Appendix 6


    To the King’s most Excellent Majesty.

    Most Gracious Sovereign

    We your Majesty’s most dutiful and faithful Subjects, the Representatives of your ancient and loyal Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, impressed with the deepest Gratitude to Almighty God for calling to the British Succession your illustrious Family, and so firmly establishing your majesty on the Throne of your royal Progenitors: And being abundantly convinced of your Majesty’s Grace and Clemency, most humbly implore the Royal Favour, while we briefly represent our Grievances, which your Majesty alone under God can redress.

    We are constrained in Duty to your Majesty, and in Faithfulness to our Constituents to lay before your Majesty our Complaints of his Excellency Sir Francis Bernard Baronet, your Majesty’s Governor of this Colony, whose whole Administration appears to have been repugnant not only to your Majesty’s Service, and the Welfare of your Subjects in the Colony, but even to the first Principles of the British Constitution.

    From his first Arrival here, he has in his Speeches and other publick Acts, treated the Representative Body with Contempt.

    He has in his publick Speeches charged both Houses of the General Assembly, expressly with Oppugnation against Royal Authority, declaring that they had left Gentlemen out of the Council, only for their Fidelity to the Crown.

    He has from Time to Time indiscretely and wantonly exercised the Prerogative of the Crown, in the repeated negative of Councellors of an unblemished Reputation, and duly elected by a great majority; some of them by the unanimous Suffrage of both Houses of Assembly.

    He has declared, that certain Seats at the Council Board shall be kept vacant, ’till certain Gentlemen who are his Favorites shall be reelected.1

    He has unconstitutionally interfered with and unduly influenced Elections, particularly in the Choice of an Agent, for the Colony.2

    He has very abruptly displaced divers Gentlemen of Worth, for no apparent Reason, but because they voted in the General Assembly with Freedom and against his measures.

    He has in an unwarrantable manner taken upon himself the Exercise of your Majesty’s Royal Prerogative, in granting a Charter for a College; contrary to an express Vote of the House of Representatives, and without even asking the advice of your Majesty’s Council.3

    He has practised the sending over Depositions to the Ministry privately taken against Gentlemen of Character here, without giving the Persons accused the least notice of his Purposes and Proceedings.4

    He has very injuriously represented your Majesty’s loving Subjects of this Colony in general, as having an ill Temper prevailing among them, as disaffected to your Majesty’s Government, and intending to bring the Authority of Parliament into Contempt. And by such false Representations, he has been greatly instrumental, as this House humbly conceives, in exciting Jealousies, and disturbing that Harmony and mutual Affection which before happily subsisted, and we pray God may again subsist between your Majesty’s Subjects in Great Britain and America.5

    He has in his Letters to one of your Majesty’s Ministers unjustly charged the Majority of your Majesty’s faithful Council in the Colony with having avowed the Principles of Opposition to the Authority of Parliament, and acted in Concert with a Party from whence such Opposition originated.6

    He has also in his Letter to another of your Majesty’s Ministers falsely declared that a Plan was laid, and a number of men actually enrolled in the Town of Boston, to seize your Majesty’s Castle William in the Harbour of the same, out of your Majesty’s Hands.7

    Such Representations of the State and Circumstances of this Colony from a Gentleman of the highest Trust in it, will of necessity be received with full Credit, till they are made to appear false. And in Consequence thereof, your Majesty’s true and loyal Subjects have suffered the Reproach as well as other Hardships of having a military Force stationed here to support your Majesty’s Authority, and the Execution of the Laws; which measure has been approved of by your Majesty’s two Houses of Parliament, as appears in their Resolutions, that the Town of Boston had been in a State of Disorder and Confusion, and that the Circumstances of the Colony were such as required a military Force, for the Purposes above mentioned.

    Having been a principal Instrument, as we apprehend, in procuring this military Force your Majesty’s said Governor, in an unprecedented manner, and as tho’ he had designed to irritate to the highest Degree, ordered the very Room which is appropriated for the meeting of the Representatives of the General Assembly, which was never used for any other Purpose, and where their Records are kept, to be employed as a Barrack for the common Soldiers: and the Centinels were so posted as that your Majesty’s Council and the Justices of the Courts of common Law were daily interrupted, and even challenged in their Proceedings to the Business of their several Departments.

    He endeavoured contrary to the express to the express Design8 of an act of Parliament to quarter your Majesty’s Troops in the Body of the Town of Boston, while the Barracks provided by the Government at the Castle within the Town, remained useless: and for Purposes manifestly evasive of said Act, he unwarrantably appointed an Officer to provide Quarters for the Troops, otherwise than is therein prescribed.9

    After having dissolved the General Court, at a most critical Season, and while they were employed in the most necessary and important Business of the Colony, he arbitrarily refused to call another for the Space of ten months, and until the Time appointed in the royal Charter for the calling a General assembly, against the repeated dutiful Petitions of the People.

    It appears by his Letters to the Earl of Hillsborough,10 your Majesty’s Secretary of State, that he had endeavored to overthrow the present Constitution of Government in this Colony, and to have the People deprived of their invaluable Charter Rights, which they and their Ancestors have happily enjoyed, under your Majesty’s Administration, and those of your royal Predecessors.

    By the means aforesaid, and many others that might be enumerated, he has rendered his administration odious to the whole Body of the People, and has intirely alienated their Affections from him, and thereby wholly destroyed that Confidence in a Governor, which your Majesty’s Service indispensably requires.

    Wherefore we most humbly intreat your Majesty, that his Excellency Sir Francis Bernard Baronet may be for ever removed from the Government of this Province: and that your Majesty would be graciously pleased to place one in his Stead worthy to serve the greatest and best monarch on Earth.

    And the Representatives of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, as in Duty bound, shall ever pray In their name and by their Order

    Signed Thomas Cushing Speaker

    AMsS, RC     TNA: Privy Council and Privy Council Office: Miscellaneous Unbound Papers, PC 1/3142.

    In the handwriting of Thomas Cushing, for the House of Representatives of Massachusetts. Endorsed: Presented to His Majesty by Dennys Deberdt Esqr Sepr. 14. 1769. The petition was both proposed and unanimously adopted by the House of Representatives on 27 Jun., indicating that it had been prepared in advance, in this case by Samuel Adams, the clerk of the House.11 This version was entered in JHRM, 45: 197-199. The engrossed copy printed here was sent to DeBerdt, the House agent, under cover of a letter from Cushing dated 30 Jun. 1769 (not found), and transmitted to the Privy Council office on 22 Sept.12 Upon receipt, DeBerdt left a copy of the petition at the London house of the secretary of state for the Colonies, the earl of Hillsborough, who was absent at his estates in Ireland.13 This version is filed in CO 5/758, ff 182-185. There is a letterbook copy in CO 5/767, ff 22-28. FB published his own version in Select Letters, 89-94. He also compiled an Answer to the complaint, Feb. 1770, filed at PC 1/3142 and printed in Select Letters, 95-115. Endnotes below identify correspondence published in the Bernard Letters series14 that the House of Representatives would have been aware of when they prepared the petition and would have used to justify their prayer if called upon to do so.