This chronology traces the major occurrences in Thomas Hutchinson’s life during the period covered in this volume, as well as recounting some of the events in both Massachusetts and England that had such an impact on his story. All dates are new style.


    9 September: Hutchinson is born in Boston to Colonel Thomas Hutchinson and Sarah Foster Hutchinson.


    Hutchinson enters North Grammar School.


    September: Hutchinson enters Harvard College.


    July: Hutchinson graduates from Harvard College.


    10 August: Jonathan Belcher arrives in Massachusetts as the new governor.


    16 May: Hutchinson marries Margaret Sanford, granddaughter and heiress of Governor Peleg Sanford of Rhode Island. Six weeks later, the couple departs for a honeymoon in New York.


    Early in the year: Hutchinson proposes a plan to retire Massachusetts paper money in his anonymous pamphlet, A Letter to a Member of the Honourable House of Representatives, On the Present State of the Bills of Credit.


    February: Hutchinson is chosen as a selectman by the Boston town meeting. He serves annually as selectman, except when he is in Britain in 1740 and 1741. In 1745 he finally declines the post.

    9 April: The Crown establishes a new boundary line between New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

    May: Hutchinson is chosen by the Boston town meeting as one of its representatives to the Massachusetts General Court.


    May: Hutchinson is re-elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives.


    May: Hutchinson is not re-elected to the House of Representatives because of his support for a hard-money policy.

    3 December: Hutchinson’s father dies, leaving Hutchinson a substantial estate.


    Early 1740s: Hutchinson forms a business partnership with Thomas Goldthwait, creating the mercantile firm of Hutchinson & Goldthwait.

    12 March: Hutchinson proposes another plan to retire the province’s paper currency, but it dies in the House with little debate.

    May: Hutchinson is re-elected to the House.

    28 June: Governor Jonathan Belcher appoints Hutchinson a justice of the peace for Suffolk County.

    Summer: The Land Bank is formed in Massachusetts to issue private currency notes as legal tender.

    September: Hutchinson and other Boston merchants formally agree to not accept Land Bank bills.

    September: Hutchinson is selected by the House of Representatives as a special agent to the Board of Trade in England, acting on behalf of twenty-six townships that seek to be restored to Massachusetts after the border is redrawn with New Hampshire.

    15 October: Thomas Hutchinson Jr. is born.

    1 November: Hutchinson sails to England as an agent for Massachusetts, landing on 28 November.


    7 April: The House of Representatives votes to remove Francis Wilks from the Massachusetts agency.

    16 May: Belcher is recalled; William Shirley becomes governor of Massachusetts.

    10 June: In England, Hutchinson is heard by the Board of Trade regarding the towns’ petition; the Board of Trade rules later that same month against Massachusetts.

    Summer: Parliament extends the Bubble Act to Massachusetts, dissolving the Lank Bank.

    11 October: Hutchinson sails from England with Benning Wentworth, who is on his way to take up the governorship of New Hampshire. They land at Cape Cod on 30 November.


    Hutchinson buys property in Milton and begins establishing a country estate there.

    31 May: Hutchinson is re-elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives.


    Hutchinson’s Milton house is ready to be occupied.

    May: Hutchinson is re-elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

    24 or 25 December: Elisha Hutchinson is born.


    May: Hutchinson is re-elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

    4 June: Hutchinson is chosen as a delegate to accompany Governor William Shirley to an intercolonial conference with Native Americans at Albany, New York, the first of many such appointments.

    22 November: Sarah Hutchinson is born.


    Spring: Massachusetts troops participate in the siege of Louisbourg, contributing the largest amount of men and supplies for the campaign.

    May: Hutchinson is re-elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

    17 June: A colonial force under the direction of Massachusetts commander William Pepperell captures Louisbourg.


    28 May: Hutchinson is re-elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives and chosen its Speaker.


    27 May: Hutchinson is re-elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives and chosen Speaker again.

    17 November: The Knowles impressment riot takes place in Boston. As Speaker of the House, Hutchinson plays a key role in resolving the crisis.


    3 February: Hutchinson presents a memorial to the House of Representatives, proposing to use a portion of the money Parliament promised to reimburse Massachusetts for its expenses during the Louisbourg campaign to retire the province’s paper money.

