58 | From John Pownall

    London. July 22. 1761.

    Dear Sir,

    Although I confess myself a bad correspondent & take shame for it, yet I hope I do not stand accused of want of attention to the solid & real Interests of my ffriends, amongst whom none can claim or hold a higher place in my regards than yourself.

    I have endeavourd to the utmost of my poor ability to support & promote your Interest in evry case which you have entrusted to my ffriendly care, and I should have been very happy if my endeavrin had been more successfull in that which seemed to me the most important; but Unfortunately Pembertons Commision, which had been delayed a long time, was rinewed284 before I reced your letters upon that Subject, and tho’ Lord Halifax’s real regard for you & your interests would have prevaild over some difficultys yet he thought it not consistent with the delicacy with which he managed matters of this nature in the Closet, to make such a proposition, where he was upon the point of being promoted to a higher station __ and the resumption of the nomination to all offices with the hands of the Secrty of State, puts it absolutely out of my power to move a jot further; Mr. Stone who is at ^least as^ much your ffriend as Mr. pembertons, would have assisted me in evry thing that might have attaind the Object you desired but told me from the beginning that in this Situation things were (with respect to Mr. pembertons renewal, having taken place) nothing could be done.

    It has been determined that Governors have in no case claim to the Allowances of Chappell plate &c upon a renewal in consequence of the demise of the Crown; all therefore I could do was to endeavour to obtain what was due to you upon your first appointment to the Govt. of Massachusets Bay, in the way you desired it, and even in this the Absurdity of Office put ’me to much difficulty & trouble & renderd the produce less than it ought to have been; as you will see from the inclosed Acct. the balance of which shall be paid to your order by Draft or in any other way you please to direct.

    The Indiscretion of Barons has been amazing,__ his ffriends all condemn him, tho’ I have seen some symptoms of an inclination in those who are most nearly connected with him to mix in this disapprobation of his conduct some charge of blame in yours conduct, be not however uneasy on this score, for it neither has had nor will have any Effect, to your prejudice.

    I am very happy to find by your last letter,285 that the embarrasments & difficultys arising from this disagreable affair were dissipated; & that tho attempts of your Enemy had only the Effect to establish your interest still stronger, — The Attempts of Malevolence & malice opposed with resolution supported by Integrity will always have that Effect. One thing I will mention to you upon this occasion is an observation & hint occurring from the particulars of this dispute, which is that the Fees & charges of proceedings in Admiralty Courts in the plant. in Genl. are become so shamefully exorbitant, as to be matter of notice of Govt. & have been in one or two cases, pretty severely censurd by the Council.

    Mr. Hancock who left London yesterday to embark for Boston will fully inform you of evry thing which regards our ffriend the Governors Situation, since you last heard of him: It became absolutely necessary that he should be taken out of that miserable state of Mind which his disappointmt had involved him in, & thoh the office he is employed in is not in inay circumstances the most Eligible, yet it keeps him in the line of publick Service & diverts his thoughts from disagreable reflection:286

    The publick papers & the many Govts. that I understand are upon the point of contracting for councill will better inform you of the State of publick Affairs in genl. than I can do.__ a fortnight ago evry body thought we were at the Eve of a peace, the Genl. opinion now is just the reverse.__ with respect to my own opinion it is not quite so sanguine; I see many untoward circumstances, but do not yet despair of a peace this Year.

    Mrs. pownall desires to be joined with me in our sincere respects to yourself & Mrs. Bernard, and I have only to add that I am with the most sincere regards

    Dear Sir Your most faithfull & Afft. humble Servant

    J Pownall

    ALS, RC BP, 9: 221-224.