513 | To the Earl of Shelburne

    Boston Dec 6. 1766

    My Lord

    I1 have the honor to inform your Lordship that the Act for making a compensation to the Sufferers by the late riots passed the two houses & received my consent this day being the fourth from their meeting after the adjournment.2 The Act has received very little alteration from the Bill which I sent to your Lordship with my letter of Nov 14.3 It passed the House of Representatives by 52 against 35, & in the Council by 14 to 1.4 The Considerable Majority in the House & the allmost unanimous Voice of the Council, together with the dispatch with which It has been carried thro’ both, will, I hope, in some degree apologise for the delay & difficulty which this Business has met with heretofore.

    I should not have thought myself warranted in passing an Act of indemnification in a common case without some previous instruction or order for that purpose. But this Act seems to me to be so conformable to his Majesty’s gratious intention, as it has been signified to me by your Lordship & Mr Secretary Conway, that I think I cant have mistaken my Duty in what I have now done. However if I have, the Confirmation of the Act is still in his Majesty’s hands.

    It gives me great pleasure that your Lordship is freed from this troublesome affair but I have as little prospect as ever of the Governments being restored to Authority & peace. It is still pursued with unrelenting Acrimony: I say the Government: for tho’ great part of the Attack appears to be directed against the Governor, yet it is manifestly intended against his Office & not his person. For It is remarkable (I am obliged to repeat) that in all the abuse which has been flung out against me, either by Speeches in the house or libells in the Newspapers, No one Charge has been made out against me; but for my support of the Authority of the King & parliament over this province. The Demagaogues who have got the lead, are determined to bring all real power into the hands of the people saving to Royalty the form of the Government. If I can submit to this & will be5 content to be reduced to the standard of a Rhode Island Governor,6 I may live in peace. I am not fond of power; but I cant part with that, which is not my own to give up.

    I have carried this subject further than I intended; as I must some time hence beg your Lordships attention to a particular Account of the present political state of this province: which I shall form with a strict regard to truth & with as much conciseness as the Explanation of it will admit.

    I am with great respect My Lord, Your Lordships most obedient and most humble Servant

    Fra Bernard.

    The Right Honble The Earl of Shelburne.

    ALS, RC      CO 5/756, ff 3-4.