictine nuns in penitence for the bloodshed in which she had been concerned. In the chartulary of Wherwell Abbey the story is thus told: "And in the place, which by the inhabitants is called Wherwell, founded the Church of the Holy Cross, beseeching Christ, that He who, wounded on the (ever) memorable Cross, shed His blood for the redemption of the human race, might deign to grant her the pardon (purchased) by His death, His wounds, and by the shedding of His blood rich (in graces)." *[The Story of Wherwell Abbey, 4.]

Wherwell contains five hundred and forty-one inhabitants, and must have been a very retired spot until the London and South Western Railroad ran a branch line through the town about the year 1883, and built a very substantial and commodious station at Fullerton in the parish of Wherwell. Many of the residences, and especially the old court house near the station, are of early date and look as if they had not changed appreciably in three centuries. The old Parish Church of Holy Cross and St. Peter was pulled down and rebuilt in 1858. The old building was repaired after the Reformation with the best portions of the Abbey ruins. With the exception of some fragments of mouldings, one monumental effigy, and parts of two monuments, there are absolutely no traces of the old church. *[The Story of Wherwell Abbey, 11.]

Of Stephen Bachiler's life at Wherwell we know nothing. The Church records were begun in 1634, or at all events no earlier records now exist. We only know that he remained here until 1605, for on the ninth day of August, 1605, John Bate, A.M., clergyman, was appointed Vicar of Wherwell, a vacancy existing because of "the ejection of Stephen Bachiler," the last vicar. *[Bishop's Registry, Winchester, Eng. Register of Thomas Bilson, 18.] Not much more is known of his life in England, from the loss of his living at Wherwell to the spring of 1632, when he sailed for New England. He was excommunicated from the church, and so no church record exists showing his abiding places. Probably he preached to different congregations, not in a settled way, but when he could avoid the persecution of the church people. Occasionally we get a glimpse of his location. In 1610 he appears to be still a "clergyman of the County of Southampton." *[Records of Magdalen Coll. Oxford, Eng., June, 1610, admitting Stephen Bachiler, aged 16 years, son of a clergyman of Hampshire.] On the 11th of June, 1621, Adam Winthrop's diary shows that he "had Mr. Bachelour, the preacher" to dine with him, presumably at Groton in Suffolk. This may have been the subject of this sketch.

Some of the parishioners of Barton Stacey in Hampshire, a few miles east of Wherwell, listened to his sermons at some time before 1632, for we find that Sir Robert Paine petitioned the Council, stating that he was sheriff of Hants in that year and was also chosen churchwarden of Barton Stacey, and that "some of the parishioners, petitioner's tenants, having been formerly misled by Stephen Bachelor, a notorious inconformist, had demolished a consecrated chapel at Newton Stacey, neglected the repair of their parish church, maliciously opposed petitioner's intent (to repair the church at his own charge), and executed many things in contempt of the canons and the bishop. *[Domestic Calendar of State Papers, 1635.] Once more we hear from him on the 23d of June, 1631, when, at the age of seventy years, he obtains leave to visit his sons and daughters in Flushing. He was then resident at South Stoneham, in the County of Southampton, and desires that his wife Helen, aged forty-eight years, and his daughter, Ann Sandburn, of age thirty years, widow, resident in the Strand, might accompany him. He was to return within two months. *[REGISTER, July, 1891, page 237.]

It would be interesting to know which of his sons and daughters then lived at Flushing, as Deborah Wing was apparently residing in London in November, 1629, when her husband, John Wing, made his will and presumably she was appointed executrix of the will when it was approved August 4, 1630, as Mr. Waters makes no note that administration was granted to any other person than the executrix named in the will. *[REGISTER, July 1891, page 237.]

Stephen Bachiler was excommunicated among the earliest of the non-conformists. On the death of Elizabeth in 1603, James I. of the house of Stuart came to the throne. In January, 1604, the famous Hampton Court conference was held, when King James uttered his angry threat against the Puritans, "I will make them conform or I will harry them out of the kingdom."

The next year the King's threat was carried out against Mr. Bachiler, and no doubt he was thoroughly "harried" after his excommunication. Winthrop says that Bachiler "had suffered much at the hands of the bishops." *[Winthrop's N. E. II*44.]

As early as 1630 Bachiler had determined to leave England and settle in America. At all events he made preparation for such removal. Maverick, in his Description of New England, says "there was a patent granted to Christo: Batchelor and Company *[This must mean Chrispe, Batchelor and Company. John Chrispe or Crispe, as the name was commonly written, and Stephen Bachiler were grantees named in the patent.] in the year 1632 or thereabouts, *[Hubbard says, in 1630. A contemporary MSS, in the possession of the Maine Hist. Society, gives the exact date as June 26, 1630. See Maine H. & G. Rec., vol. ii. 66.] for the mouth of the River (Sagadahocke) and some tract of land adjacent who came over in the ship named the Plough, and termed themselves the Plough Companie, but soon scattered, some for Virginia, some for England, some to the Massachusetts never settling on that land." *[Maverick's Description of New England, REGISTER, vol. 39, p. 35.]

"The Plough ship of sixty tons on the 6th day of July, 1631, arrived at Natascott [Nantasket]. She brought ten passengers from London. They came with a patent to Sagadahock: but not liking the place they came hither. Most of them proved familists and vanished away."

*[Winthrop's N. E., i.*58, Prince 357. The last clause was added long after its date by Winthrop or a later hand. It has served as a basis for a careless Maine writer to charge that Stephen Bachiler was a familist. Fortunately other manifest errors in the same article indicate its untrustworthiness. It is evident that the members of the Plough company who came over in 1632 were not familists. The fact is that many of the earlier settlers of New England were of bad reputation. Hundreds of ignorant, starving creatures were taken from the streets and sent over by unscrupulous adventurers, and innumerable convicts were set free on condition of emigrating to New England. The later colonists, especially those coming in the great movement between 1630 and 1640, were much superior to the earlier immigrants. Winthrop would have known and mentioned the fact if Bachiler had been tainted with familism. In matters of opinion, that is of belief, Dalton and Bachiler agreed, says Winthrop. Who ever heard that Dalton entertained familistic opinions? The charge is ridiculous and utterly unsupported.]

It has been said that this grant was afterwards called the province of Lygonia, after Cicely Lygon, the mother of Sir Ferdinando Gorges; but Maverick says there was a patent granted for this (Casco) Bay some years since by the title of the Province of Ligonia to Collonel Alexander Rigby, which is no doubt true. It is earnestly to be hoped that this Plough patent or a copy will sometime be discovered. At present it is impossible to define the extent of the grant or to prove beyond question what territory was occupied under it. Hubbard says it was south of the Sagadahock River and twenty miles from the sea side, yet all agree that the original grant was forty miles square. Two contemporary writers say it was a patent for Sagadahock. *[MS. No. 3448 Brit. Museum and Col. Papers, Pub. Rec. Office, ii. 16.] Two islands in the River Sagadahock, near the south side thereof, about sixty miles from the sea, are included in the grant, but no such islands exist.