    25 May: Hutchinson is re-elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives and chosen Speaker again.

    18 October: The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ends King George’s War by returning everything to the prewar status quo.

    22 December: James Allen is expelled from the Massachusetts House of Representatives because of his remarks about Governor William Shirley; he is re-elected to the House by his Boston constituents five days later.


    25 January: The General Court passes Hutchinson’s currency bill to redeem the province’s paper money at fixed rates between 31 March 1750 and 31 March 1751 in exchange for silver coins.

    1 May: Hutchinson’s Boston town house catches fire but does not burn to the ground, despite a lack of enthusiasm among bystanders to help fight the fire.

    31 May: Hutchinson is not re-elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives but is instead selected by the House as a member of the Governor’s Council, a position to which he will be annually re-elected until 1766.

    September: Reimbursement money from the Louisbourg campaign arrives in Boston from England.


    31 March: Massachusetts begins redeeming paper money for silver.

    2 June: Hutchinson is appointed to the Massachusetts commission on the province’s boundary with Connecticut. In succeeding years, he serves on many similar commissions concerning boundary disputes between Massachusetts and the surrounding colonies.


    31 March: The period to redeem paper money for silver in Massachusetts ends.

    10 June: Parliament passes a law prohibiting the New England colonies from issuing paper money as legal tender.


    3 April: Hutchinson is appointed judge of the Suffolk Probate Court and of the Suffolk Inferior Court of Common Pleas.

    30 July: William (Billy) Sanford Hutchinson is born.


    14 February: Margaret (Peggy) Hutchinson is born.

    12 March: Margaret Sanford Hutchinson dies of complications from childbirth.

    April: Hutchinson is selected by the Massachusetts House of Representatives as one of five commissioners to the Albany Conference.

    May: The French and Indian War begins in the Ohio Valley.

    19 June: The Albany Conference convenes, although Hutchinson arrives two days late, on 21 June.

    10 July: The Albany Conference adopts a plan of union, but delegates decide it must be reviewed by colonial legislatures before it can be put into effect; the conference adjourns the next day.

    18 October: Governor William Shirley presents the Albany Plan of Union to the Massachusetts General Court.

    14 December: The General Court rejects the Albany Plan of Union.

    19 December: The General Court forms a new committee, which includes Hutchinson, to draft another plan of union.

    26 December: A committee of the General Court presents another plan of union for consideration, and it is referred to the town meetings for their opinions.


    Massachusetts begins issuing general writs of assistance rather than specific search warrants for use in detecting smuggling.

    17 January: The Boston town meeting resoundingly rejects the committee’s plan of intercolonial union of 26 December.

    14 April: General Edward Braddock arrives in Virginia as commander-in-chief of British forces in North America.

    9 July: Braddock is mortally wounded near Fort Duquesne and is replaced as commander-in-chief by William Shirley.

    28 July: Governor Charles Lawrence of Nova Scotia expels French Acadians who refuse to take an oath of loyalty to the British Crown.

    September: British commander William Johnson abandons the Crown Point expedition in upstate New York because of low morale among New England colonial troops.

    Winter 1755–1756: In Boston, Hutchinson makes arrangements for the care of the Acadian refugees who have been expelled from Nova Scotia.


    11 May: The Marquis de Montcalm arrives in Canada as commander-in-chief of French forces in North America.

    15 May: Britain declares war on France as the European phase of the war, known as the Seven Years’ War, begins.

    23 July: Lord Loudoun arrives in America to replace William Shirley as commander-in-chief of British forces in North America.

    September: Shirley leaves America for England after being recalled. Lieutenant Governor Spencer Phips, who is in failing health, is left in charge as acting governor of Massachusetts.

    1 October: Hutchinson departs for a trip to Albany, New York, where he meets Loudoun and initiates a confidential correspondence with him. He returns from Albany on 29 November.

    6 December: A majority of Boston merchants sign an agreement pledging themselves to inform on smugglers.


    March: Loudoun imposes an embargo on all nonmilitary shipping in America.

