691 | To the Earl of Hillsborough

    No 25

    Boston Septr 27. 1768

    My Lord

    In my letter No 221 I informed your Lordship of the Origination of calling an Assembly of Representatives under the Name of a Committee of Convention: notwithstanding that is the name of the body, the Members also all called Committees. So that for distinction sake We must call the body the Convention. This Convention is now sitting: they met on Thursday & did nothing that morning but choose a chairman & a Clerk, viz, the late Speaker & the Clerk of the House.2 The same Morning I prepared a Message to this Convention & left it with Mr Oliver the Secry to deliver in the afternoon. I wrote it wholly in my hand & my Name so written was in the title: but as it was not undersigned by me they refused to receive it.3 This was only to gain time to send me a Message before they acknowledged the receipt of mine.4 As they print what they do, your Lordship will have their own account of these proceedings. The 3 days last week they kept open doors; Otis was then absent. The two days this week they have kept the doors shut; Otis is with them. Whatever farther transpires I will inform your Lordship of it.5

    It is now made a great Question in what manner Great Britain will resent this proceeding: for certainly, at the fountainhead it was certainly intended to provoke a resentment; the great principle of the faction being to raise & blow up fire. Some say, & especially in the Convention itself, that the persons assembling would be by Act of parliament ^render’d^ incapable of serving in any public office. But this seems to be at once too confined & too general a Censure. The Towns who chose these Deputies (next to that who issued the Summons) are answerable for this Convention; and, if they are a Majority of the Towns who send Members, as their own Accounts at the lowest assert, the Province is answerable. It is therefore concluded that the most probable Consequence will be the forfeiture of the Charter. If this is the worst, It is an Event most devoutly to be desired by evry well wisher to the province.

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

    Fra. Bernard

    The right honble the Earl of Hillsborough.

    ALS, RC     CO 5/757, ff 431-432.

    Endorsed: Boston Septr. 27th. 1768 Govr Bernard (No 25) R 3d. Novber A.52. Enclosed a copy of No. 688. Variants of letter in BP, 7: 62-64 (L, LbC); Letters to the Ministry (1st ed.), 65-66; Letters to the Ministry (repr.), 88-89. The packet carrying the RC sailed on 28 Sept.6 Hillsborough acknowledged receipt with No. 712.7 Copies of the letter together with the enclosure were laid before both houses of Parliament on 28 Nov. 1768. HLL: American Colonies Box 3.