Great ignorance of our geography was shown in making the early grants, and they frequently overlap earlier grants. Sagadahock was a very elastic word in early days. It was applied to the river formed by the union of the Kennebec and Androscoggin, also to the region about that river, probably on both sides, like the present county of Sagadahock, and in later times to all the land east of the Sagadahock River to the St. Croix. *[See grant by Charles II. in 1664 to his brother James, Duke of York, of Sagadahock, so called, including all that land except a small tract at Pemaquid.]

It seems most probable that the Plough grant began at the mouth of the Sagadahock, ran inland on that river and the Androscoggin forty miles in a straight line, but sixty measured on the river, and forty miles south and a like distance back from the Ocean. This was found to overlap earlier grants, which had been so frequently made of Sagadahock.

*Granted by Elizabeth in 1578 to Sir Humphrey Gilbert, renewed in 1584 to Sir Walter Raleigh. By the French monarch in 1603 to the Sieur de Monts. Granted about 1607 to the Plymouth Company. Renewed and enlarged in 1620. Under this grant Popham's settlement was made. Grant of 1622 of the Province of Maine to Sir F. Gorges. Curiously enough he proposed to devote forty square miles at the mouth of the Sagadahock to a public plantation to be called the "State County." Grant of Edward Gorges to Thomas Lewis and Capt. Richard Bonython, 12 Feb 1629, four miles long by eight miles inland on the north side of Sagadahock. Grant to the Plough Company 1630. Grant from the expiring Council for New England to Sir F. Gorges in 1635 from the Piscataqua to the Sagadahock. Grant of ten thousand acres to Mason in 1635, lying southeast of Sagadahock. Ryall's grant from Gorges about 1639. Rivival of Plough patent in 1643 by Cleeve as deputy for Rigby. Several of these grants were in general terms covering other territory.

Vines says in a letter to Winthrop, January 9, 1643, that Cleeve extended his government "from Sackadehock to Cape Porpus, being aboue 13 leagues in length." Jenner in a letter to Winthrop, dated 6. 2m. 46, mentions "the tract of land which Mr. Cleeve doth challeng by vertue of his Patent, viz. from Sacadehock River to Cape Porpus," and says that Jocelyn, who succeeded Cleeve, claimed "that Mr. Cleeve his terminus a quo should begin 60 miles up Chenebeck River, because the Patent saith, it must lie nere two Islands which are about 60 miles from the sea. For answer to it the Patent also saith, the tract of land 40 miles square, must lie on the south side of Sacadehock River. Now Sacadehock river reached but to Merry Meeting, and then its branched into Begipscot and Chenebeck, and is no further cald by the name of Sacadehock. Now Sacadehock River is a certaine and sure place for one terme of its bounds,s but the Islands are doubtful, which they are, or wher they are: & more ouer ther possession was first taken." See Mass. Hist. Coll. Fourth Series, Vol. VII. 346,359,360.]

When the territory was actually settled it was found that the bounds could only extend from the west side of Cape Porpoise to the east side of Cape Elizabeth, a distance less than twenty miles, as Casco and most of the territory east of the Sagadahock, had been previously occupied under other grants.

At the very beginning of 1632 Mr. Bachiler left England for Boston in New England. He sailed on the 9th of March, 1631-2, in the vessel called the William and Francis, from London, with sixty passengers, and after eighty-eight dreary days landed at Boston. Among his fellow travellers were Gov. Edward Winslow of Plymouth, Rev. Thomas James, Rev. Thomas Welde and Thomas Oliver the famous ruling elder of Boston. On the Whale, which arrived May 26, 1632, came Mr. Wilson and Mr. Richard Dummer. Most of the Dummers resided at South Stoneham or Swathling, where the ancient church bears several Dummer memorials, and this was the last residence of Stephen Bachiler in England. A relationship existed between the Bachilers and the Dummers which cannot yet be traced. *[MS. letter of Richard Dummer to Nath'l Bachiler, sen., 14th 4th mos. 1673, "my cossen nathaniell bachelder of Hampton."]

These two ships, the William and Francis and the Whale, were sent out by "the Company of husbandmen," sometimes called "the Company of London" or "the Company of the Plough," of which Stephen Bachiler was an active and zealous member and was chosen their pastor in 1629 or 1630. *[Letter of Rev. Stephen Bachiler to the church in Boston. Mass. Hist. Coll. Fourth Series, Vol. VII., 101.] The energy and zeal with which he labored to increase the society and assist as many emigrants as possible to come to New England, is well set forth in a letter of John Dye and others to Mr. Crispe, and those members of the Plough Company, then in New England, dated London, 8 March, 1631-2, and evidently brought in the William and Francis or the Whale. *[Mass. Hist. Coll. Fourth Series, VII., 92 and 94 note.] Mr. Bachiler "adventured" £100 in the Company and loaned them £67, of which amount £9 was repaid by the freight money on his goods. Among the articles he brought over were four hogsheads of peas, twelve yards of cloth, two hundred yards of list, a contribution box and oaken furniture, which has lasted until this day. Most of the early settlers of New England were young, or not past their prime when they came to America. Mr. Bachiler was seventy-one when he landed, and yet for a score of years thereafter he retained his vigor and for a decade he most obstinately contended against Massachusetts Bay in behalf of New Hampshire.

He had planned in England to settle at Newtown (now Cambridge), but owing to the disaster which befell the Plough Company in 1631, and having received a call from Lynn, Mass., then called Sagus, he proceeded to the place last named, where his daughter, Theodate, wife of Christopher Hussey, resided. He commenced the exercise of his public ministrations on Sunday, June 8th, 1632, without installation, having formed a church of those who desired to join the six or seven persons he brought with him, who are said to have been members of the church with him in England. The first meeting-house in Lynn was a small, plain building, without bell or steeple, and stood on the northeastern corner of Shepard and Summer Streets. It was placed in a small hollow, that it might be better sheltered from the winds, and was partly sunk in the earth. It was entered by descending several steps. *[Dow's Hist. Address, Hampton, N.H., 1838.]

On the first Sunday at Lynn, four children were baptized. Thomas Newhall, the first white child born in Lynn, was first presented. Mr. Bachiler put him aside, saying "I will baptise my own child first," meaning Stephen Hussey, his daughter's child, born the same week as Thomas Newhall.

Before Mr. Bachiler had been preaching four months at Lynn, he fell under "suspicion" of having independent ideas, which he was not ready to yield at the dictation of others.

Thereupon the General Court passed the following order.
"Octobr 3, 1632, Mr. Batchelr is required to forbeare exercising his guifts as a pastr or teacher publiquely in or pattent, unless sit be to those hee brought with him, for his contempt of authority, & till some scandles be removed." *[Mass. Colony Records, Vol. I.]

