742 | To John Pownall
Boston Feb 18 1769
Your kind Letter of Nov 191 has been a great Comfort to me harrast as I am with Business of the most unpleasing kind. I have also had some other Letters which show that my late Conduct has been generally approved of.2 I have had some Compliments here upon my Conduct at the Convention. For it is certain that the Faction here intended an Insurrection, & the Convention was called to make it more general. But it had a contrary Effect by the Diffidence of the Country People, which was much encreased & confirmed by my Message3 which frightened them not a little. I wont say that it gave the Turn to the Business, but I am assured that it contributed greatly to it. My Friends say that it was the boldest Thing that I have done yet: for I knew that if their Deliberations had taken another Turn my Person was to have been seized: & what has been said of the Imprisonment of a King might be applied to that of a Governor; especially as we have Persons here who would have preferred extreme Violence to make the People desperate.
I consider myself as fixed here at least to next Midsummer, & how long farther I don’t pretend to know. I expect to have uncommon Business committed to me; I hope I shall have full Instructions & desire to have as little left to my own Judgement as can be: I have a Set of the wickedest Fellows to deal with that ever man was concerned with. The least Error of Judgement would be improved against me to the utmost Advantage, as would have been any Act of Corruption if they could have fixed one of the most trifling Kind upon me. But I have had the Prudence to keep my hands perfectly clean & myself poor. For Notwithstanding Mr Temple in his Publications against me called me Verres,4 It is certain that I have acquired no Money in my Government & now spend more than I receive from it.
The Anonymous Letter you sent me is of no Consequence; tho the Hand is feigned, I presently knew it to be the same in which I had formerly received anonymous Letters not worth Notice. I showed it to some Gentlemen to ask their Opinion & they agreed with me that no Notice should be taken of it. But somehow it came to Otis’s Ears that I had such a Letter: & his Conscience & fears brought him to me to desire a Sight of it. As the Hand was sufficiently disguised, I let him see it: and my Condescension has been generally approved of.5
I have many Things to write to you about & some of Consequence; & if the Wind does not Change tomorrow I shall add some more. But I must in the Mean Time conclude this: & if it is called for tomorrow I will write again by the next Ship a week hence.6 The News papers which I promise to my Lord H, will go in Mr Olivers Box of Papers, which probably will not be ready for this Ship.
I am &c
J Pownall Esq
P.S. Secret & confidential
I have taken the Liberty to hint to My Lord H7 that if a Council for this Province is to be appointed from home, it would be necessary to permit as little as possible private Sollicitations to influence the Appointment; as it will be quite necessary to the well executing so important a Change that public Considerations should direct the Appointment. For the same Reason I must recommend that your nearest Relation may have no hand in the Nomination of the Persons to be appointed. He is now, with my Knowledge, carrying on a Correspondence with the Sons of Liberty, in which I fear he will go too far; and he may be more intent upon his own Scheme than the Security of the Government.8 I am sure that none of the Friends he is now acquiring can be appointed to the new Council without Detriment to the Government. Excuse this Liberty; keep this Secret; & burn this Paper.
P.S. Secret & Confidential
Mr Temple & the other 4 Commissioners are at length come to an absolute Rupture. They charge him with being the principal Mover of all the Difficulties & Troubles which have obstructed the Execution of their Office & the Abuses which they have received both in their official & personal Characters. There is no Doubt but this is true; tho probably it will not admit of positive Proof; but circumstantial Evidence & the general Opinion of good People are full in the affirmative. I have kept myself from being a Party in this Dispute: tho Mr T continues to abuse me in the public Papers the last Instance of which with the internal Evidence it affords, I shall send to My Lord H in my next Packet as he has a Share in it.9 I shall write to you more fully upon this Subject probably by my next Packet. Memorials against Mr Temple, I understand, go ho[me] in this Ship.10
L, LbC BP, 7: 255-258.
In handwriting of Thomas Bernard. Minor emendations not shown.
1. The Council’s record books are Council Executive Records, 1760-1769, CO 5/823 and CO 5/827. There is also a set of nineteenth-century transcripts in Council Executive Records, 1692-1774, 13 vols. [vols. 2-14], GC3-327, M-Ar. The corresponding volumes for 1760-69 are vols. 15 and 16.
2. There are two contemporaneous sets of the Council’s legislative records. One was kept in Boston and is in Council Legislative Records, 1692-1774, 24 vols., GC3-1701x, vols. 23-28, M-Ar. The other was sent to London: Council in Assembly, Massachusetts, 1760-1769, CO 5/820-CO 5/828. This project utilizes the London copies, for it was this set that was prepared for and consulted by ministers and officials.
3. This was the first publication in the Bernard Letters pamphlet series, printing six of Bernard’s letters to the earl of Hillsborough Nos. 706, 708, 709, 711, 717, and 718, Bernard Papers, 5: 96-101, 103-109, 111-114, 128-133; and Thomas Gage to Hillsborough, Boston, 31 Oct. 1768. The compositors’ copy texts were transcripts of copies of original correspondence presented to Parliament on 20 Jan. 1769;* the transcripts were prepared and authenticated by the clerk of the papers of the House of Commons on 27 Jan. William Bollan, acting as London agent to the Massachusetts Council, sent them to Samuel Danforth, the “president” of the Council, on 30 Jan.; the parcel arrived on 8 Apr. and Danforth subsequently passed them to fellow councilor James Bowdoin, in whose keeping they remained. Thus, the printed versions of the first batch of Bernard Letters were three steps removed from the original letters received by the secretary of state: the differences between them generally are not substantive (viz. missing or additional words, grammatical alterations) and consistent with accidental copying errors (misspellings) or incidental practice (orthography, punctuation). There are three imprints, listed as items 68a-68c in Adams, American Independence, 51-52. Copies of all the imprints are available in Early American Imprints, Series 1, nos. 41911, 11178, and 11179. The first was an unnumbered four-page folio pamphlet, the second a sixteen-page quarto, and the third a twenty-eight-page quarto. The first imprint was published between 10 and 17 Apr.; all three would have been distributed to newspapers for reprinting.
* These are no longer extant. The Parliamentary archives in the House of Lords Library holds the American correspondence laid before Parliament on 28 Nov. but not the letters presented on 20 Jan. 1769. HLL: American Colonies Boxes 1-3.
4. The Gage Papers were being reorganized when this volume was in preparation. I have retained the abbreviation “Gage” for consistency across the Bernard Papers series but have added additional information to this section summarizing the collection.
5. The editors of this online resource advise that “the Journals of the House of Lords follow the same model as for those of the House of Commons . . . The volumes are from the Hartley Library [Univ. of Southampton], but give no information as to date, order or printer.” http://parlipapers.chadwyck.co.uk/infoCentre/about_long18.jsp. The first thirty-one volumes (covering the period up to 1767) were published between 1771 and 1777; vol. 36, published in 1808, took the series up to 1779. See H. H. Bellot, “Parliamentary Printing, 1660-1837,” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 9 (1933-34).
6. The Boston first edition included all the correspondence printed in Copies of Letters from Governor Bernard to Hillsborough, and added several documents framing and constituting the Massachusetts’s Council’s response to their governor’s reports: James Bowdoin’s letter to Hillsborough (Appendix 3); the Council’s letters to Hillsborough (Appendices 4 and 5); and an appendix of the Council’s proceedings, Jun-Dec. 1768. For copy text the printers again used the transcripts made by the House of Commons’ clerk plus author copies of the Council’s documents, both sets probably supplied by James Bowdoin. Publication was advertised in the Boston Weekly News-Letter, 27 Jul. 1769. The first edition is listed as 68d in Adams, American Independence, 53. Several US libraries have copies of this rare pamphlet, including the Library of Congress and the Boston Public Library. The project utilized the digitized version available in Early American Imprints, Series 1, no. 49926 (digital supplement).
7. The London reprint is listed as 68e in Adams, American Independence, 53. The British Library microfilm copy (166p in reel no. 1870) is available in ECCO. The page sequence is different from the first edition, but the content is the same. It was first advertised for sale at 3s. in the Public Advertiser, 31 Oct. 1769.
8. Pamphlet 69a in Adams, American Independence, 53. The project used the digitized version of the pamphlet held by the Bodleian Library (Oxford) available in ECCO. This was a new edition of correspondence based on a second batch of transcripts supplied by the Commons’ clerk of papers and again transmitted to Boston by William Bollan, on 21 Jun. It included thirty of Bernard’s letters to the secretaries of state (the earls of Shelburne and Hillsborough)* and two in-letters from Hillsborough (Nos. 722 and 727); Gage to Hillsborough, Boston, 3 and 5 Nov. 1768; letters received by Philip Stephens, the secretary of the Admiralty, from Royal Navy officers stationed in Boston (including Commodore Samuel Hood, 22 Nov. to 7 Dec. 1768); memorials of the American Board of Customs to the Treasury (including Appendix 6, Bernard Papers, 4: 373-374) and their enclosures, and correspondence with Gov. Bernard (Nos. 624 and 626 ibid., 190-192, 194-195). It was first advertised for sale in the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter, 7 Sept. 1769 and the Boston Evening-Post, 11 Sept. 1769.
* To Shelburne: Nos. 585, 589, 593, 596, 600, 601, plus FB’s letter of 2 Feb. 1768, CO 5/757, f 24 (omitted because it merely acknowledged receipt of correspondence). Bernard Papers, 4: 86-88, 98-99, 112-118, 121-124, 129-139. To Hillsborough: Nos. 623, 630, 632, 633, 638, 646, 648, 654, 656, 660, 663, 664, 668, 672, 681, 686, 690, and 691. Bernard Papers, 4: 185-190, 201-205, 207-214, 220-230, 242-246, 248-249, 255-257, 259-261, 266-270, 277-282, 288-290, 295-300, 318-324, 331-337, 347-353. In this volume, to Hillsborough: Nos. 694, 698, 700, and 703.
9. Pamphlet 69c in Adams, American Independence, 53. The project used the digitized version of the copy in the Houghton Library (Harvard), (146p in microfilm reel no. 1471), in ECCO. The London reprint included three additional letters from Commodore Hood to Philip Stephens. Advertised for sale at 2s. 6d. in the Public Advertiser, 15 Nov. 1769.
10. A second edition was published in 1774 with a variant title and additional papers. Select Letters on the Trade and Government of America; and the Principles of Law and Polity, Applied to the American Colonies. Written by Governor Bernard, at Boston, In the Years 1763, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Now first published: To which are added The Petition of the Assembly of Massachuset’s Bay against the Governor, his Answer thereto, and the Order of the King in Council thereon (London: T. Payne, 1774). It was reprinted in Boston by Cox and Berry and advertised for sale on 27 Oct. 1774.
1. No. 661 in Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
2. Thomas Gage (1721-87), British military commander in chief in North America, 1764-75.
3. CO 5/827, ff 59-66.
4. Wills Hill (1718-93), first earl of Hillsborough, was the first secretary of state for the Colonies, 21 Jan. 1768-15 Aug. 1772.
5. Hillsborough’s orders to Gage were dated 8 Jun. and 30 Jul. 1768. Appendices 4 and 12, respectively Bernard Papers, 4: 373-374, 397-399.
6. William Wildman Barrington (1717-93), second Viscount Barrington, MP for Plymouth, and secretary at war, 1755-61 and 1765-78.
7. Jonathan Sewall (1729-96) was the province attorney general, 1767-75, and the advocate general of Vice Admiralty, 1767-68.
8. Bernard Papers, 4: 307-313.
9. John Adams (1735-1826) was one of the province’s most successful lawyers, but did not pursue Crown or provincial offices. He served one term in the House of Representatives as a member for Boston, 1770-71.
10. John Pownall (1724/5-95), undersecretary of state for the Colonies, 24 Jun. 1768 to 5 Apr. 1776.
11. See Bernard Papers, 3: 310-312.
12. HJL, 32: 165-166, and HCJ, 32: 21-22.
13. Dennys DeBerdt (d.1770), a Dissenter and London merchant, was appointed agent of the House of Representatives on 12 Mar. 1767, and held the position until his death.
14. John Pownall further reassured Bernard that his remaining in Boston to await the troops’ arrival was “highly approved & commended,” and that the British government believed his handling of the situation helped to ensure that the landing was not resisted. Those who contemplated resistance, Pownall continued, might well be pursued for “high Crimes & misdemeanors which have been committed.” Pownall to FB, Whitehall, 19 Nov. 1768, BP, 12: 21-24, received 16 Jan. 1769.
15. Thomas Hutchinson (1711-80), lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, 1760-69, and chief justice since 1760. He is referred to as “TH” in the editorial commentaries to this volume. Andrew Oliver (1706-74) was province secretary, 1756-70. Robert Auchmuty (1724-88) was appointed judge of the Vice Admiralty Court in New England in 1768.
16. Samuel Adams (1722-1803), elected to the House of Representatives in 1765, was one of the leaders of the Boston Faction. He was also clerk of the House and author of numerous papers issued by it. Thomas Cushing (1725-88) was a representative for Boston between 1761 and 1774, and Speaker of the House, 1766-70 and 1772-74.
17. James Bowdoin (1726-90), a prosperous merchant, served in the Council 1757-68 and 1770-73.
18. John Temple (1731-98) had been appointed to the American Board of Customs in 1767, but his professional relationship with FB had long since soured. His marriage to Elizabeth Bowdoin (1750-1809), daughter of Whig councilor James Bowdoin, earned him the distrust of his fellow commissioners of Customs who came to suspect him of leaking damaging information to the Whigs. Temple was replaced by the Treasury in 1771.
19. Bernard Papers, 4: 318-324.
22. Peter D. G. Thomas, The Townshend Duties Crisis: The Second Phase of the American Revolution, 1767-1773 (Oxford, 1987), 104-105.
23. William Pitt (1708-78) had been secretary of state and leader of a Whig administration formed with the duke of Newcastle (as first lord of the Treasury), between 1757 and 1761. He was raised to the peerage as first earl of Chatham upon forming a second administration in 1766, taking office as Lord Privy Seal. But the Chatham administration was dogged by factionalism and infighting, and during the prime minister’s long incapacity was led by the duke of Grafton. Chatham resigned on 14 Oct. 1768.
24. The key personnel in Grafton’s cabinet who were involved in formulating American policy were:
- Augustus Henry FitzRoy (1735-1811), third duke of Grafton (and descendant of King Charles II), first lord of the treasury from 14 Oct. 1768 to his resignation on 30 Jan. 1770. He delayed resigning until the succeeding prime minister, Lord North, formally accepted the king’s request to form an administration. After leaving office, Grafton supported North’s administration.
- Wills Hill (1718-93), the first earl of Hillsborough in the Irish peerage, baron Harwich in the British peerage, and later first marquess of Downshire in the Irish. He was the first secretary of state for the American Colonies, 21 Jan. 1768-15 Aug. 1772.
- Frederick North (1732-92), second earl of Guilford, chancellor of the Exchequer from 6 Oct. 1767 to 1782, and prime minister from 28 Jan. 1770 to 27 Mar. 1782.
- William de Grey (1719–81), MP for Newport, 1761-70, and Cambridge University, 1770-71. He was attorney general from 1766 to 1771, and though not formally in the cabinet was an important adviser to Hillsborough. He left the House of Commons to become lord chief justice of the Common Pleas and was knighted in 1771. He was created first Baron Walsingham in 1780.
25. Hillsborough’s responses to the situation in Massachusetts from Sept. 1768 until FB’s departure in Aug. 1769 are cursorily discussed in Sian E. Rees, “The Political Career of Wills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough (1718-1793) With Particular Reference to His American Policy,” unpublished PhD diss., Aberystwyth Univ., 1976, 164-171.
26. William Petty (1737-1805), second earl of Shelburne, was secretary of state at the Southern Department, 30 Jul. 1766-21 Oct. 1768. He relinquished responsibility for colonial affairs on 21 Jan. 1768, when they were taken over by the new American Department under the earl of Hillsborough.
27. This letter is in Bernard Papers, 4: 318-324.
28. Letter I appeared on 21 Jan. 1769. John Cannon, ed., The Letters of Junius (Oxford, 1978), 30.
29. The reputation of John Wilkes (1725–97) reached across the Atlantic, where Americans viewed him as the embodiment of their struggle for Liberty. Having been found guilty of obscene and seditious libel in absentia, Wilkes returned to England to face arrest, but also to stand for Parliament; his subsequent imprisonment and election for Middlesex in Mar. 1768 prompted popular demonstrations of support from Londoners defending the rights of constituents. His expulsion from the House of Commons in Feb. 1769 precipitated a round of disputed elections; but after his release from prison, he managed a successful campaign to permit his return to Parliament.
30. Thomas, Townshend Duties Crisis, 93, 104-106, 121-129; Charles R. Ritcheson, British Politics and the American Revolution (Norman, Okla., 1954), 120-130.
31. HJL, 32: 165.
32. HCJ, 32: 74-76; HLJ, 32: 182-185. Nos. 581, 585, 589, 593, 596, 600, 601, 623, 630, 632, 633, 638, 646, 654, 656, 657, 660, 663, 664, 668, 672, 681, 690, 691, 686, 694, 698, and 700. Bernard Papers, 4: 71-76, 86-88, 98-99, 112-118, 121-124, 129-139, 185-190, 201-203, 206-214, 220-230, 242-246, 255-257, 259-263, 266-270, 277-282, 288-290, 295-300, 318-324, 331-337, 347-353; 5: 63-68, 75-77, 79-82. To this list should be added FB’s letter to Shelburne of 2 Feb. 1768, which was omitted from Bernard Papers, 4, since it merely acknowledged receipt of correspondence.
33. HCJ, 32: 91-92; HLJ, 32: 192-193.
34. 35 Hen. 8, c. 2 (1543).
35. HLJ, 32: 209-210.
36. For a brief summary see Colin Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’: Francis Bernard and the Origins of the American Revolution (Boston, 2001), 186-187.
37. The duke of Richmond, briefly secretary of state under Rockingham in 1766, “seemed to think Governor Bernard might misconstrue that to be treason which was not so.” Lord Weymouth, secretary of state for the Southern Department (1768-70) replied that “the governor was only to transmit informations and whether the riot[s] were treasonable or not would be judged here.” In criticizing the address to the king, former secretary of state Shelburne supposed the administration “negligent” if they had not already given FB “directions” to investigate treasonable activities. “He and Lord Hillsborough had some sparring about the conduct of Governor Bernard.” This likely concerned the accuracy of FB’s observations on crowd action. Quoted in the Hardwicke Papers (BL), cited in J. Wright, ed. Sir Henry Cavendish’s Debates of the House of Commons, during the thirteenth Parliament of Great Britain, commonly called the unreported Parliament; to which are appended illustrations of the parliamentary history of the reign of George the Third; consisting of unpublished letters, private journals, memoirs, &c, 2 vols. (London, 1841), 1: 193-194.
38. HCJ, 32: 123-124; HLJ, 32: 229.
39. Bernard Papers, 4: 318-324.
40. “The Censure of Wilkes is considered here as a good Assurance of the firmness of Government.” No. 761.
41. Bernard Papers, 4: 292-293.
42. Ibid., 292-293.
43. William Bollan (1705-82). Born in England and a lawyer by profession, Bollan settled in Boston in 1740 and married the daughter of the governor, William Shirley. He was province agent from 1743 to 1762. Bollan’s signal achievements were in helping negotiate two reimbursements from the British government for the province’s wartime expenses: first after the successful Louisbourg campaign of 1745 and then at the conclusion of the French and Indian War. Bollan never returned to his adopted province, however. His dismissal from the province agency can be followed in Bernard Papers, 1: 200–203, 237, 239–240. His career is detailed in Malcolm Freiberg, “William Bollan, Agent of Massachusetts,” More Books: The Bulletin of the Boston Public Library 23 (1948): 43-53, 90-100, 135-146, 212-220. Bollan’s writings are carefully examined in Joel D. Myerson, “The Private Revolution of William Bollan,” New England Quarterly 41 (1968): 536-550. Bollan’s part in the acquisition of the Bernard Letters is mentioned but not examined in Francis G. Walett, “Governor Bernard’s Undoing: an earlier Hutchinson Letters Affair,” New England Quarterly 38 (1965): 217-226. The best account of British politics and America is Thomas, Townshend Duties Crisis.
44. Myerson, “The Private Revolution of William Bollan,” 544.
45. The Council’s invitation was made in Samuel Danforth to Bollan, Boston, 5 Dec. 1768, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 113-115. The letter explained why, on c.30 Nov., the Council drafted a new petition to Parliament. From Hillsborough’s letter to FB of 14 Sep. 1768 (No. 679), the Council learned that the king had “graciously” received the Council’s petition to the king, dated 7 Jul., (Appendix 11, Bernard Papers, 4: 392-396), and that it would be considered. But from one of the governor’s letters (No. 654) councilors concluded that FB was likely to have misrepresented the petition’s prayer for relief from taxation. (See Bernard Papers, 4: 255-257; the source note to No. 717.) The petition to Parliament, though moderate in language, unequivocally called for the repeal of all the American revenue acts. Bollan’s appointment as agent was later communicated in a letter from John Erving dated 26 Jul. 1769. Ibid., 149-150.
46. The acquisition of the first parcel of the Bernard Letters demonstrated Bollan’s capabilities and roundly won the councilors’ approval. A majority in the House of Representatives, however, favored continuing with their own agent, Dennis DeBerdt, partly persuaded by letters of commendation supplied by Thomas Pownall. Ibid., 151. Bollan’s relationships with both Pownall and DeBerdt (who, on his decease in 1770, was replaced by Benjamin Franklin) were strained at times, though all three were advocates of the American cause. The suspicion remains that Bollan, already in financial difficulties, used the Bernard Letters primarily to get his appointment confirmed in the hope of getting a stipend or grant. But to suggest he was motivated by lucre misses the point: he would have expected that FB (and his successor) would, at the very least, object to his appointment and more likely delay or refuse any provincial payment—regardless of his personal involvement in the exposure of the governor’s letters. Bollan had to lobby strenuously for the Council to reimburse his expenses, let alone pay him a salary, and in both was unsuccessful; a House resolve in Apr. 1771 for a salary grant of £300 for the year commencing 12 Jul. 1769 also came to naught. JHRM, 47: 127, 242. On Bollan’s earlier problems in obtaining his salary as province agent and disagreements over expenses, see Freiberg, “William Bollan, Agent of Massachusetts,” 143; Bernard Papers, 2: 235, 404.
47. Bollan to Danforth, Henrietta Street, 30 Jan. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 121-125.
48. Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 121-122.
49. HCJ, 32: 123-124. The letters were Nos. 706, 708, 709, 711, 717, and 718, dated 1, 5, 12, 14, and 30 Nov., and 5 Dec. 1768, respectively.
50. William Beckford (bap.1709-1770), a former West India sugar planter and a wealthy merchant, was the City of London’s MP, 1754-70, and its mayor, 1769-70.
51. HCJ, 32: 130; Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 185.
52. HCJ, 32: 136-137. Barlow Trecothick (?1718-75), an alderman of London and MP 1768-74, was a leader of the Rockingham faction in the House of Commons, and had been instrumental in coordinating the merchants’ support for the repeal of the Stamp Act. Peter D. G. Thomas, British Politics and the Stamp Act Crisis: The First Phase of the American Revolution, 1763-1767 (Oxford, 1975), 144-150.
53. Government speakers may have been aided by a briefing note probably prepared by the undersecretary of state for the Colonial Department, John Pownall, summarizing “The Intelligence of the State of the Colonies received from His Majesty’s Governors.” One of the four surviving copies is annotated: “This Paper is given to you in great confidence of your Secrecy, with a request that You will not communicate it to any person whatever.” Narrative of Facts Relative to American Affairs ([London?], 1768), 15p, Bodleian Library: Ms. D. D. Dashwood, c.3, B/5/1/4. It is not listed in Adams, American Independence.
54. Sir Henry Cavendish (1732-1804) was a member of the Irish House of Commons, 1766-68, and an MP in the British Parliament for the Cornish rotten borough of Lostwithiel, 1768-74. His voluminous short-hand notes of Parliamentary debates, deciphered and published, are a fecund historical resource. Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 2 vols.
55. William Dowdeswell (1721-75), MP for Worcestershire, 1761-75. See Neil Longley York, “William Dowdeswell and the American crisis, 1763-1775,” History 90 (2005): 507-531.
56. William de Grey (1719-81) was MP for Merton, Norfolk, and attorney general, 1766-71; in 1771 he was appointed Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and subsequently raised to the peerage as baron Walsingham.
57. Charles Cornwall (1735-89), MP for Grampound, Cornwall, 1768-74, a constituency with fifty freehold voters, he was subsequently elected for the Winchelsea and Rye constituencies and sat until 1789 (serving as Speaker 1780-89).
58. Richard Hussey (?1715-70), MP for East Looe, Cornwall, 1768-70.
59. Edmund Burke (1729-97), MP for Wendover, Bucks., 1765-74, formerly private secretary to the first lord of the Treasury (the marquess of Rockingham), 1765-66. Burke has been celebrated for his towering intellect and outstanding skills as a parliamentary debater; also, in 1770 he was elected agent for the province of New York and acquired considerable knowledge of American affairs.
60. George Grenville (1712-70), MP for Buckinghamshire, 1741-70; first lord of the Treasury and chancellor of the Exchequer, 1763-65.
61. John Dunning (1731-83), MP for Calne, Wilts., 1768-82, and solicitor general, Jan. 1768-Jan. 1770. Famous for carrying the Commons’ resolution amid the American war “that the influence of the Crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished” (1780); created Baron Ashburton in 1782.
62. Bernard Papers, 4: 330-331. Thomas Pownall (1722-1805), was MP for Tregony, Cornwall, 1767-74, having been governor of Massachusetts, 1757-59. Pownall’s speech was later printed and read by FB. See No. 771.
63. Isaac Barré (1726-1802) was an Irish-born veteran of the French and Indian War, promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the 106th Regiment of Foot. He was MP for Chipping Wycombe, Bucks., 1761-74, and a loyal ally of Pitt (having initially criticized him) and Shelburne (his most important patron). Celebrated for describing the Americans as “Sons of Liberty,” the town of Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania was named in his and John Wilkes’s honor in 1769. He was represented in Benjamin’s West famous painting The Death of General Wolfe (1770).
64. Sir George Savile (1726-84), MP for Yorkshire, 1759-83, and an American sympathizer in 1775.
65. There is a biographical note in n6 above.
66. Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 191-207.
67. Rose Fuller (?1708-77), MP for Maidstone, Kent, 1761-68, and Rye, 1768-71, was a Jamaican planter who supported the administration on most issues except American policy.
68. Constantine John Phipps (1744-92), a Royal Navy officer and MP for Lincoln. 1768-74.
69. Bernard Papers, 4: 207-212.
70. Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 207-225; HCJ, 32: 151.
71. Members of the public were excluded while the House was sitting. HCJ, 32: 20. The American correspondence was not printed in advance for the members, although that had been the case in Jan. 1766 when the House debated the Stamp Act Crisis. Bernard Papers, 3: 128. While Hillsborough had promised to prevent copies of FB’s correspondence being distributed from his office (No. 653, Bernard Papers, 4: 254-255), he could not prevent MPs requesting copies from the Commons’ clerk of papers and letting others view them.
72. Bollan to Danforth, Fludyer Street, 1 May 1770, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 179.
73. Bollan to Danforth, Nassau Street, Soho, 28 Jan. 1771, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 257. Freiberg mistakenly conflated the information Bollan provided in his letters to Danforth of 30 Jan. and 1 May 1770 and 28 Jan. 1771 to suggest that Beckford, “representing the county of Wiltshire,” was Bollan’s sole contact. “William Bollan, Agent of Massachusetts,” 179-180. The transcripts Bollan dispatched were made by four different scribes. White attested that each was a true copy, signing and dating them 27 Jan. 1769. Bowdoin and Temple Papers, Loose MSS. On White see Orlando Cyprian Williams, The Clerical Organization of the House of Commons, 1661-1850 (Oxford, 1954), 143, 182-183.
75. Popham was MP for Wiltshire between 1741 and 1772, and theoretically available to assist Bollan during his terms as Massachusetts’s province agent (1743-62) and the Council’s unofficial agent (1769-74). Thomas Goddard, the county’s other sitting MP in 1769, was first elected in 1767, too early to fit the profile constructed by Bollan.