    4 April: Acting Governor Spencer Phips dies, leaving Massachusetts to be governed by the Council.

    Early June: A dispute erupts in the Council between Hutchinson and Sir William Pepperell over who will preside at Council meetings.

    30 June: Loudoun assembles a large British force at Halifax to attack Louisbourg but delays the attack indefinitely after learning French reinforcements have arrived.

    August: Under the Marquis de Montcalm’s direction, the French capture forts Oswego, George, and William Henry. At Fort William Henry on 9 August the Native American allies of the French massacre both military and civilian prisoners.

    2 August: Thomas Pownall arrives in Massachusetts as governor.

    4 September: Pownall recommends Hutchinson as lieutenant governor.

    Mid-September: Pownall travels to New Jersey, where he is still lieutenant governor, to make arrangements for the colony after the death of Governor Jonathan Belcher on 13 September. He is gone from Massachusetts until the end of October.

    30 December: Loudoun is replaced as commander-in-chief of British forces in North America by James Abercromby.


    28 January: Hutchinson is appointed lieutenant governor.

    1 April: Hutchinson resigns as judge of the Suffolk Inferior Court.

    1 May: Hutchinson’s commission as lieutenant governor is published.

    29 June: In England, the Duke of Newcastle forms a coalition government in conjunction with William Pitt, who serves as secretary of state for the southern department, dedicating himself to the vigorous prosecution of the war.

    1–8 July: James Abercromby leads a large British force to attack Fort Ticonderoga but fails, suffering heavy casualties.

    26 July: Major General Jeffery Amherst and Brigadier General James Wolfe capture Louisbourg at the head of a large British and colonial force.

    Early August: Hutchinson rounds up deserters in the Plymouth and Cape Cod area.

    August: Amherst captures both Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point.

    18 September: Abercromby is recalled to England and replaced by Amherst as commander-in-chief of British forces in North America.


    April: Thomas Pownall leaves Boston to lead an expedition to the Penobscot region of Maine and does not return until the end of May.

    Mid-September: Boston’s new collector of customs Benjamin Barons, who was appointed to the post on 11 May, arrives from England.

    18 September: British forces capture Quebec, but both James Wolfe and the Marquis de Montcalm are killed in battle.

    13 November: Pownall is promoted to the governorship of South Carolina; Francis Bernard is appointed governor of Massachusetts.


    26 April: Massachusetts customs agents seize John Erving’s brig Sarah, the first seizure in sixteen years.

    3 June: Pownall sails from Massachusetts to England, leaving Hutchinson temporarily in charge.

    August: In his capacity as acting advocate general for the vice-admiralty court, James Otis Jr. begins an investigation into smuggling in Massachusetts.

    2 August: Francis Bernard arrives in Massachusetts as the new governor.

    23 August: British Secretary of State William Pitt sends a circular letter to all colonial governors, ordering them to enforce the Molasses Act of 1733 with more rigor.

    8 September: The French surrender Canada to the British.

    10 September: Superior Court Chief Justice Stephen Sewall dies.

    13 November: Bernard nominates Hutchinson as chief justice of the Superior Court.

    Mid-November: James Otis Jr. resigns as acting advocate general of the vice-admiralty court.

    17 December: On behalf of several Boston merchants, James Otis Jr. submits a petition to the Massachusetts House of Representatives requesting authorization for Treasurer Harrison Gray to begin legal proceedings to reclaim money that was paid to informants from customs seizures.

    27 December: Boston receives news that King George II died on 25 October and was succeeded by King George III, requiring the reissuing of all commissions.

    30 December: Hutchinson’s commission as chief justice is issued.


    13 January: The Massachusetts House of Representatives adopts a resolution instructing Treasurer Harrison Gray to bring a suit in the vice-admiralty court for the funds paid to informants.

    27 January: Hutchinson takes his seat on the Superior Court. The Massachusetts House of Representatives names customs officer Charles Paxton as the defendant in the suit to reclaim the money.

    February: Boston merchants petition the Superior Court regarding the validity of general writs of assistance.

    24 February: The writs of assistance case is argued before the Massachusetts Superior Court, lasting three days, after which the Court tables the matter.

    5 March: Hutchinson writes Massachusetts agent William Bollan, requesting a copy of a writ of assistance as used in England.

