Boston Aug 25. 1767
I beg leave to lay before your Lordship a Representation of the State of the Currency of this Province tending to show the ill effects which the incouragement of paper money in the Neighbouring Colonies will bring upon it. The Occasion of drawing up this representation was this: It appeared in the London News papers that Dennis De Berdt Esqr Agent for Massachusets Bay joined other Agents of the Colonies in their sollicitation for a permission to create paper Money.1 If Mr De Berdt had really been Agent for Massachusets Bay, as he really never was more than a Charge d’affaire of the House of Representatives, He could not have done any thing more contrary to the Sense of this province than appearing as an Advocate for paper Money. As this People have had full Experience of the Mischeifs of that Currency, there is Nothing they more dread than the Return of it among them.
In the last Session the Council taking into Consideration the forementioned News paper Article, thought it proper that a Representation should be made to prevent this province being so far misunderstood as to be ranged Among the sollicitors for paper money, a species of riches which they never desire again to acquire. For this purpose the Council endeavoured to engage the House to join with them: but the House chusing to act separately, the Council proceeded to appoint a Committee to draw up a Representation to be transmitted by the Governor to his Majesty’s Ministers.2 The inclosed is the produce of this resolution, which I beg leave to Submit to your Lordship to be laid before his Majesty, if it shall be thought proper. This Remonstrance is founded only upon an Apprehension of the Mischeifs which will arise to this province by removing the present restraints upon making paper Money within [the]3 adjoining Colonies; altho’ the Arguments used in it conclude against the use of paper money in general. The few Observations I have to make upon this Subject I shall apply to the general Question.
When I first came to America as Governor of New Jersey, I was placed amongst paper money the most creditable of any upon the continent, never depreciated, & accompanied with a sufficient quantity of silver specie for external trade.4 And yet thro’ all this fair face the Ill Consequences of these emissions were very apparent at no great distance. In the first place there was no obligation for redemption at a certain time, notwithstanding instructions to Governors & clauses of bills in pursuance thereof. For before any set of bills were redeemable another Set of bills were emitted with the usual clause of their being a general tender. They therefore were a tender at the treasury for the redemption of expired bills. In vain therefore did the possessor of bills read upon the face of them that he was entitled to a certain quantity of silver; When he applied for it, he might be told that by subsequent laws the silver was turned into paper; and that he would have no right to insist upon being paid in silver, whilst Any Emission of Bills remained unexpired. This was generally understood to be Law: but it certainly was not so in regard to the possessors of bills who were not subjects of the province & therefore were not bound by the subsequent Laws substituting new bills in lieu of the silver promised by the Old ones.5
We read in the Newspapers that the Merchants of London who Sollicit for leave to emit paper money propose that this paper Money shall not be a tender for Debts due to British Creditors. They are in the right to take care of themselves; but they should also have considered the propriety of their endeavouring to put others under dangers & difficulties which they protest against for themselves. If there is no Danger of the paper money, for which they sollicit, depreciating, why wont they run the risk of it themselves? If there is a Danger, why will they sollicit it? If they would persuade the Parliament to have confidence in American paper Money, they should show it in themselves. But I beleive Evry one will be for guarding against it as well as they can. If the British Creditors are to be exempted from the Clause of tender, They of the province of Massts Bay, which deals only in Specie, have a right to expect the same exemption. The Colonies whose paper has not depreciated will expect to be exempted from that which is now in actual depreciation; & in the next step, Each Colony will require to be exempted from the paper of all others. And at length as the Circulation is contracted & the credit impaired, the people will want to be exempted from their own paper.
I remember upon a time, when I had the honour to converse with the late Earl Granville, then Lord President of the Council, upon the Subject of paper Money,6 His Lordship observed that Enforcing its Currency destroyed its credit; and added that if bank bills, which were now current allmost preferably to Cash, were to be made by Act of parliament a legal tender, they would immediately depreciate. This Observation is at first very striking & when applied to the American paper money forms an Argument that is unanswerable. Evry State or Corporation, as well as private person, has a certain quantity of credit, within which they can borrow any money they please. Ev’ry Colony, I suppose, is at liberty to borrow money in this Way; and so long as their credit keeps up, their Securities will circulate. But when they come to ask leave to enforce the Circulation of such Securities beyond their natural credit, what is this but to oblige people to lend them Money whether they will or not; or in other words to take from the people their Money against their Will? I have allways thought that to oblige people to take paper instead of money, except under the exigencies of real Necessity, is a very despotic Act. And yet in America, because it has happen’d to coincide with the Schemes & intrests of the popular leaders, It seems to have changed its Nature. What would be said if the parliament of Great Britain should raise money by issuing Notes enacted to be legal tenders?
A Principal Objection against paper money seems to me not to be taken notice of so much as it deserves. It is this: When the Currency is only Specie, It forms a kind of Barometer whose rising & falling shows the people the increase & decrease of the general stock. If they ^are^ carrying on a losing trade or import more than their exports will pay for or live at a greater expence than their Income will bear, the Want of Cash gives them warning & obliges them to attend to it. But where the Currency is paper and that in plenty, a People may go on by the Various means of a losing trade, unnecessary imports and extravagant living to the utmost extremity of Bankruptcy, without having any Warning, except perhaps the depreciating of their paper. And this last is generally made use of to encrease the Calamity by the introduction of numberless frauds for which it is peculiarly calculated. So that when the people are obliged to strike a ballance, they find themselves deep in debt without a shilling to pay, without money & without credit, calling in Vain as privates for what they owe to themselves as a public. I have in a former letter to your Lordships Office called paper Money the Negative Power of Riches.7 It is doubly so: It at first occasions all the Specie in the Country to be carried out of it: & afterward it creates the Want of an extraordinary quantity of Specie to pay the debts of which it bears the testimony.
But after all that has been said against paper Money, I am sensible that it is not so easy to tell how to get rid of it as it is to show its Mischeivousness. A Colony who sets about changing their paper into a Specie Currency, without a lucky Opportunity, such as the Massachusets laid hold of, will have many difficulties to struggle with before they attain their End. But they must succeed, if they persevere: For a Ballance of Trade in their favour & a proper OEconomy in their domestic expences must produce an encrease of Specie untill there is enough for the ordinary Currency. But the Misfortune is that the Advantages proposed from such an Effort ^are distant,^ & the Inconveniences attending it are immediate. People are too intent upon the present; they would have posterity do something for them; and by the means of paper Money they really effect it. Hence arise sollicitations for paper Money, first founded in self intrests & afterwards enlarged by Connections. But surely if people would look forward for a few years to come, they would chearfully submit to some temporary inconvenience, in order to remove the accursed thing from them & substitute in its stead real riches & true Credit for all future time.
I have according to the desire & expectation of the Council, communicated to your Lordship my Sentiments upon the Subject of the papers enclosed, at the same time I submit them. I have run into greater length than I intended; but I hope that the Importance of the Subject and the Earnestness of this Government to bear testimony against paper Money will excuse it.
I am, with great respect, My Lord, Your Lordships most obedient & most humble Servant.
The right honble The Earl of Shelburne
ALS, RC CO 5/756, ff 101-103.
Endorsed: Boston, Massachusets Bay 25th. Augt. 1767. Govr. Bernard. (No. 20.) R 20th. Octr. En Enclosed: minutes of the Massachusetts Council of 24 Jun. 1767, CO 5/756, f 104; A Representation of the State of the Currency of [Massachusetts], [post 25 Jun. 1767], ff 106-111 (Appendix 4); an act for effectual preventing the currency of the bills of credit of Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, within [Massachusetts]8 (Prt, PC), ff 112-113. Variant cover letters in CO 5/893, ff 7-10 (dupLS, RC), with enclosures at ff 11-20; CO 5/766, ff 58-61 (précis, RLbC); BP, 6: 230-235 (L, LbC); Select Letters, 46-52 (Prt, PC).
Colonial newspapers carried reports from London that ministers were thinking of relaxing governors’ instructions in order to permit them to approve bills of credit to pay private and public debts. Boston Evening-Post, 9 Mar. 1767. The New England colonies were subject to restrictions imposed by a parliamentary act of 1751, which covered public debts not private debts. The other colonies were prohibited from issuing paper currency for both private and public debts by the Currency Act, 4 Geo. 3, c. 34 (1764). In May 1767, it was reported that ministers were not inclined to relax any prohibitions on the issuance of paper money as legal tender that had been imposed by the Currency Act of 1764, “unless strongly urged to it by the American Merchants [of London].” Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 4 May 1767. And there was talk also of Bank of England notes, up to £5 in value, being introduced as a single colonial currency. Ibid., 20 Apr. 1767.
The rationale for repeal rested on the fact that the colonies were economically handicapped by a chronic shortage of specie. Having funded wartime requisitions with bills of credit, the colonies sought to end present restrictions on the issuance of paper currency in order to ease repayment of outstanding debts and invigorate commerce by increasing purchasing power. The colonial agents, astutely led by Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and aided by Richard Jackson, delivered a forceful case for repeal during 1766 and 1767; they were strongly backed by British merchants trading with North America, whose March meeting with the Board of Trade was reported in the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 15 Jun. 1767. Shelburne’s initial receptiveness dimmed somewhat in the furor surrounding the New York Suspending Act,9 and Townshend’s proposals for raising colonial revenue; currency reform might have been forthcoming had Townshend’s idea for American loan offices to provide secure bills of credit been championed by the cabinet and supported by the government’s slim parliamentary majority. At which point FB came to suspect that House agent DeBerdt, rather than Franklin or any other agent, was driving the colonial campaign.
All of this encouraged the Governor and Council to compose a memorandum opposing relaxation on currency. While their careful arguments in favor of monetary restrictions were rooted in a fear of inflation, politically they were also intended to thwart DeBerdt’s influence: this letter and its enclosures offered a genuinely thoughtful appraisement of both issues. They were prompted by publication of the Board of Trade’s representation to His Majesty in Council of 9 Feb., opposing repeal or amendment of the 1764 Currency Act, in the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 15 Jun. The Council committee appointed to draw up a representation to the king’s ministers reported on 12 Aug. (Appendix 4). FB’s letter to Shelburne, printed here, was tabled at the Council on 2 Sept. and filed with a copy of the Representation (not found). CO 5/827, ff 23-24. For the moment, the hard money advocates in the British government won out, and the campaign for easing restrictions on bills of credit fizzled out. See Joseph Ernst, Money and Politics in America: A Study in the Currency Act of 1764 and the Political Economy of Revolution (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1973), 43-133.
1 The Council’s record books are Council Executive Records, 1760-1769, CO 5/823 and CO 5/827; there is also a set of nineteenth-century transcripts in Council Executive Records, 1692-1774, 13 vols. [vols. 2-14], GC3-327, M-Ar.; the corresponding volumes for 1760-69 are vols. 15 and 16.
2 There are two contemporaneous sets of the Council’s legislative records. One was kept in Boston and is in Council Legislative Records, 1692-1774, 24 vols., GC3-1701x, vols. 23-28, M-Ar. The other was sent to London: Council in Assembly, Massachusetts, 1760-1769, CO 5/820-CO 5/828. This project utilizes the London copies, for it was this set that was prepared for and consulted by ministers and officials.
3 The editors of this online resource advise that “the Journals of the House of Lords follow the same model as for those of the House of Commons. . . The volumes are from the Hartley Library [Univ. of Southampton], but give no information as to date, order or printer.” http://parlipapers.chadwyck.co.uk/infoCentre/about_long18.jsp. The first thirty-one volumes (covering the period up to 1767) were published between 1771 and 1777; vol. 36, published in 1808, took the series up to 1779. See H. H. Bellot, “Parliamentary printing, 1660-1837,” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 9 (1933-34).
4 A second edition was published in 1774 with a variant title and additional papers. Select Letters on the Trade and Government of America; and the Principles of Law and Polity, Applied to the American Colonies. written by Governor Bernard, at Boston, In the Years 1763, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Now first published: To which are added The Petition of the Assembly of Massachuset’s Bay against the Governor, his Answer thereto, and the Order of the King in Council thereon (London: T. Payne, 1774). It was reprinted in Boston by Cox and Berry and advertised for sale on 27 Oct. 1774.
1 Not found; possibly a letter dated 9 Sept. mentioned in BP, 5: 101.
2 Probably from John Spicer. See No. 428n3.
3 Lord Barrington was secretary at war between 1755 and 1761 and treasurer of the Royal Navy from 1762 to 1765, before returning as secretary at war in Jul. 1765 under Rockingham. FB noted that Barrington “was pleased of his own accord to make me an offer of a Commission for one of my Sons.” To Shute Barrington, Boston, 4 Jan. 1766, BP, 4: 93-94.
4 The Rev. Dr. Shute Barrington (1734-1826), younger brother of Lord Barrington and future bishop of Durham, was currently canon of Christ Church. FB wrote Dr. Barrington on 4 Jan., and expected him to “mediate” with Lord Barrington and liaise with college official James Gilpin if he decided that Frank should withdraw from university. BP, 4: 93-94; No. 427.
5 An income of £60 p.a. would have placed Frank Bernard among England’s growing urban lower-middle class and on a par with specialized artisans. L. D. Schwarz, “Income Distribution and Social Structure in London in the Late Eighteenth Century,” The Economic History Review 32 (1979): 250-259, at 256n1.
6 Relocated from left margin.
7 No. 427. James Gilpin (1710-1766), a lawyer by profession, was presently recorder of the city of Oxford and auditor of Christ Church. Gilpin and FB probably met at university. Gilpin matriculated from Christ Church a year earlier than FB, graduating B.A. in 1732 and M.A. in 1735, and studied at the Middle Temple. His death on Sunday 14 Dec. 1766 (London Evening Post, 16 Dec. 1766) deprived FB of a “good Friend” well-connected to the English legal fraternity.
1 This is the only extant letter between FB and Gilpin. On Gilpin see No. 426n7.
2 No. 426.
3 FB did so in Dec. 1766. No. 512.
4 Richard Cust (d.1783), rector of Belton and Fulbeck, Lincs. (Eng.), was a graduate of Merton College, Oxford, (B.A. 1749, M.A. 1752, and B. and D. D. 1763).
1 The manuscript’s date has been corrected in handwriting that is probably noncontemporaneous.
2 These letters have not been found. Frank’s previous letter to his father may have been sent in Sept. 1765, and it was this missive that probably enclosed Lewis’s letter to FB. No. 426n1.
3 Probably John Spicer (b.1714), a college friend of FB and inspector of the Post Office’s Dead Letter Office. His letter to FB has not been found.
4 Thus in manuscript. He probably meant: “but what can I do”.
5 Spicer must have told FB that he would be absent from home for this period, probably on Post Office business.
6 No. 427 and FB to Shute Barrington, Boston, 4 Jan. 1766, BP, 4: 93-94.
7 Frank may have held a Westminster Studentship at Christ Church, as his father had done. These awards were theoretically reserved for former pupils of Westminster School without an independent income, and were relinquished on marriage or preferment, or if the recipient failed to take a degree. Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 24, 247n.
8 Gilpin, the college auditor, was already assisting Frank deal with a College disciplinary offence, and FB might have feared that further entreaties from Lewis could irritate Gilpin.
9 George Lewis (b.1712) vicar of Westerham, Kent, until 1771. He had met FB at Christ Church (two years behind him), from where he graduated B.A. in 1735 and M.A. in 1738.
1 No. 264, Bernard Papers, 2: 40-42.
2 Letters obscured in the gutter of the binding.
3 See No. 275, Bernard Papers, 2: 67-68.
4 That is, drawing accurately to scale.
5 Cover letter not found. See No. 347, Bernard Papers, 2: 259-260. The maps by Francis Miller are Map of Penobscot Bay and Chadwick’s Survey of the Interior Parts of the Country from Penobscot to Quebec, 1765, CO 700/MAINE19; A Draught of a Rout from Fort Pownall . . . to Quebec . . . by [the] Penobscot River, 1764, CO 700/MAINE17. They are printed in Bernard Papers, 2: 250, 252-253.
6 Francis Miller, A Plan of the Roads between Boston and Albany, Spencer Bernard Papers, MP/24; idem, Map of the Coast of New England north of New Hampshire, ibid., MP/10, printed as an illustration in Bernard Papers, 1: 409.
7 John Tulleken, the commanding officer at Louisbourg, and a lieutenant colonel of the 45th Regiment of Foot.
8 FB had already intimated to Gen. Gage that Miller, an American by birth, was intending to sell his commission, “being desirous of settling in America.” Castle William, 10 Aug. 1765, BP, 4: 56.
9 This is a scribal error by John Bernard. Barrington was secretary “at war” not “of war.” It was an easy mistake for a clerk to make. FB always used the correct address in holograph letters, for example in No. 426. The position of secretary of war was not created until 1794.
1 FB’s last letter to Pownall was dated 14 Dec. No. 419, Bernard Papers, 2: 432-434.
2 Sons of Liberty groups had been created in most of the colonies to co-ordinate opposition to the Stamp Act. The best history remains Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776 (New York; 1972; ed. London, 1991). According to Maier, organized resistance to the Stamp Act was most advanced in New York, where the Sons of Liberty began corresponding with other colonies. But the groups in Boston and Connecticut, to which FB refers in this letter, were just as forward as the New Yorkers in advocating and delivering resistance to the act. In short, the Sons of Liberty successfully converted popular discontent with parliamentary taxation into popular action and sustained opposition to Grenville’s reforms throughout the winter of 1765 and well into the spring of 1766 (as FB often noted).
3 FB is referring to an advertisement placed by “The Committee of the True-born SONS OF LIBERTY” giving notice of a recent meeting at “THEIR OWN apartment” in Hanover Square*, the committee expressed their “deepest Abhorrence and Detestation” of two “abusive and threatening Letters” that had been received by Sheriff Stephen Greenleaf and his deputy Benjamin Cudworth. The Sons of Liberty professed to “heartily join in” the resolution of the Boston town meeting of 26 Dec., where Whig William Molineux had confirmed the reports of “several Gentlemen” that the Suffolk County courts of probate would meet as scheduled on 13 Jan. Molineux’s confidence was based on much more than opinion. Thomas Hutchinson, who had resolutely opposed opening the courts in defiance of the Stamp Act, had removed himself from the Whigs’ line of fire by temporarily demitting office as judge of probate in favor of his younger brother Foster (ostensibly so that TH could travel to England). The Board agreed to nominate Foster Hutchinson as a “special Judge” for one year, with TH continuing as the office-holder (which he did until 1769). While TH was uneasy with this arrangement (and would have preferred to resign), FB convinced him that he could make such an appointment without using stamped papers. Thus, with Foster Hutchinson deputized and ready to conduct business, Sheriff Greenleaf notified the town that he was ready to serve writs for the Suffolk probate court. But Greenleaf also intimated that he had received “highly abusive and inflamitery” letters “tending to the Destruction of all good Order and Government.” These threats the town unanimously condemned and promised that “they will be at all Times ready to assist the Civil Magistrates and support all Officers in the Execution of their Trust according to the Laws and Usage of this Land.” Boston Gazette, Supplement, 30 Dec. 1765; Council minutes for 21 Dec. 1765 and 1 Jan. 1766, CO 5/823, ff 294-295; Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 161; TH to John Cushing, Milton, 15 Jan. 1766, MHS: William Cushing Papers.
*This was a “Compting Room . . . very small” at the distillery owned by Thomas Chase and William Speakman, John Adams wrote in his diary on 15 Jan. 1766. Present were Sons of Liberty John Avery (a distiller merchant), Thomas Chase (distiller), Stephen Cleverly (brazier or brass-worker), Thomas Crafts (painter), Benjamin Edes (printer), Joseph Field (ship’s master), Henry Bass (merchant), John Smith (a brazier), and George Trott (jeweler). “I heard nothing but such Conversation as passes at all Clubbs among Gentlemen about the Times. No Plotts, no Machinations.” Butterfield, Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 1: 294. Of the men listed by John Adams, FB was both intrigued and troubled most by Benjamin Edes, the co-proprietor (with John Gill) of the Boston Gazette in whose columns FB’s enemies found a welcome home. Edes and all of the others listed by Adams (save Joseph Field) belonged to the Loyal Nine, the secret club which had probably organized the Stamp Act riots, and were closely connected to the North End Caucus, a political association effectively run by Samuel Adams. Dirk Hoerder, Crowd Action in Revolutionary Massachusetts, 1765-1780 (London, 1977), 93; Maier, From Resistance to Revolution, 83-84.
4 The phrase may be expressive of FB’s subconscious preference for having the support of a British regiment stationed in Boston; yet, if carefully chosen—as it probably was—it effectively conveyed for Pownall’s benefit the image of a beleaguered imperial servant. FB had already cultivated this image in correspondence with the secretary to the Board of Trade, in the aftermath of the Stamp Act riots, and would do so again in letters to the secretaries of state.
5 James Otis Jr. (1725-83), representative for Boston, 1761-69 and 1771. Otis had published several pamphlets and newspaper articles attacking British colonial policy and the governor, during the past two years, though notably he had retracted and qualified some his more contentious arguments. See Bernard Papers, 2: 263n8. FB was a keen reader of Otis’s political writing, especially the pieces published in the Boston Gazette that he attributed (in this case correctly) to Otis. Otis was writing as “Hampden” in reply to “William Pym,” Boston Gazette, 6 Jan. 1766. Otis’s moral argument, as FB highlights, was delivered by scriptural allusion: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16. 26, KJV). FB could accept that the populist Otis had “properly” expressed himself on this point, but not his claim to proffer judgments on a royal governor. The principal political argument that Otis was making about the closure of public offices had a strong moral dimension: that the collective refusal of the province’s judiciary and executive to open the law courts amounted to an “abdication of government.” According to Otis’s biographer, this argument (which Otis had also delivered in the Council Chamber when supporting the Boston memorial) “was identical in substance” to the charges made against James II on the eve of the Glorious Revolution and was, in effect, “revolutionary.” John J. Waters Jr., The Otis Family in Provincial and Revolutionary Massachusetts (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1968), 158-161. Otis rounded on FB’s evasive defense that he had no authority to direct the judges and parodied the governor’s speech to the assembly of 25 Sept., opining that FB “preached” a “doctrine . . . that no law should be executed if the stamp act was not.” “Hampden to William Pym,”* Boston Gazette, 6 Jan. 1766.
*“Pym” had written a measured, careful condemnation of colonial opposition to the Stamp Act, in the London Public Ledger, 13-30 Aug. 1765. Historians have assumed that “William Pym” was a pseudonym (clumsily) alluding to the famous Parliamentarian leader John Pym (1584-1643). The only British political figure of the time to bear the name was William Pym (1722-88) of Hasell Hall, appointed High Sheriff of Bedfordshire in 1764; his papers were included in a deposit of family papers made to the National Archives, UK, in 1989 (Acc No.6497), although there is nothing to establish that this Pym was the author of the essays in the Public Ledger. The lawyer John Adams (1735-1826) also penned a series of replies to “William Pym” writing as “Clarendon” in the Boston Gazette, 13-27 Jan. 1765. Both the originals and the drafts of Adams’s articles are printed in Papers of John Adams, 1: 155-170.
6 See also No. 424, Bernard Papers, 2: 444-446. It is possible that some of the Whig councilors were also at the town meeting on Sat. 21 Dec. which voted the Council’s resolution unsatisfactory (though it might be supposed that FB would have noted such an indiscretion had he known that they had been in attendance).
7 A town meeting was also scheduled for 16 Jan. See Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 160-161.
8 Obscured by binding.
9 FB is referring to a brief, somewhat cryptic passage printed in the Boston Gazette, 6 Jan. 1766. p. 3/2.
A Laconic Letter, supposed to be to Wolsey
“Retreat or you are Ruined!”
The note alluded to Thomas Cromwell’s (c.1485–1540) role in the decline and fall of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (c.1473-1530), as dramatized in William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. Cromwell’s note constituted a reply to a “Laconic letter” by Wolsey published a week earlier in the Boston Gazette, Supplement, 30 Dec. 1765. The editor of that piece (“A. B.”), after “Looking over” Shakespeare’s play, proffered a long extract that “shows the Success of the People’s Application for Relief from a burthensome Tax.” (In modern editions, act 1, scene 2, lines 316-441). King Henry heads off incipient rebellion over high taxation by instructing Wolsey, the originator of the tax, to issue letters pardoning subjects who have hitherto resisted. Wolsey, in an aside to Thomas Cromwell, who is making haste to write the pardons, gives rise to the rumor that he and the secretary ought to be credited with interceding with the king on the people’s behalf. Wolsey’s aside to Cromwell:
Wol. A word with you.
Let there be letters writ to ev’ry shire,
Of the King’s grace and pardon. The griev’d commons
Hardly conceive of me; let it be nois’d,
That through our intercession this revokement
And pardon comes: I shall anon advise you
Further in the proceeding.
Comparing FB to Wolsey worked well: having implied that FB was a proponent of the Stamp Tax, he was also permitted a redemptive route. The suggestion that FB pardon subjects would have had particular poignancy in the context of the Massachusetts Indemnity Act passed a year later (to protect the stamp Act rioters from prosecution), but here FB is being asked to stage-manage the opening of the province law courts. To do that he would need to instruct judges and clerks to proceed to business in defiance of the Stamp Act. While there was no chance of the governor doing that by royal proclamation, Wolsey, in a sense, had already shown the way: “let it be nois’d” that the governor would not stand in the way of judges and court officials who wished to open the courts; thus would his duplicitous side be harnessed in the service of the people rather than the king (who need never know).
Cromwell, as Wolsey’s confidant, bore comparison with TH. For later in the play, Wolsey reflects on his own fall from grace after the plan to cultivate popularity fails.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruin’d me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels . . .
(Henry VIII. 3.2.2353-2355)
This passage would appear to accuse FB of “ambition,” predicting also that it would ruin him. But in this letter to Pownall, FB took the allusion too literally, apparently failing to see it followed the play rather than predicting specific ruin.
Nevertheless, FB got the message, crafted as it was by a writer of sophistication and learning. The Boston Gazette offers some clues as to the identity of “A. B.” The extract from Henry VIII printed on 30 Dec. was cited as “Scene IV.” Supplement, p. 2, whereas in modern editions it appears as act 1, scene 2. The Gazette followed the citation form of a recent edition, The Works of Shakespear, 8 vols. (Edinburgh, 1761); in this edition, 1.4 is in vol. 5 at pp. 283-286. John Adams possessed the Edinburgh edition and made reference to the scene in a draft of one of his “Clarendon” letters: “A scene which may be very properly recommended to modern Monarcks, Queens, and Favourites.” Butterfield, Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 1: 275 and n4. Thus, it is probable that Adams was the editor of both the extracts from Henry VIII and Cromwell’s short reply to Wolsey.
10 No. 401.
11 The allusion to the “States general” of the United Provinces of the Netherlands was purposely suggestive of the rebellious undertones to the extra-legal assemblage of people at Hartford, Conn., on 8 Jan. While the meeting (noted below) was averse to making any overt threats to British imperial authority, the historical reference recalled the aspirations of the Dutch assembly to sustain rebellion against Spanish imperial rule in the late seventeenth century, and thereafter provide government in the absence of monarchy as required.
12 Newspapers reported that the there was to be a “GENERAL MEETING of the Respectable Populace” of Connecticut at Hartford on 8 Jan. Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 30 Dec. 1765. There were no further news reports about the gathering at Hartford, but these assemblies—organized by the Sons of Liberty—radicalized opposition to the Stamp Act. See Edmund S. Morgan and Helen M. Morgan, The Stamp Act Crisis: Prologue to Revolution (New York, 1953; ed. 1963), 256.
13 The resolves of the town of Pomfret, Conn., 25 Dec. 1765, Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 6 Jan. 1766. The second resolve asserted that “God and Nature brought us into the World Freemen, and by solemn Charter Company and Agreement came under the English Constitution.” This is a concise articulation of rights of self-government deriving from natural law and exercised by the colony under the Fundamental Orders of 1638-39. According to the Sons of Liberty, these rights antedated and were confirmed by (rather than granted by) a royal charter of 1662. FB is suggesting, instead, that as subjects of the Crown, the colonists were always subject to the supreme authority of the realm, which by the 1760s he took to mean the king-in-parliament. The radicals’ attempts to locate constitutional rights and liberties in the charters offered a theoretical counterweight to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty used to justify colonial taxation. See No. 530n3.
1 No. 416, Bernard Papers, 2: 426-430; autograph letters dated Boston, 18, 19, and 21 Dec. 1765, CO 5/891, ff 340-341, 348-350, 357-358.
2 FB appears to have used the phrase “civil rights” just this once in his entire correspondence. The term generally meant the “right[s] of the individual within society,” and only by the mid-nineteenth century was it associated with legal entitlements. OED. Here, FB is complaining about the Whigs in the town meeting radicalizing opposition to the Stamp Act and intimidating dissenters and government officials. The term “civil rights” was also used by the governor’s critics protesting FB’s “Misrepresentation” of the province in correspondence that the Whigs purloined and published in the spring of 1769. The first occurrence (“the civil rights and liberties of the people”) is in a letter by Samuel Danforth to the earl of Hillsborough, Boston, 12, Jun. 1769; the second occurrence (“civil rights of mankind”) is in William Bollan’s petition to the House of Commons, Mar. 1770. Bollan (1705-82) and Danforth (1696‑1777) were acting separately on behalf of the House of Representatives and Council, respectively, complaining about the governor’s apparent disregard of individual “civil rights,” but without making any obvious connection to previous usage of the term by the governor. [Francis Bernard], Letters to the Right Honourable The Earl of Hillsborough from Governor Bernard, General Gage, And the Honourable His Majesty’s Council for the Province of Massachusetts Bay with an Appendix containing divers proceedings (Edes and Gill: Boston, 1769), 98, 160.
