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Warrent and Order Detaining Henry and William Phelps' Ships

Before a ship could depart England in the mid-1600s with passengers for "foreign plantations," it was customary to require the ships' masters to provide a bond of "one hundred ponds a piece." The bond was a surety that the ships' masters would cause to be observed and execute the following requirements:(1)

Whereas by a Warrt bearing date 22nd of this Present the severall ships following bound for New England & now lying in the River of Thames made staye of untill further order from their L'opps Vizt the Clement & Job, The Reformation, The True Love, The Elizabeth Bonaventure, The Sea Flower, The Mary & John, The Planter, The Elizabeth & Dorcas, The Hercules, & the Neptune.

For as much as the Masters of the said ships were this day called before the Board & several Particulars given them in charge to be performed in their said Voyage, amongst which the said Masters were to enter into several Bonds of One Hundred Pounds apiece to His Majstys use before the Clarke of the Councell attendant to observe & cause to be observed & putt in Execuc'on these Articles following Vizt

  1. That all & every Person aboard their Ships now bound for New England as aforesaid, that shall blaspheme or profane the Holy name of God be severely punish't.
  2. That they call, the Prayers contained in the Book of Common Prayers establisht in the Church of England to be said daily at the usual hours for Morning & Evening Prayers & that they all Persons aboard their said Ships to be present at the same.
  3. That they do not receive aboard or transport where he is to imbarke that he hath Certificate from the officers of the port where he is to imbarke that he hath taken both the Oathes of Alleigeance & Supremacy.
  4. That upon their return into this Kingdom they Certify to the Board then of all such Persons as they shall transport together with their Proceedings in the Execuc'on of the aforesaid Articles--Whereunto the said Mrs have conformed themselves-It was therefore & for diverse other Reasons best known to their Loppsthought fitt that for this time they should be permitted to proceed n their Voyage, and it was thereupon Ordered that Gabriel Marsh Esqr. Marshalle of the Admiralty & all other His Maj'tys Officers to whom their said Warrt was directed should be required upon Sight hereof to discharge all & every the said Ships & Suffer them to depart on their intended Voyage to New England.

Ext John Meantys

The Masters of the named ships were called before the Board in late February, 1633/4, and notified of thse requirements. Each agreed to observe the requiements himself, to cause those aboard to do the same, and to execute them. Having paid the required bond, an Order in Council was issued to Gabriel Marsh, Esquire, Marshal of the Admiralty, and to all of His Majesty's officers to whom the Warrant had been directed. On receipt of the Order, they were to allow these ships to depart for New England.


(1) "New England--At Whitehall the Last of February 1633"