588 | From the Earl of Hillsborough

    (No. 3)

    Whitehall. February the 16th 1768.


    Since the Earl of Shelburne’s Letter to you of the 14th: last November:1 your Letters to His Lordship No 25. 26. 27. 28. & 29. have been received, & laid before the King.2

    His Majesty collects from them with great Satisfaction, that the idle and groundless Jealousies and Discontents, which have so long disturbed the Tranquillity of the Province, having been industriously fomented by weak and ill-designing Men, are at length subsided; and that the Minds of His good Subjects of the Massachuset’s Bay are restored to that Confidence in his Government, which the Justice and Lenity of It so amply entitles it to. That even those whose erroneous and intemperate Zeal had carried them Lengths most unjustifiable in themselves, and dangerous to the Well-being of the Province, are returned to a dispassionate and calm Temper of Mind, and begin at last to discover what has ever been clear to all Mankind, that His Majesty is the tender & affectionate Father of all His Subjects, and that the real Interest of Great Britain and her Colonies, ever was, is, and always must be, One and the same.

    His Majesty gives all the Merit and Approbation due to your Prudence and Conduct in these critical Circumstances, and I am to recommend to you to cultivate and improve the becoming Dispositions which have of late appeared. An inflexible Adherence to your Duty, attended by every conciliating & persuasive Method you can devise, to convince Those who are within your Province, that their Happiness, in common with That of all His Subjects, is the great Object of His Majesty’s Government, will most effectually conduce to the Completion of this very desireable End. You have my most hearty Wishes for your Success, at the same Time that I congratulate You upon the Progress you have already made towards it.3

    Since my Appointment to my Office, the Lords of Trade have transmitted to me their Representation to His Majesty upon those Parts of your Letters to Lord Shelburne No 11. & 17.4 which relate to the Claim of the House of Representatives to appoint an Agent for the Affairs of the Province independent of the Governor and Council.

    I have had the Honor to lay this Representation before the King, who has commanded me to transmit to You the inclosed5 Copy of it, not doubting but that the House of Representatives will be induced, from a Consideration of the Propriety of what is set forth in It, to recede from a Claim that appears to His Majesty to be neither supported by Reason ^nor^ justified by Precedent, and to adopt that Mode of Appointment of an Agent, which has been adjudged, upon the fullest Examination, to be the most regular and constitutional in all Cases, and seems, in a more particular Manner, to correspond with the Principles of the Charter, on which the Government of the Colony of Massachuset’s Bay is founded.

    I am &ca


    Governor of Massachusetts Bay

    LS, RC     BP, 11: 137-140.

    Endorsed by FB: Earl of Hillsborough 16 feb. 1768 Sundries. Variants: CO 5/766, ff 107-109 (précis, RLbC); CO 5/757, ff 15-17 (LS, AC). Enclosure not found. FB received this letter on 11 May6 and replied with No. 614.