3 See No. 417, Bernard Papers, 2: 430.
4 Annotation: this word is marked by a small cross, interlined, and probably added by the receiver.
5 Suffolk County.
6 See No. 430.
7 LbC: “against the Stamp Act”.
8 See No. 430n6.
9 Proceedings of 15-16 Jan. JHRM, 42: 191-194.
10 King Charles I’s first Parliament met in 1625, the second in 1626, and the third on 17 Mar. 1628. In forming a committee of grievances, the Massachusetts assembly, as FB noted, was both aping and paying homage to the committee of the House of Commons in Charles I’s third Parliament which prepared the Petition of Right asserting Parliament’s constitutional right to consent to taxation. The king signed the Petition on 7 Jun. 1628 (3 Car. 1, c. 1). Charles I dissolved his third Parliament in 1629, and did not call Parliament until Apr. 1640; the so-called Short Parliament met for just three weeks. The king summoned Parliament again, in Nov. 1640, and this body is famously known as the Long Parliament (enduring dismissal, purges, war, and the Cromwellian Protectorate) until it voted its own dissolution in 1660, prior to the Restoration of the monarchy.
It is intriguing why FB should refer to the king’s third Parliament as the “last parliament” when he would have known that the Long Parliament was in fact Charles I’s final Parliament. It is possible that the term was suggested to him by a principal and popular source, David Hume, The History of England, 6 vols. (London: 1754-62), 2: 267-269 (which series was first sold at the London Book Store in Boston in 1763, Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 3 Oct. 1763). Hume made numerous references to the “last parliament.” On each occasion, Hume meant the king’s Parliaments that he discussed previously in the narrative and did not wrongly suggest that any of them were in fact the king’s final Parliament. Osmosis may simply account for FB’s usage of the term in this letter. No matter, it is evident that FB, as well as his critics, was drawing parallels between the American Colonies’ disputing rights of taxation with Parliament in the mid-eighteenth century and Parliament disputing taxation with the king in the mid-seventeenth century.
The Petition of Right’s iconic status as a cornerstone of English constitutional liberties (granted by the king) owes much to the American revolutionaries’ appropriation of English constitutional “landmarks.” According to J. P. Reid, these “constitutional instruments” offered “reasonably precise” definitions of rights but the Americans “fiercely” re-applied them as “vague” catch-all justifications and lauded them as a tangible inheritance that British policy in the 1760s appeared to ignore. That much is implied by FB’s comment in this letter that the Petition was “a precedent often quoted & approved.” For example, Giles Jacob’s New Law-Dictionary, popular with colonial lawyers, defined “tax” without any reference to a congruent right of representation established by the Petition of Right. Giles Jacob, A New Law-Dictionary (8th ed. London, 1762), 665. The British editor and enlarger of Jacob’s first American edition, on the other hand, summarized the connection between taxation and representation in language emotively and ideologically harmonious with the American cause of 1775.
No subject of England can be constrained to pay any aids or taxes, even for the defence of the realm or the support of government, but such as are imposed by his own consent, or that of his representatives in parliament. See 25 Edw. 1. cc. 5, 6; 34 Edw. 1. st. 4, c. 1; 14 Edw. 3. st. 2, c. 2; the petition of right, 3 Car. 1, c. 1 … .
John Philip Reid, Constitutional History of the American Revolution: the Authority of Rights (Madison, Wis., 1986), 10-11, 75, 103. Giles Jacob and Thomas Edlyne Tomlins, The Law-Dictionary. Explaining the Rise, Progress, and Present State, of the English Law; Defining and Interpreting the Terms or Words of Art; and Comprising Copious Information on the Subjects of Law, Trade, and Government, 6 vols. (New-York; and Philadelphia, 1811), 2: 5.
11 Obscured in the gutter of the binding.
12 Governor and Council, Anno quinto Georgii III. Regis Chap. I. An act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, and other duties, in the British colonies and plantations in America, toward further defraying the expences of defending, protecting, and securing the same; and for amending such parts of the several acts of Parliament relating to the trade and revenues of the said colonies and plantations, as direct the manner of determining and recovering the penalties and forfeitures therein mentioned (Boston, 1765).
13 Conjecture supplied from LbC.
14 The right edge of the page is torn but this word and others can be identified.
15 That is, squares with.
16 LbC: “their Right of Independency.”
17 These were original versions of letters to the secretary of state, Henry Seymour Conway: 18 Dec. 1765 (No. 421), 19 Dec. (No. 423), and 21 Dec. (No. 424).
1 FB also provided Miller with a letter of introduction to John Pownall. BP, 5: 74-75.
2 Thus in manuscript. Charles Morris, Plan of Part of the Province of Nova Scotia or Accadie, 1765, CO 700/NOVA SCOTIA31. FB had been given a copy of Morris’s map by Michael Francklin (1733-83), an energetic member of the Nova Scotia Council, who had been assisting FB and his partners plot the St. Croix Bay land grant. Bernard Papers, 2: 388-389. FB was expectant that Francklin could obtain a grant for the St. Croix lands with ease, and he received the documentation for a single grant on c.3 Feb. (when he acknowledged receipt in No. 439).
3 FB to Jackson, Boston, 29 Jul. 1767, BP, 6: 34-35.
1 This sentence also begins No. 431. The relevant letters to Conway are Nos. 414, 423, 424, Bernard Papers, 2: 419-422, 442-446.
2 No. 434.
3 Probably James Scott, master of the brig Lydia owned by John Hancock.
1 Hugh Hughes was a New York teacher who later served as deputy quartermaster of the Continental Army.
2 John Hughes (c.1712-72), a Philadelphia merchant and friend of Benjamin Franklin, had been a member of the Pennsylvania assembly since 1755 before taking up his appointment as stamp distributor for Pennsylvania, which office he resigned on 8 Oct.
3 Commas supplied from variant text, and inserted to aid understanding.
4 Gershom Mott (1743-86) was a tradesman of New York. Isaac Sears (1730-1786) was a sailor, merchant, and architect of crowd action in the city.
5 Obscured by binding.
1 No. 405, Bernard Papers, 2: 385-387. The duplicate RC is not extant.
2 No. 433 and No. 434.
3 No. 431.
4 The committee appointed on 15 Jan. reported five days later that the probate judges of five counties were planning to open the courts at the sessions scheduled for Mar. JHRM, 42: 201-202.
5 The phrase “in a manner contrary to Act of parliament” has been enclosed in brackets by a contemporary hand.
6 Answer of the House, 17 Jan., to a speech delivered on 8 Nov. JHRM, 42: 198-202.
7 The enclosure is not marked: either FB forgot to do so or the markings have faded.
8 In No. 403. Bernard Papers, 2: 381.
9 Since he was discussing legislative proceedings, it can be assumed that FB is referring to a small group of councilors, some of whom he trusted more than others: if so, the group might have included Thomas Flucker, James Russell, John Erving, and Thomas Hubbard; it certainly would have included his closest advisers TH and Andrew Oliver. FB also consulted at various times Charles Paxton, Timothy Ruggles, Jonathan Sewall, and the Superior Court justices. The Whigs complained about the governor’s “select Council” (No. 433n3), which group FB seems to have convened on a regular basis during the winter of 1765-66 in parallel with full meetings of the Governor’s Council (No. 436n8).
10 See source note to No. 405, Bernard Papers, 2: 386-387.
11 CO 5/755, f 464.
1 No. 435 and No. 405.
2 FB is directly addressing the first half of para. five of Conway’s letter (No. 405) that he had withheld from the House.
3 It has not been possible to identify this person. He was not one of the Boston representatives, and might have been Joseph Hawley, the representative for Northampton, who was to draft a bill that effectively promised the rioters indemnity from prosecution in return for compensation. See No. 513.
4 The article in question was published over the pseudonym, “Philalethes.” The essay comprised a series of questions about the colonies’ constitutional relationship to Britain.
- I. Have not the Colonies, by their Charters, a Legislative Authority absolutely distinct from that of the Parliament?
- I. Or if they make Laws contrary to the established Laws of Great Britain, is it the Parliament or the King that has Power to repeal them?
- III. If the King’s Grant by Charters gives the Colonies a distinct Legislative Authority, derived from and dependant only on himself, can anything but a Forfeiture of their Charters oblige them without their own Consent, to send Representatives to Great Britain, even though it were demanded?
- IV. Can any change whatsoever of the American System of Government rightfully take place, without a Forfeiture of the Charter, or the free Consent of the Colonies?
New-York Gazette, or Weekly Post-Boy, 9 Jan. 1766.
Curiously, “Philalethes”—meaning lover of oblivion—was a moniker later favored by the Massachusetts Loyalist Jonathan Sewall. There is no evidence to prove Sewall’s authorship of this Whiggish article, but he did harbor Whiggish sentiments, as his friend John Adams later recalled, before he started writing pro-government essays as “Philanthrop”—meaning the lover of humanity. And the most forceful aspect of Adams’s revolutionary “Novanglus” letters was the very proposition that FB refers to in the main text: that the colonies were bound to Great Britain by the king only. John Adams, Novanglus, and Massachusettensis; or, Political Essays, Published in the Years 1774 and 1775, on the Principal Points of Controversy, Between Great Britain and Her Colonies. The Former by John Adams, Late President of the United States: the Latter by Jonathan Sewall, the King’s Attorney General of the Province of Massachusetts Bay . . . ( Boston, 1819), iii-vii.
5 At a meeting held at the house of William Howard on 7 Jan., the New York Sons of Liberty resolved “That we will go to the last extremity, and venture our Lives and Fortunes, effectually to prevent the said Stamp Act from ever taking place in this City and Province.” New-York Gazette, or Weekly Post-Boy, No. 1201, 9 Jan. 1766.
6 LbC: “stamp paper”.
7 On 23 Dec. 1765. The stamped papers were for Connecticut.
8 See No. 393, Bernard Papers, 2: 361.
9 There are no minutes of this or similar such meetings. We can be sure that TH and Andrew Oliver were in attendance, and speculate that FB might have also consulted with Thomas Flucker, James Russell, and Thomas Hubbard. The Council had met formally earlier in the day. CO 5/823, f 295.
10 No. 401.
11 FB presented the House with parts of a letter from Conway that, as told the members, he supposed he was “at liberty to make public” (for which parts see No. 405). FB also announced that the Treasury had given him authority to appoint a temporary stamp distributor, but intimated that “I am convinced that it will be to no Purpose for me to attempt to make such an Appointment under the present Circumstances.” JHRM, 42: 213. However, the Treasury’s letter did not expressly suggest a temporary appointment and instead was “pleased to direct your Excellency to see that the Stamps be duly distributed until a Distributor be appointed by My Lords.” No. 401.
12 The file copy of the New-York Gazette is unmarked.
1 No. 436.
2 The official record of 21 Jan. does not mention Conway’s letter and it was on 23 Jan. that FB sent down a copy of the letter. JHRM, 42: 213.
3 The committee reported four grievances on 20 Jan.: (a) that the Governor’s Council had ordered the printing of the Stamp Act and the Mutiny Act; (b) that the printing of any act of Parliament was an “unconstitutional Expence”; (c) the governor’s weekly “Privy Council” meetings (what FB called his “select Council”) were of a “dangerous tendency”; (d) that
The shutting up the Courts of Justice in this Province, particularly the Superior Court, which is not yet open, nor like to be as we can learn, has a manifest tendency to dissolve the Bonds of all civil Society; is unjustifiable on the Principles of Law and Reason, dangerous to his Majesty’s Crown and Dignity, and in Disherison* thereof, and an intolerable Grievance on the Subject, to be forthwith redressed.
*A legal term meaning a state of disinheritance or the act of disinheriting. OED. “Disherison” was used by John Adams in his twelfth “Novanglus” letter, Boston Gazette, 17 Apr. 1775. Its usage here is probably not a printing error for “Derision” and might even have been provided by Adams, then counsel to the town of Boston.
The report was considered on 23 Jan. and a vote taken on the fourth resolve. The text of the approved resolve is rendered accurately by FB except for incidentals and where noted below. JHRM, 42: 206.
5 JHRM: “Bands.”
6 The official record is 81 yeas and 5 nays. JHRM, 42: 215-216. The Nays were William Bourne (Marblehead), Daniel Howard (Bridgewater), Richard Saltonstall (Haverhill), David Wilder (Lancaster), and John Winslow (Marshfield). The discrepancy between FB’s figures and the official roll call is puzzling, though FB hints at fraudulent reporting.
7 On 21 Dec. CO 5/823, f 294.
8 Montague Wilmot (d.1766), a British army officer, had been appointed governor of Nova Scotia in 1764. Alexander Colvill (1717-70), seventh Lord Colvill of Culross, was rear-admiral of the white and commander of the Royal Navy’s North Atlantic station, 1763-66. He had defended the entitlement of Royal Navy officers to shares of seizures made under the Customs Act of 1762, against FB’s objections. See Bernard Papers, 2: 61-62, 83.
9 Boston Gazette and Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 27 Jan. 1766.
10 News from London dated 17 Oct. was printed in the Boston Evening-Post, 13 Jan. 1766: “It is reported, that as soon as the Parliament meets [on 14 Jan.], some considerable Alterations will be made in the American Stamp Duty.” The paper noted a forthcoming meeting between a committee of merchants trading with America and members of the government. The merchants did meet government representatives on 4 Dec., and, acting upon Barlow Trecothick’s advice and guidance, petitioned the House of Commons on 17 Jan. for the repeal of the Stamp Act. No-one in America, and few in London, would have been aware of the extent to which Trecothick (?1718-75), an alderman of London, was orchestrating the merchants’ campaign on behalf of Prime Minister Rockingham. HCJ, 30: 462-3; Thomas, British Politics and the Stamp Act Crisis, 144-150.
11 Col. Israel Putnam (1718-90) of Pomfret had led some 1,500 militia in persuading Jared Ingersoll to resign as stamp distributor. (Ingersoll’s letter of resignation, dated Wethersfield, 19 Sept. 1765, was printed in the Boston Evening-Post on 30 Sept. 1765.) Putnam was a Patriot general in the Revolutionary War. Maier, From Resistance to Revolution, 305-306.
12 Maj. John Durkee (1728-82) of Norwich, Conn., was likely to have been involved in the activities of the Sons of Liberty that FB mentions in No. 434. His appointment as corresponding secretary is given in the eighth of eleven resolves adopted by the “respectable Populace” of New London County at Lyme, 14 Jan. 1766. Connecticut Gazette, 17 Jan. 1766. His duties as corresponding secretary were to make him one of the “most prominent” of Connecticut’s Sons of Liberty, and he served alongside Israel Putnam in the Revolutionary War. Maier, From Resistance to Revolution, 305.
13 Bernard Papers, 2: 385-387.
2 No. 405.
3 Capt. Thomas Bishop, HMS Fortune, and Capt. J. Lewis Gidion, HMS Jamaica.
1 See FB to Jackson, Boston, 11 Dec. 1765, BP, 5: 59-63.
2 Communication between Boston and Halifax was disrupted by poor weather after 11 Dec., when Capt. Jeremiah Green sailed the Halifax Packet out of Boston harbor in ballast to avoid paying the required stamp duties. Bernard Papers, 2: 412n11.
3 For clarification see No. 440n2.
4 The Halifax currency has been converted into dollars, then into sterling, probably using a common fixed value for Spanish milled silver dollars of 8s. per dollar. See Leslie V. Brock, “The Colonial Currency, Prices, and Exchange Rates,” Essays in History 34 (1992) (http://etext.virginia.edu/users/brock/brock34.htm).
5 The survey was probably never undertaken.
6 Timothy Folger (1732-1814) was a Nantucket whaling captain, best remembered for providing Benjamin Franklin with data from the logs of transatlantic ships that he used to plot the Gulf Stream in 1770. Folger led a party of Quakers who settled at Dartmouth, N.S., in 1785.
7 That is 16s. 8d.
1 No. 439.
2 In No. 439, FB stressed that the “Additional” grant was “unsolicited” and intended as a compliment, which is not strictly true judging by the advice he gave to Francklin in the second paragraph of this letter. FB expended over £70 on obtaining the grants, of which the net amount due to him from the partnership was £42, and which Jackson was going to collect. The “expected” fifth warrant that FB also mentions was probably that issued originally to John Michell, who held it in trust for FB (BP, 5: 59-63).
3 See source note to No. 339, Bernard Papers, 2: 234-235.
4 No. 412, Bernard Papers, 2: 411.
5 Possibly a letter from Francklin dated 3 Jan. 1766, as noted in BP, 4: 103, but not found.
6 The letter to Wilmot acknowledging the grant is not extant.
7 This is a reference to the Mount Desert Island grant, for which confirmation had not been forthcoming.
8 The correspondence is not extant. FB’s association with Fydell and Michell, two merchants of Boston, Lincs., derives from the time when FB was deputy recorder to the corporation of Boston, 1745-58. (The start date is supplied from the Daily Advertiser, 21 Jan. 1745, and corrects a date of 1754 given in The Infamas Govener, 29.) Richard Fydell (d.1780) was mayor of Boston in 1753-54, having been MP for the town, 1734-47. John Michell (1711-66) was the town’s MP, and a former recorder and mayor; he was also Fydell’s business partner (as noted in The London Gazette, 18-21 Nov. 1749). He corresponded with FB when the latter was governor of New Jersey (noted in BP, 9: 60). Michell had married the widow Mrs. Frances (Preston) Jermy (1724-90) in 1754, and died at the country seat of Bayfield Hall (which his wife had inherited) on 30 Nov. (according to the Commons biographical directory) or 12 Dec. 1766 (according to the newspapers). He is occasionally referred to as “Jonathan Mitchell.” Namier and Brooke, The House of Commons, 1754-1790, 3: 136; London Evening Post, 21-23 May 1754 and 13-16 Dec. 1766.
9 Beverley W. Bond, Jr., “The Quit-Rent System in the American Colonies,” The American Historical Review 17 (1912): 496-516.
1 No. 411, Bernard Papers, 2: 408-410.
2 Rockingham had appointed Barrington secretary at war on 19 Jul. 1765, which office he held until 1778. Barrington was not involved in the cabinet’s discussions to repeal the Stamp Act though evidently keenly followed parliamentary debates.
3 Cavendish Square, 16 Dec. 1765, BP, 10: 328-331.
4 Barrington later reported that the commission for jointly appointing Pemberton and Frank Bernard had been issued by the secretary of state’s office. Barrington described Conway as his “very good friend, but not more so than” his predecessor Halifax. Cavendish Square, 25 Mar. 1766, BP, 10: 344-347.
5 For a full list of FB’s letters presented to Parliament on 14 Jan. and 10 Feb. 1766, see the source note to No. 459. HCJ, 30: 448-451.
6 Barrington was “persuaded the Treasury will not judge from a partial reason.” To FB, Cavendish Square, 11 Sept. 1766, BP, 11: 31-34.
7 No. 413, Bernard Papers, 2: 41 3-419.
1 No other correspondence on this matter has been found among Temple’s papers.
2 See No. 390, Bernard Papers, 2: 356-357.
1 No. 442.
2 On 27 Aug.: John Erving, Thomas Hubbard, Thomas Flucker, Royal Tyler, and Harrison Gray.
3 See Nos. 379 and 380, Bernard Papers, 2: 327-332.
2 No. 434.
3 Sir Henry Moore (1713-69), the son of a Jamaica planter, had been educated at Eton and Leiden University, before returning to Jamaica. His political career began in 1752 with his appointment to the province Council, and, seven years later, he took over as acting governor upon the death of Sir George Haldane. His administration was defined by the slave revolt of 1760, brutally suppressed by British soldiers, for which he was rewarded with a baronetcy in 1764. The experience doubtless informed his later responses to the land riots and Stamp Act riots in New York, arriving there as governor in Jul. 1765; though he called upon Gen. Gage for assistance in evicting tenants his response to the Stamp Act rioters was as cautious as FB’s.
1 See No. 446.
3 William Lithgow (1712-98), a gunsmith and Indian trader, was also a county judge and militia officer and one of the most influential men in Maine. He was the truckmaster (the provincial officer responsible for Indian trade) at Fort Halifax, through which the Acadians were to pass. The fort was a major military installation, built in 1755 (on the east bank of the Kennebec River at the confluence with the Sebasticook River), to halt French and Indian incursions from the Chaudière River into the Kennebec River Valley. It was maintained and garrisoned by the province. Acts and Resolves, 17: 455.
1 No. 343, Bernard Papers, 2: 245.
3 Following the French cession of Canada, Gov. Murray issued a proclamation on 1 (not 5) Mar. 1765 promising land grants in Quebec of up to one hundred acres, held on a quitrent basis, to prospective settlers. The proclamation was printed in the Boston Gazette, 27 May 1765. James Murray (1722-94) was a British Army general and governor of Quebec, 1763-66. Murray himself left Quebec for good in Jun. 1766, to continue his military career. He was appointed a lieutenant-general in 1772 and two years later lieutenant-governor of Menorca. As governor (from 1779), he vainly defended the British fort on the Mediterranean island from a besieging French force in 1781, honorably surrendering in Feb. 1782. A court-martial acquitted him of negligence but reprimanded him on two lesser charges. James Dreaper, “Murray, James (1722-1794),” in ODNB-e, (accessed 14 Dec 2004: http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/19619).
4 Petition by Francois Amirault, et al., 8 Feb. 1766, Mass. Archs., 24: 547, (trans. at 549).
5 FB’s message is dated 13 Feb. and the House answered him on 20 Feb. The House proposed that FB investigate with Murray the option of relocating to Quebec the Acadians then resident in Massachusetts. Doubtless the General Court assumed that Quebec’s toleration of Roman Catholicism would prove attractive to the Acadians, no matter that Acadians had earlier expressed concerns about moving there. JHRM, 42: 273, 282, 28-88, 295; No. 260, Bernard Papers, 2:33-35.
6 “Stephen” or Etienne Hibbert (also rendered as Hibert or Hebert); his colleague was Alexis Bro (or Broux/Broe/Breau).
7 Annotation by FB: “for a Letter inclosing the duplicate of this see the last page”. This is a cross-reference to No. 445.
8 See No. 324, Bernard Papers, 2: 190-193n.
1 No. 437.
2 FB and TH were to disagree over the former’s enthusiasm for appointing the Council directly with a royal writ of mandamus. Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 196-197.
4 Obscured by binding.
5 Select Letters: “hands”.
6 This is what TH’s friends urged (including John Cushing), though it is probable that they preferred that TH should brief ministers, supposing FB really only wanted to get away from the province. John Cushing to TH, 2 Feb. 1766, Mass. Archs., 25: 54.
7 MacIntosh had been released from custody in late Aug. 1765, following the intervention of the volunteer guard, whereupon he had been allowed to enjoy his freedom. The handful of MacIntosh’s accomplices held in the town jail on indictments were easily rescued, on 1 Oct. Hoerder, Crowd Action in Revolutionary Massachusetts, 107-113.
8 Select Letters: this paragraph, plus the first sentence of the next paragraph and the phrase “For my own part” are omitted.
9 Select Letters: this paragraph omitted.
1 Extracts in Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 3: 38-42.
2 Nos. 439 and 440.
3 Jackson’s malady is unknown.
5 Connecticut. See No. 434.
6 Around two hundred people were accused of witchcraft in New England during the infamous episode of 1692 that, as FB realized, continued to embarrass the people of Massachusetts. Twenty-nine people were tried and convicted by judges acting under a special commission (of oyer and terminer) issued by the new governor Sir William Phips (1650/1-1694/5). By the time Phips suspended the trials, fourteen women and five men had been executed. FB most likely learned of the Salem Witch Trials from TH, whose first volume of his History of Massachusetts had been published in 1764. The second volume, published in 1767, covered the witch trials, but a more detailed account was subsequently found in a draft manuscript of volume two and extracted for publication in 1870. Thomas Hutchinson, The Witchcraft Delusion of 1692, edited by William F. Poole (Boston, 1870).
7 Jackson wrote three letters to TH between 15 Nov. and 26 Dec. 1765, but none is extant.
8 Jackson’s letter to Thomas Cushing, London, 27 Dec. 1765, was read on 11 Feb. 1766. JHRM, 42: 262.
9 The session that began on 15 Jan. ended on 21. Feb.
11 James Otis Jr., over the pseudonym “Freeborn Armstrong,” had accused TH and the other Superior Court justices of acting unconstitutionally when they voted in the Council on a resolution passed by the House that concerned their own actions. Boston Gazette, 27 Jan. 1766. See No. 452n5.
12 Thomas Hutchinson Jr. (1740-1811) managed to procure a promise from the ministry that his father was to be considered for the governorship. Bailyn, Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, 144.
13 In the manuscript, this postscript is located a line above the recipient’s name.
1 No. 418, Bernard Papers, 2: 431.
2 On 21. Feb.
3 No. 452.
4 FB read too much into the Board’s letter of 29 Nov., which did not specify what “extraordinary” measures were being considered. But the Board had raised FB’s expectations by informing that his recent correspondence had been laid before the Privy Council and that the Board intended to consider those letters “relative to the State and Constitution” of Massachusetts at the “first favorable Opportunity . . . and pursuing such Measures thereupon, as shall appear to us to be necessary and proper.” Whitehall, 29 Nov. 1765, CO 5/920, ff 206-207.
1 Rockingham’s cabinet decided on 17 Jan. that the Stamp Act ought to be repealed. On 21 Feb., Conway proposed a Commons motion for introducing a bill to repeal the Stamp Act, and the bill was debated three days later.
2 An act to repeal an act made in the last session of Parliament, entitled, an act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, and other duties, in the British Colonies and Plantations in America, 6 Geo. 3 c. 11 (1766).
3 An act for the better securing the dependency of His Majesty’s Dominions in America upon the Crown and Parliament of Great Britain, 6 Geo. 3 c. 12 (1766).
2 Thomas Cushing (1725-88), representative for Boston between 1761 and 1774, and Speaker of the House, 1766-70 and 1772-74. As this comment indicates, FB was tracking Cushing’s movement toward the Whigs, later noting that Cushing “had given no notorious Offence to Goverment, altho’ of Otis’s party.” No. 469.
3 By this term, FB usually meant colonies without royal charters, but here, in referring to Massachusetts, he is alluding to the weakness of royal power.
4 No. 409, Bernard Papers, 2: 395-403.
5 “I shall endeavour to keep my post, if possible, untill I can receive his Majesty’s orders, how to act in this difficult & dangerous crisis, which I shall expect not without impatience. Nothing but the Expectation of an immediate attack of my person shall drive me from hence.” No. 414, Bernard Papers, 2: 420.
6 A change in handwriting style in this paragraph indicates a pause in composition.
7 This likely refers to something Otis had said recently in the assembly (during the third session, 15 Jan.-21 Feb.) but FB did not trust him—nor could he afford to—as the sobriquet “great Leviathan” indicates. FB and Pownall would have been familiar with God’s description of the Leviathan in Job 41:1-4, KJV, and the ironic questions posed that demanded to be answered in the negative.
Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?
Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?
Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee?
Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever?
I am indebted to Owen Dudley Edwards for providing this reference.
8 FB is referring to his speeches of 25 Sept. and 8 Nov. JHRM, 42: 118-123, 186-189. The House replied on 24 Oct. 1765 and 17 Jan. 1766, respectively, for which see ibid., 131-138, 198-202.
9 Obscured by tight binding.
10 No. 448.
1 No. 432.
2 On 23 Jan.
3 On 30 Jan. JHRM, 42: 232. The Council proceedings are in CO 5/826, ff 262, 270, 272. See also No. 437.
4 FB would have delivered these sentiments at a Council meeting while the legislative session drew to a close on 21 Feb., but there is no official record of what he said.
5 “Freeborn Armstrong” (James Otis Jr.), Boston Gazette, 27 Jan. 1766. On 24 Jan., the House of Representatives adopted a resolve condemning the closure of the courts, particularly the Superior Court, as “unjustifiable in the Principles of Law and Reason . . . dangerous to his Majesty’s Crown and Dignity, a very great Greivance . . .” It called for the courts and public offices to open immediately and, in flagrant defiance of the Stamp Act, proceed to business without using the stamped papers. The House roll call of 79 for and 4 against was entered into the records, though the names were not published in the newspapers. Otis also insulted TH, accusing him of being contemptuous toward the House, of aspiring to accumulate more power through presiding at board meetings, and of ignoring a conflict of interest in voting with the Council on judicial matters. What also irked FB was that Otis seemed to be privy to the Council debates; Otis was able to provide a short account of how TH failed to persuade the Council to ignore the resolve, which the Board agreed to consider on 30 Jan. JHRM, 42: 214-215.
6 A “rescue” was an unlawful recapture of a vessel or cargo that had been impounded by customs officers.
7 Andrew Oliver signed off an extract of a Council minute of 28 Jan. showing how the Board deliberated and refuted categorically each of Otis’s allegations about TH. Boston Gazette, 3 Feb. 1766. On the same page is “Freeborn Armstrong’s” rejoinder to the Council, dated 30 Jan.
8 On 4 Feb. 1766. JHRM, 42: 248.
9 Timothy Ruggles had been Speaker of the House in 1762 and 1763 and (together with James Otis Jr. and Oliver Partridge) represented Massachusetts at the Stamp Act Congress. Ruggles refused to sign any of the petitions adopted by the Congress, even though he had been elected its president, and left for home before the meeting broke up. Whigs were later to allege that Ruggles had been persuaded by FB and TH to oppose the Congress, but Ruggles’s stance was firmly predicated on ideology: in the last resort, he later contended, “I could not bring myself to adopt” the Congress’s petitions because they impugned Parliament’s legislative supremacy by claiming that the right of taxation lay with colonial legislatures. Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 5 May 1766. Ruggles’s conduct at the Congress was voted unsatisfactory by the House on 6 Feb. He appeared personally before the House on 13 Feb. to hear the Speaker censure him for a “neglect of Duty” and receive a formal reprimand. JHRM, 42: 254; 271-272. See also FB’s discussions with Ruggles prior to his departure for the Congress, No. 398, Bernard Papers, 2: 373-373. On proceedings of the Congress see C. A. Weslager, The Stamp Act Congress: With an Exact Copy of the Complete Journal (Newark, N.J. ), 144-152, 204-214.
10 A sum of £100 was granted Andrew Oliver on 19 Feb., whereas £140 (in two payments) had been awarded in the previous year. JHRM, 42: 292; 41: 202.
11 An act for granting unto his majesty an excise upon spirits distilled, and wine, and upon limes, lemons, and oranges (passed 21 Feb. 1766). Acts and Resolves, 4: 840-850; an act for granting unto his majesty several rates and duties of impost and tunnage of shipping (passed 21 Feb. 1766). Ibid., 850-856.
