This article appeared in the New Haven Historical Society Papers Volume Five, published 1894
MRS. EATON'S TRIAL (IN 1644); AS IT APPEARS UPON THE RECORDS OF THE FIRST CHURCH OF NEW HAVEN.
By Rev. NEWMAN SMYTH, D.D.
[Read Oct. 15th, 1888.]
[note from the Webmaster: I hope to identify what the primary source for this material- when and if I do I will add it here. If you are reading this page you probabley know more about my GGGGGGGGGreat Grand Mother (12th generation I think). If you can point me to original sources please do not hesitate.
If anyone knows off hand who the initials A.R.stand for I would appreciate them letting me know.
I note that the reasons the Church gives for the excomunication of Anne Yale Eaton all have to do with her ACTIONS, and her beliefs are not implicated. The only reason given that relate to her beliefs is when she makes a comment during church. Almost all the historical sources I have read talk about her beliefs. QUERY- Is this an accurate appraisal? Did other excomunication proceedings relate to actions or beliefs?
Also note the support for the theories of Public vs. Private behavior in Puritan communities.
Here follows the text from the New Haven Historical Society Papers, volume 5]
NOTE. Mrs. Anne Eaton was the second wife of Gov. Theophilus Eaton. whom she married in England, about the year 1625. This was also a second marriage for her. Her first husband was David Yale of Denbighsbire, North Wales. She was the daughter of an English Bishop, probably George Lloyd, Bishop of Chester.(1)
The Governor lived in a large house on the north side of Elm street, between Church and State, his home lot extending over what is now Orange street. his family at this time was a large one, and comprised his mother, the widow of Rev. Richard Eaton, 13.D. a Canon of Lichfield cathedral, and several children by each of his marriages. One of these, his daughter by his first wife, now probably a woman of thirty or more, and unmarried, was time person referred to in the church records as "Mrs. Mary Eaton." She afterwards married Valentine Hill of Boston. A portrait painted about 1635, which is in the collections of this Society, is supposed to represent either her or Mrs. Hopkins, a daughter of Mrs. Eaton.
It is certain that Gov. Eaton did not live happily with his wife, after her trial and excommunication,(2). and it is probable that there had been more or less of estraingment before that time. Soon after his death which occurred in 1657, she returned to the mother country with her children. From the narrative which follows, it is evident that she was of a high-strung, nervous temperament, which sometimes threw her into a state bordering on that which clouded the life of her daughter by her first marriage, above mentioned, Mrs. Ann Hopkins, the wife of Governor Edward Hopkins of Hartford.
The greater part of the record of this trial was printed in 1889, with valuable annotations, in the appendix to Bacon's Historical Discourses (page 296).
A few explanations may be of service as to some of the other persons mentioned in the proceedings.
"The Lady Moodey" had been excommunicated in the preceding year from the church in Salem, Massachusetts. "Mary Launce" became the (second) wife of Rev. John Sherman of Watertown. Mr. Gregson was Thomas Gregson, one of the magistrates of the Colony, and of the cormmissioners representing it in the annual Congresses of the United Colonies of New England. He was lost on the "phantom ship," while on a voyage to London to procure a patent for the Colony of New Haven. "Mr. Hooke" was the Rev. William Hooke, M.A., who had been vicar of Axmouth in Devonshire, and now was Teacher of the New Haven Church. In 1656, he returned to England, became Cromwell's domestic chaplain, and was made Master of the Savoy Hospital. "Brother Lupton" was, doubtless, Thomas Lupton. who was admitted a member of the General Court during this year.
The trial of Mrs. Eaton was naturally the subject of much talk among the inhabitants of the town. In 1646 Mrs. Brewster was charged before the Court with having said "if Mrs. Eaton had seene her light before she came into the church, she had not come in." She made answer that she did not recollect such a remark, but that she had "heard that Mrs. Eaton came into the church in a hurry, and went out in a hurry."(3)
"A brief story of Church proceedings with Mrs. Eaton, the Governor s wife, for divers scandalous offences, which she gave to sundry out of the Church.
