New England Company fonds [textual record (chiefly microform)]
Record Information – Brief
New England Company fonds [textual record (chiefly microform)]
- Hierarchical level:
- 1657-1947, predominant 1657-1921.
- R10819-0-8-E, MG17-B3
- Type of material:
- Textual material
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Link to this page:
This link identifies the web page describing this particular record. Unlike the temporary link in your browser, this link will allow you to access, and reference, this page in the future. To link to this descriptive record, copy and paste the URL where ever needed (wiki, blog, document).http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.redirect?app=fonandcol&id=104853&lang=eng
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Fonds includes:
7 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- 1657-1947, predominant 1657-1921.
- Place of creation:
16 microfilm reels : 12 negative and 16 positive.
0.5 cm of textual records.
- Language of material:
- Scope and content:
The fonds consists of selections of records of the New England Company relating to Canada that were microfilmed by the National Archives; records of the company that were microfimed by World Microfilms and purchased by the National Archives; and a photocopy (3 pages) of a charter from 1674. The selections microfilmed by the Archives (reels A-284 to A-295) include charters, 1662 and 1899; treasurer's ledgers, 1802-1880; General Court and Committee minute books, 1770-1905, and some indexes; minute books of different committees, 1807-1884; letter books, 1762-1772 and 1872-1908; correspondence, 1657-1818; case opinions, original correspondence, minutes of the Commissioners for Indian Affairs at Boston, Massachusetts (1699-1784) and in New Brunswick (1787-1818); a speech, 1785; pamphlets, 1662-1913; and reports, 1822-1826. The microfilm purchased from World Microfilms includes General Court and Committee minute books, 1906 to 1926, volumes 8 to 10, which contain minutes and resolutions, missionary reports, correspondence, receipts and expenditures and other documents (reels A-2155 to A-2157). In addition, it includes Muniments of Title and accompanying documentation, 1661 to 1947, which consist mainly of legal documents much of which relates to the Six Nations in Ontario (A-2158). The purchased reels are often a continuation of the records microfilmed earlier by the Archives.
- Biography/Administrative history:
New England Company : The New England Company is the oldest protestant missionary society still in existence. It was created by an ordinance of July 27, 1649, entitled "An Act for the promoting and the propagating of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in New England", which provided that sixteen persons, who were named, were to form a self-perpetuating corporation in England, with the right to purchase or acquire lands, tenements, or hereditaments not exceeding the yearly value of £2000. It also ordered that a general collection throughout England should be made to further the purposes of the ordinance. Although the ordinance of 1649 stipulated that the corporation was to be known by the name of "The President and Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England", the corporation was commonly styled the New England Company and has been known by the name from the earliest days. The yield of the collections and the gifts of private benefactors placed the Company in a position to purchase property, the rent from which formed the funds sent to New England for the conversion of the Indians. The funds were administered in New England by the Commissioners of the United Colonies, who acted as the Company's agents. The funds were spent largely on salaries for the missionaries, food and clothing for the relief of poor Indians, and the translation into Indian languages and the printing of "the holy scriptures and some few choice practical books". At the Restoration, the ordinance of 1649 became "null and void", although the "late pretended corporation", as the Company was described at the Restoration, continued to send money to New England. However, a charter was quickly procured, largely through the influence of wealthy city merchants such as Henry Ashurst, and also through the persuasion of men like Richard Baxter and the Honourable Robert Boyle. The charter (MS. No. 7908), dated February 7, 1661/2, made no reference to the "late pretended corporation", but created a new self-perpetuating corporation consisting of forty-five members, who were named; and it appointed the Honourable Robert Boyle the first Governor. The Company was granted the power of purchasing or disposing of lands, tenements, or hereditaments; but there was an important omission from the Company's point of view. It was not stated that the estated held by the Company under the ordinance of 1649 should remain its property. This omission occurred in spite of an order-in-council dated April 10, 19661, by which the Attorney General was to add a clause to this effect. Although the Company eventually succeeded in recovering all its property, the omission involved it in protracted and costly litigation. The Restoration retarded the work of the Company but did not alter either its ends or its principal means. Many members of the original company were re-named in the charter, and several of the officers were re-elected. In New England, the Commissioners of the United Colonies continued to act as the Company's agents until 1864, when they ceased to meet. After that date, the Company appointed its own commissioners, known as the Commissioners for Indian Affairs, who carried on the Company's work in the same way as the Commissioners for the United Colonies had done. The greatest break in the continuity of the New England Company's work was caused by the American Revolution. At the beginning of the war the Company discontinued its payments to New England, and after the war its funds were diverted to Canada by virtue of a decree in Chancery (May 23, 1785). The charter of 1661/2 has styled the Company "The Company for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America", and the court decreed that Canada would therefore form a suitable field for the Company's work. Thus, in 1786, the Company began its work in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. A supplemental