76. George Popham, an ancestor of the MP, had led the first English settlement to New England (the future Maine) in 1607-08, where he died in Feb. 1608 after which the English left. In 1762, Edward Popham joined the followers of the ousted Whig prime minister the duke of Newcastle in voting against the peace policy of Lord Bute, the Tory prime minister. Thereafter, Popham voted with the opposition on the question of general warrants (during the Wilkes controversy) and was counted among the Chathamite Whigs who formed a government in the summer of 1766. When Chatham’s frequent incapacity left the duke of Grafton de facto leader of the administration in 1767, Popham voted against the government, alongside other disgruntled backbench Chathamites. Mary M. Drummond, “Member Biographies: Edward Popham (?1711-72),” History of Parliament Online (http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1754-1790/member/popham-edward-1711-72, accessed 30 Dec. 2013); Donald E. Ginter, Voting Records of the British House of Commons, 1761-1820, 6 vols., (London, 1995), 4: 1204.
77. Richard B. Sheridan, “Beckford, William (bap.1709, d.1770),” ODNB-e (http://www.oxforddnb.com.ezproxy.stir.ac.uk/view/article/1903, accessed 8 Feb, 2014).
78. James K. Hosmer, Samuel Adams (Boston and New York, 1885), 126-127; Leslie Thomas, “Partisan Politics in Massachusetts During Governor Bernard’s Administration, 1760-1770,” 2 vols., unpublished PhD diss., Univ. of Wisconsin, 1960, 2: 689-694; Walett, “Governor Bernard’s Undoing,” 217-226; Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson (Cambridge, Mass., 1974), 130-131, 137, 222n; Ira Stoll, Samuel Adams: a Life (New York, 2008), 74-78; John K. Alexander, Samuel Adams: the Life of an American Revolutionary (Lanham, Md., 2011), 89-93, 98.
79. Boston Chronicle, 3-10 Apr.; Boston Gazette and Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 3 Apr.; Essex Gazette, 4 Apr. 1769.
81. Confirmation of their presentation on 20 Jan. was provided in the Boston Chronicle, 10-13 Apr.
82. “Protographos,” Boston Gazette, 17 Apr. 1769.
83. The cover letter of 15 Apr. is not extant. Bollan noted receipt of the package in his letter to Danforth, et al., Henrietta Street, 21 Jun. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 145.
84. This lament provided an apposite title for a thorough account of the British military occupation of Boston by Richard Archer, As If an Enemy’s Country: the British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution (Oxford, 2010).
85. On 12 Apr., Bernard noted that Edes and Gill had delayed issuing a pamphlet of the letters until they were able to include detailed “Observations” on his correspondence (No. 763). Copies of Letters from Governor Bernard to Hillsborough was printed and circulated within a few days either side of 12 Apr. An annotated copy is filed with the Boston Evening-Post of 10 Apr. in the Dorr Collection, 2: 463-466.
86. For example,
- No. 706: Boston Chronicle, 13-17 Apr. 1769; New-York Gazette, and Weekly Mercury, 22 May 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
- No. 708: Boston Chronicle, 13-17 Apr. 1769; Providence Gazette, 22 Apr. 1769; New-York Chronicle, 22-29 May 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
- No. 709: Boston Chronicle, 17-20 Apr. 1769; Providence Gazette, 22 Apr. 1769; New-York Chronicle, 29 May-5 Jun. 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
- No. 711: Providence Gazette, 22 Apr. 1769; New-York Chronicle, 15-22 May 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
- No. 717: Providence Gazette, 22 Apr. 1769; Boston Chronicle, 27 Apr.-1 May 1769; New-York Gazette, and Weekly Mercury, 29 May 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
- No. 718: Boston Evening-Post, 10 Apr. 1769; Boston Chronicle, 27 Apr.-1 May 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
87. They are listed as items 68a-68c in Adams, American Independence, 51-52. Copies of all the imprints are available in Early American Imprints, Series 1, nos. 41911, 11178, and 11179. For further details see the List of Abbreviations, above, xxivn3.
88. Letters to the Right Honourable the Earl of Hillsborough, from Governor Bernard, General Gage, and the honourable His Majesty’s Council for the Province of Massachusetts-Bay. With an appendix, containing divers proceedings referred to in the said letters (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1769), quotation at 22. The London reprint by J. Almon ([1769?]) did not include any additional material. The pamphlet was reissued in A Collection of Tracts, on the Subjects of Taxing the British Colonies in America, and Regulating Their Trade, 4 vols. (London: Printed for J. Almon, 1773), vol. 4, no. 2.
89. Thomas Hutchinson to Israel Williams, Boston, 6 May, 1769, Israel Williams Papers, MHS.
90. TH to Thomas Whately, Boston, 20 Jan. 1769, Hutchinson Transcripts, 2: 709.
91. See the newspapers listed in note 87, above, plus “Bostonian,” Boston Gazette, 24 Apr. 1769. On 24 Apr., news arrived that FB had been created a baronet. Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 1 May 1769. The fact that the costs were paid from the “Privy Purse” seemed “additional Proof” of the king’s regard for FB, reported the Boston Evening-Post, 8 May 1769. FB’s preference for a “new-modeled” constitution drew lengthy comment in a letter addressed “To the Sons of Liberty” in the Boston Evening-Post, 15 May 1769. Anonymous attacks on FB were more prevalent after his departure from the province on 2 Aug. and the arrival of the second parcel of letters on the 18 Aug.
92. Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 274.
93. See Alexander, Samuel Adams, 83-118.
94. See Neil Longley York, “The Uses of Law and the Gaspee Affair,” Rhode Island History 50 (1992): 3-21.
95. On the friends of America see Julie M. Flavell and Gordon Hay, “Using Capture-Recapture Methods to Reconstruct the American Population in London,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 32 (2001): 37-53; John Derry, English Politics and the American Revolution (London, 1976), 129-173; Julie M. Flavell, “American Patriots in London and the Quest for Talks, 1773-1775,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 20 (1992): 335-369; idem, “Lord North’s Conciliatory Proposals and the Patriots in London,” English Historical Review 107 (1992): 302-322; Frank O’Gorman, “The Parliamentary Opposition to the Government’s American Policy, 1760-1776,” Britain and the American Revolution, edited by H. T. Dickinson (London and New York, 1998), 97-123.
96. DeBerdt to Thomas Cushing, London, 25 Feb. 1769, in Albert Matthews, “Letters of Dennys DeBerdt, 1757-1770,” Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts 13 (1911): 290-461.
97. Bernard Papers, 4: 147-149.
98. See Eliga H. Gould, “Pownall, Thomas (1722–1805)” ODNB-e (http://www.oxforddnb.com.ezproxy.stir.ac.uk/view/article/22676, accessed 28 Dec. 2013). “Junius” was probably Sir Philip Francis (1740-1818), a Dublin-born writer and clerk in the War Office under Lord Barrington, whom he bitterly attacked in print. On the disputed identities of “Junius” see Cannon, The Letters of Junius, 539-572.
99. Bollan wrote Danforth on 22 Apr. describing Pownall’s preparations to introduce the motion.
I understood from a principal member, & one of your chief friends, that Mr Pownal mention’d a proceeding of this kind to him, who answer’d, this tended to rivet the chains upon the Colonists, that he wou’d oppose it if made, but would second a motion for general relief, and that Mr Pownal afterwards enlarged his idea, & declared he wou’d make a motion in the House on Wednesday last . . .
Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 134.
100. Bollan to Danforth, Henrietta Street, 6 May 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 137-138. Bollan’s presumption was not without foundation. On 18 Mar. 1769, Pownall informed Danforth that
The ministers, I understand, are desirous of concluding the dispute with the Colonists, for the present at least, in their own way, and at different times it has been said they wou’d promote a repeal in case the Colonies wou’d petition for it on the foot of inexpediency, relinquishing or waving their claim of exemption from taxation; whether by waving they mean a temporary or perpetual relinquishment, or none at all, I leave to your judgment, & likewise whether they intend such a palliative as may prevent the stagnation of trade which they fear, & possibly regard more than your welfare, and whereby they may gain time to carry on other designs.
Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 132. Historians, however, have not considered the possibility that Pownall was acting with ministers’ tacit approval or active encouragement. Peter D. G. Thomas concluded that “Pownall’s motion fell on stony ground. It was not supported by any of the opposition factions nor accepted by the ministry.” Thomas, Townshend Duties Crisis, 134.
101. Ritcheson, British Politics and the American Revolution, 124-132; Thomas, Townshend Duties Crisis, 129-147. George III quoted by Thomas, ibid., 129. Hillsborough’s reform proposals are discussed in the source note to No. 743.
102. Thomas, Townshend Duties Crisis, 138.
103. The Council’s request for more of FB’s correspondence was made in a letter of 15 Apr. (not found), to which Bollan replied on 21 Jun. 1769. Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 144-146.
104. On 29 Mar., Hillsborough received FB’s account of the publication of his letters in the Boston Gazette. 23 Jan. 1769 (No. 734). Bollan’s report of the meeting with Hillsborough indicates that the secretary of state was aware that the Council’s letter to him of 15 Apr. had been published, in Letters to Hillsborough. Bollan to Danforth et al., Henrietta Street, 21 Jun. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 144-146.
105. Bollan was trying to obtain copies of the Customs commissioners’ memorials to the Treasury concerning the Liberty riot, dated 16 Jun. and 11 Jul. 1768, which he later acquired: the originals are in T 1/465, ff 120-122, 179-180.
106. Bollan to Danforth et al., Henrietta Street, 21 Jun. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 144-146.
107. The 64th and 65th Regiments were withdrawn from Boston to Halifax in July 1769. After the “massacre” of civilians by soldiers of the 29th, that regiment was deployed to New Jersey and the 14th Regiment put into the barracks at Castle William until 1772 when it was sent to the West Indies. British marines were stationed on board the several Royal Navy ships that visited Boston harbor, but after the withdrawal of the 14th Regiment there was no garrison of Regulars in Boston until April 1774, when the 64th returned to Castle William. When General Thomas Gage arrived in June that year as Massachusetts’s new military governor, he initially brought four regiments. By November 1774, there were ten British regiments (plus two companies of the 65th) stationed in Boston, making upwards of three thousand soldiers. I am grateful to Neil Longley York for his advice on this matter. The troop movements can be followed in Walter S. Dunn, Choosing Sides on the Frontier in the American Revolution (Westport, Conn, 2007), 101-102.
108. The resolves of 27 Jun. are in JHRM, 45: 168-172, and the petition at ibid., 197-199.
109. “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7.1, KJV.
110. On 15 Jul. 1769. JHRM, 45, 196-197.
111. Bernard’s arrival and departure are described in Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govenor,’ 4-5, 49-50, 203.
112. Bollan to Danforth et al., Henrietta Street, 21 Jun. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 144-146.
113. The authenticated transcripts are not extant. Rosier’s attestation was reproduced in the printed versions published in Letters to the Ministry. A court calendar for 1770 indicates that George White was one of four “Clerks without Doors, attending Committees.” A New Edition of the Royal Kalendar; Or Complete And Correct Annual Register for . . . 1770 (London, 1770), 68. Rosier’s position came with a £100 salary, which was raised to £200 in 1770 in respect of his due diligence, and he rose through the ranks of the Commons’ officers. Williams, Clerical Organization of the House of Commons, 169-170.
114. After preparing the copies for dispatch, Bollan noted that “being so straiten’d in time that I shall not be able to read any of the fresh copies now sent.” By “fresh copies” Bollan was probably referring to the transcripts prepared by the House of Commons clerk; alternatively he could have meant Hillsborough’s out-letters and the commissioners of Customs’ memorials which he had recently obtained. Bollan to Danforth et al., Poland Street, 23 Jun. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 148.
115. The term “bare reading” is ambiguous. Bollan may simply be referring to the act of reading. But it may also record how he felt the first time he heard the contents read aloud: that the letters were bereft of morality. “Bare in thy guilt how foul must thou appear?” John Milton, Paradise Regain’d, a poem in IV books: to which is added Samson Agonistes (1671): Samson Agonistes, 1:902, cf. OED.
116. Bollan to Danforth et al., Henrietta Street, 21 Jun. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 144-146.
117. Bollan to Danforth, Poland Street, 23 Jun. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 147.
118. The package was sent under cover of Bollan’s letter to Danforth et al., Henrietta Street, 21 Jun. 1769. It was carried by Capt. Smith, who arrived in Boston on Tuesday 15 Aug. Bollan insisted the transcripts be shown to the Boston selectmen because of the “charges” made against them. Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 144-146. It is possible, therefore, that the selectmen were the final recipients of the parcel (although this is not recorded in Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, vol. 23).
119. The duplicates were carried by Capt. Scott, master of the Boston Packet, which arrived on Thursday 10 Aug. after a six-week crossing. Boston Chronicle, 7-10 Aug. 1769. The cover letter was Bollan to Danforth et al., Poland Street, 23 Jun. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 146-148. Some of the additional papers may have included items later issued as a pamphlet. A Third Extraordinary Budget of Epistles and Memorials between Sir Francis Bernard of Nettleham, Baronet, some Natives of Boston, New-England, and the present Ministry; against N America, the True Interest of the British Empire, and the Rights of Mankind ([Boston]: [Edes & Gill], ). Despite what its title stated the pamphlet did not include any of FB’s letters but copies of Benjamin Hallowell’s examination before the Treasury on 21 Jul. 1768, depositions of customs officers, Hillsborough to Gage of 8 Jun. 1768 (Appendix 4), the lords of the Admiralty to Hillsborough of 14 Dec., and correspondence between Thomas Bradshaw and John Pownall.
120. John Erving acknowledged receipt with a letter of that date. Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 153-154.
121. Erving to Bollan, Boston, 26 Jul. 1769. Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 149-150. Erving’s personal request was only partly driven by curiosity, having been a defendant in one of the cases reported by FB. The relevant letters were Nos. 52, 54, 60, and 64. Bernard Papers, 1: 119-123, 132-135, 140-142.
122. Bollan to Danforth, Nassau Street, Soho, 28 Jan. 1771, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 257.
123. Ibid., 148.
124. Bollan to Danforth et al., Henrietta Street, 21 Jun. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 146.
125. See Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener,’ 198-200.
126. Letters to the Ministry from Governor Bernard, General Gage, and Commodore Hood. And also Memorials to the Lords of the Treasury, from the Commissioners of the Customs. With sundry letters and papers annexed to the said memorials (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1769).
127. Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter, 7 Sept. 1769; Boston Evening-Post, 11 Sept. 1769.
128. To Shelburne: Nos. 585, 589, 593, 596, 600, 601; To Hillsborough: Nos. 623, 630, 632, 633, 638, 646, 648, 654, 656, 660, 663, 664, 668, 672, 681, 686, 690, 691, 694, 698, 700, and 703. Bernard Papers, 4: 86-88, 98-99, 112-118, 121-124, 129-139, 185-190, 201-214, 220-230, 242-246, 255-257, 259-263, 266-270, 277-282, 288-290, 295-300, 318-324, 331-337, 347-353; 5: 63-68, 75-77, 79-82. Also printed in the pamphlets was FB’s letter to Shelburne of 2 Feb. 1768, which was omitted from Bernard Papers volume 4 since it merely acknowledged receipt of correspondence.
129. Including Nos. 624 to 628, Bernard Papers, 4: 190-198; and Appendix 6.
130. Letters to the Ministry from Governor Bernard, General Gage, and Commodore Hood. And also Memorials to the Lords of the Treasury, from the Commissioners of the Customs. With sundry letters and papers annexed to the said memorials (London, J. Wilkie, 1769).
131. Dorr’s copy is in the MHS catalogue, reference E187, f 894.
132. On 18 Oct. the town adopted four resolves. First, that Bernard’s letters and the Customs commissioners’ memorials to the ministry had “misinform[ed]” the king about “Affections and loyalty” of American colonists and revealed the authors had “discovered an implacable Enmity to this Town.” Second, the town “rejoice[d]” in the House of Representatives’ petition of 27 Jun. calling for the governor’s removal. Third, Gen. Thomas Gage and Commodore Samuel Hood entertained “unreasonable prejudice against the Town.” Fourth, much of the correspondence contained “false scandalous and infamous Libels” upon the inhabitants of Boston, about which the selectmen were instructed to begin legal proceedings. Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 299-300.
133. Adams’s report was read and unanimously accepted at the town meeting of 18 Oct. The town ordered its publication and that copies be transmitted to Isaac Barré, William Bollan, Dennys DeBerdt, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Pownall, and Barlow Trecothick—but not William Beckford, whose role in the procurement of the Bernard Letters Bollan did not fully reveal until May 1770; Edward Popham, Bollan never mentioned by name. Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 299-302. The report was appended to ibid., 303-324, and printed in the province newspapers, including the Boston Weekly News-Letter, 26 Oct. 1769. Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 302.
134. An Appeal to the World; or A Vindication of the Town of Boston, From Many False and Malicious Aspersions Contain’d in Certain Letters and Memorials, Written by Governor Bernard, General Gage, Commodore Hood, the Commissioners of the American Board of Customs, and Others, and by Them Respectively Transmitted to the British Ministry. Published by Order of the Town (Edes and Gill; Boston, 1769); appendix to the American Gazette containing An Appeal to the World: or, a vindication of the town of Boston, from many false and malicious aspersions, contained in certain letters and memorials, written by Governor Bernard, . . . and others (London, 1769).
135. Nos. 600, 623, 625, 630, 632, 646, and 681. Bernard Papers, 4: 129-134, 185-190, 192-193, 201-205, 207-212, 242-246, 318-324.
136. Bailyn, nonetheless, did not discuss the Appeal to the World in his seminal monograph, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge, Mass., 1967).
137. Appeal to the World, 23n.
138. “Pray do not let this matter be divulged,” Bollan warned in a letter to Danforth, Fludyer Street, 1 May 1770, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 179.
139. Lord North, who had succeeded Grafton as prime minister on 28 Jan. 1770, was unwilling to prosecute the Boston Whigs for libel or sedition. Any prosecution would certainly have undermined the reconciliation that North expected from a partial repeal of the Townshend duties. But his hesitancy to pursue the Boston printers may indicate sensitivity to criticism by “Junius” concerning censorship of the British press and prohibitions on the reporting of Parliamentary debates. On the wider issues of press freedoms see Robert Right Rea, The English Press in Politics (Lincoln, Neb. 1963); Jeremy Black, The English Press in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1987).
140. Publicly and in cabinet, Hillsborough opposed the establishment of a new colony on the Ohio River. Privately, however, he encouraged the scheme’s backers to seek unfeasibly large grants in the expectation that they would be refused. His duplicity was exposed and exploited by his enemies. See Peter Marshall, “Hill, Wills, first marquess of Downshire (1718–1793),” ODNB-e (http://www.oxforddnb.com.ezproxy.stir.ac.uk/view/article/13317, accessed 6 Feb. 2014).
141. See the works cited above in n75.
142. Only in one of the six letters did FB provide names, and that was in the context of discussing divisions with the Council during the preparation of the petitions to Parliament in Nov. 1768 (No. 718). He briefly recommended a royally-appointed Council in No. 709 and the reform of justices of the peace in No. 711; but the six letters did not provide a comprehensive discussion of the reform of colonial government.
143. Bernard Papers, 4: 22.
144. The sixteen unpublished letters had not been presented to Parliament because they did not directly comment on provincial affairs, or were private, or in two cases (Nos. 719 and 724) were received on 10 Feb. after the debate on the American correspondence was over.
145. Bernard Papers, 4: 261-263.
146. In No. 657, FB defended himself against the House’s accusation that he had incorrectly reported the rejection of the first motion to prepare the Circular Letter. Ibid., 261-263. A copy of the letter was presented to Parliament on 28 Nov. HLJ, 32: 184.
147. No. 722 was an end of year notification that the king approved FB’s conduct as governor and that FB’s recent correspondence was being considered by Parliament. It also condemned the “unwarrantable & unjustifiable behaviour of the Council upon many occasions,” notably with regard to the quartering of the British regiments. No. 727 was essentially an update about Parliament delaying deliberations on American affairs, again acknowledging that two of the governor’s letters (Nos. 709 and 711) confirmed the Council’s “determined resolution” to defeat British policy. The letters were printed in Letters to the Ministry (1st ed.), 76-77.
148. Nos. 603, 608, 622, 651, 653, 661, 679, Bernard Papers, 4: 142-143, 149-152, 181-184, 252, 254-255, 271-276, 313-315; and Nos. 702, and 712, in this volume.
149. No. 603 disapproved of the House of Representatives petitioning the king without going through the governor; No. 608 was Hillsborough’s controversial instruction to FB to have the House rescind the vote approving the Circular Letter; Nos. 622 and 661 informed that orders had been issued to locate British regiments to Boston; No. 651 was a circular to the colonial governors; No. 653 covered administrative matters; No. 679 indicated that the Council’s petition to the king had been laid before His Majesty; No. 702 instructed FB not to summon the assembly until May 1769; No. 712 discussed the king’s speech to Parliament of 8 Nov. 1768.
150. The Whigs did not flinch at printing the two out-letters they acquired, and there is no evidence to suggest that they were keeping ammunition in reserve. Indeed, the House of Representatives continued to press their governor to release Hillsborough’s letter on the rescinding controversy. No. 608, Bernard Papers, 4: 149-156; JHRM, 45: 68.
151. This may have been what he meant by “unexpected difficulties.” Bollan to Danforth et al., Henrietta Street, 21 Jun. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 145.
152. George Chalmers, “Papers relating to New England, 1643-1786,” Sparks MS 10, MH-H; John Almon, A Collection of Interesting, Authentic Papers, relative to the Dispute between Great Britain and America; shewing the causes and progress of that misunderstanding, from 1764 to 1775 (London, 1777).
153. Standard biographical directories include: Mark Mayo Boatner, ed., Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (New York, 1966); Joseph Foster, ed., Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886, 4 vols. (Oxford and London, 1888); Edward A. Jones, The Loyalists of Massachusetts: Their Memorials, Petitions and Claims (London, 1930); David E. Maas, ed. and comp., Divided Hearts: Massachusetts Loyalists, 1765-1790: A Biographical Directory (Boston, 1980); Sir Lewis Namier and John Brooke, eds., The House of Commons, 1754-1790, 3 vols. (London, 1964); John A. Schutz, ed., Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court (Boston, 1997); Search & ReSearch Publishing Corp, Early Vital Records of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to About 1850 (Wheat Ridge, Conn., 2002); John L. Sibley, Clifford K. Shipton, Conrad Edick Wright, Edward W. Hanson, eds. Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University [title varies], 18 vols. to date (Cambridge, Mass., 1873-); James H. Stark, The Loyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of the American Revolution (Boston, 1910); Nancy S. Voye, Massachusetts Officers in the French and Indian Wars, 1748-1763 (microfiche, Boston, 1975).
154. American National Biography Online (New York, 2005-, at http://www.anb.org); Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (Toronto, 2003-, http://www.biographi.ca); Newsbank Inc., America’s Historical Newspapers. Archive of Americana. Early American Newspapers Series 1, 1690-1876 (2008-, available via subscription at GenealogyBank.com, http://www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/newspapers/); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online (London, 2004-2006, http://www.oxforddnb.com) (hereafter ODNB-e). The British Army Lists, published annually since 1740, are not online, but Worthington C. Ford, British Officers Serving in America, 1754-1774 (Boston, 1894) is available at the Internet Archive.com. Also useful for establishing dates of British government appointments is the authoritative J. C. Sainty, et al., eds., Officeholders in Modern Britain, 1660-1870, 11 vols. (London, 1972-2006), available at British History Online (via http://www.british-history.ac.uk/catalogue). Contemporary almanacs and court-registers are accessible through ECCO. For example, The Court and City Kalendar: or, Gentleman’s Register, for the year 1766 . . . (London, 1765).
1. Nos. 690, 691, and 693. Bernard Papers, 4: 347-353, 355-356.
2. Lt. Col. William Dalrymple commanded the land force and Capt. Henry Smith the naval ships. FB and Dalrymple urged Smith to keep his vessels in the harbor until all the troops had arrived in Boston, including the two regiments from Ireland expected the following month. FB to Henry Smith, Boston, 8 Oct. 1768, BP, 7: 212.
3. FB’s account summarizes the proceedings of the meeting at Castle William on 29 Sept., for which see CO 5/827, ff 62-63.
5. John Montresor (1736-99) was a captain in the 48th Regiment of Foot and one of Gage’s senior engineers.
6. No. 689, Bernard Papers, 4: 345-346; Gage to Dalrymple, New York, 25 Sept. 1768, MiU-C: Gage, vol. 81.
7. Maurice Carr (1730-1813), lieutenant colonel of the 29th Regiment of Foot.
8. No. 751.
9. Boston Evening-Post, 3 Oct. 1768.
10. For these proceedings see Archer, As If an Enemy’s Country, 110-115, including a social profile of the regiment at 106; Boston Evening-Post, 3 Oct. 1768; TH to Richard Jackson, 5 Oct. 1768, Mass. Archs., 25: 282, in Hutchinson Transcripts, 1: 283.
13. FB to William Dalrymple, Province House, 2 Oct. 1768, BP, 7: 209.
1. No. 689, Bernard Papers, 4: 345-346.
2. There is an AC in MiU-C: Gage, vol. 81.
3. No. 687, Bernard Papers, 4: 338-342.
4. Robert Bayard (1739-1819), a major in the 59th or Royal American Regiment of Foot, was a neighbor of FB’s at Jamaica Plain.
5. Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 26 Sept.; Boston Weekly News-Letter, 29 Sept.; Boston Chronicle, 19-26 Sept. 1768.
6. 28 Sept.
7. Lt. Col. William Dalrymple and Capt. Henry Smith.
8. The proceedings of the meeting at Castle William on 29 Sept. are in CO 5/827, ff 62-63.
9. 30 Sept. FB is referring to a meeting with Dalrymple and Smith.
10. No. 689, Bernard Papers, 4: 345-346; Gage to Dalrymple, New York, 25 Sept. 1768, MiU-C: Gage, vol. 81.
2. Editorially supplied.
3. FB to Dalrymple, Province House, 2 Oct. 1768, enclosing FB’s order to William Baker of the same date. BP, 7, 209.
4. The Town House, known today as the Old State House.
5. 3 Oct., for which proceedings see CO 5/827, ff 63-64.
6. Obscured by tight binding.
1. No. 687, Bernard Papers, 4: 338-342.
2. The workhouse and almshouse were situated on the eastern edge of the Common near the Old Granary Burial Ground, no more than one hundred yards from the Manufactory House.
3. Appendix 4, Bernard Papers, 4: 373-374.
4. Gage is not referring to a specific resolve of the town, but to the determination voiced at the town meeting of 12 Sept., as reported by FB in No. 680, Bernard Papers, 4: 316-318.
5. Obscured in the fold of the binding.
1. No. 691, Bernard Papers, 4: 352-353.
3. The Convention’s petition to the king was never printed in the province or British newspapers, and a copy has not been found. The original was forwarded to Dennys DeBerdt for transmission to the king. Thomas Cushing (as chairman for the Convention of Towns) to Dennys DeBerdt, Boston, 27 Sept. 1768, printed in the Boston Chronicle, 10-17 Oct. 1768.
4. The Convention’s resolves of 29 Sept., which FB included as an enclosure, cited the governor’s order that the Convention should disperse as grounds for petitioning the king. The Convention reiterated the case against the Townshend duties “very clearly set forth” in the House of Representatives’ petition to the king of 20 Jan. and public letters of Feb. 1768. The resolves further disputed any need for a “standing army” to suppress riots and stressed the loyalty of the colonists in making dutiful “Supplications” to the king. What probably impressed FB most was the concluding section, the humble language of which contrasted with the bullish attitude of the Boston town meeting.
While the People wisely observe the Medium between an abject Submission, and a slavish Stupidity, under grievous Oppression on the one Hand, and irrational Attempts to obtain Redress on the other, and steadily persevere in orderly and constitutional Applications, for the Recovering the Exercise of their just Rights and Liberties, they may promise themselves Success.
Boston Weekly News-Letter, 3 Oct. 1768.
5. The Whigs expected the governor to make political capital from the Convention having met in defiance of his orders. The Convention’s letter to DeBerdt (probably drafted by its clerk, Samuel Adams, and signed by Thomas Cushing) provided the House agent with further clarification on the disorders of 18 Mar. and 10 Jun., from which, the Whigs (rightly) believed FB had constructed a case for having troops sent to Boston. The Convention left DeBerdt in no doubt that the Convention expected FB to misconstrue their work in much the same way that he exaggerated the threats to law and order posed by the riots.
