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Vane

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VANE, Snit Henry, English statesman, fourth governor of Massachusetts: b. Hadlow, Kent, 1612; d. Tower Hill, London, 26 May 1662. He studied at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and also for a time at Geneva or Leyden; was a member of the retinue of the English Am bassador to Vienna in 1631, and after his re turn was so decided in his opposition to the doctrine and ceremony of the Established Church that he sailed for New England to ob tain freedom of conscience. With royal license permitting a three-years' residence, he arrived at Boston 6 Oct. 1635. He was at the time a joint commissioner representing Lord Saye and Sele, Lord Brooke and the other patentees of Connecticut. On 1 November he was admitted a member of the church of Boston, on 3 March 1636 received the freedom of the colony (that is, was made citizen). He had already taken some part in its political affairs, having effected a conference for the adjustment of differences at which articles were drawn up for the guid ance of magistrates. He was elected governor 25 March 1636. The "fifteen great ships" then in harbor, according to Winthrop ((History of New England,' ed. Savage, 1825), "congratu lated his election with a volley of great shot." One of his first acts after induction into office was to make an agreement with the captains of these vessels as to the government of shipping. A difficulty arose through the request of the officers of British vessels that the king's colors might be flown from the fort. All the magis trates, with one exception, were opposed, since the flag contained the cross which Endicott had but recently cut away. Reply was made that there was no king's flag in the colony, but the captains supplied one and it was hoisted on the authority of the governor and his supporter in the council. At the outbreak of the Pequot War Vane joined Roger Williams in influenc ing many Indian tribes to refrain from hostili ties. On 21 October he concluded a satisfac tory treaty with Miantonomo, sachem of the Narragansetts. But in his interposition in ec clesiastical matters he was far less successful. The Antinomian controversy was reaching a critical stage and the colony was divided into two hostile camps, one holding to "sanctifica tion" as evidence of "justification° and the °covenant of works," the other to the "covenant of grace." The latter were in a minority and far less influential, and Vane, as a champion of free inquiry, took their side. The colonists, unfortunately, did not, as Upham points out, favor such inquiry "whenever it threatened to lead to results different from their own." As a consequence, at the election in March 1637, Vane and all his supporters were left out of office. Boston chose him to the General Court, and when the election had been declared void by the majority of the house, returned him the very next day. Winthrop was elected governor,

and at once, as a means toward defeating heresy, a law was passed by the General Court that no strangers were to be received within the jurisdiction of the colony save those per mitted by one of the council or two of the assistant magistrates. Discontent with this law so increased that Winthrop published a 'De fense.' To this Vane replied in (A Brief An swer to a Certain Declaration,' a plea for tol eration. On 3 Aug. 1637 he sailed for England. On his return, he labored to secure a charter for Rhode Island, and this was obtained chiefly by his influence. His services in this behalf were duly recognized by Williams. From 1639 to 1641 he was treasurer of the British navy, in 1640 entered Parliament for Hull, in the same year was knighted and in 1641 advocated the abolition of episcopacy and was dismissed by Charles I from the treasurership. He was head of the Parliamentary war party, was prac tically leader of the Commons in 1643-46, was a commissioner to treat•with Charles I at New port in 1648, but took no part in the king's trial. Under the Commonwealth he was a leader in all affairs of state. In 1651 he was sent to adjust Scottish affairs. When Cromwell for cibly dissolved the Long Parliament in 1653, Vane, who desired to continue it, was brought into open collision with him. Vane, therefore, withdrew to Belleau in Lincolnshire, where he busied himself with literary composition. One of Milton's sonnets (17th) recognizes his ac tivity in the Commonwealth cause. In 1656 he was imprisoned for a pamphlet against Crom well's arbitrary procedure, in 1659 re-entered Parliament and having secured the abolition of the protectorate, was commissioner of the navy in the restored Long Parliament, from which he was finally expelled January 4660, generally distrusted by all parties. He was excluded from indemnity on the Restoration, held prisoner in the Tower and the Scilly Islands, and finally, after an able defense, sentenced to death for treason. His mystical religious views made him a puzzling character to his English contempora ries, most of whom apparently came to think him a fanatic. He was reported at one time to be the head of an Anabaptist revolt; at an other, king of the Fifth' Monarchy. His abili ties were never questioned, but his high princi ples were once not seen so clearly as they now are. He appears briefly in Hawthorne's of the Province House' ((Howe's Masquerade'). Consult biographies by Sikes (1662), Upham (Sparks' Biography,' 1st ser., Vol. IV, 1835), and Hosmer (1888) ; also Winthrop, (History of New England' (ed. Savage, 1825 or ed. 1853), and Hutchinson, of Massachusetts' (ed. 1765).