666 | To Lord Barrington

    Boston Aug 27 1768

    My Lord

    I am honoured with your Lordship’s Letter of May 9th which arrived at Boston the 20th of Aug. that is 14 Weeks after it left London.1 I mention this that there may be no Imputation of Negligence in me in not acknowledging the Favour by the earliest Opportunity.

    I am truly sensible of the high Honour I receive from my Lord Hillsboroughs Estimation of me and your Lordship’s Attention to improve it in the best Manner for my Advantage. The unexpected Offer of a Title strikes me too forcibly not to occasion some Deliberation. If indeed it was to be determined by myself upon selfish Considerations, I should have no Doubt of declining it. But in a Business of so great Concern to my Family others are to be consulted besides myself. Mrs Bernard is at present at a mineral Spring 90 Miles from hence to which she has been sent by her Physicians.2 I have also an intimate Friend & Relation in England who has my Intrests so much at her Heart, that I can’t excuse myself advising with her. So, my Lord, you must not be surprised, if by making Use of a female Council I should be led into an Act of Vanity. But at present I think the Objections I have to accepting the Honour are unsurmountable. If I consult my political Friends about accepting this Honour, I know they will labour for the affirmative with great Earnestness upon political Considerations. It will be urged that the conferring this Honor on me will afford a true and proper Triumph over those Enemies which my Adherence to the Rights of Great Britain has created; that it will hold out a Light to other Governors and Crown Officers and teach them that their true Intrest leads to adhering to their Duty and not temporising at the Expence of the Rights of the Crown; and that it will tend to cast a Disgrace upon the Faction which has of late prevailed here, and to lower its Estimate with the People of the Country. I own, my Lord, that these Arguments will have some Weight with me, who am used to consider every Event, with its Relation to the Service of the Crown. You see, my Lord that it is impossible for me to come to a Resolution at present, and therefore I can only desire your Lordship to present my most respectful and grateful Complts to my Ld Hillsborough and to beg his Indulgence of further Time ^for^ to consider of the Propriety of my accepting the great Honour he intends for me.

    In Regard to the Government of Virginia I have much less Difficulty or indeed none at all. It is certainly much more valuable than this, even tho’ the contingent Profits, which this has been deprived of for 3 Years past & more, should be restored. I speak this upon a Presumption that the Lieutenancy will be held upon the same Terms with the principal as it was by Mr Fauquier; which I understand was by paying 1500 pounds sterlg in England clear of all Charges. As for the Title of Lieut Govr it matters not whether the Governor is called his Honor or his Excellcy.; tho if it signified any Thing the latter Title might be given to the Lieut Govr by a special Commission that should not be derogotary to the Commission in cheif: and I have often wondered it was not done; as this is in Effect a principal Government. The Govr of Maryland has long ago taken the Title of his Excellcy, by what Authority I dont know, unless it is by a Commission from his Majesty: for surely a Proprietor can confer no such Title. As for the Climate which your Lordship knows is a principal Consideration with me, cheifly upon Account of Mrs Bernard, I have learned enough to satisfy me that tho it is too southerly, it is not unhealthy and will probably suit with her. I must therefore desire your Lordship to signify my most grateful Acceptance of this Offer for the present; by which I mean a Reserve of Liberty to apply for something else, if I should be disappointed in the Climate or Income of this Government. If I am not, I may probably set down with Pleasure for the rest of my Life: for it is high Time that my Peregrination should be determined.

    It will be extremely agreeable to me to be succeeded here by the Lt Govr, as indeed it will upon many Accounts promote his Majesty’s Service. Such an Appointment will effectually discourage the Faction, who are more inveterate against him than against me; and are most offended at me for taking his Part; And it will afford another great Instance of rewarding faithful Servants of the Crown. I shall treat this with all the Confidentiality your Lordship recommends, and shall not acquaint him with the Assurance I have of this Intention. But I must tell him that I hope and expect that he will succeed me; as it will be necessary to enter into Concert with him about many Matters previous to this Change, and to take his Opinion concerning several Regulations which I have had in my Thoughts to propose.

    I shall avail myself of Leave to return with all due Expedition: Many Things both public & private concur in making it expedient. I have not yet received my Ld Hillsborough’s Letter for that Purpose;3 the June Packet is not come in, tho it is now 11 Weeks since it left London: It is become a most dilatory Conveyance. I now communicate to your Lordship my Sentiments as they arise: when I have the Honour to wait upon your Lordship I shall determine upon every Point. The Question of the Government may receive a considerable Alteration if Genl Amherst should require new Terms from the new Lieutt:, which might impair the Beneficiality. But I dont expect it as it would probably open a Door for Disputes which had better be avoided.

    I am &c

    The Right honble The Lord Visct Barrington

    L, LbC     BP, 6: 141-145.

    In handwriting of Thomas Bernard.