The word "scandals" was ordinarily used in our early history to denote some religious irregularity. It was "scandalous" to conduct worship in any way not approved by the rulers. It had acquired that meaning in England before the emigration. *[By "scandalous ministers" (says De Grey) no more was meant than the being truly orthodox, truly conformable to the rules and orders of the church, and faithful and obedient subjects of his majesty. Neal's Hist. Puritans, II., 483, note.]

It does not appear how far this order was obeyed. It will be noticed that Mr. Bachiler was left free to preach to those he brought over, and no doubt he continued his ministrations. At all events after five months this prohibition was removed and he was left free to gather a church in Massachusetts Bay. He was also present at conferences of the ministers of the colony, Sept. 17, 1633, and Dec. 19, 1634, the first meeting having been called to consider the settlement of Mr. Cotton, and the other to consult what ought to be done if a general governor should be sent out of England, and whether it be lawful to carry the cross in their banners. *[Winthrop's N. E., I., * 154.] On the 15th of March, 1635, "two of elders of every church met at Sagus, and spent there three days. The occasion was, that divers of he brethren of that church, not liking the proceedings of the pastor, and withal making a question, whether they were a church or not, did separate from church communion. The pastor and other brethren desired the advice and help of the rest of the churches, who, not thinking fit to judge the cause, without hearing the other side, offered to meet at Sagus about it. Upon this the pastor, etc., required the separate members to deliver their grievances in writing, which they refusing to do, the pastor, etc., wrote to all the churches, that for this cause, they were purposed to proceed against them as persons excommunicated; and therefore desired them to stay their journey, etc. This letter being read at a lecture at Boston (where some of the elders of every church were present), they all agreed (with consent of their churches) to go presently to Sagus, to stay this hasty proceeding, etc. Accordingly, being met, and both parties (after much debate being heard, it was agreed that they were a true church, though not constituted, at first, in due order, yet after consent and practise of a church estate, had supplied that defect; and so all were reconciled. *[Ibid., I. * 157.]

He was admitted a freeman May 6, 1635. It seems quite probable that he was the minister who dissented from the order of banishment of Roger Williams in October, 1635 *[Winthrop's N.E., I.,* 170,171.] as his opinions are known to have agreed closely with those of Williams, and no minister of the twelve churches then established possessed his courage in maintaining unpopular opinions. It is to be considered also that he had previously been disciplined for departure from the established customs, and within three months was again in trouble from the same cause. In January, 1635-6, says Winthrop, "Mr Batcheller of Sagus was convented before the magistrates. The cause was, for that, coming out of England with a small body of six or seven persons, and having since received in many more at Sagus, and contention growing between him and the greatest part of his church who had, with the rest, received him for their pastor), he desired dismission for himself and his first members, which being granted, upon supposition that he would leave the town (as he had given out), he with the said six or seven persons presently renewed their old covenant, intending to raise another church in Sagus; whereat the most and chief of the town being offended, for that it would cross their intentions of calling Mr. Peter or some other minister, they complained to the magistrates, who, foreseeing the distraction which was like to come by this course, had forbidden him to proceed in any such church way until the cause were considered by the other ministers, etc. But he refused to desist. Whereupon they sent for him, and upon his delay, day after day, the marshall was sent to fetch him. *[The arrest of a minister by a marshal caused much gossip throughout the country. See Rev. James Parker's protest to Gov. Winthrop on being so arrested. Mass. Hist. Coll. Fourth Series, Vol. VII., 441] Upon his appearance and submission and promise to remove out of the town within three months he was discharged." *[Winthrop's N.E., I., * 176.] Peter however refused to settle at Lynn, preferring Salem.

These distractions in the Sagus church continued until Christmas, 1635, when a general fast was proclaimed, for that cause and others and presumably continued until February, 1636, when Bachiler left Lynn and went to Ipswich, where he received a grant of fifty acres of land and prospect of settlement, but from some reason, not yet explained, the plan miscarried. It was about this time, on the 17th of April, 1637, that Rev. R. Stansby writes Rev. John Wilson from England that he is grieved that "Others laye downe the ministry and become private members, as Mr. Bacheler, Mr. Jenner, and Mr. Nathan Ward, &c." He adds that this fact and others of like nature were now much talked about, and that many worthy people were prevented from emigrating to New England for these reasons, and suggests that greater liberty be granted in the admission of members to the church." *[Mass. Hist. Coll., Fourth Series, Vol. VII., 10, 11, 12.]

Under Mo. 1, 1637-8 Winthrop says, "Another plantation was now in hand at Mattakeese (now Yarmouth), six miles beyond Sandwich. The undertaker of this was one Mr. Batchellor, late pastor at Sagus (since called Lynn), being about seventy-six years of age; yet he walked thither on foot in a very hard season. He and his company, being all poor men, finding the difficulty, gave it over, and others undertook it." *[Winthrop's N. E., I., * 260.]

The inducement which led him to attempt a settlement at Yarmouth was undoubtedly the fact that in 1637 a large number of his former parishers removed from Lynn and commenced a settlement at Sandwich, near Yarmouth, under a grant from Plymouth Colony. *Lewis's Hist. Lynn. 169.] Bachiler's settlement is said to have been made in that part of Barnstable (then Yarmouth) called Old Town, and was about one hundred miles from Ipswich where he resided.

His next removal was to Newbury, where, on the 6th of July, 1638, the town made him a grant of land, and on the 7th of October, 1638, the General Court of Massachusetts, in order to be rid of a troublesome pastor and also to strengthen their claim to the territory more than three miles north of the Merrimac, granted Mr. Stephen Bachiler and his company, who had petitioned therefor, liberty to begin a plantation at Winnicunnet, now called Hampton, N.H. On Tuesday, October 16, 1638, the settlement was begun, the journey from Newbury being made in a shallop. On the 7th of June, 1639, Winnacunnet was made a town, and further about the same time the said plantation (upon Mr. Bachiler's request made known to the court) was named Hampton. *[N.H. Provincial Papers, vol. 1, p. 151.] This name was almost probably given in honor of Hampton, that is, Southampton, in England. The addition "South" was a late addition to distinguish this town from Hampton in Mercia. Winthrop in his History of New England repeatedly refers to Southampton as Hampton. *[Winthrop's N. E., vol. 1, page 2 et seq.] It will also be remembered that South Stoneham, adjoining Southampton, and in the gift of St. Mary's of Southampton, was the last residence of Mr. Bachiler in England. In 1639 the inhabitants of Ipswich voted to give Mr. Bachiler sixty acres of upland and twenty acres of meadow, if he would reside with them three years. He preferred his settlement at Hampton. On the 5th of July, 1639, he and Christopher Hussey sold their houses and lands in Newbury for (six score pounds," and thereafter his entire interest was with the Hampton settlement. The town in 1639 granted their pastor three hundred acres of land for a farm besides his house lot, and he gave them a bell for the meeting house. This bell remained in use until about February 15, 1703-4, when the town voted that the selectmen should agree with William Partridge Esq., to procure the town a good one from England of about one hundred and thirtie weight and that they send to him the ould bell that is splitt to make of that what the sd Mr. Partridg can towards the paying for a new one. *[Hampton Records, MSS. Vol. I., 175] The farm was laid out to him in the extreme southern limits of Hampton adjoining Salisbury. In the Hampton record book containing the grants in the year 1644 and 1658, copied according to the town vote, concerning the copy of grants with witnesses, if necessary, is the following:

