So far from advancing his own interest by this course, Mason greatly irritated the people and united them more firmly in opposing his claims. A few persons, indeed, consented to take leases under him, but a much larger number might probably have been gained by conciliatory measures, though even then a large majority would have contended for what they regarded as their just rights.
Each of the towns in its corporate capacity, and many of the people, individually, applied to the president and council for protection.
At a town meeting held in Hampton, March 21, 1681, the subject was discussed and measures were taken to secure to the people their rights. Sergt. Joseph Dow and Edward Gove were appointed, in behalf of the town, to draw up and prepare a statement of the case, and to assert the rights of the inhabitants to their lands, and present the same to the council at their next sitting. That all the legal voters might have an opportunity to sign this paper designed as a petition, Lieut. John Sanborn and Sergt. Thomas Philbrick were chosen to present it to all who were not present at this meeting, for their signatures.
The council soon afterward published an order prohibitory of Mason's proceedings. Irritated by this order, he refused to sit at the council-board, when requested. After some further altercation, disappointed and chagrined, he left the province on the 27th of March and, about three months from the time of his arrival, set sail for England.