April-August 1689

King William III and Simon Bradstreet



Reports of William of Orange’s successful invasion andDecorative image of Edmund Andros taken prisoner in Boston overthrow of James II (December 1688) reached Boston by March 1689.

The town responded with an uprising on April 18.  Citizens of Massachusetts, long upset with the Dominion of New England and the administration of Edmund Andros in particular, took the opportunity to rebel against the system and its administrator.  Cotton Mather penned a declaration and summary of grievances used to justify the revolt.  The colonists revived their old charter, and elected Simon Bradstreet governor, the position he held before Charles II revoked the charter (1684).

Image: “Andros a Prisoner in Boston” by F.O.C. Darley, William L. Shepard or Granville Perkins CC0

Demand for Surrender of Sir Edmund Andros

At The Town-House in


April 18th. 1689


O We Selves as well as many others the Inhabitants of this Town and Places adjacent, being surprised with the Peoples sudden taking to Arms, in the first motion whereof we were wholly ignorant, are driven by the present Exigence and Necessity to acquaint your Excellency, that for the Quieting and Security of the People Inhabiting this Country from the imminent Dangers they many wayes lie open, and are exposed unto, and for your own Safety; We judge it ncesssary thaty you forthwith Surrender, and Deliver up the Government and Fortifications to be Preserved, to be Disposed according to Order and Direction from the Crown of England, which is suddenly expected may Arrive,  Promising all Security from violence to your Self, or any other of your Gentlemen and Soldiers in Person or Estate; or else we are assured they will endeavour the taking of the Fortifications by Storm, if any op-position be made.

To Sr. Edmond Andross Knight.

William Stowghton.          Simon Bradstreet.           Wait Winthrop.

Thomas Denforth.                John Richards.                  Samuel Shripton.

                                              Elisha Cook.                       William Brown.

                                               Isaac Addington,              Barthel. Gidway.

John Foster.

Peter Sergeant.

 David Waterbouse.

Adam Winthrop.

 John Neson.


Boston Printed by Smuel G’etn. 1689.

First Address to William III


The King and Queens

Most Excellent Majesties

The Humble ADDRESS

of the

President and Councel for the Safety of the People, and Conservation of the Peace.

Dear Majesties,

The late Glorious Enterprise atchieved by your Royal Highness through the Blessing of Heaven, attended with such Happy Success for the Relief and Deliverance of the Distressed Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from the Miseries of Popery and Slavery, and then coming in upon them with a seeming irresistible Power, hath not only fill’d the Hearts of all the good Subjects of those three Kingdoms, but also of the Plantations depending thereupon, with unspeakable Joy, and will doubt-less Influence all the Protestant Kingdoms and places of Europe, and Erect an Everlasting Monument of Praise to your Royal Name; The Gladsome Ty-dings whereof hat reach’d these American Plantations, to their no small Re-joycing, which your poor distressed Subjects of this Land hold themselves obliged to acknowledge with all hearty Thankfulness: First, to Almighty God, the Soveraign Ruler of the World; And next, unto Your Royal Self, as an Instrument spirited by him to so Heroick and Hazardous an Undertaking. Your Three several Princely Delarations put forth on that Occasion, Encouraging the English Nation to cast off the Yoak of a Tyrannical and Arbitrary Power, which at that time they were held under, have occurred to the View and Consideration of the People in this Country, being them-selves under alike (if not worse) Evil and Unhappy Circumstances with their Bretheren of England. First, by unrighteously depriving them of their Charter, Government, and Priviledges, wothout any Hearing or Tryal, and under utter Impossibilities of having Notice of any Writ served upon them; And then followed with the Exercise of an Illegal and Arbitrary Power over them, which had almost ruined a late Flourishing Country, and was become bery Grievous and Intollerable, besides the growing Miseries, and daily Fears of a Total Subversion by Enemies at Home, and Invasion by Foreign Force. The People thereby excited to imitate so Noble and Heroick an Example, being strongly and unanimously spirited to intend their won Safeguard and Defence, resolved to seize upon and secure some of the Principal Persons concerned, and most active in the ill Management of the Illegal and Arbi-trary Government set over them by Commission. Accordingly, upon the Eighteenth Day of April last past, arose as one Man, seized upon Sir Edmond Andros, the late Governour, and other of the Evil Instuments, and have secured them for what Justice, Order from Your Majesties shall direct, ex-hibiting and publishing a Declaration, setting forth some of the General Grounds and Reasons provoking them to such an Action; which, though so unformed and entred upon under such disadvantages, yet by the good Provi-dence of God was so over-ruled, by the interposing and prudence of some Gentlemen upon the place, that the thing was effected without the lest Blood-shed or plunder, for which we desire to pay our acknowledgement of praise unto the Soveraign ruler of all things.

