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The appointment of Partridge was made known to the people, immediately after his return from England, in January, 1697. Mr. Usher, then at his home in Boston, very soon heard of the appointment; but as Mr. Partridge for some reasons had not published his commission and taken the oaths prescribed, he claimed that his own powers as lieutenant-governor had not ceased.


Soon after this, Usher came to Hampton, and on Sunday, February 1, taking advantage of the people being assembled at the meeting-house for public worship, he addressed them on political affairs, and gave some orders in regard to military matters, expecting his orders to be obeyed.

The proceedings of Usher at Hampton, being made known to the government, a meeting of the council was held the next Sunday, to devise means to counteract their influence. A proclamation was forthwith published, to declare Partridge lieutenant-governor, and to give public notice that Usher had no further power or authority in the province and that none were to obey his orders or warrants for the future.

The council ordered that Maj. William Vaughan take with him as many men as he can readily get mounted, to march to Hampton and Exeter, to suppress any tumult and disturbance that may happen in the province. Major Vaughan was also to cause to be published in those towns, the proclamation given to him for that purpose; to give notice to all captains, and other inferior military officers, to continue in their place until further orders; and to arrest any disturbers of the peace.

The next day, a letter was prepared by the president and council, to be sent to Lieut.-Governor Stoughton, of Massachusetts. After stating the facts given in their proclamation, they say: "But notwithstanding all this, Mr. Usher is pleased to exert his weak endeavors to give us some disturbance; to ytt end [he] appeared at Hampton on the last Sabbath day, and we hear, in the forenoon before Sermon, made a large comment on the copy of this commission. He also gave out orders to sundry officers, civil and military, to meet him at Hampton the next morning, and the two First Companys of the towne to be then in arms; but miserably failing of his expectations, he withdrew and left the Province on Monday afternoon; assuring some of his creatures that Lieut.-Governor Stoughton had promised him if he met with any opposition here, to give him assistance."

Whatever may have been the apprehension of the council, no serious disturbance seems to have resulted from Usher's visit and harangue at Hampton, or at least, none, which being seasonably met, was not easily quelled; for we have no more notice of it in the records--nothing to show that there was need of further action on the part of the board.

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