Official news of the repeal of the Stamp Act arrived in Boston on 16 May 1766. The Sons of Liberty appointed 19 May as a day of celebration, complete with illuminations and fireworks. Not coincidentally, the annual elections to the General Court were held three days later. When the General Court convened on 28 May, Thomas Hutchinson’s opponents, emboldened by the triumph of the repeal, seized the opportunity to purge Hutchinson and several of his key allies (among them, Andrew and Peter Oliver as well as Edmund Trowbridge) from their seats on the Council. Although Hutchinson would continue to attend meetings of the Council ex officio in his capacity as lieutenant governor, his ability to preside over Council meetings had been an important source of his political power. Hutchinson was never successful in his attempts to regain a seat on the Council, and thus the election of May 1766 marked an important step in his fall from the popular esteem he had so long enjoyed.
Boston 29 May 1766
Dear Sir, If the earstoly winds had not some effect upon you and sunk your spirits when you wrote letter of 29 March I have more reason to be discouraged than ever.1 My enimies here would not have carried there point Yesterday If I had been supp[orted]2 or assisted in England. In the Election of counsellors I obtained 71 votes out of 136 notwithstanding all the rage of a perfect dæmon who had been chosen speaker & negatived in the fore noon but as the votes for 18 at once it appeared 19 had a maj[ority] of votes & my votes being lest in number I fell.3 The same number perhaps more [would h] ave voted for me for Sagadehoc but I declined standing after such a slight.4
The Secretary Judge Oliver & Trowbridge fell much short of a vote. They say they had rather go out with me than remain without me. They have chosen four or five new ones little better than the scum who I suppose the governor must negative though I have had no conversation with him about.5 I think they cannot fail of other extravagant actions this session. It is not in my power to contribute to the publick service. Nobody has endeavoured it more than I have. Nobody has sufferd so much in [it.] Nobody seems so much neglected. Perhaps I shall see a change for the better. I am Your affectionate,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:233); in WSH’s hand; unaddressed.
Milton 29 May 1766
My dear Son, The Rejoicings for the Repeal of the St. act you will know from all the news papers upon the continent. As the people here made themselves most conspicuous by their opposition to the act I suppose they have done the same by their behavior since the Repeal. Yesterday a greater change was made in the council than I have known except in what was called the land bank year.1 Notwithstanding I was the principal butt of O & his myrmidons yet my natural interest was so strong I had 3 or 4 votes more than a bare majority of the whole assembly but it being a rule that if more than 18 are chosen the lest in number shall give way I was declared not to be chose. In the vote for Sagadehoc I wanted two or three votes owing to my declining standing after such a slight which caused the Secretary Judge Oliver & I suppose some of the house who would have voted for me to vote for my competitor. They have left out the Secr J Oliver & the Att. general who all fell much short of a vote. Lynde & Leonard Resigned.2 Except Col White & Mr Pitts all the persons now elected were carried by the interest of Otis & his party.3 Bowers in whose company it is a shame to be seen was put up against J Oliver one of the most unexceptionable men in the government & carried it by a great majority. Gerrish of Newbury Sanders of Cape Ann Dexter of Dedham & Jerry Powell are the other new members.4 I shall not go to town to day as I chuse to leave the govr. to act what he thinks proper in his negative power which he cant avoid exercising in a greater or lesser degree upon this occasion.
I expect an early attempt will be made to put some mark of slight or disrespect upon Mr Jackson which they know will be a further mortification to me. I will not trouble him with a letter until we see some further acts of this new house it being possible that upon reflection some of them may be ashamed of their conduct so as to give a more favorable turn tho the probability is the other way & it is certain that some of the leaders of the faction are meditating very mad distracted measures but when you have opportunity you will do well to wait upon him and communicate to him this intelligence. The governor has Received no orders from the ministry and this Session probably will pass without any mention of a compensation which there would be [a]5 chance for if moved but the determination of the house being known would facilitate my further application in England. Mr O has Raised himself by a letter which has been Read in town meeting from G Conway.6 It is known that I have never received a line notwithstanding my Repeated applications. The gov. is applauded & deservedly for his prudent stand [and] conduct & will meet with the Reward of it in Eng. Mr Howard I am told tho the honour of government was not affected by the injury to him having no publick character will meet with am[ple] compensation.7 I alone seem to be neglected forsaken by the ministry & left to the m[ercy] of wicked men when a little countenance & support would have enabled me to p[ass] over them & to defeat all their schemes. If common justice does not require some fur[ther] appearance in my behalf I think meer policy ought to do it. This I believe the ministry first or last will be convinced of perhaps when it is too late for me. Be as it may I hope God will enable me to bear everything that befalls me with a calm & undisturbed mind & that when I am dead all will appear in its true lig[ht] & that my publick life will leave no Reproach upon it. Perhaps you that [come] after me may fare the better for my hard usage. The family are all well & dispersed as usual. I am Your affectionate father, T H
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:233); unaddressed.
London May 29. 1766
Honored & Dear Sir, I acquainted you by Scott of my getting safe to London, I shall relate to you my proceedings since.1 The next morning after my Arrival I waited on Mr. Jackson again who received me in a freindly & polite manner & told me that he tho’t the parliament wou’d look upon themselves obliged to see your loss made up by laying a Tax on the province if they shou’d refuse doing it without, which I hope will not be the case, the next day I waited on Mr. Bollan who I tho’t was a little reserved at first, but upon my satisfying him in several points he open’d himself very fully & kept me near two hours enquiring into the state of the Province & proceedings in Boston, he also shewed me a letter from Mr. Harrison one of Lord Rockingham’s family, acquainting him that his Lordship expected to see me.2 I immediately waited on Mr. Jackson to communicate your letter to him, but he being gone out of Town I shewed it to Mr. Bollan of whose freindship to you I was now fully assur’d, he having confirmed to me everything Mr. Jackson had said, and added that he had just seen Lord Rockingham, that things were in a good Channel & he doubted not the ministry had a just sense of your services & intended to reward them, upon the whole he tho’t it best I shou’d wait on his Lordship & deliver him your Letter.3 I accordingly went the next morning, & found he was gone to ride. Mr. Harrison who seems to be a very worthy man desired me to stay a while he expressed a great freindship for you and delivered himself much as Mr. Bollan had done while we were talking the Marquis came in alone, he took me by the Hand in a very familiar manner & asked me to set down, he first asked whether there were any Acts of violence committed in America when I left it, said he had heard that they were actually forming themselves into Regiments & had appointed their Officers. I told him I had heard nothing of it when I came away, upon Reading your letter he said he was glad you had not left the Province as you might be of service there & that he tho’t you had acted with spirit. I was surprized to hear him ask me whether Otis still retained his Influence, he also asked me whether there had ever been any coolness between you & the Governor, & I tho’t seem’d to express some dissatisfaction with his behaviour in the first of the outrage at Boston & that there was not a proper Exertion of Government, he asked me for Fleets Paper, containing the piece on Bluster which I happen’d to have in my pocket, he read it laughed & said he was glad to see the other party begin to write, upon my coming away he told me he shou’d see me again.4 Mr. Bollan who I find is often with the Marquis was present all the time & tells me he is glad I waited on him these are the facts you can judge of the Consequences of them better than I but from what I have been able to collect as yet, the present ministry think very favorably of you. Mr. Bollan & Mr. Jackson I soon found were at variance with one another. I shall endeavour to displease neither, they are both very obliging to me & I beleive freindly to you. I shall set out for Bristol in a few days & take Oxford in my way, hope to be in London in a fort’night I want to hear from America, & am Your dutiful & Affectionate Son,
Tho Hutchinson Junr.
P. S. I have just seen Mr. Jackson & Mr. Bollan they tell me Mr. Conway is out & Ld. Dartmouth appointed for the American Department Mr. Conway has always expressed himself favorably of you.5
My Aunt’s things are in Hand, pray Inform Mr. Rogers his bill is ^noted for non payment^ having seal’d my letter to him.6
I have sent what things cou’d be got ready.
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:74–75); addressed, “For the Honble. Thos. Hutchinson Esqr. Lieut. Governor &c at Boston”; endorsed, “29 May 1766 Tommy”; marked “by Capt. Marshal” for ship transport.
8 June 
My dear son, Having wrote you by the last vessel (Jarvis) I have less now to say to you but am unwilling this vessel should sail without a line.1 The gov. Received his packet from the Secr. of St. the day after I wrote & has Recommended a compensation strongly, they think too strongly being offended at the peremtoriness of the demand.2 I suppose their answer to the other parts of his speech will be in print to morrow.3 I have seen it & its Rude enough but they pass over the Requisition without saying whether they will comply or not & Refuse their final answer until a committee Reports to whom it was specially committed.4 I have not the lest expectation of any thing in my favour. The delay of the answer is for want of good reasons for a refusal I fancy the chief will be the stale one that it was not the people for they expressed their abhorence of it the next day that is Mackintosh who is now a town officer & no doubt with other leaders of the mob was at the town meeting expressed their abhorrence the next day of what they themselves had done the night before.
Having no concern with attending in council I find I am less their object but the gov. is proportionately more so & I think a storm is brewing perhaps as heavy as any that has passed at lest the language of it ends in words will be more foul & dirty. If the other governments are prudent their example may influence our incendiaries who will not care to be left alone but the lest encouragement from them will make the people here as disorderly as ever.5 I am preparing for the long eastern circuit design to write before I go to Mr Jackson to whom make my compliments.6
I hope at my Return I shall hear from you & then I shall have a great deal more to say to you.
Every body desires to be Remembred to you. I am Your Affectionate,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:234); unaddressed; partially dated.
Boston 11. June 1766
Dear Sir, I thank you for your intelligence the 19 April.2 I will not trouble you with more of my moans, but wait with patience. The vouchers to prove my loss I sent under the province seal in the fall to the Secretary of state.3 I must run the risk of the consequence of a tax made upon my account. Perhaps before that time the eyes of the people will be open. They could not give a greater proof of their blindness and madness than they did in their late choice of a Speaker.4 Altho’ my post of L. Gr. was more excepted to, than the posts of the Secretary &c who are left out of the council yet they found it harder to remove me than any of the rest who all fell short of the majority of the two houses, whereas I had a number of votes more than a majority but as they vote for 18 together it appeared that 19 had a major part of both houses,5 but my votes being the fewest of the 19 the other 18 were declared; and finally they would have chose me for Sagadohoc but the Secretary & some others who voted for me in the 18 refused to do it now, saying it would be more for my honour wholly to drop than to come in, in that manner.6 They are preparing addresses to the King & to each House of Parliament.7 They will attempt something which must be offensive, whether they will carry it through I am not certain. Some steady friends to government & to their country are greatly alarmed & will exert themselves with more vigor than they have yet done to prevent it. It is amazing that a whole country for so long time together should be under the influence of a man more fit for a mad house than the house of Representatives.
You will see the speeches answers replications &c. in all the news papers at the coffee house and I will not, for that reason, inclose them. I am Dear Sir Yours unfeignedly, Tho Hutchinson
AC 2 (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:237); unaddressed; at head of letter, “Duplicate in part.” AC 1 (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:235); at head of letter, “Mr Bollan”; partially dated; lacking one brief passage (see note 1, below).
