62 | To Lord Barrington

    Boston Augst. 10. 1761

    My Lord

    When I first arrived at This Town I received from your Lordship a recommendation of Mr. Barrons Collector of this Port: upon which I assured him that I should take a pleasure in obeying your Lordships commands by serving him. I soon found that the best service I could do him would be to advise him concerning his public conduct; & the duty of my Office making it quite necessary, I was soon given to understand that I had so far incurred his displeasure, as to be thought deserving a formal opposition to me & my Government. The injuries and insults I have received from him & his party make a part of a long story which has been already communicated to Lord Halifax & Secretary Pownall; & must now if it has not Already, be made public.

    I should not have troubled your Lordship on this Subject if It could have been avoided. But Mr Lechmere the Surveyor General having Suspended Mr. Barrons from his Office, & having sent away the articles exhibited against him together [with] the proofs taken in support of them, as also some fresh charges to the commisioners of the Customs; & having prepared another set for the Lords of the Treasury I find this business must come before your Lordship in your public character; & therefore beg leave to use the access your Lordships has allowed me to have to your private station

    I have wrote so much upon this subject that I am quite tired of it; but if I was ever so much disposed to write on, I could not give your Lordship a better information of the part I have acted, than by the copies inclosed. The I is a Copy of my declaration by way of Evidence, which is among the proofs. The II is a Copy of a letter I wrote to Lord H. As this contains little more than plain Narrative, I presume I am not wrong in sending this Copy to your Lordship. If there is any danger of my being blamed for it, your Lordship will keep it to your self. The III is a copy of a letter I now write to the Lords of trade. The subject matter would have made it more properly addressed to the Lords of the treasury, if the regulation of My Correspondence had not directed me to apply myself to the Lords of Trade. your Lordship will consider this as designed only for your own private information, untill It shall be formally transmitted from the board of trade. Among the papers sent by Mr. Lechmere (Copies of which I have sent to the board of trade) you will find a good deal more matter than what I now trouble your Lordship with.

    Ever since the commencement of these disturbances which is now near 12 months I have been ready & desirous to take hold of every oppertunity that offered to compose these troubles but have not been able to do any thing towards it The defence of my self & my Authority as well as of the Court of Admiralty & the Customhouse has found me full employment.

    A few weeks ago some Gentlemen applied to me in behalf of Mr Barrons, desiring I would intervene in his favor. I told them that the actions he had brought against Mr. Lechmere Mr Craddock & Mr. Paxton were such open acts of his setting at defiance the King[’s] Authority under which he was placed by his office, that I could do him no service, whilst he persisted in maintaining them, but If he would withdraw them, I would waive all resentment of my own, (altho’ some injuries I then mentioned them were Very fresh) & immediately treat with them about what could be done for Mr. Barrons. They used their endeavours to persuade him to comply with this preliminary, but could not prevail.

    It has been no small part of my Concern at being thus embrangled in this dispute, that It may tend to impeach a Character which I have borne thro all my life & which I own I am proud of, that of a good natured Man. I very much regret that the unreasonable Man has made the censuring him necessary to my defence & part of my duty. Without these considerations I could wish him all the good he desires: I heartily wish he had a place of twice the Value any where else: and I have often wished that I could consistently with my duty recommend his being restored to & continued in this. But I dare not make my self answerable for such a representation: the same prejudices passions & connexions that I have had so much reason to complain of, still seem to prevail.

    I shall take the first oppertunity to lay before your Lordship a state of the Customhouse in this and the Neighbouring Governments; from whence will plainly appear the Causes which have induced the Merchants of this port to be less disposed to Obey the Laws of Trade than they have hitherto been. The Remedies for these inconveniences will be very obvious & I hope as practicable; & like to be attended with very good consequences. But this I must defer to a further time.

    I am with great respect, My Lord your Lordship’s &c &c &c

    The Rt. Honble The Lord Visct. Barrington

    L, LbC BP, 2: 2-4.