730 | To the Earl of Hillsborough

    No 1

    Boston Jan 23 1769

    My Lord

    I have received your Lordships letter No 201 and the duplicate of No 21.2 By the former I have the instruction I desired concerning calling the Assembly: if I receive no orders, Writs will issue of course on the 29th of April returnable on the 31st of May; for I apprehend that the Suspension of the annual Assembly can be ordered by no less Authority than that of parliament. But if it should be thought proper to prevent their proceeding to business at that time, I could prorogue the Assembly immediately after the Election of Councellors, & the signification of my Assent & Dissent: nay, I apprehend that I could suspend that signification by an adjournment; but I should not care to take such a step without orders.3

    I foresee that I shall be under infinite difficulties at the next Election, unless I am releived by the proceedings at home or orders in consequence of them. Heretofore I could show a sufficient resentment of the Opposition to the Kings Government by negativing 5 or 6 at a time: But the Defection of Councellors is now become so prevailing among those living within or near to Boston, that I cannot by myself withstand it: nor do I see that I can do Any effectual Service but as an Executer of Orders. Happy will it be for all persons concerned in the Government & for the people themselves, if the parliament shall take this Matter into consideration with effect.

    I shall still consider myself to be under orders to call the Assembly at Salem or Cambridge;4 as the Reasons which occasioned this order still subsist & are like to subsist I shall prefer the former, as Cambridge is too near to answer the present purposes of the Change. But if the Seat of Government was to be removed out of Boston for a continuance, I should then prefer Cambridge, which would become the Westminster of the Metropolis; but with such an interval between, as would, in some degree, put the Government out of the reach of the Seditious Spirit which prevails [at]5 Boston. But If this should be thought advisable, still it would be best to call the next Assembly at Salem.

    I communicated to the Council the 2 paragraphs relating to ^not^ presenting the address;6 tho’ it was unnecessary, as it was known before that your Lordship had not seen the address at the time you was charged with suppressing it. This appeared from Mr Deberdts advertisement, which shewes that they were informed of the truth at the time that they published this infamous Lie.7 But this is common with them; if a Lie does but answer the purpose of the day they are perfectly unconcerned at the future detection of it; & when the falsity is made apparent, they stand wholly unabashed.

    I return your Lordship my most humble thanks for continuing to represent my conduct to his Majesty in so favorable a manner as to procure for me his most gracious assurance of his protection. The truth is I do the best I can; and when I appear to act otherwise, it is either thro error of judgement or want of Authority; which latter is a great impediment to my Service.

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

    Fra Bernard

    The right honorable the Earl of Hillsborough

    ALS, RC     CO 5/758, ff 48-49.

    Endorsed: Boston Jany. 23d. 1769 Governor Bernard. (No. 1) R 29th March B.11. Variants: CO 5/893, ff 98-99 (dupLS, RC); CO 5/767, ff 206-209 (L, RLbC); BP, 7: 121-123 (L, LbC). Considered by the Board of Trade on 1 Dec. 1769. JBT, 13: 125.