11 June 
Dear Sir, I thank you for your several favours as far down as the 12 of March.1 I am sensible I owe a great deal to you for the favorable Representation of my case. Perhaps all is done for me which I could in justice demand. My own interest may blind [me.] I was in hopes a grant would have been made & then a Requisition to Reimburse [me] it is generally thought here would have been complied with. I find more than I [expec]ted willing to comply as it is now circumstanced but the majority are at present against it. [I] imagine nothing more can be done for me in Engd until another session of Parlt. I will not [trou]ble you now with a detail of the damage I have sustained over & above the first loss of my [subs]tance by the dispersion of my family being drove from the town & the care of my [est]ate which has been no small loss to me being forced to forego one post I sustained & the [other] Rendered doubly burdensome & less profitable besides the pain & distress of mind [for] many months together.2
[The] gov has wrote you, from him you will hear the temper of the new assembly. [So]me of his friends desired him not to negative the new Speaker.3 I tho’t it he could not [ans]wer it to the ministry if he should approve of so obnoxious a person in any post [of] consequence. It was natural to suppose such a step would enrage & increase his [MS torn]ly & influence the election of councillors which was immediately to follow. In the [election] of the 18 for the old colony of Massa bay I had several votes more than a [majo]rity of the council & house but as they vote for 18 together 35 may be chose if the votes were divided as they might be but it is not once in 7 years that more than 18 are chose. When it happens that there are more the highest in number are declared. My votes being first counted I was first declared to have sufficient which soon was carried thro the town to the mortification of the Rabble & the joy of some whom I am the more disposed to think the better sort because they are my friends but in half an hour both were reversed when it appeared that 19 were chose & that I had the fewest votes. When they came to vote for Sagadehoc my friends in the house exerted themselves but I did not like this slight after having been in the genl court from the year 37 without one single instance of disrespect, and expressed some resentment, & indifference whether they succeeded or not and the Secr who fell short of a majority as did Jud. Oliver & the Atto general being dispirited & the more so because he found he was like to go out without me pronounced it a dishonour to vote for me then and he with several of my other friends voted for my competitor & turned the vote in his favour. The case was the same when they came to vote for two at large.
The negatives by the governor tho unusual of late were not generally disapproved some Resentment being expected. His speeches since his enemies think have given them some advantage & they triumph in their answers. That from the council would not have been obtained if I had been there.4 The rage of the party appeared in the news papers which succeeded the two next weeks & discovers impotent malice beyond anything of the sort against any govr. in America & to make a contrast they have given me a mess of flumery5 expecting to seperate us but we are both of us too sensible of the design for it to have the least affect as they intend it should perhaps just the contrary. I go with him now & then to council altho’ I have no voice to shew my attachment. If the other governments conduct more wisely as I hope some of them will do we shall Recover some good degree of authority before the year is out, if the scheme of the Town of B should succeed in instructing their Representatives to keep up a constant correspondence with the other colonies for what purposes it is easy to judge we shall Remain without government as we have been for the year past.6
I am going upon a 3 weeks journey to Casco.7 Probably before this ship sails the gov will give you further intelligence of the proceedings of the assembly who are every day engaged in warm disputes upon some subject or other. I leave my place in council with more Regret because I have less opportunity of promoting those marks of honour & Respect which I am sure are justly due to you for your friendly offices to the colonies in general & to this province in particular. I am with the greatest esteem Sir Your obliged faithful Servant,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:234–35); at head of letter, “Mr Jackson”; partially dated; the part of the MS closest to the binding was obscured by tape, resulting in the many instances of square brackets in this letter, unless otherwise noted.
London June 14. 1766
Honored & Dear Sir, I got to Town last night, where to my great satisfaction I found my letters by Deverson. I find you had received an Account of the Repeal of the Act which I imagine was confirmed in a few days by the Arrival of the Packquet at New York. I am sorry to find the wicked still bear such sway as I find they still do, & I beleive those persons here who have been chiefly instrumental in effecting the Repeal will not encourage our liberty men in any farther Opposition to Government, & I am still in hopes to hear soon that the Advices sent from hence by the Merchants & principal Gentlemen will shew the House of Representatives the necessity of making immediate reparation & submitting to the Resolves however, shall follow your directions with regard to the estoppel of the monies ^& do every thing that may be tho’t necessary.^1 I have called on Mr. Jackson & Mr. Bollan to day but they are both in the Country, before I left London they told me nothing more cou’d be done til I had received an Account of our Assembly’s proceeding in making reparation. Pray give my love to brothers & sisters & tell Sally & Peggy I read their letters with pleasure.2 I shall write you again next week by Omand. I am Your Dutiful & Affectionate Son, Tho Hutchinson Junr.
Milton June 15 
My dear Son, Your brother tells me my letter to you of the 8. missed Smith & that he has put it into this bag.1 I have wrote to Mr J. that I must acquiesce until another session of Parl.2 I am less apprehensive than I have been of the consequences. I think the major part of the court wish I was paid tho’ at the province charge but are afraid of their towns. The gov. says he will try them with a further message they having passed a vote to refer the consideration of the affair to another session.3 Had a grant been made by Parl. & a requisition to raise money to restore it the general opinion is they would not have Refused. The estimate of my loss they own is low the other accounts I hear they are not so well satisfied with.4 I set out in the morning for Falm.5 Hope at my Return to be able to write you more fully. I send inclosed 2d bills for 30 & 40£ of which the first went in my last also Mr Rogers 1st bill for 60£ on W Bollan Es at 40 day.6
The family is well. I am &c,
Thank Mr Bollan for his letter of 19 April which gives me strong assurances that upon failure here I shall be paid next session of Parl.7
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:236); unaddressed; partially dated.
Boston 28th June 1766
Honorable & Dear Sir, I had the favour of your two Letters from Ipswich which principally referred to what you had receivd from Mr Bollan.1 I have since receivd the Box of Books he sent You, there are 160 Pages in large Quarto of the size of what he published some time since: it appearing thus to be a Book of more worth than you seemd to imagine it to be, I have as yet only given one to the Governor another to the Board & another to the House, that You may exercise your own Judgment in the further distribution tho’ I must confess I had mentioned at the Board your design to present each of them with one; but this was before I knew the Bulk of the Book.2
At page 139 He begins upon the Affairs of America and altho’ he is very explicit against the Equity or Policy of laying internal Taxes upon the Colonies, yet the only Remedy he seems to point out, is a Representation in parliament, as in the Case of Wales in the 12 of Ed: I, and afterwards in the Case of the English Colony in Calais.3
I have sent You a Copy of the Govs. Message to the House of Yesterday with an Abstract of what they had said to him the 25th. which produced this Reply.4 The House I hear did afterwards appoint a Committee to make Enquiry, of which Cap. Sheaffe was one, who excused himself this morning, on account of some Insults he had received on the occasion as he went home last Evening.5 I write this however without any precise Information.
On the 26 a Sailor was committed to Goal by Jus. Stoddard on suspicion; He having a Gold chased Watch supposed to be Sister Sanford’s.6 The Story upon it is Bacchus and Ariadne. She does not care to swear to it tho’ she verily beleives it to be hers. I must refer you to Mr Bradbury for more full & particular Intelligences, and am Sir Your affectionate Brother and very humble Servant, Andw Oliver
Mr Hall was another of the Committee but has also got excusd. He tells me He would not be upon it for £1000—for he was against the thing.
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:83); unaddressed; docketed, “Secretary Rec’d at York 1766 June 1766.” Enclosures not found.
Most objects associated with Hutchinson have a very uncertain provenance. According to the list of owners engraved on the bottom of this teapot, it was taken from Garden Court Street during the riot. Although Hutchinson’s inventory does not mention a silver teapot, the small number of silver items included leaves open the possibility that he and his children might have carried away some silver items as they fled. The teapot may also have come from the Milton house, have been purchased for Garden Court Street as a replacement after the riot, or have no relationship to Hutchinson at all. Teapot belonging to Thomas Hutchinson, circa 1764. Silver and mahogany by Richard Rugg, silversmith (London, England). Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
London July 1. 1766
Honored & Dear Sir, Inclosed you have Invoice of three Chest Tea which I have sent without any Insurance, there is also by this Ship Two Glasses for the Hall, the best collection of Busts I cou’d meet with in London, two Swords & seal, Sallys suit which was left by mistake, my Aunt’s things & pray tell her I have taken a great deal of pains to please her, the Silver Tea Pot & Knives.1 I can say nothing farther about your affairs til I hear from America. Mr. Jackson tells me ^as before^ to make my self easy the parliament will certainly see that your loss is made up, without I shou’d find I can be of some service to you ^here^, I think I shall endeavour to be at Home before winter, the Climate here being very disagreable to me & yet am forced to pay dear enough for breathing in it. I have no letter from you by Davis. I am Your dutiful Son, Tho Hutchinson Junr.
There are Several Articles for other People in your box. They are all mark’d & Elisha will deliver them. I forgot to mention the books all except 6th. Volume Universal History & the Sword belts. The 6th. Volume I fear shall not meet with here—please to deliver or destroy the letter to Gov. Bernard as you shall think proper.2
July 2d. I have just received your letter by Jarvis, reading the latter part gave me some pain & uneasiness.3 I have spent an hour with Mr. Jackson this morning, he tells me he has wrote you that he does not think I can be of much Service to you, nothing more being expected from the ministry at this time than kind expressions which I think I have already received but has given me leave to assure you from him that the ministry look upon the Order to the province as an answer to your Application, & that compensation will certainly be made you & that by a Tax on the province, & I myself have been encouraged to expect the same from ^Ld. Rockingham^ Mr. J Pownal Mr. Roberts & Jenings Commissioners at the Board of Trade where Mr. Jackson Introduced me not long since, but I hope there will be no need of a Tax on the Province to effect it as it may be attended with disagreable consequences to you there.4 I cou’d wish you had come to England last Fall. I am sure you wou’d have been kindly received & might have obtain’d what you ask’d. G——r B——d no doubt had his reasons for dissuading you from it, this is my own opinion.5 I have heard Mr. Jackson in Conversation give it as his Opinion that if the Duke of Cumberland had not died instead of a Repeal of the Act, there wou’d have been a number of Regiments in America before this.6 I hope to hear more favorable Accounts by the next Ships. I am going for about a fortnight into the Country, & am Your dutiful Son, Tho Hutchinson Junr
Mr. Jackson tells me he has proposed to the G——r to send Mr. O—s over as Agent, he thinks they cou’d make something of him here.7
July 3. I have gone thro’ a fiery trial this Afternoon with Mr. Bollan who when I first came in, greatly resented your charge in the beginning of your letter, which he shew’d me, of his want of spirit & exertion in your Interest, he swore & raved like a madman, said he cou’d not bear that you, whom he had always endeavour’d to serve to the utmost of his power, shou’d charge him with ^want of^, what he was generally tho’t to have too great a share off.8 I consider’d it was Mr. Bollan, & told him he ought to consider the treatment you had met with, & not to wonder at your Anxiety, in a few minutes he was as cool as he had before been warm, said he chose to deal plainly with me, & tho’ he tho’t himself injured in the charge, it had not nor shou’d it prevent him doing his utmost to see your loss made up, & to serve you so long as you had justice of your side, that he was just come from Ld Rockingham’s, who told him the parliament had taken it upon them to see you compensated & that the ministry had nothing to do with it, that his Lordship gave him leave to write you that the ministry were much prejudiced in your favour or to that Effect, in short I believe Mr. Bollan does every thing in his power to serve you, he tells me you are too anxious, that you will certainly have compensation, as the honor of this Kingdom is stak’d upon it.
Your Cloaths are sent by this Ship.
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:84–85); unaddressed. Enclosures not found.
Milton 6 July 1766
My dear son, Scott arrived the 4 in the evning just as I was going thro’ the town from my journey east and I met your letters of 14 & 16 of May which if they had contained no more than the news of your being well would have been very acceptable to me.1 By Marshall I shall hear more particularly.
