Appendix 1.1

    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, from August 27. 1765, to June 28. 1766.

    AT a Council held at the Council-Chamber in Boston, 27th August, 1765.

    His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor acquainted the Governor in Council of the great Damage he had sustained the Night before by a Number of riotous and tumultuous People who had totally destroyed his House and all he had therein.

    1765. August 27.

    Advised and Ordered, That John Erving, Thomas Hubbard, Thomas Flucker, Harrison Gray, and Royall Tyler, Esquires, be a Committee to confer with his Honour the Lieutenant-Governor and the other Gentlemen of the Town who have suffered by the riotous Proceedings of the last Night, and of the Night of the 14th Instant, and to appoint Carpenters, Masons and other Tradesmen to estimate the Damage done to the Buildings in particular; the said Committee to appraise the Damage upon the whole which either of the Parties have sustained, and make Report as soon as may be.

    Advice of Council

    In Consequence hereof the Committee reported as follows, viz.

    In Compliance to the within Order the Committee have attended the Service, and appointed sundry Tradesmen to view and estimate the Damage done the House and Furniture of his Honour the Lieutenant-Governor on the 26th of August, by a Number of riotous and tumultuous People, and other Sufferers that same Night in their Houses and Furniture, viz. Benjamin Hallowell, jun. Esq; and William Story, Esq; together with what was done on the 14th of the same Month to the Secretary’s House, Furniture, and Office; and report as follows,

    Report of the Committee of Council

        Lawful Money   Sterling.










    That by an Estimate of sundry Tradesmen, Masons, Carpenters, and others, given in Writing from under their Hands, the Damage done the Lieutenant-Governor’s House only amounts to - - -





    As to the Damage done the Furniture, &c. it being broke, destroyed and carried away, which can be no ways ascertained or come at, but by his Honour and Family, who must be knowing to every Thing that was in the House, as Plate, Money, and other Things of Value, a List of which we have from under his Honour’s own Hand1 of the Particulars, amounting in the whole to - - - -











    And that the whole Damage done the Hon. Secretary Oliver, in and about his House, Furniture, and Office, amounts to - - - -








    And that the Damage done Benjamin Hallowell, jun. Esq;’s House, appears by sundry Tradesmen’s Bills, amounts to - - -





    And that the Loss he sustained by Goods destroyed and taken out of his House, as appears by an Estimate made out by himself amounts to - - - -





    [Since this Report a further Account has been delivered in, to the Amount of - - - - ]











    And that the Damage done the House of William Story, Esq; as appears by the Tradesmen’s Bills –





    The Damage he has sustained in his Furniture and Papers is not yet fully made out, nor can be ascertained











    [Since the Report of Mr. Story has given an Account of the Damage of Furniture, &c.]—


    (Signed) John Erving, per Order.

    The Governor opened the Session of the General Court on the 25th of September following with a Speech, wherein is the following Paragraph, viz.

    September 25.

    “Gentlemen of the House of Representatives,

    Extract of the Governor’s Speech.

    I must recommend to you to do an Act of Justice,2 which at the same Time will reflect Credit upon yourselves: I mean to order a Compensation to be made to the Sufferers by the late Disturbances. Their Losses are too great for them to set down with; one of them amounts to a very large Sum. You must be sensible that it will be expected that these Damages be made good; and it will be better for you to do it of your own Accord before any Requisition is made to you. An Estimate of these Damages is made by a Committee of the Council pursuant to Order, which will be laid before you.”

    On the 27th of September his Excellency prorogued the General Court to Wednesday the 23d of October: The Court being then met, the House of Representatives on the 24th send a Message to the Governor in answer to his Speech of the 25th of September, and in reply to the foregoing Paragraph observe as follows, viz.

    October 24.

    “Your Excellency is pleased to recommend a Compensation to be made to the Sufferers by the late Disturbances: We highly disapprove of the Acts of Violence which have been committed; yet till we are convinced that to comply with what your Excellency recommends, will not tend to encourage such Outrages in Time to come, and till some good Reason can be assigned why the Losses those Gentlemen have sustained should be made good, rather than any Damage which other Persons, on any different Occasions, might happen to suffer, we are persuaded we shall not see our Way clear to order such a Compensation to be made. We are greatly at a Loss to know who has any Right to require this of us, if we should differ from your Excellency in point of its being an Act of Justice which concerns the Credit of the Government. We cannot conceive why it should be called an Act of Justice, rather than Generosity, unless your Excellency supposes a Crime committed by a few Individuals, chargeable upon a whole Community.”3

    Extract of a Message from the House.



