Of Plymouth Plantation

James Sherley Character Analysis

James Sherley is an important business partner for the Pilgrims in Plymouth. Beginning in 1629, he’s tasked with all the colonists’ business affairs in England—above all, paying off their debts and arranging for a land patent. It’s unclear from Bradford’s account how loyal Sherley is to the Pilgrims: at several points, he seems to be colluding with Isaac Allerton, charging the Pilgrims for shipments that never arrive and assuring that Allerton still has their best interests at heart. However, Sherley also helps the Pilgrims sue Allerton, and faithfully enacts their wishes during his time in England.

James Sherley Quotes in Of Plymouth Plantation

The Of Plymouth Plantation quotes below are all either spoken by James Sherley or refer to James Sherley. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Christianity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Publisher edition of Of Plymouth Plantation published in 0.
Book 2, Chapter 21 Quotes

Now, blessed be God, times are so much changed here that I hope to see many of you return to your native country again, and have such freedom and liberty as the word of God prescribes.

Related Characters: James Sherley (speaker)
Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis:
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James Sherley Character Timeline in Of Plymouth Plantation

The timeline below shows where the character James Sherley appears in Of Plymouth Plantation. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2, Chapter 9
Bias and Propaganda Theme Icon
War, Violence, and the State Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
...the Pilgrims will pay off their debts over six years. On November 17th, 1628, James Sherley sends the colonists notice that, although the colony has sent back beaver and otter skins,... (full context)
Christianity Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
...returns to Plymouth in the spring with goods. He informs Bradford that he’s put Mr. Sherley in charge of their affairs. Allerton also provides the Pilgrims with a patent for the... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 10
Christianity Theme Icon
Bias and Propaganda Theme Icon
War, Violence, and the State Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
...living in Holland were able to form a thriving colony in the New World. James Sherley sends letters to Bradford, explaining that the colony has become profitable to the point where... (full context)
Christianity Theme Icon
War, Violence, and the State Theme Icon
In March 19, 1629, James Sherley sends Bradford a letter concerning Allerton’s behavior. Allerton curries favor with important English aristocrats; however,... (full context)
Native Americans Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
Sherley sends Bradford a letter, dated March 19th, 1629, in which he explains that Allerton has... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 12
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
...hand of God.” Business begins to run smoothly, and Winslow sends supplies from England. However, Sherley charges the shipment from the White Angel to the Pilgrims, despite the fact that, according... (full context)
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
...than allowing it to make shipments on the Pilgrims’ behalf. “To this day,” Bradford reports, Sherley and Allerton control the ship. On November 19th, 1631, Sherley sends a letter to Bradford,... (full context)
Christianity Theme Icon
War, Violence, and the State Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
Bradford offers a few thoughts about Sherley’s letters. First, it seems clear that it was Allerton’s idea to purchase the White Angel... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 13
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
Later in 1632, a ship returns from England, bringing goods Mr. Sherley has sent to the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims accept the goods and send the ship back... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 14
Christianity Theme Icon
War, Violence, and the State Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
In 1633, Edward Winslow becomes the new governor. Ships return from England, bearing news from Sherley about Allerton’s finances. Sherley regretfully explains that he’s been unable to make any progress in... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 15
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
...Prince is chosen to become governor. Throughout the year, the colony receives letters from Mr. Sherley, explaining once again that the Pilgrims will have to pay Allerton’s debts. (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 16
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
On September 7th, 1635, James Sherley sends the Plymouth colony a letter explaining that he’s sending the Pilgrims a letter of... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 17
War, Violence, and the State Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
...thousand pounds of beaver to England, and later send more. The Pilgrims hear back from Sherley that London is in the grips of a plague, meaning that the fur market is... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 18
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
Later in the year, the Pilgrims receive letters from England explaining that Sherley hasn’t distributed any money to the rest of the company. The Pilgrims agree to “discharge... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 19
War, Violence, and the State Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
...from England, explaining that the investors have been unable to obtain any money from Mr. Sherley. Investors have also failed to obtain high prices for the goods the Pilgrims shipped them,... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 20
Christianity Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
...Plymouth Plantation receives a few important letters from England, requesting further goods to help Mr. Sherley pay off his own obligations to investors. The colonists are highly reluctant to do so,... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 21
Christianity Theme Icon
War, Violence, and the State Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
In 1641, Mr. Sherley writes to William Bradford, the Governor of Plymouth once more, about his financial situation. He... (full context)
Christianity Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
...original shareholders living on the Plymouth Plantation must decide how to close their affairs with Sherley. They make detailed records of all their debts to Sherley, and come up with the... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 22
Christianity Theme Icon
Debt and Religious Capitalism Theme Icon
In 1642, the Pilgrims finally resolve their disagreements with English investors. On June 14th, James Sherley writes a letter to the Plymouth colonists, explaining that he will make good on the... (full context)