We cannot indeed wonder, that when such false representations are made by persons, as we have reason to believe, of rank and figure here, our mother country should for a while give credit to them, and under an apprehension of a general insurrection, should send a military force to subdue a people . . .
Boston Chronicle, 10-17 Oct. 1768; Boston Gazette, 10 Oct. 1768; Harry Alonzo Cushing, The Writings of Samuel Adams, 4 vols. (New York, 1904), 1: 241-247.
6. Not found. This refers to the printed precept dated 14 Sept. distributed by the Boston selectmen and inviting towns to send a delegation to the Convention. See Appendix 13, Bernard Papers, 4: 400-401.
7. Not included in the list of American correspondence presented to Parliament on 28 Nov. 1786. HCJ, 32: 76.
8. Bernard Papers, 4: 318-324.
9. Dennys DeBerdt to Thomas Cushing, London, 18 Nov. and 7 Dec. 1768, Matthews, “Letters of Dennys DeBerdt,” 345-348.
1. No. 658, Bernard Papers, 4: 263-265.
2. No. 659, Bernard Papers, 4: 265-266.
3. Appendices 4 and 12 in Bernard Papers, 4: 373-376, 397-399.
4. FB had reported to Barrington his exchange of letters with Gen. Gage, in which Gage insisted that any requests for military assistance to suppress riots must come from the Governor and Council. FB had stressed, however, that his requirements went beyond
sending to New York or Halifax for Troops to quell a Riot at Boston. . . . In Short, my Lord, Troops are not wanted here to quell a Riot or a Tumult, but to rescue the Government out of the hands of a trained mob, & to restore the Activity of the Civil Power, which is now entirely obstructed.
No. 658, Bernard Papers, 4: 263-265. However, with two further regiments on the way to Boston from Ireland, Barrington believed that the British government had now met FB’s desire to have the military quartered in the town, as a bastion of imperial power.
5. The Quartering Act, 5 Geo., c. 33 (1765). For details of amendments that Barrington proposed in 1769 see No. 754n1.
6. Barrington wrote
I have great pleasure in informing you, that his majesty highly approves of the conduct of both officers and men [ . . .] Employing the troops on so disagreeable a service always gives me pain, but the circumstances of the times make it necessary [. . .] I beg you will be pleased to assure them, that every possible regard shall be shewn to them; their zeal and good behaviour on this occasion deserve it.
Quoted in David J. Cox, Crime in England, 1688-1815 (Oxford and New York, 2014), 25. Printed in John Wilkes, The North Briton, from No. I. to No. XLVI. Inclusive with several useful and explanatory notes, not printed in any former edition: to which is added, a copious index to every name and article (1769), lxxvii.
7. Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 41.
2. FB laid before the Council a letter from Dalrymple dated 30 Sept. (not found) in which he stated that his express orders from Gen. Gage were to land both regiments in the town and to procure quarters and supplies from the province. For the proceedings of 3 Oct. 1768 see CO 5/827, f 63. The Quartering Act, 5 Geo., c. 33 sect. 7 (1765) specified:
That all such officers and soldiers, so put and placed in such barracks, or in hired uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings, shall, from time to time, be furnished and supplied there by the persons to be authorized or appointed for that purpose by the governor and council of each respective province, or upon neglect or refusal of such governor and council in any province, then by two or more justices of the peace residing in or near such place, with fire, candles, vinegar, and salt, bedding, utensils for dressing their victuals, and small beer or cyder, not exceeding five pints, or half a pint of rum mixed with a quart of water, to each man, without paying any thing for the same.
4. The proceedings of 5 Oct. 1768 are in CO 5/827, ff 63-64.
5. RbC: “Provided the Person or Persons so to be appointed will take the risk of the Province’s paying to him or them all such sum or sums of money so by them laid out or expended for the purpose aforesaid.” 5 Oct. 1768, CO 5/827, f 63.
6. Joseph Goldthwait (1730-79).
7. The Council objected to Dalrymple’s comment in his letter of 30 Sept. that a “bad spirit prevailed” in Boston. They requested of Dalrymple that he relay to Gen. Gage that the town was “in a state perfectly peaceful and quiet” and to ask of Gage that “at least” one of the regiments currently in the town be ordered Castle William and the two expected from Ireland be sent to Nova Scotia. (The Council were probably aware that the regiments from Ireland were originally intended as relief for the Halifax garrison.) CO 5/827, f 63.
8. Joseph Goldthwait.
9. FB to Henry Smith, Boston 8 Oct. 1768, BP, 7: 212. His Majesty’s Ships Mermaid and Bonetta remained in Boston harbor and were unrigged over the winter. The Launceston and Romney sailed for Halifax before 17 Oct. and the Glasgow before 4 Dec. The Romney returned on 17 Nov. and she too was unrigged for the winter. Only the Senegal and the Beaver remained on patrol. Boston Chronicle, 17-24 Oct.; Boston Weekly News-Letter, 17 Nov.; Boston Evening-Post, 5 Dec.; Essex Gazette, 6–13 Dec. 1768. I am grateful to Stuart Salmon for compiling this information.
10. FB to the American Board of Customs, Boston, 8 Oct. 1768, ibid., 211.
2. A purveyor or official in charge of municipal supplies. OED.
4. The Crown was eventually obliged to shoulder the cost of quartering the troops. In Jun. 1769, FB presented a British Army account to the assembly for payment, which was refused. See No. 787.
5. Gage to Dalrymple, New York, 2 Oct. 1768, MiU-C: Gage, vol. 81.
1. No. 679, Bernard Papers, 4: 313-315.
2. State papers Nos. 14 and 15, 17 and 18 are Nos. 660, 663, 664, and 668, respectively. Bernard Papers, 4: 266-270, 277-282, 288-290. In No. 660, FB discusses presenting Gage’s letter of 2 Jul. 1768 (No. 637) to the Council. State paper No. 16 was dated Boston, 8 Aug. 1768 and is a letter of recommendation on behalf of Edmund Quincy et al. regarding their memorial to establish a silver mine in Massachusetts.
3. No. 663, Bernard Papers, 4: 277-280.
4. The paragraph is marked by a line in the left margin, which might have been added by FB.
1. No. 690, Bernard Papers, 4: 347-351.
3. The Boston Evening-Post, Supplement, the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, and the Boston Gazette, 10 Oct. 1768.
4. The versions of the minutes authorized by the Council were printed in the Massachusetts Gazette, 10 Oct. 1768, while one of their members (Bowdoin probably) distributed copies to the printers of the other newspapers noted above. Thereafter, the material was reprinted in other newspapers, including the Boston Weekly News-Letter, Postscript, 13 Oct. 1768.
5. The proceedings described here by FB were not recorded in the official minute. But the minute did note an incident of popular hostility toward the troops when, on 9 Oct., timber to be used in the construction of a guard house was “destroyed”; a reward of £20 was advertised for information concerning the perpetrators. CO 5/827, ff 64-65.
6. FB seems to suggest that by “Originals” James Bowdoin meant that since July he had been working from his own file of Council proceedings, which he spuriously termed an original minute. Bowdoin and fellow councilor John Erving (Bowdoin’s father-in-law) kept their own set of minutes, at least for the period 19 Sept. to 5 Oct., some of them in Bowdoin’s handwriting and signed by Erving “In the Name of the Committee.” Bowdoin and Temple Papers, Loose MSS. The version published by the Council was not an exact transcript of the executive record, yet differed only in incidentals and lay out rather than in substance; this suggests that Bowdoin probably was not working from his own minutes but from the official set kept under lock and key by Province Secretary Andrew Oliver (and now filed at CO 5/827) or a third-party copy. The question remains unanswered as to how Bowdoin obtained access to Oliver’s papers.
TH also blamed Bowdoin for his “artful management” in leading otherwise “honest men . . . into wrong measures,” a hint, perhaps, that he doubted Bowdoin’s integrity. TH to unknown, n.d. Nov. 1768, Mass. Archs., 25: 324-325, in Hutchinson Transcripts, 1: 672.
7. Manuscript torn.
8. Councilors were obliged to swear the oath of allegiance and abjuration under 1 Geo. 1, c. 13 (1714).
9. This meeting probably took place the day after the Council meeting in response to FB’s proposal to summon a full Council for 26 Oct. to consider “matters of importance” that he would lay before them (and which concerned the quartering of the troops). CO 5/827, f 65.
10. Thus in manuscript.
11. TH to unknown, 16 Feb. 1769, Hutchinson Transcripts, 2: 726. TH was wont to “believe” that “the majority” of councilors were “honest men” whose opposition could be attributed to “the artful management of one of the Council [Bowdoin] whose general conduct” had not been “unfriendly to Government” until he “engaged” with the Boston faction. To unknown, Boston, Nov. 1768, Hutchinson Transcripts, 2: 672.
12. Appendix 11, Bernard Papers, 4: 392-396.
13. Colin Nicolson, “The Friends of Government: Loyalism, Ideology and Politics in Revolutionary Massachusetts,” 2 vols., unpublished Ph. D. diss., Univ. of Edinburgh, 1988, 1: 152-156, 163, 170-182; Francis G. Walett, “James Bowdoin: Patriot Propagandist,” New England Quarterly 23 (1950): 320-328.
2. CO 5/827, ff 65-66.
1. The clerk first wrote “22”, then corrected it by writing “0” on top of the second “2”. The editors of Barrington-Bernard dated this letter as 20 Oct. Barrington, however, acknowledged receipt of an original letter and duplicate dated “22d. Oct” in No. 726; thus, I have taken 22 Oct. as the date of composition.
2. No. 665, Bernard Papers, 4: 284-285.
3. See No. 661 and FB’s reply No. 683, Bernard Papers, 4: 326-327.
4. The Revenue Act, 7 Geo. 3, c. 4 (1767).
5. There is no official record that FB’s petition to the king and his memorial to Hillsborough of 4 Jan. 1767 requesting a Crown salary were considered by the Privy Council. For the memorial see No. 524, Bernard Papers, 3: 295-298; there is an undated draft of the petition in BP, 12: 297-299. However, Chancellor of the Exchequer Townshend was probably aware of FB’s proposal. Bernard Papers, 3, 26-27.
7. No. 661, Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
8. No. 683, Bernard Papers, 4: 326-327.
9. In No. 597, Bernard Papers, 4: 124-125.
10. Not found, possibly from Richard Jackson (d.1787), formerly secretary to George Grenville and MP for the Cinque Port of New Romney, 1768-74.
11. It was reported that the governor of South Carolina, “George Grenville,” had requested leave to resign. Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 17 Oct. 1768. Lord Charles Greville Montagu (1741-84) had been on leave of absence with Lt. Gov. William Bull deputizing; but Montagu returned and continued as governor until 31 Jul. 1769. FB wrote John Pownall on 29 Oct. urging him to act in concert with Barrington to prevent him being transferred to South Carolina. BP, 6: 155-156.
12. No. 640, Bernard Papers, 4: 233-235.
13. William Franklin (1730/31-1813), governor of New Jersey, 1763-76.
1. The proceedings of 17 Oct. are in CO 5/827, f 64.
2. FB stressed the point at the meeting. Ibid.
3. The written answer was composed and delivered in the afternoon. Ibid.
4. Copies and PC: “ordered”.
5. The Council, however, denied that Tyler, elected a town overseer of the poor the previous March, had admitted any such thing, in Appendix 4.
6. Copies, LbC, and PC: “quit”.
7. Not identified, but Chief Justice Hutchinson attended the Manufactory House on 19 Oct. to explain in person the government’s legal entitlement to clear and occupy the building. TH was not a trained lawyer and FB probably sought advice from Attorney General Jonathan Sewall and other pro-government lawyers.
8. Copies and PC: “province” or “Province”.
9. James Otis Jr.
10. Punctuation supplied.
11. The confrontation at the Manufactory House on 19 Oct. between John Brown, the tenant occupier, and Sheriff Greenleaf, began with a “scuffle” as Greenleaf tried to enter by a window. It is described in the Boston Evening-Post, 24 Oct. 1768. During the day, troops had been called to assist Greenleaf take possession of the yard, and FB withdrew them at 7 pm, leaving only a “small guard” in the cellar and at the windows. Samuel Adams later reported that others “give a very different account”: that the sheriff forced entry to the premises, that he was resisted by the people already inside (wherefrom Brown commenced the trespass suit), whereupon the sheriff signalled to the troops for assistance, which was provided (as FB in fact mentions). Appeal to the World, 31n. See the recent account in Archer, As If an Enemy’s Country, 114.
12. The American Quartering Act (1765).
13. Thus in manuscript.
14. The minute of the Council meeting of 17 Oct. does not vindicate FB’s opinion. The Council expressly advised that the Manufactory House be cleared “so that it may be ready to receive those of the said Regiments [from Ireland] as cannot be conveniently accommodated in the Barracks at Castle William.” CO 5/827, f 64.
15. Justices of the Peace of Boston to FB, 24 Oct. 1768, CO5 /757, ff 511-512. The signatories were William Stoddard, John Hill (1703-72), John Avery, John Tudor (1709-95), Richard Dana (1700-72), John Ruddock (1713-72), Nathaniel Balston (b.1730), and Edmund Quincy (1703-88).
16. That is to say, without independent authority and acting as an agent under direction.
17. This paragraph provides a summary of what evidently comprised an introductory speech, and which is unrecorded in the minutes of 26 Oct. CO 5/827, f 370.
18. Editorially altered. This word is located at the line break and may have been hyphenated.
19. FB also put it to the Council that they should seek the opinion of the Superior Court justices, which the Council declined.
20. FB read the Council an extract of No. 661, probably the following passage concerning the regiments from Ireland.
I am to signify to You His Majesty’s Commands, that you do, in Concert with the Commander in Chief, take every necessary Step for the Reception and Accommodation of these Troops.
Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
21. Also published in Boston Chronicle, 13-17 Apr. 1769; New-York Gazette, and Weekly Mercury, 22 May 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
22. CO 5/757, f 520.
23. HCJ, 32: 123-124; HLJ, 32: 229.
24. Archer suggested that FB and Gage accepted they were acting illegally in contravening the terms of the Quartering Act, 7 Geo. 3, c. 33. That is not my reading of the situation, as I explain in the source note above, which establishes the legality of the governor’s and general’s positions. However, I also appreciate that the Council later claimed that it was they, and not the governor or the military officers, who were acting in accordance with a strict interpretation of this statute. Archer, As If an Enemy’s Country, 115.
25. John Brown unsuccessfully sued Sheriff Stephen Greenleaf for damages. Greenleaf’s request for financial assistance toward the cost of his defense was refused by the Council, on 28 Dec. 1768. CO 5/827, f 70.
1. No. 666, Bernard Papers, 4: 285-287.
2. Francis Fauquier (1703-68), acting governor of Virginia from 1758 until his death on 3 Mar. 1768. The suggestion that an aristocrat was now required to sort out the Virginians probably rankled with FB. He had delayed responding to Hillsborough’s query (made via Barrington in No. 610), although a prompt reply probably would not have changed ministers’ preference for Lord Botetourt. See Nos. 665 and 666. Bernard Papers, 4: 283-287.
3. Lord Botetourt was not party to the displacement of the honorific governor and former commander in chief of North American forces, Gen. Sir Jeffrey Amherst, who took offence at Hillsborough’s lack of consultation over the decision to appoint a resident Virginia governor. The cabinet had assumed that Amherst would be unwilling to return to America to take up such duties. But after being deprived of the governorship, Amherst resigned his regimental commands and pension in protest and demanded financial compensation; he eventually persuaded the ministry to restore his pension and commands, and raise him to the peerage. The controversy was widely reported in the British newspapers, for example the Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 30 Aug. and 8 Sept., and the Public Advertiser 2 and 6 Aug. 1768. See Thomas Townshend Duties Crisis, 88-91.
4. As Barrington indicates, the proceedings of the Boston town meeting of 12 Sept. as reported by FB had so alarmed ministers as to suppose that armed resistance to the government had already taken place. See Thomas Townshend Duties Crisis, 91-92.
1. No. 661. Hillsborough’s letter of 30 Jul. 1768, not only announced that two regiments were being sent to Boston from Ireland; it also lamented Boston’s disobedience and the “illegal & unwarrantable” opposition to the officers of the Customs and exhorted the governor to “Firmness” in punishing “Disaffection or Opposition.” FB was instructed to investigate treasonable activities, with the suggestion that perpetrators be brought to trial in England. Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
2. The minutes of the meeting are in CO 5/827, ff. 65-66.
3. The extract probably concerned the recommendation that in light of the Boston riot the Governor and Council undertake a “Reform in the Commission of the Peace for that Town.” Ibid.
4. Henry Hulton.
5. On 21 Oct. (not found, but noted in BP, 7: 213).
6. “Whether they would advise him to acquaint the Commissioners that in their opinion they may resume the execution of their Office in the Town without resistance or danger to themselves and Officers?” CO 5/827, ff 65-66. This was answered in the affirmative. The Council, however, later suggested that the vote was taken on a revised question put by FB, viz., “Whether they would advise him to assure the Commissioners that they might return with Safety?” This the Council answered affirmatively. Appendix 4.
7. LbC: “and the Question was put”; PC: “and the question was put”.
8. The five abstainers would have been drawn from the following list of councilors resident outside Boston: Gamaliel Bradford (from Duxbury), John Bradbury (York), Samuel Danforth (Cambridge), Samuel Dexter (Dedham), John Hill (Berwick), Benjamin Lincoln Sr. (Hingham), Isaac Royall (Medford), James Russell (Charlestown), Nathaniel Sparhawk (Kittery and Boston), and Samuel White (Taunton). If so, then the group of twelve included James Bowdoin, John Erving, Thomas Flucker, Harrison Gray, Thomas Hubbard, Timothy Paine, James Pitts, Nathaniel Ropes, and Royal Tyler, plus three of the out-of-towners listed. The identities of the two who tendered written answers are unknown.
10. The Council later defended the position of the five, seeing “no Inconsistency in their Conduct.” They knew little of the state of Boston but much more about the how the “haughty and insolent Behaviour” of the commissioners’ had “expose[d] them to the Resentments of the People.” But neither they nor anyone else could be certain that upon the commissioners’ returning “the People will offer the least Insult or Violence to them.” Appendix 5.
11. These were Benjamin Lincoln (who had left town before the address was prepared), Thomas Flucker, Timothy Paine, and Nathaniel Ropes. The Council later asserted that the four had not “refused”: they did not sign because they were not present, in three cases “business” calling them home to the “country.” (Appendix 4.) Their places of residence were, respectively, Hingham, Charlestown, Worcester, and Salem.
12. Gage replied to the Council on 28 Oct., but FB is probably recounting an exchange of opinions between the Council committee presenting the address and the general. CO 5/86, f 222 and Boston Weekly News-Letter, 3 Nov. 1768.
13. Address of the Council to Thomas Gage, Boston, 27 Oct., in Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 31 Oct. 1768. See Appendix 1.
14. At the Council meeting of 17 Oct.
15. Appendix 1. The accusation could equally have been intended for FB.
16. Elizabeth Hulton (1739-1805), wife to Henry Hulton, and Ann Burch (d.1806), wife to William Burch.
17. Also published in Boston Chronicle, 13-17 Apr. 1769; Providence Gazette, 22 Apr. 1769; New-York Chronicle, 22-29 May 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
18. CO 5/757, f 520.
19. HCJ, 32: 123-124; HLJ, 32: 229.
1. No. 661, on 3 Nov. Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
2. On 9 Nov. 1768, CO 5/827, f 67. The draft letter to the justices has not been found.
3. 10 Nov. 1768, CO 5/827, f 67.
4. The gentlemen mentioned here and below have not been identified. The Council’s criticism of FB’s account in Appendix 4 also preserved their anonymity.
5. Also published in Boston Chronicle, 17-20 Apr. 1769; Providence Gazette, 22 Apr. 1769; New-York Chronicle, 29 May-5 Jun. 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
6. HCJ, 32: 123-124; HLJ, 32: 229.
1. 9 Nov.
2. No such letter dated mid-November has been found. However, when Sewall delayed informing the Board that Venner and Lisle had aided his enquiries, TH took it upon himself to confirm their part in the affair (presumably with Sewall’s approbation, for Sewall did not subsequently object). TH to the American Board of Customs, Boston, 29 Oct. 1768, T 1/471, ff 43-44.
3. 14 Nov., and the following day the Board drew up misconduct charges against Samuel Venner. T 1/471, f 45.
4. Bernard Papers, 4: 307-313.
5. The minutes of the American Board of Customs, 3 Nov.-20 Dec. 1768, T 1/471, ff 10-13.
1. Hillsborough had proposed both options in No. 661, Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
2. James Murray (1713-81) was appointed a justice of the peace on 7 Dec. 1768. CO 5/827, f 69. Murray was a Scots-born merchant and proprietor of a sugar refinery, having moved to Boston from North Carolina in 1765. Widely regarded as a Tory, he was an outspoken critic of the Whig protest movement and hired out his sugarhouse as an army barracks. Soon after his appointment, he was ridiculed in the newspapers and jostled in the streets as he went about his business. Nina M. Tiffany and Susan I. Lesley, Letters of James Murray, Loyalist (Boston, 1901), 151-161; Oliver M. Dickerson, Boston Under Military rule, 1768-1769, as revealed in a Journal of the Times (Boston, 1936), 106; Boston Evening-Post, 29 May, 1769.
3. Hillsborough’s recommendations for the reform of provincial magistracy are in No. 661, Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
4. Richard Dana (1700-72), on 17 Dec. 1765. Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 23 Dec. 1765.
5. Their names are given in No. 706n15.
6. The LbC is incomplete, missing the remainder of the letter from here to the end.
7. Also published in Providence Gazette, 22 Apr. 1769; New-York Chronicle, 15-22 May 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
8. HCJ, 32: 123-124; HLJ, 32: 229.
9. Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
10. Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 186.
1. Nos. 672 to 674, 681, 690, 691, and 693. Bernard Papers, 4: 295-304, 318-324, 347-353, 355-356; Nos. 694, 698, and 700 in this volume.
2. These curious symbols may have been intended as a placeholder in the draft, perhaps indicative of uncertainty as to the proper terminology. “His Majesty’s Servants” may not have been considered an appropriate term for provincial law officers, such as the attorney general, who were not appointed by the Crown, though from 1772 the attorney general’s salary was paid by the Crown.
3. Hillsborough to the attorney general and solicitor general of England, Whitehall, 6 Nov. 1768, CO 5/757, ff 452-453.
4. On 28 Nov. 1768. While Hillsborough awaited Parliament’s deliberations, this letter to FB extended the scope of the inquiry into the causes of the Liberty riot and other riots he had instructed the provincial government to undertake (in No. 661, dated 30 Jul.); it was widened to encompass “illegal and unconstitutional Acts.”
5. Stephen Sayre (1736-1818), a London merchant and sheriff of the city, with strong American sympathies; he was arrested for treason in 1775 for allegedly planning to kidnap the king, though he was released after two weeks’ detention.
6. Sayre’s letter to Hillsborough of 2 Jun. 1768 confirms that Sayre sent to Hillsborough the House’s petition of 20 Jan., undoubtedly with DeBerdt’s backing and permission. CO 5/757, ff 458-459. DeBerdt’s version of events is not unsympathetic to Hillsborough. The explanation Hillsborough provided here enabled FB to give a plausible excuse for the secretary of state’s studied delay in drawing the king’s attention to the petition. See No. 730. Albert Matthews, “Letters of Dennys DeBerdt,” at 332.
7. The Princess Augusta Sophia (8 Nov. 1768-1840). She was the second daughter and sixth child of fifteen born to Queen Charlotte (1744-1818) and King George III.
8. Left marginalia: three diagonal lines probably indicating receipt of three enclosures.
9. Meaning “with nobody contradicting or dissenting,” usu. nem con.
10. Noted in BP, 7: 254.
11. See HJL, 32: 165-166 and HCJ, 32: 21-22. The speech was reprinted in the Boston Chronicle, 9-12 Jan. 1769.
12. See HJL, 32: 209-210 and HCJ, 32: 107-108.
14. Printed in the Boston Gazette, 16 Jan. 1769.
1. Thus in manuscript.
3. This is probably an allusion to FB’s preference for reform of colonial government, as Pownall confirmed in No. 714.
1. No. 631, Bernard Papers, 4: 205-206.
2. No. 662, ibid., 276-277.
3. No. 684, ibid., 328-329.
4. Probably an allusion to the “cabinet,” if the number of dashes corresponds to number of letters omitted.
6. Obscured in the fold of the binding.
1. The first ships transporting the 64th and 65th Regiments arrived in the second week of November, a “few days” prior to 14 Nov., according to TH, and continued through 17 Nov., according to one newspaper. Hutchinson Transcripts, 2: 678; Boston Weekly News-Letter, 17 Nov. 1768. Col. Pomeroy’s 64th Regiment was billeted in warehouses at Wheelwright’s Wharf, with Col. Mackay’s 65th destined for the barracks on Castle Island. Currently anchored in Boston harbor were His Majesty’s Ships, Romney (recently returned from Halifax), Mermaid, Glasgow, Beaver, Viper, Senegal, and Bonetta; plus the armed schooners Magdalene, Hope, Little-Romney, and Sultana, and troops transports from Ireland. Essex Gazette 15-22 Nov. 1768. Alexander Mackay (1717-89) was promoted to major general on 30 Apr. 1770, while John Pomeroy (1724-90) saw service at the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill.
2. “Candidus” began his attack on the American Board of Customs with a character assassination of Charles Paxton. Boston Evening-Post, 21 Nov. 1768. Purportedly authored by someone professing to have “always steadily adhered to the prerogative side of the question,” FB appears to have given some credence to the notion (or rumor) that the author was a government man. He naturally suspected John Temple, but Temple’s estrangement from the Board did not occur until after the turn of the year. If “Candidus” was a vexed officeholder, a more likely candidate was Attorney General Jonathan Sewall, presently in the midst of a long-running spat with the commissioners and (unlike Temple) a proven political writer. See No. 678, Bernard Papers, 4: 307-313. Another and more likely possibility is that Samuel Adams was “Candidus,” given that Adams is said to have written at least nineteen letters as “Candidus” from 1771 (printed in the second volume of Cushing, Writings of Samuel Adams).
3. He is probably referring to one of the earliest Navigation Acts, the Encouragement of Trade Act, 15 Car. 2, c. 7 (1663).
4. The scriptural reference confirmed that FB’s deluded opponents had chosen a path from which they could not easily be diverted.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
(Luke 10:41-42. KJV.)
5. He returned as a passenger on board the Thames, Capt. Watt, arriving on 17 Nov. 1768.
6. Bernard Papers, 3: 421.
7. Probably No. 660, dated 30 Jul., Bernard Papers, 4: 266-270.
8. Boston Evening-Post, 21 Nov. 1768.
1. This private letter has not been found.
2. No. 661, Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
3. No. 683, ibid., 326-327.
5. Pownall had evidently expressed interest in retiring to an American estate or at the very least investing in a land grant scheme with FB as partner (having spent many years assisting other speculators make application to the Board of Trade).
6. Thus in manuscript.
7. Township No. 2, included in grants of nine townships in Berkshire County in 1762. The principal proprietors were Oliver Partridge (1712-92) and Elisha Jones (1710-75), and the township was incorporated as Partridgefield in 1771 and renamed Peru in 1806. Chester Dewey, David D. Field, and the Berkshire Association, A History of the County of Berkshire, Massachusetts (Pittsfield, Mass., 1829), 443.
8. Israel Williams (1709-88).
9. Samuel Waldo Jr. (1723-70), proprietor of the Waldo Patent in Maine.
10. Joseph Chadwick surveyed the area for FB in 1765. Plan of lands belonging to the heirs of Brigadier Samuel Waldo (1696-1759), Spencer Bernard Papers, EM2.
11. The opaque explanation in this paragraph nevertheless seems to convey FB’s willingness to act as Pownall’s agent in the matter of securing land grants in the American Colonies.
12. The last paragraph and closure are in FB’s hand.
1. No. 679, Bernard Papers, 4: 313-315.
2. Appendix 11 enclosed in No. 654, ibid., 255-257.
3. Addition relocated from margin.
4. News that the Council’s petition was to be presented to Parliament came by the Thames, Capt. Watt on 17 Nov. Boston Weekly News-Letter, 17 Nov. 1768.