12 An act for repealing two acts, one, entitled an act for preventing fraud in debtors, and for securing the effects of insolvent debtors for the benefit of their creditors, the other act, entitled an act in addition to an act for preventing fraud in debtors, and for securing the effects of insolvent debtors for the benefit of their creditors, both made in the fifth year of his present Majesty’s reign. Introduced to the House on 5 Feb., this repealing act was passed on 27 Jun. 1766. Acts and Resolves, 4: 883. The Board had acquiesced in the passage of the bankruptcy acts that FB had defended in No. 345, regarding them as temporary expedients. The Board was therefore bemused by the repealing act, which the Privy Council disallowed on 24 Jul. 1767. Bernard Papers, 2: 249-251; APC, 5: 20-22.
13 Peter Oliver (1713-91) was a Superior Court justice, 1756-72, and a councilor, 1759-66. Oliver had disagreed with TH over the chief justice’s inflexibility in refusing the obey the Stamp Act and evidently conceived the compromise scheme that FB describes; for the business attended to apparently did not require the use of stamped papers. BGHU, 8: 737-755.
14 Annotation: “R. may. 19. 1766.”
2 FB to Thomas Pownall, Boston, 2 Feb. 1766, BP, 5: 85-86. Thomas Pownall (1722-1805) had been governor of Massachusetts, 1757-60. Pownall had married his first wife, Lady Harriot Fawkener (1725-77), on 3 Aug. 1765. She was the widow of Sir Everhard Fawkener (1694–1758), a merchant and diplomat, and the daughter of Lt.-Gen. Charles Churchill (1656–1714), brother of John Churchill, the first duke of Marlborough, (1650–1722).
4 TH to Richard Jackson, 11 Jul. 1764, Mass. Archs., 26: 87-89, and Jackson’s reply of 13 Aug. (not found).
5 Benjamin Hallowell (1724-99), former sea captain and comptroller of Customs at Boston since 1764.
6 Whenever FB thought of Ireland in historical analogy, he imagined a colony where imperial authority was backed by military power and where colonial institutions were subordinate to imperial; parliamentary acts would be enforced.
7 No. 440.
8 No. 456.
9 Milliad, meaning thousand.
10 John Pownall.
11 No. 451 replying to No. 418.
12 This is probably not a reference to Capt. Benjamin Hallowell mentioned earlier. It could be Capt. Spry, a friend of Thomas Thoroton, and mentioned by John Pownall in No. 564.
13 See No. 452n9.
1 LbC: “Officers”.
2 According to No. 468.
2 This is an ironic allusion to William Shakespeare’s King Henry IV, Part 2, 1.1.
The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword
Had three times slain the appearance of the king,
3 Or Maddewamcaig. Present-day Madawaska, Maine.
4 Not found. Goldthwait’s reply was enclosed in FB’s next letter to Thomas Pownall of 11 Apr. 1766, BP, 5: 103. FB had appointed Thomas Goldthwait (1718-1779) commander of Fort Pownall in 1764.
5 An account of the quantity of hemp and flax imported into England from America, . . . 1764 to . . . 1766. Charles Townshend Papers, box 8/23/28; an act for granting a bounty upon the importation of hemp, and rough and undressed flax, from his Majesty’s Colonies in America, 4 Geo. 3, c. 26 (1767).
1 Boston, 28 Jan. 1766, BP, 4: 103-104; No. 412, Bernard Papers, 2: 410-412.
2 Milliad or one thousand.
3 Benjamin Franklin’s application for a land grant was referred to the Board of Trade by the Privy Council on 10 Feb. 1766, and finally approved on 26 Jun. 1767. Franklin Papers, 13: 213; 14: 202.
4 Closing quotation marks supplied. Thomas Pownall’s letter not found.
5 Probably present-day Lake Utopia, St. George, N.B.
1 Cavendish Square, 16 Dec. 1765, BP, 10: 328-331.
2 No. 447.
3 No. 451.
4 Not found. Barrington probably never forwarded Pemberton’s letter to Newcastle, for the Naval Office appointment was settled to FB’s satisfaction before he received this package (No. 472). Thomas Pelham-Holles (1693-1768), the duke of Newcastle, was a former prime minister (1754-56) and secretary of state for the Southern Department (1756-61) and one of the eighteenth century’s great political figures. He joined Rockingham’s administration as Lord Privy Seal (Jul. 1765-Jul. 1766), but fell when William Pitt returned to power, Newcastle having betrayed him to Lord Bute in 1762.
1 No. 448.
2 No. 447 enclosed in No. 451.
3 No. 457.
4 From early May, colonial newspapers began printing private letters describing Parliament’s debates on the repeal of the Stamp Act between Jan. and Mar. 1766. One of the first private letters noted that the printed correspondence of the colonial governors had been presented to Parliament on 14 Jan. “Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman in London to His Friend in America, Dated Jan, 30. 1766,” Massachusetts Gazette, 8 May 1766. FB received formal notification (from John Pownall) 16 May that his own letters had been printed. No. 459.
5 Postscript in hand of clerk no. 8.
6 Cavendish Square, 16 Dec. 1765, BP, 10: 328-331.
7 Ruggles’s participation in the Stamp Act Congress had been noted in the British press, but the apology was never printed therein.
8 According to No. 468.
1 There were two minority protests in the House of Lords against repealing the Stamp Act, on 11 and 17 Mar. Pownall is referring to first protest, signed by thirty-three lords including the earl of Halifax.
We are of Opinion, that the total Repealing of that Law, especially when such Resistance continues, would (as Governor Bernard says is their Intention) make the Authority of Great Britain contemptible hereafter.
This passage quoted a phrase (“contemptible hereafter”) from FB’s letter to Pownall of 1 Oct. 1765 and echoed that letter’s fears about American aspirations to independence:
It is apparent from their proceedings that there is among them an Intention & an Expectation of improving the present ill humor of the people into an actual breach with Great Britain; or at least of gaining such a triumph over Great Britain by obliging her to repeal this Law under an actual resistance of it, as to make her Authority contemptible hereafter. I must again beg of you, that, if Troops are to be sent to this Town, you will procure me an order to remove out of it.
HCJ, 31: 303; No. 400, Bernard Papers, 2: 375.
The last paragraph of the Lords’ first protest underlined the significance of FB’s lamentations in the aftermath of the riots that the colonial governments were devoid of any coercive power to effect submission or deter resistance.
We are convinced, from the unanimous Testimony of the Governors, and other Officers of the Crown, in America, that if, by a most unhappy Delay and Neglect to provide for the due Execution of the Law, and arm the Government there with proper Orders and Powers, repeatedly called for in vain, these Disturbances had not been continued and increased [sic], they might easily have been quieted before they had attained to any dangerous Height.
HCJ, 31: 303.
The second protest, signed by twenty-eight Lords, challenged the prevailing view that the American Declaratory Act would obviate further disputation of Parliament’s legislative authority. One passage in the protest would have reminded Pownall of FB’s strictures in No. 375 that Britain ought to have reformed colonial government before introducing parliamentary taxation (Bernard Papers, 2: 321-322):
if this Experiment had been properly tried with the same Zeal for its Success with which it was first proposed, it would not have failed in any of the Colonies: and that this was the Opinion of the greater Part of the Governors in North America, and of many of the most intelligent and respectable Persons in those Provinces, for some Time after this Act was passed, is evident, beyond a Doubt, from the Letters of the former, now upon our Table, and from the latter having applied for, and accepted the Office of Distributor of the Stamps under that Act, which they certainly would not have done, and thereby have exposed their Lives and fortunes to the Violence and Outrages which they have since undergone . . .
HLJ, 31: 312.
2 Meaning “in”.
3 On 16 May. No. 468.
4 The duke of Grafton at the Northern Department and Conway at the Southern Department.
5 The thirty-nine witnesses were hand-picked by the administration, and included William Bollan, Benjamin Franklin, and John Pownall.
6 Governors and acting governors: FB, William Franklin (N.J.), Sir Henry Moore (N.Y.), Benning Wentworth (N.H.), James Wright (Ga.), and lieutenant governors William Bull (S.C.), Cadwallader Colden (N.Y.), and Francis Fauquier (Va.). Conway also presented correspondence received from stamp distributors and Customs officers, including Benjamin Hallowell’s letter of 17 Dec. 1765 to the Board of Customs Commissioners.
1 FB meant the Boston Gazette.
3 Massachusetts Gazette, 13 Mar.
4 The census was prompted by FB’s formal request of 31 Jan. 1764. JHRM, 40: 44, 251-252. The census recorded the total population of Massachusetts as 245,698, which was probably lower than it actually was; a figure of 5,235 was given for black colonists (free and unfree). Robert V. Wells, The Population of the British Colonies in America Before 1776. A Survey of Census Data (Princeton, N.J., 1975), 79, 82.
1 The authorship of this particular piece has not been established, though Samuel Adams and James Otis Jr. are the most likely authors. “A Countryman,” “An ADDRESS to the True-born Sons of Liberty, in the Government of the Massachusetts-Bay.” Boston Gazette, 31 Mar. 1766. This article ended with the following injunction:
N. B. The author of the foregoing piece is not unaware that politicians may be inclin’d to pick flaws in his performance, (and condemn right or wrong). But however, if they do, he appeals to the people in general for whom it was wrote, and desires the SONS OF LIBERTY in every Town would insist upon its being publickly read at the opening of their next May meeting for the choice of representatives. And if he has done them good by writing it, he thinks himself well rewarded; if not, he hopes some abler hand will espouse the cause, and do them all the good they stand in need of. And as this is the first time he hath ever appeared in print, he promises it shall be the last, without he should think there is further occasion.
2 Isaac Barré (1726-1802), MP for Chipping Wycombe, 1761-74, was replying to a letter from the town of Boston thanking him for his recent Commons speeches on behalf of the Americans in which he pronounced them “sons of Liberty.” Barré to James Otis, London, 11 Jan. 1766, in Boston Gazette, 31 Mar. 1766, p. 4.
3 The anonymous author of a letter to the printers (on p. 4) professed that he “would be glad to know by what law the general court of this province has been dissolved by proclamation only, since the accession of his excellency governor Bernard to the chair.” Boston Gazette, 31 Mar. 1766.
4 Another anonymous contributor urged the ringing of all the church bells in the town, when news of the repeal arrived, and that the day of repeal be commemorated as a thanksgiving anniversary, with sermons and the “rest of the Day . . . devoted to innocent Diversion and Amusement.” This writer suggested that 1 May should be set aside for that holiday in 1766, since that was the day when it was supposed that repeal would be effective. Ibid.
5 According to No. 468.
1 Left marginalia: two virgules referring to the enclosed acts; these were probably added by the author’s clerk upon collecting the documents to be forwarded.
2 On 18 Mar. 1766, the king assented to two acts: an act for the better securing the dependency of his Majesty’s Dominions in America upon the Crown and Parliament of Great Britain, 6 Geo 3, c. 12; an act to repeal an act made in the last session of Parliament, entitled, an act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, and other duties, in the British Colonies and Plantations in America, 6 Geo 3, c.11.
3 Parliament did not pass the indemnity act until 3 Jun., which the king signed into law on the same day. An act for indemnifying persons who have incurred certain penalties inflicted by the act of the last session of Parliament, for granting certain stamp duties in the British Colonies and Plantations in America, 6 Geo 3, c. 51.
4 This culminated in the Revenue Act of 1766. An act for repealing certain duties, in the British Colonies and Plantations granted by several acts of Parliament, 6 Geo. 3, c. 52. By this measure, the molasses duty was reduced to 1d. per gallon. For a discussion of the act’s impact and its place in the Rockingham administration’s wider plans for the development of commerce with the West Indies see John W. Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots: Boston Merchants and the Advent of the Revolution (Boston, 1986), 96-99.
5 Seven resolutions were introduced to the Commons on 24 Feb. of which numbers two to five were transmitted to the governors. The first was a declaration of parliamentary supremacy; the second protested that “tumults and insurrections” in North America were “in manifest violation of the laws and legislative authority of this kingdom”; the third blamed the colonial assemblies for having “greatly countenanced and inflamed” the disturbances by means of their votes and resolutions; the fourth recommended compensation for the victims of the riots; the fifth promised Britain’s “protection” to those loyal subjects who had “manifested their desire to comply with, or to assist in carrying into execution” acts of Parliament; the sixth absolved Crown officers from unlawful proceedings in failing to use stamped papers; the seventh proposed an act to repeal the Stamp Act. The resolutions were agreed after debate and second readings, paving the way for the ministry to bring in bills to repeal the Stamp Act and assert Parliament’s legislative supremacy in the American Colonies. HCJ, 30: 602; Cobbett, Parliamentary History of England, 16: 161-163.
6 Left marginalia: the entire last paragraph is marked with a vertical line, probably added by the recipient.
7 According to No. 478 and No. 508.
1 FB had proposed finding an army commission for Frank (No. 426), which Dr. Barrington had evidently discussed with Frank upon his returning to Oxford from America.
2 Shute Barrington had married Lady Diana Beauclerk, daughter of Charles, second duke of St Albans, in 1761, but she died in childbirth on 28 May 1766. The tragic death of Mrs. Barrington would probably have prompted FB to send the widowed husband a letter of condolence, but he would not have learned about Dr. Barrington’s loss until several months after his wife’s death.
3 First written: “Lord”.
4 It is unlikely that contact ceased because FB took offence at the Rev. Barrington’s assessment of Frank; Barrington’s observations proffered in this letter correspond with much of what FB himself had said about his eldest son.
1 No. 452.
2 FB’s adjournment was communicated in the Boston Evening-Post, 24 Mar. 1766. The “orders” he doubtless anticipated concerned the repeal of the Stamp Act, which did not arrive until May.
3 A proclamation was issued on 29 Mar., as noted in the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 31 Mar. 1766. A copy has not been located.
4 Anonymous letter to the printers in Boston Gazette, 31 Mar. 1766, p. 4. The relevant passage reads:
I would be glad to know by what law the general court of this province has been dissolved by proclamation only, since the accession of his excellency governor Bernard to the chair. By what law is it that an assembly can be prorogued by proclamation of the governor, between the day adjourned from, and a distant day adjourned to? May there not be an adjournment of a prorogation, as well as a prorogation of an adjournment? May there not be a prorogation after a dissolution by proclamation as well as either? These are high points of learning that Lord Coke has entirely omitted, and which I want resolved.
The quotation from Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634), given later in the letter, is “an adjournment of a parliament is much more beneficial to the common wealth, than a prorogation,” but its provenance has not been established. Coke’s influential Institutes of the Laws of England, in four parts (1628-44), was probably not the source. One plausible author for the letter to the Gazette is John Adams, whose preparatory notes for his presentation to the Governor and Council on 20 Dec. 1765, regarding the necessity of opening the law courts, relied heavily on Coke’s definition of remedy and necessity. Bernard Papers, 2: 446n6; Papers of John Adams, 1: 148-151.
5 By His Excellency Francis Bernard, Esq; . . . A proclamation for a general fast. . . . Thursday the twentyfourth day of the present April . . . Given at the Council-chamber in Boston, the fifth day of April, 1766. Boston Gazette and Boston Evening-Post, 7 Apr. 1766.
6 The “Man of integrity & principle” was Thomas Cushing, see No. 451. Boston representatives Thomas Cushing and James Otis Jr. are the only ones who can be positively identified from FB’s comments as having attended the extraordinary meeting. Samuel Adams’s attendance can be assumed from the comment about the Boston members being Otis’s “associates in all mischief” (Adams having being elected the previous Sept. in place of the deceased Oxenbridge Thacher). FB’s comment was also meant to apply to Boston’s fourth representative, the merchant Thomas Gray, who served the town 1764-65. The names of the others cannot be deduced.
1 Thomas Hutchinson Jr. and Jonathan Freeman. See No. 448.
2 Nos. 457 and 458.
2 The Customs Act, 3 Geo. 3, c. 22 (1762).
3 For an explanation see source note to No. 270, and for FB’s efforts on this matter see Nos. 279 and 283. Bernard Papers, 2: 56-60, 75-77, 83-84.
1 Boston, 17 Apr. 1766, BP, 5: 106-108.
2 William Deverson and Howard Jacobson. Jacobson’s arrival on 20 Apr. was noted in the newspapers. He brought with him copies of the London papers which purportedly contained “little News of Consequence.” A gentleman passenger, however, was able to confirm that, when he left London (sometime after 6 Mar.) the bill to repeal the Stamp Act was awaiting a third reading in the House of Lords., and that a final passage and royal assent were imminent. Boston Evening-Post, 21 Apr. 1766.
3 Extracted in Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 3: 42.
4 Insertion by FB.
6 The Boston papers printed extracts of several letters from England, dated Feb. and Mar. 1766, in the issues between 21 and 28 Apr. 1766. Jacobsen’s passenger might have brought with him the St. James’s Chronicle or the British Evening Post, 30 Jan.-1 Feb. 1766, in which “Pacificus” wrote that “The Matter in Dispute [the consequences of resisting the Stamp Act] is stated in the most rational, modest, and candid Manner, by Governor Bernard in his Speech to the General Assembly . . . on the 25th of September last.”
7 This is likely a son of Thomas Lane of the London-based firm Lane, Son, and Fraser, a major player in the North American trade; little is known about the firm’s partners. The petition of the London merchants for repealing the Stamp Act, 28 Jan., was printed in the Boston Gazette, 21 Apr. 1766.
8 The particular letter to which FB is referring was a witty essay by “Thersites,” dated 26 Feb., from the Public Advertiser, which had been enclosed in a private letter from a London merchant (Lane probably) of 4 Mar. and printed in the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 28 Apr. 1766. An extract from the merchant’s letter (mentioning former prime minister George Grenville and FB) prefaced the essay.
The Hint he gives concerning a certain American Governor’s Papers not being laid before a certain Assembly, are the Letters wrote by G—v—r B——d, setting forth the bad Consequences of Imposing the Stamp Act, and which Papers were smuggled by Mr. G—v—lle, and never were intended to be laid before the Parliament; and G—v—r B——d’s Conduct was greatly called in Question for Want of Spirit; but these Letters coming to light (and are really well wrote) turn the Tide of Affairs again in his Favour. We have been so happy as to carry it in the House of Commons for a Repeal of the Stamp-Act . . .
9 Jackson to TH, Inner Temple 3 Mar. 1766, Mass. Archs. 25: 64-66. The postscript printed in the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 28 Apr. 1766 reads: “Mr. Bernard’s letter to the Publick Offices here have been read in both Houses of Parliament, and have not only done great Credit to himself, but contributed much to the Repeal of the Stamp-Act.” Jackson also wrote FB about this on 15 Mar. Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 3: 42-47 (L, Copy).
10 The “Advertisement” proclaimed “great GEORGE and Patriot Pitt for ever sing” and praised “all those and those only, who are and were for Repealing that detestable Act as unconstitutional.” The author professed “Contempt of an infernal, atheistical, Popish and Jacobite Crew, on both sides the Atlantic,” may they be “everlastingly frustrated in their diabolical Purposes.” Boston Gazette, 21 Apr. 1766.
11 “Veritas” had penned a rebuttal to the London merchant mentioned in note 7. Boston Gazette, 28 Apr. 1766. He concluded ironically that
Upon the Whole, I think it is an Affront to the Integrity of G—r B—d, to suppose him to be the Author of this or any other Letter wrote AGAINST the Stamp Act; that our. Letter-writer discovers himself to be disaffected to him; and that the Publishers of the Letter, as well as the Public itself, are abused by it.
12 17 Apr. 1766, BP, 5: 106-108.
13 A vertical line in the text of the manuscript and a corresponding virgule in the left margin signal the start of a new paragraph in the original out-letter(s).
1 No. 459.
2 Jackson had written on 3 Mar. in anticipation of opposition in the House of Lords and mentions the Lords’ minority protests in a letter of 15 Mar. Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 3: 42-47.
3 No. 461 enclosing a copy of No. 454.
4 No. 458 enclosing No. 457.
5 Usu. “iacta alea est.” Trans.: “the die has been cast” or “the die is (now) cast.” Attributed to C. Julius Caesar, supposedly accepting his need to commence civil war, by C. Suetonius Tranquillus, De vita Caesarum (A.D. 121) usu. titled The Lives of the Twelve Caesars.
6 See No. 467n8.
7 Twenty-two friends of government were returned as representatives for the 1766-67 legislative year, about half their pre-election number. Colin Nicolson, “Governor Francis Bernard, the Massachusetts Friends of Government, and the Advent of the Revolution,” Procs. MHS 103 (1991): 24-113, at 52-53.
8 Thus in manuscript.
9 A word may be obscured in the fold of the binding.
10 FB was correct. His correspondence was printed for Parliament but copies were not publicly circulated in London and were not forwarded to Boston. For example, the account of the crisis that the Rockinghamite MP Edmund Burke (1729-97) prepared for the Annual Register did not mention FB by name or cite his correspondence, yet it is manifestly based upon what is reported in FB’s letters. The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politicks, and Literature, for the Year 1765 (London, 1766), 49‑54.
1 This is an error. FB meant “March 29th”. He wrote No. 468 in reply to No. 459.
2 The first reports that FB’s letters had been read in Parliament and were commented upon by British politicians appeared in the Boston newspapers between 21 and 28 Apr. 1766. Extracts of several letters from Britain, dated mid-February to mid-March, were also printed, and are discussed in the notes to No. 467. Publication of private correspondence continued into May. One letter dated 3 Mar. suggested FB’s correspondence “contributed to the Repeal of the Stamp-Act.” New-Hampshire Gazette, 9 May 1766. “Extract of a Letter from London March 17,” printed in the Boston Evening-Post, 26 May 1766, suggested that
Mr. Bernard has great Reputation with the Ministry and both Houses of Parliament. He has given a more sensible and just Representation of America than all the Governors on the Continent; and what is more, while the People were for destroying him, he was saving the Province; and this is much to his Honor. This I had from Persons of the first Distinction.
The writer was referring to the protest of dissenting Lords’ of 11 Mar. which cited FB as an authority. See No. 459n1.
3 Charles Pratt (1714-94), baron (later earl) of Camden, famously argued that the American case (that the rights of representation and taxation were inseparable) in his maiden speech in the House of Lords, on 3 Feb. and again on 11 Mar. when the Lords debated the repeal of the Stamp Act. Camden was an outspoken advocate of repeal and voted against the American Declaratory Act on 18 Mar. His Lords speeches are summarized (without mention of FB) in Cobbett, Parliamentary History of England, 16: 168-169, 177-181. Lord Camden’s praise of FB’s “honest” reporting of events is noted in an extract dated 19 Mar. (but which must have been delivered a few days prior to repeal of the Stamp Act on 18 Mar.); this extract is printed in the New-York Mercury, 26 May 1766. In the Boston Evening-Post, 26 May 1766, another correspondent wrote, on 28 Mar.:
A Few Days before the Repeal of the Stamp Act, I was in the House of Lords, where I was entertained for eight Hours by Lords Bute,+ Mansfield, Cambden, Shelburn, Bishops Warburton and Newton.+ —Lord Camden replied to Lord Mansfield* [who opposed repeal] in a very nervous Stile; shewed wherein the Subject was opress’d, and what a Set of Creatures our Governors were, except Mr. Bernard, who were all pointing Methods to enforce the Act, and not one the Inconvenience of the Act; — that Mr. Bernard had done his Duty like an Officer to the Crown, and like a Friend to his Country, in pointing out the great Inconvenience of enforcing the Act; and summ’d up his Character in these Words. That this good, sensible, and great Man, of all the Governors on the Continent had pointed out the Inconvenience of that Act; for his Part he should ever respect him. — — Lord Cambden lash’d C—ld—n of N. Y—k* very severely, and said, that he had done what that House he was in would never dare do, by suspending one of the Acts of Parliament, and by straining one of the Articles of his Instructions; and after saying many severe Things said, This was C—w—d—r C—ld—n. — Lord Townsend* declared [when opposing repeal], that Mr. Bernard’s Letter was the most sensible he ever saw. — In short, Mr. Bernard’s Character is on a better Footing than any Governor on the Continent.
+ John Stuart (1713-92), the earl of Bute, had been George III’s tutor and secretary for the Northern Department under Pitt and Newcastle, 25 Mar. 1761-26 May 1762.
+ William Warburton (1698-1779), bishop of Gloucester and signatory to both of the House of Lords’ protests against the repeal of the Stamp Act (11 and 17 Mar. 1766).
+ Thomas Newton, (1704–1782), bishop of Bristol, signed the second Lords’ protest.
* William Murray, (1705-1793), an influential judge and politician; he had been chief justice of the court of the King’s Bench since 1756 and gained notoriety in the colonies for judgments upholding the government’s pursuit of John Wilkes. He was created Lord Mansfield, baron of Mansfield, on his appointment to the King’s Bench and first earl of Mansfield in 1776.
* Cadwallader Colden (1688-1776) was lieutenant governor of New York on several occasions during the imperial crisis, and was twice acting governor: from 1763 to 1765 (when Sir Henry Moore took over) and (following Moore’s death) from 1769 to 1770 (when John Murray, the fourth Earl of Dunmore took office).
* George Townshend (1724–1807), fourth viscount Townshend and brother to Charles Townshend, a noted Grenvillite and signatory to the first Lords protest.
5 Punctuation supplied to aid interpretation.
6 For a discussion of the Black List see No. 480, and for those named on the list see note 2 to that transcript.
7 The use of “model” consciously invites allusion to Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army. Otis would have found the association uncomfortable on account of the Protector’s reputation as a regicide, no matter that Cromwell was being appropriated by radicals as a champion of Liberty, for which see Brendan J. McConville The King’s Three Faces the Rise and Fall of Royal America, 1688-1776 (Chapel Hill, N.C, 2006), 269-274.
8 Edmund Trowbridge (1709-93) had been a member of the Council since 1764 and attorney general since 1749.
9 Peter Oliver (1713-91) had been a Superior Court justice since 1756 and a councilor since 1759. He was appointed chief justice in 1772.
10 The phrase invited comparison with the American Declaratory Act’s assertion of Parliament’s legislative supremacy in the colonies “in all Cases whatsoever.”
11 Jerathmeel Bowers (1717-99), who served Swansea from 1754 to 1774, and later; Samuel Dexter (1726-1810), Dedham’s representative 1764-67, 1775, and later; Joseph Gerrish (1708-76), representative for Newbury, 1753-54 and 1766-74; Thomas Saunders or Sanders (1729-74), representative for Gloucester, 1761-69.
12 James Otis Sr. (1702-78), the father of Whig leader James, was a former Speaker of the House, 1760-61, and a member of the Governor’s Council, 1762-65. Nathaniel Sparhawk (1715-76) represented Kittery, Maine, during the 1750s and was a councilor from 1760 to 1765. FB accepted Sparhawk’s election in 1767, and he remained in the Board until 1772.
13 Otis, who FB had refused to accept as Speaker, was appointed to a committee along with Thomas Cushing (the replacement Speaker), Samuel Adams (the clerk of the House), Oliver Partridge, Joseph Hawley, and Thomas Saunders. The presence of Partridge probably reflected moderate and conservative opinion in the lower chamber. The committee prepared two drafts of the reply to FB, for consideration by the whole House, before a final version was adopted. JHRM, 43: 14, 20.
14 His next letter to the Board of Trade was No. 480.
1 The handwriting is indistinct. Jackson’s letters of 3 and 15 Mar. are extracted in Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 3: 42-47, but the others have not been found.
2 See No. 468n2. “The Drawer” presumably refers to Henry Seymour Conway who had introduced the bill repealing the Stamp Act (enacted as 6 Geo. 3, c.11), FB rightly assuming that the administration was sensitive to opinion opposed to repeal.
3 On 28 May.
4 Annotations interlined above “Council” (“2”) and “Faction” (“1”) probably refer to the enclosure. FB may have garbled the word order of this clause, which ought to have read: “I said only that if the Faction purged the Council at one End”.
5 Thus in manuscript. He may have intended to write “giving some”.
6 For the above see No. 469n3.
7 The “mad pranks” may have been eccentricities of conduct, unreported at the time, but foreshadowing Otis’s future insanity. Whatever the case, FB carefully followed his enemy’s political ups and downs. FB might have seen evidence of Otis’s “declining . . . Credit” in the instructions the town meeting issued to Otis and the other newly-elected town representatives (Samuel Adams, Thomas Cushing, and John Hancock) on 20 May. He would have appreciated the irony of the following directives: “That you be not parsimonious in the support of executive officers of government. . . . That you conciliate divisions and differences . . . [and] . . . that on all proper occasions you openly profess our duty and loyalty to the King, and a constitutional subordination to parliament. That you treat his Majestys Representatives, and all his other officers here, with due respect.” Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16, 182-183.
8 The normal procedure was for the outgoing Council and the newly-elected House together to choose the first eighteen places on the twenty-eight man Council, and then to conduct ballots for each of the places reserved for councilors from Sagadahoc, Plymouth Colony, and Maine, with another for the province at large. LMGC, 35.
9 No. 462. For an account of the speech and presentation of Conway’s letter, see No. 471.
1 No. 469.
2 No. 462. The proceedings discussed here are in JHRM, 43, pt.1: 29-33.
3 The “former” speech was the one that FB had delivered on 29 May offering his congratulations at the repeal of the Stamp Act. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 11-13.
4 The House expressed dissatisfaction at FB’s choice of words, such as when he complained of the “unlimited Abuse cast on the most respectable Characters.” FB had alleged that “the Inflammation of the Country has been a grand Object with some Persons,” and the House now challenged him to prove it. “We cannot suppose your Excellency would make a public Declaration of a Matter of such Importance without good Grounds; an Attempt to inflame a Country is a Crime of very dark Complexion.” Ibid., 25. The proceedings of 3-4 Jun. are in ibid., 21-41.
5 The House’s reply to FB’s speech of 3 Jun. was delivered on 5 Jun. not 6 Jun. JHRM, 43 pt 1: 41-46.
6 A bill for a grant of £1,300 was read on 11 Jun. and approved on 28 Jun., the last day of the session. Ibid., 69-70, 145.