Matters being prepared, they were propounded to the Church by the ruling F in the Public Assembly, the fourteenth day of the sixth month, 1644, after the contribution On the Lord's day as followeth:
The Elders have understood by divers of the brethren that they do wait for and expect to hear what issue the business that concerns Mrs. Eaton is brought to. The Elders have not neglected the looking after it, but have now Prepared matters for the hearing of the Church. If the brethren be willing that she shall be now called forth, they have the Particulars to read unto you, and if they said nothing against it, they should take silence for their consent.
And after a little pause, the brethren being silent, the ruling Elder called Mrs. Eaton forth. Then our Pastor, Mr. Davenport, stood up and spoke as followeth:
Brethren, you do, I suppose, expect some account from the Elders of the issue of all the pains and patience which hath
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been exercised by the Church towards our Sister, Mrs. Eaton, I am sorry that we cannot give in such a return as might answer all our desires. The public offence, which she knows is grievous to us, she still continueth in, departing from the Assembly wheasoever baptism is administered or else absenting herself from the sermon and from all public worship in the congregation, though she knoweth that it is an offense to the whole Church. How she fell into the error, you partly know. Her will was gained to it before her judgment, and therefore she sought some arguments or other against the baptising of infants, and to that end spake with lady Moodey and importuned her to lend her a book made by A. R. which having gotten into her hands she read secretely, and as secretely engaged her spirit in that way. For she neither asked her husband at home according to the rule 1 Cor. xiv, 35 (whose faithfulness and sufficiency to have held forth light to her according to God, we all know) nor did site seek for any light or help from her pastor according to the rule, Mala. ii 7 though in other eases she has come freely to him, and departed from him not without fruit ; nor did she seek help from the body whereof she is a member, nor from any Member of this body save that she showed her book with the charge of secrecy to one or two whom she hoped to gain to her party, and so to have made way for a further spread of her infection in the body. The first discovery of her peremptory engagement was by her departing from the Assembly, after the morning sermon, when the Lord's Supper was administered, and the same afternoon, after sermon when baptism was administered judging herself to be not baptized, nor durst she be present at this latter, imagining that predo baptism is unlawful.
In a Meeting of the Church among themselves on the third day following, some of the brethren desired that Mrs. Eaton would declare her reasons, whereupon she thus did and held. She professed her inability to speak, but told us of a book she had, which had taken her off from the grounds of her former practice ; for she formerly thought that baptism had come in the room of circumscision and therefore might lawfully be administered unto infants as that was. Hereupon I asked her whether if that point were cleared she would be satisfied. She seemed to assent. Then I understood (with the help of Christ) to examine her book, and the next third day to begin to speak to the first part of it in the Meeting of the Church among themselves; and the next Lord's day to begin to preach out of Col. ii, 11-12, thence to prove that baptism is come in the place of circumcision and is to be administered unto infants, and so to answer the second part of the book: which as you know hath been done, with a blessing from God for the recovery of some from this error; and for the establishment of others in truth. Only Mrs. Eaton (received) no benefit by all, but continued as before. Which when I perceived, thinking there might be some defect in her understanding what was spoken, or in her memory, I put myself voluntarily to a further task for her good, and wrote out what I spoke in the Church, alone in answer to the former part of the book, and what I preached in public to the next Assembly on the Lord's day, and got them to be wrote out in a fair hand, and sent them to her husband for her use with this request, that it would please him to join with himself Mr. Gregson and Mr. Hooke to whom probably she would give ear sooner than to others, and let one read A. K., and the other read my answers by several portions that she might understand what was read and have liberty to object for her satisfaction while things were in her mind. This they did, though she showed much backwardness and unwillingness thereunto ; and when they had read to a period and prayed her to speak if she had anything to say, she neither would object nor yield to the truth, but behaved herself with such contemptuous carriage that they were discouraged in the beginning. But at my desire they returned to it again, and continued thus reading till they had gone through the book, and then left her with her both A. K. and the answers. After that I waited to see if her own private reading would have any better success. When I saw that she continued still as she was nor did propound any question. I marvelled at the hand of God herein, which to me seemed dreadful, fearing that, as before she would not seek light so now God would not give her an heart to receive light. Whilst I was thus sadly exercised, divers rumors were spread up and down the town of her scandalous walking in her family, which
