383 | Proclamation concerning the Stamp Act Riot of 26 Aug. 1765


    Francis Bernard, Esq;

    Captain-General and Governor in Chief, in and over His Majesty’s Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, and Vice-Admiral of the same.


    WHEREAS towards Evening on the 26th Day of August Instant, a great Number of People unlawfully and riotously assembled themselves together in the Town of Boston, armed with Clubs, Staves, &c. and with great Noise and Tumult did first of all attack the Dwelling-House of William Story, Esq; Deputy-Register of the Court of Admiralty within this Province, break his Windows, and with Force and Violence enter his said House, and the Office wherein the Books and Files belonging to the said Court were lodged, and did scatter, burn or destroy the same, and most of his own Papers, and Papers belonging to other Persons then in his Custody, and did damage and destroy a great Part of his Furniture. After which the said riotous People or other Rioters, did proceed to the Dwelling-House of Benjamin Hallowell, Esq; Comptroller of His Majesty’s Customs for the Port of Boston, break down the Fence before it, break his Windows and at length with Force and Violence enter the said House, damage and destroy the Wainscot and Furniture of the same, drink and destroy the Liquors in his Cellars, take away his Wearing-Apparel, break open his Desk and Trunks, and take out all his Papers, and about Thirty Pounds Sterling in Money.

    AND WHEREAS these or other riotous People did on the same Night attack the Dwelling-House of the Honorable Thomas Hutchinson, Esq; Lieutenant-Governor of the said Province, and forceably enter the same, break down and destroy the Wainscot and Partitions therein, leaving the said House a mere Shell from Top to Bottom, break and destroy every Window of the Said House with all the Furniture belonging thereto, destroy or carry off all the Wearing-Apparel, Jewels, Books and Papers of every Kind belonging to his Honor and his Family, drink, take away or destroy eight Pipes and three Quarter-Casks of Wine, and every Bottle of Liquors, and all Provisions and Stores of what Kind soever in his Cellars, and carry off about Nine Hundred Pounds Sterling in Money, together with all his Honor’s Plate, pillaging and destroying every Thing in the said House of what Kind soever; and did afterwards deliberately cut down the Cupola or Lantern on Top of the House, and uncover great Part of the Roof; the said People continuing thus riotously and tumultuously assembled the whole Night and until Day-light the next Morning, committing divers Outrages and Enormities, and threatening the Custom-House, and the Houses of divers Persons, to the great Terror of His Majesty’s liege Subjects.

    I have therefore thought fit, with the Advice of His Majesty’s Council, to issue this Proclamation, requiring all Justices of Peace, and all Officers, civil and military, to use their utmost Endeavours for discovering, apprehending and bringing to Justice, all and every the Persons concerned in the unlawful Proceedings aforesaid; and also requiring them to use their utmost Endeavours for preventing all such tumultuous Assemblies and Outrages for the future.

    AND I do hereby promise a Reward of THREE HUNDRED POUNDS for the Discovery of the Leader or Leaders, Director or Directors, of any of the Parties aforesaid, so that he or they may be apprehended and convicted, and a Reward of ONE HUNDRED POUNDS for the Discovery of any other Person of such Parties, or of any Person aiding, assisting or advising to any of the Outrages aforesaid, who shall be apprehended and convicted as aforesaid. And any Person concerned in any of the riotous Proceedings aforesaid (such principal Leaders or Directors only excepted) shall over and above the Reward aforesaid, upon Discovery of any of his Accomplices receive His Majesty’s free and gracious Pardon.

    • GIVEN at the Council-Chamber in Boston, the Twenty-eighth Day of August, 1765, in the Fifth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Third, by the Grace of GOD, of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, KING, Defender of the Faith, &c.

    By His Excellency’s Command,

    Fra. Bernard.

    A. Oliver, Secr.

    GOD Save the KING.

    Prt, RC Gage.