752 | To Philip Stephens

    Boston March 15 1769


    I desire you will inform the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that at the time of the Appointment of Jonathan Sewell Esqr to the Office of Judge of the Admiralty at Halifax; He was the Attorney general of this Province & Advocate general of the Court of Admiralty here:1 He held these two Offices not with an Intention of keeping them together in one Person, which I should not have thought proper, but with a View that if Establishments were made for the Support of these Offices, he might have his Option which he would continue in; & also for this further Purpose that I might have time to look out for a fit Person to recommend to the other Office.2

    And now he is called upon to go to Halifax to open his Judge’s Commission, He is engaging as Advocate general in some Crown Causes of great Consequence3 which will be in Danger of failing, if they are not continued under his Conduct till they are concluded. And I must say, that at present I am not ready to name fit Persons for either of the Offices: such has been the prevalence of the popular Party in this Government, that some of the Lawyers, whom I should have been glad to have engaged in his Majesty’s Service, have by their abetting the Factious party rendered themselves unfit Objects of the favor of Government. And as it is very expedient that these Offices should be filled with the most able Men that can be had I find it necessary to take more Time to look out for fit Persons.

    For these Reasons it will be most advisable that Mr Sewall should continue to act in these Offices till the Causes in which he is now engaged shall be concluded & his Places can be properly filled. I must therefore humbly recommend to their Lordships that after Mr Sewall has opened his Commission at Halifax, he may have leave of Absence for one Year he appointing a proper & sufficient Deputy. For this Purpose there is at Halifax a Gentlemen (Mr Gerrish)4 who has for many Years acted a Deputy Judge of the Admiralty & is well versed in the Business; and he may in any Cases of Difficulty with great Ease have the Advice & Assistance of Mr Sewall.

    I am with great Respect to their Lordships & Regard to yourself Sr &c

    Philip Stephens Esq Secry of the Admiralty.

    L, LbC     BP, 7: 153-155.

    In handwriting of Thomas Bernard.