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were in the mouths of many before they came to my knowledge, being almost continually in my study and family except some public work or private duty called me forth. At last with two or three of the brethren who had also heard of this common fame, considered what we were called to do, and concluded that it being a thing commonly and scandalously reported, the rule requireth that we should inquire, make search and diligently ask whether it were true, Dent. xvii, 13, 14 by proposition. Accordingly Mr. Gregson, Mr. Hooke and myself went to Mr. Eaton, told him what we heard commonly reported, and prayed him to certify us whether the things were so or not, he desired me to speak with his wife, which accordingly we did, she desired us to ask her mother and daughter and servants, they both being present, and calling the forenamed into the room where we all were. Upon inquiry it appeared the reports were true, and more evils were discovered than we had heard of. We now began to see that God took us off from treating with her any further about time error of her judgment, till we might help forward by the Will of God her repentance for these evils in life believing that else these evils would by the just judgment of God hinder (her) from receiving light, and that repentance for these would further light amid receiving the truth, according to John vii, 17. We therefore agreed to deal with her in a private way. To that end because the matter was past the first step or degree of one with one being known to us all. We went together to speak with Mrs. Eaton and held forth the particulars amid the rules broken by them and left it with her exhorting her to repent. And having waited a convenient time, but without any fruit saving a discovery of her hardness of heart and impenitency, we told her we must acquaint the Church with this matter, and labored with her to prevent it in part at least, by taking up the matter in private, by holding forth her repentance privately for such particulars as were not commonly reported; for we were unwilling to bring forth such things into public, amid some of them were of a smaller kind or degree of evil than some other evils, amid therefore might more easily be ended if it pleased her, and began to read some of them to her. She refused to give any private satisfaction for any. Told us that
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these also were common talk, and that she herself had met with reports of them in other houses. We answered that, nevertheless, seeing that we had not heard of them we were not bound to take notice of them in public, nor would, if the Lord would help her to see the evil of them, and to hold it forth in private. She utterly refused amid told us we labored with her in vain and should have no other answer, and wondered that the Church did not proceed. Thus we are compelled to bring sundry particulars of which she was privately admonished into the public notice of the Church because she refused to hear us in a private way, according to the rule in Matt. xviii, 17. There were almost as many more which we leave out (nor did privately admonish her of) because they arc not sufficiently proved by two witnesses as these are, and these such witnesses as herself hath not excepted against their testimony, though she has been often desired to object or answer, what she pleased. The Elders will now read the particulars to you.
THE SEVERAL FACTS FOR WHICH THE CHURCH CENSURED MRS. EATON.
1. That Mrs. Eaton sitting at dinner with Mr. Eaton and old Mrs. Eaton, Mrs. Eaton struck old Mrs. Eaton twice on the face with the back of her hand, which Mrs. Eaton saith she felt three days after ; and Mr. Eaton sitting at table held his wife's hands, and whilst Mr. Eaton held his wife s hands, she cried out with such vehemency of spirit "I am afflicted," "I am afflicted," as her mother saith she thought she might be heard over to Mr. Davenport's. Witness old Mrs. Eaton and herein is broken the Fifth Commandment in breaking the rules of her relation to her mother; and also the Sixth Commandment is broken in her sinful rage and passion and in her striking her mother.