5. Also published in Providence Gazette, 22 Apr. 1769; Boston Chronicle, 27 Apr.-1 May 1769; New-York Gazette, and Weekly Mercury, 29 May 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
6. HCJ, 32: 123-124; HLJ, 32: 229.
7. Samuel Danforth to William Bollan, Boston, 5 Dec. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 113-115. Signed by Danforth as the “president” and by the “major part of the Council,” the petition to the Commons was reprinted in full in Letters to Hillsborough (1st ed.), 70-73. It was considered on 25 Jan. 1769 (for which see the source note to Appendix 2). HCJ, 32: 136.
8. Bernard Papers, 4: 313-315.
9. Ibid., 254-257.
10. FB was probably not intent on discrediting the petition, and found its moderatism encouraging. See No. 654, ibid., 254-257.
1. Petitions of the [major part of the] Massachusetts Council to the House of Commons and the House of Lords, c.30 Nov. 1768. There is a signed copy of the petition to the Lords in Bowdoin and Temple Papers, Loose MSS. The petition to the Commons is in Letters to Hillsborough (1st. ed), 70-73.
2. These proceedings are thus not recorded in the Council’s executive minutes.
3. “In the Name of the major Part of the Council aforesaid, (Signed) SAMUEL DANFORTH, President of the Council.” Letters to Hillsborough (1st ed.), 73.
4. The Council later maintained they acted independently of popular opinion (Appendix 5).
5. Appendix 11, Bernard Papers, 4: 392-396.
6. Also published in Boston Chronicle, 27 Apr.-1 May 1769; Boston Gazette, 31 Jul. 1769.
7. HCJ, 32: 123-124; HLJ, 32: 229.
8. Omitted from the RC and RLbC. Supplied from the LbC.
9. Samuel Danforth (1696-1777), elected to the Council, 1739-74; Isaac Royall (1719-81), 1752-73; John Erving (1692-1786), 1754-74; James Bowdoin (1726-90), 1757-68; Thomas Hubbard (1702-73), 1759-72; Royal Tyler (1724-71), 1764-70; James Pitts (1710-76), 1766-74; Samuel Dexter (1726-1810), 1768-73.
10. The Council later contradicted this assessment, claiming that “Lincoln, Brattle Gray and Russell ought to have been inserted therein, they having also agreed to the Petitions.” Thus, this would have made “a Majority of the whole” Council (Appendix 5). Whatever the truth in this instance, moderates who had turned against the governor remained wary of the radicals. TH later ascribed to John Erving Sr. a rather lame excuse “that until he received letters from the Lords of the Treasury to the contrary he thought he was obliged to sign every thing that was voted by the Board.” To FB, 11 and 17 Aug. 1769, Mass. Archs., 26: 363. Erving was linked to FB’s personal enemies (his daughter Elizabeth was James Bowdoin’s wife), whence his readiness to seek accommodation with TH.
11. Letters to Hillsborough (1st ed.), 73.
12. Samuel Danforth to William Bollan, 5 Dec. 1768, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 113-115.
1. No. 661, Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
2. No. 660, ibid., 266-270.
3. On 29 Jul. the Governor and Council directed the attorney general to prosecute “all persons guilty of the Riots and disorders of the 10th or that any way aided or abetted the same.” CO 5/827, ff 53-56.
4. The attorney general did not receive an annual grant of salary from the General Court, but was allowed expenses. In 1772, his salary was paid by the Crown from revenue raised by the tax on tea. He was permitted to carry on his business as advocate for private individuals, as was his counterpart in England until 1895.
5. Jonathan Sewall.
6. That is “depreciated”.
7. Obscured in the fold of the binding.
8. Berkin, Jonathan Sewall, 43.
9. Lyman H. Butterfield, ed., The Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 4 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., 1961), 3: 287-288.
10. Sewall may have nominally continued to hold the solicitor general’s position following his appointment as attorney general until he was replaced by Samuel Quincy (1735-89) on 21 Mar. 1771. William H. Whitmore, The Massachusetts Civil List for the Colonial and Provincial Periods (Albany, 1870), 125.
11. Bernard Papers, 4: 307-313.
13. The “Journal of the Times” or “Journal of Occurrences,” which first appeared in October, also detailed casual confrontations between Bostonians and soldiers and provided day-by-day commentaries on the business of the Governor and Council (see No. 748). Dickerson, Boston Under Military Rule, 1768-1769, as revealed in a Journal of the Times.
14. L. Kinvin Wroth and Hiller B. Zobel, eds., Legal Papers of John Adams, 3 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., 1965), 2: 181-191. The only reliable account of the trial by Hancock’s several biographers is William M. Fowler, Jr., The Baron of Beacon Hill: A Biography of John Hancock (Boston, 1980), 100-101.
15. See John Adams to James Warren, Boston, 22 Dec. 1773, Papers of John Adams, 1: 2-3.
16. The Quincy-Hancock-Sewall connection is not discussed in Ellen C. D. Q. Woodbury, Dorothy Quincy, wife of John Hancock: with events of her time (Washington, D.C., 1901), 50-93.
1. Probably orally, for there is no extant correspondence on this matter in the papers of FB and TH.
2. Over 11 and 12 Jun. 1768.
3. Editorially supplied for purposes of clarification.
1. This may be a reference to the trial of John Hancock, which had commenced on 7 Nov. and to which FB alludes in No. 719.
2. Editorially supplied. Text may be obscured in the gutter of the binding.
2. Left marginalia: there is a red line from here to the end the paragraph, probably added by FB.
1. HLJ, 32: 209-210. For a brief discussion of the debates see Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 188-190; Introduction, 14-20.
2. Quoted in the Hardwicke Papers, cited in Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 193-194.
3. HCJ, 32: 185. The resolutions as adopted by the House of Commons were printed in the Boston Gazette, 17 Apr. 1769.
1. No. 711.
2. The appointments of James Murray and William Coffin Jr. were approved by the Council on 7 Dec. CO 5/827, ff 68-69.
3. Flucker would appear to have distanced himself from the Whig councilors, not having joined them in signing the address to Gen. Gage (Appendix 1).
4. Nolle prosequi, meaning not to pursue, a legal term and proceeding indicating that a prosecutor, plaintiff, or pursuer no longer wishes to pursue an action.
5. Hillsborough’s next letter, of 22 Mar., was a private notification that FB had been made a baronet (No. 755); his next business letter, dated 24 Mar., announced FB’s recall (No. 757).
1. The Suffragan Bishops Act, 26 Hen 8, c. 14 (1534), listed those sees considered suitable for the “Nomination of Suffragans,” to which FB proposed adding the diocese of the bishop of London, whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction extended to the American Colonies. The paragraphs following the citation of the act do not paraphrase or quote its provisions, and are original in construction.
2. That is, a parish in the charge of a rector, vicar, or curate.
3. The Rev. Henry Caner (1700-92) was rector of King’s Chapel where FB worshipped. His journey to London was ostensibly to represent the interests of New England’s Anglican clergy (of which convention he was its recognized leader) to Richard Terrick (1710-77), the bishop of London, 1764-77. Caner pressed the case for an American episcopate, of which he had been a firm advocate, and may have carried with him a copy of FB’s draft plan to establish a bishop at Perth Amboy, N.J. No. 725. Caner returned to Boston in Apr. 1769. Boston Chronicle, 21-24 Aug. 1769.
4. Charles Chauncy, The Appeal to the Public Answered in Behalf of the Non-Episcopal Churches of America (Boston, 1768); Thomas Bradbury Chandler, The Appeal Defended; Or the Proposed American Episcopate Vindicated (New York, 1769). The debate can be followed in Carl Bridenbaugh, Mitre and Sceptre: Transatlantic Faiths, Ideas, Personalities and Politics, 1689-1775 (New York, 1962), 289-292.
5. Thomas Secker, (1693-1768). FB wrote a letter of congratulation to the new archbishop, Frederick Cornwallis (1713-83), on 24 Oct. BP, 6: 148-149.
6. Thomas Bradbury Chandler, An Appeal to the Public in Behalf of the Church of England in America (New York, 1767), 50-51, 80-81.
7. See Jack M. Sosin, “Proposal for Establishing Anglican Bishops in the Colonies,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 13 (1962): 76-84; Bruce E. Steiner, “Anglican Officeholding in Pre-Revolutionary Connecticut: The Parameters of New England Community,” WMQ 31 (1974): 369-406; John F. Woolverton, Colonial Anglicanism in North America (Detroit, 1984), 220-233.
8. The imperial dimensions of American Anglicanism are discussed in Peter M. Doll, Revolution, Religion, and National Identity: Imperial Anglicanism in British North America, 1745–1795 (Madison, NJ, 2000).
2. The House of Lords adopted eight resolutions on 15 Dec. and passed them to the House of Commons the next day. See source note to No. 723.
3. Lord Charles Greville Montagu (1741-84) was governor of South Carolina 1765-73.
4. See Thomas, Townshend Duties Crisis, 123-126.
4. Left marginalia: the passage “I am . . . Government” is marked by a red line in the margin and by lines at the beginning and end of the text.
5. A close reading of the debates of 25 and 26 Jan. is provided in the Introduction, 15-20, and the editorial commentaries to Appendix 2.
1. T 1/471, ff 77-78.
2. “If Mr Sewall should be thought right in his opinion [in the Lydia case], there is a necessity that our Officers should have further powers, otherwise the service cannot, by reason of the severity of the climate in this Country, be carried into effect.” American Board of Customs, memorial to the lords commissioners of the Treasury, Boston, 12 May 1768, T 1/465, ff 64-65. For an explanation see the source note to No. 678, Bernard Papers, 4: 307-313.
3. Sewall offered his resignation upon learning that the commissioners had sought the advice of the English attorney general in the proposed actions against John Hancock, effectively ignoring the opinion he tendered in the Lydia case. See No. 678, ibid., 307-313.
4. David Lisle was formerly a solicitor to the Wine Licence Office and, having successfully applied for the position of solicitor general to the American Board of Customs, arrived in Boston in May 1768 (whereupon he sent off a report complaining about the lawlessness in the town). T 1/456, ff 132-145; T 1/465, ff 77-78. Samuel Venner assumed that he would be the Board’s chief secretary, in accordance with his instructions from the Treasury, though he subsequently complained that even before the Board’s departure from London in 1767, the commissioners were determined to reduce his administrative authority and role. T 1/471, ff 491-502.
5. Sewall was probably not aware of the exact items, for FB, TH, and Auchmuty were not shown the full range of documentation. (See the source note to No. 678, Bernard Papers, 4: 307-313.) There were three memorials of relevance that the American Board of Customs sent to the lords commissioners of the Treasury: those of 12 Feb. and 28 Mar. (which the provincial officials did not see) and that of 12 May 1768, which mentioned Sewall by name. T 1/465, ff 21-25, 64-65. The letter to the secretary of the Treasury noted here was probably Samuel Venner to Thomas Bradshaw, 7 Jun. 1768, enclosing several cases relating to the enforcement of the Revenue Act (7 Geo. 3, c. 46) for the opinion of the English solicitor of Customs and attorney general.
6. This is not an accurate summation of what the commissioners had written of Sewall (for which see note 2 above). But it probably reflected what FB and the commissioners were both thinking: that Sewall’s opinion in the Lydia case and his reluctance to prosecute using informations were symptomatic of Whiggish sympathies.
7. FB’s account is plausible, given that Paxton had been a firm supporter of the governor and that Sewall was FB’s protégé. Paxton traveled to England in the summer of 1766, carrying letters of introduction supplied by FB, in expectation that he would give a favorable report of the governor’s conduct. FB’s letter to Paxton of 21 Jan. (No. 530) intimated that he was appointing Sewall advocate general of Vice Admiralty, his first major office, which was confirmed on 1 Jul. 1767. Bernard Papers, 3: 309-312; ADM 2/1057, f 251.
8. After 15 Aug., see source note to No. 678, Bernard Papers, 4: 307-313.
9. Samuel Venner to Jonathan Sewall, Castle William, 25 Aug. 1768, T 1/471, f 29; Richard Reeve to Sewall, of the same date, ibid., f 31. Sewall wrote to the Board on 5 Aug., and it is to this letter that FB is probably referring. There is an extract in No. 678n1, Bernard Papers, 4: 312.
11. Bernard Papers, 4: 307-313.
12. Minutes of the American Board of Customs of 13, 19, and 23 Jan. 1769, T 1/471, ff 14-15.
13. See source note to No. 678, Bernard Papers, 4: 307-313.
14. American Board of Customs, memorial to the lords commissioners of the Treasury, Boston, 16 Feb. 1769, T 1/471, ff 435-436.
15. Venner’s memorial to the Treasury (dated Boston, 29 Apr. 1769) carefully documented his deteriorating relationship with the commissioners before he became embroiled in the Board’s dispute with Sewall. T 1/471, ff 491-502.
16. Lords commissioners of the Treasury to the American Board of Customs, Treasury Chambers, 29 Jun. 1769, Customs GB II, 10: 26-31.
1. The king’s speech of 8 Nov. 1768 was first reprinted in the New-York Gazette, 2 Jan. 1769, followed by the Boston Chronicle, 9-12 Jan.; the Boston Weekly News-Letter, 19 Jan.; the Boston Evening-Post, 23 Jan.; and the Essex Gazette, 17-24 Jan. 1769.
2. Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 16 Jan. 1769. On 31 Dec. 1768, the New York Assembly had first resolved itself into a committee before passing the following resolution:
Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That no Tax under any Name of Denomination, or on any Pretence, or for any Purpose whatsoever, can, or ought to be imposed or levied upon the Persons, Estates, or Property of his Majesty’s good Subjects within this Colony, but of their free Gift, by their Representatives lawfully convened in General Assembly.
In locating the exclusive authority to tax with the colonial assemblies, the resolution ipso facto repudiated Parliament’s authority to tax the colonists, a position more advanced than that propounded by the Massachusetts House of Representatives. See No. 579, No. 581n7-8, Bernard Papers, 4: 65-68, 75-76.
3. This was probably an allusion to the “divers Conferences” FB had been having recently with senior government officials and leading merchants, at which the internal affairs of the American Board of Customs would likely have been discussed. See No. 721.
4. FB probably did not send a separate “cover” after completing the postscript, and likely enclosed the missive to Strasbourg with this letter. FB had been trying to attract German immigrants to his Mount Desert Island estate. (Bernard Papers, 2: 141, 216n.) The Strasbourg authorities had contacted FB to verify the credentials of his agent, the Rev. John Martin Schaeffer, who had returned to Europe in order to procure settlers. Schaeffer was also collecting debts due him under the authority of a power of attorney granted him by a fellow German migrant, now deceased; by this document he laid claim to property and estate in the possession of the deceased man’s family in Strasbourg. The Strasbourg authorities, however, accused Schaeffer of fraud, and his prosecution ended FB’s interest in the emigrant scheme. The master and council of the City of Strasbourg to FB, 23 Sept. 1767 (translated from German) BP, 12: 143.
5. Hillsborough’s letter (No. 712) enclosed copies of the addresses of the House of Lords of 15 Dec. and the House of Commons of 16 Dec. 1768.
6. Editorially supplied.
7. FB likely had in mind the “Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman in London, to his Friend in Boston,” dated 4 Oct. 1768 and printed in the Boston Gazette, 9 Jan. 1769.
Your Troops you may depend upon it, will all be called away in the Spring, and the Ships too. Doctor F — [Benjamin Franklin] has given it as his Opinion, that the Colonies will obtain all that they can desire or wish for, if they behave with Firmness. — Your Commissioners [of Customs] stand here exactly in the Character that they have established for themselves in America; and it is the opinion of every one, that the Board will be recalled, and a new Governor appointed for your Province. Lord H — himself says, he entirely dislikes their Conduct.
8. This information was accurate. Dennys DeBerdt had informed Thomas Cushing that he would “make the best use” he could of the petition to the king prepared by the Massachusetts Convention of Towns, “as it is couched in very decent Terms.” 7 Dec. 1768, in Matthews, “Letters of Dennys DeBerdt, 1757-1770,” 347. FB may have learned of DeBerdt’s reaction from a conversation with Cushing or another leading Whig. For the petition see the source note to No. 698 and note 2, Bernard Papers, 4: 70.
9. The proceedings were extracted in the New-York Gazette, or Weekly Post-Boy, 9 Jan. 1769.
10. John Temple: he had been excluded from much of the business of the Board since the previous summer. One of the major flashpoints between Temple and the Board concerned the dismissal of customs collector Timothy Folger (1732-1814). Folger had been appointed by Temple when he had been surveyor general, but his appointment was revoked by the Customs Board, thus calling into question the legitimacy of Temple’s other appointments. While Temple complained to the Treasury about being marginalized by the commissioners, Folger appealed unsuccessfully to the commissioners to be reinstated. Temple to Thomas Bradshaw, Boston, 10 Aug. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, Loose MSS. The papers of the American Board of Customs relating to Folger are in T 1/471, ff 177-182.
3. Hillsborough did not issue further instructions addressing FB’s questions, expecting that FB would call the assembly together in accordance with the instructions he provided in No. 702. Moreover, No. 661 allowed FB a discretionary power to convene the General Court at Salem or Cambridge. Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276. This measure was endorsed by the cabinet (see No. 727). FB was thus obliged to summon the General Court to meet in May, though he was clearly apprehensive at the prospect of meeting his enemies in the House of Representatives face-to-face. The first session of the 1769-70 legislative year ran from 31 May to 15 Jul. 1769.
4. No. 661, Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
5. Obscured by binding and supplied from LbC.
6. FB evidently read to the Council extracts from No. 712 wherein Hillsborough explained why he had not yet presented the House of Representatives’ petition of 20 Jan. to the king. This is not recorded in the Council’s executive minutes but would have occurred shortly after FB received the duplicate of No. 712 on c.19 Jan. 1769.
7. Dennys DeBerdt had printed advertisements in the Boston newspapers quashing rumors that Hillsborough was determined not to present the House’s petition to the king.
August 26, 1768.
Whereas it has been publickly reported that the Earl of Hillsborough has neglected to deliver a petition from the Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay to his Majesty, at a time when his Lordship had not even seen the said petition, I think it my duty to inform the public that such insinuations are entirely groundless. My reasons for any delay and proceedings therewith, I have truly given the Assembly in my letters to them of the 12th and 18th of March, and 27th of June.
Dennys De Berdt.
Hillsborough took delivery of the petition from DeBerdt’s friend Stephen Sayre on 2 Jun. But Hillsborough had already indicated to FB his determination not to receive the petition since it had not been formally transmitted by the governor. No. 603, Bernard Papers, 4: 142-143. Nevertheless, DeBerdt continued to expect that Hillsborough would transmit it to the king at an opportune moment, writing Thomas Cushing on 18 Nov. that “Hillsborough had more than once or twice assured me the King has seen Your Petition & the difficiency in official forms did not in the least retard it which will with the rest of the Colonies petition* be brought before Parliament.” Hillsborough’s letter to FB of 15 Nov., which FB read to the Council, however, explained that the unconventional “manner” by which he received the petition rendered it “impossible” to lay the it before the king; when he did “communicat[e]” it to the king, “His Majesty not considering ^it^ as coming properly before him, did not think fit to signify to me any Commands thereupon.” (No. 712.) The Whigs responded by publishing DeBerdt’s letter to Cushing (of 18 Nov.) in the Boston Gazette, 23 Jan. 1769, demonstrating that Hillsborough had told DeBerdt that protocol was no barrier to the petition being considered and thus contradicting what Hillsborough had told FB. While Hillsborough’s explanation may have been factually correct, there is little doubt he misled DeBerdt and, as his colonial critics anticipated, was committed to undermining the House of Representatives’ case for the repeal of the Townshend Acts. Sayre to Hillsborough, [London], 2 Jun. 1768, CO 5/757, ff 458-459; Dennys DeBerdt to Thomas Cushing, London, 18 Nov. 1768, in Matthews, “Letters of Dennys DeBerdt, 1757-1770,” 344;
*DeBerdt is referring to petitions from colonies other than Massachusetts. However, only one other petition from a colonial assembly, that of the Pennsylvania, was brought before Parliament that winter, on 7 Dec., when the Commons refused to receive it.
2. Robert Auchmuty (c.1725-88) was judge of the Admiralty Court in Massachusetts when, on 22 Sept., he was appointed the judge of the newly established Vice Admiralty Court for New England, sitting at Boston. Bernard Papers, 2: 275; ADM 2/1057, ff 288-291. FB may have excluded Attorney General Jonathan Sewall from his cabinet of Crown officers because the attorney general was a provincial officer appointed with Crown approval; but Sewall was also advocate general of Vice Admiralty, a Crown position. A more plausible explanation for Sewall’s exclusion is that FB had entertained doubts about his reliability under pressure, which he had previously intimated to Hillsborough in No. 719.
5. FB is referring to Thomas Cushing whose conversation with Nathaniel Coffin is reported in the enclosure No. 733.
6. Obscured by binding.
7. LbC and dupL: “was”.
8. Appendix 13, Bernard Papers, 4: 400-401.
9. He is referring to the Charter of Massachusetts Bay (1629), abrogated initially under Charles I and James II and finally under William III.
11. Robert Auchmuty’s appointment as justice was the only one of the group of four to be presented to the Council for approval on 1 Feb. The omission of the others from the record is unexplained, for justices’ commissions required the Council’s authorization. In April, FB obtained the Council’s approval for the appointment of his son John and the friend of government Joshua Loring. William H. Whitmore, The Massachusetts Civil List for the Colonial and Provincial Periods (Albany, 1870), 131; CO 5/829, f 5.
13. Cushing did not venture an opinion on any “Motion” made in the Convention, as FB states here. Coffin reported Cushing as stating that fellow Whigs should “drive off” FB and TH: “they then should have the Council in their own Hands and could oblige them to call an Assembly” to discuss the impending arrival of the British troops.
1. Richard Silvester (b.1706) served in the Royal Navy for twenty-three years before becoming a landwaiter in the Boston Customhouse. Silvester became a Loyalist and, despite his advanced years, left Boston in Oct. 1776. Jones, Loyalists of Massachusetts, 261.
2. That is, on Saturday 11 Jun. 1768. See No. 623, Bernard Papers, 4: 185-190.
3. Benjamin Church (1734-78) was a Boston physician and one of the foremost radicals, even when he became a government spy in the early 1770s.
4. Thus in manuscript: he meant that nothing could be proven unless the printers Benjamin Edes and John Gill were “impeach[ed]”.
5. It cannot be established with certainty the particular newspaper article of which Church claimed authorship. The annotated newspapers of Boston shopkeeper Harbottle Dorr—so often the only means of identifying authors of anonymous pieces—identifies two pieces in the Boston Gazette that prompted former prime minister George Grenville to denounce the paper: the first, by “Sui Imperator,” was published on 31 Aug. 1767, the second, by “Hyperion,” on 5 Oct. 1767. Dorr did not reveal the author of either essay. Dorr Collection, 1: 712, 730.
It is not implausible that Church wrote one or both essays. They were self-evidently radical productions, urging resistance to arbitrary power, and stylistically similar, in so far as they indulged in literary references and allusions. Sui Imperator’s essay has previously been discussed, in Bernard Papers, 3: 398-399, and it is important here to consider reasons why Grenville might have found Hyperion’s so offensive. The pseudonym, the name of a Greek mythological titan, in itself would have meant little to Grenville, beyond symbolizing power. But it may also have had some currency in the politics of food, particularly with Bostonians advocating the nonconsumption of imported Bohea tea subject to the Townshend duty, in the weeks leading up to and following the adoption of the nonconsumption agreement on 28 Oct. 1767. Tea was not included in the list of goods (mainly manufactures) subject to nonconsumption, though it was in those boycotted under the nonimportation agreements adopted in Boston and elsewhere from 1768. Before then, “Hyperion tea”, a native concoction of dried raspberry leaves or herbs, was being touted as a palatable substitute for dutied tea. (See the letter from Newport, R.I., printed in the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 7 Dec. 1767). “Hyperion tea” may have paid homage to the writer Hyperion, who contributed at least five essays to the Massachusetts papers, the first on 28 Sept. 1767 (Boston Gazette) the last in 1771 (Essex Gazette). The occasional verse therein, more so than the classical and Biblical references, are redolent of Benjamin Church’s satires. But the piece printed in the Boston Gazette on 5 Oct. was notable for its denigration of the British imperial elite as “vermin” (a brutalizing exhortation when sounded again by the Sons of Liberty in the summer of 1768, No. 623), and also its evocation of the Puritan mission writ large as American exceptionalism.
Be not terrify’d by the threats and vaunting of your sworn foes: For even in our times, we have seen the finger of the Lord: And we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have told us the great things, which GOD did for them in their day; how he deliver’d them, in the howling wilderness, out of the paw of the Lion, and out of the paw of the Bear; how, with an out-stretched hand, he led them thro’ the dreary desert, giving them the manna of Heaven for food, and the water out of the rock for drink; how he miraculously preserved his chosen people from tempest, fire, sword and famine, and put all their lurking and insidious enemies to flight: Surely, his ear is not heavy, that he cannot hear, nor his arm shorten’d, that he cannot save.— Did he not plant us with his own hand? Hath he not nourish’d and brought us up as children? Surely, he will not, now, altogether cast us off! If we seek him, he will be found of us; while we serve him, he will never forsake us. — And, if our GOD be for us—who shall be against us? Tho’ our enemies should be as the vermin of the field, or as the insects of the air, yet will I not be dismay’d; for the breath of his mouth shall scatter them abroad, the power of his strength shall confound and overwhelm them with mighty destruction.
The citation adapted from Romans 8:31-33 (“If our God be for us, who shall be against us?”) appropriated God for the Americans (“our GOD”) and left any British reader (the verminous imperial elite) to mourn their nation’s loss of providential favor.
“Mr. Greenville seems our most bitter enemy, and takes every opportunity to render us obnoxious,” wrote Nathaniel Rogers upon hearing of Grenville’s tirade in the House of Commons, and proposed “that an Enquiry should be entered into by the House upon a certain Boston paper of October 5 . . . containing the most virulent aspersions and insinuations.” Rogers, moreover, reported that the advent of the nonimportation movements had convinced many Britons, Grenville included, that the Americans were intent on separation from Britain. Long smarting from opposition barbs that his American Stamp Tax had started the quarrel with the Americans in the first place, Grenville must have bridled at Hyperion’s invocation that British officials were the instruments of their own destruction. It is likely that Grenville brandished the Boston Gazette containing Hyperion’s piece when he spoke in the House of Commons’ debate of 8 Nov., occasioned by the king’s speech. Lord Barrington had already decried the Americans “traitors,” according to Sir Henry Cavendish, when Grenville rose to condemn the Americans’ resistance to Parliament’s authority, expressing “surprise” at any who supposed the Bostonians were “disposed to return to their duty.” Grenville spoke again on American affairs, on 7 Dec., when the Commons refused a motion to receive the petition of the Pennsylvania assembly protesting the Townshend duties (having first re-read the Declaratory Act’s assertion of parliamentary supremacy over the American Colonies). Cavendish does not state that Grenville actually discussed a Boston newspaper, though such can be inferred from Rogers’s report (for which source I am grateful to John W. Tyler). Nathaniel Rogers to TH, London, 30 Dec. 1767, Mass. Archs. 25: 240-241a; Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 41-42.
Another summary of Grenville’s speech of 8 Nov., contained in a letter from England printed in the Boston Evening-Post on 30 Jan. 1769, amplifies Cavendish’s account.
In the Course of the Debate the whole Behaviour of the People of Boston was stated . . . . Mr. Greenville agreed in imputing the present Mischiefs principally to the Countenance which the Denial of the Right had received here; he observed that the Writings and Votes in America all refer’d to that Authority; . . . he approved of the late Revenue Law, because it preserved the Principle: but join’d in censuring the Order to require the Assembly to rescind, and on non-compliance to dissolve: He thought that the Secretary of State should not thus take upon himself to annihilate Corporations for disobeying Mandates: that Recourse should have been first had to Parliament.
Thus, it is plausible that when denouncing the “Writings . . . in America” Grenville proceeded to make a specific proposal for punitive measures against Boston.
