193 | From the Board of Trade

    Whitehall, March 11th. 1763


    We have taken into Our Consideration your letter to Our Secretary, dated the first of December,722 and the several Papers which you have addressed to the Board, relative to the Grant of the Island of Mount Desart, which the General Court of Massachusets Bay is represented to have made to you in July 1762.723

    We can have no objection to your acceptance of this Grant as a Testimony of the approbation and favour of that Province, in whose Service, and in the Conduct of whose Affairs, you have manifested so much zeal and capacity, nor should We have delayed Our Representation upon it to the Crown, if the deed itself had been before Us. You are sensible there are some Circumstances peculiar to the situation of this Tract of Country which make it necessary to consider both the Case itself, and the manner of carrying such a Grant into Execution: When We shall be actually in Possession of the Grant We will bring the Matter to issue with all possible Dispatch, and endeavour to decide whatever questions arise upon it, in a manner which shall be agreable, and upon grounds which shall be just to all Parties concerned.

    It may be proper to observe to you, that the doubt conceived upon the Claim of the Province of Massachusets is not founded upon the Allegation, that the lands to the East of Penobscot were not in the Possession of the Crown at the time of Granting the Charter, but upon the Operation which the Treatys of Riswick and Breda (by which Treaties this Tract of Country was ceded to France) should be admitted to have had upon the Charter itself.

    We cannot take upon Us at present to say how far all future Consideration of this Question is precluded by the Order of Council grounded upon the Opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor General in 1731, this is a delicate point, which should be reserved till the deed shall come regularly before Us, and in the mean time We cannot think it expedient to advise any conditional Grant whatever of this Island. We are

    Sir Your most Obedient humble Servants

    C Townshend

    Soame Jenyns

    Ed: Bacon


    Francis Bernard Esqr. Govr. of the Massachusets Bay

    LS, RC BP, 10: 63-66.

    A new Board had been constituted on 2 Mar. 1763, and at its first meeting considered FB’s request for confirmation of the provincial grant of Mount Desert. JBT, 11: 338-339. When confirmation was refused, FB tried to break the deadlock on the question of provincial jurisdiction over Sagadagoc with a petition to the Privy Council delivered in Dec. (No. 248).