"The Dorchester Group: Puritanism and Revolution," Ch. 5, Puritanism Moves South, pages 94-99:
Puritanism did not confine itself to New England, even in the seventeenth century. The people of Dorchester, Massachusetts, looked southward and saw there, near Charleston, in South Carolina, a fertile missionary field. It is uncertain exactly why they felt there were opportunities in this proprietary colony where the Church of England was established. Of much different origin from Massachusetts Bay Colony, Carolina (it was not divided into North and South Carolina until 1729) was established after the Restoration when eight promoters obtained a proprietary patent from Charles II. Chief amongst them were Sir John Colleton, a wealthy planter of Barbadoes, and Anthony Ashley Cooper, later to be Earl of Shaftesbury, Chancellor of the Exchequer. Shaftesbury must have had a tinge of the romantic about him, because the 120 articles of the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina which he and the political philosopher, John Locke drew up, attempted to revive medieval feudalism on a more German and French pattern than English. An elaborate governmental system was devised which provided for five estates, eight supreme courts, a chamberlain, and lord high admiral, and titles of baron, cassique, and landgrave to be bestowed according to the size of land tracts purchased by individuals. Manors and leets were also created. Leet-men and leet-women were bound to the manor, and it was decreed that all their children unto all generations also should be leet-men and leet-women. The nobility was to be hereditary. The eldest of the Lords Proprietors was made Palatine, and at his death the eldest of the seven surviving Proprietors would succeed him. All the royalties, proprieties, jurisdictions, and privileges of the County Palatine of Durham were granted in the patent for the express purpose of avoiding the erection of a democracy. Although the Church of England was the only religious body … Charleston was settled in 1670, by a small group from England and several hundred colonists from Barbadoes. Early the following year, the John and Thomas carried forty-two men, women and children from Barbadoes to Charleston sent by Thomas Colleton, Samuel Farmer, and John Stroud, esquires. On board was John Maverick, a Barbadoes planter, with his servants, Philip Jones and Richard Rowser. Hugh Strode also was a passenger. He and John Stroud were undoubtedly members of the prominent Devon family which had taken an important part in the Dorchester Company of Adventurers. John Maverick, who was named in the Parliament of the Carolina colony on April 20, 1672, was probably the son of Nathaniel Maverick, esquire, who was in Barbadoes by 1656. This Nathaniel was the eldest son of Samuel and Amias Cole Thompson Maverick, and grandson of the Reverend John Maverick who was emigrated from Devon to Dorchester, Massachusetts, on the Mary and John. His will, dated August 16, 1670, and proved at Barbadoes February 24, 1673/4, names a son, John, who was under twenty-one years of age when the will was signed. Directing that he be buried beside his son, Moses, under the southeast window of St. Lucy's Church, he left to his daughter, Mary, 40,000 pounds of muscovado sugar to be paid to her either after her marriage or at the age of eighteen years. Samuel Maverick, who was an important figure in early Massachusetts and who there gained a certain amount of unpopularity because of his well-known attachment to the Church of England, apparently was considering emigrating to Barbadoes, as Nathaniel's will directed that if his father came into the island, he was to be maintained out of his estate. Nathaniel Maverick had joined in an agreement with a large group in Barbadoes on January 7, 1664, to settle in Carolina. Perhaps illness forced him to change his mind and remain in Barbadoes, but the subsequent activities of the group are obscure. After his arrival in South Carolina, John Maverick apparently did not prosper, at least, at first. Although he held land at Charleston, he could not afford to keep his servants.
It seems likely that the presence of Maverick in South Carolina had an influence on the decision of a group of Puritans in Dorchester, Massachusetts, to remove to the southern province in 1695. This is especially probable when it is considered that one of his relatives was one of those who emigrated. She was Mary Maverick Way, daughter of Elias and Anna Harris Maverick, and granddaughter of the Reverend John Maverick. She married Aaron Way, son of Aaron and Joanna Sumner Way, who was baptized at Dorchester, Massachusetts, on October 6, 1650. The couple, with their children, were dismissed from the church at Danvers, Massachusetts, on October 11, 1696, to "the church of Christ laterly gathered at Dorchester in New England, and now planted in South Carolina." It was just a year previous to this that the church had been gathered. October 22, 1695, being a lecture day for the church in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the day was set apart for the ordination of Joseph Lord for the church which was to remove to South Carolina and "settle the Gospel there." Those who signed the covenant were Joshua Brooks, Simon Daken, and Nathaniel Billings of Concord; William Norman of Carolina; William Adams of Sudbury; Increase Sumner and William Pratt of Dorchester, and George Foxe of Reading. Representatives or "messengers" of churches in other towns were present to carry out the solemn work at hand. Mr. Lord first prayed, then preached on Matthew 5:13 — ye are the salt of the earth," after which the ministers laid their hands upon him. Mr. Morton gave him a very solemn charge, and Mr. Hobert gave him the right hand of fellowship. A collection amounting to five pounds, eight shillings was taken in the Dorchester congregation which was to help pay the expenses of the day. Two days later a public fast was kept.