Boston Whigs such as Benjamin Church were not slow to appreciate the antipathy of British statesmen like Grenville. The printers of the Boston Evening-Post prefaced the letter from London with a revealing editorial note, based on information tendered by Capt. James Scott. It explained that a newspaper of 19 Sept. 1768 (almost certainly the Boston Gazette of that day), which reported the proceedings of the Boston town meeting of 12 Sept., had an immediate impact when it was received in London on 27 Oct.: “the Expectation of People in general of the Consequence of those Proceedings was much raised.” This anodyne phrase referred to the manifest anxiety among British ministers that the town would resist the landing of the Regulars. It was not until 5 Nov. that colonial ships brought news of the soldiers’ peaceful disembarkation. Grenville, therefore, delivered his speech of 8 Nov., at a moment when the friends of the Americans on the opposition benches were urging the Grafton administration to repeal the Townshend Acts and critics of the government like Grenville were condemning its apparent failure to take a firm line against the supposed insurrectionists in the Boston town meeting. (The extract above was subsequently cited by Boston Whigs criticizing Secretary of State Hillsborough’s reliance upon FB’s reports on the Massachusetts Circular Letter, see the source note to No. 742).
If Silvester can be believed, Church was terrified of discovery. Why he should also, in the autumn of 1768, confess to being the author of a scurrilous and seditious essay is not so clear cut, unless he anticipated that with the troops behind him, the governor was intent on arresting the leading the Whigs (which in fact he was not).
6. Joseph Warren (1741-75), the Boston physician and radical, and author of the libel signed “A True Patriot,” for which see No. 593, Bernard Papers, 4: 112-118.
7. Thomas Chase (b.1737), a member of the Boston Sons of Liberty and a participant in the Boston Tea Party.
1. On 13 Sept. 1768.
2. Nathaniel Coffin to Charles Steuart, Boston, 14 Aug. 1770, National Library of Scotland: Charles Steuart Papers, 5026: 101-104. See Colin Nicolson, “‘McIntosh, Otis & Adams are our demagogues’: Nathaniel Coffin and the Loyalist Interpretation of the Origins of the American Revolution,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 108 (1996): 73-114.
1. Here FB conflates his own oft-used depiction of James Otis Jr.’s radicalism (“raising a flame”) with a famous quotation from Thomas Hobbes: “the tongue of man is a trumpet of warre, and sedition.” Cive (1642; English trans. ed. 1651). 5.5. The “mercenary printers” jibe was unfair and inaccurate, in so far as Edes and Gill committed their business (and Edes his person) to the colonial protest movement from the early days of the Stamp Act Crisis.
2. FB’s letters to Hillsborough of 1, 5, 12, 14, and 30 Nov., and 5 Dec. 1768. Nos. 706, 708, 709, 711, 717, and 718. Also printed was Thomas Gage to Hillsborough, Boston, 31 Oct. 1768. Boston Gazette, Supplement, 23 Jan. 1769.
3. For example, “C. L.” wrote in the London Gazetteer of 9 Nov. that the people of Massachusetts were “subjected to the dreadful alternative of taking up arms against the King’s troops, or tamely submitting to every insult and cruelty that can be offered them.” Boston Gazette, Supplement, 23 Jan. 1769, p. 1. From letters and public prints brought in by Capt. James Scott, the paper continued, it was evident
That the Colonies, and this Province and Town in particular, had been most grossly misrepresented from hence, but that Pens had not been wanting at home to set G. B. and the C—m—rs* characters in their true light . . . that this Town had been actually in arms, and the Province ready for settling up an independency; . . . That anonymous papers had gone from hence to L—d H—h,+ scandalizing and abusing the most respectable among us, which his L—d had sent back to G. B. to enquire into. [p. 2]
*Commissioners of Customs. + Lord Hillsborough.
Articles such as these, usually spread across the first and second pages, vindicated the editors’ decision to publish as a counter-offensive against their governor’s hostile accounts of the state of the province; for so long as FB had Hillsborough’s backing he remained a dangerous enemy. The printers, however, did not offer an editorial rationalizing their position or explaining how they acquired FB’s letters.
4. See No. 638, Bernard Papers, 4: 220-230.
5. The letters were Nos. 706, 708, 709, 711, 717, and 718, dated 1, 5, 12, 14, and 30 Nov., and 5 Dec. 1768, respectively.
6. HCJ, 32: 123-124; HLJ, 32: 229; Bowdoin and Temple Papers, Loose MSS; Letters to the Right Honourable the Earl of Hillsborough, from Governor Bernard, General Gage, and the honourable His Majesty’s Council for the Province of Massachusetts-Bay. With an appendix, containing divers proceedings referred to in the said letters (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1769). On Bollan see Appendix 2.
7. The correspondence is listed in the Introduction, 50-51n32. See also source note to No. 735. An extract from the House of Commons’ journals listing FB’s correspondence among sixty items presented to Parliament on 28 Nov. 1768 was printed in the Boston Weekly News-Letter, 7 Apr. 1769.
8. Boston Chronicle, 10-13 Apr. 2013.
9. Between 1 Nov. 1768 and 23 Jan. 1769, all bar three of FB’s out-letters that were copied into his letterbooks were written at “Boston”: a letter to the American Board of Customs of 12 Nov. written at Jamaica Plain, to Samuel Hood dated Province House, 18 Nov.; and to John Pownall, Jamaica Plain, 26 Nov. BP, 7: 163-173, 214-215.
10. James Baker, Life of Sir Thomas Bernard (London, 1791).
11. Bernard Papers, 2: 306; 3: 56n.
12. Bernard Papers, 2: 434-435.
13. Reports of the Record Commissioners, 10: 54-55.
14. Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Prelude to Independence: the Newspaper War on Britain, 1764-1776 (New York, 1958), 85-109, 110; Stephen Botein, “‘Meer Mechanics’ and an Open Press: the Business and Political Strategies of Colonial American Printers,” Perspectives in American History 9 (1975): 127-225; G. Thomas Tanselle, “Some Statistics on American Printing, 1764-1783,” The Press and the American Revolution, edited by John B. Hench and Bernard Bailyn (Worcester, Mass., 1980), 315-363.
15. Bernard Papers, 3: 397-98.
16. “I should be led to hope that the Assembly would vindicate their own Honor, and make the Guilty feel the Displeasure of an injured Province.” Shelburne to FB, 14 Nov. 1767, No. 574, Bernard Papers, 3: 423.
17. Bernard Papers, 4: 121-124. See also source note to No. 593, ibid., 112-118.
18. See Leonard W. Levy, Legacy of Suppression Freedom of Speech and Press in Early American History (Cambridge, Mass, 1960), 14-15, and passim.
19. TH to Thomas Pownall, Boston, 7 Jun. 1768, Mass. Archs., 25: 262, in Hutchinson Transcripts, 1: 262. The Council’s address of 28 May had praised FB’s “thorough Knowledge” of the boundary dispute with New York. The “burlesque” in question was a comedic verse mocking both the Council’s apparent subservience and the governor’s “wond’rous great . . . Knowledge” that “never will admit Debate,” and his “Profundity of Wit.” An anonymous piece, it nevertheless resembles Dr. Benjamin Church’s satires. While of little relevance in itself, the “burlesque” is indicative of the sometimes strained relationship between the Council and Whig leaders in the House, before James Bowdoin’s emergence as a dominant figure in the Council (for which see No. 703).
20. Bernard Papers, 4: 127-128.
21. Bernard Papers, 4: 292-293.
22. Peter D. G. Thomas, John Wilkes: a Friend to Liberty (Oxford, 1996), 125-140.
23. Letters to the Right Honourable the Earl of Hillsborough, from Governor Bernard, General Gage, and the honourable His Majesty’s Council for the Province of Massachusetts-Bay. With an appendix, containing divers proceedings referred to in the said letters (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1769); Letters to the Ministry from Governor Bernard, General Gage, and Commodore Hood. And also Memorials to the Lords of the Treasury, from the Commissioners of the Customs. With sundry letters and papers annexed to the said memorials (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1769).
2. FB’s letters and their enclosures were communicated to Parliament on 28 Nov. 1768. They are listed in full in PDBP: 3: 19-27; HCJ, 32: 74-76; HLJ, 32: 182-185. The transcripts printed in Bernard Papers, vols. 4 and 5 are listed above in Introduction, 50-51n32 and n33.
5. William Spry (1729-72) had been appointed governor in 1767 and served until his death.
6. FB’s correspondence was not in the public domain. Despite legal prohibitions on the reporting of parliamentary debates, the substance of the debates was discussed in the British press and mentioned in the private letters of Britons corresponding with Americans, which were printed regularly in the colonial newspapers. Thus, there was always a possibility that British or American newspapers could print extracts of FB’s letters. Even so, the Annual Register, an organ of the opposition Rockingham Whigs (and reprinted in Murdoch below), did not publish any of FB’s letters that were laid before Parliament in November. David Murdoch, Rebellion in America: A Contemporary British Viewpoint, 1765-1783 (Santa Barbara, Calif., 1979).
8. FB’s correspondence was listed in the extract from the House of Commons’ journals showing sixty items presented to Parliament on 28 Nov. 1768 and printed in the Boston Weekly News-Letter, 7 Apr. 1769. FB’s six letters to Hillsborough, dated 1 Nov. to 5 Dec. 1768, were presented to Parliament on 20 Jan. as reported in the Boston Chronicle, 10-13 Jan. 1769. The Commons resolutions of 8 Feb. condemning Massachusetts, were adopted after consideration of the papers presented between 28 Nov. and 20 Jan., and subsequently printed in the Boston Gazette, 17 Apr. 1769.
1. FB was probably acting at the behest of his cabinet council of TH, Oliver, and Auchmuty, and with the full agreement of other friends of government alluded to (though not named) in No. 729.
2. Omitted in error and editorially supplied from the LbC.
3. This is an allusion to the commissioners of Customs, two of whom (Henry Hulton and William Burch) were English sojourners, whereas the others were native New Englanders (Temple, Paxton, and Robinson).
4. That is “malconduct.”
5. Bernard Papers, 2: 157, 405; 3: 16, 182n, 364, 395n.
1. The following list of councilors provides life dates (in parentheses) followed by dates of election to the Council. Elections were held annually in May, and the period of service ended on the day of the subsequent election. Thus, John Hill elected each year between 1742 and 1769 served from May 1742 to May 1770. However, the Massachusetts Government Act of 1774 instituted a royally-appointed Council, which started meeting in August, thus ending the term of all councilors elected in May that year. Samuel Danforth (1696-1777), 1739-74; John Hill (1703-72), 1742-69; Isaac Royall (c.1719-81), 1752-73; Benjamin Lincoln (1699-1771), 1752-69; John Erving (c.1692-1786), 1754-74; William Brattle (1706-76), 1765-66 and 1770-73; John Cushing (1695-1778), 1737-64; Gamaliel Bradford (1704-78), 1757-69; Thomas Hubbard (1702-73), Nathaniel Sparhawk (1715-98), 1760-65 and 1767-72; Harrison Gray (1711-94), 1761-72; James Russell (1715-98), 1761-73; Thomas Flucker (1719-83), 1761-68; Nathaniel Ropes (1726-74), 1761-68; Timothy Paine, (1730-93), 1763-69; John Bradbury (1697-1778), 1763-72; Royal Tyler (1724-71), 1764-70; Samuel White (1710-20 Mar. 1769), 1766-68; Jeremiah Powell (1720-83), 1766-72 and 1774; James Pitts (1710-76), 1766-74; John Worthington (1719-1800), 1767-68; Samuel Dexter (1726-1810), 1768-73.
2. Thomas Hutchinson (1711-80), elected to the Council, 1749-65, lieutenant governor, 1758-71, governor, 1771-4, chief justice of the Superior Court, 1760-71; Andrew Oliver (1706-74), elected to the Council, 1746-65, province secretary, 1756-70, lieutenant governor, 1770-74; Benjamin Lynde (1700-81), elected to the Council, 1737-40 and 1743-65, justice of Superior Court, 1746-70, chief justice, 1770-72; John Cushing (1695-1778), elected to the Council, 1737-64, justice of the Superior Court, 1748-71; Peter Oliver (1713-91), elected to the Council, 1759-65, justice of the Superior Court, 1756-72, chief justice, 1772-74; Edmund Trowbridge (1709-93), elected to the Council, 1764-65, justice of the Superior Court, 1767-74; Israel Williams (1709-88), elected to the Council, 1760-66; John Chandler (1721-1800), elected to the Council, 1765-67.
2. American Papers, Dartmouth Papers: D(W)1778/II/314. Staffordshire Record Office, Stafford, England. See Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 230.
1. Venner wrote to Jonathan Sewall on 28 Jan. requesting copies of Sewall’s correspondence with the Customs Board. Sewall’s reply amounted to a “recital of the Facts” but he promised to provide the material requested. Sewall to Venner, Cambridge, 7 Feb. 1769, T 1/471, ff 87-88.
2. Not found.
3. Richard Reeve served as secretary to the American Board of Customs between 1769 and 1772.
4. Memorial of Samuel Venner to the lords commissioners of the Treasury, 29 Apr. 1769, T 1/471, ff 491-502; memorial of John Temple to the lords commissioners of the Treasury, Boston, 20 Feb. 1769, T 1/471, ff 303-312.
5. APC, 5: 252-254; Neil Longley York, Henry Hulton and the American Revolution: An Outsider’s Inside View (Boston, 2010), 66-67.
1. On 8 Feb., the Commons approved the resolutions on Massachusetts and the address to the king voted by the Lords on 15 Dec. HCJ, 32: 185. See source note to No. 723.
2. While the Commons made only minor amendments to the phraseology of the Lords’ resolutions, the members divided on a second reading of a resolution proposing the approval of the Lords’ address to the king. Sixty-five members supported a motion to recommit the address to a House committee which had considered it earlier, while 169 opposed the motion, thus ensuring that the address passed unaltered. HCJ, 32: 185.
3. On 12 and 13 Sept. 1768. Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 259-264.
4. Thus in manuscript.
5. On 3 Feb 1769.
6. Transmission of the letter to Barrington was delayed, whereupon FB added a postscript, dated 17 Jun. BP, 7: 293-294, 299.
7. Wright, Cavendish’s Debates 1: 21-23.
8. Ibid., 1: 41.
9. Excluded from the Commons, Wilkes continued to harass Lord North’s administration from his position as an alderman of London, leading the successful campaign to end the prohibition on Parliamentary reporting, in 1771. In 1774, Wilkes was elected Lord Mayor and won the Middlesex seat at the general election; he remained a constant critic of the government’s American policy during the early stages of the War of Independence. For his distant but profound influence on the Whig protest movement see Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776 (London, 1973), 161-183. On Wilkes’s career see Peter D. G. Thomas, “Wilkes, John (1725–1797),” in ODNB-e (http://www.oxforddnb.com.ezproxy.stir.ac.uk/view/article/29410, accessed 26 Sept. 2013); Thomas, John Wilkes: a Friend to Liberty.
1. Trans.: by or from one party; that is (by insinuation) FB himself.
2. FB concluded that this and a subsequent address were written by Samuel Adams who “put upon the Selectmen to present, they not daring to refuse what is dictated by the Faction . . . being part of the faction themselves.” FB to John Pownall, Boston, 7 Mar. 1769, BP, 7: 262-263.
3. FB to the selectmen of Boston, Province House, 18 Feb. 1769, Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 23: 7.
2. No such private correspondence from England has survived. FB is probably referring to letters from London extracted in the province newspapers, in which his conduct as governor was said to have been widely praised in Parliament. Boston Evening-Post on 30 Jan. 1769. For a discussion of such letters see No. 744n3.
3. FB had protested that the Massachusetts Convention of Towns was an illegal assembly and instructed it to disperse. No. 685, Bernard Papers, 4: 330-331.
4. “Paoli” in the Boston Gazette, 30 Jan. 1769.
5. Pownall had transmitted to FB a manuscript letter originating at Boston and whose author had attempted to disguise his handwriting on account of the letter’s “strong” opinions (No. 714). Otis was worried lest he be held accountable, though FB did not presume that he was the author.
6. FB’s next letter to Pownall was dated 5 Mar. 1769. BP, 7: 262-263.
8. FB was uncomfortable about discussing John Pownall’s brother, Thomas, the former governor of Massachusetts. Their relationship was never close, and FB had learned that Thomas Pownall had been corresponding with Boston Whigs, including the Rev. Dr. Samuel Cooper. Copies of Pownall’s letters to Cooper, c. Jan. 1769-14 Jul. 1770, are in MH-H: MS Sparks 16.
9. “Paoli,” Boston Gazette, 30 Jan. 1769. FB immediately, and without evidence, assumed that “Paoli” was the work of his enemy John Temple. He also assumed that Temple was writing comedic essays over the pseudonym “Candidus,” as part of his campaign to denigrate his fellow commissioners on the American Board of Customs. Boston Gazette, 5 and 12 Dec. 1768, and 13 Feb. 1769.
10. American Board of Customs to the Treasury, 20 Feb. 1769, T 1/471, ff 429-430. Temple’s own memorial defending his conduct and complaining of the Board’s irregularities is also dated 20 Feb. and is in T 1/471, ff 303-312.
11. Gaius Licinius Verres (c.120-43 BC) was regarded by eighteenth-century scholars as an archetypal tyrannical governor, whose self-enriching taxation, depredations, and corruption in Roman Sicily were thwarted by Marcus Tullius Cicero in 70 BC, forcing him into exile. He was ultimately killed by order of Marcus Antonius (83-30 BC), as was Cicero in 43 BC during the civil war that followed the assassination of Caius Julius Caesar. Bernard Papers, 3: 311.
12. Bernard Papers, 3: 311.
13. Filippo Antonio Pasquale di Paoli (1725-1807) was elected president of the Corsican Republic in 1755 after a successful rebellion against rule by the Republic of Genoa in which most of the Genoese were expelled from the island. But Genoa ceded Corsica to France, which conquered it by the summer of 1769. Paoli led the Corsican resistance to French occupation, but defeated in battle he fled to England, where he found friends and sympathizers among the British literati and political elite, including the king. Paoli’s fame in the American Colonies owed much to the popularity of James Boswell’s An Account of Corsica, the journal of a tour to that island and memoirs of Pascal Paoli published in Glasgow, London, and Dublin in four editions, 1768-69. Extracts were printed in the Pennsylvania Chronicle, 6 Jun. 1768.
14. See John C. Miller, Sam Adams: Pioneer in Propaganda (Stanford, Calif., 1936), 87, 236.
15. Harbottle Dorr did not reveal his identity.
16. There was no such author in the court publications, although the historical character figured in press articles arguing for freedom to report Parliamentary proceedings, which prohibition was not lifted until 1771. London Chronicle, 31 Jan. 1769 and the Public Advertiser 1 Feb. 1769.
17. Grenville’s speech of 8 Nov. 1768 was summarized in the letter from London printed in the Boston Gazette, 30 Jan. 1768. It is discussed in No. 732n5.
1. On 8 Feb. the House of Commons approved with amendments eight resolutions passed by the House of Lords on 15 Dec. condemning the proceedings of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the disorders in Boston, and the Convention of Towns, and justifying the deployment of British Regulars. The resolutions did not propose concrete reforms. However, the address to the king called for the establishment of a Crown commissioner to investigate acts of treason committed in America. HCJ, 32: 151.
2. Pownall is referring to the sixty items of American correspondence presented to Parliament on 28 Nov. and additional correspondence presented on 7 Dec. and 20 Jan., including FB’s Letters to Hillsborough up to 5 Dec. 1768.
4. Meaning confirmation of the land grant of Mount Desert Island, which the province awarded FB in 1762. The Privy Council finally confirmed the grant on 8 Mar. 1771. APC, 4: 614-615.
5. The Revenue Act, 7 Geo. 3, c. 46 (1767).
6. Known as the Quartering Act, 5 Geo. 3, c. 33 (1765).
7. This could suggest that Thomas Pownall was acting at the behest of the cabinet or reflecting ministerial thinking when he made his proposal to the House of Commons on 15 Mar. See No. 754n3.
8. For over a year, the American Whigs had been challenging Parliament’s authority to levy any tax on the colonies. Moreover, the Massachusetts Council’s petition to the king (1768) in urging the repeal of all the American revenue acts, indicated how far moderate opinion had traveled in favor of dismantling the mercantilist system; by June, the House’s resolves protesting the governor’s plans to reform the Council went so far as to declare them a violation of their English constitutional rights and heritage (see the source note to No. 792). Appendix 11, Bernard Papers, 4: 392-396.
9. Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
10. Thomas, Townshend Duties Crisis, 121-129, quotation at 127; Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 187-191.
1. Thomas Bernard graduated from Harvard in 1767, and received his MA in absentia in 1770. His biographer accurately depicted Thomas as his father’s “confidential Secretary.” His father probably paid him for his labors, as the usage of “employ” implies. Baker, Life of Sir Thomas Bernard, 2.
3. For example, the Boston Chronicle, 26-30 Jan. 1769 contained two items that would have caught FB’s attention. One letter from London, dated 17 Nov., claimed FB was to be paid a “pension” of £2,000 from a new tax on American lawyers and clerks, while TH was to be raised to the governorship and maintained by revenues from taxes on woolen manufactures. A summary of Parliament’s debates, printed in the same newspaper, noted that members proposing trade restrictions in retaliation for Boston’s defiance “also spoke with great respect of Governor Bernard, and mentioned among his difficulties” two issues that he had discussed in official correspondence: the annual election of the Council, which rendered that body subject to the influence of the lower house, and the fact that juries were “often an instrument of faction, instead of a check upon it.” Hillsborough’s “neglect” to present the petition of the House of Representatives to the king was also commented upon. The remainder of the article reiterated Grenville’s Commons’ speech of 8 Nov. and other Parliamentary proceedings, also printed in the Boston Gazette, 30 Jan. 1768 (for which see No. 732n5). Another letter from London, dated 19 Nov., was more explicit, communicating that FB was held in the “highest credit” by British ministers. It correctly predicted FB would be awarded a baronetcy and that the earl of Hillsborough would remain in office following Parliament’s scrutiny of the Grafton administration’s American policy. Essex Gazette, 24-31 Jan. 1769; a fuller version of this letter was printed in the Boston Gazette, 6 Feb. 1769.
4. Editorially supplied.
9. Thus in manuscript.
10. Thus in manuscript.
11. Such had been the treatment of Edmund Andros, governor of the Dominion of New England. Andros was removed by a coup in April 1689 following the deposition of King James II during the Glorious Revolution, and held captive for over a year in Boston before being allowed to return to England.
12. FB does not allude to the fact that Temple was James Bowdoin’s son-in-law,* though evidently— now rather late in the day—began to suspect they had been colluding against him. There is no substantive evidence to justify such a claim, yet equally it is most unlikely that Temple and Bowdoin would not have co-operated by exchanging information if it could benefit the other in their respective quarrels with the Customs commissioners and the governor.
* Temple married Elizabeth Bowdoin (1750-1809) in 1767.
1. The address of both Houses, calling for an investigation into treasonable activities, was presented to the king at St. James’s Palace at 2 pm on 13 Feb. It had passed the House of Lords on 15 Dec. and the House of Commons on 8 Feb. On 9 Feb., the Lords approved the minor amendments voted by the House. Hillsborough’s depiction of the king’s answer to the address of both Houses as “gracious” was a formulaic invocation of his royal majesty’s authority. The king’s answer of 14 Feb. was anything but “gracious” toward the inhabitants of Massachusetts, with the king pledging he would “not fail to give those Orders which you recommend, as the most effectual Method of bringing the Authors of the late unhappy Disorders in that Province to condign Punishment.” HLJ, 32: 251. Parliament’s address was printed in the Massachusetts newspapers in April, including the Boston Gazette, 17 Apr. 1769.
2. Misprision of treason was a failure to report knowledge or suspicion of acts of treason, and was a punishable offence.
3. Left marginalia: a line marking the section “touching . . . Offences” was probably added by FB.
5. Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
2. The “Observations” have not been found. It is possible that FB is referring to an anonymous piece in the Boston Gazette, 20 Feb. 1769, discussing the depositions lately taken by FB “that have induced his Majesty to think we are in a State of Rebellion.” The article did not name the deponents, but urged them to make copies of their depositions public (for which see Nos. 732 and 733). However, FB’s mention of “Verres” and George Grenville suggests that he was in fact referring to the “Paoli” letter published in the 30 Jan. issue of the Gazette, and discussed in the source note to No. 742.
3. The Boston shopkeeper Harbottle Dorr was one such “discerning reader,” though he did not reveal “Paoli’s” identity in any of his annotated newspapers.
4. Left marginalia: “xMr Paxton”.
5. Obscured in the gutter of the binding, here and below.
6. FB may have been thinking of the articles by “Paskalos” (Dr. Joseph Warren), one of the first polemicists to compare FB to Gaius Licinius Verres, the tyrannical Roman governor, in the Boston Gazette, 10 Nov. 1766. But in this letter he is not referring to a specific article but to the propaganda war that raged in the province newspapers during 1766 and 1767. See Bernard Papers, 3: 311.
7. Interlineation by FB.
8. Thus continually in manuscript.
9. FB meant that Temple had reused the “Appellation” “Verres,” not that he had managed to spy on the commissioner’s private papers.
10. “Palinurus” was mentioned in a witty article titled “The Critical Review-Makers impartially Reviewed.” The “Critical Review maker” was likened to a “Butcher, Manger, and Retailer of other Men’s Works, without understanding one Word of them.” By “Palinurus,” the anonymous author may have meant Richard Draper, the printer of the government news-sheet the Massachusetts Gazette, whose columns were “stamped . . . with an Oxonian Imprimatur” supplied by the governor himself. Alternatively, Harbottle Dorr assumed that “Palinurus” equated with FB, as an unoriginal author and purveyor of other people’s ideas. Boston Gazette, 10 Mar. 1766; Dorr Collection, 1: 359. Palinurus himself was the Trojan refugees’ steersman, drowned but for some time refused Hades until he won funeral rites. Virgil, Aeneid, books V and VI. If the intention was to accuse FB of being Palinurus, the most it would mean was that he had fallen asleep while steering the ship of state, and in fact Palinurus fell asleep and drowned by a dirty trick from a god.
11. Probably James Fenton, commissioned a lieutenant in the 1st Regiment of Foot on 15 Feb. 1756.
12. Trans. “I wish to see Zoilus hanging by the neck.” FB is quoting M. Valerii Martialis, Epigrammaton libri, IV.77.5. The epigram read in full would have alerted Hillsborough to FB’s hatred of Temple, here represented by the character Zoilus, subjected to Martial’s libidinous invective and personal loathing throughout the Epigrammaton. One modern English translation rendered the passage as “I have never asked the gods for riches, content as I am with moderate means, and pleased with what is mine. Poverty—I ask your pardon!—depart. What is the reason of this sudden and strange prayer? I wish to see Zoilus hanging by the neck.” Walter C. A. Ker, ed. Martial: Epigrams, 2 vols. (London: 1925), 1: 285. Martial’s epigrams were employed by government critics in England to parody the foibles of contemporary English aristocrats, male and female, and leading politicians. William Scott, ed. Epigrams of Martial, &c, with Mottos from Horace, &c ([London] 1773).
13. Thus in manuscript. A scribal error for “Greenville”, a continual misspelling of “Grenville”.
14. Closing parenthesis supplied. The scribe may have written “in this letter” or “in here”.
2. This is an ironic allusion to the Council’s positive answer to FB’s question as to whether or not the commissioners of Customs could return to Boston in safety, as discussed in No. 708 and published in the Boston Gazette, 23 Jan. 1769.
3. FB to John Pownall, Boston, 5 Mar. 1769, BP, 7: 263.
2. John Fleet (1734-1806) and Thomas Fleet Jr. (1732-97), publishers of the Boston Evening-Post.
3. Thus in manuscript.
4. The “Journal of the Times” or “Journal of Occurrences” was produced by an editorial team including Samuel Adams and was first published outside of Boston, in the New York Journal on 13 Oct. The venture’s principal aim was to raise aware of Boston’s plight and garner support in other colonies. To that end the contributors examined FB’s dispute with the Council over the quartering of British soldiers and documented confrontations between citizens and soldiers, all in weekly installments. The “Journal” was also reprinted in the Boston Evening-Post and Essex Gazette. Dickerson, Boston under military rule, 1768-1769, as revealed in a Journal of the times; Alexander, Samuel Adams, 87.
5. In Greek mythology, the fifth labor of Hercules (Heracles) was to sweep clean in a single day the expansive stables of King Augeas, which he managed by diverting two river courses.
6. This was an “anecdote” of Andrew Oliver’s concerning a private conversation following a meeting of the proprietors of a township, who included Samuel Adams and Thomas Cushing. Adams remarked that “Things will never be properly settled in America untill the Parliament has repealed all the Acts affecting the American Trade for the 15th of Cha. 2. to the present time.” FB’s comment that “Here is a Proposal of Terms of Conciliation,” was naively optimistic in supposing that Adams would defer to the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy, though Cushing and other moderates might have accepted such a proposal had it ever been made by Grafton or North. CO 5/758, f 74.
