The royal instructions issued colonial governors on their appointment constitute the principal set of rules and guidelines that they were obliged to follow with respect to colonial government and imperial administration. Each set contained two types of instructions: general instructions pertaining to the execution of the governor’s commission, and trade instructions pertaining to the enforcement of the Navigation Acts and other trade laws. Bernard received three sets of instructions during his career. the first, dated Court at St. James’s, 1 Apr. 1758, was for his administration in New Jersey.975 the second set, printed below, is dated 18 Mar. 1760, and was one of two issued for his governorship of Massachusetts. the third set, necessitated by the succession of King George III, was drafted on 4 Mar. 1761 and approved on 22 Apr. the trade instructions were signed on 27 May and the general instructions on 30 Jun.976 There are a few substantive differences between the Massachusetts sets, and these are acknowledged in the footnotes to the transcripts.

    Appendix 1 is a transcript of the author’s draft of Bernard’s general instructions of 1760 (for the RC is not extant) while Appendix 2 is a transcript of the trade instructions (RC). This set was prepared by the Board of Trade for the King in accordance with an order-in-council of 27 Nov. 1759. They were considered by His Majesty in Council on 16 Jan. 1760, and were sent to the king himself on 13 Feb. 1760; he signed them on 18 Mar. The Board of Trade noted that this set was consistent with the “usual Form” and “conformable” to those prepared at the same time for other governors; moreoever, they contained “no alterations” from the set issued Bernard’s predecessor, Thomas Pownall.977