734 | To the Earl of Hillsborough

    No 3

    Boston Jan 25 1769

    My Lord

    It is hoped & expected that if the Government at home should proceed to censure the disturbers of the Peace of this province & the rest of the continent, that the printers of the Boston Gazette Edes & Gill will not be thought unworthy of the public Notice. They may be said to be no more than mercenary printers; but they have been & still are the trumpeters of Sedition, & have been made the apparent instruments of raising that flame in America,1 which has given so much trouble & is still like to give more to Great Britain & her Colonies. And yet I should not be against passing them by, if their Writers could be come at any other wise than thro them. But there seems to be no other way ^so easy^ to penetrate into the Cabinetts of the Faction as to put their printer under the Necessity of discovering the Authors of the Numberless treasonable & Seditious writings published by them. And the Way to them is plain: there is no other evidence wanting against them but their own papers with some proof of their coming from their press. And the Law, well known to printers, is plain; discover the Authors or take the Authorship upon yourselves. They would do the former if the question was put to them; as I am told they keep themselves provided with these means of Defence against an evil hour. It seems therefore that the first step for calling the cheifs of this Faction to an Account would be by seizing their printers together with their papers, if it can be: I will ^not^ take upon me to pronounce any particular pieces absolutely to be treason: but there are many of them which come so near to it as to appear Very like it.

    I have occasionally sent many of these papers to your Lordships office but have not continued a Series of them. I don’t doubt however but there are compleat sets of them in sevral hands in London. But least they should be wanted, I will by the Conveyance which carries this, send a compleat Set of these from the 14th of August 1767, when the present troubles began, to the present time. I wish I had leisure to look them over & point out the useful places: but I have not time for it.

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

    Fra Bernard

    The right honble the Earl of Hillsborough.

    P.S. These papers will afford numberless instances of a breach of the priviledge of parliament; and it seems to be a fair Oportunity for the House of Commons to give an instance of the extension of the power of parliament over America by punishing breaches of priviledge committed in it. But a difficulty would attend this exertion of the power of parliament, as an Order of the house could not well be executed in the same Session it was made, unless it was issued Very early. But this might be remedied by an Act of parliament: and it will be well Worth the while; for I know of nothing which would be so effectual to prevent the inflammatory Means to make a breach between Great Britain & her Colonies, as for the parliament to animadvert upon the seditious & treasonable papers published in America.


    ALS, RC     CO 5/758, ff 56-57.

    Endorsed: Boston January 25th. 1769. Governor Bernard. (No. 3) R 29th March. B.B. Variants: postscript omitted in the BP, 7: 126-128 (L, LbC) but included in CO 5/893, ff 108-109 (dupL, RC) and CO 5/767, ff 213-215 (L, RLbC). The “compleat Set” of the issues of the Boston Gazette published since 14 Aug. 1767 has not been found in the TNA. The enclosures and letter were considered by the Board of Trade on 1 Dec. 1769. JBT, 13: 125.