751 | To Lord Barrington


    Boston March 15 1769

    My Lord

    By a Letter from a Gentleman in London to his Friend here I have learnt that my Lord Hillsborough has expressed a Concern at some disagreeable Reports of me; one only of which I have any Knowledge of, which is that I left the Town on the Arrival of the Troops. And by another Letter I understand that this Complaint has been made against me by Lt Colonell Dalrymple who commanded the Forces from Halifax.1

    If I had not lived long enough to wonder at Nothing, I should be surprised to find myself charged with so groundless an Accusation from one who as a private Gentleman I treated with the most friendly Regard; and as a commanding Officer I waited upon with a Sedulity more inforced by my Attention to the Kings Service than reconcileable to the Dignity of my own Station. Tho I might leave such a trivial Charge to be refuted by my general Conduct; yet least it should have made an Impression to my Disadvantage, I have thought proper to give your Lordship a true state of the Fact.

    When I am charged with leaving the Town2 on the Arrival of the Troops, would not any one imagine that the Place Town was then the Place of my Residence? But the Truth is that ^I^ at that Time & for several Months before resided at my House at Roxbury, 4 miles from Boston, a Retreat so necessary for preserving my Health & affording me Leisure for writing, that I could not have gone thro my Business without it. From hence I have, during the Summer, attended my Business in Town with as much Punctuality as I could have done if I had resided in it.

    When the Troops were expected I had left Orders at the Castle that a Messenger should be sent to me as soon as the Ships appeared. This was so punctually executed, that I was at the Castle before the Ships had all come to Anchor & above an Hour before the commanding Officers got to the Castle_ From this Day3 to the Time that the Troops landed4 I was at the Castle every Morning before 10 o clock & staid there till afternoon or Evening as I was wanted. At one of our Consultations there it was determined to land the Troops at Boston: immediately after this Resolution was taken I went to the Sherriff of the County5 & gave him Orders to provide Horses & Carriages for the Baggage & Artillery which was punctually done. After Provision was made for every thing requireable of the civil Power, & the Sherriff of the County was ordered to wait on these Gentlemen I did not imagine that the personal Attendance of the Governor was either necessary or decent.

    Your Lordship must know that at the Time of the landing there was not the least Apprehension of Resistance, as a Proof of which the commanding Officer went into ^the^ Town an hour before any Body of Troops landed. Every thing was done in good Order & all Provisions which could be expected were made. I was therefore at a Loss to know how I came to be blamed for not attending this Parade; till I learned it was thought that I ought to have provided a Dinner for the Officers upon this Occasion. I own it never entered into my Head to make an Entertainment at a Time of so much Hurry & Confusion: I could not have done it at my own House;6 & I could not think it proper for me to open a Tavern upon the Occasion:7 And this is my only Neglect of Duty.

    This my Lord is the plain Narrative of Facts, upon which I shall make no Comment: But I shall only desire ^that^ if there is any Remembrance of this Charge to my Disadvantage, Your Lordship will use this Letter to my Vindication; if there is not, that you will excuse this Trouble.

    I am &c

    The Rt Honble The Lord Viscount Barrington

    P.S.8 I enclose Copies of the letters which passed between me and Lt Col Dalrymple before & after the Debarkation;9 from which it will appear that at the time when my Absence from Town was complained of I really was in Town & made an order for the accommodation of the troops being all I could then do; and the day after10 I was in Town & in Council upon this business. My attending in person the debarkation was not only unnecessary but highly improper.

    dupL, LbC     BP 7: 267-270.

    In handwriting of Thomas Bernard, except where noted. Enclosures (not found) were probably copies of the correspondence listed in n9.