The presence of William Norman's signature on the covenant is curious. He had been in Carolina from at least 1684, as on September 22 of that year, he obtained the usual survey in preparation for receiving a land grant from the Lords Proprietors. His 320 acres were located on the northeast side of the Ashley River approximately three miles above the spot where the Dorchester settlement was later made. His family origins are uncertain, but he must have had connections with New England to have gone to Dorchester and become a member there of the church which was to plant in South Carolina. He may have been the William Norman who was in Falmouth, Maine, in 1663, and possibly he was the grandson of Hugh and Agnes Woolcott Norman, and son of Hugh Norman of Plymouth and Yarmouth who returned to his old home at Orchard, near Taunton, Somerset, about 1654, abandoning his wife, Mary White, and his children in New England. Then, too, it will be recalled that a John Norman and his son were among the Old Planters who stayed at Salem with Roger Conant. It certainly is plausible that John Maverick and William Norman were responsible for the beginnings of what was to become Dorchester, South Carolina.
The members of the newly gathered church for Carolina on December 3, 1695, embarked from New England on a longboat (skiff) to board the brigatine
After spending a week in Charleston, William Pratt, an elder of the church, Increase Sumner, and two other men went by water to William Norman's home on the Ashley River and were entertained by Lady Rebecca Axtell, widow of Landgrave Daniel Axtell. They prevailed upon her and her neighbors for the acquisition of land in that region. The South Carolinians were not impressed with all the members of the group, so it was only when Pratt and Sumner held a secret discussion with them that any progress in the negotiations was made. The Ashley River people had a higher esteem for them than they had for many of those who came from New England. There were complaints that some of them were "guilty of gross miscarriages." It is probable that some of these obstreperous characters had left New England not with the desire to spread Puritanism in an Anglican colony, but with the hope of escaping from the strict control of the Bay magistrates. Joseph Blake, governor of South Carolina, was persuading the Reverend Mr. Lord and his congregation to settle at New London (later called Willtown), and sent them to discuss the matter with Landgrave Joseph Morton, son of the late governor of the same name. Pratt and Sumner joined them there after returning overland to Charleston. Lord called Elder Pratt aside to discuss the merits of the two sites, and they kept the conditions of the proposed transaction for the Ashley River settlement secret. They also kept secret from the other members of the congregation something which was greatly for their benefit. After a few days they returned to Charleston by water, and shortly the Reverend Mr. Lord and some of the church went up the Ashley River to William Norman's house where on Sunday, January 26, the minister preached on Romans 8:1. Many of the neighbors from the surrounding countryside attended and gave diligent attention to the sermon. The following Sabbath the sermon was on Peter 1:3-18, and again the neighbors came and also several persons from a distance of ten miles. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered and two deacons chosen. The next morning several members of the church set out for a return voyage to New England for the purpose of bringing their families to Carolina, so a time was spent in prayer on Sunday afternoon. It was probably they who carried the news of the day's activities back to the church in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Puritans in the Province were not confined to the Dorchester Group. There was already a Congregational meetinghouse on Meeting Street in Charleston. In 1698, they were destitute of a minister and sent an invitation to the Reverend John Cotton, an uncle of Cotton Mather and a son of the Reverend John Cotton who had emigrated from Boston in Lincolnshire to Boston in New England. The flock must have been very destitute, as Cotton had been silenced by a council at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and dismissed the previous year for "his notorious breaches of the Seventh Commandment" (Thou shall not commit adultery), and for his "undue carriage in choosing Elders." Just before the unexpected invitation arrived, he had kept three days of fasting and prayer "that the Lord would look upon him in his desolate condition." He then set aside another day of prayer at the close of which he visited his nephew, Cotton Mather, requesting him to pray with him and commit him to the Lord. This he did. By October 1698, the Plymouth case still was dragging on. Just before John Cotton sailed for Carolina in November, having been delayed in Boston by unfavorable winds, he was presented with the testimonials against him. He peremptorily denied the most and the worst of them. His suffering under this cloud was of short duration, as he died of the terrible sickness which carried off many in the low country of Carolina, on September 17, 1699. Cotton Mather continued his interest in the South Carolina Puritans, writing and sending them sermons to keep them from straying into Anglicanism. The Reverend Joseph Lord, a 1691 graduate of Harvard College, apparently did not find South Carolina much to his liking, as by 1718, he was back in Massachusetts, at Barnstable, and two years later was installed pastor at Chatham, where he died June 6, 1748. Born June 30, 1672, the son of Thomas and Alice Rand Lord, he had taught school at Dorchester from 1692 until his departure for the South. On June 2, 1698, he married Abigail Hinckley, daughter of Governor Thomas Hinckley of Plymouth Colony,. Her mother was Mary Smith, daughter of Quartermaster John Smith of the Dorchester Group which sailed on the Mary and John.
The condition of the Anglican Church in South Carolina during the first half of the Eighteenth Century provided fodder for the growth of Puritanism. Letters went to the Bishop of London from clergy in the province deploring the caliber of their fellows in Holy Orders. They were a hard-drinking, quarrelsome, and troublesome lot, engaging in indiscreet conduct and performing illegal marriages. Good men were deterred from going to South Carolina by the lack of decent housing for themselves and their families and because of the low salaries. There were also constant pleas for more clergy. One was said to have died in the same beastly manner in which he had lived. In the space of twelve or fourteen years previous to 1734, there had been four ministers in succession at Christ Church, Charleston, and not one of them was of tolerable behavior, leading to the great damage of religion and the increase of dissenters in the city. The clergy of South Carolina plead [sic] for a settled minister for St. Bartholomew's Parish to prevent the inroads of Presbyterianism. One minister ran away from his parish and thus was held in contempt by the better sort of his parishioners.
The Puritans took advantage of the opportunity offered them. In April 1734, Nathan Bassett of Harvard College was ordained in the Brattle Street Church, Boston,
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