Biography of Edward Gove of Hampton, NH

(Excerpt From)

History and Genealogy of
The American Family of Gove and
Notes of European Goves

By William Henry Gove

(Salem, Mass: Sidney Perley, 1922, pp. 13-49)

EDWARD GOVE, born in London, England, in 1630. He lived in Salisbury, and was a bachelor April 16, 1657, when he bought a right of commonage in Salisbury of Josiah Cobham of Salisbury, planter.1
1[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 1, leaf 101.]

He married Hannah, daughter of William Partridge of Salisbury in 1660. With William Allin, house carpenter, Edward Gove, then of Salisbury, planter, for forty pounds, bought of Mr. William Worcester of Salisbury and wife Rebecca one hundred and twenty acres of upland at Batt's hill, in Salisbury, May 1, 1662;1 and Mr. Gove, then of Salisbury, husbandman, conveyed his half interest in the same to Samuel Fellows of Salisbury, weaver, March 28, 1663.2 Mr. Gove, still of Salisbury, husbandman, conveyed to John Colby of Salisbury, planter, twenty acres of upland, on the west side of Pawwaus river in Salisbury (now in Amesbury), July 7, 1662.3 Still of Salisbury, husbandman, for eleven pounds, Mr. Gove bought of Samuel Colby of Salisbury, planter, twenty-four acres of upland in Salisbury Nov. 16, 1663. Still of Salisbury, husbandman, for thirty pounds, Mr. Gove bought of Richard Currier of Salisbury, planter, seventy-two acres of land in a place called Jamaica, on the Merrimack river, in Salisbury (now in Amesbury), Nov. 27, 1662;4 and, for forty-six pounds, Mr. Gove conveyed it to William Buswell of Salisbury, weaver, June 22, 1666.5 Mr. Gove was still of Salisbury, March 23, 1663, when, for eighty-five pounds, he bought of Eliakim Wardell of Hampton (in that part of the town which is now Seabrook), thirty acres of land bounded by Salisbury common and land of Nathaniel Wyer and Nathaniel Ware, with the dwelling house; cowhouse, etc.; a share in the cow-commons; and eighty acres of upland at the new plantation in Hampton, March 23, 1665.6 Mr. Gove removed to Hampton (now Seabrook) in the spring of 1665; and resided in this house as long as he lived. After his death in 1691, it remained in the possession of his widow, and upon a division of the homestead, in 1712, it went to his son Ebenezer. The farm has continued to be in the Gove name ever since.

For thirty pounds, Mr. Gove conveyed to Ezekiel Wathen of Salisbury, laborer, forty-eight acres of upland, in Salisbury, on the west side of Pawwaus river and on the country highway leading to Haverhill, Nov. 28, 1665;7 and he conveyed to John Ilsley of Salisbury, barber, eight acres of upland in Hall's farm, in Salisbury, in 1669.8

1[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 1, leaf 147.]
2[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 3, leaf 372.]
3[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 44.]
4[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 41.]
5[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 85.]
6[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 47.]
7[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 55.]
8[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 233.] This was a portion of the farm which Mr. Samuel Hall had conveyed to the town of Salisbury about 1660; and was subsequently granted to several parties.

Samuel Hall of Langford, Essexshire, England, yeoman, appointed Mr. Gove, whom he calls his friend, as his general attorney in New England March 18, 1669.

Mr. Gove conveyed to Onesiperous Page of Salisbury, weaver, his four-acre division of cow-common marsh in Salisbury July 14, 1670.2 For sixty pounds he bought of Lt. Philipo Challis of Amesbury, yeoman, one-fourth of the old sawmill on Pawwaus river, near the corn mill, in Salisbury, etc., Jan. 17, 1671,3 and, for sixty-five pounds, conveyed it to William Allin of Salisbury, husbandman, Feb. 13, 1671.4 In consideration of several lots of land in Hall's farm, in Salisbury, Mr. Gove conveyed to John Ilsley of Salisbury, barber, one-quarter of a ten-acre lot in the great meadow Jan. 16, 1671.5 He bought of William Worcester of Boston, cordwinder, for thirty pounds, ten shillings and six pence, seventy acres of land in Amesbury, towards Haverhill, Dec. 19, 1672;6 and, for sixty-five pounds and ten shillings, conveyed it to John Gill of Salisbury May 6, 1675.7 He, also, conveyed to Benjamin Shaw of Hampton ten acres of salt marsh on the south side of Tayler's river, in Hampton, April 30, 1674;8 to Joseph Dow of Hampton, weaver, for fourteen pounds sterling, eleven acres and thirty-six square rods of land in Hall's farm, in Salisbury, July 6, 1678;9 to Thomas Philbrick, Sr., of Hampton, land in Hall's farm, in Salisbury, which he bought of John Ilsley, Dec. 16, 1678;10 to Thomas Cram of Hampton, for ten pounds, four acres and one hundred and fifty-seven rods of land in Hall's farm, in Salisbury, Nov. 1, 1679;11 and to Thomas Chase of Hampton, for three pounds and five shillings, one and one-half acres of meadow in Hall's farm, in Salisbury, Feb. 15, 1680.12

1 [Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 190.]
2 [Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 187.]
3[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 235.]
4[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 332.]
5[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 3, leaf 233.]
6[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 3, leaf 49.]
7[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 3, leaf 16]
8[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 3, leaf 5.]
9[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 3, leaf 126]
10[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 3, leaf 129.]
11[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 3, leaf 244.]
12[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 3, leaf 330.]

Mr. Gove was a large land holder; and he appeared in court several times in maintenance of his rights as to lands. He was a strenuous man, and frank even to bluntness. When he believed he was wronged, he quickly sought to avenge himself, as far as possible, by his own individual efforts. He did not refrain from forceful language and personal assault and was before the quarterly court several times for such offenses. In 1673, he was fined for abusing Nathaniel Weare of Hampton and for calling him a thief.

He was made a freeman Dec. 4, 1678, and represented New Hampshire in the first assembly in 1680. His impetuosity and strenuous nature caused him to become the leader in the opposition to Governor Cranfield.

All the territory north of the river Merrimack and was included in the original grant of Aug. 10, 1622, by the Plymouth Council in England, established by Royal charter "for the planting, ruling, ordering, and governing of New England, in America," to Capt. John Mason, a merchant of London, and Sir Ferdinando Gorges. It was called Laconia. The grant described the territory as the Province of Maine and as including all that part of the mainland in New England, upon the coast, between the rivers Merrimack and Sagadahock and to the furtherest head of lands of said rivers and so into the lands westward for three score miles.

The next year, some fishermen, exiles from the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, built their cabins along the southerly shore of the Piscataqua river.

Rev. John Wheelwright and four other men purchased the same territory of some Indian chiefs May 17, 1629; but the English authorities disregarded the transaction; and Nov. 7, in the sme year, Captain Mason obtained from the Plymouth Council a new patent of the territory between the Merrimack and Piscataqua rivers and from the ocean three score miles inland, naming it New Hampshire.

In 1630, a fishing station was established at the Piscataqua river, in what is now Dover.1 Portsmouth was settled at the same time, and Exeter soon afterward. The grant to the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, in 1628, ran from three miles south of Charles river to three miles north of Merrimack river. It was contended by the Bay Colony that its grant should be interpreted as extending northerly three miles north of its most northern point, which is Lake Winnepesaukee. This construction would make it include all of the grant of 1629 to Captain Mason. The Bay Colony south to support this claim by colonization, settlements being made at Hampton and Salisbury in 1638, and at Haverhill two years later. Meeting houses were built, and town governments established.

1[Dover was at first called Cochecho.]

For several years, Dover, Exeter and Portsmouth had distinct and independent governments. It was deemed advisable to place these towns under the protection of the Bay Colony, and April 14, 1641, by agreement, Dover and Portsmouth were annexed to Massachusetts, which was to have, by the terms of the contract, "jurisdiction of government of the said people, dwelling or abiding within the limits of both the said patents." Exeter was admitted as a party to this agreement in September, 1642.

April 22, 1635, Capt. John Mason obtained another grant, including all that part of the mainland beginning from the middle of the Naumkeek river and from thence eastward along the coast to Cape Ann and around the cape to Piscataqua harbor and so up within the river Newawannacke and to the furtherest head of said river and northwestward sixty miles from the entrance to Piscataqua harbor and also from Naumkeek river sixty miles westward, including the southern half of the Isles of Shoals, all to be called New Hampshire.

Captain Mason sent over some cattle, and eight Danes to build mills for sawing boards and grinding corn. He built commodious storehouses and filled them with goods which would be necessary and useful for the new settlement, a large quantity of guns, pistols, swords, cutlasses, ammunition, and two cannon intended for a fort in Portsmouth harbor. After the death of Mason, this property melted away, --the buildings were burned and all the property was lost to the heirs. The loss of this property seemed to presage the loss of his claim to the land.

Capt. John Mason died near the close of the year 1635, and the first heir mentioned in his will having died in infancy, his grandson Robert Tufton succeeded to the inheritance and adopted the name of Robert Tufton Mason.

In 1652, Joseph Mason, an attorney for the family, came from England to look after their interests, and commenced an action against Richard Leader. The case was brought before the general court, a survey was ordered and Leader's land was admitted to be within the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and not within the bounds of Mason's claim. After making some unsuccessful efforts to establish a claim or compromise with the settlers, Mason return to England.

More than twenty years afterward, in 1675, the king's attorney decided that Robert Tufton Mason had a legal right to the Province of New Hampshire.

Sept. 18, 1679, by a royal decree, the Colony of Massachusetts Bay was restrained from exercising jurisdiction over the territory lying three miles northerly of the Merrimack river and northeasterly to the Province of Maine; and New Hampshire was made a royal province. The commission of the officers was read at Portsmouth, Jan. 22, 1679-80.

John Cutts of Portsmouth was the first president, and Richard Waldron, Richard Martyn, William Vaughan, Thomas Daniels, John Gilman, Christopher Hussey, Elias Stileman, Samuel Dalton and Job Clement constituted the first council; the present and council being appointed by the king, and laws were to be enacted by an assembly chosen by the people. Edward Gove was elected a member of this assembly from Hampton. The four towns, -- Dover, Exeter, Portsmouth and Hampton sent eleven representatives.

The militia had been organized while under the Massachusetts Colony, and the officers for Hampton were: captain, Samuel Sherburn; lieutenant, Edward Gove; and, ensign, John Moulton.

President Cutts died March 27, 1681, and Richard Waldron succeeded him and held the position of president of the council until the arrival of Governor Cranfield, Oct. 14, 1682.