To Steven Bachiler sometimes of Hampton.
1. Impr. nine acres & half of upland granted unto him, for a house lott: --
2. & five acres of upland aded to the south-east end thereof: fourtenth acres & half: granted unto him: laying between the upland of John Samborn towords the south-west; & the upland of Christopher hussey towords the north-east abutting upon the meeting-house green in pt & upland of John Samborn in pt towords the south-east: more or less as it is layd out.
3. Item abought fower acres of swampy grownd granted unto him: layeing between the ground of John Samborns towords the north-east: & the ground of Christopher hussey towords the south-west: abutting upon the meeting-house green towords the north-west and the Oxe common towords the south-east; more or less as it is layd out.
4. Item eleven acres medow granted unto him layeing between the medow of henery Ambros towords the north: and the medow of William Samborn towords the south: abutting upon the upland towords the west: & a common waye by the beach towords the east: more or less as sit is layd out.
5. Item foure acres of medow granted unto him: layeing between the medow of Richard Swaynes toword the north: & a common waye towords the south, abutting upon certaine upland toword the east: & a certain river called Tayler river towords the west, more or less as it is layd out.
6. Item two hundred acres of upland medow & marsh for a farme layeing between the line of Solsberry in put: & the farme of Mr. Tymothy Dalton the Teacher in put: & the farme of John Browne in pt towords the south: & the farm of Christopher Huse towords the north more or less as sit is layd outt.
7. Itt eight Acres of upland in the East feild lying between the land of William Samborn towards the south and como[n] way towarads the nsorth abutting upon the fresh medow of the sd Mr. Bachelder towarads the east and the land of John Cliffords towards the west more or less as itt is layd outt.

The earliest statement of the bounds of Hampton is said to be taken from a very old manuscript and is as follows: "bounded on the north by Strawberry Bank, east by the Atlantic Ocean, south by Salisbury and west by the Wilderness." *[New York Observer, about September, 1882.] Nine entire towns and parts of two towns have since been set off or established from territory then belonging to Hampton.

In 1639 Rev. Timothy Dalton became teacher of the church at Hampton, Mr. Bachiler remaining as pastor. From his arrival dates the fierce conflicts in the church, which must have prevented either minister from accomplishing any good in the community. The large portion of the worshippers sided with Mr. Dalton, having been his parishioners in England at Woolverstone, Ipswich, in Suffolk. *[REGISTER for 1885, page 288.]

This gave Dalton an advantage in the contest, though his opponent, educated in the most famous English university, of excellent natural abilities, a keen disputant, quick to attack the weak point in his enemy's armor, courageous and unyielding, was no mean antagonist. Bachiler was positive, earnest and convincing. He spoke as one having authority and from knowledge of the truth. Dalton was younger, more active, and perhaps more vehement, than his elder colleague. He was more politic than Bachiler, but fully as tenacious of his opinions. By his residence in Dedham he had learned the plans and desires of Massachusetts and earnestly espoused them. He had the powerful support of the Bay Colony and was perhaps made teacher of the Hampton church in order to combat the pastor's independent influence.

The history of this three-years contest between the pastor and teacher of the church at Hampton has nearly passed into obscurity. The town records show nothing concerning it. The church records of that date have disappeared. The only thing remaining is Winthrop's relation of the utterly improbable story that Mr. Bachiler, evidently esteemed of pure life at that time, at the age of four-score years solicited the chastity of his neighbor's wife. *[Winthrop's N. E., ii. *44,45.] Winthrop adds, apparently as a circumstance of aggravation, that Mr. Bachiler then had "a lusty, comely woman to his wife." This was evidently one of "the provoking matters" which Rev. Thomas Shepard advised Winthrop might be left to the judgment of others to publish when the copy of his history was privately examined. That Winthrop himself would have struck out this record, if he had been alive at its publication, is extremely probable. Consider for a moment the evidence against this accusation.

1. The advanced age of the accused and his previous good character almost certainly prove the story a fabrication.

2. The immorality of the settlers east of the Merrimack was urged as a reason why that region should come under Massachusetts rule. To support that statement numerous people in the two eastern colonies were charged with sexual crimes. It is doubtful if any of them were true, except in the case of Underhill, who was forgiven as soon as he had transferred his allegiance to the Bay, and perhaps Burdett, minister at Agamenticus, who was indicted for adultery.

3. Such solicitation was a criminal offence in thos days, punishable with severe penalties. *[Hugh Peter's letter to Winthrop, Mass. Hist. Coll. Fourth Series. Vol. VI. 40. Winthrop's N. E. I. *292 note. Id. I. *60. Mss. Court Records, Rockingham Co., N. H., passim.] No indictment was ever found against Mr. Bachiler and no charge ever made against him to any magistrate. On the contrary he charged his accusers with the crime of slander before the magistrates.

4. Early in 1644 Mr. Bachiler had a call to settle at Exeter. The path between Hampton and Exeter was short and easily travelled. Hampton gossip was repeated in Exeter in a few days. If the highly respectable people of Exeter had supposed there was a scintilla of truth in the charges they would not have called the offender to be their pastor. Moreover the prohibition of the General Court of Massachusetts against Bachiler's settling at Exeter was based, not on his unfitness, but on the divided state of the Exeter church. *[REGISTER, Vol. I. 152.] If he had been supposed guilty of impurity it would have been a conclusive reason against his settlement at Exeter, and we can hardly suspect the General Court of dissembling and basing their action upon a weaker reason when a stronger existed. Such was not their usual custom.