charter (MS. No. 7910), dated June 12, 1899, finally confirmed the Company's right to expend its funds in Canada. On May 24, 1786, the Company appointed the Lieutenant-Governor and the Chief Justice of New Brunswick, and seven other "fit persons" residing in the same province, to be their commissioners in America, for carrying into execution the purposes of their charter. Their attempts to do so were not too successful, and on March 1, 1804, the Company changed its mode of appropriating funds in New Brunswick. After making many enquiries the Company finally adopted the recommendations submitted to them by Major General John Coffin, one of the original commissioners, and on January 28, 1808, the Company appointed General Coffin and five other persons residing in New Brunswick as their commissioners in America. Coffin's scheme was to place Indian children with English families where they were to be instructed in the principles of the Christian religion, reading, writing, and some trade or business which they might imbibe during their early years. Coffin was to superintend the operation of the scheme with the assistance of salaried religious instructors and schoolmasters. By 1815 there were thirty-five Indian boys receiving such instruction at Sussex Vale in New Brunswick. In 1820, on the appeal of Rev. Dr. Stewart, and the reports and recommendations of many others, the Company began applying some of its funds towards the propagation of the gospel in Upper Canada. In 1825, when gross abuses in the working of the General Coffin's system of apprenticeship came to light, the Company decided to discontinue its Sussex Vale establishment, and to concentrate its efforts among the Six Nations Indians in Upper Canada. Within a few years, they established stations on the banks of the Grand River, near Lake Erie; on the shores of Rive Lake and (Mud or) Chemong Lake; on the shores of the Bay of Quinté, northeast of Lake Ontario; and on the banks of the Garden River, near Sault Ste Marie. The business of the Company, in the period covered by these records, was transacted to a great extent by two standing committees: the Estates Committee transacted the business connected with Company's property in England; the Special Committee superintended the correspondence with the colonies and administered the expenditure of funds overseas. Each committee consisted of the Governor or Treasurer, and such other members as would attend. The Company also held one General Court a year, when, until 1834, the entire net income, after deducting the expenses in England was placed a the disposal of the Special Committee for expenditure in the colonies. Special Courts, when needed, were summoned by the order of the Governor.
- Finding aid:
Textual records (microform) (Microform) The Guildhall Library's Catalogue of the New England Company's records, 1548-1941 (MSS. 7908-8011), which includes physical descriptions of each unit, is available on reel A-287. MSS0246 (90: Open)Textual records (Electronic) Finding Aid No. 246 provides a microfilm shelf list of the microfilm reels and an index of correspondents (both individuals and institutions), which also includes some place names and subjects. MSS0246 (90: Open)Textual records (microform) (Electronic) A microfilm shelf list, organized by microfilm reel, and identifying the Guildhall Library reference numbers, and description, is available. MSS0246 (90: Open)
- Additional information:
- General Note:
- These records were microfilmed by World Microfilms Publications for the Guildhall Library of London, England. In 1988, copies of this microfilm purchased by the London Office of the National Archives of Canada were transferred to Ottawa and made available for research purposes.
- Custodial history:
- The New England Company deposited its records in the Guildhall Library, London, England in May 1953. The Public Archives of Canada microfilmed selections relating to Canada in 1955 on reels A-284 to A-295. Later, World Microfilms Publications microfilmed the records of the New England Company at the Guildhall Library. The London Office of the National Archives of Canada purchased a copy of four reels with additional material relating to Canada from World Microfilms and transferred them to Ottawa in 1988 as reels A-2155 to A-2158.
- Location of originals note:
- The originals are located in the London Metropolitan Archives (formerly Guildhall Library, London, U.K.), and the New England Company, London, U.K. The collection at the LMA can be found under the new archival code CLC/540 and can be searched for using the LMA online search tool at - http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/london-metropolitan-archives/Pages/search.aspx. The complete finding aid can be accessed via the online description.
- Reproduction note:
- Rights to reproduce these reels in their entirety rests with World Microfilms, pursuant to its contract with the Guildhall Library (now the London Metropolitan Archives) and owners of records in the custody of that repository.
- Related material:
- A document relating to a local committee to act for the Company in New Brunswick, 1786, is available in MG 23, D 9.
- Varying form of title:
- Subject heading:
- Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England - Finance, 1656-1908 Boston (Mass.), 1699-1784
- Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England - Charter, 1662, 1899 John Eliot, [1656-1818, 1872-1908]
- Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England - Reports, 1822, 1824, 1826 Robert Boyle, [1656-1818, 1872-1908]
- Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England - Minutes, 1699-1905 Reverend Oliver Arnold, 1822
- Associations, institutions, etc. - New England, 1656-1913 Lieutenant Governor Sir Howard Douglas Bart, 1824
- Associations, institutions, etc. - New Brunswick, 1656-1913 Reverend John West, 1826
- New England Company - Administration, 1661-1859 Israel Maudit, [1661-1859]
- Missions - New England, 1656-1908
- Missionaries - New England, 1656-1908
- Missions - New Brunswick, [1656-1908]
- Missionaries - New Brunswick, [1656-1908]
- Indians of North America - New Brunswick, [1656-1908]
- Indians of North America - New England, [1656-1908]
- New England Company - History, 1662, 1700-1913
- Former archival reference no.:
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