534 | From Thomas Hutchinson

    Boston 20th Febry. 1767.


    I waited upon your Excellency to Council, the first Day of the Session of the General Court, to testify my Respect to your Person, and to do Honour to the Commission you sustain. I had frequently been present in Council since the last Election, and not one member of either House ever intimated to me, that he was in the least Degree dissatisfied with it. I supposed that there were several Parts of the Charter, which gave Countenance to it, and that there was no Part which rendered it improper. I knew that, immediately upon the arrival of the Charter, it was the Sense of the General Court, that the Lieutenant Governor had a Right to be present in Council. I thought that a contemporaneous Exposition, especially when the persons who sollicited the Charter in England, and who were consulted in the framing every Part of it were then in the Province, together with an uninterrupted Practice for forty Years immediately upon it were sufficient to justify me. I was not insensible that one, and but one, Lieutenant Governor, my immediate Predecessor,1 had not sat in Council, and I had heard that the Gentleman who was then Governor excluded him,2 but I heard, at the Same Time that this was looked upon as a mere act of Power, admitting or excluding a Lieutenent Governor, whensoever the Governor thought proper, and I did not imagine that the act or Opinion of a single Governor would ever be urged against the Opinion and Practice of the whole General Court, during the administration of five preceeding Governors. Your Excellency had never signified to me that my Presence in Council was disagreeable to you.

    I am extremely concerned that any thing which relates to me should occasion a Difference in sentiments between your Excellency and the House of Representatives, at a Time when every man, of every Order ought to contribute all that is in his Power to the Restoration of Harmony and Tranquility, and notwithstanding it is very grievous to me, that so respectable a Body have passed so heavy a Judgment upon my Conduct without giving me an Opportunity of justifying or excusing it, I shall endeavour to be patient under my misfortune, and I will avoid all occasion of further Controversy with the present House of Representatives, by wholly absenting myself from the Council Chamber, unless your Excellency shall give Direction for my Attendance there for any special Purpose.

    I am obliged to your Excellency for your concern to vindicate my Character. I hope enough has been already done for that Purpose, but, if not, I had rather wait some future Opportunity of doing it, than be the means of continuing the least Dispute in the General Court, presuming that this my Act will never be improved to the Prejudice of the future claim of the Lieutenant Governor, much less to the Prejudice of the Right of the Governor or of the Council to admit a Lieutenant Governor to be present at that Board when they shall judge it proper.

    I am with very great Respect your Excellency’s most Obedient Servant

    Tho: Hutchinson.

    His Excellency Governor Bernard.

    A true Copy Att: Saml Adams Cler. Dom. Rep___3

    L, LbC      Mass. Archs. 25: 164-166.