    13 March: Hutchinson is issued a new commission as lieutenant governor following the accession of King George III.

    13 June: Bollan replies to Hutchinson’s letter regarding the use of writs of assistance in England, enclosing a copy of an English writ.

    Summer: James Otis Jr. proposes a motion in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to prevent justices of the Superior Court from also sitting in either branch of the legislature. The motion fails by a narrow margin.

    Summer: James Otis Jr. proposes another motion in the House of Representatives, this one mandating that all writs of assistance specify the name of the offender, the exact location to be searched, and the name of the informant. The motion passes the House and Council, but Governor Francis Bernard vetoes it.

    August: On appeal, the Superior Court overturns a lower court’s decision in Gray v. Paxton and dismisses the case on the technicality that Gray does not have standing to sue.

    21 September: A new legal suit is filed against Paxton with the province acting as the plaintiff.

    18 November: Armed with a copy of a general writ of assistance commonly used in England, the Superior Court decrees that general writs of assistance are legal in Massachusetts.

    Mid-November: John Temple arrives in Boston to replace Thomas Lechmere as surveyor-general.

    Late November: Temple and Bernard clash over the work of James Cockle, customs officer at Salem.

    December: A controversy erupts in the province over whether to make gold legal tender as well as silver, a proposal Hutchinson opposes.


    18 January: Oxenbridge Thacher’s pamphlet Considerations on Lowering the Value of Gold Coins, Within the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay is published.

    January: After losing his case before a jury in Province of Massachusetts Bay v. Paxton, Charles Paxton appeals to the Superior Court.

    19 February: The Massachusetts House of Representatives refuses to grant Hutchinson the extra allowance traditionally allotted to the chief justice of the Superior Court and keeps all the justices at the same 1760 salary level of £700.

    26 February: The General Court grants Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine to Governor Francis Bernard as a gift.

    March: Arguing before the Superior Court, Paxton wins his case in Province of Massachusetts Bay v. Paxton.

    6 March: The Massachusetts House of Representatives passes a bill to limit writs of assistance. Superior Court justices render a unanimous opinion that such a bill will deviate from the way writs of assistance are administered in Britain. Bernard signs into law a bill making gold legal tender as well as silver.

    17 April: A bill is introduced in the House of Representatives to prevent Superior Court justices from holding a seat in either the House or Council, but it is defeated three days later.

    19 April: The House discharges William Bollan as its agent in Britain.

    23 April: Jasper Mauduit is chosen as the new Massachusetts agent.

    29 May: In England, the Newcastle-Pitt coalition resigns. Lord Bute’s administration comes in.

    Summer: Hutchinson travels to Maine at the head of a delegation chosen by the Massachusetts House of Representatives to report on twelve townships on the Maine-Nova Scotia border that have petitioned to be part of Maine.

    Mid-November: James Otis Jr.’s pamphlet A Vindication of the Conduct of the House of Representatives of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay is published.

    December: Hutchinson submits his report on the twelve Maine townships to the General Court.


    12 January: The General Court receives news that Massachusetts agent Jasper Mauduit has successfully secured a parliamentary grant of the twelve townships.

    17 January: The House of Representatives votes that Israel Mauduit can act as agent only when his brother Jasper is unable to do so.

    February: Hutchinson begins writing a history of Massachusetts.

    10 February: The Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the French and Indian War and stripping France of its North American possessions.

    16 April: In England, the Bute administration steps down to be replaced by that of George Grenville.

    May: Pontiac’s Rebellion begins in the upper Ohio Valley.

    9 July: From England, Secretary of State Lord Egremont sends a circular letter to all governors informing them of a new law, enacted in April, enabling naval officers to act as customs agents and make seizures. Boston receives word of the new law in mid-September.

    21 July: In England, the commissioners of customs submit a report to the Grenville administration, which had requested it on 21 May, concerning the revenue generated from American commerce. The report makes suggestions to improve the customs service and increase revenue from the colonies, which become the basis of the Revenue Act of 1764.

    7 October: The British government issues a proclamation prohibiting settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains.

    11 October: From England, the Board of Trade writes to Bernard, along with other colonial governors, with instructions to tighten customs enforcement.

