523 | To the Earl of Shelburne

    No 3

    Boston Jan 4 1767

    My Lord

    Ever Since I have been Governor of this Province I have seen the Necessity of applying for an addition to the Salary allowed to the Governor for his support; which scanty as it is, is reduced to stand by itself without any other emoluments to supply it’s deficiency. The Equity, the Necessity of such an application was self-evident: the only Questions were, what was a proper time for it & to whom it should originally be made. For the first It was plain and indubitable that It must wait till the War was over: whilst the royal & the provincial funds were charged to the utmost with the defence of the Country, It could not be expected that an Application for the Augmentation would be attended to.

    At the end of the War It was generally expected both in England & throughout America that a general regulation of the Governments of the Colonies would take place: in which a provision for an independent & competent support of the Governments thereof would have a principal place. As The Want of such a provision had been known, by the experience of Many years, to be a cheif cause of the Weakness of the Kings Authority there & the foundation or support of most of the disputes which had distracted the Governments thereof, It was quite depended upon by those Officers of the Crown who most felt the ill effects of their dependence upon the people that they should be releived from it. And the people themselves were prepared for it, being persuaded that this opportunity of retreiving a business which they knew was considered at home as most necessary to the good order of Government would not be neglected.

    But when the Stamp Act was matured It was seen to be a meer financial Act without any regard to the political state of America or any purpose to remove any of the difficulties thereof. The Servants of the Crown, who depend upon the people for their subsistence, saw themselves not only releived at the present, but also discouraged in their hopes of it for the future; at the same time that their Offices were becoming obnoxious, & their persons, however undeservedly, exposed to the resentment of the People. The Disturbances which soon followed the promulgation of the Stamp Act put off all consideration & expectation of that business for the present.

    From this Detail It appears that I have had no opportunity to make this representation untill the present time: and even now I should have had some doubt about troubling your Lordship, if an Occasion had not offered which seems to point out this to the proper time for this application. I have just now received orders from the Lords of the Treasury to transmit to them a List of the Expences of this Government.1 In doing this I found it necessary to observe upon the insufficiency of the appointments for the principal officers of the Government; & among the rest that of my own which is as urgent as Any of them.2 Upon this occasion I thought it a proper time to introduce a memorial ^and a petition^ which I have long before intended to trouble your Lordship with, praying that your Lordship will be pleased to lay the latter before his Majesty, at such time as to your Lordship shall seem most suitable to the business.

    I have been allways ready to submit to the Necessity & Difficulty of the times; I have disregarded my own intrest, when it was opposite to my Duty; I have allready made considerable Sacrifices to ^the Exigencies of^ his Majesty’s Service; I should be sorry to add that of my private fortune upon which there are many dependents. But, My Lord, It is not upon personal considerations that I depend upon in this sollicitation: The Dignity & Honor of the Office itself will speak more loudly for the necessity of its being properly supported than any little private merit of my own can do.

    I am satisfied that there may be many difficulties in the way at present to the making a permanent settlement of this kind. But a temporary Relief would have its consequences: I am persuaded that if his Majesty would be pleased to make a provisional addition of £500 to my present Salary, it would have very good effects towards ^restoring^ the Authority of the Government. If it should be thought improper at this time to apply to the Assembly, there are other Means, which may be used at least as a Loan, if not as a perpetual fund. I am told that the Duties within this province amount to £7000 a year at this time. Half that Money would do all that is wanted to the Civil list of this Government; & would in time repay itself by the encrease of the revenue. It seems to me that all the Duties in N America are of little consideration in comparison to the strengthening & quieting the Governments there; and if they could be applied with effect to that purpose it would be Money well laid out.

    I must desire that your Lordship would make use of the inclosures at your own time & in your own Manner. I would not be understood to press any thing upon your Lordship out of Season. But the Difficulties I labour under make me desirous of having them contrasted by ^some^ Acts of favour towards the Government, which it now stands much in need of.

    I am, with great respect My Lord, Your Lordships most obed[ient]3 & most humble Servant

    Fra Bernard

    The Right honble The Earl of Shelburne

    P. S.

    As I was in doubt what was the most proper form to use for the inclosed representation I prepared both a petition to his Majesty & a Memorial to your Lordship: and I send them both, that your Lordship may introduce this business in such a manner as you please.

    F. B.

    By mistake the two petitions are put in the Cover of the duplicate, and the two Memorials in this Cover.

    ALS, RC      CO 5/756, ff 28-32.