I find the court rose without any determination upon my concerns. It is said New York immediately complied. If this be true I do not see what our people will have to say when they meet again which is to be the 15 of next month.2 It is certain that many who have formerly declared against a compensation now say it must be made by some means or other. I wish it may be done here to save my friends trouble in England but it is far from certain that it will be altho less improbable than at any time past. Whether I am paid or not I must have some articles from England before winter which I shall send to you for by one of the next ships. In the meantime if you can meet with a set of Viners abridgment second hand for 10 guin buy it & send it to me.3 I know it is but half the price of new but they are sometimes to be had at that rate. No body is so likely to advise you as Mr Palmer. I intend to write him as soon as I have leisure in answer to a late letter from him.4 I shall send 2d bills of the sets from Calef which are now endorsed by Wells. Elisha does not get any money from the tea chaps. It is now a drug sold at 33/ o T.5 but you will ship what you have money to purchase notwithstanding. I shall write Mr Bollan by this vessel if she does not sail before I go to town.6 I have a letter from P Chardon 31 May.7 I am afraid the BBs fire will retard if not prevent the payment of my debts there.8 All desire to be remembred to you.
Send me a couple of pocket glasses for my old eyes. Mr Bowdoin uses No 8. That would suit me well only in order to see the object clear I must hold the glass some distance from my eye which lessens the object too much. They that have skill in opticks will tell you what other number will be better. Send also such a double penknife as I commonly use only a better handle & good stuff.
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:244); unaddressed. Enclosure not found.
Liverpool July 11. 1766
Honored & Dear Sir, In one of your letters to me you mention the bad spirit that still prevails, & the greivousness of the Resolves preceeding the Repeal, which I communicated to Mr. Jackson & Bollan only, who advised me to wait on Ld Rockingham with this Intelligence.1 The day I left London a Gentleman in the City who is very freindly came to me & told me, that he had heard you had wrote to a minister something to the prejudice, of the Colonies mentioning O—s’s name & that he beleived this Account wou’d go to O—s or some of his people by Freeman.2 I denied the thing & gave him leave to do so from me if he ever heard it mentioned again. Tho’ this malicious Report can do you no hurt here, yet I tho’t it proper to mention it, that you might be gaurded against the malice of wicked men at home, who will be glad to make a handle of it against you, its possible & I hope no such Account may be gone. I am endeavouring to improve all my leisure time in seeing as much of England as I can & have gone thro’ most of the manufacturing Towns. I cou’d wish it were earlier in the Year two or three months, as I cou’d spend Six months more very agreably in England, but if I tarry Six I must ten or twelve as I don’t intend to embark after September or before April the Sea being so disagreable to me as almost to make me dread the time when I shall return to my friends, but I beleive upon my return to London which will be in about 3 weeks if nothing has occurred more than when I left it, I shall be looking out for a good Vessel to take my passage in. Dr. Franklin I have not yet seen, he has been in Germany ever since my being in England. I am Your dutiful & Affectionate Son,
Tho Hutchinson Junr.
PS. I have seen the Printer of your history, he tells me he has not sold quite 200 books of the first Volume, he was willing to allow me only 5 per Cent.3 If you shou’d repair your library I think I can get a larger discount. I shall leave this place tomorrow.
RC (Massachusetts Archive, 25:88); unaddressed.
Bo [22 July 1766]1
Dear Sir, I am sure that no inconvenience has arisen or ever will arise from my communicating your letter to the two houses as no copy of any intire sentence was preserved so much as in any persons memory being only once read & immediately Returned to me. I have no opinion of communicating extracts or pieces generally a jealousy is formed that the Remainder would not consist with what is extracted or if the whole had been communicated the extract would appear in a very different light & therefore ordinarily when a whole letter ^or paper^ will not bear communicating to such sort of assemblies of which I have every day a more indifferent opinion it is best to communicate no part.
I do not see any reason the colonists can have to hope for a more favorable plan or system than you have settled in your mind. I agree with you fully. But this is not the plan intended to be practised upon. You will find more & more in the resolves addresses &c of due deference all due subordination &c to Parliament. I fear the present calm after so violent a storm will be but of short continuance.
The governor at present inclines the court should not meet again before winter.4 I tell him there is a chance for their complying. He says not the lest. Besides, if they should not meet at the time they stand prorogued it will be said that if they had met they would have complied but he put it out of their power. I would leave no method unattempted to obtain a compensation here if it were only to save trouble to the ministry & to my friends upon whose favour I must depend. As soon as I know the governors determination I shall know what steps are proper for me to take.
Mr Paxton to whose care I commit this letter has been often in England but he tells me he is not personally known to you. His courteous polite & hospitable Reception & entertainment of the gentlemen of the army navy & other strangers who have come among us for many years past has caused him to stand in ^as little^ need of Recommendation as any gentleman among us. I cannot avoid as we have been intimate from boys & been friends without interruption mentioning him to you as such. Indeed I have some selfish ends in it. I think he would Readily say or do any thing he could with justice & propriety to serve my interest.
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:245); at head of letter, “Mr Jackson”; undated.
23. July 
Dear Sir, Your letters of 18 & 29 Ap. came to hand when I was at the Eastward.1 I wrote immediately to the Sec & desired him to Receive the box of books & distribute them to the gov. speaker members of the coun. & some principal members of the house & now I am Returned I intend to distribute the Remainder & send you the persons names.2 I am astonished at the great labor which such a work must have Requird. You are determined to wear out not to rust out. Every body here speaks well of the work in general, but some of our sons of liberty think you have not gone far eno’ for them in that part which Relates to America. When you Reflect upon their actions you will not wonder at their principles. The last paragraph in your last letter gave me more spirits than any letter I have Received since my misfortune not that I have not Received as encouraging letters from others but I know your caution & that you write nothing without due consideration.3 I will inclose a printed collection of the proceedings of the assembly upon the affair.4 The governor says they never intend to make any grant & at present seems determined not to call them together again till winter. I do not know that they will do any thing if he should but if they will not I would force them to be more explicit than they have been. I am therefore urging him to suffer them to sit next month if it be but a few days if he should not I shall lay aside all thoughts of application to them.5 You hardly expected to see your old friend Mr Paxton in England again. He has acquired the esteem of so many persons there that nobody has less need of letters of Recommendation & I give him this letter to you & desire him to deliver it with his own hand meerly to save the post. I sincerely wish you many years more of life health & usefulness for the sake of the publick as well as of Your faithful affectionate friend & Servant,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:246); at head of letter, “Mr Bollan”; partially dated.
24 July 
My dear Son, The S. court sitting at Boston I send you a few lines only by Mr Pax. that you may know you are always in my thots.1 I want much to hear from you after you have seen a little more of Lond than when you wrote your last letter.2 We are every day expecting [MS blotted] I have entred Billy at collge but he has not wholly got over his infirmity.3 I am at a loss what further to do about him. The Rest are well except your uncles Peggy who seems now to be in the last stages of her illness.4 I have wrote to Mr J & Mr B.5 I am Your affectionate father,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:246); unaddressed; partially dated.
London July 1 1766
Honored & dear Sir, Having been for three Weeks past in the Country, I find Smith arrived from Boston, & am sorry to see such an Answer to the Govrs. Speech, for if they shou’d finally comply ^to make restitution^ yet their backwardness in doing it will deprive them of the Advantage they wou’d have reaped here from an immediate Compliance with so just a demand, & I believe this to be the Sentiment of all real freinds to America here, if they refuse nothing can be done til the parliament meets.2 I spent an hour with Mr. Jackson this morning, he seems to think our assembly will comply. I asked him whether he tho’t the ministry wou’d look upon your receiving the bare nominal sum as a sufficient recompence, upon which he told me a person of Consequence had asked him whether the Government would be agreable to you if Mr. Bernard were removed, & ask’d me what I tho’t. I told him I had no positive Authority to say yes, but did not say no, & I have reason to think from another quarter that the ministry some of them had this or something equivalent in view, but within this few days there has been great talk of a change, & yesterday being at Ld. R———m’s with Mr. Bollan Mr. Berk’s told us his Ld.ship would do no business after that day, which I am sorry for, nothing is yet settled as Mr. Jackson informed me to day, but it is generally tho’t Mr. Pitt will come in with Ld. Temple but every thing is very uncertain.3 You have inclosed Tho Bully’s draft with protest. The other bills have not heard the fate off. I think I shall take my passage in Jarvis who says he shall sail in all next month. I advised with Mr. Jackson & Mr. Bollan whether they tho’t I cou’d be of the least service by staying til the next sessions of parliament but they both tell me I cannot as the thing is in such a Channel as that it must be effected, & both promise me they will do every thing in their power not only in the loss being made up, but that you may receive some other satisfaction. I observe what you say of the Seamen’s Tickets, & shall do all I can for these people.4 I hope the things by Freeman came safe & am Your dutiful Son,
Tho Hutchinson Junr.
PS. The packet is just arrived from New York & I have seen the Votes of their Assembly which makes me think ours have too late complied with the demand.
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:86–87); addressed, “To the Honble. Thos. Hutchinson Esqr. Lieut. Govr. &c Boston”; endorsed, “London July 1766 My son T.”; marked “by Cap Deverson” for ship transport.
At the New England Coffee Hous 6 oClock PM
6 July 
Honored & Dear Sir, I put my letter of this days date into the bag a few Hours ago, since which have received yours 15th. June by [Birney] which I think I have already answer’d, am glad your Apprehensions of Consequences abate, as I have not the least doubt of the Intention of parliament shou’d there be occasion, but upon comparing the date of the New York Votes which I have before me with the date of your letter, you cou’d not have received them, & I think they must occasion a reconsideration of the Vote of our Assembly ^to defer the thing^ if they are not quite mad.1 I find it wou’d have been very difficult to have obtained a Grant by parliament of the publick monies here having mentioned such a thing several times already to different gentlemen. I dont quite despair of their doing it this sessions which I hope to have an Account of by the next ship. Pray give my love to brothers & sisters. I am Your dutiful Son, Tho Hutchinson Junr.
PS. Its said the Administration is settled, but will not be publick til Wenesday next.2
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:89); addressed, “To the Honble. Tho Hutchinson Esqr. Lt. Govr. at Boston”; partially dated; endorsed, “My son Thos. London 26 July 1766”; marked, “by Cap Daverson” for ship transport.
London Aug. 1 1766
Honored & Dear Sir, Having wrote you a few days ago by Deverson, I have little more to say at present, than that I find by your two last letters, your Apprehensions of the madness of the people are abated, & by the papers it is generally agreed that the House will at their next meeting comply with what they will be compelled to hereafter if they shou’d refuse, you will see the Change in the ministry by the papers, the present ministry is pretty well liked here & said to be an able one.1 I have received a polite letter from Govr. Pownall who lives 30 miles from Town & intend to wait on him to morrow.2 The province have lost the Credit New York has gained by their ready compliance. I am almost tired of one constant Round of Company & Amusement & am sure I shou’d not chuse to spend my life in such a state of Dissipation. I think I shall sail in Jarvis in all this Month or soon after, as I dont care to be later on the Coast. I am Your dutiful Son, Tho Hutchinson Junr.
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:90); addressed, “To The Honble. Thos. Hutchinson Esq Lt Governor &c at Boston”; endorsed, “London Aug. 1. 1766 My son T”; marked “by Cap Daires” for ship transport.
Milton 12th Septr: 1766
Dear Sir, I hope you had a pleasant Passage, & have been Sometime in London. The six Weeks since you sail’d, have pass’d here without any remarkable Event. A mob about a Collector or Comptroller’s House, if they do not pull them down is a small Affair. The Falmouth People kept Frank Waldo beseig’d, one night, long enough to carry off a Parcell of foreign Rum that was under Seizure, and I dare say none of the Actors, will ever be discover’d.1 Farther East, a mob beset Doctor Gardner’s House when he was in it, and he Escap’d out of a Window, into the Woodes, and came away presently after to Boston: This it is said by some to be only a Scheme, to drawe him from that part of the Country, and that they intended no harm to his Person.2 Upon the Western Frontier, the Borderers are engag’d, with the New York Borderers, and now and then, one or two are kill’d in the Encounters, & the Animosity is increasing. Our Sons of Liberty are afraid, this will break, or weaken the Connexion between the ^two^ Colonies. I wish this may be the worst Consequences. In the Center we are tolerably quiet. There is no Fewel. If a Seizure should be made here, and a Flame does not burst out immediately, I shall hope we are returning to our former orderly State, but I do not beleive the People at Boston, have more Virtue than the People at Falmouth.