7 On 10 Jun., the matter was postponed until the next session. Ibid., 67.
8 JHRM, 42: 171.
1 No. 457.
2 Augustus Henry FitzRoy (1735-1811), the third duke of Grafton, and Charles Lennox (1735-1806), the third duke of Richmond. Both men were grandsons of bastards of Charles II.
1 The Indemnity Act (6 Geo 3, c. 51) and the Jamaica Act (6 Geo 3, c. 49) were approved by the House of Lords on 3 Jun. and received royal assent shortly thereafter.
2 The Stamp Act.
2 William Brattle (1706-76), a member of the Council between 1755 and 1768 and 1770 and 1773. FB did not veto Brattle’s election in the following year. Brattle’s radicalism waned gradually in the coming years, whereupon FB and TH courted his support. BGHU, 7: 10-23; Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 130.
3 No. 409, Bernard Papers, 2: 395-403.
4 The Council committee was formed on 30 May. Joining Brattle were Messrs. Bowdoin, Gray, Ropes, and Tyler. The committee was given the task of replying to FB’s speech at the opening of the assembly on 30 May and his speech of 3 Jun. (prompted by the letter from Conway announcing the repeal of the Stamp Act). (No. 462.) Councilors would also have discussed the answers to FB that the House sent up to the Board, which likely exacerbated disagreements among the Board. CO 5/826, ff 293, 297-300.
5 “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:8, KJV.
6 The Council’s final answer was presented to FB on 7 Jun. and addressed both of FB’s speeches in the same document. FB replied the same day with a conciliatory speech commending the Council for demonstrating such “Zeal and Concern” for the province’s “reputation.” But while he “approve[ed]” the Council’s “Motives” he could not “concur” with their “Means.” CO 5/826, ff 307-309.
7 On 10 Jun. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 67.
8 On 12 Jun., ibid., 76. See source note to No. 471.
9 On 12 Jun. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 74.
1 Montagu Wilmot, governor of Nova Scotia, died on 23 May. Michael Francklin, who had been appointed lieutenant governor in Mar. 1766, took over as acting governor. FB learned of Francklin’s appointment in the Boston Newsletter of 15 Jul. but Francklin did not receive the mandamus recognizing his official status until Aug. The new governor, Lord William Campbell (c.1730-78), was appointed on 13 Sept., arriving at Halifax on 26 Nov. 1766. Campbell, a British army officer, was the fourth son of Scottish nobleman, John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyll. Francklin, an Englishman by birth, was a merchant by occupation and made his money during the French and Indian War. A husband to Susannah Boutineau, the daughter of a Boston merchant, Francklin had strong connections with Boston, and doubtless met FB on a visit to the Massachusetts capital. Francklin was a leading figure in a coterie of Nova Scotia merchant-politicians who used public office to advance their own interests as much as the province’s, for which he was criticized by Gov. Campbell and the British government (and which probably jeopardized his chances of becoming governor). Francklin was a strong advocate of immigration to unsettled lands, and made considerable investments in a number of schemes, none of which were financially successful. L. R. Fischer, DCB (http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=1892, accessed 18 Jun. 2012).
3 John Tucker (1701-79), MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, 1735 to 1747 and 1754 to 1778. He held a number of minor offices and was paymaster of the Marines, 1757-78. Mention of Tucker’s involvement qualifies an earlier opinion that Tucker had lost interest in North American land speculation. Bob Harris and Jeremy Black, “John Tucker, MP, and Mid-Eighteenth-Century British Politics,” Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies 29 (1997): 15-38, at 21.
4 FB received the order-in-council pertaining to Tucker in May 1767, and immediately transmitted it to Michael Francklin in a letter of 7 May. BP, 5: 228-230. FB does not appear to have received anything for Benjamin Franklin, whose petition for a grant 20,000 acres of land of his own choosing in Nova Scotia had been referred to the Board of Trade on 10 Feb. (The Board evidently approved it though the decision is not recorded in the Board’s journals.) Franklin Papers, 13: 123.
1 William Brattle; the “3 or 4” Whigs included Bowdoin, Gray, and Tyler.
2 See No. 474 for an account of the proceedings mentioned in this paragraph.
3 For these matters, see No. 471.
4 Thus in manuscript. The vote was taken on 10 Jun. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 67.
5 Not found.
6 The “Chief man” was Timothy Folger, see No. 439.
7 His next surviving letter to Jackson was dated 14 Sept., No. 502. But it did not discuss the Quaker settlement, which he mentioned in a letter of 6 Oct., No. 503.
8 The session ended on 28 Jun.
1 Annotation in left margin: “Surveyor General’s Letter to Govr Bernard”.
2 Arthur Savage (1731-1801) was appointed comptroller of Customs at Falmouth (later Portland, Maine) on 25 Apr. 1765 and remained in the post until 1771. His time there was dogged by popular resistance to the enforcement of the trade laws and on several occasions Savage and his colleagues endured threats and physical intimidation. Savage (though his brother was a Whig merchant) was appointed deputy surveyor and searcher in the Boston Customhouse on 5 Jul. 1772. Jones, Loyalists of Massachusetts, 255-256.
3 The Scarborough was a transatlantic trader out of Portsmouth, N.H. The vessel had left for London on 30 Dec. 1765, under Capt. Hugget (who might also have been the proprietor), and reached Dover by 16 Feb., as noted in the Boston Gazette, 6 Jan. 1766, and the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 21 Apr. 1766. She was seized on her return home, after the master James Taite had entered the ship in ballast. The goods confiscated by Savage comprised four boxes, one chest, and one hogshead of haberdashery and other goods. Francis Waldo to John Temple, Falmouth, 10 Jun. 1766, Temple Papers, 1762-1768: Cockle’s Suspension, 259. The items seized, however, turned out to be the possessions of a passenger, the widow Mrs. Hope, whereupon Temple instructed the Customhouse to return them. Mark H. Wentworth to John Temple, Portsmouth, 12 Jun. 1766, ibid. 259; Temple to Arthur Savage, Boston, 12 Jun. 1766, ibid. 260.
4 The Customhouse document certifying that a ship’s cargo has been entered and duties paid.
5 Savage returned Mrs. Hope’s property, but informed Temple of FB’s complaint that the collector ought to have consulted the advocate general of the Vice Admiralty Court. “And upon the whole [FB] seemed desirous I might think I might get into difficulty, if I took the Surveyor Generals advice alone; and that he had a right to direct in this matter.” Representation of Arthur Savage, Boston, 17 Jun., 1766, ibid., 261-262.
1 No. 462.
2 The first paragraph is enclosed in square brackets, probably added by the receiver.
3 See No. 467n8 and source note to No. 469.
4 No. 462 printed in full in the Boston Evening-Post, 9 Jun. 1766 and in the New-York Mercury, 16 Jun. 1766.
5 No. 405. Extract printed in JHRM, 42: 217-218; Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 27 Jan. 1766.
6 That is, No. 462.
7 The letter was communicated but not printed with FB’s speech of 3 Jun. Nevertheless, the House approved an appropriation for a loyal public toast of the king and royal family in celebration of George III’s twenty-eighth birthday (4 Jun.), “with such Gentlemen as his Excellency shall please to invite” to Faneuil Hall. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 28-33.
1 The brig Freemason and the sloop Sally, respectively, seized in 1763 and 1764. See Nos. 269, 272, and 325, Bernard Papers, 2: 54-56, 61-63, 193-201.
2 First written as “disposed”.
3 See Nos. 370 and 378, Bernard Papers, 2: 312, 326.
4 Philip Stephens (1723–1809) had been first secretary of the Admiralty since 1763, which office he held until he was created a baronet in 1795 and appointed lord commissioner of the Admiralty Board.
1 28 May-28 Jun.
2 What follows are the names, towns, and dates of service in the House of Representatives of the thirty-two members on the blacklist of Tories. The nineteen not elected in 1766 were: Briggs Alden (Duxbury: 1761-45, 1767); Dudley Atkins (Newburyport: 1765); John Calef(Ipswich: 1764-65, 68); Thomas Clapp (Scituate: 1742-44, 1750, 1754-56, 1758-65); Jonathan Doane (Eastham: 1757, 1761, 1764-65); Timothy Dwight Sr. (Northampton: 1758-65); Thomas Foster III (Plymouth: 1741, 1744-50, 1754-56, 1756-57, 1760-65); Daniel Howard (Bridgewater: 1748-49, 1756-65; Hardwick: 1770); Josiah Keen (Pembroke: 1757-62, 1765, 1770-72); Abel Lawrence (Groton: 1762-65); Joseph Lee (Cambridge: 1764-65); Stephen Miller (Milton: 1765, 1774); Ebenezer Nichols (Reading: 1752-54, 1757, 1762-65, 1767); Daniel Oliver (Middleborough: 1765); John Robinson (Dorchester: 1762-65); Chambers Russell (Lincoln: 1754-57, 1759, 1761, 1763-65); Joseph Sawyer (Wells: 1744, 1747, 1757-65); Samuel Waldo (Falmouth: 1744, 1757-61, 1764, 1765); Joseph Williams (Roxbury: 1750, 1752-54, 1757, 1760, 1762-65, 1767-69, 1779). The thirteen who retained their seats were William Bourne (Marblehead: 1759, 1764-68); William Browne (Salem: 1762-68); Chillingsworth Foster (Harwich: 1761-69, 1771); Stephen Hall (Medford: 1756-61, 1763-70); John Noyes (Sudbury: 1753-61, 1763-72); Andrew Oliver Jr. (Salem: 1762-66); Charles Prescott (Concord: 1758-63, 1765-67); Timothy Ruggles (Hardwick: 1754-55, 1757-59, 1761-70); Richard Saltonstall (Haverhill: 1761-68); Sampson Stoddard (Chelmsford: 1762-68); Ezra Taylor (Southboro: 1760-1766); John Winslow (Marshfield: 1739-40, 1752-54, 1757, 1761-67); John Worthington (Springfield: 1747, 1748, 1751-53, 1756-57, 1760-66, 1770-74).
3 FB is referring to a modification to the Province Charter (1691) introduced by the king’s Explanatory Charter of 26 Aug. 1726 that rendered the election of the Speaker subject to the governor’s approval. Gov. Jonathan Belcher (1682-1757) vetoed the election of Samuel Watts and John Choate in 1741. The Charters and General Laws of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay: Carefully collected from the Publick Records and Ancient Printed books. . . . Published by order of the General Court (Boston, 1814), 38-40; Michael C. Batinski, Jonathan Belcher, Colonial Governor (Lexington, Ky., 1996), 145; LMGC, 21.
5 A puisne justice was a permanent judge inferior to the chief justice who presided over the court.
6 Benjamin Lynde Jr. (1700-81) had been a member of the Council without interruption since 1743 and a justice of the Superior Court since 1746. He was later presiding justice, 1769-71, and chief justice 1771-72.
7 FB’s explanation is confusing. Normal procedure was for the new House and outgoing Council to vote for the first eighteen places on the twenty-eight man Council Board and then allocate the remaining ten seats by individual ballots (see No. 470n8). FB appears to suggest that TH attracted a majority of the votes cast for the eighteen places; this ought to have been more than enough votes to get him elected in a single contest. But in No. 470, FB clearly states that TH “lost his Election for the 18 by 2 only.” It is possible that the assembly had changed the procedure: perhaps they first held a vote to draw up a list of candidates (with TH attracting most votes) and then held a second vote to choose the eighteen councilors. However, FB makes no mention of any such innovation and the simplest explanation for the confusion is that the account he prepared for the Board of Trade was muddled by a desire to convey how popular TH was with the friends of government, while that for Jackson was concise and cogent (No. 470).
8 Bowers, Dexter, Gerrish, and Saunders.
9 Col. Otis and Sparhawk.
10 Otis and Sparhawk aside, the three or four others whom FB had in mind were likely some of those Whigs returned in 1766: from John Bradbury, William Brattle, John Erving, Harrison Gray, Isaac Royall, and Royal Tyler. TH had earlier commented that “the valiant Brigadier Royall . . . has thrown up his commission . . . at the head of all popular measures and become a great orator. Erving Brattle Gray Otis and Bradbury and Sparhawk . . . are in the same box, Tyler is sometimes of one side and sometimes of the other.” TH to Thomas Pownall, Boston, 8 Mar. 1766, Mass. Archs., 26: 207-214, at 213.
11 On 3 Jun. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 29-33. For a summary of FB’s speech, see the source note to No. 471.
12 The House answered FB on 5 Jun. JHRM, 43 pt 1: 41-46.
13 No. 462.
14 FB’s offer to compromise on the election of the Council was not part of his speech and, as the wording suggests, was made directly to the leaders of the opposition, including James Otis Jr.
15 FB did not receive official approval of his use of the veto in Council elections until 2 Feb. 1768, No. 566.
16 No. 484.
17 On 26 Jun. 1766. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 131-132. FB had refused to accept any reduction to the Castle William garrison or a reduction greater than six soldiers at Fort Pownall. On 24 Jun., the House voted an appropriation to raise the castle garrison by ten privates, but did nothing in respect of the fort. Two days later, the House again refused to change the establishment. There the matter ended, with FB powerless to do anything about it other than complain to Britain. Ibid., 43 pt 1; 111-112, 118, 124, 126, 131-132.
18 Since 1757, the full complement had been fifty officers and men. Acts and Resolves, 17: 78.
19 See No. 379, Bernard Papers, 2: 327.
20 That is to say, a Crown installation.
21 See No. 291, Bernard Papers, 2: 102-105.
22 The Council protested that it had concurred with the House’s resolve only because “they tho’t it better to have smaller Garrisons at those places than none at all” and unanimously advised FB to ask the House to reconsider, which he did on 24 Jun. CO 5/823, f 306.
23 See Nicolson, “Governor Francis Bernard, the Massachusetts Friends of Government, and the Advent of the Revolution,” 52-53.
24 Internal divisions within the Council are examined in detail in Colin Nicolson, “The Friends of Government: Loyalism, Ideology and Politics in Revolutionary Massachusetts,” 2 vols., Ph.D. Diss., Univ. of Edinburgh, 1988, 1: 149-206.
2 See source note to No. 481.
3 No. 481.
4 The Council did not discuss Moore’s letter and proclamation for the apprehension of alleged murderers until 30 Jul., by which time FB had received another letter from Moore dated 21 Jul. CO 5/823, f 310.
2 FB’s orders to Bishop, 17 Jul. 1766, BP, 5: 186.
3 Grey Cooper (c.1726-1801), a lawyer, was MP for Rochester between 1765 and 1768 (and other constituencies thereafter), and secretary to the Treasury, 1765-82.
1 No. 478.
2 The Proceedings of the Governor, Council, and House of Representatives of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, concerning an Indemnification for the Sufferers by the Rioters in Boston, 27 Aug. 1765-28 Jun. 1766, Boston Evening-Post, Supplement, 14 Jul. 1766. Printed as Appendix 1.1.
3 The passage from the beginning of the paragraph to “long letter” is enclosed in square brackets. The “Annotations of my own” are in Appendix 1.2.
4 This word is underlined by the annotator.
5 “I must therefore . . . manner” enclosed in square brackets.
6 “I shall . . . it” enclosed in square brackets, obscuring the terminal punctuation.
7 No. 480.
8 Charles Paxton (1704-88) was surveyor and searcher at the Boston Customhouse, 1760-67.
1 Meaning, shown.
2 No. 480 and Appendix 1.2.
3 “On the Trade and Commerce of the British Colonies,” New-York Gazette, 21 Jul. 1766. The essay, which examined the political economy of British North America, was reprinted from the London Magazine, Apr. 1766. It may be that FB thought he recognized the handiwork of Thomas Pownall, Richard Jackson, or someone else close to John Pownall.
4 The item of particular interest was a letter to the printers by “T. S.” on p. 2 of the Boston Gazette, 21 Jul. 1766, See Appendix 1.2n13.
5 Farrell, “Wentworth, Charles Watson-, second marquess of Rockingham.”
1 Passage marked as deleted by Freiberg in Hutchinson Transcripts. Freiberg’s corrections to the original transcription have been incorporated in the quoted passage.
2 Charles Townshend (1725-67), a younger son of the third Viscount Townshend, was a mercurial politician, first coming to prominence soon after his election as MP for Great Yarmouth in 1747 when the duke of Newcastle advanced him to the Board of Trade. It was here (and again in 1763, as president) that he “formulated” opinions on the American Colonies that would inspire him to propose taxing the Americans by means of trade duties, in 1767. By the early 1760s, Townshend was MP for Harwich and briefly secretary at war (1761-62); he cultivated a reputation as a political independent (which was more aspiration than actuality), and had difficult, see-saw relationships with the political heavyweights of the day—Pitt, Bute, Newcastle, and Grenville. But Pitt brought him into his administration in the summer of 1766, and Townshend immediately courted controversy when critics revealed that he abused his position as chancellor of the Exchequer to speculate (with government money) in the stock of the East India Company. Nevertheless, the Chatham administration fully supported him over this and his scheme to levy American trade duties on the grounds that any taxes were justified by Parliament’s legislative supremacy. Peter D. G. Thomas, “Townshend, Charles (1725–1767),” ODNB-e (http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/27619, accessed 7 May 2012).
1 See source note to No. 481.
2 William Kellogg (b.1724) had lived in Westfield and Sheffield before moving to Nobletown. He was the father of six children at the time, and a deacon; his house at Nobletown was occupied by the soldiers from Albany during the raid. Afterward Kellogg settled in Sheffield, Mass., where his wife Keziah gave birth to three more children. He died in Boston. “Rootsweb” (http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com, date accessed 20 Nov. 2009).
1 Petition of the Stockbridge or Wappinger Indians, 1 Jul. 1766, Mass. Archs., 33: 393; No. 487.
2 Harmanus Schuyler (1727-96) was originally a silversmith and leather-worker, and acquired considerable property in Albany; he was appointed sheriff in 1761. Robert Van Rensselaer (1740-1802), the future Patriot general, was the son of Johannes (1708-82), the proprietor of the Claverack Manor on the Rensselaerswyck estate.
3 The abuse was probably cursing and beating rather than sexual assault, which the petition would surely have explicitly condemned.
1 Coll. Mass. Papers, annotation: “A Copy of the Advertisemts above ment: Mr Palliser gave to Mr. DeBert the other day”.
2 Coll. Mass. Papers: “I apprehend will”.
3 Palliser’s orders of 3 Apr. were published in the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 25 Aug 1766. The activities of British and American whalers threatened to upset relations with the Inuit that had been re-established by the conference at Pitts Harbour in southern Labrador (initiated after the territory been formally acquired from France in 1763). Palliser was fearful that the Inuit might be provoked not only by New England whalers operating in the region, but also by Micmac Indians and Acadians who had recently settled there. Palliser’s reports are summarized in APC, 6: 426-431.
4 Hugh Palliser (1723-96) was a Royal Navy officer and governor of Newfoundland, 1764-68. As governor, he was responsible for surveying the coast and moderating conflict between the Inuit and the fishing fleets of the French and American colonists. Palliser was created a baronet in 1773, a rear-admiral in 1775, and a vice-admiral in 1778. In Feb. 1779, he was sensationally acquitted of misconduct by a court-martial that he had demanded (the matter in question being his alleged failure to come to the aid of Admiral Augustus Keppel at the naval battle of Ushant, fought against the French fleet 24 Jun.-7 Jul. 1778).
5 Coll. Mass. Papers omits the remainder of the postscript.
6 Coll. Mass. Papers: “Memo. In Consequence of what is mention’d above, the Peace with the Indians is broken; they have had no friendly intercourse with us this Year, but have cut off and Murther’d many English People. __.Copy of a Letter to Governor Bernard, which was sent by Capt: Henry Atkins* who it is suppos’d did not leave Newfoundland till the Month of November.__”
* Capt. Henry Atkins, a Boston mariner and merchant, had already advised FB on the geography and exploration of Labrador. See Bernard Papers, 1: 76-82.
1 While the (present state) borderline was established by the Board of Trade in 1757, it was not actually surveyed for a further ten years.
1 While FB’s letter enclosed more than four documents, the minute of the Board of Trade for 6 Nov. groups the documents into four sets: (a) Kellogg’s letter (No. 487) and the depositions; (b) the petition from Kellogg and the inhabitants of Nobletown (No. 488); (c) the petition from the town of Egremont; (d) the Council minute.
1 Undated. Mass. Archs., 56: 490.
2 Robert R. Livingston (1718-75), New York judge, member of the provincial assembly, and leading Whig. He was the third lord of Livingston Manor, succeeding his father Philip Livingston (1686-1749).
3 John Clarke, captain in the 46th Regiment of Foot.
4 Robert Noble.
5 Elijah Dwight (1740-94) of Great Barrington belonged to one of Berkshire County’s leading families and was a future judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Mark Hopkins (1739-76), a lawyer and a farmer, was also town clerk of Great Barrington, a justice of the peace, and a militia officer.
6 Mohican Indians of Stockbridge. John was Johonnis Mtohksin and Jacob probably Jehocakim Mokhhowwauweet (as spelt by the deputy province secretary, John Cotton).
7 The Griggs connection to Conway’s surviving siblings cannot be established from the Conway family’s published genealogies.
8 Elijah Williams, a militia officer, was a merchant and proprietor of an iron works in Stockbridge. He served as Berkshire County sheriff from 1761 to 1774.
9 John Ashley (1709-1802), militia officer, lawyer, judge, and leading citizen of Sheffield, which town he had first represented in 1750.
11 William Williams (1711-85), representative for Pittsfield, 1765-66 and 1771-72, and chief justice of the Inferior Court of Berkshire, 1765-78; he held several other offices.
1 Otis most likely delivered such a speech at the town meetings of 21 Apr. or 6 May, which he chaired.
2 LbC: “And I have, again & again, since that, been assured”.
3 Francis Waldo (1724-88), the collector at Falmouth, was the son of Samuel Waldo (1696-1759), whose vast estates were inherited by his eldest son Samuel Waldo Jr. (1723-70). Arthur Savage (1731-1801) was the comptroller at Falmouth.
1 In No. 492.
2 No. 495.
3 FB to Israel Williams, Oliver Partridge, and William Williams, Boston, 20 Aug. 1766, Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 2A: 136-137. Israel Williams (1709-88) of Hatfield, Hampshire Co., was one of the “River Gods” who dominated public affairs in the Connecticut River Valley, and served as Massachusetts councilor, 1760-66. Oliver Partridge (1712-93), a wealthy farmer, was closely allied to Williams and served for many years as Hatfield’s representative, including the period 1765-67.
4 The names of the author and addressee are written in different hands.
5 There is no obvious reason why TH should have scribed this letter, other than to expedite transmission to William Williams. It is likely that this letter to Williams was composed at the same time as FB was writing Gov. Moore about the borderlands dispute (No. 495), even though FB notes in this letter that he has “wrote a second ^third^ time” to Moore. TH’s emendation was probably made on FB’s advice, possibly after he finished writing Moore.
1 No. 490.
2 Ebenezer Smith.
3 No. 492.
4 Council proceedings of 20 Aug., CO 5/823, f 313.
5 FB to Israel Williams, Oliver Partridge, and William Williams, Boston, 20 Aug. 1766, Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 2A: 136-137. As it transpired, Gov. Moore was at New York, and Israel Williams and Partridge forwarded the letter to him there. FB to Israel Williams or Partridge, Boston, 4 Sept. 1766, BP, 5: 198; No. 500.
1 Nobletown was outside the territory claimed by Massachusetts in a representation to the Board of Trade. JHRM, 40: 38, appendix 277-307; Thomas Hutchinson, The Case of the Provinces of Massachusetts-Bay and New-York, Respecting the Boundary Lines Between the Two Provinces (Boston, 1764).
2 Woodbridge is blaming the British officers in charge of the company that occupied Nobletown.
3 Robert Van Rensselaer (1740-1802) and his brother Henry (Hendrick) (c.1742-1813), the two elder sons of Johannes Van Rensselaer (1708-82) mentioned later in the letter.
4 Ebenezer Smith and his wife Rhoda Noble moved from Sheffield (Mass.) to Egremont in 1756. Joseph Smith, Edward Adams, and Thomas Cushing. History of Berkshire County, Massachusetts With Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men, 2 vols. (New York, 1885), 1: 681.
5 Johannes Van Rensselaer.
6 There are several instances of unusual spelling, here and below.
7 Levi Stockwell settled in Egremont in 1759. Smith, et al., History of Berkshire County, 1: 101.
8 Isaac Spoor was born in Kingston, N.Y., in 1711, to a Dutch family, and settled in Egremont in 1731. Ibid., 1: 208, 681.
9 Elijah Williams. Despite a history of antagonism between them, Woodbridge’s account is decidedly fair-minded in its portrayal of Williams’s ordeal. No. 320n12, Bernard Papers, 2: 183.
11 Edward Pickering, ensign in the 46th Regiment of Foot, is accorded the distinction of a baronet (“Bart.”) in Ford, British Officers. He may have been related by family to Sir Edward Pickering (?1715-49), the fourth baronet who never married.
12 Timothy Woodbridge (c.1709-74) came to the Christian mission of Indians at Stockbridge in the 1730s to teach and to farm, and in the course of a generation became the community’s most important advocate. He was trusted by Native leaders leading the campaign to retain and maintain their land titles. He was first elected town representative for Stockbridge (in 1752 and on several occasions thereafter, including 1765). See No. 320, Bernard Papers, 2: 176-183. Frazier, Mohicans of Stockbridge, passim.
13 Samuel Brown Jr. was a land speculator, who bought up plots from the Stockbridge Indians, in what were to become the towns of Lenox and Richmond. He held local office in Stockbridge and served in the House of Representatives, 1771-73. Smith, et al., History of Berkshire County, 1: 184.
14 Elijah Dwight (1740-94) settled in Great Barrington in 1761 and served as town clerk, 1764-70; later he was a town representative in the state legislature, 1784-65, a member of the Massachusetts Senate, 1786-94, and a county judge, 1787-94.
1 No. 472.
2 FB was unaware of William Pitt’s agreement to form a ministry on 12 Jul., and of his returning to government by the end of the month after ill-health.
3 While Pownall did not specifically cite the threat of mob violence, it was that which concerned him when he suggested to FB he “should endeavour to move yourself into some other situation.” No. 459.
4 Annotation at bottom of page: “turn over two leaves.” This refers to the continuation on BP, 5: 148.
5 No. 407, Bernard Papers, 2: 390-393.
6 The Regulars were not being sent to garrison Boston, but FB’s concern may reflect news from London received by TH. On 1 Jul. 1766, Thomas Hutchinson Jr. wrote his father: “I have heard Mr. Jackson in Conversation give it as his Opinion that if the Duke of Cumberland had not died [31 Oct. 1765] instead of a Repeal of the Act, there wou’d have been a number of Regiments in America before this. I hope to hear more favorable Accounts by the next Ships.” Cumberland’s name, as Jackson illustrated, was automatically coupled with the suppression of the Jacobite Rebellion at Culloden in 1746 and the brutal aftermath. “Butcher” Cumberland (Prince William Augustus) was King George III’s uncle, whom he advised closely. Mass. Archs. 25: 84-85.
7 FB supposed that any new ministry would wish to replace him. Richard Jackson had already been discussing with Thomas Hutchinson Jr. in London the likelihood of TH succeeding FB. In a letter to TH 26 Jul. 1766, Mass. Archs., 25: 86-87.
8 Such letters were not printed in the province newspapers.
9 Jamaica: William Henry Lyttelton (1724-1808), governor 1762-66, was not replaced until 1767 by William Trelawney (1722-72), with Lt. Gov. Roger Hope Elletson continuing as acting governor. Leeward Islands: George Thomas (1695-1774), governor 1753-67, was succeeded by William Woodley (1728-93). Barbados: Charles Pinfold (1709-88), governor 1761-66, was followed by acting governor Samuel Rous, who in turn was replaced by William Spry (1734-1802). Pinfold’s departure for England was noted in the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News-Letter, 14 Aug. 1766. Nova Scotia: Montague Wilmot, governor since 1763, had died in May 1766; his replacement, Lord William Campbell (c.1730-78), assumed office on 27 Nov.
10 FB makes no mention of slavery in his rationale, and by stressing concern for his personal health in such tropical climes proffers a commonplace excuse. And yet, mention of his “sanguine Complexion” invites an alternative reading of this evidence: the Jamaican slave revolt of 1764 was a recent reminder of the racial tensions emanating from slavery. Irrespective that slavery was also deeply entrenched and regulated by oppressive law codes in Barbados, FB was probably content to acquiesce in the cold comfort that white militarism had hitherto deterred slave rebellion on the island.
11 Lord Charles Greville Montagu (1741-84), second son of the third duke of Manchester, and governor of South Carolina, 1765-73.
12 FB received several letters from Jackson on c.14 Sept. They were dated between 28 May and 7 Jul., see No. 502.
1 3 Sept. 1766, CO 5/823, ff 314-315.
2 JBT, 12: 318.
1 No. 447.
2 Letters are obscured by binding, here and below.
3 Cavendish Square, 12 Jul. 1766, BP, 11: 25-26.
4 No. 497.
5 Annotations interlined above “what to expect” (“2”) and “what to hope” (“1”) probably refer to the enclosures.
6 In No. 498.
7 Benning Wentworth (1696-1770), governor of New Hampshire, 1741-66.
8 New Hampshire chartered Barnard (now Bernard) on 17 Jul. and Stockbridge on 21 Jul. 1761. The former grant awarded 26,000 acres to FB, William Story, and sixty others; the latter grant involved some sixty-six people sharing 28,100 acres. The New Hampshire grants were in territory where jurisdiction was claimed both by New York and New Hampshire (and which today falls within the bounds of Vermont). But they were recognized and approved by New York in 1766. FB to Moore, Boston, 28 Aug. and 18 Dec. 1766, BP, 5: 189-194, 205-206.