2. Mrs. Mary Eaton being knitting a pair of gloves and when she knit a piece of a glove, her mother said she had knit a glove and a piece, which Mrs. Mary denied, and said she had not knit so much. Her mother upon this grew outrageous, struck her, pinched her, so that the signs of it appeared upon her, and knocked her head against the dresser, which
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made her nose bleed much. Besides others who were present, this was done before four Indians, who were then in the. Kitchen. Witnessed by old Mrs. Eaton, and Mrs. Mary and Elizabeth Browning, who saith though she was not in the kitchen when this was done, yet she was above in the chamber and heard Mrs. Mary cry and heard the blows up into the chamber, and when she came down she saw Mrs. Mary's nose bleed very much, she asked what was the matter, and they told her Mrs. Eaton had beat Mrs. Mary. This is a breach of the Fifth Commandment in breaking the rules of her relation and so contrary to the rule of the Apostle, Eph. vi, 4; Col. iii, 21. And likewise she hath herein broken the Sixth Commandment, contrary to Matt. v, 21, contrary to the rule of the Apostle, Eph. iv, 31. Likewise it is a breach of the Sixth Commuandment, as it is a just offense to the Indians and so a means of the murder of their souls, and so contrary to the rule of the Apostle, 1 Cor. x, 32.
3. That Mrs. Eaton hath unjustly charged Mrs. Mary, saying her belly was great and her breasts big almost to meet, and she looked blue under the eyes, and that she vomited, and that she looked very ill, and she feard her sickness would prove an ill sickness. Mrs. Mary saith she never vomited, and Mary Launce saith she knew she never vomited since she came into the house. Sister Maudline saith that she living in the house about half a year, never saw any light carriage in her that might give any suspicions to ground any just charge, and she took the more notice of her carriage because old Mrs. Eaton had often asked her about Mrs. Mary s carriage, because she had heard her mother had spoken many suspicious words concerning Mrs. Mary. Brother Lupton saith he never saw anything in Mrs. Mary but comely and well. Brother Bradley saith for light carriage in Mrs. Mary with any man he never saw any in the least, nor had cause for any such thought. And brother Lupton saith the same. Mrs. Eaton being demnanded by Mr. Gregson, Mr. Davenport and Mr. Hooke why she charged Mrs. Mary with such things, she answered that she said it to set more upon her to prevent it, because she observed her temper and carriage (saying her carriage was wanton). Being earnestly pressed to give an instance of any
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of these charges upon her, she then could give none. This charge is confessed in the answer Mrs. Eaton gives. This is a breach of the Ninth Commandment, as it is a slander and that of a high nature; and concerning the reason she gives why she laid this charge upon her daughter, it is contrary to Rom. iii, 8.
4. Mrs. Eaton charged Mrs. Mary to be the cause of the ruin of the souls of many that came into the house, especially of Mary Launce, but shewed not wherein; this is a sin against the Ninth Commandment and contrary to Psa. xv, 3. Witness Mrs. Mary and Mary Launce.
5. Mrs. Eaton boiling some milk, it was thrown down and Mrs. Eaton spoke as if Mrs. Mary had done it, the which Mrs. Mary denied and said she did not. Her mother prayed her for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake to hold her peace. Confessed by Mrs. Eaton ; this is a sin against the Third Commandment as it is a taking God s name in vain, and against the Ninth Commandment as she would not let her daughter clear herself.
6. Mrs. Eaton falsely charged Mrs. Mary, saying she wrought with the devil. Witnessed by Mrs. Mary and Ann Stuart ; this is against the Ninth Commandment, a false accusation of a high nature.