7. The reprints in the Boston Evening-Post continued until 18 Dec. 1769. FB dispatched more copies in a package of documents sent to John Pownall, c.7 Mar. 1769. BP, 7: 262-263.
2. “B. W”, New-York Gazette and Weekly Post-Boy, 29 Aug. 1768.
3. John Apthorp, a Boston merchant, and son of the wealthy merchant Charles Apthorp (1698–1758). James Apthorp (1731–1799) was another merchant son of Charles Apthorp and a resident of Braintree. Hugh Hall (c.1693-1773).
4. Rev. Dr. Henry Caner (1700-92), rector of King’s Chapel, Boston.
5. Samuel Seabury (1729-96) of Westchester, N.Y., was a leading proponent of an American episcopate and prominent leader among American Anglicans. He wrote a series of influential pamphlets attacking the Continental Congress (1774-75), which helped shape the Loyalists’ ideological responses to the incipient revolutionary movement. He became the first Episcopalian bishop after the Revolution (1784).
6. “B. W.,” New-York Gazette, or the Weekly Post-Boy, 29 Aug. 1768.
7. In “The Whip for the American Whig,” New-York Gazette and the Mercury, 19 and 26 Dec., 1768. The Boston Anglicans are named in the issue of 26 Dec. Seabury’s preface, dated 9 Dec. 1768, was reprinted in the Boston Gazette, 23 Feb. 1769.
8. “The B. W. Controversy. 1768-1769,” Memoir of Bishop Seabury, ed., William Jones Seabury, (New York, 1908; http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/seabury/bio1908/08.html, accessed 8 Oct. 2013).
1. James Bowdoin to Thomas Gage, Boston, 26 Feb. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers 129-130. Bowdoin was a keen patron of the sciences.
2. While FB’s support for the expedition was genuine he was not party to Bowdoin’s private discussions with “some Gentlemen here”—notably Prof. John Winthrop (1714-79)—about the suggestion of the Astronomer Royal at Greenwich* that the colonies should equip an expedition to Lake Superior to observe the transit of Venus due in June. Winthrop had observed the transit in 1761 at St. John’s, Nfld. Gen. Gage had already pledged his support for the venture when, on 22 Feb., Bowdoin asked the Governor and Council to fund the expedition. They did so on the understanding that Bowdoin would try to persuade Prof. Winthrop to lead the expedition in person. But Winthrop (as Bowdoin reported on 1 Mar.) excused himself on the grounds of ill health and extensive commitments as acting president of Harvard College (though FB suspected he was unwilling to undertake a risky journey deep into the wilderness). The Council adjourned further consideration, although its minute book does not record the concerns FB mentions in this letter over the province’s authority to fund the expedition. In the end, neither the Governor and Council nor Gage was able to fund it. CO 5/829, ff 2-3. See Frederick Brasch, “The Royal Society of London and Its Influence upon Scientific Thought in the American Colonies,” Scientific Monthly 33 (1931): 336-355; Harry Woolf, The Transits of Venus: A Study of Eighteenth-Century Science (Princeton, N.J., 1959), 170-173.
* The Rev. Dr. Nevil Maskelyne (1732-1811).
3. Thus in manuscript.
4. Jonathan Carver (1710-80) was a native of Massachusetts and a veteran of the French and Indian War; in 1766 he led an expedition ostensibly in search of the famed Northwest Passage, in the course of which he explored the upper Mississippi River in what is now modern-day Minnesota and Wisconsin. His Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America in the Years 1766, 1767, and 1768 was not published until 1778. Jonathan Carver, James Stanley Goddard, and John Parker, The Journals of Jonathan Carver and related documents (St. Paul, MN, 1976).
5. Sir William Johnson (c.1715-74), superintendent of Indian Affairs for the northern colonies.
6. Thus in manuscript.
1. The recipients of the letters probably conveyed their contents privately to FB, for extracts were not printed in the Boston newspapers. Criticism of FB by “some of the [British] Officers” was noted by TH during the struggle to clear the Manufactory House, the previous October; nevertheless TH asserted “they blame him without cause.” TH to Richard Jackson, Boston, 19 Oct. 1768, Mass. Archs., 25: 283-284, in Hutchinson Transcripts, 1: 286.
2. The phrase “leaving the Town” is underlined in the manuscript, but probably not by the author.
3. Wednesday, 28 Sept.
5. Stephen Greenleaf, sheriff of Suffolk County.
6. He meant his estate at Jamaica Plain rather than the Province House, which was used for formal dinners.
7. It is most unlikely that the town authorities would have funded a reception at Faneuil Hall.
8. Annotated “no dup”. Postscript in FB’s hand.
9. FB’s letter to Dalrymple of 30 Sept., No. 692, and Dalrymple’s reply of the same day (not found), Bernard Papers, 4: 353-355; Dalrymple to FB, 2 Oct. (not found); FB to Dalrymple of the same date; and No. 696 replying to Dalrymple’s letter of 2 Oct.
10. 2 Oct.
11. Bernard Papers, 4: 316-318.
1. Sewall’s appointment as advocate general of the Vice Admiralty in Massachusetts was confirmed by the Admiralty Board on 1 Jul. 1767. ADM 2/1057, f 251. This office and court were unaffected by the reforms that replaced the colonial Vice Admiralty Court at Halifax with four regional courts, including that headed by Sewall.
2. Samuel Fitch (1724-99) replaced Sewall as advocate general, on 24 Nov. 1769, ADM 2/1057, f 330.
4. Joseph Gerrish (1709-74), a member of the Nova Scotia Council, was deputized as a judge of Vice Admiralty.
5. Carol Berkin, Jonathan Sewall: Odyssey of an American Loyalist (New York, 1974), 76-79; Carl Ubbelohde, The Vice-Admiralty Courts and the American Revolution (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1960), 130-135, 150-151.
2. On 8 Feb., the House of Commons approved an address to the king and a set of resolutions that passed the House of Lords on 15 Dec. HCJ, 32: 185. For a discussion see the source note to No. 723.
5. It cannot be established if the underlining of “beg Leave” was the work of Thomas Bernard or a noncontemporaneous reader.
7. The Townshend Revenue Act (7 Geo. 3, c. 46), which received royal assent on 26 Jun. 1767, taxed colonial imports of paper, painter’s colors, lead, glass, and tea, and proposed using the revenue to pay salaries of Crown officials in America.
8. No. 497, Bernard Papers, 3: 213-216.
9. In a letter of 22 Jan. 1767 (not found), noted in BP, 6: 17.
10. No 529, Bernard Papers, 3: 306-308.
11. William Spry (1729-72), governor of Barbados, 1767-72, and judge of the Vice Admiralty Court at Halifax, 1764-67.
1. Barrington’s disappointment reflected the cabinet’s rejection of a series of proposals made by Hillsborough, including the reform of the Massachusetts Council which Barrington and FB had been discussing (see the source notes to Nos. 740 and 743). Barrington’s proposed amendment to the Quartering Act, mentioned in this letter, was in tune with Hillsborough’s hard-line stance. The ministry envisioned altering the act to make it easier for military commanders to quarter soldiers in public houses first, thus preventing the confusion surrounding the procedure that the Massachusetts Council and Boston selectmen had exploited in order to frustrate Lt. Col. William Dalrymple and FB. Once public houses were full, then officers would be able to quarter soldiers in private houses unless the province provided barracks. TH, on the other hand, was more concerned that the act should be more explicit in directing that barracks be utilized whenever possible. Thomas Pownall’s amendment, discussed in note 3, ameliorated the act’s punitive clauses by delaying implementation on condition that the province made its own provision first. Even so, Peter D. G. Thomas has concluded, “all of this was no more than a programme for the punishment and prevention of colonial defiance,” though Hillsborough was not averse to agreeing to Pownall’s concessions if it might dampen American criticism. Townshend Duties Crisis, 128; TH to Richard Jackson, 5 Oct. 1768, Mass. Archs., 25: 283, in Hutchinson Transcripts, 1: 283-284.
2. The American Quartering or Mutiny Act, 8 Geo. 3, c. 19 (1768).
3. The recommended procedures for quartering British Regulars in America are briefly described in No. 686n4, Bernard Papers, 4: 329. The House of Commons debated the issue on 15 Mar. when Barrington indicates that amendments to the Quartering Act were proposed by former colonial governor Thomas Pownall and Charles Garth (c.1734-84), agent for South Carolina, 1763-75. Thomas Pownall’s amendments were intended to take some heat out of the controversy, which, as Pownall acknowledged, FB and Gage had both reported upon. His first proposal aimed to allow the provincial assemblies to make their own provision for British soldiers, without recourse to current procedures: “that this Quartering Act should not be of force in any province that had by an act (which received the approbation of the crown) made provisions for this purpose.” Pownall’s second proposal was to allow British commanders and municipal authorities to agree the “manner” of accommodation suitable to the circumstances and contingent upon “mutual agreement.” It was reported that “His first proposal was accepted with some amendments in the draughting it, as exceptions were taken to some expressions, which seemed to derogate from the authority and competency of parliament; the clause containing his second proposal was accepted without amendment.” Barrington’s proposal was that if the municipal authorities refused or neglected to quarter troops according to existing procedure, then “the commanders should have orders to quarter them in private houses.” It was this scenario that the American Colonists feared most, and which subsequently prompted accusations of tyranny, though the law was never changed to allow British commanders to billet soldiers on the populace. In the first instance, Barrington’s proposal drew the “highest indignation” from Isaac Barré and was not adopted by the Commons. Cobbett, Parliamentary History of England, 16: 205-206. The Quartering Act was continued by 9 Geo. 3, c. 18 (1769), which received its final reading in the House of Lords on 22 Mar. before receiving the royal assent. HLJ, 32: 308.
4. In No. 666, Bernard Papers, 4: 285-287. FB’s principal concern was the cost of the patent. See source note to No. 610, ibid., 155-157.
5. The baronetcy of Nettleham (the Lincolnshire manor where FB had acquired property) was created on 5 Apr. 1769.
6. Jane Beresford (c.1702-Nov. 1771), a cousin and close friend of FB. She was the dower proprietor of Nether Winchendon House, Bucks., her deceased husband’s family home. Her only son died in 1740 and she bequeathed Nether Winchendon to FB, her executor, in 1762. Mrs. Sophie Elizabeth Napier Higgins, The Bernards of Abington and Nether Winchendon: A Family History, 4 vols. (London, 1904), 1: 208; Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 18, 22-23.
7. Leverett Blackborne, FB’s business agent.
8. Annotation: vertical line from “Blackborne” to “therefore”. This may be contemporaneous.
1. The decision was made by His Majesty in Council and announced in the London Gazette on 22 Mar. 1769.
2. That reflected the view of King George III (No. 760). Baronetcies were “normally reserved for political notables possessed of English estates or considerable fortunes.” Nicolson, The ‘Infamas Govener’, 171-172. Twenty-one baronets were constituted or reconstituted between 1766 and 1770, to add to the 138 of the previous sixty years. J. V. Beckett, The Aristocracy in England, 1660-1914 (Oxford 1986), 116-117, 489.
3. One letter printed in London hoped that FB, “a sworn Enemy to the Mode of Proceedings by Sword and Bayonet . . . will soon be recalled and take his place even in the Cabinet Council.” St. James’s Chronicle or the British Evening Post, 25-28 Mar. 1769.
1. For a history of the British, American, and European expeditions of 1761 and 1769 see Woolf, Transits of Venus. On American celebrations of Rittenhouse’s achievements see William Hunting Howell, “A More Perfect Copy: David Rittenhouse and the Reproduction of Republican Virtue,” WMQ 64 (2007): 757-790.
1. Left marginalia: virgule; “enclose” also underlined and “purpose” marked with a vertical line, probably by the recipient. The enclosure was a sign manual granting FB leave of absence, Court at St. James’s, 23 Mar. 1769, BP, 12: 73-76.
2. Left marginalia: virgule highlighting this particular point.
3. Left marginalia: virgule.
4. While FB probably had no intention of returning to Massachusetts, he took this instruction seriously and on reaching England maintained a lengthy correspondence with acting governor TH. FB wrote c.58 letters to TH following his departure on 2 Aug. 1769 through 1770. During this same period, TH sent FB c.81 letters, and continued to write FB after FB suffered a stroke and was obliged to cease writing.
5. Annotation: “Laws” marked by a vertical line following the word.
6. Left marginalia: virgule.
7. No. 661, Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276.
8. Annotation: the passage from “convenient . . . Court)” marked by a vertical line in the left margin. The General Court met at the Town House in Boston on 31 May 1769. But after protesting the continued presence of British soldiers in the town, the House suspended normal business other than to appoint committees to prepare messages to the governor. After two weeks of inactivity, FB removed the General Court to Cambridge, meeting at Harvard College on 16 Jun. JHRM, 45: 115, 132-133.
1. No. 723, enclosing the resolutions of the House of Lords respecting Massachusetts, passed on 15 Dec. They were not approved by the House of Commons until 8 Feb. For a summary see the source note to No. 723. The resolutions were not printed in the colonial newspapers until mid-April (and in the form adopted by the Commons). Boston Gazette, 17 Apr. 1769.
2. Scribal correction, silently emended.
3. Thus in manuscript: a scribal error for “disagreeable”.
4. This was probably a front page essay on “The Advantage of Independence,” Providence Gazette, 18 Mar. 1769. The author purported to offer a thoughtful theoretical discussion on the happiness to be found in political and economic independence. He was probably following Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca), De Vita Beata (c.58 AD). “A Good Man is Happy within himself, and Independent upon Fortune: Kind to his Friend; Temperate to his Enemy.” Translated by Roger L’Estrange, Seneca’s Morals by Way of Abstract to which is added, a discourse under the title of an after-thought: adorned with cuts (London, 1764). Classical analogy, like scripture, provided convenient code for expressing radical sentiments and airing controversial hypotheses, as FB acknowledged when he condemned the piece as treasonable. The essay’s last three sentences, FB doubtless read as a personal attack upon himself.
The truth is, a life of independence is generally a life of virtue. It is that which fits the soul for every generous flight of humanity, freedom, and friendship. To give should be our pleasure, but to receive our shame. Serenity, health and affluence, attend the desire of rising by labour; misery, repentance and disrespect, that of succeeding by extorted benevolence. The man who can thank himself alone for the happiness he enjoys, is truly blessed; and lovely, far more lovely, the sturdy gloom of laborious indigence, than the fawning simper of adulation.
Providence Gazette, 18 Mar. 1769. Roger L’Estrange (1616-1704), a Tory journalist and pamphleteer, was deprived of his office of surveyor and licenser of the press when William III took power and was imprisoned, 1688, 1691, and 1695-96. This increased the mockery of the citation.
5. Henry Baldwin (1734-1813), the printer of the St. James’s Chronicle and other weekly newspapers, was called before the House of Lords on 19 Dec. to explain why he had printed a libelous commentary on a letter written by Lord Weymouth, secretary of state for the Northern Department. The letter, Baldwin admitted, had been supplied by John Wilkes. Noted in the Boston Chronicle, 16-20 Mar. 1769; Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 106, 111, 113-115. Baldwin had previously published anti-governmental material but in this case his summons was part of the government’s attempt to expel Wilkes from the Commons. Baldwin was later charged with reprinting (on 21 Dec. 1769) the anti-government “Junius” letters, but was acquitted of libel.
6. Benjamin Edes (1732-1803) and John Gill (1732-85), proprietors and printers of the Boston Gazette since 1755; they dissolved their partnership in 1776, though Edes (a Son of Liberty) continued to publish the Gazette. The brothers Thomas Fleet Jr. (1732-97) and John Fleet (1734-1806) published the Boston Evening-Post, a newspaper with less overtly Whiggish leanings and whose columns were open to writers and contributors from across the political spectrum. John Carter (1746-1814) had purchased the Providence Gazette in Nov. 1768 and continued the practice of the previous owner, Sarah Updike Goddard (c.1701-70), of publishing radical essays and letters. John Holt (1721-84) edited James Parker’s New-York Gazette and Post Boy from 1760 to 1766, before starting his own newspaper, the New-York Journal in competition with Parker’s Gazette. Unlike Parker (1715-70), Holt was strongly supportive of the Whig cause.
7. In No. 734, FB had recommended to Hillsborough that the printers of the Boston Gazette, Benjamin Edes and John Gill—those “trumpeters of Sedition”—be prosecuted, if only to obtain evidence about the authors of seditious writings. Like the trumpeter in Aesop’s fable, “The Trumpeter Taken Prisoner,” they would be held guilty for inciting their comrades (in this case to sedition rather than war) even if they were to plead innocence of personally committing any crime.
8. Thus in manuscript.
1. FB marked with a black line both copies of the printed “Paper” that he enclosed. Dated Providence, 18 Mar., and addressed “To the Sons of Liberty,” the letter was a mock sermon marking the anniversary of the Stamp Act’s repeal with a retrospective appraisal of the state of Massachusetts under British rule. While not challenging imperial supremacy, the jeremiad nonetheless by implication questioned the morality of British rule when British statesmen appeared to have abandoned constitutional principles.
Although the People of Great-Britain be only Fellow Subjects, they have (of late) assumed such a Power to compel us to buy at their Market such Things we want of European Produce and Manufacture. . . . and, for the Collection of the Duties, have sent Fleets, Armies, Commissioners, Guarda Costas, Judges of Admiralty . . . Our cities are garrisoned— . . . Our Trade is obstructed. . . . every Species of Injustice that a wicked and debauched Ministry could invent, is now practiced against the most sober, industrious and loyal People that ever lived in Society. . . . When I consider the Corruption of Great-Britain—their Load of Debt—their intestine Divisions, Tumults and Riots . . . I cannot but think that the Conduct of Old-England towards us may be permitted by Divine Wisdom, and ordained by the unsearchable Providence of the Almighty, for hastening a Period dreadful to Great-Britain.
A SON OF LIBERTY.
Providence Gazette, 18 Mar. and Boston Gazette, 27 Mar. 1769.
2. This may have been after one of the king’s regular Sunday afternoon receptions in the drawing rooms of St. James’s Palace.
3. Of specific interest was FB’s speculation in No. 744 that John Temple had been conspiring with a member of the Council to leak information to the press damaging to FB; Barrington may have surmised that the councilor was Temple’s father-in-law, James Bowdoin, though FB did not name him.
1. FB’s last letter to Jackson was dated 21 Jun. 1768, BP, 6: 135.
3. No. 497, Bernard Papers, 3: 213-216.
4. William Spry (1734-1802), appointed governor of Barbados in 1767, which position he held until 1772.
6. This was a rumor, for the resolutions of the House of Lords, adopted by the Commons on 8 Feb., did not propose any constitutional reform or amendment. The resolutions were not printed in the Massachusetts press until 17 Apr. See the source note to No. 723. Yet, FB’s supposition that Hillsborough would push for such measures in response to FB’s reports was correct, although the cabinet rejected them after Parliament approved the resolutions. See the source note to No. 743.
3. FB is referring to the initialled copy of the Boston Gazette, 27 Mar. 1769, enclosed with the RC of this letter, neither of which is extant. The same person also annotated the copy sent with No. 759, adding the phrase “For the Governor.” Whoever this person was, he had some previous connection with both the printers and the governor, and suspected that John Temple was the author of recent libels on the government. Such a slender sample does not allow for authoritative handwriting analysis.
4. Word obscured by tight binding.
5. The annotations in the newspaper enclosed with No. 759 do not match those enclosed with No. 762. However, the items marked with “black Lead” would have been (a) the piece signed “Philanthrop” and (b) an anonymous attack on “Verres” addressed to “Messieurs Edes & Gill” and dated “Cranbourn Alley, 24th March 1769.” Boston Gazette, 27 Mar. 1769, CO 5/758, f 78.
6. FB supposed both pieces were the work of John Temple.
7. Kitty Fisher (1741?-67) was a well-known courtesan, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds and others. Cindy McCreery, “Fischer, Catherine Maria [Kitty Fisher] (1741?–1767),” ODNB-e (http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/9489, accessed 24 Dec. 2013).
8. Haddock’s Bagnio was a bathhouse and brothel in Charing Cross, London, run until 1792 and originally taken over in 1742 by Richard Haddock (d.1748).
9. This is not a reference to John Temple’s brother, Robert, but to his brother-in-law Lt. James Fenton. See No. 746.
10. On 3 Feb. 1769.
11. “Philanthrop,” Boston Gazette, 27 Mar. 1768.
12. “Candidus,” Boston Gazette, 5 and 12 Dec. 1768, and 13 Feb. 1769; “Paoli,” Boston Gazette, 30 Jan. 1769.
13. See Bernard Papers, 3: 271, 310–12, 315.
1. The clerk of the papers of the House of Commons, George White, countersigned the transcripts on 27 Jan. William Bollan enclosed them in a letter to Samuel Danforth dated 30 Jan. (Appendix 2). For an explanation of how and why Bollan obtained these six letters and others written by FB see the Introduction, 14-22.
2. James Bowdoin.
3. Copies of Letters from Governor Bernard to Hillsborough. For details of the publishing history see List of Abbreviations, xxiii-xxivn3 and the Introduction, 21, 24-27.
1. Nathaniel Byfield Lyde, captain of the Last Attempt. “Capt. Lyde’s” vessel is the only one listed in the shipping news to have arrived on Saturday 8 Apr., having left London on 4 Feb. Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 10 Apr. 1769.
2. Jane Beresford (c.1702-Nov. 1771), FB’s cousin and the dowager of Nether Winchendon House, Bucks., her husband’s family home. She had willed the manor and house to FB in 1762, and he inherited both upon her death.
3. Nos. 706, 708, 709, 711, 717, and 718; a copy of Thomas Gage to the earl of Hillsborough, Boston, 31 Oct. 1768, CO 5/86, ff 214-220. All were authentic copies countersigned by George White, the clerk of the papers of the House of Commons, and dated 27 Jan. 1769. They are filed in Bowdoin and Temple Papers, Loose MSS. Versions of these letters had already been published in the Boston Gazette, 23 Jan. 1769. FB and his enemies did not know until 10 Apr. that these particular letters had been presented to Parliament on 20 Jan. and debated on 26 Jan. The Boston Chronicle, 10-13 Apr. 1769. Other letters were presented to Parliament on 28 Nov. and 7 Dec. The list of American correspondence presented to Parliament on 28 Nov. was printed in the Boston Gazette, 3 Apr. 1769. The history of the six letters is discussed in the Introduction, 21, 24-27.
4. Enclosed in William Bollan to Samuel Danforth, Henrietta Street [London], 30 Jan. 1769 (Appendix 2).
1. Saturday 8 Apr.
3. A copy of Thomas Gage to the earl of Hillsborough, Boston, 31 Oct. 1768, CO 5/86, ff 214-220.
4. Copies of the six letters were enclosed in William Bollan to Samuel Danforth, Henrietta Street [London], 30 Jan. 1769 (Appendix 2).
5. A scribal error.
6. A group of councilors eventually responded with a letter to Hillsborough, dated 15 Apr. (Appendix 4).
8. Editorially supplied to aid understanding.
9. Copies of Letters from Governor Bernard to Hillsborough. For details of the publishing history see List of Abbreviations, xxiii-xxivn3, and the Introduction, 21, 24-27.
1. Thus in manuscript.
3. The Revenue Act, 7 Geo. 3, c. 46 (1767), intended that Crown officers in the colonies should be paid from the trade duties, but the British government first allowed colonial legislatures the opportunity of establishing a civil list for senior officers. Massachusetts never did. See Bernard Papers, 3: 298, 386.
5. See Nos. 644, 646, and Appendix 10, Bernard Papers, 4: 240-246, 390-391.
6. Probably with the chief justice and attorney general.
7. In fact the General Court met at Boston on 31 May, for reasons FB explained in No. 767. JHRM, 45:113.
8. Thomas, Townshend Duties Crisis, 212, 232, 234-235.
2. Probably Capt. John Bryant.
3. Beccaria: “Su di questo” meaning “About this”. The transcription “Sopra questo” means “Above this”.
4. Usu. “multiplicherebbero”.
5. Cesare Bonesana di Beccaria (1738-94), the marchese of Beccaria-Bonesana. His Dei delitti e delle pene (Milan, 1764), prefaced with a commentary by Voltaire, was widely celebrated throughout Europe and America (with John Adams among his admirers). Also known by its English title, An Essay on Crime and Punishments, it was a pioneering treatise on penal systems which, inter alia, argued for the abolition of the death penalty.
The quotation is from the penultimate paragraph of chapter xliv (“Ricompense”; trans. “Of Rewards”) in the original 1764 Italian edition. The passage, given in modern translation below, served several purposes: to esteem Hillsborough, to praise the king’s munificence, to express FB’s personal satisfaction with the baronetcy, and perhaps also to remind the British that insufficient Crown patronage in the American Colonies had manifestly weakened imperial power there.
Un altro mezzo di prevenire I delitti è quello di ricompensare la virtù. Su di questo proposito osservo un silenzio universale nelle leggi di tutte le nazioni del dì d’ oggi. Se i premj* proposti dalle Accademie ai discuopritori* delle utili verità hanno moltiplicato e le cognizioni e i buoni libri; perchè i premj distribuiti dalla benefica mano del sovrano non moltiplicherebbero altresì le azioni virtuose? La moneta dell’ onore è sempre inesausta, e fruttifera nelle mani del saggio distributore.
Dei delitti e delle pene (Milan, 1764; new ed. Harlem, NL, 1780), from the John Adams Library in the Boston Public Library. *Typographical errors for “premi” and “discopritori”.
Yet another method of preventing crimes is, to reward virtue. Upon this subject the laws of all nations are silent.* If the rewards, proposed by academies for the discovery of useful truths, have increased our knowledge, and multiplied good books, is it not probable that rewards, distributed by the beneficent hand of a sovereign, would also multiply virtuous actions? The coin of honour† is inexhaustible, and is abundantly fruitful in the hands of a prince who distributes it wisely.
Cesare Bonesana di Beccaria, An Essay on Crimes and Punishments. By the Marquis Beccaria of Milan. With a Commentary by M. de Voltaire. A New Edition Corrected. (Albany, 1872), accessed from http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/2193/202780/3339562 on 9 Feb. 2014. *A more accurate translation of this sentence would be “I note a universal silence among the nations of today.”† “The currency of honour” would be more appropriate. I am grateful to my colleague Mauro Di Lullo for his assistance and advice on the transcription and translation of these passages.
1. On 11 Apr.
3. The divisions within the Whig merchants precipitated by Boston’s nonimportation agreement can be followed in John W. Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots: Boston Merchants and the Advent of the Revolution (Boston, 1986), 109-138; the May meetings are at 116-118. For the Scottish merchants see Colin Nicolson, “A Plan ‘to banish all the Scotchmen’: Victimization and Political Mobilization in Pre-Revolutionary Boston,” Massachusetts Historical Review 9 (2007): 55-102.
4. A handbill enclosed named eight firms (none of whom had subscribed to the nonimportation agreement): Samuel Fletcher, Thomas and Elisha Hutchinson, William Jackson, Theophilus Lillie, Nathaniel Rogers, James and Robert Selkrig, Jonathan Simpson, and John Taylor. Printers were enjoined to “insert these Names in their next Paper, except [if] the Persons above-mentioned apply and promise Reformation.” Citizens were urged to boycott the traders’ shops and ostracise them socially. “When their guilty Consciences have rendered this Life insupportable; may they seriously attend to the Concerns of another: And altho’ they must suffer the Punishment due to their Parricide in this World, may a humble and sincere Repentance open the Way to their Forgiveness in the next.” CO 5/758, f 120.
5. The “Advertisement” enclosed with this letter noted that only six of the two hundred and eleven subscribers to the Boston nonimportation agreement had imported British goods in breach of the embargo. CO 5/758, f 121.
6. Also, FB underlined a printed extract of a letter from New York, dated 29 Apr., reporting the views of one enthusiast for nonimportation upon hearing the Bostonians had received “so many Goods.” The writer confessed to his correspondent in Boston that he was “afraid you will not take the necessary Steps as the Soldiery is among you, but if you are dragooned by them you are forever undone.” Massachusetts Gazette, 11 May 1769, CO 5/758, f 118.