    27 December: The Boston Society for Encouraging Trade and Commerce, a group of Boston merchants, presents its memorial on the “State of Trade” to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The memorial argues against renewing the Molasses Act of 1733 and stresses the interrelatedness of all imperial trade.


    Thomas Pownall’s book The Administration of the Colonies is published anonymously in London. Subsequent editions are published in 1765, 1766, 1768, 1774, and 1777 under his name.

    2 January: Surveyor-General John Temple announces in the Boston newspapers that the Molasses Act of 1733 will be strictly enforced.

    11 January: The Massachusetts General Court adopts a petition to King George III against the Revenue Act of 1764.

    18 January: The General Court meets in Cambridge to avoid smallpox in Boston.

    24 January: A fire destroys a substantial portion of Harvard College, including the library.

    28 January: The Massachusetts General Court selects Hutchinson as its special agent to England to protest the Revenue Act.

    1 February: The House of Representatives votes to excuse Hutchinson from the agency after he informs them he cannot leave Massachusetts for three or four months.

    2 February: The Council deadlocks between excusing Hutchinson from the agency altogether or postponing his appointment.

    February: Hutchinson finishes writing the first volume of his history of Massachusetts.

    10 March: The British House of Commons adopts a resolution to consider levying a stamp duty on the American colonies.

    Early May: Boston receives news that the Revenue Act became law on April 5. Bostonians also hear at the same time about a proposed stamp duty.

    15 May: The Boston town meeting selects a five-man committee, including the newly elected Samuel Adams, to write instructions to its representatives in the House of Representatives regarding Massachusetts’ response to the proposed stamp duty.

    17 May: A group of colonial agents in London meet with George Grenville to discuss options for raising revenue from the colonies. Grenville tells them he is determined to enact a stamp duty.

    24 May: The Boston town meeting suggests joint action among the colonies to protest the passage of the Revenue Act.

    June: A House of Representatives committee that includes James Otis Jr. and Oxenbridge Thacher drafts a set of instructions for Massachusetts agent Jasper Mauduit about the proposed stamp act.

    8 and 12 June: James Otis Jr. reads aloud in the House of Representatives his soon-to-be-published pamphlet against the stamp duty.

    13 June: The Massachusetts House of Representatives appoints a committee to correspond with the other colonial legislatures regarding American protests of the Revenue Act.

    23 July: James Otis Jr.’s pamphlet The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved is published.

    August: Boston merchants enter into their first nonimportation agreement, pledging not to buy British luxury items.

    11 August: British Secretary of State Lord Halifax sends a circular letter to colonial governors telling them Parliament intends to pass a stamp duty for the colonies and requesting suggestions concerning how this legislation should be drawn.

    27 August–circa 28 September: Governor Francis Bernard visits his property on Mount Desert Island in Maine.

    3 September: Thacher’s pamphlet The Sentiments of a British American is published.

    29 September: The Revenue Act of 1764 goes into effect.

    Fall: Jasper Mauduit requests the Massachusetts House of Representatives to relieve him of the agency because of his failing health.

    18 October: The House of Representatives selects an eleven-man committee to draft a petition to the “King in Parliament” opposing the proposed stamp duty. Drafts of the petition circulate back and forth between the House and Council.

    22 October: The House of Representatives adopts a petition to “King, Lords, and Commons” protesting the stamp duty, but it is rejected by the Council two days later.

    31 October: The House of Representatives accepts Hutchinson’s more moderate version of the petition against the stamp duty but revises one clause. The Council refuses to agree to the change on 2 November.

    3 November: The Massachusetts General Court adopts Hutchinson’s version of the petition without the controversial revision and addresses it to the British House of Commons only.

    5 November: A tumultuous Pope’s Day celebration ends in a street fight between residents of Boston’s two major neighborhoods, the North and South Ends.

    7 December: The first volume of Hutchinson’s history of Massachusetts is published.

    Winter 1764–1765: Thomas Whately drafts the Stamp Act for Grenville.


    The London edition of the first volume of Hutchinson’s history of Massachusetts is published.

    16 January: Nathaniel Wheelwright, a principal merchant in Boston, declares bankruptcy as a result of unsettled conditions at the end of the French and Indian War. Similar business failures follow.