5. But it is said that he confessed the crime, though he afterwards denied it. If true, that would end all controversy. All writers on evidence declare that admissions or confessions are worthy of little credence unless made in the plainest terms and with the clearest understanding of the facts of the case. An examination of Winthrop's History would induce us to believe that New England was then full of all kinds of sexual crimes, and that nearly every person accused confessed his guilt. A slight examination of the acts, which were deemed confessions in those days, show their utter untrustworthiness as evidence. To refuse to plead either guilty or not guilty was wrested into a confession. *[Mass. Hist. Coll. Fourth Series, Vol. VII. 585. It is evident that Bachiler never confessed in words. The charge was based on some alleged admission by conduct. The representation of Bachiler as a whiffling, inconstant man is entirely foreign to his character. Winthrop's words, "He stiffly denied it," clearly represent his disposition. He was a positive, obstinate, tenacious, unyielding man. When he made a statement he stood by his words and did not contradict them shortly after. It is almost impossible to believe that any excitement arising from the outrageousness of the charge, any indignation aroused by his innocence, or any fear caused by knowledge of guilt, could make him on a single occasion only in the course of his long and contentious life, uncertain and vacillating. He was evidently misunderstood and misrepresented. Probably the latter. The so-called confession had this basis and not more. Bachiler's project had failed. The Bay Colony had succeeded in its design against New Hampshire. The opposition to Bachiler in the church at Hampton, previously a majority, was greatly strengthened by the union of the provinces in 1641. Dalton had succeeded in excommunicating him. At last, wearied with the contest, Bachiler accepted the inevitable and agreed to remove "for peace's sake," as he wrote Winthrop. In order to justify to Winthrop their unlawful act in excommunicating Bachiler, Dalton and his adherents told Winthrop that Bachiler had confessed the truth of the charge and claimed that his offer to remove voluntarily was a confession of guilt. That this act was a confession was indignantly denied by the pastor, and so arose the charge that he confessed and then retracted his confession. What absurd constructions were given to words in those days in order to allege that a confession had been made can be seen by examining Wheelwright's letter in connection with the statement of the Massachusetts General Court in 1644, that Mr. Wheelwright had made "a particular, solemn and serious acknowledgment and confession of his evil carriages and of the Court's justice upon him for them"

Winthrop accepted as true the word of Bachiler's enemies, and neglected to give the aged pastor a hearing for his vindication, though urgently demanded.

6. The Hampton town records of this date are silent in regard to this matter, and the church records have been missing for many years. They can give no testimony either way.

7. No tradition exists in Hampton or, so far as can be learned, has ever existed, giving the name of this woman or her husband, and no written evidence of any kind has ever been produced, except the story as preserved by Winthrop. Who was this woman? Was the complaint made promptly? Was her word worthy of credence? Was she of pure life? Did she persist in his declaration? Did she afterwards retract the charge? Did she live in Hampton many years afterwards, and was she during this time on friendly terms with the accused until his removal from town? We cannot test the truth of the charge by answers to these questions, for we have no evidence on these points.

8. During all this time Bachiler was carrying on a correspondence with Gov. Winthrop and members of his family. If he had confessed the crime Dalton would have promptly notified Winthrop of that fact, and Bachiler would soon have found that Winthrop knew it. On the contrary, at the end of the year 1643 we find him writing to the church at Boston that he does not see how he can leave Hampton until he has cleared and vindicated the wrongs he has suffered in the church of which he was still a member. He demands a trial of his allegations against Mr. Dalton and of Dalton's defence. He says that divers elders and brethren have looked slightly into the troubles, but there has never been a judicial trial of them.

He affirms that his excommunication was the foulest matter, both for the cause alleged and the real cause (even wrath and revenge). The proceedings of Dalton against him he declares to be monstrous and fearful.

Brook says "the supposition that the charges of immorality against Hugh Peter were true is inconsistent with the intimate relations which he is known to have sustained to many eminent men of unquestionable worth." *[Sprague's Am. Pulpit, Vol. I. 75.]

Would Winthrop and his family have been friends and correspondents of one whom they knew to be immoral?

9. It must be remembered that no charge is so easily made, so readily believed without proof, and so difficult to disprove. The allegation alone is frequently considered full proof. It was not incumbent on the accused to prove the negative, that he was not guilty. The burden of proof was on the complainant to make out a case, and it certainly never was proven. The testimony of the woman, aided by confession, would have made a strong case for the Colony in a criminal prosecution, and as the respondent could not testify it would have been impossible to produce any legal evidence in his behalf. This fact clearly indicates that no confession that could have been received in court was every made.

In a like case in 1642, supported by similar evidence, Rev. James Parker, then of Portsmouth, thought the matter not worthy of complaint for lack of evidence, and did not report it to the Massachusetts magistrates. *[Mass. Hist. Coll., Fourth Series, Vol. VII. 441, 444.]

10. Nearly two years after his excommunication, the matter was referred to some magistrates and elders, and through their mediation he was released of his excommunication, but not received to his pastor's office. It is undoubtedly to this half undoing of the great wrong done him that Bachiler refers in his letter to the church in Boston in 1643, when he says, "Whiles my cause (tho looked sleitly into by diverse Elders & brethren) could never come to a judiciall searching forth of things, & an impartiall tryall of my allegations & his defence." *[Mass. Hist. Coll. Fourth Series, VII. 102.] Was not reversal of the punishment a vindication of the accused? That the mediators refused to restore him to his office of pastor was due to the divided state of the Hampton church, not to any delinquency on the pastor's part.

11. The year he was excommunicated he was chosen umpire in the important suit of Cleeve vs. Winter and Winter vs. Cleeve, involving title to the land now occupied by the city of Portland, Me. It is possible that this appointment was prior to his excommunication, but in 1643 he received a call to Casco. They must then have known the slander. Did they discredit it, or did they consider it no wrong?

12. Even Gov. Winthrop was evidently ashamed of the means used by Dalton to destroy the good name of Mr. Bachiler, as he adds to his account of the trouble, "his fellow elder Mr. Dalton (who indeed had not carried himself in this cause so well as became him and was brought to see his failing and acknowledged it to the elders of the other churches, who had taken much pains about this matter)." How unjustifiable must have been Dalton's conduct to induce Gov. Winthrop to censure him in this manner, when Dalton was his friend, perhaps his relative, certainly a relative of his son John Winthrop, and an orthodox Puritan, for acts done in interest of the Bay Colony.

The penitence of Dalton, however, could not undo the wrong to Bachiler. Was not the gift of most of her property to Nathaniel Bachiler, Senior, the grandson of Rev. Stephen, by the widow Ruth, relict of Rev. Timothy Dalton, evidence of an attempt on her part to atone as far as possible for the wrong done by her husband to Nathaniel's grandfather? *[Will of Ruth Dalton, Family MSS.]

We have thus briefly indicated a few of the improbabilities of the story as it has come down to us. It seems utterly unworthy of belief, and it may safely be charged to the bitterness of the disputes which then existed in religious and secular matters. The call to Casco, already mentioned, was received in the latter part of 1643. George Cleeve wrote Gov. Winthrop the 27th of the 11th month 1643 that "They (the inhabitants of Lygonia) seeing us about to settle our selves under the ministry, and that the Lord will gather a Church amongst us." *[Willis's Hist. Portland, 881.] Bachiler communicated with the church at Boston and received from the magistrates and elders a letter of advice urging the acceptance of the call, presumably because they were weary of the bickering at Hampton and thought it would be ended by the removal of Mr. Bachiler.

He replied to this letter of advice, under date of the "26th of this last m. 1643," objecting that his removal from Hampton to Casco was forced by unjust proceedings, as well as by an honorable calling from Casco and like honorable advice from the church in Boston. He states his unwillingness to accept the call before he has a hearing of his allegations against Dalton and asks for a full trial of the same. He said he had promised to go to Casco and confer with them in regard to the call about the last week of March, 1643-4. This call probably came from Cleeve, who had recently returned from England with a commission from Rigby as deputy president of Lygonia. While the call to Casco was under consideration, and very early in 1644, Mr. Bachiler received a call to Exeter.