As soon as the territory came under the control of the king, Mr. Mason preceeded to develop plans to get possession of his American domain. The king gave to him the following authority:

Whereas the said Robert Tufton Mason hath humbly signified to us that he is preparing to transport himself for the taking care of his affairs in the Province of New Hampshire and for the giving of secure and legal confirmation for the estate of such persons as are now in possession, but without any right or legal title to the same, and he being a person whom we have esteemed useful to our service, as he is chiefly concerned in the welfare of that our province, we have further thought fit to constitute and appoint him to be one of our council therein, and we do herby order and require you our President, and Council, that immediately after his arrival, you do admit him to your council of the Province of New Hampshire, he taking the oath mentioned in our said Commission, dated Dec. 30, 1680. -- SUNDERLAND

The principal object of Mason's visit at this time was to secure legal possession of the estate to which he believed that he had the legal title. He endeavored to obtain rents from the settlers, but they claimed that he had no rights and refused to pay rents or take title under him. He hoped, also, that the inhabitants of the province would be induced to take leases under him of the houses and lands, according to the terms required of the king; but he found the undertaking more difficult than he had anticipated. He could not convince the people of the justice of his claims. Some held possession by authority of the Massachusetts General Court, some held deeds from the Indians, others supposed that settlement gave them a title, many claimed rights by peaceable possession for half a century and all believed that the lands they had subdued from the wilds of nature, which they had defended against a savage foe at great expense of men and money, and whose toils and hardships had made it "blossom as the rose" could not be rightfully wrested from them. Few knew of the claim of Mason, and they thought it unjust and cruel that their liberties should be abridged and their property demandable to satisfy a claim that was at best disputable and in their opinion groundless. Had the settlers by any fraudulent means inpeded the designs of the original grantee or embarrassed his interests, he might have had a demand for damages, but the failure of that adventure was to be sought for in its own impracticability or the negligent inability or inexperience of those into whose hands the management of it came after Captain Mason's death and during the minority of his immediate successors.

Under the influence of dissapointment, Mason appears sometimes to have lost self-control and to have forgotten his engagements with the king. Finding himself unable to persuade the people, he undertook to intimidate them to compliance with his demands. In some cases, he forbade persons cutting timber or fuel, and even threatened to sell their estates, claiming the entire province as his own and assuming the title of Lord Proprietor. Apparently he had a dream of establishing a government similar to that in feudal days.

By this course he greatly irritated the people and united them more firmly in their opposition to his claims. A few persons, indeed, consented to take leases under him, and a much larger number would probably have done so by conciliatory methods, even though a large majority would have contended for what they regarded as their just rights. Each of the towns in its corporate capacity and many individuals applied to the president of the couincil (John Cutts, esquire, of Portsmouth) and the council (under the act) for protection.

At a town meeting held in Hampton (a town which contained about one-fourth of the proprietors of the province) March 21, 1681, the subject was discussed, and Serg. Joseph Dow and Edward Gove were appointed in behalf of the town to prepare a statement of the case and to assert the rights of the inhabitants to their lands and to present the same to the council. The council soon afterward published an order prohibitory of Mason's proceedings. Irritated by this order, Mason refused to sit with the council; and, March 27, 1681, disappointed and chargrined, he left the province, having been there about three months, and sailed for England.

The government which he had procured to be created was not likely to be administered in a manner favorable to his views and he made it his business, on his return to England, to solicit a change; and through his influence with the kings, Edward Cranfield was appointed lieutenant-governor and commander-in-chief of the Province in New Hampshire May 9, 1682. Mason agreed to give the new governor one hundred and fifty pounds annually and mortgaged to him the lands of the province as security. The consideration promised to the king was twenty per cent of the rents collected.1

1[Deed enrolled in the Court of Chancery.]

Cranfield was unprincipled and greedy of gain, and perfectly willing to become Mason's tool for a valuable consideration. He arrived at Portsmouth Oct. 4, 1682, armed with his commission as governor. This instrument authorized him "to call, adjourn, prorogue and dissolve general courts; to have a negative voice in all acts of government; to suspend any of the council when he should see just cause; to appoint a deputy-governor, judges, justices and other officers, by his sole authority; and to execute the powers of vice-admiral." Mason and seven others of the former council were reappointed, while two (patriots) were dropped. Before a week had passed, two more of the local members of the council were suspended.

An assembly was called, which met Nov. 14, 1682;1 one of the members from Hampton being Edward Gove.

1[See Narrative of the Rebellion in New Hampshire in 1682, presented by Edward Randolph. -- Colonial Papers (American and West Indies), in London, volume 165, page 516.]

Upon Cranfield's restoration of the two suspended members of the council, the assembly, hoping to detach the governor from Mason's cause, voted him two hundred and fifty pounds. The governor readily accepted it, and Dec. 1 ordered an adjournment. The assembly met again the second week in January, 1683. At this session, some laws were passed and others recommended by the governor which caused much excited debate. The assembly was disinclined to enact laws which it knew would be obnoxious to the people and could not be prevailed upon to sacrifice principle. Owing to the utter lack of harmony between it and the governor, he dissolved the assembly after a session of less than two weeks. This act of Cranfield's, although allowed by his commission, was regarded, not only by the deputies but by the people generally, as an arbitrary act and an unwarrantable abuse of power. The people of the province were indignant at Cranfield's conduct, but, nevertheless, although ever jealous of their liberties, in general demeaned themselves as good citizens. A few, only, under the leadership of Edward Gove, in the exuberance of his patriotism, "determined to revolutionize the government or at least to effect a reform."

By proclamation of the governor, the inhabitants were ordered to take leases of Mason within one month. Few, if any, complied, but proposed that the matter should be referred to the governor that he might lay the cases before the king in accordance with the provisions of the commission of the governor. This he absolutely refused to do. Instead, suits were brought against the settlers, the first defendant being Major Waldron, who was the largest land-owner in the province. He allowed himself to be defaulted as both the judges and jurors were selected by the order of the governor and were known to have espoused the cause of Mason. Whereupon Waldron was arrested and placed in prison for using seditious language, spoken aloud in the open court, viz., that this was a leading case, that if he failed in his defense, all must become tenants of Mason, and that none could serve as jurors as all were equally interested. Numerous other cases followed and were disposed of daily. Jurors were kept from month to month, especially to try these cases. The governor clearly and thoroughly identified himself with the claimant and the council was completely under his influence. He made no attempt to conceal his interest and position.

This order of things continued until the censure of the governor by the King's Council.

Disaffection was general, but how far the conspiracy extended is uncertain. The rising was not unexpected, but it was earlier than was anticipated. Had it been well matured it would have been more successful. The simple fact that the governor became so much alarmed at the action of a dozen men in a riot or rebellion indicates that he was aware of his exceeding unpopularity with the people and greatly feared their revenge.

Gove probably expected a general uprising among the inhabitants, and possibly the sound of the bugle was to be the signal. He had been a resident of Hampton for more than twenty years, and must have been as familiar with the people and their views as any other man. He must have known the wide-spread disaffection and the determination not to yield to the demands of the governor, and his views were well known to them because of his outspoken sentiments. He was thought to be the right man for the assembly, and was elected.

Gove was a person of considerable property, lieutenant of the military company and somewhat popular, and as Randolph, an English devotee of Mason, affirmed, "a leading-man and a great stickler in the late proceedings of the assembly." He resolved, almost singlehanded, to redress his own and others grievances. "He makes it his business," said Randolph, "to stir the people up to rebellion, by giving out that the governor as vice-admiral acted under the commission of his royal highness, the Duke of York, afterwards James II, who was a Papist and would bring Popery among them; that the governor was a pretender and his commission was signed in Scotland. He endeavored, with a great deal of pains to make a party, solicited many of the considerable persons in each town to join with him to secure their liberties. Gove declared "that his sword was drawn, and the he would not lay it down till he knew who should hold the government." The governor, having received information of his movements, immediately sent messengers to Hampton and Exeter with warrants for the constables, requesting them to arrest Gove, but fearing this show of opposition and that Gove's party might become too strong for the civil power, he forthwith ordered the militia of the whole province to be in readiness.

Gove undoubtedly expected that when his arrest was attempted, there would be resistance and then a general uprising. At first he eluded and repulsed the marshall (who was a local man) and others who attempted to arrest him in Hampton, and hastened to his men at Exeter. He suddenly returned to Hampton Jan. 27, 1683, with twelve men, all being mounted, and nearly all being of Hampton, armed with swords, pistols and guns, a trumpet sounding, and with his sword drawn, riding at their head. They entered the town and Gove, seeing no demonstration in his favor at his appearance, lay down his arms and gave himself up to the authorities of the town, as did the others. They were taken into custody by the militia, except the trumpeter, who escaped. They were imprisoned and heavily ironed. When Governor Cranfield was informed of the arrests, he was mounting his horse to lead a part of the troops in pursuit of Gove and his party.

The governor wrote a letter to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, "dated from New Hampshire, Jan. 23, 1683, in which he reported that Edward Gove, one of the late assembly men from Hampton, has been making it his business to stir up the people in the several towns to rebellion." In a postscript, dated Jan. 27, he writes: "I must add the news that Gove was apprehended on the 23d with some of his accomplices. The rebels will be tried by the laws of England on 1st Feb."1

1State Papers (America and Indies), 1681-1685, page 374)

Randolph asserts that many considerable persons to whose homes Gove either went in person or sent, calling upon them to come out and stand up for their liberties, would have joined them had he (Randolph) not discovered Gove's designs or appeared in arms at that time. Having arrested Gove and his associates and placed them in irons, the governor sent a strong part of mounted men to guard them from Hampton to Portsmouth. This was on Saturday. They were taken separately next day, although it was the Sabbath, before the governor and council for examination. Apparently, they had no counsel. Gove was the first one examined. He did not deny what he had lately said and done. He admitted that he did draw his sword, because it was his own, and added: "The governor is no judge of this court, but a pretender and a traitor to the king and his authority." The examination of the other persons arrested elicited but few facts tending to incriminate them of anything, except being in Gove's company, yet they were all in irons and were committed to the prison at Great Island.

Edward Gove wrote the following letter from the prison to the justices of the Court of Sessions:

From the Great Island in Portsmouth in New Hampshire 29 Jan 1682-3. To the much honoured Justices of the Peace as you call yourselves by your indightment, in which eleven men's names subscribed, namely Ed Gove, Jo Wadly, John Wadly, Rob Wadly, Ed Smith, Will Ely, Tho' Rawlin, John Young. Gentlemen excuse me. I cannot petision you as persons in authority by the name of Justices of the peace, for now I am upon a serious account for my life and those that, are with me. Therefore pray consider well and take good advise of persons in Government from Whence you came. I pray God that made the Heavens, the earth, the Seas, and all that in them is to give you wisdom and courage in your places to discharge such duty as God requires of you and secondly, I heartily pray God to direct you to do that which our Gracious King charles the Second of Blessed memory requires of you. Gentlemen, it may be that I may be upon a mistake, but according to what I know and believe I am falsely indited, and I am abused notwithstanding another indightment by being in Irons by Captain barefoots orders which Irons are called bilbose exceeding large. pray consider that we are men like yourselves, made of the same earth and I know who made the difference.