    23 January: The Massachusetts General Court excuses Jasper Mauduit from the agency because of his failing health.

    25 January: The House of Representatives selects Richard Jackson, Governor Francis Bernard’s choice, as the province’s agent in Britain.

    2 February: Four colonial agents (Jackson representing Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania; Charles Garth representing South Carolina; Benjamin Franklin representing Pennsylvania; and Jared Ingersoll representing Connecticut) meet with George Grenville to lobby against the passage of a stamp duty. Parliament begins debating the Stamp Act, refusing to hear any colonial petitions on the topic.

    March: James Otis Jr.’s pamphlet A Vindication of the British Colonies is published.

    24 March: The Quartering Act goes into effect, requiring colonial governments to house and supply British troops.

    Spring: Hutchinson begins working on the second volume of his history of Massachusetts.

    Mid-April: Rumors circulate in Boston that Parliament has enacted the Stamp Act.

    13 May: Samuel Waterhouse’s poem “Jemmibullero” is published in the Boston Evening-Post. A scathing indictment of James Otis Jr. and the inconsistencies of his public opinions, it backfires and bolsters support for Otis on the eve of the annual elections.

    14 May: The general election for representatives to the General Court is held.

    24 May: The Boston town meeting issues instructions to its representatives—almost certainly written by Samuel Adams—to guard the preservation of colonists’ rights as Englishmen, fearing Britain will tax them without representation.

    27 May: Boston receives official word that the Stamp Act received royal assent on 22 March and will take effect on 1 November. Two days later, Boston receives word that Andrew Oliver has been appointed stamp distributor.

    8 June: The House of Representatives sends a circular letter to all the colonies proposing that a Stamp Act Congress meet in October in New York. Massachusetts chooses James Otis Jr., John Worthington, and Timothy Ruggles as delegates.

    2 July: The Boston Gazette publishes the Virginia Resolves, which had been adopted by the Virginia House of Burgesses on 30 and 31 May. The forceful language of the resolves had been prompted by Parliament’s refusal to hear colonial petitions regarding the Stamp Act.

    August: News reaches Boston of civil disturbances in London by weavers, glovemakers, and other manufacturers adversely affected by colonial boycotts of British luxury items begun the previous August.

    14 August: Andrew Oliver and Lord Bute, chief adviser to King George III, are hanged and burned in effigy in Boston. A crowd then destroys a shed rumored to be Oliver’s stamp office and damages Oliver’s town house.

    15 August: Oliver resigns as stamp distributor after Governor Francis Bernard fails to persuade the Council to call out the militia. That night another crowd forms and marches to Hutchinson’s town house, but it disperses after one of Hutchinson’s neighbors falsely claims that Hutchinson is at his country estate in Milton.

    16 August: Hutchinson takes his family to Milton and only returns to Boston for brief periods to fulfill his official duties. The entire family returns on 25 August, believing tempers had cooled in Boston.

    25 August: Reverend Jonathan Mayhew preaches a sermon to his congregation at West Church that many later believed incites further violence.

    26 August: Another crowd gathers in Boston, attacking the homes of customs officials Benjamin Hallowell, Charles Paxton, and William Story. The group then proceeds to Hutchinson’s town house, destroying its contents and damaging the house itself.

    27 August: A disconsolate Hutchinson appears before the Superior Court, giving a dramatic speech about the destruction of his house and denying ever having supported the Stamp Act. Bernard places Boston under military guard and calls out the militia to maintain law and order. The Boston town meeting condemns the riots of the previous night. The Council appoints a committee to make an estimate of the losses suffered by the victims of the Stamp Act riots. That night, Stamp Act riots break out in Newport, Rhode Island.

    28 August: Boston authorities arrest six and charge them in conjunction with the 26 August riot.

    5 September: Bernard issues instructions that the stamped paper will be stored at Castle William when it arrives.

    Mid-September: News reaches Boston that the Grenville ministry has fallen in England on 13 July and been replaced by the Rockingham administration.