9 Richmond replaced Conway on 23 May.
1 Moore’s letter not found; No. 495.
3 By His Excellency Sir Henry Moore, Baronet; . . . A Proclamation [to apprehend] divers persons, residing in Dutchess County. . . for [having]. . . riotously and by force, dispossessed several Persons from their Dwelling Houses and Farms and put others in Possession . . . on the twenty-ninth day of April Instant . . . and offering a Reward of One Hundred Pounds. . . . Given at the Fort George, New York, the Thirtieth day of April, 1766. New-York Gazette, 5 May 1766. The offenders named were William “Pendergrass” [Prendergast], William Finch, and Samuel Munroe Jr. A second proclamation has not been found. For a brief summary of Prendergast see the source note to No. 487.
4 Word obscured in the gutter of the binding.
5 See note 7 below.
6 Manuscript torn.
7 On 3 Sept. CO 5/823, f 315. Moore’s letter of 21 Aug. alleged that the Massachusetts Governor and Council “had not duly exerted their authority for apprehending” the suspects wanted for murders committed at Nobletown (for which see note 3 above). The Council stood by FB when it unanimously answered in the negative four queries he had posed them: (a) “Whether he could have been justified in issuing an Order to apprehend persons whose names and the Crimes with which they stand charged, had not been transmitted to him by some regular and legal Information, applying such Crimes to such persons?”; (b) Whether it has been usual in this Government for the Governor to issue any Order for apprehending any supposed offenders, even where the persons and their Crimes are specified, without the Advice of Council?”; (c) “Whether if the Governor had proposed to the Council the issuing an Order as is first mentioned, they would have Advised to any such Order?”; (d) “Whether if such Order had been issued with, or without the Advice of Council the Magistrates to whom it was directed would be justified in Law in issuing Warrants in Obedience of such Order for apprehending Persons whose names and respective Crimes were not Certified to them?” Ibid.
8 On 8 Jul. CO 5/823, f 308.
9 On 9 Mar., Province Secretary Oliver laid another letter from Gov. Moore, dated 23 Feb. 1767, before the House urging the appointment of a boundary commission, to which proposal the assembly duly agreed. JHRM, 43, pt.2: 372, 379-380.
1 No. 478 and No. 484.
2 Annotation (probably by FB): “It is with great Pleasure . . . your Government” is marked with a line of red ink in the left margin while vertical lines in the text enclose the passage.
3 Shelburne was secretary of state at the Southern Department, 30 Jul. 1768-21 Oct. 1768. The new American Department under the earl of Hillsborough assumed control of colonial affairs on 21 Jan. 1768.
2 The sign manual was for the Massachusetts Naval Office, allowing the joint appointment of Frank Bernard and Benjamin Pemberton. It is dated 1 Feb. 1766. T 28/1, ff 84-85 (Ms, RbC).
3 FB wrote No. 497 in reply to No. 472.
4 BP, 11: 25-26.
5 The formation of the Chatham administration (on 30 Jul.) was reported in the Boston Evening-Post and the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News-Letter, 15 Sept. 1766.
6 Thomas Hutchinson Jr. reported to his father that Jackson thought that the Rockingham ministry was considering taxing the colonists in order to raise money to compensate TH and the other victims of the riots. London, 1 Jul., 1766, Mass. Archs. 25: 84-85.
7 Interlineation in FB’s hand.
8 This line and the remainder of the letter are in FB’s handwriting. The session ran from 29 Oct. to 9 Dec. 1766.
1 FB had received several letters from Jackson since May, which he first answered with No. 502.
2 TH, however, reports FB as intimating that one of them was still likely to be called to England. TH to Charles Paxton, Milton 12 Oct. 1766. Mass. Archs., 26: 161.
3 See Nos. 439 and 440.
4 The Board’s new commission took effect on 18 Aug. 1766.
5 See No. 277, Bernard Papers, 2: 70-72. The township grants were confirmed in 1771. APC, 4: 614.
6 Extracts of Jackson’s letters from 8 to 21 Nov. 1765 were laid before the House by special order, on 6 Dec. 1766. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 213. There are copies in Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 3: 38-47.
7 This may be a reference to a letter that Mauduit sent Speaker Cushing following up the complaints he first raised in a letter of 4 Sept. 1765. The letter of 4 Sept. 1765 is in Ford, Jasper Mauduit, 180-184, and discussed by FB in correspondence with Jackson, 11 Dec. 1765, BP, 5: 59-63. Mauduit’s follow-up letter to Cushing has not been found among his correspondence or in the province secretary’s letterbooks.
8 The idiom “t’other” is consistent with Lincolnshire diction. John Bernard, who spent his childhood in Lincoln, may have copied this from his father’s original holograph, or, more likely, rendered the phrase as he himself would have spoken it.
9 At one time or another Franklin was agent for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and, on 24 Oct. 1770, was appointed agent for the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Secretary of State Hillsborough refused to recognize Franklin’s authority.
10 See No. 339, Bernard Papers, 2: 234-235.
11 Not found.
12 Probably the spa at Bath in the west of England.
13 Dennys DeBerdt (d.1770), a Dissenter and London merchant, was appointed special province agent on 5 Nov. 1765 to lobby for a repeal of the Stamp Act. After the repeal, the Whigs moved to have DeBerdt appointed on a more permanent basis. On 12 Mar. 1767, the assembly appointed DeBerdt “by a great majority” ostensibly to represent the province in the border dispute with New Hampshire. This became the means for the Whigs to justify his continuance as standing agent for the House only. Acts and Resolves, 18: 211. Both FB and the British government refused to recognize DeBerdt’s authority. DeBerdt continued in position until 1770, maintaining a secret correspondence with Speaker Thomas Cushing, in which he relayed hints that Shelburne was displeased with FB’s governorship. Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 151.
14 William Legge (1731-1801), second earl of Dartmouth, had resigned as president of the Board of Trade on 16 Aug. 1766, having been a leading advocate of the Rockinghamite policy of conciliating the Americans. DeBerdt once described Dartmouth as an “old friend”—meaning that he regarded Dartmouth as a “patron” (as FB notes above)—in a letter to Speaker Samuel White, dated 16 Jan. 1766. Albert Matthews, “Letters of Dennys DeBerdt, 1757-1770,” Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts 13 (1911): 290-461, at 310. Throughout the summer, DeBerdt maintained epistolary contact with James Otis, William Brattle, and Thomas Cushing. Americans generally viewed Dartmouth as a political friend, up to and beyond his appointment as American secretary in 1772.
15 DeBerdt’s letter to Cushing of 6 Aug. 1766 quoted Dartmouth expressing his regret that Massachusetts had failed to vote compensation. DeBerdt chided the House that the “Word Recommend” is “a term intirely consistant with your Liberty.” He intimated that he was “ambitious your assembly . . . should stand high in the esteem of the King & Ministry, & Parliament as well as in the esteem of all the real Friends of America which such a refusal will Abate.” Matthews, “Letters of Dennys DeBerdt,” 322. DeBerdt’s letter of 19 Sept. was more supportive of the assembly and criticized FB. See No. 511n11.
16 The assembly did indeed meet on that date. JHRM, 43, pt. 1: 147.
17 This may be the date on which the LbC was made.
1 Daniel Malcom (1724-69) was a trader in Boston’s North-End and a conspicuous figure in the local protest movement. The best biography is Wolkins, “Daniel Malcom and the Writs of Assistance,” 13-26.
2 Malcom had prevented inspection of the cellar of his house, by appearing “Armed with a Sword & a pair of Pistols, Swearing that he would blow any persons Brains out, who should offer to force open said Cellar.” CO 5/823, f 316.
3 Stephen Greenleaf.
4 A common law provision permitting the sheriff to summon able-bodied, armed men to apprehend a felon.
5 CO 5/823, f 317.
6 FB’s account of the examinations, and the Council’s response, is not recorded in the Council minute books. CO 5/ 823, ff 317-318. This was consistent with FB’s determination to screen the proceedings from public scrutiny (see note 10 below).
7 LbC: “was”.
8 The identity of this councilor and other Board members who contributed to the discussion are unknown.
9 Once again, these proceedings are not reported in the official record.
10 James Otis was moderator of the meeting of 8 Oct. and headed the delegation attending the governor. The delegation was given the responsibility of asking the governor to direct the province secretary to provide the town clerk with copies of the depositions concerning the Malcom affair taken hitherto, in order that the town might have “Knowledge of their Accusers, and . . . to rectify mistakes, and counterwork the designs of any who would represent them in a disadvantageous Light to his Majestys Minister.” The committee reported back that FB “had in himself no difficulty” about meeting the request for copies, provided the Council agreed, since the depositions were “to be kept secret.” Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 186-188. The Council agreed that the province secretary should release copies of the depositions, but insisted upon the town meeting recording in its minutes: (a) that at no point had the Board actually advised that the depositions be sent to London; and (b) that the depositions were not (as FB had stated) to be “kept secret” but “Recorded” and “kept from public view.” Ibid., 188; CO 5/823, ff 317-318. The attention that they paid to ensuring an accurate minute was indicative of the councilors’ unease that Whig allegations about FB aiming to prime the British government with “secret” documentation would also reflect badly upon them.
11 The proceedings of the town meeting for 8 Oct., including the response of the Council, were printed in the Boston Evening-Post, 9 Oct. 1766. It is this which prompted FB to send to London this epistolary account of the Council’s proceedings and copies of the depositions.
12 Obscured by tight binding.
13 JBT, 12: 353.
1 FB’s cover letter (No. 481) and the petition of the Stockbridge Indians were laid before the Board of Trade on 27 Aug. 1766. JBT, 12: 329.
1 That is, defendants.
2 There is a biographical note in Bernard Papers, 2: 275n7.
1 There is an opening bracket enclosing “By” and a closing bracket at the end of the seventh paragraph. These were probably added by the receiver.
2 FB had in fact written to Conway on 19 Jul. believing him in charge of American affairs, No. 484.
3 The full title (with modernized spelling) illustrates the modus operandi discussed by FB. An act for apportioning; and assessing a tax of forty thousand pounds; and also for apportioning and assessing a tax of two thousand five hundred and fifty-three-pounds two shillings and sixpence, paid the representatives for their travel, service and attendance in the general court in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-five; also for apportioning and assessing a tax of ninety-eight pounds seven shillings, laid upon towns that have not sent any person to represent them in the general court the present year; and, also, for assessing the town of Swansea the sum of fifty pounds, being part of the sum of three hundred pounds lent said town in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-four; and also, for assessing the town of Deerfield the sum of twenty-five pounds seventeen shillings and one penny, paid out of the public treasury to John Worthington, Esq., and others, a committee to enable them to run the line between Deerfield and Hunt’s Town; and also, for assessing the sum of ten pounds two shillings and sixpence on the district of New Salem, being so much paid the selectmen of Sunderland in full of any disputes between the town of Sunderland and district of New Salem, relative to representatives pay; and also, for assessing the sum of thirty-six pounds nineteen shillings and tenpence halfpenny on the town of Falmouth, and the sum of six pounds nine shillings and fourpence on the town of north Yarmouth, and the sum of five pounds fifteen shillings and twopence on the town of Brunswick, making in the whole the sum of forty-nine pounds four shillings and fourpence halfpenny, being a tax remitted Gorhamtown, for the year one thousand seven hundred and sixtyfour, and ordered to be added to the present year’s tax of the several towns aforesaid, and in manner aforesaid; which taxes are to be over and above their proportion of what was laid on said towns: which sums amount to forty-two thousand seven hundred eighty-six pounds thirteen shillings and five-pence halfpenny (passed 27 Jun. 1766). Acts and Resolves, 4: 883-899.
4 Meaning, constituents.
5 This suggests that the controversial practice of Parliament legislating punitive measures against municipal authorities, that FB raises in Appendix 1.2, was being discussed in the province; and, if a tax were imposed, some thought it could be justified with reference to the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy.
6 On 8 Oct. The instruction was made expressly without “regard” to the “interpretation” advanced by FB that Conway’s “recommendation” for compensation was a “requisition.” Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 188.
7 29 Oct.
8 Salem (mentioned above), Haverhill, Braintree, and Concord, for example, opposed making public restitution until the Boston rioters had been arraigned; Hardwick and other western towns wanted Boston to foot the bill. TH to unknown, Milton, 7 Nov., 1766, Mass. Archs., 26: 249; Samuel Adams to Dennis DeBerdt, n.p., 15 Nov., 1766; Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed., The Writings of Samuel Adams, 4 vols. (New York, 1904), 1: 102; Samuel A. Bates, ed., Records of the Town of Braintree, 1640-1793 (Randolph, Mass., 1886), 412-413; Robert J. Taylor, Western Massachusetts in the Revolution (Providence, R.I., 1954), 56; Lucius R. Paige, History of Hardwick, Massachusetts (Boston, 1883), 63.
9 Missing letters supplied from LbC.
10 CO 5/892: the clause “which prevailed . . . Treasury” omitted.
11 On 29 Oct.
12 The Boston representatives aside, the identities of the other persons are unknown.
13 On 31 Oct., the House voted 36 to 44 against compensating TH from the Province Treasury, also refusing Andrew Oliver, William Story, and Benjamin Hallowell but without recording the division. On 3 Nov., questions were put to reconsider the votes of 31 Oct. but all were passed in the negative (TH’s 43 “Yeas” and 51 “Noes”). Two days later, the House rejected a motion proposing a public lottery instead of public compensation (failing by 35 votes to 54) and another proposal to distribute the costs of compensation among the province towns. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 159, 168-171.
14 The committee appointed on 6 Nov. to bring in a bill for compensating the “Sufferers” and indemnifying the rioters comprised the Speaker Thomas Cushing, Joseph Hawley, Timothy Ruggles, Samuel Dexter, Josiah Dwight, and Edward Sheaffe. Only Ruggles could be counted as a friend of government, but were appointed to the committees set up on 7 Nov. to liquidate the “Sufferers’” losses. Factional or ideological positions on the broader questions of parliamentary authority probably counted for little, with representatives being obliged to follow their constituents’ instructions, as FB indicates, and the fact that the province Indemnity Bill purported to satisfy Conway’s instructions to FB; most representatives, as FB also indicates, were probably satisfied with the proposed bill even though it promised indemnity to the rioters. The bill was twice read before being approved on 7 Nov. and printed. TH’s reported losses were £3, 194 17s. 6d., Oliver’s £172 4s., Story’s £67 8s. 10d., and Hallowell’s £385 10s. 9d. Ibid., 178-180, 184-185, 189-190.
15 See No. 511n13.
16 On 13 Nov. Ibid., 202-203.
17 Until 3 Dec.
18 Underlining of “are not uncommon” is probably noncontemporaneous.
19 There is a bracket enclosing “Government.” Shelburne’s letter of 13 Sept. 1766 (No. 501) was printed in the Boston Evening-Post, 17 Nov. 1766 by order of the Governor and Council. It drew a close reading from one Whig commentator, who established what was becoming a central theme in Whig criticism: that FB had misrepresented the province to ministers and convinced Shelburne that a “degree of ill-temper remained” in the province after the repeal of the Stamp Act. Boston Evening-Post, 24 Nov. 1766.
20 In replying to FB’s opening speech of 29 Oct., the House, on 11 Nov., complained that “the Manner in which your Excellency has repeatedly proposed a Compensation to the Sufferers, has been derogatory to the Honor of the House and in Breach of the Privileges thereof” and that the “Terms” of compensation “dictated” by FB were materially “different” from those signified in Conway’s instructions. Conway had proposed that the governor make a “Recommendation” to the assembly; FB, in his speech to the assembly of 3 Jun., had instead used the more controversial term “Requisition,” suggesting that Compensation was being levied by the Crown. Such terminology and such propositions, FB was told, “tended to weaken the inherent uncontroulable Right of the People, to dispose of their own Money to such Purposes as they shall judge expedient, and to no other.” JHRM, 43, pt.1: 191. The anonymous “B” delivered an eloquent criticism of FB’s use of the term “requisition,” which, he propounded, was simply counter-productive to resolving the matter: the term “precludes all debate, and consequently demands our money without our consent,” thus rendering the governor’s proposal as objectionable as the Stamp Act. Boston Evening-Post, 27 Oct. 1766.
21 Manuscript torn. Supplied from dupALS.
1 Circular from the Board of Trade, Whitehall, 1 Aug. 1766, BP, 11: 27-30.
2 An act for granting the sum of fifteen hundred pounds to encourage the manufacture of linen (passed 13 Jun. 1766). Acts and Resolves, 3: 680-682. The scheme discussed in this letter was conceived as a patriotic venture to develop colonial industry and broadly viewed as an alternative to the basic poor relief provided by the town’s workhouse (which, since its establishment in 1735, had proven to be a commercial failure). The town of Boston gave the Linen Manufactory Company £1,291 to employ dependent women and children in spinning and weaving linen. The Linen Manufactory opened in 1751 but required further public investment of £1,500 and a private subscription in order to recapitalize in 1753. The new building on Tremont Street referred to in this letter was funded by the province tax but was closed and sold in 1758 when the tax revenue failed to cover construction costs; at bottom, the venture failed because Boston linen proved more expensive than imported linen and management found it difficult to direct and sustain the labor force. Acts and Resolves, 3: 680-682; Boston Evening-Post, 11 Jun. 1753; Gary B. Nash, “The Failure of Female Factory Labor in Colonial Boston,” Labor History 20 (1979): 165-189. The Manufactory House, as the building became known, was advertised for sale in the Boston Evening-Post, 9 Jun. 1766. In 1768, during the nonimportation controversy, the building was taken over by local merchants, and the town meeting set the workhouse poor to producing linen. It was used as a barracks for British Regulars when they arrived later in the year. FB to the earl of Hillsborough, Boston, 1 Nov. 1768, CO 5/757, ff 497-502.
3 An advertisement of sale is in the Boston Evening-Post, 9 Jun. 1766.
4 The Germantown petition was from 1757 not 1754 as FB suggests. An act for raising sum of money by lottery for the encouragement of the settlement called Germantown, in the town of Braintree (passed 15 Apr. 1757). Acts and Resolves, 3: 1053-1054.
5 The petition of John Franklyn of Braintree and others. Acts and Resolves, 3: 836.
6 Resolve directing the province treasurer to pay £400 to James Boyce and Richard Clark (passed 31 Dec. 1763). Acts and Resolves, 17: 443.
7 The date has no obvious significance other than it followed the 1733 Molasses Act, about which the colonists had loudly complained in recent years.
8 Arthur Cecil Bining, British Regulation of the Colonial Iron Industry (Philadelphia, 1933; repr. Clifton N.J., 1973), 3.
1 No. 508.
3 The House’s answer of 11 Nov. is in JHRM, 43, pt.1: 191. For a discussion of the issues raised here, see No. 508n20.
4 Order of His Majesty in Council, Court of St. James’s, 8 Aug. 1766, BP, 11: 119-121.
2 FB’s speeches delivered during the session 28 May-28 Jun. 1766, which proceedings FB had discussed in Nos. 470 and 476.
3 Jackson likely expressed reservations about FB’s speech of 3 Jun. upon reading the House’s address of 5 Jun. that criticized the governor for purporting to infringe the assembly’s Charter rights and for attempting a “Requisition” in the matter of compensating the victims of the Stamp Act riots. JHRM, 43 pt 1: 41-46.
4 FB’s “second Speech” was that which he delivered to the assembly on 29 Oct. in which he struck a more conciliatory note in the hope that compensation would be settled. “I heartily wish it that it may be such as will answer the Expectations and Desires of your Friends in Great-Britain.” JHRM, 43, pt.1: 148.
5 That is, “delivered”.
6 FB’s speech of 29 Oct. and the reply of the House of 11 Nov. 1766. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 148, 191.
7 The House’s answer of 11 Nov. commented upon FB’s speech of 3 Jun. and the answer of the House on 5 Jun. 1766. Ibid., 29-33, 41-47.
8 On 13 Nov. Ibid., 202-203.
9 That is, towns who trusted their representatives to act without instructions.
10 Meaning, “hardily”.
11 On 11 Nov. the House complained that “the Manner in which your Excellency has repeatedly proposed a Compensation to the Sufferers, has been derogatory to the Honor of the House and in Breach of the Privileges thereof” and that the “Terms” of compensation “dictated” by FB (on 3 Jun.) were materially “different” from those signified in Conway’s instructions. Conway (the House suggested) had proposed that the governor make a “Recommendation” to the assembly, while FB used instead the more controversial term “Requisition.” Such terminology and such propositions, FB was told, “tended to weaken the inherent uncontroulable Right of the People, to dispose of their own Money to such Purposes as they shall judge expedient, and to no other.” Having approved the province Indemnity Bill, the House, on 11 Nov., delivered a reply to FB’s opening speech of 29 Oct. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 191.
12 FB is discussing DeBerdt’s letter to Cushing of 19 Sept. 1766, CO 5/755, f 854. DeBerdt announced that Shelburne had told him that he “desired” that the business of compensation be brought to a close “because it gave Occasion to your and the Enemies of the Administration, to upbraid them for the gentle Measures they adopted.” DeBerdt further reported that Shelburne had written to the colonial governors (on 13 Sept., No. 501) “to behave with Temper and Moderation” and to FB “in particular, to pursue healing Measures.” DeBerdt’s letter arrived in advance of Shelburne’s letter to FB, and served to encourage the House in the attack they delivered on 11 Nov. (see note 13 below).
13 The “abusive” section in the House’s answer of 11 Nov. (for which see No. 508n20) was indeed composed before the arrival of Shelburne’s letter of 13 Sept. If FB’s chronology is correct, the House’s answer was presented to him on 12 Nov., probably in the morning, for the House journals record that in the afternoon Province Secretary Oliver arrived in the chamber on FB’s instructions to read Shelburne’s letter and thereafter “withdrew.” The letter was tabled on 13 Nov. and (according to FB’s account above) sparked a heated response by Otis. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 198-201.
14 First written as “it”.
15 Samuel White, the former Speaker, was now a councilor, and as this snippet suggests, he was one of the moderate Whigs whom FB seems to have respected.
16 Thus in manuscript.
1 There is an “x” at the start of the first line and line markings at the beginning and end of the first and second paragraphs, likely added by the recipient.
2 An act for granting compensation to the sufferers, and of free and general pardon, indemnity, and oblivion to the offenders in the late times (passed 6 Dec. 1766). Acts and Resolves, 4: 903-904.
3 No. 508.
4 The House vote to engross the bill, taken on 5 Dec., was 53 for and 35 against. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 209-210. Timothy Ruggles was one prominent friend of government who did not vote, and it is possible that this was due to abstention rather than absence, given that he had led discussion in earlier debates. Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 148. The Speaker and the House attended the Council chamber on 9 Dec. to be informed that FB had signed the engrossed copy of the act. CO 5/826, f 356.
6 Under Rhode Island’s royal charter of 1663 the entire upper legislative chamber (comprising the governor, his deputy, and ten assistants) were to be elected annually by the “freemen” of the colony. (The lower chamber was an assembly of representatives elected by twenty-eight towns.) When FB wrote this letter, the governor was Samuel Ward (1725–1776), who, during his second period in office (1765 to 1767), was a forthright opponent of the Stamp Act and British colonial policy. The general election of May 1766 was reported in the Newport Mercury, 5-12 May.
7 Joseph Hawley (1723-88) was the representative for Northampton (1751, 1754-55, 1766-80). A lawyer by profession, in 1767 he was disbarred from practising as a barrister for two years after publishing newspapers articles critical of the Superior Court justices.
8 “Is not the Act an unprecedented Stretch of Power, does it not Teem with Injustice? Mayn’t we hope it will be disallowed?” Israel Williams to TH, Hatfield, 5 Jan. 1767, Mass. Archs., 25: 140, in Hutchinson Transcripts, 1: 127.
1 Gage to the duke of Richmond, New York, 13 Sept. 1766. Clarence E. Carter, ed., The Correspondence of General Thomas Gage and the Secretaries of State, 1763-1775, 2 vols. (New Haven, 1931), 1: 107-08.
2 FB’s letters to the Board of Trade were considered by the Board on 6 Nov. 1766: No. 491; 21 Aug. 1766 (CO 5/892, f 114; No. 498; JBT, 12: 341. So too were Moore’s letters of 8, 12, and 18 Aug. 1766, CO 5/1072, ff 195-207. In that of 12 Aug., Moore claimed that tenants rioting in Dutchess County, N.Y., had fled across the Massachusetts border to evade arrest. He alleged that the Stockbridge Indians were “contrivers of these Riots” and had “joined with some of the lower people” in an alliance against the New York landowners. He continued with this theme in a letter to Shelburne of 22 Dec. CO 5/1072, f 197 and E. B. O’Callaghan, ed., Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, 15 vols. (Albany, 1853), 7: 849, 886.
4 Shelburne to Moore, Whitehall, 11 Dec. 1766, O’Callaghan, Documents Relative to New York, 7: 879.
5 This suggests that copies of the enclosures to No. 493, which describe the Falmouth seizure, may have been sent with FB’s letter to the Board of Trade, Boston, 3 Sept. 1766, CO 5/892, ff 122-123.
6 Francis Waldo and Arthur Savage to John Temple, Falmouth, 11 Aug. 1766, CO 5/892, f 111. Considered by the Board of Trade on 27 Nov. 1766. JBT, 12: 348.
7 Obscured in the fold of the binding.
2 Barrington, who had been secretary at war since 19 Jul. 1765, kept his position in the Chatham-Grafton administrations, and remained in that office until 1778.
3 John Russell (1710–71), the duke of Bedford, a highly experienced politician and a former member of Grenville’s cabinet, had been in opposition to Rockingham’s ministry. He was firmly opposed to making concessions to the American colonists. Upon Rockingham’s resignation in July 1766, Bedford negotiated with the earl of Chatham, (referred to above as “The Minister”) about joining the government. Bedford and his friends did not join the government until Dec. 1767, when, after negotiations with the duke of Grafton (in Chatham’s absence) the ministry met their conditions for admission as a party rather than as individuals (and by which means they expected to receive offices). Martyn J. Powell, “Russell, John, fourth duke of Bedford (1710–1771),” ODNB-e, (http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/24320, accessed 28 May 2010).
4 Hillsborough’s commission as president of the Board of Trade ran from 18 Aug. to 4 Dec. 1766. He was replaced by Robert Nugent. Hillsborough was postmaster general Dec. 1766 to Jan. 1768, when he became the American Secretary.
5 Robert Nugent (1709-1788), an Irish landowner, had been an MP since 1741 and represented Bristol, 1754-74; he was lord commissioner and president of the Board of Trade, from 18 Dec. 1766 to 20 Jan. 1768.
6 Chambers Russell. His death had already been reported in the province newspapers by the time FB received Barrington’s letter. Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News-Letter, 15 Jan. 1767.
2 Friday 5 Dec.
3 The Council record for 6 Dec. captured the spirit of the moment with two entries.
Mr. Otis from the House of Representatives came up to the Board with a Message to inquire whether they had passed on the Vote of the House for the dismission of Mr: Agent Jackson?
In the House of Representatives Resolved That Richard Jackson Esqr be, and he is hereby dismissed and removed from the Agency of this Province: And that the Secretary be, and is hereby directed to write to Richard Jackson Esqr and acquaint him accordingly.
CO 5/826, f 352.
5 Closing parenthesis supplied. FB is probably referring to William Brattle. See No. 474.
6 Obscured by binding here and below.
7 The new draft, approved 8 Dec. read:
Whereas Richard Jackson Esqr by reason of his prior engagements with the Colony of Connecticut cannot act in behalf of this Province in all the matters depending in Great Britain wherein the Province is concerned. And Whereas the general interests of the Colonies cannot be so effectually served by uniting the Agency of several of them in the same person, as by each having its own separate Agent.
Resolved That the said Richard Jackson Esqr be and he hereby is dismissed and removed from the Agency of this Province: and the Secretary is hereby directed to write to him accordingly.
CO 5/826, f 353.
8 Jackson’s letter to Samuel White (1710-69) cannot be identified. White was Speaker of the House in 1764-66, and Jackson sent him seven letters between 27 Dec. 1765 and 15 Apr. 1766, in which he discussed the repeal of the Stamp Act. Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 3: 13-21. The House order to which FB refers concerned seven letters from Jackson to FB dated 8 Nov. 1765-21 Nov. 1766, extracted in the Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 3: 38-47 and listed in Appendix 5.
9 FB is quoting from Joseph Addison’s Cato: A Tragedy (1721) one of the eighteenth-century’s best loved plays. Marcia, Cato’s daughter:
So the pure, limpid stream, when foul with stains
Of rushing torrents and descending rains,
Works itself clear, and as it runs, refines,
Till, by degrees the floating mirror shines.
10 In fact, FB remained silent on the issue of payment, since he had refused to give his assent to the assembly’s resolve to dismiss Jackson from the agency. JHRM, 43, pt.2: 308-309.
11 This sum Mauduit expended on clerks and “other necessary requisites.” Mauduit to Cushing, London, 4 Sept. 1765. Ford, Jasper Mauduit, 183.
1 3-9 Dec. 1766. JHRM, 43 pt. 1: 205-221.
2 See No. 511.
3 No. 516.
4 These particular letters have not been located. DeBerdt was appointed special province agent on 5 Nov. 1765. See No. 511n8. A committee appointed to consider the earl of Shelburne’s letter of 13 Sept. 1766 (No. 501) was charged (on 4 Dec.) with the additional task of drafting a letter to DeBerdt intended to “Remove the unfavourable Impressions” occasioned by FB’s “mis-Representations of the Temper and Conduct of His Majesty’s Province of Massachusetts-Bay.” JHRM, 43, pt.1: 206, 213. This letter was dated 6 Dec.; the RC has not been found but it was included in printed copies of the assembly’s proceedings. Speaker Thomas Cushing also wrote Shelburne on 4 Dec. concerning the secretary’s letter to FB. PRO 30/8/97, pt.1: 90-91. There is also a document prepared for the secretary of state: Extract of two Letters from the Speaker of the House of Representatives to their Agent Dennys DeBerdt, Boston, 26 [sic] Dec. 1766. CO 5/756, ff 24-25 (Ms, Copy). One of the extracts discusses colonial trade (but not the Naval Office as FB mentions).
5 An Act for more effectually securing and encouraging the Trade of his Majesty’s American Dominions, . . . and for regulating the fees of officers of the Customs in the said Dominions, 5 Geo. 3, c. 45 (1765).
6 Latin proverb, trans.: “it also concerns you when the nearest wall is burning.” See the source note to No. 562 for the version by Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), in translation.