And I verily believe that the Holy richeous Just God will have an account of you for your justice in this matter. Pray consider when this last charge was. I writ to one man in this province. I told him we were a happy people. If all was right in the bottom Time was that I said all was right in the bottom. I believed it but now I see otherwise. Who knows what shall be on the morrow; though it bee appointed a solemn day of fasting I know that when it was appointed, there was not the election of cries and tears that will appear when the day comes. if ever New England had need of a solomon or David or Moses Caleb or Joshua it is now. My tears are in my eyes. I can hardly see. yet will I say I do believe how it will com you and they with siths and groans must out do the ministry. The ministry must endeavour to out do you but if you and they do any thing in hypocracy God will find you out and deliverance will come some other way. We have a hard prison a good keeper a hard Captain Irons an inch over five feet and several inches long two men locked together yet I had I thank God for it a very good nights lodging better than I had fourteen or fifteen nights before. I pray God direct you and let me hear from you by a messenger that your honours shall employ and consider that I am your honours humble servant in all duty to be commanded.


I know those that will have a blessing from God must endearvour to stand in the way of blessing. This doctrine I heard about 32 years ago.


Excuse anything wrote amis, for the Lords Sake. I would you were all as I am, and as fitt to receive reward for innocency. I humbly beg your prayers to God in our behalf.


If anything be amis in what is written let the subscriber bear the blame for the rest are surprised with fear.


I humbly and heartily desire some of your honours would speak to mister Moody to pray God in the behalf of all his poor prisoners the world over especially for us the forenamed the men of this province who ly under heavy burdens.


Lieutenant-governor Cranfield immediately instituted, by special commission, a court of Oyer and Terminer, and it was held at Portsmouth on Thursday, Feb. 1, 1682-3, five days after the arrests had been made. The judge was Richard Waldron, esquire, and Thomas Daniel and William Vaughan, esquires, assistants, with the other justices of the peace of the province who were then present. The grand jury, which had been drawn and returned, consisted of John Hinks, Robert Elliott, Thomas Marston, John Redman, Samuel Wentworth, William Samborn, William More, Richard Sloper, John Moulton, Edward Gillman, John Roberts, Henry Moulton, Joseph Canne, Mathias Haynes, Job Clements, Joseph Beard, Samuel Haynes and Morice Hobbs. After hearing witnesses, the following indictment was reported:

Edward Gove of Hampton in ye said Province, planter, John Gove of Hampton aforesaid, carpenter, William Hely of Hampton aforesaid, smith, Joseph Wadley of Exeter, in ye said Province, laborer, John Wadley of Exeter aforesaid, laborer, Robert Wadley of Exeter aforesaid, laborer, John Sleeper of Exeter aforesaid, laborer, Thomas Rawlins of Exeter aforesaid, laborer, Mark Baker of Hampton aforesaid, laborer, with others, not having the fear of God before their eyes, but by the instigation of the Devil, having withdrawn their allegiance and obedience to our Sovereign Lord ye King, did at Hampton on ye twenty-sixth day of January last past, traitorously, with force and arms, viz. swords drawn, guns, pistols and other weapons, and with the sound of a trumpet levy war against his Majesty and his government, appearing and rendevouzing at Hampton aforesaid in a rebellious body and assembly in a hostile manner, raising and making insurrections and with treasonable words at Hampton aforesaid and Portsmouth and other places, moving and inciting the people to sedition and rebellion, declaring for liberty and the like, to the great disturbance of his Majesties peace, to the terror of his people against his crown and dignity and contrary to ye form of ye Statutes in their case made and provided.

The night before the trial of Edward Gove (January 31st), Maj. Robert Pike brought to Governor Cranfield the following copy of record and the depositions of the Stephenses:

At the County Court held at Hampton ye 4th of October 1659 ...... Leit. Robert Pike and Mr. Thomas Bradbury are appoynted by ye Court to take order for the disposeing of Edward Gove, according as necessity shall require, and likewise to look after Ed. Goves Estate that it may not be embeziled, and to pay and receive debts as necessity shall require. This is a true Copie, as attest.


1[State Papers (Colonial), volume 50, No. 24.]

Salisbury in ye Massachusetts Collony In New England Anno 1682. Sergeant John Stephens, aged about 70 years, declareth and is ready to sweare:

That Edward Gove now of Hampton in the Province of New Hampshire was some years since in a Strange Distemper Seemingly Lunatick, and did attempt to kill the wife of George Martin, Saying that shee bewitched him and did to that end charged his pistolls and endeavored it of which condition of his the Court at Hampton being enformed did send for him and understanding his condition, ordered that he should be committed into safe custody to prevent his doeing hurt to himselfe or others. Ipswich prison was the place intended, but the Sd Steephens, out of respects to Gove, undertooke to looke to him, with this condition that, if he could not rule him, he should be assisted to carry him to the aforesaid Prison.

The Sd Steephens saith that he did abide with him about three weekes, in wh time he did humour him as a child, to keep him quiet and from doeing hurt to himselfe or others; sometimes he was seemingly Rationall, and at other times seemingly distracted, that the said Steephens was fourced to lock up the dores and lock him in, sometimes he would take a booke and read an houre or two, sometimes he would be more like a mad man, and would not medle with it, Mr. Dolton the minister of Hampton being there one time, advised that we should keep bookes from him, that he might not read too long to trouble his head, which wee carefully observed.

After a while he grew pritty well and went from the Sd Steephens house, But the said Steephens do further declare that he did looke upon him as a man that was always subject to that distemper. he thinks it was naturall to him for his mother lived & died in that kinde of Distemper.

John Steephens Junr aged about forty three yeares do affirme and is ready to testifie that he doth well Remember that when Edward Gove was at his fathers house, he was in generall, as his father hath above afiermed, and is expressed, though as to some particulars he hath not so well the knowledge of. But doth affirme & declare that the said Gove was distracted & unsafe in his actions and motions and that his father attended him & followed him alway day & night during the time of his aboad at his house, for none of the house besides him could prevail with him, he lay with him at night and he hath heard his father often say that he was often fourst to hold him in his armes to keep him from rising & goeing about in the night, and he was certainely a very distracted man by his actings and so accompted.

There be also many more that can testifie to the like; if need be, & some that can sweare they were in company & did many times helpe to bind the said Edward Gove hand & foote (when he was out in his head) for feare he should doe hurt to himselfe or others.

The petit jury for the trial of the accused was duly drawn and returned. It consisted of Henry Dow, Humphrey Wilson, John Brewster, Philip Cromwell, Joseph Smith, John Tuck, Francis Page, John Seiver, Obediah Morse, Richard Waterhouse, Mathew Nelson and James Randle. At the trial, which occurred on Monday, February 5th, Richad Martin of Portsmouth, esquire, testified that about eight o'clock Thursday evening, January 25th, Edward Gove came to his house with Jonathan Thing and said that he "was upon a design, and said 'we have swords by our sides as well as others, and would see things mended before we will lay them down.' He also said that he was going to Dover, and we would hear further from him in three or four days." Jonathan Thing testified similarly. Reuben Hull of Portsmouth, merchant, testified that at Dover on Friday, January 26th, he met Edward Gove who had his sword and boots on, and said to him, "How now, Gove, where are you bound? What's the matter with you?" "Matter," said Gove, "matter enough. We at Hampton have had a town meeting and we resolved as one man that things shall not be carried on end as it is like to be, and we have all our guns ready to stand upon our guard. I have been at Exeter, and they are resolved to do the same. I have my sword by my side, and brought my carbine also with me which I have left somewhere. Jonathan Thing came with me. I have left him at Portsmouth to treat with John Pickering and some others, and I am going to Major Waldern's to see what he will say to it. He said the Governor had stretched his commission." Hull replied, "Gove, what, are you mad? Do you know what you are going to do?" Gove said, "If you will be of the other side, we shall know you. And if they should take me and put me in gaol, I have them that will bring me out." Henry Green of Hampton, a justice of the peace, testified that on Saturday, the twenty-fifth of January, he saw Edward Gove come into the town with a trumpet and several men with him in two files, some of them having guns. They were taken and secured by a guard; and soon afterward, when he was at Mr. Cotton's house, being informed that the prisoners had broken out, the witness made haste to Cornet Sherborn's. When be reached there, Edward Gove and his company were out, and Gove presented a gun at him. William Marston of Hampton, the constable who had been authorized to arrest Gove and his men, testified that, upon receipt of the warrant, he with others went to Gove's home and made diligent search, but he did not find him. Returning homeward in the nighttime, when he could not plainly see, he heard the trumpet sound and soon met Gove with the trumpeter. They were going toward Gove's house, but being well mounted they got past. Gove said he would not speak with me there, but at his house. When I came to his house the latch string was pulled in, but Gove bid the door to be opened, and stood upon his defence, with his sword or cutlass drawn in his hand towards the justice, saying, "Hands off! I know your business as well as yourself. I will not be taken in my house." Nathaniel Lad, the trumpeter, stepped to him to assist him with his sword or cutlass drawn toward Marston's breast. Upon this move the latter felt constrained to go and secure more assistance. Returning to Gove's house, the constable saw Edward Gove, Nathaniel Lad, John Gove and William Hely quickly mount and ride away. The constable failed to see them again until the next morning, when they came, mounted and armed, toward Mr. Sherborn's house in two files. Edward Gove was in the front, and the trumpeter blew his trumpet. The lieutenant spoke to Edward Gove and his men, and they made no resistance. They dismounted and delivered up their arms, and were arrested by the military forces.

Each of the prisoners then defended himself and his activities. Edward Gove acknowledged that the testimony against him was true. He "railed" at Governor Cranfield, saying he was a traitor and acted under a pretended commission and demeaned himself with "insolence and impudence." John Gove stated that he went along with his father at his command. William Hely confessed tht his rising in arms was for liberty. The jury were out six hours, and returned a verdict of guilty for each of the defendants. The judge then respited all the defendants, except Edward Gove, until the king should declare their punishment; but immediately, shedding tears while do so, passed sentence upon Edward Gove, as follows:

You, Edward Gove, shall be drawn on a hedge to the place of execution, and there you shall be hanged by ye neck, and when yet living be cut down and cast on the ground, and your bowels shall be taken out of your belly, and your privy members cut off and burnt while you are yet alive, your head shall be cut off and your body divided in four parts, and your head and quarters shall be placed where our Sovereign Lord the King pleaseth to appoint. And the Lord have mercy on your soul.

The news of Edward Gove's conviction and sentence was widespread in New England. Rev. Noadiah Russell, then a tutor in Harvard College, wrote in his diary:

11 [No 1682-3] Edw: Goave of Hampton in Mr. Masons colony was condemned to dye for taking up armes against ye Governt, after was brought to Boston in order to be sent to England.1

1[Diary of Rev. Noadiah Russell, tutor of Harvard College, in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, volume VIII 1853, page 58.]

The following is a copy of the pardon given to John Gove:

I, Edward Cranfield in pursuance of my Royal commission and instructions do hereby pardon and remit unto John Gove of Hampton in the Said Province Laborer, one of the persons convicted of high treason at the Said Court held by special commission of Oyer and terminer viz the first day of February last past in the year of our Lord 1683 all his crimes and offences of treason and Conspiracy and all penalties and forfeitures for the same. Given under my hand and the Seal of the province the --------- day of Feb in the six and thirteeth year of our sovereign Lord Charles the Second King of England &c A. D. 1683.