The Answers to the Governors Letters prove such as I expected. His Friends, discourage him from going to England, & what related to me is Pass’d over in Silence. He still thinks the General Court if it should meet, would refuse complying with his Majestys Recommendation, & by Advice of Council, has prorogued it farther to the 29th of October.3 I know he thinks this to be the most prudent measure, & tho’ we do not think alike upon it, yet I find no fault, and we are upon as good Terms as ever. It will be hard upon me, however, to winter at Milton again in this cold Season, for I do not intend to furnish my House in Town ’till my Loss is made up. I have enough to do to make half of it habitable, and to provide decent Apparrell for myself and Children. Whether I shall be releiv’d here, is at best doubtfull. Otis when you sail’d pretended it was certain, provided I would petition the House. As soon as he heard I was willing to do it, he declar’d he would oppose the Grant with all his might. This desultory Wretch, shifts and changes as often as a Weather Cock, says & unsays & nevertheless retains his Influence. You know the Governors Sentiments about my applying to the Court, that it will be dishonorary & might be thought improper, because the Parliament have taken the Affairs in Hand, but upon my urging to him, that great Part of the House made a point of it, that if the Grant should be refus’d, & this reason given that I would not ask for it, the ministry would, more likely be offended at my standing upon Punctilio’s & thereby giving them Trouble.4 I think he is reconcil’d to it. I will do it in such a manner as to Shew, I suppos’d a Parliamentary Requisition, to be abundantly sufficient without it.
Indeed I am very desirous of avoiding any further Trouble to my Freinds in England, and although I know our penurious Representatives, if they make any Grant, will cut me Short of my real Loss, yet I had rather forego several hundred pounds of what the Parliament might grant me, than have the Affair come before them again. To sit down with the whole Loss would be more than I can bear.
I have Letters from several Freinds, who assure me that one Time or other I shall have some mark of royall Favour, as a Reward for my Services & Sufferings.5 To remove to any other Part of the World, I should not chuse at this Time of Life. There is nothing I can expect here. If I had the Offer of a Commission for the Government, I had rather it should remain where it is, than have it myself, but if a New Governor should be appointed, I shall not be willing to hold my Lt. Governors commission, but shall beg leave to resign it, & shall be content with the Place of Cheif Justice if any Thing can be annex’d to afford me a decent Support, but I do not see what it can be, & least I should be disappointed I will place no dependance upon it. I wish you may succeed in your Pursuits especially, that you may change one of your Places for something that will be less dependant.6 I am with greatest Truth Dear Sir your most sincere Freind, Tho: Hutchinson
SC (Clements Library, Misc. Bound Collection); in an unknown hand; at foot of letter, “Chas Paxton Esq.”
Henrietta street, Septr. 25th. 1766
Dear Sir, Upon coming to town, after being absent about 2 months, I found the late Mr. Pitt, now earl of Chatham, prime minister in every sense of the word; yet some suppose him subject to control or removal by lord B—, and that ‘twill not be long before they quarrel.1 The board of trade is reduced to a board of reference, access to the king being taken away.2 Lord Shelborne, to whom I am a stranger, is appointed secr of state for the southern department, and is said to have full powers respecting the colonies, but subject in their exercise to lord Chathams direction. He is said to be very much of a courtier in his nature, & a very busy man without much experience. Lord Chathams designs are unknown, and having lost his popularity & his influence in the house of comons by his peerage, it is urged that his future grandure will depend wholly on the kings favour. He has been much abused, & a considerable party is forming against him, who will probably oppose with violence; and another, I am told, will lye by in order to take such advantage as may offer, and it is said the nobility hate him. This makes the 5th. administration in this kings reign, and the times are such that ‘tis impossible for me to give you any advice respecting your own affairs. If the late ministry had continued, I believe that I shou’d have been able to have served you & my self, tho’ one of the chiefs behaved very strangely respecting us both on his going out. Your presence at a particular time, I am persuaded, wou’d have been of considerable service; but as to the propriety & prudence of your coming over now I am much at a loss what to say: if I knew the state of your indemnification I might perhaps be somewhat better able to judge. I told one of the late ministers I expected the assembly wou’d make you a partial recompense, and in that case they might make it up to you, to which he seem’d to assent.
Since writing the above a gentleman of consequence has told me as a secret he is satisfied Mr. Conway will endeavour to get out of the present administration & return to the military. Pray make no mention of this.
I am going out of town directly. Consider as the occasion requires. Yours most Sincerely, W Bollan
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:96–97); only the closing and signature were in Bollan’s hand; at foot of letter, “Lt. Govr. Hutchinson”; addressed, “For The Honble. Thos. Hutchinson Esqr. Lt. Govr. of the Massachusetts Bay, at Boston New England”; endorsed, “W Bollan 25 Sep 1766”; marked “By Capt. Smith” for ship transport.
Milton 12 Octo 1766
My dear Sir, Two or three lines by Jud Russ. just to wish you joy upon Mr Townshends coming into a place of so much importance.1 I hope it will facilitate the accomplishment of what you have in view. Our court is to meet in about a fortnight.2 I think they will comply with the Requisition. The gov. says he or I shall go to Engd before the summer but I know of no advices to make it certain. I had not a prophetick spirit when I told you what [illegible]3 the court of a seizure in Boston or an attempt that way. I refer you to Jud Russ for what has lately passed at [home and] doubt not the gov transmits the deposition concerning it.4 I am Dear Sir Your sincere,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:161); at foot of letter, “Mr Paxton.”
[circa 12–15 October 1766]
Dear Sir, My brother Russell after talking of a voyage to Engd for two or three years past has at length Removed all obstacles & determines to embark in Cap Marshall. I heartily wish him success. As he will be just at the beginning of a new ministry he may have a better chance for perfecting any measure than if there was danger of a sudden change. The governor tells me he will meet the court the 29 of this month principally to give them opportunity of making compensation to the sufferers by the sons of violence.1 As far as I can judge the majority will vote for a compensation unless some ill designing men should clog the vote with a condition that the tax for bringing the money into the treasury again be laid wholly upon the town of B.2 Several of my friends who think the town ought to pay it tell me they will vote for the sum out of the treasury without any tack & endeavour afterwards that the like sum shall be laid upon B but unless a majority should be of that mind I think they will not make a grant for they will not suffer in B that it be laid on the town. A fortnight or 3 weeks will determine it. The business of the Sup. court for the present year will be over about the same time when I hope to have leisure to write more at large & upon other subjects.
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:247); at head of letter, “Mr Bollan”; undated.
Boston 7 Nov. 1766
Dear Sir, My son expresses a very grateful sense of the favours he received from you in Engd. & if I had no other inducement to write at this time but meerly to thank you, that would be abundantly sufficient, but your obliging letter by him gave me further occasion & I thank you likewise for giving me your sentiments in so candid a manner of the little dependence I ought to have upon any further provision for relief.1 That which you think the most probable can be obtained in such a way only as is extremely dissonant from my natural temper & disposition long attendance repeated promises repeatedly delayed performing; and it is possible that by endeavours to retrieve my loss I may spend the greatest part of my fortune which Remains. I have therefore made this use of the information you have given me viz. I am the more sedulous in measures for a compensation here altho’ hitherto without effect. The gov. thought the case desperate from the conduct of the house the last Sessions but the face of things having altered especially in the town of Boston he conceived new hopes & called the assembly sooner than he intended.2 It has been sitting 10 days. A vote passed upon the question whether a compensation should be made to me out of the publick treasury & it failed 36 for it & 44 against it. It hapned unfortunately that the last session it was proposed the members should take the opinion of their towns & many, I imagine 20 or more of my best friends are instructed to vote against me. Instructions to restrain a representative from voting according to his judgment, however popular, always appeared to me unconstitutional & absurd. A few days after an attempt was made to reconsider the vote when there was the same majority in a fuller house 43 against 51. The other sufferers fell much more short of a vote & I am told if I had been alone there would have been no difficulty.3 The court is still sitting. The members are perplexed & I have no doubt there are enough to make a large majority in my favour who would be glad to give me their votes if they were not tied by their instructions.
The scheme at present is to print a state of the case & particularly to represent the assurances given to the ministry by the merchants of London & other friends to the colonies that a compensation should be made also letters from their agent & others pressing a compliance, & a bill of indemnity for all who have been concerned in the late riots those who have been concerned in the larcenies excepted unless they make restitution in a short time.4 It is imagined this will induce many towns to alter their sentiments. I do not like the indemnity but it can do no good to oppose it.
I often think how quiet & contented I was before I quitted my mercantile life for a political one & it adds to my misfortune that from my present station I cannot Return to my former condition with honour.
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:248); unaddressed.
Bost. 7 Nov 
Dear Sir, I intended not to write you until I knew the final issue of my affair in the gen. court but the great friendship shewn me in your most kind treatment of my son will not suffer me to be so long silent.1 He speaks in the highest terms of the many favours Received from you. So kind notice of him considering the great variety of business in which you are engaged was more than I could expect or reasonably desire. I most willingly acknowledge my obligation & Return my most hearty thanks.
The compensation labors greatly in the gen. court which is now sitting. After long debate the question was put upon a petition which I preferred but passed in the negative 36 against 44.2 Some days after an attempt was made to Reconsider but failed upon the question 43 to 51. They are perplexed loth to comply & loth finally to Refuse. In the Recess of the court most of the members applied to their towns for instructions & now suppose themselves at all events held to conform to them. This I always thought unconstitutional absurd & contrary to the idea of a parliament but upon instructions prevailing so much as they have done of late years in Engd. upon any important point we must mimick you and by means of it continue the publick embarassment as well as my private distress for I am assured that more than half the negatives if they had not feared their towns would have been on the other side the question, and that from attachment to me for I never stood better with the assembly in general as well as from a regard to the Recom.3 They are now upon a scheme of drawing up a state of the case & laying it before their towns anew. I cannot guess at the effect. I think it a most mischievous precedent. I am sorry a distinction is made between me & the other sufferers whose petitions had very few voices but I think if mine obtains the others first or last must follow.4 I leave no stone unturned submit to some things hardly scarcely in character to avoid further trouble to my friends in England & further evils upon the province.
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:250); unaddressed; partially dated.
Milton 7 Nov. 1766
My dear Sir, You desired me to let you know evry thing that passed & I am now sat down to write you a chit chat letter or in other words to give you an account of the famous debates of a famous house. The g. made a very short well judged speech & a day or two after my petition with those of the other sufferers were presented.2
The 1st. question was whether they should be all considered together & it was determind mine should come on the carpet by itself. The general opinion without doors was that a vote would be carried in my favor but by a strange infatuation H—— who you know last session was greatly in favor of it opend with great warmth against it.3 The rioters ought to pay it, proper care had not been taken to bring them to just[ice]4 in his remote county a number of small fellows who had been concerned in a riot there were prosecuted & punished & the officers were haling others to gaol but here none were prosecuted; if the LG could not get his Recompense from them that injured him he must take his fate neither he nor the others were poor & objects of charity. I can account for this turn no other way than from resentment against me as ch just because a fellow who was his client was punished at the last assiz in H for being concerned in a riot just after the Stamp act was to have taken place; but his opposition seems to have turned the scale.5 B—s seconded him and among other things pronounced that all the talk that if compensation was not made here it would be made in Eng. & the province be taxed for it was a bugbear & depend upon it if we were steady & refused to do it we should hear no more of it.6 These two were the largest speakers against it. The Bost members were all in favour of it.7 Otis Rug. & Bourn were the chief speakers in favour of it.8 When the question was put whether the LG should be paid out of the treasury 36 were for it & 44 against it. The vote upon the Secr petition fell much more short Hallow. below that & Stor had scarce any hands at all. The house then appointed a committee to consider whether any other way could be found than paying out of the treasury. Some proposed a lottery some a brief but all came to nothing.9 New members coming in after some days an attempt was made to reconsi[der] the vote & a whole day spent in debate the speakers much the same as before.
