175 | To Thomas Boone

    Boston Octor ^Novr^ 16 1762


    Your letter dated Sepr 6th655 arrived here whilst I was absent on a Voyage to the Eastern parts of this province: and since my return I have been unavoidably prevented answering it untill now. In this province, (which is a mixture of the royal & Charter Government Constitutions) there does not lie an appeal from the Supreme Court to the Governor & Council: The Appeal is immediately to the King in Council. I therefore can give you no information from hence but what arises from my own notions of such appeals in the royal Governments, of which I had not one instance whilst I was Governor of New Jersey__

    I have always understood that Appeals to the Governors & Councils in the Royal Provinces from the Supreme common law Courts are entirely of the nature of writs of Error from the King’s bench to the House of Lords: and I know of no difference between them but, what arises from the exigencies of the Country, a greater allowance for non observance of the strict forms of Law. For instance: in writs of error in England the Error assigned must appear upon the face of the record & no other Error can be assignd. But in America where Special pleading and the preciseness of recording is not much practised or even understood, it will be necessary to consider the Error of the Court appealed from more liberally than is allowed in England; & sometimes it may [be] proper to examine the matters of fact upon which a Verdict & a Judgement in Consequence thereof are founded. I own I think it a nice business to set proper bounds to this kind of disquisition, as the Common Law considers the Verdict of a Jury to be conclusive: But it is the Common Practise of the privy Council to overhawl matters of fact as well as matters of Law; & therefore I dont see how a Governor & Council, from whom an Appeal to the Privy Council lies, can avoid determining by the same rules & methods as the privy Council will use in the farther Appeal.

    I wonder to hear that such appeals have never been used in your Government; because I look upon the Governor & Council to be a necessary medium (in meer Royal Governments) from the Common Law Courts to the King in Council. Appeals from the Superior Court here to the King in Council have been Very frequent: but I don’t imagine any Copies of them can be of the least use to you

    I am Sir &c

    His Excellcy Govr Boone656

    L, LbC BP, 2: 289-290.