7. Mrs. Eaton (about) to brew asked Mary Launce for a tap, the which she had given to Mary Breck ; Mrs. Eaton came into the kitchen and asked Mary Breek for it. Mary Breek had given it to Mary Launce, who going to fetch it, and coming by Mrs. Eaton, she pinched her, saying she had too much blood in her face, and struck her with the tap in the eye and made it swell, and made it black and pinched her by the arms, and pulled her by the nose, so that she made her nose bleed. Mary Launce demanded of her what cause she had to use her so; she answered wherein, my dear, my dear, near twenty times, but yet she continued pinching her, but gave no reason why she pinched her, but followed her into the Buttery and there pinched her also. Witness Mary Launce and Mary Breck, who saith she saw Mrs. Eaton pinch Mary Launce by the arms and by the nose very grievously, and made her nose bleed, only she did not see her strike Mary Launce with the tap, yet this she saith that before Mary Launee went into the
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cellar her eye was well, but presently after she came up again it was swelled, and Mary Breek being in the kitchen, she heard Mrs. Eaton and Mary Launce in the entry making an noise as if Mrs. Eaton was fighting with Mary Launce, and presently after she saw her face swelled ; this is a breach of the Fifth Commandment in violation of the rules of her relation, contrary to the rule of the Apostle, Colo. iv, 1. Likewise it is a sin against the Sixth Commandment in her bitterness and forwardness of spirit, contrary to Eph. iv, 31.
8. Mrs. Eaton one morning asked Mary Launee when she would go away that she might get her another maid, and she told her a month after that time. Witness of this Mary Launce and Anna Eaton. Yet after this, when Mr. Hopkins was in town, Mrs. Eaton denied that ever Mary Launce had told her of going away at a month, and charged her with an untruth for saying she had given her warning to go away at a month. Witness Mr. Hopkins and Mary Launce ; this is an untruth against the Ninth Commandment.
9. Mrs. Eaton well knowing that Mary Launee was to go to live with old Mrs. Eaton, when Sister Maudline went away from old Mrs. Eaton, for she spake to Sister Maudline to be in Mary Launee s place, when Mary Launce went to live with old Mrs. Eaton, and also the first motion of Mary Launce's going to old Mrs. Eaton was from Mrs. Eaton herself, and yet when Maudline was gone, and Mary Launce was to go to old Mrs. Eaton, Mrs. Eaton told Mary Launee that she knew not of her going to old Mrs. Eaton, and said she should go away unless old Mrs. Eaton would provide her a maid. Witness Mary Launce ; this is an untruth against the Ninth Commandment.
Also old Mrs. Eaton witnessed it and saith it bred much unquietness between her daughter and her.
10. After Mary Launce was gone to old Mrs. Eaton and Mrs. Eaton having no maid, old Mrs. Eaton sent Mary Launce down to help Mrs. Eaton do some business in the house one Lord's day. At noon Mary Launce offered Mrs. Eaton to help her and she answered she should not help her do anything Mary Launce came again at night and offered her help to Mrs. Eaton to help her do anything she had to do; Mrs. Eaton answered there was nothing to do for her, and gave Mary
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Launce a charge she should not come down into the kitehen. without she had anything to do for old Mrs. Eaton; on the second day, in the morning did deny that Mary Launce had offered to help her do anything, and said she would do nothing for her. Mary Launce being before Mr. Eaton and Mrs. Eaton to affirm that she offered to help Mrs. Eaton, but Mrs. Eaton would not let her. Mrs. Eaton did deny that Mary Launce had offered to help her, and thereupon Mary Launce called in Mrs. Mary to affirm that she had offered her help to help her, the which she did affirm. Mrs. Mary heard Mrs. Eaton say it was not so, however God is a God of truth, but that is a lie. Witness Mary Launce and Mrs. Mary ; this is an untruth against the Ninth Commandment.
11. Mrs. Eaton said that Anthony, the neager had bewitched the beer because it would not run when it was mashed. Witness Anthony the neager. And Brother Bradley saith he heard Mrs. Eaton say the beer was bewitched, and that Mrs. Eaton would not let the neager look into the tub of beer, for fear he should bewitch it. This is a sin against the Ninth Commandment, in a false accusation. And it is a sin against the Fifth Commandment, in violating the rule of her relation if he had been a witch he should not have been kept in the house.