7. Obscured in the binding.
8. The RC was carried by a brig departing 10 May 1769, according to No. 770. But Capt. Bryant’s vessel must have delayed sailing until at least the following day to receive the package containing a newspaper printed that day.
3. He may have heard rumors that the Whigs were intending that the House should petition the king for his removal and impeachment.
4. 3 May.
2. Editorially supplied, replacing a period.
3. While this passage expressed FB’s personal views on the matter, he could not, of course, reveal that he had formed a cabinet to investigate instances of treason in response to Hillsborough’s instructions in No. 731.
4. 9 Geo. 3, c. 18 (1769), which continued the Quartering Act of 1765. Thomas Pownall successfully moved the reform of the Quartering Act in the House of Commons on 15 Mar., proposing that the act should not be enforced in provinces where quarters were specifically set aside and maintained for soldiers. See No. 754n3.
5. The Speech of Th-m-s P-wn-ll, Esq; late g-v-rn-r of this province, in the H--se of C-m--ns, in favor of America ([Boston, 1769]), Early American Imprints, Series 1, no. 11423.
6. Obscured by the binding.
7. The sixteen-page pamphlet cited in note 5 printed Pownall’s lengthy speech to the House of Commons of 26 Jan. when the members debated the American correspondence that had been read the previous day. It is highly probable that Pownall himself supplied the Bostonians with a transcription of the speech (that he had likely read from a prepared paper). FB’s reaction was polite, for there was much in the speech that would have irritated and angered him, not least Pownall’s firm opposition to the proposed treason commission at this “very dangerous and perilous” juncture in British-colonial relations. Notwithstanding FB shared Pownall’s concerns about the legal impracticalities of conducting treason trials, he would have doubted that Pownall favoured any kind of punitive measure to bring the colonists in line. For in addressing the Lords’ resolutions of 15 Dec., Pownall urged the Commons to avoid any pronouncement on alleged “illegal and unconstitutional” proceedings in Boston without first “having thoroughly examined the case and circumstances under which these people were to act” together with a “sufficient examination of the state of the evidence” against them. In short, as FB would have realized, Pownall had urged a fuller investigation into FB’s correspondence with Hillsborough. Pownall did not impugn FB’s accounts, and indeed cited the governor’s letters as valuable sources of information, if only to excuse the House of Representatives and Bostonians from some of the accusations that FB himself had levied. The pamphlet concluded with a six-page section (pp. 11-16) detailing Pownall’s proposals for settling the taxation issue: that the British government and Parliament, in short, accept the distinction between “internal” and “external” taxation and repeal the Townshend Revenue Act. Set in a smaller type than the preceding pages it is possible that this section related the speech that Pownall delivered on 8 Feb., when he first urged repeal. On taxation, FB now evidently agreed with Pownall, albeit that, as he stated, if the Americans were to accept Pownall’s proposition it would mean them surrendering the principle of Parliament’s legislative supremacy in the colonies. Since he was still waiting upon some signal measure to redress royal authority in Massachusetts, FB would have been less enthusiastic about Pownall’s Burkean advice to the British. “Do nothing which may bring into discussion questions of right, which must become mere articles of faith.” Ibid. See also in Introduction, 29.
8. The eight resolutions on Massachusetts and the address to the king passed the House of Lords on 15 Dec. and were approved by the House of Commons on 8 Feb. HCJ, 32: 151.
9. Enclosing the Lords’ resolutions, House agent Dennys DeBerdt advised Speaker Thomas Cushing that “tis believed the Ministry do not intend to put them into execution, the chief unhappiness arises from the Ministry giving entire credit to everything wrote by Govr. Bernard. Which no reasoning can stand against altho we have all the best speakers in the House on our side of the question, who are true friends to Liberty.” London, 1 Feb. 1769, Albert Matthews, “Letters of Dennys DeBerdt, 1757-1770,” 355.
10. William Bollans petition to the House of Commons, 26 Jan. 1769, was printed in the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 17 Apr. and the Essex Gazette, 18-25 Apr. 1769; and later in Letters to Hillsborough (1st ed.), 75-82.
11. Harriet Fawkener (1725-77) was Pownall’s wife. They married on 3 Aug. 1765. She was the widow of Sir Everhard Fawkener (1694–1758), a merchant and diplomat, and always referred to as Lady Fawkener even after marrying Pownall. She was the daughter of Lt.-Gen. Charles Churchill (1656–1714), brother of John Churchill, first duke of Marlborough, (1650–1722).
1. Obscured in the binding here and below.
1. Left marginalia: virgule acknowledging the enclosure.
3. The paragraph relevant to American affairs was as follows:
The Measures which I had taken regarding the late unhappy Disturbances in North America, have been already laid before you. They have received your Approbation; and you have assured Me of your firm Support in the Prosecution of them. Nothing in My Opinion could be more likely to enable the well-disposed among My Subjects in that Part of the World, effectually to discourage and defeat the Designs of the Factious and Seditious, than the hearty Concurrence of every Branch of the Legislature in the Resolution of maintaining the Execution of the Laws in every Part of My Dominions; and there is nothing I more ardently wish for, than to see it produce that good Effect.
9 May 1769. HCJ, 32: 453.
4. An act to repeal so much of . . . an act for granting certain duties in the British Colonies and Plantations in America . . ., 10 Geo. 3, c. 17 (1770).
5. Thomas, Townshend Duties Crisis, 140-141.
1. Copies: “Meeting”.
2. Gage to FB, New York, 22 May 1769, BP, 12: 95-98.
1. This letter has not been found.
2. The address, prepared by the out-going Council, requested that FB write Gen. Thomas Gage asking for the British soldiers to be withdrawn from Boston on election day, 31 May. The document was signed by ten councilors who had sustained opposition to FB since the autumn of 1768 (listed in given order): Samuel Danforth, Isaac Royall, John Erving, William Brattle, James Bowdoin, Thomas Hubbard, Harrison Gray, James Russell, Royal Tyler, and James Pitts. 14 May 1769, CO 5/758, f 125.
4. The barracks were erected with monies appropriated by the provincial assembly in 1768.
5. That is, the General Court, comprising the Governor, the Council, and the House of Representatives.
6. On 5 May, the Boston town meeting approved a detailed set of instructions for its four representatives in the House, enjoining them to procure the removal of the cannon stationed at the entrances to the Town House, where the assembly met, and to mount an enquiry into “all the Grievances we have suffered from the Millitary Power.” This was to encompass the governor’s decision to billet the troops “in contradiction” to the wording of Quartering Act, “repeated offences and Violences” perpetrated by the British soldiers, and the refusal of the attorney general to prosecute in such cases. The remainder of the instructions reiterated the town’s desire for the repeal of the Townshend Revenue Act, and disquiet at the “formidable power” of the reformed Vice Admiralty Courts. Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 16: 286-288.
7. That is, for the duration of election day, 31 May.
8. The General Court convened at the Town House in Boston on 31 May.
9. He moved the General Court to Harvard College, Cambridge, on 15 Jun., and held the first meeting on the following day. JHRM, 45: 132-133.
2. He doubtless meant James Bowdoin; the other two were probably James Pitts (who was reelected on 31 May) and William Brattle (whose election FB vetoed).
3. FB changed his mind and proceeded to negative the election of eleven, eight of whom he had rejected previously (William Brattle, James Bowdoin, Jerathmeel Bowers, Joseph Gerrish, John Hancock, James Otis Sr., Thomas Saunders, and Artemas Ward), plus Benjamin Greenleaf and Walter Spooner. Joseph Hawley declined to accept his election.
1. The actual account has not been located. Gen. Thomas Gage’s papers were being catalogued when this volume was in preparation. The relevant document is likely to be in Account Book 8, 1767-1770. MiU-C: Gage Papers.
2. James Robertson (1717-88) was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 16th Regiment of Foot on 17 Aug. 1768. Robertson sent the accounts to FB under cover of a letter dated 13 Jun. 1769, Mass. Archs., 56: 559-560 (ALS, RC).
3. Gage’s letter was read to the House of Representatives on 6 Jul. but the province refused to make any appropriation for the expenses incurred by the regiments in Boston. JHRM, 45: 164, 168-172.
2. FB and his cabinet council (of TH, Andrew Oliver, and Robert Auchmuty) had met at the turn of the year to review acts of treason arising from the Liberty riot of 10 Jun. FB convened the group to review the instructions arising from Parliament’s address to the king, approved on 8 Feb. Once again the province’s chief law officer, Jonathan Sewall, was omitted from the discussions, perhaps on account of FB’s lingering doubts about the attorney general’s loyalty. See Nos. 719 and 731n2.
3. The resolutions of the Boston town meeting, 13 Sept 1768; Reports of the Record Commissioners, 16: 261-263; circular of the Boston selectmen to the Massachusetts towns, 14 Sept. 1768, Appendix 13, Bernard Papers, 4: 400-401. For a discussion of the meeting of 12 Sept. see No. 681, ibid., 318-324. The Convention of Towns met in Boston between 22 and 29 Sept. 1768, for which see the source note to No. 688, ibid., 362-365. Boston’s resolutions and the selectmen’s circular letter were included in the long list of American correspondence presented to Parliament on 28 Nov. 1768. Lord North, leader of the House of Commons, observed Boston’s proceedings were “near to treason” when the Commons debated the correspondence on 26 Jan. 1769. PDBP, 3: 22, 27, 75-76.
4. On this point, FB and his advisers appear to have constructed a convenient explanation for their reluctance to investigate further, and an exculpation against any subsequent accusation of misprision of treason on their part. According to the Grafton administration, there was no legal impediment to bringing colonists to trial in England under 35 Hen. 8, c. 2 (1543), though such a rationale had already been strongly criticized in Parliament. See Introduction, 18-20.
5. Reported in No. 646, Bernard Papers, 4: 242-246.
6. Reported in No. 681, ibid., 318-324.
7. The point that FB was making was that the proposed treason commission was an empty threat which had conspired to encourage the radicals rather than scare them. One letter from London extracted in the newspapers declared on 3 Feb. (before the address to the king was adopted by the Commons) “you may rely upon it, they will never venture to execute any thing of this nature” Another wrote on 4 Feb. that “this seems all that will be done for America, till some fresh matters are furnished from thence.” Boston Chronicle, 7-10 Apr. 1769. Many of the news reports from England concerned John Wilkes’s expulsion from the Commons.
1. The five rescinders reelected in 1769 were John Ashley (1709-1802) for Sheffield; Jonathan Bliss (1742-1822), Springfield; Chillingworth Foster (1707-79) Harwich; Timothy Ruggles, (1711-95), Hardwick; Israel Williams (1709-88), Hatfield.
2. On 31 May 1769. JHRM, 45: 118-120.
3. Thomas Cushing (1725-88).
4. Thomas Flucker (1719-83), elected to the Council 1761-68; Nathaniel Ropes (1726-74), elected 1761-68; Timothy Paine (1730-93), elected 1763-68; John Worthington (1719-1800), elected 1767 and 1768.
5. Jerathmeel Bowers, Joseph Gerrish, John Hancock, James Otis Sr., Thomas Saunders, and Artemas Ward.
6. Benjamin Greenleaf, John Hancock, and Joshua Henshaw.
7. Joseph Hawley (1723-88) continued as the representative for Northampton until 1780.
8. James Bowdoin and William Brattle.
9. Of 31 May.
10. The proceedings of 31 May can be followed in JHRM, 45: 115-121.
11. Hawley’s refusal of the Council seat was typical of “conscience patriots” like James Otis Jr. and John Adams who eschewed preferment and any provincial position that carried a stipend; anything other than town representative they deemed incompatible with their commitment to the Whig cause. “But whereas his colleagues needed to convince themselves that they served the public strictly out of a sense of duty, Hawley’s self-doubt could be assuaged only by self-denial.” Peter Shaw, American Patriots and the Rituals of Revolution (Cambridge, Mass., 1981), 147.
12. The House’s reply is dated Monday 13 Jun. JHRM, 45: 130-132.
13. Set out in No. 757. However, FB’s personal views on the matter, which he did not make clear to Hillsborough (or Barrington or Pownall) were such that he probably had no desire to return to Massachusetts.
14. Article 60 of FB’s general instructions (18 Mar. 1760) stated that the governor should “recommend it in the most pressing and effectual Manner” to the assembly that it should settle a “fixed [i.e. permanent] Salary” of £1,000 sterling for the governor. If the assembly refused, the governor was entitled to accept an annual salary grant, “Provided such Act be the first that shall be passed by the Assembly of the said Province before they proceed upon the Other Business of that Session, wherein such Act shall be proposed.” Bernard Papers, 1: 470. This was article 49 in the general instructions issued FB on 27 May 1761. Nether Winchendon House, Bucks., Eng.
15. By article 64, the lieutenant governor was to receive one-half of the governor’s salary, fees, and emoluments during the governor’s absence. Bernard Papers, 1: 471-472. Article 53 in the general instructions of 27 May 1761.
16. The royal instructions issued Gov. Jonathan Belcher in 1732 recommended the assembly enact a permanent salary for the governor, which recommendation was written into article 60 of FB’s own instructions (see note 14 above).
17. For a summary of the House’s response see No. 792n24.
18. The House of Burgesses of Virginia adopted four resolves on 16 May 1769, and distributed copies to the speakers of all the colonial assemblies. The first resolve asserted that the “sole right” of levying taxes in Virginia rested with the provincial legislature; the second stated that it was “lawful” for the colony to “procure the concurrence” of other colonies when petitioning the king; the third held that treason trials should take place in the colony not in England; the fourth proposed a loyal address to the king. Boston Chronicle, 5-8 Jun. 1769. The New York Assembly did not approve the Virginia resolves until November. Journal of the Votes and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the colony of New York, from 1766 to 1776 (New York, 1820), 16.
19. That is, the debate on the removal of the troops.
20. The brief proceedings of 8-10 Jun. are in JHRM, 45: 126-127.
22. FB never found the time to do this.
23. OED: “solemn affirmation, emphatic assertion, positive declaration.”
24. For the proceedings of 14-17 Jun. see JHRM, 45: 132-133.
1. Thomas Flucker, Timothy Paine, Nathaniel Ropes, and John Worthington.
2. James Bowdoin, Jerathmeel Bowers, William Brattle, Joseph Gerrish, Benjamin Greenleaf, John Hancock, Joshua Henshaw, Col. James Otis Sr., Thomas Saunders, Walter Spooner, and Artemas Ward.
4. The political realignments of 1765-69 can be followed in Colin Nicolson, “Governor Francis Bernard, the Massachusetts Friends of Government, and the Advent of the Revolution,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 103 (1991): 24-113.
1. Thomas Gage to Alexander Mackay, New York, 4 Jun. 1769, MiU-C: Gage, vol. 86. Alexander Mackay (1717-89) was the fourth son of the third Lord Reay and a career soldier, following his capture by the Jacobites at the battle of Prestonpans in 1745. He entered Parliament in 1761, representing the Scottish county of Sutherland until 1768 and the Tain (Northern) burghs between 1768 and 1773. Between 1764 and 1770 he was colonel of the 65th Regiment of Foot and his promotion to major general was confirmed in 1770; upon leaving America he commanded various military installations in Britain.
2. This is probably an error for 12 Jun. No letter dated 10 Jun. has been found, and it is unlikely that FB dashed off a written response to Gen. Gage that evening at Mackay’s request.
3. There is a copy of Hillsborough’s letter to Gage of 24 Mar. 1769 in CO 5/87, ff 72-76; Archer, As If an Enemy’s Country, 140-141.
4. Richard Archer offers a different interpretation suggesting Gage effectively gave FB the authority to determine if any troops were to be withdrawn. Ibid. While Gage did not do so initially, he did (as Archer rightly assumes) subsequently offer to suspend the withdrawal of the troops pending receipt of FB’s views. No. 785.
5. Alexander Mackay to FB, Boston, Saturday night, 10 Jun. 1769, BP, 12: 108-110.
2. HMS Rippon was a sixty-gun fourth-rate ship of the line in the Royal Navy, captained by Samuel Thompson. She had come to the American Colonies in 1768, bringing Lord Botetourt to Virginia. She arrived in Boston harbor at the end of Apr. 1769, but was currently at Halifax when FB wrote Commodore Hood. Connecticut Gazette, 14 Jul. 1769.
1. This is one of the few instances where FB directly reduced the contests of the Imperial Crisis to questions of loyalty. While it reflected what he thought about his own service there is no doubt that he was speaking about the friends of government and moderate Whigs whose political decline raised for him genuine concerns about the future loyalty of the province. Although such views were decidedly antirevolutionary in conception, the reductionism of FB’s analyses invited his reader—in this case a trusted friend—to consider the further prospect of enabling counter-revolutionary action of one kind or another by so-called “Tories”.
2. 10 Jun.
3. Barlow Trecothick (?1718-75), an alderman of London and MP (1768-74), was a leader of the Rockingham faction in the House of Commons. Trecothick’s letter to Temple has not been found. “GG” was George Grenville, the former prime minister and a distant relative of Temple.
4. The deposition of Sampson Toovey, Salem, 27 Sept. 1764. Boston Gazette, 12 Jun. 1769. Toovey had been clerk to the Salem collector, James Cockle, who Temple had accused of fraud and corruption, and for which Cockle was dismissed from the service. Toovey’s deposition claimed that Cockle used to share with FB boxes of fruit and wine offered by merchants as a “Gratuity” for entering false information in the Customhouse records in order that they might escaping paying duties in full. FB claimed that such gifts were commonplace but Temple alleged the governor was complicit in a scheme to defraud the Crown by threatening smugglers with seizures and encouraging them to compound for part payment of the duties. See Bernard Papers, 2: 125, 486, 498-499.
2. Dated 10 Jun. 1769, in BP, 12: 108-110.
3. BP, 12: 115-118.
1. James Robertson to FB, Boston, 13 Jun. 1769, Mass. Archs., 56: 599-600.
2. Obscured in the fold of the binding.
3. The General Court met at Harvard College, Cambridge on 16 Jun., having been moved there by an order of the governor issued the previous day. JHRM, 45: 132-133. The protest in refusing to do business outside of Boston ran for over two years and “forced” Gov. Hutchinson “to justify the crown’s authority to dictate the location of the Court and to explain the obligations which a Massachusetts royal governor owed to the crown and to the province.” The dispute can be followed in Donald C. Lord and Robert M. Calhoon, “The Removal of the Massachusetts General Court from Boston, 1769-1772,” The Journal of American History 55 (1969): 735-755 quotation at 736.
2. FB did not revisit the issue of the governor’s salary in his next letter to Hillsborough (No. 790), while his comments in the letter following (No. 792) did not address TH’s entitlement as acting governor.
3. TH was probably preparing for the Superior Court circuit.
4. Bailyn, Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, 205.
1. Letter not found.
1. Editorially supplied. First written as “No 11” and annotated “X/12” probably by the receiver’s clerk. No. 11 in the sequence of FB’s out-letters was No. 779, dated 1 Jun. 1769.
4. Thus in manuscript.
9. These would have included copies of Nos. 782, and 785 to 787; Alexander Mackay to FB, Boston, 10 Jun. 1769, BP, 12: 108-110; James Robertson to FB, Boston, 13 Jun. 1769 (of which the RC is in Mass. Archs. 56: 559-560); FB to John Pownall, Boston, 25 Jun. 1769, BP, 7: 300.
1. First written as “11”.
2. The House’s message was a stentorian challenge for FB to exercise or abdicate his royal authority.
We clearly hold, that the King’s most excellent Majesty, to whom we have, and ever shall bear, and since convening of this present Assembly we have sworn, true and faithful Allegiance, is the supreme executive Power through all the Parts of the British Empire: And we are humbly of Opinion, that within the Limits of this Colony and Jurisdiction, your Excellency is the King’s Lieutenant, Captain-General and Commander in Chief, in as full and ample a Manner, as is the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; or any other His Majesty’s Lieutenants in the Dominions to the Realm of Great-Britain appertaining.
From hence we think it indubitably follows, that all Officers, civil and military, within this Colony, are subject to the Order, Direction and Controul of your Excellency . . .
13 Jun. 1769, JHRM, 45: 18. The first article of FB’s instructions gave him authority as commander in chief of the militia and “all Our Forces . . . within” Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but he did not exercise authority over Gen. Gage, commander in chief of the British Army in North America. The governor did not possess the requisite authority to order the withdrawal or removal of the troops for that would have usurped the general’s authority and contravened Hillsborough’s instructions to Gage, which gave the general a discretionary power to remove all or some of the regiments. But the Whigs were probably aware that Gage and FB had been discussing their options for withdrawing the troops, and on this point tried to push their advantage.
3. FB’s message of 21 Jun. contained the following injunction.
I shall now capitulate the principal Articles of the public Business, which have hitherto waited for your Notice.
They are, 1. The Support of the Government; 2. The Supply of the Treasury; 3. The providing for the Payment of the provincial Debt, which now amounts to One hundred and five Thousand Pounds; 4. The Tax-Bill; 5. The Impost-Bill; 6. The Excise-Bill, if thought proper; 7. The Establishment for Forts and Garrisons; 8. The Continuation of the Truck Trade: 9. The Continuation or Revival of expiring or expired Laws, &c.
JHRM, 45: 139.
4. FB’s message to the House of 28 Jun. JHRM, 45: 38-39.
5. Appendix 4, commenting upon the six Bernard Letters of 1 Nov. to 5 Dec. 1768; Nos. 706, 708, 709, 711, 717, and 718. The resolve of 22 Jun. expressed approval for the Council’s “Zeal” and “Attention . . . to the public Interest . . . not only in thus vindicating their own Character, but guarding their Country from meditated Ruin, by truly stating Facts and justly representing the Duty and Loyalty of this People at so critical a Time when the Governor of the Province had wantonly dissolved the General Assembly . . .” JHRM, 45: 29.
7. Benjamin Edes and John Gill.
8. FB enclosed the copy printed in Richard Draper’s Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 3 Jul. 1769. The resolves of 29 Jun. were also published in Edes and Gill’s Boston Gazette and the Fleets’ Boston Evening-Post of the same date. The newspaper version purported to provide the “substance” of the resolves but the “corrected” final version entered into the journals of the House on 7 Jul. (discussed in the notes below) contained substantive differences. The former reported fifteen resolves, the latter nineteen. While the printers did not claim to be working from an authentic copy they were certainly acting upon information supplied by the clerk of the House, Samuel Adams. The variations were amendments and revisions added after further debate, as mentioned in this letter (though the debate is not recorded in the House journals). The comments pertaining to FB in resolves four to eleven echoed the accusations made by the House’s petition to the king of 27 Jun. praying for FB’s removal. On that day, the House did not approve resolves condemning the governor before or after approving the petition. Thus it is probable that the entry in the House journals for 7 Jul. provided ex post facto justification for the petition.
9. Under cover of a letter to John Pownall, Boston 3 Jul. 1769, BP, 7: 300.
10. Obscured by tight binding.
11. The resolves revealed a “Tendency . . . so dangerous that it seems to require the strengthening rather than the weakning the Forces now at Boston.” FB to Thomas Gage, Boston 3 Jul. 1769, BP, 7: 231.
12. Alexander Mackay to Thomas Gage, 4 Jul. 1769, MiU-C: Gage, vol. 86.
13. 4 Jul.
14. 5 Jul.
15. This is the only reference in FB’s papers to the controversial case of Rex v. Corbet, 1769.* FB and Hood were members of a panel of eleven commissioned judges (including customs officers and judges of Vice Admiralty) that formed a special court of Vice Admiralty to try Michael Corbet (or Corbit) and other colonial seamen accused of murdering Lt. Henry Panton of HMS Rose on 22 Apr. in the course of resisting impressment. The Panton trial was potentially explosive, not only because of colonial anger over impressment, but because Corbet et al. faced the death penalty. Under civil law proceedings in an admiralty court manslaughter could not be returned as a verdict, and the defendants stood trial accused of murder. A second issue concerned the mode of proceeding. When the trial opened on 23 May, the defense team of John Adams and James Otis Jr. pressed the court to hold a jury trial, allowed under a statute of Henry VIII (28 Hen. 8, c. 15) and confirmed by the Piracy Act, 4 Geo. 1, c. 11 (1717). The legal argument was seemingly convincing, and obliged the judges to consider a jury trial, despite their considerable misgivings about the integrity of Boston juries. To Adams’s consternation, “The Govr . . . . talked that they [the defendants] might be sent to England for Tryal, &c.” This was probably a provocative comment rather than a serious proposal, even though it echoed the spirit of Parliament’s recent endorsement of bringing colonists to trial in England. TH, as presiding judge, however, accepted that a jury trial was permissible at the court’s discretion. But the defense counsel did not win the pretrial argument, and Rex v. Corbet proceeded on 14 Jun. without a jury. The defence case rested upon justifying the killing of Panton as an act of self-defense: that the defendants were resisting an impressment in violation of 6 Anne, c. 37 (1707). Adams skilfully connected the defense to the broader ideological issue of arbitrary infringements to colonists’ natural rights and liberties, but a short adjournment by TH denied Adams the opportunity of developing the argument fully. The court found in favor of Corbet and the others, with FB delivering the judges’ verdict of justifiable homicide on 29 May. The verdict, according to Hiller Zobel, was properly cognizant of the “reasonable doubt” surrounding the evidence of the defendants’ actions. Wroth and Zobel, eds., Legal Papers of John Adams, 2: 276-288, with FB’s quotation at 288. See also Hiller B. Zobel, The Boston Massacre (New York, 1970), 113-131.
*This absence from official correspondence can be explained by the pressure of other business, notably the meeting of assembly, discussions to withdraw the troops, and making preparations for his departure.
17. The second resolve: “That the sole Right of imposing Taxes on the Inhabitants of this his Majesty’s Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay, is now, and ever hath been legally and constitutionally vested in the House of Representatives, lawfully convened according to the antient and established Practice, with the Consent of the Council, and of his Majesty, the King of Great-Britain, or his Governor for the Time being.” 7 Jul. 1769. JHRM, 45: 168. The version in the newspaper read: “Resolved, That this House do concur in and adhere to the Resolutions of the House of Representatives in the Year One Thousand seven Hundred and sixty-five, and particularly in that essential Principle, that no Man can be justly taxed by, or bound in conscience to obey, any Law to which he has not given his Consent in Person, or by his Representative.” CO 5/758, f 161.
18. By this term he probably meant all the American revenue acts and trade laws.
19. This was added to the House journals on 14 Jul. having being “by mistake omitted.” JHRM, 45: 189-190.
20. The answer contained the caustic retort that “had your Excellency in humble Intimation of your Royal Master during your Administration acted from such noble Principles, many of the Disputes between your Excellency and former Assemblies would have had no Existence.” 4 Jul. JHRM, 45: 159-160.
21. The Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, the Boston Gazette, and the Boston Evening-Post of 10 Jul. 1769.
22. That is the enclosure marked “V”. For the differences see note 17 above.
23. Resolves eight and nine did not repeat the message of 13 Jun. verbatim but in citing Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, and the Province Charter reiterated the spirit of the message, which pledged the “Preservation of the Rights derived from the British Constitution” and urged “securing . . . true old English Liberty.” JHRM, 45: 130-131.
24. FB’s next missive, No. 797, did not discuss the House’s refusal (on 22 Jun.) to make provision for the acting governor, as FB had requested in his message of 13 Jun. On 14 Jul., the House of Representatives promised to “make the necessary provision” for the governor’s salary after FB’s departure from the province (on the grounds that he was salaried until then). But the House never made any provision for TH during his time as acting governor; TH complained to them on 11 Apr. 1770 about their studied inattentiveness. JHRM, 45: 189-190; 46: 149-150. Upon his appointment as governor in 1771, TH was awarded an annual salary of £1,500 from the Crown, payable from the tea duty.
25. Left marginalia: “IX X”.
26. 12 Jul. CO 5/828, ff 11-12.
27. All three sheets were probably printed by Edes and Gill.
1. Joseph Gabbett, lieutenant colonel of the 16th Regiment of Foot.
2. Interlineation in FB’s hand.
3. Postscript in FB’s hand.
4. Archer, As If an Enemy’s Country, 141. After the Boston Massacre of 5 Mar. 1770, the 29th Regiment was sent to New Jersey and the 14th Regiment removed from the town and put into the barracks at Castle William; two years later the 14th was deployed to the West Indies.
