Appendix 3


    May it please Your Lordships.

    In our Memorial of the 12th of February1 we laid before Your Lordships our Sentiments upon the present State of Government in this Country, and we are very sorry to say that from the Experience we have since had, we are confirmed in the Opinions we had then formed.

    Having had Reason to think that the Persons employed in the out-door Business had been guilty of collusive practices, we thought it necessary to employ some extra Tidesman on board of Vessels arriving in this Port from foreign parts; This Measure gave Umbrage to the Merchants, and produced great Clamours among[s]t them, and they have since endeavoured to distress and embarrass our Officers; and those who shew a Disposition to pay the Duties are threatned by them. Several persons have applied to Mr Williams Inspector General for the usual Indulgences, and among the Rest the famous Mr Malcolm, and being answered that the full Duties would be required, he went away, and said he should take his own Measures[.] On the next day his Vessel arrived near the Harbour, where she was unloaded of about Sixty pipes of Wine into Lighters, which were conducted into Town at Night by a great Number of people; the Master nevertheless, the next day, reported his Vessel in Ballast, and though the Affair is notoriously known and our Officers have endeavoured to procure an Informer, yet no one dares appear.2

    To give your Lordships a fuller Idea of the general Temper and Disposition of the People in this Country, we beg leave to submit to your Consideration some other Proceedings in this place.

    On the 26th. February the House of Representatives in this Province passed Resolves similar to those of the Town Meeting in October last, to discourage the use of Foreign Superfluities and to encourage the Manufactures of this Province, and out of eighty two Members, Brigadier Ruggles was the only one who answered in the Negative.3

    The Merchants have held several Meetings (at one of which the said Mr. Malcolm presided)4 to concert Measures to obtain a Repeal of the Laws; accordingly they have entered into an Association not to import any Goods from Great Britain for a limited Time, and a Committee of seven persons hath been appointed to correspond with the Merchants in the other Provinces, to excite them to adopt similar Measures, and those persons who refuse to subscribe are to be discouraged in the most effectual manner; We are now to observe to Your Lordships, as we did before in our last Memorial,5 in regard to the proceedings of the Town Meetings, that we consider those Measures as a Policy calculated to alarm the Trading and Manufacturing people of Great Britain, and to engage them in their Interest, so as to obtain a Repeal of the Laws, rather than to answer the Ends and purposes pretended.6

    On the 29th of February a most audacious Libel on Governor Bernard was published in the News papers printed by Edes and Gill of this Town, His Excellency communicated the same to both Houses but the lower House payed no Regard to it.7

    The Chief Justice opened the Superior Court on the Instant with a very strong and pointed Charge in respect to Libels, the grand Jury nevertheless did not present the Publishers of the Libel on the Governor.8

    Though the most seditious and inflamatory publications have been circulated through all the provinces of America for many Months past, no one Governor, as we can learn, has hitherto attempted to prosecute the Authors or publishers of them, and the political Doctrines avowed in them are now become the Principles of the Generality of the People; on the 11th. instant at an annual meeting for the Choice of Town Officers, the Thanks of the Town were voted to the Author of the famous Letters published at Philadelphia, the Motion was made by the aforesaid Mr. Malcolm, and it passed unanimously.

    For several Evenings in the beginning of March a number of people armed with Clubs assembled about the Houses of some of the members of the Board, blowing Horns, beating Drums, and making hideous Noises, so that the Familys quitted their Houses expecting they would proceed to Violence, on the 17th instant we had certain Information that, on the next day, being the Anniversary of the Repeal of the Stamp Act, which has been observed as a Day of Triumph over great Britain, certain Images would be affixed to a Tree, called the Tree of Liberty, that the mob would assemble and bring the Commissioners and the Officers of the Board to the Tree, to oblige them to renounce their Commissions, accordingly at day break on the 18th., the Effigies of Mr. Paxton and Mr Williams were exhibited on the Tree, and after hanging a few Hours were taken down, the morning was ushered in with Guns firing, Drums beating, and a Display of Colours in several parts of the Town; That morning as soon as the Board met, we wrote a Letter to the Governor, and before we broke up we received a Minute of the Council, Copies of which are sent herewith; The Council met again in the Afternoon, as resolved in the Minute of the Morning, and adjourned without taking any Measures to secure the Peace of the Town, and here we think necessary to observe to Your Lordships, that even in the heighth of the Outrages in the Year 17659 the Council of this Province, who are annually chosen by the Representatives of the people, would not advise the Governor to apply to the Commander of His Majestys Troops for any Military Aid; In the Evening the mob made a procession through the Town, with Drums beating, and Colours flying, which was closed with a Cart, in which were placed four swivel Guns,10 they went to Liberty Tree and after discharging several Guns they paraded through the Streets making hideous Cries and Noises at the Houses of the Governor and some of the Commissioners, and about nine O’Clock they proceeded to the House of Mr. Williams Inspector General, who is become particularly obnoxious by being our immediate Instrument in regulating this Post, and annexed is the Copy of Mr Williams’s Letter to the Board acquainting us of the Attack made upon him by the Mob of that Evening.11

    It does not appear that it is their plan to molest us immediately, as the last Mob was prevailed upon to desist from proceeding to outrage until the answer of Government to the Remonstrance of their Assembly12 could be received [blank]; But of this we are well convinced, that Governor and Magistracy have not the least authority or power in this Place that the Mob are ready to be assembled on any Occasion, and that every Officer who exerts himself in the Execution of his Duty will be exposed to the Resentment of the Populace, without the least probability of receiving any Protection.

    Though no immediate Outrage should be committed on ourselves or Officers, yet if the answer from Government to the Remonstrances of the lower House of Assembly should not be agreable to the people, We are fully persuaded that they will proceed to violent Measures; In the mean Time we must depend on the favour of the Leaders of the Mob for our protection and in such Circumstances we cannot answer for our Security for a day, much less will it be in our power to carry the Revenue Laws into Effect

    All which is humbly submitted.

    John Robinson

    Hen. Hulton.

    J. Temple.

    Wm. Burch

    Chas Paxton

    Custom Ho Boston 28th. March 1768

    LS, RC     T 1/465, ff 25-27.

    Endorsed: Memorial of the Commissioners of the Customs in America To the Right Honourable The Lords Commissioners of His Majesty’s Treasury 28th. March 1768 Read 30 June 1768. Transmit Copy to Mr Pownall v: min:13 Thank you sent. American Contt14 16 Enclosed two copies of No. 599; minute and resolution of the Massachusetts Council of 18 Mar.; John Williams to the American Board of Customs, Boston, 21 Mar. 1768, T 1/465, ff 28-38. The Treasury considered the memorials of the American Board of Customs dated 12 Feb. and 28 Mar. 1768 (Appendices 2 and 3) on 30 Jun. Thomas Bradshaw acknowledged receipt of Appendix 3 on 8 Jul. (T 28/1, f 332) and forwarded a copy to John Pownall at the Board of Trade, for the consideration of the secretary of state, the earl of Hillsborough (CO 5/226, f 105).