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MATHER, RICHARD

three fruitless audiences with James II. His first audience with William III. was on the 9th of January 1689; he was active in influencing the Commons to vote (1689) that the New England charters should be restored; and he published A Narrative of the Miseries of New-England, By Reason of an Arbitrary Government Erected there Under Sir Edmund Andros (1688), A Brief Relation for the Confirmation of Charter Privileges (1691), and other pamphlets. In 1690 he was joined by Elisha Cooke (1638-1715) and Thomas Oakes (1644-1719), additional agents, who were uncompromisingly for the renewal of the old charter. Mather, however, was instrumental in securing a new charter (signed on Oct. 7, 1691), and prevented the annexation of the The nomination of officers

to the agents. Mather had

with the clause giving the

regretted the less theocratic

all freemen (and not merel

Plymouth Colony to New York.

left to the Crown was reserved

expressed strong dissatisfaction

governor the right of veto, and

tone of the charter which made y

church members) electors. With Sir William Phips, the new governor, a member of Mather's church, he arrived in Boston on the 14th of May 1692. The value of his services to the colony at this time is not easily over-estimated. In England he won the friendship of divines like Baxter, Tillotson and Burnet, and effectively promoted the union in 1691 of English Presbyterians and Congregationalists. He was at heavy expense throughout his stay, and even greater than his financial loss was his loss of authority and control in the church and in Harvard College because of his absence.

Mather had been acting president of Harvard College in 1681-1682, and in lune 1685 he again became acting president (or rector), but still preached every Sunday in Boston and would not comply with an order of the General Court that he should reside in Cambridge. In 1701 after a short residence there he returned to Boston and wrote to the General Court to “ think of another President for the Colledge.” The opposition to him had been increasing in strength, his resignation was accepted, and Samuel Willard took charge of the college as vice-president, although he also refused to reside in Cambridge. . That Mather's administration of the college was excellent is admitted even by his harsh critic, ]osiah Quincy, in his History of Harvard U niversityf The Liberal party, which now came into control in the college repeatedly disappointed the hopes of Cotton Mather (q.v.) that he might be chosen president, and by its ecclesiastical laxness and its broader views of Church polity forced the Mathers to turn from Harvard to Yale as a truer school of the prophets.

The Liberal leaders, John Leverett (1662-1724), William Brattle (1662°1713)~°WhO graduated with Leverett in 168O, and with him as tutor controlled the college during Increase Mather's absence in England-William Brattle's eldest brother, Thomas Brattle (1658-1713), and Ebenezer Pemberton (1671-1717), pastor of the Old South Church, desired an “ enrichment of the service, ” and greater liberality in the matter of baptism. In 1697 the Second Boston Church, in which Cotton Mather had been his father's colleague since 1685, upbraided the Charlestown Church “ for betraying the liberties of the churches in their late putting into the hands of the whole inhabitants the choice of a minister.” In 1699 Increase Mather published The Order of the Gospel, which severely (although indirectly, criticized the methods of the “Liberals” in establishing the Brattle Street Church and especially the ordination of their minister Benjamin Colman by a Presbyterian body in London; the Liberals replied with The Gospel Order Revived, which was printed in New York to lend colour to the (partly true) charge of its authors that the printers of Massachusetts would print 1 Mather led the resistance to the royal demand instigated by Edward Randolph in 1683, for the annulment of the college charter, and after its vacation in 1684 strove for the grant of a new charter; King James promised him a confirmation of the former charter; the new provincial charter granted by William and Mary confirmed all gifts and grants to coleges; in 1692 Mather dra ted an act incorporating the college, which was signed by Phips but was disallowed in England; and in 1696, 1697, 1699, and 1700, Mather repeated his efforts for a college charter. nothing hostile to Increase Mather.” The autocracy of the Mathers in church, college, colony and press, had slipped from them. The later years of Mather's life were spent almost entirely in the work of the ministry, now beginning to be a less varied he entered on it. He died on the 23rd of

married in 1662 Maria, daughter of Sarah

His first wife died in 1714; and in 1715 he widow of John Cotton, of Hampton, N.H.,

career than when

August 1723. He

and John Cotton.

married Ann Lake,

a grandson of John Cotton of Boston.

was a great preacher with a simple style

Increase Mather

and a splendid voice, which had a “Tonitruous Cogency, ” to quote his son's phrase. His style was much simpler and more vernacular than his son's. He was an assiduous student, commonly spending sixteen hours a day among his books; but his learning (to quote justin Winsor's contrast between Increase and Cotton Mather) “usually left his natural ability and his education free from entanglements.” He was not so much self-seeking and personally ambitious as eager to advance the cause of the church in which he so implicitly believed. That it is a mistake to consider him a narrow churchman is shown by his assisting in 1718 at the ordination of Elisha Callender in the First Baptist Church of Boston. Like the most learned men of his time he was superstitious and a firm believer in “ praesagious impressions ”; his Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences.° Wherein an Account is Given of many Remarkable and very Memorable Events which have Hapned in this Last Age, Especially in New England (1684) shows that he believed only less thoroughly than his son in witchcraft, though in his Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits (1693) he considered some current proofs of witchcraft inadequate. The revulsion of feeling after the witchcraft delusion undermined his authority greatly, and Robert's Calef's More Wonders of the Spiritual World (1700) was a personal blow to him as well as to his son. With Jonathan Edwards, than whom he was much more of a man of affairs, and with Benjamin Franklin, whose mission in England somewhat resembled Mather's, he may be ranked among the greatest Americans of the period before the War of Independence.

The first authority for the life of Increase Mather is the work of his son Cotton Mather, Parentator: Memoirs of Remarkables in the Life and Death of the Ever Memorable Dr Increase Mather (Boston, 1724); there are also a memoir and constant references in Cotton Mather's Magnolia (London, 1702) especially vol. iv.; there is an excellent sketch in the first, volume of J. L. Sibley's Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University (Cambridge, 1873), with an exhaustive list of Mather's works (about 150 titles); there is much valuable matter in Williston Walker's Ten New England Leaders (New York, 1901) and in his Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism (New York, 1893); for literary criticism of the Mathers see ch. xu. of M. C. Tyler's History of American Literature, 1607-1676 (New York, 1878), and Barrett Wcnde1l's Cotton Mather (New York, l89I). Mather's worth has been under-estimated by ]os1ah Quincy, justin Winsor and other historians out of sympathy with his ecclesiastical spirit, who represent him as only an ambitious narrow-minded schemer. (R. WE.)


MATHER, RICHARD (1596~1669), American Congregational clergyman, was born in Lowton, in the parish of Winwick, near Liverpool, England, of a family which was in reduced circumstances but entitled to bear a coat-of-arms. He studied at Winwick grammar school, of which he was appointed a master in his fifteenth year, and left it in 1612 to become master of a newly established school at Toxteth Park, Liverpool. After a few months at Brasenose College, Oxford, he began in November 1618 to preach at Toxteth, and was ordained there, possibly only as deacon, early in 1619. In August-November 1633 he was suspended for nonconformity in matters of ceremony; and in 1634 was again suspended by the visitors of Richard Neile, archbishop of York, who, hearing that he had never worn a surplice during the fifteen years of his ministry, refused to reinstate him and said that “ it had been better for him that he had gotten Seven Bastards.” He had a great reputation as a preacher in and about Liverpool; but, advised by letters of John Cotton and Thomas Hooker, and persuaded by his Mather was made a licenser of the Press in 1674 when the General Court abolished the monopoly of the Cambridge Press.