Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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BLATHWAYT, or BLATHWAYTE, William, politician, born at St. Martin in the Fields, England, about 1649; died at Dyrham Park,
Gloucestershire, in August 1717. He was in the English diplomatic service as early as 1668, clerk of the privy council, and one of the important witnesses at the trial of the seven bishops for libel under James II., in 1688. He is identified with American affairs through his commissionerships of trade and plantations, under William
& Mary. This board was created by the king in May 1696, for the more efficient administration of colonial affairs. The instructions under which it acted art suggestive, in the light of subsequent history, as indicating the spirit with which England aimed to utilize her colonies. The commissioners were directed to inquire into the means of making the colonies
"most useful and beneficial to England," and as to the means of "diverting them (the colonies) from trades which may prove prejudicial to England." Blathwayt drew up the new charter of Massachusetts, and with the rest of the commissioners vainly endeavored to devise some plan whereby the colonial governments could be consolidated and yet left independent. In 1686 he married Mary, only surviving daughter and heir of John Wynter, of Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire, on which estate he died, and was buried in its parish Church. Many of his manuscripts are preserved in the Bodleian library, in the British museum, at Dyrham Park, and in the collections described by the Historical manuscripts commission.
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