By a letter, dated the 18th or 19th of this 3 m. 1644, written by Mr. Bachiler, we learn that the Massachusetts magistrates and elders had considered this last call and had simply advised Mr. Bachiler to remove from Hampton, leaving him apparently free to choose which ever settlement he pleased. As he had not accepted the call to Casco he chose to settle at Exeter, and notified the Exeter church of his acceptance. He also voluntarily suggested to the Exeter people that they could not expect to maintain a church and minister long unless they made provision for a parsonage, and offered to contribute forty pounds, nearly the whole of his annual salary, toward the purchase of Mr. Wheelwright's house for that purpose. The day of the helper's meeting was agreed upon, and the persons and materials of their intended church. An unexpected event however was to prevent his settlement. The Bay Colony, discovering the intended settlement at Exeter, then within their jurisdiction, promptly forbade the gathering of a church there. Just ten days after receiving notice of the proposed settlement at Exeter, the General Court of Massachusetts, held at Boston May 29, 1644, adopted the following order:

"Whereas it appears to this Cort that some of the inhabitants of Exeter do intend shortly to gather a church, and call Mr Bachiler to be their minister, & forasmuch as the divisions & contentions weh are amonge the inhabitants there are indged by this Cor to bee such as for the present they cannot comfortably & wth approbation proceed in so weightly & sacred affaires, it is therefore ordered, that direction shalbe fourthwth sent to the said inhabitants to deferr the gathering of any church, or other such proceeding untill this Cort or the Cort at Ipswich (upon further satisfaction of their reconciliation & fitnes) shall give allowance thereunto." *[Mass. Colony Records {52.}]

That the true reason for the prohibition was stated in this order is evident because that reason could be inquired into by the Ipswich court, and upon evidence of their reconciliation and fitness the order of the General Court could be revoked. Winthrop gives the same reason and adds, "and beside Mr. Batchellor had been in three places before, and through his means, as was supposed, the churches fell to such divisions, as no peace could be till he was removed." * The General Court evidently did not care to put its opposition on that ground. Accepting the inevitable Mr. Bachiler settled down at Hampton again. He was a church member, but probably did not preach.

At a General Court of election, held at Boston, May 29th, 1644, it was ordered that "Mr Bellingham, Mr Saltonstall & Mr Symonds are appointed a committee & have full power to hear & determine all businesses at Hampton both about their differences, offences & a new plantation according to their several petitions." *[Mass. Colony Records {51}.]

On the 11th day of June, 1644, on petition of Hussie & 18 others of ye inhabitants of Hampton, "Mr Bellingham Mr. Soltonstall & Mrs Broadstreet are a committee to examine and judge the differences between the inhabitants." *[Mass. Colony Records, Vol. III. 367.]

This was undoubtedly a petition of the adherents of Bachiler, as Hussey was his son-in-law. It will be noticed that the commissioners are the same as previously appointed, except that Mr. Bradstreet takes the place of Mr. Symonds. The first order was adopted the very day the Exeter settlement was prohibited. The latter was nearly a fortnight later. Very likely the appointment of Mr. Symonds was offensive to Mr. Bachiler.

The same year, Nov. 12, 1644, "It is ordered by the Massachusetts General Court that Mr Samuell Dudley, Mr. Carlton, & Mr. John Saunders of Salsberry shalbe commissionrs to here & examine all matters concerning Mr. Bachiler & Hampton: & they have power to examine witnesses upon oath, wherby they may returne the truth of the case to the next Genrall Cort of Election." *[Mass. Colony Records {62}.]

Under date of July 15, 1644, Winthrop says, "The contentions in Hampton were grown to a great height, the whole town was divided into two factions, one with Mr. Batcheller, their late pastor, and the other with Mr. Dalton, their teacher, both men very passionate, and wanting discretion and moderation. Their differences; were not in matters of opinion, but of practise. Mr. Dalton's party being the most of the church, and so freemen, had great advantage of the other, though a considerable party, and some of them of the church also, whereby they carried all affairs both in church and town according to their own minds, and not with that respect to their brethren and neighbors which had been fit. Divers meetings had been both of magistrates and elders, and parties had been reconciled, but brake out presently again, each side being apt to take fire upon any provocation. Whereupon Mr. Batchellor was advised to remove. * * * And at this court there came petition against petition both from Hampton and Exeter: whereupon the court ordered two or three magistrates to be sent to Hampton with full power to hear and determine all differences there." *[Winthrop's N. E. ii. *177.]

May 14, 1635, "In answr to Mr. Batchilers petition, ye Howse of Depts conceave it not meete to allowe him anything, but leave hime at his liberty to seeke his remedy at any of ye Courts of Salem or Ipswich. *[Mass. Colony Records, Vol. III.] This was probably a petition to the General Court to make him some allowance for his services at Hampton.

About this time, probably, his second wife, Hellen, died at Hampton, aged about sixty years. He sold his farm Hampton to William Howard and Thomas Ward in 1644, and they sold it to the town, who afterwards granted it to Rev. John Wheelwright.

On the 20th of April, 1647, Mr. Bachiler had left Hampton and was living in Portsmouth, then called Strawberry Bank. On that day he conveyed all his remaining estate at Hampton, including all grants not appointed, to his grandson, John Samborn, who was to give bond to pay the grantor's other three grandchildren, namely, Nathaniel Bachiler, Stephen Samborn and William Samborn, £20 each. *[Rockingham County Registry of Deeds, Vol. 13, p. 221.]

Bachiler was never settled ministerially at Strawberry Bank, but undoubtedly preached there a part of the time. *[Mass. Hist. Coll. Fourth Series, Vol. VII., 109.] Portsmouth then had no settled Congregational minister. That "godly man and a scholar," James Parker, who though not settled had preached there several years, had shortly before gone to Barbadoes. *[1 Felt's Ecc. Hist. 607.]

On the 27th of June, 1647, James Woodward made his will and appointed Mr. Bachiler one of his overseers. This will was proved at Dover, Sept. 10, 1647. *[Rockingham Registry of Deeds, Vol. I., p. 39.]

On the 6: 2mo: 1650 the town of Hampton authorized the three men, William Fuller, William Esto and Francis Peabody, as they are summonsed, to answer Mr. Bachiler's action at Solsbery Court in the townes behalf. *[Hampton Records, Vol. I., p. 31.]

