Chapter 11

    Mr. Temple and Dr. Franklin

    Mr. temple[,] though one of the Commissioners of the Customs, yet took every measure to embarrass the Service and render his Colleagues odious in the Eyes of the people. There were the strongest suspicions that he published the most unjust aspersions on them and that he secretly countenanced and supported the Leaders of the faction.

    The Commissioners had no doubt but that [179] the wicked proceedings respecting the Officers of the Customs on the affair of the 5th March 1770 originated with him.70

    His father in law was the most active in collecting, publishing, and forwarding, the ex parte evidence of near Sixty people, that was taken on that matter, within a few days after, the main end of which was to load the Commissioners and Officers of the Customs with plan[n]ing the destruction of the People, and being [180] accessaries in the Slaughter of that evening.

    He endeavoured to make a dissention between the Commissioners and Mr. Sewal, the Attorney General of the Province; and drew the little Secretary of the Board to be aiding in that dark transaction; the investigation of which brought on the suspension and dismission of the Secretary.

    It was very grievous whilst the Commissioners had such a combat without doors, and much labour [181] and difficulty with their own Officers from the weak state of Government in America, to have a constant contest and wrangling on every matter that came before them; and to have their opinions exposed, and conduct misrepresented by one of their own body.

    Very frequent at this time were the publications in the News papers reflecting on the conduct of the Board and the Characters of the individuals of it, and [182] there was no doubt who was the author of them. At length a Pamphlet came out aspersing many Characters. Everyone supposed Mr. Temple to be the Author of it; and he got into some quarrels on the occasion. One Gentleman whom he assaulted and knocked down, made a complaint to the Grand Jury; but they would take no notice of it, though his evidence of the assault was very clear and well supported.71 At length Mr. Temple went to England and there was a Solemn hearing before the Privy Council respecting [183] his conduct in America. And by the judgment of that august assembly, he was dismissed from his Office of Commissioner of the Customs in America, and Mr. Hallowell was appointed in his room.

    Mr. Thomas Whateley, who had been Secretary to Mr. George Grenville when he was first Lord of the Treasury, and had then been a friend to Mr. Temple, was under Secretary of State to Lord Suffolk at the time of Mr. Temple’s dismission, and taking compassion of his circumstances he used his influence to serve him, and some time after Mr. [184] Temple was appointed an Inspector of the Customs in London, in which Office he continued ‘till after the death of Mr. Whateley.

    Some time after Mr Whateley’s decease, Mr. Temple made a visit to his Brother, a Banker in the City, and desired to see the Packet of American Correspondence of his late Brother, as there were some letters of his amongst them, which he should be glad to look over. Mr. Whately brought out the bundle of letters, and left Mr. Temple some time in the room by himself, and when he returned he put back the bundle which he [185] had never attentively looked over.

    At opening the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay at Boston in May 1773 a number of letters were read in the House said to have been written by the Governor (Mr. Hutchinson) in 1769 when he was Lt. Governor, and by Lt. Gov. Oliver when he was Secretary of the Province and others to Mr. Whateley, late Secretary to the Treasury.

    The greatest resentment was raised against the Governor on the report of these letters. They soon after were printed, and indifferent people did not see [186] that matter in them, as could give just cause to the violent proceedings that were grounded on them.72 For the Council and Assembly came to several strong resolutions on the matter, and concluded with a Petition to His Majesty, that he would be pleased to remove the Governor and Lt. Governor from their Posts in the Government.73

    These letters[,] though written four or five years before, from private Gentlemen to their friend not then in publick Office, were used to stir up the minds of the people against them, now they were in high Stations, [187] and to draw on them the censure of their Royal Master for what had been done by them before they were acting in the Government of the Province.

    Lt. Governor Oliver wrote to Mr. Whately the Banker, Brother of the Gentleman to whom the Letters had been written, and who was Executor to their deceased friend, and in return Mr. Whately acquainted him that he had shewn the Packets of his late Brother’s American Correspondence to no one but Mr. Temple; and the general opinion was that Mr. Temple had taken them out of the Packets when he was permit[t]ed to look them over at Mr. Whatelys. [188]

    The resentment against the Governor was very high whilst this matter was before the House, and it was not advisable for the Commissioners to appear in Boston for several days whilst the people’s passions were in a ferment. On occasion of the annual Election in May there was a public Dinner given by the General Court, to which the Commissioners had not been invited, since their being at Boston. Govenor Hutchinson thought fit to send them invitations to the publick Dinner, given on this occasion, after he came [189] to the Chair, which they accepted, but on their going out from the Entertainment, a large Mob was assembled at the Door, who cursed the Governor for having invited the Commissioners, and abused and pelted them with Stones, and dirt; even in the face of the Company, and before the Guard of Cadets who were in Arms at the door; nay, some of those Guards were the foremost in the abuse.74 [190]

    When Mr. Whately came to know what use had been made of some letters written to his late Brother, he called upon Mr. Temple as the only person who had seen the letters of his late Brother. Mr T. denied having taken any out of the bundle that had been shewn him. This brought on altercations and publications between them, which ended in a duel, wherein Mr. Temple wounded, and afterwards near killed Mr. Whately, and his conduct in this matter was greatly censured.75 After the duel a publication appeared [191] from Dr. Franklyn to exculpate Mr. Temple from taking the letters, and declaring that he himself was the person who sent them over to Boston, but did not say how he obtained them.76

    During the whole controversy between Great Britain and America[,] Dr Franklyn had been held in great esteem, and confidence by the Ministry. He was Deputy Post Master General in America, and his Son was Governor of the Jersies. At the same time he himself was Agent for Philadelphia, and other Provinces, and the grand Political [192] Adviser and Director of the Colonies. On one hand he fomented disturbances in America, and stir[r]ed up the people to resistance of the Laws of Parliament, and assured them of the timidity of the Ministry, and of their being supported by the Merchants and Manufacturers; and on the other, he endeavoured to impress the Ministry and Nation with the great consequence of the Colonies[,] their power and importance, by which means he supported faction and sedition in the Colonies, influenced the Ministry at home to try lenient measures, and to yield to the [193] temper of the times, thus preventing the exertion of authority on one side, and weakening the bands of respect and obedience on the other, he from step to step prepared the people for an open revolt from Great Britain.77

    The Non-importation agreement in 1769 and every measure to distress Government, and keep up the spirit of resistance, was furthered and supported by his means.

    He was Agent to the Province of Massachusetts at the time when the [194] complaint against the Governor and Lt. Governor came home, for writing the Letters, which the Doctor now avowed himself to have sent back to Boston.

    The matter was ordered to be heard before the King and Council. The Doctor was desirous to prevent such a solemn discussion of the business, but it could not be dispenced with and as Agent to the Province he was to support the Charge, of which he had furnished the grounds.

    Never was a fuller [195] Assembly of those august Judges, and never was a person more severely handled than the Doctor was by Mr. Wedderburne, the Solicitor General, and Council for the Governors.

    The Charge was dismissed, with the severest censure, and the Doctor became an abhorred Character, and he and Mr. Temple were both dismissed from their employments under Government.78 [196]

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