Edward Randolph
Condemns the Massachussetts Bay Company
before the Lords of Trade

Articles of high misdemeanour exhibited against the Governor and Company of Massachusetts by Edward Randolph.

1. They execute the powers in their charter otherwise than as directed, and exceed them.
2. They have made laws repugnant to the laws of England, and have not repealed those objected to by Sir William Jones and Sir Francis Winnington as they promised.
3. They continue to raise money from non-freemen, contrary to the opinion of Sir Robert Sawyer.
4. They continue to exact an oath of fidelity to themselves, notwithstanding the King's orders to the contrary, and make such oath essential to the tenure of office and even freedom of the Company.
5. They have refused to the King's subjects the benefit of juries in trial of civil causes, and denied to such as were not of their persuasion copies of records to enable them to appeal to the King.
6. They have obstructed the execution of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, and refused to recognise many of them. They award executions against the King's officers in causes under appeal to the King, obstruct his officers in the discharge of their duty, refuse appeals to the King, and set up their own naval office in opposition to his. They have made in October i68o an arbitrary order compelling the King's officers to deposit security in Court for a special Court, contrary to law and royal order, and have refused to repay such deposits when ordered by the King.
7. They impose customs on goods imported from England, though this was judged by Sir Robert Sawyer to be illegal. They have found against the King in all causes for seizure of ships in the face of clear evidence.
8. They opposed the King's Commissioners in 1664, notwithstanding their protestations of loyalty, prociaimed the General Court the supreme judicature of the Colony, received Goffe and Wha1ley, the regicides, with honour, and protected them.
9. They have not administered the oath of allegiance to the King to the inhabitants, though required by law and by their charter.
10. They have invaded the rights of the Duke of York, Lord High Admiral, by erecting an Admiralty Court of their own.
11. They discountenance and discourage members of the Church of England, forcing them under penalties to attend their meetings, and accounting all others unlawful assemblies.
12. They coin money, which their own Agent admitted to be a high crime, and, though pretending to beg the King's pardon for it, persisted therein.
13. They have committed divers other high crimes in contempt of the King and to the oppression of his subjects. Whereupon their Lordships, finding the Agents not duly impowred by their Commission to consent to such regulation of their Government as shall bee thought fit according to His Majesty's directions, Doe agree to Report that Mr. Attorney bee Ordered to bring a Quo Warranto against the Privileges of their Charter, And that such Papers and Evidencies as shall bee needful in this Case bee sent to Mr. Attorney for his better information therein.

 

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