    Nothing more was done in this Business during the Continuance of the then General Assembly.


    A few Days after the Meeting of a new Assembly in May 1766, his Excellency received a Letter from Mr. Secretary Conway, dated St. James’s, 31st March, 1766. wherein he writes as follows,

    March 31.

    “Nothing will tend more effectually to every conciliating Purpose, and there is nothing therefore I have in Command more earnestly to require of you, than that you should exert yourself in recommending it strongly to the Assembly,4 that full and ample Compensation be made to those, who, from the Madness of the People have suffered for their Deference to Acts of the British Legislature. And you will be particularly attentive that such Persons be effectually secured from any further Insult, and that, as far as in you lies, you will take Care by your Example and Influence, that they may be treated with that respect to their Persons and that Justice in regard to all their Pretensions, which their Merits and Sufferings undoubtedly claim.

    Extract of Mr. Secretary Conway’s Letter.

    The Resolutions of the House of Commons which by His Majesty’s Command, I transmit to you, to be laid before the Assembly, will shew you the Sense of that House on those Points: And I am persuaded it will, as it most certainly ought, be the Glory of that Assembly, to adopt and imitate those Sentiments of the British Parliament, founded on the clearest Principles of Humanity and Justice.”5

    The Resolutions of the House of Commons relating to this Business are as follows,

    Resolution of the House of Commons.

    Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, that such Persons, who, on Account of the Desire which they have manifested to comply with, or to assist in carrying into Execution, any Acts of the Legislature of Great-Britain, relating to the British Colonies in North-America, have suffered any Injury or Damage, ought to have full Compensation made to them6 for the same, by the respective Colonies in which such Injuries or Damages were sustained.”

    Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to this Majesty, humbly to desire that his Majesty will be graciously pleased to give Directions, that the said Resolutions be transmitted to the Governors of his Majesty’s Colonies and Plantations in America, to be by them communicated to the Assemblies of their respective Governments.”

    On the 3d of June his Excellency made a Speech to the two Houses upon the Subject Matters of Mr. Secretary Conway’s Letter, and having communicated the said Letter to them, together with the Resolutions of the House of Commons, he observes therefrom as follows, viz.

    June 3

    “I am also ordered to recommend to you, that full and ample Compensation be made to the late Sufferers by the Madness of the People: and for that Purpose I am directed to lay before you the Votes of the House of Commons expressing their Sense upon that Subject; whose Humanity and Justice7 it is hoped it will be your Glory to imitate.”

    Extract the Governor’s Speech.

    Gentlemen of the House of Representatives,

    The Requisition contained in this Letter is of a most singular nature, and the only one of the Kind that I have known since I have served his Majesty in America. It is founded upon a Resolution of the House of Commons, formed after a full Consideration of the Matter, and represented to His Majesty by the Address of that House. The Justice and Humanity of this Requisition is so forceable that it cannot be controverted; the Authority with which it is introduced should preclude all Disputation about complying with it.82 I hope therefore you will add to the Merit of your Compliance by the Readiness of it, and assume to yourselves the Honour which now offers itself, of setting the first Example of Gratitude and dutiful Affection, to the King and Parliament, by giving those Proofs of it, which are now pointed out to you. I must observe that it is from the Provincial Assembly that the King and Parliament expect this Compensation should be made to the Sufferers, without referring them to any other Persons whatsoever. Who ought finally to be charged with this Expence, may be a proper Consideration for you; and I shall readily concur with you in your Resolutions thereon, after the Sufferers have been fully satisfied.”