A similar pardon was granted to John Wadley, William Helly and John Sleeper. One of the Wadleys probably died in prison and the other was retained in confinement until the close, or near the close, of the governor's administration. The other prisoners were respited until the king's pleasure should be known, which was that he the governor should pardon such as he deemed objects of mercy, they being all young men and not realizing their transgressions, and all with one or two exceptions were pardoned. One died in prison, one was detained in prison for cause now unknown, and was not liberated until after or near the close of the governor's departure.

Gove's estate was seized and forfeited to the Crown and his large family left in destitute condition.

The deed is done; and he who stands
With dauntless heart to plead the cause
Of Freedom and his Country's good
Is crushed beneath a tyrant's laws;
Transported from his fellow men
A convict o'er the rugged maine
His hand that whilom grasped the pen
Now fettered with the felon's chain.

The following is an abstract of a letter written by Edward Randolph, Collector of his Majesty's Customs in the province of New Hampshire, to the Lords of Trade and Plantations concerning the rebellion in New Hampshire in 1682-1685:

January 9 The Assembly being adjourned to that day, meet. The Governor recommended to them several good bills that had passed the Council, but instead of their concurrence they either rejected or put them in such disguise as rendered them altogether useless and afterwards would not take notice of any bills which did not arise from themselves they likewise peremptorily insisted to have the nomination of Judges and the appointing of Courts of Judicature power solely invested in the Governor by Commission from his Majestys service or benefit of the Province after he had passed some bills not knowing where these would end, dissolved the assembly. In a short time after one Edward Gove who served for the Town of Hampton, a leading man and a Great Stickler in the late proceedings of the Assembly, made it his business to stir up the people up to Rebellion by giving out that the Governor as Vise Admiral acted by his royal highness Commission who was a Papist and would bring Popery in amongst them; that the Governor was a pretended Governor and his Commission was signed in Scotland. He endeavored with a great deal of Pains to make a Party and solicited many of the considerable persons in each town to Join with him to recover their liberties infringed by his Majestys placing a Governor over them, further adding that his sword was drawn, and he would not lay it down till he knew who should hold the government. This he discoursed at Portsmouth to Mr. Martyn treasurer and soon after to Capt. Hill of Dover which they discovered to the Governor who imediately dispatched away messengers with warrants to the Constables of Hampton and Exeter to apprehend Gove and fearing he might get a party too strong for the civic power (as indeed it proved for justice Weare and a Marshall were repulsed) the Governor although much dissuaded forthwith ordered the malitia of the whole Province to be in arms and understanding by the Marshal that Gove could not be apprehended at Hampton by himself and a Constable but was gone to his party at Exeter from whence he suddenly returned with twelve men belonging to the town mounted and armed with Swords Pistols and guns a Trumpet Sounding and Gove with his Sword drawn riding into Hampton at the head of them, was taking horse and with a part of the troops intended to take Gove and his Company; but the Governor was prevented by a messenger from Hampton who brought word that they were met withall and taken by the malitia of that Town and secured with a guard; the trumpeter forcing his way escaped after whom a hue and cry was sent to all parts but as yet he is not taken. This rising was unexpectedly to the party made up on the 21 day of January last. It is generally believed many Considerable persons at those houses Gove then either sent or Called to Come out and stand up for their liberties would have joined with him had he not discovered his designs or appeared in arms at this time for upon the 30th day of January being appointed by the Governor a public day of humiliation they designed to cut off the Governor Mr. Mason & some others whom they affected not. The Governor sent a strong party of horse to Guard the prisoners then in irons from Hampton to Portsmouth. They were brought and examined before the Governor and Council where Gove behaved himself very insolently. They were all committed to custody and Capt. Barfoot having the trained band of Great Island then in arms was orderd to take Care of the prisoners and keep a strict watch upon them in regard the prison was out of repair. All this while the Governor was at great charge and expense in Suppressing this Rebellion and keeping up guards to secure the peace of the province. He therefore judged it necessary to bring them to a speedy trial and to that end directed a commission of Oyer and terminer to Richard Waldron Thomas Daniel and William Vaughan Esquires, for their trial to be had on the first day of February next at which time Gove and the other Prisoners were brought to the court then holden at Portsmouth in the said province. The Grand Jury found the bill. The next day they were all arraigned and endihted upon the 13th of the King, for leving war against his Majesty. Gove pleaded to the indightment not Guilty then Mr. Martyn Treasurer of the province and Capt Hull both of Portsmouth with two Justices of the peace and a Leut of the foot Company of Hampton who was at the taking of them were all sworn in Court. Then Gove owened the matter of fact and to Justify his taking up arms pleaded against the Governors power that he was only a pretended Governor by reason of his Commission as he said was sealed in Scotland, likwise that the Governor had by his proclamation appointed the 30th of January to be annually observed and kept a day of humiliation and Obliged the Ministers to Preach that day. The Governor had at his house discoursed to Gove and Showed him Out of the 10 Chap of St Mark, the necessity of Childrens baptism. This he urged a great imposing upon the ministry. The other Persons Pleaded not guilty but had little to say in defence for themselves further than they were drawn in by Gove. The Jury after long consideration found Gove Guilty of high Treason upon the indictment and all the rest in arms. upon the Court proceeding to give Judgement and passed the sentence of Condemnation upon Gove but in regard to the other Prisoners were specially found. The Governor ordered the Court to respite their judgment till his majestys pleasure should be known therein most of them being young men and altogether unacquainted with the laws of England.1

1[Provincial Papers, volume 1, pages 493-496.]

The following is the record of the trial made by Maj. Richard Waldron, the judge who presided thereat:

Province of New Hampshire in New England

At a Court by special Commission of Oyer and Terminer, under the hand of the Hon bleEdward Cranfield Esqe Leutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of the said Province, and publick Seale of the said Province of New Hampshire to be held in the Towne of Portsmouth in the said Province the first day of February 1682 in the five & thirtieth yeare of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord King Charles the Second before Richard Waldron Esq, Judge, Thomas Daniel & William Vaughan Esqs, Assistants, and others majtsJustices of the Peace for the said Province then present, for triall of Edward Gove, John Gove, William Hely, Joseph Wadley, John Wadley, Robert Wadley, John Sleper, Thomas Rawlins, Mark Baker, for high Treason.

A grand Jury of the freeholders being returned, impanelled & sworn in open Court to make inquiry for our Said Soveraigne Lord, viz.

John Hinks
Robert Elliott
Thomas Marston
John Redman
Samuel Wentworth
William Samborn
Nathaniel Batchelor
Moses Gillman
John Sherborn
William More
Richard Sloper
John Moulton
Edward Gillman
John Roberts
Henry Moulton
Joseph Canne
Mathias Haynes
Job Clements
Joseph Beard
Samuel Haynes
Morice Hobbs

The Wittnesses being sworne & examined, they did upon yr Corporal Oaths in behalf of his Maty, present that Edward Gove of Hampton in yesdProvince, Planter, John Gove of Hampton aforesd Carpenter, William Hely of Hampton aforesd, Smith, Joseph Wadley of Exeter in yesd Province Labourer, John Wadley of Exeter aforesd Labourer, Robert Wadley of Exeter aforesd Labourer, John Sleeper of Exeter aforesd Labourer, Thomas Rawlins of Exeter aforesd Labourer, Mark Baker of Hampton aforesd Labourer, with others, not having the fear of God before their eyes, but by the instigation of ye Devil having withdrawn their allegiance & obedience to our Soveraigne Lord ye King, did at Hampton on ye Twenty sixth day of January last past, traiterously with force & arms, viz. Swords drawn, guns, pistols & other weapons & with the sound of a Trumpet levy war agst his Maty & his Governnt, appearing & rendevousing at Hampton aforesaid in a Rebellious body & assembly in a hostile manner raising & making insurrections & with treasonable words at Hampton aforesaid and Portsmouth and other places, moving & inciting the People to Sedition & Rebellion, declaring for liberty & the like, to the great disturbance of his mats peace, to the terror of his People agst his Crowne & Dignity & contrary to the forme of ye Statutes in their case made & provided. Upon which presentment of the Grand Jury a Petit Jury of ye freeholders in ye Province aforesd was returned & impanelled, to pass upon their severall lives & deaths, & liberty given to ye Prisoners to make their severall challenges before they were sworne.

The Jury were, viz.

Henry Dow
Humphrey Wilson
John Brewster
Philip Cromwell
Joseph Smith
John Tuck
Francis Page
John Seiver
Obediah Morse
Richard Waterhouse
Mathew Nelson
James Randle

Who were severall sworne well & truly to try & true deliverance make between our Soveraigne Lord the King & ye prisoners at yeBarr, whom you shall have in charge: you shall true verdict give according to ye evidence.
So help you God.

The prisoners being indited according to ye presentment of ye Grand Jury, they severally pleaded not guilty, & being demanded how they would be tryed, they said, by God & ye Country.

The witnesses were sworne one by one thus. The evidence that you shall give on ye behalf of our Sover. ye King agst ye prisoners at ye Barr shall be ye truth, ye whole truth & Nothing but the Truth. So help you God.

Richard Martin of Portsm. Esq being sworne, saith That upon Thursday night last past about Eight of the Clock, Edward Gove & Jonathan Thing came to the Deponents House & asked if Mr. Moody were there. I told him no, I thought he was at home. he told me he was not at home. I told him then I thought he was at Mrs. Cutts. he then asked me how things looked here. I thold him as they used to doe. I asked him whether he went home tomorrow. He told me no, he was upon a designe, & said, we have swords by our sides as well as others & would see things mended before we will lay them downe. I told him he spake great words, & wished him to be modereate & serious in his words & actions about such mataters. he told me he was going to Dover, & we should hear further from him in three or four days & then went away from my house, & I have not seen him since.

Jonathan Thing, yeoman, being sworne, deposed the same as Richard Martin did.

Reuben Hull of Portsmouth merct, being sworne, saith That being at Dover on Friday the 26 of January 1682 as I was going in my Cannoe to come home I mett with Edward Gove having his sword & boots on. how now, Gove, said I, where are you bound? Whats ye matter with you? matter I says he, matter enough. We at Hampton have had a Towne meeting & we are resolved as one man that things shall not be carried on end as it is like to be, & we have all our Guns ready, to stand upon our guard. And I have been at Exeter, & they are resoslved to doe ye same, said he. I have my sword by my side, & brought my Carabine also with me which I have left somewhere. said he, Jonathan Thing came with me. I have left him at Portsm. to treat with John Pickering & some others & I am going to Major Waldern's to see what he will say to it. he said the Governr had stretched his Commission, & said I to him, Gove, what are you mad, do you know what you are going to doe? said he, if you will be of the other side, wee shall know you. And if they should take me & put me to Gaol I have them that will bring me out. he asked me to goe to Joseph Beard with him; but I told him I would not, & so did part with him.

Nathaniel Weaare, one of his Mats Justices of the Peace in ye Towne of Hampton being sworne saith. That on the 27th of Jan., as I take it ye Constable William Maraston, ye Marshall, & Samuel Ssherborn came to my house in ye night, & called me up, delivered me a Warrant from the HonbleGovernor. I did accordingly. Soon after our return from Edward Goves house, I heard a Trumpett sound, & being exceedingly troubled & desirous to know the cause, while I considered the matter ye Marhsll, ye Constable & Samuel Ssherborn came again to my house. I told ye Constable he knew what he had to do by ye warrant he had in relation to Gove & I required him to seize ye person that did sound the Trumpett. Soon after Edward Gove came to my yarad, near ye door. some pereson called. I went out & desired them to come in, but Edward Gove & one with him that I did take to be Nathaniel Lad, they said they would not come in to be taken in a house. they went away, & I saw them no more till they were taken at ye Towne.