7 Annotation in FB’s hand at the bottom of the page, with direction pointer: “See page 146 The Rest of This Letter Proceeds in a page 6 leaves from the middle in this side.” At the top of p. 146: “Continued from the end of the Book” with direction pointer: “See page 180”.
8 The four acts were most probably the 1766 acts repealing the Stamp Act and the Sugar Act (6 Geo. 3, c.11 and 6 Geo. 3, c. 52); the Declaratory Act, 6 Geo. 3, c. 12 (1766); and the Mutiny Act, 5 Geo. 3, c. 33 (1765). Three other recent American acts were the Currency Act, 4 Geo. 3, c. 34 (1764); the Colonial Trade Act, 5 Geo. 3, c. 45 (1765); and the Importation of Corn and Grain Act, 6 Geo. 3, c. 3 (1766).
9 8 Dec. 1766. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 216.
10 The legislature stood adjourned from 13 Nov. to 3 Dec. 1766.
11 The “large Transport Ship” that put into Boston on Tuesday 25 Nov. had been bound for Quebec. Bad weather had prevented the vessel navigating the St. Lawrence River despite “many Attempts.” On board was a relief party of the Royal Artillery Train, together with others from the same corps, picked up at Halifax, who were returning to England. Boston Evening-Post, 1 Dec. 1766. The relief artillerists were quartered at Castle William and did not depart for Quebec until May. Connecticut Gazette, 29 May 1767.
12 The commissary general, Thomas Hubbard (1702-1773).
13 The proceedings of the Council of 28 Nov. are in CO 5/823, f 321; the message of the House of 9 Dec., delivered by Samuel Adams, is in JHRM, 43, pt.1: 218. The company’s commanding officer had asked the Governor’s Council to provide wood and candles, as he was entitled to do under the Mutiny Act. This disbursement of £60 was challenged by the House in the following session, with the House protesting that an appropriation from the province Treasury made under an act of Parliament conflicted with the authority granted the Governor and Council under the Province Charter. FB complained about the apparent pettiness of the action, but nonetheless acknowledged the grievance by describing it as a “Breach of . . . Privilege.” JHRM, 43, pt.2: 229, 242-244, 298-300.
14 The passage from here to “recover” appears to have been written in hurry.
15 The story of Jesus purging Mary Magdalene of seven demons is in Luke 8:2 and Mark 16:9, KJV.
16 FB is referring to an anonymously-authored article in the Boston Evening-Post, 1 Dec. 1766, which he thought was written by James Otis Jr. The piece begins with a thinly veiled attack on FB’s reputation, alleging that he had misrepresented the province in letters home during the Stamp Act Crisis.
He who will first, in the grossest manner possible, affront a whole people to their faces, and then, with artful insinuation and hypocritical pretences of tenderness and affection to that very people, will, misrepresent and vilify them to their Sovereign, has surely “much to answer for,” to the Prince as well as to the people, and sooner or later he will be called to answer.
The writer presented as supporting evidence Shelburne’s letter to FB of 13 Sept. (No. 501). In the last paragraph, Shelburne acknowledges that FB was the source of information about “local Difficulties” having defeated the execution of the Stamp Act. That was true enough, but the writer took offence at Shelburne’s implication that “private considerations” were ultimately behind the opposition, which suggestion he thought originated in FB’s letters to London. Shelburne’s letter was tabled on 13 Nov. but the House committee appointed to consider it and draft a reply (and which included James Otis and Samuel Adams) did not report until 4 Dec., whereupon Otis likely delivered his “violent Speech.” JHRM, 43, pt.1, 201, 206-07.
17 FB did not raise this matter.
18 See note 7 above.
1 Johnson was Andrews’s accomplice and was “broke on the wheel.” Boston Evening-Post, 8 Jun. 1767.
2 Not found. Jan De Windt (1715-75) was the military commander and governor of the Dutch colony of St. Eustatia in the Leeward Islands between 1753 and 1775.
3 Gold coins of Portuguese origin that had a wide circulation in North America.
4 FB wrote to the governor of St. Eustatia (De Windt) and the deputy governor of St. Christopher or St. Kitts (whom he wrongly supposed was one James Poole, rather than Gilbert Fleming) on 18 Dec. BP, 5: 206-208.
1 Likely a phonetic spelling of “Menzies,” a common Scottish surname.
2 William Howard was commissioned a captain in the 17th Regiment of Foot in 1756. The regiment returned to England in 1767, after ten years service in North America.
3 Robert Bayard (1739-1819) was a major in the 59th or Royal American Regiment of Foot. He married Rebeccah Apthorp, dau. of the late Charles Apthorp, on 16 Mar., and the couple lived near FB’s farm at Jamaica Plain, but their elegant mansion was destroyed by fire in Jun. 1769. Boston Evening-Post, 16 Jun. 1769.
4 Desertion was punishable by court-martial, possibly resulting in execution.
1 The roman numerals in this and subsequent letters to Shelburne were added by Shelburne’s clerk. FB used the form “No.” The clerk continued the sequence until FB’s sixth letter to Shelburne, “No. 6”, which he wrongly marked as “V” (and which letter constitutes No. 535 in the Bernard Papers series).
3 This is FB’s fullest account of the rivalry for the chief justice’s position, having defaulted on an earlier promise to provide Halifax with an explanation of his “motives” in recommending TH. No. 19, Bernard Papers, 1: 61-62.
4 Thomas Lechmere (d.1766), who preceded John Temple as surveyor general of the Northern District.
5 Papers relating to complaints against, and suspension of Benjamin Barons, Collector of Customs at Boston, Massachusetts, 18 Nov. 1761, T 1/408, ff 101-182. For FB’s correspondence, see Bernard Papers, 1, passim.
6 Col. Otis was the son of a long-serving county judge, and was the most prominent lawyer in Barnstable County when he declared his interest in securing the chief justiceship. FB certainly thwarted his ambitions to perform on a provincial stage but did not deny him local eminence when, in Feb. 1764, he appointed him chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas and judge of Probate in Barnstable County. FB notes that he found a “place” (the office is unknown) for one of the colonel’s sons, probably Joseph Otis (c.1725-1810), the second of four sons.
7 A Turkish privy council.
8 These alleged statements cannot be dated exactly, but may have been delivered between Aug. and Nov. 1765.
9 See No. 480.
10 Jesus Christ’s parable of the unforgiving servant in the Gospel according to Matthew, 18:23-35, KJV.
11 Boston Gazette, 21 Apr. 1766. See No. 467n10.
12 Boston Gazette, 28 Apr. 1766.
13 James Otis was moderator of the town meeting held on 21 Apr. that voted “our Incontestable Right of Internal Taxation still remains to us inviolate.” This was effectively a denial of Parliament’s authority to levy taxes on the colonies and was consistent with the radical statement (repudiating any distinction between internal and external taxes) that, in the letter to Shelburne, FB attributes to Otis. (But the votes of the town do not mention free trade.) Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 175.
14 Otis was counsel to Daniel Malcom of Boston, see No. 504. The other incident was at Falmouth and is described in No. 493.
15 Bernard Papers, 2: 111, 263, 362-363, 398-399, 423-424, 480-482.
1 29 May 1766. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 11-13; 3 Jun. Ibid., 29-33.
2 The House replied on 3 Jun. to FB’s speech of 29 May. Ibid., 21-29, at 23.
3 Discussed in the House’s address of 5 Jun., which was a reply to FB’s speech of 3 Jun. Ibid., 41-46, at 45.
4 The House proceedings of 10 Jun. Ibid., 66.
5 The matters discussed thus far are also raised in Nos. 480 and 484.
6 No. 508. FB did not discuss the dispute over terminology in his earlier letter to Shelburne, and in this letter reiterates what he had told the Board of Trade in No. 416 but with the additional information about the province secretary’s search of the provincial records. Bernard Papers, 2: 426-430.
7 On 11 Nov. 1766. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 191-192.
8 While FB was correct to suggest that the assembly was under no specific legal obligation to legislate compensation—and the assembly before had refused or modified requisitions—he seemed to suggest the contrary in his speech by mentioning compliance.
9 On 11 Nov. 1766. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 189.
10 No. 504.
11 Left marginalia: the beginning of the paragraph is marked by a large “X” and a cross-reference “No. 4”. This may refer to FB’s numbered series of correspondence with Shelburne, in which No. 4 is Boston, 24 Jan. 1767, CO 5/756, ff 39-42. But the issues raised in this paragraph were first discussed elsewhere, in No. 518.
12 Governor and Council, Anno quinto Georgii III. Regis Chap. I. An act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, and other duties, in the British colonies and plantations in America, toward further defraying the expences of defending, protecting, and securing the same; and for amending such parts of the several acts of Parliament relating to the trade and revenues of the said colonies and plantations, as direct the manner of determining and recovering the penalties and forfeitures therein mentioned (Boston, 1765).
13 On 3 Jun. 1766. CO 5/827, 293-296.
14 The transports arrived in Boston on 25 Nov. 1766. See No. 517n11.
15 Otis led the House committee that presented the message to the Governor and Council on Mon. 8 Dec. CO 5/826, f 353. Otis was manufacturing an issue with which to contest the applicability of the Mutiny Act; to which end, the House maintained that the Governor and Council had breached the House’s privilege of initiating money bills; and until Jun. refused to approve the £60 costs that the British regulars incurred at the Castle. The House’s protest, in short, rested on confronting royal authority with provincial authority, as FB warned Shelburne. FB explained his position fully in a message to the House of 17 Feb. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 298-300.
16 The House on 8 Dec. 1766. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 216-216; the Council on 9 Dec. CO 5/826, f 354.
17 The three-man committee of Whig councilors (Brattle, White, and Bowdoin) evidently shared FB’s concern that the House ought not to have challenged the executive’s authority to act in such emergencies; but they were less perturbed than he by growing criticism of the Mutiny Act. The Council’s draft was first discussed on 11 Feb., but not approved until a meeting six days later; it was one of the last occasions when governor and Council co-operated fully in a politically sensitive matter. At the meeting on 17 Feb., the Council claimed a “natural and Constitutional right of vindicating themselves independent of the Governor.” FB ultimately acquiesced in this claim of right, rather than challenge it, as he had been wont to do in the past. He also presented the Council with a copy of the message that he was about to deliver to the House, for which he elicited the Council’s approval. The governor and Council were by no means united in how they responded to the imperial crisis or on constitutional matters, and the front constructed on this particular issue was typical of how FB had to negotiate support on an ad hoc basis. CO 5/827, f 5.
18 The two judges who did not seek re-election in 1766 were Benjamin Lynde Jr. (1700-81), a councilor since 1745 and a justice of the Superior Court since 1746; George Leonard (c.1689-1778) of Norton, judge of Bristol County Probate Court, 1747-74, and a councilor since 1742.
19 Their identities are unknown.
20 James Otis Jr.
1 No. 505.
2 Circular from the earl of Shelburne, Whitehall, 13 Sept. 1766, BP, 11: 41-44.
1 This information had been requested by Charles Lowndes, the secretary of the Treasury, whose letter of 30 Sept. 1766, FB received on 26 Dec. T 28/1, f 56. FB replied to Lowndes on 31 Dec. enclosing early versions of Appendices 2.1 and 2.2.
2 See Appendix 2.2.
3 Obscured in the fold of the binding.
4 “The Principles of Law and Polity” (1764), propositions 52-56. Appendix 3 in Bernard Papers, 2: 475-486.
1 Jonathan Belcher (1681/2-1757), governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire from 1730 to 1741, received £3,000 in bills of credit voted annually by the Massachusetts assembly for the first six years of his administration. The act granting him £1,000 in new tenor bills passed on 28 Jun. 1737. (His salary as New Hampshire governor was £200.) Acts and Resolves, 2: 854. Section 60 of the king’s general instructions to FB cited the original instruction to Belcher that the Massachusetts assembly was “expect[ed]” to establish “a fixed and honorable Salary for the Support of the Dignity of Our Governor.” Bernard Papers, 1: 470.
2 William Shirley (1694-1771) was governor 1741 to 1756. FB’s upbeat profile of Shirley’s administration ignores the governor’s unhappy last days in office, having being recalled by the British following the failure of the military campaign that he had led against French Canada in 1756. British general Lord Loudoun accused Shirley of incompetence, while Thomas Pownall, Shirley’s replacement as governor, tried and failed to persuade the British to court-martial his predecessor. John A. Schutz, William Shirley: King’s Governor of Massachusetts (1961), 242-249.
3 This assessment does not concur with the facts surrounding Thomas Pownall’s departure from Massachusetts. Pownall, governor between 1757 and 1760, requested a recall in 1759 before being appointed to the governorship of South Carolina, which position he later declined. While FB was aware of Pownall’s preference for a more lucrative position, it is unlikely he knew then or later of Pownall’s determination to resign his commission. FB met with Pownall at New London, Conn., in Apr. 1760, two months before Pownall departed Boston for England, but there is no record of their discussion. Bernard Papers, 1: 39-40, 45.
4 That is, together each year.
5 FB provided a footnote to an interlined reference, “a”: “for the 3 last years 80. 5. 9. pr an”.
6 These figures are in sterling. Six years previously, he had suggested his position was worth £1,200 sterling per annum, if the value of the governor’s residence, the Province House, were included. No. 65, Bernard Papers, 2: 142-143.
7 By “Duties within this province,” which he estimated at £7,000 sterling per annum, FB meant impost and excise duties levied by the Massachusetts General Court. Later, he reported the annual total as £10,757 9s. 9d. (Appendix 2.1).
1 John Eardley Wilmot (1709-1792) was a judge in the court of the King’s Bench (knighted in 1755) before his elevation to chief justice of Common Pleas in Aug. 1766. Wilmot was several times offered the position of Lord Chancellor, but always declined, before resigning from the bench in 1771 and retiring to Derbyshire. The principal collection of his personal manuscripts is the Eardley-Wilmot Correspondence, OSB MSS 54, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University Library. In this letter, FB used the salutation “My Lord” in recognition of Wilmot’s position as a judge (for he had not been enobled).
1 There is an extract in Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 3: 46-47.
3 Nos. 520 and 521.
4 The original letter received from the Treasury has not been found, but for details of the correspondence in this matter see No. 523n1. Shelburne issued a further circular to the colonial governors on 11 Dec. 1766. CO 5/112, ff 1-2 (L, AC).
5 No. 523 and its enclosure No. 524.
6 Editorially supplied.
7 The letter to DeBerdt was approved and signed on 6 Dec. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 206, 213. FB sent extracts, dated 26 Dec., to Shelburne under cover of No. 521, but without commenting upon the proposal to abolish the Naval Office.
8 He is referring to the appointment of Francis Bernard Jr. in a joint commission with Benjamin Pemberton.
9 An act for more effectually securing and encouraging the Trade of his Majesty’s American Dominions, . . . and for regulating the fees of officers of the Customs in the said Dominions, 5 Geo. 3, c. 45 (1765).
10 No. 517.
11 The Boston Evening-Post, 8 Dec. 1766, printed an extract from the journals of the New York Assembly of 18 Nov., containing Shelburne’s letter to Gov. Moore of 9 Aug. The secretary of state berated the assembly for its refusal to supply fire and candle but not beer and vinegar, “under the pretence” that these items were not proffered troops in barracks in Europe. Shelburne’s reminder for the assembly to obey the letter of the law was not enough to stave off confrontation: the assembly’s continued refusal led Parliament to legislate its temporary suspension, later in the year. See No. 562n2.
12 See No. 521.
2 Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News-Letter, 2 Jul. 1767; Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 6 Jul. 1767.
2 FB to Moore, Boston, 18 Dec. Add 22679, ff 36-37 (dupALS, RC).
3 No. 518.
4 Not found. FB had sent Story’s memorial to Gov. Moore on 29 Aug. (BP, 5: 197-198), according to his letter to Moore of 30 Jan. in BP, 5: 212-213.
6 Obscured in the gutter.
1 In his most recent (extant) letter (which FB received on 7 Nov.), Barrington had welcomed FB’s imminent return: “Nobody will embrace you with more satisfaction than my self.” Cavendish Square, 11 Sept. 1766, BP, 11: 31-34. Barrington evidently changed his mind, probably supposing nothing was to be gained from a leave of absence while the incoming Chatham administration had yet to establish a firm American policy (No. 515, received 22 Feb.) FB may have learned of Barrington’s views from Jackson, in the letter cited in note 5 below.
2 Nos. 504, 506, 508, 513, 520, 521, 524.
3 No. 524. The draft petition to the Privy Council is an original version, mutatis mutandis, of the memorial to Shelburne, and is in BP, 12: 297-299.
4 OED: diminutions.
5 Probably his letter dated 21 Nov. 1766, extracted in Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 3: 46-47.
6 FB did not mention Barrington in the reply to Jackson’s letter of 21 Nov. but discusses a “change in Government” in No. 532.
7 No. 497.
8 This paragraph in FB’s hand.
2 Annotation, probably by FB: “[This is come to hand by the packet]”.
3 See No. 515n6.
4 No. 506. FB had recommended Russell to Barrington. Boston, 15 Oct. 1766, BP, 5: 164.
5 Jonathan Sewall (1729-96) belonged to the province’s burgeoning generation of professional lawyers of which there were around eighty in the province on the eve of the Revolution. His recent defense of FB in the Boston newspapers undoubtedly served notice of his aspirations for Crown office, but Sewall, as FB here acknowledges, had already proven himself an able barrister and attorney. FB secured Sewall’s allegiance and talents by appointmenting him to a series of offices. In Mar. 1767, Bernard arranged for Sewall’s appointment as a “special” attorney general, deputizing for the elderly Jeremiah Gridley and succeeding him in November. He was also appointed solicitor general, which office he would eventually relinquish to Samuel Quincy (1735-89). On 1 Jul. 1767, Sewall was appointed advocate general of Vice Admiralty in Massachusetts (ADM 2/1057, f 251). On Sewall’s career see Carol Berkin, Jonathan Sewall; Odyssey of an American Loyalist (New York, 1974).
6 Nos. 506 and 507, and their enclosures, and probably No. 504 also.
7 Jonathan Sewall writing as “Philanthrop,” though FB claimed not to know the author’s identity.
1 This ought to have been numbered “IV” since the third letter from Bernard was No. 523 (received and filed).
2 Samuel Shute (1662-1742), governor of Massachusetts, 1716-28. FB’s biased portrayal of Shute likely reflected family viewpoints as much as it did family sensibilities. Shute was a brother to Ann Shute, Amelia Bernard’s mother, and thus an uncle to Lord Barrington (his brother’s son) as well as Amelia. TH also proffered a judicious and tactful assessment of Shute’s administration: “void of arts, with great integrity,” Shute “attached himself to that party which appeared to him to be right.” Shute he also described as “humane, friendly and benevolent, but somewhat warm and sudden upon provocations received, . . . and would have willingly have avoided controversy with particular persons.” History of Massachusetts, 2: 260. Historians, however, tend to emphasize the political fractiousness that undermined Gov. Shute’s relationship with the assembly, much of which can be attributed to his own unwillingness to compromise and a tendency to contest matters of principle. Shute left for England in 1723, to present his side of the story; he was replaced in a round of new commissions issued after the accession of George II in 1727. Richard L. Bushman, King and People in Provincial Massachusetts (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1985), 31, 95; William Pencak, “Shute, Samuel (1662–1742),” ODNB-e, (http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/25488, accessed 31 Oct. 2011).
3 William Burnet (1688-1729), governor of Massachusetts, 1728-29, died in office, having contracted a fever after falling from a carriage. The notion that Burnet was heartbroken stems from Burnet’s express wish that he be buried beside his wife in New York. TH’s evaluation of Burnet is more critical than his portrayal of Shute. Burnet “did not know the temper of the people of New England. They have a strong sense of liberty, and are more easily drawn than driven. . . . A little more caution and conformity to the different ages, manners, customs and even prejudices of different companies, would have been more politic, but his open undisguised mind could not submit to it.” Such criticism was later leveled at FB himself, notably from Commissioner Henry Hulton, (The ‘‘Infamas Govener’, 226). And if FB evidently saw something of himself in TH’s profile of the “exemplary” Burnet, one might speculate how far TH profiled Burnet using FB as his model. History of Massachusetts, 2: 276.
4 LbC: “certainly exemplary”.
5 Jonathan Belcher (1682-1757) was governor of both Massachusetts and New Hampshire from 1730 to 1741. He was by far the most experienced and politically skilful of all the governors that FB mentions in this letter. Not only was he adept at manipulating opponents and supporters with patronage, he was able to convince the British government that he was a faithful exponent of the imperial agenda, whilst acting far more pragmatically than his royal instructions allowed. These aspects of Belcher’s governorship, FB did not evidently fully realize, and in this letter echoes the personally warm tribute in Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, 2: 302-304. TH was in London when Belcher was dismissed, noting that the decision was prompted largely by the reports of Belcher’s enemies exposing him as a fraud and charlatan; had the ministry waited but a few weeks, TH continued, they would have received news of his “zeal and fortitude” in the service of the Crown when he vetoed the election of thirteen councilors. FB would have empathized with Belcher on that score, and sympathized with him when TH offered this judgment: “Certainly, in public employments no man ought to be condemned from the reports or accusations of a party without a sufficient opportunity given him to exculpate himself, a plantation governor especially, who, be he without guile, or a consummate politician, will infallibly have a greater or lesser number disaffected to him.” Ibid. 358.
6 This social comment was borne out during the nonimportation controversy of 1768-70, when the “Body of the Trade,” an extra-legal community gathering of both sexes and all classes, undertook enforcement of the boycotts with committees populated by tradesmen and labourers. Colin Nicolson, “‘McIntosh, Otis & Adams are our demagogues’: Nathaniel Coffin and the Loyalist Interpretation of the Origins of the American Revolution,” Procs. MHS 108 (1996): 73-114, at 84-89.
7 This is a reference to a putative assassination attempt on Gov. Shute that prompted his sudden departure for England on 1 Jan. 1723. Shute had already obtained leave of absence, when, as TH relates, he was disturbed by bullet that had been fired through the window of his house, not far from where he had been sitting. History of Massachusetts, 2: 260.
8 On Gov. Shirley see No. 524n2. FB attributed Shirley’s downfall in 1756 to the opposition of the popular party, when in fact much of the opposition came from hard-money advocates who distrusted Shirley’s fiscal policies. FB did not have the benefit of TH’s more measured account of Shirley’s administration (in which TH had served) that appeared in the third volume of his History of Massachusetts, published in 1828. But it is highly probable, however, that—after several years in office—FB was aware of Thomas Pownall’s past hostility to Shirley and of the opposition Shirley experienced from fiscal conservatives; but that narrative did not fit with FB’s portrayal of governors as victims.
9 Thomas Pownall (1722-1805), governor of Massachusetts, 1757-60.
10 Boston Gazette.
11 “Philanthrop” (Jonathan Sewall). See source note to No. 530.
12 “Drawer” used here and in No. 470 refers to a person who drafts and writes public documents. It might also mean someone who incited opposition to the governor and elicited support for Otis; thus, FB is referring to one of the other Boston members, almost certainly Samuel Adams (a prolific newspaper writer and clerk of the House since May) rather than John Hancock or Speaker Thomas Cushing.
13 LbC: “When”.
14 The first advertisement for sale appeared in the Boston Evening-Post, 20 Jul. 1767.
15 The average length of term for Massachusetts’s royal governors was eight years. Evarts Boutell Greene, The Provincial Governor in the English Colonies of North America (New York, 1898), 50-52.
1 There is an extract in Prov. Sec. Letterbooks, 3: 46-47.
2 This is probably modern-day Campobello Island, in Passamaquoddy Bay, which was coveted not only by FB but the New England consortium of land speculators, known as the Kennebeck Proprietors. Bernard Papers, 2: 145n11. FB had briefed Jackson on his plans for the St. Croix Bay grants, in Nos. 439 and 440.
3 FB did not yet know that acting Nova Scotia governor Michael Francklin had been relieved by Lord William Campbell (c.1730-78), though he was apprised of Campbell’s appointment. FB was rightly anxious that Francklin’s influence could be eclipsed by “ye Arrival of a New Governor.” Lord Campbell was the fourth son of John, the fourth duke of Argyll (c.1630-1770); he was MP for Argyll, 1764-66, and resigned when he was appointed governor of Nova Scotia on 13 Sept., arriving at Halifax on 26 Nov. 1766. Campbell served as Nova Scotia’s governor until 1773, spending only two years of his governorship in the province. However, it would be wrong to suggest that Campbell took little interest in the province. On his first absence, Oct. 1767-Sept. 1768, he returned home to settle his affairs and bring his wife and family back to America. His first substantive action was to report to the Board of Trade that the Nova Scotia government was £23,000 in debt, and that Lt. Gov. Michael Francklin possessed an “overbearing Influence” that was not conducive to good government. Campbell did not suggest that Francklin was personally responsible for the province’s financial problems (and Francklin continued as acting governor during Campbell’s absences) but his report probably ended Francklin’s hopes of succeeding to the governorship. Moreover, Lord Campbell was determined to take for himself the “very valuable Island” (to which FB refers in this letter) lying at the entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay. Campbell granted the island to his confidant RN Capt. William Owen (1737–1778), who named it Campobello Island in honor of the governor. Francis A. Coghlan “Campbell, Lord William,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=1792, accessed 6 May 2012); L. R. Fischer, “Francklin, Michael,” ibid., (http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=1892, accessed 6 May 2012). On leaving for Britain in Oct. 1767, Campbell took passage from New York, but on the return journey visited Boston for near one month, and may well have carried verbal instructions from the ministry to FB. Massachusetts Gazette, 15 Sept. 1768; Massachusetts Gazette, Supplement, 22 Oct. 1767.
4 See No. 439.
5 FB does not identify this person in earlier accounts. It is unlikely to have been the settlers whom he met on his first voyage (John Richardson and Abraham Soames) whose cabins were several miles from the township he marked out at Southwest Harbor. Nos. 161 and 244, Bernard Papers, 1: 274-277, 431.
6 This criticism was made by “A” in the Boston Gazette, 8 Dec. 1766. “Philanthrop” defended FB from these charges in his third letter published in the Boston Evening-Post, 29 Dec. 1766.
7 No. 497.
8 Meaning, of their own accord.
9 The discussion that follows is a reiteration of No. 529.
10 Francis Fauquier (1703-68) had been lieutenant governor of Virginia since 1758, twice serving as acting governor, but he was never appointed governor.
11 This suggests that FB wrote No. 531 to Shelburne prior to his writing Jackson.
1 FB was thinking of Wed. 28 Jan., rather than 2 Feb.
2 FB’s speech of 28 Jan. was a concise appeal for political harmony.
At present, I have only to recommend to you, that the Support of the Authority of the Government, the Maintenance of the Honour of the Province, and the Promotion of the Welfare of the People, may be the chief Objects of your Consultations. These are Duties common to us all; and whilst they are truly pursued, there can be no Room for Disagreement or Disatisfaction.
JHRM, 43, pt.2: 224.
Nonetheless, as FB acknowledges, Otis and other Whig opponents did not welcome the assertion that they must give up any contrarian claim of right pertaining to colonial liberties. See note 3, below.
3 Left margin authorial annotation: “Votes 224 231”. The House’s answer of 31 Jan. subjected FB’s speech to close examination. The first point of contention was the House’s definition of what constituted the “Authority of Government”: its own legislative rights, the answer declaimed, derived from the authority of the Province Charter granted by William and Mary in 1691 and effective in the year following. JHRM, 43, pt.2: 232. While such a proposition did not mention royal authority, it presupposed that the colonial charters granted by monarchs in the seventeenth century were imbued with a royal sovereignty that antedated the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy enunciated by the American Declaratory Act of 1766. Theoretically, this meant that the legislative supremacy of the King-in-Parliament was not illimitable. These arguments reached their apogee in the writings of Massachusetts Whig John Adams, in 1773 and 1775. Adams argued that the colonies, because they were not part of the realm when the royal charters were issued, were dominions of the king not the Crown; thus, if they were “beyond the realm,” then the colonies were not subject to the supreme authority of the realm—the King-in-Parliament—but to the sovereign king. John Phillip Reid, The Briefs of the American Revolution: constitutional arguments between Thomas Hutchinson, Governor of Massachusetts Bay, and James Bowdoin for the Council and John Adams for the House of Representatives (New York, 1981); idem, Constitutional History of the American Revolution: the Authority to Legislate (Madison, Wis., 1991), 192-200.
4 The House’s answer had finished with an excoriation: “We cannot promise your Excellency that there shall be no disagreement or diversity of sentiments.” JHRM, 43, pt.2: 233-234. By underscoring a commitment to freedom of debate in a “free Assembly” (rather than dwell on the unpleasant topic of factionalism), the House again elevated political debate to the level of principle. FB was not so much bamboozled as offended by the obvious imputation that it was he who had pushed the House to defend matters of principle.
5 TH had taken a seat in the Council Chamber at the opening of the session, there to listen to FB’s speech; he had remained seated when the members of the House retired to their own chamber. Since TH was no longer an elected councilor, the House protested that his presence on opening day was a public insult to the assembly’s authority, especially if his attendance had been encouraged by FB. JHRM, 43, pt.2: 233.
7 Spencer Phips (1685-1757) was lieutenant governor from 1732 to 1757, and succeeded by TH.
8 TH later revealed that his appearance in the House was at FB’s express request (which Shelburne could not have deduced from FB’s account). They rode in the governor’s coach to the assembly, and left the chamber together, after the representatives had dispersed. Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, 2: 174-175. TH’s eye for historical detail perhaps betrays his exasperation with FB for making a public spectacle of TH’s loyalty (though it is also revealing of FB’s reliance on his deputy).
9 FB is quoting the House’s notorious condemnation that TH’s appearance with FB at the opening of the session “affords a new and additional instance of ambition and a lust of power.” JHRM, 43, pt.2: 233.
10 TH later cited his subsequent appointment to the province commission on the Massachusetts-New York boundary as evidence that Whig claims were erroneous. Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, 2: 175.
