700 | To the Earl of Hillsborough

    No 28

    Boston Oct 5. 1768

    My Lord

    The landing the two regiments at Boston on Saturday last with such dispatch & parade, which I informed your Lordship of by No 26,1 is like to have good effects; & will at last, tho’ it has not done it at present, produce quarters for the troops. On the Monday following, I called the Council together & laid before them a requisition of Col Dalrymple’s for the usual allowances under the Act of parliament.2 Against this it was argued that they were ready on their parts to comply with the Act of parliament, if the Colonel would on his. If therefore the Colonel would remove both the regiments to the Castle, they would provide the allowances, otherwise not. This produced a good deal of Debate, af[ter]3 which I told them that the Col had desired that if they were disposed to refuse, he might be heard before the refusal was made absolute; and I accordingly sent for the Colonel.

    He came with Captn Smith: and I informed him of what was passing. He enforced his requisition in Very strong Words, not without some hints of the ^Kings^ resentment which would follow their refusal. He said that he had encamped one of the regiments & was providing barracks for the other; that they might be both considered to be in barracks. If therefore they refused the allowances because they were not in the barracks at the Castle, they took upon themselves to determine upon the propriety of the Kings stationing his troops at this or that place, & to presume to dispense with an Act of parliament unless the Troops were stationed at such places as they thought fit; altho’ such proposed stationing directly contradicted the intention of the Kings ordering the Troops to be stationed here at all. This was the substance of the Colonel’s & my own reasoning upon the occasion which had much weight; so to induce the Council to desire me to give them time to consider further of it; which I did upon their assuring me that they would draw up no more papers for publication. Accordingly the Council was adjourned to this day.

    Upon this day the Council met by themselves in the Council chamber;4 & two of the Council came to me to know if I could engage the Colonel to send one of the regiments to the Castle if they would provide for the other. I said I could make no such Terms with the Colonel; but as he happened then to come in, they might hear from himself. He said that his orders were to station the two regiments in the Town: but if things were quiet & the Troops well received & accommodated, he made no doubt but the General would allow one regiment to go [to] the Castle; for which purpose he had allready wrote. The Gentlemen returned to the Council they continuing to Sit by themselves at the Council chamber; when after many debates, it was determined to supply the troops by 8 against 5 in the Council then assembled.

    After noon they came to me in a body & gave me an answer in writing, wherein they resolved that I should appoint a person to provide the allowances, “he undertaking to run the risk of the Assembly paying the charge of it”.5 I told them that this clause was disabling as well as enabling; for by inserting such a terrifying clause proviso I should not be able to get any one to undertake it. If they meant nothing but to indemnify themselves, from being personally answerable for this charge, I would recommend this clause, “that such provision should be made on the credit of the Assembly & not of the particulars of the persons composing the Govr & Council.” Some Gentlemen approved of this: but it was greatly opposed, & it was urged, that as there really was a great risk that the Assembly would not pay this Money, & that it was fitting that the undertaker should know it. I asked them, if the Troops were barracked at the Castle, whether they would have inserted this clause: they freely answered no; for then, there would have been no doubt of the legality of making such allowances; now there was. I then told them that it plainly appeared that this discouraging Clause was put in as a prejudgement of what the Assembly had to do in providing for this expence & a dictation to them not to discharge it: and so it would be understood by all knowing of this proceeding. However I insisted upon the question of the amendment I proposed being put, & it passed in the negative. Upon which upon the unamended Answer, I proposed a person for Commissary for this purpose; & he was approved.6 So here is a subject for dispute laid in store against the next meeting of the Assembly.7

    Oct 6

    This morning I had with me Col Dalrymple & Mr Goldthwait8 the person I appointed to make provision for the troops. And being informed of the terms upon which the Council had made this appointment, Mr Goldthwait with the advice & approbation of the Colonel declined undertaking this business: And the Colonel told me that he thought it was to no purpose for me to apply any more to the Council, upon this or any other provision for the troops; for He saw that they were determined to do Nothing. And I must add myself that I am certain that the proviso was put in to defeat the whole purpose. I am assured that at first they resolved to make a positive refusal, & had drawn up near 2 sheets of paper of arguments to justify this refusal. But this paper being much excepted to & generally disapproved; and a Vote being obtained to make a provision, the Opponents hit upon this expedient to annul the Vote & render it ineffectual, & the Affirmers of the Vote with their Eyes open came into this expedient.

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

    Fra Bernard

    The right honble The Earl of Hillsborough

    ALS, RC     CO 5/757, ff 442-444.

    Minor emendations not shown. Endorsed: Boston October 5th: 1768. Govr Bernard (No. 28) R 4 Novber: A.55. Enclosures: minutes of the Massachusetts Council of 3 and 5 Oct. 1768, CO 5/757, ff 445-446; the selectmen of Hatfield to the selectmen of Boston, 22 Sept. 1768, printed in the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News-Letter, 6 Oct. 1768, ibid., CO 5/757, f 447. Variants of letter in: CO 5/767, ff 126-132 (L, RLbC); BP, 7: 72-76 (L, LbC); Letters to the Ministry (1st ed.), 70-72; Letters to the Ministry (repr.), 94-97. 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.