Henry Green of Hampton one of his Mats Justices of yePeace, being sworn, saith, That upon the 27th of Jan. 1682 I saw Edward Gove come into Towne with a Trumpett with him and several men with him in two files several of them having arms. they were taken & secured by a Guard. Soon after I being informed ye Prisoners were broke out, I made haste to Cornaett Sherborns. I being at Mr. Cotton's, & when I came, Edward Gove & his company were out, & Gove presented a Gun at me.

Henry Roby of Hampton yeoman being sworn deposed ye same as Henry Green did, And further saith That Edward Gove presented his gun with ye company, when they broke prison.

William Marston of Hampton Constable being sworn saith, That immediately upon receipt of ye warrant to apprehend Edward Gove, I went in pursuance of ye same with others to his house, making diligent search, but could not find him, then coming homeward in ye night, when I could not well see, I heard ye Trumpett sound & quickly mett with said Gove with ye Trumpeter going towards Gove's house, but being well mounted they got past us, & said Gove said he would not speak with me there, but at his house, but when I came to his house, the string of the latch was in, but said Gove bid ye door to be opened, but ye said Gove stood upon his defence with his sword (or cutlash) drawn in his hand towards me, saying hand off, I know yor business as well as yourselfe, saying I will not be taken in my house, upon which words Nathaniel Lad, ye Trumpeter stepped to him to assist him with his sword or cutlash drawne towards my breast, upon which I was constrained to goe to raise more Aid. But in ye mean while when I came again, they were quickly mounted & rid away four in company, ye said Gove & Lad, John Gove and William Hely, and I saw them no more till ye next morning when they came towards Mr Sherborns in two files, with their arms mounted, Edward Gove in ye front & ye Trumpeter sounded. Upon ye Leiutenants speaking to them, they made no resistance, but delivered their arms and dismounted, & I seized Edward Gove, & by order of ye Justices I seized the rest of his company, & commanded them up ye chamber, & sett a guard by order of our Justices.

The prisoners made their answer in defence Edward Gove did acknowledge that what was sworn agst him was true, & withal railed at ye Governor, & said he was a Traitor & acted by a pretended Commission, & that he should have those that would fetch him out of prison, and demeaned himself with great insolence & impudence.

John Gove owned he was in ye Company at ye time of ye break of prison at Hampton with ye prisoners at ye barr, and that he went along with Edward Gove his father by his command.

William Hely confessed That his rising in arms was for liberty, & that he did say so, because he heard Edward Gove say the same words, & that he was in company at ye break of prison, & stood upon his defence.

Joseph Hadley owned he was in Goves company with others when he was apprehended & broke prison. Robert Wadley confessed the same. Thomas Rawlins confessed the same. Mark Baker confessed the same & that Edward Gove putt a pistoll in his hand.

John Sleper confessed ye same, but that having made his escape, he did withal in one hour surrender himself.

John Wadley confessed he was in company of Edward Gove when apprehended, but that he did not break prison.

The Jury being withdrawne for six hours or more brought in their Verdict as followeth--

Edward Gove, guilty according to the inditement.

John Gove, guilty of these crimes, for being in his father's company when apprehended, & breaking out of custody, & standing upon his defence.

William Hely guilty of these crimes, for being in Edward Gove's company when seized with arms, & saying his rising was for liberty, as Gove said, & for breaking out of Custody & standing upon his defence after he was out.

Robert Wadley Jun guilty for being one of Goves company breaking out of Custody, & standing upon his defence.

Joseph Wadley, equall guilty with his Brother Robert.

Mark Baker, guilty of ye same crime with ye aboves4 Wadleys, & for receiving a pistol of his master Gove.

Thomas Rawlins guilty equal with aboves4 Wadleys.

John Wadley guilty of being in Goves Company when apprehended.

John Sleeper guilty of being in Goves Company when apprehended, breaking custody, going away, but coming again within about one hours time & surrendered up himselfe a prisoner.

The Verdict being recorded, ye Court gave sentence of death upon Edward Gove, as followeth:

You EdwardGove shall be drawn on a Hedge to ye place of Execution, & there you shall be hanged by the neck, And when yet living be cut down & cast on ye ground, & your bowels shall be taken out of your belly, & your privy members cut off & burnt while you are yet alive, your head shall be cutt off, & your body divided in four parts, & your head & quarters shall be placed where our Soveraigne Lord ye King pleaseth to appoint. And ye Lord have mercy on yor Soul.

Judgment on ye rest is respited till his Mats Pleasure be knowne.


Vera Copia of ye Proceedings of ye
sd Speciall Court. Teste

1[State Papers (Colonial), volume 50, No. 34]

Having general orders in his commission to send all rebels to England and fearing to execute the sentence of Gove, Governor Cranfield sent him to England for the king to deal with, on the ship Richard of Boston, Thomas Joules, commander, on the twenty-ninth of March following. The order of transmission of the prisoner from Governor Cranfield to Captain Joules is as follows:

To Thomas Joules Commander of the Ship Richard of Boston
Whereas Edward Gove late of Hampton in the Province of New Hampshire in New England was in January Last convicted and condemned for High Treason and the Sentence of Death passd upon him for the same and whereas his Mastie hath Commanded that all persons so offending bee sent home to his Kingdome of England to bee there executed or kept till his Majties pleasure be knowne therein these are therefore in his Majties name to require you the said Thomas Joules to receive on board ye ship Richard the said Gove and to transport him to England and him safely to keep untill he shall be demanded of you By express Warrant under the hand of one of his Majties Principall Secrys of State. Given under my hand and Seale this 29th day of march 1683.


2[State Papers (Colonial), volume 50, No. 83]

At the same time, Governor Cranfield sent the following letter to Right Honourable Sir Lionel Jenkins, His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State, at Whitehall, detailing the events and enclosing with it a copy of Judge Waldon's record of the trial:

PORTSMOUTH, Febru: 20, 1682

Right Honble
I send your Honn. upon the Ship Richard of Boston under Mr. Randolph's care Edward Gove an Assemblyman, who served for the Towne of Hampton, One whome his Country has condemned to dye for raiseing a Rebellion in the Province as appears by the account of his Tryal signed by Maj. Walderne, then Judge of the Court. I intended his execution upon the place for terrour to the whole party, who are still mutinous, if my commission would have warranted itt, besides him, 9 other persons were taken, and upon tryall were convict, But their condemnation is respited, haveing Taken sufficient security for their appearance, there being no Goale in the province fitting to secure them, till his Majts pleasure bee knowne therein. And as to Gove I cannot with safety to my selfe, or to the peace of the Province keepe him longer in custody, for besides the greate & dayly charge of Guards upon him, I have cause to feare the Souldiers in time may be remiss or overpowered, and so Gove sett att liberty. Besides by my commission I am directed to send Rebells to England where if Gove escape the sentence of the law there is an end to his Majtys business in New England.

I was soon made sensible the Larke Frigott which brought me over to this Province was gonn to sea, for as the second meeting of the Assembly in January last they begann to dispute my commission & powre. I recommended to them severall good Bills agreed upon first by their Councill, but instead of offering them they offered Bills repugnant to the laws of England which I rejected & findeing trifling away their time in makeing of Partys, I was necessitated to dissolve them.

I tooke a Journey to Boston & other places in that Colonie makeing itt my business to Feele their Temper, I found amongst them a prevayling faction against his Majts interest wharever for present turne may bee pretended, & upon good grounds believe that should his Royall Highness survive his Majts such is their generall aversion incouraged & buoyed up by the nonconformist party in England, that att once they will fall off from their allegiance to the Crowne. its therefore very neccessary that the whole Countrey bee brought to a th[o]rough Regulation being allarmed by the Quo Warranto brought against their Charter. Its being equally ncessary that his Majts send a frigott to attend till such regulation bee compleated, by putting the Governt together with the melitia Castles and Forts into the hands of Loyall & Honest Gentm& the faction made incapable ever after of altering or disturbing that Governnt.

I heare it is designed to petition his Majts for Gove's life & that to bee managed by the messengers from Boston, if so 't will farther appear to mee that Gove had encouragement from thence, haveing beene just before the Session of our Assembly att Boston, and I cannot but observe to yo: Honnr that Majr Pike one of the magestrates & of the faction in Boston Governnt to mee the night before Gove's tryall with several depositions to certifie that Gove was a distracted man, hopeing by that means to avoid his prosecution.

The ministers in New England are generally more absolute and independent in their practice than in their principles they intermeddle in all matters of Governnt, the people are stirr'd up & composed according as they are influenced by their teachers. I found some of the scrupling to preach upon the 30th January, which by proclamation I have ordered annually to bee observed in this Collony. I did also propose to the ministers as an essential part of their office, the Baptizeing of children & administring the Sacrament which by Gove att his tryall was objected a greate crime & innovation. I am forced to keepe the militia in Armes till Gove bee shipt off, and shall endeavour to keepe his Majts peace, But I make it my humble request to his Majts that Mr. Randolph, who well understands his Majts interest & the humour of this people, & had beene usefull to mee since my arrivall, may be despatcht back hither with full instruction & the countenance of a small frigott to attend orders, otherwise I can promise to his Majts but little Success in the mattrs I have in charge.

Mr. Randolph hath been very diligent & made five journey's this winter in the Extremety of weather from Boston above 70 miles distance from hence, & now being ordered to attend at Whitehall takes upon him the trouble & charge of Gove's transport which I could by no means propose to be advanced to him out of the Stock of this Province in regard of the Extryordinary expense occassioned to the inhabitants by Gove's insurrection, neither shall adventre to call another Assembly till I heare effectually from England. I therefore intreate that the charges of Gove's passage & of others that attend him may be allowed to Mr. Randolph haveing passed my word that the Master shall be paid att his arrivall in England. with the presentmt of my most humble Duty I am

Right Honble
Your most Humble and most obidient Servant

1[State Papers (Colonial), volume 50, No. 34:
State Papers (America and West Indies), volume 165, page 387.]

Endorsed on back:
To the Right Honble
Sr Lyonell Jenkins
His Majests Principall
Secretary of State
New Hampshire /82
Portsmouth / 3
20 Febs, R. abt 5 June
Mr. Cranfield about
Gove ye Traytor

After the ship Richard had sailed, Governor Cranfield again wrote to the Secretary of State as follows:

Boston Aprill 2, 1683

Right Honble
I have shipped off Gove upon the Ship Richard of Boston Thomas Joules Master, who (by agreement) is to have twenty pounds to bee paid him in England when Gove shall bee delivered upon your Honrs Warrant which is all from
Right Honble
Your most humble and obedient Servant


To the Right Honble
Sir Lionell Jenkins
His Majties Principall
Secry of State
at Whitehall2

2[State Papers (Colonial), volume 50, No. 89]

The governor made his administration more and more oppressive by raising the costs of court five hundred per cent, to be paid in money and not in merchandise as before. He became more arbitrary, and he with his council usurped the whole of the legislative power. They levied taxes without the consent of the assembly, and imprisoned some without preferring charges and unjustly fined others. A general feeling of discontent and insecurity prevailed. All felt that their homes, their rights and their religion were assailed, the popular discontent was aggravated, and an unexpressed conspiracy came into existence to ovethrow the government.

