754 | From Lord Barrington

    Cavendish Square 21st March 1769.


    Dear Sir

    I am very sorry to inform your Excellency that there is no hope that any thing more effectual in regard to North America will be done in Parliament this Session: Vigorous and proper measures have been propos’d to the Cabinet, but it is understood they have met with Negatives1 there. I was directed to bring in the Short Act of last Year for continuing the American Mutiny Act without alteration or addition:2 I propos’d in the Committee a Clause, of which I send you a Copy: Court & Opposition who have never agreed in any thing else, joined in rejecting my Proposal. The duty I owe to the Crown, the State, the Parliament & the Army, required me to endeavour that the Mutiny Act in America should be executed; the conduct of the Justices and the Council of Boston has shewn it may be evaded. I am as little desirous as any man, that Troops should be quartered in private houses; nor was that the intention of my Clause, but to engage the Americans to Quarter them according to the Act, by shewing that if they did not, worse inconveniences would happen to themselves than hireing empty houses and furnishing Bedding &ca. I confess I do not see how the Troops will in several places be put under cover after this tame acquiescence of Parliament in the disobedience of the Town of Boston, in respect to Quartering those which are there: Nothing but the happy expedient of appointing Commissaries, which occurred to You last Autumn could have procured legal Cover for them even at the expence of Great Britain.

    Mr. Pownal formerly Governeur of the Massachussets Bay, and Mr Garth who is Agent for one of the Colonies, (both Members of Parliament) propos’d two Clauses which you will see in the Copy of the New American Mutiny Acts, just pass’d, which I herewith enclose: I like them very well, & I think they would have produced good effects, if my Clause had been accepted likewise; but I have no conception, as things now stand, that any Man in America will take one Voluntary Step towards Quartering the Troops at the expence of the Colonies. I trouble your Excellency with these matters the more readily, as the being early apprised of them will enable you the better to give that assistance to the Troops ^at Boston^ which the present Circumstances will allow.3

    I was acquainted two or three days ago with the opinion of Government that the next Pacquet ought not to sail for America without carrying out to You some mark of the King’s favour that might shew his approbation of your conduct; and that it was therefore determined to create You a Baronet immediately. I well remember your indifference, to say the least, in respect to Honours of that kind; as likewise the peculiar delicacy of your Situation which you sometime since communicated to me:4 but I thought on the whole such a Spontaneous mark of Royal favour bestowed at this juncture should not meet with obstruction from your friends. I was then asked how you were to be described in the Patent. I had recourse to Mr Blackborne, by whose advice I gave the following description, Francis Bernard of Nettleham in the County of Lincoln Esquire: This Patent is passing, and is already so far advanced, that I may safely wish you & Lady Bernard joy.5 I hope this will soon be followed by somewhat of a more solid Nature. You are entitled to a great deal, and the worthy intelligent part of Mankind will not think your Services overpaid by any rewards you may receive. I have taken care that the whole of this matter shall be fully explained to Mrs. Berresford6 by Mr. Jackson and Mr. Blackborne.7 I had almost forgot to add that the expence of your Patent will be paid by the Crown; a thing very unusual, and therefore8 the more honourable. I am told it amounts to upwards of £300. I am with great truth & regard

    Dr Sir Your Excellency’s most faithful & obedient humble Servant


    ALS, RC     BP, 12: 65-68.

    Enclosures (not found): The Mutiny Act, 9 Geo. 3, c. 9 (1769); the American Quartering or Mutiny Act, 9 Geo. 3, c. 18 (1769); Barrington delayed posting this letter until FB’s letter of patent for the baronetcy was issued, and enclosed it in No. 760, dated 5 Apr. FB acknowledged the letter with No. 794.