B—s then said there was no pretext for paying the LG for the resentment against him was not for his supporting the execution of the st. act it was the writ of assistance & other matters I suppose he meant the abolishing paper money. He forgot that when I was first besieged I was required to declare I had never wrote to Eng. in favor of the st act. Upon the question the majority against me was the same 43 against 51. Many of my best friends the two Salem members Taylor of H Dwight Taylor of South. Saltonst. Prescot & 20 more I could name were tied down by their towns.10 It was then thot the affair was over & a committee was appointed to prepare an answer to the g. speech but before it was done somebody moved that Mr Harrison & John Powell might be desired to attend the H & some questions asked them which was agreed to.11 They each of them informed the H that the friends to America had pauned their honour to the Parl as well as to the ministry that a compensation should be made the sufferers by the Respect12 government. The same day Blake arrived from Lond with letters from their agent Mr Debert strongly urging them to finish this affair. These things set them to thinking again but all was to no purpose so many were under instructions & others influenced by H—s opposition. A project was then started that a state of the case should be printed to contain the account of what each had suffered the engagement made by our friends in Engd. the letters from the agent & a bill of indemnity for all who have been concerned in any riots (those who had carried off the goods excepted unless they made Restitution in a limited time all to be laid before their towns for further consideration after which they proposed to meet again & consider the affair anew.13 A committee is preparing all this. What the issue will be I cannot guess.
Thus I have run over the news of the day just as I should have done if I had hapned to meet you upon the change or in the Sup courts office. Other matters I leave to other hands. I am Dear Sir Your affectionate,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:249); unaddressed.
[14–15 November 1766]1
Sir, My son who is just returned from England has acquainted me with your great civility & condescension in taking notice of him and shewing him many civilities.2 As I am an entire stranger to you the favour was unexpected and I am ^the^ more greatly obliged. I wish it was in my power Please to accept my sincere & hearty thanks. I am so unfortunate as to have been ^the last year the^ subject of popular rage & fury & ever since of popular debate and altercation, for although the body of the people are more friendly to me than ever ^& many of them say I am the best friend they ever had^ and the town of Boston at a full meeting declared with great unanimity their sense that the damage done to my estate should be made good out of the publick treasury yet the House of Representatives decline doing it some say the town of Boston ought to do it others that certain persons suspected to be abettors & who are men of estates ought to be prosecuted forty three only out of 94 were in favour of a grant.3 They are now upon an adjournment having projected a bill for paying the sufferers & also indemnifying the rioters except such as have been possessed of the money or goods lost & shall not before the passing the bill have made restitution or satisfaction.4 Upon this they are to consult their towns. If they finally comply which is not quite certain they will lose much credit by doing it with so much reluctance. I am with very great esteem Sir Your most humble & most obedient Servant,
Dft (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:250–51); substantially revised; unaddressed; undated.
Boston 15 Novemb. 1766
My Lord, Having been the most unfortunate of any of His Majesty’s servants in the late times of confusion in America, I have made repeated representations of my case to His Majesty’s principal Secretaries of state and His Majesty has been most graciously pleased to require the governor strongly to recommend to the assembly to make compensation to the sufferers.1 The governor, who, before this new face of affairs, stood extremely well in the opinion of the people2 and who has had no exception taken to him but what arises from his maintaining the rights of the crown and that authority of parliament which until of late, has always been allowed,3 has not ^yet^ been able to prevail with the assembly to comply, although he has taken every measure which he thought the most likely to effect it.
At the last session of the court, the house of representatives let him know that the sufferers had not applied to them in a parliamentary way and, besides, they desired to consult their constituents. This he looked upon as meer cavilling, for I had laid my case before the governor in council, in consequence whereof he had recommended a compensation in his next speech to the assembly and two or three sessions had passed without the lest intimation that they expected to be applied to in any other way.
In the recess of the court the minds of people in many parts of the province seemed to be more favorably disposed, the town of Boston, in particular, with great unanimity instructed their representatives to vote for a compliance and most people supposed, if the court should be called together, the thing would be done.
The governor, very readily, met the court sooner than otherwise he had intended.4 To remove all pretence for cavils, I presented a petition in the usual form5 and, although many towns had instructed their members not to vote for a compensation unless it should be laid on the town of Boston where the riots were committed, yet a vote would undoubtedly have been carried if one of the members, who lives in a remote part of the province and who has great weight in the house, from an opinion of his understanding and integrity, and who had alway before been a great speaker in favour of it, had not suddenly and to the surprize of every body opened violently against it, declaring he was in doubt whether, upon any terms, compensation ought to be made, but he was sure it ought not to be done unless all who had been concerned in the riots were indemnified.6 Some persons, for whom he was counsel, had been indicted for a riot and rescue7 but from regard to the times had been very moderately fined. By this means the vote failed, 36 being in favour of it & 44 against it and an attempt, a few days after, to reconsider the vote failed by the same majority.
The house then fell upon the proposal of this member and ordered the accounts of the sufferers to be liquidated and a bill to be brought in for granting a compensation and for indemnifying all concerned in the riots, except such as have possessed themselves of any money or goods and shall not have made restitution.8 They ordered their bill to be printed & desired a short adjournment to consult their towns again. I doubt whether a majority of the towns will approve of the bill in all it’s parts and, indeed, this unconstitutional and absurd way of determining points must alway be attended with embarassments, but they have gone so far that I think they cannot get clear of a compliance in one shape or other, without the most palpable dishonour and ground for reproach.
When many of the towns had instructed their members to vote for pay to me alone I have not approved of it, being convinced that unless all are paid it will be doing nothing.
Your Lordship’s letter to the governor, so wisely adapted to the present circumstances of the province, arriving just as the court was adjourned, cannot fail of a good effect and I hope I shall not need to be further troublesome to your Lordship upon this, to me, so unfortunate an occasion.9 I have the honour to be with the greatest respect My Lord Your Lordship’s most humble and most obedient servant, Tho. Hutchinson
RC (National Archives UK, CO 5/755, ff. 865–67); at foot of letter, “The Right Honorable the Earl of Shelburne.” Dft (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:251–52); revised; unaddressed; undated. SC (Clements Library, Shelburne Papers, 51:495); in an unknown hand; docketed, “Abstract of a Dispatch from Lieut. Governor Hutchinson Dated 15th. Novr. Rx. 29th. Decr.”
Boston 16. Nov. 1766
Dear Sir, The house added to their plan an indemnity to all who have been concerned in the late riots except such as stole the goods &c & shall not have made restitution. This I think will not be approved of by the people in general. They have however desired & obtained a short recess in order to obtain new instructions from their towns. They have liquidated & allowed the accounts of the sufferers & have gone so far that I do not see how they can avoid finally complying without the greatest dishonor & cause for reproach. A few days will finally determine. You will see in the prints an excessive rude & illiberal message to the g.1 A report from E that his speeches & conduct the beginning of the year was not generally approved there has given an advantage to our grand incendiary.2 Is it possible that it should have been expected in E. that he should tamely have submitted to or taken no notice of the choice of such a person for sp & the prefering to the c a number of persons professedly enemies to government & leaving out such as had always been friends to it.3 Notwithstanding what is asserted in the message to him that it is owing to him that the compensation has not made I do not believe one vote was lost by any conduct of his. The only reason of such a charge is an apprehension of our common adversary that it may do him some prejudice in Eng.4 For 3 or 4 years we have been kept in a sort of balance and a greater proportion of his malice is some times in one scale & sometimes in the other. He has expressed his malice against me by such imprecations & most impious language that if I had no other reason but the horrid wickedness of them I would not write them. For the last few months I escape it is now the gov turn & he treats him in the public debates in the house when the gallery is full of people with the most contemptuous language. Twenty years ago for one half the abuse of Mr. S. by a Bost member when I was Sp. I would not suffer him to go on and upon his refusal to acknowledge his fault he was expelled the h and I think even now a sp of spirit would be supported in putting a stop to such indecencies.5 I write to you with this freedom because I think it in justice due to the g. Possibly if he had taken a little more time for framing his speech he would have softend some expressions but the incendiary is not offended at them it is the negatives which vex him &, after that, if the g had used soft healing language he would immediately have told him his words & actions were inconsistent.6
I think I stand as well as ever with the people in general. I know not how to improve my interest to better purpose than to lessen the influence of so great an enemy to his country. In doing it much prudence & caution will be necessary & I pray that what I write to you may never be communicated so as that it will be possible to come back again. Some late letters from Mr M & from Mr D have had passages in them mentioning accounts from N E which by some were attributed to me but did not gain credit as I never had any correspondence with one of them & with the other only Relative to my late misfortune.7 I am with great Regard Sir Your obliged & most obedient Servant, T H
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:253); at head of letter, “Mr Jackson.”
Milton 16. Novemb. 1766
Dear Sir, What passed in the general court you will hear from the members. The general voice is that so much has been done that it will not be possible to avoid going further in some shape or other at the adjournment. If this be effected I have no doubt if my friends in your part of the government think it a good measure for the province that I should go to England, a vote may be obtained notwithstanding all a particular person could do to prevent it.1 I think I could be serviceable in settling the New York line & recovering the towns gone off to Connecticut. I perceive a gentleman is going from that colony and if there be any longer neglect it will increase the difficulty. There are some other affairs of lesser importance so as upon the whole to make it necessary somebody should appear for the province. If a vote could be obtained for Mr. Bollan he most certainly is still better able than any body to serve us but I know of no body else in England capable of it. There seemed a probability some time ago of the governor’s going home but I believe it is over.2 I have good reason to think that I stand well with the present ministry & upon that account could make a better interest for the province than I could have done at any time past.3 I have an order of leave to be absent in Mr Jacksons hands which though of an old date I should not scruple to think sufficient.4 I shall mention nothing of this thought to any body here till I know your sentiments which I shall be glad of. I am Your affectionate friend & servant, Tho Hutchinson
RC (Massachusetts Historical Society, Israel Williams Papers); unaddressed.
Inner Temple 18 Nov 1766
Dear Sir, I have before me yours of the 22d July which I had received a long time when I wrote last, though I did not take Notice of it.1 It reminds me that I should acquaint you that I am perfectly satisfyed with your Reasons for communicating my Letter to your 2 Houses & was before, perfectly so, that you had Reasons sufficient.
With Respect to my Plan, it is founded on the Desire I have that Great Britain & North America should continue united as the Parts of one Empire, without a single preference to either, except what arises from necessity; there must be a seat of Government, & I think a Legislature; no man has I believe, less Objection than I have to the removal of the Seat of Government into America, were it practicable, but besides the Obstacles that would arise here, I suppose every Province in America would prefer Great Britain to any other Province on your side the Water. I have contended indeed, in England, against those, who insist, that Parl must have a general Power over the Colonies as well as over this Kingdom; because such a general Power must exist in every Empire, & must have the Power to raise Money; & therefore either G B & its Colonies are not one Empire or ^Parlt^ must have that Power.