12. Mrs. Eaton has often charged Mary Breck with lieing and theft, and said she had lied and theived and worked with the devil in the house, and she might say whored, too. Witnessed by Elix Browning, Anna Smart, and Mary Breek. This is a breach of the Fifth Commandment, violating the rules of her relation, and also against the Ninth Commandment, being reproach and reviling.
13. Mrs. Eaton says to her maids God would send their souls to hell ; this is a sin against the Third Commandment, breaking that rule, Math. 7, 1. Witness Mary Breck and Ann Smart.
14. Mrs. Eaton hath often called her maids wicked wretches, with many other unpeacable words from one week to another. Witness Mary Breck and Elizabeth Browning. Her unpeacable speeches is a sin against the Sixth Commandment. And her reviling them is against the Ninth Commandment, contrary to 1 Pete. 21-22-23.
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15. When Mr. Davenport was in preaching and speaking something against Anabaptism, Mrs. Eaton said as she sat in her seat, it is not so, and when Mr. Davenport said be would be brief, I would you would or I pray be so. Anna Eaton heard her Mother speak this, and told her brother and he told his Mother; old Mrs. Eaton saith that Theophilus telling his Mother of it she said it was not so. Anna Eaton saith that her Mother did deny that she said so. But Mrs. Eaton since both acknowledged she did speak to that purpose; this is contrary to Isa. 30, 8, 9,10.
16. When Mr. Gregson, Mr. Davenport and Mr. Hooke were at Mr. Eaton's in the room speaking with Mrs. Eaton, they wanting a candle, one of the maids came to Mrs. Eaton for one, and she bid her ask her Master for a candle, saying she had none; he said, you have, she said again, I have none; he said, you have. Mrs. Eaton answered which you gave me last night, Mr. Eaton said I gave you none, he said, you took them yourself, and then went out and fetched one. Witnessed by Mr. Gregson Mr. Davenport and Mr. Hooke. This is an untruth against the Ninth Commandment.
17. One morning, Mrs. Eaton finding fault with her man about not bringing water, made her complaint to Mr. Eaton against the man, and because he not seeing cause for it did not reproach the man according to her mind, among other words, this she uttered (with much heat of Spirit) and said to Mr. Eaton, you and this man may go together, for the man well out of the house I can get my bread and cost you nothing, and that desire of getting front her husband she has prosecuted importunately. Witnessed by old Mrs. Eaton, John Massom and Mrs. Mary Eaton. This is a breach of the Fifth commandment; violating her relation to her husband and her servant, and against the Sixth Commandment in her distempered passion, and so a scandal by her ill example. Also her desire of getting from her husband is against the Covenant of Marriage, contrary to 1 Cor . 7, 10.
Sister Preston saith, Mary Breck told her that there were little truth in Mrs. Eaton's words for she would oftentimes charge her maids with things, when there was no truth in them.
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Mary Launce saith ever since she came to Mr. Eaton's house she hath observed it hath been Mrs. Eaton's way to speak untruths.
Elizabeth Browning saith that all Mrs. Eaton's maids did apprehend Mrs. Eaton to speak much untruth ordinarily in her speaches, and she would speak very rashly to her.
Brother Lupton saith that it was usual when he came home the maids would complain to him of Mrs. Eaton s unquietness with them, and he did speak with Mrs. Eaton and wish her to live in love and peace, she did lay the faults on her maids, and he spoke to them not to provoke their Mrs. and they wished him to pray for them, that they might not provoke her, Mrs. Mary professing it was the desire of her heart to give her Mother content and not willingly provoke her.
Brother Bradley saith he never knew any cause given by the maids to provoke Mrs. Eaton, but they had great provocations from her, for they could do almost nothing to give her content, which did discourage them and many times made them careless. He further saith he hath observed Mrs. Eaton's way to he very unquiet, unstable and self willed, and more of late than formerly.