11 The Council proceedings of 3 and 7 Feb. in CO 5/827, ff 3-4.
12 On 10 Feb. JHRM, 43, pt.2: 267. In their formal answer of 17 Feb., the House challenged the legitimacy of TH’s attendance at Council meetings, the case for which FB and the province secretary had constructed from the province records. Ibid., 293-298.
13 FB was making a simple analogy, but Shelburne, as an Irish peer, would have been sensitive to any mention of entitlement to sit in the House of Lords. Unlike eldest sons inheriting English peerages, Irish peers and their successors did not of right sit in the British House of Lords at Westminster; they sat in the Irish House of Lords in Dublin. William Petty was of Irish extraction. His father (John Petty [1706-61]) was created the first earl of Shelburne in 1753; he was not elevated to the British peerage until 1760 when his son William was elected to replace him as MP for the pocket borough of High Wycombe. William Petty retained the seat in the 1761 general election, and inherited his father’s Irish titles and British peerage, quickly making his mark in the House of Lords and British politics.
14 No. 521.
15 Left margin authorial annotation: “Votes p 229” referring to the proceedings of 30 Jan.
16 Left margin authorial annotation: “230” referring to FB’s message of 30 Jan. The Council proceedings to which FB referred were those of 28 Nov. 1766, for which see CO 5/823, f 321.
17 Left margin authorial annotation: “p 243.”
18 FB’s précis of the House’s answer of 4 Feb., though accurate, fails to convey the common ideological link between the disputes about the Stamp Act and the Mutiny Act: the colonists believed Parliament was trampling on their constitutional liberties.
One great grievance in regard to the stamp-act was, that it deprived us of the advantage of a fundamental and most essential part of the British constitution, the unalienable right of freedom, from all taxation, but such as we shall voluntarily consent to and grant: While we feel a sense of the worth & importance of this right, we c[a]nnot but express a very deep concern, that an act of Parliament should yet be in being, which appears to use to be as real a grievance, as was that which so justly alarm’d this continent.
JHRM, 43, pt.2: 243-244.
19 The proceedings of 3-9 Dec. 1766 are in JHRM, 43, pt.1: 205-221.
20 The corresponding passage in the minute of: 28 Nov. 1766 is phrased differently: “agreeable to” instead of “in pursuance of”.
21 See No. 526.
22 Identity unknown.
24 CO 5/892: “Declaration”; BP, 6: “Distinction”.
25 The Council proceedings of 17 Feb. are in CO 5/827, f 5. The Council unanimously defended its “Constitutional right of vindicating themselves independent of the Governor.” While FB proceeded without the Board’s support when replying to the House, the incident illustrated for the first time the Council’s propensity for unilateral action, irrespective that FB accused them of constitutional irregularities or deviance from protocol.
1 Spencer Phips was lieutenant governor between 1732 and 1757, and acting governor in 1743-53 and 1756-57. He was first excluded from the Council in 1733. His wife Elizabeth Hutchinson was a distant relation of TH.
2 Jonathan Belcher, governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire from 1730 to 1741
3 This line is in the handwriting of Samuel Adams, clerk of the House of Representatives.
4 This may be referring to Joseph Hawley, the drawer of the Massachusetts Indemnity Act, who had been a chaplain during the Louisbourg campaign of 1745.
1 No. 533.
2 Message from the House of Representatives, 17 Feb. JHRM, 43, pt.2: 293-298.
3 No. 534.
4 LbC: “seat and Voice”.
5 The account of the lieutenant governors is based on Oliver’s report of 6 Feb. 1767, of which there is a scribal copy in Mass. Archs., 50: 255-259.
6 LbC: “usage under”.
7 William Stoughton (1631-1701), lieutenant governor from 1692 until his death. Like TH, he was also chief justice, in which capacity he presided at some of the Salem Witch Trials.
8 The Province Charter of Massachusetts was issued on 7 Oct. 1691 and brought to America by the new governor, Sir William Phips (1650/1-1694/5), who arrived in Boston on 14 May 1692 and met with the assembly on 8 Jun. Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, 1: 416.
9 Thomas Povey (d.1706), lieutenant governor, 1702-06.
10 William Tailer (1675/76-1731/32), lieutenant governor, 1711-16 and 1730-33; William Dummer (1677–1761), lieutenant governor, 1716-30, and acting governor, 1723-28 and 1729-30.
11 Spencer Phips (1685-1757), lieutenant governor from 1732 to 1757, and acting governor in 1743-53 and 1756-57. Oliver gives 1733 as the year of Phips’s nonelection to the Council.
12 “The action or process of ‘sifting’ (a corporation, etc.) so as to exclude unfit or uncompliant members. Obs.” OED.
1 Thus, FB received the original of the second letter in Shelburne’s series in late Feb. It has not survived but a duplicate of that letter is printed as No. 514. The third letter was a circular to the colonial governors, Whitehall, 11 Dec. 1766, CO 5/112, f 1 (L, Copy).
2 An assembly committee was appointed on 17 Feb. to consider William Kellogg’s petition claiming title to land deeded by the Stockbridge Indians, by “Leave of” the General Court. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 289. An appropriation of £50 for temporary relief was made on 27 Feb. Ibid., 338. Further petitions for relief, from the Nobletown settlers and also from the inhabitants of Egremont, were received and reviewed by the Council on 17 Jun. William Kellogg estimated that, “besides the injuries & abuses” suffered at the hands of the New York claimants, the settlers’ losses were upwards of £2,000. CO 5/828, ff 88-89.
3 See No. 505.
4 This is a précis of FB’s correspondence with Moore, not a quotation, and its genial tone belied the tetchiness of the governors’ early exchanges on the Nobletown incident (No. 500).
5 See source note to No. 514.
6 Johannes Van Rensselaer (1708-82).
1 No. 514.
2 FB likely feared that radicals in the House might confront Shelburne’s lamentation in No. 514 about the “Spirit of Anarchy and Disobedience.”
3 The justices were Jeremiah Powell, Enoch Freeman, Alexander Ross, and Stephen Longfellow.
4 LbC: “if”.
5 Francis Waldo, the collector at Falmouth, and Arthur Savage, the comptroller.
6 An information was a declaration made by an informer on behalf of the king and himself, where, if the suit was successful, the informer could benefit from a share of any fines and penalties that a court (in this case the Vice Admiralty court) imposed on a defendant.
7 FB is alluding to the Whigs and his old adversary John Temple.
8 Fitzmaurice, Life of Shelburne, 1: 317-319.
1 Circular from the Earl of Shelburne, Whitehall, 11 Dec. 1766, CO 5/112, f 1.
2 To Charles Lowndes, 31 Dec. 1766. BP, 4: 273.
3 LbC: “chiefly”.
2 Obscured in the fold, here and below.
3 No. 498.
4 This is a précis of No. 514.
5 No. 536.
6 Province Secretary Andrew Oliver presented an extract from Moore’s letter to the House of Representatives on 9 Mar., and three days later the assembly approved the appointment of boundary commissioners. JHRM, 43, pt.2: 372, 379-380. FB informed Moore of this in letters dated 14 and 21 Mar. BP, 5: 216-219. The joint commission commenced its work later that year.
1 No. 529.
2 The pursuit of a debt.
3 Answered with No. 548.
1 No. 535.
3 Missing phrase supplied from LbC.
4 FB is amplifying the summation of Shute’s administration in No. 531, and hereby providing historical context to the constitutional issues facing him as governor.
5 By the Explanatory Charter of 26 Aug. 1726, the governor’s approval was required the election of the House Speaker.
6 LbC: “would”.
7 The Province Charter issued in 1691.
8 Gov. Samuel Shute.
9 FB first expressed his concern at the separate election of agents in a letter to the Board of Trade of 29 Jun. 1764. No. 286, Bernard Papers, 2: 88-93. He discussed DeBerdt’s appointment as special agent in 1765 most fully in No. 410, ibid., 2: 404-405, and in No. 517, but the lengthy contextualization provided in the letter printed here was prompted by the House appointing DeBerdt a special agent on 5 Nov. 1765 and voting him a grant of £200 on 17 Mar. 1766.
10 FB is referring to the House of Representatives’ address to the king in gratitude for the repeal of the Stamp Act, for which DeBerdt was given responsibility for transmitting (on 19 Jun. 1766). JHRM, 43, pt.1: 104.
11 Marginal authorial annotation: “Votes 250”. The resolve to dismiss Jackson was approved on 5 Feb. 1767. JHRM, 43, pt.2: 250.
12 Annotation: “280”. Conjecture supplied from LbC to correct faint letters.
13 Annotation: “307”.
14 LbC: “find”.
15 Annotation: “votes 409”. On 17 Mar. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 409.
16 CO 5/828, f 56.
17 On 13 Mar. CO 5/828, f 51.
18 The letter to Joseph Dudley (1647-1720), governor between 1702 and 1715, has not been found among Dudley’s papers in the Mass. Archs. at the MHS, or in JBT.
19 According to No. 545.
1 Circular from the Earl of Shelburne, Whitehall, 13 Jan. 1767. CO 5/222, ff 6-7 (L, LbC).
2 LbC: word omitted.
3 Nos. 298 and 313, Bernard Papers, 2: 116-118, 153-154.
4 An act for establishing and regulating the fees of the several officers, within this Province, hereafter mentioned (passed 5 Mar. 1765), Acts and Resolves, 4: 743-751.
1 FB to the Board of Trade, Boston, 17 May 1765, CO 5/891, ff 260-261; No. 354, Bernard Papers, 2: 272-275; No. 507.
2 Obscured by tight binding.
3 Aside from James Otis Jr., lawyers Oxenbridge Thacher, John Adams, and Joseph Hawley had been prominent in the opposition. But Murrin suggests that of the forty-seven Massachusetts barristers, only fifteen were “confirmed” Patriots and nineteen “avowed” Tories and pre-1765 graduates of Harvard College “showed pronounced Tory leanings.” A more detailed examination by McKirdy estimates that of Massachusetts’s eighty-one lawyers (barristers and attorneys), the division was forty Patriots to thirty-one Loyalists; he did not confirm Murrin’s correlation between age and allegiance. John M. Murrin, “The Legal Transformation: The Bench and the Bar of Eighteenth-Century Massachusetts,” Colonial America: Essays in Politics and Social Development, ed. Stanley Katz (New York, 1971), 415-449, at 443; Charles R. McKirdy, “Massachusetts Lawyers on the Eve of the American Revolution: the State of the Profession,” Law in colonial Massachusetts, 1630-1800, ed. Daniel R. Coquillette (Boston, 1984), 313-358.
1 No. 542. The duplicate has not been found.
1 Not found. Jackson told TH that in his letter to FB of 23 Feb. he stressed he had no “Wish” to become a “Source of Dissension between the Governor and the Representative[s] of the Province.” He refrained from asking FB to do anything in the matter, either to accept his resignation or approve the vote of dismissal (which FB had refused to do), doubtless expecting that the province should settle his outstanding accounts and salary first. Mass. Archs. 25: 167-168, in Hutchinson Transcripts, 1: 149.
2 FB to [Michael Francklin] Boston, 7 May 1767, BP, 5: 228-230. The order-in-council he transmitted to Francklin was for a Crown grant to John Tucker MP, a partner in the St. Croix Bay scheme.
3 A court verdict meaning suicide.
4 Manuscript torn here and below.
5 That is, British friends of the Americans.
7 When the assembly issued FB’s Mount Desert grant in 1762 it concurrently approved twelve townships grants for land along the Penobscot coast.
8 See No. 542. FB’s next letter to Shelburne merely reported legislation passed, No. 547.
9 Jackson must have suggested a controversial scheme to ensure that the lieutenant governor was elected or returned to the Council.
10 TH suffered from what he called a “nervous disorder” which, though “not very violent,” obliged him to follow medical advice and give up public business for nearly six weeks through Apr. and May. The root cause of his malady, TH opined, was the “mortification” he felt “from the slights and injuries” suffered at the hands of his “own country men and the neglect of administration in England.” TH to Jackson, Boston, 2 Jun. 1767, Mass. Archs., 26: 276, 278-289, and Hutchinson Transcripts, 2: 566-569.
11 FB’s use of the term “heart of Oak” was meant to convey that he was in good health physically and mentally, given that TH had recently suffered illness. Even so, given the term’s patriotic connotations, Jackson might have easily supposed that FB intended to slight both the lieutenant governor and province secretary for bending to Whig criticism. “Heart of Oak” was the rousing marching song of the British armed forces, written by the celebrated English actor David Garrick (1717-79) in 1758 to music by the composer William Boyce (1711-79). FB would not have heard it performed in England, but probably by British soldiers or sailors passing through Boston. (The clue is that FB followed Garrick in using the singular “Heart” instead of the plural “Hearts” that was common in American adaptations.) One early appropriation by the Whigs was the “Song for the Sons of Liberty in the several American Provinces,” printed in the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 14 Apr. 1766. The most popular, however, was penned in the summer of 1768, by the Pennsylvania Whig John Dickinson; known as the “Liberty Song” it was advertised in the Boston Gazette on 18 Jul. after being first published in the Pennsylvania Chronicle on 4 Jul. It was in fact a second version of the song, Dickinson having revised his first effort thinking it “too bold.” (The original lyrics have not been preserved.) The “Liberty Song” was sung during Boston’s 14 Aug. celebrations commemorating the first Stamp Act riot and parodied by Tories. Arthur Schrader, “Songs to Cultivate the Sensations of Freedom,” in Music in Colonial Massachusetts, 1630-1820, ed. Sheldon B. Cohen (Boston, 1980), 105-156, at 113-116; Paul L. Ford, ed., The Writings of John Dickinson, 14 vols. (Philadelphia, 1895), 2: 420-432.
1 An act for granting unto his Majesty several rates and duties of impost and tunnage of shipping (passed and published 20 Mar. 1767). Acts and Resolves, 4: 913-919.
2 An additional instruction of 24 Jul. 1767 was sent FB insisting that future legislation should contain a clause clarifying that all British imports be exempted impost duties, including goods coming from other British colonies in North America and the West Indies. CO 5/920, ff 240-243; Labaree, Royal Instructions, 1: 151-152.
3 An act for effectual[ly] preventing the currency of the Bills of credit of Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, within this province (passed 20 Mar. 1767). Acts and Resolves, 4: 922-924.
1 No. 541.
2 For FB to personalize the argument at the end of this paragraph, after first addressing the principles at stake, suggests that he found Barrington’s refusal to find him another position deeply hurtful. Even so, he had no option but to climb down, and “suspend my purpose of solliciting a Removal.”
3 Thus in manuscript. The words are deliberately conjoined.
4 Meaning, for the time being.
1 No. 545.
2 “All the world’s a stage . . . And one man in his time plays many parts,/His acts being seven ages.” Shakespeare, As You Like It, 3.3.139-143. The allusion hinted that the part to which FB aspired was that of the “justice” imbued with the wisdom of age and experience.
3 In the new House, friends of government numbered around thirty representatives, probably fewer than half the number of Whigs who also outnumbered them more than three to one in major committees during the session. The new men of “superior Ability” to whom FB refers might have included Josiah Edson of Bridgewater and Jonathan Bliss of Springfield, both of whom were to demonstrate strong support for his administration, as “rescinders.” Nicolson, “The Friends of Government: Loyalism, Ideology and Politics in Revolutionary Massachusetts,” 1: 86; idem, “Governor Francis Bernard, the Massachusetts Friends of Government and the Advent of the Revolution,” 45.
4 Nathaniel Sparhawk was the other whose election FB had vetoed in 1766. He now accepted Sparhawk’s election.
5 Thomas Hutchinson, Andrew Oliver, Edmund Trowbridge, and Peter Oliver.
6 That is, the four Whigs whom he had vetoed the previous year: Jerathmeel Bowers, Samuel Dexter, Joseph Gerrish, and Thomas Saunders.
7 That was not strictly true. In his letter of 13 Sept. 1766, Shelburne had only urged FB to adopt a “Temperate Conduct” in his public affairs. No. 501. But on 2 Jun., the House challenged FB to prove that he had not “represented to his Majesty, that a Degree of ill Temper remains in his Colony of Masachusetts-Bay.” JHRM, 44: 18-19. FB had used the phrase “illTemper” (conjoined by the scribe) in a letter to Barrington, written a few days earlier (No. 548); it was probably coincidental that the House used the phrase, but to have these words seemingly thrown back at him might have made FB suspicious that his mail was being tampered with.
8 See No. 549.
9 On issues respecting the imperial crisis, FB and the Otises were not so far apart ideologically as to preclude the possibility of pragmatic accommodation. Yet, as the Otises’ historian John J. Waters supposes, FB’s long-standing “animus” and the Otises’ reputation as Whig party leaders ultimately ruined the chance of any compromise along the lines suggested here. Otis Family, 166-167. The mental health of James Otis Jr. was also a decisive factor.
10 Israel Williams.
11 Jerathmeel Bowers, Samuel Dexter, Joseph Gerrish, James Otis Sr., and Thomas Saunders.
12 Not identified. This might have been a government-sponsored pamphlet, although the 1765 election is not mentioned in JBT or in the Board’s letters to FB during 1765-67. Alternatively, the paper might have originated with Richard Jackson, who had been considering ways of means of getting TH back into the Council. See No. 546n9.
13 FB urged the members “to endeavour to restore to this General Court the mutual Confidence and Unanimity which prevailed in it, until; they were interrupted by the later popular Uneasiness.” This amounted to much more than a longing for the status quo ante of 1763, or a paean to nonpartisanship. In the first instance, FB was despondent that such harmony could ever be restored; in the second, he was actively demonstrating to Shelburne his willingness to act out the secretary’s injunction that he adopt a “Temperate Conduct.” JHRM, 44: 8.
14 Thus in manuscript.
1 No. 549.
2 The House answered FB’s speech of 28 May on 2 Jun.
3 The paragraph marked read:
We are obliged to say, that there is the deepest Concern among the People of this Province, that after they have shown every possible Mark of Loyalty, it has yet been represented to his Majesty, that a Degree of ill Temper remains to his Colony of Massachusetts-Bay. The Letter from the Secretary of State, which your Excellency communicated to the last Assembly, leaves no Room to doubt but that such a Representation has been made. Permit us, Sir, just to observe, that nothing will tend more to conciliate the Minds of this People, than to give us the Opportunity to make it evident to our Constituents, that you have had no hand in such Representation. Such a Measure might tend to remove that Concern, and to restore a Unanimity to this General Court: And we rely upon that Assurance you have given us, that you will heartily concur with us in all Measures which shall be conducive to so salutary a Purpose.
CO 5/756, f 79.
4 LbC: “made”.
5 Jeremiah Gridley (1702-67) was the province’s leading barrister and representative for Brookline, at various times between 1755 and 1767. FB appointed him attorney general in late Mar. 1767, following Edmund Trowbridge’s resignation. Gridley died in Sept., whereupon FB promoted his deputy Jonathan Sewall. There is a brief biography of Gridely in L. Kinvin Wroth and Hiller B. Zobel, eds. Legal Papers of John Adams, 3 vols. Cambridge, Mass, 1965), 1: ci.
6 LbC: “or else the Governor”.
7 TH was more critical of Gov. Joseph Dudley’s veto of five councilors in 1703, concluding that he “treated the house more cavalierly” than his predecessors. “There had been but one instance of the governor’s refusal of a counsellor since the charter. Had the power been frequently exercised, less exception would have been taken to this influence; but the long disuse of it caused the reassumption of it upon so many persons at once to be more disagreeable.” One of the representatives whose election Dudley rejected, Elisha Cooke Sr. (1637-1715), had led the opposition to the governors for several years past and FB might have been tempted to draw a comparison with James Otis Jr. Instead, he warmed to TH’s point that the governor’s right of veto could not be legally denied. Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, 2: 125-126.
1 No. 542.
2 On 17 Jun. 1766. JHRM, 44: 60-61.
3 On 18 Jun. CO 5/828, f 88.
4 In May 1768.
5 LbC and dupL.: “for the general Business” omitted.
6 Manuscript torn.
1 Neither has been found.
2 FB eventually assented to the two awards made DeBerdt (in Nov. 1765 and Jun. 1766) when the House accepted that Jackson also be awarded £500. FB signed all three grants on 26 Feb. 1768. JHRM, 44: 197; Acts and Resolves, 17: 289.
3 No. 511 and No. 551.
4 Not found.
5 FB is referring to a brief flurry of backbench activity occasioned by the ministry advancing the New York Suspending Act at the same time as the program of Townshend Duties. A committee of the whole House of Commons resolved on 13 May to consider the “several Papers” about America presented to the House during the course of the session. The following day the House resolved to address the king requesting copies of the proceedings of the Board of Trade, the secretary of state, and the Privy Council since 29 Dec. 1766 relating to the Massachusetts Indemnity Act. On 15 May, the House approved resolutions condemning the conduct of the New York assembly in defying the Mutiny Act. But MPs rejected an amendment accusing the colonial assemblies of “persist[ing] in the open Denial” of parliamentary authority to levy taxes regardless of the American Declaratory Act. FB would have appreciated the firm response and probably would have approved the amendment; he would have been less welcoming of another defeated motion which suggested requiring elected representatives in the colonies, as well as Crown officials, to take a loyalty oath declaiming the subordination of the colonies to the “Imperial Crown and Parliament of Great Britain” and the supremacy of the King-in-Parliament. MPs evidently grasped that enforcement of such a law would place governors in an untenable situation: the Commons then resolved unanimously to request that the king “confer some Marks if His Royal Favour on those Governors and Officers . . . who distinguished themselves by their Zeal and Fidelity in supporting the Dignity of the Crown, and the just Rights of Parliament, and the supreme Authority of Great Britain over the Colonies, during the late Disturbances in America.” HCJ, 31; 357, 360, 364-365. The proceedings of 15 May were reported in the Boston Evening-Post, 27 Jul. 1767. The first “Mark” of “Royal Favour” shown FB was a letter from Shelburne expressing the king’s “Approbation” of his “Conduct,” dated 17 Sept. 1767 and received the following Feb., No. 566.
6 Thus in manuscript, meaning to “set” about (or undertake) their purpose with determination.
7 The weight of evidence pertaining to the merchants’ opposition to the Townshend Duties over the next two years would appear to contradict FB’s assessment. Nonetheless, public criticism of the new duties themselves (on tea, paper, glass, lead, and painter’s colors)—as distinct from the principle of parliamentary taxation—was probably relatively quiet to what it would become. Alternatively, in this letter FB may be referring to the merchants’ views on the Revenue Act of 1766: merchants were certainly pleased that the act reduced the molasses duty to 1d. per gallon, although there was widespread discontent with the act’s additions to the enumerated list and concern that these were designed to favor the West Indies merchants at the expense of the continental traders; these grievances the Boston merchants had raised in a petition to the House of Commons, in Jan. 1767. Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, 100-103.
8 A legal term: “rendering null and void”. OED.
9 Timothy Folger.
10 Thus in manuscript. It may be a scribal error for “as I have had Nothing” or idiomatic speech.
11 The last extant letter on the topic was No. 446.
1 No. 548.
2 The arrival of FB’s latest “dispatches” at the secretary of state’s office was noted on 11 May since these were “said to be of importance.” Lloyd’s Evening Post, 8-11 May 1767. The British public was not well versed in the nuances of Massachusetts politics at this point in the imperial crisis. Yet it would be fair to assume that some popular interest in FB’s administration was generated (beyond government and Parliament) when Shelburne’s letter to FB of 13 Sept. 1766 (No. 514) was printed in full in British newspapers, together with the Massachusetts assembly’s proceedings regarding the letter. Public Advertiser, 27 Jan. 1767. By May, colonial governors were once again the focus of parliamentary attention, being the subject of a Commons’ resolution proposing that “some Marks” of royal favor be shown them (No. 552n5). Subsequently, Shelburne dispatched a letter on 17 Sept. expressing the king’s approval of FB’s decision to veto the election of radical councilors (No. 566) and Barrington, acting on behalf of the ministry, raised the prospect of FB moving to another province (No. 568). FB’s reward, when it came the following year, was unexpected: the offer of a baronetcy.
1 FB also viewed the meeting as an opportunity to discuss American affairs in confidence with Moore.
3 No reply to FB’s suggestion has been found.
1 Samuel Adams. Closing parenthesis supplied.
3 LbC: “at present” omitted.
4 dupALS: “intended”.
5 dupALS: “either” omitted.
6 An act to revive and continue an act made in the fifth year of his present Majesty’s reign, entitled “an act for allowing necessary supplys to the Eastern Indians, and for regulating trade with them, and preventing abuses therein,” which is near expiring (passed 25 Jun. 1767), Acts and Resolves, 4: 976. The corresponding act for 1766 was passed on 28 Jun. 1766. Ibid., 899-900.
1 No. 552.
2 FB is referring to Britain’s plans to pay Crown salaries to Crown officers, mooted by Chancellor Townshend in a speech of May 13. FB was still unaware of the Revenue Act enacted on 26 Jun. (7 Geo. 3, c. 46). The letter from Jackson to TH carrying news of the planned Crown salaries has not been found. Jackson’s earlier letters to TH did not discuss the salary issue: 9 Jan., 23 Feb., 24 Mar., 2 Jun., Mass. Archs., 25: 144-146, 167-168; 26: 271, 276-279. Neither are there any clues in Jackson’s reply of 15 Jul. or TH’s letter of 18 Jul., ibid., 26: 186-188, 280-281.
3 Probably an accidental repetition.
4 The preceding sentence constitutes the first point, though FB did not use a numeral to indicate such.
5 No. 532.
6 Obscured by binding here and below.
7 Nos. 523 and 524.
8 Meaning, in motion or in in transit.
9 Last line in FB’s handwriting, from “at the same . . .”
10 For his part TH was equally keen to avoid a rift: “I really desire not to promote my own interest at his expence or in a way that is not perfectly agreeable to him.” TH to Jackson, Boston, 18 Jul. 1767, Mass. Archs., 26: 280-281 and Hutchinson Transcripts, 2: 577.
1 FB is referring to a letter of 20 Jul. 1765 in which he enclosed a newspaper extract of the Virginia Resolves against the Stamp Act. The Resolves constituted the most radical attack on the Stamp Act at that time (claiming that the authority to tax lay only with the colonial assemblies) “The Spirit of Rebellion which those Resolutions, whether Authentic or fictitious, breath is such as must make them abhorred by all loyal Subjects.” FB had been sending Pownall copies of the radical Boston Gazette for over a year. No. 364, Bernard Papers, 2: 295-297.
2 No. 555.
3 One of the earliest reports of the passage of Townshend’s Revenue Act was in the Boston Evening-Post, 10 Aug. 1767.
4 Authorial annotation: “see Newspaper Letter D.” This was a reference to an account of the first anniversary dinner commemorating the Stamp Act riot of 14 Aug. 1765. It was convened at “Liberty-Hall” in the shade of the Liberty elm, in the South End. The “Declarations” to which FB refers were the fourteen toasts proffered by the assembled diners: after toasting the king, the queen, and the royal family, they raised their glasses to the Sons of Liberty; the seventh toast declaimed “None but Tories Slaves.” The portentous defiance of the last toast, doubtless offended FB’s sensibilities a Crown servant: “May the Day which sees America submit to Slavery, be the last of her Existence.” Boston Gazette, 17 Aug. 1767, p. 2, cols. 2-3.
5 “Britannus Americanus,” Boston Gazette, 17 Aug. 1767, p. 2 col. 1. The author (whose style was reminiscent of James Otis Jr.’s) railed at the ministry’s reputed plans to pay governors, judges, and other royal officers a Crown salary to make them “independent” of the assembly. Comparing the Revenue Act to the Stamp Act, in as much as both measures aspired to advance imperial “power,” the writer offered a daring challenge: “Have these men forgot the year 1765, when the old new english spirit was rous’d …?”
6 A letter to the printers prefacing a reprinting of The Bill of Rights, 1 Will. & Mar., c. 2 (passed 16 Dec. 1689). Ibid., p. 1 col. 1, para.1.
7 Trans.: a political sport or game.
8 William Molyneux, The Case of Ireland’s being Bound by Acts of Parliament in England, Stated (1698) extract reprinted in the Boston Gazette, 28 Aug. 1767, p. 1. It may have been Benjamin Franklin who drew the Massachusetts Whigs’ attention to the pamphlet. Owen Dudley Edwards, “The American Image of Ireland: A Study of Its Early Phases,” Perspectives in American History 4 (1970): 199-282.
9 The use of “consiliary deliberations” proffered an intriguing allusion to conspiracy. For eighteenth-century readers, the term was suggestive of the conspiracies of the Roman aristocratic Lucius Sergius Catilina (108-62 BC) against the republic in 64-63 BC, whose exposure by the consul Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) was a master-class in rhetoric and statesmanship. Two of the most popular accounts of the Catiline conspiracies, with which FB and Shelburne probably would have been familiar, were: Thomas Gordon, ed., The Works of Sallust translated into English. With political discourses upon that author. To which is added, a translation of Cicero’s four orations against Catiline (London, 1744); Conyers Middleton, The History of the Life of Marcus Tullius Cicero (London, 1755). In his famed first oration before the Senate, Cicero declaimed: “Patera tua consilia non sentis? constrictuam iam horum omnium scientia teneri coniurationem tuam non vides?” “Are you not conscious that your designs are open to the light? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already fast held and bound in the knowledge of all who are present here?” Marcus Tullius Cicero, LeaAnn A. Osburn, and Archibald A. Maclardy, Completely Parsed Cicero: the First Oration of Cicero Against Catiline (Wauconda, Ill., 2004), 8-10.
10 FB provides the first report of a permanent flag staff being fixed to the Liberty Tree. It probably flew the Union flag, a symbol of the colonists’ faith in British liberty. Hitherto, the Sons of Liberty had draped streamers and the red Naval Ensign, as well as the British flag, from the branches or set them up on poles nearby. For an authoritative discussion see John L. Bell, “Newspapers on the Flag at Liberty Tree,” Boston 1775, posted 27 Apr. 2007 (http://boston1775.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=liberty+tree, accessed 28 May 2012).