I say I have contended, that even Legislation in general is not essential to Government, & much less the Power of raising Money. Every one has heard of the Luxury [illegible]2 knows there was no Legislature at Sparta, it was one of the Terms imposed by Lycurgus on his Country, & as for the Power of raising Money occasionally, there are many Arbitrary Governments that have it not at this Day, but depend altogether on antient standing Revenues coeval with the Government itself. I know not whether these Arguments have been used in America, if not it must be admitted, that while Legislature is essential to Government either the British Dominions do not form a Government, or the Parlt ill-constituted as it is must be the Legislature, untill there be a better & so of the Power to raise &c. I heartily wish that there did exist a Legislature for all the British Dominions adapted to their present state & founded on the Principles of our Constitution. That we shall never have one perfectly so is manifest, but I do not despair of seeing one nearer what it should be than what we now have & in the mean time, I conceive it the Duty of every good Citizen to keep the Subjects of the Empire, as quiet as possible; with this view I never publickly urged what I mentioned but just now, but in Parlt, & that while Strangers were kept out of the House, & then chiefly, to show that Government in proportion as they drew nearer to Despotism, had less Power to raise Money, for that the Power to raise Money occasionally, by form of Law was peculiar to free States, & always subsisted in proportion to their freedom, that is, in proportion to the Confidence the Subjects had in their Legislature; that ^no^ degree of this existed in a pure Despotism, & therefore such Governments if they wanted Money had alway recourse to Plunder, Rapine, or the Spoils of a disgraced Minister. From hence I inferred that in case Parlt had the Power, it was manifestly inconsistent with Policy & the Principles of our Constitution to exercise it, until the Parlt itself was improved to the perfection the principles of the Constitution required.
Whatever Inclination I might have to support the Cause of the Colonies at all times & in all places, I must confess I had rather lose the Credit of it in America, than promote a Disposition there that may weaken the Cement of Union, between them & the Mother Country, & the rather as that Union I am sure is the only Basis of the Union between themselves. No good Englishman can be without a wish to strengthen this Union; but of all wishes for the Publick Good this happens to my favourite one. & I know it to be yours. I have there fore been unwearied in my Endeavours to promote it among all the Ministers I either have now or ever had Access to, between whom & myself many things have passed, that I shall never think myself at liberty to disclose, as well from the Obligation I owe my Country as that I owe to them.
I am aware this is a Difficulty I lye under, & that [it] is in the Power of those who seldom can do either much good or much Mischief, to magnify their Importance by an Ostentatious Representation of pretended Services done to the Colonies; but it is a Difficulty that I cheerfully submit to, because though I, by no means, am indifferent to the good or the Opinion of my fellow Subjects in America, I had much rather approve my own Conduct, than that the Publick should; there are indeed, among Individuals some (& you are one yourself,) whose Approbation I prefer before my own, because your Opinion will be always likely to change mine.
Parlt is now sitting, intent on the Distress of the [illegible] occasioned by the high price of Corn, which has produced Riots nearly similar to those of America, & which though they had no foundation like that of the Stamp Act, yet give Room to a multitude of allusions & reflections in the Houses of Parlt, that if known in America, would inflame the ill humour there, as in fact they do here.3 The Enemies of the Colonies, observe the wide difference between the Conduct of Administration on the 2 sides of the Water, their Lenity in America & comparative Cruelty in England &c & the publick Papers will soon talk in the same Strain, nothing can be more mortifying to me, who wish the Subject dropped for ever, because it cannot but be of permanent mischief where’as the mischiefs arising from the high price of Corn are but transitory, & in my Opinion will be best removed by doing nothing.
However this Matter is likely to postpone all Considerations on American Subjects till after Christmas. Some I know will come on the Carpet. Your Opinions & mine are the same on Paper Money, yet the Southern Colonies will not be content without it. What alterations may be made or attempted in any of the Constitutions in America I know not, I only know the Chancellor of the Exchequer had often turned that matter in his thoughts & was once inclined that Way.4 I own I dread innovations in Constitutions, they may be necessary, & I have been speaking of one of the greatest that I think is necessary, but those of the Colonies are not understood, & great Men here labour under Prejudices, which one cannot remove without the risk of rivetting them faster. I cannot perswade myself that governors ought to be independent of the People, though I well know the Injustice & Madness of a People under the Influence of bad men, & that the Misconduct of Government will always give an Opportunity to some Men to acquire Influence & it is 20 to one, those who do are wrong headed if not bad men; it is the inseparable misfortune of subordinate governments that the misconduct of their government at home does not only disturb their tranquility in prudent Measures at the Capital of the Empire, where perhaps the Affairs of the Province are little understood or considered bear the same Effect. I shall give the governor & you the earliest Intelligence I can procure of what is intended.
I hope Mr Hutchinson is arrived safe.5 I could not encourage him to stay here, because whatever is done will be done equally without his presence, & perhaps you may like that better. I hope it will be unnecessary. I have always agreed with you, that the Assembly should have had an Opportunity given them. I wrote my opinion to the Gov.6
I have had no Letter from you or the Gov a good While except a short Letter of recommendaton by Mr Paxton.7 I am Dear Sir with great Truth & Esteem Your most Obedient & most humble Servant, R. Jackson
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:101–07); unaddressed; endorsed, “Mr Jackson 18 Nov. 1766.”
Middlebro’ Nov. 18. 1766
Dear Brother! Can you tell the Reason! I can’t well suffer a Person to pass your House without a Letter to You, or to ask you how you do. It seems to me, (I do not know how it seems to You), that it will be a moderate Age before we see each other again. I have been so habituated to the Pleasure of your Company, that it’s some Pains to lose it, but the Hope of seeing You some Time hence, like every other Hope, whiles away Life.
In the mean Time, give me some Account of your own or any other Advices from home, for as I have some Thoughts of studying Politicks now I have done with them, I would fain Learn to wade: I know the Road is dirty, but it is healthy to dabble in Gutters.
What an excellent Bill you have got? Justice cannot be done without exculpating Villains of all Sorts, even Berkshire Villains who have confessed & been mulcted.1 Why our common Plough joggers stare at it; but e’en let it pass.
I shall be glad to know when you think of your Rhode Island Journey, for I would not be out of the Way then, nor at any other Time if I could help it. It is soft clean riding now; so that you need not fear being bespattered, without the Printers Devils follow You. Yours Affectionately, Peter Oliver
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:108–09); addressed, “To his Honour Thomas Hutchinson in Milton;” endorsed, “Nov 18 1766 P. Oliver”; TH wrote on the envelope a tally of certain constituencies and members of the House (slashes are used to indicate line endings), “4 bosto / 2 Salm / 2 Marbl / 1 Philips / 1 Saltons / 1 Bagley / 1 [Bordmans] / 1 Sheafe / 1 Prescot / 1 [Stoddard] / 1 Hale / 1 Worthington / 1 Hawley / 1 Patridge / 1 Murray / 1 Taylor / 1 Ruggles / 1 Sayward / 23/ 24 council / 1 gov / 12 / 60 / 4 sup court / 1 [parlme] / [tt] left.”
Boston 20 Nov. 1766
Sir, I am very much obliged to you to your brother & to many other friends for representing my case in so favorable a light as to produce the resolves of parl. & his maj. Recommendation in consequence of them.1 They have not yet had the effect designd but by one step after another the assemb. has gone so far as I think to have laid themselves under a necessity of complying unless they dishonour themselves to a very great degree. You will say perhaps if this be all it is not quite certain. Permit me Sir to mention one thing to you which had like to have lost me some votes. In your last letter to the Speak. you mention an account of the manner in which the house have treated their agents not much to their credit & you have so expressed your self as that it is generally understood the account came from me.2 The Speak. informed me he had such a letter. I was then 100 miles from home & therefore could not say certainly I had never wrote to that purpose. I let him know it was not impossible as the account was no more than the truth & but little different from what I had published in my history.3 When I came home I could not find any such passage in the copies of any letters & let him know it nor indeed do I remember when or whether ever I have so expressed my self. When your letter was Read in the house they were informed of what I had said & I hear Mr O thereupon said tho I can scarce tell what he intended by it that he believed you meant him.4 This fortunately turned their thoughts from me. I am very sure you had not the lest tho’t of doing me any [illegible] but we are still in such times that it is not safe to speak or write truth if it happens to be disagreeable to the late sons of liberty and I should not have given you this trouble if I had not so much at stake & depending in some measure upon their favorable sentiments of me. What I say as an historian they allow I may be justified in from obligation to truth but they distinguish & say that I have no business to set the legislature in a bad light in my private correspondence. I hope we shall see such times that a true Representation will give no offense but the influence of some must be first lessend. I am with esteem Sir Your very humble Servant,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:240); at head of letter, “Jasper Mauduit Es.”
22d Nov. 1766.
Dear Sir, You have interested your self ^very^ much in my sufferings & I have good reason to think have done all that could be done with the ministry for my relief that ^&^ I may not omit letting you ^imagine you will like to^ know the effect of ministerial ^or rather parliamentary & royal^ Recommendation here. When the assembly met it was the general expectation of people without doors that a vote for a compensation would obtain but it hapnd that a great part of the towns whose members are firmly attached to me had given instructions not to grant the money unless a tax for it should be laid on the town of Bost. Still there would have been eno’ free to have carried a vote if Mr Hawley who always had shewn himself well disposed had not strongly appeared in opposition & carried divers others with him who have a great opinion of his understanding & integrity. By this means 36 only were for it & 44 against it. Hawley it is said is an ill natured man which he has pretty much conceald from the world & perhaps from himself so as not to discover the influence it has upon his conduct. At the sup. court for Berks. one of his clients was tried upon an appeal from the court of sessions where he with divers others had been convicted of a riot under pretence of opposing the stamp act. Only one appeald & the fact being fully provd the jury could not avoid finding him guilty & altho the court having Regard to the times fined him but moderately yet it had such effect upon his lawyer that he came down to the gen. c. determind to oppose a compensation unless not only they who had [inj?] the present compensation but all others guilty of riots since the first disorder occasioned by the st. act should be pardoned & such as had been fined have their money if paid Restored. When he first proposd this in the house it is said but few favored it, however they were so perplexd being loth to decline that finally they would do nothing that they agreed to a bill for granting the compensation & indemnifying all rioters which they have orderd to be printed to be laid before the several towns who are to instruct their members whether to agree to it or not & the court now stands adjourned to the 4 of Dec. in order to Receive those instructions.1
Nothing can be more absurd than such sort of government. For towns when any important point is in agitation to let their Representatives know the general opinion of their constituents upon such point may be well enough but, upon a bill consisting of various matter to Require the opinion of each town & to hold each Representative to vote according to the opinion of his town is unconstitutional & contradicts the very idea of a parl. the members whereof are supposd to debate & argue in order to convince & be convincd. I have no expectation that a majority of the towns will give their voice for this bill. Some will be for one part & some for another & some against the whole.
The best chance is that they have gone so far that it will be an eternal blot upon them if they do not find some way or other to carry them quite through. I say chance because tho they have Repeatedly declard that it ought to be done & told the g very injuriously that it is owing to him that it is not done yet it is not quite certain they will do it. I should hope they would if for no other Reason than to prevent my being the occasion tho unavoidable of troubles with the parl. & to my friends in Eng.
I am told you have sent to the h a very full state of your case & that they immediately appointed a committee to take that & another letter from Mr M under consideration.2 They let neither of them go abroad are most offended with Mr M. who treats them cavalierly having an advantage over them which you have not money in his hands more than his demands amounts to. You have many friends in the h but they can carry no point at present. When O. influence ceases I think they must prevail.3 It has held longer than I thot was possible & people are now so habituated to wild extravagant language & action that they appear in a different light from what they did & nothing more than the noble follies of a true patriot in spirits. Still I think he will er’e long be his own destroyer. I shall subjoin a list of the persons to whom I have sent your books in your name.4 It would not do to distinguish the council. The members for B. tho not one of them friendly yet I thought omitting them would make them worse. The h I pickd out such as I knew were well attachd to you or that I had so much weight with as upon occasion could be used for your interests. I had like to have lost votes by a paragraph in Mr M letter pointing me out as having Reflected on the house for their treatment of their agents. I was able to declare that I never wrote to him on the subject & the matter subsides.5 I am Your affectionate humble servant,
List of persons &c
1 Council board
1 Houses table
22 Members of Council
4 Town of Boston
1 Phillips Andr
1 Saltonst Haverill
1 Bagley Almsbury
1 Boardman Camb
1 Sheaffe Charlest
1 Prescot Concord
1 Stoddard Clemsford
1 Hall Medford
1 Hawley North
1 Patridge Hatfield
4 Justices of S Court
1 Wm. Parker Esq. of Portsm
1 Attorney gen
1 College library
1 Rhd. Isl. library
57 Remain several members of the court
11 not present &c of which shall give
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:240–41); at head of letter, “Mr Bollan.”