After that the ruling Elder had read these several facts, he propounded to Mrs. Eaton if she had anything to object against these facts that were charged upon her. She sat down and said nothing. After this was done, it was propounded to the brethren whether the facts that were read and charged upon Mrs. Eaton were not sufficiently proved by those witnesses ; and they gave their vote that they were suflicientlv proved. Then it was propounded to the brethren, that they having heard the several rules that was charged upon Mrs. Eaton to be broken by her, whether they were rightfully applied to the several facts ; if they were satisfied therein they should declare it by lifting up their hands, which accordingly they did. After this was done it was again propounded to the brethren that they having heard the several facts charged and proved, and the rules she lad broken thereby, they should take it into their consideration whether she was presently to be cast out for these facts, or whether it would admit of an admonition only at this time. Then the brethren freely spake their
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apprehensions. Then our Pastor stood up and spake to the Church and held forth light unto them shewing that those facts were not of that nature that they called for a Present cutting off, but he rather inclined to give a public admonition ; for though the charges were many and great yet (it was to be considered) whether they could be proved to proceed from a habitual frame of sinning in her, so as that she may not be eounted a visible saint. And he also showed that though some sins could not admit of an admonition if they were public scandals, as those in Cor. v, yet whether any of these facts amounted so high was not clear. After our Pastor had done speaking and a little pause, it was propounded to the brethren whether they would have Mrs. Eaton at that time only admonished, and they that were of that mind should declare it by holding up their hands ; and the brethren with one consent declared by their vote that at that time they would have her admonished. After the vote was passed, Mrs. Eaton stood up and spake to the Church, desiring that at that time there might be no censure passed upon her. Then our Pastor stood up and answered her that seeing the matter was brought into public, such evils could not pass without the Church's rebuke, the rule being, they that sin openly must be rebuked openly, and she must hear the Church. Then our Pastor proceeded and passed the sentence of admonition upon her. The form of the admonition was thus, that 'In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, arid with the consent of this Church, I do charge thee, Mrs. Eaton, to attend unto the several rules that you have broken, and to judge yourself by them, and to hold forth your repentance according to God, as you will answer it at the great day of Jesus Christ."
After the admonition the Church waited expecting the fruit of it. But they found by clear and credible information, that she did continue offensive in her way both in her carriage in her family and otherwise. And in this time, whilst her carriage was offensive. she sent a writing to the ruling Elder, which when the Elders had considered, and found that it neither came up to the acknowledging the particulars for which she was admonished, nor held forth repentance according to God, arid that her spirit was wholly under the former distemper,
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the Elders agreed to speak with her, that they might encourage her, and draw her further on to repentance. In all mildness they told her what was defective in this note, and what further would be required (according) to God for the Church's satisfaction, to wit, three things:
1st, that she should acknowledge the facts according to the evidence in the particulars, and fall under the rules she had transgressed, by those facts as appeared in the admonition. 2d, that she should (hold) forth her repentance, confess her sins, and judge herself for them. 3d, that because there was a tract and course of scandalous miscarriages, she should hold forth such reformation as might be testified to the Church s satisfaction, according to God by some that ordinarily conversed with her.
This advice she seemed to receive thankfully and to propose to apply herself thereunto. But after about three quarters of a year waiting, no fruit of repentance appeared, so that sundry of the Church shewed themselves unsatisfied at these delays. From sundry other Churches also in the Bay and at Connecticut, being made acquainted with the proceedings of the Church in this matter, we saw that the Church was thought to be defective by their slowness to use the last remedy which Christ has appointed for recovery in this case. Hereupon the Elders went to her in private and told her that though it had been her duty to have sought reconciliation with the Church, whom she had offended, and knew they were yet unsatisfied, yet seeing she neglected, the Elders came to her to see what fruit might yet appear of the public, solemn admonition, to the end they might give some account thereof to the Church. She answered, she confessed it was her duty so to have done, hut she (was) hindered by not finding in herself repentance to her own satisfaction. Being then pressed to know what hindered her repentance, and told that it must he either something charged upon her in way of fact whereof she was not guilty, or else some rule was not rightly applied to her correction; if she had any such thing to alledge, they said, "we are here to inform your judgment." She answered, she had nothing to say against the admonition. Being then further pressed to speak if any such objections struck with her, or else they could
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not see but she hindered herself and slighted the admonition, then she said she was not convinced of the breach of the Fifth Commandment in the first fact charged, for she did not acknowledge her husband's Mother to be her Mother. The Elders answered, they conceived that was sufficiently clear before, that she had broken thc Fifth Commandment, and therefore referred to this admonition ; and finding that she continued obstinate, parted from her with these expressions, that we must give an account to the Church of what we found, and did bewail the hardness of her heart, and should mourn for her in secret.