The Declaration of the People is herewith emitted, to be humbly present-ed unto your Majesties, the Demonstration and Proof of the several Articles and Charges contained in the said Declaration, with other Informations not inferiour, will be preparing to be offered in the season thereof.

And now Dread Majesties, having given this brief Narrative of the pre-sent Circumstances of things amongst us, hoping for your Majesties Favorable Interpretation, and Gracious Resentment of this people and of the Action; bearing such Conformity to Methods which the English Nation hath been driven to take for their Deliverance.

We prostrate at Your Majesties Feet, perswading our selves that we shall not be forgotten nor left without our share in the Universal Restau-ration of Charters and English Liberties, which the whole Nation is at this day made happy withal, and for which we most humbly Supplicate, that under the shadow of Your Imperial Crown, we may again be made to flourish in the enjoyment of our Ancient Rights and Priviledges, being the sole encouragement unto our Fathers and Predeoessors, at their own great Cost and Expence to settle this Collony, to the Enlargement of the English Dominion, and so much for the Glory of that Crown, we heartily Congratu-late Your Majesties Happy Accession to the Throne,

Praying for the Long and Prosperous Reign of Your Royal Majesties.

Boston in New-England,

May 20. 1689.

Your MAJESTIS most Loyal

and Dutiful Subjects.


Second Address to William III

To the King and Queen’s Most Excellent Majesties.

The Humble Address and Petition of the Governour, Council, and Convention of Representatives of the People of Your Majesties Collony of the Massachusets, in New-England.

May it please Your Majesties,

WE your Majesties poor and distressed Subjects of this Collony, late under the deep sesnce and burthen of sore Aggrievances, by an Illegal and Arbitrary Government set over us, were not a little rejoyced at the first In-telligence of the Heroic and Generous Undertaking of your then Royal High-ness, being Divinely inspired so magnanimously to hazard your Royal Person for the Rescue and Deliverance of the English Nation from the Miseries of Popery and Arbitrary Government; Which Undertaking through the Wonder-working Prividence of Sion’s Savior, has been so happily succeeded, as to bring in a general Restoration of Charters, and Englsih Liberties, calling for all hearty Acknowledgements of Praise and Thanksgiving to Almighty God, and next to your Sacred Majesties, and will Eternize your Names in the Hearts of all true English-men.

Your Majesties happy Accession to the Royal Throne was most joyfully Congratulated by your Subjects of this Collony, and the Proclamations thereof here performed onthe 29th of May last past, with all the Decency and Solemity the place is capable of affording, and all imaginable Expressions of Joy. A brief Narrative of the Occurences and Revolution happening among us, is set forth in the Address of the President and Council, bearing Date the 20th day of May last; together with a Declaration of the People forwarded to be humbly resented unto your Majesties. since which Revolution no Orders arriving from your Majesties, relating to the Governing of this People, having waited several Weeks in expectation thereof; and finding an absolute necessity of Civil Governent, the People generally manifested their earnest Desires and Importunity once and again, That the the Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants chosen and sworn in May 1686, according to Charter and Court as then formed, would assume the Government.

Upon consideration whereof, things being so circumstanced at that time, it was by them thought no safe or agreeable to our Charter-Constitution, to fall under the full Exercise of Charter-Government; but the said Governour, Deputy-Governour, and Assistants then resident in the Collony, did consent to accept the Present Care and Government of this People, according to the Rules of the Charter, for the conservation of the Peace and Common Safety; and the putting forth further Acts of Authority upon emergencies, until by direction from England there should be an orderly Settlement, which we hope will restore us to the full Exercise thereof as formerly; notwithstanding we have for sometimebeen most unrighteously and injuriously deprived of it.

That Royal Charter being the sole Inducement and Encouragement unto our Fathers and Predecessors to come over into this Wilderness, and to plant and settle the same at their won Cost and Charge: Which through the Bles-sing of God was a flourishing Plantation, enlarging your Maesties Dominion, to the Glory of the English Crown; tho’since the alteration of that Government, greatly impovershed by the Oppressions and Hardships put upon us.

We in all humility prostrate at the Feet of your Royal Majesties, and suppli-cate your Majesties Grace in a favourable Interpretation and Resentment of the late Action of this People. And that we also, according to our undoubted Right, may be again fixed and setled in a full Confirmation of our Charter, Rights, and Priviledges; whereby, through the Blessing of God, and benign Influences of your Sacred Majesties, we hope to be an happy People.

Imploring Heaven’s Blessings upon the Heads and Hearts of your Royal Majesties, that you may have a long and prosperous Reign on Earth, and be translated to an Eternal Crown of Glory.