11 See No. 526.
1 As reported in the Boston Evening-Post, 2 Apr. 1767.
2 The committee was appointed on 5 Aug. and the Representation approved on 12 Aug. CO 5/827, ff 23-24.
3 Obscured in the fold.
4 The Currency Act of 1751 prevented the New England colonies from using bills of credit to repay debts, while the New Jersey governor was bound by an instruction forbidding bills being used as legal tender. Even so, New Jersey joined other colonies in printing bills as currency as well as issuing them to pay for Crown requisitions. FB calculated that by Sept. 1758, the assembly had raised a total of £152,250. And as he pointed out, it would take several years to redeem all the bills: £30,000 by 1768 and £50,000 by 1774. FB to the Board of Trade, Perth Amboy, 31 Aug. 1758, CO 5/977, ff 183-185, enclosing accounts at ff 189-190.
5 His hard-money views notwithstanding, FB proved an able advocate of New Jersey’s case. He prepared a detailed financial statement showing that the debt could be discharged in peace time, but not while the colonies were at war. The annual expenses of government amounted to £3,000 in currency whereas the cost of the war was likely to exceed £42,000 for the current year. Without currency, the province could raise no more than £24,000 in 1758. Moreover, it was impossible to redeem the outstanding bills within the five-year period insisted upon by Britain; FB’s calculations revealed a capacity to sink only £16,350 by 1763. FB to the Board of Trade, Perth Amboy, 15 Sept. 1758, CO 5/977, f 196. FB succeeded in obtaining retrospective approval for the assembly issuing a further £10,000 in bills and revised instructions allowing him to approve up to £40,000 of currency bills not as legal tender but as government securities in “Cases of Emergency & for Military purposes in time of War.” Board of Trade to FB, Whitehall, 8 Feb. 1759, BP, 9: 15-22; APC, 4: 361-363, 371-374; JBT, 10: 13.
6 John Carteret (1690–1763), the second earl Granville, was a leading British Whig politician. He was appointed lord president of the Privy Council in 1751, a position he held until his death. FB is evidently referring to a conversation rather than a correspondence, that took place prior to his leaving for America. Granville was commonly regarded as a gifted politician and conscientious minister, but was not renowned for any mastery of public finance, though his understanding of public credit and debt would have been shaped by the experience of living through the South Sea Bubble crisis of 1720-21. FB’s subsequent warnings about extravagance driving bankruptcy echo common concerns about the dangers of economic bubbles.
7 No. 315, Bernard Papers, 2: 161-167.
8 An act for effectual preventing the currency of the bills of credit of Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, within [Massachusetts] (passed 20 Mar. 1767). Acts and Resolves, 4: 922-924.
9 An act for restraining and prohibiting the Governor, Council and House of Representatives, of the Province of New York, until provision shall have been made for furnishing the King’s troops with all the necessaries required by law, from passing or assenting to any act of assembly, vote, or resolution, for another purpose, 7 Geo. 3, c. 59 (royal assent 2 Jul. 1767).
1 Leonard Jarvis (1716-70) was an “eminent Merchant,” according to his obituary, and evidently was trusted by FB. His departure from Boston on 31 Aug. 1766 was ceremonialized, probably on FB’s initiative. Jarvis was escorted by the Company of the Cadets the length of the Long Wharf to a waiting barge, which FB had sent over from Castle William. Jarvis met with FB at the Castle before setting sail on the ship Betsey, Thomas Robson, master. Boston Evening-Post, 31 Aug. 1767. He died on 30 Sept. 1770, at his home in Cambridge Street, Boston, “after a lingering painful disease, which he bore with Philosophic Fortitude.” Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 1 Oct. 1770.
2 The “compromise” was FB accepting James Otis Sr.’s election to the Council, in return for the Whigs dropping their opposition to the election of Crown officers, including TH. From this letter, it might be implied that FB’s overtures to the Otises were prompted by prior knowledge of Shelburne’s plan to remove FB, but that is not the case.
3 That is, the trade duties introduced by the Revenue Act, 7 Geo. 3, 46.
4 The second session of the legislative year commenced on 30 Dec. 1767 and concluded on 4 Mar. 1768.
5 Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News-Letter, 13 Aug. 1767.
1 No. 560.
2 The retaliation that “A. F.” had in mind was an intercolonial nonimportation scheme, whereby the colonists imported from Britain only those items deemed “absolutely necessary” and maintained the boycott with a dignity that “becomes Americans” acting “with one voice and one mind.” Boston Gazette, 31 Aug. 1767.
3 No. 562: “they cant carry their professed Plan into execution without Violence.”
1 No. 557.
2 Before the Suspending Act was due to take effect in October, the New York Assembly approved (by a single vote) an appropriation for the British Regulars stationed in the province, without specifying that the provision was being made in accordance with the Mutiny Act but in “Compliance with the Spirit of the Statute,” noted Chief Justice William Smith Jr. The Chatham administration accepted the olive branch and suspension was averted. John C. Miller, Origins of the American Revolution (Boston, 1953; ed. Stanford, 1959), 255-257; William Smith Jr. to TH, New York, 14 Dec. 1767, Mass. Archs., 25: 231-232, in Hutchinson Transcripts, 1: 226.
3 Front page news comprised extracts from the House of Commons’ journals between 26 May and 2 Jun. 1767, wherein the Commons resolved to introduce the Revenue Act. Boston Gazette, 31 Aug. 1767.
4 “E” refers to the letter to the printers signed “SUI IMPERATOR,” Boston Gazette, 31 Aug. 1767, p. 3. “F” marks, on the same page, a letter by “A. F.” reacting to the news about the New York Suspending Act. This letter echoed the sentiments of “SUI IMPERATOR,” albeit without a flourish and with a more direct call for intercolonial unity and resistance to parliamentary authority, stressing (as FB conceded) the desirability of avoiding violent crowd action:
nothing can more affect the Liberty of the Colonies . . . than compliance with the act itself. If our legislative authority can be suspended whenever we refuse obedience to laws we never consented to, we may as well . . . acknowledge ourselves slaves . . . . [N]othing is more certain, than as free colonies we must rise & fall together. . . . Tumult and disorder should be carefully avoided, especially as we have lawful and laudable means in our hands of obtaining redress.
5 Intimidation of importers was to become a feature of the nonimportation controversy, but this comment is rare (and uncorroborated) evidence concerning the intimidation of traders during the boycott of 1765-66.
7 That is, bombastic phrases. OED.
8 Benjamin Edes (1732-1803) and John Gill (1732-1785).
9 See No. 517n6 for the proverbial version.
10 Legions in the Roman Republic traditionally declaimed their commanders “imperator” after military victories, while in Imperial Rome the title was a praenomen usually reserved for the emperor himself.
1 First written as “impossible”.
2 The meeting of the Sons of Liberty and the “Seditious Papers” are described in No. 557 and the source note to No. 562.
3 Boston did not adopt a nonimportation agreement until Mar. 1768. The scheme attracted criticism in the newspapers, notably from the Whig writer “Libernatus” in the Boston Evening-Post, 7 Sept. 1767. But FB is also reporting the private discussions of the merchants themselves. He probably did not exaggerate the reluctance of merchants to embark on another boycott of British goods, and continued to proffer astute comments on the conflict of interest between small traders, mainly importing-retailers, and general or dry goods merchants who viewed them as a threat to their dominance of the wholesale market. These tensions became manifest during the nonimportation controversy of 1768-70. See Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, 109-170.
4 FB is referring to an article by “Britannus Americanus” printed in the Boston Gazette, 7 Sept. 1767. The quotation is from Shakespeare, and a soliloquy by Macbeth that here served to deprecate the article’s author. While the author’s identity is uncertain, mention of “an idiot” in the soliloquy (and “one full of sound and fury”) hints that FB supposed “Britannus Americanus” to be James Otis Jr. (whose other newspaper essays were stylistically similar to those by “Britannus Americanus”).
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
1 William Spry, captain lieutenant in the military branch of Ordinance.
1 “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Romans 16:18, KJV. Also, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” I Corinthians 13:1.
2 Supplied from LbC: the clerk left his word unfinished.
3 The letter has not been found.
4 LbC: “staunch.”
5 This commonplace phrase was a byword for decisive political action usu. attributed to C. Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) But it could also signal that civil war was expected or that conflict was considered a likely consequence of the action determined upon (as it was with Caesar). See No. 468n5.
6 This line relocated.
7 The passage quoted is deliverd by Marcus, one of Cato’s sons, to his brother Portius. The first line printed in the Boston Gazette is truncated: “Oh! Portius, is there not some chosen curse.” A fuller extract would have provided readers with a clearer idea of the editor’s intention. Act 1, scene 1 commences with Marcus and Portius discussing the fateful day ahead, as their father, Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis (95–46 B.C.), and his army await the arrival of the forces of C. Julius Caesar at Utica in Tunisia. Cato, a philosophical Stoic, was celebrated during his lifetime for his virtuous defence of republican ideals and committed suicide after his army lost the battle with Caesar; he was long revered in Western culture as symbol of self-sacrificing liberty for having refused to compromise with the would-be dictator Caesar. Through the works of Addison and a host of other neo-classicists, the American Whigs easily identified with the tragic Cato and saw in Caesar’s tyranny, a presage of British imperialism in its harder, authoritarian phase pushing the colonies to the brink of civil war. It was a message that neither FB nor any educated British official could scare miss.
The dawn is overcast, the morning low’rs,
And heavily in clouds brings on the day,
The great, th’ important day, big with the fate
Of Cato and of Rome — Our father’s death
Would fill up all the guilt of civil war,
And close the scene of blood. Already Caesar
Has Ravag’d more than half the globe, and sees
Mankind grown thin by his destructive sword:
Should he go farther, numbers would be wanting
To form new battles, and support his crimes.
Ye gods, what havoc does ambition make
Among your works! —
— Thy steady temper, Portius,
Can look on guilt, rebellion, fraud and Caesar,
In the calm lights of calm philosophy;
I’m tortur’d, even to madness, when I think
On the proud victor: every time he’s nam’d
Pharsalia rises to my view! — I see
Th’ insulting tyrant prancing o’er the field
Strow’d with Rome’s citizens, and drench’d in slaughter,
His horse’s hoofs wet with patrician blood!
Oh! Portius, is there not some chosen curse,
Some hidden thunder in the stores of heav’n,
Red with uncommon wrath to blast the man
Who owes his greatness to his country’s ruin?
(Joseph Addison, Cato: a Tragedy , 1.1:1-28.)
See also Fredric M. Litto, “Addison’s Cato in the Colonies,” WMQ 23 (1966): 431-449.
1 On 7 Dec., Shelburne transmitted to the (lords commissioners of the) Board of Trade extracts of two of FB’s letters concerning the province agency (probably Nos. 521 and 542). JBT, 12: 434. The Board’s representation to the Privy Council, contesting the legality of DeBerdt’s appointment as House agent, was agreed and sent on 2 Feb. 1768. JBT, 13: 9.
1 This line in FB’s hand.
2 Rumors that Regulars from the 14th Regiment were being sent from Halifax had circulated at the beginning of Sept. The letter to the printers that FB mentions was signed “Determinatus” and pledged “America is also in Readiness to defend Liberties at the Risque of every Thing else — there can be no Hesitation whenever the Alternative shall be Slavery or Death.” Boston Gazette, 21 Sept. 1767, p. 2 col. 3, CO 5/756, ff 128-129.
3 The desire to curb violence was indeed a consideration of the Whig leaders in the months before Pope’s Day. Hoerder, Crowd Action, 155-156.
4 Obscured in the fold of the binding, here and below.
5 “M,” Boston Gazette, 21 Sept. 1767. In the previous paragraph, FB is reporting people’s opinions not a particular publication.
1 He is probably referring to Shelburne or possibly Hillsborough, who at the moment did not hold a cabinet position.
1 FB’s comment relates to Townshend’s Revenue Act of 1767, for which, as far as is known, there was no broad-based support among the merchants. Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots, 110-111. FB probably did not set out to mislead Shelburne, for the full panoply of colonial opposition was not yet in place, and likely reflected the advice of some merchants.
2 Meaning that senior officials would receive a Crown salary, rendering them less financially (and thus less politically) dependent on the province legislature.
3 LbC: this word omitted.
4 The quotation is not verbatim. The memorial of the town of Boston, 7 Oct. 1767, was signed by Boston representatives Thomas Cushing, James Otis, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock, and Solomon Lombard, the representative for Gorham, Maine. FB had already prorogued the General Court until 14 Oct., when he continued it by proclamation until 25 Nov. and thence to 30 Dec. Boston Evening-Post, 28 Sept. and 9 Nov., 1767.
5 A court verdict meaning suicide.
6 “Britano Americus” proffered a parody of a Commons’ speech, rounding on the “despotic, arbitrary, corrupt and dangerous Tories” who in reviving colonial taxation were demonstrably “sons of tyranny and oppression, venality and corruption.” But the performance ended with a steely commitment to “steady and determinate resistance to such lawless and boundless thirst of power.” Boston Evening-Post, 28 Sept. 1767.
7 “Libermoriturus” provides a good example of how scripture was utilized in the cause of radicalism. The passage that FB highlighted contained a quotation from 2 Chronicles, 10: 10, KJV, warning of royal power. The comedic touch of the first line is ultimately desultory, for it is not the king’s distended penis that should terrify his victim most, but his instruments of sadistic torture. The king in question was Solomon’s son Rehoboam, whose youthful advisers told him to give dissident subjects this answer:
My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins. For whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
Rehoboam took the advice, speaking as advised, and lost most of his father’s kingdom.
8 The item “U” was sent under cover of No. 571.
1 This line in FB’s hand.
2 The Revenue Act, 7 Geo. 3, c. 46, and Shelburne’s cover letter of 11 Jul. 1767 (No. 5) were presented to the Council on 14 Oct. The official imprint of the Revenue Act was issued by the partnership of Richard Draper and Green and Russell (Boston, 1767). Early American Imprints Series 1, no. 10677. The Council and governor also discussed the introduction of the new seal issued by the Privy Council 13 Apr., 1767., CO 5/827, ff 27-28; APC, 5: 86.
3 State papers Nos. 5 and 6 have not been found. No. 7 is a letter from Shelburne dated Whitehall, 7 Aug. 1767, BP, 11: 75-76 (dupLS, RC).
4 The act empowering Abigail Little to sue for recovery of debts was disallowed by the Privy Council on 26 Aug. 1767. See No. 287, Bernard Papers, 2: 93-95; APC, 5: 30-31. The Massachusetts Indemnity Act was disallowed on 13 May 1767. See No. 513 above; APC, 5: 86-88.
1 No. 569.
2 LbC: “Seditious Writers”.
3 LbC: “Seditious Purposes”.
4 LbC: “they are it is best”.
5 FB did not quote the source verbatim, a front-page letter by “Libermoriturus,” but provided a précis which he supposed accurately conveyed its tenor: the people “will not lie down and die, or supinely see their families perishing about them for want.” Boston Evening-Post, 26 Oct. 1767.
6 Notices for the town meeting of 28 Oct. were printed by Edes and Gill, at the request of the Selectmen. Chaired by James Otis Jr., the meeting agreed a list of proscribed imported goods—excluding the articles subject to the Townshend Duties. Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 223-224; 20: 273.
7 Probably Thomas Cushing.
8 Obscured in the fold.
9 Hitherto many of the writers who had been advocating a nonimportation boycott had been appealing to all “Americans.” See the source note to No. 565. FB may also be making a specific reference to “A. F.” who advocated an intercolonial nonimportation scheme. Boston Gazette, 31 Aug. 1767. See No. 561n2.
10 LbC: “delude and inflame”.
1 Nathaniel Rogers (1736-70). As the last paragraph to this letter indicates, FB trusted Rogers to give a full account of Massachusetts politics. On Rogers, see Bailyn, Hutchinson, 135; No. 573, source note.
1 On 31 Oct. in Early American Imprints, Series 1; no. 41696.
2 As indicated in No. 571, FB was probably receiving regular reports from townspeople close to the Whigs.
3 The offending paragraph has not been identified. The first session of the General Court commenced May 27 and broke up on 25 Jun., after FB prorogued the legislature until 2 Sept.; the second session ran from 30 Dec. to 4 Mar. 1768.
4 An act to enable his Majesty to put the Customs, and other duties, in the British Dominions in America, and the execution of the laws relating to trade there, under the management of commissioners to be appointed for that purpose, and to be resident in the said Dominions, 7 Geo. 3, c. 41 (1767).
1 Nos. 558, 562, 563, 565, and 567.
2 Shelburne would seem to have deduced the mental condition of James Otis Jr., on FB’s prompting.
3 No. 501.
1 No. 573.
2 Supplied from LbC.
3 On 20 Nov. CO 5/827, f 30.
4 By Stephen Greenleaf, the sheriff of Suffolk Co.
5 The town blamed “some evil minded Person or Persons” for aiming to “excite Tumults & Disorders” and unanimously voted that the “Inhabitants” were ready to assist the magistrates suppress disorders (as a posse comitatus) whenever required. Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 225
1 Neither letter has been found. The public letter FB presented to the assembly on 30 Dec. along with the proceedings of the boundary commission. But it was not until 2 Mar. 1768 that the assembly approved a joint committee report on the commission and requested FB to signify the province’s approval to Britain. JHRM, 44: 88-89, 208, 212.
2 Obscured by binding, here and below.
3 Lewis Evans, James Turner, and Robert Dodsley, A General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America; Viz Virginia, Màriland, Dèlaware, Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island . . . (Philadelphia, 1755).
4 Interlineation in FB’s hand.
5 In 1757, see source note to No. 514.
6 At Nobletown.
1 This included an estimate of £50 minimum for the books destroyed or irreparably damaged. TH submitted an itemized list to Henry Seymour Conway in a letter of 27 Oct. 1765, CO 5/755, ff 361-364, with this particular enclosure at ff 372-380.
2 Underlining: “to do an Act of Justice”.
3 Underlining: “till some good Reason . . . require this of us”; “We cannot . . . Community”.
4 Underlining: “you should . . . Assembly”.
5 Underlining: this word only.
6 Underlining: “ought . . . them”.
7 Underlining: this word only.
8 Underlining: this sentence.
9 Thus in document.
10 Underlining: “cannot but observe . . . the Case”.
11 Underlining: “Perpetrators . . . Damages”.
12 Underlining: “appears . . . Generosity”.
13 Underlining: “next . . . Court”.
14 Underlining: “as the Sufferers . . . the Riots”.
1 The first two sentences of this paragraph provide important detail about the riot, supplementing No. 390, Bernard Papers, 2: 356-357.
2 FB is citing the cases of Glasgow and Edinburgh as historical precedents for legislative and executive proceedings against a municipal authority; he is not referring to the legal principle of corporate liability. Boston was not a chartered town like London, Glasgow, or Edinburgh, and parliamentary punishment of local government remained highly controversial. Even so, corporate liability was assumed when the North administration introduced the Boston Port Bill in 1774, citing the cases of Glasgow and Edinburgh as historical analogies. Irrespective of obvious differences between Boston and the Scottish towns, the analogies were considered relevant in justifying the measure that North was proposing as a response to the destruction of the East India Company Tea on 16 Dec. 1773. Reid, Constitutional History of the American Revolution: the Authority to Legislate, 31-32. The suggestion that FB makes here likely sprang to mind when North and the then undersecretary of state John Pownall were investigating modus operandi of proceeding against Boston. Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 222-223
3 The city of Glasgow was obliged to compensate Daniel Campbell MP whose house was demolished by rioters protesting the malt tax, an episode now commonly referred to as the Shawfield Riots of 23-24 Jun. 1725. Campbell was awarded (an extraordinarily high) £6,080 in damages, plus £2,600 for other expenses, by a bill pushed through by his friends in the Walpole administration. The captain of the city guard was acquitted of a murder charge after ordering his men to fire on the rioters, killing nine, before order was restored by British Regulars. R. Renwick, John Lindsay, and George Eyre-Todd, History of Glasgow, 3 vols. (Glasgow, 1921), 3: 136-141. Parliament ordered that the revenue accrued from the Glasgow beer duties, hitherto payable to the burgh council, be diverted to the Commissioners of Excise, until the £6,080 compensation was paid to Campbell. Glasgow Council did have the option of paying Campbell directly but it seems that the compensation was disbursed by the Commissioners of Excise. Campbell used the money to purchase the island of Islay. The ring-leaders of the riot were transported, probably to North America. An act for the vesting in his Majesty an imposition of two pennies Scots upon and sold in the City of Glasgow, and privileges thereof, for satisfying . . . Daniel Campbell, Esq; lately suffered in a riot there. 12 Geo. 1, c. 27 (1725)
4 In Apr. 1736, John Porteous, the captain of the City Guard, had ordered his men to fire into a vexed and noisy crowd disturbing the execution of a smuggler, killing sixteen people. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. When the execution was deferred by the British government in London, a gang dragged Porteous from the Tolbooth prison on the night of 7 Sept., (his execution having been originally set for the following day) and lynched him in the Grassmarket. These proceedings were watched and abetted by crowds upwards of four thousand people, who also successfully resisted attempts by the Lord Provost and the city guards to disperse them. The rioters were never brought to trial, and it was commonly supposed that the city magistrates, especially Lord Provost Alexander Wilson, were complicit by allowing or at least doing nothing to prevent Porteous’s abduction and killing. The magistrates were summoned before Parliament but were not arraigned and the town was fined £2,000, to be paid in compensation to Porteous’s widow. W. Roughead, The Trial of Captain Porteous (Glasgow, 1909); H. T. Dickinson and Kenneth Logue, “The Porteous Riot: A Study of the Breakdown of Law and Order in Edinburgh, 1736-1737,” Journal of the Scottish Labour History Society (1976): 21-40; an act to disable Alexander Wilson, Esquire, from taking, holding or enjoying any office or place of magistracy, in the city of Edinburgh, or elsewhere in Great Britain; and for imposing a fine upon the corporation of the said city. 10 Geo. 2, c. 34 (1737); an act for the more effectual bringing to justice any persons concerned in the barbarous murder of Captain John Porteous, and punishing such as shall knowingly conceal any of said Offenders. 10 Geo. 2, c. 35 (1737).
FB and TH were familiar with the Porteous Riot, for it was one of eighteenth-century’s Britain’s most notorious instances of crowd action. In the advent of the Boston Massacre trials TH fretted that the radicals would “Porteous” Preston—the British officer Capt. Thomas Preston—if, fully expecting a guilty verdict, Preston’s sentence were ____ respited or Preston himself pardoned. Zobel, Boston Massacre, 216
5 FB proposed public restitution in his speech of 25 Sept., though the issue of compensation was raised by TH and discussed in Council in the aftermath of the riot of 26 Aug. as he explains later in the “Observation”. While FB correctly anticipated Conway’s instructions on this point, it was he who chose to use the term “requisition.” See No. 416, Bernard Papers, 2: 426-427.
6 See No. 462, para. 5.
7 Meaning, after 1 Aug. The motion postponing consideration until the next session was carried on 10 Jun. by one vote, FB noted in No. 476. On 8 Oct., the town of Boston instructed its representatives to procure public restitution, while eastern towns like Braintree preferred making the rioters pay the compensation and western towns like Hardwick wished to saddle Boston with the costs. Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 188.
8 Letter missing.
9 On the afternoon of 27 Jun. JHRM, 43, pt.1: 138.
10 CO 5/823, ff 283-284.
11 This discussion is not recorded in the Council’s executive record, but summarized in No. 394, Bernard Papers, 2: 362-363.
12 Meaning, as a debt of justice.
13 This particular article correctly iterated that FB’s instructions from Conway had suggested that he recommend compensation to the Assembly. (“You should exert Yourself in recommending it strongly to the Assembly, that full & ample Compensation be made to those, who from the madness of the People, have suffered for their Deference to Acts of the British Legislature.” No. 462.)
Had his Excellency kept to the royal word recommendation—Had he not in a manner buried the language of the house of commons, who declare their opinion only that such persons ought to have full compensation made to them—and that an humble address be presented to his Majesty humbly to desire that his Majesty would be graciously pleas’d to give direction that the said resolutions be transmitted to the Governors of his Majesty’s colonies—to be by them communicated to their respective assemblies—Had this matter been laid before the house in the same spirit, and nearly at least in the same language in which it came from our gracious Sovereign and the parliament, the house would have seen one occasion (and his Excellency is well assured that they never were wanting in that regard) to have exercis’d their gratitude to his Majesty and the parliament, for their mild and tender manner of expression.”
“T. S.,” Boston Gazette, 21 Jul. 1766, which may have been enclosed in No. 485.
1 For an account of the borrowing requirements, see No. 362, Bernard Papers, 2: 288-293.
2 Stephen Sewall (1734-1804) taught Oriental languages and Hebrew at Harvard between 1761 and 1785. He was Instructor in Hebrew, 1761-64, and the first Hancock Professor of Hebrew and other Oriental Languages, 1764-85.
3 Relocated from first line of table.
4 This line has been editorially altered.
7 Per account.
1 On this point, FB reiterated what he stated in No. 524.
2 The New Hampshire plantations were under the jurisdiction of the governors of Massachusetts, between 1631 and 1641, as was the province of New Hampshire between 1699 and 1741, with Jonathan Belcher (1682-1757) being the last governor to govern both provinces from Boston.
3 Meaning in a common year, or in an average year.
4 CO 5/892: “allowed”.
5 In Feb. 1766. See No. 451.
6 FB did not have the benefit of a personal assistant and employed clerks at his own expense to supplement the clerical support that his sons provided.
7 The single occasion was an award of £300 to Edmund Trowbridge on 11 Jun. 1764. Acts and Resolves, 17: 409.
1 Nos. 533, 545, 549, and 550.
2 Nos. 574 and 551.
3 William de Grey (1719-81), MP for Newport, Cornwall, was attorney general from 1766-1771, when he was appointed lord chief justice of the Common Pleas.
4 No. 533.
1 Modern economics provide more complex definitions of value theories of money, incorporating consumer behaviour and the quantity of money in circulation, for example. Yet the authors of this report probably would not have found this difficult to understand. The thrust of the report was that fiscal policy was the paramount instrument in determining the value of currency.
2 These figures correspond with those provided by Leslie V. Brock: 7s. for 1700 and 50s. for 1750. Fluctuations in the price of silver at Boston can be followed in Brock, “The Colonial Currency, Prices, and Exchange Rates,” Essays in History 34 (1992) [n.p.], at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/users/brock/brock34.htm), table 2.
3 The Currency Act, 24 Geo. 2, c. 53 (1751), full title in note 12 below.
4 The Crown reimbursed £183,648. Schutz, William Shirley, 79.
5 Coinage in circulation included Spanish milled dollars.
6 Bills of credit outstanding by year for the New England colonies, 1703-51, can be followed Brock, “Colonial Currency, Prices, and Exchange Rates,” table 1.
7 FB is referring to the Massachusetts Land Bank controversy of 1739-41, which set proponents of paper bills in opposition to hard money advocates, and prompted parliamentary intervention. Fiscal conservatives (such as the Hutchinsons and the Ervings) opposed the issue of paper money backed by a land office in 1739; they also favored restrictions on using bills of credit as legal tender that were introduced by Parliament’s Currency Act of 1751. That policy signalled the financial ruin of hundreds of colonial investors in the Land Bank (such as the family of Samuel Adams) and engendered a bitterness that infected provincial politics well into the 1760s. Conservatives further supported TH’s proposal, adopted by the Shirley administration, for using parliamentary war-time grants and colonial taxation to redeem the currency at fixed rates; this measure ended what Brock calls “sustained inflation” and stabilized the provincial economy before the onset of the French and Indian War. Batinski, Jonathan Belcher, 141-147; Brock, “Colonial Currency, Prices, and Exchange Rates.”
8 Discussion about the ethical certitudes of the moral economy reflects anxieties about the deprivation manifest during Boston’s economic downturn of the 1760s and the socio-economic tensions that spurred crowd violence during the Stamp Act Crisis.
9 The extent to which colonial currency depreciated in value over time is a matter of debate for economic historians, with some suggesting that Massachusetts’s fiscal policy prevented significant depreciation (relative to other colonies). See Brock, “The Colonial Currency, Prices, and Exchange Rates.”
10 The quotation is citing a letter from London to a gentleman of Philadelphia, dated 12 Feb. 1767, which was published in the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 4 May 1767. The letter had quoted an amendment to the Currency Act of 1764, proposed by the American merchants of London.
11 Authors’ footnote: “See the Law hereto annexed, which was first made in 1750, and has been successfully renewed”. An act for effectual preventing the currency of the bills of credit of Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, within [Massachusetts] (passed 27 Mar. 1767). Acts and Resolves, 4: 922-924.
12 An act to regulate and restrain paper bills of credit in his majesty’s Colonies or Plantations of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, the Massachusetts Bay, and New Hampshire in America; and to prevent the same being legal Tenders in Payments of Money, 24 Geo. 2, c. 53 (1751).
1 Probably an attorney in London.
2 Philip Kearney was a lawyer and resident of Perth Amboy, N.J.
3 John Stevens (1715-92), merchant and shipowner of Perth Amboy, N.J., a member of the New Jersey assembly, and a future New York Patriot.
4 James Pringle (1726-1809) was lieutenant colonel of the 59th Regiment of Foot based in Nova Scotia, and commanding officer at Louisbourg; he was the fourth baron of Stichell, from 1779.
5 The authoritative version used for the transcript was a copy that FB prepared for transmission to London (as was the first sub-entry listed here); for an explanation see the source note to No. 488.
6 Samuel Goodwin (1716-87) of Pownalborough was a major in the province militia.
8 Peter Van Brugh Livingston (1710-92) was the brother of Robert R. Livingston (1718-75), lord of Livingston Manor, and a prominent Whig politician.
9 Rev. Hugh Palmer was a British army chaplain to the regiments at Nova Scotia.
10 Charles Reade, New Jersey politician: province secretary, 1748-60 and 1762, and thereafter a member of the governor’s Council; appointed a justice of the Supreme Court in 1764.
11 James Flagg of Gardiner, Maine. He enclosed the letter from the Arasagunticooks to FB listed below this entry.
12 Sagamore was a synonym for sachem.
13 John Wentworth (1737-1820) nephew of Benning Wentworth and governor of New Hampshire between 1767 and 1775.
14 Peter Templeman, (1711-1769), physician and secretary of the Royal Scociety for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce, London.