Salem 29 Novr 1766
Honorable & Dear Sir, I am favour’d with yours of the 18th Instant relative to Mr Scolley’s Petition, & am Extreemly Sorry, that the affair could not have been setled, on Brother Cushing or Olivers Return or when I was at Boston afterward to the Close of that Week:1 I know not how to come to Boston during the Month of December having left it with Colo. Williard sometime in that Month to see me at Salem to Transact some Affairs of Considerable Concern to me, & the Missing of seing him would be a verry great Damage to me.
If my Brother Judges cant well Attend earlier, I will on your Notifying the first Tuesday of January, (which will be about a fortnight later than your Letter mention) then, God willing, Attend at Boston on the Affair.
I have the Pleasure of Acquainting, Your Honor, that Yesterday at a verry full Meeting (tho’ cheifly of the Comon People) we Obtain’d a verry full Vote for making a Compensation to the Sufferrers at Boston out of the Province Treasury. Your Deacon Pickering the only Person who voted against it, & Strenuosly Debated the Matter declaring, that if the Aggressors could not be found out, He tho’t the Left Gov should rest Content, & bear the Spoil of his Goods, Suffering for Righteousness Sake2—of this I shall give you a more perticular Account when I have the Honor & Happiness of next Seing you, till when I am with the highest Respect, Your Honor’s Most Obedient Humble Servant & Brother, Benja Lynde
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:111); unaddressed; dateline appears in the bottom left of the letter.
Hatfield Novr. 29th 1766
Sir, I know very little of what the House have done, ha’nt Seen any of the Members, nor did I hear to what time the Court was adjourn’d till this day. I have heard of Maj H——ys bill of Indemnity or whatever it is call’d.1 That I perceive is generally disapprovd, and must be bad Policy. But few of the members from these Parts, will go down at this Season. Col Partridge buried his Mother and Col Worthington his Wife this day. The nervous fever is in Partridge’s family—neither of those Gentlemen will be there.
The general voice here is that reparation ought to be made and paid out of the Treasury, but Refunded in a reasonable time. It may be Policy for the Government to pay it but am not Satisfy’d in the justice of Taxing the whole Province, neither can I See a necessity for it. It is too great an Offence to be pass’d over in the manner propos’d—and will be a great Encouragement to villainy, introduce anarchy and Confusion; and all manner of disorder. I Shall be Sorry if there been’t Courage and Strength eno’ in the Government to make a Stand—but if otherwise, are we not a miserable People, and must hereafter receive Law from the Mobs?2
Your rights of Protection from the Government, that you have been unjustly and cruelly treated, and that your losses ought to be made good, has been and is publickly acknowleged, and I Shoud for your honors quiet and Satisfaction agree to almost any measure provided very great mischief, and inconveniences dont ensue if that will be the Consequence I presume your honour will not desire it, especially since compensation may be otherwise obtaind, tho with some trouble.
It is high time the disputes with our neighbours were Settled and none So capable of effecting it, as Your honor.3 And it has been for a long time my desire and endeavour you Shoud be appointed for those Purposes; but by one means or another all Attempts have been defeated; and unless the Western Members be at Court, it will not Signify I apprehend to Stirr it at this time, of their Suffrage you may be Assur’d. I have open’d upon it with one and another where I coud with Safety; one and all wish for the thing, but then they are not eno’ engag’d; those affairs have been long on the carpet, and are grown Stale. Shoud you Sir be oblig’d to go home to Sollicit your own Affairs, I am of opinion, notwithstanding, When you are at the Court, that the Government place So much confidence in your ability and fidelity, as that they woud desire Your Assistance. As things are circumstanc’d I cant See the impropriety of such a measure. But why has the Affair been delay’d. Sailing is now dangerous; and by the time it woud be prudent to make the Attempt, Shoud there be no Scheem to delay, our Affairs may Suffer much, of which we may hear and then it will be Said it is too late. I hant perhaps Charity enough.
The People above the line, are flung out of their property, many of them I am told they Intend to apply to your honor for assistance. They want a Patron and friend. They meet with hard measure, I will venture to Say at least. If You Shoud Sir be perswaded to undertake for them, It will open and naturally lead to the other.
As my friends and neighbours are not going to Court; woud my circumstances permit it will not be worth my while. I shall be a Cypher. It is not for want of respect to your honor that any of us are absent, of which if ever I have opportunity Shall be able to Satisfy you. I wish a certain Gentleman, that I suppose will be at Court (if his Instructions from his Town Suit him, coud be Steer’d right and kept Steady, perhaps if Some pains be taken, it might have a good Effect.)4 I hope things will be conducted, agreable to your mind, which is always good and if so, I Shall acquiesce, and believe it to be best. I am with the greatest respect Your honors most Obedient, Humble Servant, Irl Williams
I shoud had I time have transcrib’d my Letter. As a special agent to represent the province on this issue in England.
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:119–20); at foot of letter, “Honble Lieut. Govr. Hutchinson”; addressed, “To the Honble. Thomas Hutchinson Esq. Lieutenant Governor etc. At Milton.”
Scituate Decr. 6. 1766
Honorable & Dear Sir, I have now heard That the Genl. Court have Granted a Compensation to the Sufferers.1 I rejoyce that Justice has been done you So far But I’m Concernd that our Town had no hand in it.
Colo. C—p as I was told by a Gentleman made very light of the Talk about any Disadvantage that we should be under At home If we did nothing.2 How many he perswaded into that I cant say, but this is Certain That almost all the Family of C—ps were at our meeting & Joyn’d with ^his friends &^ our Sons of Libertie so That It would have been no more to the purpose to have Argued with ‘em Than with those at your house on the 26. of august, few of the Substatial people being present, so that we voted not to have the Bill Enacted or to that purpose. Now This Affair is over I hope the Court will proceed with Ease And make Good, Repeated promisses, Respecting our Grants which were made by Some, If they may be depended on, but that I have little reason to Expect, & dont desire, so much as They Grant the [Preset.] for taking Care of Boys. This must be as They please. How the Gov do’s without his old Friend C—p I can’t Say, but I’m Sorry he Should be used so Scurrilously by The Scriblers in the papers, when will they have don?3
There Seems not the least provocation. I wish peace & that the Troubled Sperits may be at rest—and till I have The pleasure to See you next march must Conclude Your Most Obedient Humble Servant,4 Jn Cushing
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:114); at foot of letter, “L. Govr. Hutchinson”; dateline appears at the bottom left of the letter; endorsed, “Colo. Cushing Dec 6. 1766.”
7. Dec 
Dear Sir, The bill for compensation to the sufferers & indemnities to all rioters in the late times has at length passed the court. The committee appointed for that purpose reported that the account given in of my loss was sufficiently proved & the articles valued at a moderate Rate & made no deduction but would allow nothing for the length of time I have been out of my money nor for the expenses difficulties & burdens to which my whole family have been exposed.1 It is however as well as I expected & if they had granted less than they have I would have acquiesced Rather than the affair should again come before the parl. As soon as the bill had passed a motion was made in the house to dismiss Mr J. from the agency & after some debate a vote was carried & sent to the c. for concurrence.2 I was at council this morning when the debate came on there but had no right to speak.3 They at first voted to Refer the consideration to the next session of the c. but in this the house Refusd to concur. They then appointed a committee to confer with a committee of the h. & adjournd to mond. the 29. I have no great doubt that the chief author of all our misfortune will drive this matter through. I always thought you did the province honour in accepting the trust. I am sure we greatly discredit this session by this unwarranted ungrateful Return. The party give out that they are determined to worry the g until they get rid of him. I hear a letter has been laid before the h & proposed to be sent to their agent representing that there is a general dissatisfaction with the g. & giving an historical account of his administration.4 Exceptions were taken & it has not yet passed but I fancy it will either as it is or with some alterations. After the session is over I will give you a further account of it. My son hapned to shew Ld Rock. one of my letters in which I made some mention of O.5 It came to Debts. knowledge & he sent advice here.6 I know there is no danger of what I write to you transpiring so as to do me any prejudice. If the government was in the state it was 3 or 4 years ago I should not care if all my letters were read in the h but it will not do at present. Give me leave to desire you to deliver the inclosed. I thought after my frequent sollicitations advice of the grant would be no more than what was expected.7 I inclose copy of my letter & if you think there is any impropriety in any part of it I had Rather you would not deliver it. I am with the greatest esteem Sir Your faithful humble Servant,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:243); at head of letter, “Mr Jackson”; partially dated; marked, “Per Mr. Lee” for ship transport.
Milton 7. Dec 1766
Dear Sir, I hear the houses have passed the bill for the compensation by 53 votes against 35 some of the latter I am told would have voted for it without an indemnity. I think entirely as you do upon it but beggars must not be chusers. It is said by many of the house it would infallibly have passed last sitting if it had not been, to the surprize of every body, prevented by Mr Hawley. I have not the lest doubt of his integrity but I am afraid he has conceived some prejudice against me which he is not sensible of any influence from. Some who were in the gallery told me he argued that the rioters who had been in an error had a claim to favour as well as the sufferers the chief of whom was a person of unconstitutional principles, ^and that one time or other he might make it appear^1 others understood him that in the view of the people I was such a person. I had rather this had been said of me by a great many of some other counties than by a single person of the county of Hampshire especially by a man of Mr Hawley’s character. I do not intend to lose the favorable opinion he once had of me and I doubt not that one time or other I shall convince him he is mistaken.
If there was no other reason than the absence of your members that alone would be sufficient to lay aside any thoughts of what I proposed in my last.2 The N Hampshire grantees I hear have engaged Mr Johnson.3 I was at council to day when a vote of the house for dismissing Mr Jackson was under debate. I suppose it must pass. They say they will chuse no other this session. They are very angry with the governor for saying the province was not yet in a good temper, therefore I will not say so to you.4 I am Yours sincerely, Tho Hutchinson
Milton 8 Dec 1766
My dear Sir, I know you will Rejoice to hear that I have obtained from the court what I have been so long pursuing & I am told the people in one part of the province & another who instructed their representatives against it now say they are glad it is done. My old friend was compelled by his constituents to vote for it.1 But I am told by the people who were in the gallery that he lashed me very severely & among other things charged me with shutting up the courts until the stamp act was repealed during which time Wht. died and all the attachments upon his estate with him to the ruin of great numbers.2 And I assure you he has given you such a dressing as you never had in your life before. The g is excessively worried. Last week they voted to dismiss Mr Jacks & tho’ the g had not consented to it when I saw him to day they will force him to do it. The news papers you will see at the coffee house. I am now a compensated tory or in other words a friend to the g. I think however many people who have been blind begin to open their eyes but not eno’ to give a turn to affairs. I am Yours Sincerely,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:242); at foot of letter, “Mr Paxton”; marked, “Per Mr. Lee” for ship transport.