Governor Cranfield wrote to the Lords of Trade and Plantations: "I send Gove home but have respited his companions and recommended them to mercy. Gove has been tried & convicted of high treason."1

1[State Papers (America and India), 1681-1685, volume 165, page 389]

Governor Cranfield wrote to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, from Boston, March 27, 1683, stating the reasons for displacing Major Richard Waldern, Mr. Martyn and Capt. Gilman from the Council of New Hampshire: The first against Waldern was "For fining and imprisoning the kings custom officers for doing their duty," etc. The first against Martyn was "For refusing appeals to the king," and, the fourth, "For keeping silence about Gove's plot of which he was well aware, & encouraging Gove." The reason for Gilman's removal was "For suffering Gove & his party to rendezvous in his house though himself a Captain of a company & justice of the peace."2

2[Colonial Papers (America and West Indies), volume 165, page 413]

Steps were immediately taken to secure the release of Edward Gove, alleging tht he had temporary periods of unsoundness of mind; and his wife, Mrs. Hannah Gove, sent the following petition to the king, stating similar reasons and praying for her husband's pardon:

To the Kings Most Excelent Majesty
The Petition of Hannah Gove, wife of Edward Gove of Hampton in yor Majtys Province of New Hampshire in New England, prsented ye -------th of ------- 1683.
Humbly Sheweth
The wretchd & Deplorable Condition of her selfe and family, but chiefely her husband, who by means of a distemper of Lunacy or some such like, which he have benn Subject unto (by times) from his youth, and yet is untill now (as his mother was before him) (though at some times seemingly very Rationall) which have occationed him Irationally and evily to demeane himselfe (by means of some unhappy provocation) to such actions whereby he have incured unto himselfe the Sentence of Death; past upon him by yor Maties Court in the same Province, with Loss of all his Estate; and is now sent over into England to attend yor Maties further pleasure therein, on whose Royall favour only now depends all possibility of Releise. And for as much as he never had the least expression of disloyalty or Disafection to yor Maties person, Crown & Dignety or Interest neither then, nor at any other time that wee know of nor nothing tending that way (when Rationall) but the Contrary, as he would have pleaded at his tryall had be been himselfe and doubt not but he would upon tht accompt now begg for his own life either to the Honorable Govt here or of yor Royall Majties there, but he being not capable of so doeing.

Your most deploreable Supplicant Doe in most Humble wise Pray your Sacred Majties favourable admitance of her humble Request for the life of her said Husband (by your Majties Gratious pardon) or what way soever it shall seem good to yor Majties, yor poore petitioner haveing no knowlidge of Law, of the privilidges that a Subject may plead, and yor Majties poore Petitioner, and all her Distressed family, Shall as in duty they are bound ever pray for yor Majties long life and Happy Reigne.


1[State Papers (Colonial), volume 50, No. 40]

With this petition was forwarded the copies of the records and depositions of the Stephenses which were brought to Governor Cranfield the night before the trial.

When Edward Gove arrived in England, upon the following representation of Edward Randolph, he was at once (June 6th) confined in the prison in the Tower of London:

Its humbly represented That Capt Jolls Commandr of ship Richard of Boston did take on board Edward Gove of Hampton by order of Mr. Cranfield upon condition to keep him aboard after his arrivall in England untill he may be demanded by Order under the hand of one of his Maties principall Secretarys of State.


Mar. 4TH 1683
[Endorsed on back:]
4 June 82
Mr. Randolph abt
Gove ye Traytor

2[State Papers (Colonial), volume 51, No. 5]

On the eleventh of June, only a week after his confinement began, Mr. Gove wrote the following letter to Mr. Randolph, requesting him to use his influence with the king to secure his pardon:

I make bold to trouble you with my affairs who are a person that know my circumstances very well; I having little hope but from his Maties mercy desire you will do me the favour to petition the King for my pardon, you know my case & what to urge in my behalfe: had I known the laws of the land to be contrary to what was don, I would never have don it, you may well think I was ignorant of any law to ye contrary, since for 14 or 15 years past the same thing hath been don every yeare and no notice at all taken of it. Sir, if you can prevayle with his Maties to pardon me, I will endeavour by all the actions of the rest of my life to deserve it, and make appear to the world that as I am now heartily sorry for having offended his Maty, so for the time to come I shall by all imaginable services attest my loyalty to the King to the utmost of my power. I have further to request of you (if it may not be inconvenient) that you will pleas to assist me with some money, in my necessity, and (as far as my promise may signify in the case) do promise that whatever you will be pleased to furnish me withall here, you shall take it out of my estate in New England. Those things I desire you will be pleased to do for me, wherby you will do me great acts of charity and always oblidge me to remain

Honble Sr to command to my power


Tower 11 June

3[State Papers (Colonial), volume 51, No. 10.]

The following is a copy of a letter from the Governor and Council to the Lords of Trade in London:

Province of New Hampshire May 23 1684

May it please your Lordships. Since Robert Wadleigh is returned from England, having lately had an appeal dismissed by the council board, by taking advantage of Mr. Randolphs absence who was attorney for the parties he hath put the people of this Province into such a ferment and disorder that it is not possible to put his majestys commands in execution or any ways govern them, And though notwithstanding in obedience to your Lordships Commands we have Called an assembly (a copy of the proclamation for the purpose being herein inclosed) we cannot think it prudent or safe to let them sit; they being of the same ill humour or worse as when Gove went into arms, his designs being hatched at the time the Assembly sat. And it looks more like a design, they having those four Constables into the assembly, that the Kings peace may not be preserved (the whole assembly being eleven) this Wadleigh being formerly an Assemblyman and hath three sons condemned in Goves Rebellion (and himself now chosen again); the oldest of them I have pardoned, one of them is dead and the other I keep in prison till I receive your Lordships further order, all of the offenders being pardoned. Major Waldrons son is constantly of the Assembly and speaker this being the third that has been called. I wish his Majistys Clemency do not cause some great michief to be done here. They have never given two pence to the support of the Government and that very rate that was made in time of President Cutts and Waldron we have according to his Majestys Royal Commission Continued, but do not think it safe to publish it unless we had strength to Countenance our proceedings.

This we conceive it our duty to inform your Lordships and are may it please your Lordships.

Your most humble and obedient servants

Mr. Gove's irons were taken off May 28, 1684; and he wrote the following letter (without date), while in the Tower, to his friends in America:

Worthy gentlemen of New England and other good friends.
Whereas the Kings Majesty hath been graciously pleased to grant me mercy in sparing me my life and releasing me from the daily burthen of my Irons hath also ordered me my liberty in the Tower upon security which I hope to obtain very soonly.

Now my worthy good friends I humbly beg your kindness to help me at this Juncture of time, believing every friend considering my deplorable condition to bestow your small mite upon me in so doing I hope it may put me in a capacity of serving my wife and children. And if it please the Almity good God to make able I will pay you again. Who am Gentlemen your humble servant to command.


To the warmest of my friends

All petitions for his pardon were refused, as he was under condemnation for high treason.1
[Journal, Lords of Trade and Plantations, Sept. 30, 1684. -- Calendar of State Papers, volume 105, par. 1288.]
The record of the meeting of the committee held on Friday, Aug. 17, 1684, in the council Chamber at Whitehall, is as follows:

At the Committee for Trade & Plantations in the Council Chamber at Whitehall. Friday the 17th of August 1684.

Lord Keeper --- Earl of Clarendon
Lord Privy Seal --- Earl of Craven
Duke of Ormond --- Mr. Chancr of the Excheqr
Earl of Bath --- Mr. Secry Jenkins

Two letters from Mr. Cranfield dated the 20th Febr. & 19th June, read, whereby their Lops are informed That an Insurrection had been made against the Government in New Hampshire by one Gove who together with nine of his associates had been thereupon convicted of High Treason, and that sentence accordingly had been passed against Gove whom hee had sent to bee executed in England, it not being safe to keep him there till he could receive his majestys Warrant without which he hath not power by his Commission to punish offenders by death, that he recommends the other nine to their Lops as fit objects of His majesty's mercy.

Their Lops will alsoe move that the said Gove who was sent over by Mr. Cranfield to bee executed here may be continued in the Tower.1

1[Colonial Entry Book, volume 107, pages 177.179.]

Apparently nothing was done by Randolph to aid Gove in seccuring his freedom. The King, however, ordered that his irons be removed and that he be given greater freedom in the enjoyment of fresh air.

Sept. 10, 1684, more than a year later, Gove petitioned the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Foreign Plantations requesting them to procure for him copies of his indictments, trial and conviction, as follows:

To the Rt Honour The Lds. Coms: for Trade & Forreigne Plantations
The humble Petition of Edward Gove Prisoner in his Maties Tower of London

That whereas your Petitioner hath been a Prisoner nineteen months, whereof fifteen in this place, and, [half a line erased] That his Sacred Matie hath been graciously pleased to grant him his life, and ordered his irons to be taken of with ann addicon of Liberty for the refreshment of ayre.

And being now in great hope of his freedom, if [he] can obtaine your Ldps favour to grant him the Copies of his Inditement, Tryall and Condemnation at New England that was sent over per Governor Cranfielde.

Therefore humbly Supplicate ye Ldps to order him the Coppies whereof, whereby he will be the better enabled to address himself unto his Matie, and make Application for Releasment. And as in Duty bound shall ever pray

Dated in the Tower
this 10th of September


2[State Papers (Colonial), volume 54, No. 35.]

Accompanying this petition were the following depositions:

Depositions of R. Paine & Nehemiah Partridge Respecting refusal of Richard Chamberlain to furnish copies of Edward Coves trial untill it had been laid before the King.

The Deposition of Mr. Richard Paine aged thirty Seven yeares or thereabout and Nehemiah Partridge aged about thirty Eight yeares, testifieth and saith that on the Twenty Eighth of march one thousand Six hundred Eighty & Three they were in Company wth John Partridge on ye Great Island In ye Province of New Hampshsire, & heard the said John Partridge desire Richard Chamberlain Esqre & Secretary of ye Province afforesaid to transcribe the Copies of Edward Goves Tryall for him and tendered Money to pay for it, & used many arguments wth ye Secretary to get ye said Copies, but he refused and said he would not doe it, for he was ordered to the Contrary by a Letter that came from the Hon: Governor Edward Cranfield Esqre who said that no copies should be given of ye said Gove's Case untill his Majesty had heard the Same, & at the returne might have a Copia & not before, furthermore the Deponents doe testify and declare that on the twenty-ninth of march above mentioned Richard Pain & Nehemiah Partridge went to a Justice of Peace of the Province of new Hampshire and desired to give us our oaths to the above written which is nothing but truth; but said Justice refused and would not doo it, to the which wee are ready to give our oaths when called of again before authority that will administer the oaths to us to all above written in Confirmation above, wee the Deponents have given our hands this twenty ninth of this instant march one thousand six hundred eighty three.


