679 | From the Earl of Hillsborough

    (No: 19.)

    Whitehall 14th: Septr: 1768


    As no Packet will sail for America ’till the 5th: of next Month, I avail myself of Mr: Rogers’s return to Boston1 to acquaint you that, since my dispatch of the 30th: of July, I have received your Letters numbered 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, & have laid them, with their Inclosures, before the King.2

    His Majesty is concerned to find that the House of Representatives has not thought fit to comply with the Requisition you had in command from His Majesty to lay before that House.3

    His Majesty trusted that the same regard for the Constitution, which had induced a negative to the first Proposition of writing to the other Colonies,4 would have prevailed with the new Assembly to have restored the Resolution which had been entered upon the Journals on that occasion, and that the King would not have been disappointed in His Royal Wishes, of being enabled to lay before His Parliament, so becoming a testimony of reverence in the Colony of Massachuset’s Bay, to the supreme legislative Authority.

    The King has nothing more at Heart than that the Constitution should be preserved in it’s utmost privity, and as it appeared to his Majesty that the Resolution of the Assembly for erasing out of the Records a proceeding in the former part of the Session, in which the House had shewn its respect for that Constitution; and the substituting in the place of it a measure of a direct contrary tendency, might not only have the effect to expose the Colony to the censure of Parliament, but was in itself very irregular;5 His Majesty therefore thought that he could not shew a greater testimony of condescension as well as of paternal regard for His Colony of Massachuset’s Bay, than by giving the new Assembly a fair Opportunity of returning to a proper Sense of their Duty, and at the same time ^of^ doing credit to themselves, by rescinding the Resolution of writing to the other Colonies in Terms that not only questioned but openly denied the Authority of Parliament, so recently declared by a solemn Statute, and by the provision of which Statute such resolution & proceeding upon it were null and void.

    The King approves your conduct upon this occasion in every part of it, except the communication of my Letters to the Assembly, which, tho’ considered by His Majesty with the most indulgent Allowances for the peculiar delicacy of your Situation, His Majesty does nevertheless apprehend to be an irregular proceeding, & having observed that the same thing has been done in other Colonies, I have signified His Majesty’s Commands thereupon in circular Letters, one of which you will receive herewith.6

    Your Letters No. 10, 12 and 13, do not appear to require any particular Answer, & therefore I have only in command from His Majesty to repeat to you; the concern He feels at the continuance of the seditious publications which have disgraced the Government, & of the disorders which have so long disturbed the peace of the Town of Boston; His Majesty trusts however, that the measures he has thought fit to pursue7 will encourage the Magistrates to do their Duty with becoming zeal and spirit, which cannot fail of restoring publick peace and Tranquility, as is evident from the consequences of Mr: Williams’s spirited and proper conduct,8 of which His Majesty expresses great approbation.

    The humble Petition of the Council transmitted with your Letter No 11,9 has been received by His Majesty in the most gracious manner; The King observes with great satisfaction, the very decent and becoming manner in which they have expressed their Sentiments in respect to the operation of the Law they complain of, and I have it in command from His Majesty that you should acquaint the Council that this Petition, together with your reinforcing in support of it, will have full consideration before the meeting of Parliament, which is appointed for the 8th: of November.

    I am Sir Your Most Obedient Humble Servant


    Governor Bernard.

    LS, RC     BP, 11: 301-306.

    Endorsed by FB: Earl of Hillsborough No 19. 14 Sepr 1768. Docket by Thomas Bernard: Sundries. Enclosed the RC of No. 670. Variants of letter: CO 5/757, ff 346-348 (LS, AC); CO 5/765, ff 39-42 (L, LbC). Copies of the letter together with the enclosure were laid before both houses of Parliament on 28 Nov. 1768. HLL: American Colonies Box 3.