    18 September: Bernard disbands the militia, believing law and order has been restored in Boston.

    19 September: In Connecticut, Jared Ingersoll is forced by civil unrest to resign as stamp distributor.

    25 September: Bernard urges the Massachusetts General Court to compensate the victims of the Stamp Act riots.

    27 September: Samuel Adams is elected by the Boston town meeting to fill Oxenbridge Thatcher’s place in the House of Representatives after Thacher’s death on 8 July.

    Late September: Stamped paper arrives in Boston and is placed in Castle William.

    1 October: The few men held in Boston prisons in connection with the Stamp Act riots escape, reportedly assisted by the Sons of Liberty. No effort is made to recapture them, since officials fear the outbreak of more civil disturbances.

    Early October: Stamp Act demonstrations break out in Philadelphia.

    7 October: The Stamp Act Congress convenes in New York.

    18–27 October: Stamp Act disturbances occur in Charleston, South Carolina.

    19 October: The Stamp Act Congress adopts the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, reasserting colonists’ rights as Englishmen and protesting the passage of the Stamp Act.

    25 October: The House of Representatives adopts the Massachusetts Resolves, written by Samuel Adams. The Stamp Act Congress adjourns.

    31 October: Roughly 250 New York merchants pledge themselves to the non-importation of British goods until the Revenue and Stamp acts are repealed.

    1 November: The Stamp Act goes into effect, but since Stamp Distributor Andrew Oliver had already resigned in August, the stamped paper remains undistributed at Castle William. All business requiring stamps is forced to either proceed without stamps in violation of the law or to cease. Stamp Act protests break out in New York again.

    5 November: Dennys DeBerdt is chosen as Massachusetts’ special agent to present further Stamp Act petitions in Britain. Peaceful Pope’s Day celebrations occur as the two primary Boston neighborhoods meet in accord.

    Early November: Philadelphia merchants adopt nonimportation.

    8 November: Bernard again urges the Massachusetts House of Representatives to compensate the victims of the Stamp Act riots.

    26 November: The New York town meeting argues that the Stamp Act should be ignored as unconstitutional.

    30 November: Oliver’s commission as stamp distributor finally arrives in Boston.

    December: London merchants organize a committee to lobby Parliament for the repeal of the Stamp Act, fearing a colonial boycott of their goods.

    9 December: About 250 Boston merchants adopt a nonimportation agreement.

    17 December: Oliver publicly resigns his position as stamp distributor—for the second time. On the same day, Boston’s customs house opens and begins operating without stamps.

    18 December: The Boston town meeting sends a memorial to Bernard requesting that he open the courts and allow them to function without stamps.

    19 December: Bernard lays the memorial before the Council, leaving it to them to decide whether or not to order the courts to open.

    20 December: The Council leaves it to the courts to decide whether to open.

    21 December: Hutchinson resigns as probate judge in favor of the temporary twelve-month appointment of his younger brother Foster, who does not object to proceeding without stamps in violation of the Stamp Act.


    13 January: The probate and inferior courts open on schedule and proceed to business without stamps.

    14 January: In England, William Pitt, recently made Earl of Chatham, urges Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act. Letters of Governor Francis Bernard written in the late summer and early fall about Massachusetts and the Stamp Act are laid before the British House of Commons.

    17 January: In England, Rockingham government ministers agree in a private meeting that the Stamp Act must be repealed. London merchants present a petition to Parliament requesting the repeal of the Stamp Act.

    23 January: The Massachusetts House of Representatives passes a resolution by a vote of 81 to 5 calling on all courts to open.

    3 February: Superior Court justices Hutchinson, Benjamin Lynde Jr., Chambers Russell, and Peter Oliver (John Cushing is too ill to attend) meet and decide to open the spring session without stamps in violation of the Stamp Act. In the face of overwhelming pressure from the popular party, the Court agrees the session will begin as scheduled in March.

    22 February: The British House of Commons votes in favor of repealing the Stamp Act by a vote of 275 to 167.

    10 March: West Indian and North American merchants hold a meeting in London to propose legislation designed to replace the Revenue and Stamp acts. The Rockingham ministry accepts all the committee’s proposals and incorporates them into the Revenue Act of 1766 and the Free Port Act of the same year.

    11 March: The Massachusetts Superior Court convenes its spring session but handles only routine business that does not require stamps. Hutchinson does not attend.

