479 | To Philip Stephens

    Boston July 5. 1766


    As Captn Bishop commander of his Majesty’s Sloop Fortune is now preparing to sail for England I think it my duty to certify the full approbation I have had of him give my testimony of his conduct whilst he was stationed at this port which has been ever since his arrival in America. I have had many ^sevral^ opportunities in my letters to the Secretaries of State & the Lords of Trade to Mention him as a Very diligent & faithful Officer. I am now desirous that the Lords ^Commrs^ of the Admiralty should be made acquainted with the Obligations I have to him for his attention to his Majestys service in my departments & the Assistance I have received from ^him^ in times of danger & difficulty.

    Upon his first arrival here He engaged in the particular business for which he was sent here with great diligence & alertness; & by seizing a sloop ^Brigantine^ laden with french Wines imported & a Ship outward bound with uncertified goods & prosecuting them both to condemnation,1 so discouraged the practice of illicit trade in this port, that I beleive We are indebted to him for having less of it in this port than in other places.

    When in Aug 1765 the Violent & riotous Insurrection upon Account of the Stamp Act arose in this place, And all ^the equal^ powers of Government were overcome, Capt Bishop gave ^me^ the best & effectual assistance that I could expect or desire. He constantly consulted me concerning his stations in this Bay so as to be most ready to support me in such a manner as should be necessary. And when the Mob declared that they would destroy the Stampd ^papers^ when they ^should^ arrive & would attack the Castle when ^if^ they arrived ^were deposited^ there, Captain Bishop by calling in another Sloop of War & a Cutter, & disposing2 them to the best Advantage took care to protect the Stamped papers as they arrived ^& bring them to the Castle^ & to make the Attack upon the Castle not so practicable as had been apprehended ^imagined^. No one that was not an Eye Witness can have an Idea of the popular fury I had then to struggle with: and I could not (as I have before declared in my public letters) have preserved the Stamped papers from destruction, if I had not been assisted by Capt Bishop in the Manner aforesaid.3

    For these reasons & for that Captain Bishop hath [worthily?] & uniformly whilst he was stationed here preserved the Character of the good Officer, I must desire you to lay this testimonial before their Lordships: I shall make no Apology for giving you this trouble to whom it must allways be Very agreable to know the particulars in which their Officers have exerted themselves with a proper Spirit & due attention to their Duty.

    I am Sr Your most obedient & most obedt Servt

    Philip Stephens Esqr Secretary of the Admiralty4

    ADft, LbC      BP, 4: 243-244.