3. FB used the same scriptural reference in a letter to John Pownall of 25 Nov. 1768. For an explanation see No. 715n4.
4. Hans Stanley (1721-80), MP for Southampton, was a Grenvillite and strong supporter of the Chatham and Grafton administrations. Stanley had seconded the Commons motion for an address to the king, in early January, acting on behalf of the ministry. A letter from London extracted in the newspaper (in which Stanley was mentioned) rightly claimed that the administration was determined not to repeal the Townshend Revenue Act, in order to uphold the principle of Parliament’s legislative supremacy in the American Colonies. But the piece also asserted that British Regulars stationed in Boston would be used to enforce obedience to the act, and claimed ministers had “a settled plan . . . for absolutely and permanently enslaving” the Americans. Boston Evening-Post, 26 Jun. 1769.
5. Probably a copy of the final set of resolves approved on 7 Jul. but not published in the Boston Evening-Post until 10 Jul. For a summary the source note to No. 792.
1. The letter to Gage is at BP, 7: 231. The letter to Pownall of the same date is at ibid., 300.
2. Mackay to Gage, Boston, 4 Jul. 1769, MiU-C: Gage, vol. 86.
1. The assembly did not meet again until 15 Mar. 1770. JHRM, 46: 89.
2. On 15 Jul.
3. In refusing to settle the accounts of the British soldiers quartered in Boston, the House challenged the legality of the Governor and Council making such an application under the Quartering Act. But the remainder of the message likened the Townshend Revenue Act and other revenue acts to “Acts for raising a Tribute in America for the further Purposes of Dissipation among Placemen and Pensioners.” The colonists’ predicament was akin to those who suffered “under the Administration of the most oppressive of the Governors of the Roman Provinces,” a clear allusion to the tyranny of Verres and his self-enrichment through taxation and oft-used by Whigs to ridicule FB. Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 17 Jul. 1769. Also recorded on 14 Jul. in JHRM, 45: 189-190.
4. Following the coup against Gov. Edmund Andros in 1689, the king’s government in Massachusetts (within the Dominion of New England) was “dissolved.” The following month the colony’s Council summoned a convention of delegates from the towns; sixty-six met in Boston with the majority favoring restoring the colonial government under the terms of the original Province Charter of 1629. FB and TH could not have warmed to such a mode of proceeding given the 1689 convention’s association with revolutionary action, and their having accused the 1768 Convention of Towns of sedition. On the former see John Gorham Palfrey and Francis Winthrop Palfrey, History of New England, 3 vols. (Boston, 1858), 3: 588.
5. An act for apportioning and assessing a tax of thirty thousand pounds, 31 May 1769; an act for supplying the treasury with eighty-thousand one hundred and fifty-eight pounds, 15 Jul. 1769. Acts and Resolves, 5: 5-20, 28-30.
6. TH had known from at least Nov. 1768 that Hillsborough was likely to “nominate” him as FB’s successor, based, he said, on information received from “sevral of my friends.” TH to William Palmer, 23 Nov. 1768, Hutchinson Transcripts, 2: 686.
7. This intriguingly suggests that the author may have been a provincial office holder.
8. On 15 Jul., JHRM, 45: 196-197; also printed in the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, 17 Jul. 1769.
1. John Cotton and William Cooper (1720-1809) were appointed joint registers of probate for Suffolk County on 19 Dec. 1759, under a commission of George II. The king’s death on 23 Oct. 1760 necessitated the renewal of all provincial commissions. The continuation was immediately authorized by an order-in-council issued by the Privy Council, and a six-month period was advertised by governor’s proclamation on 16 Oct. 1761. The joint appointment of Cotton and Cooper was approved by the Governor and Council on 5 Nov. 1761. Whitmore, Massachusetts Civil List, 81; Bernard Papers, 1: 59; CO 5/823, ff 103, 105. However, in this letter FB is suggesting that he never expressly confirmed the joint commission under the new provincial seal effective upon George III’s accession. He thus thought he had found a means of checking the advancement of one Whig. Cooper, the older brother of the Rev. Samuel Cooper (the minister of the Brattle Street Church) had been town clerk of Boston since 1761, and in which capacity emerged as a local leader of the opposition. He held this office until his death in 1809.
1. No. 675, Bernard Papers, 4: 304.
2. No. 661, ibid., 271-276.
3. Signatories with dates of election to the Council:* James Bowdoin (1726-90), 1757-68, 1770-73; John Bradbury (1697-1778), 1763-72; Gamaliel Bradford (1704-78), 1757-69; Samuel Danforth (1696-1777), 1739-74; Samuel Dexter (1726-1810), 1768-73; John Erving (c.1692-1786), 1754-74; Harrison Gray (1711-94), 1761-72; John Hill (1703-72), 1742-69; Thomas Hubbard (1702-73), 1759-72; James Pitts (1710-76), 1766-74; Isaac Royall (c.1719-81), 1752-73; James Russell (1715-98), 1761-73; Nathaniel Sparhawk (1715-76), 1760-65, 1767-72; Royal Tyler (1724-71), 1764-70; Samuel White (1710-20 Mar. 1769), 1766-68.
*Elections were conducted at the beginning of the assembly’s legislative year, in May, votes being cast by the new House of Representatives and the outgoing Council. Appointments to the mandamus Council in Aug. 1774 have been excluded.
5. Gage to the Council, Boston, 28 Oct. 1768. CO 5/86, f 222.
1. The “major part of the Council,” petitions to the House of Lords and the House of Commons, c.30 Nov. 1768, enclosed in Samuel Danforth to William Bollan, 5 Dec. 1768, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, Loose MSS.
2. Thus in manuscript, but Bollan may have intended to use the adverb “aright”.
3. Bowdoin and Temple Papers: “them on”.
4. The manuscript renders the “m” in “comons” with a tilde, here and below.
5. The Lords’ resolutions and the address to the king were received by the House of Commons on 16 Dec. and approved with minor amendments on 8 Feb. 1769.
6. Probably William Beckford. See note 11 below.
7. On 22 Dec., the House of Commons adjourned to 19 Jan. 1769.
8. Editorially supplied to aid understanding.
9. The acquisition of authentic copies of the six Bernard Letters is discussed in the Introduction, 14-22.
10. HCJ, 32: 123-124; HLJ, 32: 229. The first order of the day was to read the American correspondence presented to Parliament on on 28 Nov., 7 Dec., and 20 Jan., including all of FB’s official letters to Hillsborough. The House resolved to consider the material at noon the following day, 26 Jan. HCJ, 32: 136.
11. William Beckford (bap.1709-70), a former West India sugar planter and a wealthy merchant, was the City of London’s MP, 1754-70, and its mayor, 1762 and 1769-70. Barlow Trecothick (?1718-75), an alderman of London and MP, 1768-74, was a leader of the Rockingham faction in the House of Commons.
12. Other speakers on Beckford’s motion to accept the petition were Isaac Barré and Lord North (both in favor) and Hans Stanley and Lord Strange (both against). The principal difficulty, as Bollan rightly pointed out, was whether or not the House could admit the petition as if coming from the Council (as Lord North initially wished to do, particularly since he thought the petition “cautiously and properly drawn” and whose “little insinuations” in matters of right the House could “pass . . . over”.). Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 184-190.
13. By Cavendish’s account, Trecothick’s emotive plea persuaded North and others to seek a form of words to facilitate acceptance of the petition:
The practice of refusing to receive petitions from America is, it seems, to be continued. Small things ought to give way to great. Shall we stickle at a little want of form, in a matter where substance is so materially concerned? You throw out of doors the first movement made towards a reconciliation with our colonies. I will meet the noble Lord [North, who had withdrawn his support for the motion] half-way.
Isaac Barré (1726-82), the MP for Chipping Wycombe, 1761-74, and a veteran of the French and Indian War, was equally forthright: “I tremble at the possibility of our treating this petition with neglect; a petition in words stronger than any lately presented. These poor people have been trampled on.” Barré was also a Chathamite Whig who, like many staunch friends of the Americans, openly criticized the administration’s American policy after the earl of Chatham left control to Grafton’s leadership in 1767 and resigned in Oct. 1768. Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 185-186.
14. An indecipherable word, scored out by the author, has been omitted.
15. After Barré had spoken, Hans Stanley (1721-80), MP for Southampton, 1754-80, arose to remind the House that having read the papers before them members would “find” the “whole transaction” described in one of FB’s letters (No. 718).
16. Bowdoin and Temple Papers: “of their contents”.
17. That is, the American correspondence previously read.
18. The formulation agreed upon was prompted by Thomas Pownall’s brief intervention to confirm that the “president” (as the petition designated Danforth) had no constitutional role and thus the petition was the work of a majority of members acting in a private capacity. Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 186. The petition was ordered to “be brought up, not as a Petition of the major part of the Council,” but as a petition coming from Samuel Danforth “on the Behalf of the several individual Members of the said Council at whose Request he signed the same.” HCJ, 32: 136. The petition is printed in ibid., 136-137.
19. 26 Jan.
20. Sir George Savile (1726-84), MP for Yorkshire, 1759-83, was a respected independent keen to encourage the Rockinghamites and the Grafton administration to effect reconciliation with the colonists.
21. Specifically, Bollan challenged the legal basis of the presumption in the Lords’ address to the king that treason trials should proceed under 35 Hen. 8, c. 2. Letters to the Ministry (1st ed.), 148-164. Several speakers commented upon Bollan’s reasoning, while government men questioned Bollan’s right to petition against the proceedings of the Houses of Parliament. Edmund Burke conveyed the sense of urgency pervasive among opposition Whigs that colonial grievances were being dismissed too readily. “In these times, and upon these great occasions, when so many perilous questions are depending, we ought to let the Americans know that they are fully heard.” Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 191.
22. Bollan’s figures are accurate, here and above. HCJ, 32: 151.
23. The House debated the wealth of papers presented to Parliament on 28 Nov., 7 Dec., and 20 Jan., prior to considering the Lords’ resolutions of 15 Dec. Afterward, the chairman of the committee responsible for drafting a response to the Lords announced that he was ready to present the report, which the House agreed to receive one week later (2 Feb.). HCJ, 32: 151.
24. Bowdoin and Temple Papers: “great”.
25. For a summary see Introduction, 14-20. The debates are reported in detail in Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 191-207.
26. 2 Feb. But the debate on American affairs was delayed by proceedings on the libels of John Wilkes, who was expelled from the Commons on 3 Feb. The resolutions and address were approved with minor amendments on 8 Feb. For reports see Wright, Cavendish’s Debates, 1: 207-225.
27. The copies were scribed by four different hands, and each bears the attestation and signature of George White,* the clerk of the papers of the House of Commons, dated 27 Jan. 1769. They were filed in James Bowdoin’s personal papers after Bowdoin and his colleagues subsequently published a pamphlet edition. Bowdoin’s papers do not hold copies of the other letters from FB to Hillsborough, again supplied by Bollan and published later in the year. HCJ, 32: 123-124; HLJ, 32: 229; Bowdoin and Temple Papers, Loose MSS; Letters to Hillsborough (1st ed.), 3-33.
* On White see Williams, Clerical Organization of the House of Commons, 143, 182-183.
2. No. 654, Bernard Papers, 4: 255-257.
3. Obscured by the binding.
2. In coming to this conclusion, the Council were not only following the contents of FB’s six letters. In only one of the letters did FB openly recommend reforming the Council, the province’s upper legislative chamber and advisory body to the governor, by proposing that the Crown appoint members directly: the “King should have the Council chamber in his own hands. How this can be done may be a question; the Exigency of it is none.” (No. 709). This came after weeks of delay and obstruction in finding quarters for the British regiments stationed in the town. The proposal was also made in the context of reconstituting the province’s magistracy by an act of Parliament, which councilors would have deemed an unprecedented intervention. (No. 711.) Such phrases likely resonated in the private conversations of the Massachusetts Whigs with the same frequency as TH’s reflective comment that sustained opposition might result in an “abridgement of what are called English liberties.” Like FB, TH delivered his damning judgment in private (on 20 Jan. 1769, three days before publication of FB’s letters in the Boston Gazette and two months before the Council received Bollan’s first “parcel” of authenticated copies); his observation was accorded ex post facto infamy when the letter was published in 1773.* Councilors probably found FB’s blunt language just as shocking as they would TH’s. The discovery confirmed what many already suspected was FB’s enthusiasm for reforming colonial government, at least what could be gleaned from the governor’s public pronouncements. As yet, the Whigs had not accessed FB’s previous or recent correspondence in which he discussed his reform ideas in more detail. Bernard Papers, 3: 99-101, 108-109, 118, 188, 214-215; 293, 368; for 1768 see No. 736.
* Copy of Letters Sent to Great-Britain, by His Excellency Thomas Hutchinson, the Hon. Andrew Oliver, and Several Other Persons, Born And Educated Among Us: Which Original Letters Have Been Returned to America, and . : . In Which . . . the Judicious Reader Will Discover the Fatal Source of the Confusion and Bloodshed in Which This Province Especially Has Been Involved, and Which Threatned Total Destruction to the Liberties of All America (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1773), 16.
4. See Nos. 700 and 703, which were among the second “parcel” of Bernard Letters dispatched by Bollan in June.
5. No. 661, Bernard Papers, 4: 271-276; for the proceedings see CO5/827, ff 59-60.
6. No. 675, Bernard Papers, 4: 304.
7. 10 Sept. 1768, Reports of the Record Commissioners of Boston, 20: 307-308.
8. The Quartering Act, 5 Geo. 3, c. 33 (1765).
9. The position taken by the Council and Boston selectmen was legally correct, and thus provided some justification for delaying the quartering of troops within Boston. But a strict interpretation of the law in this case did nothing to resolve FB’s problem of finding suitable billets before the onset of winter, since putting soldiers in public houses was only likely to increase friction with the local residents. See 5 Geo. 3, c. 33, sect. 1 extracted in No. 686n4, Bernard Papers, 4: 336.
11. Thus in manuscript.
12. CO 5/827, ff 60-61.
13. The chronology is correct. The Council’s answer was published in the Massachusetts Gazette, 26 Sept. 1768. But FB’s main objection, not addressed by Appendix 4, was that he interrupted “one of the Council [James Bowdoin] with the printer [Richard Draper] correcting the press: after which & not before, the paper was delivered to me.” No. 690, Bernard Papers, 4: 347-351.
14. Printed in the Boston Weekly News-Letter, 7 Apr. 1769.
15. 28 Nov. HCJ, 32: 74-76.
16. No. 690, Bernard Papers, 4: 347-351.
17. The chronology explained here was probably correct but the Council’s answer, along with a note of proceedings between 23 and 26 Sept., was printed in the Boston Gazette later the same day. The House of Commons’ record of 28 Nov. is wrong: FB did not enclose the Boston Gazette with No. 693 but the Massachusetts Gazette. The House of Commons’ clerk of papers probably assumed FB was referring to the Boston Gazette when he described the Council’s answer as a “most inflammatory Paper” in No. 690, having depicted the paper in similar terms in other letters listed among Parliament’s American correspondence. Bernard Papers, 4: 347-351; HCJ, 32: 76.
18. CO 5/827, f 62.
19. The Council’s main objection in the answer delivered on 26 Sept. was that barracks should be filled before any troops were quartered in public buildings, as the Quartering Act stated; that would have meant locating both the 14th and 29th regiments in the barracks on Castle Island. Both FB and Dalrymple argued that this would defeat the purpose of Dalrymple’s orders, which stated that troops were to be billeted within the town. All parties were well acquainted with the law. The Council’s strict constructionist position was legally correct, and was restated forcefully in the letter to Hillsborough; whereas FB and Dalrymple considered this approach a delaying tactic. CO 5/827, ff 60-63.
20. These “minutes” were rendered as No. 693, enclosed with No. 690, Bernard Papers, 4: 347-351, 355-356.
22. CO 5/827, f 63.
23. CO 5/827, ff 63-64.
25. 5 Geo. 3, c. 33 (1765).
26. FB had dissolved the General Court in accordance with Hillsborough’s instructions in No. 608, Bernard Papers, 4: 149-152.
27. CO 5/827, f 64.
28. CO 5/827, ff 64-65.
30. Thus in manuscript.
31. This is the only account of what was said in the debate of 19 Sept., which is unreported in the official minutes CO 5/827, ff 60-61.
32. Closing quotation marks supplied.
33. This word is written over an erasure; the first form is indistinct.
34. The first written form “save our Charter” may be symptomatic of the scribe John Cotton’s own concern that the imperial government might revoke the Province Charter, as Bowdoin and the other councilors feared.
35. Editorially supplied for this quotation.
36. Editorially supplied.
38. CO 5/827, ff 65-66.
39. The official record notes the Council’s affirmative answer to the first form of the question only: “Whether they would advise him to acquaint the Commissioners that in their opinion they may resume the execution of their Office in the Town without resistance or danger to themselves and Officers?” CO 5/827, ff 65-66.
40. Not identified.
41. The notion that the commissioners of Customs had had a settled plan to provoke crowd action was a key feature of Whig political literature. The trigger of the riot of 10 Jun., according to the Council’s deliberations on 29 Jul. (CO 5/827, ff 53-56), was the commissioners’ anchoring the Liberty alongside HMS Romney in Boston harbor. Whether or not at the time the Council truly believed the commissioners’ plan went beyond the seizure of the sloop and the pursuit of its owner, John Hancock, is probably beside the point; they little doubted that the commissioners would justify their retreat to Castle William by representing Bostonians as hostile and violent. The accusation in Appendix 4 that the commissioners determinedly misrepresented the town was a counter-offensive against the commissioners’ memorials in which the town had been “grossly vilified and abused” (the Council rightly assuming that the Liberty riot was condemned as seditious) and FB’s exaggerated claims of violent disorder in Letters to Hillsborough. Later in the document, the Council implicated FB and the commissioners in a “concerted plan” to bring British Regulars to Boston. But it was not until August that that they acquired documentary evidence to justify the accusations, found among the second “parcel” of Bernard Letters received from William Bollan.
42. CO 5/827, ff 52-56. Here the Council reveals that FB showed them a “Paper” on 27 Jul. This is not recorded in the minutes and may have been FB’s letter to Gage of 18 Jul. No. 655, Bernard Papers, 4: 257-258. FB’s intention may have been to demonstrate that he would not request troops without the Council’s agreement (see No. 660n9, ibid., 270). Yet the Council, then and later, thought him more mendacious than maladroit in his dealings, complaining to Hillsborough in Appendix 4 of the governor’s “unmanly dissimulation” in getting the British to send troops direct to Boston.
43. Thus in manuscript.
44. This paragraph amounts to a defence of the Council’s decision to publish their proceedings of 27 and 29 Jul. and 3 and 5 Oct. 1768 in the province newspapers, on 10 Oct. 1768. As such it anticipates FB’s criticism of James Bowdoin’s liaison with the printers, in No. 703, which the Council would not read until Aug. 1769.
45. The Council acquired the American Board of Customs’ memorial on the Liberty riot (Appendix 6, Bernard Papers, 4: 377-378) in August, but not the memorial in which the Board discussed the disorders of Mar. 1768 (Appendix 3).
46. Thus in manuscript; the ellipses may have represented a space into which another word was to be inserted after the scribe had finished writing out the fair copy.
47. The seriousness of the moment was lightened by the optimism of this quotation from William Shakespeare, consigning FB to history.
. . . . be cheerful, sir.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision
. . . . shall dissolve
(The Tempest, 4.1.151).
48. 13 Jun 1768, CO 5/827, f 48.
49. No. 630, Bernard Papers, 4: 201-205.
51. Editorially supplied.
52. On 9 and 10 Nov 1768. CO 5/827, f 67.
53. Thus in manuscript.
55. FB had recommended the Crown reconstitute the commission for the justices of the peace, thus allowing the governor to appoint magistrates anew. He also considered the benefits of a royally-appointed Council. While FB did not address provincial judges in No. 711 the principle still applied, as the Council argued: provincial judges appointed directly by the Crown would not have the safeguards of judicial independence that Crown-appointed judges in England enjoyed.
56. The starting quotation marks have been editorially supplied for both quotations in this paragraph; the closing marks are present in the manuscript.
57. As the letter moved toward its climax, the Council countered FB’s accusations of populism with a classic formulation from Whig political theory: as the upper legislative chamber and advisory body to the executive, the Council properly maintained the balance of power in the province’s mixed constitution, correcting the excesses of both people and governors. Here FB was exhibited as the archetypal, grasping governor—redolent even of the Roman tyrant Verres—whose misdemeanors would continue to jeopardize good government unless he were removed. The intimation of impeachment was an appeal to Hillsborough’s political sensibilities that scapegoating FB would at least encourage others to do their duty.
61. Petitions of the [major part of the] Massachusetts Council to the House of Commons and the House of Lords, c. 30 Nov. 1768. There is a signed copy of the Council’s petition to the Lords in Bowdoin and Temple Papers, Loose MSS; the petition to the Commons is in Letters to Hillsborough (1st ed.), 70-73.
62. No. 608, Bernard Papers, 4: 149-152.
63. Appendix 11, Bernard Papers, 4: 392-396, enclosed in No. 654, ibid., 255-257.
65. Tactically, this was tactfully evasive. While Hillsborough received the petition on behalf of the king he presented it to Parliament on 28 Nov., as an enclosure to No. 654, Bernard Papers, 4: 255-257. Thus, he denied the Council the opportunity of communicating directly with the His Majesty in Council. HCJ, 32: 75.
66. Minutes of the Massachusetts Council of 29 Jul. 1768. FB had enclosed a copy to Hillsborough with No. 660, Bernard Papers, 4: 251. It is filed in CO 5/757, ff 366-368.
68. The minutes of 29 Jul. were enclosed in No. 660, Bernard Papers, 4: 266-270; a newspaper copy of the address to Gage was enclosed with No. 708.
69. That is, his own reading of the evidence and interpretation in relation to the law. OED.
70. The Quartering Act, 5 Geo. 3, c. 33 (1765).
71. The province spent over £800 in building the barracks and repairing the out-buildings during 1754 and 1755. Acts and Resolves, 16: 254, 293. Subsequent improvements to the Castle’s defences are discussed in FB’s letter to Jeffrey Amherst of 28 Dec. 1761, No. 84, Bernard Papers, 1: 169-170.
72. First written as “here”.
73. Probably a scribal error for “comitatus”.
74. See No. 672 for FB’s account of the failure of these measures, Bernard Papers, 4: 295-300.
75. Thus in manuscript. The intended meaning was probably: “How kind and just would it have been in Governor Bernard to let the Council know previously the several articles of his intended Complaint against them . . . .”
76. Signatories with dates of election to Council*: James Bowdoin (1726-90), 1757-68, 1770-73; William Brattle (1706-76), 1765-86, 1770-73; Samuel Danforth (1696-1777), 1739-74; Samuel Dexter (1726-1810), 1768-73; John Erving (c.1692-1786), 1754-74; Thomas Hubbard (1702-73), 1759-72; James Pitts (1710-76), 1766-74; Isaac Royall (c.1719-81), 1752-73; James Russell (1715-98), 1761-73; Royal Tyler (1724-71), 1764-70.
*Elections were conducted at the beginning of the assembly’s legislative year, in May, votes being cast by the new House of Representatives and the outgoing Council. Appointments to the mandamus Council in Aug. 1774 have been excluded.
78. According to Bollan to Danforth, et al., Henrietta Street, 21 Jun. 1769, Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 145.
3. Obscured by tight binding.
4. End quotation marks supplied. In No. 718, FB had accused the councilors of “Very little Exercise of private Judgement in popular Questions.”
5. Thomas Hutchinson, Andrew Oliver, and others who failed to win election in 1766 and subsequent years.
7. Thus in manuscript, referring to the postscript to No. 718. Corrected to “postscript” in printed versions.
8. A writ commanding action.
10. The fourth resolution complained that the Council and province magistrates failed to “exert their Authority for suppressing . . . Riots and Tumults.” Adopted by the House of Lords on 15 Dec. and approved by the House of Commons on 8 Feb. HLJ, 32: 209.
11. Printed in Copies of Letters from Governor Bernard to Hillsborough.
12. He died on 20 Mar. 1769.
14. It may have been enclosed in John Erving’s letter of 26 Jul. 1769 confirming Bollan’s appointment as Council agent. However, the letter is not mentioned alongside other enclosures, including Letters to Hillsborough. Bowdoin and Temple Papers, 149-150.
15. Omitted in the printed versions.
16. Acts and Resolves, 1: 10-11.
1. While the House was not in possession of FB’s letters detailing these issues, they were, of course, fully able to document the governor’s veto of councilors in successive elections since May 1766.
2. Again, the House did not have copies of FB’s correspondence on this matter.
3. Queen’s College, Hampshire Co., Mass. The bill for incorporating a western college (1762) was rejected by the House of Representatives in 1762. Bernard Papers, 1: 190-191, 217-281.
4. This was a general accusation.
5. This was another general accusation.
7. This might have been deduced from FB to Conway, 28 Sept. 1765, which was laid before the House of Commons on 14 Jan. 1766. No. 397, Bernard Papers, 2: 369. On Parliament see Bernard Papers, 3: 128.
8. Thus in manuscript.
10. Copies of Letters from Governor Bernard to Hillsborough; Letters to Hillsborough (1st ed.).
11. JHRM, 45: 168-172. The version printed in Cushing, Writings of Samuel Adams, 1: 349-354, is based not on the official record or the engrossed copy but on FB’s transcript published in Select Letters, 89-94. The differences are not substantive.
12. According to CO 5/758, f 185.
13. DeBerdt to Cushing, London, 15 Sept. 1769, Matthews, “Letters of Dennys DeBerdt,” 378-380.
14. Copies of Letters from Governor Bernard to Hillsborough; Letters to Hillsborough (1st ed.).
15. See Nicolson, ‘The Infamas Govener’, 205-206.
16. Ibid., 206; APC, 5: 211-214.
1. Frederick Cornwallis (1713-83) had succeeded Thomas Secker (1693-1768) as archbishop of Canterbury. FB wrote of “being known” to the new archbishop. BP, 6: 148
2. Joseph Goldthwait (1730-79) of Boston, later a prominent Loyalist and refugee.
3. Samuel Hood (1724-1816), a British naval officer and commander of the North Atlantic Station from Jul. 1767 to Oct. 1770. He did not see active service in the American War of Independence until his promotion to rear admiral and deployment to the West Indies in 1780.
4. FB corresponded with Monk about a bill of exchange for £40 drawn upon Monk by one Mr. Gibbs, recently settled in Boston. When Gibbs sought credit from Boston merchant Nathaniel Appleton, Appleton requested that FB endorse the bill, which FB did not normally do as a matter of course; instead, FB showed Appleton recent correspondence from Monk, which enabled Gibbs to obtain credit, and urged Monk to consider providing additional bills in order to help him set up in business in the year following. BP, 7: 251. Monk’s identity cannot be established with certainty, but one possibility is Lawrence Monk of Caneby, Lincs., and a sheriff in FB’s home county.
5. Norborne Berkeley (c.1717-70), fourth Baron Botetourt, and governor of Virginia from 1768 until his death.
6. Edward Hawke (1705-81), the first Baron Hawke, had a distinguished service record as a Royal Navy officer during the Seven Years’ War, 1756–1763, and served as first lord of the Admiralty from 1766 to 1771.
7. Philip Stephens (1723–1809), first secretary of the Admiralty 1763-95.
8. Guy Carleton (1724-1808), an Anglo-Irish soldier and later the first Baron Dorchester, was governor of Quebec from 1768 to 1778, and a leading British general during the American War of Independence.
9. Victor-Thérèse Charpentier (1732-76), comte d’Ennery and French colonial administrator, was governor general of Martinque between 1765 and 1768 and concurrently governor of St. Domingue and the French Windward Islands, from 1768 to 1772.
10. James Robertson (1717-88), a Scottish-born British army officer, had served during the French and Indian War and had been the colonial administrator of the Floridas after their acquisition from Spain.
11. Henry Bellew was a Royal Navy officer and captain of HMS Beaver.
12. James Cockle had been dismissed from the customs service in 1764 after a long running dispute with John Temple, then his superior, who accused him of corruption and fraud. The affair, in which FB was implicated, is discussed at length in the second volume of the Bernard Papers.
13. Joseph Chadwick had undertaken a major survey of the Maine interior at FB’s direction, which resulted in the production of the first maps of the region. See Bernard Papers, 3: 79; Chadwick’s Survey of the Interior Parts of the Country from Penobscot to Quebec, 1765, CO 700/MAINE19.
14. Oliver Partridge (1712-93), a wealthy farmer and former representative for Hatfield, and FB’s business partner in several New Hampshire land grants.