Shortly after his removal to Strawberry Bank, Mr. Bachiler's usual good judgment seems to have deserted him. He was a widower and obtained for a housekeeper a widow, whom he calls "an honest neighbour." He soon married her and the match turned out in every way unfortunate. She was an adulteress and her husband speedily discovered her character. His third marriage is usually said to have been contracted early in 1650, but as the town of Kittery granted her a lot, under the name of Mrs. Batcheller, on the 14th of February, 1648, *[York Deeds, Vol. I., Fol. 5.] the marriage must have taken place in 1647 to 1648, when he was eighty-six or eighty-seven years old. His wife, Mary, was evidently much younger than he. In May, 1650, he was fined ten pounds for not publishing his intention of marriage according to law. In October of the same year one half of this fine was remitted.

Perhaps the following extract from the Gorgeana Records may explain this leniency: "At a Generall court houlden at Gorgeana the 15th of Octor 1650 George Rogers & Mrs Batcheller prsented upon vehement suspition of incontinency for liveing in one house together & lieing in one rome. They are to be separated before the next court or to pay 40s." *[REGISTER for 1881, p. 44.]

Lewis copies from the York records under date of Oct. 15, 1651, the following: "We do present George Rogers and Mary Batcheller, the wife of Mr. Stephen Batcheller, minister, for adultery. It is ordered that Mrs. Batcheller, for her adultery, shall receive forty stripes save one, at the first town meeting held at Kittery, 6 weeks after her delivery, and be branded with the letter A." *[Lewis's Hist. Lynn, 162.] These appear clearly to be two separate offences.

In October of the same year the Court passed the following order: "that Mr. Batchelor and his wife shall lyve together as man and wife, as in this Court they have publiquely professed to doe: and if either desert one another, then hereby the Court doth order that the marshall shall apprehend both the said Mr. Batchelor and Mary his wife, and bring them forthwith to Boston, there to be kept till the next Quarter Court of Assistants, that farther consideration thereof may be had, both of them moving for a divorce: and this order shall be sufficient order soe to doe: provided notwithstanding, that if they put in £50 each of them, for their appearance, with such sureties as the commissioners or any one of them for the county shall think good to accept of, that then they shall be under their baile, to appear at the next Court of Assistants: and in case Mary Batchelor shall live out of the jurisdiction, without mutual consent for a time, that then the clerke shall give notice to the magistrate att Boston, of her absence, that further order may be taken therein."

It is evident that Mr. Bachiler charged his wife with adultery and prayed for a divorce. The hearing was deferred to the next court of assistants. She had been indicted for adultery in Maine. In view of these facts, the above order is most atrocious. The man is ordered to live as a husband with an adulteress during the pendency of divorce proceedings for that cause and a term in jail is threatened for disobedience of the order with the usual privilege of giving bail. Was not Lewis's explanation of this unaccountable order the correct one, namely, that there was a settled determination to make his continuance here as uncomfortable as possible?

After her separation from her husband, Mrs. Mary Bachiler lived on her lot in Kittery, granted her in 1648, adjoining the Piscataqua River, nearly opposite the boundary line between Portsmouth and Newington. What became of her and her children after October, 1656, when they were living in Kittery, is not known, but the name "Mary Bachellor's highway" is given as the northwest boundary of a lot at Kittery conveyed by William Hilton of Exeter to his son, Richard, May 4, 1684. *[York Deeds. Book VI., Fol. 166.]

On the 14th of October 1651. In answer to the petition of Richard Swayne, Wm Swayne and others of the towne of Hampton, itt is ordered, that whatsoever goods or lands have binn taken away by Edward Colcord or John Samborn, upon pretence of being authorized by Mr. Batchelor, either with or without execution, shall be retourned to them from whom it was taken and the execution to be called in, and no more to be granted untill there appear sufficient power from Mr. Batchelor to recover the same to the County Court either of Salisbury or Hampton. *[Mass. Col. Rec., IV., 67.]

That is, in 1645, the General Court refers him to the courts at Salem or Ipswich for relief in some matter about which he had petitioned them, apparently concerning his claim on Hampton for services. In 1647, he brought suit in a court of like jurisdiction, at Salisbury, recovers judgment, obtains execution and attempts to levy, not on the town, but on private property. Naturally he levied on the property of his well-to-do opponents and as naturally they objected to paying the town's debts. Justice required an order that the town of Hampton should raise the amount of the executions in their next tax levy, as the statute allowing persons having executions against towns, which they cannot collect, to levy on private property, was not then enacted. Instead of such order to levy a tax and pay the executions he was ordered to retry his case in court. Hampton was then a rich and prosperous town, and up to 1700 paid a larger share of the Province tax than any other town in New Hampshire. *[June 8, 1697, an act was passed in New Hampshire for raising £650. Of this sum Portsmouth paid £140.1.6, Hampton £187.2.4½, Dover £127.9.7½, Exeter £115.14, Newcastle £79.12.6.]

At length, wearied with the unsuccessful conflict and the constant disappointment of his expectations, heart-sick with the failure of all his plans for a quiet rest for his old age in that "land of righteousness," which, he says, "our New England is," he decided to return to England.

Harried and persecuted by the vindictiveness of the bishops of England for more than a quarter of a century, he came hither to escape their persecution. He found, not the peace he sought, but a conflict more bitter and persistent than ever he had experienced in England. Persecution here was unhampered by any laws or limitations. Appeal was in vain. A few attempts were made to review unlawful acts of the colonies in England, but the delays were interminable, the process costly and the results unsatisfactory. His matrimonial difficulties also led him to return to England. His petition for divorce seems not to have been granted, and we know of no modification of the order that he should continue to live with his adulterous wife. How could he escape that wicked woman except by placing the ocean between himself and her?

Another strong reason for his journey home is found in the changed state of political affairs there. The kingdom no longer existed. Charles I. and Strafford had been beheaded. Episcopacy as a state religion had been abolished. Edgehill, Marston Moor, Naseby and Worcester had been fought. The Commonwealth had been established. Oliver Cromwell had just become Lord Protector. No wonder the aged minister longed to look upon England under these changed conditions. It has been said that he was a friend of Cromwell. Whether true or not, his friends were no at the head of affairs in England and his enemies had been signally defeated. Most of his relatives shad been left behind when he came to America. Many of his intimate friends here had already gone back. He was poor in worldly goods. He had met with severe loss in the failure of the Company of Husbandmen. He had received no pay from the Hampton Church, except grants of land. His house, books, and "near all his substance" to the value of £200 had been burned at Hampton in 1641. His expenses in furthering the Hampton plantation were large. He gave all his property in Hampton to his grandchildren in 1647. He had only the amount received for his farm, which must have been greatly diminished by his expensive removals, his support at Portsmouth and his fare to England, unless he had saved some portion of the money received for his Newbury estate, which is not likely, as Winthrop calls him poor in 1637, when he went to Yarmouth. Anywhere from 1650 to 1656 has been assigned as the date of his return to England. *[REGISTER, Vol. I., 323-4. Lewis's Hist. Lynn, 161. Savage's Gen. Dict. sub. Bachiler, Dow's Address, Hampton, 1838.]