    The House of Representatives in a Message in answer to this Speech say upon this Head,

    “The Recommendation enjoined by Mr. Secretary Conway’s Letter, and in Consequence thereof made to us, we shall embrace the first convenient Opportunity to consider and act upon. In the mean Time cannot but observe,9 that it is conceived in much higher and stronger Terms in the Speech than in the Letter. Whether in thus exceeding, your Excellency speaks by your own Authority, or a higher, is not with us to determine. However, if this Recommendation, which your Excellency terms a Requisition, be founded on ‘so much Justice and Humanity that it cannot be controverted”: If “the Authority with which it is introduced should preclude all Disputation about complying with it”, we should be glad to know what Freedom we have in the Case.”10

    Extract of a Message from the House.


    On the 25th of June the House resuming the further Consideration of this Matter, sent the following Message to the Governor.

    June 25.

    May it please your Excellency,

    The House of Representatives have duly attended to that the Part of your Excellency’s Speech which had reference to a full and ample Compensation to be made to the Sufferers in the late Disturbances.

    Message from the House.

    We are sensibly affected with the Loss they have sustained, and have the greatest Abhorrence of the Madness and Barbarity of those Persons who were the Instruments of their Sufferings,— nothing shall be omitted by us in our Department to bring the Perpetrators of so horrid a Fact to exemplary Justice; and if it be in their Power to a pecuniary Restitution of all Damages.11

    But may it please your Excellency, as a Compliance with your Excellency’s Recommendation to the Provincial Assembly to make up these Losses appears to this House not as an Act of Justice, but rather of Generosity,12 they are in doubt whether they have any Authority to make their Constituents chargeable with it, without their express Consent: The House therefore beg Leave to acquaint your Excellency, that they have thought it their Duty to refer the Consideration of this Matter to the next Sitting of the General Court,13 that the Members may have the Opportunity of taking the Minds and Instruction of their several Towns thereupon.



    On the 27th of June the Governor sent the following Message to the House of Representatives.

    June 27.

    Gentlemen of the House of Representatives,

    Message from the Governor.

    As your Reasons for not complying at present with what has been recommended to you by Order of the King, with the Advice of his Parliament, on the Behalf of the Sufferers in the late Disturbances, will probably be canvassed with great Precision; it will be proper that the Intendment of them should be as certain as may be. I should therefore be glad to know, whether I must understand from your Message of Yesterday, that it is your Opinion that a Detection of the Perpetrators of the late Mischiefs is necessary to intitle the Sufferers to a Compensation for their Losses.

    It appears to be the gracious Intention of the King and Parliament, that a Veil should be cast over the late Disturbances, provided it be covered by a general and uniform dutiful Behaviour for the future. But it is certainly no less their firm and resolute Purpose, that the Sufferers by these Disturbances shall have a full and ample Indemnification made to them: And this Business has been committed to you upon Principles of Humanity and Justice, rather than of meer Generosity.

    If you think that an Inquiry into the Promotion and Perpetration of the late Disorders is a necessary Preliminary to determine from whence the Charge of the Compensation shall finally come, and shall pronounce for the Expediency of such an Enquiry, you will certainly be assisted by the Governor and Council in the Prosecution of it: And I dare say it will be no difficult Work to trace this Matter to the Bottom.

    But in the mean Time I fear the King and Parliament will think their Intimations disregarded, by your proposing an Enquiry now, after it has been neglected for nine Months past; during all which Time the House have had this very Business of Indemnification under their Consideration. They expect from you that the Sufferers shall be indemnified at all Events, whether the Offenders are discovered or not, or whether they are able to pay the Damages or not; and seem to be more intent upon Indemnification than Punishment.

    I therefore wish, for the Sake of the Province, whose Interests, and especially those of its Trade, are now in a very nice Balance, and for the Sake of this Town, whose respectable Inhabitants have already suffered much, in the Opinion of the World, for having been tame Spectators of the Violences committed in it, that you would remove this Disgrace without the least Delay, by ordering the Indemnification immediately to be made, upon the Credit of those whom you shall hereafter judge to be chargeable with it. When this is done, there can be no Objection to your postponing the Consideration, on whom this Money ought ultimately to be laid, to what Time you please: and there is no Doubt but that any Enquiry, which you shall think fit to make for this Purpose, will be as efficacious as you can desire.


    Upon which the House the next Day presented to his Excellency the following Address.

    June 28.