Your Majesties most Loyal and Dutiful Subjects,

S. Bradstreet.

Boston in New-England,

June 6. 1689.

In the Name and behalf of the Council and Convention.

Two Addresses from the Governour, Council, and Convention of the Massachusets Colony

Two Addresses from the Governour, Council, and Convention of the Massachusets Colony

Assembled at Boston in New-England.

Presented to His Majesty at Hampton-Court,

August 7, 1689.


The People in New-England having groaned under the Violation of their Charters and most undoubted Rights, and the Illegal and Arbi-tary Government imposed upon them by the late King, in the person of Sir Edmond Andro[s], and his Creatures, for about Three Years.

Hearing what was done in England, and how the then Prince of Orange, in Conjunction with the Nobility and Gentry, had most gloriously rescued the-selves, their Religion, and Country from the Inundation of Popery and Slavery.

They in imitation of so great an Example, upon the Eighteenth of April last, as one Man, rose in Arms, and seized the said Sir Edmond Andro[s], and the rest of their most notorious Oppressors, and them secured in safe Custory: Setting forth in Print a Declaration of the Reasons necessitating them to this way of Proceeding.

And for the Safety of the People, and Conservation of the Peace, chose a President and Council, who on the 20th of May 1689, being Assembled at Boston, drew up, and subscribed a very Loyal Congratulatory Address to Their Majesties.

After which they setled the Government upon their Charter-Foundations, Electing their late Governour, a Council, and Magistrates; and they immediately summoned a Convention of the Representatives of the People to Boston, where being Assembled, they on the 6th of June 1689, unanimously drew up, and subscribed a Second Address to Their Majesties.

As also an Instrument impowering Sir Henry Ashurst Baronet, and a Mem-ber of the Honourable House of Commons, to be thier Representative to Their Majesties, in all Matters concerning the Colony of the Massachusets: Withal, desiring Sir Henry to present the said Addresses to Their Majesties, in their Names and behalf, in all humble and dutiful manner. Which said Address, Powers, and Instructions arriving here last week, on Wednesday the 7th of this Instant August, Sir Henry went to Hampton-Court; where being by that Great and Steady Patron of the Laws, Religion, and Liberties of his Country, the Right Honourable Henry Lord Delamere, introdu-ced into the Royal Presence, Sir Henry acquainted His Majesty with the Happy Occasion of his present Attendance, the State and Condition of His Subjects in New-England, and of the Powers they had entrusted and honur-ed him with; at the same time presenting the said Addresses hereafter follo-ing; which, at his Majesty’s Command he distinctly read. After which His Majesty accepted them very graciously, and was pleased to express him-self with great kindness to the said People, assuring Sir Henry, That he kindly accepted their Tenders of Loyalty and Duty, and would take Them and their humble Requests into his particular Care &c.

Response of William III



most gracious


To His Government of the Massathusets Colony in New-England.


Trusty and well-beloved, WEE Greet you well.

WHEREAS WEE are informed by several Addresses from Our Colony of the Massachsets Bay, and particularly by the Address coming to Us in the Name of the Governour and Council and Convention of the representatives of the People of Our said Colony, That they had most joyfully received the Notice of Our happy Accession to the Throne of these Kingdoms, and caused the Proclama-tion thereof to be issued throughout out Our said TERRITORY; WEE have thereof thought fit hereby to signify Our Royal Approbation of the same, and Gracious Acceptance of your Readiness in performing what was necessary on your parts for the Preservation of the Peace and Quiet of Our said COLONY.

And Whereas you give Us to understand that your have taken upon you the persent Care of the Government until you should receive Our Orders therein, WEE do hereby Authorize and Impower you to Continue in Our Name your Care in the Administration thereof and Preservation of the Peace, until WEE shall have taken such Resolutions, and given such Directions for the more or-derly Settlement of the said GOVERNMENT as shall most conduce to Our Service and the Security and Satisfaction fo Our Subjects within that Our Colony. And so WE bid you Fare-well.

Given at Our Court at White-Hall the 12th day August 1689

in the first year of Our Reigh.

By His Majesty’s Command,


[In circle] Locus Sigilli.

To such as for the time being take care for Preserving the Peace and Administring the Laws in Our Colony of the Massathusetts Bay in New-England, in America.

Published by Order of the Governour & Council & Representatives, for the Satisfaction of His Majesties good Subjects in New-England.

Printed at Boston in New-England, by Richard Pierce for Benjamin Harris

Anno Domini MDCLXXXIX[1]



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Open Anthology of The American Revolution Copyright © 2021 by King William III and Simon Bradstreet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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