585 | To the Earl of Shelburne

    [No 2]1

    Boston Jan 30 1768

    My Lord

    I received your Lordship’s Letter No 112 by the Novr Mail which arrived here this day sevnight: the October mail, which has other Letters of your Lordship for me is not arrived here, tho’ by the accounts We have, it is daily expected.3 I have therefore at present only to say that I shall regard the letter now received rather for my own instruction than a Direction to others. The time is not yet come, when the House is to be moved against popular printers however profligate & flagitious: it comes too home to some4 (2 or 3 at the most) of its own Members. But, if there was a View of success, I should by no means think it proper to make such an attempt now, when the House shows so good a disposition to reconciliation to Government; of which they have given good proof since the date of my former Letter.5 They have acted in all things, even in their remonstrance (as far as I, who have not been allowed a Sight of it can learn) with temper & Moderation; they have avoided some subjects of dispute & have laid a foundation for removing some Causes of former altercations. I speak this only from private report; nothing of this kind Very material having as yet come up to me.

    But in one thing The House has shown itself contraagent to the Faction who want again to embroil America. There is no Doubt but that the principal Design in forming this Remonstrance was to set an Example to the rest of America, & produce a general Clamour from evry other Assembly against the late Acts. This was partly defeated by my refusing to call the Assembly before the usual time;6 & again by the House resolving to form their remonstrance in such a manner that it should not of necessity be made publick. But tho’ this last intention was quite inconsistent with the purpose of communicating the Substance of their remonstrance to the other Assemblies yet it did not discourage the party from attempting it. The House was accordingly moved that a day be assigned to take into consideration the propriety of informing the other Governments with their proceedings against the late Acts, that, if they thought fit; they might join therein. Upon the day this was strongly opposed & fully debated: it was said by the opposers of the Motion, that they would be considered at home as appointing another congress; and perhaps the former was not yet forgot. Upon the close of the debate it was carried in the negative by at least 2 to 1.7 No one transaction in the House has given me ^so great hopes^ that they are returning to a right Sense of their Duty & their true intrest as this has done; and I hope it will make some attonement for their remonstrance.

    I am with great respect My Lord, Your Lordships most obedient & most humble Servant

    Fra Bernard

    The Right honble The Earl of Shelburne.

    ALS, RC     CO 5/757, ff 22-23.

    Endorsed: Boston Janry 30th: 1768. Governor Bernard. (No. 2) R 7th. March. A.5. Variants: CO 5/893, ff 37-38 (LS, RC); CO 5/766, ff 104-106 (L, RLbC); BP, 6: 263-264 (L, LbC); Coll. Mass. Papers, 1768 (L extract, Copy); Letters to the Ministry (1st ed.), 5-6; Letters to the Ministry (repr.), 6-7. Hillsborough replied with No. 603. Considered by the Board of Trade on 6 May 1768. JBT, 13: 26. Extracts were laid before both houses of Parliament on 28 Nov. 1768. HLL: American Colonies Box 1.