698 | To the Earl of Hillsborough

    No 27

    Boston Oct 3 1768

    My Lord

    In my letter No 251 I gave your Lordship an account of the proceedings of the Convention; in this I propose to finish it. They set2 exactly a week; and their last Act I hereby send your Lordship a printed Copy of; this & what I before sent being all that has been printed. They have besides, as I am told, prepared a Petition to the King in the same or nearly the same terms as the former & have sent it ^to Mr Deberdt^ with a long letter of instructions, among which is, as is said, a direction to give it into the Kings own hands. But I am not certain of this, as all this business was done with a kind of Secrecy, into which it is scarce Worth while to pry.3

    The cheif Observation upon these writings is of their moderation so Very different from the temper of those who called this meeting. This is accounted for many ways: Many of the deputies came down with instructions & disposition to prevent the Bostoners involving the province in the Consequences of their own mad devices; Many of them were, from the beginning, sensible of ^the^ impropriety & danger of this proceeding & were desirous by a moderate conduct, to correct the one & ward off the other; My Message, which was said to be Very high (tho I hope not too high for the occasion) although it did not disperse them, had the good effect to keep them in awe. Hence it was that Otis, when he joined them, was perfectly tame; and his Collegue Adams when he attempted to launch out in the language used in the house of representatives, was presently silenced: And now these people assume to themselves merit of the moderation of those, whom they called together for very different purposes.4

    However therefore this temperate Conduct of these Deputies may in some measure apologise for the Towns who deputed them & for themselves who assembled, It makes no excuse for those who took upon themselves to call them together. For whoever reads the minutes of the Town Meeting in which the Summoning this Convention was ordered, will easily perceive that It was intended to have Very different effects from those which it was issued in.5

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

    Fra. Bernard

    the right honble the Earl of Hillsborough.

    I inclose in this an original Circular Letter, the only one I have been able to get as people Don’t care to appear to ask for them.6

    ALS, RC     CO5/757, ff 439-440.

    Endorsed: Boston October 3d: 1768. Govr. Bernard (No 27) R 4th: Novber A.54. Enclosures: resolves of the Massachusetts Convention of Towns, Boston, 29 Sept. 1768, CO 5/757, f 441, extracted from the Boston News-Letter, 3 Oct. 1768; also enclosed the circular of the Boston selectmen to the Massachusetts towns, 14 Sept. 17687 (Appendix 13, Bernard Papers, 4: 400-401; also sent under cover of No. 681).8 Variants of letter in: CO 5/767, ff 124-126 (L, RLbC); BP, 7: 70-72 (L, LbC); Letters to the Ministry (1st ed.), 69; Letters to the Ministry (repr.), 92-93. Hillsborough acknowledged receipt with No. 712. Copies of the letter together with the enclosures were laid before both houses of Parliament on 28 Nov. 1768. HLL: American Colonies Box 3.