JOHN --------------

1[State Papers (Colonial), volume 50, No. 85]

At the Court of White Hall 9 of April 1685 Present the Kings most excellent Majesty in Council.

Upon reading the petition of Edward Gove setting forth that his Majesty was graciously pleased to order the petition he should be released from his imprisonment in the Tower and his name be inserted in the next pardon of the Convicts at Newgate.

But in regard to said pardon as he is informd will not issue till Michaelmass next and for that his family beyond the seas are in a necessitous condition. He humbly prays his Majesty to signify to the Government of New England, His said Gracious pardon and tht he may be restored to his estate and Condition.

His majesty in Council is therefore this day pleased to order that the Right Honourable the Earl of Sunderland does prepare a letter for his Majestys Signature Signifying to the Government of New England that His Majesty has graciously pardoned the said Edwarad Gove and requiring them to restore him to his estate therein.


James R
Wheras: Edward Gove was near three years since apprehended tried and condemned for high treason in our Colony of New England in America and in June 1683 was Committed a prisoner in the Tower of London. We have thought fit hereby to Signify our will and pleasure to you that you cause him the said Edward Gove to be inserted in the next general Pardon that shall come out for the poor convicts of Newgate without any Condition of Transportation he giving security for his good behaviour as you will think requisite and for so doing this shall be your warrant.

Given at our Court at Windsor the 14 day of September 1685 in the first year of our Reign

By his Majestys Command

To our trusty and well beloved the Recorder of the City of London and all others whom it may concern Edward Gove to be inserted in ye General Pardon.

Mr. Gove was given the liberty of the Tower May 9, 1685; and two months later, after being held a prisoner in the Tower for upwards of two years, he petitioned the king to pardon him. Robert Wadleigh, sr., of Exeter visited England, and, at his own direction, laid his case before King Charles II. The following is a copy of this petition:

To the Kings Most Excellent Majesty.

The humble petition of Edward Gove a Prisoner in your MatysTower of London, for Pardon.

That your Petitioner near Three years since was apprehended, tryed and condemned for High Treason in New England by prosecution of Mr. Cranfield your Maties Governor there, and in June, 1683 was committed to the Tower. That want of rest for 18 days before his apprehension deprived your Petitioner of the use of his reason and the Government of his Tongue and Actions and was the cause of your Patitioner's indiscreet Carriage towards the said Mr. Cranfield, as by the annexed case appears. But he is deeply sensible of his crime, and sincerely and heartily sorry for the same.

And since your Petitioner doubts not but that the Compassion and Clemency as well as the Crown of your Royal Ancestors is descended upon your Maty. He humbly beggs your Maty will be graciously pleased to extend your mercy to him in the Grant of your Mats Gracious pardon.

And your Petitioner in all the future Course of his life will endeavour to deserve this your Mats Royall Favour, by all the Services he can possibly render to your Maty and shall ever pray your mats Long Lives and prosperous Reign etc.1
Petn of Edward Gove
Read the 26 Aug.
Represented to his May
the 30th
To be pardoned giving security
for his good behavr.1

1[State Papers (Colonial), volume 56, No. 41]

Accompanying the petition was the following memorandum:

The Case of Edward Gove, Prisoner in the Tower and the manner how he hath been used by Mr. Cranfield His Mas Governor of N Hampshire in New England at the first sitting of the Assembly after Mr. Cranfield coming there, at which divers good laws were made.

At the Second Sitting Mr. Cranfield required the Assembly to vacate the laws made at the first sitting, refusing to make a return of those laws to the King as his Commission required him, & deneyed that part of his Commission, cursing and swearing at ye Assembly & threatening them if they refused to do it.

He demanded all the Antient records & Deeds of he Inhabitants lands, which were granted him by his Mats Predecessors to their Fathers & by them purchased of the natives & enjoyed about 50 years. And because the said Edward Gove seem'd to oppose those (as he believed) unwarrantable proceedings, he questioned Edw. Gove before the Councill & Assembly and threatened to punish him at Comon Pleas & indite him at White hall, & then dissolved the Assembly.

After the dissolution of the Assembly he imposed Custom upon merchant's ships these by his own Authority which was unknown before . Hereupon the said Ed. Gove was much troubled in mind and these and other the violent proceedings of Mr. Cranfield had such an influence upon him that it hindered his ordinary Rest, neither had he above 2 hours Sleep in 18 days, whereby he became almost distracted, & during this time 'tis probable that the sd Edwd Gove might say that Mr Cranfield was a Traytor for denying & acting contrary to the Kings Commission, he scarce knowing at that time what he either did or said.

Soon after at such time as the sd Edw Gove had invited divers neighbors to his house as usually for 20 years & upwards to eat & drink with him, he was apprehended & closely imprisoned by Mr. Cranfield's Warrant & in 3 or 4 days without notice & the Jury not being sumoned according to the ordinary method of Justice, he was Tryed, convicted & Condemned for High Treason, and all his Lands & Goods Seized & his wife & children turned out of Doors. And Copyes of the Records of the Court which should have been free & were of great use to him in his defence, were denyed him & friends and himself was soon after sent in Chaines into Engld and imprisoned in the Tower, where he might have remained in a miserble condition for want of his Estate & means to live, had it not been for the Gracious & Liberal Allowance of the late & present King.1

1[State Papers (Colonial), volume 56, No. 41.]

The petition to the king for pardon was referred to the Committee of Trade and Plantations, who reported as follows:

At the Committee of Trade & Plantations
In the Council Chamber at Whitehall
Wednesday the 26th of August 1685


Lord Treasurer
Lord President
Earl of Bridgewater
Earl of Craven
Earl of Nottingham
Ld ViscotFaaconbery
Lord Bpof London
Earl of Middleton
Mr. Chancellor of the Dutchy

The Petition of Edward Gove Prisoner in the Tower read, setting forth that hee was Tryed and condemned in New Hampshire for High Treason and being sent into England was committed Prisoner to the Tower in June 1683, And humbly praying His Majestys Pardon for the said Treason. Whereupon their Lopsagree to represent the Petition to his Majesty for his pleasure thereupon.

memorand -- Their Lordships having accordingly presented the said Petition, His majesty was pleased to Order that the petr bee Pardoned, giving Security for his good behaviour for the future.2

2[Colonial Entry Book, volume 108, pages 183-187.]

In the Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations is the following entry:

The Lords agreed to represent to the king the petition of Edward Gove for release.

Memo. The King ordered him to be pardoned Aug. 26, 1685.1

1[Calendar of State Papers, volume 166, par. 332.]

When he heard of the pardon, Mr. Cranfield wrote to the Committee, as follows:

May it please your Lops By Mr. Wharton I have given your Lops an account of all occurrences to that time; but since the arrival of a ship from London who brought news of Goves being pardoned, which has had an ill effect among this disengenuous People, as appears by the prosecution of Mr. Masons affairs.2

2[State Papers (Colonial, volume 52, No. 53, and volume 67, page 101.]

Robert Elliot's Deposition abt Weare

Robert Elliot Esq deposeth That at ye Tryall of Edward Gove, the said Gove did charge Nathaniel Weare very highly, & that ye said Gove told him ye sd Weare of ye sd Goves design.


New Hampshire ye 19th of Jan. 1683

The above deposition was sworn before ye Governr as attests.


3[State Papers (Colonial), volume 53, No. 8. VI.]

Deposition of Joseph Rayn about Weare

Joseph Rayn merchant deposeth that at the Tryall of Edward Gove for Treason the sd Gove did charge Nathaniel Weare to his face that he had told the sd Weare of his design, and that he knew thereof.


New Hampsire ye 19 of Jan. 1683

The above Deposition was sworn before the Governr as attests.


4[State Papers (Colonial), volume 53, No. 8. VII]

Deposition of Robert Mason Esq about Weare

Robert Mason Esq deposeth that at the Triall of Edward Gove who was convicted of Treason He the said Gove did openly in Court accuse Nathaniel Wearae of his being privy to his design of Taking arms; and that the said Gove did tell the said Weare that then was ye time for otherwise they were undone. And that the said Weare did say unto his wife: It is very true what my neighbor Gove says.


New Hampshire ye 1th of January 1683.

The above deposition was sworn before ye Governr as attests.


5[State Papers (Colonial), volume 53, No. 8. VIII

Deposition of Nathaniel Fryer about Weare.
Nathaniel Fryer deposeth That at the Tryall of Edward Gove for Treason, the said Gove did charge Nathaniel Weare very highly, for that he knew of his design and had told him of it.


New Hampshire ye 19th of Jan. 1683
The above deposition was taken upon oath before ye Governras attests


6[State Papers (Colonial), volume 53, No. 8. IX]

Bills of expense for maintaining Gove in the Tower are on file, as follows:

Michmas Quarter
1685 The Demands of Thomas Cheek Esq Lieutenant of the Tower for safe keeping Prisoners according to His late Maties Retrenchment made the 16th day of March 1667 unto & for the 29th day of September following being 13 weeks & 7 days.
[Other names and charges.]

Ancient Allowance, Present Demand

For safe keeping the Lord Lorn and Edward
Gove from the 25thth June 1685 unto 29th
September following inclusive being 13 weeks & 6 days according to the same
allowance & Retrenchment ..................................................................................18-09-05


The Demands in this Bill agree wth Demands
formerly made for ye like service.


1[Exchequer of Receipt, Miscellanea, No. 342 (Tower Bills).]

Lady Day Quarter
1686 The Demands of Thomas Cheek Esq., Lieut. of the Tower for safe keeping Prisoners according to his late Maties Retrenchmtmade the 16th of march 1667 and for other allowances expenses and charges from and for the 26th day of December 1685 unto & for the 25th day of march 1686 being twelve weekes and six dayes.
[Several names; charges, from £4 to £15 for same time.]
For safe keeping Mr. Edward Gove from & for the twenty sixth day of December 1685 onto & for the tenth day of March following being tenn weekes and 5 dayes according to the same allowance and Retrenchment.

Present Demands
7-2-09 3/4

The Demands in this Bill agree with ye Demands
formerly made for the like service.
3rd May 1686


1[Exchequer of Receipt, Miscellanea, No. 342 (Tower Bills).]

The following petition of Edward Gove was sent to the king in March, 1685-6:

To the Kings most Excellent Majesty
The Humble petition of Edward Gove

Whereas your Majesty was graciously pleased out of your goodness and Clemency to grant your Royal warrant to the Recorder of London in your political affairs, that he might have the advantage of your Majestys General Pardon by invoking his name therein. Your petitioner according to your Majestys Royal Power having asked to invoke his name in the said General Pardon, it was objected to, and has debarred him from the benefit of the said Pardon Contrary to your Majestys Royal warrant.

That your petitioner being by his long imprisonment destitute of money and friends and having a numerous family beyond the seas being under starving wants which renders his condition unsupportable.