Between this and the time she was to give her answer to the Church, she sent another writing to the ruling Elder, which when the Elders read, they found it to be so far short of holding forth that repentance the rule required, and (far short) of the first writing which yet when she wrote she was under the power of distemper as before. And so she continued to the very time of her coming before the Church.
Upon the 20th day of the third month, 1645, being the Lord's day, after the contribution, Mrs. Eaton was called before the Church in the public Assembly, to see what fruit was of the admonition. The particular facts charged upon her were read unto her, she answered then to some of them; but it growing late, the Church left off, for that time, and appointed the fourth day following to issue that matter. The next fourth day, after lecture was ended, Mrs. Eaton was called again. When she gave her answer to the Church, it pleased God to leave her so far to herself to the discovering of her distemper, that though full of tears at other times, when she hath a mind to express herself that way, yet at both times when she appeared before the Church she behaved herself without any show of remorse, and expressed herself with an ostentation of empty words which fell far short of the several charges in the admonition; and added unto the former offenses new offenses and lies in the presence of the Assembly, as followeth, namely:
First Lie: She having denied old Mrs. Eaton to be her Mother sundry times, did in the face of the Assembly say, that it was always laid up as a principle in her heart that she was her Mother.
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Second Lie: Being asked then how she came to be convinced that old Mrs. Eaton was her Mother, she said that Mr. Dod's book on the Commandments, which Mr. Hooke lent her, convinced her ; it then being asked her what Mr. Dod's book convinced her of, she said that Mr. Dod's book convinced that she should give honor to ancient persons.
Third Lie: She charged Mr. Eaton, her husband, with breach of promise, in bringing his Mother into the house against her will, but it was proved it was with her consent.
Fourth Lie: She denied that she did speak of charging Mrs. Mary's honour but herself alone in the chamber where none was there as she knew of, but it was proved she spake of it to sundry in a scandalous way.
Fifth Lie : She had said to Mr. Gregson that she had repented to her own satisfaction before God, but she could not hold out to men, yet in the presence of the whole Assembly she said she was not inwardly satisfied in her own heart with her repentance. Before the Church proceeded to sentence, the word of God concerning the censure was so (clear) to the whole Church that the Brethren being desired by the Elders to express their apprehensions concerning the case in hand, sundry of the brethren spoke weightily to convince her of her obstinacy in her sins, and all and every one of them, with one consent, gave their vote to her casting out ; first, for not hearing the Church in her admonition, according to the rule, Matt. xviii; secondly, for new offences she gave, for lying before the Church, according to the rule, Rev. xxii, 15, and 1 Cor. v. And not the brethren only, but some Elders of other Churches being present, and being desired to the Elders to declare their judgment concerning the case, they did both speak weightily to her, and justify the way of the Church, concerning her casting out. One of them adding that if this case had been in the Churches up the river, it would not have been delayed so long. And thus with much grief of heart, and many tears the Church proceeded to censure; wherein God showed a wonderful presence to the satisfaction of all that were present."
1. New Haven Hist. Soc. Papers, III, 227.
2. I New Haven Col. Rec., 268-270.
3. I New Haven Col. Rec., 294