Boston 8 Dec 
Dear Sir, I may not omit acquainting you that an act has passed for compensating sufferers by the fury of the people. The h. was perfectly satisfied with the Rate at which my property & the Sec. were estimated but they have deducted near a quarter part from Hallow. with which he is much dissatisfied & I think they have taken a great deal more from Storys.1 They have by the same act indemnified all who have been concernd in this horrid scene of wickedness except such upon whom any goods shall be found 30 days after the passing the act. This part I could have wished omitted but beggars must not be chusers. You cannot imagine what a spirit one man has been able to raise against the g.2 The language he uses in the h of Rep. is extravagant to an immoderate degree and he meets with no check. To affront the gov. the more he movd to dismiss Mr Jacks which obtaind at once in the house and the council tho they first nonconcurred were brought in to agree to it the g has not yet consented but theyll force him to it. I really pity him & all the enemies I have now make no charge against me only that I am a Tory or attachd to him and indeed his enemies make no charges against him that will lessen his character with the K or with his ministers. I think much Remains to be done in order to Restore the province in the colonies to a settled determined idea of their Relation to their mother country. The ministry are disposed to the most prudent healing measures & I cannot but hope that if some way could be found to destroy the influence of one man the people of this province would recover themselves by every Reasonable compliance. God forbid that a new war should convince them how much they depend upon G B.
My son tells me you will be in P. the next election.3 That I think will make your condition in life just such as you used to say would be most agreeable to you.
I think sometimes if I had the prospect of as much life before me I should be glad to spend it in the country in Eng perhaps in Alford where my ancestors lived tho’ with a small fortune but its too late. I am Sir Your faithful humble servant,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:242); at foot of letter, “Gov. Pownall”; partially dated; marked, “Per Mr. Lee” for ship transport.
Middlebro’ Dec. 8. 1766
Dear Brother! I received yours 29. Nov. & am glad to hear that you there have been no ill Effects of your Dizziness.1 I suppose by this Time that you have moved to your Boston House:2 may Heaven protect You from the usual Insults of Infernals, tho’ I imagine you run into the very Soul of Temptation, as Masanello still lives who will never leave one Stone unturned to glut his Malice: you may depend upon it that you have no Refuge to fly to but the Assistance of Heaven.
I imagine that by this Time you are reimbursed your Damages: but to be tasked in that Manner to such a Bill seems to be not exactly right.
I hope to hear from you by my Son:3 in the mean Time I am yours affectionately,
RC (New York Public Library, Samuel Adams Papers); addressed, “To his Honour Thomas Hutchinson in Boston”; endorsed, “Judge Oliver Dec 8 1766.”
[7–8 December 1766]1
My Lord, I think it my duty to acquaint your L. that an act for granting a compensation to the sufferers in the town of Boston & indemnifying the persons concernd in riots in the late time of confusion has passed the Gen Court. The real loss of property according to an account proved to their satisfaction was all that could be obtained & was as much as I ever expected here; the incidental charges hazards inconveniences pains and sufferings to which I have been exposed in His M service meerly for not encouraging illfounded popular opinions & prejudices respecting the execution of Acts of Parl I humbly hope will not be forgot in E but will procure me some mark of royal favour in such time & in such manner as His Maj. shall think fit. I have the honour to be with the greatest Respect My Lord,
Hingham Decembr 12th 1766
May it please your Honor, I have carefully attended to what is & has of Late been Said by the people at this End of the County & elsewhere, relitive to your Honors reassuming your place as Judge of Probate &c & Can’t doubt of its being Generaly Expected & Earnestly desired; not from Any Objcetion to the present Judge; but premitt me to Say it is from your Honors uncommon Quallificatons for that post; & the Univarsal Satisfaction your former Administration gave the people of this County.2 I trust that Gentlemen of vastly more weight with your Honor then I have the Assurence to Immagin my Self, has & will, apply more fully then would be proper for me to do; And must ask pardon for this freedom, & Should not have used it; could I have Satisfy’d my Self that in duty to this people I was not Oblig’d to Contribute my mite, towards Accomplishing what I was Assur’d was So Agreeable to their desire, & So Consistant with their Interest. I only Add my most Sincear Congratulation in your Honors Receiveing Some Compensation for loss of Estate, but without haveing Any Immagination that what has been done, can in Any measure make up for the anxiety & distress of mind Your Honor & family has been put into. But Sr you have been Supported under3 it & pray God that Support may be Continued.
I am ^Truly^ much more your Honors frind as well as devoted Humble Servant then is in my power to Express, B Lincoln
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:115); addressed, “To His Honr. The Leut: Governer In Boston”; incorrectly endorsed, “Colo. Cushing Dec 6. 1766.”
Scituate December 15. 1766
Honorable and Dear Sir, A Day or two after I wrote to you I received yours & Fryday Evening Fleets paper also, I was Surprized at the Charge against you, without the Least Colour of Reason or Foundation.1 The Contrary has Always Appeard to me & I belive to all people in the Province where we Travil, Save where Inveterate prejudice Lurks, or those under a delirium or Somthing worse, as to the Suggestion About Berkshire I am not Sensible Any Fault Could be found with us on Any Account but as we were all agreed If any It must be with the whole Court, & I cant but believe the County There will Readily Justifie us.
In answer to your Question Qua re Dementia2 &c. If he is not Distracted the Devil is in him.3 If he has any Meaning I Suppose by unconstitutional he means Arbitrary. If so I must needs Say I never Saw any thing of it Either at the Board or in our Court, & he never would have Let fall any Such Thing in the House If he had not been wheedled by Otis & Some of his Spirit Instilled into him by O—s & Those of his Spirit and Tempers.
I have no doubt but they are now laying a Foundation for next may & so will Suggest any thing to make people believe your Principles, are Inconsistant, In Government with our Constitution & at the Same time Gratifie their malice & [illegible] your Coming to the Board next year.4 I think they ought to be Called to an account about it & he’l readily Retract & Publish it. I think Williams ought to be apprized of it & Poor Worthington Also who has lost his wife, for which I’m Grieved. I hope these False & Scandalous Suggestions wont Give you too Great Concern for the Greater & better part of the People are Satisfied that the Charges are False & proceed from Malice only. Let us proceed Chearfully in the way of our duty & believe all will Come right at last.
I must say to you as I told our people when they often Complaind of C—p of his Giting into office Scandalous & unfit persons & Throwing about Comissions & promising almost Every body That it was Impossible he Could go along a Great while In that way.5 These Things Cant last long But I heartily Joyn with you in Pitying the Gov. How Can he Endure such Abuses? There seems to be no End to their Spite & malice against him. I wish peace & that you were all as Quiet as I am here Saving my Concern at those Things. A Spirit of Levillism Seems to go Through the Country & very little Distinction between the highest & lowest in Office whether this may not be a Good deal owing to the Govs Adhearing to persons of neither Honor or honesty & so appointing persons in Civil & military Stations Some Scandalous, Others Wholly unfit & by that means they & Even the Office brought into Contempt so that a fit person now Could hardly be prevaild on to take a Comission & our Session is such that If I had an Affair to be determind before them I Should rather Leave it to the Select men of any town as they rise. I wonder how W—d Came to be Turnd out he had the Charecter of an honest Steady Man among his own People, Tho I believe Close fisted, & they Swear Revenge upon Ch—r who they Suppose was the Cause of it, but I would hope better of the Gov If I Could Than that he Should act by the Advice of so Giddy a politician.6 I’m Sorry things are at this pass any where, in the County of Hamshire. They are not & I hope never will—but this always will be the Case when Trust & Confidence is placed in a Time-Server who has no principle of Honesty at Bottom. I fear the Gov. will never have any peace here as long as These Troubled Spirits remain & If he should Leave us we may be under Greater Difficultys Still—Deus avertet7 &c Pray what time is the Genl Court prorogued to I have not heard.8 If any news Occurs be so Good as to Let me hear I will Trouble you no farther but Conclude Your most Obedient Humble Servant, Jn Cushing
RC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 25:116–18); the MS was badly torn into pieces that fit together with no text lost; at the foot of letter, “L. Gov. Hutchinson”; endorsed, “Colo. Cushing Dec. 15 66.”
Boston 17. Dec 1766
Dear Sir, Our house of Rep have at length made a grant of such sums as they supposed equivalent to the property which the several persons in the town of Boston lost in the times of the late riots. I will inclose to you two sheets of their journal where you will find their resolve which accompanied their grant; to you I need not make any remarks upon them.1 You will see also their vote dismissing Mr. Jackson not with intention to chuse any other agent for themselves only. The governor deferred the consideration of their vote to another session which I fancy will have no other effect than to afford matter for further contention.
In matters Relating to agency and in all correspondence with England the house assume the powers of government the council acquiescing & the g. not being able to prevent it. You see a letter voted to Lord S. the first instance I am inclined to believe of an attempt of correspondence between a provincial h. of r. & a S. of State.2 The letters wrote to them by the D of N. & others whom they stile the patrons of the colonies makes them conceive a very high opinion of their importance tho’ no doubt those letters were designed as meer rattles to sooth & quiet them.3 I really wish they may Retain the full weight which the charter intends them more than that cannot be for the general weal especially considering who are their leaders. The g. has hard measure. The trading part of B are wroth with him for concerning himself with the customs & charge it to meer mercenary views.4 When he was urging submission to the supreme legislative authority, a stronger disposition than he expected appeared in the ministry to gentle healing measures; the demagogues took the advantage & have been most injuriously insulting him ever since. An unfortunate step in using the word requisition instead of Recommendation gave them a further handle so that he has never been free from the most illiberal abuses in the news papers or when the court is sitting from altogether as bad language in a certain place for near a twelvemonth past.5 He was in hopes to have obtained leave to go to E. which he wrote for last spring but he has no favorable answers.6
The court will not sit again until the last of Jan.7 I am Dear Sir Your affectionate humble Servant,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:254); at foot of letter, “Mr Bollan.”
Boston 31. Dec 1766
Sir, After great pains & constant attention to improve evry incident during my sollicitation I have obtained such a compensation from the gen. court as has been judged equal to the real loss I have sustained in my property. The change of sentiment first took place in the body of the people the inhabitants of the town of Bos. in particular became almost unanimous in favor of it & in compliance with their constitution many members of the house were obliged to vote for it who otherwise would have continued against it. I am told, perhaps I am flattered that the other sufferers succeeded meerly by being in company with me. I am pretty certain we should all have failed if it had not been for the resolves of Parliam & the strong Recommendation of His Maj. by his ministers in consequence of those Resolves. I am obliged to my friends in Engd for promoting the general opinion in the nation that compensation ought to be made and I may not omit thanking you in particular for the share you took in it.
I wish the colonies may have a just sense of the great tenderness of their mother country. There will be some restless spirits in all governments. In general, there is at present in this province a disposition to promote government & good order. I cannot say that we have the same apprehensions of our Relation to G Brit. that we had 2 years ago. It is not to be wondered at. You are divided in your sentiments about it in Eng. Most of the political performances reach us & those which favour liberty & a state the lest dependent are most approved. Besides, it is an age of liberty. If we have right notions of the constitution of G B it has been growing more & more popular from the revolution & some of the other nations of Europe are wishing & making their feeble attempts to recover a greater degree of freedom.1 How ever I am not apprehensive that any man with ^in the colonies who has^ a cool head thinks it possible they could long subsist if B. should leave them to themselves much less that they could maintain a state of independence contrary to the mind of the nation, but our misfortune is the different apprehension of the nature & degree of our dependence. I wish to see it settled known & admitted for whilst the rules of law are vague & uncertain especially in such fundamental points our condition is deplorable in general but no particular part of the community have so deplorable difficult a task & are so exposed to censure malice & popular Resentment as those persons who are the judges of the law. Some think we may continue in this state until the colonies arrive to manhood when the parental Right of controul will determine. It is not possible. Our internal disquiet will make the body of the people wish to have the point determind altho’ it should not be done exactly according to their own sentiments.
I have in some degree Relieved my self from my anxiety the last year by applying my leisure time to compleating a 2d volume of the history of the province to the year 1750 which is now ready for the press.2 As soon as it is published I shall pray your acceptance of one of the books. I am with esteem Sir Your most Obedient Servant,
AC (Massachusetts Archives, SC1/45X, 26:257); at head of letter, “Isr. Mawduit Eq.”