    May it please your Excellency,

    “The House have duly attended to your Excellency’s Message of the 27th Instant. We are fully sensible of the Goodness of the King and Parliament, and agree with your Excellency, that it appears to be their gracious Intention that a Veil should be drawn over the late Disturbances. And we hope our Behaviour will always be such, as to merit their Approbation.

    Message from the House.

    Sir, The House are ever attentive to the Applications of Persons of every Rank, whose Case justly claims their Consideration: But as the Sufferers whom we apprehend your Excellency refers to, have never applied to this House, (as we conceive) in a parliamentary Way for Relief; we are humbly of Opinion, that we have done all at present, that our most Gracious Sovereign and his Parliament can reasonably expect from us. But to shew our Regard to every Thing recommended by the King and Parliament, we have appointed a Committee to sit in the Recess of the Court, to make a thorough Enquiry into the Riots14 committed in the Month of August last, and discover the Persons concerned therein as far as may be. For the effectuating which Business, we doubt not, but we shall be aided by your Excellency, and His Majesty’s Council.

    And further we would acquaint your Excellency, that the House have passed a Resolve to take the Report of this Committee under Consideration at the beginning of the next Sessions of this Court, and act thereon what shall appear to them to be just and reasonable.

    Your Excellency is pleased to enforce the immediate Compliance of the House with this Requisition, by an Argument drawn from a Regard to the Town of Boston, the Reputation of whose Inhabitants your Excellency says has already suffered much for having been tame Spectators of the Violences committed, and that this Disgrace would be removed thereby. We see no Reason why the Reputation of that Town should suffer in the Opinion of any one, from all the Evidence that has fallen under the Observation of the House; nor does it appear to us how a Compliance would remove such Disgrace, if that Town had been so unhappy as to have fallen under it.”

    Prt, RC      CO 5/755, ff 559-564.

    Appendix 1.2


    [c.7-19 Jul. 1766]

    Observations on the proceedings for the indemnification of the sufferers in the riots at Boston.

