As the 29-ton Abigail carrying 40 additional
settlers, much needed supplies and the Endicotts crosses the Atlantic it passes another ship taking the troublemaker Thomas
Morton back to England. Morton has been kicked out of Massachusetts by Bradford and the New Plymouth Pilgrims for selling
guns and liquor to the Indians, being over-friendly with their young women and generally having too good a time as a hell-raiser.
Morton had been an attorney-at-law
at Clifford’s Inn in London then took up a practice in the West Country. After a while, tiring of the dull life of a
lawyer, he went off and fought in the Low Countries as a soldier of fortune before finally deciding that Virginia offered
both adventure and a chance to get rich. So he emigrated in 1622 and moved to the present Mount Wollaston in Massachusetts
along with others, to plant a new colony. When its founder Captain Wollaston decided to give up and sail
away Morton took over the settlement and changed the name to Mare-mount. On the hill he created a Maypole deciding that on
May Day there were to be revels and merriment. ‘To the sound of drums, pistols and other fitting instruments.’
He also invited Indian girls to the Maypole dance. ‘Ye shall be welcome to us night and day to drink and be merry.’
It was all too much for the
sober-sided Pilgrims. Standish rushed over from New Plymouth, arrested Morton and now has sent him packing in the ship that
passes by the Abigail…but he’ll be back next year!
Endicott comes ashore at Naumkeg on 6 September, welcomed
at first by Morton and other planters. However, they are taken aback when told that the new Company in London has assumed
the rights of the Dorchester merchants in New England. The boot goes straight in. Endicott says that their houses, boats and
servants now belong to the new Patentees and he is taking possession of them. Conant is out. He, Endicott is their
Governor. Consternation. Conant’s men feel they are being made serfs, their possessions stolen. Too bad. Tyrannical
Puritanism now reigns. Young men must have their hair cut short of be flogged. The Maypole is demolished and Naumkeg renamed
Salem. Ironically, it means ‘peace’. Some hope.