[A note about the transcription. For the most part, we have not attempted to modernize or correct Bradford’s spelling and use of letters, for example, he uses “u” where we use it today, but also for the modern “v” as in “discouer” (“discover”) or “Gouernour” (“Governor”). However we have modernized some archaic letters (including the thorn) and abbreviations that are difficult to reproduce in a modern computer typeface. John Winthrop’s handwriting is even more difficult to decipher and the memorandum transcribed below was written for his own use. The transcription displayed here of the Winthrop memorandum should be viewed as a close approximation of his text, rather than an exact letter-by-letter transcription. The transcription of both the Bradford letter and the Winthrop memorandum draws upon the extraordinarily diligent work of an earlier generation of Winthrop editors. Their transcription of the same text appears in Winthrop Papers. Vol. IV, 1638-1644 (Boston: The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1944), p. 23-24.]

Beloued S:r:

I thanke you for your letter touching Mrs Huchngson; I heard since
of a monsterous, & prodigious birth which she should discouer amongst
you; as also that she should retracte her conffession of acknow=
ledgmente of those errours, before she wente away; of which I
have heard many various reports. If your leasure would per=
mite) I should be much behoulden unto you, to certiffie me in a word
or tow, of the trueth & forme of tht monster &c. Upon the Information
& complainte of our neigbours at Sityate; I am requested by our
assistants to write unto you, touching a late parttition, or limiting
of confines, betweene you & us; of which we heard nothing till of
late. Wherein we understand you have Intrenched farr upon
those lands, which we have conceiued to belong to us by right diuerc[e]
waies; as first by compossision, & anciente compacte with the natiues to whom the
right & souerainite of them did belonge, which did extend as farr
as conahasete, which was the bounds between the Sachimes of the Massa=
chusets, & those of these parts; 2ly. It since hath been confirmed unto us
by patente from his majesties authoritie. 3ly. heroupon we have
posest it, & planted it some years agoe. We desire you will giue
us a reason of your proceedinge herein; as also that that ther may
be a faire, & freindly desission of the controuercie; that we may pre=
serue peace & brotherly loue amongst our selues, that haue so many
Enimies abroad. Ther was not long since hear with us mr Cotting=
ton & some other of your people, who brought mr Williams with them
and prest us hard for a place at, or near Sowames, the which
we denid them; Then mr Williams Informed them of a spatious
Iland caled monachunte, touching which the solisited our good
will, to which we yielded, (so they would compound with Ossamequine)
the which we heard was Ill taken by you, but you may please to under=
stand that it is not In our pattente (though we tould them not so) for
It only was excepted out of it.) And we thought (If they likte it)
It were better to haue them, (though they differ in oppinions) then
(hapily) worse neighbours, Both for us, & you. We thinke it is also
Better for us both to have some strength in tht Bay. Thus commend=
ing you, & your affairs to the Lord; with my loue remembred to your
selfe, & the rest of my worthy friends with you, I take leave &

April . 11.

Your unworthy freind
William Bradford
[One section of page 2 contains address and endorsement information; another section of page 2 is comprised of John Winthrop's retained memorandum in response to Bradford's letter. ]


Mr Bradfo[rd]
[about the boundary]
(2) 1638.


To the Right Wor:a mr John
Winthrope Gouernour
of the Massachusets
these be [delivered]

[Memorandum by Governor John Winthrop regarding Bradford's letter, 16 [April] 1638.]

My answere to this Lettre (which I shewed the Deputy)
was to this effect: that before we did any thing
we acquinted mr Hatherly & had men of either parte
to sett out the bounds, but they not agreeinge etc
I told mr Winslow, & wished there might be
some friendly Course for setlinge the same so
as might neither strengthen Sciutate nor Hingham
he answered, that what our Patent gave us we
must have, & it was all one to them wither S[cituate]
fell to them or to us, etc; & advised us to
sett out our bounds etc: which we did accordingly etc.
but have [need] to Acte upon
it, nor disposed anything to Hingham etc: [ergo]
we see not why we should be called to
give a Reason [of: etc,] that this was upon
some misinformation, or want of information; that we
would be sorye tht matter of Jurisdiction, should bringe
our peace & love into Question: that if we had come
hither for lande or if we had feared that our friends
of Pl[ymouth] would have bounded us to 3: or 4: miles of
Nantanscott, we could have more easily have enlarged
our Grant than theirs. for the kings Confirmacion
I supposed a mistake, the k[ing]: dothe not use to confirme
Indians grants for their purchase of the Indians, it
was the 1st I heard of it, & it would be hard to
make their title good, & as hard to prove their
grant to them. For Mr. Hatherlys company, we
[The following text appears on the page perpendicular to the left of the preceeding text:]
thought it were better for us both if they were further off: we had not to doe
with it, but we were persuaded they would not have furthered them etc: before
they had advised with us; & they might have expected the like Correspondency from
us. conclusion for a friendly devision etc. (2) 16.1638.

30.6 cm x 19.4 cm

From the Winthrop family papers.
The item is comprised of a large sheet of paper that was folded in half, and then folded again. Bradford wrote his letter (page 1) on one half of the paper. On the other half, Bradford wrote the address (on the top of page 2) and John Winthrop wrote notes about his response to the letter (on the bottom of page 2).