    1. a. This is new Language & savours very much of the humours of the Common people at the time. The House of Representatives, I beleive, never before went so far as to claim to ^be^ independent of all persons & powers whatsoever in regard to their conduct: whenever they are really so, this province can be no more than an Ally of Great Britain.
    2. b. The Fact was this: Between 30 or 40 of the lowest of the people worked at the demolishing the Lieut Governors house for 4 or 5 hours together. At that time the Magistrates & Civil Officers were 3 to one the Military Corps 30 to one the fighting Men ^of the Town^ 100 to one of the Mob: And yet the whole Town acquiesced in the procedure.1 The making Communities, in particular cases, chargeable with the crimes of individuals has been the practice of all Nations & Laws.2 The present Case is greatly strengthened by the general Approbation which the first Riot against Mr Oliver ^met with^; which certainly was the Occasion of the second riot & its impunity. There are two Cases in Great Britain which seem to be precedents for this: the one was the Mob of Glascow destroying the House of Mr Cam[p]bell; to indemnify whom the parliament laid a Tax on the City of Glascow.3 The other was the Case of Captain Porteus, who was hanged by the Mob of Edinburgh. The Parliament obliged the City of Edinburgh to pay a Sum of Money to his family to indemnify them for their loss of his life.4
    3. c. It is observed that the Recommendation in the Governor’s Speech is conceived in higher ^& stronger^ terms than in the Secretary of State’s Letter. The Letter was dictated by those principles of Mildness & indulgence, which it was thought would have made the Provincials ashamed of their past proceedings & desirous to obliterate them by future instances of duty. The Speech was wrote after they had shown the contrary disposition by turning out the Kings Officers from the Council; and when it was certainly known that the leaders of the faction intended to oppose the making an indemnification, whenever it should be proposed from any Authority soever.5 The Governor was ordered that he should exert himself in recommending it strongly to the Assembly: he did not think he ought to confine himself to the terms of indulgence used by the Secretary of State, especially when he knew that that Indulgence was ^like^ to ^be^ abused. He had been long used to term the commands of the King requisitions, & they have ^frequently^ been so called by the Assembly: he therefore could not use a lower expression of a command of the Kings preceded by the Advice of his parliament. Therefore the Governor calls it a Requisition of a singular nature, & sayes that the Authority of it ought ^to^ preclude all disputation. And certainly when it is considered that the same power, which recommends this measure has a right to command it by a legal Act, it ought to be no Offence to say that the Authority should preclude all disputation about it: Nor is there any freedom lost by such preclusion, but what, it is to be hoped, they do not mean to claim, an Exemption from the Ordinances of Parliament.
    4. d. The Dispute concerning the indemnification being an Act of justice runs thro’ the whole proceedings. It has been before showed, in support of the Governor’s using that expression, how it is an Act of justice. Since that The House of Commons have declared that the Sufferers ought to have full Compensation made to them; terms very expressive of its being an Act of justice. And the Secretary of State writing by the Command of the King pursuant to the address of the House of Commons expressly sayes that the Sentiments of the parliament are founded on the clearest principles of humanity & justice 6 ^But the House sayes that it appears to them not as an Act of justice.^ How are we to account for so wanton a contradiction of the Opinion of the King & parliament in a dispute upon terms only? The Case is this: If The Indemnification is to be considered as an Act of justice, it ought to come from the Town of Boston; if it is to be paid by the province at large, it will be an Act of generosity, that is to the Town of Boston, from whom it is in justice due. The People throughout the Country expect that it shall be paid by Boston only: the Representatives of Boston, who by stirring up & fomenting the ill humours of the Country have got the lead in the House of Representatives, have power enough to prevent its being charged upon Boston, but not power enough to engage the House to charge the Province with it. And hence it is that they are obliged to use all practicable Evasions & subterfuges to postpone this business in hopes some time or other to prevail upon the House to charge this Loss upon the province & exempt the Town of Boston from it. And so it is that this business is put off to latter Lammas.7
    5. e. The next Sitting of the general Court in the ordinary Course of business will be the middle of January next. And the House has not desired the Govr to call them together sooner, that they may again reconsider this matter: on the contrary they purposely & professedly avoided making such a request, least it should be considered, as an intimation that they intended to Comply with the Requisition, which they have all along Very carefully avoided. Under these Circumstances It is not to be expected that the Governor will call the Assembly together again, untill he is strengthen’d by special Orders & Instructions how to conduct himself towards them. In this situation under an adjournment of this business unto Janry next (unless the Governor shall receive orders to call them together sooner) The Sufferers will be left to the Mercy of the house, who seem not at all disposed to favour them. For If they should then, after a little protraction of time by deliberation, finally refuse the indemnification, it will be too late for the parliament to interpose its Authority.
    6. f. Between the foregoing Message & the following A[n]8swer to it, there passed a Transaction which it is proper to mention here. The House sent a Message to the Governor verbally by a Committee9 to desire that He would acquaint the House with the informations he had received of the persons concerned in the riots at Boston. The Governor answered that all his informations had been Communicated by private conversation & in such a manner that he could not make a public use of them at present. That He had never entered into a formal Enquiry, nor even examined a single Witness, altho’ he had had offers made him of some, who would Voluntarily submit to his examination. But that He declined it, at first because the Government could not support itself in such a business; and since because it appeared to him that the King & parliament did not desire such an Enquiry should be made. That He much doubted the propriety of such an Enquiry now, having learnt enough to foresee that it would go too deep & spread too wide. But If the House should determine for such an Enquiry, and should be in earnest in the prosecution of it (which would be doubted untill it should appear so) He should think it the Duty of the Governor & Council to assist them in it. But He very much recommended to the House not to make the indemnification dependent upon or subject to the Result of the Enquiry. That, If they left the Matter as it stood now, It could be considered no otherwise than an indirect refusal. The King and Parliament require them to make an indemnification; they answer that they will make an Enquiry: this is playing at cross purposes. If the House only wants to consult their constituents they should fix upon a short day to return, & desire the Govr to grant them an adjournment for that purpose & time. But If they only postpone ^the consideration of^ it to next Session, without giving Any Assurance of their intention to make an indemnification, or desiring a short day to determine upon it, It must be considered as a present Refusal; And they must not expect that the Governor will move this business to them any more without Special Orders for it. In which Case The Parliament will probably take the business into their own hands & they will not again have an Opportunity of complying with this Requisition.