The earlier date is apparently due to the inaccurate statement of his faithless wife in 1656, that he had "transported himself unto ould England for many years since," and the fact that nothing is known with certainty about his residence here after 1650. We have only one means of determining the latest time when he was certainly in this country. If his grandson, Stephen Samborn, returned to England with Mr. Bachiler, as has always been believed, we can tell something about the time of his departure. In the Norfolk County Records at Salem, Mass., among Hampton, N.H. births, is found, Dorethia, the daughter of Stephen Samborn and Sarah, his wife, on the 2d of the 1st month 1653. As less than three years absence is about as short a time as one would date to call "many years since," it is most probable that Mr. Bachiler went back in 1654, perhaps early in the summer, when pleasant weather might be expected on the ocean.

From what port he sailed and where he landed are unknown. We know only that a vagrant tradition represents him as walking in London with one of his sons after his return, and that it was almost impossible to determine which of the two was the elder. The probability of the tradition detracts strongly from its credit as actual history. The abandoned woman, left here, as if anxious to do her husband all the wrong in her power, declared in 1656 that she had been credibly informed that he had married a fourth wife in England. No other evidence than her worthless and unsupported word exists to support this charge, and even if here statement be true, her information may have been utterly untrustworthy. It was mere hearsay at best. No marriage license has yet been discovered.

In October, 1656, Mary Bachiler petitioned the General Court at Boston for leave to marry, notwithstanding her marriage to Mr. Bachiler, setting forth the necessities of herself and her two sick children. *[Lewis's Hist. Lynn, 161, 162.] This petition for divorce was referred to the next County Court at York for examination to report to the next court of Assistants. *[Mass. Colony Records, Vol. III. {62}.] It is a sad story exhibited by the court records concerning Mary Bachiler, and all will agree that her punishment was severe, being visited even upon her children. Of his life in England after his return we know nothing; very likely he lived at Hackney, where he died, as that pleasant suburb, now a part of the great metropolis, was a comfortable residence for retired minister.

The last entry concerning Mr. Bachiler is as follows: "The ancient Stephen Bachilor of Hampton, N. H. died at Hackney, a Village & Parish in Middlesex, 2 miles from London in 1660 in the 100th year of his age." *[REGISTER, xii., 272.] [Editor's note: This date of death is incorrect, see here for further info.]

Thus, with the Commonwealth, passed away his life. It had been singularly stormy and contentious. What was his character? He must have had rare physical as well as intellectual vigor. From tradition and the characteristics of his descendants it is probable that he was tall and sinewy, with prominent features, especially the nose, a very dark complexion, black, coarse hair in early days, white in age, mouth large and firm, eyes black as sloes, features long rather than broad, a strong clear voice, rather slow of motion and speech, simple in dress, wearing in Lynn a suit of liste which he brought from England, obstinate and tenacious of his opinions to a marked degree, a powerful preacher, drawing largely from the scripture and impressing his hearers with the uncommon power and sanctity of his sermons, strong in his friendships and his hates.

Winthrop classed him among "honest men" when he arrived in 1632, and Prince, in his Annals of New England, Appendix to 1632, says ("From Gov. Winslow and Capt. Johnson we learn, That) He (Stephen Bachiler) was an ancient minister in England: had been a Man of Fame in his Day: was 71 years of Age when he came over: bro't a number of People with him: and soon became the 1st Feeder of the Flock of Christ at Lynn (And by several Letters I have seen of his own Writing to the R. Mr. Cotton of Boston, I find he was a Gentleman of Learning and Ingenuity, and wrote a fine and curious hand.")

Freeman, in his History of Cape Cod, says, *[Vol. II., p. 179.] "Of Mr. Batchelor much has been gratuitously written to his disparagement. From all that we gather from his contemporaries, we infer that he was learned, and, in the judgment of charity a good man; but that his whole life, extending through nearly a century of years, was singularly pregnant with incidents of trial. There were not chiefly the result of ejectment for non-conformity. Mr. Batchelor's greatest trials were from quite another source: and it is surprising how far reaching were early attempts to frame excuses for harassing with penalties and pursuing with vindictiveness those who fell under "suspicion." It is equally notable how ready are some at the present day to catch the strain and labor to justify the detraction even by doubtful traditional circumstances developed, whether with or without foundation, ex post facts." Those interested in heraldry can see a description of his coat of arms in Morgan's Sphere of the Gentry, printed in 1661. It consists of a plough, beneath which is a rising sun. In the technical language of heraldry it is, "vert a plough in fesse and in base the sun rising or." The author calls it the coat of "Cain, Adam's son," without apparently meaning more ;than that it denoted a husbandman or tiller of the soil, as Cain was. He says it did appertain to Stephen Bachelor the first pastor of the church of Ligonia, in New England: which bearing was answerable to his profession in plowing up the fallow ground of ;their hearts, and the sun appearing in that part of the world alluded to his motto sol justitiæ exoritur," We may guess that he received this coat of arms when he was called as pastor of the Plough company about 1629 or 1630, probably because of his zeal in forwarding the interests of that company. Morgan seems to have known him only by his connection with the Plough colony at Ligonia, now Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

The names of four children of Rev. Stephen Bachiler are known with certainty. Deborah, born in 1592, child of his first wife; Stephen, born in 1594, son of the first wife; Ann, born in 1601, probably of the first wife; and Theodate, who died October 20, 1649, at Hampton, N. H. That Nathaniel Bachiler, senior, of Hampton, was the grandson and not the son of our Rev. Stephen Bachiler is proved beyond question by Rev. Stephen's deed to his four grandchildren in 1647, before cited, in which Nathaniel Bachiler is called his grandson. This cannot by any possibility refr to Nathaniel Bachiler, junior, for he was not born until eleven years after the deed was made. And yet the statement that Nathaniel BAchiler, senior, was a son of Rev. Stephen, may be strictly correct. If the younger Stephen, son of the emigrant Stephen, entered the ministry after leaving Magdalen College, as is quite probable, and died about 1630, the confusion would easily arise. To conjecture is dangerous, but the assumption so well explains the confusion that it is worth stating in the hope that it may be speedily disproved, if untrue. If it should hereafter be confirmed, it will probably be found that the Stephen Bachiler who witnessed the will of Edmund Alleyn of Hatfield Peverell, Essex, February 19, 1615, was the younger of that name. Francis and Stephen Bachiler of London in 1685, were brothers of Nathaniel, and therefore grandchildren of our Rev. Stephen.

Whoever considers that Bachiler's life was wasted, because neither riches nor temporal honors were obtained by him, knows little of the manner in which reforms are accomplished. One thing for which he bitterly contended is universally conceded, and people wonder that it was ever disputed. The separation of church and state is recognized as unquestionably right by all his opponents, and his firm stand in behalf of the liberty of New Hampshire loses nothing because it was unsuccessful. Success would have left in doubt his firmness in standing out, when the consequences were certain to be his practical destruction and utter ruin. We know now that he had that firmness which rendered him utterly regardless of consequences to himself, when conscious that his motives and judgment were right.

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