May it therefore please your most Sacred Majesty to grant your petitioner your Royal free Pardon or order your Recorder of London to admit him to have the benefit of your Majestys General Pardon conform to your Royal warrant And your Petitioner as in duly bound will ever Pray etc.

The action taken upon it is shown by the following record:

At the Council Chamber at Whitehall this 5 Day of March 1685

Upon reading this day at the Board the above petition of Edward Gove prisoner in the Tower humbly praying he may be inserted in the next general pardon.

His Majesty was pleased to order that he be inserted in the next general pardon which shall come out for the convicts of Newgate and that in the meantime Thomas Cheeke Esq. Lt of the Tower do bail the petitioner to appear and plead his pardon.


He was released on his own recognizance to plead his pardon April 9, 1686.

Hannah Clement, daughter of Edward Gove, with her husband, wrote as follows to her father from Hampton, N.H., March 31, 1686:

From Hampton the 31 of ye first month 1686 dear and kind father, through Gods good mercy having this opportunity to send unto ye hoping in ye Lord yt ye are in good health -- deare father my desire is yt God in his good mercy would be pleased to keep ye both in body and Soul. Loving father it is our duty to pray unto God that he would by his grace give us good hearts to pray unto him for grace and strength to support us so yt ye love of our hearts and souls should be always fixed on him. wherby we should live A heavenly Life while wee are upon ye earth yt God's blessings may be with us always. as our Saviour Christ says in ye world ye shall have trouble but in me ye shall have peace so in ye Lord Jesus Christ ye true light of yee world There is peace & Joy & love and strength and power & truth to keep all those yt trust in him. so deare father I hope god in his mercy will bee pleased to Bring us together Again to his glory and our good. -- intreat ye Let us heare from ye all opportunities as may bee -- for it is great joy for us to hear from ye father. I have one Little daughter -- my husband is troubled with a could -- he remembers his duty to ye -- so no more at present. I rest thy dutiful son and daughter.


for my honoured Father Edward Gove in the Tower or else where, I pray deliver with Care.

After the incarceration of Edward Gove in the Tower of London, in the spring of 1683, the rule under Governor Cranfield continued in its arbitrary and cruel manner.

The people were horrified at the bloody sentence of Gove and cried aloud for vengeance. It was already whispered about that public meetings would be held to express the indignation at the baseness of the manner in which the convictions were obtained, and the cruel barbarity of the sentence, which was intended to awe the people into submission. It had a directly contrary effect. The people became more demoralized and ready to do violence when any obnoxious law was attempted to be enforced, and very many times the feeling broke out in open violence.

The officers dispatched to collect taxes in most cases were resisted, yet some executions were levied, but the officers could neither hold possession nor find purchasers. Officers endeavored to levy an execution at Dover on the Sabbath Day, when a tumult ensued, and was ended by a young girl knocking down one of the officials with her Bible.

At other places, the women met the collector of taxes at their doors with scalding water, which proved a perfect barrier to their ingress, and the men with clubs defied their approach, the officers being not infrequently roughly handled.

Cranfield was censured and removed by the King and Council, which was brought about by the influence of Nathaniel Weare, the people's agent at London, who had been sent to acquaint the king with the wicked and arbitrary dealings of the governor and his government. On the receipt of the intelligence of Cranfield's disgrace, a self-constituted committee waited upon him and escorted him to the Salisbury line with a rope around his neck and his legs tied under the belly of the horse which he road, minus his sword.

The king sent a letter, dated at Whitehall, April 12, 1686, to the President and Council of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, stating that he had pardoned Edward Gove and authorizing and requiring them, instead of Cranfield, to restore to him his estate; whereupon at a meeting of the Council held at Boston July 8, 1686, it was ordered on the twelfth that the justices of the peace or marshall of the Province of New Hampshire give an account of what houses and lands were in Gove's possession at the time of his conviction, that he may have an order to be repossessed of them pursuant to His Majaesty's letter.1The following is a copy of the record of his meeting of the Council:

1 [Calendar of State Papers, volume 166, par. 2138.]

At a Councill held at Boston in New England July ye 8th 1686

Joseph Dudley Esq President
William Houghton Esq D L
Edward Randolph Esq
Richard Wharton Esq
Major Buckley Esq
Wayt Winthrop Esq &
John Usher Esq

His Majtys letter relateing to Edward Gove was read but upon his non appearance there was nothing done in that matter this day. Upon reading His Majtys gracious Letter bearing date at Whitehall the 12th of April 1686 in the Second year of his majtys reign Directed to us his Majtys President & Councill of this his Majtys Territory and Dominion. Signifying that he hath pardoned Edward Gove of his crime of high Treason etc. authorizing and requiring us to restore the Said Gove to his estate and to the possession thereof in Such manner and form as if he had not been convicted. Ordered that the Justices of the Peace or Martiall of the Province of New Hampshire give an account of what houses & lands were in the possession of Edward Gove at the time of his Conviction. That he may have an order to be repossessed of them pursuant to his Majtys letter.2

2[Colonial Entry Book, volume 64, pages 39-41.

At a meeting of the Council held in Boston Nov. 9, 1686, it was ordered that a report be made to the king of Edward Cranfield's estate in New England and what money he had received from purchasers of the estate of Edward Gove. The record of this meeting is an follows:

At Councill held in Boston New England Nov. 9, 1686

Joseph Dudley Esq President,
[and 7 others]

It is ordered that a Report be made unto his maty of Edw. Cranfield's Estate in New England, and what money was received by him of such persons as purchased the estate of Edward Gove.3

3[Colonial Entry Book, volume 64, pages 80-82; State Papers (Colonial), volume 166, par. 2154.]

In December, 1686, Sir Edmund Andros became governor of all New England; and this most odious of men ruled it with a rod of iron. The colonists under him were almost without redress; but relief finally came in 1689, by the succession to the throne of England of William and Mary and the seizure and imprisonment of Andros.

Mr. Gove returned to his home, and renewed his life there. He had the respect of the people of the province. As an instance of this is his appointment upon an important matter as an arbitrator in Amesbury, Mass. The matter involved the title to a grist mill on the Powwow river. The claiments were Thomas Barnard, sr., of Amesbury, and Thomas Mudgett of Salisbury. Dec. 1, 1688, they submitted the question to Major Davison and Ens. Nathaniel Clarke, both of Newbury, Maj. Robert Pike of Salisbury and Mr. Edward Gove of Hampton.

He died in Hampton [May]1 29, 1691. He always contended that a slow poison was administered to him while in prison. His wife Hannah survived him, and died after 1712.

1 The Gove Genealogy says July 29th, but according to Hampton vital records he died on May 29.

The following is a copy of an agreement of his sons John and Ebenezer as to the settlement of the estate of Mr. Gove:

An agreement made & concluded between Ensign John gove and Ebenezer gove of hampton in the Province of new Hampshire in New England.

These Presents Declareth and Witnesseth that whereas our honored Father Edward gove of hampton in said Province Deceased some Years since and left his Lands and Estate undisposed of by will and there happening to be many arears and disburstments arising to the Lands belonging to our said Father and having in some compitent measure Come to a Settlement thereof we the Sons and Suckcessers of our Sd father Vizt John gove and Ebenezer Gove to the end wee may Injoy our parts of Land and Propiety to ouer Selves our heirs and Suckcessors wth out invaiding and Intruding or Claimeing of Right of Propriety in one or the others Precinkts wee the said John Gove and Ebenezer Gove are come to a full and final Agreement wch is as followeth:

The said Ebenezer Gove to have the homestead where he now Dwells his Land thereof bounded Easterly on the Cuntry Road tht leadeth from hampton too Salsbury northerly as the fence now Standeth between him and his brother John Gove and westerly on Lands of Thomas Chase and southerly on a small Peace of Land belonging to the Said Tho. Chace this whomstead Containing thirty acres more or less as it is bounded; as also a lott of Land Sometimes John stevens laid out in a place Com'only Called Halls Farme, Containing foure acres more or Less as it is laid out bounded on Land Some times Andrew Greeles Eastward, and Land of one fellowes westerly it being the fourty fifth Lott in number in that divition as also ye said Ebenr Gove to have Severall two acres Lotts of meddow or Marsh Land wch are as followeth vizt In a Place Called Halls Farme two acres of marsh bounded Easterly on marsh of Issach Greene, and westerly on the ends of Severall men's Lotts as of William osgoods mr stanyans and others Lotts, also two acres of Marsh or meddow bounded wth Wm osgoods Land northerly and abraham greens Southerly wch Lott was Some time Illslys more or less as it is, as allso a lot of meddow or marsh Containing two acres more or Less Lyeing Something Eastward of the Island Called greenes Island bounded wth the land of abraham greene on the west and Isach greene Easterly and Joseph ffrench Southerly and abraham greene northerly and also a lott of meddow or marsh Containing two acres more or less Lyeing in the Said Place Called halls farme bounded northerly on Calib Perkins marsh Isach Greenes Easterly and Southerly John French Westerly, (all these Severall Lotts or peaceses of Land as it is herein Specified wth all Wood under Wood Springs all Proffitts and Priviledges thereunto belonging to the said Ebenr Gove to Have and hold to him his heires Execrs Admrs and Assignes forever; And all the rest of the Lands any way belonging to our Sd Father Edward gove be it airable Lands meddows marshes Pasture Land Com'onaages writts and Priviledges under what name or Denomination whatsoever they may be called, is and Remaine to the said John gove To have and to Hold: to him and his heires Execrs Admrs and assignes with all the Profitts Priviledges and Appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging forever Without any Pretence of Interest or title or Claime of what nature soever of ye Sd Ebenrgove his heires sor Suckcessors forever.

In Confirmation of all above written in this Said agreement wee doe catch for our Selves Sett to our hands and fix our Seales this twenti sixt day of March Anno Dommoni one thousand Seaven Hundred and Twelve and in the Eleventh year of our Soveraigne the Ladi Ann over great Brittaine france & Ireland Queene Defender of the faith.

JOHN GOVE (seal)

Signed & Sealed
In ye Presents of us

1[Rockingham Registry of Deeds, book 8, page 200]

Aug. 20, 1746, Jonathan Connor, gentleman, Benjamin Connor, Yeoman, Thomas Lyford, yeoman, and wife Anne, heretofore Anne Connor, sister of said Jonathan and Benjamin, all of Exeter, and Jonathan Rawlings of Stratham, yeoman, and wife Hannah, another sister of Jonathan and Benjamin, for five pounds, conveyed to their brothers Phillip Connor and Samuel Connor, both of Exeter, gentlemen, all their interest in the estate of their grandfather Edward Gove of Hampton, yeoman, deceased.2

2[Rockingham Registry of Deeds, book 32, page 343.]

There was a gun in the possession of the late J. H. Gove of Hampton Falls and a sword cane owned by the late E. S. Gove of Pittsfield, as heirlooms of Edward Gove. The cane is mounted with a silver ferule and Edward Gove's initials are engraved on it, though it has become so much worn that the engraving is barely legible. The cane was presented to him by a friend for his stand against Cranfield.

Ira Gove, the early genealogist of the family, says that Edward Gove brought from London, in 1686, a pear tree, which he set out on his estate in Hampton, where it is now.

[The End]