      This was reported to the House & the Deliberation turned upon the giving some assurance of their making an indemnification; when It was determined to avoid giving the least hint of a certain intention to make an indemnification. On the Contrary an Answer to the Governors Message was prepared, in which, by starting a New Evasion, The Refusal to make an indemnification becomes positive.

    7. g. This is quite a New Evasion now first brought in aid to the former subterfuges, “That the sufferers have never applied to the House in a parliamentary Way for relief.” To examine the force of this plea It will be necessary to review the proceedings on this subject from the begining.

      On the day after the Ruin of the Lieut Governor’s House, or rather on the same day, The Lieut Govr represented the Affair to the Governor in Council who thereupon appointed a Committee to estimate the Damage.10 As his Loss has been found to be above three fourths of the whole We may very well state the Case upon his instance only. The Governor by the Advice of the Council summoned the Assembly,11 & at the instance & on the behalf of the Sufferers recommended to the House of Representatives to make them a Compensation. The House demurred upon it, but never once objected to the Sufferers applying thro’ the Governor’s mediation rather than immediately to the House. In the next Session which began the middle of January, Nothing was done for indemnifying the Sufferers, and not one Word of objection for the Sufferers not having applied to the House immediately appears to have ^been^ urged by the House, tho’ that Session lasted near 2 months. In the mean time the parliament got hold of this matter, whether by petition of the Sufferers or on their own Motion ex debito justitiæ,12 does not appear. On the last day of May being 3 days after the new Assembly had met, the governor received his orders from the Secretary of State & communicated them to the House on the 3d day of June. For 3 weeks after, this Matter was agitated and there were at least 3 formal debates had upon it, & as many questions put; there were two sevral Answers given to the Governor, neither of which mentioned Any objection arising from the sufferers not having petitioned the House: till after the Governor had sent his final Message. This New Difficulty is introduced ^on the last day of the Session^ 9 months after the origination of this business & above 3 weeks after it came recommended from his Majesty at the desire of his parliament. And upon the Authority of this Objection the House declare that (by doing nothing) they have done all at present that the King & his parliament can ^reasonably^ expect from them. It sounds very odd that what the House of Commons has resolved ought to be done, & what the King in pursuance of such resolution has recommended to be done should be rejected by a Provincial Assembly for not coming before them in a Parliamentary Way. It might be agreable to them to bring the Lieut Governor before them as a petitioner, probably to undergo a second rejection. But after having had his Cause adopted by the King & parliament he will scarce offer such an indignity to them as to originate a petition to the provincial Assembly upon their suggesting that the Recommendation of the King & parliament is not sufficient for its own purposes. And therefore this Objection is a fatal One & must be considered as an absolute Refusal.

    P.S. Since the writing the foregoing observations a Letter has been published in a Boston Newspaper wherein the writer endeavours to show that the Governors urging the Recommendation with ^too^ great Authority (the Authority of the King & parliament & not his own) was the Cause of its being not Complyed with.13 The Falsity of this pretence will appear plainly to any one who will peruse the proceedings of the House. The Truth is that the Terms of the Governors Speech were objected to because they were resolved not to comply; and such Objection was really the Effect of the Non-compliance & not the Cause. Had they been disposed to have Complyed, they might have separated the Resolutions of the House of Commons & the Secretary of State’s letter from the Governors Speech & given him to understand that It was the indulgence of the former & not the Authoritativeness of the latter which induced them to comply: a Censure which the Governor would have been very well pleased with if it had been accompanied with the Indemnification. But It was never intended to make an Indemnification: The Difficulty ^with^ which that business has hitherto laboured & is ever like to labour is that the Country thinks it most reasonable that the Charge should be borne by the Town only & the Town is for flinging it upon the province in general. Hence it is that The Members of Boston not daring to lay it upon the province for fear of hurting their party with the people, nor on the Town for fear of offending their Constituents have no part to act but to prevent it’s taking place at all by perpetual Evasions adjournments & protractions; which are like to have no End, untill the People without doors, who begin to be uneasy upon this Account, shall oblige them to alter their Conduct; or the parliament shall resume the Consideration of this business & do justice in it themselves.

    AMs, Copy      CO 5/892, ff 88-93.