    18 March: King George III signs the Stamp Act repeal, effective 1 May 1766. At the same time, Parliament passes the Declaratory Act, asserting the power of Parliament to legislate for the colonies “in all cases whatsoever.”

    3 April: Thomas Hutchinson Jr. sails for England in an effort to advance Hutchinson’s pleas for compensation for the losses he had suffered in the Stamp Act riots.

    15 April: The Superior Court, with Hutchinson in attendance, sits again but does not conduct any business that requires stamps before adjourning on 29 April.

    16 May: News that the British Parliament has repealed the Stamp Act reaches Boston.

    19 May: Boston holds an official celebration, declared by the Sons of Liberty, for the repeal of the Stamp Act. Massachusetts holds its annual elections to the General Court on the same day.

    26 May: The Boston town meeting suggests that the Massachusetts General Court maintain a periodic correspondence with the governments of the other colonies.

    29 May: The House of Representatives selects James Otis Jr. as Speaker and then removes Hutchinson and his supporters from the Council. Bernard immediately vetoes Otis as Speaker but allows the selection of Samuel Adams as clerk of the House. He also attempts unsuccessfully to strike a deal with the House to restore Hutchinson and some of his supporters to the Council. Bernard then refuses to accept any others in their place, leaving the Council six members short for the coming year.

    30 May: Bernard approves the choice of Thomas Cushing as Speaker of the House.

    3 June: Bernard, following orders from British Secretary of State Henry Seymour Conway, instructs the Massachusetts General Court to grant compensation to the victims of the Stamp Act riots.

    10 June: The House of Representatives considers a bill to compensate the victims of the Stamp Act riots but requests specific instructions from the towns before proceeding.

    19 June: The New York legislature votes to compensate the victims of its Stamp Act riots.

    27 June: The Massachusetts House of Representatives appoints a committee to investigate the Stamp Act riots during its upcoming legislative recess.

    27 July: Charles Paxton sails for England, probably to advise the ministry on customs matters in the colonies.

    2 August: In England, the Rockingham ministry steps down to be replaced by the Chatham-Grafton administration.

    Late September: The Superior Court—with Hutchinson, Peter Oliver, and John Cushing in attendance—meet in Springfield, Massachusetts, and hear a case involving Stamp Act resistance in western Massachusetts. Joseph Hawley, a respected political figure in the region, argues the case. Hawley’s clients are fined, and Hawley is indignant at the verdict.

    24 September: Customs agents in Boston are prevented by fear of a mob from searching merchant Daniel Malcom’s house for smuggled goods.

    October 8: Boston instructs its representatives to vote in favor of compensating the victims of the Stamp Act riots from the province treasury, not wanting the town to foot the entire bill. Many of the other towns in Massachusetts have instructed their representatives not to pass the bill, believing that Boston is solely responsible.

    16 October: Judge Chambers Russell sails for England, probably carrying depositions about the Malcom affair to British Secretary of State Lord Shelburne.

    26 October: Thomas Hutchinson Jr. arrives in Massachusetts from England.

    30 October: The Massachusetts House of Representatives committee investigating the Stamp Act riots reports that it had not found any new information. Hutchinson and the other riot sufferers petition the General Court to compensate them for their losses.

    31 October: The House of Representatives votes down a bill that compensates the victims of the Stamp Act riots at the expense of the whole province, stating it is Boston’s responsibility to pay for the damage.

    4 November: The House of Representatives once again votes down an indemnity bill that would have been paid out of the province treasury.

    6 November: The House of Representatives forms a committee to draft a compensation bill for the victims of the Stamp Act riots but also includes an indemnity for all Stamp Act rioters.

    8 November: The House of Representatives agrees that Hutchinson’s losses in the Stamp Act riots total £3,194 and two days later agree on sums for the losses of the other sufferers in the Stamp Act riots.

    6 December: The House and Council pass a compensation bill with an indemnity clause.

    9 December: Hutchinson appears on the floor of the House to thank the representatives for granting him compensation.

    December: The Boston Society for Encouraging Trade and Commerce presents to a House of Representatives committee a draft of a petition to Parliament against the Revenue Act of 1766.

    Late December: Hutchinson and his family move back into his rebuilt town house.